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Pre-Race Checklist: What To Check, Tighten, Poke, and Pack
October 16, 2017, 12:00 am

Traverse City is abuzz with the excitement of two big races in town. This Saturday is the Peak2Peak Mountain Bike Classic, followed in two weeks by the Iceman Cometh Challenge. You've got the miles in, but is your bike and gear up to snuff?

We put together a few things to check ahead of race day to make sure you and your bike are ready for action. Especially for these races, which can demand some extra logistics, having a checklist in place can make the morning must less stressful. 

Your checklist can be broken up into two parts. The first is what you need, the second is what your bike needs to work well. 

 

What YOU Need

Don't be the person walking around asking to borrow a helmet, or shoes, or a coat. Making a mental checklist is a great way to remember what you need, and it's as simple as starting from top to bottom. One tip I always do is to wear all my underclothes, so that I don't forget them and I don't have to change in a cold car. I typically wear my bibs, heart rate monitor, base layer, socks, and shoes as long as it isn't raining. You can wear normal pants or shorts over your bibs, and a coat to registration. 

That leaves your:

Helmet

Jersey

Sunglasses

Computer

Gloves

*plus cold weather gear.

This time of year, it doesn't matter what the forecast calls for, anything could happen. Bring arm warmers, knee warmers, a vest, and a change of clothes for after. Always bring a towel and a trash bag for your wet stuff, too. If it's cold and wet, bring two pairs of gloves. That will give you one pair to warm up in, and a second for the race. 

I always like to pack my water bottles and snacks in a separate bag, just in case a bottle spills or leaks. For Peak2Peak and Iceman, having two bottles on the bike and one for before the race is usually enough. Bring your pre-race food and something for immediately after as well. For Peak2Peak, eating can be tricky, especially if you race Expert/Elite. Your race doesn't start until much later in the day, and you need to account for when you'd normally eat before a race and shift that to the 12:45 start time. Ideally, that's a full meal three hours before the start, and a substantial bar an hour before you take the line. 

What Your Bike Needs

Assuming your bike is tuned up, there are just a few things to check for heading into a race week. I like to check my chain wear using a chain gauge. If it's outside of .5 but below .75, I'll leave it. If it's past .75, I will replace the chain no later than Tuesday. After that, I don't put anything on the bike until it's broken or failing, and that includes new tires. I'll usually check the sealant on Thursday. On Friday, I wipe the bike down and lube the chain, but that's usually it. 

That doesn't mean there's nothing to do on race day. First, squeeze and look at your brakes to make sure they aren't rubbing or dragging on the rotors. It's also a good idea to check your quick releases or thru axles to make sure they're tight, but not overtight. I also like to make sure the bolts on my stem, seat post, water bottle mounts and stem clamp are all tightened to spec. The one time I didn't do that this year, my water bottle cage was loose, causing me to lose a bottle and ride nearly 3 hours with only 20 ounces of water. Rookie mistake if there ever was one. 

If you have issues with your bike, the sooner you get it into the shop, the sooner you'll get it back and the more time you'll have to work out any kinks from installing new cables, housing, or parts. Especially after the wet and soggy weekend we had, it's certainly worth giving City Bike a chance to look over your rig to make sure everything is set to rock for Peak2Peak and Iceman! 

 

Peak2Peak Memories
October 9, 2017, 12:00 am

Peak2Peak is coming up quick, and there's nothing like the annual trip to Crystal Mountain to really get excited about racing, bikes, and our cycling community. 

Inspired By Norte: Bring A Friend Mountain Biking!
October 2, 2017, 12:00 am

This Sunday, get a new friend into the woods with Norte! 

Fresh Rubber Part Duh: Schwalbe Thunder Burts
September 25, 2017, 12:00 am

We know there are two races on your radar this fall, and in most conditions, there's one great tire for what you're shooting for. It's almost like Schwalbe made the ideal Peak2Peak and Iceman tire when they crafted the Thunder Burt. 

Fresh Rubber: Panaracer Gravel King SK
September 17, 2017, 12:00 am

After a slew of different rides, we're giving the Panaracer Gravel King SK a big thumbs up. 

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