Cycling Competition Checklist: 24 Hours Before Your First Race

Finally, it’s the day before your first cycling race; all those weeks (or even months) of preparation is about to come to fruition. However, you should know that the day before your race can be crucial to tomorrow’s performance, and even the slightest lapse in preparation could be detrimental to the race’s outcome. That said, we’ll be taking a look at tips and things you should remember the day before your race.

Primary Equipment List

Preparing your gear for tomorrow’s race should be one of your priorities the day before the race. Have an actual checklist of all your gear, from your bike, apparel, water bottles, food, essential tools, change of clothes, and so on. This checklist should also come in handy right after you wake up on race day, so you can double-check everything before you finally travel to your race’s venue.

Anti-Chafing Cream/Ointment

One of the things you’d want to avoid during the race is chafing. So apply chamois cream to prevent getting saddle sores and also make it more comfortable for you during the race.


Eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet should apply for the entire week, and not just for the day prior. However, the day before your race, you should eat your meal 2-4 hours before the event, and no later than that to avoid any digestive issues.


During your training, you probably know how important sleep is in regenerating, healing, and developing your mind and body. But sleeping the night before your race can be a bit of a challenge — all that excitement and/or anxiety can make falling asleep difficult; in fact, it’s a pretty common issue for not only cyclers but also marathon runners and other athletes. For others, the problem with sleep is due to time zone differences. But whichever the case, try to start winding down for sleep early by reading a book, taking a hot bath, or anything that can help you relax.

Bike Maintenance


Your bike is one of your biggest (if not the biggest) tools that is vital for the race. Make sure that you check that everything is in working order, no loose parts or screws, and everything’s adjusted properly. On the day of the race, don’t forget to do the same, as well — the last thing you’d want to happen is having mechanical issues during the race.


Next thing you should worry about is logistics. This heavily depends on where and when your race is. You’ve probably already covered all logistical concerns a week prior, but it won’t hurt to double-check. Re-confirm the start time of the race, have a plan as to when you’ll be leaving. That said, you should be leaving early to avoid parking issues, and also allow you enough time to fix any problems that may arise once you get to the racing proper). If you have to transport your gear to the location, make sure that your truck (or the one that’ll be transporting you to the race) has one of those racks or an alternative tailgate bike pad to keep your bike safe and secure during transport.

The Takeaway

We can’t stress out how crucial the day before the race is. Practically, it all boils down to preparation; you’d want your gear, your mind, and your body ready for the race that’s ahead of you the day before so that when race day arrives, all you’ll have to think about is the race itself. So, keep these tips in mind, and good luck!

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