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  1. #1
    Biscuit Boy Cosmoline's Avatar
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    Tricks To Overcome The "Wall"

    I did a 40 mile ride over the weekend with my snow bike and trailer. Everything was kosher until about five miles from home when a cold NE wind hit me and I felt my sails deflate. I was dragging all the way home. So badly that I had to stop and check my tire pressure to make sure it wasn't a flat. But the "flat" was me Routes that I ordinarily eat up and spit out were killing me.

    Is there a trick to beating this "wall" of exhaustion? I tried stopping and resting a bit, but that only made me start to stiffen up and get cold. It was subfreezing after a day in the 30's and my sweaty clothes were like ice. Is it just a matter of more traning?

    I also tried drinking some more and eating a power bar but both water and bar stuck in my gut like a brick. My digestion shut down.

    I suspect part of it may have been hidden dehydration that was covered up to some extent by the cold air. When it's cold I have to remind myself to drink.

    Ideas and suggestions would be welcome, though.
    ''On a bicycle you're not insulated. You're in contact with the landscape and all manner of people you'd never meet if you were in a car. A fat man on a bicycle is nobody's enemy.''

    Tom Vernon.

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Eat and drink earlier in the ride. A lot of people seem to think that when it is cold out they don't need to consume as much, but you do.

    A 40 mile ride probably took you ... 2.5 hours? You could have started eating about 1 hour into the ride, and would have likely felt better.

    I also know that drinking can be a problem, especially if your bottles freeze up, so what I do is to put away at least 500 mls (2 cups) just before I ride, and then drink frequently early on in the ride before my bottles freeze.

    Also, when it is cold, rides just take more out of you ... but you likely know that already.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Eat and drink earlier in the ride. A lot of people seem to think that when it is cold out they don't need to consume as much, but you do.

    A 40 mile ride probably took you ... 2.5 hours? You could have started eating about 1 hour into the ride, and would have likely felt better.

    I also know that drinking can be a problem, especially if your bottles freeze up, so what I do is to put away at least 500 mls (2 cups) just before I ride, and then drink frequently early on in the ride before my bottles freeze.

    Also, when it is cold, rides just take more out of you ... but you likely know that already.
    +1 on eating and drinking

  4. #4
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    +1 on eating and drinking

    your body is doing double time staying warm.

    magic trick 1- pop a hand warmer and stick it on the back of your neck
    use a gaitor to hold it there.

    magic trick 2-pop 2 hand warmers and stick them on your wrists

    magic trick 3- wear more clothes than you need, wool is best. you will sweat in them
    but at the end when you aren't sweating so much you will still be warm

    magic trick 4- tape up the vents on your helmet


    the whole idea is to stop heat loss. I know what it is like to hammer 35 miles just fine
    and then the last 5 miles take about as long as the first 35 (or it feels like it anyway)
    when riding in the cold.

    magic trick 5- wool wool wool wool wool and then ..wool

  5. #5
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Yeah, start eating and drinking at 1-hr into the ride. Gobble down 200-250calories and 500-750ml of water per hour. By the time you get tired, it's too late.

  6. #6
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    Riding here in the upper midwest, I hear your lament. With 5 miles left, I will go small chainring and spin quickly, paying closer attention to my pedal stroke. It is hard to eat and drink in the cold, especially when you are so single-minded to get home with time constraints.

    I left work early on Thursday, rode 2+ hours on the trails to get home. I needed to get back for a meeting with my son's teacher. Eating in 30 degree weather is not in the cards. Drinking enough ON THE BIKE is tough under those conditions as well.

    Just change your approach to the home stretch, assuming that you've done all the prep before the ride to put yourself in the best position.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

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