So you love the fun, the company, the spectacular scenery and quiet country roads of the Fleurieu Fondo. You’ve entered, you’ve done some training rides and now we’re down to the final few days before we line up at the start at Flinders University.
What then are the last-minute tasks you need to complete between now and Sunday morning to make your Fleurieu Fondo experience the best it can be?
Let’s start with the bike.
First off, give it a good wash. Not only will you look your best for the day, but a clean bike runs smoothly, stops smoothly and is just a nicer place to spend a few hours on the pedals.
Now the drivetrain. Hopefully you degreased when you washed but even if you didn’t you’ll now need to relube. Take a clean cloth and wipe off any remaining grease and grime and dry the chain of any water. Once it’s fully dry, recoat with your favourite lube according to directions and you’ll enjoy a smooth-shifting, whisper-smooth ride down to McLaren Vale.
Check your tyre quality and pressures, making sure your rubber is fresh enough to last the day. Check brake and wheel alignment, brake strength and feel and, if you’re riding clipless, check your shoe/pedal interface – few things are more annoying than a constant cleat/pedal squeak that starts 30 seconds into a 100km ride.
Bike SA always recommends flashing front and rear lights so make sure they’re fully charged, along with your phone in case you need to make an emergency call.
THE RIGHT GEAR
Don’t leave your clothes for the day to a last-minute scramble. Planning well will prevent you from either freezing, overheating or carrying far more than you’ll need. The forecast for Sunday is for 19C with light winds so while that will be ideal throughout the day, it may be a bit chilly at the start.
While it’s important to drink plentifully on the ride – you should carry two 750ml water bottles – we can’t overstate the benefit of hydrating in the days before the ride. Building up your fluid stores now will prove its merit as you reach the final stages on the Fondo.
Similarly, now is the time to increase your carbohydrate intake with more pasta as well as all the ride food groups including chicken/fish or tofu for protein, lots of green vegetables and fruit, grains and dairy. And don’t rely on the breakfast on the day to get you through the ride, it’s the two days leading up to the ride that equates to more than 80% of your energy stores.
SLEEP – GET PLENTY
Lastly, don’t underestimate the value of getting plenty of sleep before a long day of activity. Not just Saturday night but for as long before as you can manage. Book plenty of sleep in the next few nights and you’ll have plenty of energy in your tank.
Other than that, remember it’s a fun day out, not a race. Watch out for others and yourself, enjoy the sights, sounds and company of the day and arrive at Serafino Winery ready to celebrate with us all the fabulous things a day out on the bike is all about.