Author Topic: Last real prep for me completed  (Read 366 times)

Last real prep for me completed
« on: July 24, 2019, 07:29:55 am »
I've just returned from France after cycling from Dieppe to a place called Nandax near Lyon and back with an interval of 2 days which also included some very hilly short rides. I experienced whilst riding:
250km of constant but not heavy rain coupled with a 20kph head wind at 18 Deg C.
Heat up to 37 Deg C
Min temp of 14 Deg C
Max time riding without a sleep stop of 11hrs (19:45 to 06:45)

I wanted to see how I coped with a late start and riding through the night to replicate a 90hr start, the journey south started at Dieppe leaving the ferry at 14:30, I rode until 04:30 next day then bivvied for 2.5hrs and reached my destination at 17:30, so a total of 27hrs for 608km, this leg had the rain and persistent headwind at first.

The return leg started at 19:45, temps were still mid 30s Deg C, although as I headed north the temps quickly dropped leading to early morning mists and 14 deg C, I didn't really stop until 06:30 when I bivvied for 1.5 hrs before being awoken with a drenching from an agricultural crop irrigation sprayer! The temps quickly increased with mid morning being 25 deg C, midday 30 deg C and mid afternoon 36 Deg C, I arrived at Dieppe at 19:30, so time was just under 24hrs for 610km.

What have I learned:

I can ride straight through the night, I felt much better on the return leg as I had slept more the previous night and had a 2 hour nap early afternoon.

I can cope with the heat as long as I have enough water and can maintain a nice speed to keep an air flow over me.

Hot foot was the biggest issue leading to reduced power output and hourly stops to walk about in a pair of soft shoes (like crocs).

I also need to reduce the gearing as I currently run a 70t chainring, a 61 is much more appropriate and will allow me to "spin" up more slopes before engaging the Schlumpf Mountain Drive.

Food wise I struggled getting the balance correct, I constantly felt hungry and riding through the night and Monday morning in very rural areas provided few opportunities to buy bulky food meaning I had to rely on Hi-5 power bars, which I now detest, so if anybody wants some i will be giving them away! Southbound I took a couple of tins of rice pudding, these I loved, and for the weight penalty I believe it's worth me carrying a substantial amount of them as I plan on using controls for food as little as possible.

I found apples to be a pleasant snack and they of course have liquid in them, I went off bananas quickly, but I knew that anyway.

Tesco's own wine gums I always find good to have occasionally, soft, chewy and reasonably tasty, plus they make drinking water with salt tablets more bearable as the ride progresses.

Water was a problem, which meant that when I did find an open shop I would buy 6 litres, plus a litre of cold fresh milk which I would sink in a couple of minutes sat outside the shop.

Mistakes I made:

Forgetting to mend a punctured innertube when I had leisure time, meaning that when I punctured again at 03:00 in the middle of nowhere I had to find and mend my "spare" tube, no mean task when it is a tiny hole!

Underestimating, or rather being too ready to use electrical power from my battery which meant I ran out of juice about an hour from Dieppe, in itself not a problem as I arrived at the ferry terminal at dusk, but on leaving Newhaven at 4am to ride to where my car was parked in Brighton meant I was without proper lights, although I still had a head torch, a reminder to me to take a spare set of lights even poor ones!

I'm not sure any of the above is of use to anybody else, but the trip for me has ironed out a few crinkles in my planning and most importantly given me confidence that I can complete PBP as long as I have no major mechanical issues.



  • Tea tank
Re: Last real prep for me completed
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2019, 08:22:43 am »
I did one PBP on batteries. Floundering in the near dark west of Loudeac with my glasses covered in Scotch mist and my lights running out while the dynamo-lit blokes I was with took off downhill convinced me that it was a bad idea. Next time I had a dynamo running not only the lights but my GPS with permanent backlight too, and it was much more comfortable.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.