“I like to over-prepare rather than leave things to chance. These steps, for example, can prevent problems before they pop up.
• Bring more calories than you plan on using. You’ll drop some, spill some, eject some on a pothole. Better to have an extra gel or two taped to the bar than to run out of nutrition.
• Electrical tape is your friend; you can never have enough. Just remember the scissors.
• If it might be a long day, tape a small piece of candy to your basebar. If you’re not a candy lover, bring something to make you happy when you start to fade.
• Fill a flask with your favorite gel and dilute it with some water. Strap it on the top tube with a mount that allows you to take it in and out so that you don’t have to worry about opening wrappers and can easily squeeze the gel out.
• Check the bike’s shifting all the way up and down on both derailleurs. Better to have a mechanical emergency before the race than during.
• Put your flat repair supplies in a water bottle, peanut butter jar that fits in your water bottle cage or under the saddle in a standard bag. Some saddle/seat post combinations have ample room between the rails to fit some spare supplies.
• Get extra magnets for your race wheels so you don’t have to swap them on race day … or worse, forget to and ride blind.
• Bring a bike pump. If not for your use, for the hundred others who don’t.”
Mackenzie was third at Ironman Canada in 2010, has a Masters degree in exercise physiology and is a USAT Level I certified coach. Kenzmadison.com