Ideas for the really serious folks from legend Steve Gurney:
1. Label your stuff – The transitions can be bedlam for your support crew, especially off the snow. I recommend labeling your gear with your name with marker pen.
2. Prevent punctures – Punctures are very common on the mountain bike leg of the Peak to Pub. As you’d expect and hope for in the mountains, the road is rough and challenging. Snake bite punctures are common. That’s where a rock squashes the tube onto the rim and makes 2 “bite” punctures. The advent of tubeless tyres has solved this, but for those with tubes, you can reduce the likelihood by increasing the tyre pressure to something like 50 or 60 PSI. However, beware that this makes for less grip on corners and a bumpier ride. So you can counter this grip reduction by using tyres with an aggressive tread pattern.
3. Prevent breakages – Time and time again in the race I see frantic figures bent over their bike trying to fix a broken chain, a jammed derailleur, brakes that have worn out the pads, a pedal that has come off, or a seat that has broken. This stuff is all preventable by thoroughly checking your bike before the race or sending it to Big Al’s (or your local bike shop) for a service before the race.
4. Nutrition – Peak to Pub is a short race, 1 hour for the winners, double for some folks. Even at that shortness, fluid intake is useful and I use Leppin Squeezies too.
So here’s what I do. I make sure Friday I’m drinking enough that my pee is clear. I have a good breakfast of porridge and fruit on race morning. 2 hours before race start I have a bit of a nosh-up with easy to digest food, soup, sandwiches etc, and a good drink of water or juice up to 750 mls.
From then on I wear a camel back before the race so I can sip a bit of water every 15 minutes. Drinking a total of 500 to 750 mls before the race starts.
In the race I don’t bother with a camel back. I just have a drink bottle on the bike with water. You’ll need a firm fitting drink-cage to stop the bottle from jumping out on the rough road (I like the Cateye plastic cage) I shove a Leppin Squeezies in my race shirt pocket, and eat one every 30 minutes. One just before the start followed by a gulp of water, and then one half way down the mountain bike where it has that little uphill (it’s slow enough to drink/eat), followed by several mouthfuls of water, and then another just before the end of the mountain bike on the tarseal followed by a big drink of water, so I’m set up for the run. If you anticipate being on the run for a while (longer than 1 hour) , you might consider taking your drink bottle with you off the bike or get a second one at the transition and one more Squeezie to take with you on the run and have it 30 minutes into it.
6. My best bit of advice – Have heaps of fun. You’ll race faster and have better yarns to tell, after all it’s the stories at the Blue Pub that really matter!