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Old 08-08-07, 09:48 AM   #1
Swoop
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Need some advice for a long ride I'm thinking of doing

Hello everyone

I originally posted in the long-distance forum, but someone suggested I might find some help here, so here I am (original thread:http://www.bikeforums.net/long-distance-competition-ultracycling-randonneuring-endurance-cycling/329708-experience-advice-sought.html#post5026283).

The gist of it: I'm planning to do a ~220km ride through a desert at night, in about a month. It'll be my longest ride by quite a bit, and the more I think of the details the more I'm thinking I might be biting off more than I can chew. The biggest problem is that there will be very few opportunities for refreshing/refilling water, so I'm gonna have to ride with at least 12 litres. If anyone's interested in the details, I'm in Israel and the ride will be from a little north of Be'er Sheva to a little north of Eilat, via Mizpe Ramon.

Any and all thoughts welcome!
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Old 08-08-07, 09:55 AM   #2
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How hot will it be at night? How much gear are you carrying? I live in a dry climate and I'd normally drink 1.5 - 2L per 100kms in temps up to 27 deg C. So for a 200Km ride I'd only have 4L with me in total. If there is one spot midway to get more water than 2L.

12L seems like an awful lot of water for a night ride.
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Old 08-08-07, 12:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Swoop View Post
I originally posted in the long-distance forum, but someone suggested I might find some help here, so here I am (original thread:http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?p=5026283).
[...]
Any and all thoughts welcome!
I just read through your original post in the long-distance forum, and i don't think there's anything to add. The people who responded to you there gave you excellent advice. It sounds like you're over your head here -- in training, in preparation, in equipment, in water-hauling technique. Listen to them.

-- Mark
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Old 08-08-07, 01:32 PM   #4
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220K is a pretty long distance to be riding at night. Do you have enough lighting to make certain you can do the whole trip? Are you running on batteries or a dynamo?
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Old 08-09-07, 01:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Swoop View Post
Hello everyone

I originally posted in the long-distance forum, but someone suggested I might find some help here, so here I am (original thread:http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?p=5026283).

The gist of it: I'm planning to do a ~220km ride through a desert at night, in about a month. It'll be my longest ride by quite a bit, and the more I think of the details the more I'm thinking I might be biting off more than I can chew. The biggest problem is that there will be very few opportunities for refreshing/refilling water, so I'm gonna have to ride with at least 12 litres. If anyone's interested in the details, I'm in Israel and the ride will be from a little north of Be'er Sheva to a little north of Eilat, via Mizpe Ramon.

Any and all thoughts welcome!
Hi,
I'm from Israel and have some experience riding long, but on roads.
The first thing that comes to mined is gas stations. Try to search and build again your course with gas stations in the middle.
Is the 90km you have done in offroad conditions?
For the water issue, you can carry the water on the bike, just add rear rack, and big bottles to the frame.
For me the problematic thing is getting lost there. Do you have experience navigating on the negev?
As I know our cycling community, I'm sure that a lot of people done this road, and the kind of trip in the Negev unsupported. I would post a question to Tapuz road bicycle forum and www.harim.co.il .
A good thing to do is finding another person or two to come with you, this will make it a lot easier.
I think you should notify the police when you start your trip and give them your estimate course.
You also seek for information what to do if you get lost. Stay in sheltered place, put a space blanket, conserve water for few days...
About your numbness problem, do you use gloves? Try to get gloves with firm support, this will spread the load on your wrist. Also put horns at the side of your bar, this will let you have more hand positions.
If you want to talk by phone with me, just pm me and will swap numbers.
For your back pain, well my friend, you should get in shape. This clearly shows that you are not in shape for long distance comfort ride. You can ride it, but with great pain.
Good luck
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Old 08-09-07, 07:50 AM   #6
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kipibenkipod, thanks for dropping in, never expected to find a fellow countryman here! I think I was unclear - I'll be riding through the desert, but on the road (the back road down to Eilat), I'm not THAT crazy as to attempt to actually ride in the desert itself (at least, not yet). Thanks for the forum addresses, I'll check them out although my Hebrew is weak

As for lighting, I was planning to do this shortly after a full moon, and take spare batteries for lights anyway.

Why so much water? I'd rather have too much than too little. However, considering it'll be at night, temps in low to mid 20s, I might be over-estimating.

I've decided I don't want to carry anything on my back, so unless I can figure out how to get everything on the bicycle, ride ain't happening
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Old 08-09-07, 02:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Swoop View Post
kipibenkipod, thanks for dropping in, never expected to find a fellow countryman here! I think I was unclear - I'll be riding through the desert, but on the road (the back road down to Eilat), I'm not THAT crazy as to attempt to actually ride in the desert itself (at least, not yet). Thanks for the forum addresses, I'll check them out although my Hebrew is weak

As for lighting, I was planning to do this shortly after a full moon, and take spare batteries for lights anyway.

Why so much water? I'd rather have too much than too little. However, considering it'll be at night, temps in low to mid 20s, I might be over-estimating.

I've decided I don't want to carry anything on my back, so unless I can figure out how to get everything on the bicycle, ride ain't happening
Well, thats change the whole story
If you riding the road to Eilat, then you will have some gas stations in the way. Do research for them.
You don't need more then 2 bottles, but thats when you know when there is a filling point.
You can buy a 2 bottles holder for your back sit. This will take you to 4 bottles. If you buy bottles of 1 liter then you have 4 litters, which is more then enough I think. I use about 2-3 750ml bottles for ~60km in the day.
Do check with the road bike forum at tapuz. You don't need to understand Hebrew, because everybody here know English. Just state at the beginning of the thread that you need answers in English.
I would come with you my self, but I feel that 220km at one go, is more then I can take.
But if I will be stubborn and take each day of the month left as a training day, then I think I will be able to make it. If not, I can just stop at KUSHI Or Yotveta to dring Shoko (cocoa) and catch the bus back.
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Old 08-17-07, 11:47 PM   #8
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swoop - riding your bike from Be'er Sheva to Eilat, via Mizpe Ramon looks very doable, though you should put in some longer days in the saddle to get ready.

looking at virtual earth maps, i'm guessing your route may go something like this: Be'er Sheva, Mash'abbe Sade, Sede Boqer, Mizpe Ramon, Mahzevet Geves, maybe east over to Be'er Menuha or maybe south, Gerofit, Be'er Ora, Elat.

maps i've been able to find on-line are not too good, but it seems that you probably won't be more than 1 or 2 hours between populated areas. you mentioned that temps. at night would be lower 20's, so 1 liter of water per hour should be plenty. i think that if you have 4 or 5 liters of water plus some food in a couple of rear panniers, you'll be doing well.

220 k's is a long day, even for someone fairly fit. you won't be able to do that distance during the night. you might want to start off at least a couple of hours before sunset. figure on taking between 12 to 14 hours, if you don't take too many long breaks. hopefully, you've got 1 or 2 water bottle holders on your frame, so you don't have to stop everytime you want a sip. besides staying hydrated, a 5 minute break every hour or so for some energy food or salty snacks will keep you going. take a 1/2 hour break every 4 or 5 hours if you come to a restaurant, convenience store, gas station, etc. and have a cup of coffee and something a little more substantial than a candy bar.

my daughter and i just finished a short tour here in japan. night temps were low 20's and daytime mid 3's, so we did a lot of night riding, the last day we did a bit more than 24 hours, right through the night.

speaking of night, i wouldn't count on a full moon allowing you to see all road hazards. have a decent bike lamp. you should also have a basic 1st aid kit, and a tool kit that will allow you to at least repair a flat tire and possibly a broken spoke.

your last few hours will probably be after sun-up, but there look to be more populated areas, and restaurants and store should be open, allowing you to take longer and more frequent breaks towards the end of your trip.

best of luck
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