Monthly Archives: April 2011

Is it too late to start training?

Heck no!  Granted, you need to get started right away, but as long as you’re not in poor health, you still have time to train for our summer 2011 Ohio rides.

As an example, we are 10 weeks away from the Trans-Ohio ride (our first ride, July 1-3).  Assuming you have done practically 0 riding the past two years, here’s what I would do.

Week 1: 30 mins, three times (preferably every other day).  Push yourself, but take it easy — use this time to adjust your bike, and get your butt used to the saddle.

Week 2 & 3: 1 hour rides, three times.  Start easy, but maintain a consistent pace.  Don’t let your legs stop.  Shift to an easier gear if you have to, but keep those legs moving.  By the end of week 3 you should be able to maintain a consistent pace of 15 miles per hour.

Week 4 & 5: Now it’s time to turn it on.  Introduce a 2-hour ride each week.  You have to make the time, and you have to keep your legs moving.  By the end of week 5, you should feel comfortable keeping a 14-15 mph pace all day if you had to.

Week 6 & 7:  It’s time to introduce the long rides, and really get your butt used to the saddle (you could pedal 14 mph all day in a pinch already after all).  Each week, do one 1-hour ride, one 2-hour ride and one 3-hour ride.  The important key here is to always push yourself, but start learning how to adjust your energy usage for longer rides (>40 miles).  By the end of week 7, you should be able to complete 40 miles in 3 hours and not die afterwards.

Week 8:  Now it’s time to diversify your workout.  Ride one: 60 minutes, burn as hard as you can the whole time, practice hard burns – find some hills and do circles up and down if you have to.  Stand up on the pedals up hills, make it hurt.  Ride two: this is the long guy – 4 hour ride.  Make the time.  Set a consistent pace (shoot for 15 mph average).  Ride three: 90 minute ride.  Push hard and consistent, stay in the saddle, power through hills – don’t stand up and burn out your legs this time.

Week 9:  Same as week 8, but lengthen ride 2 to at least 75 miles (hopefully 5 hours).

Week 10:  Three 1-hour rides, push hard and consistent but don’t overdo it.

If you have longer than 10 weeks, repeat week 9 and increase your pace or lengthen ride 2.

One of the most important factors for long rides is getting used to the saddle.  Throughout the week, try to increase your seat time.  Ride your bike to the red box, take a casual evening ride with your friends or kids.  (These do not count as your fitness rides :-))

Varying your environments will help ward off boredom, and also help condition your muscles.  Ride city trails some days with the stop and go, other days hit the country roads where you’ll never have to stop.  I know that means that some days you’ll have to drive somewhere and then ride, and that’s really stupid — but it’s worth it.

Finally, don’t overdo it.  An injury (or even bad soreness) will either take you out of commission, or at least make you hate your bicycle and never want to ride again.  If you’re a fit person, you can probably do more on week 1 and 2, but it’s not worth killing your butt.

Keep in mind, I’m not a health and fitness trainer or any kind of cycling expert.  This is just a routine, that in my limited experience, makes a lot of sense to me, and seems to work well for me.

You know how your body (and your schedule) works better than I do.

If you know of any good cycling training blogs or resources, please post them in the comments below for everyone’s benefit.

Have your own program that you’d like to share?  Cool!  Email it to us at and we’ll post it.


Here are the answers to some of our most common questions regarding The Water Cycle Project’s 2011 multi-day trips.

What’s included in the trip fees?

Your trip fee includes all food and lodging.  In some cases, transportation to and/or from the trip starting point is included – check the specific trip for more information.

Your trip fee also pays for a marked route, as well as SAG vehicle support.

A certified bicycle mechanic will also accompany every trip, and will be available to perform limited support duties.

What type of lodging should I expect?

Most of our lodging will be host homes provided by churches and organizations in the towns we’re passing through.  You should expect floor space.

In some cases, we may stay in motels or camp.  This is covered on a trip-by-trip basis.

What type of meals should I expect?

In most cases, meals will be prepared and provided by volunteers.  In some cases, you’ll be provided with vouchers for restaurants or other establishments along the route.

Can I find my own meals/lodging instead?

Absolutely!  However, because most of our meals and lodging are donated, this will not change your trip fee.

You’ll be responsible for getting to/from your chosen lodging or meal.

Do I have to fund raise?

No, we really appreciate your help raising funds and spreading the word about the water crisis, but unlike rides such as Pelotonia, there is no mimimum fund raising requirement to be eligible to ride.

You’re free to set your own fundraising goal.  When it comes to ride day, just so your trip fee is paid you’re set to ride.

What if I try but can’t complete the leg?

Ostracization.  Dirty Looks.  Totally just kidding.

It happens.  We’re glad you came out to ride, gave it a good try and raised money for this amazing cause.  If you can’t complete the ride for any reason, our support vehicle will pick you up and take you to the next pit stop.  You won’t be pressured to push yourself further than you’re comfortable.

Have other questions?  Please contact us and we’ll add them!

Market to Market Ride (Non-TWCP Ride)

Market to market is a reasonable 13 mile tour for the casual enthusiast.  Participating riders may begin at either The North Market in downtown Columbus, or The Hills Market near Worthington, Ohio, and trek the Olentangy Trail to the other market.

Here’s a link with more info:

The rider fee is $15, which seems a little steep for such a short ride, but it comes with a treat bag and breakfast, so it probably evens out.

This is a great way to support the local cycling community, as well as support small businesses and local agriculture.  If you haven’t had an opportunity to check out either of these fantastic markets yet, I think you’ll be impressed.

Note: Market to Market is held on the same day as TOSRV.  Bummer, right?

Double Note:  This is not a Water Cycle Project ride.  It’s just a link to something that might be fun.

Are You On Twitter?

If you’re on twitter, please consider following our feed, @h2o_cycle, or

I was opposed to Twitter for a long time, but it turns out that it’s actually kind of a fun way to share information.  The blessing in disguise is that unlike other social media, the Twitter 140 character limit means that only the most important information is actually being sent out.

Also, there’s a unique social atmosphere to Twitter that allows you to jump in and out of global conversations at will.  Want to post on your favorite writer’s wall?  You can do that whether you’re “friends” or not, and then never return again!

Check it out today, and please “Follow” H2O_Cycle!