The basic elements to participate in Gibraltar Race are the pilot and his bike, so preparation should cover both of them.
Let’s start with the pilot, we summarize in short what should be the minimum equipment to be adopted for the challenge:
- technical clothing: must be comfortable, with removable padding according to conditions of temperature, possibly waterproof (but it is always better to have with you a rain suit) and above all with many pockets in both jacket and pants. It will be your second skin for the duration of the race, so it must also be durable and protective in case of falls;
- helmet, boots, gloves, chest and back protector, neck brace and other protections: in this case the choice is wide, but once again the advice is to look for the best mix of security and comfort. This should not be underestimated, because driving comfortably eases the concentration and the control of the bike;
- backpack, fanny pack, camel bags: they are your tools to take with you the necessary to complete each stage. Who will compete with larger bikes will have the opportunity to fasten something on the bike, thus relieving the load from your body. Avoid unnecessary and excessive loads, remember to bring only what you can personally use and do not rely on the belief that you will meet someone who can do it for you. The load should be securely fastened, the stresses of off-road routes may be disastrous for luggage;
- in addition to the required minimum safety equipment, it may be helpful to have with you a camera (many of the places of the Gibraltar Race are incredibly beautiful) and an action-cam;
- tent, sleeping bag, mattress, personal clothing, medicine kits, personal hygiene kits and generic equipment will be prepared as at any other trip, but remember that, since they will be transported by Organization, it is allowed only one case (box) 80x40x40 or 80x45x35 cm per pilot.
Equally important is the psycho-physical preparation of the pilot himself. There is no exercise more suitable than another, but certainly in view of the challenge you must carry out regular trainings both on motorbike or without it in order to improve your resistance to fatigue prolonged.
Even your mind has to be trained, because it is only thanks to it that you will be able to keep a cool head to understand the path, locate check points, manage the difficulties to complete each stage and reach the finish line.
A good mental balance can often get where your body alone, though trained, would fail.
The confidence and the feeling with your bike is another key to success. You’ll have to be comfortable on the saddle even at full load of luggage and fuel. You must therefore test carefully the bike to ensure proper weight distribution even under these conditions.
Being familiar with the bike you will ride during the route will also help you to prepare it.
Your bike should be simple and functional. These requirements can only be achieved with a little experience in riding it under different conditions.
In this way you will learn also its weaknesses, and you can prepare yourselves to find remedies and you can equip yourselves with the tools and spare parts needed to cope with any breakages.
In this regard, each driver will have to choose tools, mechanical and electrical spare parts and consumables specific to his bike. Properly packed in a box, these ones will be transported by the Organization or from the private assistance, if this option is chosen.
While maintaining all the necessary safety equipment, are useful all tips that may avoid stops of the bike, trivial but difficult to solve.
For example: remove the safety switch on the stand, reinforce the frame of the luggage and of the tools and accessories. These ones are the first that break.
The tire choice is also very important. They will have to ensure traction and grip on very different terrains met during each stage and they must be safe and durable enough for the paved parts.