cyclist guide - Tour de Cure - American Diabetes Association

cyclist guide - Tour de Cure - American Diabetes Association
c yc l i s t g u i d e
Cyclist Guide
This Cyclist Guide is an essential resource to ensure that all riders have
a safe and enjoyable Tour de Cure® experience. It contains information
on training, hydration, safe riding tips, and what to expect on the route.
Your safety is our first priority, so we encourage you to train for the
route distance you are planning to ride. Whether you’ll ride 10 miles or
100 miles, you’ll enjoy it more if you are properly prepared. Let’s ride!
Table of
Top Ten Things
to Know
What to Expect
on the Route
Safe Riding Tips
Training Resources
Training Basics
Sample Training
Please keep this Cyclist
Guide handy and refer to
our other resources:
& Hydration
& Diabetes
Before You
Ride: The ABC
Quick Check
5 Steps to
•The Fundraising Guide – for information
on how to meet and exceed your
fundraising goals
•The Route Guide – provides specific
information on the local Tour event in
your city
•The Team Captain Guide – provides tips
and tools for organizing your team
•The Step-by-Step Online Fundraising
Guide – shows you how to use the easy
online tools
•Our Web site,, for
downloadable documents
•Our local office staff at 1-888-DIABETES
to answer questions and provide support
We hope you read this entire guide attentively, but if you read nothing else, here are the
Top 10 things you MUST READ before
you can Ride!
Please Bring:
The completed Emergency
Information Form.
Your Collection Envelope containing
any donations by check. (Please convert
cash or coins to a check payable to the
American Diabetes Association).
Your helmet. No helmet, no ride!
A well-tuned bike. Pack a spare-tube,
patch kit, pump and tire tools.
A well-trained body and any medications
or diabetic supplies you will need. Carry
your Personal ID and insurance cards.
Clothing appropriate for the weather.
We ride rain or shine!
A water bottle and a second bottle
for sports drink to ensure you stay
A parent or guardian if you’re
under 18. Minors must be accompanied
by an adult at all times.
This includes riding in the Support and Gear (SAG) vehicle.
$150-$225* or more turned in on or before
the day of the Tour in order to participate.
Calling All
As the Tour de Cure®
grows each year, we need
more volunteers to enable us to provide the high
level of service our cyclists
have come to expect. Family and friends make
the best volunteers—so
please ask yours to join us
this year.
Areas where we need
help include:
• Check-in/registration
• Medical
• Bicycle Mechanics
• Rest Stops
• Route Marshals
• Support-and-Gear
(SAG) Drivers
• Cheerleaders!
For more information,
please contact your
Tour Coordinator at
1-888-DIABETES, or visit
the “Volunteers” page on
*Fundraising minimum varies by location. 1
Excitement to have
a great ride and to
help us Stop Diabetes!
What to Expect
on the Route
You’ll see many people and things on the Tour de Cure® route, all
there to make your ride a better—and safer—one.
SAG Wagons – Standing for Support and Gear, these vehicles will
be clearly marked with signs in the windows. Their main purpose
is to patrol the route and assist the weary, broken down, or injured
cyclist. In addition, they will lead the way in order to slow down any
approaching vehicles and bring up the rear to make the pack of
cyclists more visible to motorists.
Mechanical Support – Mechanics will be available on the route to
help if you break down, but we do recommend that you bring a few
basic items such as a tool set and a spare tube. The mechanics may
be delayed in reaching you if there are several people needing flats
changed, and they will not have supplies to give as handouts.
Road Markings
Amateur Radio Operators – Known as the eyes and ears of the
route, these individuals will be placed at each rest stop and/or in
SAG vehicles on the route. With the help of their communications
equipment, we will monitor where cyclists are on the various routes,
where assistance may be needed, and the location of the first and
last cyclists.
Road markings are
painted on the right-hand
shoulder of the road to
indicate turns as follows:
Medical Volunteers – This valuable group was selected for their
ability to assist a cyclist in a variety of crisis situations. They bring
an added sense of safety and security to the ride in the unlikely
event of an injury or emergency.
(varies by location)
Police Escorts – All local municipalities will be contacted and their
assistance secured when possible. You will more than likely see local
police slowing traffic at busy intersections, leading cyclists along
the route and giving the okay to turn when sight distance is limited.
Directional Signs – Directional signs will be alongside the road.
Each turn will be preceded by a sign and will be followed by a
confirmation to reassure you that you did in fact make the correct
turn. On occasion, you may be on a road for a long stretch without
having to make any turns. When this occurs, a straight ahead
sign (accompanied by a straight ahead road marking) will be
placed every mile. There will also be signs to provide both you and
approaching motorists with necessary information about the road
ahead, such as “Rest Stop Ahead” or “Caution/Cyclists on Road.”
Rest Stops – Rest stops are conveniently located every ten to
twelve miles and will be fully stocked with fruit, snack bars, water,
and sports drink. They are staffed by at least one volunteer with
transportation, an amateur radio operator, and a medical volunteer.
Safe Riding Tips
With regards to safety, there are two important facts that you should
not forget while on the ride:
•The bicycle is legally considered a vehicle in most states.
With that in mind, you have full rights and responsibilities on the
roadway and are subject to the regulations governing the operation
of motor vehicles where applicable.
•The Tour de Cure® route is not closed to traffic.
Thus, the only time you should ignore signs or traffic signals is the
same as if you were in a car: only when a police officer is directing
you to do so. Our volunteers on the route are only there to alert you
to traffic and road conditions, NOT to direct traffic for you.
With these two things in mind, here are a few safety tips:
OFFICIALS. Stop at all stop signs. Signal all turns. Cross only at
•Ride in a straight line, predictably and in control. Avoid excessive
weaving back and forth.
•Ride single file on the right, with traffic, a couple of feet from the
edge of the road.
•Warn others when stopping or turning by giving required hand
signals with the left hand.
•Pass on the left only. When passing another cyclist, call “on your left.” When
you hear someone calling out, don’t turn around. Ride straight and steady. •Keep a safe distance: do not follow too closely behind other cyclists
or cars. Never draft behind cars.
•Never make abrupt stops. Slow gradually, and when stopping to rest,
move completely off the path of other cyclists. •Keep clear of road-edge hazards such as sand, gravel, trash drains,
and parked cars.
•Cross railroad tracks with your tire at a right angle to the tracks.
•Talk to your fellow cyclists. Call out details like “car back,” “car up,”
“on your left,” “stopping,” “road kill,” “gravel,” “potholes,” or “tracks.”
•Do not ride in a pace line if you haven’t trained in one! Always pull
out of a pace line before slowing.
•Speed must be reasonable for control with regard to weather, traffic,
road, and light conditions.
•Do not bring MP3 players with headphones. They are not permitted
because they interfere with your ability to hear traffic sounds around you.
•Use extra caution when riding in the rain. Roads become more slick
and cars won’t be able to see you as well.
•Be vigilant when going fast downhill. Keep your hands on the
handlebars for more stability.
•Wear bright clothing that can be easily seen and avoid loose fitting
apparel that could get caught in the spokes or chain. Don’t forget
your helmet (required to ride).
Safety Tips…
Watch for Dogs
Be aware that dogs are
unpredictable. If a dog
does decide to pursue
you, the best course of
action is to squirt it with
your water bottle. It will
startle the dog and give
you time to get away.
Do not kick a dog that
chases you!
For the Fun of It
Remember, this is not
a race. You will be
riding with cyclists of
all levels and abilities.
Be courteous to other
cyclists as well as
motorists with whom
you share the road. Most
important, have fun!
Training Basics
We encourage you to train for the route distance you’re going to ride.
Whether you’ll do 20 miles or 100 miles, you’ll enjoy it more if you’re
properly prepared. Cycling is great year–round exercise to keep fit
and help you avoid health problems including diabetes, so get started
today if you haven’t already!
Where do I begin?
•Assess your current state of fitness and cycling abilities. •Use the following guide to determine what training you’ll need to do
to reach your distance goal.
•Always consult with your physician before beginning any new
exercise program.
•Plan your schedule to make time for training.
Training Basics
•Find your base mileage. Go for a ride on your bike and see how far
you can go comfortably now. This is your base mileage for your
weekly long ride.
•Every week or two, increase that distance by no more than 10-15
miles, or less if your base mileage is less than 20 miles.
•Continue building your longest ride to date until you’ve reached your
target distance, ideally at least two weeks before the Tour.
•Ride a combination of long distances at a moderate pace and
shorter distances at a more strenuous pace and with hill-climbs.
Training Tips
•Pace yourself; increase your mileage and build endurance slowly.
•Stretch and hydrate before, during, and after rides to maintain
flexibility and avoid fatigue, stiffness, and injuries.
•Cross train with other cardiovascular workouts. Strengthening your
core muscles with ab crunches, yoga, and Pilates will reduce stress
on your back and neck while riding.
•In inclement weather cycle indoors on a trainer or in spin classes.
•Be safe, have fun, and enjoy your training!
World renowned cycling coach Chris Carmichael is the
National Honorary Chair of the 2012 Tour de Cure series.
Chris is the founder and head coach of Carmichael Training
Systems, the Official Coaching and Camps Partner of
Ironman and proven resource for thousands of amateur and
professional athletes. Chris and his company are helping Tour
de Cure riders be the best they can be! Access expert training
tips from Chris in your Tour Center at
Sample Training Program
This training program was designed for someone who can already
cycle 10 miles at a 10 mph pace without difficulty. It is only a guideline.
If you cannot currently cycle 10 miles then start with 3 miles, build up
over the next 2 weeks to a 10-mile ride, and then start the program.
If you can ride much further than 10 miles then you can skip down
the program and start at your current mileage. The key is to listen
to your body. If you feel pain during or after a training session then
you may have done too much and should stop training and rest for 3
days. If things do not improve seek medical advice from your primary
care provider. If you have less time than the schedule allows and can
do the week’s longest ride without pain the next day, then you can
progress down the program at a faster rate. These training programs
are geared to increase cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance
over 8, 10, or 12 weeks. Choose the program that is closest to your
goals, timeline, and level of fitness and adjust accordingly.
Increasing your cycling mileage is the most important part of your
training, but to be comfortable and efficient you will also want to work
on your strength on and off the bike. Here are some general terms to
help you understand the training plans below.
•REST – a day with no exercise to let your muscles catch up from the
hard work you have done. Be sure to stretch on your rest days.
•EASY – you should feel like you are holding yourself back when you
ride your bike easy. Easy rides are great for recovery. They get you
moving without straining your muscles.
•STEADY – riding pace where you feel comfortable but can tell you
are doing something. This is the pace you want to use for all of your
long rides.
•HARD – a hard pace feels like you are going up a hill. You should
only go hard for short periods of time (15 seconds to 1 minute) and
only after consulting your primary physician. When training calls
for hard work first warm up for 8-10 minutes and then do several
short hard efforts – start with no more than 3 – and follow each hard
effort with 3 to 5 minutes of easy riding. Spend the rest of the
ride going steady. Never do more than 8 hard efforts in any
workout and remember to listen to your body between every
hard effort.
•CROSS TRAINING (Cx Train) is essential for increasing your
muscle strength and endurance while decreasing the risk of
overuse injuries. Any activity that increases your heart rate and
involves using your whole body qualifies as cross training. This
includes walking, jogging, the elliptical trainer, swimming, inline skating, Pilates, yoga, or dance. Duration of the activity is
what we are focused on, not the intensity or type of activity.
Remember, these programs are guidelines. If you can’t fit the entire
training schedule into your week, do as much as you can. The
important thing is to increase your mileage safely and consistently.
Sample Training Program (continued)
8 Weeks to 30 Miles
10 Weeks to 60 Miles
12 Weeks to 100 Miles
Stretching, Nutrition,
& Hydration
Stretching is extremely important in keeping your muscles flexible and
injury free. Keep the following in mind when stretching:
•Make sure you warm up first—walk in place for three to five minutes. It is always better to stretch warmed-up muscles.
•Stretch muscles equally on both sides of your body. Don’t focus your
attention on one side or the other.
•Don’t bounce while stretching. Take it slow and steady. Bouncing
can cause injury to your muscles.
•Be sure to stretch your entire body—not just your legs. Include your
arms, back, hips, shoulders, and neck.
•Stretch every time you get off your bike during a ride. Give yourself
an extra five minutes of stretch time at each rest stop.
•Don’t forget to stretch after you ride and before getting in the car
for a long drive home. Stretch at home before going to bed. Your
muscles will thank you the next morning.
•Visit for a diagram of cycling stretches.
It’s important that your body gets the quality fuel it needs to perform
the extra work of cycling. Complex carbohydrates are the best source
of fuel for your muscles—pasta, beans, rice, whole grains, fruits, and
veggies. Consult with your physician or registered dietitian for advice.
Fluids are crucial to your performance and sense of well-being. You’ve
heard it before—drink, drink, drink! But it is amazing how few cyclists
heed this advice. They forget to drink because of the excitement of
the ride, and then they wilt before the end.
Dehydration is a common problem among cyclists, especially in warm
weather, and can lead to serious problems. To prevent this, you must
drink plenty of fluids while you ride. Keep the following in mind:
•Pre-hydrate. Drink a bottle of water and/or 16 ounces of sports drink
an hour before the ride. If you need that cup of coffee to wake up be
sure to drink water to balance the dehydrating effects of caffeinated
•Consume at least one 28-ounce bottle of fluid per hour. How much
you need depends on body size, temperature, intensity of the ride,
etc. Experience will help you judge your fluid needs.
•Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Your body begins to lack fluid
before you feel the sensation of thirst.
•Drink during the ride. Make it a habit to reach for your bottle every 15
minutes and take a couple of big swallows. Alternate drinking water
and sports drink.
•Restore sodium levels. The salt you sweat out needs to be replaced.
Your sports drink should contain at least 100mg of sodium per 8
ounces (check the label).
Exercise & Diabetes
Although most people with diabetes can exercise safely, exercise
involves some risks. To shift the benefit-to-risk ratio in your favor, take
these precautions:
•Have a medical exam before you begin your exercise program.
This is especially important if you have not engaged in a serious
exercise regimen for a number of years! Have it include an exercise
test with EKG monitoring, especially if you have cardiovascular
disease, are over age 35, have high blood pressure (hypertension),
elevated cholesterol levels, smoke, or have a family history of heart
•Inform all of your doctors of your fitness plans and goals.
•Discuss with your doctor any unusual symptoms that you experience
during or after exercise.
•If you have diabetes-related complications, check with your diabetes
care team about special precautions.
•Learn how to prevent and treat low blood glucose (sugar) levels
(hypoglycemia). If you take oral agents or insulin, monitor your blood
glucose level before, during, and after exercise.
•If you have type 1 diabetes and your blood glucose is above 250 mg/dl,
check your urine for ketones. Don’t exercise if ketones are present.
•Always warm up and cool down.
•Pay special attention to proper footwear. Inspect your feet daily and
always after you exercise.
•Drink plenty of fluids: any elevation in blood glucose levels can cause
a greater loss of water due to the increase in urination (polyuria).
•Take precautions when exercising outdoors when the weather is too
hot and humid (see hydration above) or too cold.
•Always have diabetes identification on you, whether it’s a medical
bracelet or necklace, or a card that states you have diabetes.
TeamWILD is an integrated training system for people with diabetes,
type 2 or type 1, who are participating in endurance sports. The founder
of TeamWILD and the Red Riders, Mari Ruddy, and her team of athletic,
diabetes, nutrition, and mental skills coaches are here to help you learn more
about how to best manage your diabetes while cycling in the Tour de Cure.
Their training resources will help you understand athletic training strategies,
learn about your nutrition needs while riding long, help you prevent lows
and highs, boost your athletic and diabetes confidence, improve your
motivation, and ultimately, help you to maximize your performance on the
bike. All so you have the best Tour de Cure experience possible!
Access TeamWILD resources and video in your Tour Center
Before Your Ride:
The ABC Quick Check
So... you’re going for a bike ride. Your body will get a workout, and so will your bike. Have you
checked your bike for mechanical safety? Timely bicycle maintenance can prevent a serious
accident. Here is the “ABC Quick Check,” which you should do every time you ride.
A is for Air.
Quick is for Quick Releases.
•Check tire pressure. Tires should be inflated
to the rated pressure noted on the sidewall
(pounds/square inch). Use a gauge to verify
you have reached the recommended rate.
•Quick-release hubs need to be tight, but not
too tight. The proper pressure is obtained by
pushing on the quick-release lever so it leaves
an impression on the palm of your hand.
The closed lever should face up and back to
minimize the chance of catching on anything
while you ride.
•Check for damage to the tire sidewalls and/or
tread. Sidewall damage is common if the brakes
aren’t adjusted properly. If the bands of the tire
are showing below the surface, you need a new
tire -- now!
B is for Brakes.
•Check the brakes for pad wear and adjustment.
Visually check the brake-block pad. If less than
1/8” of rubber shows at any place, replace the
brake-block/pad assembly. Make sure the brake
blocks are parallel to and aligned with the side
of the rim when applied.
•Check cables and housing. Cables need to
travel smoothly. If the cables stick, apply
lubrication at the ends of the housing and
work it in by applying the brakes several times.
Frayed cables should be replaced.
C is for Crank Set.
•Check the crank set. The crank set consists
of the bottom bracket, the crank arms, and
chain rings. To do this check, take the left and
right crank arms in your hands and attempt to
move them sideways. If both move, you have a
problem with the bottom bracket. If only one
moves, the individual crank arm is loose and
must be secured. A loose crank arm should
never be ridden.
•Quick-release brakes, which are opened when
removing or installing wheels, need to be in the
closed position. When closed, check to make
sure the brake pads aren’t rubbing the rims.
•Quick-release seat clamps, on mountain bikes
and some hybrid bikes, need to be in the closed
position. Check to be sure your seat is at the
correct height.
Check is for a Brief,
Checkout Ride.
•This is when you ride to check that your
derailleur and shift levers are working properly.
Many items of the ABC Quick Check can
be done visually; others require just a brief
physical check. If you find that your bike needs
adjustments beyond your ability, enlist the
professional mechanics at your local bike shop.
From the League of
American Bicyclists – learn
more at
5 Steps to Confident Cycling
The League of American Bicyclists recommends these 5 steps to
make your Tour de Cure® experience that much more enjoyable and
to reduce the risk of crashes or injury. You can easily be a responsible,
confident and safe cyclist.
1. Follow the Rules of the Road
•Ride with traffic and obey the same laws as motorists.
•Use the rightmost lane that heads in the direction that you are traveling.
•Obey all traffic control devices, such as stop signs, lights, and lane markings.
•Always look back and use hand and arm signals to indicate your intention
to stop, merge, or turn.
2. Be Visible
•Ride where drivers can see you.
•Wear brightly colored clothes at all times.
•At night, use a white front light or reflector. Wear reflective tape or clothing.
3. Be Predictable
•Ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between
parked cars.
•Make eye contact with motorists to let them know
you are there.
•Do not ride on the sidewalk.
4. Anticipate Conflicts
•Be aware of traffic around you and be prepared to
take evasive action.
•Learn braking and turning techniques to avoid crashes.
•Be extra alert at intersections.
5. Wear a Helmet
•Make sure that the helmet fits on top of your head,
not tipped back or forward.
•After a crash or any impact that affects your helmet, visible or not,
replace it immediately.
Visit for more information and cycling safety courses
near you.
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