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  1. #1
    Doesn't ride enough Lamabb's Avatar
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    So I want to ride 300 miles in a day

    So yeah, I want to ride 300 miles in one 24 hour period. I'll get loads of sleep before hand and start at 12:01 and ride until 11:59 that night. I will take breaks when I feel I need them. With 4 hours of rest / eat / Restroom I will need to maintain an average of 15 mph, which I should be able to even after that amount of time.

    This is the route I'm taking since it's pretty darn simple, and I like that.

    is there anything wrong with this plan? Anything stupid I forgot? My longest ride to date is only 150 so this will be a big jump. Even if I don't get to 300 by the end of the day, I probably will still be darn proud of whatever I got up to.

    O right... can I get any good light suggestions. not "to be seen" lights, but "to see" since I'll be doing quite a bit of night riding.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sour...79&ie=UTF8&z=8

  2. #2
    Senior Member lonesomesteve's Avatar
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    Looks like a fun challenge. I don't know anything about the roads and traffic and all that on your route, but assuming the roads are good, it should be doable. Your route looks reasonably flat. That will help. Going from 150 miles to 300 is a big step, but if you have the fitness to ride 150, then you have the fitness to ride 300. After the first 100 miles or so, it's mostly about eating, drinking and keeping your head in it.

    If I were you, I might think about riding from 6pm to 6pm. That gets the night riding out of the way when you're still relatively fresh. Heading into that second night is going to be a psychological challenge.

    As for lighting, I hear a lot about the Magicshine being the best deal out there right now for a good bright battery powered light. Personally I use a SON generator hub with a B&M IQ Cyo headlight, but that's a lot of expense unless you think this is just the first of many such rides for you.

    Good luck to you.
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  3. #3
    Randomhead
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    Lighting is a really big subject on its own. I use 2 Planet Bike Super Flash rear lights and a Dyno light on the front. Having lights on my bike really opened things up for me, I don't have to race the sun any more. A lot of people seem enamored with the Magicshine lights from Geoman. As far as higher quality lights, Dinotte is the gold standard for battery powered lights. Either way, you probably want to have a secondary backup light in the front, a lot of people I know use the Planet Bike Blaze for that. You also need to stress test your lights to some degree, it would be bad to ruin a long trip due to lights.

    I've always thought that leaving at 4 AM or so is a good plan. At least you haven't messed up the first night's sleep.

  4. #4
    Wookie Fred chewybrian's Avatar
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    The only flaw I see is planning for 4 hours of breaks. I'd hate to get to the end with 280-something, and realize that I could have made it easily without the breaks. I did 270 in 23 hours, with about an hour of break time, and I was quite slow. I'm faster now, and I think I could get 300 plus, but I would still try to cut out most of that break time. 15 mph does not seem so fast, but a lot can happen to slow your average--wind, flats, bonks... It's easy to lose focus and drift to a slower speed from time to time when you're not paying attention, too.

    As far as lights, there are lots of options now. Here is one that's cheap and easy. A couple of these will light up the road for @$25 for the pair. http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.30987 You can buy flashlight mounts on the same site for a couple bucks each. Good luck.
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  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Rather than doing this all on your own, why not sign up for a 24-hour race? They are a lot of fun (at least the UMCA one run in Iowa/Illinois in September was) and the competition factor can keep you motivated to keep riding.

    The first section on my Links page contains links to a whole bunch of 24-hour races:
    http://www.machka.net/links.htm

    It looks like there are a few in your general area in July.

    You do not have to be extremely fast to ride in a 24-hour race ... you just have to be able to complete the first couple laps (usually something in the neighbourhood of 100-150 miles) in order to "qualify" (not have your name down as a DNF) and after that you can do whatever you want till the 24 hours is up.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Thulsadoom's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great time.

    I wonder about your leave time though, as some of the other posters have mentioned. I would take off closer to whatever time your normal morning schedule would allow for a full nights (or closer to it) rest. You aren't likely to be able to fall straight to sleep after the ride, so it sounds like you're planning on not getting any sleep for two straight nights.

    It's one thing to ride into the night after a full days ride, but it's another to head into the night after already riding all day and a good part of the previous night. Morning to morning would be easier.

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I was thinking about the start times for 400K brevets the other day. It has taken me anywhere from 20.5 to 25 hours to finish a 400K, depending on terrain, weather, fitness level, etc.

    I was thinking that I might like to start a 400K in the evening ... like perhaps about an hour before sunset. That would give me a little over an hour in daylight to get settled in, and then I would take on the night while I'm fresh instead of when I'm exhausted. Then the sun would come up and I'd ride through the day to finish the ride.

    All my 400Ks have started at some unearthly hour of the morning (4 am, 5 am) and by the time the night rolls around, I'm tired and cold and hungry.

  8. #8
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I would try to know the route as well as possible. You might even drive the route in your car to be sure that the directions are correct and that the route is reasonably bike friendly.

  9. #9
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Why?

    Or why not have fun getting faster on your bike and then ride a brevet series? Well, maybe you don't have other folks of this persuasion where you are. If you are fast at all, you should be able to knock off 400k in 15-18 hours, depending on elevation gain. So starting an hour before sunrise will give you a nice warmup and very little riding in the dark. Why make it take 24 hours? You might go for a 12 hour double century first. That'd be a good mark to head for. If you can do that, you can easily do the 300.

  10. #10
    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    Based on my experience riding brevets and randonnees of 400-1200k, I'd be inclined to start just before dusk instead of midnight. That way, you get the night riding done in one chunk, and only lose one night's sleep: you probably won't sleep at all before the midnight start, and finishing at midnight means only a few hours before it's daylight again.

    Free advice - take it for what it's worth.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lamabb View Post
    is there anything wrong with this plan? Anything stupid I forgot? My longest ride to date is only 150 so this will be a big jump. Even if I don't get to 300 by the end of the day, I probably will still be darn proud of whatever I got up to.
    I bet that route isn't flat!! How fast did you do the 150? Was it on similar terrain? (300 is a big jump from 150.)

    Your goal probably should be 300 in 24h rather than a day (ie, there should be no reason to need to start at 00:00).

    Do it in consecutive two days first? You can mail stuff you need to the hotel if you don't want to carry it.

    You won't find problems finding lights to see-by. The issue might be run times (you might need 7-10 hours).

    Quote Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
    As far as lights, there are lots of options now. Here is one that's cheap and easy. A couple of these will light up the road for @$25 for the pair. http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.30987 You can buy flashlight mounts on the same site for a couple bucks each.
    1xAA lights are not going to be as bright or last as long as 2xAA lights.

    I use similar Romisen 2xAA lights and they are bright enough to see-by (one might be enough). It looks like the runtimes of my lights are about 1.5-2h for 2xAAs. A lot of that route isn't going to have street lights or a lot of traffic.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 06-18-10 at 10:34 AM.

  12. #12
    Doesn't ride enough Lamabb's Avatar
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    Great advice here. On my 150 I averaged 18.1 mph and it was on a shortened version of this ride where I turned around in mass. It's not that much elevation gain, maybe around 6,000 ft in total.

    Also, I think i'll take the advice about having the ride take 24 hours instead of having to fit it in one calendar day. I can be well rested then.

    as for the light, I still need to do a bit more searching on that since I don't want a super heavy light that will change the way the bike handles. I need one that will last the hours, be bright enough to see while riding and not weigh a ton.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    These lights are far from cheap but they are light and you can get some really long runtimes with decent light output: http://bikelightingsystem.com/images...=300&width=500

    I use an Arc Li-Ion Ultra for commuting and have almost-all good things to say about it. I had a battery failure early on but the new battery has proven to be very reliable (same battery L&M is currently using for the Seca lights). Considering the 5 hour runtime on high for my light, the total weight is quite low (something around 600-700 grams for the full system).

  14. #14
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    Look for lights that have a separate battery pack; that way most of the weight isn't on your handlebars, and it won't affect the handling. The PrincetonTec Corona Bike is a good one, but not the only option. Lights that are heavier will affect the handling less if mounted on the fork instead of on the bars; and that actually helps you see potholes better too, because when the light is farther from your eyes, you see more of a shadow made by bumps and holes.

    Also, I agree with starting in the evening. My favorite time to start a 24-hour ride is between 6 and 8 PM. Partly because then I get the dark part out of the way when I'm fresh. Once you get tired, ambient light plus the time of day when you're normally awake or asleep makes a huge difference in how hard or easy it is to stay awake... and yes, you can fall asleep on a bike. But it also means that you finish around dinner time, so you can eat a good meal, get cleaned up, relax, and still get to bed at a relatively normal time, so you only really mess up one hour of sleep. I've started rides ~24 hrs or longer pretty much at just about every time of day, and the two most miserable were midnight and 1 AM. Even 10 PM and 4 AM are better. And finishing in the evening will mean that you'll be in the stretch through Vermont when you might still find cafes or convenience stores open. In that area, there isn't a lot and what there is tends to close early. And for that matter, you're more likely to find a 24 hour diner in New York, where you can have steak and eggs served to you by a gruff waitress who looks at you like you've got two heads.

    The one caveat is that if you're at all familiar with the towns you'll be going through, it may be worth finding out when bars close and figuring out which ones you don't want to be in when they do. The only scary experiences I've ever had from riding at night were when the drunks were just getting out of the bar and into their cars, or when they saw some weirdo or group of weirdos on bike/s all lit up with reflective gear and looked like they might want to start something. I've ridden through some of that area and wouldn't expect any trouble, but if you know something I don't, it may be worth adjusting your start time by an hour or two in one direction or the other if you know of a potential trouble spot to avoid.

  15. #15
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Personally, if I was going to ride 300 miles at a whack, I would want people to know about it, rather than it just being some nutty thing I did on my own. That being the case, I'd vote for the 24-hour race per Machka's suggestion or a brevet of appropriate length.

    One upcoming event:
    http://www.adkultracycling.com/
    Or rummage through the calendar here:
    http://www.ultracycling.com/events/e....php?monthno=7
    Last edited by StephenH; 06-19-10 at 05:36 PM.
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  16. #16
    Upgrading my engine DXchulo's Avatar
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    How soon do you plan on doing this? Personally, if I didn't already know what kind of lights worked for me I would want to get in a lot of test riding before I rode all night in an unfamiliar area. Don't get me wrong- I don't think that night riding is dangerous, but it takes a while to figure out what works. You could always do smaller loops at night to cut down on the unknown and you could store some backup stuff at the start/stop area.

    I think if I were in your situation I'd start from home at sunrise (I'm a morning person), pick a safe distance that allows me to return home maybe 2 hours before dark, then strap on my lights and ride a route I'm familiar with until the end. If 300 miles doesn't take you 24 hours, then you can cut down on your night riding that way. It also just seems like more of a normal day. It's more like pulling an all-nighter while starting at 6 PM is like switching from the day shift to the night shift.
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  17. #17
    Randomhead
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    the most important thing for your safety at night is reflective gear. Nathan makes good reflective gear, make sure it's long enough. I really like the ankle straps that RUSA sells, I don't know if you can get anything that comfortable anywhere else. Reflective ankle straps are very obvious. Also plan for low temperatures. One thing I like to carry with me is a small piece of bubble wrap to cover my chest; bike racers used to use newspaper, but bubble wrap is more effective.

  18. #18
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    pretty sure you can't ride rt. 7 from bennington to manchester, limited access highway through there.
    and no, its not flat.
    you'll need to stick to 7a or whatever the business route is up to manchester.

    and i think 279 is limited access too. i've not driven or ridden it - but know the interchange off of 7 north of bennington as i end up down that way 3-4 times a year.

    not sure on 22 through ny, i've ridden a stretch of it on the boston 600k. worst section of road i've ever been on - not the pavement - but the constant harassment from the locals and motorists. this was @ 10 pm on a friday night.

  19. #19
    Doesn't ride enough Lamabb's Avatar
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    Update: I just rode 50 miles up 22 to see how it was and to my delight, it's a pretty good riding road. Cars zoom by at high speeds, but there is a big shoulder most of the time. It was more on the hilly side though, but the hills were gradual climbs instead of short steep climbs.

    I felt more tired than I thought I would after 100 miles because I did all 100 in one shot, with only a Less than 1 minute water bottle refill. What do you guys typically average on your very long rides? Long rides like this 300miler I'm going to try.

    I had a 18.1 mph average for 100 miles, which I think is too much. I think I'll loosen up on the throttle so I don't wear out as fast.

  20. #20
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    In answer to your question about average speed, breaks, etc. for long rides, here's the story of my best 24-hour race ...

    http://www.machka.net/24hour/2006_UMCA24hour.htm

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