Long distance between gas stations/convenience stores/stops - what to do?

I have a 140km loop nearby and from km 45 to km 100 there are no gas stations or any place where I can stop to get some snacks and all I see is cow farms. 55 kms without a stop in hot weather has become quite challenging as I easily get dehydrated due to the combination of heat and short steep climbs (upwards of 10%) along the way.

When I get to the stop at km 45, I make sure that I fill my bottles and eat some snacks but what else can I do to make sure that I can easily make it to the other side?

Buy a small to medium disposable water bottle and throw it in a jersey pocket at your stop. When you empty one of your bottles pour that into your bottle and crush up the disposable one and put it back into your pocket

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I have a 2L USWE hydration pack to supplement the standard 2 bottles for liquid. And Speedsleev Diegohandle bar bag to help store more snacks for longer back county rides. Many many options.

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I run liter bottles for that type of ride

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If you ride somewhere hot quite often, you could see if you can fit a third bottle cage somewhere - under your downtube, or behind the saddle like on tri bikes. Or put a toptube or frame bag on your bike, and pack another bottle.

Tbh, I often ride 60km without drinking anything, especially if its raining. But it depends on the climate and how hard you go.

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Buy larger bottles. I carry 2 x 950ml bottles. It’s more than enough to go 3 hours on a very hot day.

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I discovered these handy water pouches at my local Sprouts. They are about 2x the size a Capri Sun juice pouch, I freeze them then carry in my jersey pocket (takes no time for them to melt in the AZ sun, plus they help keep me cool), they fold up v small when done.

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For the same reason, I just set this up today - but I learned the hard way that bottles on the back eject much easier than bottle in the frame. I’ll need to secure with a further elastic band - but it should work handily I do that.

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That’s why I bought Gorilla XT cages:

https://xlab-usa.com/gorilla-xt.html

a 2L hydration backpack. I run liquid calories, I can get 5 hours out of 2-750ml bottles of drink mix and my 2L bladder filled with plain water.

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Your stomach is a great container for water. Drink a liter before you leave the gas station, and two 750ml water bottles on your bike should do the trick. Yes - you may feel a little bloated for 5-10 mins, but it solves the problem.

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I’ve been riding with a 3l camelback and it’s been great. Odds are you won’t see anyone so it doesn’t matter :wink:
Bonus you can carry more food and tools/repair stuff

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I was very tempted to make a Bear Grylls joke for a second…

I really like the double bottle cages behind the saddle. Nutrition-wise gels are by far your most compact option, and you can either go with liquid carbs or empty a few gels into your water bottles to save space by keeping your hydration and nutrition together. (Though I imagine you’d probably want a bit of solid food in there too for that kind of distance!)

And this one is a no-brainer, but make sure you’re properly fueled & hydrated leading up to the ride and the rest becomes a lot easier. I usually take an emergency red bull or something, because I ride alone and there’s nobody to pick me up if I die on the side of the road :rofl:

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One obvious suggestion that I would like to second is a small backpack with a Camelbak bladder. You’ll be able to fit plenty of nutrition, sunscreen, a gilet and the like in it. Deuter makes small, great cycling backpacks. And Camelbak makes a minimalistic solution that essentially is only a harness for your bladder.

Another option is to go for a 3- or 4-bottle setup. You could fill one of these bottles with highly concentrated energy mix, which you can then dilute with water. That is addition to power bars and gels, of course.

How much liquid you need really depends on the terrain, the weather and your body. I usually keep track of how much water I drink during a ride, so I know I need x bottles per hour. When I am going out in the hot and humid Japanese summer, I need up to 1.2-1.5 liters per hour sometimes. So be realistic and leave some safety margin. saving 500 g on a bottle isn’t going to do you much good when you run out of water.

I’ve been using a Camelbak alot recently simply because I want to avoid going into stores and gas stations if at all possible. For long rides I’ve got three 20oz insulated Polar bottles plus a Camelbak Chase vest which holds another 50oz. It’s also got plenty of space for all the nutrition I might need.

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Calories should generally not be an issue. There are a bunch of ways to fit ~300g of food into jersey pockets or a small top tube bag, in addition to mixed into your water.

The challenge is always water. Here in south/central California, we have lots of awesome riding with huge climbs, but very few places to get water. I’ve got 4 main options that I pick from (or combine) depending on the route and conditions:

  1. Collapsible plastic bottle - someone mentioned this above. I try to avoid bottles in my pocket because it’s a bit uncomfortable. This only gets 17-24 extra oz.

  2. Frame bag - I have one from Rock Bros that I got on amazon for about $25, and it is awesome. I can barely jam three standard 16.9oz water bottles from the convenience store, plus there is room between them for gels, etc. As I empty my bike water bottles, I refill with the bottled water and crush them down before putting the empties back in the frame bag. This leaves more room for trash, which is created as I eat gels or bars from my jersey pockets or top tube bag. I love this setup because I can ride 6 hours with zero stops, and nothing in my jersey pockets.

  3. Seat mounted bottle cage(s) (aka Rocket Launchers) - I don’t much care for this solution if there are any rough patches of pavement or dirt roads. You can carry two extra bottles, which is great, but they love to fly out and they make the bike ‘feel’ sluggish. I’ve solved the bottle launching issue by using velcro straps to loop over the top of the bottle, but the sluggish feeling from the weight very high on the bike still bugs me. Plus, my particular setup makes some awful noises on bumpy roads.

  4. Camelback - This is an option I’ll use for 3 seasons, but really try to avoid in the summer. Even as an avid endurance MTB racer, I really despise hydration packs, and try to avoid them for racing of any kind, or road rides. I just don’t like that much weight on my back. If you can get over that, there’s really no better option for taking an extra 100 (or more) ounces of water plus a ton of food and supplies with you. (I guess you could get some panniers and go full bike packer).

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Reduce the intensity of your ride.

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helps a little, but then you’ll be out in the sun for longer.

I’ll carry a Katadyn water filter with a 1 liter flask in a back pocket. Serves dual purpose of being able to have an extra liter capacity at all times, and if you’re nearing the end of your water and go by any sort of water source (stream, lake, trickle, questionable spicket) you can fill it and filter as much as you want…and even use it to filter into your other bottles. Also, without water it compacts down really small and is super light. Easier than carrying another 24oz bottle in your pocket or finding another way to mount stuff.

The only downside is that it’s not that easy to drink out of compared to a normal bottle. Because of the filter the flow rate’s pretty dampened and you almost have to suck the water out.

I second the double bottle cages behind the saddle. I carry 4 on bike and 1 in jersey for longish (4-hr) rides. I was thinking of using a camelback w 4 bottles for even longer rides.

There are apps available on the Apple/Google store that map out water fountains. Should do the trick. Food should be an issue though.