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  1. #1
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Going from commuting to longer rides.

    I've been commuting long enough to build up the endurance, experience and stuff for my 10 miles round trip commutes that have allowed me to start thinking of being able to ride farther for fun. I'd like to take off for an overnight trip that involves riding for longer distances, hopefully leading up to a 120 mile round trip. Most of my riding is suburban stop and go, and it's rare that I'm not changing speed or direction while I'm commuting. I'd like to be do some longer trips where I'd actually be going the same speed and direction for longer, and wonder how hard it would be to build up the strength to allow me to ride longer. I plan on using the commuterized Hardrock I've been riding for the last 5 years, and it's got the B17, slicks, lights, rack and abundance of bags that would once again make the rider the part that needs to be upgraded.

  2. #2
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Look around online for any of the bazillion "10 weeks to a Century Ride" training plans and you should be fine.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  3. #3
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
    I've been commuting long enough to build up the endurance, experience and stuff for my 10 miles round trip commutes that have allowed me to start thinking of being able to ride farther for fun. I'd like to take off for an overnight trip that involves riding for longer distances, hopefully leading up to a 120 mile round trip. Most of my riding is suburban stop and go, and it's rare that I'm not changing speed or direction while I'm commuting. I'd like to be do some longer trips where I'd actually be going the same speed and direction for longer, and wonder how hard it would be to build up the strength to allow me to ride longer. I plan on using the commuterized Hardrock I've been riding for the last 5 years, and it's got the B17, slicks, lights, rack and abundance of bags that would once again make the rider the part that needs to be upgraded.
    It's not hard, but the best way to do it is to actually do it, and that means finding a route that will allow you to ride unabated for longer.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

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    On a Mission from God FunkyStickman's Avatar
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    Yup, only way to train for longer rides is to do longer rides.

  5. #5
    Old, but not really wise CptjohnC's Avatar
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    Have you considered looking for a different route to work that adds distance, and perhaps gives you more steady riding without so many lights or other obstructions?

    I have route options from the same (or nearly so) start and finish points that come in anywhere from 8-15 miles each way, and vary substantially in terms of the mix of city streets, suburban streets and MUP. The only constant is the last 2 miles approaching the office, which is all urban streets -- though with or without bike lanes, depending on my choices.

    On the rare occasions when I actually ride the whole way from home to work, that's somewhere between 19 and 22 miles each way of mostly MUP. I plan to use that this summer as part of my century 'training' plan.

  6. #6
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    Supported rides can be nice. Look for a metric century in your area. You can train for that by riding 20 miles one Saturday, 30 the next and 40 after that. Once you see how you do on the metric century, you can move on to a full century or whatever.

  7. #7
    I'm Carbon Curious 531phile's Avatar
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    120 miles on a Hardrock....hmmmmm.....yeah it will be an overnight ride alright.

    For longer rides, eating right really helps out. Make sure you eat about 100 calories every hour that has potassium and sodium and carbs. Make sure to stay hydrated.

    You should post in the touring or randoneering forums too since they specialized in these types of rides.

    Quote Originally Posted by avner View Post
    I loled. Twice. Then I cried. Then I rubbed one out and cried again, but thanks for sharing.

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    Depending where you are in Chicagoland, there are a lot of parks/trails for quick overnights. If you're riding 10 miles a day to commute, it's really not a big leap (in my experience) to riding 50-60 miles a day for camping or touring. You also have the option of well-maintained off-street trails (Prairie Path, Green Bay Trail, I&M Canal, etc.) or using Metra to get to more rural roads.

    So, just go for it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by threecarjam View Post
    Depending where you are in Chicagoland, there are a lot of parks/trails for quick overnights. If you're riding 10 miles a day to commute, it's really not a big leap (in my experience) to riding 50-60 miles a day for camping or touring. You also have the option of well-maintained off-street trails (Prairie Path, Green Bay Trail, I&M Canal, etc.) or using Metra to get to more rural roads.

    So, just go for it.



    Quote Originally Posted by CptjohnC View Post
    Have you considered looking for a different route to work that adds distance, and perhaps gives you more steady riding without so many lights or other obstructions?

    I have route options from the same (or nearly so) start and finish points that come in anywhere from 8-15 miles each way, and vary substantially in terms of the mix of city streets, suburban streets and MUP. The only constant is the last 2 miles approaching the office, which is all urban streets -- though with or without bike lanes, depending on my choices.

    On the rare occasions when I actually ride the whole way from home to work, that's somewhere between 19 and 22 miles each way of mostly MUP. I plan to use that this summer as part of my century 'training' plan.
    There are a few places where I can add more distance without really going much further but that would be more stop and go riding. And more stop and go riding isn't what I'm looking for, I'd like to be able to go out and keep going for a while without having to stop/slow down so much like I do when I'm commuting. The few times I've been able to get out and keep going for about 10 miles have been much different than my usual stop and go 10 mile commutes, and I'd like to go further like that. Thanks for the ideas, sometimes you just need to hear them again for things to make more sense.

    I rode motorcycles for a long time, and got pretty good at being able to just take off for most of the day or the weekend. 200 miles would go by without much thought, and I used to think that anything less than 100 miles wasn't worth taking the bike out. I found I liked riding 200 - 4000 miles in a day a lot more than the short trips. I'm hoping the same holds true for bicycling.

  10. #10
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 531phile View Post
    120 miles on a Hardrock....hmmmmm.....yeah it will be an overnight ride alright.

    For longer rides, eating right really helps out. Make sure you eat about 100 calories every hour that has potassium and sodium and carbs. Make sure to stay hydrated.

    You should post in the touring or randoneering forums too since they specialized in these types of rides.
    Yep, my Mom lives about 60 miles away and close to the end of a trail. That's the trip I'd like to take by the end of the year. Nutrition plays a big part in long distance motorcycling too, especially when you balance proper caffeination with bathroom stops!

  11. #11
    tsl
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    The rule of thumb is that you can ride as many miles in a day as you typically ride in a week. If you commute every day, you're almost there.

    My commute is also stop-and-go and about the same distance. I've found I can do about ¾ of the rule of thumb without any extra "training".

    In the three-seasons when I need some extra "training", I like to extend my commute two or three days a week by taking a long loop to work, four three times the usual distance. That and a 20 or 30 miler on the weekend keeps me fit enough for the occasional metric or century without using any of the "bazillion '10 weeks to a Century Ride' training plans" mentioned above.
    Last edited by tsl; 04-26-11 at 07:28 PM.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
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    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  12. #12
    Senior Member megalowmatt's Avatar
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    I trained for ~6 weeks for a 60-mile ride my wife and I did in Palm Springs this past February. My commute isn't too much longer than yours.

    Looking back, extended time in the saddle & hills were what helped me the most. Prior to the 60 mile ride, I think the longest training ride I did was 47.

  13. #13
    Old, but not really wise CptjohnC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
    There are a few places where I can add more distance without really going much further but that would be more stop and go riding.
    Definitely not! I was hoping maybe you could find an out-of-the-way loop that adds 5, 10 or 20 miles of relatively steady riding (MUP or other bucolic setting). Good luck!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
    I plan on using the commuterized Hardrock I've been riding for the last 5 years, and it's got the B17, slicks, lights, rack and abundance of bags
    Do we get to see a pic of said Commuterized Hardrock?

    I'll show you mine if you show me yours! ;-P

  15. #15
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adxdopefish View Post
    Do we get to see a pic of said Commuterized Hardrock?

    I'll show you mine if you show me yours! ;-P
    Let me see what I can do there, it definitely looks like the beast of burden it is.

  16. #16
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 531phile View Post
    120 miles on a Hardrock....hmmmmm.....yeah it will be an overnight ride alright.

    For longer rides, eating right really helps out. Make sure you eat about 100 calories every hour that has potassium and sodium and carbs. Make sure to stay hydrated.

    You should post in the touring or randoneering forums too since they specialized in these types of rides.
    If you plan on it being an overnight, then the touring forum for sure. If 200k is an overnighter then I wouldn't look to the rando forum. You've got to surpass the 400k mark before you're talking about an overnighter in randonneuring. 200k brevets have a 13h 30m time limit. (20h for 300k and 27h for 400k).

    That out of the way, 200k in 13.5hrs is only 9.25mph overall average, so I don't think there's anything unusual about being able to do that on a commuterized MTB. Heck, you could probably do that on a regular MTB on some rutted fire roads. I see plenty of riders at the club and charity centuries around here on MTBs with street tires and locked-out suspension.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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