From your fueling strategy to your body’s position on the bike, we’ve outlined six cycling mistakes to avoid on the day of your big ride—and beyond.
1. Set Goals
Avoid setting goals for your ride that are immensely greater than what you can handle or risk disappointment. Use a heart rate monitor or power meter to help you measure your training speed, which is much more realistic and thereby smarter to adhere to when riding. But if you don’t have neither, monitor or meter, simply get a feel for your optimum pace during training.
2. Watch Your Intake
Figure out what food and hydration combination works best for your energy levels beforehand, so that you have it settled on race day. Similarly, avoid relying on the event’s fuel stations—always carry on you what you know you are going to need. Obvious requisite: Water.
3. Watch Your Bike
Pay attention to your bike in the weeks leading up to the event. If you notice any unusual noises or odd bends – or just aren’t sure what’s even going on – visit your local bike shop. Now, we mentioned to check up on your bike weeks before the event in the case that something does need fixing and you need time for them to order the parts and do the work. So be cautious and check, check, check.
4. Proper Positioning
We can’t stress enough how important it is to stay upright, especially on descents. Though some crashes can’t be avoided, we’d argue most can: Join a local club to improve your bike handling confidence, as well as to get a better grip on riding with others.
5. Early Bird…
Gets the worm. If your race is scheduled for early in the morning, pack the night before and set multiple alarms so that you have more than enough time to power up and stretch. Don’t forget to take into consideration the time it takes to get to the event as well.
6. Where’s Your Head At?
Here’s to hoping you got the 2001 Basement Jaxx reference. Google it. Anyway, your mental state is just as important as your physical and your gear, so don’t fret, stay calm, and keep your eyes on the finish line: An iced fresh brew patiently awaits.