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What not to wear...

There’s an old adage that, as regards clothes, you should take EVERYTHING to a 24hr race in Canberra.

You could. But you don’t need to.

You CAN do a whole 24hr race with one jersey and one pair of knicks.  Mind you, you’ll need to take your own tent, cooking gear, chain rag and so forth – because you’ll be camping by yourself by 8pm, banished from the inner glow of the wind-up lantern, Mr Stinkypants!

You need more than a minimum – but not everything. If it’s not throwing down you only need a couple of pairs of knicks – it’s certainly fair game to wear one pair on the first lap, and then a couple of hours later on the second, so long as they stay on for the duration.

Night might demand a new set, and one certainly doesn’t pull an old pair back on – that would be wrong. The rule is that knicks that are a couple of hours old are fair, because they don’t become irreversibly skanky until you remove them from your body (you can slide them all the way to your shoes in the portaloo and they’re still good {unless there are puddles – portaloo puddles change everything}).

Jerseys, like knicks, can go a couple of laps, but unlike knicks can make an encore appearance. How so? Well, you’re not returning anything overly absorbent near to anything precious – and if there’s a little musk in the air it can work in your favour on the climb. No one’s going to wheel suck because the stank is generally about a bike length back. (Note: and this is important: this rule CANNOT be applied on social rides. Like using the bushman’s hanky at the café, this’ll see you on the outer quicker than a junior all hopped up on gel.)

Most importantly, never overdress at night. Take a Big Warm Thing instead. Your BWT will get you to transition and keep you warm far better than tights and a shell will while you’re standing around waiting for your arse-clown mate who double-flatted (see earlier column). Best is a jacket, ’cause you can warm up in it, then toss your BWT to your team mate in transition to take back to your pit. A blanket does as a BWT in a pinch, but try warming up with that over your shoulders and you might just get to the first aid tent before your lap instead of after.

Finally, Socks. Open slather. It is acceptable to change socks every lap, but we all know that there’s only one pair of truly awesome socks in your stash – and they can go around again and again and again.

Because there’s nothing more important than awesome socks.

By Awesome Sock Guy