Completing a double century or 200 mile bike ride, in one day, is a great accomplishment for any recreational cyclist. It is also a makes a great story when you get old. There are plenty of organized rides all over North America. Most have a small entry fee. The support that is offered varies greatly from ride to ride.
Step 1: In the Long Run, It's More Than a Bike Ride
If I can offer you one tip it is wear sunscreen. If I can offer you a second, it is loose weight. Extra weight slows you down plenty. Calorie counting it the most brutal as well as the most successful way to loose weight. Depending on your circumstances you can eat less or exercise more. Keep a diary of how many calories you consume. There is no need to be accurate. You can round off items to the nearest 50 or 100 calories
Consider the double century a long term goal. Train lots. Allow plenty of time to improve. Take up to three years, if you begin as a couch potato, There are training schedules to guide your progress. The schedules all have the same theme. That is increase your mileage slowly. Involve your commute to work in your training. Complete plenty of century rides beforehand. Try 2 century rides in 2 consecutive days. .
Recovery time after hard rides is important, as is time away from the bike, when you get bored,
Step 2: Prepare to Be Challenged
Preparation should start one week before the ride. Sleep lots in the week preceding the ride. Avoid alcohol. Try to do minimal strenuous work.
Plan your strategy. A strategy that does not involve hammering all the time. Set reasonable goals, for the time that it will take you to reach each way point. Make sure your bike is in excellent mechanical shape.
Arrange for transportation to the start of the ride.
In the morning of the ride do not experiment. Have everything tested and true. This include clothing, bike equipment and magic potions. Eat a good breakfast about 40 minutes before riding . Porridge and a banana are a favorite
Take lots of sweet food with you. You will at have to replace 300 calories of sugar per hour. You will actually be consuming about 1000 calories per hour, but the fats and proteins can be replaced later. Fluids are important. Fasten a few extra jugs to your bike if you don't plan on stops.
Finally your shorts should be lubricated to prevent chaffing. Antibacterial hand lotion works great
Step 3: The Long Ride
Start fast. It does you no good having to wait for slowpokes, so loose the weak as soon as possible. Slow down to find your pace after a few miles. Blend into a group to draft with. A group that you can keep up with. Don't be a hero when it is your turn to pull at the front. Keep at a steady pace
Be prepared for mood changes throughout the ride. The ride is long so you will experience some downs along with all the enjoyment. Realize the rough sections will always end. As the day grows long you will need more and more determination.
Finally the ride will end. When you are finished, be prepared for some exuberant bragging. You have earned the right to brag, until you meet someone who has completed a triple century. Have fun and take care always.
Step 4: Picture Credits
Pictures are from Flickr and licensed under the creative commons
Can of whoop by srboisvert.
sunscreen 70 by h. wren.
Hand cream by Daniel Slaughter.
Double century by srboisvert.