Discover the Key to Endurance Cycle Racing
Cotswold Outdoor MTB Race Team does Wiggle Mountain Mayhem
On a sunny morning in Gatcombe Park, a mere stone’s throw from Cotswold Outdoor’s head office, five members of the Cotswold Outdoor race team met up for a very special weekend of mountain biking.
Like all cycling events, from a casual ride with the family to a cross continental tour, preparation is important and as our team edged towards the start line of the Wiggle Mountain Mayhem 24 hour endurance event, months of planning came together.
So if you are planning an event in the saddle or just want to refine your peddle power, we have picked out a few key lessons from the day to help.
Hydration and Energy:
Before you set out you should have a good understanding of how your own body reacts to exercise, your fluctuating levels of hydration and the ability to manage this accordingly. A backpack with a hydration bladder keeps water close to hand. – We steadily made our way through a mixture of gels from High 5, Torq, and SIS, as well as more solid sustenance like Clif Bar and PowerBar products. However, be sure to try these out way before riding a lap at top pace to avoid discovering that a particular product is prone to repeating on you. Click here for more information on Hydration and Energy.
Maintenance and Upkeep:
Don’t set out suspecting you have a bent rear hanger and a rear worn cassette. (Yes, one of us did this) Luckily there were mechanics and spares on standby. Your bike needs to be in tip top condition for your sake and the sake of your team! – At the event, we were lucky enough to be spoilt by bike wash facilities provided by Duck Smart. Ideal! (Plus all our bikes came home smelling of Bike Ezee banana.)
Lean toward little and often vs one massive ride every other weekend. – Mix it up and don’t go out for that ‘grey ride’ that you do *every* week – you’ll only be bored and plateau in fitness. – Our team favoured getting out for team rides as much as possible to tighten dynamics and gently push each other’s comfort zones. – Contrary to popular belief, rest days are part of training.
Kit and Clothing:
The team were sporting Osprey Raptor hydration packs. This streamlined pack with included bladder also doubles up nicely as a place to stash your pump, tools, and tubes. We were lucky enough to have a support team, who helped manage our kit, but as the temperature changes and you stop between laps, it is vital to retain core temperature and keep dry. Lightweight is key, but do prepare for all kinds of nice and nasty weather.
Get an ace support team to join you for the event. – Persuade them to do this by talking up ideas of relaxing in a field with BBQ’s and G&T’s. (Just don’t mention that when darkness falls the team will be waking each other, and occasionally everyone else, throughout the whole night… every 45 minutes).
P.S. we came 12th in the ‘Sport Mixed’ team category (out of 70!)
Checkout our Cycling page for more clothing, equipment and advice from the experts.