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348 mile ride

steve_kaysteve_kay Posts: 197
edited January 2014 in MTB beginners
Hi. I'm new on the forum and relatively new to cycling so I'd appreciate any help I can get really. I'm planning on riding from North Devon to the Lake District over the course of 3 days in August. It's a total of 348 miles (that's via motorways so I expect to add a fair few extra miles on going via A roads etc) and hope to split the mileage up evenly over the 3 days. My fitness is good at the moment (I'm in the Royal Marines) however my cycling fitness could do with some improving if I'm to be able to complete the ride. I currently have a 2014 Cube Agree GTC SL and plan to use this for the journey. Anyway, what I'd like to ask from the more experienced members is what sort of training should I be doing for this sort of distance, what's the best way to plan my route and is my bike suitable? Any suggestions and comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance

Steve

Posts

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Hi Steve, and welcome for the forum.

    The bike will do the job, more so if you fit slick tyres, but you might find a road bike with the higher gearing and lighter weight is more suitable.

    I imagine you are pretty fit already from your job, and are used to high stamina training and carrying loads. I'd just build it up. Go for a 20 miler, see how you feel - build it up. Rest, recover, and work around what your body is telling you. You could probably do this anyway straight away! The emphasis will be on your quad muscles, they are the ones that take most of the work.
  • steve_kaysteve_kay Posts: 197
    Hi supersonic, thanks for the reply. I cycle currently cycle to my girlfriends house, which is 20 miles away, around 4 times a week. So about 160 a week in total The problem with training in north devon is that it's extremely hilly and quite difficult to get a good steady pace and keep it over a long distance. With regards to the bike, it's full carbon and in race configuration. Is it still heavy in comparison to others in its class? I have Ultremo ZX's in 23C at the minute, would they be adequate as i quite like the feel and ride quality of them
  • I think hills are what you need, it's not exactly a flat route from Devon to the lakes
    pity those who don't drink, the way they feel when they wake is the best they will feel all day


    voodoo hoodoo
  • steve_kaysteve_kay Posts: 197
    Yeah i agree about training with routes involving hills. it just seems to be a huge hill every half a mile in devon. What's the best way to go about planning a good route that's relatively direct?
  • mcnultycopmcnultycop Posts: 2,143
    Google maps and choose bike should give you a good starting point.
  • steve_kaysteve_kay Posts: 197
    Thanks Mcnulty. Didn't realise that google maps had a bike option
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Hills aren't a bad thing though on these rides ;-). They break it up a bit, give you challenges and rewards at the other the side. Flat all the way will probably bore you.

    There could be a million routes from A to B. Personally, if I was fit enough, I'd do as much away from the main roads as possible.

    Do you have to plan the nights? IE B and B?
  • steve_kaysteve_kay Posts: 197
    Yeah i'm planning on booking a travel lodge for each night in advance. So i'll have a target distance each day and it'll give me a daily goal to reach. Rather than thinking about the hundrerds of miles left to go. Also, im looking for a decent navigation app for my iphone. Ive tried a few (bike brain, mapmyride etc) but i'd prefer to have one that has voice navigation and a similar navigation interface as a garmin. Bike brain is a good cycle computer app but doesn't let you program in a pre-determined route
  • micedenmiceden Posts: 225
    You'll definitely want slicks, bikehike.co.uk is a nifty tool to plan routes and it also lets you see route elevations so you can avoid hills if need be.

    I think the training you've been doing is a very good start, I would however recommend you get some long rides in before you do it,if you can do a few 60-70 milers with a day or so gap between with relative ease you should be fine. I won't harp on about hydration and eating as i'm sure you know all about that.

    One flaw i see in your plan is using an iPhone for navigation, 100+ mi per day is going to take the better part of a day, I doubt an iPhone's battery will last that long with GPS/navigation going all the time, I think you need to rethink that side.

    Your bike is fine but I would take an assortment of spares
  • steve_kaysteve_kay Posts: 197
    Thanks miceden. Yeah i agree with the whole iphone not being ideal arguement. I just cant justify £300 for a garmin nav. I've bought a AA mobile battery charger for the iphone which should hopefully give me enough charge. Especially using lithium batteries. I toyed with the idea of buying a dynamo to charge the phone as i ride but they seem a bit bulky and they aren't guaranteed to fit onto the frame. I'm planning on riding to exeter and back which is slightly over 100 miles. Plenty of hills in there as well so hopefully that'll be sufficient training for the ride if i do it on a regular basis.
  • russyhrussyh Posts: 1,375
    Guys correct me if I am wrong but a cube agree gtc sl is a carbon road bike, so more than capable for the job. However that's a big distance over 3 days without any specific training. I would probably post or move this thread to the road bike section. As there will of likely been some people of done similar on there to advise you. My thoughts would be around how you are going to carry your kit, a gtc does not have rack eyes for panniers, it also has no mudguard eyelets which would be important in the uk unless the summer looks good. You can fit 25c tyres to the cube which would help with comfort a little. Make sure you buy some proper quality bib shorts as well.

    Good luck
  • steve_kaysteve_kay Posts: 197
    Cheers Russyh. Yeah you're right about it being a carbon road bike. I've just changed my Ultremo ZX 23c's for a set of Grand Prix 4 seasons in 25c and they're a bit more comfortable as well as being more suitable for the current weather. Im just planning on taking a medium size backpack with a few essentials in. Spare pair of clothes, food and water, a few bike spares etc. I'm used to carrying weight over distance so it's nothing new really. I was looking at buying a pair of Castelli bib shorts for the ride. I've heard some good reviews about them
  • steve_kaysteve_kay Posts: 197
    i didn't even realise this was the MTB section to be honest. How do i move this thread over to the road section?
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Ask a moderator to move it by using the report (! inside an inverted triangle) button top right of your first post.

    348m in 3 days is very achievable as long as your backside is hardened to the saddle, a cycling buddy of mine is 15 and just did a 600km Randonneur (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randonneuring) in 38 hours on a Cannondale flat bar Hybrid.

    Personally I'd try and avoid a backpack, the weight sits wrong on your back on a bike (compared to upright) and makes your back sweaty.
  • micedenmiceden Posts: 225
    steve_kay wrote:
    Thanks miceden. Yeah i agree with the whole iphone not being ideal arguement. I just cant justify £300 for a garmin nav. I've bought a AA mobile battery charger for the iphone which should hopefully give me enough charge. Especially using lithium batteries. I toyed with the idea of buying a dynamo to charge the phone as i ride but they seem a bit bulky and they aren't guaranteed to fit onto the frame. I'm planning on riding to exeter and back which is slightly over 100 miles. Plenty of hills in there as well so hopefully that'll be sufficient training for the ride if i do it on a regular basis.

    The Garmin edge 800 you can get for around £235+ yes...but... there is a cheaper one, the Garmin Edge Touring.. Done a quick google search and the cheapest price I've found for the Edge Touring is £179.99 from evans and wiggle... sign up to quidco and you can get a further 3-3.5% off that price. Garmins are pricey but worth the investment, there isn't a better cycle computer/gps.

    I know you already have the mobile battery charger but have you thought about a solar phone charger? Obviously you're a bit stuffed if its overcast but on a sunny day strap it to your pack, plug it into your phone and it should keep it going all day.
  • steve_kaysteve_kay Posts: 197
    It's funny you should mention about the Garmin Edge 800 as I'm currently sat looking at it as we speak. The reviews can't praise it enough and i think im sold on it already. I might even buy it tonight to be honest as it looks that good. Only question i have is this: do i have to purchase the performance bundle to get the city navigation (i know you can buy the SD card with detailed mapping seperately but i quite fancied the speed/cadence sensor) ?
  • micedenmiceden Posts: 225
    Not sure you really need the city navigator option... you can create and load routes onto the garmin, the route is marked in say red on the screen, as you move the map moves/orients with you so you can see where you need to turn, etc.

    Dunno, I've no need for the city navigator as I use mine offroad, maybe it is helpful for roadies.

    You can actually get some very detailed free maps for the garmin.
  • steve_kaysteve_kay Posts: 197
    Thanks miceden. I only really wanted the city navigator as it seems the mapping is better quality (more like a car sat nav). That's my perception of it but i may be wrong
  • steve_kaysteve_kay Posts: 197
    I got this off a website explaining the difference between the base maps and city navigator


    Basemaps are high level detail maps that show only major roads. The City Navigator maps that Garmin sells include detailed street maps. I don't know about your unit but some like the Nuvi have the detailed maps built in.
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