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  1. #1
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    Noob endurance questions

    Hi everyone,

    I have always been fascinated and interested in endurance riding. It must be a trip and a half.
    I am just a commuter and recreational rider, having only done 50 miles as my longest ride.

    I was wondering:

    1. How tough is it to become and endurance rider. I mean like the RAAM soloists?
    Do you basically have to make it your full time job to be able to train and handle rides at that level?
    2. Can anyone get to that level, or are these the Babe Ruths of cycling, and not everyone is built for that type of thing?
    3. What is the difference between brevets and raddonneur-ing?
    4. What do you call the RAAM riding type of discipline? Distances like that. Is RAAM pretty much the pinnacle of organised endurance cycling?
    5. What has been your longest single ride?
    6. Why are you interested in endurance riding? Just sheer love of being on the bike?
    Thanks for the info.
    EDIT:
    7. About how many hours do you spend on the bike each week?
    Last edited by lungimsam; 05-06-12 at 10:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    1. It is not that difficult to become an endurance rider ... endurance riding is anything over 100 miles. You're at 50 miles right now ... you could ride a 100 mile ride in a month's time. Just get out there and build up the distance.

    You could do a whole bunch of centuries (several of us do the Century-A-Month challenge). You can do a Super Randonneur series and the 1000K and the 1200K. (I've done four 1200Ks (plus all the qualifiers) all while working full-time and going to night classes.) You could also ride several 24-hour races. And you could do all of that all without making it your full-time job to train. I can't comment on the RAAM because I haven't done that.

    2. Probably not anyone ... some aren't interested in riding the long distances, and it takes a great deal of interest. You've got to want to do it.

    3. Randonneuring involves riding randonnees/brevets (the terms are often interchangable). But a brevet is technically the card you get signed while riding a randonnee.

    4. RAAM is ultra-distance cycling.

    5. In one 24-hour day ... 287.3 miles (462.4 kms) during the 2006 UMCA 24-hour event. I'm not a fast rider.
    http://www.machka.net/24hour/2006_UMCA24hour.htm

    In one event ... a little over 1200K, on four occasions.

    6. The challenge, the adventure, going places on the bicycle I wouldn't go if I didn't ride long distances.

  3. #3
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    6. You can treat the endurance riding as a kind of discipline of cycling, where the focus is on the long, long distance. If you are not strong enough for competing in time trial nor fast enough to compete in racing, you can find yourself to be made for endurance riding, where you mostly compete with yourself. The longer you go, the more people will be amazed with that achievement. It is also a way to learn your abilities and go beyond step by step.

    7. It is rather not quantity but quality of these hours that matter.

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagicJade View Post
    6. You can treat the endurance riding as a kind of discipline of cycling, where the focus is on the long, long distance. If you are not strong enough for competing in time trial nor fast enough to compete in racing, you can find yourself to be made for endurance riding, where you mostly compete with yourself. The longer you go, the more people will be amazed with that achievement. It is also a way to learn your abilities and go beyond step by step.

    7. It is rather not quantity but quality of these hours that matter.
    Lots of endurance cyclists are strong enough to compete in time trials and are fast enough to compete in racing. The randonneuring club in Alberta, for example, consists mainly of people who both race and participate in randonneuring.

    And with long distance cycling, it's both quality and quantity that count.

    What type of long distance cycling do you enjoy?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    ...
    1. How tough is it to become and endurance rider. I mean like the RAAM soloists?
    Do you basically have to make it your full time job to be able to train and handle rides at that level?
    There are lots of people who are physically able to do it. If you train properly, you could do it with as few as 10,000+/-miles/year. As far as the riding goes, the most difficult part is the mental part. Not a lot of people have that. In reality though, the hard thing isn't the physical or mental part. Getting to the starting line, money, logistics, crew etc., is the hard part.

    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    2. Can anyone get to that level, or are these the Babe Ruths of cycling, and not everyone is built for that type of thing?
    Physically, yes anyone if reasonable physical condition can but like I said, that isn't the hard part. You won't know if you have the mental fortitude until you do it. Most people have a good idea though once they've completed one of the qualifiers.

    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    4. What do you call the RAAM riding type of discipline? Distances like that. Is RAAM pretty much the pinnacle of organised endurance cycling?
    Ultra-distance racing and it's nothing like randoneuring.

    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    5. What has been your longest single ride?
    I've done RAAM a few times.

    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    6. Why are you interested in endurance riding? Just sheer love of being on the bike?
    I like racing and I like riding so I do both. Don't get ultra-distance racing mixed up with other long distance events. They are two completely different animals and should be approached differently

    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    7. About how many hours do you spend on the bike each week?
    I ride between 6k and 10k a year. If you do anything to excess it no longer is fun.
    Last edited by Homeyba; 05-07-12 at 06:55 PM.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    I ride between 6k and 10k a year. If you do anything to excess it no longer is fun.
    I wouldn't say that. Everything depends on what your goals are and how far you are stretching yourself. Right now I have 7000 miles in for the year. I just did my longest day to date back on Monday, 211 miles. I have so many freakin' goals that are all intertwined right now that they just keep propelling me on and on and on and on and on and on... I think you get the picture. Granted when most of them come to grand conclusion come the end of July then things could get interesting..........oh yeah, that's when I have to start thinking about taking the long road trip, HOPEFULLY, come late August. I can't win this darn game. The more I want to get off the bike the more I get on it. I need serious psycho help. LOL

    I would say from what I have seen personally the key to making yourself ride...and ride long miles, is to have multiple reasons for doing it that all intertwine. Have it so your not just chasing one thing but numerous things at the same time and by accomplishing one goal your accomplishing all the goals at the same time. Just don't be surprised to find yourself going WAY beyond what you could ever expect to find yourself doing. For example, the goals I can think of off the top of my head right now that are on my plate:

    1. Back on 9/21/2011 I hit a 60 calendar day average of 50 miles a day. I didn't think I would keep it very long. Now over 7 months later and it is still going and in fact I'm close to 60 miles a day average over the past 60 calendar days. I REALLY don't want to hit 60 miles a day average though. I'm off my freakin' rocker.
    2. In August last year I ended up riding over 1500 miles for the month, shockingly I did it in September as well, and now I've did each month since then, and I'm trying to KEEP IT GOING for an entire year. So far this year I've been averaging 1600 miles a month.
    3. Ride at least one 100 mile day each week for an entire year. Right now at 42 consecutive weeks. Yes, July 27, 2011 started it all with a 200 miler.
    4. As I come to realize just how much of the surrounding area I had ridden the darned idea of trying to ride all marked state highways in NH west of Interstate 93 within a 12 month period came up. That idea has changed dramactically(sp?) and now the goal is do it in the first 6 months of 2012...all rides are one day round trip from my house in west central NH. Take a look at a map of NH and you'll get the idea. I have most of the southern half(south of Hanover...the hardest part) already finished. This alone gives me all the 100 mile days, heck 200 mile days for that part. I'm always riding new territory trying to get more highways marked off the map.
    5. Stay in shape for a long bike trip back to the midwest come late August, providing I don't get stranded in NH again this year like I did last year thanks to Hurricane Irene. Admittedly, given everything else that has already happened, this one scares the crap out of me. This could be my long term knife in the back if I haven't ever found one. I hope the trip doesn't go worth a crap or I'm DOOMED.

    As you can see each goal helps support all the other goals. I have some more in mind but first I need to get some of these darn goals off my plate first. I wish my mind would shut down and stop giving me these stupid ideas.

    How much fun you have riding all depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Once you make biking work instead of pleasure is when you'll lose all the fun of biking. You can still have fun and be out riding long miles, even solo(I do most of my riding by myself, all long rides are solo).

    I will add the simple disclosure into this posting...I don't own a car anymore so if I'm going to go anywhere I have to walk or ride to get away from home. Granted I find myself travelling WAY more now then I ever did while driving. I'm seeing so many places now that I never used to see while driving. It's incredible how much more I'm willing to get out and about now that I'm carfree and not paying money out the $$$ for gas and car repair/registration/insurance anymore. Just keep the headlight away from me...the taillight has been bad enough, the headlight is suicide. Yes, I've massively lost self-control when it comes to biking. I need something to keep me from doing crazier stuff than what I'm already doing. No headlight...GREAT!

    The secret is to come up with goal'S'. Start small and let them build bigger and bigger as you continue to get better and better into shape. Don't discard any crazy idea that comes to you. Don't be surprised how crazy some of them may seem. The further they stretch you the further they will propel you forward and make you continue to ride. It will continue to be fun and not work.

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