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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 07-25-14, 04:40 PM   #1
Sweetpete
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Need some century training advice

I have a question regarding century training:
My son lives in Tucson and we are going to do El Tour in November. I am mostly a mountain biker. Don't ride on the road much except when the trails are too muddy to ride. I spend between 50-60 miles a week on my mountain bike, uaually at 8-10 mile mph. Lots of up and down, mostly single track. I feel like a need to add a long road ride once a week to get ready to ride the century but not sure of the progression. Seems like I should start in August to get ready. Can't cut out the mountain biking as it is connected to my job and the distance is pretty consistent week to week. Fairly unique situation, I know so looking for any thoughts. I have done some endurance mountain bike races but never a road century. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 07-25-14, 04:43 PM   #2
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Do some 75 mile rides and you will be fine.
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Old 07-25-14, 05:11 PM   #3
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Do you own a road bike? Fitting is the biggest thing you should look into. Make sure your bike fits and is comfortable. I came into road biking via mountain biking and the biggest difference is that you're constantly pedaling on a road bike. It makes the bike fitting a lot more important because it's hard to ride through a fitting issue. In mountain biking, your body is a lot more dynamic. You stand more, coast more, handle obstacles, etc. In road cycling you tend to just lock into one or two positions and hammer it out for 5-6 hours. It's hard to hide an issue for 5-6 hours.
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Old 07-25-14, 06:41 PM   #4
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Don't have a dedicated road bike. Will be riding on my cross bike. Not ideal I know but it is a steel frame with carbon forks and pretty comfortable. I routinely do 30-40 mile road rides on it during the mountain bike "off season" so not too concerned about the fit. It appears some folks even do this century on mountain bikes and from what I can tell it is not a particularly hilly ride so I think I am fine on the cross bike. I have road slicks on it and at this point since it may be my first and last road century not ready to invest in a full on road bike.
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Old 07-25-14, 09:09 PM   #5
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You're good to go. Get your binge dialed in, a few 60 to 75 mile rides and do it. Just make sure to stay hydrated and eat enough calories.
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Old 07-25-14, 09:13 PM   #6
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a cross bike will be fine. I have a 200km part gravel route that I ride on my cross bike, and it's fine.
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Old 07-25-14, 11:55 PM   #7
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The Tour is a fairly flat ride with lots of rest stops. get in a few 60-70 mile rides in advance and you will be fine. Keep up the mountain biking now, and do a few short road rides with some intervals, and then in late Sept start doing a few longer rides.
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Old 08-31-14, 03:03 PM   #8
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Think of a Century as just four 25 mile rides. Make yourself disciplined to ride a little slower pace than you are used to riding. When you start the last 25, say "self, how do you feel?".
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Old 09-26-14, 11:56 AM   #9
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One thing you may not have done is ride in large groups. Doing unexpected things and not knowing riding customs can be risky to yourself and others. Read up on riding in pace lines and groups then join some group rides. Many people avoid pacelines with riders they don't know, but it's hard to avoid riding near other riders in a large century ride. Don't be That Guy!


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Old 09-29-14, 02:43 PM   #10
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the point about riding in a group is valid. I rode Tour de Tucson 6 years , from 2006 thru 2011. I always started with the silver group. You need to start slowly and carefully, and be aware of riders around you. After a few miles it spreads out some, especially after crossing the Santa Cruz river (99 times our of 100 the river bed is dry). There are sag stops about every 10 miles, which is way more than experienced riders need.
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Old 11-26-14, 12:18 AM   #11
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Thanks all for your advice. My son and I road El Tour last weekend. Finished in 7 hours with an actual riding time of 6:30 based on my GPS. The half hour was aid station stops (4), some stops for traffic control and a slow down to check at an accident. It was fun and I would do another.
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Old 11-26-14, 07:29 PM   #12
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thanks for letting us know how it turned out
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