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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 08-23-12, 09:24 PM   #1
rdtompki
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Bucket List Help

I've put a DC on my bucket list for next year. When you're mid-60's you can have a bucket list: in fact you need a bucket list.

Background: Took up cycling 4+ years ago. Have ridden combined 15,000 miles tandem and single. Typical "long" rides are 100K (tandem). Have only done a few centuries on the single. I'm 6', 200 lbs and should probably weigh 185 to be really fit. Seems heavy for a cyclist, but my Cat 2 son is exactly the same build and weighs 190.

If I retire at the end of this year I'll have plenty of time to train. If not, I'll have to make time around one long tandem ride each weekend. I might be able to do one 40 mile ride during the week even if I'm working (work out of my house).

My plan such as it is: ride 150 miles/week consistently hoping that business travel doesn't make too much of a dent. Ride one century a month and find a doable 200K before year's end with 1 or 2 more in the spring. Build up to doing a 70 mile hill training ride a couple of times per month. I have three dead-end ranch roads near my house which would give me 6000'+ of climbing in 70 miles. Biggest problem with this ride is absolutely no water for the first 60 miles with all the climbing. Also, these roads are in terrible condition with steep descents so cannot be ridden at night.

Assuming I can get comfortable enough on my bike (Volagi) does this seem like sufficient training? As far as gearing I've got a compact with 11-32 that I'll be changing to an 11-36 for big climbing rides. As the months roll on I'll consider a triple, but I don't believe I'll need it with a 36t in the back.
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Old 08-23-12, 11:49 PM   #2
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Your wife doesn't want to do a double with you on the tandem? Your training sounds sufficient. Do work on some speed besides the climbing. You'll need that if you don't want to be riding day and night. The dead end ranch road sounds like perfect training. I'd just drive up there and stash some water in some bushes alongside the road before hand. Have you decided on a double yet? I think you'd really enjoy Solvang or maybe Davis. Davis is harder but has awesome support and lots of people to ride with. If it were my choice, I'd pick Solvang for you though. You know the area, it's a pretty ride and it's one of the easiest doubles. Perfect for getting your feet wet in the double world.
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Old 08-24-12, 09:07 AM   #3
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For speed work I've got a local 24 mile loop with only 900' of climbing. I generally ride that hard, no race drop-when-u-finish hard, but training hard. I can average 18 mph or so over that sort of distance up to about 30 miles. I don't know if intervals would be a better use of time, but on rolling rides I tend to go hard on the climbs and flats, back of on downslopes, so intervals of a sort.

Solvang, the spring version I assume, would be appealing; It's sooner than I would want, but easier sounding than many doubles. I would second what I read in some related posts about flat rides; Homeyba, you made the observation about how boring flat was on some nasty SoCal double.
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Old 08-26-12, 12:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
...Solvang, the spring version I assume, would be appealing; It's sooner than I would want, but easier sounding than many doubles. I would second what I read in some related posts about flat rides; Homeyba, you made the observation about how boring flat was on some nasty SoCal double.
I usually do interval training for speed but what you're doing doesn't sound bad at all.

As far as flat rides go. Yes, they can be boring! Especially if they are Kansas flat. I don't know if Solvang qualifies as boring because the scenery is awesome and it flows well. Davis is Kansas boring for the first part and the last between Davis and the mountains. Otherwise it's great. Hemet (probably the one I was refering to) is boring flat and tedious because of all the stops. Plus it's a figure 8 loop which makes it too easy to bail out.
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Old 08-26-12, 04:03 PM   #5
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+1 on Davis and Solvang

The Davis Double is very well supported and the Solvang Double is a more fun route. Two other doubles to consider are the LA Wheelmens Grand Tour, also very well supported and a nice route, and Seattle to Portland. STP is definitely the easiest DC route around with only 1500 feet of climbing in 200 miles. It is also the most hectic with the ride selling out at 10,000 riders each year. 2500 riders do it in one day while the other 7500 race to the halfway point so they can start drinking beer early and finish the next day. STP is also the best supported double I have ever seen with more rest stops than you will need. If you want to do STP you should sign up in January. Join the Cascade Bike Club for $15 and you get early registration and a discount. If you wait to register it is often sold out by the end of April, sometimes earlier.

Pick any one of them and have fun!
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Old 08-27-12, 02:38 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the great suggestions! I'm actually getting enthused even though I'm sitting in Iowa unable to ride for 3-4 days. Spring Solvang has about 10Kft which doesn't seem bad at all for a double. STP would be a blast - start can be any worse than the Tour de Tuscon.
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