open topic, for anything cycling related.
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I'm new to both cycling and this forum but have learned so much from trawling around - thank you!
At the end of November, myself and a group of 40 others will be riding 1000km round Tassie in 7 days. When I signed up, no-one told me there were so many hills there! I have two questions and a request ...
1. I'm looking for some good (and easily digestable - no pun intended) information on nutrition - both generally in the lead up to such a big ride, but also pre- and post- ride necessities. There is a lot of information on the web but I'm keen to know how you would approach the next 8 weeks or so if you were doing this ride.
2. Back to the hills, I've read in a few places about 'bigger cogs and bigger pedal shafts' as being useful for hills. I currently have a Shimano 105 5700 10 speed Cassette but am wondering what other options I might have (and how easy it is to change!).
(Apologies again for my lack of understanding of all this, I only started riding 8 weeks ago!).
And finally a request for those of you on Facebook. The good people at REID Cycles have offered to donate $1 bike value for every Like we get on our Facebook page. If you are able to, please consider liking us - it won't cost you anything and you'll be helping a fabulous cause. Thank you.
http://www.facebook.com/ReidCyclesSuppo ... eChallenge
The east coast hills were challenging using 39x25 gearing, but the west coast hills are even more difficult.
I suggest a cassette with a 27 or 28 tooth low gear, perhaps with a compact crankset.
Tasmania is very hilly - you are in for a hard ride.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
If its a supported tour (ie luggage in a van), then your needs (bike and nutrition) will be a bit different from cycle touring (luggage on the bike).
105 casssettes come in different ratios - supported, you could probably get away with a 12-27 cassette (which should be straightforward as asking for one to be fitted when you get the bike serviced ahead of the tour), but might find it a lot more comfortable if you also had a compact crankset (which you may already have). If you are carrying your luggage, and you have a racing bike, then you'll probably be walking up hills (ie its the wrong bike).
Your main problem between now and tour time is getting saddle time, you need to be able to do back to back 100km+ days with some climbing. I'd aim to be doing 60 kms on both days of a weekend - and aiming to hold a fairly hard pace - which will get your body used to the basic idea, and some riding time during the week at least.
I'd presume that if you have no medical conditions, nutrition is actually straightforward and I'd presume the tour will be stopping at places to eat mid ride (ie lunch time). I would be ensuring I had a banana with me each day in the jersey pocket to eat midride, and I'd stash some energy gels on the bike as a just in case measure. I'd also have 2 bidons of fluid on the bike, and I'd presume that I'd want a bidon for each 40kms or so, so I'd be looking for at least 1 refill during each days riding.
I would be eating rather solidly when the opportunity arose (ie larger lunch and breakfast than usual), but I wouldn't need anything special other than avoiding the worst junk foods. ie I'd skip the take-away joint in the evening if possible, and get steak, vegies and salad. You'll probably lose a kg or two over the course of the trip.
Thanks Ron and zero,
Yes we will have a support crew with us so that will be easier! We will all be on racing bikes too so I'm guessing the only real thing I can change is the gearing to help with the hills.
I'm averaging about 150km a week at the moment training, with the bulk of that a big ride on a saturday. I'm also trying to do some interval training during the week and an hour of solid hill climbs one day a week as well (which is why the total number of km's might seem a bit low).
Thats not too bad for 8 weeks into owning the bike - also if you are doing intervals and climbs and generally riding with some intensity, big weekly kms aren't critical.
Follow up a saturday ride with a sunday ride of the same length, and see how you feel on monday - will give you a good idea of what the 3rd morning onwards of the tour will feel like.
My advice is take 14 days: stay at the old pub at Weldborough and try all the boutique ciders, pause for a scallop pie in Bicheno, try the scallop pizza from Scorchers restaurant in Orford. Life's too short to ride too fast.
Good advice zero, thanks!
... and even better advice redned! (alas, not possible on this trip - although will certainly be celebrating at the end of it!).
Just passed 300 'Like's on our Facebook page now! Yay! Thanks to all for helping out. Anyone else interested, here's the link again:
https://www.facebook.com/ReidCyclesSupp ... eChallenge
1000km / 7 days = 143km a day.
That is anything from 6 hours on the bike up to maybe 10 hours a day on the bike.
You can't buy fitness but a compact crankset or MTB rear derailleur and a 32/34 or 36 max rear tooth cassette will help you make it up the hills.
You will need to eat a lot on the bike and often every hour or so.
Good sleep helps recovery. Take a good mattress.
Because I prefer to have smaller gear change steps, and prefer spinning to grinding I would fit a triple on the front, and then stick with a 12/27 cassette on the rear, as this will allow you to climb vertical walls with ease, and still give you speed when you need it.
Thanks greyhoundtom - will look into that as well - spinning sounds good!
Hey Dave. I reckon 1000km would be easier in WA and the people are nice too
I can't help with the gearing side of things as I have a serious hill allergy so avoid them at all costs. As for nutrition though, it can be tricky or really easy - it depends on you.
I can ride 100km and not bother with anything other than a water bottle and a "Gatorade" bottle. I can't do it for 7 days in a row though. You need to start to eat on the bike. This might be something like energy gels (yuk), energy jubes (meh), snakes (always a great standby), or a bar of some sort. There has been some debate here as to whether a really good muesli bar like Carmen's is as good as a "fuel" bar. Try both on a few rides and see if one sits better in your stomach or requires less water to wash down. These things are really personal preference. I like the Cadel Evans mountain mix but my husband doesn't. Avoid chocolate coated ones though. Although tassie isn't known for warm weather, if they are sitting in your bag in a trailer in the sun all day they won't be nice.
Although on a ride like this you will stop for food, it is better to have some with you and have your body used to eating while riding. Just in case.
I did a week long tour a few years ago and really struggled with food. We made sure we were us early for a good breaky (to avoid the line) and grabbed some extra bread to make into jam or peanut butter or vegemite sandwiches to keep in the jersey pocket. I recommend taking a packet of sandwich snap lock bags with you for this purpose One of the reasons I struggled with food was because of food allergies. I'm allergic to garlic and bananas. Bananas are easy to avoid - I can usually leave the long yellow fruits in the fruit bowl, but garlic is put in everything.
On these supported rides, meals were included and I opted my allergies on the form. I still had to ask about everything i ate and was limited at some meals. I remember one particular day - 100km, some hills (16% actually!!) and I was hungry. Yeah, we'd had lunch but it had just fueled the afternoon ride, not given me a boost for the next day. Anyway, dinner was crunchy noodles, steamed chicken breast, and verges in a tomato and garlic sauce. Great. So I had a plain chicken breast with some crunchy noodles. Totally devoid of flavor (that was in the saucy veges) and not enough. The next day, I had a larger than normal breaky, but ran out of legs after about 30km and still had another 30 to ride. I did, but it was slow, uninteresting, and absolutely the crappest ride I've done. I felt shocking. That night we ate at the local bowling club - roast meat, veges, crumble and custard...it was perfect. After the noodle debacle, we didn't risk it again and tended to eat away as even take away was better.
During this ride, my husband was eating about 8 slices of bread a day, cereal and yoghurt and fruit for breaky, lunch as provided (usually a roll), any dinner he could fit in with dessert and lost about 4 kgs. And that was 600km in 8 days.
So...all that talk is probably meaningless except to say that with the days you are going to be putting in, you can't afford to screw up on one meal as it will bite you the next day and it won't be nice. That being said, make sure you are particular about washing your eating utensils (assuming you are taking your own). You don't want a bout of gastro either!! We also took Brita filter bottles - we didn't know what the water sources were going to be like and they fit in a cage well. You could have 1 of these for water and a normal bison for an electrolyte replacement drink, but fill this bottle from the Brita one.
With the electrolyte replacement drink, start getting your stomach used to it. As you will be traveling, I'd avoid the powder ones and look for the tablets. There's a grapefruit flavored one I buy and they come in tubes of 10. Easily fit into a jersey pocket so you can pop a tablet into your bottle when you refill. Don't underestimate how much you may need the electrolytes even if it isn't Brissy hot. 4-6 hours of riding will take it out of you so replacing is essential.
Hopefully there is something useful here. Brands etc are personal preference so give a few a try. I'm a dry-ish bar girl but my husband prefers the stickier ones. He's wrong
One last thing, consider getting some Slime Tubes. These are filled with a goo which will self seal if you get a puncture. Hubby used these on the tour we did and ended up with 4 punctures, all self sealed and he only had to boost the air in his tires on two mornings. Pretty cool huh? They are a little heavier, but you aren't racing so won't notice it, but it may save you 15 minutesmatnthe side of the road and a lot of effort getting back to the bunch if they only slowed for you, not stopped.
Now for the important questions - when does it start and are you and will you and the family be taking an extra week of holidays down there?
Thanks so much for all that advice - don't know how I missed it until now but VERY timely and some great tips - thanks. I like the idea of the electrolyte tablets as you're right we will be filling up often during the days.
The Slime Tubes are interesting too - will get some of those.
The ride starts on November 23rd - can't wait (and petrified all at the same time - I have only been riding for about 4 months!).
Aaaargh, nooo!! Not unless you want the most appalling treatment
Scallop pies at Richmond are the best in Tassie that I have tasted.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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