Aut Vincere Aut Mori
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Bikes: Irish Cycles Tir na Nog, Jack Kane Team Racing, Fuji Aloha 1.0, GT Karakoram, Motobecane Fly Team
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If you're going out of town to race, leave your house an hour earlier than you think you need to. Maybe two. You want to get there plenty early.
Don't make any major adjustments to your bike. Just pump up your tires, lube your chain and tighten anything that's loose.
Don't eat or drink anything you haven't before a ride. A race isn't the time to figure out that TurboSports Drink Brand X makes you sh*t your pants.
Have someone else pin your number if you can. Make sure it's readable.
Warm up briefly for a road race, and for a solid 45 minutes for a crit.
If it's a RR, drink more than you think you need to. Try to replace around 400 calories/hour. If it's a 30 minute crit, you won't need a bottle. Just make sure you've had enough to drink before hand. You probably don't want a lot of solid food in your gut for a crit. Some people eat before RRs, I find I do better if I just have a piece of fruit and some coffee before, and constantly suck water/gel/fruit during the race.
Don't worry about starting position, just give yourself room to clip in. Chances are you'll beat the guys who were at the front of the group, while they're fiddling with their pedals.
Stay loose, keep your elbows bent - so when you're bumped, you don't go down.
Watch up ahead. If you fixate on a guy's wheel, you're going to be in a world of hurt.
Use your drops for technical corners, sprinting, and riding hard. If you're more relaxed on the hoods, use them when the pace isn't as hard.
Don't make sudden movements, and by the same token don't be the guy who yells out "SLOWING!"
Shiny side up...