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It’s October. It’s spring. You’ve spent hours on the trainer this winter and you’re looking good in your brand new kit. All your preparations will pay off this weekend as you and 15,000 fellow cyclists hit the road this weekend for Melbourne’s iconic Around the Bay event.
Whether you’re doing the 20km or the 250km course, here are some tips and suggestions for your ride:
Let’s start with a check list of what to bring:
A well-functioning bike
Saddle bag with tools, spare tubes, Co2 and/or pump, tire levers.
If you are not riding to the start line make sure you grab your cycling shoes (the right ones, the ones that match your pedals!)
Bib number, event bracelets, etc
Two water bottles
Ride food (especially is you have dietary restrictions)
Wallet (with cash, ID, medical insurance card, credit card, etc.)
Gloves and any layers you might want during the ride
Sunscreen and lip balm
A change of clothes for after the ride
Now onto the Do’s and Don’t’s:
• Have your bike checked or have any bike maintenance done a day or two before the ride, not the morning of.
• Check the weather one last time before you head out and dress accordingly.
• Meet your riding mates on time.
• Wear layers.
• Bring your own food if you have dietary restrictions
• Eat and drink small amounts frequently.
• Know the course or know what route markers to look for.
• Utilise the aid stations: Stop at the aid stations and fill up on fluids and snacks (your own or those provided by the event).
• Pull off and stop when using a cell phone, taking selfies, ‘ gramming.
• Communicate before stopping and turning or when your spot a pothole or rough pavement.
• Be patient. There will be lots and lots of cyclists on the road of all ages and abilities. Some are inevitably going to be slow or sketchy or smelly or obnoxious or all of the above. Remember you’re riding for a cause bigger than yourself – children in need.
• Follow the rules of the road
• Have fun!
• Ride a brand new bike (or even a saddle) you haven’t ridden much.
• Wait to do last-minute bike fixes till the morning of the ride.
• Wear headphones.
• Start off too fast. It’s a long ride –pace yourself.
• Race; sprint for the city limit sign or go for a Strava segment. It’s not a race and you are sharing the road with 15,000 people. Please be safe.
• Jump onto a paceline of people you do not know without asking.
• If you’re in a group and riding in a paceline, don’t pull too hard when it’s your turn. Also, do a quick shoulder check before pulling off.
• Do anything stupid. We all have to go to work on Monday.
Be safe and have fun out there! Got more tips to share? Please let us know in the comments below.