Two Weeks Before a Big Ride, Race, or Event

A week or two before a big ride I'll check everything and bring my bike to a shop for tuning - typically to ensure the bike is shifting ok. Do this in advance since it can take the bike shops a week or so to get through their customers. Key tip: Do not tinker or change settings once you get your bike back. One week before a big ride or event is not the ideal time to start trying multiple new settings or experimenting with new positions or wheels. Try to minimize equipment settings the week leading up to the event (especially ones where you will be riding longer distances than you are normally accustomed to). Key Tip: check all the bolts on your bike and shoes including the head stem, saddle, and clips. As a general rule everything should be tightened at least a minimum of 5nm using a torque wrench. Don't over-tighten!

Days Before A Ride Event

A few days before any ride, I'll check that I'm stocked on the following:

1. Trail bars (and bananas);

2. Spare tubes;

3. Hydration mix (but lately I've just been filling the bottles with water).

4. Calories. I make it a point to eat slightly more and include pasta a few days before a longer distance ride. Gotta have calories ready to burn!

5. Check battery levels on lights and cycling computers. Charge as necessary.

The Day Before the Ride

The evening before or early morning of an ride I religiously check for the following (in this order):

1. Hydration. Fill up your bottles and stick them in the fridge before the ride for some extra chill. I like ice in there too!

2. Grab my trail bars. Key tip: I keep all my nutrition in one container bin.

3. Grab my gloves, helmet, shoes and eye-wear. Key Tip: I keep all of these things in a single small sized Rubbermaid container all the time.

4. Grab my CO2, levers, and spare tube as well as lights and cycling computer. Key Tip: You get it by now.

5. Check tire pressure and pump tires (usually to just over 100psi).

Make These Checklists Into A Routine

Do this and I think you'll find yourself having better and more consistent outings on your bike!

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