Last year, I participated in the inaugural Venus de Miles Illinois Ride. This was my first foray into the world of long(er)-distance cycling and it was a wonderful experience. I trained for this ride and had a great time, so much so that I started working with the organization to bring other bloggers on board to spread the word. I've talked it up so much that several of my new-to-biking buddies will be joining in on the action. Here are a few of my Venus-specific tips to help you make the most of your day (and a giveaway so you can join my July 28)!
1. Wear sunscreen. I can't emphasize this enough.
2. Wear a small backpack or leave one of your water bottle cages empty. There was so much swag at this race that I had nowhere to store. I wish I had an available bottle cage so I could have picked up a sports bottle and filled it with the bars, gummies and goodies at the aid station to snack on later.
|One of the aid stations|
4. Block off your day. MacKenna and I were probably the last people to leave the post-race party. We had an awesome time getting facials and manicures, sampling custom cocktails, eating a gourmet lunch and chatting with our fellow riders. I wouldn't want to feel rushed. On that topic ...
|Spinning-created margaritas at the party|
6. Wear a costume or team-coordinated outfit. This race is all about celebrating and having fun. Also, I find the more distinctive your apparel, the more likely you'll get in the marketing materials for the next year. Bonus!
|More post-ride partying|
8. Be safe. Helmets are required for this ride and should be for every ride you do. I've taken some nasty spills over the years and am lucky to have my wits about me thanks to my helmet. Leave the music at home and pick up the emergency contact information when you check in.
9. Learn more about the charity this ride benefits. Greenhouse Scholars is an excellent program helping kids go to school. This ride is more than just a fun day spent with your girlfriends - it's an event that provides a lifetime of opportunity.
Want to join me July 28 for a 25- or 60-mile ride through Illinois? Here's your chance! Rafflecopter will randomly select a winner next Wednesday, who I will contact via e-mail and recognize on this page.
To enter, start by commenting on this blog: What do you like the most about cycling?