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Stop Faffing, Get Riding! <br><h3>A pre-ride checklist</h3>

Cycling Blog

Stop Faffing, Get Riding!

A pre-ride checklist

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Mr Motivator

September 12th, 2016

Almost every morning of every Ride25 cycling holiday there’s a group who take twice as long as everyone else to get on the road.

Often one rider will be blamed for the delay – occasionally this is fair, but most of the time they’re an unfortunate scapegoat and it’s actually a group effort.

We’ve rounded up all our best tips for streamlining your departure in the morning. Follow these and you’ll be out of bed and on your saddle in record time.

We’d love your suggestions for anything we’ve missed – pop these in the comments below!

Faffers – and you know who you are! – this list is for you.

How to get on the road with minimal faff

Things to do the night before

  • Wash your shorts and hang them up to dry. 
    There are three benefits – you get to put on fresh clean clothes before dinner, you wash the sweat out of your shorts (and the salt crystals along with it – no chafing!), and you ensure they’re dry for the following morning.
  • Have a shower.
    You need to wash the sweat off yourself as well – it’s not the most savoury thing to write about but it keeps you fresh for the following day’s ride. If you like a lay in rather than a morning shower, an evening shower also takes the guilt away from sleeping in.
  • Agree on your team sock for the next day.
    If you’re reading this, you know who you are. A team sock is an aesthetically pleasing thing to wear, and one which simultaneously showcases your flawless fashion decisions and your passion for the noble pursuit of cycling. Spending two hours in the morning deciding which pair to wear is not a necessary part of the process 😉
  • Put everything on charge.
    There’s nothing worse than discovering a flat phone and Garmin as you’re about to set off, except perhaps frantically realising when your alarm fails to go off because your phone died during the night. Make sure you plug everything in to charge before bed!
  • Set your alarm.
    Following the above, make sure your alarm is set for the right time in the right time zone and on the right day! We’ve had riders (including yours truly) forget to change their time zone and having to be woken up in a flustered mess without time to eat breakfast.
  • Pack your bag.
    We try and pack as much stuff as possible the night before to free up time in the morning. Obviously stuff like toiletries and chargers will stay out overnight, but there’s no need for everything you’re carrying to remain scattered across your hotel room.
  • Give your bike a once over.
    Check tire pressure, cable tension, alignment and that everything’s still in the right place – if anything’s obviously wrong then fix it there and then (or schedule it in with the mechanics if you’re on a Ride25!). Deciding to do this 5 minutes before you set off becomes quickly problematic if anything is wrong beyond a slightly deflated tire.An M Check is a good way of quickly checking everything:

Things to do in the morning

  • Wake up on time.
    This is vital and sets the tone for the whole morning. If you’re up with ample time to organise yourself and eat before you ride, you’ll be in a much better state. If you wake up when everyone else is on the saddle and ready to go (again, yours truly), you’ll have to cram breakfast into yourself in the lift down to the lobby, then start riding while your eyes are still stuck shut. In short, it’s not the best!
  • Get dressed and pack the remaining bits in your bag before breakfast.
    There’s a special type of smugness in being able to go straight from the breakfast table to your bike, even if it does mean eating in your Lycra. You might get a couple of odd glances from non-Ride25ers in the hotel – but it’s worth it!
  • Take your stuff to the vans before breakfast.
    Closely related to the above point: whack all your stuff in or near the vans before you sit down for your boiled eggs and orange juice.
  • Fill your water bottles and your snack pocket.
    Grab hydration and snacks early on, rather than forgetting and risking a bonk on the first section of the ride.
  • If you didn’t check your bike last night, do it first thing when you wake up.
    The biggest time waster we see is people deciding to check their bike just before they clip in and set off. This is fine if your bike is in good condition – which most of the time it is – but if something’s gone wrong and you have to get it fixed this late in the process, your group might not be impressed!
  • Be ruthless!
    If someone in your group is lagging and holding everyone up, make sure they know about it! Hassle them until they rumble into action, and rib them relentlessly for the rest of the day to make sure they do it again.

We felt a bit like teachers giving instructions on a school trip while writing this, so bear in mind these are suggestions and not commands 😉

And remember, suggestions in the comments below!

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