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  1. #1
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    fully supported charity ride

    I'm thinking of riding in a fully supported charity ride to benefit a cancer organization this weekend. They have 3 different distances, but since I'm new at this and this will be my first ride, I'm picking the shortest one which is 16 miles. I have never been on my bike for 16 miles and have no idea if I'll be able to ride that far, especially on a folder. For those of you who have done this sort of thing, if you can't complete the ride or can't keep up with the others, what happens? Can you turn around and go back?

    Also, is a longer ride on a folder any different from riding on a conventional sized bike?

  2. #2
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    I'm not going to say what happens if you bail; "fully supported" probably means you have lots of options.

    That said... you'll be fine! If you're in good enough shape to think about 16 miles on a bike, you'll be in good enough shape to do it.

    On a road bike with drop bars, you'd be able to get into an aerodynamic position that would allow you to cruise faster than you can on a bike with a more upright position, such as most folders. This makes a big difference at speeds over, say, 25 mph. A couple months ago a guy on a road bike with aero bars coasted past me on a downhill, and I had to pedal like heck to keep up. He was coasting along at 28mph; my folder doesn't do that. At slower speeds --10 to 15 mph-- aerodynamics isn't such a big deal.

    I think, assuming the bike fits you reasonably well, so you're comfortable sitting on it for an hour or two, you'll have no trouble with that ride. Have fun!

  3. #3
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    me too! I'm doing the trek breast cancer awareness ride this saturday here in st. louis on my downtube. I picked the middle distance too, which is 13 miles. The shortest ride is for kids and is only a little over a mile, and the long one is 24 miles. I've ridden ten miles before with no problem (could have gone further), but that was on the flat- this ride route is no flat, all rolling hills, through city streets and busy intersections.
    I'm nervous, but looking forward to it too. I will not be in the fast group! I think I can make the whole ride, just hope I don't have to get off and walk up some hills.
    vickie

  4. #4
    Senior Member jnb-rare's Avatar
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    Most charity rides attract riders with a wide variety of abilities and machines, and the organizers are usually prepared for it. You'll likely find some riders (perhaps older/retired) who have done lots of these, and who are used to toodling along at a leisurely pace. Ride along with them and you'll do fine.

    Some riders really enjoy riding at the tail-end (clean-up) and helping others along. They always get to meet and talk to new people.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    jnb-rare is right - there will likely be a wide range of rider abilities.

    We are in our early 60's and have both done the short version of the Portland Bridge Pedal (14 miles) on our Dahon Boardwalk 7-speeds. This summer I did the mid-length version (24.5 miles), also on the 7-speed.

    The hardest part is getting up onto the two larger bridges (the Fremont and the St Johns). The new Dual-Drive BF's should make it much easier when we do next years ride with our daughter and 10 yr old grandson.

    A relatively flat 16 miles can even be done on a single-speed folder like my Dahon S1.
    Last edited by Foldable Two; 10-12-07 at 11:40 AM.

  6. #6
    jur
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    Just have a big breakfast to see you through - that is the most important. Say 1-2h before the ride starts. Oatmeal and yoghurt or something low GI like that - forget about rice pops and crap like that.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

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    NJfolder,
    You'll be fine. Just make sure you stay at a nice, comfy pace. Especially for the first half of the ride. Call the contact # for the ride and find out if there is a SAG wagon. If you don't know what that is, it's a car/van/truck that is out there to pick up people who can't finish a ride or with basic mechanical stuff. Doing a ride on a folder is no different from any other bike. Make sure you have a cue sheet of the ride so that if for some reason you should get separated, you can find your way. Also, make sure to bring your cell phone. If you ended up stuck by yourself, you can always call a car service to pick you up... you are using a folding bike!

    BTW, I'm from Union County as well and my primary rides are my trusty Raleigh 20 and Crescent Separable folder. I actually live in Scotch Plains,


    Juan

  8. #8
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    My first fully supported charity ride was a 100km Audax ride about 12 yrs ago, I was a bit nervous about the distance so I added extra kms to my daily commute for 2 months leading up to the event. When I got there I saw fully kitted out "racer boys" and plenty of everyday people too. Some of the riders went hell for leather at the start, the rest at a more sensible pace, I think if you find a group who are riding at a pace you are comfortable with, ie : you can chat while you're riding, you'll have a great time. In fact the 16 miles will go by so quickly and you'll get such a buzz from doing it, you might feel like turning around and doing it again
    But beware......you'll get addicted very easily and want to do them ALL the time

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by juan162 View Post
    NJfolder,
    You'll be fine. Just make sure you stay at a nice, comfy pace. Especially for the first half of the ride. Call the contact # for the ride and find out if there is a SAG wagon. If you don't know what that is, it's a car/van/truck that is out there to pick up people who can't finish a ride or with basic mechanical stuff. Doing a ride on a folder is no different from any other bike. Make sure you have a cue sheet of the ride so that if for some reason you should get separated, you can find your way. Also, make sure to bring your cell phone. If you ended up stuck by yourself, you can always call a car service to pick you up... you are using a folding bike!

    BTW, I'm from Union County as well and my primary rides are my trusty Raleigh 20 and Crescent Separable folder. I actually live in Scotch Plains,


    Juan

    Juan,

    We are neighbors! I didn't think there was anyone else around here with a folder. I get the strangest looks when I'm out and about. I'll send you a PM.

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