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Food and drink !

I know that what food to take is a very individual thing, but a ride taking 8 to 10 hours is rather different, I consider, to that of 2 or 3 hours. I favour a little and often. Anyhow, I hope that what I take may be of some guidance.

This was for the 65-mile ride Winchester to Devils Dyke, 7.00am to 5.00pm, so 10 hours overall.

Bananas 2,Kellogg's Nutrigrain Raisin bake 2,dates, Organic dried apricots, handful (they are the almost black ones!),Twix bar,Ham sandwich,Jam sandwich.

To drink:

5 bottles of energy drink eg Maxim, and 2 bottles of water. When:I ate half a nutrigrain about every hour.

At 11.00 (having left Winchester at 7.00), ate ham sandwich, 1/2 banana. I prefer to drink plain water when eating. At about 1.00, ham sandwich, half nutrigrain,

Snack on apricots, half banana etc. Saved Twix for boost for last half an hour! Energy drink, about 3/4 bottle every hour of riding.


I don't like 'things' eg rucksack on my back, and think any weight should be on your bike, not on your body! So, I have a bar-bag (very useful for map, phone, glasses, apricots) and a bag on a seatpin rack for food, jacket, water bottle.

I may have been lucky but I did not have a puncture on either of my BHF 65-mile rides. I think that it is thorns which are the culprit; flints do not seem to damage unless unlucky. Anyhow, I carry 2 spare tubes. Also quick-fix patches. Plus allen keys, individual as find those all-in-one awkward.

Another essential piece of equipment would be a small spike, e.g. end of spoke, small screwdriver, as mud gets into pedal cleat preventing proper engagement; also useful for getting mud, small stones out of front mech. I needed both on last years ride as muddy as had been raining for several days prior.

From Sue D: In the food and equipment section you don't mention taking any kind of 1st aid kit. Personally I always carry, gloves, Elastoplast tape,
plasters, antiseptic wipes, pain killers and a bandage, it doesn't take up much space, but means you can clean a wound if you have a fall and
make sure there is now cow/sheep poo in there. Also I advise wearing insect repellant on your legs as it keeps the sheep ticks off.
In terms of kit, I would add a couple of spare links so that you can repair a snapped/damaged chain (or a couple of power links) and lots of
cable ties and a tube of superglue. You can repair almost anything with cable ties or super glue. I also take a spare set of brake pads.

On the food front, I would say, you are under fueling yourself for the full 100. Plus you can save a lot of weight by carrying
isotonic/energy drink in powder form and adding it to water you get from the water taps. There are enough that you should be able to go
from leg to leg just with 2l of water. Also for me breakfast bars are for people on diets, you need home made flapjacks, with extra syrup and
sugar ;)

From John: "my bike is a Cracken with suspension forks and a suspension seat stalk with a well padded seat but a bit on the heavy side, I had a  handlebar bag (Halfords) which carried my (1)Sun News paper for end of day read,.(2)15 mixed energy bars and chocolate for 3 days,(3) money, (4)specs(5)map of the day, (6) bananas qty 3,(7) spare drink powder in 2 small tubs enough for 3 days at 4 pint a day water on route to mix it with, Iso energy lemon and Orange, cheap at Farnhams Holland and Barrett, and on the side of the bag 1 water bottle. On the frame 2 more drink bottles .On the back a pannier come bag with,(1) a pair of shorts,(2) a clean tee shirt for evening (3) a sweat top for on route (4)wetproof trousers and jacket,(5)maps for next day,(6)zip up fleece which I was left with when the car left us at Winchester(7)spare pair of socks,(8)spare inner tube and puncture kit.chain link,and spare set of brake pads, cycled in shorts and long sleeved top and a cap and a good pare of fingered gloves and didn't have single puncture, tyres were semi slicks( next to no knobbles left on tyres)Kit better on bike until you have to pick it up over gates!! Stan had his kit on his back which left him quite wet and what with that wind,"

Richard: I used a backpack for my equipment and Harry used rear panniers. Harry complained of bike being unbalanced and twitchy. Harry thinks handlebar panniers will be the way to go next time. I had no trouble with my backpack not even any chaffing.

Mike: Chain tool & links; gaffa tape (to repair eg tyres sidewalls etc)

Robert: Tyres: cyclocross tyres literally shredded by flints!