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Old 03-26-06, 11:39 AM   #1
supcom
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First Double Century

I did it!

I rode my first 300K brevet and, with a few bonus miles at the finish, my first double century. I am so pumped! I can truly call myself an ultramarathon cyclist now.

This was my second attempt to do 200 miles. The first ended at 168 miles due to a pretty hard bonk. This time, I made a concerted effort to keep my heart rate down to a reasonable level and to eat 250 calories an hour. I never bonked and felt great at the end of the ride. I basically ate a packet of gel every 30 minutes on the bike and drank plenty of sports drink. Simple, easy to do. At the controls I would eat whatever looked appetizing along with a bottle of Yahoo, Slimfast, Ensure, or some plain ole' Coca Cola.

I rode the Cleburne 300K brevet put on by the Lone Star Randonneurs (www.lonestarrandon.org). This is a great, and very active Randoneurring group and this was my fourth brevet with them this year. The course was very hilly and we had perfect weather. Sunny, high temperature of 65 deg and about 5 mph south wind.

Absolutely the best day I have spent on a bicycle.
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Old 03-26-06, 11:46 AM   #2
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Congradualtions.
Makes my legs hurt just to think about it.
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Old 03-26-06, 04:19 PM   #3
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Wow! Congratulations!
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Old 03-27-06, 01:17 AM   #4
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Congratulations and well done ....... they really aren't that hard when you keep the pace reasonable and the nutritional intake regular.
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Old 03-27-06, 01:17 PM   #5
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Wow! How long did it take? That seems unreal to me. Of course I used to think a marathon was out of reach as well, but I have a couple of those complete. But bicycling 200 miles?!? That would be awesome. I don't know if I'd be able to do (or desire to do) something like that as part of an event though. Congratulations.

Edited to add: By the way, your link is broken... you have a part of the parentheses mixed in with the actual web address. It works here.... http://www.lonestarrandon.org/
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Old 03-27-06, 06:08 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=jcwitte]Wow! How long did it take? That seems unreal to me. Of course I used to think a marathon was out of reach as well, but I have a couple of those complete. But bicycling 200 miles?!? That would be awesome. I don't know if I'd be able to do (or desire to do) something like that as part of an event though. Congratulations.

It took 15 1/2 hours from start to finish (clock time, not ride time). I started at 7:00AM and finished at about 10:30 PM. Lots of hills. One flat at 9:00 PM.

I woudn't say it was easy because it wasn't. But I am convinced that it's at least 50% mental challenge. You need to understand and be prepared for the time required, and how long durations on the bike affect you. It's defineitely different from doing a 100 mile ride. You must plan your eating and manage your exertion level or you'll get into a hole you can't dig out of. At least that's what I learned in my first (unsuccessful) attempt at a double.

Although the ride was an organized event, it's not like a charity ride. There are no manned rest stops set up along the way. You are basically on your own. Some people ride in a group and others alone. I rode almost the entire route solo, which I prefer since I didn't want to feel pressured to keep up with a faster group when I'm pushing my endurance level.
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Old 03-27-06, 09:31 PM   #7
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That's truly an awesome accomplishment. I'd like to hear more details about the ride and the steed you used...how often did you stop and for how long, did you have any emotional peaks and valleys, what kind of bike and gear did you use?
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Old 03-27-06, 10:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CC Rider
That's truly an awesome accomplishment. I'd like to hear more details about the ride and the steed you used...how often did you stop and for how long, did you have any emotional peaks and valleys, what kind of bike and gear did you use?
Well, other than the long (for me) mileage, the whole ride was rather unremarkable. The route was fairly hilly but the weather was great with very little wind. There were stops about every 32 miles at a convenience store where we had to get our brevet card signed by the store clerk as evidence that we were there. I would spend about 20 minutes at each stop, get some food, and mix up some sports drink in my CamelBak if necessary.

The main thing was to keep my exertion at a reasonable level. In my case, I set a nominal target of 130-140 bpm on the heart rate monitor. Plenty of past experience tells me that this is a good rate for long distance. I should not that through the entire ride, I never looked at my speed. I was using a Polar 720i HRM as my cycle computer and used only the heartrate, clock, and distance displays during the ride. After the ride, I checked my average speed and found it to be 14.7 mph, not including time stopped. I was actually surprised it was that high.

The other factor was to eat. Based on a lot of reading here and elsewhere, I knew that I needed to eat about 250 calories per hour. I have found that if I don't eat enough on long rides, eventually I lose my appetite. This sends me into a downward spiral that makes the later stages of the ride pretty miserable. For this ride, I decided to try using Gu gel for my food while riding. This was ideal because if you do it right you can down a packet of gel in about two seconds and barely taste it. Combine that with a sports drink that contains primarily complex sugars so it's not sickingly sweet when warm, and you can easily get 250 calories per hour. I just tried to eat a gel every half hour and keep drinking from the CamelBak often. At the stops, I treid to eat and drink 400-500 calories as added insurance.

I had one low point caused, I believe, from eating too much protein and fat at the second stop. My stomach was a bit queasy for a while. When I got to the third stop, I drank a couple of Cokes before heading on and after about an hour felt great again. I was expecting to go through a low point so I was prepared to deal with it and just kept pushing on and eating until it cleared up. After that it was smooth sailing to the end.

Equipment was quite modest. I used an old late-70's Raleigh Olympian (Raleigh America) that has been modernized here and there. Six speed rear with a double chainring. The rear has a Shimano megarange freewheel that has a big 34 tooth bailout gear so the hills were all quite doable. I had twin Cateye HL-EL500 LED lights mounted on the forks and a Carradice Pendle saddlebag. I sat on a Brooks, of course. The bike probably weighs about 27 lbs or so before any provisions are loaded. It's not very fast, but it is comfortable. I used a 2L CamelBak that I refilled at every other stop (60 miles).

I had one flat, around 9:00 PM on my rear tire, that I fixed with no difficulty. Other than that, I had no mechanical problems.

That's about it.
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Old 03-27-06, 11:14 PM   #9
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Random question but what is the record for most miles in a 24 hour period?
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Old 03-27-06, 11:14 PM   #10
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Random question but what is the record for most miles in a 24 hour period?
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Old 03-27-06, 11:35 PM   #11
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wow congrats.
I did my first (and only) double back in 99.
I felt like I was still moving long after I went to bed.
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Old 03-29-06, 04:44 PM   #12
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Hey supcom,
Thanks for the summary of your double century. Sounds like good preplanning paid off!
Happy Riding. CC
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Old 03-30-06, 03:28 AM   #13
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Random question but what is the record for most miles in a 24 hour period?
The British Cycling Time Trials Association list just over 525 miles http://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/...?Cat1=1&Cat2=7 Of course the Americans have their own 'world record' http://www.ultracycling.com/records/timedrecords.html
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Old 03-30-06, 05:23 AM   #14
Az B
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Wow! That's great!

I think I'd like to try that. Maybe next year...

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