With just days before the inaugural Clare Classic, the Clare Valley’s own Gran Fondo cycling event this coming Sunday April 8, we spoke with Classics events ambassador Dan Bonello on final checks and last-minute items to pack for the big day.
First up we asked Dan what he does in the days leading up to travelling interstate to a Gran Fondo cycling event.
In the week leading up to an event like the Clare Classic I will not change too much, but the intensity of my rides will be dialled back a little. If anything I keep my finger on the weather app a lot. I am horrible in cold weather so if the weather is looking bad I’ll ensure absolutely all my appropriate cool weather gear is packed and ready to go.
Dan, when riding a new location such as the Clare Valley what do you pack weather wise?
The weather is looking fantastic for the 2018 Clare Classic on Sunday April 8 – if you have the time head to the Clare Valley a few days earlier to lap up the sunshine.
It is pretty crucial to just pack for good and bad weather scenarios. Obviously we want the sun – and the forecast is looking great for Clare! That said I will always pack things like a rain jacket, leg and arm warmers, gloves and a thicker undershirt for any trip, just to be sure.
Your advice for those who haven’t yet had their bike professionally checked for Sunday’s ride?
My bike gets ridden pretty much every day so I will leave any part replacements till pretty late. You should not really do this. Communicates with your local bike shop. If they advise you on replacing parts, you should take that advice as it comes from a good place that is working to help ensure you have a good day and complete the event. If there was one thing that I always try and replace before an event like the Clare, it would be tyres.
Clare Classic ambassador Dan Bonello offers his advice on how to best prepare in the days leading up to a challenging and exciting Gran Fondo cycling event.
Should riders be tapering their training this week, or riding up until the event?
I will always ride the day before an event for a coupe of reasons. The first being that it just feels better for me on the day of the event to have ridden prior to it. I find this especially important if you have had a long drive or transit to the event. Sitting in a car is pretty unnatural from an evolutionary standpoint so expertise is a good combat for those heavy sensations that a long trip causes.
‘Making The Most Of The Clare Valley Region’
The second reason is the location. You have travelled to a place that the organisers have selected based on what it offers to us as cyclists. I will always take advantage of that, maybe even extend my trip for a day or two after.
And how about eating on the day – obviously a suitable breakfast is recommended before hand, but how about during the ride?
Follow Dan’s helpful tips and ensure your Clare Classic is the best possible experience.
I have a bad habit of not eating enough on the bike. I don’t really know why either, except on cold days as reaching food can be tough in full winter kit with gloved hands. Anyhow this year I have mad a very conscious effort to eat more during races and long events. One technique I used was to place a PB+J sandwich inside my jersey – on my chest – not a great place to carry food around for a long day of riding so I was forced to eat it quite soon.
Beyond that I just try and eat foods that have a slightly higher fat content to them. Foods containing nuts and coconut oil work well for me. Too many carbs can lead to cramping for some. And don’t forget your gels, they are just too useful to say no to, but do not base your nutrition off of them entirely. Your stomach will not thank you.