The 2009 Cycle Tour will be Penny Krohn's 25th race – one which she has won in her age category every time. So with 24 successfully completed races under her belt, Krohn’s advice for novice riders could prove to be invaluable.
The day before
Krohn says that the day before the race one should begin with the following preparations and checks:
- Double-check your bike, pump your tyres, but do not make any major changes.
- Prepare your drinks for the ride and refrigerate.
- Lay out your clothes, pin on your number and do not forget your timing chip.
- Eat normally and well, drink lots of water and have a drink (perhaps two) to relax you.
- Sleep well… it is just a ride, a special one to be sure, but not worth losing sleep over.
On the day
When the day of the race arrives, Krohn says it's important to stay calm and suggests the following tips:
- Have a hot drink and eat what you are comfortable with: toast and honey, a few rusks and/or a banana or two, or whatever suits you.
- Get to your chute timeously and try to relax while doing a few gentle stretches to warm up your muscles. Drink a little water too.
Just before the race
With only minutes to go before the race starts, Krohn says you should focus on keeping calm and doing the following:
- Don’t start too fast, keep it steady and conquer each climb as it comes.
- Ride a straight line at all times. Do not look back – ever - just keep going and hold your line.
- Indicate when you want to move off your line.
- Remember to drink. Eat if you can, but not too much.
- Keep your cool. Don’t get fazed by sharp corners and other hazards. Warn your fellow cyclists of these.
- Don’t push yourself beyond what you are capable of doing – it is not worth it.
- Enjoy yourself and remember to be considerate, courteous and friendly.
With these words of advice from a veteran cyclist, Krohn wishes all her fellow cyclists good luck and a safe ride.
(Amy Henderson, Health24, March 2009)