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    3000 miles in 30 days

    The RAAM is not for me but like long multi day rides. Have done quite a few organized 600 mile in 8 days types and am comfortable with a century every 2 weeks. Am wondering how realistic to plan the RAAM route supported for 30 days. Can a normal experienced cyclist ride 100 miles for 30 days both mentally and physically? The wise thing is to build in a bit of time cushion in case of weather or other issues (spec it out for 26 days) but is it a reasonable goal? An incredible experience or a grind?

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    Randomhead
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    I know a number of people that have ridden across the U.S. in 2 weeks supported. It's a tough ride. 30 days would give you some time to rest occasionally.

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    When I rode cross continent in '76 we started at ~35 miles a day out of Vancouver BC. We weren't in a hurry through the coast range and Rockies. East of Calgary to Winnipeg we were in the 65 mile a day range. A few weeks later later we had many 98, 100, +100 days. 118-120 was about as high as we got. We were bike packing and carried about 35-40 pounds per person. 100 miles a day touring takes ~12 hour a day steady riding, particularly if you are loaded. I'd think a rider in good touring shape could do 100 miles a day out of the gate but it might take light packing and lots of pre-trip seat time. Out daily pattern was rise, eat, ride eat, nap, eat, ride, ride, eat, sleep. 100 miles a day means burning ~7000-8000 calories a day (say 5-6K + 2000 BMR) and that's a lot eating! At the age of 21 it was somewhat easy...now at 58 I'd need more rest to repair my bod. Early RAM speed averages were around 12mph+ so for an experienced cyclist! it might be possible to ride 8-9 hours in the saddle..burn through that 100 miles and spend quality time resting.....and eating!!!
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    When I was 21 I rode 1800 miles in 18 days, self supported; the idea was to get all the way across the country but I failed. By the end of that, I was completely frazzled, mentally. I could have gone on, but the bottom line was: I was behind schedule. Time had not yet run out, but clearly I was going to have to head back to school before I could finish the ride; so one day I just quit and got on a bus. I slept very well on that bus!

    What you describe is definitely possible, depending on the support you arrange. But if I were doing it again, I would try to do it as a tour, rather than as a feat of endurance.

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    It's not only possible, it's been done by numerous(many?) people.

    The most recent "famous" person to do it was Phi Keoghan, the guy who hosts The Amazing Race tv show - at least as far as being a well-publicized non-race event goes. He made a documentary of his trans-continental crossing, The Ride. Not only did he average 100-miles miles a day with no breaks, he did media events on a near-daily basis including appearances at schools and radio/tv interviews. He suffered two medical incidents - a case of dehydration requiring a saline infusion and a crash due to crossing wet railroad tracks non-perpendicularly.

    I'd say the documentary illustrates the difficulties, both mentally and physically. He didn't ride solo except part-way. But you can see the drain on him physically especially in his face on the "bad" days.

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    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karungguni View Post
    The RAAM is not for me but like long multi day rides. ...
    Just go do a PAC Tour. That's pretty much what you are talking about.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

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    America By Bicycle Fast America Ride

    http://www.americabybicycle.com/Fast/

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    Thanks for the info. Was curious both if there was an organization already offering this type of tour and the experiences of somebody who has ridden that far at that pace.

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    Randomhead
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    I suspect it's a good experience. I'm not sure how much longer I could sustain the pace of a 1200k, which is 190-250 miles a day give or take. At a little over 100miles a day, that seems like I could probably keep going for a while

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    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karungguni View Post
    Thanks for the info. Was curious both if there was an organization already offering this type of tour and the experiences of somebody who has ridden that far at that pace.
    I haven't done a PAC tour but I have done RAAM and I know a number of people who've done PAC tours and they are first class. You need to be in good condition to run 30 back to back century+ days. If I was a tourist, that's what I'd do.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    When I was 21 I rode 1800 miles in 18 days, self supported; the idea was to get all the way across the country but I failed. By the end of that, I was completely frazzled, mentally. I could have gone on, but the bottom line was: I was behind schedule. Time had not yet run out, but clearly I was going to have to head back to school before I could finish the ride; so one day I just quit and got on a bus. I slept very well on that bus!

    What you describe is definitely possible, depending on the support you arrange. But if I were doing it again, I would try to do it as a tour, rather than as a feat of endurance.
    Tried to responded to your PM but have less than 50 posts so will not allow it. WTF. Put together a rather long response that I am not that crazy about sharing publicily. I guess if you can send me your email in a PM

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    Randomhead
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    Quote Originally Posted by karungguni View Post
    Tried to responded to your PM but have less than 50 posts so will not allow it. WTF.
    you can blame the spammers that use PM to send their spam. It's not possible to catch that until hundreds of people get the spam and someone finally reports it, so it's a nightmare to clean up.

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    Upgrading my engine DXchulo's Avatar
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    Is PAC Tour doing a cross-country ride this year? Don't see it on their site. Maybe I'm just missing it.
    centuryperweek.blogspot.com

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    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    in 2008, 66 year old Will Dehne posted updates about his ride with the Across America bike tour group. 25 riding days, 120 miles average per day.

    Here's the thread with his daily updates.

    From the posts:
    This is why such a trip is so expensive Yen. We have not one but two very good Mechanics in the SAG support. They race back and forth with two Vans and look us over for trouble. You are supposed to fix your own flats but anything more that that is done by the SAG. They have spare wheels, spare bikes, tubes, tires and many items based on many trip experience. I would not want to do such a trip without SAG.
    I hear that it is done but I say "No Thank You". We had quite a few busted wheels and gear adjustments are frequent. Many bikers are also not fully prepared. How can they be? Most bikers do a trip like this once in a lifetime.

    And another:
    Day fourteen. Sunday May 4, 2008.
    Elk City, OK to Chickasha, OK
    We completed 50% of the tour this day. For us a major event and things will be a little more doable after this. If the weather holds.
    The country looks more like the area I am used to (Wisconsin/Illinois). There are now green fields and trees.
    Biking was challenging because the wind turned against us all day plus there was about 5,000 feet of climbing. Some hills were so steep that I needed all the gears. I made a good decision to have a triple crank and 27/12 cassette.
    The food supplements work with no apparent side effects yet. Our small group of two to three managed a 16.8 MPH average for the day. Not great but not bad either.
    We tried to organize large group formation but our leader put a stop to that for safety reasons. I fully agree with him. You can do this with closed for traffic roads but not on open streets.

    Andrew did have a Heart Attack and could have died. We have a few bikers who spend significant time in the SAG bus. Things will get more easy after tomorrow until we get to Alabama.
    More tomorrow.

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    Senior Member skiffrun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DXchulo View Post
    Is PAC Tour doing a cross-country ride this year? Don't see it on their site. Maybe I'm just missing it.
    The best people to ask are Lon and Susan -- one of the two will almost certainly respond an email inquiry.

    I noticed a few weeks ago that it appears no x-continent west-east ride in 2014. Ridge of the Rockies appears to be their longest endeavor for 2014.
    Enjoy the ride.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
    ...We had quite a few busted wheels and gear adjustments are frequent. Many bikers are also not fully prepared. How can they be? Most bikers do a trip like this once in a lifetime. ..
    It's just plain stupid to start a trip like this with equipment that is not in new or near new condition and set up properly. I understand the posters chagrin. I've raced across the across the US 4 times without breaking a wheel or even a spoke for that matter. Things do happen but with due-diligence they can be kept to a minimum.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

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    agreed about the equipment. Then again, it's nice to have trusted equipment too. Of course, someone I know finished PBP with no rear brake because of a broken spoke

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    Quote Originally Posted by karungguni View Post
    The RAAM is not for me but like long multi day rides. Have done quite a few organized 600 mile in 8 days types and am comfortable with a century every 2 weeks. Am wondering how realistic to plan the RAAM route supported for 30 days. Can a normal experienced cyclist ride 100 miles for 30 days both mentally and physically? The wise thing is to build in a bit of time cushion in case of weather or other issues (spec it out for 26 days) but is it a reasonable goal? An incredible experience or a grind?
    It's very practical with or without support. Years ago when I was with a touring organization, we ran a number of coast to coast rides based on a 100mpd average. Also when touring solo or with a few friends, we'd do the 100 miles or so in 7 hours riding time, which left us time for side trips and doing other things.

    IMO, to do this you have to be able to ride as much as 150 miles in a day and/or spend 10+ hours in the saddle without discomfort.
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  20. #20
    rhm
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    It's very practical with or without support. Years ago when I was with a touring organization, we ran a number of coast to coast rides based on a 100mpd average. Also when touring solo or with a few friends, we'd do the 100 miles or so in 7 hours riding time, which left us time for side trips and doing other things.

    IMO, to do this you have to be able to ride as much as 150 miles in a day and/or spend 10+ hours in the saddle without discomfort.
    While I accept all that, my concern is the balance between planning and performance. I can handle 10+ hours of riding, and I can go 150 miles on a good day. But what about the bad days? I don't see how one can ensure that weather, mechanical problems, or what might in other circumstances be a very minor health problem, won't occasionally cause your mileage to fall short of the goal. In some circumstances, that's fine. Often you can make up for the shortage within a day or two. But if a ride is rigorously planned, down to the point of having a string of motel rooms booked months in advance, it seems to me some kind of support, if only as Plan B, is essential.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    While I accept all that, my concern is the balance between planning and performance. I can handle 10+ hours of riding, and I can go 150 miles on a good day. But what about the bad days? I don't see how one can ensure that weather, mechanical problems, or what might in other circumstances be a very minor health problem, won't occasionally cause your mileage to fall short of the goal. In some circumstances, that's fine. Often you can make up for the shortage within a day or two. But if a ride is rigorously planned, down to the point of having a string of motel rooms booked months in advance, it seems to me some kind of support, if only as Plan B, is essential.
    I don't generally plan lodging on long cycling trips, except maybe certain "benchmak" places which might be tourist destinations where space could be limited. I've toured this way for years and never had an issue. As for contingencies, I just work around or through them as they arise.

    Latitude for surprises depends on your backup range vs. the planned distance and the time factor. If it takes you all day to ride 100 miles then there's not much in reserve, however if you start fairly early ride 100 miles in under 10 hours, then you still have time to make last minute changes. I always try to time it to be at my destination by 4PM or so, so there's plenty of slack. I still remember a friend and arriving at where we planned to spend the night after 100+ miles, only to find the only hotel in town burned down, and the next closest one was 35 miles away.

    These days, cell phones allow you to plan the lodging on a daily basis, making reservations every morning, or even on the fly at 3PM or so as you see how you're doing that day.

    As for rain, I always rode through it because we didn't have the patience to sit around waiting it out.

    My point is that it could be done without support, so doing it with support should be a breeze. However, I'd still plan only one day at a time, letting the support driver line up lodging daily on the fly. That gives you the freedom to take advantage of good days, or back off on bad ones.
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    I just finished reading a book about the guy who raced around the world (on a touring bike, with tent et al) in around 200 days. I think 18,346 miles was the total he ended up completing. His goal was to average 100 miles a day, which he did. But, it was the sort of thing were on a good day he'd go further and on a bad day he'd struggle to get to 100miles and sometimes not be able to. Good periods along his ride were where he was able to get in the zone - ride from 7AM to 7PM, which often meant an hour or two in the dark, to meet his goals.

    Of course, there was bad weather, headwinds, tailwinds, rain, broken spokes, broken rear wheel, being hit by a car, etc along the way, but he was able to overcome such things. The lighter the gear the better, and he trained for a good period before attempting the record. Food and sleep were key to recovering along with setting smaller goals during the day. He burned out a few times, but was able to recover.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcallaghan View Post
    I just finished reading a book about the guy who raced around the world (on a touring bike, with tent et al) in around 200 days. I think 18,346 miles was the total he ended up completing. His goal was to average 100 miles a day, which he did. But, it was the sort of thing were on a good day he'd go further and on a bad day he'd struggle to get to 100miles and sometimes not be able to. Good periods along his ride were where he was able to get in the zone - ride from 7AM to 7PM, which often meant an hour or two in the dark, to meet his goals.

    Of course, there was bad weather, headwinds, tailwinds, rain, broken spokes, broken rear wheel, being hit by a car, etc along the way, but he was able to overcome such things. The lighter the gear the better, and he trained for a good period before attempting the record. Food and sleep were key to recovering along with setting smaller goals during the day. He burned out a few times, but was able to recover.
    Do you mind to tell me the name of the book.

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    The Man Who Cycled The World - by Mark Beaumont.

    Interesting read, but does get a little repetitive at some points.

  25. #25
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    It must be easy. British newspapers just reported that Pippa Middleton rode 3000 miles across America in 6 1/2 days.

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