Following on from my last post, here are five more things NOT to do. I have learnt all these either by personal experience or by observation. These points may seem obvious, especially while sitting comfortably at home, but some Crank Spinners seem to leave their brains on the start line as soon as the whistle blows! (Been there, done that…)
- Take the first climb too fast. This is an absolutely classic mistake and has a serious effect on your ability to enjoy the rest of the day. It is hard to keep to a deliberately slower pace and watch the leaders pull away, but your ability to finish well depends on it.
- Forget to eat. On a five to six hour cyclosportive you will expend up to 6000 calories, and these must be replaced while you ride. Fail to take the first gel or bar in the first 30 minutes and you can expect to bonk around the ninety minute to two hour mark.
- Ride with a dodgy tyre. It is not because the cuts and splits in your tyre have been there for the past month that you are not going to puncture during the cyclosportive. You’ll regret this at the best of times, let alone if it happens at 70 km/hr on a descent. Even worse: ride with two dodgy tyres and only one spare inner tube.
- Be a wheel-sucker. Everybody takes their turn at the front, period. If you physically can’t do it, do the decent thing, drop out of the peloton and wait for the next one. Unless you are female, in which case all is forgiven.
- Forget to enjoy the view. The Alpine cyclosportives take you through the most magnificent scenery. You might not want to stop and take pictures, but it would be a real pity to focus on nothing but the road the whole way round.
Stay fast, stay safe!