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Hi guys! My last race of the CX season is this Sunday, but I have to pack everything tomorrow (dual home living situation problems). Anyways, I thought I would go through what I do during the 24 hours leading up to my race. This is for CX and differs a bit from road, but you get the general idea. Also, this is just my personal routine, so take it as you will. Feel free to leave any additional tips in the comments below!
- I mean this should be your goal everyday, but make sure you stay hydrated! On top of water throughout the day, I usually drink some Pedialyte the day/night before a race, too.
- My ride for the day opens up my legs. Usually nothing too terribly long with some sprints thrown in. Aka whatever my coach tells me to do. More about him, here.
- I clean my bike, shoes, kits, socks, etc. They are almost always dirty and you shouldn't show up with dirty gear, tisk tisk! Oh, and lube your chain.
- Give you bike/gear a run down. This is a double check, NOT the first time you should be checking your bike for problems. An actual thorough run down of your gear should be done earlier in the week. Do NOT wait until the night before. Trust me, I date "King Bike Maintenance Procrastinator" who has run into mannnny problems because he waited until the night before. Don't do it, it's so stressful and you aren't always guaranteed to have it sorted out before the race.
- Pack everything food, drink and bike related! Bring two kits + socks incase you get your first one disgusting during warm up. PLENTY of water, any pre or post race fuel/hydration/recovery. Don't forget your number (if you're in a series) and license (I mean you should really just use the app)! I tend to overpack since I'll be at the venue all day watching everyone race after me. I'm prepared for rain or shine to ensure optimum spectator comfort as well as race comfort! Some of what is in my bag can be found, here.
- Carb up at dinner time. I tend to go for pasta and broccoli, and I totally stay clear of cheese. It's usually some sort of variation of this. Everyone obviously goes for different things and this is the one for me. Oh and my breakfast and lunch are pretty standard, nothing fancy or out of the norm for me.
- Shower and shave your legs! I hate showing up with hairy legs, I feel like I've ruined my race day if I do. It's my weird thing, I know.
- Go ahead and plug the race venue address into your GPS to see how long it will take to get there. Set your alarm accordingly. I give myself drive time PLUS two hours before my race.
- Get some good sleep! Night, night!
- Eat breakfast. For me it's oatmeal and espresso. More about what I eat, here.
- Pack the car, get your GPS going, and you're off!
- Don't forget to turn on some good pump up music. Insert rap music here.
- Like I said, I give myself 2 hours at the venue before my race to get ready. This is my personal preference because I want to handle my business before the race and not be frantic. Plus this gives me a buffer time incase anything sudden goes wrong with traffic, long check in line, warm up, getting dressed, etc, etc.
Alright, at this point you're at the race venue
- Go register asap! You never know what the line will be like.
- Go to the bathroom. I'm serious because if you don't, the line will be so long and you'll be that person at the start line thinking "damn, I need to pee" and that is just the worst.
- Get your tire pressure situated.
- Check out the course and pre ride! Pay attention to turns, course features, best lines, etc
- Put spare wheels and bike in the pit. I don't do this, but if you have extra stuff, go for it.
- Pin on race number, kit up, adjust tire pressure if needed, etc
- WATCH THE CLOCK and get to the start line early. Unless you have call-ups, you need to make sure you get a good starting position.
Ok, now you're at the start line
- Is your Garmin started and are you in the right gear? Check.
- Lastly, PMA. Tell yourself you are going to win. YOU ARE GOING TO WIN, YOU HEAR ME??
Need some last minute gift ideas? I've compiled a list with three different price brackets and everything can be found on the Specialized website. (Tip: use their search bar if you can't find something). There is something for the female cyclist in your life between $12-$400 - some items are even on clearance! Most items have several color options, so if you love something but would rather see it in another color, make sure you head on over to Specialized.com and see if they have what you're looking for. (Pssst, if you happen to wander that way, look for me because a little birdy told me that a photo of me is floating around on their website somewhere! eek!) Also, these are all items that I've tried and love, so if you have any questions about anything, please leave it in the comment section below. Happy holidays!!
GIFT GUIDE : $0-$30
22 OZ Purist Watergate Bottle - $12.00
Turbo Presta Valve Tube with Talc - $19.00
Rib Cage II - $20.00
Bandit - $25.00
Women's Grail Long Finger Glove (on clearance) - $26.88
Stix Sport Headlight - $30.00
Stix Sport Tail light - $30.00
GIFT GUIDE : $30-$100
S-Wrap HD Tape - $35.00
Women's Grail Short Finger Glove in Blue and Pink - $35.00
Women's Therminal™ 2.0 Arm Warmers - $45.00
Rib Cage II with Tool - $50.00
All Condition Armadillo Elite Tire - $55.00
Element 1.5 Glove - $60.00
Women's Therminal™ 2.0 Leg Warmers - $60.00
Women's Utility Crew in Emerald and in Carbon - $60.00
Women's Engineered Sleeveless Tech Layer - $60.00
Women's Engineered Short Sleeve Tech Layer - $70.00
Women's SL Pro Jersey Team Black/Red (on clearance) - $75.00
Women's RBX Sport Long Sleeve Jersey - $75.00
Turbo Cotton Tire (wheel not included) - $80.00
Power Comp Saddle (not pictured - is AMAZING) - $100
GIFT GUIDE : $100-$400
Women's Deflect™ Hybrid jacket Emerald - $130.00
Women's Deflect™ Hybrid jacket Neon Pink - $130.00
Women's Therminal™ Mountain Jersey - $130.00
Women's Therminal L/S Jersey in Emerald - $140.00
Womens SL Pro Jersey - $150.00
Women's Utility Hoodie with Hood Grey - $150.00
Women's Utility Hoodie with Hood Black - $150.00
Womens SL Pro Bib Short - $180.00
Women's Utility Reversible Vest - $180.00
S-Works Prevail - $200.00
S-Works Women's Evade Helmet - $225.00
Women's Element 1.5 WINDSTOPPER® Jacket - $225.00
S-Works Women's Road shoe (on clearance!) - $299.52
Women’s S-Works XC MTB (or CX) shoe - $400.00
*Prices on the Specialized website are current as of 12/15/15
What's in my cycling bag depends on the weather, am I racing or training, am I traveling or staying local, cyclocross or road, etc. So here is my bag for a CX training ride. I can't get enough of Specialized which is why they make up 99% of my key items. I believe all of these items can be found on their site, except the pink jacket that turns into a vest (coming soon though, I believe). But let's take a moment to admire the gorgeous replica Boels/Dolmans kit. It's my favorite, and I always feel so pretty when I wear it. Their are only five items that aren't Specialized : my donut neck buff, headphones (I promise I'm being safe if I even wear them at all), Larga socks, monogrammed polka dot velcro changing towel (this never leaves my bag except to wash), and Oakley sunglasses.
Here is a closer look at some of the smaller items. Starting from the top left and going down : Baby wipes, Skratch hydration, heart rate monitor, donut buff, headache medicine, dry shampoo (to freshen up my sweaty hair after a ride), Rip Van Wafels (so yummy), deodorant, tube/air, Oakley sunglasses, Garmin 510, Clif Bar, Revision Intellishade with SPF (key item!), chapstick, Stix front/rear lights, socks, chamois cream, multi tool, tire levers, and glasses cleaner! A few needed items that aren't pictured are my bike (obviously), sports bra, tire pump, recovery drink, and my much needed first aid kit, hah! I hope I'm not forgetting anything, story of my life! :)
Read my official post on the Specialized Blog on Tuesday morning, here!
What are some of your key items that you pack for a ride? Anything that is an absolute must that most people don't use?