How To Ride Long Distances


♪ [music] ♪ – [Matt] Long rides are commonplace in
cycling and it’s easy to see why. You get an amazing sense of achievement.
You get to go to places that you might not have seen before, and after recovering
from them at least, they get you fitter. – [Simon] Yeah, but long rides aren’t
actually all that easy. It takes a degree of fitness, willpower and focus, but here
are ten things you could probably do with knowing to help you on
your way. Ten things. – Ten things. Actually, scrub that. This
first piece of advice relates to the day leading up to your big event. Mainly
carbo-loading. Now, carbo-loading became very popular in many endurance sports in
the 1990s and does have some merit. – [Dan] Yeah, subtly increasing your
intake of carbohydrates in 24 hours leading up to your event should mean that
your muscles have got more glycogen, which basically means that you’ve got more fuel
for your ride, so you should be able to ride further. – Chip, Dan? – I can’t stress enough just how important
it is to start a long ride conservatively. If you set out too fast, then you’re going
to be burning carbohydrates instead of fat, which is fuel. And as we all know,
unfortunately, you’ve got a limited supply of carbs, even if you’ve loaded up the
night before, so you can see it’s a bad idea. – So, for the first third of your ride,
make sure you ride really comfortably. Just settle into your ride. Once you’ve
got into it, you can then assess how you’re feeling and whether you’re capable
of upping the pace and more importantly sustaining it. – You feeling settled, mate? – Yeah, pretty so. – Cool. Should we pick up the pace? – No, actually, I quite like it like this.
Along similar lines is the advice of not going over into your threshold, this can
really dig into your reserves and deplete your energy stores very quickly. – Yeah, occasionally though, it’s going to
be unavoidable. If for example, you face a short, steep climb, but general
rule is you that try and avoid going anaerobic. – Fueling from the start is really
important. If you wait until you’re actually hungry or thirsty,
it’s probably too late. – Yeah, and you also need to experiment
with exactly what you’re eating and drinking on the bike. Some people have
cast iron stomachs, tolerate anything, other people need to be a little bit
more particular, so they don’t get uncomfortable. You got
any more of that, mate? – No, there’s no more, mate. Last one. – As we said at the start, mental strength
and focus are a really important part of long rides. It can be hard, staying
motivated for hours on end, so it’s a good idea to remind
yourself of why you’re doing it, focusing on the positives, and
then blocking out the negatives. – Yeah, try not to think of your
discomfort and the pain in your legs. Try instead to focus on what it will feel
like once you’ve reached your ultimate goal. Tell yourself that
you’re feeling good. – You’re looking good, mate. – Thanks, mate. So are
you, actually, mate. – Thanks, I’m feeling good. ♪ [music] ♪ – Often, on a long ride, the ultimate goal
of reaching the finish can feel like an eternity away. So it’s a good idea to have
some intermediate goals you can tick off along the way. Another positive
thing on which to focus your mind. – Yeah, it could be a feed zone,
if you’re on an organized ride. It could be a town or a village on
your route. Or a good one is the top of each climb along the way. Slipstreaming
can save you a huge amount of power while still going at the same speed, now, up
to 30% in fact, in the right conditions. So you should really take advantage of it
if you’re riding with other people or particularly if you’re in a master
participation ride. Now, don’t annoy other people by just sitting on, but try and
slip into a group who’s going the right pace for you. – Now, if you want to be sneaky, try doing
your turns on the front up a hill and that way, the riders behind won’t get as much
advantage as a road tilted upwards, leaving you to spend your time
sat on slipstreaming on the flat. ♪ [music] ♪ – Now, you’re not exactly going to be able
to get very far at all on your ride if you had a mechanical problem and
you haven’t got the tools to fix it, so on every ride, you need to take
at the very least spare tubes, a multi-tool and then, of course, a pump
as well. And as well as being able to ride further, you’ll also not
get stuck in the wilderness. – Along the same lines is the
importance of dressing correctly, heading out for a ride in cold, freezing,
wet conditions without the appropriate sort of clothing on is a recipe for
disaster. – Now, admittedly, good quality cycle
clothing can be quite expensive, but it will make quite a big difference to
how comfortably you can ride in a wide range of weather conditions. And if you’re
more comfortable, you’re more likely to be able to ride further. Now, obviously one
of us is not dressed for the conditions today, but you get the idea. ♪ [music] ♪ Last, but by no means least,
think about aerodynamics on the bike. You can become more
aero without spending any money, simply lower your body at the front ends,
so less your body is taking the wind. This will mean that you’re riding at the
same speed for less effort or riding faster with the same amount of effort.
Either way, you’ll be able to ride further, and you shouldn’t just finish for
your body, either. Clothing and equipment can also make quite a significant
difference. I’m talking about aerodynamic helmets, tight fitting clothing,
an aero frame and aero wheels. Individually, they might not make a
huge difference, but put it together, it can become something quite significant.
Aerodynamics is not something that you’re going to be able to feel. You’ll
still be putting the effort in, your legs will still ache,
but you’ll be going faster. – So there’s a whole raft of tips that are
going to help you on long cycle rides, things before, things during
and extra preparation as well. – Yeah, for our video on how to cycle
further, click up here. And our other video on how to cycle, find the… – Perfect route? – Perfect route. But I think, to be honest
with you, mate, I think we’ve found it already. – Yeah, we have. – But anyway, for a perfect
route, can we do this one… – So, there’s a whole raft of things then
that will help you on your long rides, things before and things during. – And for our video on how to ride longer,
click up here. For our video on how to find a perfect route, although I think
me and Simon found ours today, click down here. – Yeah, and because GCN brings
you such amazing places as this, you really should subscribe and you can do
that by clicking on me and Matt and a slight bit of sunburn.
Bakingly hot. As we said at the start,
it’s really important… ♪ [music] ♪

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