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Old 04-10-12, 09:56 PM   #1
BikeArkansas
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How far without putting a foot down?

The subject of some recent threads is about distance rides, such as centuries or metric centuries. The average moving speed has been discussed along with riding time while moving. When I calculate my average speed or ride time, it is always from the time I leave until I arrive. The time I am stopped counts against my average speed and event time.

In an attempt to eliminate that lost time at the stops, my riding friend and I decided we would attempt a metric century without ever putting a foot down. We did this late last summer. We found it so interesting we plan to try a few more this year.

The ride was 62 miles. For me it was 63 miles because I took a wrong turn. Just a very silly mistake. Due to this silly mistake we split up after 20 something miles. I rode the last 40 miles solo. It was a hilly course, but no major climbs, just lots of hills.

With 5 or 6 traffic lights I had to come close to a track stand. I cannot track stand, so I was working hard a few times at staying vertical. I found the best solution was to try to time a light by slowing or speeding up long before actually reaching the light.

Water is a problem with this type riding. Since I try to drink four bottles of water on a metric century, I had to carry four bottles. It was heavy in my shirt pockets at the beginning. Also, swapping full bottles from the shirt for empty bottles while at full speed requires better bike handling than I normally can attain, but I got away with it.

My time for 63 miles was 3 hours 9 minutes, which comes out to exactly 20 MPH. I was very happy with that. My friend did not get lost, so he rode 62 miles in exactly 3 hours. He had a good day.

As I said we plan to try not putting a foot down again this year, but only in metric centuries. We cannot carry enough water for a full century.

How far will other forum members ride without putting a foot down?
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Old 04-10-12, 10:02 PM   #2
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Living in the city with crowded cycle paths, roads with lights every 1km its difficult not to stop often. Once I get clear of the conjested area I generally won't stop until I reach my designated turn around point where I drink water, check the time, and head on back.
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Old 04-10-12, 10:07 PM   #3
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4 bottles of water in 3 hours and I would have to stop somewhere for bladder relief.
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Old 04-10-12, 10:22 PM   #4
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I frequently do training rides with stretches where I go 2-3 hours without breaking cadence or putting a foot down - great training.
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Old 04-10-12, 10:24 PM   #5
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A few years ago I did the first 62 miles (to Hell's Gate) of the Hotter N Hell Hundred without ever putting a foot down. I really shouldn't have. It took me three hours and 30 minutes for the first 62 miles, and over four hours for the last 42. It wasn't pretty.

Last summer I did 56 miles (Ironman70.3 bike portion) without my feet touching the ground.
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Old 04-10-12, 11:11 PM   #6
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When I lived in warmer climes, I did many 150+ mile rides without putting a foot down. Now I don't sweat enough to go over 40 miles without a bladder break and often only make it half that distance. Fortunately, there are lots of low-traffic roads where I live, so natural breaks aren't likely to cause anyone a problem.
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Old 04-10-12, 11:22 PM   #7
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I don't intentionally try to avoid putting a foot down, and don't especially pay attention when i do. I may have done a 100k without doing so, or may have had one or more intersections where I momentarily paused.

Use a camelback + bottles, that'll help on the water issue. I don't average 20 mph, either.
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Old 04-11-12, 12:00 AM   #8
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This is a funny thing where I know my answer, and it isn't a very impressive one. My record is 9 miles.
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Old 04-11-12, 12:23 AM   #9
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My wife was accompanying me recently when I went into the LBS to get a part for an old Silca pump. I spotted N+1 and fell in love. I didn't even make it out the door for a test ride before she put her foot down. Sigh.
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Old 04-11-12, 12:32 AM   #10
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I don't know the answer to this, I've never really paid attention to how long I go without a pause. But on my usual rides i'd say it wasn't uncommon for me to ride > 2 hours without putting a foot to the floor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BikeArkansas View Post

Water is a problem with this type riding. Since I try to drink four bottles of water on a metric century, I had to carry four bottles. It was heavy in my shirt pockets at the beginning. Also, swapping full bottles from the shirt for empty bottles while at full speed requires better bike handling than I normally can attain, but I got away with it
This stuff is worth practising, IMO. Swapping bottles around, putting a rain jacket on and off, that sort of thing. Not just for its own sake - after all, if you're not racing there's really no harm in stopping - but because being comfortable and in control hands-free improves one's balance and bike-handling skills, and that keeps one more stable and therefore safer at other times. Builds confidence, too.
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Old 04-11-12, 12:39 AM   #11
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On longer rides I might go 3 - 4 hours before I put a foot down and take a butt break which is not hard to do... during my old commute of 13km I could ride from work to home in traffic without putting a foot down and that was a little harder to do.
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Old 04-11-12, 03:57 AM   #12
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If I stop my back tightens up and I get into a pain situation when I continue, so all my rides are done without stops.
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Old 04-11-12, 05:17 AM   #13
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My most favored route is a 55 mile popcycle shaped circuit from my home in Chicago. I can complete it in the 3:05 to 3:25 total-time range. However, Chicago traffic lights and stops makes for more than a dozen foot-down stops along the way. My rolling average speed is much better than my total-time average speed, but urban and suburban cycling requires traffic stops.
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Old 04-11-12, 06:52 AM   #14
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Last Friday I decided to ride my MTB to a park and do two laps then ride back home for a 3 hr ride. I was mostly through my second lap of the MTB trail and realized that I had not touched the ground since leaving home. I then challenged myself to complete the ride without putting a foot down. About 5 minutes from the end of the trail I broke a spoke while riding over a log. I continued to ride to Century Cycles, my LBS, with the ticking spoke and touched down just outside the front door. I was 20 minutes short of 3 hr challenge.
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Old 04-11-12, 07:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikeArkansas View Post
How far will other forum members ride without putting a foot down?
Oh, maybe 3 blocks.
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Old 04-11-12, 07:31 AM   #16
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I've ridden the Media MTB park trail. I'm amazed that ANYONE can ride that thing without putting a foot down, yet alone someone our age. In my opionion Allegheny Jet is one heck of a bike rider. My hat is off you sir!
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Old 04-11-12, 07:36 AM   #17
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I don't even understand why anyone would keep track of such a number. Does it really matter if you track stand or put a foot down at a red light?
And I don't calculate average speed - I just look at my computer... it calcs based on riding time.
I do keep track of ride time vs total time on centuries, but that's more about minimizing wasted time at rest stops..
And for MTB rides, it's more about cleaning a technical section or a whole route, not about distance.
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Old 04-11-12, 07:42 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger Dan View Post
My wife was accompanying me recently when I went into the LBS to get a part for an old Silca pump. I spotted N+1 and fell in love. I didn't even make it out the door for a test ride before she put her foot down. Sigh.
Too funny!

I'm a bit out of track stand practice since switching to clipless, but still practice once in awhile (I recieved a ticket for doing one on the motorcycle!) and I like to drink enough to have to pee every hour or so... just can't 'pro up' and do that while riding.

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Old 04-11-12, 07:45 AM   #19
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Well my Cateye computer stops counting elapse time when I have stopped the bike for more that a few seconds, so that is where I take my time and average mph from.

I like being able to not have to put a foot down but even on the local MUPs I often have to at street crossings. I wish there was a nice big MUP around that would allow at least 50mi without a street crossing or a reason to stop.

As to restroom breaks, in warm weather I often find that I don't have to stop due to the fact that the body looses water due to perspiration.
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Old 04-11-12, 08:14 AM   #20
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I try to time stop lights and stop signs and almost do some track-standing to avoid foot plants during commutes and training rides. It surprises me how infrequently I have to touch the ground. But it doesn't bother me to plant my tiny carbon footprint. And on long rides I prefer to take breaks every hour or so --to stretch and eat and rebunch the group.
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Old 04-11-12, 10:04 AM   #21
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I've ridden the Media MTB park trail. I'm amazed that ANYONE can ride that thing without putting a foot down, yet alone someone our age. In my opionion Allegheny Jet is one heck of a bike rider. My hat is off you sir!
Ah shucks, thanks bjaspud! We should meet up and ride sometime.

I almost had to touch on the middle section on the downhill log ladder, near the river, but took the chance and found a decent line each time. The hillside has shifted and the log sections don't line up any more, but there is a slight overlap that allows for a line. I broke the spoke on the rough log section right after the curved bridge and short rock garden. I never seem to be able to find a smooth line through that section. Crossing Reagan Parkway on Good Friday without stopping was also a challenge. After noodling around in small circles, I just got into traffic then cut across the road to the left once there was an opening in the traffic coming the other direction.
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Old 04-11-12, 10:19 AM   #22
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50 miles in the Madera Road Race. We did 23.5 mph. it is impossible to not put a foot down riding in our area. The police have targeted cyclists that roll through stop signs.
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Old 04-11-12, 10:49 AM   #23
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I try to do the first half of a century nonstop--I can ride 50 miles fairly easily, but really struggle from about 80 on. Seems to help, at least psychologically, to get half of it out of the way.
As for track stands, I've been practicing for 30 years, and I'm up to 1-2 seconds.
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Old 04-11-12, 11:11 AM   #24
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while I wait for the cross traffic to stop.
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Old 04-11-12, 11:34 AM   #25
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On my distance courses I'll typically go 22-25 before giving my butt a rest and refilling the one bottle I carry (it's a 28oz).
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