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On the Night Before a Big Ride I....

Old 05-15-19, 07:17 PM
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UniChris
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On the Night Before a Big Ride I....

What do you do on the night before a big ride?

Let's leave "big" subjective, personally I'm planning to be rolling around 8 hours and counting breaks out from midmorning to a little after sunset, so "big" but not yet "crazy big"

At the moment I'm going through gear I plan to bring, contemplating a high protein (but low fiber) dinner since at this point early in the season I'm not yet going far enough to carbo load, charging batteries, etc.
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Old 05-15-19, 07:20 PM
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Lots of water. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
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Old 05-15-19, 07:21 PM
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Not eating enough, not sleeping enough, just hoping that I don't forget some critical piece of equipment when I leave.
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Old 05-15-19, 07:30 PM
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I'm doing my usual 100 miles this Saturday. Friday night, I'm planning on going to the annual dinner at the local Greek Orthodox church and eating a bunch of lamb. Probably some sweets too.
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Old 05-15-19, 07:32 PM
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CARBO-LOADING and then stressing and packing and like the good Dr. not getting enough sleep. Though sometimes I prepare in advance and it is just carbo-loading and getting a tiny bit more sleep. However I don't recommend carbo-loading too much at least not with simple carbs like I tend to do.

Hydration is a good thing and relaxation is a good thing as well as stretching and getting those legs moving a little.

Right before a ride, I will put on a nice clean kit make sure I put some Chamois Glide on (I think they call it Bike Glide now but any Chamois cremé you like will work) and make sure the tires are pumped up and do some more stretching and usually helping others with their bikes. I also try to wash myself beforehand because going out clean can help prevent saddle sores. If you are touring or not near a shower baby wipes are the way to go and an indispensable tool for anyone not just babies.
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Old 05-15-19, 08:50 PM
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Eat more and hope I get a decent night's sleep (have sleep apnea).
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Old 05-15-19, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
Eat more and hope I get a decent night's sleep
Yes, that's the biggie. First attempt at a century last summer I finally just gave up after hours of failing to sleep and headed out on none, realized around mile 45 it wasn't happening and diverted to a train. Got fours hours when I actually pulled it off.

But goals are more modest this early in the season, and not planning to start until well after the sun is up.

Last edited by UniChris; 05-15-19 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 05-15-19, 09:22 PM
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For me it means no spicy food the nite before and small doses of magnesium potassium & calcium then morning of do the same small doses but add a little sodium then bring enough of same for the halfway or turnaround. Hydrate before you get thirsty eat before you get hungry and go easy the first 1/4 of the ride. No food experiments stick w what you’re accustomed to eating but add supplements to suit I like b6 & b12 30min prior to launch and again halfway thru approx if I get desperate I can add a caffeine pill but haven’t done that in years
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Old 05-15-19, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
For me it means no spicy food the nite before and small doses of magnesium potassium & calcium then morning of do the same small doses but add a little sodium then bring enough of same for the halfway or turnaround. Hydrate before you get thirsty eat before you get hungry and go easy the first 1/4 of the ride. No food experiments stick w what you’re accustomed to eating but add supplements to suit I like b6 & b12 30min prior to launch and again halfway thru approx if I get desperate I can add a caffeine pill but haven’t done that in years
Yeah, Nuun tablets and bananas are pretty staple, especially as it gets hotter. My grocery store seems to have stopped carrying the former, so I might pick up a tube (to augment the half one I'm bringing and the unoponed spare I'm leaving home) and use it as an excuse to take advantage of the restroom at the bike shop a bit over halfway.

And for me it's not just having done the pure water to vomiting thing a couple of times in early years when I didn't know what I was doing, but that hitting a bump and having legs cramp rather than respond with emergency power tends to mean a loss of balance and falling to the ground.

Probably the toughest part is about 70% of the way through my route with extended shallow climbs and water running over the trail, once I make it past that I relax a bit as the following part is just distance. But the plan if possible is to explore around an unfamiliar gravel side path a bit earlier, so that part will end up even later in the ride.
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Old 05-15-19, 10:02 PM
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On the Night Before a Big Ride I .... relax, read, listen to music, and try to get as much sleep as I can.

I do All The Things the night before the night before a big ride.
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Old 05-16-19, 06:38 AM
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fasting and prayer...
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Old 05-16-19, 07:16 AM
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My last big rides have all been in the Canadian Rockies or Montana mountains. Consecutive 100+ miles days. Some nights and mornings are nothing more than fig newtons, trail mix and whatever else I've stashed into my frame bags.
Leaving Banff Ab. at 5:00AM usually means little sleep the night before. Two years ago it rained all night and I knew the next day was going to be cold and wet.
So, some beer and a good dinner.
The next day 110 miles later on a 45# mountain bike full of gear I am none the worse for the wear. Just keep eating when you can and keep going. Rinse.. Ride... Repeat... etc...
IMHO people let century rides put too much mental pressure on themselves. Often it is seen as getting it done as fast as possible rather than just getting it done.
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Old 05-16-19, 07:20 AM
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It depends,. At a minimum, I like to have a decent meal. These days, most of my big rides are multi-day or multi-week, unsupported tours. What happens the night before each day of riding depends on a lot on where I am staying (e.g., town/city or somewhere with nothing around), the next day's mileage and the availability of services the next day.
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Old 05-16-19, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Nuun tablets
guess I fashioned my recipe after reading about them years ago. I just keep bottles of those individual ingredients (& others) handy & dish them out in snack bags. but it was interesting to read they also have "Chloride: Helps Fluid Transport & Balance"
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Old 05-16-19, 07:43 AM
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in case it's pack everything, and put everything that needs to be charged on charger. and setting up what im wearing etc ready so minimize the time i spend walking around aimlessly around the house. afternoon of day before go to grocery store for supplies. bananas and assorted nuts and dried fruits.
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Old 05-16-19, 07:55 AM
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We often do our biggest rides when on a cycling vacation somewhere. Prep usually entails plenty of eating and drinking before each ride. If it was a race or competitive event I'd cut out the drinking and have an easy or no ride the day before.

Cutting back on carbs the night before and eating extra protein might be good for weight loss but deliberately riding carb-depleted is not pleasant.
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Old 05-16-19, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
guess I fashioned my recipe after reading about them years ago. I just keep bottles of those individual ingredients (& others) handy & dish them out in snack bags. but it was interesting to read they also have "Chloride: Helps Fluid Transport & Balance"
Or it comes along for the ride with the others...

It may be I should just spike the gatorade powder, but it's easier to drop a tablet in. And I tend to do a progression throughout the day of

water -> water + nuun -> water + nuun + gatorade -> water + nuun -> water
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Old 05-16-19, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Cutting back on carbs the night before and eating extra protein might be good for weight loss but deliberately riding carb-depleted is not pleasant.
This wasn't cutting back, but more just not doing something unusual like making up a batch of pasta specifically because of the ride, which I did do on my largest rides.
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Old 05-16-19, 08:18 AM
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My big ride prep includes a bedtime dose of magnesium, calcium, potassium, Move Free, Benadryl, melatonin and Ibuprofen with yogurt and a quart of water. This all helps with restorative sleep and inflammation from arthritis and shoulder tendonitis.

I also get out the foam roller to stretch the back, legs and I-bands.

Finally, all prep work on the bike and packing is done and check listed.
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Old 05-16-19, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
fasting and prayer...
Usually I'm second guessing myself, checking the weather ten times, forgetting to download the route to my GPS....

I'm going to try your method. I read somewhere about it working in the past.


-Tim-
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Old 05-16-19, 08:40 AM
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Wow, you guys pump yourselves full of supplements... I just try to sleep so that I don't oversleep. But then again, my biggest ride has been ~55 miles and usually more around 30ish.
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Old 05-16-19, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
gatorade
can't drink that, gives me a sour tummy. I have used "Muscle Milk" on occasion, with a snickers bar, from a gas station / convenience store ... not necessarily my go-to plan, but if I'm in a city & I'm desperate .... that would be an interesting thread. what can a cyclist "macgyver" for nutrition from a gas station ...
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Old 05-16-19, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by phile View Post
in case it's pack everything, and put everything that needs to be charged on charger. and setting up what im wearing etc ready so minimize the time i spend walking around aimlessly around the house.
Ah, yes, the aimless wandering around. Managed to spend a half hour at 4am one morning last summer looking for a light's bar clamp, gave up and planned to tape it on which worked, came home and found the clamp had ridden along in the first aid kit.

Currently it's the attachment base for the cheapo computer I can't find. And that's because I put it somewhere "more appropriate" after it took a couple of rides in the baggie with my phone cable and wrap-strap blinky lights where it ended up after last season... so no trying to recalibrate pacing this time.
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Old 05-16-19, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
that would be an interesting thread. what can a cyclist "macgyver" for nutrition from a gas station ...
Oh, we had that one last August. It became infamous.

Ok, technically that was more fuel than balance. The time I left the whole bag of food and electrolytes on the kitchen table I did spend a couple of minutes wandering a pharmacy vitamin aisle two hours out, trying to figure out what might be a good alternative. Ended up just getting back on the trail and stopping by a bike shop later in the day.
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Old 05-16-19, 08:47 AM
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here's one: charge your stuff (cams, lights, etc)
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