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600km Cycle 24 Hours Advice

  • 28-06-2022 3:02pm
    Registered Users Posts: 122 ✭✭ tcooley

    Hi all,

    I am planning a big one for maybe this time next year, 600km or so. I am nowhere near ready so will be biking soon hopefully! Most I have ever cycled in a day is 300km so need to get back upto that level and more.

    I am planning what gear I will need and just wondering on electronic side of it.

    *How would you keep your GPS going on one of your spins all day?

    *Would you charge it during it with powerbank or can you get ones that last all day?

    *What GPS would be the best to use as in to upload your route first?

    I would be getting a power bank for the phone as will be recording route on that too as backup

    I see if I do 600km within 24 hrs (which is my target) I would need to do 25KPH.

    *How many breaks would you do yourself in that? 10 mins every 2 hours or so?

    *All advice on food etc appreciated too.

    *The route is not overly hilly. I would plan to start at 12am so at least I only have 4 hours cycling in dark in first 100km and then only have about 2 hours dark on the home stretch? Any advice on this anyone?

    There is a good chance it won't happen next year. I would really need to start training now but no harm knowing any potential pitfalls.

    Thanks all,



  • Registered Users Posts: 723 ✭✭✭ Boardnashea

    Is it Mizen to Malin?

    I did it over 5 days a few years ago but on the day we set out a group did it in 21 hours, 19 hours in the saddle IIRC. We set off about an hour before them and they caught us in about two and 1/2 hours. We had great fun checking their progress every time we took a break. We didn't feel too much shame taking our time.

    No idea what electronics they had but they did have a support van for the team of 4/5.

    We were later leaving than we had hoped for, maybe 2 or 3 pm, so they set off about 4pm and finished about noon - daylight, but still before the heat got too intense. I imaging they were planning on getting through the night while they were still fresh.

    I would love to be able to do the same journey over 3 days but there is no way I go for all in one.

    Best of luck with the adventure.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,370 ✭✭✭ Mefistofelino

    600km in 24 hours is a big ask, even more so if you are planning to do it self supported.

    You could consider doing it as part of an event like the recent 24 hour race in Mondello, or the National 24 hour TT championship (though I don't know if it will be on next year). Even if you decide to do it solo and unsupported, its worth taking a look at the data from the recent Mondello event to see what riders are doing in terms of moving vs stopped time. I think the winner in Mondello covered around 800km but was only stopped for a very short time - perhaps 10-15 minutes in total.

    25kmh for the 24 hours may not sound too bad but as you've noted, you will be stopping. Ten minutes every 2 hours will loses nearly 2 hours and now your average speed needs to be over 27 kmh to hit the 600. Thats nearly 17% more power required.

    There are some GPS units that may last 24 hours or more but its not possible with most. Audaxers and ultraracers will typically use battery banks to keep the unit topped up on the go.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,910 ✭✭✭✭ loyatemu

    plenty of good advice on the Audax Ireland website, but even they would allow 40 hours for a 600km route. That 25km/h average is if you don't stop at all, whereas I'd be surprised if you can get away with less than an hour of stops for various reasons. It's a very tough challenge.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,382 ✭✭✭ Large bottle small glass

    600km on the open road in 24hrs is not easy, but it is possible.

    You need to do 27.27km/h if you limit your time off bike to 2hrs; shorter is possible but it will take discipline, a reliable bike set up, planning with food and a little good luck.

    You are looking at maybe 12000 cals but you are never going to eat that, so train to access fat along with eating food that agrees with you while exercising. I'd be limiting too much junk food but you will know best. GI distress is most likely cause of failure after "what the fu(k am I doing this for" taking over.

    Start as early as you can; your body is used to getting up in the morning don't break that routine. No reason not to be on bike before 5am this time of year. In the meantime get used to riding in the dark and being comfortable with it.

    If in Ireland picking a route with low climbing will mean lots of busy roads, so keep that in mind. Some of the audax routes out west seem to have reasonable levels of elevations compared to other areas. Don't forget to take account of 24hrs shops on sections of route between 10pm and 8am.

    On GPS device, my own is old school (Etrex 20) and would do 600km on a single set of high capacity rechargeable AA batteries (2300mAh) but I think you'd need to charge on the go with most garmins/wahoos. Options there are a small power bank or dynamo.

    Best of luck.

    P.S you could just enter the Mondello 24 hr!

  • Registered Users Posts: 122 ✭✭ tcooley

    Thanks for the initial advice lads. I was thinking 24hrs would be a bit too crazy but no harm putting it out there. I have contacted some Audaxers on this too.

    Its all me so far on my own! Two other guys are interested also so that would be an advantage.

    Regarding breaks I would need to eat on the road alright.

    I would be doing a lap of Galway so would start in the city and get Connemara out of the way. I thought if I started at 12am I would only have 4 hours darkness that for the first 100km and last 2 hours on lit up roads coming in from Kinvara and Oranmore. Again, I am not sure on this.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,382 ✭✭✭ Large bottle small glass

    "Its all me so far on my own! Two other guys are interested also so that would be an advantage."

    Nothing like do you fancy 600km in 24 hrs to get a WhatsApp chat to STFU 😀

  • Registered Users Posts: 122 ✭✭ tcooley

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,994 ✭✭✭ nilhg

    I've done 600KM+ in 24 hours (2018 Audax Ireland 24hr TT) and missed out on doing it a couple of years before when a group of us attempted Mizen to Malin in 24hrs, two of the riders touched wheels in the middle of the night and we lost a lot of time after that and finished in 25hours.

    I'd say to the OP that the way he's planning it will make it hard for him, mainly for logistical reasons, without some support he'll waste a lot of time supplying himself and his companions if indeed he can find any supplies in the wilds of Connemara in the middle of the night, and without having some fairly substantial bikepacking gear how he'd carry enough food and water to get himself through the times you can't easily source from shops or delis.

    When I did the 24hr TT it was on a 44.5km loop in South Kildare, I had the van parked on the loop and also clubmates and family coming by to have stuff ready when I'd be coming by and wanted to stop.

    On food my experience would suggest a little and often approach, practice with the food you'd be planning to eat on your long training spins and once you're happy with your plan stick to it.

    I only came across this podcast recently, it features Karen Cassidy who had just won the inaugural ladies solo prize at the Mondello 24, and recently defended her crown in style, but there's some great info in there for anyone thinking of doing something like a 24, well worth a listen. To make it better she's a Galway woman.

    Fair play to you for taking up the challenge, it's probably easier to do it as part of an ultra event, there was a Ultra in Galway the weekend of the Mondello 24, but just thinking about it and making a plan is a great start.

  • Registered Users Posts: 122 ✭✭ tcooley

    Thansk @nilhg Nice words to get started.

    I have a lot of physical and mental prep to do before next June or July. I suppose June is best as max daylight. I am convinced if a group of us did it we would do it in the 24hrs, not so sure on my own.

    I know large stretches of the road I would be on and Clifden - Tully - Leenane- Finny and into Headford would be the hilliest while at the end Portumna Woodford Derrybrien would be hilly but routes I know well.

    Just on the bike, for anything this distance. Is there any particular wheels I shoud use long distance or even a heavier bike to lug the gear around?

    It is a challenge I would love to complete.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,994 ✭✭✭ nilhg

    I think to give yourself a chance of doing it, unless you are extraordinary strong, you'll need to minimize the amount of stuff you're hauling round, if you haven't done something like this it's hare to appreciate just how hard it gets in the second 12 hours, that's why a bit of support is such a help, as someone else has already said a 600km audax where support is not permitted has a time limit of something like 40 hours.

    Even leaving provisions for yourself at points on the route that you can pickup as you go round would be a help..

    Definitely your bike should be durable and well maintained but if speed is the priority then adding too much weight would be counterproductive

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,382 ✭✭✭ Large bottle small glass

    @nilhg advice is all very sensible, but OP has do decide if hitting the number 600 is more important than maximising what he can do unsupported.

    To me when I used ride long distance, the unsupported bit was one of the main attraction; dealing with the unknowns (or not 😀) and getting on with it as best you can.

    If you dumb down long distance enough and control for resupply, maintenance, etc etc you end up with Mondello 24; which wouldn't be for some and certainly not of any interest to me. OP will have to decide which works for him. Kurt Searvogel (and the lady who rode the following year) were the embodiment of that when beating Tommy Goodwins records. They effectively rode a flat 10km loop in Florida, a lot of the time in a group with all the unknowns of the open road taken care off. It's still an amazing physical achievement but missing a little in the inspiration department.

    A figure of eight loop, or something similar could allow for some resupply out of a car and deal with the overnight bit in the wilderness.

    I had a look at a 600 I did in 2015, I decided to stop at 395km (at sleep control) after under 16hrs but a couple of really strong lads rode on; I always regretted not going on but I wasn't really prepared it in terms of lighting or charged garmin and didn't really have a choice. They were 26hrs finishing it, which was pretty good given bad look with a slight head wind for most of the route.

    27km/h for 22 hrs means you will need to be in good shape but its mainly your head that'll need to be right. Only training can do both of those.

    Setting out to do it is the first step and the most important one, best of luck

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,994 ✭✭✭ nilhg

    Galway TD Ciaran Cannon must have been reading this thread, he's currently half way through a 500km lap of County Galway, raising a few euro for the handinhand charity while he's at it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 122 ✭✭ tcooley

    I saw that @nilhg! Beaten too it! I can ask him when the time comes too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 122 ✭✭ tcooley

    Thanks so much. I will hopefully be in good shape. I would genuinely love to do it in 24 hrs. Closer the time I will know and if not I can do it over 2 days and prepare another time for a one day. A lot of good advice here

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,531 ✭✭✭ 2011abc

    Just read your webpage guide there .Aren’t ‘Noddies’ ( ‘Noddy’s’?!) the same as ‘Fred’s’?!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,216 ✭✭✭ saccades

    Bryton 420 gps lasts 35 hours.

    Had a ponder about this, 26km loops somewhere flat with a car to grab water and stuff from. Don't stop for more than 60 seconds you'll never make it back up. Also need night lights, loads of MTB lights are well able for this but a nightmare for other road users.

    26km and a chalk board takes away lap confusion if you start on an hour (in case your gps dies).

    Start slow, don't change kit but do have a damp and a dry towel for face refreshment.

    Rebuild the bike for comfort, probably raise the bars so drops and hoods are equally spaced from where the hoods are now. Fresh, thick tape?

    Get used to calorie dense food. Pork scratchings, Bombay mix, gel blocks etc.

    After about 8 hours you find the power you can pump out for ages so do a trial 12 hours or so. Will let you find the bits that are uncomfortable and where you are power wise into the 24ish.

    Something sturdy to lean your bike against when stopped and premade water bottles (500ml an hour for me, oh, also think about a place to pee too). Someone making tea/coffee available is a very nice to have (feel bad about letting your pit bitch down so keep going).