The 6th and final installment of event prep pertains to travel and logistics. As with most of these, just a few tips if you have to travel to an event that may seem pretty basic to many, but you would be surprised…
If you are driving, as obvious as it may sound, knowing where you are going and how long it’s going to take to get there is a good start. Make sure you are planning enough time in advance to get there given anticipated traffic conditions, amount of time you need to warm up, bathroom breaks along the way etc.
If driving morning of, pack everything the night before in your vehicle so you don’t have to worry in the morning if you got everything in your early morning haze.
If you are flying to an event and have a bike, consider how you are going to get the bike there. Airline bike fees are expensive, upwards of $100 to $150 one way depending on airline. If you plan on taking your bike on the plane, you may want to research luggage fees and factor that into your overall ticket price. As an alternative, you may want to consider shipping your bike to your event. It’s generally less expensive, as of this writing, FedEx ground is usually under $100 each way. Definitely less hassle, but requires some planning ahead and bike you can use on the home front for the days before and after the event. If you are shipping your bike to a race, make sure you allow plenty of time for it to get there! I always pad a few days if not a week onto the estimated delivery time and ride my back up or training bike while it’s in route. Of course I have pre ridden my race bike with all of its race stuff on it to make sure it’s good and done any maintenance before I packed it just like I am sure all of you who have read the entire series have… :-)
When planning your flight times, make sure you allow enough time when you get there to get your bike together and give it a quick spin, check the brakes and shifting, double check the tire pressure. Always best to get there a bit early and have plenty of extra time if you have an issue.
If there is a hotel involved in your travels, be strategic when picking it. Distance from the race start and any activities associated with the race is key, but also consider where you want to eat, what your breakfast options are etc. As an example, I almost always stay at Holiday Inn Express. I am not sponsored by them so not paid to say that (but if anyone from HIE is reading this, always open :-)). The reason why I stay there is the room condition is consistent and it’s a reliable predictable free breakfast that works for me with a minimal of additional fuss before a race. I always know it’s there and that I can race off it. Figure out your own option on this front, but lowest room rate may not be what it’s cracked up to be if you have to get an hour less of sleep to scrounge for breakfast, or the room is loud or uncomfortable etc.
Have any other tips or suggestions? Please feel free to leave them in the comments. Thanks again for reading.