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RIdeLondon your first century? GCN has some great tips on how to complete it comfortably

This weekend sees the British capital give itself over to bikes for the Prudential RideLondon events. The 100-mile ride from East London to Surrey and back to The Mall will be the biggest closed-road sportive ever organised in the UK, and for many people it'll be the first 100-miler they've done. Here's the chaps at Global Cycling Network with some useful tips for preparing so you finish the ride and have fun. 

Got your own tips for 100-mile fun, or even just survival? Of course you have! Share them in the comments please. 

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

24 comments

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qwerky [184 posts] 2 years ago
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Don't ride past the first feed stop in order stay with a group of club cyclists who you are already struggling to keep up with.

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Colin Peyresourde [1689 posts] 2 years ago
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hmmm, the link seems to have broken....

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mrmo [2067 posts] 2 years ago
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went out and did 135miles solo a few weeks back, longest before was 80miles, only comments, ride within yourself, eat and drink.
It isn't that hard, more a head issue than a body issue if you have a reasonable level of fitness

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PJ McNally [591 posts] 2 years ago
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Take two bananas, like the guy in the photo.

Unlike the guy in the photo, separate them before putting them in your jersey. Schoolboy error.

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Leviathan [1886 posts] 2 years ago
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Oh god this is so going to be me. Hungry and Thirsty, worried if I drink I will have to stop and pee. Hope there are some nice leafy spots in Surrey as the Hubs are quite far apart.

Any estimates on what fluid intake should be/how many refills if I have a 750ml water bottle then I can target water stations?

My personal tip: cut out the route profile out of your magazine, mark the water station positions then sticky tape it down your top tube. Then you know you just have to get up Box Hill to get to the next stop.

The furthest I have ever done is 100km not miles, need to pace myself. See ya there.

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Northernbikeguy [43 posts] 2 years ago
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Take two bottles, not one. If you don't have two bottle cages on your bike, buy one and fit it.

Supposedly you should have 500ml an hour but it depends how hot it is and how much you sweat. If you have two 750ml bottles you'll be absolutely fine just drinking as you need and filling up at the feed stations.

Bananas are good but they're hard to unwrap on the bike. If you're planning on eating and riding then maybe have a banana at the start and one at each feed station. I'd go for cereal bars like Jordans Frusli or Dorset Cereal bars. It's all personal though. Some things I can't stomach and others I can eat for days.

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joemmo [1164 posts] 2 years ago
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bikeboy76 wrote:

Oh god this is so going to be me. Hungry and Thirsty, worried if I drink I will have to stop and pee. Hope there are some nice leafy spots in Surrey as the Hubs are quite far apart.

if you don't have to stop and pee then you're probably not drinking enough

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neildmoss [284 posts] 2 years ago
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Survival tip - Stay well away from that guy who likes to ride no-handed in a bunch.

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ianj [20 posts] 2 years ago
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Sunblock even if it aint sunny- dont forget the tops/backs of your ears !!
first 30mins take it easy and warm up. All the twats that go off at 25mph at the gun will be dead after 1hr and you will pass them all. Go your pace not someone elses. And chammy cream your ar*se will thank you for ever for it.....

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usedtobefaster [168 posts] 2 years ago
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neildmoss wrote:

Survival tip - Stay well away from that guy who likes to ride no-handed in a bunch.

I'd be more worried about riders don't have the ability to ride no handed in a bunch.

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Jonathan Knight [18 posts] 2 years ago
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Well, I rode the route back in April so I could see what I'm in for on Sunday. Having never done more than about 60 miles before, it was not too bad. I got through three bottles; I should have drunk more, but it wasn't too hot back then, four brioche + apricot jam and a caffeine gel I downed a few miles before Leigh Hill.

Of course I could have done without the four punctures I had due to all the pot holes on the s**t London roads - the first before I even got to Piccadilly. I also got lost a few times trying to follow the route on my Garmin, but that will not be a problem on Sunday.

I'm hoping to be much faster on Sunday than I was back in April, but then again, there weren't 20,000 other people clogging up the road then.

Good luck to everyone else who'll be there too.

JK

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badback [302 posts] 2 years ago
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Remember it's a game of two halves - the first 80 and the last 20.

Let gravity be your friend and rest on the downhills rather than hammering it.

Drink every 15 minutes whatever and eat at every opportunity.

Go commando - boxers do rub after a while.  20

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bashthebox [751 posts] 2 years ago
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If you're not used to eating bike foods for 100 miles / 5-7 hours, then take something savoury with you in addition to the normal bars and gels. Even if you eat a lot of the sugary stuff, you stomach could well end up in rebellion.
Do you very best to have a good poo before you set off, as difficult as that is at 4am. Portaloo poo will require much queuing and horror.

Smile and wave and enjoy it, there should be loads of people lining the route. I cannot wait.

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seven [147 posts] 2 years ago
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badback wrote:

Go commando - boxers do rub after a while.  20

Not sure if serious. Please be not serious!

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kafylou [21 posts] 2 years ago
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Who the hell wears underwear under cycle shorts? Even I know that one  1

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matttheaudit [72 posts] 2 years ago
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If you're a baldy like me don't forget sunblock on the head. Did forget a couple of years back on a charity ride and ended up looking like Tony the tiger.

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banzicyclist2 [299 posts] 2 years ago
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I've done the Fred Whitton 3 times and several solo 100's, my advice is:

1. Take a swig very 15 -20 minutes, I make up my own drink with honey and a pinch of salt flavoured with dilute orange juice. The honey keep me going for miles. I also take a good drink at each food stop. Solo rides I use a 3 litre cammel back.

2. I eat bananas and cerial bars, the geobars from the Co-op are very nice, but any of the healthy ones will do the trick Nutragrain are very easy to get down. I also take 2 or 3 gells for emergency boosts.

3. Butter up your gentlemans equipment, I use Savlon it really works for me.

4. Pace yourself, don't get into the mad dash at the start, be selfish and ride your own pace. Don't stop for too long at feed stations, 5 minutes is enough or you'll stiffen up YUK!

5. Che k your bike the week before, and go test ride it to check everything is adjusted and works! Also wear clothes your used to, specialy shorts, unexpected rubbing in the wrong place after 60 - 70 miles...... disaster.

6. Keep smiling and enjoy it, even the painful hills you'll feel fantastic at the end...... I do  4

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AWPeleton [3277 posts] 2 years ago
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kafylou wrote:

Who the hell wears underwear under cycle shorts? Even I know that one  1

I wear a pair of Sondico Core 6 under my cycling shorts, mega comfy and cheap as chips. Mind you i've never done more than 60 miles in one go so i cant comment on further distances.

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billyman [148 posts] 2 years ago
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I have done a couple of 100 miles, 15mph for the first 25 miles, then just go with whatever feels comfy.... you know what made it for me, I smiled the whole way, most fun ever, keep waterbottles topped up, eat regular, dress properly the pros don't dress like they do because they look cool. you know your number two's schedule make sure it's out of the way, protein the week leading up, and hi carbs 2 days before.

Have fun

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Threeh [31 posts] 2 years ago
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usedtobefaster wrote:
neildmoss wrote:

Survival tip - Stay well away from that guy who likes to ride no-handed in a bunch.

I'd be more worried about riders don't have the ability to ride no handed in a bunch.

Looks very pro and all but it's not that safe to do so in a big group during a sportive... I only do it when I've got a good amount of space around me.

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Leviathan [1886 posts] 2 years ago
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joemmo wrote:

if you don't have to stop and pee then you're probably not drinking enough

It is a medically documented fact that I have a small bladder. I am a veritable piss making machine. One must balance time lost to (slight) dehydration to time lost stopping and peeing in bushes.

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Goldfever4 [218 posts] 2 years ago
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bikeboy76 wrote:

Oh god this is so going to be me. Hungry and Thirsty, worried if I drink I will have to stop and pee. Hope there are some nice leafy spots in Surrey as the Hubs are quite far apart.

Any estimates on what fluid intake should be/how many refills if I have a 750ml water bottle then I can target water stations?

My personal tip: cut out the route profile out of your magazine, mark the water station positions then sticky tape it down your top tube. Then you know you just have to get up Box Hill to get to the next stop.

The furthest I have ever done is 100km not miles, need to pace myself. See ya there.

The food/maintenance hubs are far apart but there are water stations approximately every 10 miles according to the magazine...

I'd say drink 1l in the first 2 hours and then sip as needed after that - depending on the temperature and your fitness.

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Goldfever4 [218 posts] 2 years ago
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PJ McNally wrote:

Take two bananas, like the guy in the photo.

Unlike the guy in the photo, separate them before putting them in your jersey. Schoolboy error.

I watched the vid last night, pretty sure this screenshot was when he said "don't take too much" hence the over-stuffing of pockets!

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PJ McNally [591 posts] 2 years ago
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Goldfever4 wrote:

this screenshot was when he said "don't take too much" hence the over-stuffing of pockets!

Ah, that makes sense.

Anyone who finds peeling bananas difficult while riding, needs to practice more.

Nb - my favoured method, particularly on shorter-wheelbase bikes, does not involve riding no-handed. Instead, you can peel a banana easily with one hand and your teeth. Try it!