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Cyclist says you might have the Tour de Plymouth in you

Thursday, June 17, 2010

(Photo)
(Photo contributed) Bob Culler, a member of the Plymouth County Cyclists Club who plans to ride in the Tour de Plymouth bicycle ride Saturday, checks his bike over. The Tour de Plymouth offers a shorter route of about 20 miles and a longer route of about 50 miles. Culler said most people can ride farther than they think.
"Don't sell yourself short."

Those are words from Bob Culler, a cyclist from Kingsley who plans to ride in the Tour de Plymouth Bike Ride Saturday morning.

People might shy away from the 20-mile and 50-mile rides around Plymouth County because the distance sounds intimidating, he noted.

"Most people can ride a lot farther than they think," said Culler, who's ridden the Tour de Plymouth every year. "The miles just roll away."

However, he does encourage those who want to ride to get used to their bike seat.

"They should be on it from half an hour to an hour every day until then," Culler said. "If you're not used to riding for long, that's the first thing that hurts. There's nothing worse than if your bottom hurts."

He puts in between 1,000 and 1,500 miles each year.

"I like being out on the road, seeing how far I can go," he said.

Culler enjoys Tour de Plymouth because it's a good place to meet other bikers in the area and it offers a good training route for RAGBRAI -- the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, held at the end of July.

"We've got some pretty good hills down here," Culler said.

The Tour de Plymouth isn't a race -- it's just a chance for cyclists to get together and hit the road.

There are rest stops along the way with water and fruit.

The morning kicks off with a breakfast at Hy-Vee in Le Mars.

Registration runs from 7-7:45 a.m. and the two rides take off at 8 a.m.

Planners are expecting about 60 cyclists.

People don't necessarily need a $1,000 bike to enjoy the Tour de Plymouth, Culler noted.

"It's not about the bike, it's the person on the bike," he said.

For biking in the Tour de Plymouth, Culler recommends cycling shorts with a "shammy" or pad to sit on and a cycling jersey or something fairly skin tight.

"If you have a big shirt on, it's catching the wind while you bike," he said.

Before Saturday, he'll pump up his bicycle tires and make sure everything on his bike works as it should.

Culler is packing a few bottles of water, a spare tire and something to fix a flat with, just in case.

There will be a sag wagon for bikers on the Tour de Plymouth if cyclists need assistance or a ride, according to one of the organizers Clayton Hodgson.

"In the biking world, we call it 'bonk,'" Culler said of cycling fatigue. "It's when you've had it. You're done. We try to avoid it at all costs because it means you have to bike home really, really slow."

The only way to avoid bonking, he said, is to get on the bicycle and train.

"It's all worth it in the end," Culler said.


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Thanks Bob!!! Just to address the SAG, I and another person will be driving the course saturday on both routes. There will be maps provided and my cell phone and the other SAG driver's phone number will be on the map. If you have a problem with your bike, we will have some tools along and can provide assistance. We also will carry the bike on our vehicle and give you a ride as well if you want. Whatever you need. Understanding what your capabilities are is important. Bonking can come in a variety of forms, if you start feeling light headed or dizzy, low on energy, LET SOMEONE KNOW!!! it is very important! That's the beauty of this ride having support. Just hopping out on your bike alone can require more skill and endurance. Biking long distances with a friend is always encouraged. I always ride with my cell phone as do many others.

Hope to see many people out there this year! Plymouth County Cycling club has put a lot of effort into this over the past months. We want you to have a great time!

-- Posted by Michael Lamb on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 2:04 PM

For more information, go to the club website:

http://plymouthcountycyclists.com/ where you will find route maps fliers and how to register in advance!

-- Posted by Michael Lamb on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 2:42 PM


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