Essential items required for a long spin (>1 hour)

1. Mini-Pump, tyre levers and spare tubes

2. Food – about 1 bar for every 40 mins

3. Fluids – 1 Bottle of water and 1 energy drink.  For spins >3 hrs you will need to stop and refill.  This means you will need 2 bottle cages, if not carry a second bottle.


Paddy Dorans coaching tips for new riders to racing




Bike setup – lots of writing – You tube video




Remember you need to fuel your car before you go on a long trip.  Your body is no different.

What do I eat?  Porridge,  breakfast cereal, white bread.  Brown bread may pass through your system too quickly (not an appealing prospect out with large group).


300 cals an hour or one bar every 40 mins eaten in small quantities

Drink a minimum of 500ml (1/2 a Litre)  per hour


Protein is the key to a quick  recovery along with rest particularily in the first hour.  Eat carbs also.  You can purchase whey protein but it is expensive, natural products do the job just as well. e.g. a tin of Tuna is perfect the minute you get home.  It should be consumed within 1/2 an hour of completing your exercise.

Protein – Meat, fish milk cheese, yogurt, beans

Carbs – wheat/oat products, potatoes, pasta

You will need to rest for a minimum of 1 hour after a long spin.   This will increase your recovery time and will result in less soreness in the following days.    The pro go to bed for a few hours and while this is unrealistic for most of us.

Ken M


Stretching – stretching, neck problems – some really good articles.



Your bike must be in a good state of repair. 

1. Oil chain

2. Check for any loose bolts, don’t over tighten as they are design for a certain torque and if you apply too much they are liable to shear off.

3. Check the condition of the cables.

4. Check the tyres.  Change the tyres if necessary.  If you have been riding the same tyres for a few seasons they need to be replaced.  Please don’t buy cheap tyres you end up paying more on replacing tubes when you get punctures.

5. If you need to alter your riding position do so in small increments..

6. Don’t change your cleats/shoes the day before – go out for a long spin to check you have them in the right position


Eat often 1/2 bars per hour.  They don’t have to be energy bars, cake, fruit will also work

Drink at least 500ml per hour of water or an energy drink.  You must be capable of carrying two bottle.

Gels – pack a few gels in to your pockets for an emergency boost if you are struggling toward the end.  Caffine also help – so a flask of strong coffee would also assist you.

Mobile phones

Use of these is prohibited while riding in the group and is very dangerous to do so, it is also illegal.   



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