Besides being ready physically, preparing your bike and supplies for the ride is also very important. Although there will be rest stops along the way with water, bananas, bread and other foodstuffs, it may not be sufficient to keep you going all the way. If you arrive late at the rest points, there may be a shortage of supplies! You must bring some supplies yourself and not be too reliant on the rest points for sustenance.
Before the bike rally, do give your bike a thorough checkup to ensure that it will be working well during the ride. Other than the usual bike maintenance like lubing the chain, tuning the gears and pumping the tires, there are some other aspects which you may want to consider for a long ride.
Non-routine Bike Maintenance Tips:
- Tighten all bolts and screws. You don't want your fenders or rack dropping off if a screw is loose.
- Check your frame latches (handlepost, frame, etc) if you are riding a folding bike.
- Check your cables and change them if they are fraying.
- Charge/Replace your lights' batteries.
- Replace your speedometer batteries. You want to know how far you have cycled, don't you?
- Check your brake pads and make sure there is still plenty of brake pad left
- Ensure that your cranks are tightened (yes we have had cranks drop off before!)
- Inspect the entire chain to make sure there are no loose links
Tools and Spares:
- Spare tubes
- Tire levers
- Chain Tool
- Adjustable wrench
- Spare bolts/screws for water bottle cage/fenders/rack
- SRAM Powerlink/KMC Missing Link for 9/10 speed chains
- Cable ties
Some of the tools and spares that I will be bringing!
- Additional bottle cage on handlepost. Can drink while cycling.
- Colourful rear lights for easy identification by other riders
- Arm sleeves
- Leg sleeves
- Bike Peddler Take-A-Look Mirror
- Deep Heat muscle rub. Very important!
- Sun block to prevent getting BBQ-ed
- Clip-on sunglasses to provide some shade from the sun
- Wet tissues for a refreshing wipe
- Money for lunch or drinks along the way
Additional bottle cage, for drinking while cycling
Some protection from the sun and other neccesities
Food and Drinks (2 person's worth):
- H-Two-O isotonic drinks x 3 bottles
- Pocari Sweat powder satchets
- Berry Bliss gummy sweets
- Raisins for extra energy
- Shotz energy gels x ???
Some of the food and drinks for the bike rally
For food, you can bring anything you like. If you like chocolate, some KitKat will do, although it may melt in the sun. I tried some muesli bar last year, but it wasn't very palatable as it was too dry and this made it hard to eat properly. If you are not in a hurry, you can stop for lunch at suitable places along the way.
The Pocari Sweat powder packets will be very useful as you will not need to carry around bottles of drinks. At the rest points, just get a bottle of mineral water from the drinks station. Pour both the mineral water and the powder into your bottle and you are ready to go! I will not be taking any carbonated drinks this time, after suffering leg cramps as early as 40 km last year, from drinking the 37 Degrees carbonated isotonic drinks.
Remember to carbo load 1 to 2 days before the bike rally, you will need all the energy you can get! For the veteran cyclists, no need to worry. However, for those who are going for the bike rally for the first time, or if you are attempting this distance for the first time, you will need all the support and preparation you can get! Do prepare your supplies early and get lots of rest this coming week.
See you at the NTU Bike Rally 2012!