5 Tips to Riding Your Best Gran Fondo This Weekend
You've done the work, training for your Gran Fondo. Now you're ready to put yourself to the test, use these tips to ensure you arrive at the start line rested, fueled up, and ready for a great experience!
1. Sleep - Get a lot of it. At this point, you can't make yourself stronger or faster through more training. The days leading into this weekend are all about resting and letting your body fully recover from the hundreds of miles of training you put in. Don't skimp on the shut-eye as you run around getting your gear and the rest of your life in order ahead of this weekend.
2. Confirm Your Travel Plans and Itinerary - A simple, no-duh, task, but one that will put your mind at ease and uncover any unexpected changes before you get to the airport or hotel. Things such as a flight-time change or lost booking. You want to deal with those now and not the day before the fondo. Also, double-check or make plans for your entire weekend, right on through your departure back home. This way, you know exactly what you're doing, and where and when you're going. You want to focus on your fondo performance, not where you're going to dinner later that night.
3. Stay Hydrated - Drink plenty of fluids between now and fondo time. Becoming dehydrated can happen over a matter of days without being aware of it. And especially if you're traveling from a colder climate to warm and humid, Florida, you'll want to prepare your body for the sudden switch to hot sun by being fully hydrated before you arrive.
4. Write-down a Complete Packing List and Check It Off as You Pack - List absolutely everything you need to bring, including the obvious stuff such as cleats, cycling shorts, and helmet--and the not so obvious, such as your medical insurance card and sunscreen. It's no fun to arrive at an event only to realize that you left your cleats at home (It's happened to us.).
5. Check Your Bike and Gear - Clean your rig, inspect all the cables, brakepads, wheels, tires, and chain. Check bolts to make sure they're tightened to the right torque. Make sure your spare tubes/tires don't have holes in them or damaged stems. Tighten the cleats on your shoes. Swap in fresh batteries where necessary and charge your derailleurs if they're electronic. Clean and lube your chain.