Bicycle Network: RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride
WARBY Preparation Rides and Advice
A WARBY is a member of the WARBY team, a team of volunteers who are there to support you during the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride. WARBY stands for “We are right behind you”. The WARBY's are on the ride to offer advice, mechanical and emotional support and help to get you from A to B throughout the ride.
These tips have been formulated by the WARBY Team to assist new and experienced riders to enjoy their cycling.
Things to get you started:
- If you have not already, think about joining Bicycle Network Victoria as a Member.
- Buy or obtain the bike you intend to use on the Ride.
- Seek advice from your local bikeshop or the WARBY Team about what additional equipment to consider using.
- Make sure your bike seat is comfortable and at the correct height. Consider using some form of toe clips.
- Consider purchasing a rear rack and a set of panniers (i.e. carry bags) to carry all your extras during the Ride (e.g. raincoat, UV block, camera, spare food, broad brimmed hat, jumper, spare tube that fits your tyres/wheels, puncture repair kit, pump (set to your valves), riding gloves/warm gloves, tool-kit, sunglasses, chain lubricant, a good quality lock).
- Have your drivers licence number engraved under the bottom bracket (the part of the frame where the axle that holds the pedal-arms or cranks goes through).
- Organise your riding clothing and equipment.
- Make sure you have riding gloves and a helmet that is the correct size and adjusted properly.
- Have your bike serviced, and don't forget to pump up the tyres.
During September and October
- Once/twice a week ride at least 50–60km to a set destination (e.g. perhaps use Public Transport, go to an outer station and do a loop ride).
- Keep including lots of hills.
- Preferably on two consecutive days, ride at least 60–70km to a set destination (e.g. all the above ideas). Heaps of hills.
- Have your bike serviced.
- Check and re-check your luggage bag. Remember it must be less than 20kg (or two bags up to 10kg each). It will be much easier for you to lift/carry if it's less than 15kg.
- When packing, keep in mind the possibility of some cool weather.
On the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride
- Eat before you're hungry and drink (lots) before you're thirsty.
- Keep two water bottles on the bike. You may be able to help someone else.
- Wear cycling knicks with a chamois (don't wear anything underneath).
- Pump up your tyres.
- Take your raincoat with you every day. Even if it doesn't rain, it could be handy to keep you warm.
- Try to avoid wearing a backpack. Consider fitting a rear rack and panniers (i.e. carry bags) to carry your bits and pieces.
- Ride in single file on double lines and no more than two abreast when it is really safe to do so. Obey all road rules.
- Be predictable in your riding pattern.
- Use appropriate gears and cadence (i.e. pedalling speed) to suit the gradient and conditions. When approaching a hill, change to an appropriate gear beforehand.
- Dress in several layers of clothing, rather than one thick layer.
- Ride at your pace – not someone else's.
- There is no lost honour in stopping half way up a hill, but get right off the road when you do.
- Leave camp early to allow enough time to enjoy the day (and get a good camp site and a hot shower).
- Enjoy all the experiences (good and bad) a Great Ride can bring!
If you're bringing a child
- Make sure the bike fits the child, not the child fits the bike. (Often children's seats are too low.)
- Keep your child in front of you; being left behind can be demoralising.
- Monitor your child's food/fluid intake. Remember: eat before you're hungry and drink lots before you're thirsty. Carry spare food/fluid for your child.
- Set out early and have regular rests; make it fun, not a chore. Perhaps carry some 'surprises' (e.g. your child's favourite food, drink, magazine, toy).
- Ensure your child has his/her own spare tube, repair kit, pump and coat if they are riding a separate bicycle.
- Do not allow your child to wear a back-pack (a small bum bag is fine).
- Be very aware of good skin/body protection (children can become hypothermic or hyperthermic very quickly).
- Encourage phone/mail contact with parents/siblings/relatives who are not on the Ride.
- Seek out playgrounds, other family groups or something of interest along the route.
- Be encouraging and positive.
- Cycle safely, cycle happily, cycle often.
WARBY Preparation Rides
The WARBY Team will be running a series of preparation rides designed for first time riders to help prepare for the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride in 2013.
Benefits of a Preparation Ride
- Experience riding in a group
- Ask questions of the WARBY team about the Great Rides
- Pick up Great Ride tips and tricks from the WARBY Team
- Have your riding technique assessed
- Have your bike setup assessed
Details of all the WARBY Prep Rides, including dates and routes, can be found on the Great Group Rides page.
Memorise CRANK FRONT - SPANNER BACK - PUSH DOWN
- Step 1: Put the chain on the biggest cog ("chainring") at the front to cover up the teeth and the smallest cog at the back.
- Step 2: Wear bike gloves
- Step 3: Use a 15mm Pedal Spanner
- Step 4: Rotate the pedal arm ("crank") to point towards the FRONT of the bike
- Step 5: Put the Spanner onto the pedal so the Spanner points towards the BACK of the bike
- Step 6: Push DOWN
or put simply : CRANK FRONT - SPANNER BACK - PUSH DOWN
Memorise BACK OFF
Here's a simple rule to remember which direction to turn the 15mm Pedal Spanner
when removing pedals:
- With the 15mm Pedal Spanner at the 12 o'clock position, turn the spanner towards the BACK of the bike.
- Remember the phrase "Back Off"
- This works for BOTH the left and right pedals.
- Each pedal is stamped with an L for Left or an R for Right. Generally on the end of the threaded bit.
Putting Pedals On
You must be very careful when you put the pedals back on at the Start of the Ride:
- You MUST put the pedal stamped L on the LEFT side and pedal stamped R on the RIGHT side and turn the spanner towards the FRONT of the bike
- This works for BOTH the left and right pedal.
- Pedals should be firm but not super tight