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  1. #1
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    Report: Training for our first supported Week long tour

    My gal and I decided to do a week-long tour here in Wisc (Bikenorthwoods), and treated ourselves to new road bikes... all in honor of our 50th year (we are kicking around the idea of making velcro panels for our jerseys for our fictitious bike club, "The Half Century Bikers" nyuk, nyuk)

    IN an effort to make it less painful, we are trying to keep to a 2-3 ride-a-week train schedule.
    Over the last 5 weeks (a lot of them being pretty chilly!) We've managed approx 450 miles total. We are also trying to do back-to-back day rides to approximate what the ride will be...
    Last week we did back to back days of 35 and 45 miles under windy clouds and 50 degree temps... with a midweek 20 miler. This week we did a 22 mile midweek and this weekend a 66 mile ride and a 35 mile ride. Whoo! Almost 120 miles in a week! We are jazzed. The 66 miler was a blast and a challenge. Every hill I thought would defeat me was another I managed to get up... and Mindy did the same.

    After so many years off the bike (tho some were involved doing master swimming), I am PLEASED to feel the strength and endurance returning. Rest and recovery are key, along with Advil, water, and food! the best part is seeing the world at 12-15 MPH vs. 55-70 MPH. Those black specs out in the field? Those are a bunch of wild turkeys! That thing on the side of the road? That's a real live human with a few things to say about local history. Those small buildings over there... those are way old settlement structures in historic Cooksvile. Cool stuff

    So I'm just checking in and wondering if anyone else is tuning up for one of these casual bike tour groups and how your training is going.

    Mark

  2. #2
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    I usually do 4-5 organized week-long bike tours. The average age is 55-60 years old. There will be people going faster and slower than you. If you get in with the regular touring crowd, there is usually someone who illegally drives from city to city on the route. They take turns, so someone can cycle 1/2 the day, or every other day. I usually see about 2-3 cars who do this. As a warning, you can be "kicked off" the organized ride. If everyone has a spouse who drives the route, the regular low-traffic route can become congested. 50 miles a day is a breeze, even if you don't train for it. It is only 5 hours of riding. If you leave by 8:00 am and are back in camp by 5:00 pm, you have 9 hours to cycle 50 miles. It is a leisurely route. My advise for a newcomer is to try to cycle about 1/2 of the days mileage before you start taking 1/2 hour or hour long breaks. It sounds like your training program is excellent. You should not have any problems. The more you train, the more you will feel like dancing at night when the organized tours have entertainment. Good luck. (almost 50)

  3. #3
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    It sounds like your training program is excellent. You should not have any problems. The more you train, the more you will feel like dancing at night when the organized tours have entertainment. Good luck. (almost 50)
    That 1/2 day drive bit you described is a weird and a drag if the route gets busy. Bikenorthwoods has been a round for a long spell, and has a good reputation. Met one of the organizers (a married couple) at the local bike expo this winter; she did mention that they have a mechanics group, Wheel and Sprockets, that does support... and they (Wheel and sprocket) comment that the Bikes on BIkenorth woods are in really good shape (they don't have to fix them as much as some other Wisc tours). Maybe this indicates that most of the bikers do the whole thing. I'll be curious to see if this car/bike swapping actually happens.

    Bike north does have some fun stuff at night, so, yeah... I rekon being shape will allow for more frollicking in the eve prior to lights out. I've never done a supported tour; in my youth, I did several fully-loaded tours from when I was 14 until my mid-20's -- with no more than 3 other riders. I am looking forward to the larger group.
    Last edited by Sigurdd50; 05-09-05 at 11:20 AM.

  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Not in training for a week long ride, but for 100 miler off road. 12 hours of slog and lots of hills.

    Time in the saddle will attune the butt and the body, so hopefully no problem there for you. One thing you may not realise though is Carbo loading. Carbohydrate in other words. This is the food store that will keep the body going on long rides so try to do it. For a week or two before my ride, every meal will be pasta, rice, potatoes, bread etc. I may put on a few lbs, hopefully I will, but this will quickly disappear during the ride.

    I find that no matter how much I have loaded before the event, I will run out of energy at around the 6 hour mark.That is if I have not eaten before this time, so on the ride we carry cereal bars, Dried fruit and any thing else that has carbs in it. We stop at the 4 hour mark for a good loading of Pasta, with some protein in it like plenty of cheese or meat, and then again at the 4 hour mark for a rice meal. Creamed rice is ideal for me as by the 8 hour mark I don't want to eat, and a tin of creamed rice slips down the throat easily. I know you are not going to be doing 12 hours straight off, but 5 or 6 days of lesser time and milage each day will mean that you will run into the same problem.

    There is one advantage to a 5 day ride that I can see-- 5 Full English Breakfasts. Taken at least an hour before the ride of course. Wish I was going with you now.

  5. #5
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    Time in the saddle will attune the butt and the body, so hopefully no problem there for you. One thing you may not realise though is Carbo loading. Carbohydrate in other words. This is the food store that will keep the body going on long rides so try to do it. For a week or two before my ride, every meal will be pasta, rice, potatoes, bread etc. I may put on a few lbs, hopefully I will, but this will quickly disappear during the ride.
    Yeah... carb load. Even on our training rides, we have been practicing:
    A bottle of water every hour, stop short but frequently. We tried a few Power type bars this weekend (ugh... they may be good for you but they taste *blah*), granola bars, ut mixes with dried fruit and a few choco chips tossed in. At each stop, toss back some light chow. Definitely notice the difference when the tank is topped off.

    The tour offers the meal plan, and we are taking them up on that... and expect to see a lot of grub on the table... just hope the coffee is GOOD and STRONG!

    Mostly I am looking forward to day 3-6 when we get up in the NOrth Woods of Wisconsin... on some desoloate, pine-tree lined blacktop with the crisp blue Lake Superior sky and sun. yeah!

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurdd50
    Yeah... carb load. Even on our training rides, we have been practicing:
    A bottle of water every hour, stop short but frequently. We tried a few Power type bars this weekend (ugh... they may be good for you but they taste *blah

    I wasn't going to mention power bars. constituency of cardboard and strongest taste of nothing I've ever come across. The only good point about them is that you have to drink a large bottle of liquid afterwards to get rid of the damn things. Talking of liquid-- If you use an additive in your water bottle, it can get tiring after a few hours. Only one thing to do and that is clear the palette, with a different taste. Coffee is good but not readily available on the trails so I use Bitter Orange. Screws the mouth up and I can't taste anything else for an hour or so, but it works for me.

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