I’ve now had a couple of days to think about what went wrong in the ride Sunday. How could I have finished 50 and 62 mile rides last fall, and not make it past 37 now?
The answer was obvious. Those long rides were organized, with adequate rest stops. And I took full advantage of the rest stops. I ate bananas, energy bars, pretzels and goldfish, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches — and I always refilled my bottle with a sports drink. Sometimes, I drank half the bottle before getting back on the bike, and refilled it again before leaving the rest stop.
The ride Sunday was put together well by a group of volunteers, but it wasn’t big enough to warrant rest stops. The riders were on their own. I just didn’t come well enough prepared.
So the next time I decide to rack up some big miles, I’ll know what to do. Find an effective sports drink (not one loaded with sugar), bring along two — or three — energy bars (I’ll have to find one that I like), and maybe even experiment with gels.
I’d never even heard of gels until I’d been biking for two months last summer. Seems convenient, but I wonder. What the heck, I’ll buy some for my next long training ride.
I’ll even remember that five dollar bill to spend at a convenient convenience store. And breakfast will be more than a pair of frozen waffles.