(2 November, Cape Town) A long, one-day stage race, such as the Coronation Double Century, has a slightly different packing list than for your regular road event. Along with plenty of tubes, chain links and even derailleur hangers, your team will want to have the following:
- Duct tape
If there is an item more useful than this, we’re yet to find it! A standard in any mountain biker’s kit, duct tape has solved many a disaster – from wounds to broken shoes and slashed tyres. Rest easy, it adds no weight. The best way to take it with you is to wrap your CO2 canisters in it (bonus: you won’t freeze your hands if you need to inflate a tyre).
- Cable ties
Everything duct tape can’t sort out, you’ll most probably be able to fix with cable ties. The medium-sized ones are the most useful. Pack two or three in your saddle bag, taped (yes, with duct tape) to the bottom of your saddling, or even inside your seat tube.
- Baby formula dispensers
These plastic containers have separate sections allowing mums on the move to take along pre-measured single servings of baby formula. You guessed it: these are ideal for nutrition mixes (and a step up from zip-lock bags. Measure out the individual servings, label with a permanent marker and keep with your Support Vehicle Driver at the Team Support Zone.
- Menthol sweets or peppermints
Keep one in your jersey pocket. As the day wears on and your bottles have warmed, suck on the peppermint and then drink. Weirdly, it tastes colder. Peppermint is also a proven mood stimulator.
- A small, thin rag
Need to fix your chain or a tube? You’ll be pleased you packed a piece of old cycling sock or the like to wipe your hands with.
Perhaps the most important thing to take along is your sense of humour.