150 miles in a day. 3 Newish riders.

by AJWatson   June 4, 2012  


Looking for a bit of advice on a trip that one of my colleagues is planning for us in August of this year.

There are 3 of us looking to ride 150 miles in 1 day to raise some funds for the charity our work supports. I suggested a few months ago we take part in the 100 mile sportive that the charity was arranging around Oxford, however one of the guys couldn’t make it. He then went about planning a route for us all to do and increased it to 150 miles. Why 150? He thought it would be fun.

I’m no cycling expert. I have been cycling seriously since February and completed one event called The Celtic Challenge, we rode from Edinburgh to Iona, 200 miles over 4 days. This was pretty good and I was pleased with how I got on. I have ridden several weeks where I have clocked over 200 miles.

My first colleague has only done a few 50-mile routes and when I have been with him he does seem to have a lot of pain in his back and cramps in his legs. He has however just got a new bike that he says is much better.

My second colleague has picked up a nice GIANT bike a few months ago for this ride and he is pretty determined to make it happen.

So where is the problem? After coming off my event two weeks ago, I now know how much I will need to eat and drink just to make it round. I have suggested stopping every 20 miles to refill the bottles and grab a banana and stop for more substantial food at 40, 80 and 120 miles. This should then see us round with enough energy. We will also probably ride with some High5 mixes in the bottles. My other concerns are riding in a group. I have rode with the 3 of them together before and we were quite spaced out on the road. If we ride in a line and slipstream off each other in turns this again will help us conserve energy over the course of the ride. However with colleague one, when he cramps up he has a tendency to get out the saddle and stretch, with no warning…Obviously not want we need when travelling at 20mph close together. I have expressed several times how unsafe this is and the consequences it might have. My other main concern is weather. 150 miles with a tail wind and 14-17 degrees will be nice, however a 15-20 mile headwind for the whole trip, rain and 2c temp wouldn’t make it fun at all and we would fall right behind the 12mph average. I have expressed my concerns to the other guys however it seems to be falling on deaf ears. Yes if we have awful weather it will make it more interesting, but 150 miles in sopping wet cloths, battling a headwind, mech problems etc.

I don’t profess to be a know it all but I do think we will be pushing ourselves physically to get round this course. Blow is a map with elevation profile.

I don’t disagree that 150 isn’t reasonable in a day. We would be doing this supported (Hopefully) and carrying two spare bikes that we hope to borrow from our local shop. We would also arrive back to a nice BBQ however if we have poor weather, we might be delayed. Im in two minds bout this ride or the Welsh Etape.

Does anyone have any other advice or thoughts? Thanks for reading as its not really a short post.



7 user comments

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Make sure you all have a bike fit, even an informal one at the LBS, especially your pal who suffers cramps and aches. Make sure you have cycling clothes, especially shorts or tights and stiff shoes also be sure your saddles are suitable. You mention 'doing 20 MPH' in your post. Don't, it is too quick for a journey that long. (except downhill of course) Eat lots of carbs in the days previous to the ride, and on the morning itself. Make sure that one of you at least can repair punctures at the roadside, and that you have basic tools between you. Enjoy yourselves! PS Why not come on the Dunwich Dynamo as a training ride? http://southwarkcyclists.org.uk/dunwich-dynamo-faqs

You might ache the day after, take the day off, you will deserve it! Smile Smile Smile

posted by wakou [83 posts]
4th June 2012 - 11:44


Thanks for the feedback. THe 20mph was on a 40mile training ride to Exeter.

The Dunwich Dynamo does look like a good event and I would love to ride an overnight one. The 1st July however we have booked to do the Bristol to Oxford ride which will be about 80 miles. I have Electron Terra Two lights but as they run on full power for 5 hrs, medium for 10, I'm not sure they would last the whole night. Maybe need a spare pack for night time rides.

We have all the kit, shoes, saddle, clothing etc and I can do basic bike repair's.

'We' planned it on the bank holiday weekend so we will ride Saturday and back to work on the Tuesday.


posted by AJWatson [34 posts]
4th June 2012 - 12:56

1 Like

How do you know what the route is on the Dynamo?

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1734 posts]
4th June 2012 - 13:39


Your post suggests that perhaps your colleagues are charging into this without really considering the various challenges/options etc involved, and could almost be taking on any physical challenge in a similar manner. You, on the other hand, sound like you enjoy riding your bike and wouldn't turn your nose up at good advice/experience etc to increase your speed/enjoyment/comfort and mitigate risks/issues.

It's a tough one. If others were taking part, I'd suggest hooking up with a different group showing a slightly more cerebral approach, but maybe you need to sit them down away from other distractions and explain the situation. Perhaps separately, if their machismo feeds each other and encourages a gung-ho mindset. I certainly wouldn't be happy riding behind someone who was happy to make sudden unexpected moves etc without consideration for the riders behind them.

DEFINITELY get a bike fit sorted. Practice riding in a group and encourage good etiquette such as pointing out obstacles, predictable riding etc.

I did a mass start sportive yesterday and (slightly surprisingly) the vast majority were good at this, so he really needs to take the point that he will be in an undesirable minority if he fails to ride considerately.

Good luck, let us know how you get on.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3722 posts]
5th June 2012 - 9:45


posted by wakou [83 posts]
5th June 2012 - 11:05


Re Lights, The Dynamo is on a full-moon night, 10 days after mid-summer, there are about 2,000 riders, you don't really need to have front lights on if in a group, and it is only really dark for about 4 hours or so..

posted by wakou [83 posts]
5th June 2012 - 11:11


Indeed, I do love to ride. After a hard day at the office, you can not still be stressed once your out in the country. I always value advice and tips from experienced riders. I prefer people advising from personal experience as opposed to 'I have read this'. I prefer to spend my cash on comfortable clothing etc and kit to allow me to ride more comfortable instead of getting a while that revolves at the speed of light. One colleague did say 'I want new wheels that revolve faster'. I simply said 'pedal harder!". That being said I want to spend this year getting the right styles, tips and techniques before I splash out on either Bianchi or SCOTT

Good idea about the bike fit. I had mine fitted a few months ago for my ride two weeks ago and definitely noticed a difference. I was speaking to the chap that fitted it this week and he rode in Belgium, it was a 170 mile ride and he took just over 9 hours to complete it. He's in pretty tip top condition but is still recovering from it a few months later. Is that normal?

I think as Wakou mentioned above, doing an AUDAX might be a good idea, say 100 or 120m. We have this Bristol to Oxford ride which I am happy to ride and sure I will be fine with, it will be interesting to see how the others approach the ride and do on the day.

There are a few local clubs close to us but after looking at each others diaries, I think there will only be a 3/4 weekends we can all ride together. Not ideal if you ask me.

Im conscious I don't want to talk myself out of this. I think I will train with it in mind and see how things are in a few weeks time, especially once my uni exam is out the way. My only concern with that tacktic is letting the guys down later in the training.

posted by AJWatson [34 posts]
5th June 2012 - 11:12