Author Topic: After finishing a 400  (Read 6640 times)

After finishing a 400
« on: November 28, 2010, 12:21:56 pm »
Assuming that a 400k which starts at 06.00 and taking 22 hours to complete, finishing at 04.00 the next day after riding through the night without any sleep, what to do next?

It would (usually) be far too early to book in at a Travelodge or Premier Inn and very foolish to attempt to drive any real distance back home afterwards.

Your views on this please?

Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2010, 12:25:27 pm »
Have a nap at the finish control (even if it's just slumped on a chair/table), or in your car.

Half an hour sleep will often be enough to make you feel fresh enough to drive home before some proper sleep (depends on the distance though).
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2010, 12:42:35 pm »
Have a nap at the finish control (even if it's just slumped on a chair/table), or in your car.

Half an hour sleep will often be enough to make you feel fresh enough to drive home before some proper sleep (depends on the distance though).
Or you could just go for another ride, to fill the time before you can book in to a Travelodge. Another 200km should do it!

(Sorry, couldn't resist it!  ;D)

Seriously, I go with Greenbank on this - when I've been in that situation, I usually have a doze at the finish, then start driving but with the intention of pulling into a Services or a lay-by and having another kip at the first sign of the dozies. Since I abhor motorways and try as much as possible to go "cross-country", finding somewhere to stop at short notice isn't usually a problem and if I treat the drive home as part of the entertainment - relaxed pace and stopping frequently for coffee etc., I'm usually fine. The worst thing to do is to not plan for this and try to get home by some kind of deadline.


Billy Weir

Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2010, 01:25:38 pm »
Train it back, using a ticket booked well in advance.

Snooze on train.  Eat. Arrive at home. Eat. Have a shower.  Eat. Sleep.  Eat. Return to normality. Eat.

Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2010, 01:33:15 pm »
Alternatively, book into a Travelodge for the night of the ride; so you go straight there at 4am and can sleep till noon (or whatever they throw you out) - assuming there is one close by.

valkyrie

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Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2010, 01:34:03 pm »
Most Travelodges/Premier Inns/whatever have the desk manned 24 hrs a day, so you can check in any time you like. Latest/earliest I've arrived at one was 2am and getting into the room was no problem at all.
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Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2010, 01:35:34 pm »
The only 400 I've done was from Chepstow and I was camping a few kms from Chepstow. After I'd finished the ride at around 2 am I cycled back to the campsite, had a shower & then fall asleep to the sound of rain hammering down on my tent.
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Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2010, 03:19:58 pm »
This is one of the benefits of 400s that don't start at 6am in the morn.

Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2010, 03:30:25 pm »
Yeah, midnight is the best time to start a 400.  used to be one out of Cardiff that started at midnight.  
Ideal, you get the night section out of the way first, when you are still awake and alert , most of the riders will stay together and theres always going to be one or two with local knowledge.
Which obviously makes navigation easier.   Would be finished by 3pm ;D , so still mentally awake enough to at least start to drive home.  Sadly , most promotors have`nt seen the light as yet.  

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Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2010, 03:36:53 pm »
[midnight start ] ...
Would be finished by 3pm ;D , so still mentally awake enough to at least start to drive home.  Sadly , most promotors have`nt seen the light as yet. 

Possibly because some promoters need most of the 27hours? A 2am finish isn't very attractive for hotel checkin, trains, or driving home! YFTMV* :)
(Personally I prefer starting around noon, but there ya go ... )

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Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2010, 03:39:19 pm »
Train it back, using a ticket booked well in advance.

Snooze on train.  Eat. Arrive at home. Eat. Have a shower.  Eat. Sleep.  Eat. Return to normality. Eat.

+1

Or ride back home... I must admit that the 20km between Bulwark and my house feel like 100.

Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2010, 03:41:19 pm »
Not all of us are sub-55 riders :)

I prefer a 6am start as it means a 8am finish (with a little sleep during the night). That way I can have a chat with people at the finish and the trains will be running (invariably a Sunday) so I can get home.

The Severn Across will be my 400 this year so I can either pootle home on the train (Gerrard's Cross to Marylebone, scoot down to Paddington and District Line to Putney) or just cycle it (40km at most) anyway.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2010, 03:46:42 pm »
I'd sleep until the time you usualy wake up then drive home, stopping on the way for coffee etc if it's a long way and enjoy the trip.
That's what I do anyway, except for the driving part because I can't drive and don't even have a car. ;D

Billy Weir

Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2010, 04:58:29 pm »
In addition to my earlier answer:

Consider sleeping on route.  Finishing at 4am doesn't get you any more kudos than finishing at 8am.

I might be unusual, but I will almost always sleep between 2am and 5am.  Means I finish feeling vaguely human and, after a bit more rest at the finish.

What event are you thinking about doing?

Bones

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Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2010, 06:14:11 pm »
Agree with all the above: Do anything but drive if at all possible: if you really must drive, go only the shortest distance to somewhere safe to rest properly and then don't drive until you have had a good sleep followed by lots of coffee. My family have had experience of the tragic consequences of a driver falling asleep at the wheel. It is not to be recommended.
There are no steep hills - just puny legs and the wrong gears :D

Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2010, 06:19:49 pm »
Yeah, midnight is the best time to start a 400.  used to be one out of Cardiff that started at midnight...Sadly , most promotors have`nt seen the light as yet. 


The reason for that event's start time was to get main roads and Port Talbot out of the way before daybreak and traffic.

border-rider

Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2010, 06:25:51 pm »
Not all of us are sub-55 riders :)

I prefer a 6am start as it means a 8am finish

6am start for me.  Finish in the very early hours, doze at the control for a few hours then head for home in daylight.

I'd just not bother to ride a 400 that didn't start at 6 am - unless it was exceptional.

Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2010, 06:29:35 pm »
On a FNRttS I don't feel at all sleepy until I get on the train, at which point I have real trouble staying awake.  I get home, shower and I'm in bed by 0930.

On the Dun Run I am generally asleep in the passenger seat of the car by Yoxford and don't wake until at least Cambridge; sometimes not until St. Neots.

In either case, 3 hours' sleep is enough to tide me over until the next night.
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border-rider

Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2010, 06:30:13 pm »
Yeah, midnight is the best time to start a 400.  used to be one out of Cardiff that started at midnight.  
Ideal, you get the night section out of the way first, when you are still awake and alert , most of the riders will stay together and theres always going to be one or two with local knowledge.
Which obviously makes navigation easier.   Would be finished by 3pm ;D , so still mentally awake enough to at least start to drive home.  Sadly , most promotors have`nt seen the light as yet.  

When I rode that event, I got really dozy mid-afternoon and ended up finishing close to midnight,  so I'd missed two nights' sleep.  Not good.

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Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2010, 06:31:05 pm »
Some good advice so far. I made the mistake of trying to drive home immediately after finishing the Asparagus and Strawberries 400 a couple of years back, a ride during which I had had no sleep. My advice is DON'T! Seriously, I should have been arrested I was that dangerous. I really, really didn't think I could be affected so profoundly. Needless to say I pulled over pretty sharpish and slept for a hour in a layby. That's was enough to get me home.

It's not just the 24 hours without sleep itself - your body and mind are also wiped from the exertion of the ride.

Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2010, 06:39:57 pm »
I think that cycling is a stimulant, so you can feel quite awake on the bike even when you're tired. It increases the heart rate and metabolism.
Sitting in a warm car is a relaxant so it's like taking pro plus (cycling) then moving on to alcohol (driving) and feeling the effects immediately and wondering why the alcohol seems much more effective than usual.

Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2010, 10:35:42 pm »
Yes you will need to sleep after a 400, but you have to learn that when you really NEED to sleep you don't need a bed or, well, anything, really. If you drive, recline your seat. Otherwise, plan for an hour or two with your head down, bivi bag or whatever you like, that is enough to get your eyes and mind working again.

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Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2010, 10:49:50 pm »
Not all of us are sub-55 riders :)

I prefer a 6am start as it means a 8am finish

6am start for me.  Finish in the very early hours, doze at the control for a few hours then head for home in daylight.

I'd just not bother to ride a 400 that didn't start at 6 am - unless it was exceptional.

I have never done anything but an early(ish) start but it eats all the week end. Starting the friday evening at say 8 or 9pm may be a quite good solution as hopefully it is possible to sleep Saturday eve and have a normal Sunday.

Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2010, 09:10:25 am »
Vorsprung will be along at some point to advertise his Avalon 400 which starts 10pm on Friday. It's a very good event.

mikewigley

Re: After finishing a 400
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2010, 09:11:28 am »
I hadn't realised (until someone raised this topic) just how many 400s start at 6am.  I planned to start the Llanfair PG 400 at 9am with the specific aim of not getting riders back in the small hours, and to take advantage of a 24 hour controls at Abergele, Chester and Lymm.

The only 400 I ride with any sense of regularlity starts at 13:30 which works out really well - plenty of time to get to the start, so you can have a good nught's sleep before the event, and finishing the following morning or early afternoon.

I've also ridden the Spurn Head 400 which started at what I thought was the unusual time of 5:30 but that was with the aim of getting riders to Spurn Head while there was still somewhere open to provide a control