Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. It’s a cliché, but as hackneyed phrases go it’s a pretty useful one to remember as a cyclist. This sport is hard on the best of days, but cold winds and hard rain can make it insufferable. Even a little drizzle can turn a fun spin into a misery march if you leave the house in the wrong kit.
That’s why pros have rain bags. Neat little black receptacles that are labelled for each rider and stacked like bricks in the back of the mechanic’s car. They can carry shoe covers, gloves, arm and leg warmers, hats, different glasses, a gilet, a raincoat – all the precious things you could want when you crest that hill and see dark clouds looming large on the horizon. They also have a space for spare shoes, something that every veteran of the peloton will tell you that you’d rather have and not need than need and not have.
Being properly equipped for anything that the elements can throw at you makes a huge difference. It can be the difference between enjoying your ride and just hanging in until home. Sometimes, it can be the difference between making it to the line and surrendering to a DNF.
Everyone at inGamba likes to think that we do a pretty good job at providing the best possible cycling experience for our guests, but we can’t control the weather (not yet, anyway). What we can control is that our riders are prepared for any forecast. Our partners Scicon provide everyone with their own personalised rainbag, and once it’s in the back of the support car, all you need to do is raise your hand and let the mechanic know what you need. Assuming you’ve packed right, that little black bag will come to be a huge source of confidence. And when you feel those first drops hit, you can just smile and know that you’re ready for anything that the road can throw at you.
“When watching rainy races on television—and before the drops are visible on camera—you’ll see a small cadre of riders quickly slip to the back of the peloton to collect appropriate attire for their teammates. Each rider will radio to their team cars the clothing request—a jacket, arm warmers or cycling cap—and the mechanic will dig through each riders’ bag for the clothing. After the subsequent handoff, the rider will pedal into the cold or wet weather coming from all sides to get back to the peloton.”
Ted King, pro rider for Cannondale-Garmin & friend of inGamba