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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 08-11-07, 02:08 PM   #1
pluc
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Can one realistically do 270 km in one day? Québec-Montreal

I've been thinking about going to visit a friend in Montréal and his place is exactly 270 km from my place. I usually do the distance in bus, but I've recently been thinking about doing this by bike.

I figure if I keep a speed of 20 kph I could do it in more or less 13 hours (plus 1.5 hours to rest, eat and relax), but the longest I've ever ridden was 4 hours straight averaging 25 kph. It wasn't hard, just long.

I'm a utility biker and I get on my bike every day for various reasons so I'm relatively well in shape.

Could I do it?
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Old 08-11-07, 02:11 PM   #2
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Of course, the answer is yes, if you're up to it.

The question really is, who can suffer through 270 km in a day when they're a utility biker (your words). Shirley you've read threads about double centuries, nutrition, hydration, etc, so you know what you're up against. You didn't mention the terrain so it's quite the unknown to the rest of us
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Old 08-11-07, 02:27 PM   #3
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The distance sounds daunting in and of itself, but it is potentially doable.

What concerns me is the road quality (the pavement around here is just terrible) and the number of hills that you'll be facing... I live in Sherbrooke and haven't thought about making the (much shorter) trip to Montréal by bike because I am not sure that I could handle the brutal climbs.

What's the longest ride you've been on to date? I ride for 3 and 4 hours pretty regularly, but just completed my first century (164 km) about a week ago - it took almost 7.5 hours, and I found myself pretty saddle sore after the fact (I actually had bruises).

My longest ride before the century was about 68 miles (109 km) and I ride daily, too - but I was told that I should have worked up to the longer distances more gradually to make sure I didn't overdo it and injure myself.

I'm admittedly new to long distance cycling, but my best advice is to be sure that your saddle is going to be comfortable for a trip that long, have comfortable padded shorts (gel was recommended to me), and bring along some chamois cream or bag balm for any rides that long.

I can't give you much advice on nutrition and hydration for a ride that long because I've never tried it, but I found it difficult to carry enough water and gatorade just to complete the century, even with a saddle bag.

Are you planning to ride back to QC after your visit, or take the bus back? That's an awful lot of riding if you are unaccustomed to that kind of distance.
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Old 08-11-07, 06:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pluc View Post
I've been thinking about going to visit a friend in Montréal and his place is exactly 270 km from my place. I usually do the distance in bus, but I've recently been thinking about doing this by bike.

I figure if I keep a speed of 20 kph I could do it in more or less 13 hours (plus 1.5 hours to rest, eat and relax), but the longest I've ever ridden was 4 hours straight averaging 25 kph. It wasn't hard, just long.

I'm a utility biker and I get on my bike every day for various reasons so I'm relatively well in shape.

Could I do it?

Pluc,

You don't tell us how often you ride for 4+ hours. If you've only done that once and not on a bi-weekly basis I don't think you can do that distance unless you happen to be in very high fitness from other activities. If you are used to riding that distance at least twice a week plus some other shorter rides then I would say yes you could likely do it.
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Old 08-11-07, 08:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pluc View Post
I've been thinking about going to visit a friend in Montréal and his place is exactly 270 km from my place. I usually do the distance in bus, but I've recently been thinking about doing this by bike.

I figure if I keep a speed of 20 kph I could do it in more or less 13 hours (plus 1.5 hours to rest, eat and relax), but the longest I've ever ridden was 4 hours straight averaging 25 kph. It wasn't hard, just long.

I'm a utility biker and I get on my bike every day for various reasons so I'm relatively well in shape.

Could I do it?
If you want to do it you can but you'll need a good bike map. That's a distance you don't want to ride in traffice the whole way.

You should train at least a little bit for that kind of distance. It's not so much the legs (as they are important) but more the saddle time (which you may have). Actually for you it may be the other way around as you ride everyday so you may have a pretty solid saddle time. I normal ride a 161km ride on weekends @28kph. I recently did 335km in <15 hours with 8 stops but I trained for 6 weeks before hand (about 2000km). We generally stop between 32 to 40km but I'd rather have stopped after every 48km or so.

We eat whatever we want, we drink a little soda at the stops sometimes but not on the ride. Keep the stops short but long enough where you're not rushed. Have a lunch stop midway but eat a portion of your meal at this stop and the next. By keeping the stops short you're less likely to tighten up. Don't fill up your stomach at each stop but eat steadily while on the bike. Its the only way to keep up (well not actually). I normally drink Gatorade and I vary the flavor through the day, usually not a full strength. I use the powder to keep cost down. Do not drink straight water, you need to replace the minerals that you are loosing through sweat. I don't eat or drink the same thing all day long.

I've got a very comfortable bike. I recommend some extra exercises such as some push ups (you'll be leaning on your arms for a while). Squats don't hurt if you do them correctly, I don't think you need weights with that. Crunches are also good to strengthen your middle (very important).

Sorry for the ramble I'm a bit tired.
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Old 08-11-07, 09:45 PM   #6
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I think I'll pass on this adventure. I realize I'd need to be better equipped clothing wise and probably get a new seat too. Plus I have never rode even half this in a day; I'd probably need some training to see if my body will cope with it (knees especially).

Thanks for your help!

Morea: I was thinking about either going by the Route Verte or via the 138. The Sherbrooke is really hilly, I would understand how getting to Montreal would be a great challenge.
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Old 08-12-07, 09:34 AM   #7
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Route Verte is really nice. I'm not familiar with the 138, but then I'm sort of new to the area.

If you're ever heading to Sherbrooke give us (myself or Hanu) a heads up and maybe we can meet up for a ride.
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Old 08-15-07, 07:37 PM   #8
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Oh pour balader encore une fois sur la Route Verte...c'était une rêve de le faire, et je l'ai fait deux fois! Bonne chance, et n'hesitez pas à me contacter si tu veux le faire ensemble...j'ai besoin d'une bonne justification d'rev'nir au QC...mon cœur...mon "pays de Cocagne!"

Sorry, just got in from a 26miler, at full blast...
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Old 08-15-07, 07:43 PM   #9
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Just as important as distance is accumulated "saddle time" so the rider is comfortable with being on the bike for many hours on end. Significant long, steady, distance (L-S-D training) would need to be incorporated into the mix.
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Old 08-15-07, 08:36 PM   #10
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That matches my 1 day record distance, and I could barely move the next day initially. It does feel good to know you CAN do it though. You'll need to plan on about 250 calories an hour for nutrition and stay hydrated though. It's definitely doable. as to whether you'll feel like doing anything the next day or not.....well....what can I say.

If you do try it though and make it, make yourself take a short ride to loosen up the day after and have a good deep tissue massage when you get done, it helps work the lactic acid out of your muscles.
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Originally Posted by pluc View Post
I've been thinking about going to visit a friend in Montréal and his place is exactly 270 km from my place. I usually do the distance in bus, but I've recently been thinking about doing this by bike.

I figure if I keep a speed of 20 kph I could do it in more or less 13 hours (plus 1.5 hours to rest, eat and relax), but the longest I've ever ridden was 4 hours straight averaging 25 kph. It wasn't hard, just long.

I'm a utility biker and I get on my bike every day for various reasons so I'm relatively well in shape.

Could I do it?
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Old 08-15-07, 09:50 PM   #11
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The killer is your going east to west which means your riding into the prevailing winds. I've done 200km into a 20-25km wind but it took a total of 12 hours.
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