Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling - Loop rides
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10-24-06, 12:06 PM
I am thinking about doing a loop ride for my first metric and standard century. I have one picked out that is 17.5 miles, so I could do it 6 times and get a full 105 miles in. Its all in town though, and I fear that traffic lights would make it so slow as to not be any fun.
Any suggestions for picking a route?
Have you looked into some of the bike routes published by local Reno bike clubs like those at: http://www.pedalers.org/? I would pick an established route that has an elevation profile you like. Better still, if you aren't involved with the club, go ride with them and you;ll probably meet some members who would enjoy riding a century with you.
I've done several "looped" centuries. They are all right ... and they are especially good for the support factor because you can go home at the end of every loop to restock your water, etc. ... but my problem with them is that I get bored.
In a situation like yours, I'd probably get bored after the 3rd loop ... and then I'd have to push myself out the door to keep riding ... and I wouldn't have fun anymore.
Can you find a loop that is a bit longer - perhaps 25 miles each? That way you'd only have to do 4 of them to get your century. Or can you scout out two or three loops in different directions from your home? You might do the one you've found for the first loop, then another one about the same distance, or perhaps a bit longer, in a different direction for the second loop, then either back to the first one again, or maybe onto a third loop in yet another direction ... or something like that.
I need variety when I do long rides ... if I am stuck on one loop, I'll ride it one direction the first time, and then the opposite direction the next time ... and I'll try to add little bits and pieces to it, like going around a block in a residential area halfway through the loop to add an extra mile or two ... or something to keep it from being the same thing over and over again.
If you've got a map of your city and the surrounding area, try riding out in different directions to see what's there on your training rides, and then shortly before the century, decide what roads you'll use from the many you've ridden building up to it.
10-25-06, 04:46 PM
Loops don't work for ma at all. In act, the only long rides that I have bailed on were loops. Itsa too easy for me to cut a ride short when I am bored with the loops
10-25-06, 05:57 PM
I prefer to get very far away from the start and turn around and realize I have 50 miles to get home and a strong headwind. It's good exercise and there's not much chance of quitting early.
If I get a cell phone call and I am a long way from home on a bike I have a good excuse for not getting there quickly.
10-25-06, 05:59 PM
Loops are cool. I have one that is 200 miles long that I ride around once once in awhile. Then there is this other really cool loop that is 99,.5 miles long, I usually only ride that one once too! Then there are the loops I am sure you were intending to talk about, I usually only ride those when I need some major hill work. I have one that climbs about 1000 feet in 17 -18 miles and I will circle that one 3 or 4 times when I want a good workout some Saturdays. It only has 2 traffic lights.
Loops, especially short loops, is more of a mental challenge than physical. It's too easy to quit. I prefer out and back routes or large loops.
10-25-06, 09:10 PM
i think 1 loop for me is best. 1 big friggin' loop. I would loose the mental battle when the going got tough. with numerous loops.
10-25-06, 09:29 PM
Thanks guys. I think I'll try the out and back method for anything more than 20 miles. Thanks!!!
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