Here are four things you can do now to ensure you are prepared for Sunday’s Bikeathon. This covers getting your bike, clothing, food & water, and tool kit ready to ensure you have a fun and successful ride.
1. Bike check
Please don’t leave this to the last minute. If you check your bike now, you still have time to get it sorted out. On Sunday morning the bike shops won’t be open to sell you a new tube or to sort out a sticky brake. We do have mechanics from Mountain Trax and Dr Bike at the event, but there could well be a queue!
The M-Check pictured is a handy guide to ensuring your bike is roadworthy, and here is a video from British Cycling showing you how to perform the check on your own bike. https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/knowledge/article/izn20131111-The-M-Check—Full-Film-0
2. Rider clothing check
Make sure you are wearing clothing appropriate to your ride. Firstly, ensure your trouser legs will not get caught up in the chain. Ideally, you’ll wear shorts, but you can also tuck your trousers in your socks, use trouser clips,etc. Secondly, if your shoes have laces, tie them in a double bow to shorten them and ensure they don’t be caught in the chain or cogs.
It’s required to wear a helmet on this ride, and we strongly recommend you wear cycling gloves. It will be warm, so short fingered cycling mitts would be ideal, and here is a link so you can see what we mean. https://www.evanscycles.com/louis-garneau-biogel-rx-v-mitt-EV225199. If you were to fall and put your hands out to break your fall, then the gloves will help ensure you don’t scrape the skin off your hands.
The weather forecast is to be much cooler than of late, but dry. So the conditions are very good for a pleasant ride, and you don’t need to carry much in the way of weather protection. It will warm up to the low teens during the ride, so if you take a jacket, we suggest you have a provision for how to carry it if you take it off. Tying it around your waist isn’t recommended, as a loose sleeve could dangle into the spokes.
3. Water & food
There is one water & food stop on the 15 mile route, and there are two on the 35 mile route, so it isn’t necessary for you to take food on the bike. It’s always a good practice to have a bottle of water on the bike, and many bikes are equipped with bottle cages designed for that purpose. If your bike doesn’t already have a bottle cage, it’s quite likely there are fittings for one, and here is a link showing you bottle cages available at our local bike shop, Mountain Trax in Barkham. http://www.mountain-trax.com/bottles-and-cages.
4. On the road repairs
Even if you’ve done a good M-Check, you may still encounter a puncture or another problem during the ride. We do have the capacity to collect you if you cannot complete the ride, and a mobile number will be provided at registration. However, it’ll be much better if you have the tools to be able to fix minor problems and complete the ride. The most common problem is a puncture, and here is a video showing the tools and techniques needed to make a repair. http://www.halfords.com/advice/cycling/how-to-guides/how-to-repair-a-bike-puncture-guide-video.
We also suggest you carry a multi-tool, so you can make adjustments or tighten up loose connections. Here is a popular model from Topeak available at Mountain Trax http://www.mountain-trax.com/2610/products/topeak-hexus-ii-multi-tool.aspx
Finally, here is a good checklist from Cycling Weekly on your ideal kit bag for a sportive ride. http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/latest-news/kit-bag-essentials-119072