No water Long ride

Sometimes, for a long ride somewhere I can’t find water and my water will be finished ,
is there an alternative for water (edible hydration) ? What do you do if you run out of water in the middle of a climb for example ? :hot_face:


If there are no places to get water and you can’t carry enough in bottles, maybe you need to take a hydration backpack?


How big are the water bottles ?

I tend to plan rides along gas stations, which sell bottled water. If there are longer stretches (say 60 miles), I make sure to have the bigger 20oz or 24oz (750ml or 850ml if I recall correctly) with me. 2 of them.


I follow what miffedoldpizza says as a base. If you know you are going to get tight at one point, then sipping, rinsing and swallowing small amounts has the same effect on your body as drinking volume for a finite amount of time. That can extend your last bottle to at least double.


Agreed about carrying more water. I lived in Toowoomba, Queensland (Australia), for five years, frequently riding west and north on weekends and being out for more than 14 hours, and getting pretty far from any convenience stores, filling stations, or houses. After the first hour or so, it would get pretty remote, and during the Summer, it would get pretty hot. I had a hydration backpack with a 100oz blatter and would carry as many bottles as I could - 3 on my frame and a few more in bags. I was not riding light, but the alternative was less desirable. In addition to starting the ride with plenty of water (and some electrolyte mix), I would also stop and take advantage of refilling if the opportunity presented itself. Most farmhouses had exterior wells, and nobody would begrudge a cyclist a pull of water from a garden hose. Sorry Spoow, aside from the advice already provided – I cannot think of any way to avoid carrying enough water to stay hydrated and healthy. I know that bringing fruit is not going to meet your needs, but on a long ride, it can do double duty, providing some hydration as well as nutrition.


Agree with this - it is a needs must situation. Dehydration is no joke.


There are those triathlon bottle holders that are seat post mounted. Gives you 2 more bottles.


I’m sure you’ve considered this, but also general hydration is key for this. Don’t start a ride like this already slightly dehydrated. Of course, we don’t want to go over the top neither, but drinking a bit more before leaving might help you not dehydrate so quick.


Some excellent info here. Big fan of hydration packs for long runs and backcountry hiking.

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Living in a desert, doing almost all of my riding and outdoor activities in the this desert we call southern california it is very rare to find drinkable water, if so it’s only from the odd gas station, which are few far and in between, for the hiker or cyclist out in the back country.

During the hot months of training you need a continual source of water… It’s a stark contrast to riding in the mountains of Europe…france, italy, spain where there’s water everywhere, often free for the taking … or at least never far from a cafe…especially Italy…where ive never run short of water.

Electrolyte management, proper hydration is nothing to mess around with. There’s too much at stake. ive learned the hard way.

I’ve been through hell with this, finding myself without water, sufficient electrolytes, hydration. I think it has had a lot to do and contributed over the years to my heart condition, Atrial fibulation and related arrhythmias, of which I’ve had 2 oblations for in the last 7 years…I have to be really thoughtful about hydration and electrolytes today.

overworking the heart in the heat, stacked with poor hydration and electrolyte supply…is deadly… if not today, it may manifest itself years down the line.

The little subtleties that life’s lessons teaches us as we age

When it’s super hot out I don’t train. I just dont do it, as really doesn’t make sense (unless there’s a specific reason for it) … power drops horribly, It’s too much work for the heart, it’s not a healthy thing to do… If I have to train in the summer months I try to get out in the morning, do it and get it over with … but I don’t purposely go riding in the heat…especially in the midday sun.

In the past when I’ve done the bigger rides and the forecast looks for conditions I will prerun the. Course and do water drops in the bushes that way? I’m sure to have water where I need it. That’s the best thing that I could come up with… And the last time I did that was about five years ago… I just don’t ride long rides in the midday heat

… If you must or riding in the heat is your thing to do I would suggest making water drops the day before


Some really good advice here!

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I’ve always carried where possible enough for the planned ride when doing a 60ish mile 3hr ride. 2 800ml bottles and also some extra electrolytes to add if I refill.

If we had a stop after halfway I’d always top off one bottle or refill if empty. One thing it meant I could do an ad hock 100miler if I wanted.

The number I ride with who carry just one 500ml bottle and think that’s ok. Then struggle towards the end and I’d say often as they were dehydrated.

Often these people were caught out during COVID was cafes etc would suddenly be closed due to a positive test.

Used hydration packs on my MTB but not Road.

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This happens to me WAY too often… you’d think I’d know now not to trust America’s bike “infrastructure” to support anyone doing more than 20 miles on a hot day. But I’m a slow learner haha. To @foreverridingbikes’s point, I have been debating an Apidura Racing Pack since my rides are getting longer and longer and I should probably get used to wearing one if I ever commit to a 500+ mile ride/race.

Agree on this. Unless you have support, best to prepare for lots of eventualities when riding that distance. You might only get it wrong once.

That is an odd statement. I do a lot of longer rides (120 is my favorite format), and yes, I like to ride in the hot, and yes, I tended to use the 500ml bottles, 2 of them … Only with one single route I ran into and issue with 60 miles without gas station. Switched now to 750ml bottles for those special rides. Normally 20 or 30 miles between gas stations or other refill means does not seem to be a big issue her in the Denver area.

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I guess maybe I’m the minority since I refuse to use gas stations as pit stops (don’t like leaving bike outside or stopping from more than a minute or two). Instead, I’m always looking for park fountains and such for refills… which are sparse in my experience.


That is a post worthy question that I am constantly worried about.

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I would be very interested to hear what other people do about this.