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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I want to ride a 12 hours race solo, but I'm unsure if I can get a support crew for pit work. (I have done several 12/24 races on teams)

I'd like to here from some solo racers what their typical pit strategy is during a 12 hour race. I'm especially interested in how riders do without additional support (wrenches, wives, etc.) in the pits.

Any other guidance/flames welcome.

Thanks,

Erik
 

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I've done a couple unsupported 12 hours...for me the hardest part is not having someone there for motivation and forcing me to leave the pit. But, it's good experience and I need to learn to do better self supported. Some suggestions:

Pre-mix drinks in bottles and/or hydration bladders and keep in a cooler.

If you use a Hydration Pack, it helps to have more than one (all set to go, including tools, tube, inflation device,etc.)

Toolbox that is organized and chainlube/rag that is handy

Know in advance how long your time limit is to be in the pit

Know how to fix your own bike (I don't know if I'll ever get to this one :rolleyes: ), or at least basic things that could go wrong

Have any real food you might want to eat already made up (i.e. sandwiches, pasta).

Have your gus/bars ready to grab at the same time as when you grab a new bottle or hydration pack.

You won't have anyone keeping track of how much you are eating/drinking so find a method in advance to keep track of this yourself.

Make friends with your pit neighbors, if possible. You might need their help at some point!

What race are you planning on doing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Hi Namrita,

Thanks for the advice. I like the idea of another bladder in the ready. I also plan to have a back up bike in case of severe mechanical.

I have just licked the envelope for the Dirty Spokes race in May:

http://www.dirtyspokes.com/

It's local to us and seems like a good way to get my feet wet with the solo thing.

-Erik
 

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solos

Namrita has some great tips, I's add one:

it means carrying more weight but I like to take enough fuel/water in my Hydrapak for 2 laps at a time. not even putting a foot down means one less chance to lose time, and with a comfy pack I don't really notice the extra 20 oz of liquid that much.

Cheers,
 

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A good idea is to hang any clothing you think you might need during the race.I usually hang everything on coat hangers from my easy up tent.I even hang spare gloves as it's much easier to select which clothes you need instead of rummaging through a box.I did a partly self supported 24 hr in the rain in September and this saved me alot of time.
 

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I did numerous unsupported races this year ranging from 7-12 hours. All the previous information is right on the money but instead of premixing the bottles I had the powder premeasured in ziploc bags and added water during the pit stops. I also try to manage my stops to one every three hours, more or less, that is consistent with my caloric and hydration requirements. Using multi-hour bottles for nutrition and a camelback for hydration keeps you out of the pits and on the bike.
 

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I've seen Skin in action and he has it down (tried to stay awake at a 24hr race last may in his pit. He outlasted me). In comparing his pit to some of the others, I think he brings just enough stuff. It's not a portable bike shop, but it's not just a plce to change clothes either.
 

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Farmer_John said:
I've seen Skin in action and he has it down (tried to stay awake at a 24hr race last may in his pit. He outlasted me). In comparing his pit to some of the others, I think he brings just enough stuff. It's not a portable bike shop, but it's not just a plce to change clothes either.
I agree with Farmer John. Listening to Skin's advice last year got me to a solid 2nd place in my first 12 hour race. I missed first by 40 some seconds.

Unlike Skin, I pre-mix my bottles and keep them in a cooler.

I like to have my family at the race for moral support, it helps when it is getting late and you need someone to fire you up.
 

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One of the items Farmer mentions I forgot about is I have all my spares organized in those plastic storage bins with drawers and they are labeled on the outside so others know where to look if I need help. I have another drawer system for clothing items that aren't on hangars (shorts, socks, gloves, cold weather gear, etc.) It beats rummaging through a bag or tub.

I may try Corner's premix in a cooler next year and I have a second Camelbak now so that it will be ready without needing to refill mine. I would much rather have a support crew but you can do it efficiently without one with a little planning and organization.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Excellent advice. Thank you all. I am pretty sure I can get the gear thing down. I am pretty well organized at these races and always bring more than I need.

My issue will be food choice. I'll be pumped up with gels, bars, electrolyte drinks, etc.....but I need to figure out what to eat besides that stuff. When riding on a team I've always had time to heat something up. I will have to get a cold food menu together for this solo attempt.

My wife will be stopping by, but I would not want her and junior to be out there all day. Maybe it's time to start getting chummy with a local shop.
 

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skinl19 said:
Check out the Hammer Nutrition website for excellent advice on nutrition. Download and read the Endurance Athlete's Guide to Success. It shold anser most of the questions you have. Hammer makes excellent products and it is all I use. For a 12 hour race it's 100% liquid diet.

http://www.e-caps.com/za/ECP?PAGE=FREEDOWNLOADS
Hammer,Hammer and more Hammer
For 12 Hours racing you should stay with liquid diet only.
But start traing on it now to make your own choices in different flavors, mix proportions ,etc.

Good luck,

Boris
www.thee100.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
skinl19 said:
Check out the Hammer Nutrition website for excellent advice on nutrition. Download and read the Endurance Athlete's Guide to Success. It shold anser most of the questions you have. Hammer makes excellent products and it is all I use. For a 12 hour race it's 100% liquid diet.

http://www.e-caps.com/za/ECP?PAGE=FREEDOWNLOADS
Wow, good stuff here. It is interesting to note the liquid only diet they recommend. I wonder if they can piece a package together for me to try out....in training first, of course ;)
 

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erik99 said:
Wow, good stuff here. It is interesting to note the liquid only diet they recommend. I wonder if they can piece a package together for me to try out....in training first, of course ;)
I have not come to the point where only liquid nutrition works for me, though I do use Perpetuem & Sustained Energy and like both of those. I do think that all-liquid is the way to go, for a 12 hour at least...especially after seeing Ernesto M racing at Conyers this year...I'm not sure he ever stopped to eat any solid food...in a 24 hour. I'm going to experiment with that this season as I do my research...I may still need a 1/2 clif bar or 1/2 pb&j here and there though.
 

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I have tried an all liquid diet....ONCE! Never again. I need something solid. About 75% of my 12/24 hour solo diet is liquid. Most of that liquid diet is made up of Hammer Gel, Perpetum, Sustained Endergy, HEED, ELETE, and Power Bar Endurance.

The other 25% of my diet is solid food that digest nice and evenly. For solid foods I will ingest dixie cups full of pasta/olive oil, fruit(bananas, watermellon, grapes), pringles, Power Bars, Clif Bars. I just make sure to stay away from high fiber foods. The high fiber foods require a lot of blod to break down the food, plus it causes gut distress.

You need to experiement. There is a lot of good info in the Endurance forum. And don't be afraid to ask questions. We are all here to help. E-mail or PM me if needed.
 

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erik99 said:
Hi,

I want to ride a 12 hours race solo, but I'm unsure if I can get a support crew for pit work. (I have done several 12/24 races on teams)

I'd like to here from some solo racers what their typical pit strategy is during a 12 hour race. I'm especially interested in how riders do without additional support (wrenches, wives, etc.) in the pits.

Any other guidance/flames welcome.

Thanks,

Erik
My recommendations:

Get to the race early and set up a basic pit. The less you bring, the better off you will be. It sucks to tear down a pit at midnight after a hard day of racing.

Make friends with the people setting up the pit next to you. There is a good chance that they have a support person that might be able to give you a hand with simple things. It has been my experiene that most support people are looking for things to do at races, and would be happy to help if asked nicely.

Bring all the liquid you think you need pre-mixed in bottles in a big cooler. Have all the food you think you will need set out on a small table.

Have a spare bike, and the tools you will be willing to use set out on another small table.

And most important; don't stop riding! Even a short stop in a 12 hour race can kill your chances.for a good finish.

Best of luck!

Joe
 

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If you can find 2 different flavour drinks that helps,as it gets a bit old drinking the same flavour.I use E load and can customise with E caps depending on the temperature.Food is an individual choice,what works for some usually won't work for others.I usually have food I can throw in a jersey pocket and eat on course.Try to keep pit times to a minimum as this is usually where alot of time is lost.It's better to be moving at a slower pace when eating than not moving at all.
 

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Thumbs up for:
-The liquid diet mixed with a few fruit once in a while. The last 12 hour I did, I used all liquid except for 2 bananas and it worked well.
-Using more than one type of drink mix.

I usually use a simple small fishing tackle from Walmart to keep all my Endurolytes, Tylenol, etc. so I have quick and easy access to anything I need.
 
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