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Hey everyone, fellow Queenslanders!
I used to have an account here but it got deactivated after years of non-use.
To the point! Short version; any hints/tips/suggestions for a novice-ish rider for the 100km Brissie to Bay ride?
Longer version: I've signed up for the Brissie To Bay for this coming sunday, and am wondering if anyone could give any tips!
It's been many years since I've done any long rides; but signed up for the 100km anyway, it's for a good cause and all that. And should be a good kickstart to get me back into cycling a bit more solidly.
I was living in Eight Mile Plains and cycling around 20km to and from Uni (South Bank) but have since moved to coorparoo and it's only a 5km ride. There was also a long while where I was too sick to go to uni, let alone ride anywhere. So my fitness is....lacking.
Only have a few days to prepare (As well as juggling 9am-3pm uni for this week) and am wondering if there's anything I can do to maximize the few days I have to get more 'ready'.
The two longest rides I've done to date have both been 100km and of similar fitness levels probably. Once was Albury to Bright in the middle of winter, and one was the Around the Bay; but only got 110kms in before a small issue of vertical displacement ended my day early.
Will probably trawl through the forums some more looking for other info re: cycling groups etc; as I'm looking to doing some more riding!
Cheers guys and girls.
Sorry I didn't read your long version. But for me at the time, I was a total novice, and struggled at the end. And experience tells me (more directed at novice riders) are: 1) When you can jump on someone's wheel, do it! But be prepared to take turns at the front. 2) Rest. When you get a chance off the bike, do it, don't try to bite the whole 100km. Sufficient rest is important. 3) Know your limits, and start refueling before you reach your threshold. Last year, I failed do that. My limit was around 80km, start to fatigue at about 75km, and the last 25, my energy just deteriorated rapidly! 4) Drink, drink, drink. Scientifically, drinking makes your cells full and works better (sorry, don't have the long version). But it also helps you pee afterwards (without glass slicing painful sensation - oh boy, how I wished I drank more :S)
Lastly, good luck and enjoy yourself
It never gets easier, it only gets faster...
Merida Reacto 907 (2012)
Orbea Ordu (2012)
Yep. Know your limits. Take breaks at the check points. Even stop at a servo for a drink/refill bottles if you need too. If you've never done riding in packs before and you get into a big one (eg just after the start) hang back and don't worry about taking turns at the front. Watch/learn from the other riders, don't go all pro tour and hang cms off the blokes wheel infront, save your energy, find a good rhythm that you can maintain, look at maintaining your lines, how the group moves, look how the group handles approaching corners and stopping, chatting to people in the group - just building up your confidence. Eventually the pack will start to split up because of lights, the odd puncture, some ramping up the pace, some slowing down, rest points, any climbing up hills etc etc. When this happens just maintain your rhythm and find/stick to a smaller group that you feel comfortable with and the pace is comfortable to be riding at and then you can start taking turns at the front.
The biggest safety point I can give you is to just keep an extra eye out for other riders from about the gateway-finish. Balmoral is the worst as you have cafes, bakeries, shops etc with limited road space for all the riders. Last year the small group I was in had a few moments when we roared up and came across people from all of the different distance cats who were tired, weaving side to side, never done a large group ride of this sort, riding 3-4 abreast at times, riding in the door zone, not maintaining lines, no shoulder checking before moving to the right, assuming that it was a closed circuit, going all pro, holding up traffic (staying 3 abreast instead of going single file to allow the few cars behind them to pass) and pissing off drivers etc. The amount of overtaking we had to do on the left because everyone was riding middle of the lane to on and over the centre line was just ridiculous! The good thing though was that it was closely spaced spread out so it was still sorta easy to navigate through.
Another tip: Don't go too hard too early. When you are going much further than you have before, its very important too hold plenty in reserve for later in the ride...
You will see plenty of people who go too hard too early on the side of the road later in the day...
My blog: http://cgradecyclist.blogspot.com/
Some good advice above. I'd just add a few things — firstly, don't blow your muscles by trying to push too hard a gear. It is far more efficient to change down to a lower gear so you can spin the pedals faster (referred to as a pedalling with a higher cadence*). You will be far fresher toward the end of the ride if you haven't been trying to push too high a gear early on.
Secondly, consider buying a few energy gels from a bike shop. Endura and Gu seem pretty palatable to most folks. Make sure you have plenty of water to wash them down (they can upset your stomach big time if you don't have enough water going into your stomach as well), but seriously they can turn your day around amazingly, especially if you're going into the ride a bit short of fitness.
* As far as cadence goes, a rough guide for beginners is you should turn the pedals faster than 80 rpm, though some more advanced riders will increase this to say 90 - 100 rpm. Everyone has their own sweet spot for an efficient cadence. Some bike computers will measure cadence for you, but without one of those I'd suggest that if you're turning the cranks about once per second, that's a little slow.
Good luck, and have a great ride.
I cant recommend energy gels for newbies, its very likely they could ruin your day and upset your stomach, in fact I have gone away from them all together, personally I find they are just too up & down for me.
I would go the route of snack fruit bars, basic oat based muesli bars, banana's - real foods your body will appreciate and thank you for. Eat & drink when you don't think you need it, that's rule No.1. Then worry about the rest...
I've been 'training' by riding to uni really early in the morning this week; and a longer ride yesterday. Bit tired but I was averaging 16-19km/hr. So that's not as bad as I thought. Still; I'm only going5-20km. I think I should be right if I have a bit of a break every 20km or so.
I was suggested gels by a friend I did both my long rides with, and picked some up last night as well as some more solid bars, and electrolyte powder; I've got two bottles so should be okay.
Will keep an eye on it though; I've got a pretty iron stomach usually so I should be okay; but will keep fluids way up! I hope!
I've noticed the higher cadence/lower gear thing more of late; and am a bit torn. It seems that; as long as my legs aren't jelly, I can climb better in a higher gear and standing(though presumably for a shorter distance). Soon as my legs go jelly all I can do is lower gear/higher cadence. I took a short break yesterday on the 20km ride, just at some traffic lights (Klumpp rd lights take FOREVER) and found even that small break let me do a better climb while standing in a higher gear. But this will burn me out far quicker, yes?
Also; I'm probably going to be hanging back quite a bit. I had a pretty nasty vertical displacement issue a while back (Though I think it was more due to the panniers) and I've found myself very hesitant into corners since. It probably doesn't help that my bike + loaded panniers for uni weigh nearly half as much as I do. (26kg load today.)
26kg is quite a bit to be carrying around..see if you can make it lighter for the day. I will be there in a CAT jersey and plan of doing 100km for the first time. The key for me is to have a stretch and fill up at each of the checkpoints.
Well; today's pack is a full change of winter clothes, Uni books and readings and a laptop, as well as lunch and lock and keys and wallet and shoes. Probably wont need 90% of that for the ride. XD
I may see you there! I have one of the Brissie to Bay jerseys and a red steel frame peugeot.
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