I am a list maker. I love to make a list for any approaching large task, so the upcoming century ride is NO different. The challenge of this ride is there is ONLY so much you can carry in your jersey or under your saddle. On Tuesday, I sent a bag on with a change of clothes, Advil, a change of socks, fresh shorts, and facewash to our final destination, BUT I still have to figure out WHAT I need to cram into my jersey or under my saddle and WHAT, if anything, will I forget…
Things Not to Forget…(my list as it sits on my desk now)
Extra Tubes: I have 2 extra tubes and while you would think you do not have to worry about a flat with hundreds of other cyclists out there…the truth is, you need tubes and surely someone will stop to help a girl who has only fixed her tire ONCE this season.
CO2 Cartridges: These things ARE wonderful. I love my tiny hand pump but if I really had to inflate a tire with that contraption, I would build the biceps of a grizzly bear in the hour or so it would take to get the tire up to 120psi.
Food: Sure, there are SAG stops all over the place but I need my electrolyte stuffed foods and snacks that I love and that I am used to. I am thinking black cherry blocks….apple pie hammer gels….and maybe some jelly belly’s for a treat. I am assuming like a marathon near the end of the ride, I will be so disgusted with gelatinous masses; I will have to physically wrestle with myself to consume one last vanilla bean Gu.
Advil: My knee has been feeling “okay” on most rides….it is when I try to do too much, too soon, that the familiar burning pain creeps in. I HAVE TO PACK MY ADVIL and take it as directed to ward off inflammation and tenderness.
Multi-tool: These things are not just for the bike but they are also for digging dirt out of your shoes or sometimes opening a beer bottle. I doubt I will be doing EITHER of these things on the bike on Saturday but just in case, that tool will be packed.
Camera: You can tell people you did a century ride….OR….you can SHOW them. With so many friends riding, I want pictures and while I have NOT perfected the “take-a-picture-while-riding” technique, I am certain I will be taking a lot of pictures at the SAG stops.
I.D.: Once again….if I should end up unconscious and unable to give my insurance providers name, I hope that someone will have the sense to look in my jersey for my insurance card, picture I.D. and the pittance of cash I carry on a ride. I hope that I will NOT NEED these items for ANY reason….ANY reason….but just in case….
Cell Phone: I need my cell phone, if anything, so I can call in updates on the course. My mother and father demanded I call regularly so they do not have to worry about me in the country side. I have not mastered the “talk-while-riding” technique and I will assume that it directly correlates to the “take-a-picture-while-riding” technique of which I will make a note to learn for next year. I will be chatting at some SAG stops…I am sure.
Hand Sanitizer: Let’s face it…the further along you get on a ride, the fewer faculties you possess and if I have to pee on the side of the road (and I know I will) I could probably end up pee-ing on my shoes or my hand (ewww). Bath and Body works makes a wonderful white citrus hand sanitizer that is tiny and can go anywhere. It smells good while destroying millions of polluting microbes. Who wants swine flu on a century ride?
Sunscreen: This is a sneaky time of the year. It is cooler out but the sun is STILL out all day and I could add about 15,000 freckles to my face by the end of the day…but instead, I am carrying some sunscreen with me because not only do I not want swine flu, I do not want the early stages of skin cancer either.
Band Aids: These great adhesive inventions are great for blisters, bee stings, or light abrasions that occur here and there. A few of them can really go a LONG way.
Positive Attitude: Am I nervous? Sure but that does not mean that I not going to carry a positive attitude. For over 3-months, I have worked to do this ride and through the pain, the exhaustion, and the steep hills from hell, I have been positive and assured myself many times over that this will be fun. My training partners have been supportive and made even the slowest rides memorable.
Today and tomorrow are rest days from the bike. I have scheduled laundry and leg rest in the evenings. I will lay everything out Friday night JUST to make sure I do not forget anything. It is likely I will forget something…