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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 06-06-10, 11:39 AM   #1
Nola_Gal
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Nearly Bonked



So, yesterday was my first ride with the local randoneurring group. It was a beginner friendly populaire with a ride distance of 107km. I had done 61.5 miles last weekend at 14mph and finished feeling good so I thought it would be no problem. There were 6 riders in total...three ladies and three guys. Two guys and one lady were regular long distance club riders. The other two riders were experienced riders but just getting into long distances. One was a younger guy who was fast. The other lady was just a little older than me and while not a racer, she was an experienced rider of more moderate distances.

Well, there were some interesting 'failures' along the route! Within the first 5 miles, one rider went down. It was 'user error' and luckily he wasn't hurt but his tire popped off the rim. The guys went to work on the tire while we went on, figuring the guys would easily be able to catch up to us. Before we hit the 10 mile mark, one of the other ladies broke a spoke. We went to work with a temporary carbon fiber spoke. We couldn't get that to work but one of the women had recently built a wheel so she was able to balance the wheel well enough with a spoke wrench to keep it from rubbing the frame. By that time, the guys had caught up to us and we all went on our way. About 5 miles after the turn around point, one of the guys lost his pedal. Luckily, it was still attached to his shoe! Again, the ladies went on while the guys got it re-attached.

All of this kept things interesting and showed the group to be full of really good-natured fun people. I think my problem was that I didn't eat enough early on and that just got worse as my stomach got a little queasy. I was definitely slowing down during the last 25 miles, but at the time was kind of at a loss as to what to do. I knew the idea of eating more gu was gross, but I did...I just think by then it was too late. The last 2 miles were horrible. I was moving at probably an 8-9mph speed and was never so glad to make it back to my car!

I was pretty disappointed. That being said, I still had a really good time and in spite of the last few miles, my overall speed was around 13.6mph. They were a fun supportive crowd and I learned a lot.

For one thing, I'll be getting a camelbak. I don't think I was dehydrated but I did have trouble drinking the fluids on my bike because they got warm so quickly. (The temps were somewhere between 85-90 degrees.) The other thing I'm going to do is ditch my Carradice bag and go back to my handlebar bag. While riding, I'm much better at eating out of that bag than I am at eating 'out of my jersey pockets'. When I ride solo, it's not unusual for me to stop for a minute or so every ten miles or so to grab something to eat and chug some fluids. That doesn't work when you're with a group with control stops every 25 miles. I need to work on that.

I kept remembering my nephew when he was learning to skate. He was about 4yo and I had bought him skates, a helmet and all the padding. He was getting frustrated and started crying because he was falling so much. I told him if he wanted to be good at it he needed to be willing to be a beginner and fall down some. He went on to be a pretty darn good skater!

So, I got knocked down, but I'll be back up again!!
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Old 06-06-10, 11:44 AM   #2
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We all meet the bonk beast at some time. I've bonked so badly on some really long rides that I couldn't think straight from low blood sugar and my hands were shaking too hard to unwrap a Clif Bar or open a gel.
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Old 06-06-10, 11:47 AM   #3
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That is a lot of failures for 6 riders on a 100k.

Good job finishing. I always tell riders on Rando rides to think of them as pass/fail. All that matters is that you complete within the time limit.

I like the Camelbak for long rides in the hot temps. If it was as warm there yesterday as it was here, you needed to drink lots of water. The Camelbak will keep the water cold for a couple hours. For Rando rides, I will usually buy a bag of ice at the controls later in the day if it is hot and share with someone.
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Old 06-06-10, 12:00 PM   #4
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It feels ungentlemanly to write this, Nola_Gal, but you are one tough guy. Congratulations on getting through that hard ride. Next time, eat some real food, such as a banana, a turkey sandwich, etc, at the midpoint and drink more often.
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Old 06-06-10, 08:55 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone. We did 'pass'. We finished with 10 minutes to spare! I think it will be real food with gels and bars for back-up next time. Historian, I don't know that I'm that tough, but I am persistent!
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Old 06-06-10, 09:16 PM   #6
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On something like a 62 miler, I might stick a few Fig Newtons in my jersey pocket. I'll stuff one in my mouth every now and then even if I'm not hungry, preventitive maintenance, same with fluids. You don't wait till you get hungry/thirsty.

Some riders concern themselves to much with weight gain. I've seen riders bonk cause they didn't want to weigh more than 200 on a ride, thought he'd climb better!..Ya don't diet on the ride, you fuel your body. Not sure if that was your case!
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Old 06-07-10, 02:14 PM   #7
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My first 100k with the Seattle Randos, I crossed the finish with 1 minute to spare!

Unlike a supported metric or century, a rando ride is a totally different beast; no SAG wagons if you break something, no sun-shaded rest stops stocked with Clif Bars, cookies, bananas and cold water, no Dan Henrys to tell you where to go... and the clock ticking away the entire time.

13.6 isn't a bad speed to keep. On my rando rides, I'm usually around a 14.5 average. Heck, one of our local legends (Kent Peterson) wrote a blog entry called Life at Twelve Miles per Hour; all about slowing down, enjoying the route, and taking your time. Considering he's riding from Issaquah, WA to Banff, Alberta, CAN to race the Tour Divide, and then he's riding back home from Mexico... he might just know a little bit about long distance riding.

The Camelback is probably a good idea if you're not keen on warm water. Up here, it's not so much of a problem. Down there, it's a heck of a lot hotter.
Ditching the Carradice might be an option for now, but don't count it out for long rides in the future. I have a 12L Berthoud up front which stays on for all my rides, and I typically leave my Pendle on the back, too; even if there's nothing in it. Yes, it's easier to keep snacks and stuff in the handlebar bag for quick access while riding. Plus, it's nice to have the map case on top of most h'bar bags. But if/when you start going for 300k+ distances, the extra space afforded by the second bag is nice. You can balance your load front and back, which is good if you have to carry a bunch of extra clothes for night-time temperatures, or if you have a course with long stretches between controls, and you need to stash a couple spare litres of water and 50 miles worth of food.

Getting the pattern down for your eating habits can be tricky with randonneuring, since the controls are less frequent than on a club/charity ride, and you're usually left to fend for yourself. Sometimes, getting queasy is part of the game. I know many randos, and I've been one myself, who have fallen prey to a rebellious stomach and had it end our ride, regardless of how we tried to press on.
Our club president has a t-shirt that says "You're not a real cyclist until you've thrown up in a French roadside ditch."

Check out some of the advice on the Rando/LD/Endurance forum.
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Old 06-07-10, 02:21 PM   #8
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Our club president has a t-shirt that says "You're not a real cyclist until you've thrown up in a French roadside ditch."
Or as a friend puts it, "It's not exercise until you start throwing up."
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Old 06-07-10, 02:27 PM   #9
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Or as a friend puts it, "It's not exercise until you start throwing up."
Mark's t-shirt is rando specific, though, since it's a reference to the Paris-Brest-Paris ride.
But your friend's idea is just about the right attitude for the longer distance rando rides, or the really hilly ones. I'm already getting knots in my stomach, knowing that I've pledged myself to a 600k in the fall.
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Old 06-07-10, 08:50 PM   #10
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No, I wasn't worried about dieting on the ride. In fact, I had noticed that since doing the South Beach style eating (lean proteins, veggies, beans, salads etc.) I had been slowing down some, so, for a few days before this ride, I made sure to have some pasta for dinner etc. to make sure I had something 'in the tank'.

I think with the excitement of the day and the switch to having the bag on the back, I just let myself get behind on calories. I had three bottles of power-aide (plus plain water), about 3-4 'servings' of Hammer gel from my flask and a small bag of chex mix...I'm thinking that's not nearly enough. If I had had a shrimp poboy in my bag, that would have done the trick Unfortunately, I think all that sweet stuff (the gel and the power-aid) was just kind of gross after a while!

All in all, we spent almost 7 hours out on the ride. If I figure 200-300 calories per hour, that's a lot of calories! I'll have to pack some sandwiches and a banana next time and see how that works for me. If I can work my schedule, I may try to do it again this weekend on my own...just to get my mojo back!
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Old 06-08-10, 04:54 AM   #11
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I take carrots with me they tend to settle my stomach I use a camel back filled with ice and some G2 gator aid. Even in 90 degree weather it will keep the ice for 5 hours providing a cool drink. I have a power bar as food.
My first try at 100 miled ended after 11 hours, 80 miles, darkness and the sherriff taking me back to the car. I tried it without a cammelback thinking a convience store every 10 miles or so i could fill my water bottles. That didn't work.
Steep learning curve, for me, on hydration and food intake.
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Old 06-08-10, 08:35 AM   #12
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All in all, we spent almost 7 hours out on the ride. If I figure 200-300 calories per hour, that's a lot of calories! I'll have to pack some sandwiches and a banana next time and see how that works for me.
250 cal/hr sounds like a lot, until you start working out the numbers.

Conservative estimate for average caloric burn rate = 35cal/mi
At a reasonable 22.5kph (14mph) rando pace, that's 490 cal/hr.
For a 200k that's 9 hours of riding, and a grand total of 4410 calories burned.
If you drink a half bottle of Accelerade and eat a Clif Bar every hour, that's ~300 calories, putting you at a 190 cal/hr loss for 9 hours: Negative balance = 1710 calories.

It's obscene, the amount of stuff (and the stuff, in general) I see some of the riders in the Seattle Randos eating at controls. Even in the middle of winter, there's a guy who eats ice-cream bars. Another can survive on microwave burritos from the gas station. On my last 300k, my "brunch" at the 140km control was a 7-11 corn dog on a stick, Pepsi, a sack of crisps and a Starbucks doubleshot. During the ride I also ate 2 bahn mi veggie and fried tofu sandwiches, a few Payday bars, drank at least 5 Gatorades, and had a giant plate of brisket and potatoes when I got home. I still lost 2 pounds from that ride.

Idea from the diary of Kent "Not a Nutritional Role Model" Peterson: Trader Joe's sesame crepes are probably the highest ROI food available. $0.99 for a packet of 2. 4 servings of 250 cal/ea in a packet. That's one thousand calories for ninety nine cents, and you can roll them up and stuff 'em in your pocket!
Then again, you have to remember than Kent can survive on coffee and Payday bars, or Pepsi and peanut M&Ms for seemingly endless numbers of miles. So, YMMV.
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Old 06-08-10, 09:02 AM   #13
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250 cal/hr sounds like a lot, until you start working out the numbers.

Conservative estimate for average caloric burn rate = 35cal/mi
At a reasonable 22.5kph (14mph) rando pace, that's 490 cal/hr.
For a 200k that's 9 hours of riding, and a grand total of 4410 calories burned.
If you drink a half bottle of Accelerade and eat a Clif Bar every hour, that's ~300 calories, putting you at a 190 cal/hr loss for 9 hours: Negative balance = 1710 calories.

It's obscene, the amount of stuff (and the stuff, in general) I see some of the riders in the Seattle Randos eating at controls. Even in the middle of winter, there's a guy who eats ice-cream bars. Another can survive on microwave burritos from the gas station. On my last 300k, my "brunch" at the 140km control was a 7-11 corn dog on a stick, Pepsi, a sack of crisps and a Starbucks doubleshot. During the ride I also ate 2 bahn mi veggie and fried tofu sandwiches, a few Payday bars, drank at least 5 Gatorades, and had a giant plate of brisket and potatoes when I got home. I still lost 2 pounds from that ride.

Idea from the diary of Kent "Not a Nutritional Role Model" Peterson: Trader Joe's sesame crepes are probably the highest ROI food available. $0.99 for a packet of 2. 4 servings of 250 cal/ea in a packet. That's one thousand calories for ninety nine cents, and you can roll them up and stuff 'em in your pocket!
Then again, you have to remember than Kent can survive on coffee and Payday bars, or Pepsi and peanut M&Ms for seemingly endless numbers of miles. So, YMMV.
I'm eating and drinking every five or so miles on my bike tours, and lost ten pounds over two weeks on the last one. The stretch from Kent Island to Trappe, MD, went as follows:

8:00 AM - breakfast of toast, juice, and a little bit of eggs.
9:00 AM - cream pastry from gas station two miles into ride.
10:30 AM - sub from gas station market ten miles into ride.
11:30 AM - banana and lots of drinks at Wye Oak.
2:00 PM - banana and trail mix.
3:00 PM - sliced turkey from Target in Easton, MD. This was supposed to be for dinner, but I ate the whole package on the way to...
6:00 PM - Trappe, MD. Had some more trail mix, another banana, and found a mini-mart and got two sandwiches and a bunch of snacks. And a lot more fluid, some zero calorie, some not.

45 miles hauling 40 pounds of gear in a trailer in 80 degree weather. I earned all those calories! :-)
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