Author Topic: Recumbents on the PBP  (Read 2011 times)

steveindenmark

Recumbents on the PBP
« on: January 19, 2011, 04:39:18 PM »
A bit of a specialist subject I know but here goes.

I am hoping to ride the PBP on a Bacchetta Giro and would like to hear of anyone else has done the LEL or PBP or is actually entering the PBP this year on a recumbent.

Any hints or tips would be gratefully accepted.

Steve

Andrij

  • A dangerous man.
Re: Recumbents on the PBP
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2011, 04:44:34 PM »
Paging M. le Maire to the white courtesy phone.  M. le Maire to the white courtesy phone please...
 

Re: Recumbents on the PBP
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2011, 05:01:51 PM »
Steve,

I am intending to ride PBP en vélo couché, but as this will be my first 1200 of any sort, I'm not sure I can really be of much help.

My plan is just to ride it like everyone else apart from I will be on my back and not getting any paceline love* (bah, if you need to draft, have you really completed the ride? ;) )

What sort of thing is it you wish to know?

* until nightfall, when by all accounts I will pick up an enormous pack by virtue of having a front light that actually illuminates things...  ::-)

Re: Recumbents on the PBP
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2011, 06:32:11 PM »
Tip: don't fall asleep on the bike.
If you have the time: use it wisely to rest and eat.
Enjoy the scenery, the hospitality, the food and the wine.

Now I'll have to think of something recumbent specific... If you can't access your bottles easily, get a waterbag with a tube and learn to sip. Learning to eat while riding is also very useful.
Quote from: Wowbagger
I think that YACF is really an online mental hospital and the Audax board is the ward for dangerous psychopaths.

Re: Recumbents on the PBP
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2011, 07:18:26 PM »
Any hints or tips would be gratefully accepted.

Hints and tips that might be recumbent specific are difficult to think of in all honesty.

Although not mountainous PBP is most defintiely not flat, and when you start to get tired those hills begin to bite, so do lots of hill climbing as preparation. I found it quite tough, but that's not a recumbent issue, I'd have found it tough on a DF too, I'm not a fast cyclist over a long distance.

I did 2007 on a recumbent, bit of a knocked up hammer and nails home-jobbie, so it wasn't exactly the most efficient in terms of power transfer, but I did enjoy the registration day - loads of wonderful machines to cast your eye over. Some pretty decent recumbent riders out there too.

The idea was, by 2011, to have built my first carbon fibre recumbent and be riding that. Sadly this last year has been taken up with other issues and at the moment the epoxy is now out of date and sitting in my neighbours shed and the cloth is still in the loft  :(

After what's been going on privately, it would do me good to have a goal, something to aim for, the discapline might do me good. That clock is ticking well fast now though....

Steve, do you know Jan in Denmark? I know, that's a bit like somebody asking me if I know Bob in Macclesfield, but Jan goes under the name of FlatlandRider on BentReader Online and wrote a report of PBP 2007 rode on a VK2. The link for his report on Brol is dead now, but it might be worth tracking him down [assuming you do most of your riding in Denmark?]

edit: Jan was with another Danish lad, Tom, who rode a Baron. They were also both a lot quicker than me  :)
Garry Broad

Re: Recumbents on the PBP
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2011, 07:21:38 AM »
BROL is probably the place to go for recumbent-specific chat, but be warned that despite having a very cosmopolitan membership it is extremely American.

You will be endlessly entertained by usernames like "Bent for God" (the alternative connotation is meaningless over there) and confounded by discussions on "what sort of body armour do you wear to ride" etc ???

Re: Recumbents on the PBP
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2011, 08:39:07 AM »
I thought of another one this morning:
If you don't use clipless pedals already, start doing that ASAP.
Quote from: Wowbagger
I think that YACF is really an online mental hospital and the Audax board is the ward for dangerous psychopaths.

Re: Recumbents on the PBP
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2011, 10:27:13 AM »
Steve,

I think I am right in assuming you've not been doing a lot of cycling?

In that case, having a recumbent is secondary to the main problem. My #1 priority would be to get miles in on your new bike. Many miles.

There is not much real difference between a recumbent and an upright. It's more comfortable, but you still suffer from similar mechanical issues (achilles, knee) which originate from the pedalling motion. Instead of "back of the neck" muscle exhaustion, you can exhaust the "front of the neck" muscles. And so on...

I have not much long distance experience but did ride a 600km last summer in order to ensure a place at PBP if I wanted it. (Previously my longest rides were a half-dozen 200km over the preceeding year). At about 400km my achilles tendon was giving me terrible trouble, despite never having any trouble with it before or after.

More miles is what you need, and increasing the length of your single rides to put you in good stead for the qualifiers (and you should, IMO, aim to ride two SR series if possible, so you can experiment with seeing what works for you - that's my strategy).

Mr Larrington

  • Emperor of ice-cream
  • Fear the BEAR!
    • Mr Larrington's STULL Collection
Re: Recumbents on the PBP
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2011, 10:33:19 AM »
Simplify, add lightness and ride lots.  As Justin(e) observed, the difference in mass between his (upright) steed and my HP Velotechnik Speedmachine was equivalent to his hauling a complete spare bike.  If I ever try it again I'm going to empty my piggy-bank and buy something made of compressed soot.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Re: Recumbents on the PBP
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2011, 02:09:19 PM »
Or, of course, lose some flab (if applicable). There's not much point having a bike that's 5lbs lighter than the chap next to you if you are a few stone heavier! :)

On PBP 2007 I would have weighed about 14 1/2 stone. I now weigh just over 11 1/2, and hope to hit 11 stone flat in August. 3 1/2 stone is 50lbs...

So, although my bike is far from the lightest, it may as well be made of helium (from a certain point of view)...


hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Recumbents on the PBP
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2011, 03:02:48 PM »
Or, of course, lose some flab (if applicable). There's not much point having a bike that's 5lbs lighter than the chap next to you if you are a few stone heavier! :)

On PBP 2007 I would have weighed about 14 1/2 stone. I now weigh just over 11 1/2, and hope to hit 11 stone flat in August. 3 1/2 stone is 50lbs...

So, although my bike is far from the lightest, it may as well be made of helium (from a certain point of view)...

If you are attempting to lose weight, stop and stabilise a fortnight before any major distance event...

Re: Recumbents on the PBP
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2011, 03:48:25 PM »
One third of one pound per week is not much of a diet, I would have thought. I think it will just happen naturally as my mileage goes from 40 a week at present, upwards for the qualifiers.

If not, 160lbs is quite respectable and puts my all-up weight including luggage at under 200lbs - lighter than many in their skin.

Wothill

  • over the hills and far away
Re: Recumbents on the PBP
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2011, 09:24:05 PM »
I am another: hoping to do PBP on a recumbent but no rides of over 600Km as yet. As the others have all said, I think most of the things to work on are common to any type of bike. 

It is also worth remembering that recumbents tend to be more varied than uprights and a lot of designs have features that are more novel and less thoroughly tested than on uprights. Think of the difference between a road racer and an expedition tourer (two ends of a spectrum into which perhaps 90% or 95% of audaxers' bikes fit; despite the gulf between them in the minds of their riders, they are much more like each other and use more of the same components (with comparatively minor variations) compared with recumbents. And all of those components have been refined over millions of miles and several decades. To give just one example, the length of the chain is far greater on most recumbents (EnbraFixed's is a notable exeption!) and that can produce weird problems resulting from the chain swinging about. Designers have of course developed solutions but they are not perfect (as Arallsop discovered on LEL) and have to be modified differently to cope with the different geometries of the bikes.

The result is that you are probably more likely to develop mechanical problems or discover bike-related niggles on a long ride, unless you have thoroughly ironed them out on your own machine beforehand.

Gus

  • Harden the f*ck up !!
    • We will return
Re: Recumbents on the PBP
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2011, 09:42:23 PM »
I see you live in Denmark. Try contacting ARD audax randonneurs danemark I know some of them rides recumbents too.
They might be helpful, plus there are a brevet calender so might be able to ride a couple of the danish brevets too.
“Pain is nothing to really be afraid of because your body can only take so much.....Then you pass out.”

steveindenmark

Re: Recumbents on the PBP
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2011, 09:52:24 PM »
I should have mentioned that I am a confirmed non biker  ;D

I set myself a challenge each year and the PBP is the 2011 challenge.  

I have been reading lots about Audax in the last couple of months but know full welll that I have to get out on the bike. The problem at the moment is that I need it to warm up just a little to get the ice off the road at 6am in the morning. If I attempted to get to work along the route I take it would only end in coming off and causiong damage to myself or the bike.

My route to work is completely through open countryside and there are stretches where water off the fields come over the road. We are still at about -8 at night so we also have the frost.

I know I want to get on and start cycling but a bit of caution is not a bad thing.

I do not know Jan but I have just joined the Audax Randonneurs Denmark so may get to meet him. The Danes take quite a lot of riders to PBP as they are a cycling nation and so I am looking forward to meeting them. All my qualifyers will be in Denmark.

I am pleased I started this post At least I have got to touch base with some of the European recumbent riders.

Hi Gus, we posted at the same time.


Re: Recumbents on the PBP
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2011, 10:07:37 PM »
The result is that you are probably more likely to develop mechanical problems or discover bike-related niggles on a long ride, unless you have thoroughly ironed them out on your own machine beforehand.

This is why I did the Tour of Flanders cyclosportive two months after I got mine. Only minor stuff broke, so that was pretty good. I have seen uprights with broken derailleurs there before the cobbles even started.
Quote from: Wowbagger
I think that YACF is really an online mental hospital and the Audax board is the ward for dangerous psychopaths.

simonp

  • Demented bonobo.
Re: Recumbents on the PBP
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2011, 10:15:06 PM »
One third of one pound per week is not much of a diet, I would have thought. I think it will just happen naturally as my mileage goes from 40 a week at present, upwards for the qualifiers.

If not, 160lbs is quite respectable and puts my all-up weight including luggage at under 200lbs - lighter than many in their skin.

Losing weight at that sort of rate should still allow you to train effectively, but I would have thought if anything a small calorie surplus in the final few days before PBP would be a very good idea.  Enough to ensure that your glycogen levels are topped up, and you will burn off that excess within the first 200k of the 1200k. :)

(PBP is - conservatively - 30,000 calories, plus another 6,000-7,000 for BMR over 3-4 days)

If you have 13% body fat (not an unreasonable target) and weigh 70kg - around 11 stone - then PBP requires food energy equivalent to about 45% of your fat stores...

(No wonder I was ill afterwards)

Re: Recumbents on the PBP
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2011, 11:05:44 PM »
Well, when you put it like that - maybe I should get some of that lard back on instead  :o

simonp

  • Demented bonobo.
Re: Recumbents on the PBP
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2011, 01:16:22 AM »
Well, when you put it like that - maybe I should get some of that lard back on instead  :o

Nah, that's fine.  I only lost 2kg weight on Mille Cymru which isn't that much shorter.  So that would be about 3% body fat.  You do eat during the event, and it's important to do so.  But it's just not feasible, for most people, to take on all the energy you burn when riding 300-400km per day.


k7

Re: Recumbents on the PBP
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2011, 02:31:30 PM »
Any hints or tips would be gratefully accepted.

Steve, do you know Jan in Denmark? I know, that's a bit like somebody asking me if I know Bob in Macclesfield, but Jan goes under the name of FlatlandRider on BentReader Online and wrote a report of PBP 2007 rode on a VK2. The link for his report on Brol is dead now, but it might be worth tracking him down assuming you do most of your riding in Denmark?]

edit: Jan was with another Danish lad, Tom, who rode a Baron. They were also both a lot quicker than me  :)

I contacted Jan via one of the recumbent sites and he was kind enough to forward a pdf file of the report mentioned above.  I don't have a place to park it but will be happy to forward a copy via email as long as your email will accept a 1 mb file.  Contact me at k7lro at msn dot com or by pm. 
Cheers,
Gerry