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  1. #1
    Senior Member Hill-Pumper's Avatar
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    Are there any Clyde's riding distance out there?

    First of all, I am glad that I found this part of the forum, even though I am at the bottom of the Clyde scale at 5'9", 202 pounds, I feel more comfortable talking to you guys then the rail skinny people. So, my question here is are any of you participating in things like century rides or anything like that. I have always done "sprinter" type sports (football,wrestling, track) when I was younger, just because that was what my stocky body type seem to dictate. Now, I want to try and do more endurance type riding because I think that I would enjoy it more then getting into things like racing at this point in my like. So for those doing the distance riding, what issues have you had, or what kind of preparations did you have to do?
    Last edited by Hill-Pumper; 06-25-08 at 02:07 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Endurance is my thing....I haven't had a good year so far for distance this year since I crashed pretty hard a tad over a month ago. My personal best is 167 in a day though, and that's miles, not KM. I was hoping to do a triple Century this year as well, but the training time I lost as well as residual issues from the crash may have taken that off the table this year.
    Last edited by Tom Stormcrowe; 06-26-08 at 06:07 AM. Reason: correcting a typo
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  3. #3
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    No where close to Tom but I generally do 3 - 4 centuries each year. It's not unusual to do a 50 - 70 mile ride on the weekend. For some reason, like Tom, I have been gifted with endurance. I may not be the fastest rider but I can usually finish. One thing I've learned to do is know my body and what it can and cannot do. I know it can do a century, no problem. But I know I don't do well in heat or humidity. GIve me a dry, 60 degree day and I am good to go forwever!

    My prep? Just get out and ride. Lay down a good base of say at least 60 miles a week. If training for a century I know not to overtrain but just get out and push as hard as I can for 25 - 35 miles and maybe do one longer ride (50 - 60) slow and easy on the weekend. Even though I am big, and can stand to lose weight, I do know nutrition will make or break a distance ride. Know what your body does on supplements and know what your body needs to stay hydrated and running properly. All of this comes with trial and error. There is no set formula. Fig Newtons are my very good friend! My body will tolerant them, and I like the flavor and will eat them (although moderation of course). Doesn't do me any good to have a expensive supplement if I can't gag it down.

    Again the key is to just ride...
    Last edited by Pamestique; 06-25-08 at 11:33 AM.
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  4. #4
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Centuries and metrics are just normal rides for us on the weekends. I try to do at least one longer ride a year. Last year it was RAIN - 160 miles across Indiana in one day. Nice tailwind for 3/4 of the route last year gave me a 19mph average speed!

    Issues? Eat & drink enough to keep fuel in the tank and make sure your bike fits you well.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  5. #5
    Laid back bent rider unixpro's Avatar
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    I do 3 or 4 centuries a year, usually over the summer on long weekends. I don't really prep for them since I do a normal commute of 28 miles/day, which makes 140 miles/week.

    All my centuries are unsupported; I usually decide a day or two in advance that I'm going to do one the upcoming weekend. When I ride a century I usually carry all the same gear on the bike I do when I'm commuting, but instead of clothes and a towel, I'll carry extra hydration (cherry kool-aid, water, and usually an energy drink or two), some food (I usually take bananas and a couple of PB&J sandwiches). I make sure my cell phone is fully charged and let my wife know the basic route I'll be taking.

    I'm generally not super fast, because for me it's more about enjoying the ride and seeing the scenery, but I've never failed to finish. The easy part is the second 50 miles, since you've already ridden out and *have* to ride the rest to get back home . It is on those rides that I wish I didn't live on top of a hill, though.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Centuries? No problem. Double metrics? No problem. Triple metric? Maybe. Double century? Have no desire. For the past two months, I was doing a century each weekend, and usually with a substantial amount of climbing (9,000' plus each). Once you do one, they become easier. I'm at the point where I can rattle off a flat-ish century anytime I want (as I do about 8-10,000 miles a year).

    The secret is to gradually build up to the distance. Increase your single-ride distance about 10% each time. By the time you do a century or longer, you've already done 80-90 miles before, so the 100 is really no big deal.

    Once you do this, you'll learn the answers to some of the other issues:

    Hydration & nutrition
    What works for you? What upsets your stomach? How long can you ride before you should eat? How often should you drink?
    Equipment
    Is your bike in good shape? Quality components? Do you need a new, more comfortable saddle for longer rides?
    Clothing
    Are you comfortable in your shorts/jersey? Do you have a good pad? Maybe one pair of shorts is better for shorter rides (I have a pair just like this). Are your gloves tolerable for long days on the bars? Helmet fit okay or annoy? TIP: always wear glasses on longer rides, sun or other!
    Pace/Speed
    How fast can you go before you'll bonk?
    Terrain
    How do you do on hills? How much elevation gain an you handle? A 100-mile ride with 3,000-feet of climbing is alot different than 100-miles with 10,000-feet of climbing!
    Groups or Solo?
    Riding a century is almost always easier when with other people than by yourself. Can you handle group-riding skill basics? Or are you dangerous to be around?

    These are just a few issues. You'll really learn much more by doing than listening here, and find new issues for you that haven't been addressed.

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  7. #7
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
    Pace/Speed
    How fast can you go before you'll bonk?
    Perhaps this could be stated differently. The point is not to ride until, or just before you bonk, the point is to remain fueled up so that you don't bonk at all. So perhaps it would be phrased better as "How often do you need to eat/drink to maintain your desired pace and effort".
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  8. #8
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    I also prefer endurance type riding, but don't do as many centuries as some here. Everyone has their priorities, and mine only allow for about four 3+ hour rides per week for training. My favorite thing is to head up into the foothills near town, slog my big butt up a canyon for a couple of hours, and bomb down the other side going 40+ mph. Whoosh. What a pay-off!

    The best advice for a clyde or near-clyde is to take it slow-ish when adding distance or time. The old addage of adding no more than 10% per week sounds about right. Pay attention to your body, and don't be afraid to back off and incorporate a couple of extra rest days as needed. If you bonk, rest the next day, and do flat-land recovery speed-rides for the next couple of rides. If I do that, I come back even stronger the week following a bonk. Your body adapts, if you let it heal-up and repair. Having said that, from late May until first frost, I try to at least put in three rides of 3-4 hours per week, and one 4-5 hour ride per week, and only one complete rest day per week. If I'm overtrained or injured, then I ride the same amount of time at a much slower speed on some days.

    I guess you could say that my motto is to RIDE HARD at least 3 times, RIDE EASY at least one day, and take at least one full rest day per week. I like to push it to the point of near-failure 2-3 times per week. But then I also make sure to get plenty of sleep and rest on days between those efforts. I also tend to alternate my training weekly between hills, fast-cadence and sprinting intervals, and rides that make you do a little bit of everything (rolling hills, with some steep sections for climbing and descending, and some longer flat sections to work on speed and pedaling technique). Mixing it up can help to prevent injuries too.

    One way to add some distance a little bit faster, is to split your rides between early morning and the afternoons. I started doing this, because it was difficult for me to find 5-7 hour blocks of time for my longer weekly rides leading up to something like a charity ride. It was a lot easier to find a couple of 3.5+ hour blocks of time on the same day. My body also got used to the total distance for that day faster and with fewer niggling injuries, than when I did 5+ hour continuous rides.

    As stated by others, you also have to experiment with your water and food. What they said holds true. Be sure to stretch a lot too. ITB and other chronic ligament/muscle issues that you sometimes don't notice until you have a real problem, can ruin a riding season.

    Have fun out there!

  9. #9
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    Perhaps this could be stated differently. The point is not to ride until, or just before you bonk, the point is to remain fueled up so that you don't bonk at all. So perhaps it would be phrased better as "How often do you need to eat/drink to maintain your desired pace and effort".
    Good point.

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  10. #10
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    Used to do the Davis double 200 miles every year, and several centurys until 3 years ago. I shattered by Scapula 3 years ago snow skiing ,now I get extreme pain after a couple hours. My advice is on longer rides eat every hour drink before you get thirsty. On shorted rides 50 or 60 milers all I would use one Hammer Gel and 2 water bottles of Gatorade. Works for me. 6ft 3in 210 58 years old.

  11. #11
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hill-Pumper View Post
    Fist of all, I am glad that I found this part of the forum, even though I am at the bottom of the Clyde scale at 5'9", 202 pounds, I feel more comfortable talking to you guys then the rail skinny people. So, my question here is are any of you participating in things like century rides or anything like that. I have always done "sprinter" type sports (football,wrestling, track) when I was younger, just because that was what my stocky body type seem to dictate. Now, I want to try and do more endurance type riding because I think that I would enjoy it more then getting into things like racing at this point in my like. So for those doing the distance riding, what issues have you had, or what kind of preparations did you have to do?
    Learn how to ride without stopping.
    Eat and drink while riding.
    Stand Up to pedal in a high gear. Increases blood flow to back, leggs, butt.
    I rode a Hilly Century three months ago. 42 miles befrore stop one. Another 42 miles before two
    Last week The Indy 500 Track. 33 miles for stop one. 66 miles for stop two.
    Takes practice.

  12. #12
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    I've got 2 metrics, 3 imperials, and a double metric under my (rather substantial) belt for this year. I'm riding a double century (204mi) in a few weeks, and I'll have at least 3 more centuries after that before the year is out. I'm building myself up to a 400km or two next year, and eventually a 600km.

    The issues:

    Conditioning... You've got to have the base miles in before doing the distance. A good measure for increasing endurance is not to up your mileage by more than 10 - 15% for a long distance. (I've found that 25% can be acceptable if you watch your pace.

    Nutrition... Hydration and calories. Make sure that you're hydrated, that you keep your electrolyte levels up (NUUN, Endurolytes, Accelerade, etc.) Make sure that you're getting 200-300cal/hr going in, and that it's not something that upsets your stomach or sickens your tastebuds. Sure, it's easy to calculate 300 cal/hr on Clif Bars and Accel Gels, but will you still want to eat them after 5 hours of nothing but? How about after 10 hours... or 20? It's good to know some variety of what you can and cannot eat during a ride so you can switch things up. I'm happy with bars/gels/liquid calories for about 8 hours right now.

    Pace... You will feel like you're crawling if you're used to hammering out 30 - 40 miles at 18mph and you suddenly switch to a 14mph pace to grind out a century. Let it go. Don't let yourself get caught up in a faster group than you can hang with for the full distance you're planning on, or you'll burn out early and be in bad shape for your last 15 - 20 miles. (I've done this. It sucks.) Tortise and the Hare, man. Slow and steady. (RAAM riders don't do much more than 13-14mph average. They just do that for 20 hours a day, for 9 straight days.)

    Equipment... Spring the extra bucks and get a bike fitting from a shop you trust. Even better if they do a specialized fit for long/ultra distance. Look for a shop that deals with randonneuring gear, or ask the local rando's who they go to. Make certain that your saddle is comfortable. Spend the extra money on a good pair of shorts/bibs, and nice gloves. Consider moving your cleats back further on your shoes. Don't carry unnecessary weight; racks, panniers, trunks, etc. are for touring. Long distance riding is better accomplished with a small handlebar bag or a large seat wedge (if it's a supported ride) or a front rack-mounted bag (like a Berthoud or Ostrich) and a large seat bag (like Carradice makes) for multi-day trips where you might need to bivvy for a night somewhere.

  13. #13
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I've ridden a couple of metric centuries. I do okay as long as it's not too hilly and I don't need to go too fast.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  14. #14
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I haven't done anywhere close enough to give you sound definite advice. What I have done, is make sure that I have eaten properly the day before and then I hydrate well before I get on the bike and I keep hydrated thoughout the entire 100 miles. For 40 miles I usually just start with a banana at the beginning of the ride and take one water bottle with me.

    Over 40 miles I would need more food and more drink, but I can easily do the 40 mile route in my area with just the starting energy and the water as I have done it many times before.
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  15. #15
    "Fred"--is that bad? DTSCDS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hill-Pumper View Post
    First of all, I am glad that I found this part of the forum,
    Welcome!!! Glad you're here!
    I have decided that even if I drop below 200 I will always hang out here. Just a great group of friendly and supportive folks!

    Now, I want to try and do more endurance type riding because I think that I would enjoy it more then getting into things like racing at this point in my like.
    I always knew that I would never make it in any competitive sport that required speed. I'm "sneaky slow"--you don't think I am as slow as I seem, but I really am!

    I am in the same boat with you. I am wanting to increase my distances--even if my average speed never increases much. The wife and I really enjoy the charity ride scene. We just did a 30 miler last weekend here in the area. There are two more coming up next month that we are looking into and hope to do more miles on those. This is all leading up to a ride the last weekend in Sept that will be a century on day one and then 50-70 on day 2. It's fully supported and lots of chances to SAG out if we must--I am dead set against the idea of sagging out but I never say never!

    It feels great to be able to do physically demanding stuff and I figure that is what is going to keep me going long-term and avoid ever going back to 400+ pounds.

    Take it easy, take it at your own pace and listen to your body. You'll do fine.
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  16. #16
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Hey Hill-Pumper, you should check out the long-distance forum and read the wealth of information there. The randonneurs and ultradistance racers, although two totally different styles of distance riding, have got this kind of thing tuned to an art.

  17. #17
    Senior Member DanteB's Avatar
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    So far this year I've done 3 double centries and I don't know how many centuries, 5-6. Saturday I'm doing the Grand Tour Highland Triple Centruy. I hope to have it done in under 21 hours overall, 18.5 on the bike. It has close to 14,000' of climbing for the day. I start training in December for this ride with the centuries and doubles being training rides. The big thing is hydration and nutrition, you have to stay on top of it. Once you get behind you're in trouble. But, I can overeat and feel just as bad. The weather plays a major role in the ride also. If it gets hot during the ride you need to slow down to keep from overheating and dehydrating. It just takes time to learn what works (drinks and food) the best for you. Good Luck!
    Make mine a double!

  18. #18
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Back in 2005 I did 23 centuries at 220 lbs. Previous years I had about 2 per year. After learning how to fuel one's self on a ride, you can pop off a century no problem.

    Only problem I had was stock Bontrager wheels didn't last over a few months!

    A sandwich at mile 65'ish is a must. It's the differene between sprinting and trying to survive at mile 90.
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 06-25-08 at 07:05 PM.

  19. #19
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    Everybody in this picture finished. Eddie (on the left) only did the 66. The rest of us did the century. I'm second from the right.

    As others have said, just build up to it. I averaged 15+ mph on this one, which is my best so far. Next time maybe 17-18.
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  20. #20
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    A sandwich at mile 65'ish is a must. It's the differene between sprinting and trying to survive at mile 90.
    What do you have for a sandwich? That far into a ride is it provided or do you make your own and keep it cool until you are ready to eat?

    I usually eat half of a clif bar about ever 10 to 15 miles if I am going to do a century. I try to keep fueled as I go along.
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  21. #21
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flip18436572 View Post
    What do you have for a sandwich? That far into a ride is it provided or do you make your own and keep it cool until you are ready to eat?

    I usually eat half of a clif bar about ever 10 to 15 miles if I am going to do a century. I try to keep fueled as I go along.

    Well, on a couple of organized centuries, sangwiches were offered. One is a 10k climber, turkey sangwiches were served. I liked 'em so I try to eat one when available. On another 12k climber, it was P&J. Oh that was really good!

    So on an unorganized ride, I or we will try to find a sangwich shop or deli. A couple of times I went with a friend that rec'd blueberry muffins. I'd much rather have a sangwich though! On a flat century, I can get away with a Clifbarr at about mile 40, then 70 and some Gatorade powder.

  22. #22
    Grizzled Curmudgeon keithm0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    After learning how to fuel one's self on a ride, you can pop off a century no problem.
    For me, this is indeed the key. Learning what, how much, and how often to eat during a long ride makes the difference between finishing and bonking (hard).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    A sandwich at mile 65'ish is a must. It's the differene between sprinting and trying to survive at mile 90.
    Also good advice, although for me the fuel of choice is pasta salad.

  23. #23
    Everybody relax, I'm here haenous's Avatar
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    start slow, increase gradually...rode 57 miles last weekend, doing a metric this weekend, doing the hotter n' hell hundred century Saturday Aug. 23, 2008 and the dam jam century september 6th.
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  24. #24
    2nd Century TBD AirBeagle1's Avatar
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    I started out in the Clyde category, and am now just a bit below it (~194 lbs) -- and with the support of folks here, did my first century a few weeks ago. Training log is available at the blog link below, but the short version is to just keep riding and SLOWLY increase mileage, as so many others have said!

  25. #25
    Senior Member gforeman's Avatar
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    Wow, you guys make me feel like a toddler. I just started seriously riding about a month ago. Two bad knees, Dr. said no more jogging. I do 10 miles every night, except I do 20 miles on weekend days. I might miss a night in there if the weeather sucks.

    I hope I can get to your mileage. My rides are almost no flat land, it's always up and down. I only average 14 Mph. This is on my new Trek, on the old Mtn bike, I could barely average 10 Mph.

    I'm 5'11" 235, 51 years old, but 7 years ago, I was at 320 lbs.

    I do miss my jogging, but sometimes you have to make changes.
    Gary F.


    2015 Specialized Roubaix SL4 Expert
    2012 Specialized Crux Disc
    My bike page: http://www.gwfweb.com/bicycles
    Build a bike stand! http://www.gwfweb.com/bicycles/stands.html

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