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Casual cyclist, thinking of entering 100 mile charity ride..

Chicane-UKChicane-UK Posts: 105
Hi folks..

Afraid to stick my head in here as I'm every inch the casual / occasional cyclist. But hopefully can get some advice here..

I got into cycling only really last year after deciding to have a go at a bit of work commuting - a round trip just shy of 20 miles. Got into it a bit more this year and enjoyed a few 20-25 mile rides when the weather was good. Never did more than that - always had other stuff to do but never actually felt worn out after one of these rides and could have carried on.

I was doing some reading on the British Heart Foundation site and in June they're doing a 50 or 100 mile charity ride in Norfolk. My folks live up there and as my dad has suffered heart problems in the past I thought what better way to combine a hobby and a charitable cause, than doing a charity ride.

I suppose my question is about what sort of training do I want to be doing for this? As I say I am a casual / occasional cyclist, but I'm also fortunate that I seem to find fitness quite quickly - helped possibly because I've never smoked and rarely drink, and don't eat an appalling diet. Over a few weeks in the summer I went from being unable to cycle more than a few miles without being exhausted, to doing the 25 miles and enjoying it.. so should I just keep on with the same kind of routine, just extending the rides to 30/40/50 miles and beyond?

I've done some reading up about liquid and energy intake requirements so I think I've got those covered....

Thanks in advance :)
Planet X Nanolight High Modulus (Roadie) | 2008 Giant Bowery (Fixie)

Posts

  • The Norfolk 50/100 is a great place to start. There are loads of people doing it and loads of different bikes too. Maybe this year my girlfriend will do the 50....

    All you really need is to remember a few basic rules. If you do the 100, leave earlyish (about 8am) which gives all the serious riders a chance to race off, and less chance of you going with them and killing yourself. If you do the 50 still don't leave too early as it's a nice day, so enjoy it.

    Wether the 50 or 100, make sure you have plenty of water and fill up whenever you can. Even the last 20miles can cause you to use a whole bottle of water. Eat well. Have a good bowl of pasta the night before, a good bowl of poridge in the morning (With banana's is good). A gentle ride to the start line will warm you up properly.
    Don't get caught up racing. Ever. Unless you are in the last few miles. Greet everyone with a cheery wave. Last year I was caught out behind a stupid driver and slow cyclist and lost my friends. I met up with a guy I had ridden with a few hours before, and we rode together flat out for ages to catch up. I wouldn't have done it without him.
    Just because you can ride 25miles and feel good, don't expect to be able to do 50miles.
    My aim is to get my girlfriend to do 35-40mile rides before trying the 50mile. When you get to halfway you need to remember the fact that you will be tired. Hence it's best to ride slowly and then get faster the second half, than race the first half and collapse.

    Contact Streetlifecycles in Norwich (01603 626660) and book your bike for a service. They have a long waiting list, so worth booking a month in advance to ensure you can get your bike serviced. They are fantastic mechanic's, very good cyclists and very friendly. It's best to get the bike serviced so you can have a few rides before 'the big one'.

    I've done the Norwich 100 twice (5hrs 45mins and 5hrs 3mins) and have made all the biggest mistakes. The first time I did the 100, I did 2 rides of 50miles, and 30mile rides several times a week. Missed breakfast, raced the first 50miles, gave away my lunch...
    sat down on the side of the road at 85miles and had a little cry, phoned girlfriend for sympathy, drank 2ltrs of coke and ate 2 king size mars bars and raced the final 15miles. Still one of my proudest moments was the guy who asked what time I was aiming for. I said under 6hrs, which when I told him I can do 50miles in 3hrs, said "You can't do it.". So when I saw him after the event I could say "Yes I can do it!"

    Whichever ride you decide to do (and you should do) the main thing is to relax and enjoy. The advice here is just my advice, it's not written in stone. Your first 100mile ride is something you'll remember all your life. Until you get dementia :wink:
    jedster wrote:
    Just off to contemplate my own mortality and inevitable descent into decrepedness.
    FCN 3 or 4 on road depending on clothing
    FCN 8 off road because I'm too old to go racing around.
  • That was a great read - thanks very much :)

    I'll certainly think about doing the 50 miler.. or possibly a different 50 miler before the Norwich event to settle me in. And yes - will definitely get the bike in for a service before the event! Though will have to be somewhere a little more local - I'm actually from Warwickshire, and only spotted the Norwich event cause my folks now live in that area :)

    Thanks again.
    Planet X Nanolight High Modulus (Roadie) | 2008 Giant Bowery (Fixie)
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    The Norwich 100/50 is a good event for a beginner, although this years event was a callenge with a lot of rain and a very stiff headwind on the costal section. The 50 has very few hills but the 100 has some stiffeners around the halfway mark. Its very well attended with up to 3000 riders so you are unlikely to be on your own for long. Only downside is the foodstops are very unpredictable( the stop at Hornsey was pushing strawberries,merangues and cream!) so be sure to take plenty of your own supplies.
  • if you're riding past a pub at lunchtime and the smell of cooking makes you feel like you might like to kill someone to get at it, its probably time for another energy gel.
    :D
    ...the bicycle is the most efficient machine ever created: Converting calories into gas, a bicycle gets the equivalent of three thousand miles per gallon...
  • Thanks markos1963 - I rather shamelessly picked Norwich 100/50 because I figured a) there wouldn't be too many hills, and b) that in June the weather would be pretty settled - just goes to show my assumptions whilst poring over the net in a warm front room in December were completely wrong!

    I'd definitely assume to take my own food supplies, etc and not depend on the roadside catering but thanks for the advice there.
    Planet X Nanolight High Modulus (Roadie) | 2008 Giant Bowery (Fixie)
  • salsarider has given you some great advice. main thing is some training before hand. I think you are best off focusing your training on "time in the saddle" rather than miles covered. This gets you used to the 5-7 hours that you will need to ride.
    Are you struggling with motivation. Do you want some help reaching your cycling and fitness goals? Check out http://100milebike.com
  • Gav888Gav888 Posts: 946
    markos1963 wrote:
    The Norwich 100/50 is a good event for a beginner, although this years event was a callenge with a lot of rain and a very stiff headwind on the costal section. The 50 has very few hills but the 100 has some stiffeners around the halfway mark. Its very well attended with up to 3000 riders so you are unlikely to be on your own for long. Only downside is the foodstops are very unpredictable( the stop at Hornsey was pushing strawberries,merangues and cream!) so be sure to take plenty of your own supplies.

    Hey Markos, are you doing the Suffolk 100 again this year? Im hoping to book my place this month for the 100 miles, and yes, I said 100 :wink:
    Cycling never gets any easier, you just go faster - Greg LeMond
  • stubbostubbo Posts: 43
    be prepared, and i mean "very" prepared.....

    i, like you, only started using a road bike 3 years ago for commuting etc, first 100mile ride that summer was my final training ride for the DunRun (~125miles) which was awesome.

    The next year did the same plus a couple more 100mile rides for fun (at least that's what i told myself)....

    but last year i lost the plot altogether and bought myself a place in the LEL (~873miles) completed in under 100hrs..... Its a very slippery slope but once you get the bug and all that!

    All that said, on top of the very good advice already given, i would advise keep on top of your fluid/carb intake whilst riding and stick to the same pace you use whilst training i.e the one your comfortable with.

    Things like this are great motivators for getting you out, enjoy.
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Gav888 wrote:
    markos1963 wrote:
    The Norwich 100/50 is a good event for a beginner, although this years event was a callenge with a lot of rain and a very stiff headwind on the costal section. The 50 has very few hills but the 100 has some stiffeners around the halfway mark. Its very well attended with up to 3000 riders so you are unlikely to be on your own for long. Only downside is the foodstops are very unpredictable( the stop at Hornsey was pushing strawberries,merangues and cream!) so be sure to take plenty of your own supplies.

    Hey Markos, are you doing the Suffolk 100 again this year? Im hoping to book my place this month for the 100 miles, and yes, I said 100 :wink:

    Providing I can get the time off work then I'll be there. It'll be good to have someone to go around with. Looking for a sub 6 time how about you?
  • senojsenoj Posts: 213
    Im in the same boat as you,put my name down for the 190k dragon ride today.
    I have been mountain biking for a year and only just purchased a road bike,so
    I will have to knuckle down for the next couple of months.
    Ive been looking at the map and got genuine butterflies in my stomach,not had them for years...good luck though.
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