Bob Elsworth – Bobbo regular – shares his wisdom for those who haven’t been in the saddle as much as they would have liked recently!
A Month or more before the Ride
- Choose a suitable ride on the Bobbo website and don’t go too hard first time! If this is your first community ride, go for the 27km unless you are willing to train. Ideally, find a mate or group who will ride with you.
- This is a community cycling event, which aims to raise funds for Lifeline and other charities – so now’s a great time to start fundraising!
- Ensure you have a good quality bike, ideally with road or commuter tyres. Off-road tyres are OK – but the Bobbo is all on paved roads, so you’ll have less grip with them.
- Grab a good quality pair of padded cycling underwear and a comfy bike seat – these can be all the difference between an enjoyable or miserable day!
- You’ll need a comfortable helmet that hasn’t been dropped and meets the required Australian safety standard.
- Have a suitable bike pump mounted on your bike, or carry pressurized gas cylinders with a suitable applicator for your particular valve type;
- Finally, you’ll need a working bell and a seat bag with a spare tube, three tyre levers, a small kit of Allen keys, screwdrivers and spanners for punctures, plus a spare rag.
There’s lots to think about but you won’t regret being too prepared!
1 Week before the Ride
One week beforehand, you’ll need to check that all your gear is in order (and that you know how to use it!) Here’s what you should do:
- Have your bike serviced at a bike shop
- Check – and test – your brakes and brake pads.
- Remove any dust and grime, degrease the chain and drive train and lube the chain and moving parts with a good quality dry lube.
- If you’re doing the 80 or 104km ride, you’ll need working front and back lights.
- Review how to fix a puncture and re-mount a dropped chain.
- Check that all screws and Allen bolts are tightened, especially the handlebar and the bike seat.
The Day before the Ride
All you’ll need to do the day before is figure out how you’re getting to the start line – which isn’t necessarily easy, so double check – and read the Bobbo Riding in Groups tips (coming soon) .
f you’re driving, check the available parking – there are details on the Bobbo FAQ .
You can also read the NSW Bike Riders Handbook here.
The Day of the Ride
The last think you’ll want to do is turn up and realise you’ve forgotten something significant. Make sure you have your:
- Helmet (plus gloves and sunglasses if you use them)
- Front and rear lights;
- Rider’s bib;
- Toolkit and spare tyre for punctures.
Besides your gear, you should check over your bike once more, especially the tyre pressures.
Recommended Tyre Pressure
Finally, have a hearty breakfast with a tall glass of water, put on a brightly coloured top, and apply chamois cream (or a good skin cream) to any parts in contact with the saddle. Of course, you’ll need sunscreen (and a wind jacket if it’s cold) – and then you’re good to go!
We’re here for you!
The Bobbo is a fully supportive community ride. There are ample water stops and over 400 volunteers to guide you (and cheer you on), including mobile support riders and a repairs van! Even though there are so many there to help, it’s really important to be prepared because they’ll be spread out across over 100km of track.
Good preparation is the key – so please make sure to check over everything, and of course – have a great day!
About the Author
Bob Elsworth is Team Leader of the Mobile Support Riders for the Bobbo.
He is a regular group cyclist and cycles 3 to 4 days a week. He rides for pleasure and fitness.