Out and about on the bike recently, I got chatting with a rider who was busy preparing for his first sportive. We got chatting about some of the things to think about in readiness as a kind of checklist of the day, there's a lot to consider in advance, here's a list of some of the things you could consider: -
- Tyre Quality - look for the small holes in the tyres which indicate wear, replace if well worn.
- Tyre Pressure - should be at manufacturer recommended PSI.
- Has the chain been oiled?
- Have you tightened all your allen keys on key contact points, use a torque wrench if possible.
- Brake pads - ensure that they are in good condition and fully functioning.
- Ensure that your wheels are sitting correctly by loosening your skewers and putting pressure on either the saddle (back wheel) or bars (front wheel) before re-tightening.
- Gears - have you got the right rear cassette? If it's a hilly route and you're a new rider, you might want to invest in a different rear cassette. More about gears here.
Food and Accessories Check
- Spare inner tube (carry two if you have room).
- Pump or CO2 inflator plus tyre levers.
- Gels/Energy bars to give you around 50g - 60g of carbohydrate per hour.
- Have you charged your Garmin?
- Have you got some cash with you in case you need to buy any additional drinks/food?
- Is your phone fully charged?
- Do you have the event organisers information in the event of incident?
- Have you put the route in your Garmin/GPS?
- Where are the hills?
- Where are the stops?
- How should you effectively use your energy relative to the profile of the route?
- Check the weather forecast.
- If hot - take suncream!
- If wet - Wet weather kit (waterproof jacket, gloves, overshoes).
- If changeable. Think about configuring your clothing with shorts plus leg warmers to remove, short sleeved top with arm warmers.