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What do you do on long rides?(23 posts)

What do you do on long rides?Aztecs
Sep 16, 2002 5:44 AM
Starting to increase the mileage on my weekend rides. Did a 45 mile ride on Saturday (usually do 30-35). I was wondering what some of you guys do on your high mileage days. Do you take a break after so many miles on the bike. Non-stop? How much food do you carry? Just curious.

When I ride alone..Dave Hickey
Sep 16, 2002 5:57 AM
I usually stop about every 25-30 miles. I try to find a 7-11 and get a Poweraid and fresh fruit.
related question...CurtSD
Sep 16, 2002 6:28 AM
When you're riding alone and you stop at a convenience store, do you just leave your bike outside? I'm probably just being paranoid, but I worry that someone will take off with it, and I can't chase very well in cycling shoes. I've tried bringing the bike in with me, but they usually have a problem with that. Do you take off the front wheel and carry it in with you?

Knock on wood, I've never had a problemDave Hickey
Sep 16, 2002 6:33 AM
I live in Texas, and most of my longer rides are in rural areas. I always leave it resting against the front window so I can usually keep an eye on it.
carry a lockSteve_0
Sep 16, 2002 6:37 AM
a cheapo cable lock weighs under a pound, and easily fits in the saddlebag or jersey pocket.

it wont inhibit a pro for 20 seconds, but for the pedestrian-punk or pickuptruck plunderer, it'll do the job.

Your 'serious' riding buddies will laugh at you for carrying it, but i GUARANTEE they will ask to lock their bikes up when youguys stop.
Pedal mostly, coast some.MB1
Sep 16, 2002 6:10 AM
We try to hold the rest stops to the minimum. We feel it is better to ride a little slower and stop a whole lot less.

Couple of things though;
A long ride for us is more than 200K. There should be no reason to stop for anything less than a 60 mile ride.

We are not racers. If you are really pushing yourself (after a good warmup) you might want to take a break. Don't forget to do an easy cool down before you get off the bike.
I disagree........Dave Hickey
Sep 16, 2002 6:19 AM
If we ride for pleasure, what's wrong with stopping every 25-30 miles? Why is 60 miles the magic number? We don't all ride 200k's. I ride 7,000+ miles a year, but my average ride is about 40 miles. In 40 miles, I'll usually stop once.
True there is no magic number.MB1
Sep 16, 2002 8:24 AM
Still I think you can easily carry enough food and drink on your bike to last 60 miles except for the hottest summer days. I'll grant you that you will likely have to stop at least once to empty the ol' bladder.....
It's funny you mentioned Temperature.Dave Hickey
Sep 16, 2002 8:34 AM
After I responded to you, I thought about why I stop so much. Most of my longer rides(50+ miles) are done in summer Texas heat. After an hour and half in the saddle, I need to refill my water bottles. When temps are in the 70-80's, I can go a lot longer. Average summer temps here are mid to upper 90's.
At 20F you better not stop.Alex-in-Evanston
Sep 16, 2002 8:47 AM
You're right about the temperature thing.

To the original point - I like group rides with one stop to let the stragglers catch up. Ours has a stop at mile 40 of 60. It's a basically a cool down from there with a final sprint. Seems to work well and everybody arrives within a minute or two of each other. It's nice to get everybody pulling in together.

re: What do you do on long rides?PEDDLEFOOT
Sep 16, 2002 6:19 AM
I usually stop every 20-25 mile or atleast every 1.5 hours to eat.Sometimes if I only bring gel then I can eat that on the bike.Otherwise I stop to eat since I don't like to eat while riding.

I normally bring a resealable bag of raisans.I found that they digest the best for me and don't bother my stomach.I keep them in my jersey pocket.You will have to find out what food works the best for you.

Good luck on the longer distances.You will find that after a certain point the challenge will become more mental than physical.
re: What do you do on long rides?MasterBlaster
Sep 16, 2002 7:03 AM
You should stop when you feel your body requires it. whether it is 40 or 60 miles the quick stop will help. I will stop about 50 miles into a ride to eat in comfort. This less than 3 minute stop works wonders on recovery and endurance for me. Do what you think is right for you.
If you pre-load (lots of water, decent meal) before a ride,bill
Sep 16, 2002 7:02 AM
you will find less need to stop. Some of this is because of increased efficiency on the bike, but some of it is because I am better at preparing. Now, I'll take in like 40-50 ozs of water (at least) in the hour or two before I leave, and eat something sort of substantial (PB and bread, bananas, leftover pancakes or waffles, stuff), and I regularly go 50 miles without stopping. Where I used to really want to stop and eat and whatever after about 30 miles, I've gone 70 miles with two water bottles (one refill, as I recall). Pretty hungry when I got home, but it wasn't a huge deal (in worse shape was my morale -- got dropped, got lost, the ride was sort of a disaster).
But, by all means, if you want to stop, stop. I won't judge you, I promise.
Sep 16, 2002 7:16 AM
Carry a minimum of a couple of powerbars, (water)bottle of Gatorade and a couple of GU's. Also repair kit, Ibuprophen, potassium capsules, etc.
I usually know the course in advance. If I don't I'll bring extra food (Pretels, dried fruit, Etc.)

Take breaks as needed depending on how I feel.
Potassium capsules?pappy_d
Sep 16, 2002 7:31 AM
What, when and where? This is to help deal with lactic acid I assume?
Potassium capsules?MrCelloBoy
Sep 16, 2002 2:15 PM
They're 750 mg. ea.
I take one on hot sweaty days. Same days that I put a 1/3 tsp. salt in my gatorade.

I'll also take on that night, after the ride.

Help with general Potassium recovery & cramp avoidage.
Usually take a short break...DINOSAUR
Sep 16, 2002 7:45 AM
I'm in the "Zen" state of road bike roading at this stage of the game. I usually have an idea of the length of my rides but sometimes I take the road less traveled. My error is not packing something to eat or packing enough water. I started carrying two 24 oz water bottles, half an apple and a Zone or Balance bar and usually stop halfway through my ride to take a short break. There are very few convenience stores on my ride route and I would have to sucure my bike before venturing into a store. Rides under 2:30 hrs I don't have to worry about eating, more than 2:30 than I need to start taking in some nourishment. And sometimes I ride straight through eating as I ride via the peloton style. Better to carrying too much food than not enough I've found. Sometimes it's just nice to stop in a quite spot and take a break and enjoy the landscape. I like the sound of nothing but the wind rustling through the tree tops....
Some tips for leaving the bike outside without a lock...Silverback
Sep 16, 2002 9:02 AM
Read a story about this a few years ago, I forget where, and it stuck in my mind.
At least around here (mid-size city with suburbs and rural areas nearby), you almost never have to leave a bike where you can't see it when you duck in for lunch or a snack. Park where you can see through the window, then:
--cross up the gears. Coast up in the big ring and small cog, then move the shifters so if somebody hops on, the chain will jump off the gears.
--Release the brakes, if they're cantis. I just unhook the two straddle cables.
--Snap your helmet through the back wheel, around something if you can.
--Velcro your gloves through the front wheel, around the fork blade.
--if you want, take off the front wheel and put the helmet strap through it before you snap it.
Takes just a few seconds, once you get used to it (I usually don't bother with the front wheel), and it keeps anybody from just hopping on and riding away or picking up the bike and tossing it into a truck. Plus it provides amusement for your friends when you jump on without fixing everything....
Some tips for leaving the bike outside without a lock...xxl
Sep 16, 2002 12:49 PM
Another good trick is to flip over your quick-release levers. If someone tries to dash off with it, they'll almost certainly not notice, until the bike won't go very fast because the back wheel is caught on the chainstay.
re: What do you do on long rides?flying
Sep 16, 2002 9:56 AM
Rides are 45 to 70 miles in length with lots of climbing.
We only stop to pee & usually at the turnaround for a couple of minutes to pee again ;-)
Food wise I do 100 cal/hr I am pretty religious about that & usually feel fine. Some very hot days is tough because there are no stores in the lava fields so I stash a bottle of water at the 2000' level on our 4000' descent. I learned that the hard way by losing 8lbs once years ago on that climb on a super hot day.

Here is something that nobody has mentioned though.....
On the 5 hour rides if Im alone....after 4.5 hrs of heavy exertion I notice my brain can fade a bit ;-)
I know it is because initially you have lots to think about but after 4.5-5 hours of not speaking to anyone I think I start to run out of thought......LOL ;-)
re: What do you do on long rides?aliensporebomb
Sep 16, 2002 11:39 AM
Sunday on a 40+ miler I had three boxes of raisins with
me. Those little Sun Maid raisins boxes that are pocket
sized. I had about 50 ounces of water with me as well as
some bite size candy.

I ate the first box of raisins around the 16 mile mark.

The next one I ate at the 26 mark somewhere.

The last one I ate at the 32 mile mark.

On rides it really depends on how long it is whether or
not I need more water or something like Gatorade or I'll
buy a pick of Fig Newtons (says "official food of USA
Cycling" on the packages) and wolf those down.

This particular ride I was pacing myself a bit. I wanted
to do a metric century but I ended up unable to do it as
my rear tire got slashed and managed to get back to my
car and the tire was still holding air but I was a bit

Sometimes I'll stop and sit for a few minutes, but I'm
careful to get going again quickly since if my heart rate
gets more relaxed the less likely I'll want to continue.
sort of dependsDougSloan
Sep 16, 2002 12:36 PM
Usually, I make my stops as few and as quick as I possibly can. If I'm heading across flat ground, I carry more water and go up to 75 miles at a stretch. For the mountains, I carry only 2 bottles, limited to about 40 miles (2-3 hrs) at a stretch. I don't like carrying as much weight up hills, especially the weight of a Camelbak while climbing.

I just buy a gallon of drinking water and fill my bottles with that and Sustained Energy. No messing with food. I then jump back on the bike and "eat" on the run. For organized events, I sort of do the same. I'll stash 2 bananas in my jersey pockets, then eat them while riding. The peels are bio-degradeable, so I feel free to litter.

Yesterday for 200 miles, I carried a Ziplock of Sustained Energy, one Hammergel flask (for emergency bonk relief), a large bottle, and a 72 ounce Camelbak. The Camelbak had pure water, and the bottle contained a concentrated mix of SE, about 9 scoops, or enough for about 3 hours. I stopped for water 3 times, at well spaced intervals.

sort of dependsRich_Racer
Sep 17, 2002 2:04 AM
As Doug said, I find stopping is completely controlled by my two water bottles which I go through at a rate of about one every hour, so I have have to stop about every 40 miles. If I was doing a ride under 50miles I would probably not stop though - just do the last few miles a bit dry! Granted - if I was doing a 60-70miles road race I wouldn't stop - I'd just be better hydrated beforehand. If it's really hot though I can drink much quicker and need to stop more. If I do stop for water, I tend to take my time, get something to eat as well, and have a bit of a stretch.