carolsue wrote:I started out hydrating only with plain water and next time, I will hydrate with some kind of electrolyte drink. I don't suffer from heat or fatigue like other MSers so I can't offer advice there. But it seems like wetting down would cool you off well. Personally, I don't like the idea of wearing a cooling vest while hunched over my handlebars, but you have time to figure that out. And I do think you can find a lot of training guidance out there, and from the event organizers.
Before MS, I used to ride quite a bit having done a few ~ 50 mile rides. I have kevlar belted tires on my bike and they're great for avoiding flats. You might want to look into these. Be prepared to spend about $20 or so per tire though.
I agree with the above statement about cooling, evaporative cooling might work best. You could wet down a bandanna or do-rag and put it on your head. You could also loosely tie a wet bandanna around your neck to help cool your blood. Keep the water for your cooling, but drink something with electrolytes in it.
Regarding training, having been inactive for a couple of years, it will be difficult. Start out slow and work your way up. The more time you can spend on your bike the better.
By the way, if you don't have one already, get one of those bags that mounts under your seat. These are great for carrying small tools in case you need to do some roadside repairs.
By the way #2, regarding tires, get tires rated for high pressure and keep them inflated at their max psi. On my road bike, I used to keep the tires at 90 psi. It mikes riding so much easier.
Oh, as far as the terrain is concerned, you can look it over using the topographical option of one the several online map sites. In addition, I would expect that the ride organizers should have a pretty good description of the route available.
Although I miss bicycling, I hope that it works out great for you.