In this post you can find useful tips on how to get through a 320km bike ride. My husband just did it last Saturday, the 24th of March of 2018 and the final result was that he survived!
So first of all you have to check your bike from one week in advance, thus you can have time to get missing things or fix them if needed. For example my husband realize that his sram etap batteries were broken and a new chain was also needed, so he had to order it online with express delivery, and go to a local shop to find what was missing.
Things to check:
- Chargers and things that need batteries for example the camera, electrical gearing, the Garmin, headphones, power bank because Garmin batteries doesn’t last that much, for sure Wahoo computer will have enough juice for 320kms ride.
- Mechanical things like brakes, spokes, tight bolts, especially bottle cage and rings bolts.
- Lube the chain.
- Download the route on your Garmin in advance and check that it works because sometimes doesn’t work as expected on the event day.
- Set the Garmin in order to have more battery life, take out its back light, sounds, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection, recalculation of routes, save data every second.
- Front and back lights (cateye rear lights will give you more than 14 hours of flashing red light).
- Tire pressure.
- Wet tissues (you will need them for sure).
- Salt pills and electrolytes.
- Pack fresh clothe so you can change when you finish, just in case that you are driving to the starting point and you have a place where to leave a bag for later.
- 60 psi inflated tire and of 28mm are the best for comfort.
- Pick the cycling bibs with the best bandana, the best’s ones are Assos.
- This time my husband decided to take a camelback with him, the camelback mule mv which is the one with the best back and he already used it for long rides, he had a really good experience with it (He could probably will not use it if he knew in advance where to stop and how frequent he could stop).
- Put your protein powder into a spare bottle so you can add water when you are done and start your recovery with not delay.
- Give a spin to your bike the day before with the same set up that you will use the day of the event, check brakes, gearing, Garmin, route, etc.
The day before, take between 2 or 3 water bottles with some electrolytes in order to start in advance your hydration process.
Eat very well, lots of proteins and calories, you will lose lots of them, my husband lost 2.4kg during this ride, after having food and liquids for more than 10 kms, if not more. But don’t exaggerate because you can also end the day of the event with a stomach issue.
While the ride:
- Eat every hour if possible, you will lose from 400 to 600 six hundred calories or more in one hour, depending on the effort you make and your fitness. You have to replace all the lost calories with food and liquids. During my husband ten hours ride they just stopped three times to eat, a bit more than an hour for all the stops. Even though he ate several half sandwiches of peanut butter with jam and ham or tuna with one cereal bar, nuts, gels, and so. Start eating the sandwiches and when they are over turn to the gels and the protein bars, leave one gel for the last part in case that you need that extra boost.
- Take every hour minimum 750ml of water with electrolytes, which is around a big bottle.
After the ride:
- Take out your dirty clothes as soon as possible, use a bottle of cold water (1litter) and refresh your body and clean it, later use a clean towel and put on clean clothes.
- Take the extra bottle with Protein powder, add the water and drink it.
- Wash your bike with soap and water, sweat can oxidase it. Also wash your sunglasses, headphones, Garmin, heart band, helmet, everything.
- Eat like a King, plenty of carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and protein. Keep drinking water with electrolytes to avoid a strong head ache, sleep well, at least 8 hours and stretch.
- The day after go for a nice breakfast, you can ask for bacon, avocado and poached eggs. And if you think you will need the rest of the day without a bike involved don’t worries, but if you want to move your legs for an hour, go for it but maintaining your heart rate very low, no more than 60% of your maximum HR.
- Enjoy the numbers, check your strava account or cycling analytics account. Post your pictures to social media and enjoy that feeling of being able to challenge yourself and succed.