First Cape Town Cycle Tour checklist
Posted on 18 January 2017
Like someone once said, it’s not about the bike. (Not entirely, at least!) When you’re prepping for your first Cape Town Cycle Tour, you’ll have a long list of things to consider – from training to nutrition. Here’s your pre-race checklist.
1. Check your bike
Get your bike serviced two weeks before Race Day (Sunday 12 March 2017), and don’t change the setup again before you race. Remember: you’ll need to get used to your bike’s little idiosyncrasies!
Check the tyre pressure, though – and check it often. Before every ride, inflate those tyres to the maximum pressure, as printed on the sidewall.
Ahead of the race, lube the chain by saturating it completely, then wipe off the remaining lube (it attracts dirt, which could cause havoc with the chain!).
Final thing to check? The bolts. Make sure they’re all secure and tightened to the manufacturer’s specs. When we say all, we mean all: don’t forget the often-overlooked cleat screws!
2. Train smart
As far as possible, train on the road. Training indoors won’t fully prepare you for the real world – or for Cape Town’s infamous wind! (However, two spinning classes a week will help to boost your leg speed.)
Remember to stretch for at least 15 minutes after each training ride, and whatever you do, don’t overtrain. This is absolutely crucial to avoid cramps.
3. Do your homework
Know the route. Ride it or drive it if you can, and download it if you can’t. There’s no excuse for not having a clear idea of where you’ll be riding, where the uphills and downhills are, and what your split times should be.
Finally, know your limitations and adjust your goals accordingly. If you’re a first-timer, you may be looking at a five- or six-hour race. If you’re a skilled, experienced rider, you may be aiming for a sub-3hr time. Either way, be realistic about what you can and can’t achieve.
4. Be medically prepared
See your doctor ideally before commencing your training or roughly two weeks before race day if you have known chronic illnesses or have not had a recent baseline medical check-up. Remember to also fill in the pre-race medical questionnaire – it could save your life if anything goes wrong on Race Day!
Be ready for tingles and pains on the day, and know how to handle those on-the-road aches.
5. Eat right
Avoid alcohol. Eat wholesome foods like fruit and veg. You know the deal: it’s about having a healthy, balanced eating plan leading up to the race.
A smart idea is to stop regularly at the water points (but don’t over-hydrate either). This’ll help you to refuel, and the short break will work wonders on your aching back, legs and neck.