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  1. #1
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    My first 400k: more lessons learned

    I rode my first 400k yesterday, my longest ride ever. It was quite flat, only 5000' of climbing, so it was a good introduction to that distance. I rode it on my old Trek 5200 with the standard Ultegra triple of 52-42-30 and 12-25. That was good gearing for that ride, as I used every gear except the bottom two. I rode Vredestein Tricomps pumped to 140. My group was the third to come in, about an hour behind Jan's group. We worked hard and calibrated our effort well, as we were pretty shot by the finish, though we rode the last 30 miles in 1:33. Overall time was 15:03 with an in the saddle average of 18.8. Not too shabby for a geezer.

    Since it was a before dawn start, I used two Cateye HL-EL530 lamps and of course two taillights, a Cateye TL-LD270 (very cool with red LEDs and a clear lens) on a seatstay and a Performance Bike Shop Viewpoint Flashpoint lamp on my Detours High Tail bag. Yellow lenses in Rudy Project glasses with Optx stick-on reading inserts were great. I wore them all day as I never had time to change them for dark lenses. Didn't matter. I carried my cue sheet in a Cyco Active BarMap holder velcroed to my aerobars. The 'bars came in very handy both for long pulls on the front, chasing to get back onto a tandem group after a needed arrete pipi, and for some impromptu fartlek during a rolly stretch. They relieved my tired shoulders quite a bit.

    I went through 4 pints of my maltodextrin/soy protein powder, one Clif bar, one turkey and cheese sandwich (Yumm!) and one pint of chocolate milk. One of my buddies in the group was telling me that Real Randonneurs drank a quart of chocolate milk and ate a sandwich for lunch. So I tried the pint at the last control, just in case it didn't work out. Let me tell you, if you are the least bit lactose intolerant, don't drink chocolate milk during a long ride! I wasn't able to drink much of my last bottle of malto mix because my stomach was in such turmoil. Working out the math, if I had finished that last bottle, I would have been right on my target of 250 cal./hr. Definitely didn't bonk. Next time I'll eat another sandwich somewhere. Eating that one sandwich made me realize I was hungry so I drank a bunch of malto and ate the Clif bar, too. Good tasting food is an appetite stimulant, and that's a good thing.

    Technique: I got better at doing controls. Before I got to each control, I made a mental list of everything I wanted to do there and prioritized it. I stayed focused on my tasks, but kept an eye out for the others. When they were ready to leave, I left with them, whether I had gotten everything done or not. That was good. The comfort range for this type of thing is quite broad. As long as you get your card signed and tend to your absolute physical needs, you'll be fine.
    Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 05-19-07 at 05:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I would say one heck of a ride!! Congrats!! Question for you...what are Optx stick-on reading inserts? Are they something you apply to the glasses that provide reading ability? Do they come in different powers?Could you expound please?

  3. #3
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikerJoeP
    I would say one heck of a ride!! Congrats!! Question for you...what are Optx stick-on reading inserts? Are they something you apply to the glasses that provide reading ability? Do they come in different powers?Could you expound please?
    Google is your friend. "Optx stick on reading inserts." The Optx site seems to be the most expensive. This is cheaper:

    http://www.safetyglassesusa.com/optx...-bifocals.html

    but there may be cheaper places yet. They are absolutely the trick. If your sunglasses have a lot of radial curvature, they may not stick on very well, but are good with most designs. They don't interfere with your normal vision, and make it possible to read the cue sheet.

    Another thing I'd have that I didn't would be one of those really teeny dimish LED lights on a key chain that I could hook somewhere to read the cue sheet in the dark without tilting my helmet down enough to light it up with the helmet LED lamp.

  4. #4
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    Thank you

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your ride!

    Yeah ... about that chocolate milk .... I'm lactose intolerant, and even reading about someone drinking milk on a ride made my stomach lurch! I can handle a bit of cheese, but that's it in the way of dairy products ... no milk for me, and definitely no ice cream!

    "Good tasting food is an appetite stimulant, and that's a good thing." -- VERY true! That's why I always say, "Eat what you crave!" I was on a 600K a few years ago, and was craving protein. When I crave protein, visions of chicken dance in my head, but the only protein-like thing the little shop had was a beef and cheese sub. Beef is not one of my favorite substances, and I have to be careful with cheese, but I was craving protein, so I got it. I inhaled it so fast, I actually wondered where it disappeared to. And after that ... I had heaps of energy. Same thing happened to me on the PBP when I made a quick pit stop in a supermarket to buy one of those wedge sandwhich things in the deli section. It was chicken salad, I inhaled it in a few seconds .... and sped off into the distance with tons of energy!

    And once I've eaten something like that, it stimulates my appetite so that I can continue to eat for a while. Which is also why I am a nibbler. I have found if I keep nibbling all the way through the ride, I keep my appetite up so that I can eat more (like a meal) at a control ... but if I stop nibbling, I start finding it harder and harder to eat.

    Your control technique is good too. I've been working on cutting my break time down ... and I find that cycling alone is good for that. I can get out of controls much faster when I don't have to wait for a bunch of people to use the toilet ahead of me! I've been using convenience stores for the most part, rather than restaurants, since I've moved to Alberta ... and they are faster ... although sometimes I miss sitting around in a restaurant and chatting halfway through a brevet.

    BTW - I have several of those little LED lights dangling from various parts of my bicycle. They're $1 at your local $$ store and weigh nothing, yet have quite a bright light.

  6. #6
    seattle based cyclist merlinman's Avatar
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    Nice effort - congratulations - hope your knee held up ok - must have given the wicked pace you had.

    at safetyglassesusa.com you can buy bifocal (reading lens) protective glasses (V2 Readers) for around $9 with sunglass UVA/B protection. I bought 2 - one dark for sun and one gold for hazy days. They work great - have better coverage that my expensive cycling glasses. Because the reading element is built in you don't run risk of the Optx falling out (I have these too and used them a lot before I found these others).
    Andiamo!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
    Another thing I'd have that I didn't would be one of those really teeny dimish LED lights on a key chain that I could hook somewhere to read the cue sheet in the dark without tilting my helmet down enough to light it up with the helmet LED lamp.
    yeah, I was thinking of using something like this, too, as even with a helmet LED, one thing I'd run into is that the plastic on the ziploc or map case that's holding the cue-sheet would cause the light on the LED to reflect right back up at me. At least, a small hand held LED could be held at an angle. One of my old Kryptonite locks had a green LED built into one of the keys. Never used it for its intended purpose (iluminating the lock at night) but figured it might have a second life as a cue sheet reader.

  8. #8
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spokenword
    yeah, I was thinking of using something like this, too, as even with a helmet LED, one thing I'd run into is that the plastic on the ziploc or map case that's holding the cue-sheet would cause the light on the LED to reflect right back up at me. At least, a small hand held LED could be held at an angle. One of my old Kryptonite locks had a green LED built into one of the keys. Never used it for its intended purpose (iluminating the lock at night) but figured it might have a second life as a cue sheet reader.
    i really like the e+lite.



    you can clip it to things, and it has red and white leds.
    i like the red for cockpit illumination as it helps with the night vision problems...

  9. #9
    Senior Member The Octopus's Avatar
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    Nice ride and great report. That's a beefy time; you guys were really flogging it!

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