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The body, getting ready for the cycling trip

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An easy error to make is thinking that you can ride yourself into shape on a cycle tour. Maybe this is possible if you are 18. I'll bet you're not, and won't ever be again. Given that the distances are longer than you usually ride, if you don't get into shape before your tour, you just won't enjoy the trip as much as you would if you come fit. I use my annual cycling trips as an incentive to get into shape. I start about 3½ months ahead of time training, so that I can gradually bring myself into shape. Then, with a slight backoff of my mileage just before leaving, I'm fresh, and ready for whatever Mauro Mondonico can dish out in the hills of Tuscany.

Once again, I'll pass on Larry's sage advice.

"Cycleltalia trips are designed to challenge, not kill you. Be ready for that challenge, but avoid riding yourself into the ground just before the trip. You'll want to arrive at the start of the trip fit but not fatigued. Cycleltalia rides will probably be longer and more hilly than you are used to so emphasize climbing/descending and a comfortable pace. A good training ride is to pick a town 25-40 miles away, ride there, have lunch, then ride back home. Make sure you test all new clothing and equipment on long rides before you arrive."

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