Posted by Born North America Admin on
Good Morning Gran Fondo. It’s an early morning, the sun’s not up yet and you need to peel yourself out of bed for one of the most beautiful mornings on a bike of the year. You’ve put in the training, you’ve tuned up your ride, you packed your helmet and shoes. But let’s face it, on these early mornings not everyone has it together and no one can blame you in the pre-dawn hours. Luckily, we have some advice to help you cruise through the roughest part of the Fondo - the moments between the alarm clock going off and rolling away from the start line. Whether you’re at home or in a Hotel the morning of your Gran Fondo we put together a list of tips to make your morning just a little bit smoother.
One: This tip starts the day before. Package pickup and bag drop off. If your Fondo moves in one direction (not a loop) it will have a bag drop. Since most fondos have a size limit to the bag you check, make sure before you arrive to drop off your bag that you’re within the guidelines. The RBC Whistler Gran Fondo for example, limits you to one piece sized at the maximum size of standard airline carryon. Our tip isn’t so much to make sure you send up a change of clothes, shoes, toiletries and what else you might need (depending on how long you’re staying) our tip is to consider your cell phone! Sending up a charging cord for your cell phone is a great idea. If you plan on taking lots of photos or video on your way you can run yourself out of battery, making it harder to meet up with friends or family after your ride. If you’re looking to set a personal best time, consider sending your phone up the night before if you won’t use it on your ride. Either way, consider that you might not need your phone much the night before, but the likelihood you’ll want it post Fondo is guaranteed.
Two: This tip also starts the day before! Even though a good breakfast is crucial to a good ride, it can be the hardest part to organize in the morning. Early starts can be hard to organize at home and if you’re travelling from out of town, relying on restaurants early in the morning can be difficult if they don’t keep early morning hours. It’s also a risk, trying new foods can have potential for indigestion that could turn problematic. We suggest making sure you plan a trip to the grocery store the day before for a breakfast familiar to your riding routine. Oatmeal or overnight oats is a great choice for many cyclists and overnight oats can be prepped the night before so on event day you just need to make coffee to go with it. Keep things simple and inside your regular routine, maybe just a few more calories than usual.
Three: Guess what, our third tip, is the day before again! Prepping what is going in your jersey pockets saves another step early in the morning. Even if it’s not in the actual pockets overnight, laying out your gels, bars, bananas and even the protective zip-lock for your phone (if you didn’t send it ahead!) takes another level of stress off the morning of your ride. It’s also a good time to make sure you’ve charged your Bike Computer! ( #stravaoritdidnthappen ) If you need more help to determine how much carbohydrate you might need in your pockets while riding, check out the article Paul Moffat wrote for us on the subject.
Four: Okay, we’re finally here with a tip for the morning of. Don’t underdress. As veterans of the RBC Whistler Gran Fondo we know that most years it’s been a beautiful sunny ride, there’s also been years where it hasn’t held off. Check the weather forecast, you may be thankful for putting a vest or arm warmers in your pockets if it starts to rain halfway through. The great part about closed roads is even if the weather does err on the wet side, there’s no traffic to impede you moving at your own pace in slower conditions, so you may as well be warm and enjoy the ride!
Five: Don’t forget to eat! Yes, we already said you should make sure you have breakfast prepared, make sure you wake up in time to eat it! We also suggest when you get to the start line in the last 20 minutes before you start, have another bar, banana or other snack before you start riding. A long day on the bike needs fuel for the ride, make sure you’re taking on nutrition in regular intervals along your ride (every 15-45m in small doses is a good starting guide).
Six: Don’t forget to drink! We like to make sure we have a bottle of water in the hour before long rides. It’s a pre-loading your hydration. We boost that bottle with our WATTS and MINERALS electrolyte tablets to make sure we’ve got our bases covered. We could have lumped this with Tip Five, but we want to stress they aren’t the same things and that you need both fuel and hydration to perform on the bike.
**If you need help remembering why it’s a good idea to have a snack and hydration before your ride even starts, just remember that you’re getting a head-start on your ride to get you there on time. If you start your nutrition program late, you’re likely to arrive late!
Seven: Enjoy the ride! It’s not often you get a whole roadway protected from traffic, just for your bike ride. There’s a good chance you’ll make some new friends on the ride too, with 4,500 participants in the RBC Whistler Gran Fondo it’s hard not to have a group to ride ride with, or someone to chat to on the ride, let alone enjoy the party in Whistler when you get there.
That’s our set of tips to keep you organized for your Gran Fondo, what other tips do you have for Gran Fondo riders? Tag us on Instagram ( @IfeelBORN_NorthAmerica ) with your morning techniques for Fondos or big adventures!
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