In the first article we discussed some methods that one might find effective in their lead up to the 2014 Tour de Scottsdale (October 12th). Now we’ll briefly go over what we think the essentials are to bring with you when you line up for your big 30 or 70 miles next month. These include, but are not necessarily limited to hydration, calories, and certain items that will allow you to maintain a certain level of self-sufficiency.
It may sound like a no brainer when I say to provide yourself with hydration, but this means more than just filling your bottles with H20. For instance, one needs to discern how much they’ll need for the time they will be spending on the bike, and no necessarily the distance. This can vary depending on one’s fitness level, the weather, and the level of any group they may be riding with on the day. A fast 30 miler may only take 75 to 90 minutes, in which case a large 24oz bottle may just do the trick, but we’d recommend always carrying a little more than you think you’ll need. Of course, what you start out with does not have to sustain you for the entire event. Designated aid stations along the course can top you off should you need refueling.
Calories are another big piece to the puzzle. What goes into your body is specific to each individual rider, so we’re not here to tell you 100% what will and will not definitely work with your system. However, it’s always a safe bet to stick to minimal ingredients and real food if possible, as an abundance of ingredients can sometimes cause distress in your stomach. Test out a variety of options well in advance to insure you’re using what works best for you, and you’re sure to have this topic covered.
Knowing how to properly sustain your body is an essential bit of knowledge, but it is not all that useful if you find yourself standing on the side of the road with a broken chain or other mechanical. Yes, there will be support periodically making its way toward you though out the event, but that may take 30 seconds to 30 minutes depending on one’s luck on the day. Finding yourself in one of the elite groups may bless you with a follow car that contains spare wheels in the event of a flat, but if that is not the case, then it’s always nice to be self-sufficient. The two essentials that we strongly believe you would do well to bring along are the means to repair a flat (spare tube, tire lever, and a method of inflating the new tube) and a small multi-tool with a chain breaker. A flat is the most common mechanical riders a likely to face, with a broken chain right up there as well. Carrying the items to fix them will not encumber you much at all, and you’ll be glad you brought them in the event that things to not go to plan.
The same can be said for all three of these kinds of essentials. In addition to hydration, calories, and mechanical fixes, we’d also like to remind you that a helmet is required to participate in the Tour de Scottsdale. You’ll also probably want to remember your shoes and kit, as well as spares of any bit of gear you’ve got extras of. The key to starting these types of events confident, and not complacent, is being well prepared. We’re confident that this brief overview will help you to feel the same.