Lucky enough to be taking part in the Prudential RideLondon 100? Or riding in another sportive this weekend? Make sure you’ve got everything you need (and nothing you don’t) for the big day.
If you need any last minute items, don’t forget there is also the Prudential RideLondon Cycling Show at the ExCel. If you haven’t already been, take a look! It’s free, and will have everything you need for the ride.
Give your bike a final check-over the night before; make sure your brakes and gears are in good working order, your tyres are pumped up and your chain is clean and oiled.
Take anything unnecessary off your bike. This means pannier racks, locks, lock-holders, etc. You want to make your bike as light as possible.
Lay out everything you plan to bring and check it off a list. Make sure your cleats (if you use them) are set up properly and in good working order.
What to bring
Rider Card and Handlebar Number
You’ll need the number to take part – don’t leave it behind!
Water bottles and cages
You need two of each, to keep you going through the ride. Fill one with water, and the other with an electrolyte product, and sip from both. Drink small amounts, as you get thirsty, and don’t forget to refill your bottles at the various stops.
Shorts and jersey
Choose shorts you’ve used before – it’s probably not the best idea to try out a new pair for the event. Choose a jersey that’s comfy and has good sized, secure pockets – you’ll need them to store various bits and pieces in.
These are compulsory for the event. Make sure it’s in good shape, and feels comfortable – you will be wearing it for a while!
A good pair of fingerless gloves with some padding on the palm will make all the difference.
It may seem obvious, but if you are wearing cycling shoes make sure you remember to bring them – particularly if you are wearing different footwear to get to the start line!
Not just good for keeping the sun out of your eyes, glasses will protect them from dust and grit.
If the sun comes out, then it's worth bringing a small travel-sized pouch of sunscreen to top up your protection during the ride.
It’s going to be an early start, and there will be a fair bit of standing around first thing. You may want to bring some layers (jacket, leg warmers and arm warmers) to keep the chill off. These will also be small enough to stow in your pockets once you warm up. A lightweight shower-proof jacket is also ideal should the weather take a turn for the rainy.
Although there will be food available at several stops, you should also bring your own. Choose items you are used to eating – now is not the time to experiment with gels for the first time! You don’t want a dodgy stomach with 50 miles to go. Flapjacks, jelly babies, nutrition bars, gels, bananas – stick them in your pockets, and graze as you go.
Saddlebags with repair items
This is crucial! You need to be carrying 2 inner tubes, 2 tyres levers, a little patch kit just in case. A small multitool is also worth including.
Hopefully you won’t need it, but this is again a crucial item to have on you. Choose a small, lightweight one if possible, as you don’t want to be lugging more than necessary up Box Hill with you!
You probably won’t be chatting as you ride, but if you want to find your friends and co-riders afterwards, this will come in very handy. A top tip is to pop it in a zip lock bag; this keeps it dry and sweat-free in your jersey pocket.
Cash and card
Bring some pennies in case you want to get anything extra en route. Also, although there will be free emergency bike repairs, you will need to pay for any parts you need.
Although you’ll have your rider number on you, it’s always worth jotting down some ‘In Case of Emergency’ details on a card and popping it in a pocket or storing them on your phone.
- Change anything on your bike last minute, like the cassette or chain, unless absolutely necessary.
- Decide to try new foods, drinks or energy products you are unfamiliar with. Dodgy stomachs, long cycle rides and bib shorts are a combination to be avoided.
- Ride with a lock. You won’t be stopping for long, and they weigh a tonne. There will also be secure bike parking at the end of the race so you can have a wander and enjoy the sweet taste of success without lugging your steed around with you.