Time for a change.
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
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Try to keep this down to the basics. This is about My big one each year- 100 miles offroad on the South Downs Way-95% offroad and 10,000 ft of climbing, I also do several 60 milers and the occasional 65 or 100 mile road rides
Why do it? Its a challenge. Preparation is the key word- both for the bike and for the rider. You don't need the latest full off road, cost-a-lot, full suspension bike and you don't need to be a mountain goat type of rider, but you do have to be fit, and the bike has to be in good condition. I do it on the Tandem nowadays- which adds a problem in cost of setting up, and I do prepare myself by plenty of Gym work.
The bike. Any good Mountain bike will do, but wheels, drivetrain and saddle must be in A.1. condition. On the tandem this meant that I had to buy Full downhill spec wheels to take the weight of the thing, new tyres for virtually every event, and I do run through sprockets cassettes and chain at an alarming rate. The tyres do not wear out but the casing takes a great deal of damage, so I also carry a folding tyre as a spare, along with two extra tubes and a full toolkit for any repairs necessary. The "T" is also modified to very effective Downhill spec Forks and Brakes. Allup weight of it is around 400lbs, so it takes a lot of knocks on the trail, hence the forks, wheels and tyre damage, and the brakes are necessary due to the speed of the thing downhill. You do not need to go to this extent on a solo and in 94 I did it on my Kona Explosif in standard form- standard brakes, wheels tyres and rigid forks, and my mate did it on his Univega that was similarly set up. Last year there were people with very basic bikes that I would not dream of riding, that put up some good times.
The big problem is body resources. After 6 hours riding you run out of carbohydrates and the body fails. I carbo load for two weeks before the event, but still run out at 6 hours unless I eat on the ride. Plenty of cereal bars, cake, Creamed rice, in fact anything I can eat whilst riding. We also keep up an average of 1 litre of liquid per hour to ensure we do not dehydrate. We ride with heart monitors, and we do exceed our age related limits, and we do not take it slow on the ride. I have an age limit of 165, Last year I reached 174 at some point on the ride, and I averaged out 143 for the whole ride.
The problems you have on a long ride is concentration. The terrain has hidden dangers like holes in the track, loose scree on the downhill, and Hawthorn bushes that suddenly jump out in front of you. Weather can be a problem, so clothing is a concern. I always start the ride in shorts, short sleeve top and Top. the top may be pertex for windproofing or the full Gore tex for rain. Warmth is not a problem after a couple of miles, but both these tops breath so don't cause a problem until full sun starts warming things up. If its raining and were hot- off comes the goretex and we just ride wet.
I missed my 100 mile in June as my co-rider fell ill 3 days before the event. We were planning to do it at the end of July but that may have changed now. In October there will be an organised ride fot the South Downs Way, Never done it this late in the year so weather may be a problem, but I think the bigger problem is "How can we get the lights to last for 10 hours?" as This event will be Starting at 6pm, and ride through the night-- Any Suggestions?
The attachment is of 2004 when 2 Tandems took part out of the 400 starters, We did not ride with the other one as we lost a chain at the start and had to chase from then on, we lost 30 minutes and caught the other "T" in the last 200 yards of the last downhill.
Facts from last year, 100 miles in 12 hours, average of 9.1 mph, 400 starters les than 50% finished, 25 litres of water drunk, 2lbs of fruit cake, 20 cereal bars, 6x400gram packs of dried fruit, and as much more food as the pair of us could throw down our throats
Why do it, Couple of medical problems- bypass and Cancer meant I could have given up. Set myself to do this ride in 2003 with my co-rider. I am 58 and he is 42 and 2003 was his first attempt and my 7th. Well we did it and that started us off on the Enduro type of riding
Last edited by stapfam; 07-05-05 at 12:02 PM.