Race Day Checklist
Below are suggestions and advice for Race Day, particularly for younger kids and their parents.
(Sure, some of it is obvious, but you'd be surprised)
The night before:
Pack everything up, preferably in one place. Here's what you need:
Bike, tires properly inflated, any accessories such as a seat bag or pump removed
Helmet (you cannot race without it, nor can you even get on the bike at a race venue without it)
License (if you wish, you may bring a copy so you don't lose the original. Pack it in a ziplock bag with a few dollars)
Water bottles with water or 'Ade. On very hot days freeze the bottle the night before. Bring two bottles even if you will race with only one.
Contents of the seat bag if you wish. A multi-tool is handy to have for last minute adjustments.
A treat for after the race, like a Builder's Bar.
Don't forget to eat dinner. Be well-hydrated the night before. The night before a race is probably
not the time to get takeout from the new Thai place with authentic fiery Kapow Chicken.
Concentrate on getting some good rest the entire week. It's going to be hard to sleep the night
before, but one night's deficit will not hurt much. One week of less-than-ideal sleep will. It is
likely you'll be getting up early, so get to bed early, too. You may need to try different
techniques to get to sleep the night before a race.
If the weather is above 60 and sunny, racing in shorts and jersey is probably ok. Wear RCV if at
At least a long sleeve undershirt or arm warmers or a long sleeve jersey.
Leg warmers if you have them (hard to find a pair that fits for younger kids).
Jacket (if it stays cold, you can put the jersey over it or just pin it)
Long sleeve undershirt, jersey or long sleeve jersey with t-shirt (preferably not cotton)
Long bike tights (Garneau carries them for juniors)
All the above applies except you will be colder, so move everything up about 10 degrees or so.
Rain jacket if you wish. Races go off in the rain, but it is ALWAYS your choice to race.
Eat a good breakfast, but nothing too fatty (bacon tastes good, but it tastes even better after a
race), hydrate, juice or water
All the stuff you laid out carefully by the door the night before. Don't forget water bottles, with
water or 'Ade. Use the bathroom one more time.
When to leave:
Ahh, the most important question. Get to the race an hour before. (Explanation below)
What to do at the venue:
First thing to do is register. Registration requires the racer and a parent as both need to sign.
Bring your license, show it to the nice people at the desk, sign, put in your RACING age, not
necessarily your real age. Get your number and 8 pins.
Pin: There will be a tutorial on this at some point, but for now, ask for help. Make sure you pin
the correct side. Ask for help. Do this before warming up so you aren't scrambling at the start to
do it. Ask for help.
Warm up: One of the coaches will direct warm ups, but in general, at least 15 minutes of
pedaling. Some cyclists bring a trainer. You can if you wish, but it is a good idea to ride the
course if you can to see what it is like and where you can plan you blistering attack for the
Hydrate: Stay hydrated. This is especially important as the summer arrives.
Porta-Johns: Use them if you need. Especially with all that hydration.
Intimidation: Look casual and relaxed, so the competition will get all over-confident. Even
better, BE all casual and relaxed, since it is really all about having fun.
At the call to the start, take off extra clothing, make sure you have a water bottle with water or
'Ade in it, line up, and have fun.
(So, why get there an hour early? Registration and pinning can take 15-20 minutes, warm up is
minimum 15, parking a walking can be 15, and that give you 15 minutes to get lost. Race day is
a lot more fun if you don't worry about making the starting gun and are warmed up properly.
Remember, there are only two times you can arrive: On time or late.