I'm fairly new here, so apologies if I'm posting in the wrong forum, or have failed to find this information via search. I looked, and I'm fairly sure I'm in the right area.
While I've enjoyed cycling casually for some time, I'm thinking about participating in my first organized event. I'm planning on riding the Lance Armstrong Foundation Challenge in Austin this October. It's a charity that has special meaning to me. While there is a 10 mile ride available, and I know I can easily do a 10 mile ride, I'm thinking about taking on the 40. I think this may represent a challenge. I've never done 40 miles in a day.
I'm posting because I'm possessed of a handful of misgivings, and I'd love to hear from those experienced in these matters:
I'm sorry if that's too many questions. This event is some distance from home, and even farther from my level of experience. Hey, variety is the spice of live though, right? Thanks in advance!
- Am I expected to ride at a particular rate? What if it takes me four hours? Four and a half? Five?
- Is the ride competitive? Will I be out of place for being out of shape? My gut doesn't eclipse my belt, but I'm clearly a few pounds over my ideal.
- I'd imagine the route is very crowded. How do you manage riding that close to that many people - without having a dozen cycling friends to help you practice?
- Where I live, there are no hills. Is the 40 mile Austin route likely to be hilly?
- What kind of support is provided? Can water and restrooms be found at regular intervals along the route?
- Is there a good book on the subject that you would recommend?
- How helpful is the LAF fundraising support?