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Last Trans Baviaans Countdown Post! Tips and Tricks

With the Trans Baviaans just around the corner I thought you guys would like some of those last minute tips and tricks.  We all welcome little tit bits of advice every now and again. “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers Trans Baviaans Before
  • Go have a look at what you need to pack if you are not sure what you will need.
  • Prepare ahead – make sure that you are calm and organised on the day of the race, pack everything you need to have ready the day before, but make sure that you have a good night rest.
  • Fill up all your bottles and pack everything in the places that it needs to go.
  • Pre make your breakfast if at all possible – don’t stray from your usual diet, this will only confuse your stomach.
  • Make sure your bike maintenance is complete and that your ‘number board’ and anything else that needs to be attached to the bike is attached.
  • Don't make any mechanical changes to your bike the day before the race. If it ain't broke, don't fix it- at least not at the last minute.  You need to keep everything as is, so that your body knows how to react and perform.
  • Do a race preparation ride the day before the race, don’t take a full rest day, this will only confuse your body
  • Get all the start times, directions and maps for the race printed out, mobile reception could be dodgy.  Know where the start line is and be there 100% ready to race 1/2hr before you need to.
  • Don’t put aero bars on your mountain bike.  Aero bars do not belong off road.
  • Take all your spares.  It might seem unnecessary, but you don't want to be the one who can't finish the race because you don't have the right spares.
  • Check the weather forecast and make sure you are prepared with the proper clothing.
“Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get.” – Ray Kroc Trans Baviaans During
  • Consume 500 calories per hour after the first hour of the race
  • Hydrate
  • Do not make any big or unnecessary changes to your riding position or bike.  Again stick to what your body knows.
  • Use all your gears - Keep your cadence high and as light as possible. You’ll need your legs for the stages ahead.
  • Don’t ride the whole thing locked out. You might feel fast when you’re out of the saddle, but you’re tearing a billion little muscle fibres with the impact – no reason to make it harder for your body to recover!
  • At the gun, go for the whole shot. Most mtb races will start in an open area and give you somewhere around a quarter mile to a couple of miles before singletrack to vie for position. Ending up middle or back of the pack means a lot of clawing your way past slower riders throughout the race which equals lots of lost time. Sprint early and then slowly let off to recover. Don't be the jerk that gets the hole shot then blows up only to be passed by the entire field.
  • Find your pace and settle in. After the sprint start it's important you recover and don't over pace yourself for the rest of the race. Otherwise you'll find yourself blowing up before the race is over.
  • Be polite when passing and being passed. When you need to pass, let the person ahead know your intentions and which side you plan to pass on, and wait for a safe place to pass. If someone is asking to pass you and you're not in podium position, let them by at your earliest convenience. Don't let impatience or pride get in your way in either case.
  • Remember to share with your team mates whatever you have, be it energy bars, a drink of water or your first aid kit.
“Whoever loves much, performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.” – Vincent Van Gogh Trans Baviaans After
  • Always thank the marshals.  Let them know that they were appreciated because you want the volunteers to come back for the next race.
  • Recovery is as important as training.  Scale everything back and spend time thinking about recovery, you always want to be ready for your next ride.
  • Stop whining, because the road will end, the pain in your legs will end, you will meet nice medics or the finish line will come. Whining will not help. Always get back on the saddle.
“Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.” – Winston Churchill Trans Baviaans “If not us, who? If not now, when?” – John F. Kennedy Source: cyclingtips.com.au www.marathonmtb.com bicycles.stackexchange.com www.rsaweb.co.za Photos:  www.transbaviaans.co.za