Time is ticking down to the off of the inaugural RideLondon 100. Are you getting excited?
The hard work is done (or should have been). Further fitness gains are unlikely; by now you should be well into your taper period (unless you’re one of those machines that sees a 100-mile pootle around south-east England as a ‘rest day’).
So apart from relishing the opportunity to spend extra time on the sofa, what more can you be doing to help prepare for the weekend?
Answer: you could have a think about what you need to take with you.
I Love A Good List
I do. They’re very helpful.
Since I was writing them anyway, I thought it might be helpful to share my ‘RideLondon lists’. Feel free to use / steal / deride as you see fit.
All good things come in threes. Or maybe that’s buses. Or omens.
I have three lists.
Few things in life are simple. Since I am no longer a London resident (whoop), I am unable to use my house as basecamp for my assault on Mount RideLondon (boo).
Instead, all four of us (pro cyclist, team doctor, soigneur, press officer) will be staying with our good family friends in Kingston Upon Thames.
Such accommodation was generously offered up by my friend without a second thought. Until it became clear that someone would need to smuggle (drive) me into the organiser’s carefully-constructed central London exclusion zone. At 5am. And then not be able to drive back (due to the aforementioned demilitarised zone).
I’m sure my mate rues the day he ever heard of RideLondon.
Let’s Focus On Me
Essentially, since I will not be undertaking the event directly from the Team Grimpeur service course (look it up), I’ll have to load certain additional cycling items onto the team bus.
I have three lists:
- the items I need to take to the team hotel for the team mechanics
- the things I can carry in my musette to the start, which will either be disposed of there or transported (in said musette) to the finish
- what I will wear or carry on the bike during the ride itself
Annoyingly (maybe), I’m going to deal with the lists in reverse order
What To Wear And What To Carry On RideLondon
I have to warn you now, for some (misguided) reason, I am following the Velominati edict not to use a saddle bag…
What I’ll be wearing:
1. Bibshorts (my most-padded Specialized Roubaix – they can withstand the Belgian cobbles, but what about the London potholes?)
2. Jersey (either the RideLondon one I got for donating my entry fee when not successful in the ballot, or a Macmillan one if there are any left when I make it registration)
3. Base layer (controversial – if the forecast suggests it will be very warm, I’ll ditch this; otherwise I’ll wear one since I don’t plan to take any sort of rain jacket*)
4. Socks (obviously – mine will be white and non-cycle specific)
5. Shoes (my new Specialized Road Elites (ha ha ha), which I talk about in this post)
6. Heart rate monitor strap (I don’t know why. It’s not like I analyse the information. I guess I just like to capture the data, in case it might turn out to be useful in the future (to Team Sky, or maybe L’Equipe))
7. Helmet (which is crap… and contravenes the rule about not having a visor. I’m a hypocrit)
8. Gloves (I’ve just bought some new Endura Aerogel mitts. They’re Scottish.)
*To ward off the chilling winds on the long Leith Hill descent, I will aim to grab a copy of L’Equipe from a spectator in order to stick it down the front of my jersey.
What I’ll be carrying:
1. Lezyne mini-pump (which, thinking about it, I’ve never had cause to use in anger. I’d like to think I’ve tested it to check that it is capable of pumping air into a tire…)
2. Crank Brothers multi-tool (I think it is the ‘19’, which has a chain tool. If I need to use chain tool, I think we can safely say that my RideLondon journey will be over)
3. Spare inner tube
4. Tyre levers
6. One sachet of energy drink
7. Bag of Jelly Babies
8. Drivers licence photocard
9. Credit card
12. Camera (I’m undecided on this. Not essential (see item 11), but my phone camera is pretty rubbish and the battery is liable to die on me. RideLondon has been a pretty major focus of this blog – it seems daft not to get some photos for future posts).
13. Garmin Edge 510 (the rules allow me to attach this to my bike)
14. Speedplay cafe covers (small rubbery covers that I can fit over my cleats when not on the bike – protecting both the cleats and my dignity (such as it is) from embarrassing comedy pratfalls)
Additional Things For The Start and Finish
According to the ‘Final Instructions’ (which, as I type it now, seems somewhat alarming, in a cultish* kind of way), RideLondon will supply us with a bag which we can carry to the start and then deposit with them for conveyancing to the finish.
I won’t be putting anything valuable dans le sac. It may get mislaid en route. If I’m in a world of pain at the finish, I may elect not to spend time queuing for its retrieval.
That said, if it seems particularly chilly for the cycle from my ‘drop off’ (which just happens to add another few miles to my ride), I might elect to wear an additional jersey, which I then leave in the RideLondon bag. Alternatively I can go all London Marathon on its ass and wear a black bin bag. Which I won’t be keeping.
More importantly, I’ll use the RideLondon musette to carry some food for my time in the pre-start holding pen and then something for the finish (maybe a Snickers and a bag of crisps – get me!).
* I said ‘cultish’
What Else You Might Need If You’re Travelling to RideLondon
I’m not going to entertain you with a list of all the things that my family and I take with us for a weekend away.
Here’s a list of the cycle-related things that I’ll be taking with me (in addition to the event day stuff I’ve already mentioned), bearing in mind that I am not travelling from my
service course house directly to the event start:
1. RideLondon registration form (don’t forget this – you’ll be screwed without it)
2. Identification (whatever they say you need to bring in the ‘Final Instructions’)
3. Track pump
4. My bike tool box (I’m not exactly sure what might happen that I’m capable of fixing. Still, it’s comforting to know that I will have an extensive range of long-handled Allen keys and a pedal spanner, should I need them)
5. Oyster card (to get to the registration at the ExCel centre)
6. Sun cream (on the very small chance that RideLondon takes place in stunning sunshine)
That’s your lot.
I see that I’ve written quite a lot of words, but the number of things that you (or I) will need to take on the ride isn’t too large. It should easily fit into three (mildly bulging) pockets.
We should hopefully benefit from the event taking place in August. Cold weather clothing won’t be required. I’m hoping to get away without taking a rain jacket. This will almost certainly mean there will be rainfall of biblical proportions.
Finally, and I’d like to think this goes without saying, do remember to bring your bike.