The Bike Shop Asks, “ARE YOU READY?”



Whether it’s your first big race or your hundredth, make sure you and your equipment are prepared (even you runners). Make a checklist based on past experiences and experiences of trusted friends and coaches and stick to it.


During my road bike racing days I once had a teammate that always seemed to arrive at races without something important. One race it would be his left cycling shoe, a couple weeks later he’d show up and realize he’d forgotten his helmet. Once I myself embarrassingly forgot my cycling shorts for a criterium race and was forced to race in my corduroy pants! I still made the podium but I wonder if I could have won had I been properly dressed. We may laugh but we’ve all been there at some point.

When I was bike racing in Belgium our team director required every rider to have their bag of race gear in the garage ready to go two days prior to the race. If your bag wasn’t there before bed time two days before the race then you were removed from the race roster and not permitted to race. Following this rule would allow the day prior to the race to be as stress free as possible. I can tell you that this practice worked and helped reduced already minimal stress to almost zero. Even though we all have work, family and lives to attend to we too can do things to reduce stress to achieve better race day performances. I’ve never in all of my years of racing been capable of pushing my body and mind further in a race than I could during my time with that team in Belgium. The reason being that we did everything possible to ensure that our day to day lives had as little stress as possible in the build up to a race. Without doubt it paid dividends and during all of my races with the team not a single racer showed up unprepared and we achieved some great results. We had similar rules regarding our bikes and we rarely had mechanical issues that often plague bike racers. These same rules apply to those doing run events so think about your equipment and make sure it’s in top notch condition.


BIKE RACE:                                     RUN RACE:

Sunglasses                                       Sunglasses

Polar Insulated Bottle              Polar Insulated Bottle

Hydration Pack                            Hydration Pack

Energy Gels & Bars                    Energy Gels & Bars

Salt Tablets                                    Salt Tablets

Anti-chafe cream                        Anti-chafe cream

Gloves                                               Sweat Band

Multi-Tool                                       Hydration Belts

Spare Tubes                                   Gloves

Pump/CO2 Cartridges

There’s also a lot of equipment to consider that will help improve your performance. For cyclists consider upgrading to clipless pedals and cycling shoes. This can make you 30% more efficient and thus perform better. For runners and cyclists consider getting gear that will make you more comfortable during your event that will also aid in improving performance. Items such as fuel belts or hydration packs help ensure that you always have the calories and electrolytes you need to perform at your best. I think those of both running and cycling disciplines can both remember a time or two they had remembered to add a little anti-chafe cream to the necessary body parts before a long day of competition. We live in a great day and age! Make sure you take advantage of the great products out there that will not only help you perform better but help you enjoy your sport and event better.

For cyclists and runners consider testing out your nutrition strategy during your training sessions. Head into The Bike Shop or wherever you need to for that matter to get the nutrition products you need. Use them during training and make sure it won’t upset your stomach. It’s a miserable day when you’ve trained for months for an event only to end up with an upset stomach or muscle cramps half way through your race because you didn’t know what works for you. The Bike Shop has Salt Tablets, gels, bars and other items available to help you perform; test them out before race day. If they don’t work then find what works for you.

Feel free to contact me or the guys at The Bike Shop with any questions or for tips on any of your bike related needs. As an experienced athlete and former USA Cycling coach I’m happy to share whatever experience possible to help you enjoy your upcoming events and perform at your best.

Bob Lofgran
Vietnam Victory Challenge



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