Planning within the wider context
Having identified where you’ll make your season debut is one thing but being prepared and ready for the ride is whole other kettle of fish altogether. While it’s easy to just rock up on the day and take it as it comes sometimes this can lead to unexpected consequences that with a bit of planning can make all the difference.
Make a check list and work through each point to ensure you have everything covered, paying particular attention to entry closing dates, your bike and kit, nutrition, travel plans and accommodation if needed. If you’ve been riding the bike that you’ll use in the event all winter then give it a good spring service, checking the drive-train, brake pads, cables, tyres and bearings in the headset, bottom-bracket and hubs.
Avoid using a brand new pair of shorts on the day – make sure you’ve tested everything in advance and are comfortable with your kit. Inspect your water bottles for winter mould and prepare all of your nutrition and spares a couple of weeks in advance so that if anything does slip your mind then there’s still time to get it. If you do have to stay in a hotel then find out what time they start serving breakfast from – there’s nothing worse than waking up on the day with a rumbling stomach only to find the restaurant is locked.