The Empire State Ride is a strenuous ride, with long distances each day and some challenging elevation gains. Seat time is important to make sure you are prepared for the 500+ miles across New York State.
Charlie Livermore is a professional cycling coach at Carmichael Training Systems and a consultant coach for the Empire State Ride. Charlie provides his expertise and guidance to all ESR riders in pre-event blog posts and Facebook Live broadcasts. He also joins us on the adventure and will be there throughout all seven days to offer tips, recommendations and personal advice.
He created a comprehensive training plan for riders to use as an additional training resource. The suggested plan is a basic and effective program that can be used by riders from relative beginners up to intermediate cyclists. Make sure to share it with your health care provider and fitness trainer to help coordinate your training. Find his plan on our blog.
The key concepts of this 22-week training plan are:
If you are looking for more comprehensive support during your ESR preparation, you can always reach out to Charlie Livermore at Carmichael Training Systems to hire him as a personal trainer. To get a hand-built training plan, analysis of your training data, frequent communication and schedule adjustments, call 866-355-0645 or email AthleteServices@trainright.com.
Your bicycle is the most important piece of gear on this adventure — you need to feel comfortable on it. Empire State Riders have competed 500+ miles on all types of bicycles – hybrid, fitness, mountain and road. Your best choice will tend toward road-style bicycles with narrow tires and lighter weight frames.
Regardless of your cycling experience, bring your bicycle to your favorite local bike shop and get their advice on riding it across New York State. A bike shop safety check and tuneup before training will reveal any safety concerns before your ride.
It’s important to ride your bicycle on several training rides prior to the Empire State Ride, so it will be equally important to have your bicycle re-checked before the adventure begins.
Check that your bike and riding gear are in good working condition at least one month before the Empire State Ride. Make any necessary repairs before leaving for New York City.
While riding, you need to be able to hear directions and safety warning from staff, volunteers and fellow riders. Do not wear headphones or earbuds while riding. While your cellphone is an important safety tool, please refrain from using it while cycling.
Your helmet needs to be worn at all times while riding, including while riding into camp and water stops. ESR provides a reflective safety triangle that is worn around your waist or attached to your bicycle seat. Both are required daily attire.
Make sure you have one or more water bottle cages and refillable cycling water bottles and that they are secure on your bike. Unsecured bottles can fall out of their cage and be a hazard to other riders. ESR provides water stops along the way to refill.
The Empire State Ride will go on rain or shine. Prepare accordingly for July and August in New York State. In the event of extreme weather, follow the directions of staff and volunteers and make your way to the nearest severe weather shelter.
While riders do ride in groups at their own pace, we do not recommend drafting. Because it requires complete familiarity with each rider’s riding style and since so many riders are new to each other, unfamiliar riding styles and racing behaviors could result in crashes or injuries.
In the event of an accident or emergency on the route or in camp, use your cell phone to call 911 and do not move the rider(s). Once your call to 911 is complete, notify Empire State Ride staff of the incident.
For non-emergency incidents such as bike repair or SAG support, Empire State Ride staff contacts will be provided to you.
Most of the route will be open road in cities, towns and the country. You will be expected to share the road with vehicular traffic and to follow traffic laws and proper cycling etiquette.
Make sure you familiarize yourself with basic bike safety and etiquette provided by the League of American Cyclists: