Saturday, 6 June 2015

Final Preparations

Making a list, and checking it twice ...
Tomorrow is the Tour de Vale, and I'll be doing my second "century" of 2015 (and, actually, only my third "century" ever!).

So this evening, I am gathering up the stuff I'm taking.
I'm carrying a lot of kit because I am not intending to make any proper stops - perhaps just a quick stop for the restroom and to re-arrange my water bottle, but that's it.

I'm looking to set "a time", rather than just "complete", so I want to keep going.

My "secret weapon" is my Garmin 310xt watch, which I will be setting up with a heart-rate alert of about 80% of my maximum heart rate. I'll be trying to conserve my strength for the later parts of the route. I tested the route 4 weeks ago, and I found I faded badly on the last third of the course :-(
So this time, I'll be looking to "save" myself a bit more on the early sections.

Of course, on the early hills, the "high heart rate" warning will be beeping constantly, and I will be getting up towards my maximum heart rate on the biggest climb (!) but if I can save most of my glycogen for the hills, and use the "aerobic" part of my metabolism for most of the rest of the ride, I should fare better.

I have a slightly lower "bottom" gear than in last month's "test", as well - I swapped the smallest chainwheel from a 28 to a 26.

I'm not much of a fan of pricey bikes and pricey sports drinks, so I made my own ...
On the "test" ride, I took water with half a teaspoon of sugar and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt per litre.

This time I have gone for a strong blackcurant "aquash" drink, with about 1/4 teaspoon of salt per litre added - the stuff works out at about 280 calories a bottle, and contains about 70g of carbohydrate (mostly sugars) per bottle ...
... and I have three bottles!
Homemade sports drinks - a strong-ish mix of "squash" with a bit of salt added.
A diabetic's nightmare at about 70g of carbohydrate (mostly sugars) per bottle!
Of course, I am carrying quite a bit of "regular" water as well - a good couple of litres, in fact.
Various food stuffs mean I am carrying at least 2000 calories of food and drink with me.
On the "test" ride, I burnt off about 2500 calories, so I want to make sure I ahve enough for the whole trip.

Apart from food, I've been finding the stuff everyone forgets about - suncream and hay fever tablets, for example, as well as collecting up some tools, a spre tube, a puncture kit and tyre levers, a couple of cans of tyre repair foam etc. etc. (and remembering that I have Marathon Plus tyres, I shouldn't need ANY of that stuff!)

I also did a map for my wife with pre-arranged meeting points, and loaded some tools and spares into the car (if needed, she is also my "service car" AND "broom wagon").

I found my first aid kit (it is a small one in a red pouch), and attached it to the TOP of my rear pannier rack - nice and visible in case of emergency. Sometimes every second counts, and it would be a pity if a passerby was unable to find my first aid kit at the bottom of a pannier (!)

One last thing reamins to be done - getting a good night's sleep.
Sleep is an important part of the training process, and starting a ride well rested gives a rider a real boost in the second half of a long ride!

Sponshorship link for anyone interested:
The two charities are
1) The British Heart Foundation - a large national charity that funds reseach into matters heart conditions, disease, etc. etc.
2) Wheelpower - a much smaller charity based in our town that funds a variety of aspects of disabled sports, including funding special wheelchairs for disabled children to participate.

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