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  1. #1
    Senior Member mr,grumpy's Avatar
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    The 12 Mile Mental Block

    For whatever reason, I can not get past the 12 mile mark. I do the same rout and that's it. I get it in my head that if I go farther from home "something will happen" and I won't get back. I can't get up the hills on my route (OK, it's just ONE hill but it's been kicking my but for two years now: I'm pretty sure that I have myself psyched out about it). I don't like my route. It's too narrow and high-speed (cars) and the pavement is rough in spots. There aren't really any better solutions though. Only longer ones!

    I'm going on my first "group" ride this week end. My buddy Newt is coming up to ride with me. This guy's bike cost more than my car. If he farts he goes more than 12 miles on that thing! I'm a nervous nelly. I would LOVE to be able to knock out 40 mile rides. I would love to hook up with a local recreational cycle club. As it is, I am the 12 Mile Man.
    "I'm built like a marine mammal. I love the cold! "-Cosmoline
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  2. #2
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Why not pick out a point to point route that is 15 miles long. Have a friend drop you off 15 miles from your home and you pedal the rest of the way there. That way the further you push, the closer you get to home and into your comfort zone.

    You can do it

  3. #3
    Runaway Breadtruck
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    are you north or south of the city? If north, there is a bike trail you can pick up in ayer that takes all the road and triffic problem away, so you can ride in peace. There are plenty of people on the trail so if something does happen, you will have help in minutes. Ride the length until you are tired, then turn around and ride back. If you go full length, you will get to nashua nh, and that will be a 20+ mile round trip. Its also almost completely flat and paved.

    I'm sure there are other paths about, but thats that only one anywhere around boston that I am aware of. and its not all that close to boston, but still worth the quick trip to get to it.

  4. #4
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    I think a change of scenery is what you need - and maybe alittle change of attitude! I know ouside the City there are lots of lovely places to ride (come on nice thing about where you live - 2 hours out its all country!). Drive up and do something new. One of the things I love best about cycling is exploring new trails and roads. Don't make the ride about mileage; make it about being out and enjoying yourself and just tackling what comes your way.

    I am alittle concerned about a hill you dread. Being "fluffy" myself hills are tough but I don't dread them. I think of them as a natural way I get slowed down on the bike so I can look around, enjoy the sites and take a rest. Yes I said rest! On the flats I boogie; push myself hard; no excuses. I look for hills to cruise up slowly and take a breather (probably why I love mountain biking - cruise up a mountain but bomb away down hill as fast and hard as possible!). Sounds weird but if you do just that you will get my drift.

    I like Bautieri's suggestions - have someone drop you off and you have no excuse to ride farther. But if there seems unreasonable, then just vary your regular route (BTW I hate doing regular routes - I like variety!) and change it up a little. Add another block in - so instead of 12 miles you go 12.5... little steps lead to great leaps.

    And ENJOY YOURSELF - change of attitude!
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  5. #5
    Descends like a rock pallen's Avatar
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    Riding with a friend may be just the trick. You get talking and next thing you know, you've gone 20...

  6. #6
    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
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    I agree with pallen.

    Ridding with a friend and maybe a new route will do the trick.
    That and a small piece of tape over your bike computer, so you can't look at it and know how far you have gone.

    Don't worry, everyone has mental tough spots that they have to overcome.
    Just go have fun!
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr,grumpy View Post
    For whatever reason, I can not get past the 12 mile mark. I do the same rout and that's it. I get it in my head that if I go farther from home "something will happen" and I won't get back. I can't get up the hills on my route (OK, it's just ONE hill but it's been kicking my but for two years now: I'm pretty sure that I have myself psyched out about it). I don't like my route. It's too narrow and high-speed (cars) and the pavement is rough in spots. There aren't really any better solutions though. Only longer ones!

    I'm going on my first "group" ride this week end. My buddy Newt is coming up to ride with me. This guy's bike cost more than my car. If he farts he goes more than 12 miles on that thing! I'm a nervous nelly. I would LOVE to be able to knock out 40 mile rides. I would love to hook up with a local recreational cycle club. As it is, I am the 12 Mile Man.
    Turn your computer off. Ride for a while on a different route than the one you always ride. After an hour or so, turn your computer on and see how far you've ridden.

  8. #8
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr,grumpy View Post
    For whatever reason, I can not get past the 12 mile mark. I do the same rout and that's it. I get it in my head that if I go farther from home "something will happen" and I won't get back. I can't get up the hills on my route (OK, it's just ONE hill but it's been kicking my but for two years now: I'm pretty sure that I have myself psyched out about it). I don't like my route. It's too narrow and high-speed (cars) and the pavement is rough in spots. There aren't really any better solutions though. Only longer ones!

    I'm going on my first "group" ride this week end. My buddy Newt is coming up to ride with me. This guy's bike cost more than my car. If he farts he goes more than 12 miles on that thing! I'm a nervous nelly. I would LOVE to be able to knock out 40 mile rides. I would love to hook up with a local recreational cycle club. As it is, I am the 12 Mile Man.
    If you live in a city can you find routes that take you out and around a bit further before coming back? If you're doing 6 miles out and 6 miles back and afraid to increase that to, say, 10 miles out and 10 miles back, can you do a route that's 6 miles out, 6 miles around and then 6 miles back? At a stroke you've got a route that's up to 18 miles but you're never further than 6 miles from home. Or plan a route that goes near public transport stops so if you get into trouble you can use a bus or train to get home?

    If you have got public transport options near home plan a route that runs for, say, 20 miles and stops at a railway station so you can get on the train and go back home. Then once you've passed 10 miles you're half way there, so with each turn of the pedals you're closer to your destination just in case anything does go wrong.

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    Ride your route, then after you get back ride another couple miles.

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    I have horrid "bike lanes" by my as well and for that reason I stay off the street, I get very nervous and it puts me off from riding...I found a nice path...it's only about 6.5 miles around but each time back and forth I see new people so it keeps me going

    Try a new route and riding with someone if possible!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr,grumpy View Post
    For whatever reason, I can not get past the 12 mile mark. I do the same rout and that's it. I get it in my head that if I go farther from home "something will happen" and I won't get back. I can't get up the hills on my route (OK, it's just ONE hill but it's been kicking my but for two years now: I'm pretty sure that I have myself psyched out about it). I don't like my route. It's too narrow and high-speed (cars) and the pavement is rough in spots. There aren't really any better solutions though. Only longer ones!

    I'm going on my first "group" ride this week end. My buddy Newt is coming up to ride with me. This guy's bike cost more than my car. If he farts he goes more than 12 miles on that thing! I'm a nervous nelly. I would LOVE to be able to knock out 40 mile rides. I would love to hook up with a local recreational cycle club. As it is, I am the 12 Mile Man.
    Hrm...I can understand the fear of traffic, took me a month to get past that. I would suggest reading http://bicyclesafe.com/ as it helped me a lot once I know what I'm dealing with. Once I understood what I'm facing, it just isn't scary anymore.

    As far as that hill is concerned, you just need to get stronger. Do some hill repeats on the weekends...Here's a good video to start you off: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBrWyCVOwOY

    Stick with it and before you know it, that hill is but a bump in your route...And you'll be riding farther than before.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr,grumpy View Post
    For whatever reason, I can not get past the 12 mile mark. I do the same rout and that's it. I get it in my head that if I go farther from home "something will happen" and I won't get back. I can't get up the hills on my route (OK, it's just ONE hill but it's been kicking my but for two years now: I'm pretty sure that I have myself psyched out about it). I don't like my route. It's too narrow and high-speed (cars) and the pavement is rough in spots. There aren't really any better solutions though. Only longer ones!

    I'm going on my first "group" ride this week end. My buddy Newt is coming up to ride with me. This guy's bike cost more than my car. If he farts he goes more than 12 miles on that thing! I'm a nervous nelly. I would LOVE to be able to knock out 40 mile rides. I would love to hook up with a local recreational cycle club. As it is, I am the 12 Mile Man.

    What kind of gearing do you have on the bike? If it goes low enough you should be able to get up the hill with no problem, and then work on doing it over and over, increasing the gears when it gets too easy.

    That's how I tackle hills at least.

  13. #13
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    Don't let that hill get you any longer!

    What I did with the hill in my comute is try to make it further up each time before I have to get off my bike.

  14. #14
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr,grumpy View Post
    For whatever reason, I can not get past the 12 mile mark. I do the same rout and that's it. I get it in my head that if I go farther from home "something will happen" and I won't get back. I can't get up the hills on my route (OK, it's just ONE hill but it's been kicking my but for two years now: I'm pretty sure that I have myself psyched out about it). I don't like my route. It's too narrow and high-speed (cars) and the pavement is rough in spots. There aren't really any better solutions though. Only longer ones!

    I'm going on my first "group" ride this week end. My buddy Newt is coming up to ride with me. This guy's bike cost more than my car. If he farts he goes more than 12 miles on that thing! I'm a nervous nelly. I would LOVE to be able to knock out 40 mile rides. I would love to hook up with a local recreational cycle club. As it is, I am the 12 Mile Man.
    How do you know that you are riding 12 miles?

    I see, you are looking at your computer (answering my own question )

    Well, don't take your computer next time. Ride a different route and just push.

    If you can do 12, you can do 15, if you can 15 you can do 20...and so on and so forth.

    You are going to be fine, just ignore your head, tell your brain to shut up and keep on going. I just rode a little over 700 miles this month - and I still have one more week of riding. (I rode almost 600 miles in June.) I am a diabetic who could not go more than 10 miles at a time for fear that "something bad" ws going to happen.

    Like I said, stop listening to your brain and you will be fine.

    Cheers!
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  15. #15
    Senior Member LarryMelman's Avatar
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    Do your 12 miles.
    Then turn around and start doing it again.
    Doesn't seem like much of a problem.
    If you've been riding 2 years and still can't/won't go more than 12 miles, are you really trying?
    If traffic and safety is a concern, find a new route.

  16. #16
    Senior Member mr,grumpy's Avatar
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    Ok. Thank you guys for some good suggestions. I can't believe how INSIDE the box I was thinking on this one! And yes, after two years of riding when I can I am only qt twelve miles. When I getting to the point where I can NAIL that one route i peter out. It's a full-on block for me. I'm going to break it this week! Thanks again for the support and suggestions.
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  17. #17
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigtasty View Post
    Don't let that hill get you any longer!

    What I did with the hill in my comute is try to make it further up each time before I have to get off my bike.
    Exactly what I'd suggest. Each time you can hope to make it a little further until the first time you suddenly realise you're at the top already. Then before you know it you'll be choosing to end a ride with a run up the previously impassable hill just to get a bit more exercise.

  18. #18
    Senior Member jboyd's Avatar
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    +1 Everything that Pamestique said.

    I had the same problem years ago. It never ceases to amaze me how hung up people get with "miles". Two years ago, I stopped even looking at my computer. other than time and temp, i couldn't give a rats arse.

    I completely agree with Pam also on the idea of taking your bike and going somewhere besides your neighborhood. You will be amazed when you stop being route dependent, how your riding will change.

    My wife likes to go to yard sales and book stores on Saturday mornings in a small city in a neighboring state (about 30 minutes away). I used to load the bike and go with her. When we got to the town, i would drop off and start riding the streets and local county roads of this new area. We would agree to meet in a couple hours at Bob Evans for breakfast. I never looked at my computer, instead I would just ride everywhere. No route, just an understanding that I end up in front of an omlet It never failed that I would end up with 25 - 30 miles and all I did was cruse, climb and glide.

    Good luck man.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member mr,grumpy's Avatar
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    Well, I did it last night. I went out on the 820 (no computer) and just rode till I had had it: no pre-determined route. I rode harder terrain than I normally would have but at the end of the ride I went back and mapped it out. six and a half miles! Really? I suck.
    "I'm built like a marine mammal. I love the cold! "-Cosmoline
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  20. #20
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    if you dont mind me asking... what kind of shape are you in? If I understand correctly, you have been riding for years, you own 4 bikes and had three others, and after years of practice you are at 12 miles max, and when you free-form it you do half that.

    how often do you ride?

    I'm beginning to think you either need to go out a lot more frequently to build up your endurance, or its a complete mental issue, in which case a previous posters idea of having somebody drive you to 15 miles away from your house and then you HAVE to ride more then 12 to get home.

    If you want, come on up to nashua and I'll ride the rail-trail with you. Nice and relaxed and a great view.

  21. #21
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr,grumpy View Post
    Well, I did it last night. I went out on the 820 (no computer) and just rode till I had had it: no pre-determined route. I rode harder terrain than I normally would have but at the end of the ride I went back and mapped it out. six and a half miles! Really? I suck.
    Change of poor attitude needed!

    Instead of "I suck" it should be "wow that was interesting. I did something new and I can't wait to get back out there and explore some more!"

    I think you are defeating yourself before you even start.

    I have days where I think I've ridden a long way and its not. Doesn't matter the point is I got out and rode. I also alternate between road and trail so 40 miles on road is usually easier to me than 15 miles on trail; it doesn't have the same expectation. Give yourself credit for varying up the route and engaging in tougher terrain.

    So next time instead of distance, ride for time. You know you need to do at least an hour should ride 1 1/2 hours somewhere even if it is your same route and a half. Next time shoot for two hours. Just ride and when it gets easier, ride harder. Once that gets easier, ride for 3 hours... you get it, It's a gradual process with little changes and pushes along the way.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Great suggestions in this thread. The two things I do is to go one direction half of the distance I am reaching for then I have to ride back. The other used to be to ride until I got tired then turn around.

    I like the suggestion that someone drive you to a drop off point then the more you ride the closer to home you are. That also works on the "ride x miles away from home then turn around".

  23. #23
    Senior Member mr,grumpy's Avatar
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    Yes! To all of it. It is a huge mental block thing. I will ride that same loop Untill i can smoke it and then I Peter off until that is a challenge again. I totally need to get out of that loop though. As I sit here and think about it I have ridden WAY longer on bike trails than 12 miles bit they are of course mostly flat

    Getting out and randomly riding was a VERY good step in breaking this cycle. I was just quite suprized that the distance turned out to be so small.

    I think that i would like to take you up on you offer Haff. Having some one to ride with amd a new place to ride are just the things to kick ms in the right direction!
    "I'm built like a marine mammal. I love the cold! "-Cosmoline
    "MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging."-ColinL
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    2010 Specialized Tricross (Back in Black)


    My little bike blog.

  24. #24
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr,grumpy View Post
    Yes! To all of it. It is a huge mental block thing. I will ride that same loop Untill i can smoke it and then I Peter off until that is a challenge again. I totally need to get out of that loop though. As I sit here and think about it I have ridden WAY longer on bike trails than 12 miles bit they are of course mostly flat

    Getting out and randomly riding was a VERY good step in breaking this cycle. I was just quite suprized that the distance turned out to be so small.

    I think that i would like to take you up on you offer Haff. Having some one to ride with amd a new place to ride are just the things to kick ms in the right direction!
    As I always say, some days you're the pigeon and some days you're the statue.

    If you have a day where you feel like you've worked hard and ridden for miles only to find you "only" did 6 miles, what of it? If you worked hard for those 6 miles you had a workout and probably did yourself more good than if you just turned the pedals without expending much effort but covered 20 miles.

    If you've got the budget, get yourself a GPS that supports maps, then get a map of your local area to put in the GPS. Now pick a time when you're going to just cycle and see where you end up. Take off on the bike without letting the GPS display how far you've gone, and just keep going. Look at all the new places you're passing through, and keep turning the pedals. Make sure you're heading in the same direction all the time (obviously taking into account where the roads go), so that if you're heading southwest you keep going essentially south and west for an hour or so. Then if you're ready to head for home turn around and head essentially north and east, using the GPS to navigate you home if needs be. If you've still got energy to keep going then head north and west, then north and east, then south and east.

    Use something like Google Maps to figure out a route and map something out that will take in 20 miles but in a big circle so that if anything does happen you're never more than 6-7 miles from home. Then plan some extra loops you can add on to your circle so that if you get there and you've still got surplus energy you can ride a bit further. Then when you're heading for home take the long way home. It's surprising how easy it can be to just add a few miles here and a few miles there.

  25. #25
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    I'm having some trouble getting my head round your problem, I must admit. I'm used to riding big distances alone and I struggle to empathise with a fear of going more than a few miles from home. But it's clearly a real problem for you, so I'd strongly suggest you find someone to ride with, and go out with them for a whole morning or afternoon. Having someone with you will surely help with the "something might happen" mentality and break the cycle. (pun intended)
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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