Be Prepared – Being Ready For A Long One

I am a chronic list maker. I make grocery lists, to-do lists, lists of goals… I even make lists of movies I want to see and put their opening dates in my calendar.

Be PreparedAnd yes, I was a Boy Scout. (Thus the whole “Be Prepared” thing.)

And yet I can remember two times I have left my house for a planned ride missing something important. I rode the Wine Country Century in Napa one year without remembering to put my bidons in my car. I’d filled them and put them in the refrigerator the night before, and that was where they were when I realized I’d left them behind as I was taking the exit on the freeway exchange heading into Napa county. Ugh. I stopped at a convenience store and bought a couple of bottles of water, which barely fit in my bottle cages (they rattled around a lot) and without the super-secret scientific hydration and fuel concoction I’d planned to have I had to SAG out at the 85th mile with just nowhere near enough in the tank to finish the final climb of the ride.

I’ve ridden with people who showed up without their shoes, and the number of people I’ve seen show up to a ride having left their helmets at home is truly staggering.

So, even if you think it’s annoying and silly, planning and preparing for your ride and having a system for remembering all your key gear, food and supplies is critical. There are few things worse than training for an event only to either not be able to participate at all (no helmet or shoes) or really not be able to finish and/or enjoy it (no food, no hydration).

Marcus Speed is doing a series of articles about preparing for your big rides over at Bike Roar. You definitely want to check it out.

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