Fix the bike!
This is tip number one, of course, because with dried-out brakes or dry tires, things don't go so smoothly. Or well, it probably goes well until you have to brake really hard for a stray dog or encounter a forgotten piece of Belgian road surface (read: deep holes in the road, sorry Belgians ðŸ˜‰). Just check that everything is tight, nothing cracks, and that your chain is still properly tensioned. Bonus points if it's shiny too, a clean bike is a fast bike.
Check the weather forecast before you leave
It's very tempting to put on shorts right away when the sun finally shines. But, sometimes it's better to be a little more careful. For one thing, it probably feels a lot warmer when you're out in the sun than when you're biking at 30 mph. Besides, you have your knees hanging in the wind full-time, they will last much longer if they stay a little bit warm. Your knees are precious goods! Finally, should you unexpectedly get a flat tire, you won't be heavily cold during the tire change.
#kitdoping on point?
This hashtag mainly refers to perfectly matching cycling outfits, but secretly, you're not going to cycle any harder at all if you're wrapped from head to toe in Rapha, Biehler, Void, or whatever else. It's much more important that you wear the right cycling clothing. Consider gloves for warm hands and safety ,arm and leg warmers for hard-to-judge temperatures, baselayers and/or body warmers to keep your body warm and conserve energy. May we still refer to smooth sunglasses? Just put that thing on!
Omg, cyclists on the road!
This may be a bit of a stretch, but please keep in mind that cyclists have not been part of traffic for a few months now. Unconsciously, cyclists are sometimes less likely (or not at all) spotted or seen by other traffic participants, which can create dangerous situations. By the way, this is a thing that motorcyclists also have to deal with. Of course, there is no excuse for it, but paying extra attention and driving carefully in dangerous situations can prevent a lot of problems. In the end, the car driver is pretty safe in his 'cage' after all ....
Building up slowly is wise
On the one hand, it's cool to show an average of +33km/h on Strava. On the other hand, it's also not at all wrong to build up a bit more slowly, so that you can still blaze at the end of the season. Injuries are always lurking when you start too enthusiastically and we want to be able to enjoy ourselves for a long time.
Don't bullshit but ride
Have you checked off these five? Then you're almost ready to go. Don't forget to take a FIRST, just 10 minutes before you go. This will give you that extra bit of alertness and sharpness to dodge all the stray dogs and blind drivers and provide you with 100% motivation to enjoy your rides. Of course, you don't have to keep chewing while driving, as the caffeine is already 99% absorbed into the bloodstream within those 10 minutes of chewing.
Marginal gains you know :)