Racing Solo Unsupported

Racing  Frog Hollow Solo unsupported

Posted on October 21, 2010  by Fixie David Nice

A lot of racers are nervous about attempting a 24 hour race if they don’t have a support crew. I have ridden in numerous races and events unsupported, and would like to share some tips and tricks on how you can do races, with minimal gear, unsupported.

Before the event prep:

The secrete is being organized. I like milk crates or rubber maid bins. They are cheap, durable, and flexible. They can be used as a travel carrier, as a table, as a chair, and a way to help sort the various bottles and food items during a race.  Having the bins different colors can help when your tired and/or its dark.  I use one crate to put as many bottles as I can in, I use one to have an assortment of food and snacks, then one for bike parts and gear.

When it comes to nutrition, I keep things simple. I try to have at least one water bottle per lap which I mix with a food supplement ( take your pick…carbo rocket, perpetuem, etc..) . I like a 1/2 and 1/2 mix ratio of supplement to water. I also keep at least 2 extra gallons of pure water for the hotter times of the day. Often I will use this with electrolyte supplements, such as Elete. I like them in pill form and find they will help to keep from cramping, especially in the desert climate.

When it comes to real food, I keep that simple too. I find that a stash of ready to eat snack does well for me. I will keep a few bars, potato chips, candy, etc on hand as you never know what you will be craving. I save the hot food preparation until the end, however, to have time on course.

Last, make sure you are prepared with all the other details ahead of time.

•Have battery’s charged and ready for your lights

•Check local weather – or local shop

•Have tubes, tires, chains and other common parts ready.. maybe even a spare bike tuned and ready to go

•Clothes depend on the weather, but in general the days are warm and the nights can be very cool, so bringing clothes that can be layered is best

Staging area:

If the weather is dry I find you do not need a shade tent. I’ll just lay down a tarp and sort out gear, food, and bottles out on the tarp. Basically I try to set things up so I can get in and out quick and optimize my time in the pit. ….and not make it more comfy then my bicycle seat =). I set up one chair to sit. I’ll have a pad and sleeping bag ready, however I wont set it up unless I need it at 3:00 am. This keeps the temptation to stop at bay.  I also set up some funky light for at night so I can find my pit easy when I’m not firing on all cylinders.

During the race:

If I don’t have someone helping me in the pit, then I keep it a bit more mellow then if I have support.  I make sure I drink a bottle every lap, and eat just a little. I try not to be afraid to take a short catnap at night if needed, I  just remember to set an alarm and have everything ready for the next lap so as soon as I am up I can get back on course.

So if you don’t have a support crew or a pit person don’t let that keep yah from racing and riding

Fastest Way to Race Duo


Racing Duo – what is the fastest strategy?

Posted on October 20th, 2010 by Lynda in Racing,Uncategorized

Racing Duo in an endurance race may be one of the most fun and exciting racing categories. First, it is not as ‘suffery’ as solo racing! And second, racing with a team mate (and for a team) generates unparalleled amounts of motivation on course! With the right partner, you can keep each other fired up and motivated for the entire race. In a 24-hour race, that is a lot of good racing time!!

Team Strategy

The fastest strategy for racing Duo is to alternate single laps, rather than double laps. Racing double laps or more only makes sense when one team member is significantly stronger than the other. Alternating single laps allows frequent rests, avoids digging as deep into muscle glycogen stores, and allows for frequent opportunities to replenish muscle glycogen. Keeping muscle glycogen stores topped up equals keeping up speed on the course.

On Course

When racing Duo in a 24-hour race it can be easy to forget that you will be pedaling for 12+ hours. This can tempt you into hammering out of the gate at cross country pace. Cross country pace is exactly where you want to pace a 6-12-hour Duo race, but a 24-hour race must be paced more conservatively. Start a 24-hour Duo race at an aerobic pace.

Warm up before your first lap on course. For all subsequent laps use the first few minutes on course to warm up to race pace.

Off Course

Time between laps is busy and goes by fast. Have a plan for what you need to do and be efficient.

The very first thing you should do after your lap is look at your watch and set a time to return to the transition tent to wait for your next lap. Never, evermiss your teammate’s arrival! Wasted time in transition sucks big mojo out of your team!

The next job you have is to rehydrate and replenish your muscle glycogen with a snack or drink.

Other jobs that need to be taken care of before your next lap:

  1. •Check over your bike. Lube your chain, check shifting and take care of any mechanicals.
  2. •Set up your fuel for the next lap by filling your hydration pack or bottles.
  3. •Set up lights, change and recharge batteries at night.
  4. •Change clothes if needed.


Training- Strategies for Establishing a Base

Training- Road or trail?

By Sonya Looney •  in Elevation Outdoors Magazine. January 25, 2011

One of the frequently asked questions at our Ergon Kliniks are, “Do you train on the road or mountain bike?” If you’re a mountain biker, this is a pretty legit question. I normally tell people that they should do what they like to in order to avoid burn-out. However, finding a good balance is important. A lot of us are mountain bikers because we LOVE the trail. Will it hurt you if you never ride your road bike? It depends on what your goals are. For the weekend warrior who rides for the pure joy of mountain biking, road biking probably isn’t necessary unless they really love it too. So, as a mountain biker, why would we also road bike?


  1. 1.It’s easy and simple. You open your garage, get outside and go. The bummer about mountain biking is that most of us are not fortunate enough to live close enough to ride to a trailhead. If we have time, we definitely will put our coffee in a to-go cup and head to the trail. (Skiing is even worse!) However, weekday schedules make mountain biking a little more difficult, especially with family and full time jobs. A quick jaunt on the road bike can preserve or build your cycling fitness so you’re stronger when you hit the trail with your buddies on the weekend.
  2. 2.

It gives you a different kind of workout than the mountain bike. This is the biggest for me. I don’t particularly love road biking, especially out and back on flat roads in the winter. I do like climbing a canyon or big hill on my road bike. I simply don’t get the giddy feeling on my road bike that I do on my mountain bike. If someone gave me the choice between a road bike ride or a mountain bike ride, I will almost always choose the mountain bike. I noticed that the lack of time I spent on flat roads on my road bike was having an effect on my stage racing performance. I was missing something…. sustained power. Mountain biking requires large bursts of power and effort to get up short, steep climbs, or get through a technical section. It’s a lot of pedal pedal, coast, pedal, coast, coast. You get the idea. Road biking… is a lot of pedaling and continuous power output. The road is hopefully nicely paved and there aren’t a lot of obstacles. It’s relatively easy to ride one speed and put out the same effort with minimal coasting. This is very effective for winter training to build a base. From there, you can begin to fine tune the workouts with hills, intervals, etc.



Recovery Time for Ultra-Endurance Racing

Recovery time required for ultra-endurance racing

Posted on August 17th, 2010 by Lynda inTraining

Here is another question from my coaching column on

How long do you need to recover from an ultra-endurance race? How many can I plan into my race schedule in one season?

The USA Cycling Rule Book defines ultra-endurance events as:

6A19. Ultra-Endurance Events: A term used to describe the following types of events lasting more than 4 hours: Marathon, ultra-marathon, 6/ 12/ 24 (etc) hour racing.

The first thing to note is that recovery from a 4 hour race is significantly faster than from a 24 hour solo race.

Race duration or distance is one of numerous variables affecting recovery speed. Many of these variables are under the control of an athlete.

•How rested you were at the start of the race

•How well prepared you were for the specific race effort

•How well you fueled and hydrated during the event

•How much sleep deprivation you accumulated

•How deep you dug during the race: Did you pace to finish comfortably or did you empty the tank for a personal record time?

  1. •How diligent you were with post race recovery practices: recovery nutrition, sleep, stress management, time to rest, massage.

Team Racing

 Tips for a successful team race:

Preparing to Race as a Relay Team?  These are some tried and true tips to help you have a successful team experience. Posted on October 20, 2010 by GRO Promotions

If you are looking to do you first endurance relay race and want to know about the team dynamics of entering on a 4 or 5 person team this article should help

Joining a team and racing in a relay setting can be an incredibly rewarding experience so first and foremost remember teams work together so communication at all times during training, event preparation, and during the race is key.


  1. •Before you sign up for a team decide what your goals are for racing. Do you want to be a top finisher, race just to have fun or maybe achieve a new personal goal? Reasons for racing are different for everyone, but they should be compatible with your teammates.
  2. •Train together. As much as you can get to know your teammates as people, as riders, and as competitors. Help each other to break new ground during training


  1. •  Have a pre race meeting. Discuss racing order, expected results for the team, excepted lap times for each rider.
  2. • As a team you can share resources and make packing and travel easier. Make a list of race essentials and divide the load
  3. •  Meals: Some teams like to plan shared meals while others have their own individual tastes. Decide how meals will be planned and prepared and always bring a little extra to share.


  1. • Don’t leave your team hanging. When it is your time to go out. Be prepared to get on course immediately.
  2. ★      Keep a log of rider time in/time out
  3. ★      Set an alarm for 30 min or more before a rider is due back
  4. ★      Communicate before and after a lap on your physical and mental condition
  5. • Stay positive and support your team mates. a few “ good job” , and “nice lap” goes a long way to having a fun event.
  6. •  Finally, decide what you will do after. Drive right home? stay and enjoy the town the race was held in ?.. Communication is the key
  • Count Down to Race Day

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