Every runner has to start somewhere. Here are some tips to help you on your first bike race .
Being used to riding in a group
During training, make sure to go out in multiple groups to be used to traveling between other riders at high speeds and in tight groups. Chaingang training sessions with a local club will help you in this regard. Riding in a group with a club will have taught you about the benefits of drafting plus the cycling etiquette you will need to get around without incurring the ire of other riders.
Be prepared for the course
Always familiarize yourself with the course. Often times, the race organizers will share a map of the route well in advance so that you have had a chance to see the course and perhaps the sections of the course, if not all beforehand. If it is going to be a mountainous route, be prepared to climb and have a rough idea of the length of the climbs so as not to waste all your energy halfway.
Check your bike
One day before the race, check your bike thoroughly. Don’t leave anything untested. Make sure there is nothing loose and check your gears and that your brakes work properly. Give your chain and drivetrain a good cleaning and lubrication, and also check your tires for deep cuts or any problems.
Pack your gear
The night before the race, pack everything you need. Get a good idea of the expected weather so you can pack accordingly. Have a checklist that includes cycling jersey, shorts, socks, shoes, helmet, gloves, and items like jacket / cape and overshoes if bad weather is expected. Some races also require you to have a race license, so don’t forget to pack that too.
Bottles and food
Also, make sure you have all your water bottles filled and your energy bars and gels ready so you don’t have to do this on race day. The amount you need will depend on the length of your career. If you’re racing for about an hour at the most, a bottle and gel are likely to be sufficient. If you are going to do a longer event, you should aim to eat and drink around 500 calories per hour after the first hour.
Eat like you would before a workout
The night before a race is not the time to start experimenting with what you eat. Just eat the same type of carbohydrate-rich food that you would eat the night before a workout .
Smooth ride the day before
After you’ve tuned your bike, it’s worth taking a smooth turn the day before the race. Don’t overdo it, just do a gentle twist to keep your body moving and activate those muscles you’ll be using in tomorrow’s race. Remember, no race is won by training the day before a race, but many have potentially been lost.