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  1. #1
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    This weekend's failed attempt at a metric century - with a consolation prize

    Some friends and I generally meet up for a Saturday morning ride, and lately they have been getting longer and longer. This weekend we decided to meet up at the trailhead for a local limestone trail, the MoPac East trail:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MoPac_Trail

    Now, beforehand I had figured that it would be very easy for me to get a metric in that day. All I'd have to do is either take the "long way" from home to the trailhead, or the "long way" from the trailhead to home. Maybe I'd have to take one of the city trails a little longer to fill in some miles, but should be do-able... I thought!

    I awoke at 0639 after hitting the snooze button once. The peanut-gallery-enabled better half commented "6:39! Sweet! We slept in 39 minutes!" Of course by the time I got back upstairs from changing and showering, she was dead asleep again. I made a quick "power shake" before departing, knowing that I'd need some power. I still hadn't decided to do the metric or not, but knew I'd ride to the trailhead.

    By the time I finally got onto the street, it was 0705, not too far behind schedule (only 5 minutes at this point). I climbed the half-mile hill to the local Kwik-E-Mart to fill up my tire, grab some Gatorade for the ride to the trailhead, and grabbed a couple Cliff bars. THiS WAS MISTAKE ONE! I spent far too much time organizing my stuff, filling tires, and basically getting ready to go. As such, I looked at my clock and it said 0727.. with the "long way" still being 11.5 miles. I could say that if I pushed, i could have made it. In reality I know that no, I couldn't have made an average of 23mph across the city .

    I took the "short way" of 6.5 miles and arrived at the trailhead 20 minutes later, well ahead of the rest of my crew. I enjoyed half a Cliff Bar and the rest of my Gatorade, refilling the bottles with water. Shortly after, the rest of the crew arrived, and we departed at 0815. For the first 4 miles, we made some seriously good time. There were four of us, one that I ride with on a regular basis and two friends who ride a lot but I had never ridden with before. Suddenly after mile 4 they slowed from 20mph to about 12 or 13, admitting that they were pushing their "20 mile" pace. We all slowed to about a 15mph average, and kept zipping down the trail.

    One of the crew was having a hard time, as she had awoken at 0300 to work, and had not eaten anything yet that day! By the time we hit mile 18-ish, Elmwood Nebraska, I figured she was likely ready to eat anything.

    And here comes mistake two - we stopped at another conveinence store! Not so much a mistake in that we stopped there, but in that we took time stopping there. Time for the sun to get going, and time for legs to start running out of steam. Three of us were pushing on the 4 miles to the end of the trail, so we bid Andy's wife a good ride back, and headed off.

    Now we all made mistake three together - we all started pushing hard, chasing each other for the next 15 miles. The lead biker pushed the hardest, riding at his max HR for about 10 miles or so. I was in second, 15 minutes behind him with the other rider about 10 minutes behind me. On the ride back, the heat started to kick in with a vengeance. Someone I passed was emptying their camelback on their head (more on this later - excellent idea!) and said their watch said it was already 85 degrees - at 11am! I was about 5 miles outside of the next town when I really started to feel the heat. I stopped twice to hydrate and eat a cliff bar, also waiting for the guy behind me to catch up. I arrived into Eagle, NE to see the lead biker waiting for us. His Camelback was empty, my bottles were at critical, so we hit the town store to get more water.

    Yup, you guessed it, that's mistake four - we stopped again! I picked up more Gatorade, while rider 1 picked up a gallon of water. I ate another Cliff Bar, slugged some water and Gatorade then refilled for the last 10 miles home. We're up to mile 40 at this point, and the temps are getting in the upper 80's with 45-ish percent humidity.. and it's almost noon. As rider 1 put it "the next 10 miles are going to be how slow can we go!"

    And slow we did indeed go. I had told the better half that I'd have "no problem" making it home by noon.. well she called me at 11:30 and I was still about 5 miles from the trailhead, or 17 miles from making my metric... and that heat was killing me. My legs were great, but I was sucking down water and Gatorade with reckless abandon.

    Then it happened, the inevitable mini-bonk. Thankfully rider 3 and I had our mini-bonks at the same point, ironically right abotu where I had my major bonk on my last long ride. We rode next to each other, reminding each other that it was only 3, or 2, or 1, or .5 miles to the end. The mini-bonk was around 13mph, which is a far cry from my major bonk, where I was putting out everything I had to keep the speedo close to 10. And by 1 mile out I had finished off the last of my water and Gatorade, but was crazily thirsty.

    We did indeed make it back to the trailhead, with both of us making a respectable 20mph push for the last half mile into the trailhead. But I knew it was over. I had that dehydration headache kicking in, and it was already past noon. Had I continued home, I knew I wouldn't get there for another hour, and I would be dead. The temp was now nearly 90, and I was wearing my black UnderArmor. So I asked rider 3 for a "ride of shame" home, which he was gracious enough to provide. Rider 1 was going to join us, as he had already finished a metric for the day, but ended up riding a very direct route to his home, about 7 miles away. The heat had definitely taken it's toll on our group.

    The better half greeted me as we pulled into the driveway, worried that I was dehydrated.. of course not, I told her...

    So the ride stats were:
    -50.5 miles
    -96 ounces of Gatorade
    -100+ ounces of water
    -2 Cliff Bars, 2 Snickers Marathon bars
    -20-ish ounces of water dumped over my head

    With one final stat. I didn't think it would happen, and I joked with the better half that it would be funny if it did. On the 15th I had weighed in at 374 lbs, hoping that I would have hit the 200 lost (I was 567 lbs on June 15, 2005) mark, but falling a little short. Well.. I hit the door to the house and had a big jug of water that she demanded I have, then headed directly for the shower. I resisted for a second, then jumped on the scale..... 366 lbs! It said it twice! That was it, that's all I needed to not beat myself up for missing the metric mark.. I dehydrated myself enough that I hit the 200lbs lost mark.. LOL!

    Of course the second I got out of the shower I was back up to 372 (I drank a big bottle of water while in the shower... LOL!), but hey, I was there!

    Anyway, I'll post some pics later, it was an epic and enjoyable ride... with a great bonus prize at the end!

  2. #2
    Senior Member JumboRider's Avatar
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    You be 'Da MAN!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    50 miles is hardly a short ride! It's not about the numbers, ya know.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

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    Think of not-so-much as failing to do a Metric, but as completing a Half-Century.

    Great job on getting in 50 miles in that kind of heat. And congrats on the new milestone.

  5. #5
    fishologist cohophysh's Avatar
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    Nice work
    We cannot solve problems with the same level of consciousness that created them. A.E.

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  6. #6
    Air
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    Destroyer of Wheels Air's Avatar
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    Great work!

    Actually - reading your 'mistakes' I'd say a bigger one (from my experience) is that you didn't eat enough starting off. I know for anything over 30 miles that I'm hammering on I need way more calories to start off (around 1000 or so). It allows me to eat a few bars or gels along the way without bonking until about 60 miles or so.

  7. #7
    Perma-Clyde (51)'s Avatar
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    50 miles is great! I don't think you bonked, I think you were water-logged
    http://www.trailerparkboys.org/forum...fault/beer.gif In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria. -Ben Franklin

  8. #8
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdinger
    Now we all made mistake three together - we all started pushing hard, chasing each other for the next 15 miles. The lead biker pushed the hardest, riding at his max HR for about 10 miles or so. I was in second, 15 minutes behind him with the other rider about 10 minutes behind me. On the ride back, the heat started to kick in with a vengeance. Someone I passed was emptying their camelback on their head (more on this later - excellent idea!) and said their watch said it was already 85 degrees - at 11am! I was about 5 miles outside of the next town when I really started to feel the heat. I stopped twice to hydrate and eat a cliff bar, also waiting for the guy behind me to catch up. I arrived into Eagle, NE to see the lead biker waiting for us. His Camelback was empty, my bottles were at critical, so we hit the town store to get more water.
    Hi Ben,

    With all due respect - and much respect is due, the only mistake appears to be one of "pushing hard." As I understand it, a century is about endurance, not speed. Pace yourself and enjoy the ride. Yeah, it's hot out. So ride slowly and take frequent breaks. Drink a lot of water and Gatorade.

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    Congrats on the weight loss! That's very impressive.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian
    Hi Ben,

    With all due respect - and much respect is due, the only mistake appears to be one of "pushing hard." As I understand it, a century is about endurance, not speed. Pace yourself and enjoy the ride. Yeah, it's hot out. So ride slowly and take frequent breaks. Drink a lot of water and Gatorade.
    +1 I did 73 on Saturday in the heat and humidity of the Ozarks. Average speed? A blistering 12.1 MPH. And even at that I had trouble staying hydrated and had a little cramping near the end, but a little stretching and a few more glugs of Gatorade took care of it. I carry two 24 ounce bottles and I think I emptied them at least 6 times plus three quarts of gatorade at C stores. That is 384 ounces of liquid. I stopped to pee twice, about a cup both times. When I got home, I was still major thirsty. It was hard riding to physically drink that much, felt uncomfortably full much of the time just from the liquids.
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  11. #11
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian
    Hi Ben,

    With all due respect - and much respect is due, the only mistake appears to be one of "pushing hard." As I understand it, a century is about endurance, not speed. Pace yourself and enjoy the ride. Yeah, it's hot out. So ride slowly and take frequent breaks. Drink a lot of water and Gatorade.
    Neil,
    In retrospect, I believe you are very correct! Two of us have talked about it, and we both agree that we won't be doing that on a long ride again. Rider 1 did his first century on his single speed 29er MTB, and half of it was the route we took, with the other half being climbing the rural hills of Nebraska. I had joined him for the first leg, and we took it quite easy - averaging under 15mph. On the way back, the rider joining him bonked very hard, so their average was well under 13mph, probably around 10, giving him a break. Temps weren't as high, but definitely weren't perfect .

    So yes, I do believe that our failures were not in the breaks, but rather the 15 mile hammerfest that we engaged in for one reason or another.

  12. #12
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air
    Great work!

    Actually - reading your 'mistakes' I'd say a bigger one (from my experience) is that you didn't eat enough starting off. I know for anything over 30 miles that I'm hammering on I need way more calories to start off (around 1000 or so). It allows me to eat a few bars or gels along the way without bonking until about 60 miles or so.
    You know, I wonder about that as well. I made the breakfast be about 500-ish calories, with another 260 worth of Cliff Bar less than an hour later so I figured I was pretty good. However, in retrospect, the Slim-Fast isn't "solid" calories. So I likely would have been better off with a couple bagels, or something along those lines. Being stuffed for the first several miles would just force me to start out slow, after all!

  13. #13
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrierman
    +1 I did 73 on Saturday in the heat and humidity of the Ozarks. Average speed? A blistering 12.1 MPH. And even at that I had trouble staying hydrated and had a little cramping near the end, but a little stretching and a few more glugs of Gatorade took care of it. I carry two 24 ounce bottles and I think I emptied them at least 6 times plus three quarts of gatorade at C stores. That is 384 ounces of liquid. I stopped to pee twice, about a cup both times. When I got home, I was still major thirsty. It was hard riding to physically drink that much, felt uncomfortably full much of the time just from the liquids.
    You know, I think I actually didn't drink ENOUGH, in retrospect. As I didn't pee once during the ride, and finally urinated around 3pm (I was home by 12:30) even thoug I was gulping water at home. Additionally, I had a pretty nagging headache most of the day that finally went away around the time I had a burger and a Rogue Porter in the evening .

    Thanks for the advice. And thanks to everyone for the support! I'm going to give it a shot again, but no idea when. For the next week I need to focus on getting prepped for the MTB race I was stupid... errr.. ambitious enough to sign up for!

  14. #14
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdinger
    Neil,
    In retrospect, I believe you are very correct! Two of us have talked about it, and we both agree that we won't be doing that on a long ride again. Rider 1 did his first century on his single speed 29er MTB, and half of it was the route we took, with the other half being climbing the rural hills of Nebraska. I had joined him for the first leg, and we took it quite easy - averaging under 15mph. On the way back, the rider joining him bonked very hard, so their average was well under 13mph, probably around 10, giving him a break. Temps weren't as high, but definitely weren't perfect .

    So yes, I do believe that our failures were not in the breaks, but rather the 15 mile hammerfest that we engaged in for one reason or another.
    When I rode 51 miles with "other Neil", we took a very easy ride. We averaged about 9 MPH, and with rest stops, it took nearly 8 hours. Had we thought of it, we both had the energy left to get in a metric. Worse come to worse we could have sung to keep our spirits up as we rode the remaining 12 or so miles. Unfortunately, the only music we both knew was Bach's Brandenburg Concerto #2 and America's "Horse with No Name." So much for that idea.

  15. #15
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdinger
    You know, I wonder about that as well. I made the breakfast be about 500-ish calories, with another 260 worth of Cliff Bar less than an hour later so I figured I was pretty good. However, in retrospect, the Slim-Fast isn't "solid" calories. So I likely would have been better off with a couple bagels, or something along those lines. Being stuffed for the first several miles would just force me to start out slow, after all!
    Careful. Feeling full isn't a good idea. Better an anchor in your butt than in your stomach.

  16. #16
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian
    When I rode 51 miles with "other Neil", we took a very easy ride. We averaged about 9 MPH, and with rest stops, it took nearly 8 hours. Had we thought of it, we both had the energy left to get in a metric. Worse come to worse we could have sung to keep our spirits up as we rode the remaining 12 or so miles. Unfortunately, the only music we both knew was Bach's Brandenburg Concerto #2 and America's "Horse with No Name." So much for that idea.
    hahahah that gave me a great laugh! During the last 2 miles, well at the start there is about a mile long 2-3% grade. You know, enough of a grade that you feel it, but hard to tell the trail is actually going uphill. Well, after 48 miles of abuse rider 3 and I, the two clydes of the group (rider 1 has dropped from clyde to skinny status over the past year) were prodding each other to keep going up the hill. And at some point I had to paraphrase JFK, in a very rousing manner to yell "WE DO THIS NOT BECAUSE IT IS EASY, WE DO THIS BECAUSE IT IS HARD!"

    Of course he and others on the trail looked at me as if I were insane, but hey, it was fun.

    Another odd phenomenon that seems to happen on long group rides, at some point we all start talking about what we're going to eat when we get back. With only culinary delights such as Gatorade and Cliff Bars with us, we spoke of steak, potatoes, pizza, taco bell, and pretty much anything else we could think of.

    Ahh.. group rides, I love 'em!

  17. #17
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdinger
    You know, I think I actually didn't drink ENOUGH, in retrospect. As I didn't pee once during the ride, and finally urinated around 3pm (I was home by 12:30) even thoug I was gulping water at home. Additionally, I had a pretty nagging headache most of the day that finally went away around the time I had a burger and a Rogue Porter in the evening .

    Thanks for the advice. And thanks to everyone for the support! I'm going to give it a shot again, but no idea when. For the next week I need to focus on getting prepped for the MTB race I was stupid... errr.. ambitious enough to sign up for!
    I didn't hydrate properly during my 39 mile ride last week. Missing the first rest stop was a mistake. So was not drinking water during the first ten miles. Many of my lactic acid problems later in the ride are probably related to not hydrating enough.

  18. #18
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdinger
    hahahah that gave me a great laugh! During the last 2 miles, well at the start there is about a mile long 2-3% grade. You know, enough of a grade that you feel it, but hard to tell the trail is actually going uphill. Well, after 48 miles of abuse rider 3 and I, the two clydes of the group (rider 1 has dropped from clyde to skinny status over the past year) were prodding each other to keep going up the hill. And at some point I had to paraphrase JFK, in a very rousing manner to yell "WE DO THIS NOT BECAUSE IT IS EASY, WE DO THIS BECAUSE IT IS HARD!"

    Of course he and others on the trail looked at me as if I were insane, but hey, it was fun.

    Another odd phenomenon that seems to happen on long group rides, at some point we all start talking about what we're going to eat when we get back. With only culinary delights such as Gatorade and Cliff Bars with us, we spoke of steak, potatoes, pizza, taco bell, and pretty much anything else we could think of.

    Ahh.. group rides, I love 'em!
    I'm used to being looked at and judged insane. I've lost 139 pounds without pills or surgery. I'm 41 and ride a bike. My company is filled with fat people who think they're victims. I don't think I'm a victim, so I must be nuts.

  19. #19
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian
    I'm used to being looked at and judged insane. I've lost 139 pounds without pills or surgery. I'm 41 and ride a bike. My company is filled with fat people who think they're victims. I don't think I'm a victim, so I must be nuts.
    Don't I know the feeling! When I rode in during the middle of a thunderstorm last week, I got several "are you crazy!?" comments. Then when I opted to ride the quick three blocks to get a salad during a downpour, one proclaimed me a "fool".

    However, that aside, I'm lucky that a majority are very supportive. At our Christmas party in 2005 I was given a plaque by the president as an award for a "HLC" or "Healthy Life Choice". So while some certainly probably think me insane, the majority are supportive. Every morning/afternoon when I ride into the warehouse to claim my parking space, the warehouse manager likes to yell "ARMSTRONG!"

    But I do know the victim crowd. I had to suppress rolling my eyes recently when I was within earshot of a victim festival by some who claim they will "never" lose weight.

    Guess they just don't have the CLYDE POWER!

  20. #20
    Man, Myth, Legend,Bigfoot chunkyd's Avatar
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    Good work man!!!! and i say the 366 counts!! hahah I'm having a hard time getitng under 370!! its like my body is determined! lol but little does it know it has no choices anymore!

    Great work!

  21. #21
    Air
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    I start screaming out "Booooo-yaaaaaaah" really loudly. It works...sorta

    When I say eat more I'm not saying to have four cheeseburgers before heading out. But I really need some good solid food in my stomach to slowly release energy over a period of time - the liquids don't sustain me for too long.

  22. #22
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chunkyd
    Good work man!!!! and i say the 366 counts!! hahah I'm having a hard time getitng under 370!! its like my body is determined! lol but little does it know it has no choices anymore!

    Great work!
    Plateus are a som*****, I'll tell you that! I was stuck at just over 400 for the longest time, then it just started falling off. Granted, I also wasn't watching what I ate nearly as close as I should have been, but whaddya do?

    Anyway, you'll hit it. And keep rockin' those group rides.. clyde power!

  23. #23
    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    A metric at your size is an extremely impressive effort, imo.

  24. #24
    Air
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    My body may be weird - I have no problems starting and stopping for any length of time. My biggest thing is food in my tummy.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian
    I didn't hydrate properly during my 39 mile ride last week. Missing the first rest stop was a mistake. So was not drinking water during the first ten miles. Many of my lactic acid problems later in the ride are probably related to not hydrating enough.
    Consider getting yourself a Camelbak, this is a small to moderate sized back pack with a bladder inside to hold water, I think they come in capacities up to 3L, there is a tube that runs from the bottom of the bladder to a clip on the shoulder strap, you just stick the end in your mouth, and bite on it, to get water, works great and you tend to drink a lot more, since it's convenient, and you don't need to fumble with bottles. I tend to carry a 2L Camelbak with water, and at least one bottle with Gatorade, for when I need some extra umph, sometimes two. I might also, for really long rides (when I get there again), carry a few plastic zipper bags with Gatorade powder in them, each bag has enough for one bottle, no measuring, and the powder only weighs a few grams, water weighs 1kg per litre, and you need at least 1L per hour. You want to carry enough to get you through, but not enough to weigh you down.

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