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advice for 300k (186 miler): food, pace, lights, etc.?(1 post)

advice for 300k (186 miler): food, pace, lights, etc.?Haiku d'état
Jun 12, 2001 7:46 AM
ok guys, you pumped me up for that mountain century (my first), and i lived. since then, i've done some weekend 40s, 50s, 60s, and a 70 most recently, and my weeknight base rides are 18-30 miles of gentle hills. yearly mileage so far is between 1600 and 1700. i'm finishing the longer rides fully charged and ready for more; my limiter for training rides is time away from home.

finished the mountain century in total time 9 hours, which included some pushing the bike up the last climb (with all the other crazies) and some laying on the grass under a tree and praying for a quick and painless death. not counting time at rest stops, pushing, etc., my ride time was about 7 hours (for 102 miles/7700 feet of elevation gain), average speed around 14.5 mph.

i'm considering a 300k (186 miler) in early september. it's not a brevet, it's a supported century (though the term "supported" may be questionable) with a long option. total time limit is 14 hours, including stops, and it's supposed to be pretty flat with only a couple minor climbs (less than 1000 feet each), both coming in the first 86 miles. 300k option starts at 3:00 AM and requires lights for the first 86 miles. meets up with the 100 mile folks en route following the first loop.

nutrition and hydration during the century, and carb-loading and pre-hydration approaching the event, were not a problem on this last one. my questions are:

* should i be considering a different source of nutrition than bars, gels and sports drinks, or would that suffice for this much bike time?

* i am riding between 16 and 18 mph average on a semi-hilly training route and on longer rides. is 186 miles feasible at 15 mph with my training/ride and pace history?

* other than leaving a change of shorts, socks, gloves, and restock of personal food and beverage at the car for the end of the first loop (86 mile mark), what other pit stop suggestions have you?

* advice for riding in the dark (early AM on unused country roads)?

* is there a substantial difference in physical stress/conditioning requirements between a century and a 300k?

* ANY other advice from those of you that have done century+ rides, brevets, and related rides is welcome!

thanks, all!