Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

Ride advice appreciated.

VoltemandsVoltemands Posts: 16
edited October 2010 in Road beginners
I am planning on doing this ride in a few weeks -

http://www.cyclestreets.net/journey/248992/

I have done what I think to be adequate training but am a little inexperienced in this sort of ride - it's my first long distance from one point to another. Are there any valuable insights and tips that the more experienced cyclist could provide me with? Those little lessons that everyone learns on their first long jaunt? i'd love to avoid them lol

The bike is ready, the route is firmly planned, maps printed, i'm very good about hydration awareness and I have what I believe to be all the necessary supplies for a long ride.

Any tips greatly received.

Posts

  • Most my advice is just practical and boring like:
    Take 2 spare inner tubes
    Get a C02 pump and some canisters to re-inflate your tyres
    Get some glue-less patches (Park tools do good ones)
    Take a mini-tool
    Take your phone and some cash – in case you get stuck
    (Does it sound like I have broken down a lot?) :(

    Eat during the ride (as important as hydration)
    Go steady – I guess you have a time/ speed in mind – don’t go too hard too fast :oops:

    Take a waterproof – hopefully it will fit into a jersey pocket
    (Or you saddle bag?)

    Oh yes - and enjoy it 8)
    ... must train harder
  • This might all be obvious, but for what it's worth;

    I thought I knew what I was doing the first time I got a puncture on a new bike until I realised I didn't and wasn't fly to the nuances of those particular rims and tyres. Be confident that you can change yours in the rain and the wind and the cold!

    Take more food than you think you need. Take money to buy more food and a victory pint at the finish line.

    Take a buff or something similar that could provide a bit of extra warmth should you get a bit chilly

    Put your cash card, your phone and anything else important in a couple of waterproof sandwich bags. Even if it's a dry day, sweat could kill your electronics.

    Reset your cycle trip computer before you go (amazing how often I forget this) so you can make spreadsheets when you get home and analyse your ride.

    Most importantly, enjoy yourself!
    The Stable '04 Trek 1000 | '09 Giant Bowery '72 | '10 Ridgeback Panorma | '10 Cannondale CAAD9 105 Compact
  • ErudinErudin Posts: 136
    edited September 2010
    Don't set off too fast, let yourself warm up and save some energy till you reach the hills. Maybe plan at least a couple of cafe stops in to break the ride up and refuel with some hot food/drink. Plan your route to avoid busy rush-hour traffic.

    Make a check-list of what to carry so you don't forget anything. Have all your kit laid out, food prepared/bottles filled, and bike checked over the night before so you can set off early after breakfast.

    You may want to carry more gear than a small saddlebag will hold, I use a Large Ortlieb Saddle Bag for long rides as its waterproof and big enough to carry tools/spares/clothes/food.

    Keep some bars etc. in your back pocket so you can snack on the move, eat and drink before you get too hungry/thirsty. Take a couple of bottles and top them up at stops, I put electrolyte tablets/powder in on longer rides as well.

    Check the latest weather forecast before you set-off so you carry the right waterproofs etc. Take some LED lights and spare batteries in case you are late back or visibility deteriorates.

    Let your folks know what time you'll be back, ring them if you're behind schedule or to put some tea on the go.

    Some good tips on this site:
    http://www.aukweb.net/cal/readytoride.htm
  • PhilbyPhilby Posts: 328
    Take a pair of latex gloves in case of a p*ncture or mechanical - will save getting oily hands over your bike afterwards. I also take some wet wipes - great for cleaning fingers sticky with sweat and energy gel, and freshening your face up and can also be used if you do get oil or other dirt on your hands.

    Above all don't start too fast, try and find a group who are going at a similar pace to ride with, and enjoy it!
  • Peddle Up!Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    Voltemands wrote:
    I am planning on doing this ride in a few weeks -

    http://www.cyclestreets.net/journey/248992/.

    That looks a nice ride. I've done the top section and it goes through lovely countryside. Please post a report when you've completed it.
    Purveyor of "up" :)
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    Plot the route as a straight line on a piece of paper, and mark major route points & miles on it, then work out an approximate ETA for each based on realistic average speeds for the terrain.

    Plot on the same graph where you plan to rest (if anywhere), and where you'll eat. Memorise it, then throw the paper in the bin.

    Blow your tyres up to about 100psi and check them for stones glass etc.

    Check the bike over, and clean it so it looks the part.


    Not being funny chief but it's only 70 miles or so so you should knock it off quite easily without carrying a sack full of spares & food.

    Take:

    2 x drinks bottles of strong squash or energy drink
    A couple of energy gel bars for hills later in the ride. Ignore anyone who says they'll make you ill - just squirt them down your neck and get on with it.
    A bag of sweets - I go for Liquorice Allsorts but Jelly Babies, Choc Raisins etc will do, just to nibble en route.
    A sandwich, wrapped in foil for halfway if you fancy.
    Fruit - 3 apples is good, bananas are too but they bruise & squash easily.
    Puncture kit.
    Pump
    OR Spare tube + CO2 cannister if you only plan to have the one puncture
    Some money to buy water later on when you've drank your squash.
    Nuun tabs to chuck in the water. Take 2, not the whole tube.
    Phone
    Walkman if you fancy, or not if you don't.

    Noobs are aways easy to spot - they're loaded up with enough gear, tools & food to do the TdF, and the reality is that it ends up as ballast that you end up carrying for the duration, instead of being fuel.

    71 miles is about 5 hours. You can do 5 hours middling exercise without needing a million calories. Treat it like an extended commute, and enjoy the fact that you end up somewhere other than your place of work.

    Forgot to add. Breakfast - have a couple of bowls of porridge with lots of milk & sugar, and drink a lot of fluids before you start. Start off well hydrated & well fed. Your legs will appreciate it after the first 35 miles or so.
  • OK brilliant, a few things I didn't think about but I had most of it down. Food intake is always one thing I was unsure of, I didn't realise it was quite as important as hydration. The latex gloves is a good one, no ones wants to spend hours on a bike with oily hands if it can be avoided.

    I'm definitely going to take it easy as this is my first long ride that isn't a return trip home. I'm not quite aiming for 5 hours, more like 7 hours. This might sound a bit soft but I was of the thinking that i'd rather be on the bike for longer at a much more leisurely pace than go for what I should be able to do but find out it's too much and burn out with 20 miles to go haha Besides, I'm going to be climbing the next day so need some energy left.

    I definitely will not forget the money for the victory pint(s)! Thanks for all the input people, muchly appreciated. I will post how I got on when the journey is competed. :)
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,027
    and
    if you are a weekend warrior.
    use the bike for 3 days up to the ride itself to iron out any silly excuses to stop 'cos of something not tight, not right or a puncture 'cos the tyre hasnt smelt tarmac for a fortnight.
    The amount of people on sportives stopped within 5k of the start is sometimes a wonder to behold.
  • Check! have planned to do a full service for my bike this weekend for that exact reason. I also commute with it usually 3 times during the week so should hopefully notice any clicks or grinds before the day comes.
  • jgsi wrote:
    and
    if you are a weekend warrior.
    use the bike for 3 days up to the ride itself to iron out any silly excuses to stop 'cos of something not tight, not right or a puncture 'cos the tyre hasnt smelt tarmac for a fortnight.
    The amount of people on sportives stopped within 5k of the start is sometimes a wonder to behold.

    I'm a bit confused by this but why would you be more likely to get a puncture if the bike hasn't been used in a fortnight?
    getting faster, fitter, and skinnier by the day!
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Grab a little bit to eat or drink every 20 mins or so. I have a timer on my watch that beeps and reminds me.

    If it was me - I'd do it with 2 bottles of energy drink (can stop for refills if need be) and 2 or 3 energy bars. And take money for a pop stop if you need too.

    Take more than 3 energy bars though - just in case.

    Have fun.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,027
    acebobby wrote:
    jgsi wrote:
    and
    if you are a weekend warrior.
    use the bike for 3 days up to the ride itself to iron out any silly excuses to stop 'cos of something not tight, not right or a puncture 'cos the tyre hasnt smelt tarmac for a fortnight.
    The amount of people on sportives stopped within 5k of the start is sometimes a wonder to behold.



    I'm a bit confused by this but why would you be more likely to get a puncture if the bike hasn't been used in a fortnight?

    You take me slightly too literally...
    the bike may have been left a month...
    it does seem to affect early season outings when bikes have been left gathering dust in the garage over winter, then jumped on without seemingly much prep.
    I also have a ride on Sunday and thus will have the simple things like tyres checked and pressures nice and high prior to the morning.
    I know punctures can just happen but usually have a cause which you can help to alleviate.
    Thats why I will never use racelight innertubes for the sake of saving 40gm ever again.
  • jgsi wrote:
    acebobby wrote:
    jgsi wrote:
    and
    if you are a weekend warrior.
    use the bike for 3 days up to the ride itself to iron out any silly excuses to stop 'cos of something not tight, not right or a puncture 'cos the tyre hasnt smelt tarmac for a fortnight.
    The amount of people on sportives stopped within 5k of the start is sometimes a wonder to behold.



    I'm a bit confused by this but why would you be more likely to get a puncture if the bike hasn't been used in a fortnight?

    You take me slightly too literally...
    the bike may have been left a month...
    it does seem to affect early season outings when bikes have been left gathering dust in the garage over winter, then jumped on without seemingly much prep.
    I also have a ride on Sunday and thus will have the simple things like tyres checked and pressures nice and high prior to the morning.
    I know punctures can just happen but usually have a cause which you can help to alleviate.
    Thats why I will never use racelight innertubes for the sake of saving 40gm ever again.

    Ah I see, all about preparation.
    I kind of thought that and totally agree that you should make sure your bike is in good mechanical order before a long ride. I'm new to cycling and always picking up tips and pointers from here, I didn't mean to seem sarcastic I just genuinely wondered why the tyre might puncture without alot of use. thanks!

    Bobby
    getting faster, fitter, and skinnier by the day!
  • I'm glad to say I made it the whole way without a hickup, puncture or collison! Yay for me. And a big thank you to all your great advice, cheers guys!

    Distance - 119km
    Time - 5 Hours 30 minutes

    It turned out that the guy who was going with me (but he was planning one being on the train and therefore carrying my luggage needed for a four day trip away) did not go, so I was stuck with a very big hiking ruck sack full of clothes and boots etc I am planning on doing the same ride before xmas with just my camel pack and food, looking to do it in under 3 hours 30 minutes.

    Thanks again!
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