What to bring to a cycling event

11th May 2016
Don’t get caught out, let elite race cyclist Andrew Marriott prepare you with a list of the essentials to pack for your cycling event.

It just takes one small packing oversight for your dreams of cycling success to turn to a damp squib, so it pays to be prepared. At cycling events there are two key considerations: yourself, and your bike, so you need to pack for both.

What to wear

The right clothing is crucial so that you feel comfortable and are prepared for the elements.

  1. Use base layers to keep warm, even if the weather looks fair. These can always be shed if you get too hot. Arm and leg warmers are also a great option as they fit in your back pocket and are easy to put back on if the weather changes.
  2. Your footwear is important too. Badly fitting shoes can make your feet numb if they are too tight or make your feet slip if they are too loose. Wear in a pair of well-fitting shoes for around a month in advance to make sure they don’t rub.
  3. You’re going to be on the bike for hours and this puts a lot of pressure on your backside. Having good quality padded shorts will make the endurance less painful.
  4. Get a gilet as well, this is a light weight water proof vest that you can keep in your pocket and quickly pull out and put on when needed.

Staying energised

Any rider, from amateur to pro can make the mistake of not keeping hydrated or fuelled during a long ride. Don’t make that mistake.

  1. Take two bottles of water with hydration salts to replace your electrolytes – the salts and minerals found in your blood that you sweat out with exertion.
  2. Fuel yourself with energy gels or bars, always use the same things in the event as you did in training – if its not broken, don’t fix it.

What to pack for your bike

It’s a worst-case scenario, but in the event of a puncture you need to be able to fix it.

  1. Packing spares to get going again doesn’t have to mean lugging a whole tire – pack some innertubes, a small hand pump and a tyre-lever.┬áThese will all fit in one or two pockets in your jersey. It’s worth practicing this at home a few times so you can make the fix swiftly on race day.
  2. Pack a phone. If you get stuck with a broken bike, you want to be able to call for support.

If you’ve done your training, and filled your pockets with these essentials, you’re ahead of the game and ready to take on the ride.

NuffieldHealthClick here for more trusted advice from Nuffield Health experts and personal experiences from members in these fitness articles.