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  1. #1
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    advice for long distance

    I plan to ride the Fireweed 400 here in AK this summer. 400 miles 28,000 ft total elevation gain. this will be my first really long ride (more than about 80 miles). looking for any tips/trick or ideas for training, food or otherwise. I plan to spend a lot of time on a bike and do some hill climb races as training. the longest training ride I plan to go on will be about 130 miles. Any input would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    First, you have to write up a report of that ride and post it here when you do it. It's one that is on my list of Rides-To-Do and I want to hear more about it.

    Second, have a look at this site: http://www.ultracycling.com/ It is full of articles on training, nutrition, and equipment tips for long rides.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I plan to spend a lot of time on a bike and do some hill climb races as training. the longest training ride I plan to go on will be about 130 miles. Any input would be appreciated.
    The Fireweed 400, probably presents many unique challenges. So as you suspect, you need all the best training and advice you can get to be successful.

    That's why you should be trying to contact people who have ridden the 400 and successfully completed it without injury or negative experiences.

    Anybody here -ever ride the 400? Tell this guy all about it?

  4. #4
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    I may be wrong, but I believe that 130 miles as your longest ride, prior to the 400, is not going to be enough. If you average 12mph, that's a jump from 11 hours to 33 hours.

    Aside from the high chances that you will incur some type of overuse injury, rides that long involve a whole new set of skills. How do you keep eating and stay hydrated; how do you deal with minor sleep deprivation; how do you ride safely and navigate at night.

    Fortunately you've got plenty of time to train, so I'd just make sure to do rides much longer than 130 miles as part of your prep. Or, instead of doing the 400 this year, do the 200.

    Good luck....

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    yeah I actually have a guy who has ridden it 6 times and won it once training me and he will be crewing it for me. just looking for other thoughts. thanks so much for the link and encouragement.

  6. #6
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    I rode the 200 a few years ago. Quite difficult!

    Many 400 riders abandoned on the climb out of Valdez. Thompson Pass is murderous that way, and the Valdez stop was nice, so as you can imagine the mental challenge there was serious. Train to get the trophy handed to you but get it kicked away by a vicious opponent who is still after you!

    It rains a lot during this ride. I caught it for 100 miles, hard for a desert dweller. You need to be completely used to it, if you're not already.

    Rolling course! It was bad enough for me but you'll be cussing the downhills on the way out. So in summary, I'd tell you that this is mentally killer and physically tough. When the road disappears uphill into the clouds and all you can hear is vehicles that you think are airplanes, that's a big hill. When the video boys come by (George likes his movies) you have to smile and be nice, punching him out is a bad plan. Should some young guy named Ben blow your doors off you have to roll with it - he does that a lot it seems.

    I second the nomination to do the 200 first. I saw way too many abandons to say anything else. I had to hang around and do a rescue on an AK rider who bonked and went hypothermic. Mean business out there! This girl was bear-bait! Besides, the ferry ride to Whittier was real nice
    Last edited by SandLizrd; 03-11-09 at 10:25 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    It rains a lot during this ride. I caught it for 100 miles, hard for a desert dweller. You need to be completely used to it, if you're not already.
    And of course, to "handle" this kind of ride, you must be carrying some quality clothing and equipment. The wrong jacket, or gloves could result in a DNF.

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