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Old 08-24-12, 02:40 PM   #1
muffd
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Any suggestions for first timer on SD Bike by the bay this Sunday?

Hi
This is my first 25 mile ride and I would like to hear any or all tips one might have before this event. I'm planning on getting there about 6am. Is that early enough? Do you guys bring food or some kind of snack in case you get hungry during the ride? I was thinking of bringing a cliff bar or some GU gels.


Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-24-12, 02:47 PM   #2
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don't over eat before the ride, eat something once an hour on the ride. Finish a bottle of fluid an hour. You should be fine.
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Old 08-24-12, 02:57 PM   #3
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How far do you normally ride and how long do you think 25 miles will take you?

I'll parrot what jsigone said because it's sage advice but don't over think it. One clif bar ought to tide you over. Also, drink plenty of water the night before and make sure you get a good night's sleep TONIGHT (more so than Saturday night really)
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Old 08-24-12, 06:46 PM   #4
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I did it last year. If you don't get staged near the front at the start, expect to fight a lot of traffic. If you plan to ride slow, it is not a problem. One clif bar should be fine.

It was my first 25 mile ride since high school, and it was fine. The climb up the bridge is the hardest part, and it's not that hard. The rest is flat, and it is very well supported, and MUP most of the way. Coming back north by the east bay the surface was a little rough last year, but the ride is to raise money for improvements to SD bike infrastructure. It may be better than last year.
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Old 08-25-12, 12:09 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone. I'm not that fast. I will be on a hybrid bicycle along with another guy who is that that fast as well. What would you suggest be the best place to try and start?
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Old 08-25-12, 06:46 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone. I'm not that fast. I will be on a hybrid bicycle along with another guy who is that that fast as well. What would you suggest be the best place to try and start?
There will be lots of hybrids, cruisers, and even some of those eliptic stand up bikes. Get in line when you get there. They stagger the start, letting about fifty go at a time at about five minute intervals.
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Old 08-25-12, 08:47 AM   #7
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The Embarcadero parking structure doesn't open until 6:00AM so if you can park elsewhere or away from that area and ride your bike to the start line you should be good enough to get in the early waves.
The only "hill" you will encounter is the Coronado bridge. A left hand turn grade slows everyone down (and sometimes to a crawl) because they forget to shift early so be prepared for some heavy traffic. Once on the bridge, you are not allowed to stop for photos or viewing. They have volunteers all over the bridge ready to help you keep moving. The overall ride is very flat.
Speaking of heavy traffic, expect a lot as it gets crowded on the bike path. AND be very weary of cyclists coming the opposite direction. Since this is a public bike path, some casual cyclists have no idea there is an event going on (duh, 2,500 cyclists going one way with numbers plastered all over the bikes might be a clue). Clearly they have a right to be on the path as anybody but in the three consecutive years that I have been riding this event, someone eventually gets nailed in a head-on collision so keep you head up, look way ahead and try to give yourself plenty of space in between the other cyclists.
There are three rest stops filled with food and water so don't worry about nutrition. I go with empty pockets and at the end of the ride my jersey pockets are full.
The post ride party is okay but the quality has gone down over the last three years (IMO). They have a beer garden, sponsor booths and it is where you pick up your SWAG bag and t-shirt post ride. Don't expect to get real food. Three years ago, they had tasty tacos, the year after that they had Sliders and last year they provided a dixie cup sample of someone's vegetarian chili (yuck!). Load up the bikes and head out for a good post ride breakfast!
If this is your first event, you'll be fine as its a good event for first timers and it supports a good cause. Have fun and ride safe. I'll be there again.

Last edited by SirVelo; 08-25-12 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 08-25-12, 09:44 AM   #8
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Once on the bridge, you are not allowed to stop for photos or viewing. They have volunteers all over the bridge ready to help you keep moving.

A saw a lot of people walking bikes up the bridge, most looked like people who didn’t have to. They were probably enjoying the view without stopping. I didn’t stop, and still enjoyed the view.

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Speaking of heavy traffic, expect a lot as it gets crowded on the bike path. AND be very weary of cyclists coming the opposite direction. Since this is a public bike path, some casual cyclists have no idea there is an event going on (duh, 2,500 cyclists going one way with numbers plastered all over the bikes might be a clue). Clearly they have a right to be on the path as anybody but in the three consecutive years that I have been riding this event, someone eventually gets nailed in a head-on collision so keep you head up, look way ahead and try to give yourself plenty of space in between the other cyclists.

True, but I really had no problem with this and traffic coming the opposite direction was pretty light.

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There are three rest stops filled with food and water so don't worry about nutrition. I go with empty pockets and at the end of the ride my jersey pockets are full.
+1

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The post ride party is okay but the quality has gone down over the last three years (IMO). They have a beer garden, sponsor booths and it is where you pick up your SWAG bag and t-shirt post ride. Don't expect to get real food . . . last year they provided a dixie cup sample of someone's vegetarian chili (yuck!). Load up the bikes and head out for a good post ride breakfast!
Hey, I remember that chili. It was pretty sad. I did load up on those sample size clif bars, which are a better size for taking on a ride than the retail packages IMO. The t-shirt was decent, and I wear mine pretty often. Pass on the dozen or so opportunities to grab a free water bottle. The cheep promotional bottles handed out by various bike shops, and event organizers have a plastic taste that cannot be washed out.
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Old 08-26-12, 03:31 PM   #9
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Had a great time today. I got there fairly early and was able to get off street parking right by Hard Rock Cafe hotel. I thought I was going to have trouble on the bridge but it actually wasn't that bad. I completed my ride in just under 2 hours. Definitely doing this ride again next year.
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