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  1. #1
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    How long a rest period on a 50K ride?

    I've signed up for my first road event. It's a 50K ride on the morning of July 4th. I know 50K (31 miles) is no big deal to most, but this is my first event and I want to be sure I bite off what I can chew. This will NOT be a nice flat 50K ride, no way. I'm not good at estimating elevation, but whoever planned this wants to see who's in condition and who just signed up for fun. After completing 24 miles, the ride takes on a local well known hill, I've done it (with the help of granny gears), but its hard. Two miles later the route includes 5 hills in rapid succession, with only one small, downhill in-between the 5 hills. No problem for JPPE, but I'm not JPPE (got a little way to go yet )
    Ok, that's the ride. My question is, when I hit the break in the ride at about 15 miles, before all the long hills, about how long should I rest? Short, 1 or 2 minutes? That's what we do on our 24 mile training rides. Or longer, like 10 minutes? One group ride I attended took the long break. I didn't like it because my muscles tightened and it took about 3 or 4 miles to loosen up, however, I was very fresh and the second half of that ride was easy once I loosened up.
    This ride will start at 8:00 am on July 4th, in an area just south of Raleigh, NC. I anticipate it will be hot and humid. I will be one of the last ones to roll off, well after 8:00 and I estimate I will hit the rest area around 9:30, depending on how I pace myself, and it will be hotter.
    Any advice on how long a break is recommended is appreciated. BTW, I plan on taking on some sports drink and either banana or powerbar during the break.
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  2. #2
    Lincoln, CA Mojo Slim's Avatar
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    I'm sure you will find there is not one answer. However, since it's not a race, I would recommend that you at least STOP at each rest stop. Fill water bottles, grab a bit of food that looks good to you. Pee. Maybe stuff something in your pocket, just in case. On a ride this length, I'd say 5 minutes is good. You get out of the saddle a bit, stretch your legs and you will feel refreshed. Besides, rest stops can add to the fun of the ride. And that's what it's all about.
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  3. #3
    Happy Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by roccobike
    I've signed up for my first road event. It's a 50K ride on the morning of July 4th. I know 50K (31 miles) is no big deal to most, but this is my first event and I want to be sure I bite off what I can chew. This will NOT be a nice flat 50K ride, no way. I'm not good at estimating elevation, but whoever planned this wants to see who's in condition and who just signed up for fun. After completing 24 miles, the ride takes on a local well known hill, I've done it (with the help of granny gears), but its hard. Two miles later the route includes 5 hills in rapid succession, with only one small, downhill in-between the 5 hills. No problem for JPPE, but I'm not JPPE (got a little way to go yet )
    Ok, that's the ride. My question is, when I hit the break in the ride at about 15 miles, before all the long hills, about how long should I rest? Short, 1 or 2 minutes? That's what we do on our 24 mile training rides. Or longer, like 10 minutes? One group ride I attended took the long break. I didn't like it because my muscles tightened and it took about 3 or 4 miles to loosen up, however, I was very fresh and the second half of that ride was easy once I loosened up.
    This ride will start at 8:00 am on July 4th, in an area just south of Raleigh, NC. I anticipate it will be hot and humid. I will be one of the last ones to roll off, well after 8:00 and I estimate I will hit the rest area around 9:30, depending on how I pace myself, and it will be hotter.
    Any advice on how long a break is recommended is appreciated. BTW, I plan on taking on some sports drink and either banana or powerbar during the break.
    Everyone's body is different. I think your body has already told you something from what you posted. Perhaps something longer than the 1 or 2 minutes and shorter that the 10 minutes. You are the only one that can answer your question.

    Good luck. Have fun the 4th.

  4. #4
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Yeah, if you don't like a long stop, then don't do it. If you need to, you can always hop off the bike for a minute and stretch. Sometimes I do this when my legs are hurting, even at a red light I'll do a little stretch, maybe a squat, just to loosen up a little, straighten my back, you know.
    I love the rest stops at organized rides.

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    As others have said, we are all different and only you know your body. According to your figures there's a rest stop at 15 mi. and the hilly part starts at 24 mi.--that gives you 9 mi. to work out any muscle tightness you may encounter form stopping. In my thinking that should be no problem.

    As long as you eat and also pick up some "take along" food at the rest stop, as other posters have said, you should be in good shape. Start nibbling that food, as you ride, roughly 3 mi. before the first of the hills and then whenever you can until the finish. Of course, don't forget to drink lots of water...especially if it's hot (the weather, not the water ). Lot's of riders substitute a sports drink for solid food. Whatever has been working for you will be best. Just be sure your fuel tank is not on empty when you aproach those hills.

    You've been riding a lot, so this ride should be a piece of cake.

  6. #6
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    My rule of thumb for rest stops is 5 minutes (+/-). That's enough time to pee, fill bottles, and grab some food.

    Of course, if there's some cute gals in tight lycra with "racer back" jerseys, then I'll often hang out a little longer (so to speak ).
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  7. #7
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    I agree with MoJo and SSP. Stop, but not for more than about five minutes. More than that can really have a negative impact on your motivation, let your muscles cool down too much, etc.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  8. #8
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    The figure I've always heard is 20 minutes for your legs to cool down. Keep it to 10-15 minutes and you won't have to worry about warm-up after the stop. But I agree with the others. Catch your breath, get a cookie and hit the porta-potty, then get 'er done.

  9. #9
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Just play it by ear. You can take just enough time to refill bottles and grab some food and go or you can hang around and chat for as long as you like. Either way is fine. Just have a good ride and enjoy yourself.
    Last edited by BluesDawg; 06-28-07 at 07:27 AM.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  10. #10
    The Grampster tlc20010's Avatar
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    Breaks? You don't need no stinking breaks. Did the Germans take breaks when they bombed Pearl Harbor? Did Gore take breaks when he was counting hanging chads? Did Cheney take breaks when he shot friends in the face? Did jppe get to be jppe by taking breaks? Hell no, and you don't need to either. 50K?!? That's just that foo foo French way of counting and we all know about the French.......You can do it all on the big ring if you just put your mind to it. Get some of that "gel" stuff that the roadies use and smear it all over your body and you'll be fine. (and now back to our regularly scheduled program of useful advice)
    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
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    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    Be sure and wear your penny loafers and you can make it break free. (more useful advice)

    On a ride like you describe I think I would keep the break time short and sweet to keep my sweat going.
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  12. #12
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    I get most of my stopping via stop lights on the ride. There are enough of these that I probably get 15min of stop time in a 65 mile ride. That is generally sufficient for me, when ever I have tried to do a longer stop my legs just get tight and getting back into smooth pedaling is hard.
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

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  13. #13
    The Grampster tlc20010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrierman
    Be sure and wear your penny loafers and you can make it break free. (more useful advice)

    On a ride like you describe I think I would keep the break time short and sweet to keep my sweat going.
    +1 (except for the loafer part)
    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Five minutes before the hills, if you get a chance, try an energy gel.

  15. #15
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    Try 5 minutes per hour to let blood flow back to tender parts and get your breath back. Good luck!
    Dennis T

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlc20010
    Breaks? You don't need no stinking breaks. Did the Germans take breaks when they bombed Pearl Harbor? Did Gore take breaks when he was counting hanging chads? Did Cheney take breaks when he shot friends in the face? Did jppe get to be jppe by taking breaks? Hell no, and you don't need to either. 50K?!? That's just that foo foo French way of counting and we all know about the French.......You can do it all on the big ring if you just put your mind to it. Get some of that "gel" stuff that the roadies use and smear it all over your body and you'll be fine. (and now back to our regularly scheduled program of useful advice)
    Duh, uhm, well, I mean, well, you know, well, we know, actually, that you've got to be kidding, right? Uhm, I mean, well, not about whether to stop or anything, but, uhm, well, you know, I mean, duh, the Germans didn't have to take breaks during Pearl Harbor, I mean, duh, well, you know . . . .

    . . . and, while DC missed, well, he only took one shot, and it was only one friend (well . . . the friend maintains to this day that he is a friend, so, I guess it was a friend, but, for sure, there was only one, unless DC miss fired on a couple of others and hasn't fessed up to us . . . nah, DC would never do that!)

    Caruso

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    On that short of a ride, I would probably not stop . . . well, not for any physical reason. If there are friendly activities going on at those tops, I probably would stop.

    From a physical standpoint, hills or no, I would make certain to super charge my electrolyte level - that is more important than hydration, although the two are related.

    If I plan on taking an extended ride on a hot day, I make certain to ingest something that will seriously elevate substances that will maintain my electrolytes. I don't know what doctors on the forum will have to say about this, but, I find that ingesting two teaspoons of salt before a ride allows me to ride to almost limitess distances at unrestricted intervals and feel perfectly comfortable the entire distance and also after the ride. I'll grab something to drink along the way, and I may sweat like a pig, leaving salt rings around the brim of the hat I use under my helmet to keep sweat away from my eyes, but, in terms of my body, I can complete almost any ride in any sort of weather in comfort using this very simple "trick".

    Let us know how it goes for you, and good luck!

    Caruso

  18. #18
    Senior Member snavebob's Avatar
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    I just finished 31 miles today. It was the longest ride ever for me! I stopped at 15 miles for 5 minutes for water and a bite to eat, 1/2 PBJ sandwich, and felt great after I got back on the bike for the rest of the ride. I stopped a couple of more times for about a minute each for water. Probably flatter than what you're going to do.

    Good luck and watch out for those Germans who don't take breaks.

  19. #19
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Grampster:
    The Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? News to me . . . You folks in DC are forever re-writing the facts!

    Keep break 5 min or less: urinate/drink/eat/pedal on!

  20. #20
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    Grampster:
    The Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? News to me . . . You folks in DC are forever re-writing the facts!
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  21. #21
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great responses. I learned more than I bargained for i.e. the most I've ever eaten on a 50K ride is a half a bannana. There are some other good tips I picked up.
    And thanks to tlc20010 for the history lesson. I read it while at work. Now my boss wants to know why I burst out laughing while sitting alone in my office. I'll think of something by tomorrow.
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    On one of my routes, I have what is for me, a sizable climb. I like to do a granola bar with honey on it about thirty minutes before I start up the hill. The honey is fairly quick energy, and the carbs in the Oats N Honey bar keep me fueled as I climb. Also, I like to top off with gatorade about fifteen to thirty minutes before the climb. It all works well together for me.

    Good luck on the ride!

  23. #23
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    5 minutes or less. Pee if you need to, fill your bottles, munch on some munchies and walk/stretch a bit, then get back on the road. Others may disagree, but stay away from them energy gels....what goes up, must come down. To me, those are only useful in preparation for a final sprint...not 15 miles of climbing.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  24. #24
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    You know, I read your post and I am thinking how different we are. I would never, never (never) sign up for an event unless I got all the cards stacked in my favor. I would train that course until I am sure to be at least in the middle of any pack they come up with. But hell, I am German, that explains it.

  25. #25
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    You know, I read your post and I am thinking how different we are. I would never, never (never) sign up for an event unless I got all the cards stacked in my favor. I would train that course until I am sure to be at least in the middle of any pack they come up with. But hell, I am German, that explains it.
    For a 31 mile non-competitive ride? Good grief, man. Learn to relax!
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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