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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:40 pm 
Special Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:34 am
Posts: 5663
Location: Don't mess with monkeys, man
perry wrote:
Food wise carbs before and protein after , bananas and peanuts are good , the salt helps stop the muscles aching and because they are so moreish you can get through a lot of protein without really trying .

You wont have to miss out on nice foreign cakes but just keep in mind not to fill up on empty calories ( stuff that doesn't include anything that your body needs ) and get full before you have the good stuff .

Don't neglect protein before, either.

And whilst making sure you're getting good sources of electrolytes, carbs, protein and EFAs, with that kind of sustained riding, you'll need to keep calories fairly high. So don't stress about how pure it is.

Bananas are good because of their potassium content, often overlooked in favour of sodium.

Another option on the tyre front - I realise they're out of stock at the moment - but they're a good tyre for mixed road and XC riding, and cheap: http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=8547


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:44 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:18 pm
Posts: 3798
Location: Staffordshire
Unless you are VERY tall, 170mm cranks would be a wise change.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:58 pm 
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner / RB Rider
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Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:45 pm
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Location: kent
50 miles a day is not that much for a long distance , no need to worry too much about nutrtion , have a good breakfast and dont go silly in the evening .
drink plenty .


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:05 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:34 pm
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Location: My own little world
Why are 170mm cranks a good idea mate?

Staf.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:32 pm 
Feature Bike
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:13 pm
Posts: 1143
Location: York-ish UK
Used to do a bit of touring (always MTB), and as the other posts have been pointing to, it's about contact points, food and navigation:

Contact points:
Bike: Tyres, bearings, brake pads. You/bike: hands (comfy grips or gloves); feet (shoes you can walk in and toe clips/power grips or hybrid clipless if you're weak and modern); arse (see LGF saddle advice, although there is no better way to break in a Brooks than a 50 mile a day jaunt).

Food:
You'll need lots: thin bungees to strap bread and cake boxes; 75cl wine bottles can be squeezed into standard wire bottle cages; clothes that you can walk into a restaurant in.

Navigation: forget the bike computer, take a compass. The backroads are lovely but the maps (France, Belgium at least) are less good. If you meander, your daily mileage will suffer but your enjoyment will increase. Be realistic about your mileage: is doing 50 a day the goal or do you want to see some new trails?

Sounds great fun. Enjoy.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:49 am
Posts: 4061
Location: A veritable floating palace
50 miles a day is ok on a mountain bike, but you wouldn't even feel it on a tourer. And if your friends are on tourers, you will suffer.

But if you must stick with an MTB and want your flat bar, fit barends. Preferrably 2 pairs; one inboard of your grips. Use bar tape on the barends, to add comfort.

Good saddle - If you have a favourite great, if not the Brooks B17 is a good call. It has never been changed since it was introduced in 1894 because it's perfect. Get a wide one if your bars are level with your saddle, or if you're blobby (like me) fit a b66.

Luggage - 2 panniers and a barbag should be enough for two weeks. Don't take a rucksack, you will feel it after the first couple of days.

Accomodation - www.warmshowers.org

Waterproofs - not very breathable, but more waterproof is better for extended touring.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:47 am 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:34 pm
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Thanks for the help bud, never fitted a pannier before, are there any cool ones out there? Or do I have to fit one of those naff looking frame jobs that fit tightly over the back wheel?

Staf.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:33 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:32 pm
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Location: Southport, UK Member No:411
50 miles on an MTB is around 3 hours on the road if you're fairly fit.

It would be about 2.5 hours on a road bike at comfortable pace.

Nutrition is not an issue, as long as you consume carbohydrates like pasta and noodles, potatoes, bananas and slow releasing energy like dry fruit.

Personally for that mileage, I wouldn't take a drink either. I train for that distance without any food, water or supplements without detrimental effect. Think about it, a big breakfast, and leave at 9am, then you'll be there by noon!

The bike is a careful choice, and others have already hit the point regards saddle comfort and bar position in relation to hand movement, but again, 50 miles is only a short trip. If it rains, you'll wish you'd fitted mudguards, and carry some little roadside repairs such as spokes, cables and a spare tyre. All other components are available at bike shops along the way, should they fail.

I understand your feelings regarding road bikes, but a good tourer is better than anything you'll fabricate from an MTB, unless there are lots of worthy off road sections to make it worthwhile. After completing the C2C last autumn on an MTB with semi slicks on, I was desperate for a road bike at the 90 mile mark, just for their speed and comfort.

Remember trial and error are all part of the planning. You must try everything out first before you hop on and go. Complete a 50 mile local ride and it'll decide what bike you really want and how much energy you'll need to consume. Everybody is different!

Good luck and keep us all informed.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:42 am 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 11:03 am
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Location: Sunny Glasgow
RAFbikes wrote:
are there any cool ones out there?

Plenty,but as you intend to carry a fair weight ,then something sturdy rather than cool would be more sensible.
On the tyre side ,i got some schwalbe hurricanes and they seem ok,not too heavy and not flimsy either.I think they have a kevlar shield to guard against punctures[handy in those thorn strewn lanes]
Theres also a reflective stripe running around the side walls,they're about £15 each at CRC,so not to expensive either 8)
side knobbly bits should you want to leave the baggage at a site or hotel and go for a scenic potter offroad :D


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:01 am 
National & North West AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:43 am
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Location: Macclesfield Forest
For my panniers and bar-bag I swear by Ortlieb gear. The cost is worth it for being 100% waterproof, very durable and with a great mounting system.

Are you camping or will it be hostels/hotels etc? Personally I prefer to take a tent for the extra flexibility and zero budget wild camping options.
Does mean carrying a sleeping bag and cooking gear too though.

50 mile days will give you plenty of time to get the distance covered with plenty of detours and stops. I generally work on a 12mph average speed not including stops, to calculate progress. Depends on the terrain though. The mountain climbs can take half the day at 4mph...

The last time I was in France a couple of years ago, it was very hot most days, so we'd set of at first light and get 15-20 miles in before finding a roadside cafe or Boulangerie to have good coffee and breakfast. Then we'd ride for another 40 or 50miles until about 2pm and find a bar or cafe for a hearty lunch (look for the 'plat du jour' for the best taste/value) and spend a few hours out of the sun drinking plenty of fluids. Once it had started to cool a little we'd then push out another 30 or so miles until dusk where we'd look for a campsite, (practically every other town has a municipal campsite in the more touristy regions) or a place to wild camp.
Then the stove and noodles or pasta would finish the day's riding/eating.

If it gets very wet then it's always a good idea to find a cheap hotel to dry out in. Be warned though, don't bother paying extra for breakfast if it isn't included in the room rate. It will rarely be up to much, so check out early and look for the cafe/boulangerie option.
Also, carry some food to nibble with you. We would stop for 5 or 10 minutes every hour and break out some soft cheese and/or jam spread onto bread with a spork. I always have a small dry-bag full of food clipped to the outside of a pannier so I can be eating within seconds rather than constantly packing and unpacking my main panniers. Also a bag of nuts or dried fruit in my bar-bag mean that I can pretty much eat constantly along with frequent sips from the water bottles.

In terms of bike set up. During your preparation rides, if you find yourself getting uncomfortable after 10 or 20 miles then imagine how bad it'll be day in day out over longer distances. Spend plenty of time on setting up your riding position. Even minor changes to things like saddle height or tilt can make a massive difference. As already mentioned pay alot of attention to contact points. Ideally you should feel comfortable riding the bike for reasonably short distances without gloves of cycling shorts. That way when you do put on your cycling gear you will hopefully be very comfortable.

Mentally, think about the journey in small sections. In my head I always navigate from town to town and just focus on that part of the journey. I have my map on the bar-bag and play childish games with place names if I get bored or tired. A good route though will limit boredom, but you can't always be descending alpine passes...
Always try to be flexible with your route too. I used to spend hours poring over maps and marking out routes to follow in advance. Sometimes this is necessary, especially if you have booked accomodation in advance.
The best tours/adventures though, are those which aren't too planned, but for which you are prepared. A compass is a good idea along with a map. As long as you're heading in the right direction it doesn't matter too much which route you take. On the European Michelin maps just look for the roads bordered in green as they are designated as 'scenic routes'.

Finally, and as I've already mentioned; Sudocreme.


Last edited by drystonepaul on Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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