As I approach the day where no amount of training will help with this Cape Epic, I have to say, I'm feeling.....
I'm on the cusp of an off week. It'll be my last off week before I taper, and I'm in a pretty good place physically and mentally. Off weeks usually destroy my mind-speak, but I've prepared for this one, and should come out of it in a good place.
As I sit here, we are 36 days until go time and I'm now tidying up the last bit of odds and ends.
My first go at the '15 Epic, found me packing an enormous amount of things, that would get dragged across South Africa and never to be unpacked. With all that I brought, I was left needing some basic items that couldn't be purchased in the race villages - this required a heavy edit of my checklist when I went back in '17.
Evan and I will spend more and more time in the coming weeks hashing out a "who-brings-what" list to be sure we remember everything we need, and also it'll help keep redundancies to a minimum. We're heavily invested in the idea that we already know what we need.... or do we?
Pack it up
We will again be racing a Cannondale Scalpel: 2019 Cannondale Scalpel-SI 3 to be exact. It's a simple choice for us, considering there seems to be a Cannondale under every third racer you see at the Epic, not to mention a Cannondale service tent onsite that offers mechanical services for racers. We don't have to ride the same bike, it's just that we both love the bike, and the part spec of the 3 is perfect.
The race organizers DO require us to wear at least the same jerseys. We'll bring 2 full kits for racing, and likely a back up kit in case of catastrophe.
The following is a no-exhaustive list of key items I will for sure pack:
Sugoi arm/leg/knee coolers. I love them and wouldn't race without them. Slathering on sunscreen sucks, and it's worse when you wear contacts, so covering my arms and legs in "magic" coolers, that also are UPF50+, is worth the extra expense.
Sugoi Sun hat. Also from Sugoi, the Cooler Cap, UPF 50+, keeps my massive cranium from melting, and like the arm and legs coolers, when they get wet, they really cool you off.
Skratch Lab fuel. Skratch Labs hydration and energy chews will AGAIN, be onboard. Some of you may recall it was 47c last time, and hydration was my race saver. This year we've been receiving updates from some South African friends, and they are boasting some more oppressive heat.
Muc-Off Chamois cream. How isn't chamois cream a PED?! 14+ hour weeks riding indoors would be almost impossible w/o it, and I've been more than happy with Muc-Off Luxury Chamois Cream. I've spent loads on the "fancy", and I'd put this up against those any day. Pictures of my butt as proof to come...
Maxxis Tires. Maxxis Ikon. XC fast and super durable for the African landscape; not to mention they set-up great tubeless.
Smith helmet/glasses. Smith Optics have been my choice for several seasons. I'm sporting the Attack Max glasses. They are a larger lens glasses that protects my face really well. I'll also be wearing the Smith Overtake helmet; it fits great with or w/o a cap, and that says a lot considering most helmets don't do so well on my dome.
Giro shoe. At home I ride in the Giro Empire VR90 but with the amount of abuse my shoes take at the Epic, I opt for the Giro Privateer. I find both shoes very well fitting, it's really just about my lack in wanting to waste an expensive pair of shoes for a weeks worth of racing.
Fabric Scoop Elite Flat saddle! It's on every one of bicycles. To date, I've raced 1,315km's, and climbed 32,050m at the Cape Epic on a Fabric Scoop saddle, with no trip to the "Bum Dr." required!
A part from Dr. Cornholio, everything I pack comes from Pedalhead Bicycle Works in Edmonton.
Here's to some better weather in Edmonton to allow me some more outdoor rides, but once I'm a couple weeks out, I'll be donning a toque and jacket, and turning off the fan for some heat acclimatizing indoor rides.
As always, thanks for the read - chat soon