How to Ride Forever
North America’s fastest bike messenger explains how to ride prepare for a long bike ride. Step one? Don’t prepare.
Your bike can take you further than you think. Just ask Austin Horse. This summer, the New York City bike messenger and three-time winner of the North American Cycle Courier Championship climbed the equivalent of Mount Everest on his road bike — a challenge known as “everesting.” It took 132 laps over the Williamsburg Bridge, covering 29,029 vertical feet, to complete the challenge. After 35 hours of non-stop peddling, Austin shared a few expert tips for surviving a crazy-long bike ride:
Nutrition is super important. Eat real food over gels and bars. It’s very restorative to stop and get a donut. During the Everest ride, I ate so many things, but at the end the only thing that could save me was pizza. I would eat a slice and have a speed boost, until I ran out of calories again.
Your comfort will be defined by your contact points with the bike: your hands, your seat, and your feet. Get gloves to protect from pinched nerves. The same thing goes with your butt; you should have protection. Shoes with a little a bit of give will be kinder to your feet.
The most important thing is pacing. Don’t ruin your ride by going too hard. Aim to keep your heart rate low. Until you know your limit, don’t find your limit in the beginning.
Let Your Mind Wander
Don’t stare at your Garmin, because it’s going to drive you nuts. Mount it someplace where you can’t look at it, or mount it upside down. Then, zone out.
Skip the Training
You do not need to prepare. Most healthy humans who know how to ride a bike can ride 100 miles in a day without training. Don’t blow it off. Just go.