Long distance cycling; any hints and tips to pass on?

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Re: Long distance cycling; any hints and tips to pass on?

Postby Hiking Fox » Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:41 am

We've decided to do the Reivers' Route (the Scottish borders coast-to-coast) next week, aiming for 40 miles each day. Thanks for all the tips.
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Re: Long distance cycling; any hints and tips to pass on?

Postby downhillingdemon » Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:02 pm

Good luck! :D
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Re: Long distance cycling; any hints and tips to pass on?

Postby Herbsman » Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:05 pm

[quote="Hiking Fox"]any hints and tips to pass on?
Yep - ride far.



;)
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Re: Long distance cycling; any hints and tips to pass on?

Postby ha » Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:57 am

Ive cycled all over 170 000km as a vegan and all over the globe and my advise is:

*Drink a litre of water before breakfast each morning.

*Drink enough water during the day so our urine is clear and at least 10times a day. If its yellow or straw, we need to drink more.

*Eat unlimited amounts of your fav carb sources. Be it rice, potatoe, corn, millet,pasta etc. Snack every hour or 2 on something high carb, low fat like jam sandwichs, dried fruit, fresh fruit. Im a fruit bat so I go hard on the dates/rasins/bananas etc. A jam sandwich or a handful of dates per hour will keep you going all day. Many people make the mistake of undereating carbs and then getting heaps hungry and eating greasy junk and then losing motivation as their glycogen stores are never really topped up. Carb up to keep up. Unlimited amounts of whole food carbs that work for you.

*Keep fatty greasy food away and keep high carb meals in bucket sized bowls to stay.

*Pack light, pack a light gore tex jacket and leg warmers. Have a warm sleeping bag dont sleep in thermals cos they can dehydrate us very quickly. Just use a warmer sleeping bag if its cold and let your skin breathe without thermals sticking to them.

*Set up camp before sundown so you can make sure your not camping on an ants nest and get a wake in fright response at 2am. I like to sleep in really natural settings away from drunks. Ive talked with Heinz Stucke in Belgium 2003 and in 23 years of cycle touring he has never had one issue camping out. He says 'I camp where nobody goes..'.

*Mark your seat post and handle bars to make sure they dont slip over time and give you knee/back issues. Use a white out pen. :!:

*Get fitted up before you go by a good bike fitter. Use the white out pen again. Mark your cleats too if your using clip less pedals. :!:

*If your riding a mountain bike, get some 'ergon grips'.

* Slap a mirror your bike. I use my uber light race bike with a bob trailer or carradice 'slim' depending on the trip. Mirrors are handy when you are wearing ear phones and listening to tony robbins over and over. :x It aint aero but its safe. 8)

*Get out the saddle every few minutes for a few seconds to let blood flow be proper. I learnt this riding from Adelaide to Perth. Its 2800km and virtually flat for 2100km of it. :oops:

*Your gonna have moments when you want to scream. 99% of the time this is cos we are undercarbed/dehydrated/underslept. So when we want to freak out, just carb/drink and rest up for an hour. Cry if you have too, but dont let it get in the way of eating more carbs, drinking more water or having a nap.

*Remember that they call head winds head winds cos its just in your head how you decide to feel about them. I see a stiff head wind as a fitness builder :o vs a day wrecker :cry: . Its just a choice in the moment.

*Remember that the journey is the gift, not the destination.

*Remember that happieness is ONLY experienced in the present moment. Not when you get some food, not when the rain stops, not when stop for the day..happieness is just a choice in the moment and only experienced NOW!

*Get heaps of rest. Eat lots of carbs before your hungry, drink water before your thirsty. Take lots of photos. Talk to lots of people. Make days to remember the rest of your life. Be in the moment. Be nowhere on the road to nowhere.

When one trailer isnt enough..
Image

On the road to hell in Thailand with my summer 'superlight' set up.
Image

For the dirt tours. xc bike with bob trailer. I use a Gore tex bivvy bag. "Outdoor Research-alpine bivvy" for sleeping in.
http://www.outdoorresearch.com/site/alpine_bivy.html

Image
raw vegan banana case that has cycled over 190 000km cycled as a vegan.

y - youtube.com/durianriders
f - facebook.com/durianrider
t - twitter.com/durianryder
b - durianrider.org
w - 30bananasaday.com

Drink up, carb up, sleep up... cos everyday is the day to live it up!
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Re: Long distance cycling; any hints and tips to pass on?

Postby fredrikw » Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:41 am

Good points ha, although I'd say that unless you really like to pee, having to go 10 times a day is a good sign you're overdoing it. If you needed that much fluids your body wouldn't flush it out the other way :)
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Re: Long distance cycling; any hints and tips to pass on?

Postby downhillingdemon » Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:51 pm

What a brilliant set of advice!

I could do with doing some of that on a day to day basis, nevermind on a road trip! :lol:
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Re: Long distance cycling; any hints and tips to pass on?

Postby Noel » Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:12 pm

When one trailer isnt enough..
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Whats it like riding a long vehicle like that?
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Re: Long distance cycling; any hints and tips to pass on?

Postby ha » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:24 pm

* I dont mind frequently watering the bushes cos its a small price to pay for the large benefits I get. Definitely its more urination than the standard dehydrated citzen does but we dont want that sort of health and fitness they have anyways. :P

*What is it like to ride a double trailer road bike train? Its real fun and you learn quick when going around tight corners just how fast you can/cant go.
raw vegan banana case that has cycled over 190 000km cycled as a vegan.

y - youtube.com/durianriders
f - facebook.com/durianrider
t - twitter.com/durianryder
b - durianrider.org
w - 30bananasaday.com

Drink up, carb up, sleep up... cos everyday is the day to live it up!
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Re: Long distance cycling; any hints and tips to pass on?

Postby Hiking Fox » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:20 pm

I've only skim-read Ha's post for now and will take it in properly tomorrow when I'm not tired and busy unpacking, but it looks like great advice.

I did drink water little and often and I did piss about 10 times a day; far more than I do when hiking. I put it down to the saddle pressing up on that area and stimulating internal processes. I wasn't de-hydrated at any point and I ate loads of carbs (mainly oats and quick-cook pasta). I also ate bananas every day :wink:

Overall, we both really enjoyed the experience, arrived at each of our night stops earlier than expected and didn't get particularly saddle sore. We also didn't mind the heavy rain that we got for the first couple of days; we barely noticed it when peddaling and I actually quite liked the experience of getting wet then drying off quickly (Ron Hills rock!)

Plus points: The fresh air, amazing scenery (the wildest parts of Northumberland and the Lake District, mostly), the exercise, the smug feeling we got from having decided to cycle west to east (lots of tail wind and side wind, but not much head wind) the long, fast freewheeling down hills, the friendly Youth Hostel staff and fellow bunk barn users that we met.

Negative points: Having to share some roads with lorries, a bunk barn owner conning us into spending too much money, Carlisle (an ugly city with horrible roads that comes as a real jolt after the open spaces just before it), Ponteland (a truly grim town near Newcastle airport that is full of Stepford rich detatched houses, inconsiderate car drivers, posh dog walkers who take over cycle tracks and give you weird looks for being there, and badly-maintained tracks full of broken bricks, huge puddles and thorns. Note to self - if doing route again give Ponteland a wide berth!)

Oh, and I fell off twice, but no injuries.
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Re: Long distance cycling; any hints and tips to pass on?

Postby Hiking Fox » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:54 am

Ok, I've had the chance to read this properly, now. Thanks for taking the trouble.

[quote="ha"] dont sleep in thermals cos they can dehydrate us very quickly.


I'm interested to know more about that. Could you elaborate?

[quote]Mirrors are handy when you are wearing ear phones and listening to tony robbins over and over. :x It aint aero but its safe. 8)


I never listen to headphones on a bike, so no worries there.

[quote]*Your gonna have moments when you want to scream. 99% of the time this is cos we are undercarbed/dehydrated/underslept. So when we want to freak out, just carb/drink and rest up for an hour.


In my case, it is because I'm not fit enough (yet). I had a painful injury and had to rest up for over a month, just as I had got into running and started getting fit. So my lungs and legs are still adjusting to exercise. I found that frequent stops for just a few seconds or minutes made a massive difference.

[quote]*Remember that they call head winds head winds cos its just in your head


We deliberately went west - east to minimise head winds and I'm very glad we did, as the wind was very strong early in the week. No way could I cycle into strong wind without losing a lot of motivation!

[quote]*Remember that happieness is ONLY experienced in the present moment.


Totally agree.

Our trip in numbers:

Miles cycled: 197

Feet of ascent: Approx 20,000

Time taken: 5 days (approx. 40 hours of cycling)

Bruises on right leg: 24

Pints of beer consumed: 22 each (in the evenings!)

Punctures: 1 (on trailer; our bikes didn't get any, despite all the fallen branches en route)

Times I fell off: 2

Times we took a wrong turn and had to double back: 1 (that I recall)

Would we recommend the route? Definitely. Very beautiful and wild, especially the bits through Northumberland.
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Re: Long distance cycling; any hints and tips to pass on?

Postby Clem Snide » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:19 am

That's a nice long ride. And no bike punctures, wow!

If you'd like to improve your numbers the best way would be to build up gradually, one pint at a time.
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Re: Long distance cycling; any hints and tips to pass on?

Postby Marcel » Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:05 pm

Great thread! I love all the helpful hints and suggestions! The one area I can stand to improve is eating carby-carbs more frequently during rides!
--and here's another exclamation mark for good measure--!
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