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  1. #1
    Senior Member markm109's Avatar
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    1st Organized Ride - Noob questions

    I am going to ride the Friends of the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail 2004 Ride on Sunday. This wil be my first long distance organized ride - I'm thinking of doing the 100 mile route.

    The ride notice states: Rest stops include refreshments. There will be a SAG service and sweep. DOE.

    So I understand they accept day of entry riders since I didn't pre-register. What is SAG service? I believe sweep is an offer of a lift back when time runs out? What refreshments are usually offered?

    I can carry two watter bottles which should get me between rest stops, or should I put a third cage and bottle on? I only have a small under seat pouch and pockets in jersey - should I get a rack and trunk bag? I have a spare tire and irons in the pouch. Do I need other tools / stuff or is that what the SAG service provides?

    I have a lite touring / cyclocross bike and currently have 35mm 90lb tires, should I switch down to 25mm tires for this ride? What benefits would I get besides losing some soft ride quality?

    What types and how much snacks / food should I carry on me for such a ride? I know about power aid and such to drink so I don't dehydrate or run out of electrolites. I am a type 2 diabetic and watch my sugar, so I get the sports drinks with only 2 carbs, but on such a long ride I may need to worry about my sugar going too low. Any other riders out there also diabetics and have figured this out?

    Any other helpful ides / comments? The weather is supposed to be nice so I wasn't taking rain gear.

    Sorry for all the noob questions - I just want to be prepared as possible and know what to expect.

    Thanks,

    Mark

  2. #2
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markm109
    What is SAG service? I believe sweep is an offer of a lift back when time runs out? What refreshments are usually offered?

    I can carry two watter bottles which should get me between rest stops, or should I put a third cage and bottle on? I only have a small under seat pouch and pockets in jersey - should I get a rack and trunk bag? I have a spare tire and irons in the pouch. Do I need other tools / stuff or is that what the SAG service provides?

    I have a lite touring / cyclocross bike and currently have 35mm 90lb tires, should I switch down to 25mm tires for this ride? What benefits would I get besides losing some soft ride quality?

    What types and how much snacks / food should I carry on me for such a ride?
    SAG means "support and gear". The sag vehicle is usually and pickup or van that will pick up a rider who has serious bike problems or who runs out of steam and can't finish the ride.
    Refreshments can vary from water, powerade/gatorade, cookies, fruit (bananas, oranges, apples), nuts, chips, etc. They'll probably provide restrooms or porta-potties at the stops.
    Two water bottles should suffice. The stops are generally 12-20 miles apart.
    The tools in your seat pack should be enough.
    I'd switch to the smallest tires possible. After 50 miles you won't be worried about comfort as much as how hard it is to pedal a bike with bigger (softer) tires.
    In case you get lost (like miss a turn at a crossroad - I've done that ) carry a powerbar or two.

    Good luck with the 100 miles.

  3. #3
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    Mark, a fellow in my club AABTS has diabetes. On a 30 miler, he will usually stick his finger at the half way mark and check his sugar. He eats either fig bars or spice drops licorace candy if his sugar is too low. About the Pere Marquette RT, it is only 30 miles long. On some (new) organized rides, the food runs short/low at the end. I would carry a bar or something, but eat whatever they offer. Usually it is bannanas, grapes, apple slices, cookies or granola bars and sometimes PB & J sandwiches. Also they usually have water and lemonade or gatorade. The Pere Marquette trail goes through several cities so gettting food/water shouldn't be a problem. Personally, I like to eat a meal after 60 miles. Snacks don't do it for me. My favorite is a grilled cheese sandwich with a dill pickle. (carbs/protein/fat/salt) Have fun!

  4. #4
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    You didn't state, or I missed, what kind of training and whether or not you had done any long rides yet???

    That would make a BIG difference in the responses to your questions.

    SO, tell us just a bit about your riding experience, and your training for the Century.
    Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone

  5. #5
    Senior Member markm109's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    You didn't state, or I missed, what kind of training and whether or not you had done any long rides yet???

    That would make a BIG difference in the responses to your questions.

    SO, tell us just a bit about your riding experience, and your training for the Century.
    I've ridden almost 1,600 miles so far this year, with the majority of that in May, June and July (300,400,500 miles respectively) and I'm up to 125 miles a week. I've done numerous 30+ mile rides and a couple of 50 mile rides.

    I just replaced my flite trans am with a Fizik Airone saddle which has greatly eased the discomfort I've felt on those longer rides.

    I'm not trying to brake any speed records, I've averaged 15mph on the 50 mile rides (rolling hills) and almost 17 on a few 30's. I've got all day, just the course offically stops at 3pm, opens at 7am.

    Like a previous post said the trail is only 30 miles long, out and back is 60, and they throw in some country roads to get it up to 100. If I start getting tired, I can always turn back or drop some extra roads to cut the miles down. Or if I really bomb, I can grab the sweep at the end.

    On the longer rides, I try to stop and get off the bike for at least 5 minutes every hour. This seems to help reset my energy level, and it I take a longer break for lunch, that should help too.

    I figure if it takes 7 to 7.5 hours ride time for my first century, that would be fine. I'm 37 and 50lbs overweight so that would be an accomplishment for me. (I've lost 30 lbs in the last year biking).

    I've never checked my sugar on a ride, and only do it about 2 times a month. I've been pretty stable for the past year, even got to reduce my medicine by one level losing the weight and getting more in shape, even got a normal blood pressure reading at my last check up. I can feel when my sugar is too low, I start getting light headed and dizzy feeling.

    Thanks for the advice everyone.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Sounds like you are on the right track.

    It would be great if you could do a 70-75 miles ride before the century.

    Good luck.
    Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone

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