Class B, CC, & C rides with Paul Rito  
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  • Generally: Don't make any major adjustments or changes to your bike the evening before or the morning of the ride. Work all that out a couple days in advance and save yourself the stress.
  • Lube: Your chain & derailleurs.
  • Tires: Check them. Any fibers visible in the tread or cracks/cuts/bubbles on the sidewalls? Change them before the ride!
  • Tire pressure: High pressure tires decrease your rolling resistance. Most good road bike tires will go up to 120 psi. Check the max inflation pressure on your sidewalls and pump 'em up!
  • Tune up: Everything shifting OK? No, then get it taken care of a day or two before the ride and check it out beforehand.
  • Hydration: Start hydrating the night before the ride. You should have at least a bottle of water per hour on the ride.
  • Food: Avoid bonking: eat well! You'll be burning 4000 calories or more. A hearty breakfast before the ride, and keep eating along the way. Power bars and gels are good, but you still need to eat something substantial. We'll have stops where food is available. Manga! Manga! TNT Riders -- you'll have planned stops along the route.
  • Money: You'll need enough to buy food & water on the way. You probably can carry enough food and water, but every extra pound is more enegy you have to expend. Money is lighter than water. (And put it in a small plastic bag and save clerks everywhere from your sweaty bills.) TNT Riders -- there are always souvenirs to buy!
  • Sunscreen: Apply liberally before you leave, and bring some to refresh during the day. My favorite is Bullfrog Spray -- SPF 36.
  • Comfort: A little vaseline goes a long way. Even with cycling shorts, you can get uncomfortable on a long day of riding. A little lubrication makes for a nicer ride. I prefer Udder Cream -- lanolin based and water soluble. Either way, slather it on your chamois pad and yourself, and bring some along.
  • Mechanical: Unless you have sag support, minimally take along a spare tube, tire irons and a pump (or make sure someone in your group has one). In lieu of a pump, CO2 inflators are small and a fast way to get back on the road -- take two or three extra cartridges along. If you don't know how to change a tire, someone in your local shop will be glad to show you how -- it's an essential skill for long distance rides.
  • Safety: Share the road, stay with the group, and always wave with all five fingers.