Thanks to Steve for this excellent point form on Fondo safety. The more people that have enhanced awareness and know what to expect, the fewer incidents on course.
• Hydrate and fuel. 2 days minimum
• Eat only what you are used to. This is not the time to experiment with new foods.
o Prior evening: Lay out what food you will be packing
• Check your equipment
o Helmet in good condition, straps are set up right
o Shoes: check your cleats
o Clothing appropriate for the weather
o Spare and tools
o Tires, wheels
• Check for wear, cuts and holes, embedded glass, etc
• Proper inflation
• Brake pads and rims
o Chain, gears, pedals, bars
• Remove excess grease; proper lube
• Tightness, visually inspect
• Cables; battery charged (Di2)
• Bottle cages are secure
• Computer is set up and secure; fresh battery
• Spare parts in seat bag (tube, CO2, tire levers, multi-tool, boot, patch)
• Be appropriately prepared for the weather; sunscreen to raingear
• Pack some ID
• Place yourself in a start corral that is within your ability.
• At the start
o The start is paced at this point 25kmh for first # of kms; riders are “twitchy” at this point
o Look/scan ahead a few riders (not just the tire in front of you). Know what’s going on up ahead.
o Scan for obstacles, road furniture; obstacles can cause bunching
o Be prepared for anything, which means be aware what’s going on around you
o Give yourself room
o Never cross wheels/half wheel
o Communicate with others. No sudden moves if you can help it. Be predictable to those around you.
o Be prepared for accelerations and quick decelerations at this point. The group will spread out and bunch up. Roads widen and narrow; hills
• During the ride
o Ride within your ability; Riding above your ability will become a hazard to yourself and others
o Don’t go too hard too soon. This is a sure way to blow-up. If this is your first time try a negative split and finish strong.
o Stay within the course
o Hold your line. Many people are not used to riding in large groups and are sometimes all over the road. Hold your line especially when cornering to avoid bunching in the corner and potentially forcing another off the road.
o If you eat and drink while riding in a bunch:
• Eating: take yourself out of the bunch where you have room to manoeuvre
• Drinking: be able to remove the bottle and replace it without taking your eyes off the riders in front of you
o Narrow trails can create visibility issues (Highlands; Lochside paved section)
o Scan the road ahead. Many riders do not point out obstacles and hazards
o Stay to the right except to pass
o Shoulder check before you pass. People do not always let you know they are half a bike on you.
o Tell someone you are upon them “on you right; on your left”
o Use your hand signals to indicate where you are going.
o If you flat or have a mechanical: Raise your hand and call “mechanical” move to the side of the road. No sudden moves; be predictable.
• Ride for road conditions
o Rain means slippery roads, manhole covers, crosswalk paint, railroad tracks
o Rain also means decreased braking power
• Clear your rims once in a while by lightly braking
o Heavy rain can mean gravel and loose dirt can be washed onto the road.
o Eyewear to keep the road grit out of your eyes
• End of the ride fatigue
o This is when riders start to get sloppy. Blood sugar gets low and cognitive function decreases.
o This is the time to be extra-vigilant
o Be aware of riders around you. Communication usually decreases.