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Old 02-29-04, 02:57 AM   #1
oxologic
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How to prepare for a 11hr night cycling?

We are having this night cycling activity, the first ever, kind of like a church event. This time, it is the youth night cycling. It is from 8 pm to 7 am. The thing is it is 11 hours long?? I have never rode for 11 hours and do not know exactly what night cycling is about. I have many questions.

Firstly, I do not have any lights on my bike, and I do not know of which I should buy, what kind of functions the blinkers and the headlights should have. I would appreciate advice on them and several brands that I can check out.

Secondly, how do I prepare for it?? It is on the 17th of March 2004, which means slightly more than 2 weeks to prepare for it. There are no requirements and thus I presume that I would be in better shape than most of the other riders, longest ride was 3 hours long. I do not think that it is a non-stop 11 hour ride. I do not think I would require any special training. I will get more information later on in the day.

Thirdly, what should I be doing on that day?? It is a night cycling event, I will be bringing along energy bars and gels definitely. Furthermore, it should be very cooling, so what apparels should I be wearing?? I have no leg warmers or arm warmers. The water requirement should also be quite low... should I still be drinking 1 litre per hour?

Yep, that's it. Hope to hear lots of responses cause it is really going to help me out. I'll post further questions that I have forgotten if something does come to mind.
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Old 02-29-04, 06:55 AM   #2
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I'll let other's tell you about the cycling. I'll talk a little about staying up all night. I have worked on the midnight shift for 20 years. Each weekend I revert back to a day person's hours. The easiest way to do the conversion would be for you to stay up all night on the 16th. That way you will crash on the day of the 17th and be able to stay awake on the evening of the 17th. Since this is midweek, I don't know what your schedule would be, but it would be better if you could do this for the 15th and have 2 nights of staying up all night. I hope there will be a lot of participants to keep the excitement going. Personally, I wouldn't eat a lot of sugar unless it was combined with protein. You will probably be riding slower than daytime and you don't want a sugar low when your body wants to sleep. Sounds like fun.
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Old 02-29-04, 10:17 AM   #3
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Get a couple of really good pairs of shorts. You'll want to change out a couple of times. Eat before you're hungry, drink before you're thirsty. Hope for the best. There's not a whole lot of "training" time, so just pace yourself.

A blinkie from the sports store will work, but a good headlight is beneficial. For long night training rides and races with my adventure racing team, I use a combo of a Lights & Motion solo logic, which my husband got from ebay for about $80.00 off retail and a cheap halogen. The Lights and motion are for when it's really dark and I need to see far ahead, and the halogen is used most of the time to conserve the battery life of the other light. You probably won't need this exact setup, but you do want to make sure you'll be seen by oncoming cars; especially if you get separated from the pack.

Other than that, here's some tricks for food. Jelly Belly Jelly beans are tasty, and they keep nicely in a jersey pocket. I use them to supplement the gels because they're easy to stomach. Also, I like Hostess Apple Pies, and they are good for lots of carbs. One hostess Apple pie has 67 grams of carbs and 480 calories. I hope this helps some.
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Old 02-29-04, 08:55 PM   #4
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I'll talk about the lights a little.

It really depends on what you want. If this is going to be on a clear night with lots of stars, a moon, and fairly well lit roads then a couple cheap blinkers on the handelbar and seat post will do. Basically in this situation your just trying to make sure your seen. Bright cloathing and reflecters will also help acomplish this.

If your primary use for lights is to see whats ahead of you your going to want a much more powerfull light. Many people use recharageable battery operated lights for this. Some also use a dyno hub to operate a light. Then again if you only plan on riding at night for this race then it might be better to getto rig a high powered flashlight to your handelbars (duct tape works wonders).

You mentioned this is some sort of sponsered activity so I imagine you will be riding on fairly well lit roads in good weather. They might even have the roads cloased for you (wouldn't that be nice). Whatever you do just make sure your comfortable with it. I personally ride a good bit after dark but only use enough light so I can be seen. I have no need of lighting a football field lenght in front of me, but that is what I am personally comfortable with.

Have a good ride.
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Old 03-01-04, 05:44 AM   #5
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An update, the route is supposedly about 40km. At least that is what the guy said, we'll be going from churches to churches... but then again I believe it is a fair bit more than that. We'll be having food and drinks at the various stations... probably we are spending a fair bit of time there.

About staying up all night, I might do just that as the time is all mine. We are having school holidays then. However, how many nights do I have to stay up?? Just one is needed, which means on the 16th? What difference is it going to make between 1 and 2?? Will I be better adapted to stay up at night? Also, since I'll be staying up at night? Should I try to go cycling at night so that I have some experience because it will be my first time.

I believe I'll need lights that can last long enough so that I do not need to change them. The rear lights can keep going for long right? I have seen some of those headlights and they are flashing type? Will that be better?
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Old 03-01-04, 10:02 AM   #6
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By your first post, I thougt you would be cycling all night long. If you are only riding 40 km and you will be on/off the bike for stops at different churches, you should not get bored or sleepy. You probably don't need to stay up the night before, but it won't hurt. I would think they would have drinks and food at each church, so I wouldn't be bothered carrying anything. If you not used to riding distances of 40 km, you might want to try to increase your distance. The only thing that will be sore will be your rearend. When I go on a multi-day event, I'll drop some Motrin to ease the soreness. If you are young, your muscles will recover just fine on their own after a day or so. Good luck.
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Old 03-01-04, 10:12 AM   #7
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With a 40km ride, long stops, food, and drinks, it's not really necessary to worry about food or anything either. You still may want to check out lights. Have fun, and recover well.
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