First cyclocross race of the season is coming up, so I thought I'd review the pre-race ritual I personally go through. I like to do this the night before so I'm not running around like stressed out crazy man the day of the race. First of all, I want to make sure my bike(s) are in working order the day before the race. There is nothing worse than last minute bike fixes. Also riding a 'just fixed' bike in a race isn't always the best idea either.
After I have gone over my bike(s) to make sure each one is working properly I then move on and spend some time putting together my "race bag". My "race bag" begins with the basics: race license, helmet, jersey, shorts, socks, gloves, shoes, etc. With the basics packed I then consider the weather and other gear I will need to make myself the most comfortable pre-race, during the race and post-race. My list would look something like the following:
- Cycling cap
- warm (winter cycling) cap
- Rain jacket (waterproof)
- Rain pants (waterproof)
- Base layers to wear underneath
- Long sleeve jersey (or Skin Suit)
- Short sleeve jersey
- Arm warmers
- Knee warmers
- Socks (2 pair)
- Gloves to suit the weather conditions. I usually like to bring at least 2 pairs... It's always nice to start a race with dry socks & dry gloves... The preride can soak your first pair pretty quick.
- Glasses with different lens options (this is optional for me. If the weather is bad, I typically don't use glasses and just pull my cap down)
- Race towel for cleanup post race
- warming cream for legs (this is a new item for me this year)
- Chamois cream (i'm actually really liking the DZ Nutz product, btw)
- Pre race food
- Post race food
- towels (body & bike)
- Post race clothes (apre race)
- Tools, etc.
- Beer (if allowed at the vendor). Nothing beats a cold one after a hard race... Unless of course it is 32 degrees and sleeting...
With my "race bag" packed and ready to go I like to make sure I have good directions as to where the race is happening and the race times of each category. Generally, I typically print off the race flyer from the Internet and stick it in my bag as well. It's nice to have to be able to refer back to it while you are at the race if you need to check race times etc. Also, I like to set out my water bottles and food stuffs that I will be needing as part of my pre-race and post-race.