Before the Ride
Training can be a word that makes some people think of brutal interval sessions and hill repeats but unless you’re training for a race you needn’t take it to the extreme. Simply getting some good quality mountain bike rides in before the event will prepare your body and give you the confidence to know that you can complete the distance.
The Steel Valley Ride may only be 31 miles but it also climbs over 3,500 feet, so make sure you include some hills in your training too.
The route of the Steel Valley Ride contains some technical riding, which can’t simply be overcome by fitness. This is where skills come into your riding. We have some great trails in Sheffield particularly at Greno, Parkwood and Lady Cannings. These are great places to brush up on your technical skills on features like berms, rock gardens, drops and jumps. Just keep within your comfort zone or ask for help from a more skilled friend or mtb skills coach.
On the Day
The main thing to remember is that mountain biking does take its toll on your bike. Make sure you or your local bike shop have checked it over thoroughly before the event to check everything is working as it should be. It’s a good idea to bring some spares on the ride like inner tubes, chain links, brake pads and some basic tools. At least then if you have a small problem you, or a helpful passer-by will be able to fix your bike and keep you rolling.
Food and Drink
On long rides eating and drinking right will make your ride so much more enjoyable and give you the energy to keep pushing through those last miles to finish the ride.
Pre-ride you should make sure that you get a good mix of slow release carbs and protein as this combination will fuel your muscles and brain efficiently on longer rides.
There are two feed stations on the Steel Valley Ride route and we will provide water, regular food (like bananas) and sports nutrition.
You will still need to bring your own food and drink too to keep you regularly fuelled during the event and we recommend setting off with a minimum of 1 litre of water .
Post-ride nutrition is important too, there are a selection of eateries at the event HQ in Stocksbridge town centre where you can re-fuel and recover.
Whether you’re a lycra-clad cross country speed machine or an all-mountain slow up the hills fast on the descents kind of rider, there a few things that are pretty universal. No-one likes a sore bum! Padded shorts are the best prevention for this and whether you wear them for all to see or hide them under your baggies doesn’t really matter.
Gloves are a good idea to soften the ride and give you that extra bit of protection if you don’t manage to keep it rubber side down.
Knee-pads should also be considered, as they can offer you good impact protection should you take a spill. New pads are light, flexible and can be ridden all day in comfort.
The only compulsory item on the clothing list is a helmet, you’ll need one to take part in the event. No helmet, no ride.
It has also been known to rain in the Peak District from time to time, so bringing a waterproof should be on your list of essentials too.
So prepare to enjoy the Steel Valley Ride, only 1 month to go!
If you think we’ve missed anything please leave us a comment below.