0 to 100 Miles in 100 Days

Soldato
Joined
21 Jan 2010
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12,756
Hi folk,

I'm a super casual cyclist - I bought my Specialized CrossTrail Hybrid in April 2020 to get me busy during lockdown. I cycled fairly often but mostly aimlessly meandering. I have since started cycling more frequently but again, small distances - 2 miles a day taking my little one to childminders.

I've now signed up to a works charity trip where we are cycling 100 miles across the Dales/Moors. It is across two days - I assume day 2 will be worse than day 1 :D. The distance of the "event" means that most folk going have opted to rent a bike - which based on previous trips is of dubious quality. There is a decent amount of support volunteers who will be on hand to help us if we are in trouble.

Question 1 - am I going to die? I am not unfit but I am certainly not conditioned - i.e. I could probably throw myself into this and make it out through sheer brute force and ignorance but I literally have no idea how far 100 miles is (on a bike).

Question 2 - what practically can do to help out? I'm not the biggest fan of cycling/have lots of work and family commitments - would running 5ks again help? I have been reasonably good at running but again, I pretty much loathe it (record was 23:25 5k).

Question 3 - what clothes do I need? I am assuming we are not travelling back the next day so I'll need to bag whatever I want to wear. I have literally nothing cycling orientated (shoes, trousers etc).

Question 4 - what food do I need? I see folk sucking pouches and all sorts. Is this required?

Question 5 - what tech do I need? Is a FitBit sufficient to get decent data?

Question 6 - can I get battered at the mid-way point/on the train up? :D
 
Soldato
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1) You will probably find it a nightmare to be honest as you will probably be on the saddle for about 7+ hours , its made easier as its over 2 days but if you havent done decent mileage on a bike before then you will probably suffer from serious bum ache. The mileage in itself over 2 days wont be crazy so long as you keep your pace low enough, Im pretty sure most semi fit people could ride zone 2 nearly all day.
2) If you cant do decent mileage on the bike then Im not sure what you can do to improve your endurance when short on time
3) Get some decent padded cycling shorts and get used to wearing them before you start your trip. Nothing worse than finding out some of your gear is really uncomfortable and being in it for a long time
4) No, gels arent required. You can eat cereal bars, bananas etc. anything that gives you energy but isnt heavy on the stomach
5) Dont really need anything but if you want to record your ride then Strava on your phone will probably do. Unless you want to take up cycling seriously, which by the sounds of it you dont then theres not much point getting anything specially for the ride
 
Soldato
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As above, not sure it's worth spending much money on loads of stuff beyond some cycling shorts. I like the Danish Endurance ones from Amazon as i'm a fan of a lot of their stuff, but i'm sure there's better out there, i just stick with what i know. Depending on your size, i got given an XL cycling jersey from a member on here which is a little small on me so probably more like a large you could have if you wanted, otherwise just stick with a thin t-shirt that's relatively tight fit.

The fitbit will likely be fine. From a cycling point of view, the main data would be GPS, HR and Power. You'll have the first 2 covered, the only thing lacking is power, but you're not getting that without a hefty spend. I guess the only consideration is whether your battery will hold up recording an activity for 5-6 hours? I know my old Apple watch would struggle with it.

The best thing i could probably suggest would be to pick up a cheap turbo trainer from Facebook for £20 and use that whenever you can around the house to help build up mileage, just plonk your bike on and go nuts. From memory though your house is fairly small so unsure about space.

It's tricky as you already know thatt you dislike cycling so spending money to get a chunk of equipment would be a bit pointless with no intention of carrying on.

Renting a bike probably makes sense, but yours would probably cope reasonably well looking at the specs. I'd take a bike that fits you, over a slightly better bike that might not fit as well.


EDIT - Possibly cheat and hire an electric bike?
 
Soldato
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50 miles a day? Its not far imo, have done 50 miles on my mountain bike without much training at all, also london cambridge with zero training. So long as you are not some massive sloth should be cake.

Just need to train your arse for the saddle time. :p
 
Soldato
Joined
14 Jul 2004
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Melbourne , Oz.
Take a grand to your local Rapha shop and get kitted out :D.
I'm partly joking but I've tried lots of brands and their bib shorts are imo the best. Their merino long sleeve base layers are perhaps the worlds finest garment. I have two of them and wear one for almost every outdoor pursuit, keeps you warm and keeps you cool. Phenomenal.

I've done lots of big cycling events of 100km+. There will be plenty people feeling it and they are always well supported environments that will generally have rest stops set up every 30 to 50km or so. They usually provide gels, cake, fruit and jelly sweets plus water. You'll be fine. Just build yourself up to long periods in the saddle.
 
Soldato
Joined
24 Sep 2007
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Question 2 - what practically can do to help out? I'm not the biggest fan of cycling/have lots of work and family commitments - would running 5ks again help? I have been reasonably good at running but again, I pretty much loathe it (record was 23:25 5k).

How long have you got before the event? Whilst running would help with general fitness, it would be much better to just go for some decent distance bike rides. This will get you better at cycling and get you used to long distances on the bike, plus help you refine your kit and food requirements.
 
Soldato
OP
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Cheers fellas! Lots of food for thought. I'll digest and come back with silly questions (y)
 
Soldato
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Terrain will be key to it, if it's flat you'll be fine. Definitely aim to get some longer rides in, start with 10 miles and work your way up. I don't bike much these days but for longer rides make sure you've got plenty of snacks to keep your fuels (I used to swear by flapjack, good chunk every 45mins to an hour or something).
 
Soldato
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Barnet, London
The best thing i could probably suggest would be to pick up a cheap turbo trainer from Facebook for £20 and use that whenever you can around the house to help build up mileage, just plonk your bike on and go nuts. From memory though your house is fairly small so unsure about space.

it would be much better to just go for some decent distance bike rides. This will get you better at cycling and get you used to long distances on the bike, plus help you refine your kit and food requirements.
I personally would lean away from a cheap trainer. I think it's too easy to set it on light resistance and just spin. A friend has this problem. He spends lots of time on his trainer and is still really slow and struggles with hills when we go out. I try and tell him to just head out instead of spending time on his indoor bike...

For me, it seemed like you break through a mileage barrier and then that mileage is always easier afterwards. Maybe it's a psychological thing. Eg my first 100km ride was really tough. The second seemed quite easy and now I could pop out and do one without even thinking about it. So, just build up to it. Plan in 20 miles, 30 miles, 40 miles and then your first 50 miles a few weeks before the event. It should be very achievable.

what food do I need? I see folk sucking pouches and all sorts. Is this required?
Fuelling was perhaps the biggest learn for me. There is nothing worse than bonking (just running out of any sort of energy to push the pedals round) As said, you don't need gels, but I would get a box, get used to them as you build the rides up and build them into your eating plan. Advice I got was start on the more solid things and move to gels by the end. So, a banana, peanut butter sandwich nearer thee start. Maybe an energy bar or two in the middle and finish with a gel or two. You should aim for something every hour at the most, even if you're not hungry. Likewise with water. Drink even if you don't feel thirsty. If you're thirsty, it's too late. Get some tabs to go in the water too, to replace minerals/salt etc.
 
Soldato
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That's a fair point i guess on the cheap trainers. What about a slightly more expensive smart trainer and Zwift? I suppose the fact that most people in attendance are renting a bike shows how accessible it is to do. It's not like 99% hobby cyclists you're aiming to keep up with.

For food, it's a tricky one. In theory, at a slow pace 50 miles would be what 4 hours? 5 hours max, and you're unlikely to be killing yourself at that pace to the point you're massively depleting energy stores. So i'd have thought something like an energy drink during the ride and a peanut butter sandwich prior to it as Andy mentions above, and then maybe 4/5 gels with caffeine for during the ride just for if you feel you need the boost. Then obviously the important cake at the end!
 
Soldato
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I assumed this was road biking, I guess just because that's where my mind defaults to? Is it actually off-road then? I supposed it doesn't say in the op.
 
Soldato
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Higher Walton
I assumed it was road as well, just based on roads through the Moors, rather than over the moors. Going over the moors themselves for 100 miles would be damn challenging for non mountain bikers i'd imagine.
 
Soldato
OP
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I'm not actually sure - I imagine it'll be on-road versus entirely off-road.

Not had chance to digest the conversation above but really appreciate the input chaps (y)
 
Soldato
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Birmingham
Padded shorts!!

The best training is getting out on your bike. When I did The Birmingham Velo (100 miles in one day) the furthest that I went before that was a 50 mile ride. Had planned to do more but ran out of time. I am very much built for comfort, not speed! I was fine and really enjoyed the event. You don’t need to do the full distance prior to the event.

Spin classes at the gym helped as well. Got me up a couple of hills using some anaerobic reserve.

I’d be worried about renting a bike as it’s nice to get used to your kit when you’re training. Cleats make a huge difference on longer rides too which would be difficult to train with if you don’t own a pair or a bike with clip in pedals.
 
Associate
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If it hasn't already been mentioned about the padded shorts. Just you and the shorts, absolutely no undercrackers allowed!
 
Soldato
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Shropshire
I think this will be tough as there would/could be a lot of climbing involved if it's going across the Yorkshire Dales / Moors. I'd hope the organisers aren't taking some of the really nasty stuff like Park Rash or Rosedale Chimney.

I would echo that you need to get into the groove of eating often - keep the fuel coming in, not just waiting until feed stations and binging at them. A couple of gels can be handy should you really hit the wall but don't live on them unless you like GI distress...
 
Caporegime
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100miles is easy.
even when I'm totally unfit and didn't cycle for years I went from 0 > 20 miles in about 6 rides with 2 days rest between, with the first ride being about 2 miles and done in

once you can do 20 miles, 30 miles is just as easy or 40.

obviously at a leisurely pace of like 15mph average
 
Associate
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Nott'm
100miles is easy.
even when I'm totally unfit and didn't cycle for years I went from 0 > 20 miles in about 6 rides with 2 days rest between, with the first ride being about 2 miles and done in

once you can do 20 miles, 30 miles is just as easy or 40.

obviously at a leisurely pace of like 15mph average

That and giving your backside a chance to get used to it.

Make sure you have a saddle that suits you!
 
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