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Old 11-16-04, 01:32 PM   #1
stapfam
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Epic Achievements

Many of us just ride because we enjoy it. I know I do, but I also try to prove myself occasionally. In England we have a ride called the South Downs Way. 100 miles of Offroad masochism, 10000ft of climbing and only 15 hours of daylight to do it in. I Did it in 94,95,96 and 97. Then in 99, just as I set myself up to do it again, Medical problems set in. However in 2003 I did it again. 12 hours of torture on a Tandem, and No, it is not easier with 4 legs riding. 2004 and I did it again, once again on the Tandem but this time in 11 hours.
I only train for this one ride a year, but when you realise that this involves out every weekend, Gym twice a week, a couple of century Road rides, and as many Metric centuries in as possible,you can see I take my training seriously. When you take into consideration that I am 57, have had a couple of serious medical problems, and no longer have the speed that I used to, you will realise why I have to train so hard. I am already in training for next Junes Ride, but it gets harder to drag myself out on those cold mornings.

What do the rest of you class as your "Epic" ride? I don't only mean for those of us that are a bit fitter than most, How about the lardies amongst us, or the ones that have just started riding, What are your aims for next year, or if you are fit, what rides do you do.
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Old 11-16-04, 03:10 PM   #2
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My inspiration for long-distance cycling came in 1972, when a 50-year-old friend convinced me to train for the annual Los Angeles Wheelmen Double Century with him. We completed the ride in 12 hours 18 minutes, which still stands today as the greatest athletic achievement of my life. (We took the easier "midland" route, along the gently rolling hills of Pacific Coast Highway 101. That year, the best time for the "highland" route through the Malibu mountains was an inspiring 9:03.) On the ride we struck up numerous instant friendships, including a visitor from Kansas, who was complaining about all the "big" hills, and a 76-year-old black gentleman from Watts, who was on his 12th consecutive Double Century, having taken up long-distance cycling when he "retired."
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Old 11-16-04, 03:13 PM   #3
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My claim to fame is doing the "Ride the Rockies" (that year was 353 miles) over many Colorado passes on a mountain bike when I was 58yo, only 4 months after I started riding "seriously."

I saw an article in the paper about some lady in her fifties who was going to do it, so I thought, if she can, so can I. That was in 1998.

The next year I bought a road bike for RTR. Got tired of "On your left!"

Physically, right now, given the heart situation, I wouldn't want to try it, nor could I do it. But, I did just come back from a wonderful 20 mile ride. Glad I can still do that.

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Old 11-16-04, 07:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by stapfam
What do the rest of you class as your "Epic" ride? I don't only mean for those of us that are a bit fitter than most, How about the lardies amongst us, or the ones that have just started riding, What are your aims for next year, or if you are fit, what rides do you do.
Well, I don't know about the rest of youse-all, but after three decades away from bicycles (and d-mn near no exercise at all during that time), my Giant OCR2 was delivered in early October. With a little under 300 miles on it, I can crank out 25 miles, and still get on it to ride the next day; I am disgustingly proud of that! My goal is at least two 50-mile rides by end of summer 2005, and a century the year after that. And this is after decades of being a couch-potato who only took a break from my deep-fried diet to squeeze in some cake or ice cream. Still, my weight is down 20 lbs. from midsummer. Every now and then my wife looks at me with that, "When will the space aliens bring back my real husband?" look.
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Old 11-17-04, 06:23 AM   #5
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While not anywhere in the class of some, my most epic cycling achievement happened this weekend. After being off a bike for about 40 years, doing little if any excerising during that time and having only seriously been riding for about 6 months I did my first Metric Century. To some this may not seem like alot, but to me it's epic.
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Old 11-17-04, 10:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bop Bop
While not anywhere in the class of some, my most epic cycling achievement happened this weekend. After being off a bike for about 40 years, doing little if any excerising during that time and having only seriously been riding for about 6 months I did my first Metric Century. To some this may not seem like alot, but to me it's epic.
Sounds great to me. Congrats!
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Old 11-17-04, 11:13 AM   #7
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A metric century is something that 99.99% of folks 50+ could NOT do. You have every right to be proud!
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Old 11-17-04, 04:30 PM   #8
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Fox and John,

Thank you very much!
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Old 11-18-04, 09:57 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox
A metric century is something that 99.99% of folks 50+ could NOT do. You have every right to be proud!
Denver, what I find particularly sad is that over half of today's youth probably could not do a metric century without at least several weeks of training.
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Old 11-18-04, 01:46 PM   #10
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With the weather getting bad and less daylight any time I can get in on riding my bike is "epic".

Brian K.
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Old 12-07-04, 09:29 AM   #11
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Congrats Bop Bop!

I well remember achieving my first metric about late June last year, then I did my "proper" one the next month, and then two months after that I did my first and so far only Audax ride which in that case was a 200k and as I rode there and then home again I clocked 152 miles that day at an avera ge of 14.5. I rate that my greatest achievement so far and since than I have slid a bit backwards. However I have that as my benchmark to surpass, and in time will as I am determined to keep riding through the winter, which is where I lost the fitness last winter.
The trick seems to be to increase the milage gently, and lose some weight on the way by too.
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Old 12-07-04, 10:26 AM   #12
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Riding past 50 is IMO, an epic acheivement. Way to go Bop Bop!
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Old 12-07-04, 08:39 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by stapfam
Many of us just ride because we enjoy it. I know I do, but I also try to prove myself occasionally. In England we have a ride called the South Downs Way. 100 miles of Offroad masochism, 10000ft of climbing and only 15 hours of daylight to do it in. I Did it in 94,95,96 and 97. Then in 99, just as I set myself up to do it again, Medical problems set in. However in 2003 I did it again. 12 hours of torture on a Tandem, and No, it is not easier with 4 legs riding. 2004 and I did it again, once again on the Tandem but this time in 11 hours.
I only train for this one ride a year, but when you realise that this involves out every weekend, Gym twice a week, a couple of century Road rides, and as many Metric centuries in as possible,you can see I take my training seriously. When you take into consideration that I am 57, have had a couple of serious medical problems, and no longer have the speed that I used to, you will realise why I have to train so hard. I am already in training for next Junes Ride, but it gets harder to drag myself out on those cold mornings.

What do the rest of you class as your "Epic" ride? I don't only mean for those of us that are a bit fitter than most, How about the lardies amongst us, or the ones that have just started riding, What are your aims for next year, or if you are fit, what rides do you do.
It has to be the MS-150, a 150 mile tour spread out over two days (the MS society always has cool festivities going on at the end of day one) although you could do it in one day if you really wanted to.

The MS-150 is probably the best tour in America, with water stops at least every 10 miles and a century loop on day one if you wish. The routes are great - I have done them in three states - and the best part is that they make you feel as if you have just won the Tour De France when you finish.

When you consider that after my heart attack I was gasping for air after a two mile ride (and this was after three months of cardiac rehab) the thought of doing the MS-150 is mind boggling to me - I never thought I would be doing this again. But, I have done a 50 miler this past summer and believe I can do the MS-150 next fall.

I am still building, and riding "Hidalgo", my new long distance bike.
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Old 12-07-04, 08:46 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by michaelwlf3

When you consider that after my heart attack I was gasping for air after a two mile ride (and this was after three months of cardiac rehab) the thought of doing the MS-150 is mind boggling to me - I never thought I would be doing this again. But, I have done a 50 miler this past summer and believe I can do the MS-150 next fall.

I am still building, and riding "Hidalgo", my new long distance bike.
All I can say is WOW!
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Old 12-07-04, 11:02 PM   #15
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My epic achievement after starting to ride bikes again at 52, after not riding much since I was a kid, was to do a 8 hour century after about 4 months of riding. I have lost 15 pounds with about 30 more to go. I am going to ride to my 35 year class reunion next summer-530 miles round trip. I plan on riding down in 24-30 hours give or take a few and back about the same. I am really wanting to get into riding randonneurs. The challenge to do things at my age that I should have done when I was younger is exhilarating. I was lamenting to a friend that I would have liked to ridden the century a little faster, when he reminded me that most guys my age can't even fathom a 20 mile ride. Great to have good friends to put things in perspective.
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Old 12-09-04, 12:00 PM   #16
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I live in SC. I started riding about 5 years ago. We have a ride in this area called the Assault On Mt. Mitchell. The Assault starts in Spartanburg, SC and finishes at the top of Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi. The first part of the ride (Assault On Marion) is 72 miles with about 5,000 feet of climbing. The second part, from Marion to the top of Mt. Mitchell, is 30 miles with about 6, 500 feet of climbing. This part is all uphill with the exception of 2 very short decents and one 2-mile decent. So you are pedaling uphill for about 27 out of the last 30 miles. I did this for the first time in 2003. It took me a little over 10 hours. No great by any stretch of the imagination, but I didn't have to get off and walk at any time. This year, I cut almost an hour off my time from last year. I turned 50 after this year's ride, so I will make it my 3rd (and probably final) time next year while I'm 50 and try to cut more time.

http://freewheelers.info/assault.html

The ride is grueling, but very scenic. If you are within a reasonable drive and want something challenging, may I suggest giving this one some consideration.

But above all, if you are out riding ANYWHERE, kudos to you all!!
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Old 12-09-04, 12:49 PM   #17
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El Tour de Tucson.

111 miles with excellent traffic control so you really can ride as hard as you want and not lose a lot of time to stop and go. A good opportunity to see how fast you can ride a century.

Did it this year with a 20 mph average, something that I did not think I was capable of doing.

That's my favorite stretch of my abilities.
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Old 12-09-04, 05:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bop Bop
While not anywhere in the class of some, my most epic cycling achievement happened this weekend. After being off a bike for about 40 years, doing little if any excerising during that time and having only seriously been riding for about 6 months I did my first Metric Century. To some this may not seem like alot, but to me it's epic.
Thats realy great stuff ,since i broke my hip all the old challenges have to be achieved again ,I have yet to ride a metric 100 since being back on line & it will an epic for me again Im just starting to challenge some of the more heavy duty hills again ,with some help from a local forum member 62vette whom i tag a along with when he does a recovery ride ,his recovery rides are just above my comfort zone so I have to push myself to stay in touch but its all good , Thanks Lindsay I need a recovery ride the next day after his 'recovery ride'
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Old 12-10-04, 04:32 PM   #19
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I am 62 and still a 60 pound overweight diabetic. I do commute daily 10.4 miles round trip. This last year I have ridden 29 club rides with 1 double century 1 1.5 century, 8 centuries and 15 metric centuries. My epic is the annual STP (Seattle to Portland 200+miles). I gave it to myself for my 60th birthday and have ridden every year since. Each time I have done it in 2 days. The first is priceless. On the others at about 120 miles you are questioning your sanity. My goal is at least one, one day finish. I am planning a solo 850+ mile ride from Tacoma WA down the Oregon coast and return in July 05.
It all has to start with that first ride. Join a club and ride with club members on local fun rides. Stopping in a convenience store and having the young clerk not believe you are at 80 miles of a century is priceless.
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Old 12-11-04, 09:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicRocker
I live in SC. I started riding about 5 years ago. We have a ride in this area called the Assault On Mt. Mitchell. The Assault starts in Spartanburg, SC and finishes at the top of Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi. The first part of the ride (Assault On Marion) is 72 miles with about 5,000 feet of climbing. The second part, from Marion to the top of Mt. Mitchell, is 30 miles with about 6, 500 feet of climbing. This part is all uphill with the exception of 2 very short decents and one 2-mile decent. So you are pedaling uphill for about 27 out of the last 30 miles. I did this for the first time in 2003. It took me a little over 10 hours. No great by any stretch of the imagination, but I didn't have to get off and walk at any time. This year, I cut almost an hour off my time from last year. I turned 50 after this year's ride, so I will make it my 3rd (and probably final) time next year while I'm 50 and try to cut more time.

http://freewheelers.info/assault.html

The ride is grueling, but very scenic. If you are within a reasonable drive and want something challenging, may I suggest giving this one some consideration.

But above all, if you are out riding ANYWHERE, kudos to you all!!
You did the assault on Mt. Mitchell?????

I live in North Carolina and got tired driving up Mount Mitchell!!!!!

Good job, dude!
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Old 12-19-04, 11:29 PM   #21
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I'm 52. I've been riding for about 8 years. But my mileage last year was only about 400 miles. I don't ride in cold weather. This year I again started out slowly. However my best achievement was in September when I rode 74 miles in two days. My previous best was 62 miles two days about 5 years ago. Then two weeks later I rode 67 miles in one day. And I wound up doing 282 miles in September. Maybe it's not huge but for me it gave me the thought of a century this coming year.
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Old 12-20-04, 07:56 AM   #22
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I'm almost 59 years old, and I have been cycling as an adult since the early 80's. I have done the Assault on Mt. Mitchell several times, I have done Bridge to Bridge three times. I have done a few double centurys. I have ridden across NC doing three 100+ days, and a 200+ final day. I have USCF raced for several years. After all those years of riding and training, I still get goose bumps reading about everyone's experiences here on this thread. I'm glad there are so many other veteran cyclists out there enjoying themselves and willing to share. I'm also thrilled that so many of you have come back to cycling as a way to a healthier lifestyle. Keep it up!
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Old 01-03-05, 10:15 AM   #23
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OK, this may not be EPIC, but it is a pretty good way to start off the year.

I have been going out for a ride on New Years Day for the last 4 years (counting 2005). Very little traffic is out there. This year, the temp was right nice for what we did.

We started about 3 miles from the base of Caesar's Head and rode to the top. Caesar's Head is a 6 mile climb, so we had about 18 miles out & back. That is not excessive, but more of a climb than my legs are used to at this time of year. The best part was after the 6 mile climb, we got to come back down on a 6 mile descent. Yeee-Haaah ! ! ! !
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Old 01-03-05, 05:51 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plain.jim
Well, I don't know about the rest of youse-all, but after three decades away from bicycles (and d-mn near no exercise at all during that time), my Giant OCR2 was delivered in early October. With a little under 300 miles on it, I can crank out 25 miles, and still get on it to ride the next day; I am disgustingly proud of that! My goal is at least two 50-mile rides by end of summer 2005, and a century the year after that. And this is after decades of being a couch-potato who only took a break from my deep-fried diet to squeeze in some cake or ice cream. Still, my weight is down 20 lbs. from midsummer. Every now and then my wife looks at me with that, "When will the space aliens bring back my real husband?" look.
Jim,
I'm right there with you. I haven't done anything epic, yet. I got my bike in mid September; it was my first return to riding since my childhood. Out of shape badly, just 13 months after giving up my nicotine habit, and with a back so cratered that I pretty much cannot run at all, I thought all athletic endeavors by me in this lifetime were over. I'm please to say that New Year's Day was the second 50 mile ride I've done, and I look forward to bigger and better rides this year. I can't begin to keep up with the young guns in the club I belong to, but the pace of the older group within it, that I usually ride with, is a bit slow for me now, and their great encouragement is just what a beginner needs. I thank them for their help and positive words, and all of you for the inspirational stories. This is great stuff!
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Old 01-03-05, 08:03 PM   #25
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Jim,
I'm right there with you. I haven't done anything epic, yet. I got my bike in mid September; it was my first return to riding since my childhood. Out of shape badly, just 13 months after giving up my nicotine habit, and with a back so cratered that I pretty much cannot run at all, I thought all athletic endeavors by me in this lifetime were over. I'm please to say that New Year's Day was the second 50 mile ride I've done, and I look forward to bigger and better rides this year. I can't begin to keep up with the young guns in the club I belong to, but the pace of the older group within it, that I usually ride with, is a bit slow for me now, and their great encouragement is just what a beginner needs. I thank them for their help and positive words, and all of you for the inspirational stories. This is great stuff!
Congratulations Bud,
I consider what you got yourself doing is indeed EPIC. In here, we are all 50 or over. And we can probably out-ride most teenagers. Kudos to Bud and all of you for being out there on the road. Isn't it great ? ! ? !
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