Be sure your bike and equipment measure up to the terrain of Pedal The Plains. For the 3-Day Tour and Century Ride, a lightweight multi-speed bicycle is recommended for the mileage, rolling hills and potential head winds you may encounter during the event. Consider a compact double or triple crank based on your fitness level and riding ability. If you’re uncertain if your bike will make the grade, have it checked out by a qualified shop. We highly recommend a “tune-up” for your bicycle prior to Pedal The Plains. Any changes to your bicycle or new equipment purchases should be done well in advance of the ride.
Shoes and Pedals
Do you need clip-ins for Pedal The Plains? Of course not. Folks can have a great time with platform pedals and Converse All Stars. However, if you can spare the money and aren’t adverse to the notion of clip-in pedals, they’ll make PTP easier and quite a bit more pleasant. An SPD-style shoe/pedal combination is, by far, the best option for any bicycle touring event. We also recommend shoes with soles soft enough to walk comfortably. This set-up provides a secure, safe and efficient connection between you and your bike. It also allows you stroll around aid stations and search for your duffel bag at the end of the day with ease.
P.S. If you already own a pedal/shoe combo that you’re pleased with, don’t take this to mean that you need to head right out and buy a new set. Your racing style Time or Look pedals combined with stiff-soled shoes will do just fine.
Pedal The Plains regulations require a helmet approved by CPSC, Snell, ANSI or ASTM. We’re serious about this and actively enforce it. One FAQ is, “How do I know if my helmet has one of these approvals?” The simple answer is look inside it to see if there’s a sticker documenting such an approval. However, these stickers occasionally fall off. If you own a helmet you’ve purchased at an American bicycle shop within the past 15 years, it almost certainly has been approved. If your helmet is more than ten years old, you really should replace it. As helmets age, their ability to protect your head decreases.
Recommended Clothing & Other Gear to Carry
• Cycling shorts
• Lightweight cycling jacket for inclement weather
• Cash – vendors at aid stations are point of purchase, cash only!
• One or two energy bars or gel packets to eat if aid station pickings are slim and bonking is imminent
• One to two hydration bottles with either water or an energy drink
• Tools for minor roadside repairs and patching or changing a tube