I keep trying to answer this question both for myself and others. Why do this? Why do you need to suffer, what’s the point, it is stupid!
I took part of the Transcontinental race No7. At the start, the first day hit us with over 40C degrees heat, over 3500m elevation and gravel parcours. By day two I had developed saddle sores. At the end of that day I cycled the last 40 kilometres almost entirely standing, out of the saddle, because I simply couldn’t sit down.
It was 6:20am. I couldn’t sleep. The sun was starting to cut through the darkness outside. I opened my eyes and stared at the ceiling but didn’t see it. Not because of the darkness but because of all the thoughts going through my mind like a movie reel, speeding in front of a project’s light. I was tense while my mind rushed around like a goat just let loose from entrapment.
I’ve been asked recently of what options there are when one goes on these long cycling trips. I thought it would be a good thing to summarise the main strategies, options and a few good kit suggestions that I personally like.
There are many pros and cons to discuss on whether a dynamo should be used or not. This is not the article for it, it assumes you’ve weighed those up and have gone the dynamo route.
All Points North was my first ultra endurance cycling event. I’ve been preparing for this for a long time and so it is useful to verify what went well and what didn’t.
Some rustling noises. I open my eyes, it’s still dark. Two more minutes.
Eventually I wake up. It’s still dark, 5:30a.m. That’s plenty of good sleep, time to go. I realise Chris has packed his stuff and his bed is empty – machine.
I woke up without an alarm, it was a beautiful bright day outside. I looked at the time – 7:35. Why was I in bed so late? Oh yes, I remembered, I’d be cycling tonight, and the next few days. I turned around and went back to sleep, trying to add a bit more in the basket.
The main reason for writing this article is because I was asked the kind of training I’ve been doing in the gym outside of my cycling. It is simply to document my understanding (at this point in time) and my experience. It should not be taken as a guide, but rather as a reference.
I haven’t been training for a week now and used to do about five days of training normally, so to put it gently it is frustrating, but also really necessary.