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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 09-21-06, 10:25 AM   #1
Fat Louie
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How many hours do you like to ride in a single session?

I usually limit my rides to about 2 hours. After that, I start getting pretty uncomfortable- my seat starts to bother me and sometimes my back starts to hurt as well. I usually ride by myself because I go out pretty early in the morning so I can get home and do things with my kids on the weekend- on the weekdays, I usually use a trainer for an hour or so. I feel that I'm getting the fitness benefits from my workout regiment.

But lately, my friends that bike have been asking me to go along with them... the thing is that they usually ride 60-70 miles and ride from 4-6 hours. I really have no interest in going any more than 2 hours on any given day because it starts not being fun after that. Don't get me wrong, I do push myself on my rides, but being on a bike for that long doesn't interest me. Should I be pushing myself to ride 4 or 5 hours at a time? For those of you who have lost weight, do you find yourself riding for significantly longer times versus when you were heavier? I'm just trying to see if I'm a slacker- my 150 pound bike riding friends seem to think so (teasing me of course).
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Old 09-21-06, 10:53 AM   #2
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Hi Louie...No way you are a slacker...a 2 hour ride is excellent and I agree you are getting great workout.
I manage about the same...I ride on average about 2 hours - 15 to 25 miles a night. I ride for many different reasons weight loss is only one of them. I am more concerned with the cardio and strengthening benefits. I am 53 years old, 6' 3" and weigh 273 and have only been riding seriously since this past May. An occasional day trip 4 to 6 hours can be fun... but 60 to 70 miles is quite the push...I don't think I'll ever belong to that club. I rode 55 miles on the Katy Trail last month...in more like 8 hours and it was tough at that pace. Hopefully we will both build up stamina with time...you (we) are doing fine.
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Old 09-21-06, 11:02 AM   #3
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I ride as long as it takes. Sometimes it's 10 minutes and sometimes it's 4-5 hours or longer. I usually have a place in mind or a number of laps to accomplish so I don't think about time, just whether I get it done or not.
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Old 09-21-06, 11:12 AM   #4
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I ride as long as it takes. Sometimes it's 10 minutes and sometimes it's 4-5 hours or longer. I usually have a place in mind or a number of laps to accomplish so I don't think about time, just whether I get it done or not.
Same here. My commute to work takes about 40-45 minutes depending on how bad it's raining. Getting groceries is a quick rip through my apartment parking lot and across the street. Some errands might put me over a couple towns and it's a hilly 15 miles each way so I might be on the saddle for a few hours (total.) It's more about "where am I going" than "how far do I want to go."
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Old 09-21-06, 11:33 AM   #5
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I like to ride 2ish hours (25-40 miles) on weeknights but on weekend mornings I like to do longer rides of 4-5 hours (50-80 miles). I typically average 15-17 mph over the course of the ride, no matter how far it is.
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Old 09-21-06, 11:34 AM   #6
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When I started last July, I weighted 270. I now weigh 230. I'm 50 and 6' tall, which means I'm heavy boned and pretty heavily muscled. I still need to drop 20lbs of fat, tho. All that for comparison.

1) You don't need to ride any longer than you already do to get in shape. Especially since you are pushing it. Clearly, you doing well.

2) Comfort on a bike is everything. Dis-comfort is probably the main reason so many good bikes can be had at garage sales for pennies on the dollar. "It hurts my butt." quickly becomes, "I don't have time."

The dis-comfort can and should be addressed. There are scads of threads here on saddles and bars and bike fit and tire pressure and ad infinitum, ad nauseum. There is an adventure out there you may be missing. Day long rides are really fun, especially with a group, although I mostly ride solo. They also rip off the weight.

My ride time varies from the occasional 1-hour errand to unplanned centuries off the cuff, 10-12 hours.
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Old 09-21-06, 02:17 PM   #7
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I think 2 hours is fine for losing or maintaining weight and many other benefits to good health. It sounds like your rides are achieving reasonable fitness goals.

How far and how long you ride is really up to you. My regular commute of the past 18 months is 50 - 60 minutes each way and that has helped me drop 40 lbs. It would probably be a lot more, but I have not done a great job at controlling calorie intake. When I have the chance I enjoy longer rides, but like you I have to work around family and other schedules. I've done 2 or 3 rides of 60 miles or more and really enjoyed it. I am hoping to work up to a century this fall if I can find time.

I would follow jcm's advice if your bike gets to be uncomfortable and you want to ride further. There are many tweaks to make a bike fit better, saddles that may be more comfortable for your body and riding style all of which might make it easier for you to ride longer/further.

Most importantly only do the longer rides if you want to. There is no reward for riding 80 or 100 miles except the feeling of accomplishment -- if you're in incredible pain or discomfort at the end of it then it really doesn't make sense.
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Old 09-21-06, 02:18 PM   #8
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I try to get a minimum of 11/2 hours per day. i do shoot for 30 - 35 miles on Saturday & Sunday though. I like to end a month with at least a 20 mile a day average.
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Old 09-21-06, 02:31 PM   #9
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If I'm by myself I can only take 2hrs....I start talking to myself and going crazy, but in a group I could go on for about 4-5hrs
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Old 09-21-06, 03:48 PM   #10
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I'll do a century if I can but I have one 4yr old and one 18 mo old. Time with them is precious to me.

I commute to work each day ~14 each way. If I get out earlyin the am and/or make good time I'll do some hill repeats near my office in Harlem.
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Old 09-21-06, 03:55 PM   #11
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As many as I have available! Right now, the best I can get is about 12 on a weekend day.
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Old 09-21-06, 07:42 PM   #12
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I'm with the OP, 2-3 hours is my max, not so much because I'm uncomfortable, but just other things to do with my life. 4-6 hours a day on a weekend is why I gave up golf, between family, kids sports, yard work, etc., would start to be more stress than pleasure.

It's easy to feel that your doing something wrong or to think your not a "real cyclist" when you hear about some of the really serious riders weekly mileage, or their 21 mph average 5 hour rides, but in the end, I ride because I enjoy it.
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Old 09-21-06, 09:00 PM   #13
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I used to ride 2 hours max but lately I've dropped to about 1 hour max (switched to a less comfortable bike - can't take the long rides).

"I don't want to do anything that FEELS GOOD for four hours..." Rita Rudner
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Old 09-21-06, 09:39 PM   #14
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I find I'm riding about 1 hour whether its road or mountain biking. Maybe a little longer on the road.
But one hour of mountain trails and I've had it.
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Old 09-21-06, 11:31 PM   #15
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I'm doing about 2 hours a day and losing weight. Daylong rides rip off the weight? How much? I did a 62 mile ride monday and just curious. I'm 6'1" 299, down from 347 in July.
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Old 09-22-06, 12:31 AM   #16
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2 hours for a typical ride. 4 on occasion.
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Old 09-22-06, 04:30 AM   #17
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You just gotta get used to time in the saddle Louie! Last year I did 23 centuries. 5:45 (flat) to 7:50 (10,000 ft of climbing). I ate good and rode plenty (7300 for the year). To do 60-70 miles was like a 30 mile ride then. This year, I backed off on the mileage so doing a 42 miler feels like 70!

It all depends on how much time you spend getting used to being on the saddle. build up to it lil by lil. Soon you'll find that you feel just as good at 90 as you do at 30!

Next year, I'll be back on track. his was a relaxation year. I'll be lucky to hit 4,000 this year. Wife and I do 42 milers on Sat and Sundays. Takes about 2:15-2:30.

I'm 220-230 depending on Ben N Jerry's consumption!
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Old 09-22-06, 09:02 AM   #18
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Two hours is perfectly fine, and a lot more time than most people put in the saddle. Typically, for my regular rides, I'll put in between an hour to two hours in the saddle. For longish ride, I try to put in 4 hours or so, and if I'm looking to do a long trip, I'll do eight. If I do the MS century in the city, I'll probably put in eight hours.
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Old 09-22-06, 10:35 AM   #19
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Wow, looks like a lot of you do ride more than a few hours. But even if I'm on a recliner with a martini in one hand, a remote in the other, I can't sit for two hours!

I guess what prompted me to start the thread is that deep down inside, I do want to ride with my buddies every now and then without slowing them down too much (unless I break a spoke). I guess I should get some more details from them- if I can take some short breaks to stretch every hour or so, I could probably go 3-4 hours without being too uncomfortable. As for spending more time in the saddle, not sure if I'll ever be fully comfortable- after all, I've got 250 pounds right now all resting on about 9 square inches- even thinking about it makes me squirm!

Thanks for all the responses.
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Old 09-22-06, 10:42 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Louie
Wow, looks like a lot of you do ride more than a few hours. But even if I'm on a recliner with a martini in one hand, a remote in the other, I can't sit for two hours!

I guess what prompted me to start the thread is that deep down inside, I do want to ride with my buddies every now and then without slowing them down too much (unless I break a spoke). I guess I should get some more details from them- if I can take some short breaks to stretch every hour or so, I could probably go 3-4 hours without being too uncomfortable. As for spending more time in the saddle, not sure if I'll ever be fully comfortable- after all, I've got 250 pounds right now all resting on about 9 square inches- even thinking about it makes me squirm!

Thanks for all the responses.
FL, if your friends are good ride friends, they will be patient with yiu as your ability develops!
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Old 09-25-06, 08:11 PM   #21
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Anywhere from 1 to 4 hours for me.

I try to get in a few quick 1 hour rides before work a few times a week...my "long" ride is on Sundays and it used to be closer to 4 hours....lately my main ride partner is constantly whimping out...and I can barely get her to do more than 2 hours most of the time.
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Old 10-31-06, 07:27 PM   #22
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I ride between 1:15 and 2 hours give or take and I'm about 205lbs depending on when I weigh. I have a pretty hilly ride and its around 20 to 35 miles so wind and the hills play a big part on the time its almost always windy here in north Texas. I never have the saddle problem I can ride and ride and the butt never really hurts and my seat is pretty hard. I will hurt if I havent rode in a while after the first two rides after that Its never a problem. My back starts to hurt after about 15 to 20 miles and I have to get off and streach but them I'm good for a few more miles.
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Old 10-31-06, 08:32 PM   #23
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2-3 hours; I plan to stretch that to four next year.
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Old 11-01-06, 09:18 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dial_tone
2-3 hours; I plan to stretch that to four next year.
Wow, your saddle is much higher than your bars in your photos. Is that comfortable? Doesn't that hurt your wrists and elbows? I can see how your butt wouldn't hurt but I'd think my wrists and elbows would be killing me if I rode that bike.
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Old 11-01-06, 09:53 AM   #25
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During the week, I try to get in an hour before work 2-3 days a week. Weekend rides are usually a couple of hours. Too much else to do to spend 4-6 hours on the bike, except for the occasional "special ride".
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