On the evening before a sportive there is no time left for training but there is much still to be done to ensure the following day is a success.
The hours before your event are all about the final preparations and making sure you arrive at the start line on time, with everything you need for the day ahead and in good spirits.
Below is a checklist of what to do the evening before a sportive to make sure you are completely prepared.
Make sure you check out the entire route the evening before a sportive.
Checking the total distance and metres climbed will make sure you’re not in for any nasty surprises. It’s surprising how an extra 10km of riding or 500m of climbing can make a big difference when you are not expecting it.
In addition, knowing where the hills and feed zones are will allow you to pace your ride. Pacing is critical to a good day in the saddle and so checking out the route beforehand is really important.
Check the weather
Do check the weather for the day you are riding. It is important you know what sort of day you are going to have so you can prepare specific clothing or equipment for changing weather conditions.
Lay out the kit
Knowing the weather forecast informs the kit the you take with you. We suggest laying out all your kit out the night before in front of you so that you don’t forget anything the following morning.
This does not only include clothing but can also include things like sunglasses, a pump, bike tools and even a mudguard.
Prepare the bike
Make sure that your bike is in perfect working order by making any mechanical adjustments that need making. You may want to lube the chain or some of the other parts of the drivetrain as well. Also ensure you have spares such as spare inner tube to take with you on the ride. We suggest attaching a small bike bag to your steed to carry spares and bike tools such as a multi tool.
By the time you get to your sportive you will know what on-bike nutrition suits you. You’ve probably got your favourite snacks and fluids that keep you pedalling.
The evening before your event is the time to get all the food and drink you require for the following day ready. We suggest putting all the food you will take in an old mussette and fill three water bottles with water or a energy drink. Two for the ride and one for before and after the event.
The final thing I do on the evening before an event is go to the event website and confirm the exact location of the event HQ and my starting time.
Work out what time you need to arrive at the event (giving youself plenty of time) and then work out how long it will take to get there. Always leave yourself plenty of time, because you don’t want to be in a rush or panic before an event. Arriving 30 to 45 minutes before the event, will allow you to do bits of administration connected with the ride such as completing registration, eat, any last min bike maintenance and any form of warm up before the cycle ride.