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6 Hour Bike ride - What do i need - help!!

ChubbyNessChubbyNess Posts: 6
edited August 2008 in Health, fitness & training
Hey everyone,

In around 5 weeks and 5 days i will be embarking on a 6 hour mountain/road race, I am not planning on racing but i am planning on finishing it, the race is around 46miles long. What would the trusted people at Bikeradar suggest i need to keep my energy up, i am wanting to try the sports drinks/sweets/bars available at my LCS (local cycling shop) but i dont understand what they are used for, when to use them ect as they dont have instructions, is there anyone here who can explain what they are for/tell me how to use them. Also what would anyone suggest to take for as a meal? As the race will be starting at 10 we will be riding for a decent proportion of the afternoon so will need lunch. Also what will i need to take as snacks?

Sorry about all the questions but this is my first one and i want to get as much advice as i can :)

Other useful notes being, i will be taking my Camelbak with me which carries 3 litres of water, Currently at the moment i weigh 17.13

Thanks for any advice.


  • mattbarnesmattbarnes Posts: 295

    Firstly, congratulations on deciding to take the leap into the world of endurance riding! I'm a bit of a fan myself and have dabbled in a few one-day 100+ milers, albeit just amongst our local riding group.
    You're right to question what to drink and eat along the way and it is a valuable lesson I learnt the hard way on my first epic. I rightly started with a good breakfast and nibbled now and again throughout the ride but at the 80 mile mark, I began to seriously suffer. Thankfully we had organised a big 'celebratory' food stop a few miles later and it was just as well because I was nearly on my knees.
    Needless to say, everyone is different and has there own personal needs when it comes to food intake. I'm no nutritionist but have learnt through experience. Start with a breakfast of porridge or something with oats and a couple of bananas. Give it a while to settle or you'll be barfing it back up again on the first climb and when you start eat little and often with a good intake of water. I tend to stay away from the manufactured bars such as GO Bars and POWERBARS, mainly because there isn't a one out there that tastes anything like food. Go for a fruit/malt loaf or dried fruit which you can stuff in an easily accessable pocket - these are more natural foods and they taste good. Yes, they're all packed with sugars but its natural stuff. If you are one of these riders that craves sweets when riding, go for something like a flap-jack (a healthy home made version and not some sh!+e from the local Shell station) as the oats will release energy slowly.
    As for drinking, there are hundreds of different mixtures and potions that claim to give medal winning performances. The choice is entirely yours - experiment with different drinks and see which one works for you. Personally, I always stick with water (occasionally with a NUUN electolyte tablet) as I'm not a massive fan of pumping chemicals into my system!
    Good luck and enjoy.
    Society is like a stew. You have to stir things up now and again otherwise the scum will rise to the top.
  • batch78batch78 Posts: 1,320
    Fill your camelbak with water, get a couple of bottles and cages fill these with an electrolyte drink, take a snack, energy bar, flap jack,dry fruit, etc approx one an hour plus a couple of extras, do not take a large lunch, it'll take too long to digest and probably make you fill ill, staying well hydrated usually stops you feeling too hungry!

    Which snack/energy bar is entirely upto you, I use SIS, High5 and various other non specialist items, just make sure you like them, same with the drink, try a few before you go, some can give you cramps if it comes as a shock to the system.

    Drink plenty of water in the weeks before the ride, carbo load for a few days beforehand and enjoy!
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Mostly agree with Batch - water in Camelbak, energy drink (I use 50/50 water/Lucozade Sport) in bottle(s) and an asssortment of snacks - not into ponsey ones myself - I go for fig rolls, flap jacks and malt loaf. With the odd choccie bar if no one's looking...
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    you could read the stuff on the fat cyclist blog, he has some pretty good ideas from leadville 100
  • don_dondon_don Posts: 1,007
    I would say it will be important to get enough carbohydrate during the ride, so don't be put off trying energy bars and drinks. I would recommend SIS PSP22 for your drinks, it comes in a neutral flavour if you can't stomach the flavoured ones. Likewise Torq energy drink is a good one. Your LBS should be able to give you plenty of advice on how to use it.

    I find energy bars really help keep me going on a long ride but its a personal thing. Torq bars or Clif bars are really tasty and the latter particularly actually tastes like real food!

    Finally, a couple of energy gels, just in case, can get you going later on when you really need a boost. They can taste a bit gopping but the quick hit of energy can be a life-saver.

    Whatever you take, don't worry or get too hung up on this or that bar/drink etc. Maybe try and few options over the next couple of weeks and see what works for you. Above all, enjoy it - good luck :D

    ps. I'm 13 stone - I think that the, ahem, heavier among us need more energy to keep going than the whippets on here. After 20 years of experimenting, I've found that I just can't manage on 'water and bananas' alone. I need a more 'energy dense' solution! Hope this helps a bit :)
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