Been cycling for over 10 years. After a couple years of cycling I did a 4-day charity ride that include one ride over 200k, and the other three over 100k. That was a while ago, and while I remember suffering, I don't call any bonk-like feelings. Since then I've had 1-3 rides over 100k a year, sometimes a few more. What I'm trying to determine is why on some of those rides, towards the end of the ride (90k and longer), do I start to feel my energy evaporating...but others I'm good. And, in both cases (two I can recall in the last two weeks) what I ate before the ride, as well as my general preparedness were very similar. When I'm riding and taking in calories via engergy bars, bananas, gels or other things, I feel fine. Then within the space of 10 minutes I go from ok to bad...and depsite the calories I take in after 'bad' sets in, it's a tough ride home. Do I need to eat more early on in these rides, if yes, why just on some of them? I'm not scientific and don't like counting calories, but I'm open to some general guidance.
Some basic stats/facts:
- 39 yrs old
- 140 pounds
- bike is < 20 pounds
- on a 100-125k route there are some rollers, and a few steep though short climbs (over 10%, but only for a few hundred meters)
- on last weeks 125k ride I ate two energy bars, one gel, one carb drink and one banana. Before the ride I ate a large bowl of fruit, yogurt and granola (I've had this for years)