Travel After Long or Century Ride


Not exactly a training question but I have not been able to find ideas on the web.

I am planning to try my first century ride in May: NY Gran Fondo. The ride is held on a Sunday and unfortunately it will be back to work Monday. This means a two hour drive home after the ride.

Is it reasonable to plan a two hour drive shortly after a 100 mile ride? If so any strategies to minimize cramps or other issues which might arise?

Thanks for any ideas.


Yes you will be fine but stiff and hungry.

Pack lots of food and water for after the ride and during the drive. Some wet wipes and a change of clothes will also make the drive more comfortable

It really is going to come down to how the ride goes and how you feel after. If the ride goes smoothly, you will likely be perfectly fine to drive home. Just make sure you eat something and get some fluids in after.

If you struggle with the Gran Fondo and end up with a lot of cramping, it could be more difficult. So the key is to make sure you are well trained for the event!!

Go for a short 5-10 minute recovery spin - depending on how far away you are parked, just riding back to your car should do it., just keep the cadence high.

Have some post ride recovery nutrition before driving off. Driving home after a really hard fondo is about the only time I do an actual “recovery drink” as against just regular food. And perhaps some electrolytes as well.

Wiggle your toes occasionally while driving just to keep the blood in your legs moving. And don’t be afraid to pull over for a 10 minute powernap if you are feeling tired.

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I can tell you that it really sucks. I did a 5 hour grand fondo ride this year and followed it with a 2 hour car ride and it wasn’t very comfortable. In retrospect I wish I had a room in the town where the fondo was so I could eat/drink/socialize and then get a bed close by.

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Along with this good advice, using the muscle tensing of the glutes, thigh and quad (like they tell you for a blood donation) can help increase circulation. I’d try to do them every 10-15 minutes.

I drove for 3 hrs after Leadville this year. I left about a 3 hr gap between the end of the race and starting my drive. Gave enough time to relax after the race, rehydrate, and refuel. I also stopped about half way for another recovery meal.


It depends… Having done dozens of fast centuries and long mtn bike events the drives home have run the gamut from 3-4 hours drive no problem to cramps, nausea and diarrhea. Ironically, it’s harder to drive home after a 40k all out TT than a sub 5 hour century.

As DaveWH says: recover at the site, eat something, hydrate and drive home. I like to plan potential rest stops in advance in case I (or passengers) need them.

Two hours after NYGF shouldn’t be a problem.

Have a ball - nice event!



Thank you for the great support and perspectives. Based on your thoughts I will give it a go and incorporate your ideas. As far as training goes…we are all on the Trainer Road board…I should be all set!


Heated seats on high feel wonderful post effort.

All the advice is sound. My best piece of advice is take a few moments - get cleaned up a bit and eat and drink before you drive back if you can.

I didn’t once and out if desperation had to stop at some services where the food was pretty bad…but I was soooo hungry by then. Felt pretty sick for a couple of days after and ate way mire than I needed to.

Over the next few months, focus your efforts on fueling and pacing.

Properly fueled and properly paced, you should finish the event with enough glycogen to easily take on that 2 hour drive.