k is for kitWhat the riders wear during the event is of the utmost importance. It is essential that racers have a wide array of clothing ready and close at hand. If the weather is wet they are going to need a good supply of dry gear as sometimes it can be difficult to get laundry done during the event. Due to the long hours on the bike the racers bodies can be put under serious strain and this can manifest itself most often in the contact points such as the handlebars and the saddle. The threat of saddle sores is a real one, especially if it is wet. Some riders try to avoid saddle sores by using various different sizes and brands of shorts. This means that each of them will generally have a slightly different sized padded insert, which in turn means the stitching at the edge is not in the same point of contact with the body all the time. While there is the obvious standard cycling gear, sometimes we see unusual modifications and additions just to make things that little bit easier. One of the more unusual pieces of kit we’ve seen over the last few years was a racer with cut-off wellies. They had been cut a couple of centimetres above the sole and the theory was that the racer could put these on over his cycling shoes if any of the hills proved too steep and required the racer to walk. We’re not sure how that one worked out! The picture shows previous winner of the race, Valerio Zamboni trying to protect himself from the cold and the rain by using industrial gloves. Of course we can’t talk about kit without mentioning our super jerseys supplied by Carvalhocustom Each racer in the race gets an official Race Around Ireland jersey and over the years they have become prized possessions.