Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Kit Bag

What to pack for race day????

The new season is here, many people have already started in the Ned Flanagan and many more will start soon in the Lacey Cup and the Cycleways cup. Fortunately there are many new people to cycling and may be riding there first race and they may be asking themselves what do I need to bring on race day? Let’s go through a few basics and more luxury items

• Bike : Very basic I know but I am sure there is someone out there who has arrived at a race and realised they left the bike in the garage

• Track Pump : Don’t assume the guy parked in the next car will have brought his and you can borrow it, the aim of the game before racing is to reduce stress as much as possible and don’t be rushing and racing trying to borrow stuff

• Spare wheels : Not an absolute necessity but if you club will have a car following the race bring them along, also handy to have if you discover a problem with your racing wheels while warming up.

• Tube/Tools : Punctures can happen when warming up if you don’t have spare wheels ensure you have a spare tube at least so your journey won’t be in vain. Also pack your multi tool so you can deal with any last minute issues such as slipped bars etc

• Valve extender : A common device that’s left at home if people are using deep section wheels as their race wheels • Helmet : If you forget all your cycling clothing you will be able to beg borrow and steal most things apart from a helmet and a pair of shoes

• Shoes : See above, even if you managed to borrow a set of shoes that had the same pedals as you, you will probably do yourself an injury by riding in shoes that are not set up the way you like them.

• Jersey : A very handy article to have for a race!

• Shorts : You will be hard pressed to find someone with a spare pair of shorts and you really don’t want to be riding in someone else’s shorts do you?

• Vest : A good base layer is key to being comfortable, with the changing weather its no harm to pack a light one and a slightly heavier one so you can make your decision before getting changed as oppose to the night before.

• Thermal jacket : for warming up in before the race, and think positively you will need something to wear collecting your prize money

• Gilet/Rain Cape : This is Ireland the weather will change, most races for the first month or so will involve wearing a gillet. A former national champion once told me that he never wore a rain cape in a race as if he was wearing a cape he wasn’t racing. I think if I am frozen and drenched I am also not racing!! So if you have one pack it, the modern day capes have a good race fit and are not the huge boil in the bad models of previous years.

• Socks : If the forecast is not so good there are some thermal socks that will help to keep the cold at bay

 • Over shoes/ over socks : Your extremities are the first things to feel the cold if you are racing in single digit temperature figures. You may be keen to show off your new shoes to your buddies but oversocks at least are a necessity. With the weather to capable of change in Ireland its no harm to have a couple of over shoes in your bag, one really heavy duty set and one that’s more of an intermediate.

 • Knee/Arm warmers : Arm warmers are probably needed for 80% of races in Ireland. Knee warmers are great for the early season as well, usually the only guys in shorts in March are those that were in the sun for a week and want to show off their tan!

• Glasses : great to keep the elements at bay and they look good as well

• Gloves Winter/Summer : if your racing you should really wear a pair of mitts at least. Crashing is common in the first month of the season especially in A3/A4 races gloves are a great way to protect your hands if you touch down.

 • Hat : Keep your noggin warm, a peaked hat will also keep some of the spray from the rider in front of you from going into your eyes.

• Race number : best to pin it on the night before, numbers belong on the rear pockets of your jersey not in the middle of your jersey!!!

• Licence : The commassaire will not be impressed if you show up without yours

• Toilet Roll : Don’t assume the toilets in the local GAA club will be able to cope with the “demands” of 200+ cyclists

• Oil : For your bike just in case you forgot to lube up your chain after washing your bike the day before and oil for your legs to keep them warm.

• Water bottles/race food : you will probably be able to borrow a couple of bottles before the start and race food but you really need what you are used too. Don’t experiment with new race food/drink on race day try it out in training first.