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  1. #1
    . . . rosebud . . . Diggy18's Avatar
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    How do you approach your long rides?

    (You know, like around 3 hours or more.) I was just wondering if most people here look at it as just a weekly fitness thing, so they choose a minimum distance and watch their pace and don't take a break, or if it's more like a day hike, where you let yourself stop to take a break if you want, and aren't concerned about your pace.

    The last couple of rides I was on I had a specific mileage goal, but I realized that those rides were a lot different from the couple of times I just kind of set out on my bike for a few hours of wandering around the county. Definitily they were two different experiences for me.

  2. #2
    Virtulized geek MsMittens's Avatar
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    Depends on what I'm doing. If I'm trying to get somewhere before a certain time, then I'll push on through. Otherwise, I tend to go at whatever pace tickles my fancy, stopping when needed or want to. Even my training rides are like that (mostly to mimic my touring activities)

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tree Trunk's Avatar
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    I have never been more than a relaxed type. However, Saturday is my usual day for my "pleasure" ride -- usually the day I ride my roadie instead of the commuter or mountain bike -- and somehow the family puts a pinch on the time I have to ride. Then it turns into a ride where I ride for distance and have a speed goal. I hate that. I would rather take my time, stop and enjoy the quiet or even to listen to the feel and sound of my heart beating, watch people, etc....

    I can't wait until the day when my kids are old enough to really enjoy a ride with me.
    There have to be bicycles in heaven!

  4. #4
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    i am lucky in that my weekdays off, I get to do my thing..No hurry..I can find myself far away..So far away, I have to use the bus to get back in a timely manner to have dinner with my wife.
    So my once per week, long week-day ride. Usually at least 60 miles and it is my day to explore. Once in awhile on a straight away, I might be in the attack mode, but mostly I just am out on an adventure- my weekly tourist on a bike thing.
    Unless really stressed for some reason, the way to clear the mind is to go the distance at my own pace. To get exercise , I throw in some challenging climbs, where I can in the end, enjoy the view.

  5. #5
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    I kind of wing it- I know some days are my long rides, and I go as far as I know I can go. I know I'll get in at least 4 hours, and if I'm feeling like I want to do more, I can estimate at my 2 hour point just how many more hours I can go. Sometimes, I can ride all day, and other times, it'll be just 6- 8 hours total.

    Koffee

  6. #6
    Vermonticus Outdoorsus CommuterKat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    other times, it'll be just 6- 8 hours total.
    !!!! !!!!! HOLY COW! I thought 6-8 hours of riding was all day!
    "Methinks my own soul is a bright invisible green" H. Thoreau

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    I kind of wing it- I know some days are my long rides, and I go as far as I know I can go. I know I'll get in at least 4 hours, and if I'm feeling like I want to do more, I can estimate at my 2 hour point just how many more hours I can go. Sometimes, I can ride all day, and other times, it'll be just 6- 8 hours total.

    Koffee

    You are my hero! What do you do for fun! And keep bragging like that and you are likely to get some marriage proposals!

  8. #8
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    That's what I do for fun... ride! But I suspect the reason why there are no marriage proposals is because I'm always out riding! And if I'm not riding, I'm usually out at the gym lifting. TiVo is my fiance...

    Koffee

  9. #9
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    Ok,
    Since we are on long rides here, I am still building myself. 2 1/2 to 3 hours is my longest so far.

    Right now I MUST stop to eat (is it really eat?) my gels. I have timed myself and it is usually a three minute stop for the gel, a little streach, then moving again.


    Do yo all do this, or do you eat on the fly like the TDF folks?

    TIA

  10. #10
    dfchatten
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    I would say "depends" for me as well. Many times I set out to ride a specific number of miles or route, but occasionally I end up hamming in many more miles. For the century rides, I try and not only pack gells, but P&J, powerbars and hard candy. And for me anyhow, lots to drink (water). If I am on my own, verses a club ride, et al then I go with my camel pack. I would rather have the added weight then having to stop to refuel at a store.

    Dan

  11. #11
    . . . rosebud . . . Diggy18's Avatar
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    Yeah, I was really wondering how people handled food and water on long rides. The primary factor in determining my 50~60 mile routes has been the location of WATER FOUNTAINS. I only have one bottle cage and a 26 ounce bottle . . . But the weather's getting cooler, and I'm getting a liter bottle to solve that problem.

    Also, I've been relying on energy bars for food. I bring three of them, and I also brought some candy corn last time, too. But I was kinda wishin I had brought along a sandwich too, or something more substantial than the energy bars.

    If you go on a century, or even regardless of mileage if you're gone all day then you have to bring something more than energy bars, right?

    Koffee, where do you eat? Do you bring food with you or stop to buy it?

    So, dfchatten, do you stick all the food in your jersey pockets, or do you bring along a trunk bag or something?

  12. #12
    Senior Member CPcyclist's Avatar
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    Diggy 18

    If I get out for a long ride I pack as much as posible in my jersey pockets, Food (I like clif bars and gels), spare tube and CO2, cash/CC, and if really long an extra H2O in one pocket with 2 on the frame), can get me thur 3-4 hrs, then I stop at gas stations fill up with Free fountain H2O and buy a PayDay bar (the best candy bar for carb/protein ratio). It is important IMO to buy at lest one thing when you stop and get something free (H2O, restroom, ect.)

  13. #13
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    I try to do a long ride in the 5 hour range every two weeks. I ride over three hours at least 3 days a week. wednesdays are off, mondays and fridays are easy, <2 hours.

    On the days of long rides, I generally get up late, eat a lot at brunch, pack a couple of clif bars and a banana and just go. I generally try to keep the pace low for the first half hour, then I just go meduim for the rest of it. I really need a HRM, though, I want to try to keep my HR in the 60-70% range for the long rides. Base, you know.

  14. #14
    dfchatten
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diggy18
    So, dfchatten, do you stick all the food in your jersey pockets, or do you bring along a trunk bag or something?
    Both.

    My camel pack has an extra storage area so I stick food there, and then in my shirt for what I "guess" that I am going to need until my stop points. It may take you 1 or 2 rides to determine your exact needs. My first few long trips I packed enough to feed an Army - LOL IMO food is very important, but hydration is the most important of the two.

    Dan

  15. #15
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    When I first started riding, I would take 2 water bottles, some cash and stop as needed. For me, this method quickly proved to be too inconvenient. I would run out of drink miles from a store. I now carry 2 water bottles, camel pack, food(Powerbars and gel) and cash. I use the water bottles for my energy drinks like hammergel and fill the camel pack with water.

  16. #16
    Senior Member SilentGTboy's Avatar
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    3 hours are my short rides and I ride them like I'm in a time trial. Now it's those 13 hour ride that I like to prepare for
    "$1000 and it doesn't come with a kickstand?" - My Grampa

  17. #17
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Doing long rides is just not a problem..Each month, I don't necessarily make a 100 miler, but usually at least two 70 milers.
    Just don't view it as a problem..More often than not a casual ride just out touring for a day..I know water fountains and 7-11 are common, if not stop for lunch with the group..
    If I were going to ride hard out in the middle of no where..I would take my camelback..Couple energy bars, gel packs, Hopefully a lunch spot would be open somewhere before 100 miles were up..Pick up a banana, orange somewhere..What is the problem..Unless you are crossing the Rockies with a 27 mile , 9,000 foot climb. Then you better take a handful of power bars and gel packs. Plus a performance drink.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diggy18
    Koffee, where do you eat? Do you bring food with you or stop to buy it?

    I carry my credit card for the longer rides, but I also have a Timbuk 2 fanny pack that I can cram all my tools and a few powerbars in. Additionally, I carry a big bottle of gatorade that fits in one of my water bottle cages (about 20 ounces), then I also carry another 2 bottles full of water. If I get hungry, I stop at some places along the way. I always know my route beforehand, and I always know where the places are where I can make a stop for a quicke food snack or a bathroom break.

    For my long rides (more than 4 hours), I usually plan a stop for a carbo loading, but light, meal.

    Koffee

  19. #19
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim? scrublover's Avatar
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    I'll have a general route in my head, or amount of time I want to be out for. Mutates depending on changing weather, how my legs/lungs feel, other random occurances.



    Warning TMI: And I don't start out on any ride in the morning if I haven't had my coffee, and it's associated consequenses. Hate to have to worry about that while out and about.
    I believe the clouds in my coffee more than the weatherman on t.v.

  20. #20
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    For me it depends on the day and type of riding. Most of my casual riding is done at work 8 hours ='s about 5 hours of patrol on teh bike 30 - 35 miles at 10 MPH average. On the weekends I do club rides 30 - 40 miles at 14 - 17 MPH average. If I am just going out to have some fun then I really do not care about speed or distance.
    Just your average club rider... :)

  21. #21
    . . . rosebud . . . Diggy18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezealot
    Doing long rides is just not a problem..Each month, I don't necessarily make a 100 miler, but usually at least two 70 milers.
    Just don't view it as a problem..More often than not a casual ride just out touring for a day..I know water fountains and 7-11 are common,
    If I head east then I can get to downtown Philadelphia in about 25 miles. So that direction is no problem. I could always find a convenience store, and there are a couple of water fountains on the way.

    But if I go west, it's really weird, but there is NOTHING but farms for about 40 miles. And, no exageration, some of the roads are in far worse condition then the bike paths I've been on. It's just all chewed up, loose gravel with big pot holes all over. No water fountains and no convenience stores. There's also no cars, which is pretty cool.

    Even if there are stores, though, I'm nervous about locking up the bike and running inside. Actually, I've never done this yet and don't even carry my lock with me.

  22. #22
    . . . rosebud . . . Diggy18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    I always know my route beforehand, and I always know where the places are where I can make a stop for a quicke food snack or a bathroom break.

    For my long rides (more than 4 hours), I usually plan a stop for a carbo loading, but light, meal.

    Koffee
    Luckily for me the bathroom break is anywhere along the side of the road where there's a few trees!

    So my58vw, what kind of work do you do, if you don't my asking? Security? Police? I was a on-bike campus guard for a year, and it was pretty awesome being able to cruise around and get some exercise.

  23. #23
    05 Roubaix Comp Double
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    Light ride the day before,pasta dinner that night,2 big bottles of gator aid,2 energy bars,as much as i can drink before i leave and cereal or waffles an hour before i leave. I ride at a good pace for me but pace it for a long ride which is 4 hours for me.
    Touch every 3rd person and you'll find an idiot.

  24. #24
    Senior Member park's Avatar
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    What are your goals? When I did a 163 mile ride some years back I did long rides to build endurance, but now that I'm training for a 40k time trial I look at long rides as a waste of my time. If you just like to ride or are trying to lose some weight, then have at it, but don't make the mistake of assuming that longer rides and big mileage will make you a fitter cyclist. Many runners aspire to do marathons because they think they will be super fit as a result of the high mileage training when in fact they will be more prone to injury, more prone to illness due to a weakened immune system and they will look like an atrophic, wimpy Kenyan. I contend that you would be "fitter" by training to run your fastest mile.

  25. #25
    . . . rosebud . . . Diggy18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by park
    What are your goals? When I did a 163 mile ride some years back I did long rides to build endurance, but now that I'm training for a 40k time trial I look at long rides as a waste of my time. If you just like to ride or are trying to lose some weight, then have at it, but don't make the mistake of assuming that longer rides and big mileage will make you a fitter cyclist. Many runners aspire to do marathons because they think they will be super fit as a result of the high mileage training when in fact they will be more prone to injury, more prone to illness due to a weakened immune system and they will look like an atrophic, wimpy Kenyan. I contend that you would be "fitter" by training to run your fastest mile.
    Hmm, yeah. When I was watching the Olympics, I'm astounded by how the sprinters look strong and powerful, and how the marathon runners look sickly.

    I just like to ride and to explore a little. And I had wanted to lose weight.

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