Don’t be embarrassed on the course with a squeaky chain…
Don’t be slowed down by brakes that run against your wheels…
Bike TLC prior to race day is essential!
Preparing your bike for race day definitely gives you the upper hand. You won’t be able to control the weather or your field of competitors, but you will be in control of your bike’s condition at the start of the race. Don’t chance it, be prepared!
While tune-ups aren’t often inexpensive, they’re worth every penny. When you pass the frowny-faced racer on the bike course who is standing on the side of the road wondering how they’re going to fix their flat, just think to yourself, “thank goodness I have spare tubes and a pump and/or CO2 with me in case I get a flat!” and “good thing YouTube has taught me how to fix a flat!” and continue on your merry way. I’ve seen athletes run the bike portion of the race (bike in hand, barefoot, uphill both ways) and trust me—that’s the surest way to have a not-so-fun race.
If you’ve always wanted to be your own personal bike mechanic (and save some extra $$ over time), check out some of the bike mechanic classes offered by most local bike shops. I personally recommend the Park Tool School course at Race Pace Bicycles in Baltimore, which comes with a phenomenal, illustration-filled, textbook. Worth every dime!
Clean and re-grease that chain, fill your saddlebag with the essentials (including a copy of your ID and health insurance info), and BE PREPARED for a great race!