3 Tipps for ultracycling

Sunday 02.10.2016 – 19:12
I’m packing my stuff for the “TAB-Ride”  (Touching Austrias Border) tomorrow. A total of 220 Kilometer from Freising to the border of Austria and back with a big climb right in the middle of the route. The weather forecast predicts rain in the afternoon, so a backpack with rain gear – overshoes, a tight, a buff and my jacket – is the way to go. 

Monday 03.10.2016 – 12:35

Right now I’m sitting in a Restaurant at the top of the Bavarian “Spitzingsattel”. I’m halfway trough my ride at Kilometer 110 and the Problem is, i did not take my 60 Km break, so now my vision is a little bit broken. You know, the state, where your body has nothing to digest anymore and begins to shut down bodyfunctions. Eyes are the first for me.

To fix this I ordered two cokes, one coffee, a soup and cheesenoodles with salad. Now I’m digesting and hope, that it will get better in half an hour. 

But that’s not the only problem. I’m also freezing. Outside is a temperature of about 6°C and the streets are wet from yesterdays rain. That means: My feet are totally soaked.

Tuesday 04.10.2016 – 08:11

If you doubted: Yes I have ridden home. After my lunch break my vision came back, I wrapped my feet in plastic bags and the sun came out and dried the streets for about three hours. Enough to get in fast 60 Kilometers. I did my coffeebreak at Kilometer 180 and thought: “Well, I’m through it. Nothing can happen anymore, that would let me fail.” But half an hour later it got interessting again. Heaven turned black and a really hefty rainshower set in. I was totally soaked again with still one and a half hour to go. I laughed, cause this was just ridiculous fate and pedaled home nonetheless.

Since I started riding longer distances, I learned a lot. Here are three tipps that could also help you.

1. Ride trough it

If if it starts to rain, don’t stop riding. Showers usually only last half an hour and as long as you pedal, you won’t get too cold. Plus you probably pedal out of it.

2. Get in your rain gear before the rain

If raindrops are coming down but the sun is out, the shower usally isn’t worth it, to put on a rainjacket. But if you can see the sky darken up and the first drops come, get in your rain gear before you are totally soaked. This way you will trap a layer of warm water in your clothing. 

3. Take your two hour break

Or at least every 60 Kilometers. Your body needs a 10 minute rest with a coffee and some cake to get ahead with digesting again. I usually stop at a gas station, go to the toilett, buy some pastry and readjust what went wrong on the bike the last Kilometers.

Do you have any tipps for riding longer distances?



12 responses to “3 Tipps for ultracycling

  1. Congratulations on achieving what you had planned. Great tips too.
    Here’s what I suggest for long rides.
    1. Take care of nutrition. That means easy-to-carry stuff like nuts, bananas, protein bars.
    2. Stay hydrated. It’s easy to forget this while pedaling for long. Drink water at regular intervals (I drink about a litre every 2-3 hours when I ride here in India).
    3. You’d also lose salts, especially in tropical weather. Have the occasional sip of Gatorade / Enerzal or any equivalent energy drink.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. you and I are going in opposite directions, I am heading from long distance to shorter and faster rides, it funny seeing the other side.

    OK My tips. I was told the body has 60 to 90 min worth of exercise energy in it then you hit reserves etc. So take food and eat on the bike, not big meals but bits of flapjack, or fruit like bananas (but no more than 2) or cereal bars etc. Exercise slows the digestion, but say an hour in start to fuel yourself. For about 230Km I would aim for rests at 100Km, 160Km and 200Km, not that precise but the principal.

    Gels I never got on with, I would get cramps if I had more than one. I find jelly babies work well for instant get up that hill fuel. I read an article in Cyclist that they are about as close to as effective as well. Easier on stomach and pocket. They can be used as rewards, get to the top of the hill you can have one etc.

    Manage stops, not too long, and get some stretches in to prevent you developing pains later on. Clothing. Last winter I gave in and bought a Gabba in the sales with the matching arm warmers and I picked up a Merino wool base layer on the top. It makes all the difference. yes you eventually get wet in the Gabba, but by that time you are a warm wet as it keeps the wind from chilling you. And try and get winter trousers in a similar material. I should have bought that stuff years before. For feet block up air vents in soles of shoes with gaffer tape on inside and double up socks if required. Overshoes work well for keeping heat in.

    If it is warm do not forget electrolyte and make at least the last ride bottle one wit it in. I find it helps reduce recovery time and muscle pain after a long or hard session.

    Liked by 1 person

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