Ready to Race?
Certified USA Cycling Elite Coach
For many of us, the racing season is about to begin and I
suggest that you complete a few basic tasks to prepare for your 1st event of
Let’s start with your race bag. If you do not have a racing bag as
yet, start with any old sports bag. Either way, time to throw out those
1-year old Powerbars! Here is your check list of your race bag requirements:
Full set of riding clothing including Gloves,
Sunglasses, Shorts, Shirt, and Socks (this list can be expanded as you
replace your old Helmet, and Shoes, etc add them to the bag as spares)
Full change of clothing including Underwear, Shorts,
Shirt, Socks, Shoes and Cap/Hat
2 bottles of water and 2 bottles of sports drink (the
kind that fit directly into your water bottle cage)
2 each: Recovery drink packets (for convenience I
recommend cans of ‘Boost”), and several fresh gels (such as GU) and food
bars that you favor
Small 1st aid pack including Sudafed, Ibuprofen,
Aspirin, Band-Aid, Non-stick wound pads, Roll of paper tape, Triple
antibiotic gel, etc.
Sunscreen, Lip balm, other toiletries
Large towel (on race day add a small water soaked
towel in a plastic bag to wash down after events)
Spare tire, tube, pump, patch kit, and a basic set of
Several signed “Liability Release” forms, a pen and a
box of safety pins
Copy of your racing license, drivers license, other ID
including emergency contact, spare key (AAA plastic key is flat), $10 cash
and a blank check all in a single billfold holder to be carried in your
Keep your race bag in your vehicle at all times.
First Race of the Season Checklist
Once you have you race bag set, you can then preview your "First race of the season” check list as follows:
Two Days before the Race
NOT THE NIGHT BEFORE! Prepare your bike for racing.
Cleaned, lubricated and tires pumped to full racing pressure. If you shave
your legs, do this the same night. You will probably use the bike the next
day but it will require only a quick wipe down to get it back into racing
Night before the Race
Prepare for quick, or on the road, breakfast. You are
looking for high fiber nourishment (OJ with Oatmeal with no-fat milk & brown
sugar/raisins – you can add a peanut butter & banana on whole wheat sandwich
and even coffee if you like) to be eaten 3 hours before racing. Fill a food
bag with your hydration fluids bottled ready to drink (1 for drinking on the
road, 1 for each warm-up and 1 for each hour of racing) and nourishing
snacks – do NOT rely on fast foods or snacks sold at the event, bring what
you eat with you. Put out your racing address, directions and start times.
Eat a healthy dinner & get at least 8 hours sleep.
Finally: Place the following list up on your mirror – go
over it before going to sleep.
Objective: What do I want to accomplish in this race and
what is the team objective? Do they fit?
Vision: What psychological commitment do I have
to make to achieve my objective?
Reinforce the Vision: This means think ONLY about
actually achieving the goal
Optimism: Look at my training and racing
accomplishments to date – I will
repeat my best effort.
Physiological: Control stress. Physical and
Psychological stresses are
Relax: I will not get too serious. I will have
fun and prepare myself to enjoy
Safety: Racing is an inherently dangerous sport.
I will not contribute to unsafe
On Race Day
Arrive one hour before your event (pre-registered) or 2
hours before to allow for registration. Preview your race strategy with your
team. Before starting your warm-up, pin your race number onto your racing
jersey. Warm up in old clothing. After your warm-up put on your race
clothing, use the bathroom and then proceed to the line – you do not
necessarily need to pre-ride the course.
Race hard. Plan A is: “Stick to the planned strategy”.
Plan B is: “Make Plan A work”.
Immediately after the race, 10-minute cool-down, clean
up and change out of your race clothing before “hanging out”. If you are on
a podium, put on your spare set of team clothing (from your race bag).