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  1. #1
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    Rode My First Metric

    I finally got a metric century out of the way.
    I had been building up for it the last few weeks. I had a 40 mile ride two weeks ago, 53 total last weekend and of course my usual 10 mile exercise rides during the week.
    The weather was good here, (cold in the morning, but warmed nicely). I rode west of Winston-Salem through the rolling farmland of Yadkin County. I had some headwind on much of the outbound route and consequently I had some tailwind on the return. Beautiful country on a quiet Sunday, (Pastor Bob, my church has a Sat evening service, so Sunday rides do not preclude church).
    The ride itself went well. In retrospect I think I should have stopped to eat more. I had a good breakfast, left the house at 9:00. On the ride I had a Golden Delicious apple, PBJ sandwich, Quaker Granola bar with Choclate. I also had three bottles of water, but feel I must have more.
    By the end of the ride I was feeling too hungry and thirsty. Not alot of convenience stores out this way to resupply. I chalk it up to experience. Next trip, a little more food and also force myself to stop. I tend to get going and say to myself, "don't stop here, wait until the next turn off, or meadow, or whatever" the result is I keep on riding when I should take a short break and eat something.
    Total distance
    62.77 miles
    time 4:12 riding, 5:20 real
    Avg Spd 14.9

  2. #2
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Congrats! Feels good, doesn't it? Now start working toward the 100 miler!
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  3. #3
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    p8rider congragulations!

    I also did my first metric this weekend; 62.2mi @ 17.9mph. I have been pushing 50-55mi for a number of weeks and have felt dead at the end. This time I watched my HR and stayed in the 80%-90% range and felt strong at the end. We had a great Sunday very little wind and clear and 80. A regular Century still looks pretty far out there to me, not sure how my butt can hold up for another 40mi

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    Nos88 & Stonecrd - Late May early June is my schedule for a true century. For now it is back to 10 mile rides during the week and 30-40 mile rides on weekends. I also kept my heartrate within my norms, only popping into the 160+ once. Also I have a cadence meter on the bike that I really like as I am trying to improve my spin. I only allowed myself to keep it on Cadence and distance otherwise I tend to push to much for speed.

  5. #5
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Congratulations, P8Rider and Stonecrd! Sounds like great rides. Don't know about you, but I have found the last .77 miles, or even .2, to be the hardest!

    I'm kinda itching for another long ride, but the weather in San Diego, (of all places!) hasn't been to my liking. On long rides, I do better when it's warmer.

    Anyway, way to go and congrats to both of you on achieving what I know is an important personal milestone!
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  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by p8rider
    I finally got a metric century out of the way.
    In retrospect I think I should have stopped to eat more. I had a good breakfast, left the house at 9:00. On the ride I had a Golden Delicious apple, PBJ sandwich, Quaker Granola bar with Choclate. I also had three bottles of water, but feel I must have more.
    By the end of the ride I was feeling too hungry and thirsty. Not alot of convenience stores out this way to resupply. I chalk it up to experience. Next trip, a little more food and also force myself to stop. I tend to get going and say to myself, "don't stop here, wait until the next turn off, or meadow, or whatever" the result is I keep on riding when I should take a short break and eat something.
    Total distance
    62.77 miles
    time 4:12 riding, 5:20 real
    Avg Spd 14.9
    If you can do metric in 4:12- why haven't you done one before?????? That is a very good time so no matter how you felt at the end-- You have done very well. OK you had breakfast before you started- and you had a cereal bar and a sandwich- but that Fruit thing was probably your undoing- It may add natural sugars and fill a hole, but Fruit does not assist on the hunger stakes. A packet of biscuits or cake, would have done better. Definitely take more food next time, but dried fruit- cake- biscuits, chocolate- sandwich, cereal bars, and I also take a little bit of cheese with me. Also in 4 hours- 3 bottles was probably about enough- but I would like to drink a litre of water an hour- which at this time of year takes some doing. Last Sunday I was not riding- Putting up a New Bike shed- but I noted that when I was flagging- it was time for a drink and a piece of cake-or a biscuit or 5 or a breakfast. Your body will tell you when it is time to drink and eat and rest- Unfortunately, normally about 20 minutes later than it should have done. You can sip whilst riding- and sip and sip and sip again. same with eating- a handfull of dried fruit- a cereal bar or something. Just take it steady on speed whilst doing it. Then I like to set a goal of every 20 miles I stop for more water and something more to eat. That is around every 2 hours offroad- or 2 1/2 towards the end of the ride.

    You now know the problems and for you it is not the distance- It is going to be eating and drinking enough. Buy the next size cycling top for your next ride. (The pockets are bigger for the extra food)

    Well done --and a true century when??

    Stonecrd---And anyone else building up to long rides this summer. They are not the easiest thing to do-- Mentally. They are daunting and sometimes terrifying. As stonecrd and P8 have found out- They can be done. That metric C has been done- perhaps not with ease- but that first one is an achievementthat should not beforgotten. All you have to do is pace yourself- feed yourself and ride off into the distance in preparation for the next hurdle==Still a few entries for my 100 miler in may if anyone is interested-- 100 miles- 10,000ft of climbing and 95% offroad- Takes a bit longer than P8's ride- but anyone up for it? 10 years ago I failed on this ride- and I was really fit then. The mental side has come in and I don't fail now- I might hurt a bit by the end, (OK A lot) but I still have a sense of achievement whan I get over the finishing line with just enough energy for a sprint at the end- luckily the last mile is a 10% slope and we have usually run out of brakes at around 90 miles so don't have a choice.
    Last edited by stapfam; 03-20-06 at 01:59 PM.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Raketmensch's Avatar
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    Congratulations... that's a very solid ride! And yeah, lots of food and water along the way are key. I've done a third-of-a-century and a half-century in the past couple of weeks. The 33-miler felt okay, but I did it on just two water bottles and nothing else, and I was feeling a little worn by the end. (It was also very hilly and bitterly cold and windy, which I'm sure didn't help.) I took plenty of food with me on the 50-miler, and did a complete water bottle refill partway through, for a total of four bottles for the ride. I felt quite perky at the end of it... better than at the end of 33 miles. Next goal is a metric century and then, after that, the full monty. Finding the right on-the-bike menu is a matter of trial and error, but I'm learning that finding it is also critical.

    One interesting note: While doing some rides down in Texas recently, for the heck of it I decided to try energy gels. Don't know how many here have tried them. They definitely are not for the gourmand. Gooey citrus-flavored glop that you suck out of a plastic/foil package. But I will say that they provided a pretty remarkable-feeling nutritional boost. For a race, or for some other kind of ride where you really wanted to keep moving, they'd probably be great. For a civilized metric century, though, a stop or two for real food seems a much better way to go.

  8. #8
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    Yes, more food is definetly necessary as I go farther. So far I have gotten away with two 24oz Gatorades and a GU gel (Expresso Love is my favorite). I did find my stomach growling thie week. It is funny how you adapt when I started riding seriously last Aug 10-15mi was tough, now I do 20mi at least 4 days a week and try to get at least 50mi on Sat or Sun. Now I look at 100mi and say no way I can sit on a bike that long, although I am sure going to try at some point. I think the key for me was finding a riding buddy that makes me feel guilty if I slack off.

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raketmensch
    Congratulations... that's a very solid ride! And yeah, lots of food and water along the way are key. I've done a third-of-a-century and a half-century in the past couple of weeks. The 33-miler felt okay, but I did it on just two water bottles and nothing else, and I was feeling a little worn by the end. (It was also very hilly and bitterly cold and windy, which I'm sure didn't help.) I took plenty of food with me on the 50-miler, and did a complete water bottle refill partway through, for a total of four bottles for the ride. I felt quite perky at the end of it... better than at the end of 33 miles. Next goal is a metric century and then, after that, the full monty. Finding the right on-the-bike menu is a matter of trial and error, but I'm learning that finding it is also critical.

    One interesting note: While doing some rides down in Texas recently, for the heck of it I decided to try energy gels. Don't know how many here have tried them. They definitely are not for the gourmand. Gooey citrus-flavored glop that you suck out of a plastic/foil package. But I will say that they provided a pretty remarkable-feeling nutritional boost. For a race, or for some other kind of ride where you really wanted to keep moving, they'd probably be great. For a civilized metric century, though, a stop or two for real food seems a much better way to go.

    Sorry about putting in yet another lecture- but I train for the longer rides- and I do them mainly offroad- which takes a bit more effort than road rides- I am not a super fit rider- But what I have is endurance-from the distance I do, and the right mental capability to do the long rides. DG is right- A lot of biking is mental. You need fitness aswell, and training, and the correct nutrition, and all of these things come into being an accomplished rider.

    Training--- Milage helps but overall fitness comes in aswell. When the butt stops hurting after a 3 hour ride you have the fitness and training to do a 65miler. Once you have done a 65 miler a 100miler is not much longer so is not a problem- only thing is pace- A 65 miler in 4 hours will equate to a 100miler in 7 or more. The extra miles get slower and if you have any sense- so do the first 65.
    Drinking on the ride- I force myself to drink 1 litre an hour and I mean force myself. That way I have no fear of dehydration. Eating- You need carbohydrates to give you energy and I carbo load for at least a week before the ride- every meal being Rice- Pasta- Bread- Porridge- Sticky buns and I also do not cut down on the fat. On the ride I take a good selection of Carb loaded foods- cereal bars- dried fruit, cake- biscuits- sandwiches and a bit of protein in the form of cheese- I also have my favourite chocolate bars and creamed rice as a change. Plenty of variety and I snack all the way through the ride.

    THE GELS WORK-But about 20 minutes or so after you have taken them and they do not last long- I only keep them as an emergency aid, but they do work- On our long ride We have one at around the 10 hour mark just before the final two long hills, but also take some more carbs just as they start to come in. We still have another in reserve for around the 11 hour mark but hopefully we will not use them.

    Distance riding is not hard- just good preparation, Getting physically fit- Getting the right nutrition, Drinking enough but just as important is that mental bit. You have to get that right, but if you can do a 50 miler- then 65 is a doddle- a 100miler may take it out of you, and if you want a bit of masochism- 100 miles offroad will give it to you. Even if you are only starting and doing your first 25 miler- If you have fallen down on any of these key elements of preparation- then you are going to struggle.
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  10. #10
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Dan-that is truly outstanding!! What an accomplishment! Your time and average speed was extremely good given the temps, the breeze and the fact you were solo the entire time. Your strategy of watching your cadence and avoiding looking at the distance is an excellent one as well.

    Just my thoughts, but you might want to think about mixing in some sort of energy drink other than just water for the longer rides on warmer days. Water is just fine for days like Sunday but when the temps get 75+ you'll want to replace more of the electrolytes. I tend to grossly under-hydrate and would have probably only drank 1/2 as much as you did Sunday....something I have to really work on and watch my clock and drink at predetermined intervals. A simple thing to do is to weigh yourself before and after the ride to see if your overall weight remains close to the same. If it's close chances are you've hydrated pretty well.

    Part of doing these longer rides is just figuring out what works best for all of us and you can experiment to get there for yourself. My brother and I come from the same gene pool (at least my Mom says so) and even we take different approaches on the fuel.

    Bananas are my food of choice on rides and I supplement those with cookies like fig newtons, peanut butter crackers, etc. I also use gels but I save those for a challenging part of the route like hills later in a ride. They do seem to pick me up and provide a nice boost of energy for 30 mins or so.

    At your stage it's probably really tough to do but give some thought in your training attempt to minimize the number of stops. When you do stop, try and keep it to 2-3 minutes. Over time you will acclimate to not stopping. Believe me, it takes a little while to get to that point but I know you can do it if that's what you'd like to do. Eventually you you can just ease up on the cadence and HR and take a break on the bike while you're still covering ground.

    Now, I can usually ride until I run out of fluids which on cooler days is probably 80+ miles. As the temps warm up unless I have someone providing SAG support and handing off fluids I'll probably be limited to about 60 miles. It also depends if it's solo or in a group-cover a lot more ground quicker in a group.

    Congratulations again on a terrific ride!! Don't you just love the look on everyones face when you tell them you rode over 60 miles....in one day????
    Last edited by jppe; 03-20-06 at 06:31 PM.

  11. #11
    pAIYILI Paiyili's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by p8rider
    I finally got a metric century out of the way.
    I had been building up for it the last few weeks. I had a 40 mile ride two weeks ago, 53 total last weekend and of course my usual 10 mile exercise rides during the week.
    The weather was good here, (cold in the morning, but warmed nicely). I rode west of Winston-Salem through the rolling farmland of Yadkin County. I had some headwind on much of the outbound route and consequently I had some tailwind on the return. Beautiful country on a quiet Sunday, (Pastor Bob, my church has a Sat evening service, so Sunday rides do not preclude church).
    The ride itself went well. In retrospect I think I should have stopped to eat more. I had a good breakfast, left the house at 9:00. On the ride I had a Golden Delicious apple, PBJ sandwich, Quaker Granola bar with Choclate. I also had three bottles of water, but feel I must have more.
    By the end of the ride I was feeling too hungry and thirsty. Not alot of convenience stores out this way to resupply. I chalk it up to experience. Next trip, a little more food and also force myself to stop. I tend to get going and say to myself, "don't stop here, wait until the next turn off, or meadow, or whatever" the result is I keep on riding when I should take a short break and eat something.
    Total distance
    62.77 miles
    time 4:12 riding, 5:20 real
    Avg Spd 14.9
    Hey p8rider,
    Congratulations. The metric was, to me, the sound barrier of cycling. It seemed insurmountable for the longest time, but after accomplishing it, I kind of stopped fearing distance. I'm very happy for you. It might be time to address the things you feel are holding you back, hydration (maybe a camelbak?)and saddle comfort. Once again, way to go!
    Regards,
    Paiyili
    Windows Warrior Homepage

  12. #12
    Senior Moment Litespeed's Avatar
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    Good going - congratulations! Now try for 70, that's my next goal

  13. #13
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    Thanks for everyone's input, I appreciate it. jppe & Stapfam in particular, the information about foods and liquids is good and will help me to plan better. Also the bit about slowing down the cadence and taking a break while riding I believe to be a good thought. I have always stopped the bike when I take a break. I look forward to trying the eating while moving tactic.
    Stonecrd, lets keep going! When is Litespeed planning to ride 70 miles perhaps we could coordinate.

  14. #14
    Senior Moment Litespeed's Avatar
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    Wish I did live in NC, my husband and I are possibly looking at retiring there (near Rutherfordton?). I will definitely have to be in the right frame of mind and the weather will have to be pretty good for me to attempt the 70, but one of these days I will, hopefully within the next couple months.

  15. #15
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Litespeed
    Wish I did live in NC, my husband and I are possibly looking at retiring there (near Rutherfordton?). I will definitely have to be in the right frame of mind and the weather will have to be pretty good for me to attempt the 70, but one of these days I will, hopefully within the next couple months.
    There are some really nice loops around the Rutherfordton area if you do decide to move to that area. We do several rides that take us through the Lake Lure area (just west of Rutherfordton) and it's not unusual to see a number of folks out riding around there. My cousin has ridden every road in that area for several years so if you ever need some ideas on roads to ride in that area I'm sure he's be more than happy to provide some suggestions.

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