If you’re preparing for your first rally race, we trust you’ve already read the Hellas Rally survival guide, the rally bike tips, and the advice on your mental skills. But there are some other, smaller, yet equally important things to think of – they may sound insignificant, but trust us, it’ll make a difference. Here’s a list of things to keep in mind:
This may seem like an obvious one, but so many rally first-timers simply forget to bring a hydrapak or sip water throughout the rally. Don’t make this rookie mistake! Dehydration can seriously impact your endurance and even health, so always carry at least two liters of water with you. If you’re racing in extremely hot conditions, it’s a good idea to add electrolytes to your water to avoid getting dehydrated.
It’s so easy to get carried away and forget to eat when you’re racing: it feels like every minute counts, and rally newbies often forget to stop and eat something. If you do this, it’ll cost you later: you need plenty of calories to keep you going, and if you don’t eat, your energy will drain much faster resulting in fatigue and exhaustion. Before the race, eat a big, hearty breakfast and don’t forget to pack some snacks – energy bars and gels, small sandwiches, and bananas all work well. Stuff them in your backpack or pockets and don’t forget to eat them, otherwise you’re risking getting tired quickly – and when you’re tired, you begin to make mistakes.
If you’re racing a multi-day rally, your gear has to be clean and fit you perfectly. It sounds trivial, but the thing is, if something is chafing by Day One, you will have open wounds by Day Four. This is because you will be spending 8+ hours on the bike daily in dusty, grimy, hot, filthy conditions, and anything that is not fitting well will begin to rub and chafe. Make sure your gear fits you just right to avoid this!
Wait, what? Surely it’s nice to have a cold one once you get back to the bivouac? It is – but make sure it’s just one or two beers, and then you’re off to the briefing – and bed. While partying with fellow riders sounds like fun, you will pay for it very dearly the next day. Focus on the riding, and start partying only once you cross that finish line.
Have you got small but life-saving tips for a rally race? Share them in the comments below!