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Old 09-13-09, 02:54 PM   #1
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what is your personal wall

I am just turned 60 and I love bikes and ride a couple of times a week but I am finding I have just over 40 miles in me before it starts getting to be no fun. I am trying to figure why and thought I would first check and see what a few of you guys have for a distance limit and why.
My biggest issue is butt pain and I am just now exploring new saddles and settings but I think the solution, plain and simple, is to just ride more often.

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Old 09-13-09, 03:04 PM   #2
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bike fit is critical, a professional fit is worth the cost if you love to ride as mush as you say. If you opt for the ride more option don't exceed an increase of 10%. Do say 45 ish for two weeks then up in another 10 and see how it works out.

Something I have found and others have experienced the same thing is to mix your distances up, if you always ride 40 it seems your body and mind know this and begin to say "OK we're done" and that's what brings on the need to stop.

BTW I ride anywhere from 25 to 150 miles a ride average is around 50-60
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Old 09-13-09, 03:05 PM   #3
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I did the same as you when I first started riding.
42 miles and the group I was with would blast ahead of me.
You are running out of fuel.
My motor runs on sugar and caffeine together.
I drink Gatorade while riding.
Drink something every 15 minute and eat something every 30 minutes as you ride.
A Coke or Pepsi about mile 40 would give me a blast of energy and I could keep up with the group.

Measure your sit bones. Your butt only need a seat that wide to ride on.
Wear two bike pairs of shorts if it is sore.
Shift to a high gear and stand to pedal as much as you can.
Last week I was able to ride 306 miles total in 3 days back to back..

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Old 09-13-09, 03:12 PM   #4
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BTW I ride anywhere from 25 to 150 miles a ride average is around 50-60

Last week I was able to ride 306 miles total in 3 days back to back..

That is great! I love hearing these kinds of miles. The running out of fuel thing sounds right. After a 40 miler in these temps I feel real weak until I throw down a Coke and a bag of peanuts.
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Old 09-13-09, 03:34 PM   #5
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Mike,

Are you taking a break during your rides. I find I need a short break at about 30 miles when I am first building endurance in the early season. I will stop for about 5 minutes, stretch a little and eat a trail mix bar. Later I can push that to 40 miles, but 30 is really better. Today I did a century, the first rest stop was at 45 miles - those last 10 miles were long.

If you are having seat pain, you may try going to a specialized dealer and get them to measure your sit bones - they may be able to help you with saddle fit. I have not done this but know others who have had success. I recently purchased a Sella An-Atomica for one of my bikes which had an uncomfortable saddle and we are breaking each other in right now...
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Old 09-13-09, 03:38 PM   #6
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For me, the 5 hour mark is usually the point where I start to wiggle in the saddle, feel a bit of discomfort and drag some in energy. 5 hours can be anywhere from 60 to 100 miles depending on the topography. At that point I need some sugar and caffeine for a quick blast of energy. But that won't help much if I didn't eat or drink up to that time. If you ride long enough it becomes mental as much as physical. Experience is what helps most with overcoming the mental hurdles.
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Old 09-13-09, 03:51 PM   #7
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I'd say it's about 45 miles this weekend.
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Old 09-13-09, 04:03 PM   #8
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I take breaks every 15-20 miles, have tried to get a balance between weight on handle bars and seat so that can nudge weight one way or the other at will, the 3 points of contact starting with shoes-pedal, good chamois on bike shorts and gloves-handlebar tape have been helpful for me, up to 75 miles no issues. Brooks Imperial is my saddle of choice, a friend lent me his spare selle smp pro which am testing.
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Old 09-13-09, 04:12 PM   #9
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Once I achieved comfort on my bikes I found my only constraint was time.

You need to work on your comfort ,I would guess. There's a lot of good advice posted above to that end already so no need for me to be redundent.
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Old 09-13-09, 04:31 PM   #10
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Once I achieved comfort on my bikes I found my only constraint was time

..and this would be a goal. I just put a Fizic Arione on my main bike and it still hurts but not as much as my last saddle and I am hoping the break in process will be quick. Gloves would be nice, I don't use them yet and I do have hand pain as well as just-about-everything pain.

Based on some of these replies I think a handlebar bag with something to eat and something other than water in my bottles may be called for.

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Old 09-13-09, 05:02 PM   #11
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At the risk of being redundant:
Saddle
I found the type of saddle to be less important then posture. Some Clydesdale bikers sit upright with all the weight on the saddle. That will hurt. I bent forward where the bars are a little below the saddle. That puts pressure on your wrist and hands but is good for your behind. Another trick is to get off the saddle often. Either with a rest or better learn to pedal while standing up. I have trained to stand up for 5 minutes or more.
Good shorts will help. And there are good saddles also. I use Terry Touring and bike in street shorts without padding often.
Nutrition
You will feel miserable on longer rides if you do not eat right. Many of us are trying to loose weight while biking. That is a problem. A good breakfast followed by Gel with 200 calories per hour is good advise. Gatorade helps also.
Training
I had your type of issues until I started training harder. My standard is 50 miles per day and 70 miles/day in Florida in the winter.
Of course I am retired.
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Old 09-13-09, 06:21 PM   #12
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I've tried lots of different saddles and shorts over the years. With the right set-up I can do centuries without too much discomfort.
Make sure you don't have too much weight on your hands, you should be able to lightly rest them on the bars when cruising. This may take a little work on the core.
Also, eating on the ride is critical when you get past a couple hours. You should try different things to find out what works for you. I hate gels and most bars and prefer regular food.
Yeah, your butt will toughen up with more saddle time.
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Old 09-13-09, 06:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leinad View Post
bike fit is critical, a professional fit is worth the cost if you love to ride as much as you say.
1+ Of all the things I did when I got my new bike, the 2.5 hr pro fit session was the best $100. Several people in the club recommended it, but I really doubted it. They were right.

There is a lot of other great advice here to. One thing that many, many people told me that was good advice was spend the $$$ to get great bike shorts. Personally, I like Louis Garneau, but then I'm no expert.

On any ride over about 50 miles, be sure to use some butt butter.

I try to ride 3 x a week, 30 to 50 mi at a time. Some days 30 is a chore, some days 60 isn't enough. Hydration and nutrition are vital. Comfort is key.

Now get out there and ride your age and report it.

Last edited by bobthib; 09-13-09 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 09-14-09, 09:11 AM   #14
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I run into the "no fun" thing quite often on my long rides. It doesn't always happen, and never at the same distance twice, but if I just keep going, I get through it and finish feeling fine. And as others have said, eating and drinking makes a huge difference. Caffeine and sugar help too. Mtn Dew and Gatorade have helped me get thru many a "low spot".

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ps - riding a recumbent has completely eliminated all comfort issues for me (after 35 years of tweaking my riding position on a df)
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Old 09-14-09, 06:49 PM   #15
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I run out of fun at right about 200 miles, which is between 13 and 17 hours depending on how much climbing there is. My fastest is 13 hours with only 6,000 feet of climbing, and the longest is 17 Hours 45 min. with 17,500 feet of climbing.

I use a Serfas saddle, and use Hammer Sustained Energy or Perpetuem for fuel, plus caffeine at about 165 - 175 mile mark (Red Bull or Monster, etc.) for the final push to the finish.

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Old 09-15-09, 12:25 PM   #16
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+1 on the importance of comfort with a mention of pace and a simple-minded training suggestion.

I'm another recumbent rider who has no fun limits except time, weather, and the toting of too much lard up nasty long uphills. Some DF riders achieve similar comfort but for me riding bent makes it much simpler.

The chances of me doing matching Rick's 200 mile times absent a full gale force tailwind are exactly null. Starting slowly and gradually increasing speed to mediocre makes long rides fun for me. Rather than wondering if/when the last few miles will ever end I often end up riding further than planned.

I find simple, quite unscientific, interval training very useful in increasing fitness. When the spirit moves I just increase power to the point I do not want to try any harder, maintain that level until my body threatens the possibility of a labor strike, and ease off again. Many riders use this technique in a much more disciplined way and likely get additional benefits. My method has only the advantage of being simple.
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Old 09-15-09, 02:47 PM   #17
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I find anything over an hour and a half torture. I've been riding for 45 years and put in around 3000 miles a year. The longest distance I’ve ever ridden is 52 miles, and have no intention of doing it again. I would much rather go all out fast for an hour than to ride any longer. If I want distance I'll get in a car. To each his own.
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Old 09-15-09, 03:42 PM   #18
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I like to visualize cycling time / distance as a sweet spot versus a limit. I like a 3 hour ride which in general yields about 50 miles with a minimum time for a ride of 2 hours. This range fits well into my schedule and allows for other activities. After about 4 hours, I am really looking forward to the ride ending. As a trackie, too much distance is counter productive.
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Old 09-15-09, 03:53 PM   #19
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. I've been riding for 45 years and put in around 3000 miles a year. The longest distance I’ve ever ridden is 52 miles, and have no intention of doing it again. I would much rather go all out fast for an hour than to ride any longer. If I want distance I'll get in a car. To each his own.[/COLOR]
Agree, I'm 58, just did my first metric, but I find 40 miles the perfect distance, 2.5- 3 hours, on to the next activity. It's not supposed to be the Bataan Death March. I also am impressed with great distances people ride, but even if I could do it, I probably wouldn't. 6-7 hours sound too much like work

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Old 09-15-09, 04:03 PM   #20
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Two words: Brooks saddle
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Old 09-15-09, 04:14 PM   #21
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I'll agree I don't want this to become work but I feel my riding would be too limited unless I can do distance to some extent. I am pleased that it doesn't seem to be cardio that is holding me back at this point but (lack of) comfort (read pain. pain .pain) more than anything. So today I went out and bought gloves and a small handlebar bag for food and hope to see a 45-50 this weekend. It wouldn't hurt if the real feel got below 90...

I love this forum BTW, keeps me optomistic.

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Old 09-15-09, 04:43 PM   #22
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I have been hitting a wall near 40 miles, until I started to feel myh Selle Anatomica is getting dialed in. The last few 40 mile rides have been pretty comfortable. Previously my wall was based on butt comfort.
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Old 09-15-09, 04:49 PM   #23
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Two words: Brooks saddle
For many, yes. And for many others, no. My B17 gave me my one and only saddle sore ever, and I was tired of sliding around on it. I replaced it with a Terry Butterly Ti which remedied both issues. I know, many others love it, but it's not for everyone.
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Old 09-15-09, 09:35 PM   #24
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After about 3 or 4 hours, when the whole body starts to feel this dull pain, and there's still a ways to go before the end, I can usually take my mind off the pain by focusing on feeling the bike vibrate over the road - just really feeling the bike. I also look down at the bike and admire the lines. I enjoy looking at the way the Campagnolo dual pivot brake arm sweeps out to the side. I also think about what parts of the bike need upgrading, what components are contributing to performance and comfort and which are not. It's not difficult to get back into that trance where the distance just melts away.

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Old 09-16-09, 10:29 AM   #25
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For me it is about how well I've eaten & drunk, and I do tend to fall into that trap of not wanting to eat because I am out to burn calories.
Therefore the last 4 miles of my 40 mile ride can feel just as onerous as the last 4 miles of the 76 mile ride. Still, I get a kind of perverse satisfaction in being totally whipped at the end of my ride, no matter how long it was. Makes the following meal (& massage if I spring for one) that much nicer.
One thing that has helped the comfort for me is the made-for-lawnmowers handle cushions that I use on the bars. I've cut them down to fit; and they absorb vibration and provide great cushioning.
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