Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Tour & expedition

Stupid question of the week

Ska1975Ska1975 Posts: 48
edited April 2012 in Tour & expedition
I was hoping for a little sage advice.

I have been asked to take part in a 24 hour charity ride covering 190 miles with 3 30 min breaks averaging about 8 mph :?

I have little to no long distance riding experience but have a resonable level of mountain biking fitness. there is a support bus for anyone who doesn't make it.

Basically Have I got a hope in hell of finishing or what? Is it up there with running a marathon in terms of no training no finish?

I think I am being silly considering it but there is pressure :D


Ps obviously I won't be using the mountain bike for this.


  • turnerjohnturnerjohn Posts: 1,249
    8mph average ...providing thats not up 20% climbs all the way your be fine ! Not saying it wont feel uncomfortable but keep fuelled and just keep going. It would be the bordom of such a low speed that would finish me lol
  • Plenty of saddle cream and replace every seat in the house and work with a saddle for the month before you leave. Good luck. Andy
    Training for the Cycle to Spain and the Quebrantahuesos
  • Ska1975Ska1975 Posts: 48
    Cheers guys, I was actually going to replace the racing saddle with something alittle more Comfy!
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    From an audax viewpoint - 190 miles, about 300km - for which you have 20 hours to complete (minimum average speed on 15kph).

    I'm not a super-fast rider and I complete 300km events in around 17-18 hours usually. Shockingly, that usually includes about 3-4 hours off the bike in cafes etc.

    I think you'd need more than 3 30 minute breaks unless you are super-fit and used to distance riding. You're talking about 5-6 hours of riding, then a break, another 5-6 hours of riding.

    You should probably be aiming to ride at more 12-15 mph as your average moving pace and then have a few more breaks. A good stage of riding is about 2.5-3 hours and then a break. I think this is much more realistic.

    You're going to be riding at night - so worth practising this. Make sure you've a decent light setup and then practise riding at night - it's very different. Depending on when the event is, something like the Dun Run could be good practice.

    OK - can you do it? Reasonable fitness and not having to carry anything (with a support bus etc.) is a big help.

    Long distance cycling boils down to two things - comfort and mental fortitude.

    Make sure you're comfy on the bike - every ride you do, think about which bits hurt and then do something about it. Get your position tuned and work out any clothing related issues etc. (it's amazing when your favourite pair of gloves that feel comfy for 100km are cutting into your hands at 200km!).

    Mental fortitude is everything in distance cycling - it all sounds like boring cliches etc. - but it's about never giving up, the voices in your head will be shouting at you to do so - but take 10 minutes off the bike, stretch, drink, eat - and get going again!

    I believe that anyone with semi-decent fitness and a good attitude can ride a century. A (near) double century just takes a bit more of everything - but is achievable if you are comfy, eat and drink well and really want to finish.

    Of course, some of the best training you can do will be to head over to and see if there are any events in your area. I think you'd certainly want to have a century (160km) under your belt before you do it.

    When is the event? Where is it to/from?

    Sounds a great challenge, but I think you need to look at that average pace and the rest stops a little more closely.
  • Ska1975Ska1975 Posts: 48
    Thanks Marcus,

    The event is a tour of every firestation in Wiltshire starting in Trowbridge. The pace is set by the organisers and I think its all geared to having to do that pace all the way to fit in with their timetable. Also the blurb that comes with the starter pack is that 8 MPH is suggested as a pace that will give everyone a chance of finishing, we will see. From my inexperienced view point I can see it being more of a bonus to be able to go a bit quicker and get your head down for an hour or two at some point.

    I am very undecided because I simply have no experiecne or training for such a race but hey, what else am I going to do with the time, watch Britains got talent?

  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    It's just a slightly funny approach to it - go slow but don't stop much - that (in my mind) will be far more difficult than upping the pace and stopping more. Only stopping three times on a 300km ride is really quite little.

    Especially over 24 hrs, where (as you said) you may want to grab an hour's nap (I know I generally do on 24 hour rides!).

    I'm not talking about racing around at all - but I think it's ambitious to look at riding for 5-6 hours between (short) breaks. As I said, something like 2.5-3 hours is a decent stage and then a break. All I ever think of a big ride is that it is just a series of 50-70km rides with a tea break in between each one!

    Anyway - as I also said, I think if you decide you will finish, and have the correct mental approach - you will finish it. Just eat, drink, rest and take the pace steady - the rest is just to keep on pedalling.

    Best of luck.
  • Jay dubbleUJay dubbleU Posts: 3,197
    If you're riding round Wiltshire you will need to be prepared for hills.
    Normally If I'm doing a long run I'd do 2/3 hours and then have a proper break - as in step away from the bike, have tea/coffee, cake etc.
    Keep hydrated - drink regularly even if you're not thirsty - dehydration creeps up on you over long distances
    Same applies to food - keep snacks handy and browse.

    Good luck
  • priorypriory Posts: 743
    I too have never come across a very slow ride all in one bunch with so little time off the saddle and so much on it. If you are already a bit fit then as marcus has said and others you will do the distance.

    If there are 20 riders at the start keeping them all in a single group to the end might be hard. what happens when somone punctures/ mechanical problem/not feeling so good but not wanting to stop yet? In an audax the field stretches out for hours.

    But your rear end is going to get painful+++ if you settle down on the saddle for so long. Part of the advantage of a faster 12 to 15mph pace when rolling is that more weight goes on the pedals and your efforts cause you to vary your position a lot. Second thing is you get long cake-stops and you can really enjoy lots of proper food and milkshakes which is what you need for an endurance event. do not try to live on energy bars and magic drinks ( but do carry cereal bars and get an average of 2 to 300cals per hour overall.)
    I once did a 120mile audax stopping at most of the churches we passed and visiting Southwell minster . We still didn't come last.

    Whatever they do you will need to get up off that saddle as much as possible right from the very start .
    My answer to regular saddle question is Brooks Flyer(for the springs not for leather ) ,pre-aged for a quick solution, or Flite max if you must have modern style. See other threads in which everone says different things except half say brooks .Spa have a generic version cheaper.
    An adjustable stem could be a wise investment. The day after my first 200km audax I swapped the stem for a shorter one.
    Raleigh Eclipse, , Dahon Jetstream XP, Raleigh Banana, Dawes super galaxy, Raleigh Clubman ... =slideshow
  • Unlike most of the other people who have answered, I have never done an audax. They'll all be used to riding a long way.

    What is the furthest you have ever ridden? I rode 100miles once and did quite a bit of preparation. More mental preparation to give myself confidence I'd make it and also learn as much of the route as possible. The furthest I rode in 'training' was 80 miles. The last 10 miles of the 100 were hard work - I wouldn't approach 190miles without a really decent amount of training.
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