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  1. #1
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    Training Guide for Cross Country ride

    I received the ABB training guide for the CC ride in April. It suggests that it is a good idea to train 250 to 450+ miles per week and 2 to three days 125+ miles. They are not kidding. If you go unprepared you will be miserable.
    The problem is the weather here precludes any road biking. That means using the trainer or go to FL.
    I will do both.
    The trainer presents a challenge. Body heat keeps building even with a fan and open windows.
    I found a solution I like to share for someone interested in such things.

    I go 6 mile segments and get off the bike long enough to let my HR get back to resting. (52 for me).
    Next I sit down and do 2 miles at 90 RPM, 17 MPH. HR 115.
    Stand up and do 50 RPM at 17 MPH. HR 115.
    Sit down and do 90 RPM at 17 MPH. HR 115.

    Get off the bike and have Ice tea laced with Honey and a slice of bread with Honey. HR 52.

    Repeat for as long as needed. There seems to be no build in limit. I have done it for over 50 miles and will do 100 soon. I got very sick two years ago when I did this without being prepared.
    Last edited by will dehne; 02-25-08 at 04:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    If you go unprepared you will be miserable. If you go prepared you will be miserable. So it seems to this lazy slug.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  3. #3
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I did the TransAmerica this past Summer so I think that I can say something that might be relevant. I consider training for a coast to coast tour to be a bit over rated. You need enough time in the saddle that your butt is adjusted to riding, but that is about all that is really necessary and even that isn't an absolute requirement if you can take a little extra time in the beginning doing very short days.

    I was riding regularly and working out on a rowing machine when we started planning for the trip we only had a matter of a few weeks before we were to leave. My daughter had not been riding all year and her college room mate was in good shape but was not a cyclist. They managed to ride a few times a week if that and the longest ride Lauren or Erica had done that year was 31 miles. That was the longest Lauren had ever ridden in her life and Erica had ridden 42 miles a few times in the distant past.

    Given that my companions would not be in top shape I stopped riding much the last couple weeks to be on a more even level with them.
    This worked out fine for us. On a trip that long it isn't a huge deal if you start with lower mileage per day and work into it. Training as you go is quite possible and reasonable to do. I don't think I was ever miserable. The young women accompanying me had a bit harder time for the first week to 10 days but they did fine too.

    If going with a group it is possible that you may have more need to hit the ground running since you may not be able to choose how many miles you do per day. This may require a bit more fitness going in.

    I think that the biggest thing is that your bike fits and you have enough time in the saddle to be comfortable on the bike.

    One caveat is that we went West to East and saved the Appalachians for last. I think it is easier that way due to the fact that while lower the Appalachians have steeper climbs that the Cascades or Rockies. Still I think it could have worked going the other direction too.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    EDIT:
    After looking up what the ABB ride is I have a bit further comment. The mileage per day looks comparable to what we did if you adjust for the lack of baggage on the ABB ride (It is sagged right?). Their total mileage is a bit shorter and the climbs will be infinitely easier without panniers full of camping gear and clothing. The big difference that will make that ride require a bit more training is that they will start out riding at the pace that they will maintain without any easing in to it.

    FWIW: I would rather do the trip we did, but have to admit that we were envious of sagged riders on the tougher climbs.

    In any case I hope that you have a great trip.
    Last edited by staehpj1; 02-25-08 at 06:44 AM.

  4. #4
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I like the line they use in the material to prepare for the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia. If you are not in shape at the start of BRAG, you will be at the end.

    Note: They do recommend that you prepare by doing a lot of riding and at least some long distance riding beforehand.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  5. #5
    Senior Member lighthorse's Avatar
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    Will,
    Maybe I am remembering incorrectly but arent you scheduled to do the ABB "fast across America?" If so, that is a much different kettle of fish than their other rides, and certainly different than what most of us who do the cross country trips experience. Their "fast across" rides involve long miles each day (100+) and they even note that you need to be able to maintain a minimum speed enroute.
    In any event, I am a big believer that training completed before a cross country will allow you to enjoy the actual ride much more. But that is just me.
    Good luck training and with the ABB ride.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lighthorse View Post
    Maybe I am remembering incorrectly but arent you scheduled to do the ABB "fast across America?" If so, that is a much different kettle of fish than their other rides, and certainly different than what most of us who do the cross country trips experience.
    In view of this my comments above are less than relevant. A trip like that has little in common with what I consider a tour and preparation, motivation, etc. are all completely different. Personally I would rather stop to smell the roses a bit, but I have to say the my hat is off to you.

    Good luck and I hope it works out to be what you are hoping it will be.

  7. #7
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    I like the line they use in the material to prepare for the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia. If you are not in shape at the start of BRAG, you will be at the end.

    Note: They do recommend that you prepare by doing a lot of riding and at least some long distance riding beforehand.
    While on the subject, David Lamb's book Over The Hills details his crossing the US in the early 1990s. He was over 50, smoked, drank a little, overate, and hadn't ever ridden a bike more than 40 miles a day in his life. He seems to have done OK, although he took it easy by spending nights in hotels and his Southern route was rain-free most of the time. My favorite moment in the book is when he gets his first flat and he tries to remember how to fix it. He'd not had to fix a flat since he was a teenager....

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lighthorse View Post
    Will,
    Maybe I am remembering incorrectly but arent you scheduled to do the ABB "fast across America?" If so, that is a much different kettle of fish than their other rides, and certainly different than what most of us who do the cross country trips experience. Their "fast across" rides involve long miles each day (100+) and they even note that you need to be able to maintain a minimum speed enroute.
    In any event, I am a big believer that training completed before a cross country will allow you to enjoy the actual ride much more. But that is just me.
    Good luck training and with the ABB ride.
    You are remembering correctly and I assumed that my post implied that it was The Fast Across America South. This tour is for some of us a race of 100 to 160 miles per day for 25 biking days and two rest days. It is true that some tour participants just barely make it. It is also true that some spend time in a hospital due to all kinds of reasons.
    However, there is an A-Team. Out of 35 bikers there were 6 on that team. I made it two years ago but just barely and with some tricks up my sleeve. This time around I will be much better trained and equipped and hope to be a worthy participant of the A-Team. No doubt that I will be the most senior member but that is the challenge. By the way: This tour is also called the Challenge. Everybody uses the best equipment they can afford and the least weight.
    I have no desire to do this trip without SAG support. I thrive on the challenge of going as fast as I can.
    This tour is pushing my limit. I studied and gave up on doing RAAM.

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    There is no way that I could do a ride of this length of time- and at the speed that Will be doing it in- But I have to train for most of the long rides. 100 milers are not a problem once I have built up the distance- But it would be a week between rides of that distance.

    One thing I have noticed over the years is that a variety of training helped me. It was allright going out for a quick 30 miles on the Tandem 4 nights a week in all weathers- but all that did was get the Cycling muscles attuned. By alternating with the gym- We build up other parts of the body- and it was surprising how much strength I put into the upper body by pulling a few gentle weights twice a week for 6 months. Same with the back- gentle exercising made for a supple back that had more movement in it, and as for the quads- Gyms have machines that will push your leg strength to the limit in a very short space of time- And improve them quicker than on a bike. There is still no better training for cycling than getting out and riding- But the occasional trip to the gym will help build those other muscles- that asssist in your riding stamina and strength.

    Only problem is that I prefer Riding to other forms of torture so I am back to a couple of midweek rides and Pie on Sundays.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  10. #10
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    Just a little warning for someone who wants to join us. I think I am in good shape but 160 miles a day with headwind (call it storm) and driving rain at the freezing point in New Mexico was a challenge. I will dig up a picture and post it on this thread but I have to do a little work to do that.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    .................................................................................................... ...... There is still no better training for cycling than getting out and riding- But the occasional trip to the gym will help build those other muscles- that asssist in your riding stamina and strength.

    Only problem is that I prefer Riding to other forms of torture so I am back to a couple of midweek rides and Pie on Sundays.
    Same here. I am grudgingly doing upper body exercise every morning like brushing teeth. But I do it. You are very correct. A 160 mile day will cause all kinds of pain in shoulders, hands, butt and not to mention legs and feet.
    Training helps. Training 160 miler is more than I like to do. That means that 160 miler will be an ordeal no matter what someone says. I have no idea how the RAAM bikers do 300-400 miles/day.

  12. #12
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  13. #13
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    [IMG][/IMG]Perhaps these pictures speak for themselves? The group picture is the A-Team from 2006. I am far left.

  14. #14
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Good going Will, but I'm afraid I'd have to go like Lighthorse or staehpj1. Maybe if I started sooner in my riding, but I can't turn back time.
    George

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    Good going Will, but I'm afraid I'd have to go like Lighthorse or staehpj1. Maybe if I started sooner in my riding, but I can't turn back time.
    George:
    I do not know you well enough to say what you can or cannot do.
    Look at my picture above. I lost 20 lbs. since then, two years ago, age 64. I struggled doing 16.5 MPH on a trainer for 100 miles. It just about killed me. I was trowing up most of the night. I just did 50 miles on that trainer at 17.5 MPH and sit here posting this. Fully relaxed. My HR was never above 125 which is no strain. I am going on age 67 and see no slow down yet.
    The message? Lots of training does wonders.

  16. #16
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Rheumatoid arthritis is probably going to stop me faster than I care too.
    George

  17. #17
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    Hey have fun. I always follow these rides via Mike Munks website. Something that I would really like to do. Well one day I will get the chance. Until then i live vicariously through that website.

    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne View Post
    I received the ABB training guide for the CC ride in April. It suggests that it is a good idea to train 250 to 450+ miles per week and 2 to three days 125+ miles. They are not kidding. If you go unprepared you will be miserable.
    The problem is the weather here precludes any road biking. That means using the trainer or go to FL.
    I will do both.
    The trainer presents a challenge. Body heat keeps building even with a fan and open windows.
    I found a solution I like to share for someone interested in such things.

    I go 6 mile segments and get off the bike long enough to let my HR get back to resting. (52 for me).
    Next I sit down and do 2 miles at 90 RPM, 17 MPH. HR 115.
    Stand up and do 50 RPM at 17 MPH. HR 115.
    Sit down and do 90 RPM at 17 MPH. HR 115.

    Get off the bike and have Ice tea laced with Honey and a slice of bread with Honey. HR 52.

    Repeat for as long as needed. There seems to be no build in limit. I have done it for over 50 miles and will do 100 soon. I got very sick two years ago when I did this without being prepared.

  18. #18
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruin11 View Post
    Hey have fun.
    Yikes! This ride looks intense; if the time on the trainer didn't kill me the first 5 days probably would.

  19. #19
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I have to wish you well on the ride will- Because this is something I would not attempt- That picture of the rain and wind brings back memories of my winter riding- But there is no way you will get me out day after day to relive our winter weather.

    So's here's wishing you a temperature of between 65 and 70 and a tailwind all the way.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    I have to wish you well on the ride will- Because this is something I would not attempt- That picture of the rain and wind brings back memories of my winter riding- But there is no way you will get me out day after day to relive our winter weather.

    So's here's wishing you a temperature of between 65 and 70 and a tailwind all the way.
    You know I am now retired from a very stressful Management job. The vacuum after that 80+ hour/week job is awesome. Filling this vacuum with a tour like that plus the required training is what this is about.

    Managing a company in a collapsing USA Automotive business is Hell.

    A challenging CC trip is as close to Heaven as I can get here.

    As to your good wishes stapfam. Thanks. Our Tour leader has this to say to that: Temperature F 78, wind from behind, the sun is shining and the birds are singing. Where is the challenge in that? He says.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruin11 View Post
    Hey have fun. I always follow these rides via Mike Munks website. Something that I would really like to do. Well one day I will get the chance. Until then i live vicariously through that website.
    Mike Munk is a great Tour leader. His military training comes through loud and clear. We are fortunate that he will lead this tour again. I believe he has done close to 20 of these CC tours.
    Getting a group of 30+ bikers safely across the country is no mean feat. My respects to that man and his wife Barbara.

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