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  1. #1
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    Tips For First Long Ride?

    Hello, all.

    I'm riding five days a week, ten miles a day and I'm feeling great. Down 20 pounds and the rides are getting easier. I'm still trying to find my groove with regard to cadence and such, but I'm learning as I go.

    I have registered for my first long ride (long for me, anyhow): The Amish Classic in Lancaster County, PA. It's a 23-mile ride. My primary goal is to finish, even if it's dead last.

    My question: How should I prepare for this ride in the day or two before the event? I was thinking that I should probably not do my usual ten-mile the day before to rest up, but should I stay off the bike altogether the day before? Is there a meal (or sort of meal) that I could eat for dinner the night before that will benefit me on the day of the ride?

    I know these are rookie questions. Please be gentle.

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    You can do it, just by showing up.
    Have fun.
    Last edited by 10 Wheels; 08-11-11 at 02:58 PM.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  3. #3
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Don't worry about where you finish - no one is keeping score; it's not a race. Just have fun, ride at your own pace, enjoy the scenery and people, take all the breaks you want.
    Craig in Indy

  4. #4
    Senior Member jdswitters's Avatar
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    5 days a week, ten miles a day. You are going to kick butt on that 23-miler.

    I remember being a little worried before my first 20 mile trip after only commuting 6 miles a day for a few months. Twenty miles went by too fast, had lots of fun.
    Torker Graduate, 288 rods a day without pub detours.

  5. #5
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Bring a camera with you. Take some pics to share.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  6. #6
    Senior Member McCallum's Avatar
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    At 100 miles a week you will do it. If you can build a bit more miles onto your current ride like to fifteen a couple of days a week; that way the day of the ride you are only going 8 miles more than your longest ride. I did a 100 miles in one day traiining 12-15 a day 4 or 5 days a week and one day 20 to 25 miles. The thing to remember is that most rides are nothing more than a number of 10-12 mile rides back to back to back. At rest stops get off the bike and walk around for a few moments; eat something and start riding again. Also do it with a firend; the team work helps; 80 or that 100 was with my wife.

  7. #7
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Make sure you are well hydrated before starting the ride and drink plenty during the ride. You'll be done before you know it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    23 miles will be easy at your current riding level. Is there a 40 or 50 mile option? Try adding one longer ride a week to your current training. If you are doing an hour a day, then do a 2 or 3 hour ride on sunday and see how you feel.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Agreed with all the above. I started cycling again at the end of May, and signed up for a 22 mile charity ride at the end of June after my first week of cycling. At the time I felt 22 miles was impossibly long so I was worried I wouldn't be able to do it.

    By the time the ride rolled around, I was already able to do 35 miles in a single ride, and I regretted signing up for only the 22.

    Once you have a base, something like 5x10 miles a week, 23 is no problem whatsoever. You don't have to do anything different, except avoid going all-out for the first half.

  10. #10
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    What about his question about the day or two before the ride? Should he ride? Take the day off? And how about his question about eating the day before? I would assume that you would eat what you regularly would eat, yes?
    Every living thing is a GMO.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    What about his question about the day or two before the ride? Should he ride? Take the day off? And how about his question about eating the day before? I would assume that you would eat what you regularly would eat, yes?
    I don't think it matters for 23 miles. When I did my 22 ride I did 30 the night before and actually did better in the 22 than I usually did at that point. I blame the competitive spirit

    As for eating; go for complex carbs the night before. Pasta is good. Hydrate for 24 hours more than you normally would as well, but that goes for any longer ride.

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    quart: when is the ride? I would love to join ya. I love that area.

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    tips:

    - check the bike over the day before the ride.
    - pack the day before
    - have some snacks and water bottle ready to rock
    - clean clothes.

  14. #14
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    stay off the bike 48 hours prior. you'll be amazed at how good you'll feel. you can certainly do some walking though
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    You'll do fine.

    I had a similar experience with the Ille de Montreal which is 33 miles. The energy from the group is contagious and will carry you much of the way.

    I recommend tapering before the ride. The day the ride staying off the bike is good. If you must ride, make sure it is very short and gentle.

    Tell us how you do.

    MongoEric

  16. #16
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuartzPoet View Post
    My question: How should I prepare for this ride in the day or two before the event? I was thinking that I should probably not do my usual ten-mile the day before to rest up, but should I stay off the bike altogether the day before?
    Staying off the bike before a ride is actually very counterproductive. Seems like it would be a good way to rest your legs up, but it's like they atrophy the moment you get off the bike, and then when you get back on, they freak out a little. "What's this? But we gave that up! No!!!!"

    If you're doing 50 miles a week, you can do two or three laps on this course. It seems like a big ride, but you'll be fine.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  17. #17
    Senior Member jmeissner's Avatar
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    I would still want to ride the couple of days before a big ride but just take it easy - don't try and set any time records just an easy spin.

    Although I agree with the other comments that this isn't really a big ride for your weekly mileage.
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  18. #18
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuartzPoet View Post
    Hello, all.

    I'm riding five days a week, ten miles a day and I'm feeling great. Down 20 pounds and the rides are getting easier. I'm still trying to find my groove with regard to cadence and such, but I'm learning as I go.

    I have registered for my first long ride (long for me, anyhow): The Amish Classic in Lancaster County, PA. It's a 23-mile ride. My primary goal is to finish, even if it's dead last.

    My question: How should I prepare for this ride in the day or two before the event? I was thinking that I should probably not do my usual ten-mile the day before to rest up, but should I stay off the bike altogether the day before? Is there a meal (or sort of meal) that I could eat for dinner the night before that will benefit me on the day of the ride?

    I know these are rookie questions. Please be gentle.
    My posse wants me to ride in this, so I'll be there too. Wanna ride with us at the start?

  19. #19
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuartzPoet View Post
    Hello, all.

    I'm riding five days a week, ten miles a day and I'm feeling great. Down 20 pounds and the rides are getting easier. I'm still trying to find my groove with regard to cadence and such, but I'm learning as I go.

    I have registered for my first long ride (long for me, anyhow): The Amish Classic in Lancaster County, PA. It's a 23-mile ride. My primary goal is to finish, even if it's dead last.

    My question: How should I prepare for this ride in the day or two before the event? I was thinking that I should probably not do my usual ten-mile the day before to rest up, but should I stay off the bike altogether the day before? Is there a meal (or sort of meal) that I could eat for dinner the night before that will benefit me on the day of the ride?

    I know these are rookie questions. Please be gentle.
    If you're doing ten miles every day as a matter of routine there's no reason why you shouldn't do 23 miles. It looks like a big number to cover but if you think of it as doing your daily ride and then doing it again it shouldn't seem quite as daunting.

    I know this sounds desperately simplistic but fundamentally all there is to doing the 23 miles is to keep the pedals turning. Much like you already do for ten miles, but keeping them turning for longer. Expect it to take a bit more than twice as long as your 10-mile rides. If you need to stop and take a rest, take a rest. You could possibly do the 23 miles in a single stretch, or break it into two stints of 12 miles, or three stints of 8 miles, or four stints of six miles, or whatever.

    If you said you struggled to cover two miles without feeling like you wanted to collapse then I'd be concerned, but if you can do 10 miles every day you can do 23 in a day.

  20. #20
    Getting older and slower!
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    Good advice here. Most people can comfortably ride 40% further in an organized ride than they do on a solo ride.

    The week before, concentrate on eating complex carbs.

    Hydrate the day before, night before, and morning of the ride. Drink every fifteen minutes on the ride.

    Eat a comfortable breakfast, not a big one. Stay away from the heavy fats like bacon.

    During the ride, eat something but not a lot every hour, but eat what you know your body tolerates during exercise. The rest stops will have what most cyclist like. You may want to try carrying an energy gel and/or energy bar.

    Don't spend too much time at the rest stops. Stretch, refuel, socialize a minute, but don't stay until your body thinks the ride is over.

    Ride your ride. Don't try to stay up with those who regularly ride much faster than you. Ride within yourself, at your pace. Then if you are feeling great, push it the last ten miles or so.

    Have a good time. That's what it is all about.

  21. #21
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  22. #22
    already soaked perspiration's Avatar
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    I think you're going to be surprised at the end of it, like...I could've been doing this distance all along! And then suddenly 10mi will seem inadequate...then 20...then 100....lol
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  23. #23
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    Thanks for all of the really supportive replies! I'm a little less nervous now.

  24. #24
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by perspiration View Post
    I think you're going to be surprised at the end of it, like...I could've been doing this distance all along! And then suddenly 10mi will seem inadequate...then 20...then 100....lol
    Yep, I'll bet once you've done this ride you'll come to regard 20 miles as a new benchmark for riding.

  25. #25
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    As others have said, you'll go do 23 miles just fine. Once you do 20+ you'll have a hard time going back to 10

    My overall fits and cycling skills jumped dramatically when I went from doing 15-20 mile ride to regular 25-30+ rides.

    I wouldn't worry to much about pre race/event stuff other than make sure your bike is ready to go, extra water and snacks for on bike during the ride and a good nights sleep and proper hydration the night before.

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