Preparing for RTL Qualifing ride

Looking for input from others who have already done there qualifing ride…

Here’s what I have done so far…

29" Bedford with T7 bar
Vetta Cyclometer computer to track distance, max speed, avg speed, time
Avg predicted speed 10km/hr

I have considered doing my Qualifing ride in Nov at an outdoor 2km figure 8 course. On route to the course I will assend a few hills to meet the 500m; otherwise, do 87km and 90km.
I am scouting the area to find suitable hill climbs to reduce my distance.

Every hour to consume liquids and intake food as required (bathroom breaks as needed)

Tire presure:
55 - 60 psi on Kenda Klaw XT

Cellphone, MP3 player, water bottle.

if it was me doing this ride (maybe next time), why not do an out and back over-niter somewhere? Find a town some miles (km) down the road and ride there in a day…stay the night, and ride back the next morning. I would think riding in a figure 8 loop for that distance would get really really monotonous after, say, 12km? Doing an out and back, you have stuff to look at and such. Just plan to do some stops along the way, i’d say about every 2 hours or so. Let someone know the exact route you will be taking, for safety purposes, and just have fun with it.

And might I suggest investing in a camelbak. You can easily ride two hours with 100ml of water on your back, and you can carry stuff, like your phone, MP3, a light jacket for the weather, and some meal replacement bars or trail mix, and extra water for when your resevoir runs out. I use mine everytime I ride, and love it.

Just some food for thought.

Doing it on a loop course, you will be bloody bored, trust me, I did a few (like 4 or so) laps of a 4.5 km loop course recently, and that was boring enough.

Just go and do some rides on roads, it’s supposed to prepare you for a road race, not track racing after all. Have a proper road riding adventure, maybe go somewhere you haven’t been before.

I typically plan long road rides by just finding a place on the map that either sounds interesting, has a funny name, or has some interesting terrain on the way to it, then ride there. Over-planning of routes is too often a waste of time, as you end up trying too hard to follow a fixed route, and taking silly routes just because they are the one you planned.


Riding 40 or so loops of a 2km track will bore the hell out of you, not be much of a challenge (except psychologically), and won’t be making the most of your 29" wheel.

You’re better off finding a hilly route, and, as Joe suggests, ride there and back over a couple of days. If you don’t want to carry all your gear with you then you’ll need to plan to drop stuff off beforehand, or arrange to meet someone there.

If you’ve not ridden much long distance stuff yet, then perhaps build up a bit before going for the qualifying ride. Say, ride out to somewhere 20km away, then ride back, and, if you’re still feeling good, then carry on for 20km the other side, and back again.

But, whatever you do, good luck.


I thought about doing a lake circuit of 3.1 km but decided that I’d go ‘loopy’ trying that on a busy weekend day with lakewalkers, bikers, etc. I did go so far as to buy a mechanical counter (the sort that ticket taker will sometimes use to keep track of people passing through a gate, for example) because I couldn’t trust a mental count with so many circuits. With the larger loop that I did end up using, I had no need for it - easier to keep track of 5 than 35!

In my experience, the advantage of a small track like the one you are proposing to use, is that speed can more easily become the focus of the trial. But you’re riding a 29er - so maybe speed won’t be your focus.

I assume that you are gearing up toward a 36er purchase. I’d think you’d want to get one at least a month in advance of RTL - but why not now? You are going to be amazed and delighted by a Coker (or whatever other 36er) so just bite the bullet and do it already! Besides, when a better excuse to splurge on onesself than at X-mas time.

Doing the qualifying ride on a 29er will be impressive though.

Re: your tire. I’m not familiar with the model you’re proposing to use - but it sounds aggressive. If it is, are you sure you want an aggressive relationship between your wheel and the tarmac?

I also better like riding one 90km loop than 45 times 2km. As others said, it’s great to have some distractions along the road. On my qualifications, I rode two 90km loops.
Point A to B rides are even more motivating. It’s less tempting to feel lazing and to think about getting back home.

Good input

Thanks for the feed back.

Never thought about the bordom factor and easy out.

Replanning route to go some where.

What kept me sane on the qualifying rides was not just a route with varied scenery, but having company on the road. There were 2 of us on 36ers and another friend on a bike for part of the ride. The conversation and silliness made it really fun.

Good luck on your ride!