The Night Before RideLondon: The Perfect Preparation

The key to maximising your performance in Sunday’s RideLondon 100 is to get smashed the evening before.

Not just a little drink to settle the nerves. The whole nine yards (100 miles?).

In this post I’m going to espouse my considerable wisdom on how to make the final finishing touches to your pre-ride preparation.

I’ve thought outside the box. I’ve searched for every incremental gain. I’ve consulted my psychologist. Dave Brailsford would be impressed.

Follow my exclusive guide, and I guarantee you’ll see the effects on your race performance.

(Oh yeah, it’s not a race. Don’t race. Or sue me.)

Alco-load Not Carbo-load

The evidence supporting the ability of the body to hoard more energy within the muscles as a result of gorging on pasta and truffles is not conclusive.

What will have a material impact on your ride performance is alcohol. So spend a significant proportion of ‘RideLondon Eve’ loading up.

Mix it up a bit. The grain. The grape. The ginger.

You don’t have to stop at the night before. Channel the spirit of tour riders past and yell, “Shut up legs!” with alacrity and panache. And a bottle of 1982 Château Lafite. Chapeau!

It’s All About The Bike

Let’s face it, you haven’t stuck to your pre-race diet. Your body fat percentage is not in the single figures. Or the teens. Forget about it. There is no point swapping out your ultra light carbon stem for one made out of woven fairy hair. It’s not going to help you get up Leith Hill any quicker.

What will help you get up Leith and Box in style is a fine set of spokey dokeys and a saddle taken from a 1970s Raleigh Chopper.

Take the opportunity tonight, the night before the ride, to finesse the appearance of your bike. Maybe it’ll get you on TV.

Challenge Outmoded Practices

Professional cycling is full of outdated dogma. Just look at the changes brought in by Team Sky (warming up, warming down, tandems on training rides). Team Sky place their bums on dogma.

Tonight is the night that you too can place your bum on dogma. Specifically this old cyclist’s adage:

“Don’t walk if you can stand. Don’t stand if you can sit. Don’t sit if you can lay down.”

This is baloney. This evening let it all hang out. Dance. Do star jumps. Hover an inch or two above the toilet seat, rather than let it take your weight.

Test your legs. You want to know they’re good and strong. If they are, good. If not, then at least you know that tomorrow is going to be a world of pain.

Ditch The Tools

You’ve thought long and hard about what to take with you on the ride. You’ve considered every realistic mechanical or nutritional challenge and you’ve identified the tool that you’ll use to match it.

No need.

Tomorrow is a day for heroes. Rely on your fellow man, or woman, to provide. Even the fastest racer, grasping for their personal best, will be happy to stop. To lend a hand, to donate their last spare inner tube, their last gram of carbohydrate.

Jettison the baggage. Stock up on spokey dokeys.


Toughen Your Gut

I’ve recently been to see a physiotherapist (true). I have scant control of my hips (again, true). I am a dancer, not a fighter. She has prescribed a series of exercises to strengthen my core, and thus stabilise the muscles around my knee.

My view (and remember that I’m blue-skying brain-sharting in search of each insubstantial gain) is that we should consider strengthening our core, both inside and out. And, like every muscle, the only way to toughen the inside is to place it under stress.

So now is the time to clear out the fridge and the freezer. The anchovies that have been hanging around since the late 90s. The indeterminate frozen gruel that was part of a batch of… whatever… you cooked prior to the birth of your now-teenage son. The kilo of prawns you won for coming first in pedalo race in Faliraki. Eat it all.

Withstand this intestinal assault and overdosing on carb-heavy energy drinks isn’t going to cause you any problems (at least in the ‘downstairs’ department).

Finally, Some Real Advice: Read A Poem

As we’ve discussed, RideLondon Day is a day for heroes and heroines.

What better then than a poem or two to rouse us from our stupor and bestow us with the strength of Spartacus?

“‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves,
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe…”

Hang on. Not that one. This one:

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son.

I wish you all the very best of luck on Sunday!

Monty - Sportive Cyclist
Monty is an enthusiastic road cyclist with only moderate talent. He started Sportive Cyclist in 2013 to record the journey to his first 100 mile ride, the RideLondon 100. Over time the blog has expanded to include training advice, gear reviews and road cycling tales, all from the perspective of a not-very-fit MAMIL. Since you're here, Monty would also like you to check out his YouTube channel. Also, Monty really needs to stop referring to himself in the third person.

15 thoughts on “The Night Before RideLondon: The Perfect Preparation”

  1. I hope that’s laced with sarcasm!

    A lot of people I know are worried about the ride, so don’t tell everyone to get blitzed…

    I’ve a fair few 100’s under my belt, including 1 ironman… You can’t change your fitness now…. But go unprepared!

    Tools, spares, and no drinking.

    Also don’t try going to bed early, it won’t happen, you’ll just spend the night worrying. Go to bed at a normal time.

  2. that’s as good as anything to lift the anxiety. enjoy it at whatever level you want too. don’t over do it.
    Having to leave the house at 4:30 means it would be hard to go to bed at 1am…9pm beckons, dinner at 8 instead of 10….


Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.