Racing Solo Unsupported

Racing  Frog Hollow Solo unsupported

Posted on October 21, 2010  by Fixie David Nice

A lot of racers are nervous about attempting a 24 hour race if they don’t have a support crew. I have ridden in numerous races and events unsupported, and would like to share some tips and tricks on how you can do races, with minimal gear, unsupported.

Before the event prep:

The secrete is being organized. I like milk crates or rubber maid bins. They are cheap, durable, and flexible. They can be used as a travel carrier, as a table, as a chair, and a way to help sort the various bottles and food items during a race.  Having the bins different colors can help when your tired and/or its dark.  I use one crate to put as many bottles as I can in, I use one to have an assortment of food and snacks, then one for bike parts and gear.

When it comes to nutrition, I keep things simple. I try to have at least one water bottle per lap which I mix with a food supplement ( take your pick…carbo rocket, perpetuem, etc..) . I like a 1/2 and 1/2 mix ratio of supplement to water. I also keep at least 2 extra gallons of pure water for the hotter times of the day. Often I will use this with electrolyte supplements, such as Elete. I like them in pill form and find they will help to keep from cramping, especially in the desert climate.

When it comes to real food, I keep that simple too. I find that a stash of ready to eat snack does well for me. I will keep a few bars, potato chips, candy, etc on hand as you never know what you will be craving. I save the hot food preparation until the end, however, to have time on course.

Last, make sure you are prepared with all the other details ahead of time.

•Have battery’s charged and ready for your lights

•Check local weather – or local shop

•Have tubes, tires, chains and other common parts ready.. maybe even a spare bike tuned and ready to go

•Clothes depend on the weather, but in general the days are warm and the nights can be very cool, so bringing clothes that can be layered is best

Staging area:

If the weather is dry I find you do not need a shade tent. I’ll just lay down a tarp and sort out gear, food, and bottles out on the tarp. Basically I try to set things up so I can get in and out quick and optimize my time in the pit. ….and not make it more comfy then my bicycle seat =). I set up one chair to sit. I’ll have a pad and sleeping bag ready, however I wont set it up unless I need it at 3:00 am. This keeps the temptation to stop at bay.  I also set up some funky light for at night so I can find my pit easy when I’m not firing on all cylinders.

During the race:

If I don’t have someone helping me in the pit, then I keep it a bit more mellow then if I have support.  I make sure I drink a bottle every lap, and eat just a little. I try not to be afraid to take a short catnap at night if needed, I  just remember to set an alarm and have everything ready for the next lap so as soon as I am up I can get back on course.

So if you don’t have a support crew or a pit person don’t let that keep yah from racing and riding

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