How do I get back on my bike after I have had a bit of a nightmare ride?

Devonbird

New Member
Location
Devon
I love my bikes and have done a lot of riding over the years, but I think I over-trained a bit this summer and ended up with a bit of nightmare ride a few weeks ago, where I found myself a long way from home, the wrong side of two Devon hills, with no food no lock and no energy :sad:

I got home, but haven't been out on my bike since, and now I have a bad case of cyclist block. What is the best way to tackle this?


(middle aged woman, experienced rider, mainly road riding, usually around 40-50 Devon miles at a time)
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
Ride 5-10 miles to your favourite cafe. Have a tea and cake. Ride back.
 
I've found that my Garmin 1030 has been a very useful tool ( when it doesn’t have a hissy fit mid ride ) which is actually quite rare now. It will give you a load of interesting stats when you save the ride. One of the really useful stats it gives you, is recommended rest time. It takes a few ride’s worth of data, before it gets accurate, but when it does, it’s actually very useful info. It will help prevent really bad days in the saddle, caused by over training. It sounds like that’s all you’ve encountered, unless there are other issues ( flu / cold / general winter bugs) for example. It’s also worth making absolutely sure you over pack regarding food, if you’re planning an endurance effort, you can always bring excess food back, but if you run out, you can find yourself in trouble. If you want to get some ‘mojo’ back, plan a route, which isn’t one of your usual routes. It should help with motivation to get going, and once you are going, it should start to feel worthwhile again. As for not getting into a pickle in the first place, remember that relative high cadence at a power which predominantly engages your fast twitch muscles, will cause your feeding equilibrium to shift to fat fuelling, which will help to stretch your on board Carb supplies ( in muscles and liver mainly ) further. If you grind at that power ( relatively low cadence and the power that causes your fast twitch muscles to remain dominant ) your feeding equilibrium will be shifted to Carbs, you’ll get rapid carb depletion, and risk the bonk, sooner, if you don’t keep your levels topped up. Grinding ( relatively low cadence ) at suitable power also engages more muscle cells, which increases oxygen demand, and will leave you feeling ‘out of breath’ sooner in any exertion, than if you keep the Cadence higher, at the same power. The actual power ( range ) where this important fast twitch muscle dominance starts to occur, varies depending on concentration of fast twitch muscle fibres, and limb dimensions, but for most normal people, it’s ( roughly ) between 180 and 200 Watts, and the ‘high Cadence’ is roughly 85-90 rpm ( whereas the grinding/ carb hungry mode is thought to be 60-70 rpm at the same power ). The reason that the fast twitch muscle dominance is so important, is that the slow twitch muscles don’t exhibit the same variation in fuelling modes, dependant on switching force and frequency, that the fast twitch muscles do.Power meters are a very useful thing to have as well, it makes it far easier to judge where you are, regarding fuelling. You say you’re an experienced cyclist, who likes hilly rides, so I’m presuming that your VO2 max, Max heart rate and Lactate thresholds, are at a level where you will feel the benefits of getting your pedalling regime ‘polished’. You’ll also find that being mindful of your pedalling dynamics ( how your feet and legs ‘track’ the pedal around the rotation, to eliminate power dead spots at certain positions) will help keep you riding more efficiently, and help prevent getting into difficulties with fuelling / fatigue. TL;DR, have a warm bath, and a long sleep, eat some porridge, then go for a ride somewhere new.
 
Last edited:

johnblack

Senior Member
I love my bikes and have done a lot of riding over the years, but I think I over-trained a bit this summer and ended up with a bit of nightmare ride a few weeks ago, where I found myself a long way from home, the wrong side of two Devon hills, with no food no lock and no energy :sad:

I got home, but haven't been out on my bike since, and now I have a bad case of cyclist block. What is the best way to tackle this?


(middle aged woman, experienced rider, mainly road riding, usually around 40-50 Devon miles at a time)
Horrible isn't it, try something a bit different, I'd do a short MTB ride on some tracks. No data, no plan.
 
OP
Devonbird

Devonbird

New Member
Location
Devon
Thank you folks; I think I shall do a little trundle to a cafe, as suggested, but also have a think about the effectiveness of what I am doing...

I suspect I may have been trying to fit in with a training buddy's style of riding, which didn't work for me, and I think I may be very much a "slow twitch" sort of person (longer, slower rides work well for me), and trying to follow a buddy who likes short, fast rides has caused me problems.
 

CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
Try like suggested a few weeks of casual cafe rides Try and learn to spin more, it really does work reduce fatigue and high carb demands.

Im currently encouraging a mate to train for a multi day endurance trip. He has usually failed to finish well due to lack of training and employing lower cadences, which blow his legs after several days.

I have set him on a 12 week Trainer Road program to build endurance, lift his cadence and improve his pedal technique.

I too am doing the same plan(encouragement) having used it for several years in winter to lay a decent cardiovascular base which tunes your body to riding multiple hours day after day.
 

ozboz

Veteran
Location
Richmond ,Surrey
I've found that my Garmin 1030 has been a very useful tool ( when it doesn’t have a hissy fit mid ride ) which is actually quite rare now. It will give you a load of interesting stats when you save the ride. One of the really useful stats it gives you, is recommended rest time. It takes a few ride’s worth of data, before it gets accurate, but when it does, it’s actually very useful info. It will help prevent really bad days in the saddle, caused by over training. It sounds like that’s all you’ve encountered, unless there are other issues ( flu / cold / general winter bugs) for example. It’s also worth making absolutely sure you over pack regarding food, if you’re planning an endurance effort, you can always bring excess food back, but if you run out, you can find yourself in trouble. If you want to get some ‘mojo’ back, plan a route, which isn’t one of your usual routes. It should help with motivation to get going, and once you are going, it should start to feel worthwhile again. As for not getting into a pickle in the first place, remember that relative high cadence at a power which predominantly engages your fast twitch muscles, will cause your feeding equilibrium to shift to fat fuelling, which will help to stretch your on board Carb supplies ( in muscles and liver mainly ) further. If you grind at that power ( relatively low cadence and the power that causes your fast twitch muscles to remain dominant ) your feeding equilibrium will be shifted to Carbs, you’ll get rapid carb depletion, and risk the bonk, sooner, if you don’t keep your levels topped up. Grinding ( relatively low cadence ) at suitable power also engages more muscle cells, which increases oxygen demand, and will leave you feeling ‘out of breath’ sooner in any exertion, than if you keep the Cadence higher, at the same power. The actual power ( range ) where this important fast twitch muscle dominance starts to occur, varies depending on concentration of fast twitch muscle fibres, and limb dimensions, but for most normal people, it’s ( roughly ) between 180 and 200 Watts, and the ‘high Cadence’ is roughly 85-90 rpm ( whereas the grinding/ carb hungry mode is thought to be 60-70 rpm at the same power ). The reason that the fast twitch muscle dominance is so important, is that the slow twitch muscles don’t exhibit the same variation in fuelling modes, dependant on switching force and frequency, that the fast twitch muscles do.Power meters are a very useful thing to have as well, it makes it far easier to judge where you are, regarding fuelling. You say you’re an experienced cyclist, who likes hilly rides, so I’m presuming that your VO2 max, Max heart rate and Lactate thresholds, are at a level where you will feel the benefits of getting your pedalling regime ‘polished’. You’ll also find that being mindful of your pedalling dynamics ( how your feet and legs ‘track’ the pedal around the rotation, to eliminate power dead spots at certain positions) will help keep you riding more efficiently, and help prevent getting into difficulties with fuelling / fatigue. TL;DR, have a warm bath, and a long sleep, eat some porridge, then go for a ride somewhere new.
Some really good info there, I have T2 so have to be sure on fuelling for energy levels , i had an ibonk on the return of a short ride from Windsor , thinking ‘oh, it’s not far ‘10 miles from home I ran out of steam , never again , anyway I’ve never heard of all this twitch muscle stuff , so just looked it up , very interesting and I’ll certainly take it onboard , and do some further reading and put it into practice, hopefully it will help me regain the rest of muscle loss I experienced in my lower left leg . I’ve never had a ride buddy , I’d would think that the two would have to be similar in certain ways of cycling to make a successful partnership ,
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
For emergency energy food supplies, I reckon there is nothing better or cheaper than a packet of jelly babies from Lidl! I keep a bag of them in my van at work, in case I end up doing a much longer than planned day and don't get a proper dinner break. Last time I used them I ended up doing 22 hours non-stop physical work apart from a couple of cups of tea and I felt really knackered after about 18 hours. Cramming down half a bag of the jelly babies gave me enough energy to finish the shift and get home, when I had another cup of tea and crashed out for the next 9 hours to catch up with my sleep.
Sometimes it's not possible/practical to stop for proper food if you are doing something you can't leave or are too filthy, but a bag of sweets can be easily consumed regardless.
I sometimes take sweets out on the bike, but try not to be tempted to eat them, as I eat far too much of the wrong stuff as it is - but it's there if I ride on an empty stomach and run out of steam. Never had a nasty bonk episode but I reckon I have probably come close once or twice due to going out for say 3 hours without any breakfast.
 
Thank you folks; I think I shall do a little trundle to a cafe, as suggested, but also have a think about the effectiveness of what I am doing...

I suspect I may have been trying to fit in with a training buddy's style of riding, which didn't work for me, and I think I may be very much a "slow twitch" sort of person (longer, slower rides work well for me), and trying to follow a buddy who likes short, fast rides has caused me problems.
This is very much why I just ride on my own. I don't like the feeling of trying to match my pace to someone else. You can have good and bad days on the bike and, if you are having a bad day when the other person is full of beans, it just makes it a chore trying to match their pace if you're not feeling up to it that day.

I've given up trying to chase the distances and speeds I could even do six years ago after back/sciatic problems have robbed me of some leg strength.

Took a gravel bike yesterday and did some off road which made a pleasant change, so something like that might work to give yourself a break and keep the rides interesting.
 
For emergency energy food supplies, I reckon there is nothing better or cheaper than a packet of jelly babies from Lidl! I keep a bag of them in my van at work, in case I end up doing a much longer than planned day and don't get a proper dinner break. Last time I used them I ended up doing 22 hours non-stop physical work apart from a couple of cups of tea and I felt really knackered after about 18 hours. Cramming down half a bag of the jelly babies gave me enough energy to finish the shift and get home, when I had another cup of tea and crashed out for the next 9 hours to catch up with my sleep.
Sometimes it's not possible/practical to stop for proper food if you are doing something you can't leave or are too filthy, but a bag of sweets can be easily consumed regardless.
I sometimes take sweets out on the bike, but try not to be tempted to eat them, as I eat far too much of the wrong stuff as it is - but it's there if I ride on an empty stomach and run out of steam. Never had a nasty bonk episode but I reckon I have probably come close once or twice due to going out for say 3 hours without any breakfast.
Jelly babies are my ‘go to’ emergency fuel’ as well. They digest nice and easily, and really help if you end up dragging your backside, on an endurance effort. I get the big bags, for a quid, at Poundland. I’m also in the habit of seeking out a Wetherspoons at about the halfway point of my longer rides, and using the downloadable app, to order from my table, so I don’t have to leave my kit, and walk to the bar. Most ‘spoons do a steak and eggs, with a drink, for under a tenner, and that is just about the best mid ride fuel I’ve found, that works for me personally.
 
Some really good info there, I have T2 so have to be sure on fuelling for energy levels , i had an ibonk on the return of a short ride from Windsor , thinking ‘oh, it’s not far ‘10 miles from home I ran out of steam , never again , anyway I’ve never heard of all this twitch muscle stuff , so just looked it up , very interesting and I’ll certainly take it onboard , and do some further reading and put it into practice, hopefully it will help me regain the rest of muscle loss I experienced in my lower left leg . I’ve never had a ride buddy , I’d would think that the two would have to be similar in certain ways of cycling to make a successful partnership ,
The differential behaviour of the muscle fibre types isn’t just limited to cycling either, running ( for example) is another good case. Cadence and force, are very important too, as is leg / foot technique. Hence the reason a lot of pro cyclists, become very handy triathletes.
 

meta lon

Guru
This is very much why I just ride on my own. I don't like the feeling of trying to match my pace to someone else. You can have good and bad days on the bike and, if you are having a bad day when the other person is full of beans, it just makes it a chore trying to match their pace if you're not feeling up to it that day.

I've given up trying to chase the distances and speeds I could even do six years ago after back/sciatic problems have robbed me of some leg strength.

Took a gravel bike yesterday and did some off road which made a pleasant change, so something like that might work to give yourself a break and keep the rides interesting.

Wise words @Mo1959

OP, you know what you did wrong and i dare say you've learned a valuable lesson.
People who love cycling have ups and downs just like a marriage :smile:

As said have a few easy rides then go from there.. :okay:
 
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