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Trek Talk Volume I
Trek Talk is the American Lung Association of Idaho's newsletter for the Sawtooth Bike Trek. It is designed to provide information to help make your Trek a success!

In This Issue
o        Training Tips - Part I
o         What to Bring
o         What to Carry on Your Bike
o         What to Put in the SAG Wagon
o         Safety Tips
Training Tips - Part I
Cycling isn't fun if it hurts. The core of your training should be endurance training. If you start your training at least 12 weeks before the ride, you will have ample time to prepare for the trek. If you ride more than seven hours a week, you will need far less time to prepare. If you haven't ridden regularly for a while, begin with rides every other day or three days a week. Be mindful of your body's response. Give those new-to-cycling muscles 48 hours to recover and they'll be ready for their next workout. Start off easily in these first weeks to keep from pulling muscles or getting discouraged. 
Don't equate struggling at the pedals with good exercise. If you're working too hard to crest the hills or pushing too big a gear on the flats, gear down. Learn to spin those pedals at 70 rpm or faster in lower gears and gradually you'll get stronger.
You will probably benefit from picking a regular time during the day for your ride, so that you begin to think of that time of day reserved for your cycling and a nice habit you don't have to break.
While you make the ride time part of your routine, you can vary the view. Find a few different courses with low traffic volume that you like to ride and vary them from day to day.
Ride with your friends. Choose someone whose pace is compatible with yours and who can give cheerful competition when you're ready.

Preparation for Distance Riding

Hydrate - Try to drink every 5-15 minutes. While riding, you create your own wind chill that keeps you cool and evaporates perspiration. It may seem that you are not losing much water, but you are!  So prevent water loss by drinking at least one bottle for every hour you're on the bike. Test out any sports drinks before you're in the middle of a long ride - while they help supply nutrients that your body needs, they can upset your stomach if you're not used to them.
Eat - Because training takes a lot of energy, always bring food if you are going to be out more than one hour. Some riders like fruit such as bananas, while others use energy bars. Avoid snacks high in fat, which are hard to digest while exercising.
Learn to use your gears - Learn to use your gears to climb and descend with an even effort. Your energy will last longer and your fitness will improve. You should be in smaller gears in the back while moving down a level road. As it turns upward, move into larger gears in the back.
Group cycling is fun - Practice riding in a pack before the big event. Riding with others is motivating. Once you get used to being surrounded by other riders, you will learn while watching how others move down the road. You will notice how often others take a drink or a snack, how much distance to allow between yourself and others, when to change gears, and when to stay seated or stand.
Be prepared - Familiarize yourself with flat-tire repair. Bring a pump, lube, tire levers, cell phone or change for a pay phone, water, sunscreen, and a rain jacket when needed along with any cold-weather gear you may require. Even if you don't know how to repair a flat, there may be someone on the spot who can help if you have the proper equipment and supplies. Check your tires. Be sure your tires are in good condition and properly inflated before each ride. The proper pressure to inflate your tires is on the side of the tire (around 100 psi for most road tires).
Use a training journal - Use a training journal to keep track of your mileage and vital stats and to record progress towards your goal. Look at the calendar and note how many weekends you have to prepare for the ride. Starting slowly and gradually increasing the distance and level of effort will help to prevent injuries and will keep the enjoyment level up.  In addition to raising money for a good cause and improving your physical fitness, these events are also fun!
What to Bring
One of the things that is sometimes confusing for new and returning riders alike is trying to figure out what to bring and wear on the Sawtooth Bike Trek. The checklist below should give you some guidelines:
q       Helmet - helmets are required; a head gaiter or balaclava will also help keep your neck and ears warm during cold mornings
q       Riding gloves - highly recommended for palm protection; heavier-weight gloves are important for the morning temperatures
q       Top under layer - polypropylene or wool shirt is ideal; cotton is okay in warm weather, but not recommended for cool mornings or wet weather
q       Top second layer - a bike jersey is great, but not required
q       Top outer layer - wind/rain jacket is important
q       Bottom - in warm weather, bicycle shorts are fine, however, for cool mornings and/or harsh weather, polypropylene, wool long underwear bottoms, or Lycra tights should be worn over your shorts; wind/rain pants can also be used
q       Socks - wool or polypropylene in wet weather; plastic bags over the socks in wet weather can help; neoprene booties over your shoes are ideal for cold/wet weather
q       Shoes - bicycle shoes are perfect, however, stiffer-sole running or tennis shoes will work; although not necessary, toe clips/straps and or clipless pedals are recommended for safety, they help prevent your feet from slipping off the pedals and improve your pedaling efficiency
q       Raingear - loose fitting, two-piece waterproof nylon (not just water-resistant) or waterproof, breathable fabric such as Gore-Tex is probably the best; ponchos also work; cheap plastic raingear is easily torn and not recommended
q       ID and money
q       Sleeping bag - accommodations at Camp Perkins include mattresses and bunks, but not bedding (think Camp - like when you were a kid)
q       Other clothing - casual clothes for evening; coat, jacket, or sweater for cool evenings; large towel, hand towel, and washcloth (for use at Camp Perkins); other toiletries that you may need
q       Prescription medications and glasses - medications must be in their original, marked containers; Trek medical staff are not allowed to provide you any medications, not even ibuprofen or aspirin
q       Flashlight or headlamp for use at Camp Perkins

What to Carry on Your Bike

The list below will help you decide what to carry with you during the Trek.
Handlebar bag, seat bag or rear pannier
Water bottle
Tire patch kit & tire irons
Trip Tik (maps and directions, furnished by ALAI)
ID and money
Tire pump
Extra tube for your tire size
Basic tool kit
Plastic bags or neoprene booties for feet in wet/cold weather
Dry socks and shirt
Bike lock
Sunglasses, sun block
Comfort kit for crummy weather: 2 garbage bags
What should I put in the SAG Wagon?
Below are some things you might consider putting into a bag for the SAG wagon to carry. Your gear should fit in a duffel-type bag about the size of a small gym bag. Be sure to mark your bag with your name for quick identification. It's also a good idea to mark individual pieces of gear and clothing.
q       Extra socks
q       Extra changes of under layers
q       Extra set of cycling clothes
q       Gear for poor weather (even if it looks like it's going to be nice)
The SAG wagon will be going back and forth along the route - they may not always be available exactly when you need that extra layer, so anything you know you will need should be carried with you.
Safety Tips
Safety is important consideration for the volunteer staff of the Sawtooth Bike Trek. In order for ALAI to raise money and in order for you to have fun and therefore come back next year, the staff needs to ensure that no one gets hurt. Below are some things to keep in mind while riding during the Trek:
o         Have your bike inspected at a bike shop prior to the Trek. There will be limited mechanical support during the Trek. If you have parts that need to be replaced please do so before the Trek, as we have no parts available. Also bring extra tubes.
o         Have fun! Smile, laugh, and be happy! Drink a lot of water. Eat to keep up your energy.
o         Ride single file. You can receive a ticket by the Sheriffs Department if you are not riding single file. There will be traffic on the roads and sometimes this means large vehicles like motor homes.
o         If you want a support vehicle to stop, raise your FIST in the air. An open hand looks like a wave and may not get the attention of those in the car. The vehicle may drive on a little ways to pull off at a location that is safe, so as not to jeopardize the vehicle or the bikers. Do not ride in reverse on the route looking for a sag wagon.
o         Pack for cold/wet weather. There is room to take whatever you need. Mornings can be very cold (20 degrees), so pack your gloves and footgear. When it gets warmer, a SAG vehicle can take your extra layers.
o         Pack and wear sunscreen.
o         Drink a lot of water. If you're not looking for a restroom every hour, you are not drinking enough.
o         Use the buddy system. If you are not with a team, find another rider to travel with, if at all possible. As you ride, look out for each other. Your safety and theirs is the staffs' first priority. If you think someone needs help, let us know. Do not leave the Trek without notifying one of the staff.
o         Make sure you sign in at Midpoint and Base Camp. Trek staff needs to make sure everyone is accounted for and safe. Volunteers who are driving 50 miles looking for a "lost" rider who is just sipping beer in his or her cabin tend to get "testy".
o         Eat to keep up your energy. This is not a race so take a rest if you need it. However, it is important that you reach Base Camp by 4:00 p.m.
o         If you get off your bike for a pit stop other than at the established ALAI areas, leave your bike on the side of the road where it is visible. This allows the SAG vehicles to keep track of where all the riders are, and prevents the sweeper (the final rider) from unknowingly riding past you.
o         You will receive two numbers. Display them in an area that is visible to the support team.  Place one on your back on the outside layer of clothing (remember if you take off the outer piece of clothing to re-position your number on the next piece). The other number needs to be placed on the front of your bike. This helps us keep track of all the riders and also allows us to relay information about your whereabouts to team members. For some teams this could be the difference between whether or not your drink is cold and fresh or warm and flat upon your arrival.
o         Headsets and earplugs are not allowed while riding.
o         And don't forget: Have fun! Smile, laugh, and be happy!
Coming in the Next Issue?
o         Training Tips - Part II
o         Safety Meeting - September 7th
o         Check-in Procedures
o         And much more!
If you have any questions about the Sawtooth Bike Trek, please contact Rod Leslie at 345-LUNG.
Trek Talk Volume II
Trek Talk is the American Lung Association of Idaho's newsletter for the Sawtooth Bike Trek. It is designed to provide information to help make your Trek a success!

In This Issue
o         Safety Meeting
o         Saturday Check-in Procedures
o         Final Reminders
o         Training Tips - Part II

Safety Meeting

Don't miss the Safety Meeting on Wednesday, September 7th. This is an important meeting to ensure the safety and comfort of all Trekkers and to get to know the support staff. Issues that will be discussed during the meeting are rider safety, general daily activities, any last-minute changes, and rider orientation, as well as the ALAI staff will answer questions from the Trekkers. Please take a moment to review the materials you received in your initial rider packet so you can come prepared with any questions.

Check-in Procedures

The big weekend is fast approaching, so we wanted to give you an idea of what happens on Saturday morning when you come to check in.
1.      Arrive at the ALA office with well-marked luggage and your bike at 7:00 a.m. at 1111 S Orchard St., Boise.
2.      Take your bike to the moving van for loading.
3.      Take your luggage to the bus where it will be loaded underneath. You will not have access to your luggage again until you reach Base Camp. Take everything you will need for Saturday's ride with you on the bus. There is one bathroom on the bus.
4.      Sign in, turn in any remaining money, and pick up your packet with T-shirt, trip tik (instructions for the ride), and your numbers.  You must wear one number on your back and one on your bike all three days.
5.      Hop on the bus for the ride to the start point.
6.      Bring food with you to eat on the bus. The ride will begin at Magic Valley Historical Site (just east of Fairfield) at approximately 10:00 a.m.

Final Reminders

1.      Mattresses and bunks are what's available at camp Perkins - you need to bring a sleeping bag and pillow.
2.      Please have your number on your bike.
3.      Have your luggage well marked with your name for easy identification.
4.      Mark any bags, clothing etc. that you put in the SAG wagons with your name.
5.      We have limited parking for cars at the Lung Association Office. If you can be dropped off and picked up it would be helpful. 
6.      You need to fill out the medical release form and send it to the ALA office ASAP or bring it with you to the Safety Meeting on September 7th.


Training Tips - Part II

Hill Training

The climb to Galena summit will be a challenge to every rider on the Trek. Do your homework now - it'll make your ride more enjoyable. Bogus Basin Road provides a suitable training ground to reproduce the challenge of the actual Trek. Be certain to use an appropriate gear on the hills in order to reduce knee stress; never grind out a pedal cadence slower than 60 rpms. Include hills at least twice each week. Once you crest Galena smiling, you'll be grateful that you biked the hills during training.


A complete stretching routine should be just that - complete and routine. The rules are simple: Stretch only after warming up, don't bounce, and keep breathing.  Taking less than 10 minutes, a good post ride stretching routine can greatly reduce "next-day soreness." It helps to flush the metabolic waste of exercise from your muscles. While improving exercise recovery time, stretching also helps prevent injury - both of which aid your pursuit of the successful ride. 


You know how much sleep you need, so plan it and sleep it. Balance your hard training days with easy rides or days off. We really get stronger when we rest, not when we work out. Planned recovery is important to help balance the stress in our lives. Bike training is one of those stresses, so mix it up and try not to plan the same workout on consecutive days. This will decrease the possibility of injury, prevent boredom, and increase your motivation.


Plan a 50- or 60-mile ride at least two weeks before the Trek. Taper your mileage a week before the ride. During that last week, you may even reduce your riding to one or two days of an easy 5-mile to 10-mile spin. Also, try to get plenty of sleep.


As the ride day approaches, food becomes a critical component for a successful tour.  You should start hydrating a few days prior to the ride. Drink water frequently, cut back or eliminate caffeine and alcohol, and add carbohydrates to your diet.
On ride day, eat a light breakfast of high-carbohydrate foods and drink lots of water.  When riding, drink before you are thirsty. Water or a sports drink should be your first choice. Eat easily digestible, carbohydrate-rich foods like energy bars, bagels, fruit, or granola. Don't try something new on the ride - you should eat things you know agree with you.


Ease into the ride pace. This isn't a race, and if it's your first tour, the goal is to finish comfortably. Here are some tips for an enjoyable ride.
ü       Change your position often.  Move your hand positions, get up off the saddle, stretch your arms, shoulders, and neck, arch your back and stretch out. Avoid staying in one position too long.
ü       Take short rest breaks off the bike. The Trek will provide water and food stops. Take advantage of this time to get off the bike and refill your water bottles, stretch, and use the restroom. Keep these stops to 10 minutes or less or you may risk getting stiff.
ü       Find a companion or two. The ride will go faster and feel easier with a friend or two. Also, skilled riders can take advantage of drafting and save some energy in the wind.
Attitude is everything. If you have prepared yourself well, there isn't much more to be done on the ride than sit back and enjoy the scenery (and maybe plan your next Trek)!
©2007 American Lung Association Data Center - All Rights Reserved.
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