Weekend Challenge: The first leg of your epic

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Launching your epic

Weekend challenges are for women who want inspiration to take their riding to the next level and suggestions of where to begin. Challenge yourself this weekend! Here's your task.

Hardly anything feels like a better accomplishment on a bike than finishing a ride you didn't think you were capable of — and then eating the requisite burrito wrapped in a pizza stuffed in a bacon-wrapped turkey, because nothing shy of that can satisfy your demanding gut.

Charity rides are a great place to crush a massive goal, because they have food and refill stations, a great atmosphere with strong camaraderie and rides of varying distances already mapped out. You not only accomplish something amazing, you make contacts to ride with in the future, leave with a swag bag that usually includes great discounts on gear, give back to a charity you (hopefully!) value and show the local community and media how many women show up to push themselves. Often there's a souvenir to prove you did it, also.

This weekend, peruse the interwebs for a charity ride that is more challenging than you think you could finish if you tried tomorrow. Circle the date on your calendar and ask those who would make demands of you for that day off.

Print the map and elevation of the ride and break it down into manageable segments that you could accomplish on a normal ride.

Building up for an endurance effort requires adding fatigue on top of fatigue and then letting your body rest and process the effort before doing it again. Find the hardest part of the ride you are preparing for and ride it on Saturday, and then go back and do that same segment on Sunday, only faster. Relax Monday.

Before the event, make sure to ride every segment you broke down individually, even if they are easy rides on their own. When it comes time to do the ride, think of each segment as you do it, rather than trying to think of the whole distance and you will chip away segment after segment before you realize. Let each rest station you stop at be a total system reset and think of it as beginning a new ride after each refuel.

Get after it.