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Training Tips

Tips for better cycling

  1. DRINK, DRINK, DRINK! Drink before you are thirsty. Dehydration is the number one cause of physical breakdown.
  2. Eat before you are hungry. You deserve it and your body needs it
  3. Complete your bicycle inspection to ensure that your bike is in good working condition.
  4. Be prepared for any kind of weather. Layering your clothing works well.
  5. Put your name, emergency contact and any medical information on a tape in your helmet. This is important whenever you are riding.
  6. Stretch immediately upon arrival in camp. This will help reduce stiffness the next day.
  7. Rest if you become tired. Pay attention to those around you. Most cycling mishaps occur late in the day when people are fatigued.
  8. If you are hurting, you are working too hard. Shift down, slow down, or stop and rest.
  9. Don't ride in "high" gears that are straining you. Learn to shift so that you get pretty good at holding your rpm's at 60 - 80. Get used to shifting and maintaining a proper cadence.

Training Schedule

Eight weeks prior to the Trek: Ride 20-25 miles each week. Start off slow and easy. Get used to sitting on the bike seat. Feeling comfortable on your bike is a big part of your training.

Eight to six weeks prior to the Trek: Ride 30 miles total each week. Alternate short days with long days and increase your mileage at the end of the week.

Six to four weeks prior to the Trek: Ride easy, but ride regularly to maintain your strength.

Four to two weeks prior to the Trek: Alternate long and short days again with one 35-mile day on the weekend. The training rides provided by Breathe California are a great way to incorporate that 35-mile day into your training.

Two weeks prior to the Trek: Ride easy the next two weeks, but try to ride at least three times each week. This will help you stay in shape without wearing you out.

General Training Tips

Start training early and consistently in the months before your ride to help you prepare. Here are some training aspects to consider:

Distance: Trekkers know that there is no substitute for "seat miles," so get those miles in early. Your seat will probably be the first thing to get sore. Start with moderate distances (10-15 miles) and build up gradually. Be prepared to bike 40 miles a day.

Hills: Yes, there are hills on the route. Remember that hills and their characteristics are what make the scenery beautiful. Practice on hills and use all those gears on your bike, by shifting down and keeping up a good quick cadence of 60-80 rpm.

Recovery: Most of us who are in decent shape can get on a bicycle and ride for a long day. The difficulty is getting back on that seat the day after, and then the day after that. It is a good idea to train your body to recover by training two or three days in a row. For this, distance each day is much less important than the repetition.

Nutrition and Hydration: Distance cycling requires significant food and water. It is important to maintain your strength for the duration of the ride. Drink regularly and before you feel thirsty. Dehydration is the number one cause of physical breakdown. Also eat small amounts frequently before you are hungry. Carbohydrates are the easiest form of calories for your body to use when exercising. The Trek is not a time to diet! While training, experiment with different sources of fluids and carbohydrates and find out what works best for you.

Your Bike: Keeping your bike in good shape is very important. Pay attention to how it feels and sounds while training. We highly recommend that you get a safety check and tune-up before the Trek. Some of the stores associated with the Trek will do a free safety check and give you a reduced rate on the tune-up.


2013 Breathe California Training Rides

Training Ride #1: June 22nd - Click here to see pictures!

Training Ride #2: August 17th - Location TBD

Distance : Roughly 30 miles
Time: Meet 7:30 a.m. Take-off 8:00 a.m. Finish around noon.

Our training rides are free to all potential and registered Trekkers. SAG support and a rest stop with snacks and drinks will be provided. Email Judy at or call (916) 444-5900 ext. 209 to RSVP.

Other training ride opportunities can be found through the Sacramento Bike Hikers at

If you are coordinating your own training rides and would like to put it on our calendar, please email us the details, including date, time and location.

Cycling Protocol

All Trekkers must be 18 or older unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
(Minimum age to participate is 13 years)

Obey all traffic signs, signals and regulations. The Trek does not travel a closed course. Never wear a walkman with headphones over both ears. This is illegal in California.

Just as we ask drivers to share the road with cyclists, we must share the road with them. Ride SINGLE FILE ONLY, and be considerate. Also, don’t forget your fellow cyclists—help them along the way with a greeting or a helping hand when you can.

Always wear a helmet when you are on your bike - this is a Trek requirement.

  • Keep pacelines to a minimum. If you have never drafted, the Trek is not the time to learn.
  • Cross railroad tracks slowly and at a right angle after checking traffic.
  • Pass only on the left and then only after giving adequate warning with an “On your left!” that can be heard by the cyclist being passed.
  • Pull completely off the road when stopped.
  • Ride at a safe speed for your ability.
  • Stay to the right so motorists can predict your moves.
  • Don’t cycle too close to others; if one has a problem, everyone will have a problem.
  • Watch for doors from parked cars opening into your path.
  • Use your maps and written directions.
  • Do not consume alcohol until the day’s ride is over. If you consume alcohol in camp, please be courteous of others.
  • No baby buggies are allowed on the Trek, either on the back of a bicycle or in trailer form.

For information on bicycle safety and rules of the road, you can visit the following sites:


2013 Goal:

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5 percent of goal achieved.
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