Tag Archives: TRAM

Finding a balance between training and rest is important, in order to give your muscles a chance to repair themselves.

Bike Training and Rest: Tips for Maintaining a Balance

by Helen Curtiss

No matter your cycling experience level, it’s important to find a balance between training and rest. It is important to rest after you ride in order to give your muscles a chance to repair themselves. Cycling everyday deprives your body of that recovery time, putting yourself at risk of fatigue, burn out, and injury.

But how often should this rest be taking place?

Finding a balance between training and rest is important, in order to give your muscles a chance to repair themselves.

Finding a balance between training and rest is important, in order to give your muscles a chance to repair themselves.

And how often should you hit the saddle for training to ensure you remain at your physical peak? Here are some hints and tips:

Hold Back When Training

When training, always keep a little gas in the tank. This means when your training is done, you should feel you have enough energy left to do a little more. This puts your body under less stress, and will leave you feeling able to ride again much sooner. Also, it reduces the number of rest days you’ll need and your likelihood of suffering from muscle strain. Cycling is a sport that your body will adapt to progressively, so start slow if you are a beginner or returning to the sport after a break. Increase your saddle time and speed over time, but remember to keep a little energy in reserve.

Use Your Days off Wisely

To improve as a cyclist, it’s important that you use your days off wisely. A day off shouldn’t consist of sitting on your couch and binging on Netflix. Even on their rest days, Tour de France riders spend between two and three hours on the saddle. Of course, these are professionals and this isn’t recommended good practice for even the most enthusiastic amateurs. But it’s a good example of how a little low intensity exercise (such as a walk around the block) on your rest days helps.

Finding a balance between training and rest some people like to dance when they are not riding.

Finding a balance between training and rest, some people like to dance when they are not riding there bike.

Your body will also begin repairing any micro damage that your muscles may have, and keep your muscle memory ready for your next ride. If your last ride left you feeling particularly sore and with aching muscles, then a massage is a good way to spend a rest day. It’s also recommended that you don’t return to your bike until your muscles feel recovered. You’ll avoid putting them under excessive strain and which could cause more damage.

Stop When It Stops Being Fun

Above all else, cycling should be fun: the mud on your tires, the wind on your back, the thrill of completing another great circuit. When your ride stops being fun it’s time to take a break, at least for the rest of the day. It is possible to over-exercise, and even to become addicted to exercising.

Exercise addiction is characterized by having an unhealthy relationship with your sport. This includes training when you’re injured or forcing yourself to train in order to satisfy feelings of compulsion, not for enjoyment. You may also find yourself prioritizing training over maintaining relationships with loved ones. If you’re experiencing these symptoms and worried you’re becoming addicted to cycling, then put riding on hold while you seek professional advice.


Finding a balance between training and rest stopping in a park periodically to walk around and enjoy nature is another way to find a balance.

Stopping in a park periodically to walk around and enjoy nature is another way to find a balance.

Of course, how much you train is an individual decision and there is no right answer, only the right answer for you. Starting out, at least one rest day between each riding day is recommended. This helps heal muscles that you may not have used before and keeps your motivation level high. Keen and regular cyclists should suffice with a day or two of rest each week to remain in optimal condition. What is important is that you listen carefully to your body, which will tell you how much rest it needs. And don’t ignore it when its telling you that it’s time to stop.

Helen Curtiss is a U.S. based writer and editor who initially had a career in the healthcare sector working with people who needed help with nutrition and fitness. When she became a mom, she took a step back and decided to start a career in freelance writing so she could spend more time with her kids.

Bike Pic March 1, time to get ready for TRAM.

Time to get the bike ready for TRAM. Here Bev Sorenson (right) and her friend pedal Bluff Country in preparation for The Ride Across Minnesota, annually held each summer to help fight Multiple Sclerosis.

If you didn’t take your bike in for an annual check and tuneup last Fall, now is the time to take it into your favorite bike shop and save, before they get real busy. Have Fun!


Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day here at HaveFunBiking (HFB). 

Now, rolling into our 10th year as a bicycle tourism media our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike, while showcasing unforgettable places to ride. As HFB searches and presents more fun cycling related photos, worth a grin, scroll through the information and stories we have posted that may help you find your next adventure. Then, while out there if you see us along a paved or mountain bike trail, next to the route you regularly commute on, or at an event you plan to attend, be prepared to smile. You never know where our camera’s will be and what we will post next!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you know that you would like to see us post? If so, please send it our way and we may use it. Send your picture(s) to: [email protected] with a brief caption (of each), including who is in the photo (if you know?) and where it was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 800 pixels wide or larger for us to consider using them. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and an acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As HaveFunBiking continues to encourage more people to ride, please reference our blog and the annual print and quarterly digital Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide to find your next adventure. We are proud of the updated – At-a-Glance information and maps we are known for at the HFB Destination section on our website and in the guide. Now, as the Guide goes into its seventh year of production, we are adding a whole new dimension of information, now available for mobile devices. 

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure – we may capture you in one of the next photos we post.

Have a great day!

A week long bike vacation to help those with MS

Brent Renneke, MS Society,
The Ride Across Minnesota (TRAM) is a week long bike vacation organized by the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to raise funds for those affected by multiple sclerosis. This year’s ride, July 20 – 24, starts in St. Joseph, MN,  Each year it tours a different region in Minnesota, offering cyclists an opportunity to uniquely experience the beauty of the state.

However for many on the five-day riders, it becomes more than a scenic ride through previously uncharted territories. It takes a bigger meaning, like it did almost immediately for Cottage Grove, Minnesota resident Dave Britz (in the photo above).

In 1993, Britz found himself reading a column by Pioneer Press journalist Norm Coleman, who was chronicling his own experience on TRAM. It was the motivation he needed to get back on a bike, so he could participate in the nearly 300-mile journey. Come 1995, Britz found himself on the starting line of TRAM, ready to embark across Central Minnesota, full of beautiful rivers and charming towns far off the beaten path.

TRAM riders will often team up for added support along the way and increase fundraising efforts.

TRAM bike riders will often team up for added support along the way and increase fundraising efforts.

In his 20 years of TRAM rides since, what Britz finds most memorable are the people he meets along the way, particularly those living with multiple sclerosis.

Going back to his first ride, he remembers an older lady slowly pedaling her Schwinn bike alongside the 1,500 TRAM participants while on her daily commute. Britz took the opportunity to slow down and strike up a conversation with her. In doing so, he finds out her name (Ellie) and also that Ellie lives with MS. It was all the motivation he needed in his first year.

“I told her, ‘Ellie, I am riding the whole week for you.’ From that point on, my tires were five feet off the ground because I was able to make that connection.”

Ellie was the first name of 278. Every year while riding TRAM and in his daily life, Britz keeps a running list of names of people he meets who live with MS. It serves as a reminder of why he has fundraised more than $173,000 over 20 years participating in TRAM and why he keeps coming back.

TRAM riders are warmly greeted at each city they stop at overnight during the journey.

TRAM bike riders are warmly greeted at each city they stop at overnight during the journey.

“It is a list that I carry with me wherever I go,” Britz said. “I’ve met these people at rest stops on the [TRAM] ride, they are in a wheelchair or sitting on a porch of a farm house. Making a difference for them is the incentive that really keeps me going.”

If you would like to participate in TRAM alongside Dave Britz in 2016, July 20-24, visit BikeMS.org for additional information. Riders can choose between three- and five-day route options.