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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 09-26-11, 10:21 PM   #1
Allen55
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resting during a ride...

When you guys ride those 20 mile rides and more, do you do it in one clip, or do you stop every so often and rest. When I did that hill the other day, I stopped after it and got the heart rate down before I moved on. Do you guys do this as well, or do you just keep going and rest while riding? I had to catch my breath and calm the heart rate before I thought I could safely ride more...is that OK? If I DO rest, and say ride 10 miles with rest breaks, is that STILL a ten mile ride or 5, 2 miles rides if I rest every two miles for example?

Sorry for the stupid question, but i dont know.
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Old 09-26-11, 10:29 PM   #2
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You are gonna get all kinds of answers. You will hear the chest pounding of those who only stop every 25 miles blah blah. Dude, there are really no rules. You need to do what you feel like and what you want to do.

This is one area that I have no shame. If I think I need to or want to rest, I rest. I don't set a goal that i won't rest until I get to any point. I just stop. May be 5 miles, 10 miles, may be 1 mile. That decision is up to no one but me.
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Old 09-26-11, 10:34 PM   #3
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I don't usually stop to rest. I stop to stretch, or to take a photo, or to talk to someone, or do something. Stopping to rest implies cycling is exercise.
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Old 09-26-11, 10:35 PM   #4
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If your heart rate is so high that you can't see straight, it is probably best to stop and rest. I usually prefer to keep my heart rate under control and ride for at least an hour before I take a rest. Otherwise you end up resting more than riding. It seems to take almost an hour for my legs and lungs to wake up and start to feel good anyway. I know if I start out the ride well fed and watered, 50 miles is doable with the two water bottles on my bike. Then I'll need to refill and stretch out some. It took awhile to work up to that though.

At the big organized rides, it seems like a lot of people stop at every rest stop. They are the ones that pass me 7 times over the course of a century and claim to have done it in under 5 hours. I think it's funny that their 5 hour ride takes as long as my 6.5 hour ride. Miles are miles though, take all the rests you want.
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Old 09-26-11, 10:42 PM   #5
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If you stop to rest, it's still one ride. If you stop and eat lunch and then keep going, it's still one ride. If you come back to the house, do something unrelated for a while, then go ride somewhere else, that's two rides. Or at least that's how I figure it.

If you have to stop and catch your breath, no problem. However, if you go over the same route repeatedly, try to back off next time and hold a slower pace where you don't need to stop.

Everyone has a limit as to how hard they can work and for how long. When you see that video of Lance dancing up the mountain, he's picked a pace he can work with and sustain. He could have gone faster for a while, and then he'd have to stop and rest (or back way off or collapse or whatever). As you get more fit, you can go faster, but you still have pace yourself in s sustainable way.
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Old 09-26-11, 10:44 PM   #6
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I stop every ten miles for a good break on reg rides, sometimes 15 miles. As I get better my endurance for longer rides improves and now the hills are becoming easier as well. Seems to me at least, biking becomes easier and easier rather quickly.
That hill you just conquered will become easy for you and 1 month from now you will laugh at yourself for having such a hard time with it.
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Old 09-26-11, 10:46 PM   #7
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Stopping to rest implies cycling is exercise.
I LOVE that! It IS fun out there. I think that I have had the impression that if I didn't stay on the bike and ride that it didn't count. I would go out, get winded and turn around and come home, even if I didn't want to. I thought to stop and rest and then continue on wasn't "allowed".
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Old 09-26-11, 10:47 PM   #8
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When you see that video of Lance dancing up the mountain, he's picked a pace he can work with and sustain. He could have gone faster for a while, and then he'd have to stop and rest (or back way off or collapse or whatever). As you get more fit, you can go faster, but you still have pace yourself in s sustainable way.
Do you have a link for this?
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Old 09-26-11, 10:49 PM   #9
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Rest all you want while the rest of us suffer! Seriously, resting takes nothing away from a good 10 mile ride.
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Old 09-26-11, 10:55 PM   #10
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When you guys ride those 20 mile rides and more, do you do it in one clip, or do you stop every so often and rest. When I did that hill the other day, I stopped after it and got the heart rate down before I moved on. Do you guys do this as well, or do you just keep going and rest while riding? I had to catch my breath and calm the heart rate before I thought I could safely ride more...is that OK? If I DO rest, and say ride 10 miles with rest breaks, is that STILL a ten mile ride or 5, 2 miles rides if I rest every two miles for example?

Sorry for the stupid question, but i dont know.
At first, I fell over into a ditch and gagged for air.

But now I usually rest in the saddle, just taking it easy for a few spins. A nibble on some goodie, a swig of water and Im off again.
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Old 09-26-11, 11:12 PM   #11
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I usually don't stop to rest. I rest on the bike. Pretty much the same thing StephenH was alluding to.
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Old 09-26-11, 11:32 PM   #12
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6 months ago I used to take stops every 6-8 miles or so and have to stretch my legs or get a drink. This last trip I was able to go farther without a stop. I didn't sweat profusely and need more water and I didn't have leg cramping either.

It will all change as you advance, so don't worry about it. The most important thing seems to be listening to your body and it's needs.
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Old 09-26-11, 11:49 PM   #13
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I think planning your post-hill rest while on the bike as a spin cool down is a better idea, better for your system. The abrupt stop when at a high heart rate is not so good. That said, it's often a bore to ride 20-30-40 miles straight through, and I think you tend to hold back just to conserve. A fun, strategic stop for a treat or a stretch at a comfortable locale, maybe a coffee hang out... makes the ride more enjoyable for me. After years of long rides I think I could pull off a mCentury without a stop; but I almost always stop every 10 miles or so, just to keep it fresh and interesting. And, I like expressos.. caffe racer has a real, personal meaning for me.
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Old 09-27-11, 03:07 AM   #14
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OP, if I were you I wouldn't worry about it. Do what you feel you need to. The more you do, the less you'll need to stop.
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Old 09-27-11, 04:55 AM   #15
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One of the reasons I love cycling is that I can rest while I'm still moving.

I'll just shift into a slightly easier gear AND pedal slower than my normal cadence. Lets me rest my CV system and my muscles at the same time.
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Old 09-27-11, 05:30 AM   #16
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take is slow allen and dont give a rats @ss what other people think. Take a break when needed, take pics, stretch, drink something and have fun. FUN. You will ride longer without stops as you progress but as many people said, stopping is ok. I did 61 miles last Sunday. So many hills. I stopped soooo much. A lot.... and I mean a lot. It is ok. The cycling police wont arrest you!
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Old 09-27-11, 05:46 AM   #17
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I don't usually stop on my daily 20 milers, but I do plan to make some stops on my 50 coming up this weekend.
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Old 09-27-11, 06:02 AM   #18
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In my current location I have a regular loop I do which is 16 to 18 miles. It is a lightly hilly ride. I usually stop at a boat landing to look at the lake, see what ducks and grebes I can identify, and take a drink of water. I could do the whole ride without a stop but I like the stop and always make it and look forward to it. When I do longer rides I usually stop every 10 to 15 miles. My 50 mile ride I stopped 5 times. Four official rest areas where I could eat and drink and visit with people. I also stopped one more time under a bridge just before a rest area because I wanted a moment out of the sun and wanted to down a bunch of water.


This spring when I started riding I used to stop every couple of miles because I needed to. I was still not comfortable on my bike and the route I needed to ride had some hills that were hard for me. I would have to stop at the top of a couple of the hills, or walk the hills, to recover.

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Old 09-27-11, 06:27 AM   #19
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My weekly long route (~60 miles) includes a stop for breakfast at about mile 21, and another stop for a snack and an iced tea at about mile 50 (after a run of small hills). Your needs will change as you grow into your cycling, and you'll find yourself planning routes based on where you'd like to stop.

In the end, you do what you want to do, or have to do, based on your level of fitness and the terrain and conditions. There are no rules, at least as long as you're riding by yourself.

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Old 09-27-11, 06:38 AM   #20
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It all counts, so take as many stops as you need. The main thing is to get out and ride!!
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Old 09-27-11, 06:45 AM   #21
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In the end, you do what you want to do, or have to do, based on your level of fitness and the terrain and conditions. There are no rules, at least as long as you're riding by yourself.
+1

Eventually, you'll get to a point, as others have said, where you'll get your rest/recovery on the bike. It just takes time and lots of miles.

I currently live in San Fernando Valley (just north of Los Angeles). We have stop lights galore here. I think the longest road I can go without a stop light is maybe a 3-mile stretch. I'm always stopping & "resting" That said, the longest I have ever gone without stopping is the El Tour de Tucson (109-miles). Even it had two dry creek crossings where you have to dismount and walk/run across.

So, you can get there. Give it time.
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Old 09-27-11, 07:14 AM   #22
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If you don't have a heart rate monitor it would be a good idea to get one and pay attention to it. I'll assume you saw a doctor and had a full physical before setting out on this adventure just to be sure there wasn't anything to be cautious of. If so, then push as hard as you'd like. Having the HR data and riding a similar ride each time will give you a good indication of how well your body is coming around. The thing you'll probably notice first is that the time it takes you to recover (how long after climbing that hill does your heart rate settle down) from an effort is less. If you're generally healthy, it won't take more than a few weeks before you're noticing big improvements on endurance and recovery.

Rest when you need to, push yourself when you can. A little pain feels good and the gains feel better.
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Old 09-27-11, 07:25 AM   #23
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One other thing...

No matter how much food and hydration you carry, eventually you run out. At that point, you need to replenish what you have, so... that's stopping.

Also... if you get hardcore, eventually, you need to sleep, and sleeping is almost always safer off the bike than on.
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Old 09-27-11, 07:29 AM   #24
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I find I need to stop every 10 to 15 miles to rest my tail when on my hybrid. When I do long rides I shoot for stopping every hour to hour and a half to drink, eat, and rest/stretch my legs.
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Old 09-27-11, 08:10 AM   #25
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Rest when you feel the need. The more fitness you gain, the fewer the stops!

I use to ride with a very Quick group out of a LBS in Buckhead. They would all stop at the top of a big hill on the route. Northside Dr maybe?
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