Before any race or epic ride, it’s a good idea to do a shake down.  The shake down ride is all about the bike… is it working properly?  Today I did a shake down on my MTB in preparation for Chris’ Creek to Peak tomorrow.  Here’s how I do it:

  1.  Inspect the brakes.  Pads okay?
  2.  Inspect the tires.  Treads good, no sidewall nicks?
  3.  Saddle bag installed and complete with everything to fix a flat, lube?  This is 80 miles or so in the dirt, so I’ll need the bag as my pockets are going to be full with food.
  4.  Headset tight?
  5.  Garmin charged, mount solid?
  6.  Saddle perfect?
  7. Shock(s) properly pressurized?

There are probably a few things I’m forgetting on this list.  Once I’ve gone over everything mechanical I head out for a very easy spin.  I’m listening with ears and feeling with my skin for anything that sounds or feels amiss.  It’s just easy spinning, relaxing.

What is the bike telling me?

If this was something big, like Nationals or Leadville… an A race… I’d be doing this 2 weeks out, not the day before.  If something doesn’t check out you want to address and ride it again several times.  In this case everything checked out and if it hadn’t I might have rolled the dice or just gone for a road ride instead.

When I returned, I lubed the chain and left a rag on the saddle to remind me to wipe the chain down before I roll out in the morning.