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  1. #1
    Senior Member Winnershcyclist's Avatar
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    Riding your first Sportive at 50+

    I have been riding for a few years but primarily on my own and have entered on short notice in two days my first ever sportive problem is that I have no idea how fast one is supposed to travel and whether I should just do my own thing.
    Where I live there are very few inclines but the sportive is somewhere there are loads of steep inclines. My other issue is that due to bad weather I havent done any long rides this year but have done tons in a gym lots and lots of XBike HISS classes and weights etc so dont know if I will have my cycle legs ready so soon.
    I have the choice of about 30 or 55 mile I would like to do the longer but not the longest 100 miles .
    Any advice will be appreciated btw I am not at 53 trying to be a professional cyclist just one who trys for his own betterment I have nothing to prove to anyone but me...

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    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Go for the 30 mile and enjoy the ride.

    You won't do well on the hills.

    The 55 mile will be too much because of the hills.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Winnershcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Go for the 30 mile and enjoy the ride.

    You won't do well on the hills.

    The 55 mile will be too much because of the hills.
    Thats my feeling too the hills are only on the 55 mile ride so I guess I will be able to learn without the pain I have always ridden 30 miles so know i can do that and am sure in a couple of months I can do even the 100

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    Senior Member JTGraphics's Avatar
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    First off no matter what ride you do you are better off riding your pace not someone else's.
    Distance depends on what you are use to now doubling what you are use to may be pushing without training for it 10 miles or less (20+ is pushing it) if you take it easy at the start and depending on how you fill at 30 will be the determining factor if 55 is an option.
    It may not be fancy but it gets me were I need to go.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Winnershcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTGraphics View Post
    First off no matter what ride you do you are better off riding your pace not someone else's.
    Distance depends on what you are use to now doubling what you are use to may be pushing without training for it 10 miles or less (20+ is pushing it) if you take it easy at the start and depending on how you fill at 30 will be the determining factor if 55 is an option.
    good advice its just a shame I found out about this two days before I will have a choice at the split long or short

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    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Hills are Satan's tools.

    Don't get lost.

    Go short. Live to fight another day.

    Love. Live. Give.

    I think that's about it.

  7. #7
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Best wishes on the ride, Winnershcyclist, which Sportive did you enter? I have been looking at the schedule in Cycling Plus and was wondering which you chose.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

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  8. #8
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    If you have been able to keep fitness by going to the gym- then the 30 or the 55 miler will be within your reach. I have had to train at the gym this winter with only the occasional ride to see how much i have lost over the winter. Only thing I have lost is the sluggishness I normally have at this time of the year. So it is up to you but I think you would find the 30 miler easy.

    But ride your own pace and drink plenty on the ride and enjoy.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Winnershcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
    Best wishes on the ride, Winnershcyclist, which Sportive did you enter? I have been looking at the schedule in Cycling Plus and was wondering which you chose.

    Bill
    http://www.ukcyclingevents.co.uk/eve...lone-sportive/ tomorrow I am not sure whether to do the easy or standard that has Leith Hll, Boxhill among the 5 climbs I know in July I could do it no fears but is this too early only one way to find out

  10. #10
    Senior Member Winnershcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    If you have been able to keep fitness by going to the gym- then the 30 or the 55 miler will be within your reach. I have had to train at the gym this winter with only the occasional ride to see how much i have lost over the winter. Only thing I have lost is the sluggishness I normally have at this time of the year. So it is up to you but I think you would find the 30 miler easy.

    But ride your own pace and drink plenty on the ride and enjoy.

    I have worked hard in the gym but have found that with age your muscles deteriorate and dont seem to pick up as much as when I was 30 for someone who has done hours of abs etc I still have a flabby tummy and I dont eat anything fattening... , my other issue has been what speed is acceptable even though I have every intention to ride my own pace and enjoy and learn from it about pacing etc...

  11. #11
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Box and Leith hills are not bad unless you only have high gearing. Did them in September last year on a compact 50/34 and 12/27 and although not easy-it was after very little riding last year. But I did the main Boxhill so do not know what the back of it is like.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winnershcyclist View Post
    problem is that I have no idea how fast one is supposed to travel and whether I should just do my own thing.
    Hi,

    As far as I can work out a pace that challenges you to get to end
    is the idea, but I'd expect you would need some experience to
    judge that well, and for some just doing the distance is the
    challenge, at a presumably leisurely pace because of the hills.

    You could make the 30 miles more challenging by going faster.
    I think the general idea is to set your own challenge, but you
    don't have to to set yourself a target you might not make.

    rgds, sreten.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    If you have been able to keep fitness by going to the gym- then the 30 or the 55 miler will be within your reach. I have had to train at the gym this winter with only the occasional ride to see how much i have lost over the winter. Only thing I have lost is the sluggishness I normally have at this time of the year. So it is up to you but I think you would find the 30 miler easy.

    But ride your own pace and drink plenty on the ride and enjoy.
    +1
    and as for muscle recovery, wait until you are 72, as I am!! 55 miles should be a doddle as long as you don't thrash yourself too hard. Don't be tempted to hang with a fast group - set your own pace and stick to it.
    Good luck!

  14. #14
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link to your ride, it looks doable to me, I'd listen to Stap about the hills, the climbing graph shows me that right off. Be sure you give us a ride report afterwards, Wishing you a great ride.

    Bill
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  15. #15
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    OK Winnershman, don't keep us in suspense. The numbers are out: http://www.ukcyclingevents.co.uk/rid...clone_2013.pdf Which one is you? Hope you had an enjoyable and challenging day.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Winnershcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artmo View Post
    OK Winnershman, don't keep us in suspense. The numbers are out: http://www.ukcyclingevents.co.uk/rid...clone_2013.pdf Which one is you? Hope you had an enjoyable and challenging day.
    I am Ahluwalia and that time is way off both endomondo and Micoach have me at 2hrs 27minutes with a ten minute stopover at feed station, for the short which btw was not easy as it was damn hilly.

    I was dreading it driving there havent felt this nervous since my driving test 35 years ago.

    It was an amazing experience and loved every minute of it and actually was disappointed when we finished so I guess the standard ride would have been possible.

    I managed all the climbs except the last 100 yds of the last incline and only gave up when people in front gave up and its funny you lose confidence seeing others.

    I think the other issue riding somewhere new too is not knowing how to pace yourself there were flats that I thought better conserve energy and then found that miles on it could have been done faster and even on downhills I didnt push hard.

    My other main achievement is my hrm hit 233bpm just once and averaged 151 bpm meaning I was around 80% of my required rate

    I got to speak and meet Chris Boardman what a brilliant guy him and Obrees track speed rivalry was what got me interested in cycling

    I met a guy Andy and his time is listed as 743:58:43.75 even though he finished it looks like hes still being timed

    Thank you all for the encouragement
    Last edited by Winnershcyclist; 04-22-13 at 04:23 AM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Winnershcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    Box and Leith hills are not bad unless you only have high gearing. Did them in September last year on a compact 50/34 and 12/27 and although not easy-it was after very little riding last year. But I did the main Boxhill so do not know what the back of it is like.
    I think I must be on high gearing as I notice I am peddling away and walking in treacle where as others were just cruising up at great speed. I must learn more on gearing as that occurred to me when I was left behind on climbs but managed to catch and keep up on the flats

  18. #18
    Senior Member Winnershcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artmo View Post
    +1
    and as for muscle recovery, wait until you are 72, as I am!! 55 miles should be a doddle as long as you don't thrash yourself too hard. Don't be tempted to hang with a fast group - set your own pace and stick to it.
    Good luck!
    Well the job is done and it was very challenging however as I now take Creatine Monohydrate post ride that really helps I also take a teaspoon a day and it seems to help my stamina , I really do hope like you I am able to ride at 72 what a great way to live life am genuinely proud of you

  19. #19
    Senior Member Winnershcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Go for the 30 mile and enjoy the ride.

    You won't do well on the hills.

    The 55 mile will be too much because of the hills.
    i did the 33miler but that was challenging too but saying that enjoyable England on a sunny day is beautiful

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winnershcyclist View Post
    i did the 33miler but that was challenging too but saying that enjoyable England on a sunny day is beautiful
    There's no place like the English countryside when the sun is shining. Too bad it doesn't shine often enough
    Well done on the ride. Funnily enough, I was thinking of you over the weekend and it occurred to me that no-one had mentioned gearing. I'm sure you'll get that sorted with the help of your bike shop and be ready for the next challenge. At my age and level of fitness, I'm sure I'd be using a 30X32 bottom gear for some of those hills!
    The May edition of Cycling Plus has a pull-out section about sportives: training/events/advice, which might help you.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Winnershcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artmo View Post
    There's no place like the English countryside when the sun is shining. Too bad it doesn't shine often enough
    Well done on the ride. Funnily enough, I was thinking of you over the weekend and it occurred to me that no-one had mentioned gearing. I'm sure you'll get that sorted with the help of your bike shop and be ready for the next challenge. At my age and level of fitness, I'm sure I'd be using a 30X32 bottom gear for some of those hills!
    The May edition of Cycling Plus has a pull-out section about sportives: training/events/advice, which might help you.

    I hadnt done a sportive before plus didnt know the area so chickened out at the last moment however when I finished I felt I should have tried the 55 miles even if it meant walking.
    I have zero idea on gearing hard to believe I am in IT and cant get my head around gears I spoke with my bike mechanic Steve who is amazing and we think it might be me wanting or expecting too much from my self by wanting to be better than I am.
    I have never cycled around Epsom Downs and was wow how beautiful even though I like Berkshire too so there must be so many places like this that we dont see in our cars.
    I will look out the mag thanks for the update not that it will make sense to me

  22. #22
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winnershcyclist View Post
    i did the 33miler but that was challenging too but saying that enjoyable England on a sunny day is beautiful
    Congratulations...You had fun and learned much.

    Go for The 100 next time.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winnershcyclist View Post
    ... I have zero idea on gearing hard to believe ....
    Hi,

    Its not hard. You probably just use a cadence and gear that seems natural.
    Mix it up on your training rides, short sections in a higher gear mashing,
    and longer sections in a lower gear spinning, and short sections really
    spinning. You'll probably find you will get into higher cadence on hills.

    If your gearing is not low enough you will always struggle on hills against
    people pounding out a higher cadence, the point being you can't pedal
    at the best rate for you with too high gearing, and that is hill dependent.

    rgds, sreten.
    Last edited by sreten; 04-22-13 at 07:44 PM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Winnershcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Congratulations...You had fun and learned much.

    Go for The 100 next time.

    I learnt that dont do a sportive as your first ride in 6 months and also even though my general fitness was good one thing I retained from last year is my inability to climb well I do literally look like a one legged duck I have been doing everything in the gym that they say you should do but still bad at climbing

  25. #25
    Senior Member Winnershcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sreten View Post
    Hi,

    Its not hard. You probably just use a cadence and gear that seems natural.
    Mix it up on your training rides, short sections in a higher gear mashing,
    and longer sections in a lower gear spinning, and short sections really
    spinning. You'll probably find you will get into higher cadence on hills.

    If your gearing is not low enough you will always struggle on hills against
    people pounding out a higher cadence, the point being you can't pedal
    at the best rate for you with too high gearing, and that is hill dependent.

    rgds, sreten.
    I think I must have a mental block understanding all this or the blood drains from my head and all I can do is struggle I remember thinking, read keep your arms relaxed when the time came I gripped on for dear life... I am going to travel to the climbs I think I have become to casual and ride within a comfort zone where I live no climbing involved...

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