7 tips to conquering the 100-mile bike ride

1. Save your legs
Keep a high cadence and prevent wasting too much energy. On a flat course it might be 95rpm – maybe a bit less if it’s hilly. If you ride in a gear that is too big, you will eventually wear yourself down because of all the effort required. 

2. Getting up the hills
Don't let the hills stress you out. Keep a steady rhythm and aim to alternate between sitting down and riding up out of the saddle so you use all your different muscles. If you get out of the saddle, try to use a higher gear to push yourself along a bit more and make the effort worthwhile.

3. The right food
Always stick with food you know that works. For example, on the night before, eat pasta, a breakfast of porridge and toast, and a few bars and gels during the ride itself. Having a mouthful of something every 20 minutes and a 500ml bottle of water every hour is a good way to make sure you're taking on the right energy and fluids. 

4. Working together
Following a wheel in front will save so much energy as you will experience less wind resistance.  Following a wheel is a skill so practise it before the ride if you can and make sure you have clear sight of obstacles ahead of you.

5. Be more aerodynamic
Aerodynamics makes such a huge difference. Try to ride on your drops, tuck in your elbows, arms and head, and stay as small and compact as possible.

A 100-mile bike ride is a big mental challenge so try not to over-think it. Set yourself mini goals along the way, and aim to reach those points as you go along. It’s much better to break down the route as it will make everything feel more enjoyable and manageable.

7. Getting over the line
If you’re really struggling in the last hour, a caffeine gel can help you get over the finish line. It will give you a bit of a mental and physical lift.