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Eliminate all distractions and potential irritants before the ride, no matter how minor they may seem. The cost in stamina and energy used in fighting off the effects of irritants while tired can be enormous. Even minor aggravations are magnified during a long-distance ride, robbing you of precious energy in the form of stress.
Key to your ability to fight off irritants is a well prepared bike that is set up properly with resulting excellent ergos for the rider. Long term rider comfort while underway is the true secret in how seasoned veterans can safely garner big mileage.