Having a Great Ride: How to Prepare


  • Follow the rules of the road (listed here)
  • Roads are not closed to traffic
  • Ride respectfully and share the road
  • You are responsible for your own safety – be alert
  • Leave ample room between you and other riders
  • Ride single file
  • Move to the side for emergency vehicles


  • All your friends. Tour de Lab is way more fun when friends and family are along for the ride
  • A lock to secure your bike at the finish line.*
  • A cell phone. All groups must have at least one rider with a cell phone.
  • Camera. Take a share photos through our Flickr group.
  • Ibuprofen or a similar pain reliever.
  • Two water bottles.
  • Snacks to meet your specific dietary needs. Rest stops are stocked with light snacks and sugary treats. It’s a good idea to pack your favorites so you can stay fueled on course.
  • A costume! Not required, but encouraged.

* We can store personal items, locks and purchased merchandise for you in our Baggage Check. Your baggage will be ready for you at the finish line.


  • Take your bike to your local shop or one of our bike shop partners for a tune-up. Shops get busy in the summer so it’s a good idea to play well ahead. Be sure to tell them you’re riding Tour de Lab.
  • Tell all your friends about the ride. Tour de Lab is way more fun when you have your favorite riding buddies with you for the day.


  • Talk with your friends and make plans for the ride. Designate one person to pick up the materials for your entire group (it goes faster for you and everyone else that way) either are the Pre-Ride Party or at the start line.
  • Prepare your costume.


  • Round up your water bottles, costume and gear.
  • Check the directions and schedule for the Pre-Ride Party (optional) and the start line. Plan your transportation and parking options.
  • Stretch your legs, go for a healthy ride, but nothing strenuous.
  • Review the routes online and ensure you’ve chosen a route that is right for your fitness ability. Check the elevation: How steep are the hills? Are they spaced well for your fitness level? Are you up for the climbing? If not, you can always switch to the shorter course at the start line.

HOW TO PREPARE: The Day Before the Ride

  • Attend the Pre-Ride Party to pick up your rider materials, meet other riders, ask questions and review the routes. (optional).
  • Ensure you know where you’re going and how you’re getting there. If you’re driving, ensure you know how to load your bike onto/into your car and where you’re going to park.
  • Set out everything you need for the next day so you don’t have to find it in the early morning.
  • Print out your registration receipt and bring it with you. If you’ve lost it, that’s okay, we can still get you checked in.


If you’re riding the Puppy Dog, no training is necessary. However, if you haven’t been on a bike in more than three months, take a spin around your neighborhood – just an evening or weekend ride – to get comfortable with your bike.

If you plan to ride the Big Dog and that’s more than you’ve ever ridden before, plan ahead.

Note that the course closes at 3pm and it is very hilly, so you’ll need to set out on time and stay on track.

If you already ride 30+ miles a week, you probably do not need to train for the ride. This is only a recommendation. Pay attention to your body’s needs and do not push yourself in a way that is uncomfortable.

Week one: Ride 15 miles, including at least one steep hill (and reward yourself afterward!).

Week two: Add 5 miles with at least one steep hill (and reward yourself afterward!).

Week three: Add 10 miles and two hill climbs (and reward yourself afterward!).

Week four: Ride 40 miles with three steep hill climbs (and reward yourself afterward!).

Week before the ride: Unless you’re a regular, experienced distance rider, avoid going on a ride longer than 25 miles in this crucial week. Instead, pedal for around 15 miles on the weekend and try to ride your bike 2-8 miles every day leading up to the ride. Keep your legs moving, stretch and relax. Stay on the bike, but keep it very light.