Pre-Ride Rituals

I am a creature of habit, especially when it come to pre-ride and pre-run rituals. One thing I have learned over the last couple years is that cycling requires A LOT of gear. When I trained for my first century, I developed a routine for the night before a long ride. Having a routine made it so I almost never forgot anything. Almost two years after my first century, I find myself remembering and replicating the same routine. It’s like riding a bike. 😉

The night before a long ride my routine includes:
– Filling water bottles and CamelBak: 1 bottle with two scoops GU2O, 1 bottle with plain water, CamelBak with plain water.
– Pack up snacks: Clif Shot, Shot Blocks, Goldfish crackers, PB pretzels, Dired fruit, Clif Bars
– Refill “drugs”: Ibuprofen and Electrolyte replacement pill
– Layout clothes: Cycling even requires more clothing! Depending on the weather I need to layout bike shorts, jersey, socks, cleats, arm warmers, leg warmers, gloves, sunglasses.
– Water water water. I drink as much water the day/night before a long ride
– Pasta dinner. Whole wheat pasta is my pre-ride ritual dinner. I am not particular about the toppings or sauce – just something simple and not spicy. Also, I go light on the meat and cheese – both of which can affect my stomach the next day which can be ugly on the road.

In the morning, my rituals include:
– Peanut Butter and Banana toast
– 1 cup of coffee with milk
Sunscreen and Bodyglide (before getting dressed – this is the key to not having really weird sunburns from clothes shifting)
– Water water water
Inflate tires, lube chain
Roll out!

That’s a lot, huh? That is why I like having a routine. When I started riding, this all felt very overwhelming. Every morning that I left to meet my team for a ride, I was nervous that I forgot something. Having a routine really helped me be more confident.

Do you have any exercise rituals or routines? We are off to ride 40+ miles in Napa along part of the course for the century ride. Wish us luck. Here is the elevation map for our ride. Eeekk!

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