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Tips for longish ride.

freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
Hi, Wednesday or Thursday I am going to be doing a 140 mile ride, now I can do them, they are abit of a struggle, getting better like but I can do them on the club runs, but I've never attempted anything like that on my own.

The 140 miles will be on my own, I have to cycle to Manchester to pick something up, I could take a train but don't want to.

Anyone else ever faced such a long ride that they've not really done on there own and have any ideas how to cope with it? Like the mindset and all that, I dont know if I should take it allot steadier and all that than in a club run. I've got around 9000ft of climbing.

I wont be doing any stops so how much food should I take with me, I usually take just snack bars, mars bars, those things like nutrigrane elevenses too, would bananas be better than those? Unsure how many I'd need though. Should I aim to eat something every half hour even if I don't feel I want something to eat?

Also due to no stops, should I carry 1 bottle in my jersey pocket too? 2x 750ml and 1x 520ml I think it is.


Thanks
Will.
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Posts

  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,806
    I'm no cycling nutritionist. I've done rides of 180/200mileish. Only yesterday I did 130 without a cafe stop.

    My advice have a good brekkie muslie,bananas,mandarins,grapes and dried fruit + two slices of granary and nutella. If you can have a cafe stop. I took three gels and three energy bars and started on them after two hours eating every hour there after. Liquid I drink Nuun tablets diluted to the recommended rate.

    Hope this helps.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
    Would porridge, a bananas, 2 slices of brown bread and a chocolate bar be good for a breakfast? I'm not a good morning eater though I struggle to get much down me and can risk getting sick.

    Are gels important I mean do they really make much of a difference?
  • nasahapleynasahapley Posts: 717
    Hi Will,

    The longest ride I've done to date was a solo 136-miler over a route that I hadn't done before, and I didn't stop on that (in fact for the last 100 miles I didn't even put a foot down!) Although I have to say it wasn't as hilly as yours. Food-wise I got by on bananas (about 5 I think), a pack of jelly sweets, a few gels that I had left over from an event, and a jumbo sausage roll. I find that for really long rides I need something fairly substantial and savoury else I go mad with hunger, hence the sausage roll. To drink I had watered down Lucozade Sport with a little bit of salt added (seems to ward off cramp) - and I drank a lot - near enough three litres. This was on a fairly cool day; I think it's going to be quite warm later this week so I'd say there's no way 2.2 litres will be enough, but then I guess you could stop at a shop if need be (or you might be a camel). I'd say eating every hour whether you want to or not is a good move, and that breakfast sounds good too, I just had a bar of Soreen which did the job.
  • pianomanpianoman Posts: 706
    Good to hear I'm not the only one who burns their "fuel" like an American SUV :D

    The best rule of thumb is to start with the most slow-burning foods at the start of the day and the beginning of the ride (though anything too fibrous might come back up the other way) and use the gels and other sugary treats in the latter stages to keep you going.

    And yes, HAVE A CAFE STOP :D you deserve it if you're doing that sort of distance - plus if it's a small independent cafe like the ones we go to on Sunday clubruns, you're keeping good honest people in business. So EVERYONE wins :P

    Enjoy the ride :D
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
    Well I can have a "cafe" stop at 70 miles, I'll have some Pasta and tomato and mushroom sauce at the flat.

    It's the same route there and back, so 4500ft over 70 miles.

    I guess it's training as in 2 weeks I'm doing this PG Challenge - Welcome to the Dales 220km and all together that will be close to 180 miles for me.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    At the very least you'll have to stop to refill your bottles, unless you are carrying lot of spare fluid in a rucksack.

    I've done rides like that before and fluid is definitely an important factor.

    As for eating, I personally force myself to eat something (banana, Elevenses bar, etc) once an hour or so - on rides over 3 hours.
  • pianomanpianoman Posts: 706
    At the very least you'll have to stop to refill your bottles

    or stick a third, or even fourth, cage behind your saddle.

    Fruits have high water content, too, surely that makes a difference if you don't do cafe stops?

    Of course, you can always use the cafe stops to fill the bottles up too. Two birds killed with one stone :P
  • C-S-BC-S-B Posts: 117
    what I ate on my last solo 140ish mile ride;

    baguette with nutella cut into 3- ate one every 70-80k -I always like to eat something more substantial than snacks like bananas/ bars if riding for hours ( just think what you would eat in 7hrs if you didnt go for a ride.. )
    2 bananas
    2 bars
    some nut/ raisin mix

    drank 3L of high5- brought 2x750ml bottles and refilled once

    Energy gels are horrible and I cant see the point outside of a race- eat something nice instead..


    In terms of mindset- easiest thing to do I find is break it down into shorter checkpoints- eg. 20miles to so-and-so village
  • pianomanpianoman Posts: 706
    What jersey are you using to store all that? I wouldn't mind one :P

    I think some people are trying to kid themselves that they can ride 100 miles or more without ever clipping their foot out of the pedals.

    You guys are NOT racing for Astana, you DON'T get support staff to hand you a lunch bag at the roadside. Just suck it up and accept that you will need to stop the bike on rare occasions. Then, use these opportunities to grab a bite to eat. Even if it's only at traffic lights.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    C-S-B wrote:
    ate one every 70-80k

    Was that on your last 140 mile ride or 140,000 mile ride?!

    80K = 80,000!
    8)
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    Got to agree with piano man.

    Take a cafe/garage stop. Get some proper food and re-fill your bottles.

    Otherwise you'll spend/waste more time sorting out the logistics of carrying all the drink and food you'll need.
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
    Well as I said at 70 miles I have a stop in Manchester where I have my own food and pans and stuff there.

    What I was thinking of carrying was the following:

    3 bottles - 2x 750ml, 1x 520ml
    3 Mars Bars
    1 Nutrigrane elevenses
    1 Banana
    2 or 3 gels, 1 energy bar

    I might get some energy drink, I'll have to buy a new saddle bag as the ones I have wont fit under my seat :(


    My problem is, over a long ride, towards the end of the ride, usually I'm perfectly fine up to 50 miles but 10 miles after that it starts going down hill, I'm still okish on the flats it's just hills, it's as if the lactate build up comes on MUCH faster and my legs start getting stiff.

    I don't know if wind in the eyes can make you feel censored too, I've never worn sun glasses or anything on the bike before, on some rides I find my eyes get all blury sort of as if you've just woken up and my head starts to feel heavy and stiff, don't know if that's due to the wind?
  • nasahapleynasahapley Posts: 717
    pianoman wrote:
    I think some people are trying to kid themselves that they can ride 100 miles or more without ever clipping their foot out of the pedals.

    You guys are NOT racing for Astana, you DON'T get support staff to hand you a lunch bag at the roadside. Just suck it up and accept that you will need to stop the bike on rare occasions. Then, use these opportunities to grab a bite to eat. Even if it's only at traffic lights.

    Err, I didn't just make up the bit in my post where I said I did 100 miles without putting a foot down. Granted I didn't set out to do that; I was just lucky with the very few traffic lights/junctions on the route. I use a Camelbak for long stuff like that, makes non-stop long distance stuff pretty easy tbh (except you've still got to turn the pedals, obviously).
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
    Well I don't think I'm going to do it now, I was only going to do it because it was something important to pick up but it can wait now. I did not want to do it and thinking of getting everything together and all that was stressing and I dont think I'd manage to recover 100% before I do it.

    I'll just apply some of the info in here to the next 100+ mile ride.
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    freehub wrote:
    thinking of getting everything together and all that was stressing

    I'll just apply some of the info in here to the next 100+ mile ride.

    That's the point I was trying to make, planning your first long ride is probably harder than ridding it.

    That's why I'd keep it as simple as possible and then use garages to supplement on route.

    As you get used to riding these sort of distances, you'll start to know exactly what you need and it will probably be less than what you think, so less stress.

    To answer your other points

    Eyes watering in a head wind, yes I get that, it's why I try to find circular routes. A few weeks ago I rode back from my caravan, 100 miles all the way into a warm headwind. I vowed I'd never ride a one way journey against the wind again.

    Getting tired: I'd imagine that everyone gets bad spells during long rides. When I first started I used to get them at 3hrs. but the more I train and the more experienced I get the more the bad spells get delayed. I can now go over 4hrs before I'll have a bad spell.
  • ColinJColinJ Posts: 2,218
    freehub wrote:
    I don't know if wind in the eyes can make you feel censored too, I've never worn sun glasses or anything on the bike before, on some rides I find my eyes get all blury sort of as if you've just woken up and my head starts to feel heavy and stiff, don't know if that's due to the wind?
    I'd strongly recommend wearing glasses on the bike. They don't have to be sunglasses - I only wear dark lenses on very bright days. I have yellow lenses for overcast days.

    Glassses keep the wind out of your eyes and you obviously suffer from that. More importantly, they keep flies and other debris out of your eyes too. Here's a couple of examples of why they are a good idea:

    A mate of mine forgot his glasses on one ride and was bombing down a fast descent ahead of me. Next thing, he shot across the road and almost hit the kerb on the far side. By the time I caught up with him he was off the bike and standing holding his face and moaning. Turns out the 40+ mph cyclist had met a 30+ mph bluebottle coming the other way. I had to extract bits of mangled bluebottle from his eye. He looked as though he'd done 5 rounds with Mike Tyson. His face was swelling up and he developed a massive black eye. He was very lucky not to have crashed or suffered permanent damage to his eye.

    The day I bought my first pair of clear cycling glasses, I went out for a ride over the local hills. The council had resurfaced one stretch of road and there were loose chippings everywhere. A 20 mph speed restriction was in place, but one driver thought that it didn't apply to him and shot past me at about 40 mph. The car sent a spray of chippings up behind it and one of them came straight at my right eye. I flinched as it smacked against the lens and cracked it. Bummer, but that stone would have gone into my eye if I hadn't been wearing the glasses.

    I rarely ride without them now. I forgot on one ride a few weeks ago and got loads of small midge-like flies in my eyes.

    As for the question about food and drink - I thought you weren't going to be eating and drinking enough, but you are effectively doing two 70 mile rides with a good refuelling stop in between, so I'd have thought you'd be okay with what you are suggesting. As others have said, you can always call in somewhere on the way to buy more supplies if you need them. Just make sure that you don't get your bike nicked while you are doing that!
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
    I think I might not have the mental power to do a 140 mile ride on my own, I've down countless 110+ mile rides last year and this year I'll be doing one every week, saturday, then next week I've got a 180 mile and god knows how many 120+ rides too. All club runs though.
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    I like to do audax rides and often ride the distance you mention. Couple of weekends ago did 250 miles in 24 hours.

    Probably the most important stuff to remember are

    1) Have the route figured out in your mind in advance. Maybe write out some notes. Take a map in the form of a page torn from a road atlas. You don't want to be cycling along thinking "Was that the correct turning? Or should I go back and take the next left??"
    You may be different but I find the best routes to take have a mixture of different road in them. By this I mean that there might be a section bashing along a busy main road. Then a short cut through some quiet lanes. Then a bit of urban navigation in a town centre. Keeps it interesting but not mentally tiring.

    2) Carry whatever food you like but when it is lunchtime stop at a garage or cafe or shop and get whatever you normally have for lunch and eat it. Then continue at a slower pace for 30 minutes while it digests.
    Always keep a little something in reserve to eat.

    3) Pace. This is a difficult one. I'd say aim for a very moderate pace but try and keep your speed up. So, if you have a bit of downhill, don't freewheel, wind it up. Every hour or so have 5 minutes of extra effort. But don't fool yourself into putting in a prolonged effort, you will suffer later

    4) clothing. This can be difficult on a day that starts cool, then gets hot, then it rains.
    Stuff like a gilet+arm warmers is good for early starts.
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
    I have a 605 for I don't need to know the route :lol:

    http://www.bikehike.co.uk/mapview.php?id=9184

    For the 180 mile ride this is what I plan to take.

    2x PowerBar GEL
    2x Mule Bar Energy Bar 65g, each bar has 73g of carbs, 57g sugar and 390kal
    2x Mars bar
    1 nutrigrane
    2x 750ml bottles
    1 banana
    Monies for cafe stop

    Don't know what else I need, I don't have any energy drink, any recommendations for making my own?

    Maybe crush a one a day vitamin tablet or 2 into the bottle? and add some sugar and salt?
  • pjm-84pjm-84 Posts: 819
    Food, food and more food.

    I personally don't think you have enough. Some will say it's suffice though. I would also swap the Mars bars for something else.
    Paul
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
    Well I can try and stick as much in my saddle bag as possible, but I don't want to weight me down so I'm going slow up hills :P

    What other food should I take with me? I need space left to fit 2 innertubes, 3 tyre levers, phone/headphones, multitool, bag with card and that in too.
  • pjm-84pjm-84 Posts: 819
    You need to find out what works for you. It took me 3 years to figure out what worked for me!

    I run with Eat Natural bars / Gels. If I'm going hard then an item every 10km to about 60km and then around the 15km mark. I also find the Clifbar "wine gums" pretty easy to take on the move.

    http://www.clifbar.com/food/products_shot_bloks/

    To give you an example I've just done a sportive in Ireland and over the hilly (2400m) and windy 152km I ate 13 items of "food" ( 7gels / 2 x Clifbar wine gums = 4 items / 2 Eat Natural bars - circa 1800 calories) - I had two gels left in my pocket.
    Paul
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
    I was looking at those clifbars yesterday, did not buy any though. I've made my garmin alert me every hour, so on that alert I will eat one item.

    Assuming the ride of 180 miles will be around 15 hours that's 15 items, I can carry that, but assuming I need to eat every half hour that is 30 items!!!!!!!


    I was to ask a question about recovery. I did a long ride on saturday, I dont think I've allowed myself to recovery fully yet, is it possible to recovery even when cycling every day? If I take it steady and spin should I recovery ok? Just I like to be out and about round here so I want to go out on my bike.
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    freehub wrote:
    Assuming the ride of 180 miles will be around 15 hours that's 15 items, I can carry that, but assuming I need to eat every half hour that is 30 items!!!!!!!

    You aren't riding across the Gobi Desert. There are plenty of places you can stop and buy food.
    I was to ask a question about recovery. I did a long ride on saturday, I dont think I've allowed myself to recovery fully yet, is it possible to recovery even when cycling every day? If I take it steady and spin should I recovery ok? Just I like to be out and about round here so I want to go out on my bike.

    Normally I commute to work, 50km round trip, hilly. On the week before events on monday I ride slow, tues I don't ride, wed I ride fast as possible and thurs/fri I do not ride.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    freehub wrote:
    Assuming the ride of 180 miles will be around 15 hours that's 15 items

    Ermmm.... 15 hours? Are you really going to be going that slow? (12MPH average).

    I would have thought something closer to at least 15MPH which reduces the trip to 12 hours - which is still a long stretch.

    Get a rucksack so you can carry whatever you need. Either that or stop regularly for food at service stations. It's not rocket science and it doesn't slow the trip down a whole lot.
  • edhornbyedhornby Posts: 1,780
    tbh, I think the food you've got will do you fine, and 2 water bottles will be enough especially as you can refil as and when you need to

    I would try and get as much as you can into the saddlebag or on the bike - bottles in jersey pockets on a long ride is uncomfortable as is tools in pockets...

    homemade energy drinks - third fruit juice, 2 thirds water and put a small amout of salt in, 1/2 teaspoon max, will give you an isotonic drink, greater fruit juice concentration can make it more difficult to drink on a ride but this is down to personal preference on what you can stand to drink and whether they give you stomach cramps (any more than a 3rd concentrate gives me cramp)

    reward yourself with cafe stops :-)
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
    --Jens Voight
  • edhornbyedhornby Posts: 1,780
    oh yeah - if you are going to take mars bars, try the duo ones, that way you can eat one half bar rather than a whole one in one go

    I find that eating little and often is generally the best way, but that's what works for me
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
    --Jens Voight
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    ok sorry I didn't notice that you have moved on now to the 180 mile ride which is this

    http://www.amkirby.co.uk/Event/R090705A.htm

    There is a cafe stop at 66km, a pub at 108km and although I haven't visited the loverly Yorkshire Dales for a few years the other places you visit sound like villages likely to have a pub/shop/cafe. Bah, I want to visit Yorkshire again now :)

    The total ascent is just under 3000 metres so your speed will be nearer 12 mph than 15 mph I would guess
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
    I'd expect the average speed to be around 14-15mph, I was just guessing on the time. Usually over a hilly ride of around 100-120 miles with around 8000ft of climbing my average is between 16 and 18mph depending on the conditions of course.

    I've never ventured over 150 miles really, that was tough, it was this Tan Hill challenge. I did 140 miles last September and I bonked around 30 miles in and kept on getting worse, unsure why that happened but since then that dropped my confidence massivly when venturing on 120+ mile rides.


    Thanks for the advice anyway, I might take 3 bananas with me too!, and eat a couple mouthfuls every half hour, I'll put that to the test for the 100 odd mile I'll do this weekend and see how I am.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    freehub wrote:
    ...and I bonked around 30 miles in

    I'm not sure it's even technically possible to bonk at 30 miles into a ride! :wink:
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