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Old 02-13-08, 09:00 PM   #1
Yen
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50-mile ride on Sat.... can I do it??

I am still riding 20+ miles on most weekends (short rides during the week after work as time permits). That distance is now so comfortable that it's a typical ride when we are short on time.

There is a memorial ride this Saturday in Los Angeles to honor the fallen LAPD SWAT officer Randy Simmons who lost his life in a tragic shoot-out last week. My father is a retired LAPD detective so the department is like a family to me. My heart has been heavy this past week as I think about Randy, his family, and his comrad who was critically injured, and I would like to be able to complete this ride in his honor and to contribute to the fundraiser.

The ride will be slow and they are asking all cyclists to join (including recreational). There will be a couple of short breaks plus a 30-minute wreath-laying ceremony at the place where Randy lost his life. I know of at least one big climb -- the hill back to the starting point at the Los Angeles Police Academy (where I swam in the big swimming pool almost every summer as a kid).

Memorial ride for fallen LAPD officer, THIS SATURDAY 0800

Is this doable for me? I didn't learn about it until just this morning! What kind of preparation do I need between now and early Saturday morning? As much as I dislike riding at night, I plan to ride tonight and tomorrow, maybe a *very* easy ride on Friday morning (or not?). I can carry 2 water bottles to which I usually add a little apple juice. I have two days to get myself and the bike ready, and we haven't ridden in a group yet. They hope to enlist LAPD motor officers for support.

I don't want to handicap the group but they are asking all cyclists to join.... it is not a timed ride, they will go slow, possibly have an escort, and the weather will be cool. Help! Am I over-reaching?
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Old 02-13-08, 09:07 PM   #2
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Because you're still riding regularly, you'll probably be able to handle it. If you're worried about riding in a group, start out near the back of the pack.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:09 PM   #3
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Sure you can do it, no problem. 50 miles is really not that far. I'll be riding the Butterfield Double, so 200 miles the same day.

Not sure how much over 50 you are, but I'm 57 and if I can do 200, you can do 50! Particularly so because you have an emotional tie-in, and therefore a solid inspiration.

Just do it, you'll be surprised how easy it was when you're done.

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Old 02-13-08, 09:10 PM   #4
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You can do it. You'll surprise yourself. And it sounds like there will be lots of folks who will make sure that everyone can do it, if they want to. If i can ride 65 miles alone, with no particular reason to believe I could make it, other than wanting to memorialize my parent's 64th wedding anniversary, I know you can do this, surrounded by others. You can do it.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:23 PM   #5
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Yes.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:25 PM   #6
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Thank you! Now, what preparation do I really need to do? Do I need to ride today and tomorrow? Skip Friday? What food should we take?

I am planning to carry the little digital camera and will post pics, if I feel it's appropriate to take them and can do so without annoying everyone, given the solemn circumstances around which this ride is arranged.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:29 PM   #7
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Yes, x 10000 on the answer to the will you be able to do it question. In my expert opinion, worth every cent you pay to read it, you should not do anything other than what you would ordinarily do, and take what you would ordinarily take. If you are worried about getting hungry a couple of bananas and maybe a granola bar or two will be plenty to take along on a 50 miler. Otherwise, eat when you finish (which you will anyway, trust me on that one). Enjoy yourself, and honor the man and his family for all of us here at 50+.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:30 PM   #8
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Absolutely you can do it. Especially if they are going at a slow to moderate pace. Don't ride the day before, or if you do, take it easy. Two days before the ride, try to go 30 miles instead of your usual 20. On rides over 1 hr., I use Heed (Hammer Nutrition) and Endurolyte capsules. Just drink one bottle of water mixed with Heed per hour and take a couple of Endurolytes per hour, and you'll be just fine. If you have extra room, take a banana along -- helps with cramping.

Have fun!
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Old 02-13-08, 09:32 PM   #9
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You can do it for all the reasons mentioned above. It's a ride, not a race. You're not going to be able to "ride yourself into shape" before then, so trust that you are ready. I think I'd skip riding Friday. Eat well the night before. I don't know what kind of support (i.e. food, water, etc). will be provided. If you're not sure, take some stuff (PowerBars, a sandwich, gatorade) with you and don't be shy about stopping at a mini-market to fuel up. You'll be interacting with the other riders and supporters so much, you won't even notice the miles go by. Good luck. Doing the right thing and what's hard are often the same. We're all with you and want a report.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:32 PM   #10
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I think you have a very good chance of doing it. A week before I did my 64 mile ride, my all time longest ride had been 33 miles.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:36 PM   #11
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Hi Yen,

I'm so sorry about the fallen LAPD SWAT officer. I have a first cousin in the LAPD, and have always had respect and gratitude for anyone choosing that path.

My first thought is that it's too late to "get in shape" for Saturday. You'll just end up tiring yourself out and undermining the stamina you'll need for Saturday. I'd just ride as normal, and do the best you can on Saturday. If it's any help, we went from 5 mile rides to 30 mile rides within days of getting our bikes, and just felt a wonderful sort of tired. If we could do 30 miles after only 5 miles, I'll be you can knock off 50 miles after doing lots of 20 mile rides just fine.

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:42 PM   #12
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Thanks so much. I was just debating whether to change into my bike clothes and do the night ride I loathe, or change into my walking clothes and do a treadmill workout while watching TV (I hate to admit this in light of the reason of the event I'm planning for.... sheesh). I cannot ride tomorrow night cuz we're going out to dinner with our neighbors (they invited us and we have reservations). A 30-mile ride at night in traffic is out of the question for me (unfortunately). Friday is the only daytime I'll have, and I'll make it an easy ride if I do it at all.

As for eating... I'm prone to hypoglycemia (feels like ALL my energy has left my body) if I eat a lot of pasta or white or refined carbs unless eaten during or after a ride. So, what would be best for me to eat the night before, and that morning? I usually have either oatmeal or Shredded Wheat for breakfast every morning.

I appreciate all of your support so much.........
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Old 02-13-08, 11:00 PM   #13
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Don't do anything different than you usually do. You know your body, eat what you know works for you.
If you are worried about the distance, find someone to chat with during the ride, it always helps me.
Don't be afraid to stop and stretch, or even stop at a store if you need something. You'll make it.
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Old 02-13-08, 11:06 PM   #14
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I just returned from a good, brisk, 45 minute ride in a light drizzle. That felt good. Now tomorrow I'll do my usual walking+stairs at work (just part of the routine of getting from point A to point B, but it adds up to 30+ minutes/day), eat a healthy dinner, and on late Friday morning I'll take a very easy, light ride and be sure to hydrate well.

Thanks again for all the encouragement and suggestions, I truly appreciate your support. I'll be sure to report back on Saturday after the ride. I choke up just thinking about this.

Honoring two of LA's finest...
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Old 02-13-08, 11:07 PM   #15
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Yen:

Oatmeal is my breakfast on a 'longer' riding day (30-40 miles), like a Saturday or Sunday, or before a big day like a Century where I have to get up early and travel out of town to get to the start.

It seems to "stick to the ribs" better than anything else. I add in 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar and 1/4 cup of raisens for the last couple of minutes of cooking.

I also carry one bottle of plain water, and one bottle of some kind of a 'sport drink', plus a Cliff Bar or a couple of granola bars, and maybe some fig bars in a baggie (not all at once, your choice, mix and match).

Since as you mentioned, there will be some stops along the way, and it is not a race and a ceremony mid-way, it should no problem, especially with your emotional involvement.

After this one, you'll be looking around for metric centuries and then full ones!
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Old 02-13-08, 11:16 PM   #16
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Skiph, that's the breakfast I eat every morning at work -- oatmeal (steel cut oats), brown sugar, and raisins. I also add a few shakes of cinnamon. And I never have an energy slump after eating that, plus it's very tasty! We always carry granola bars. In lieu of a sport drink I like to add apple juice to the water bottle... it contains a little potassium. Or O.J. and honey. Thanks for the additional tips!
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Old 02-13-08, 11:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yen View Post
Thank you! Now, what preparation do I really need to do?
Make sure your bike is in good mechanical condition. Get a good night's sleep Friday. Eat a good breakfast a couple of hours before the ride. Ride at a comfortable pace. Eat a little and drink about 3-4 bottles of water and or energy drink during the ride. Relax. Enjoy the ride.
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Old 02-14-08, 12:02 AM   #18
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My first "long" ride of the year turned into a semidisaster so take what you can from my experience. Only able to do about 100 miles since Christmas due to illness and bad weather. Wanted to get a metric century in and the weather was ok. About 42 miles in, Mr. Cramps visited me in a big way. Thought I was hydrating ok but I guess I overdid my pace and am just out of riding shape. Ended up with 59 miles and the last 17 seemed like 100. Cramps on the top of my thighs would not let go and then IB knee kicked in so I had now power on the downstroke. Lance's records are safe. To top things off, I stopped at the State Fish Hatchey to refill my water bottles. Water shut off due to E Coli in the water!

Anyway. My next ride when the wether breaks is going to be either a slower pace or a shorter ride. Wether stinks again so maybe next month?
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Old 02-14-08, 07:30 AM   #19
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All good advice so far.

Since you are a regular rider, 50 miles should be doable (although you'll probably hurt the day after)
Is the wreath laying at the middle of the ride or at the end? If it is at the mid-point, the hardest part will be that at 25 miles your body will think the ride is over, then you'll hit it with another 25 miles. Try not to stiffen up too much during the ceremony or you'll suffer on the return trip.
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Old 02-14-08, 07:54 AM   #20
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All good advice so I'll just say: Of course you can. Silly girl.

And if by chance it is too much just remember: if you aren't getting dropped occasionally, you're not trying hard enough.

Report back.
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Old 02-14-08, 09:15 AM   #21
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Good luck, Yen, and enjoy the ride. I'm betting you'll have no problem with the distance.
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Old 02-14-08, 09:27 AM   #22
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The first time you ride 50 miles in a group like that it can be really intimidating I know but you want to do this and you'll feel like you really accomplished something when you do, so go for it. I'm sure there'll be support so if you can't finish for some reason they'll bring you back.
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Old 02-14-08, 09:56 AM   #23
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Sound advice given to the letter. Thanks for riding this memorial for all the 50+ members. My brother is a sheriff's LT here and I hurt everytime an officer is wounded or killed. Best of luck and good riding. As said before, you can do the 50 miles.

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Old 02-14-08, 09:59 AM   #24
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You can definitely do 50 miles.

LA weather will be perfect this Saturday and the hill
leading up to the academy is really nothing to worry about.

Don't do anything special, just have some oatmeal and pump up your tires.
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Old 02-14-08, 02:43 PM   #25
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Of course you can! Everyone's given you great advice, and you're highly motivated, possessed of bike fitness, so I think you'll have an awesome ride.

Enjoy the experience!
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