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JohnD



Joined: 17 Sep 2007
Posts: 668


Location: Iver, Bucks, UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:00 pm    Post subject: London to Brighton  Reply with quote

I'm doing a London to Brighton night-ride for British Heart Foundation on 13th July.  It's a 60-miler - not long compared to the rides i've been reading here! - and i haven't rode more than 35 miles in one go.

Any advice regarding training would be greatly appreciated and if anyone has done a London to Brighton run would love to hear about it.
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berck
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget to eat. It's easy to ride up to 30+ miles without needing any food. It becomes more difficult after 40 miles. You don't have to over do it, but just make sure you eat something while riding. Can be liquid energy, bars or gels. Find something you like.

As far as the distance, not sure it will be that big of deal. If you ride lots of 30 miles rides, you'll be fine. If not, then just start doing longer rides once a week to try it out. You should be fine.
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JohnD



Joined: 17 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers Berck - will remember to take food on board, was going to take some gels & banana's so i can eat every couple of hours.  

The distance doesn't seem too much for me either, i feel i can do 30+ but don't want to get to 45+ and realise me tank is empty!

Will up my ride distances; there is this little Ditchling Beacon hill after 50 miles i'll need to be prepared for though:

1.0 mile / 1.6 km. Average gradient: 8.4 %. Maximum: 16.1 %.
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SlowRower



Joined: 22 Nov 2006
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Location: 62 West Wallaby Street, Wigan

PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnD wrote:
...was going to take some gels & banana's so i can eat every couple of hours.


Well worth trialling these in longer rides. Not all gels agree with everyone, so you need to find one that agrees with you. My favourite is High5 raspberry with caffeine! Also, the body needs to be trained to use the food you eat on the move. It doesn't naturally do this very well, preferring to "fat burn" once glycogen stores in the muscles have been depleted. However, after a few rides when you eat on the move, the body realises that it is better to use the incoming carbohydrate and adapts accordingly. I have no idea how this adaption works, but it was the key for me in getting from 3 or 4 hour rides to longer efforts.

Also, eat regularly. I go for a cereal bar, a gel or a banana every 30 minutes or so. The trick is to never get hungry. Peanut butter wraps are proving very effective this season as I developed an aversion to sugary sh*t last year.

Good luck, and keep us posted of developments.
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gerry12ie



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would think twice about getting into the habit of taking gels John.  Yes, they can be a bit of a lifesaver when you are flat but eating before and during the ride is a better way to go IMO.  I find if I take them I am more aware of any tiredness after the ride but unable to rest properly.  In short, they leave me a bit strung out and as I am used to close to a dozen coffees most days that says alot for the lift that the gels can give.

I have 3 eggs and toast before I go out and I bring cereal bars or flapjacks with me.  It's handy to stick a gel in the pocket but just be a bit wary - some can be pretty potent and probably best for only 50+ miles if you are flat towards the end of it.
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berck
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SR is spot on about the food. One of the reasons I mentioned find something you like. 1) It helps that you'll eat it still while riding, and 2) You want it to agree with you. I once did a ride where they supplied all the food. Every stop was bananas and oranges. After 50 miles, I got tired of eating those things. Not a good thing.

I do like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at times on the longer rides. Doesn't have to be a whole sandwich though. I've found that just a half sandwich is good enough. The problem for me is that if I eat too much, I don't feel good riding. Too much in the tank. SR's 30 minute rule is very good, and I've done something similar.

I usually have two bottles with me. One with water and the other with sports drink. I'm always drinking out of both, so I almost always have some sort of energy getting into my system.
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MAILLOT JAUNE



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard fig rolls (yeuch - love figs, but not the processed fig rolls) are good, also raisins, but guess you might have to carry loads for them to be effective. But I agree with the others that you need to have something that "agrees" with you.

Good luck - wrap up warm too......
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Fontfroide



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are testing sandwiches, try white bread, honey and raisins, so how it suits you.
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SlowRower



Joined: 22 Nov 2006
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Location: 62 West Wallaby Street, Wigan

PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the gels front, there are plenty of non-caffeinated ones. I have no affiliation to Wiggle or High5, but the former regularly sells mixed boxes of the latter at very good prices. You end up with some odd flavours though!
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JohnD



Joined: 17 Sep 2007
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Location: Iver, Bucks, UK

PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers for the advice guys!  I've yet to try gel bars so will give the High5's a try and will also get my body used to taking food onboard whilst riding - i would never have thought that the body needs to be trained to use the food whilst riding!

Banana's & cereal bars will prob be best for me - the Kellogs Nutri-Grain bars are like large fig rolls MJ.  Will give peanut butter & jelly a try too as i like it and will give a bit of variety.

Hehehe, so it's not just about getting the miles in my legs, it's about learning to stuff my face whilst riding!
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SlowRower



Joined: 22 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnD wrote:
...stuff my face whilst riding!


Amen to that!

Joking aside, the actual process of eating whilst riding is non-trivial, especially if you have gloves on. As with all things re cycling, this has to be practiced. Don't be afraid to stop and eat, though. Better than falling off and doing a face-plant. Bonus points for eating whilst still moving and not dropping any packaging!
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berck
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not a big fan of gels. Too hard to eat while riding. This is why I use a sports drink (not Gatorade). Much easier for the same type of nutrition. I'm using Hammer products right now, but Cytomax is another one of my favorites.
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JohnD



Joined: 17 Sep 2007
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Location: Iver, Bucks, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With 3 days to go to the ride i thought i'd post an update on my training and stuff; nothing in the league of Mrs & Mr SR or BoogerD!!

I've cycled just over 550 miles since the end of February when i bought a Giant Defy 5, and i've tried to do 20 miles every other day for the past couple of months.  I've done a few 25 mile Sky Rides amongst them, mainly to practice riding in a group and also to get ideas for local routes for my own training rides.  The very varied experience of the riders on the sky rides meant that they were relatively easier than when i go out on my own, but i have met a couple of the ride leaders who have taken me out on harder runs in the past month.

I did my first 45 miler with one a month ago; a nice easy 7.5 mile coast from Slough to the meeting point in Maidenhead followed by a gruelling 30 mile ride taking in Windsor, the Great Park and skirting Surrey in what seemed like a headwind all the way back to Maidenhead. 30 miles in 2 hours, with no breaks was a real workout for me; my avg on my own rides is around 12mph so doing 15mph felt like a big step-up and well out of my comfort zone, i did get dropped a few times.  Back at Maidenhead i had a 20 minute rest, couple of Nutri-Grain bars and an endurance cigarrette before slowly doing the 7 mile home.  Really knackered the day after and my own training resumed 3 days later.

Last week i went for a 50 miler with another of the ride leaders i'd met, a former Cat 1 racer, and after the Maidenhead Experience i wasn't looking forward to this at all!  He's doing a 80 mile sportive this weekend and wanted to get some miles in whilst giving me a taste of the hills and roads i'm likely to get going to Brighton.  We rode from Slough through Maidenhead up to Cookham where we did the first proper hill and i thought i was gonna die!  We went on to High Wycombe, Chesham & Amersham, with 4 more big hills completed on the way...and i couldn't believe they gave me no trouble at all, the first hill seemed to break me in.  We stopped for coffee & cake in Beaconsfield and then a fast run home - 54 miles in just over 4hrs.  I had a milkshake when i got home and the next day i felt....pretty damn good!  Not much soreness in the legs and happily got on my bike for a little slow 5 miler.

So all is looking good for Saturday; we're not going to be going at a fast pace, prob between 8-10mph with a few breaks on the way, hopefully will be feeling good enough to have a little ride around the coast when we get there.  I'm now looking at it as a slow training ride; i want to keep training for 80+, then onto 100+ - my goal's after this are to do the Roman Road from Newcastle to Edinburgh and the Scottish Old Military Road from Perth to Dufftown.  Maybe in time i'll think about doing the Marmotte Over 60 category! Wink
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SlowRower



Joined: 22 Nov 2006
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Location: 62 West Wallaby Street, Wigan

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnD wrote:
...Mrs & Mr SR...


Thanks for the update on training and the very best of luck!

Congrats also on getting our names in the correct order. Most people erroneously list me first...
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berck
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck John!
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JohnD



Joined: 17 Sep 2007
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Location: Iver, Bucks, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers Guys - i'll probably need it!
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MrsSR



Joined: 18 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SlowRower wrote:
JohnD wrote:
...Mrs & Mr SR...


Thanks for the update on training and the very best of luck!

Congrats also on getting our names in the correct order. Most people erroneously list me first...
 Twisted Evil
Good luck. Hope you managed to get your inflight refuelling sorted but if it goes to pot on the day don't stress about it. I spent all winter training my stomach (my favourite bit of training!) then when it came to it couldn't manage anything other then energy drink and gels after the bottom of the telegraph.  Embarassed
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JohnD



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Location: Iver, Bucks, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got it sorted Mrs R - banana's, couple of isotonic drinks, water & a box of Nutri-Grain - taken the advice, small & often is what i'm going for.  There's 3 rest-stops on the way if i need anything more substantial but the thought of a burger or such doesn't seem like a good idea whilst on the move!
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JohnD



Joined: 17 Sep 2007
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Location: Iver, Bucks, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well i did it, enjoyed it, and gonna do it again!

The Mrs dropped me off at Datchet at 8pm to catch the train to Clapham Junction.  I was expecting more bikes on the train than just mine, so i enjoyed the space - 45 minutes of calm before a crowded Clapham for a short cycle to Clapham High Street to meet the team.  Everyone was on time so we rode onto Clapham Common about 10pm.

The corner of the common they were using as the startline was packed, i'd never seen so many cyclists in my life!  All the glo-green & flashing lights looked like a rave but probably not the best time to be dropping any disco biscuits.  The start was smooth and well organised, about 50 bikes every 2 minutes, and we left at 11:15pm

So many bikes on the roads through South London it felt like being part of a Critical Mass thing, and it was easy for some riders to forget there were cars using the roads too.  Riders were pulling up with mechanicals & punctures; coming out of London was the only time i saw roadside repairs happening.  Drivers were tolerant and the drunks cheery, nice to see some families outside there houses cheering us on so it was all good out of London.

With the first steep hills my group was breaking up.  I was taking them pretty well, having the gearing right and keeping my breathing steady, head down looking at the road in front of my wheel.  Descents i just rolled down, my Giant is fast just on it's own momentum so i didn't want to push it.  People were passing me just too fast though, and the first bad crash was on a long steep descent around Caterham.  I saw another rider with a broken arm at the roadside further on, and in the last 20 miles a car hit a rider which i think was the most serious - ambulances & police at the roadside for that one.

The rest stops were spaced about 15 miles apart and we used to them to re-group - i think i spent about 2 hours waiting throughout the night!  I'd have the banana's, nutrigrains and isotonic lucozade, and they carried me well through the night.

Passing by Crawley through around 4 miles of forest down into Balcombe was pretty amazing - very fast road with trees making it a long dark tunnel, only the rear lights of the bikes in the distance rising up to give a clue of any ramps coming up.  Rolling through the villages after the forest it got cold; bats were flying across the road and one was flying ahead just in front of me for about 100 metres down one lane.

Going onto the hill before the descent into the last rest stop i was still feeling good and took the hill in much the same way as i had the others, but after what i thought was top and descending a little to then see a curved ramp up awaiting me at the bottom, i thought 'Nah, i'm walking that'.  It wasn't particularly steep or long, but i wasn't having it so walk it i did and then descended into the last rest stop at 7am.

After re-grouping i set off to try to make it into Brighton for 9am; we knew we had Devils Dyke coming up which was the hardest hill on the route, replacing Ditchling Beacon which is used on the day ride.  It seemed like a monster - slope, ramp, slope, ramp....i did 3 of these and quickly ran out of gears ( 30/28 is my lowest ) so i got off again and walked to where there was less ramp and more slope.  The slope quickly turned into the rampiest ramp in ramptown and i got off again, struggling to push my bike and walk the 50 metres to the levelling off at the top.

Back on the bike riding across the top i found myself weaving amongst the stragglers from a party that had been going on in one of the fields down below, and then it was quickly onto 7 miles descending into Brighton.  Again, people were friendly, in their front gardens cheering and shouting 'not long to go!' hehehe.  I could smell scrambled eggs on toast, and passed a Burger King thinking i'm going to have some of that as i sped along the sea-front.

I rolled across the finish line at 8:45am, second in our group, and our last was through at 9:30am.  Straight to Burger King for a milkshake, followed by a beanburger & fries, and then the regret i hadn't gone for the scrambled eggs on toast.  A quick shower, ice-cream and paddle in the sea before sitting in the shade waiting for the bus to take us home - Brighton was just too crowded and hot, my legs barely able to move properly.  I was back home at 10pm, stuffing my face with omelette & salad, asleep on top of the bed by 10:30pm.

So there it was - 60 miles (96.5km) and 1,207 metres of climbing ( i prob walked 300 metres )  6 hours riding time and a max speed of 34.5mph  Will definitely do it next year but at my own pace this time, with better gearing, no waiting around getting cold and better prepared for the hills!


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MAILLOT JAUNE



Joined: 06 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliant JohnD! Chapeau!
Glad you made it and plan to do it all again next year. Bravo!

Edit: And well done for raising a great amount of money for a worthy cause!


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Last edited by MAILLOT JAUNE on Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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