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  1. #1
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    So what will a 50 mile day of riding take?

    Hellow everyone.

    I'm a newbie here, so let me explain what condition I'm in.

    I started riding off-road about 4 years ago on a $300 full suspension bike that I got from Costco before I went to college. I took it out on a local trail where it was pretty flat, and learned how quickly I could steer the bike, how to handle bumps, etc. It was extremely heavy though, and I started to break different parts on it with the riding I was doing.

    Last year, I bought a 2003 Giant Rainier that was too small. I'm around 6'1" and the bike was 17" with a huge stem and long seatpost. I never really had a bike that fit me so I was ignorant about what size to get, and also ignorant about components/suspension. I rode on the San Felasco trail here several times, learned quite a bit, and went to one race. I actually learned a lot more doing urban style riding, how to take bigger drops, how to position yourself when going down stairs, how to take jumps, etc. and I also had to learn how to bunny hop on the Rainier since I never figured it out when I was younger.

    Anyway, my Rainier was stolen while it was locked up and I was in class, and since then I had been missing the trail a whole lot. I started thinking about what I really did not like about the Rainier. It was too small. I hated the Axel fork, I bottomed it out all the time and could do so simply by standing next to the bike and pressing down on the handlebars (I weigh about 170-175). I also didn't like the huge flexy stem. I realized that although I learned a lot from it, urban riding isn't my thing but XC is. I like the fluidity of it. I don't like riding in a small area and hitting the same spot over and over. I like movement and continuity.

    I finally realized that I should go ahead and go for what I really want in a bike, a nice cross-country frame with rigid full suspension that I can't bottom out by pressing down on the handlebars, and a much larger frame. I got a great deal at the local bike shop for an XL '04 Stumpjumper Comp with Fox Float 100RL and the triad style rear shock. I won't be taking this baby to class, because I actually like the thing and don't want to have it disappear on me like the Rainier. I also want to take care of it so that it will last a long time, and with the stumpjumper I'll have plenty of room to upgrade.

    I think I finally got everything adjusted right after taking it out on a road ride yesterday. The rear derailer was causing problems when I first got the bike, ghost shifting and all that, so I showed my roommate (who works at the shop) and he figured out that the cable housing under the bottom bracket was too short, causing the cable to be tight/loosen with the suspension movement. I got that fixed, then the front derailer wasn't shifting out of the big ring. I believe a nut on the derailer mount was interfering with the cage movement, but the shop fixed it right away.

    Now that I have that out of the way, here is my question:

    I'm out of shape. There is a 50 mile day of riding here on the local trail that I would like to attempt, and I have less than 2 months to get into riding condition. For 2 weeks (over christmas) I'll be away from biking because I'll be in another state. What all can I do to get into condition to handle those 50 miles without dying?

    The first group road ride I was on (on my fuji road bike) I did 44miles in a little over 2 hours, more like 2 1/2. I'm probably in the same shape now, but I've been wanting to get out and jog over the break to get my endurance up.

    The first race I'd been on nearly killed me (less than 5 miles of FSU off road, on the undersized Rainier), but mainly because I was dehydrated. I'll have a camelback now, so I'm not too worried about that.

    Will I be able to handle 50 miles of XC style riding? My roommate said no way he's doing it, but I'm interested in the challenge.
    Put the rear down first!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    start riding, more and more every day. get to the point where you can do 40 miles in your sleep. You should be fine then with 50 miles.

  3. #3
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    I don't see why not. Just prepare yourself with lot's of water and maybe snacks. Pace yourself and don't be afraid to take rests. I don't think it will be bad at all. Do find someone to do with you though.

    Also prepare things like simple tools, pump and tubes just in case of tire puncture. Whatever it takes!

  4. #4
    Withdrawal Symptoms! Cornish_Rdr_UK's Avatar
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    work your way up, do a week of 10 miles every 3 days or something
    then 20, 30, 40... you'll be al set to go then...

    BTW, great bike, you got a good bike from a good company, enjoy?

  5. #5
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    From what I can tell about the bike, everything feels really great. I can get full pedal extension (finally) because it's big enough for me, and I don't feel crowded into the handlebars.

    The XTR rear shifts very well now that the kink is worked out.
    The bike is also fairly light for what it is.

    I'll let you know how it feels in a couple of weeks. If it weren't for exams....
    Put the rear down first!

  6. #6
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    It just depends on your pace. I used to do a lot of 25mi days of pretty serious trailriding and it was absolutely brutal, but we were going at a really good pace with 1,000's of ft of climbing... if you take it easy and do lots of breaks it shouldn't be undoable but it will be a challenge for sure. If its hot, bring salt tablets, it helps boost your energy by replacing the salt you lost in sweating, or a Gatorade diluted 2:1 helps too. Lots of snack food is essential and eat before you are hungry. I usually bring Nature Valley granola bars since they do not get sticky or gooey if it gets a little warmer.

  7. #7
    Senior Member swifferman's Avatar
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    Hey just to let you know, being able to bottom out a shock by just pressing it down doesn't mean it's not a good shock. (It might, but doesn't mean it is)

    Just ask some of the big guys around here who do it all the time but don't bottom out when they ride.

  8. #8
    Just give'er. hooligan's Avatar
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    ARGH I accidentally pressed backspace and it sent me back and I lost my message.
    Basically, do aerobics; swimming; jogging; running; skating...etc. Bring water, energy foods and tools and spare parts. E.g. allen keys, spare tube...etc.

    Stretch before the ride. Swivel and move your joints.

    Sleep well before the ride, prepare for anything emergencies and all. Bring ID, credit card and a cell phone. Some spare change if you can make pit stops to nearby shops to the trails.

    Morale is the key to getting through it all. Take breaks whenever you want to. Don't push yourself. You'll get drained and lose all your morale. That is not what you want. Morale levels is more important than your strength. If you have to you can take a break every 5 minutes, as long as you're enjoying it all. You'll get through eventually.

    I don't hold liability for anything gone wrong because of these instructions. I'm just some 13 year old kid.

  9. #9
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    The first group road ride I was on (on my fuji road bike) I did 44miles in a little over 2 hours, more like 2 1/2. I'm probably in the same shape now, but I've been wanting to get out and jog over the break to get my endurance up.

    After reading your post I am still not sure what kind of trail you are planning to ride on this 50 mile venture. Is it hilly? What is the surface like? I think what you have stated here is that you rode a Mountain Bike for 44 miles at some point in time, in 2.5 hours. That is 17.6 mph based on my calculations.

    If you ever averaged that speed for 2.5 hours off of pavement, you accomplished quite a feat. Sounds like you are up for it. I have ridden nearly 7000 miles (= to across the U.S and back) in the last 13 months on mainly unpaved roads. I have never averaged that speed for 1 hour, let alone two and a half. I also consider myself in pretty good shape. At least up till now.


  10. #10
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    No that was a road ride....I've never been on a mountain bike ride more longer than maybe 10 miles. It has up and downs, hilly for florida but relatively flat compared to other states. It has been muddy lately because of hurricanes, probably a bit better by the time I actually ride on it.

    Yeah if I could do 17.6mph off road then I'd be set.
    Put the rear down first!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumpyman
    No that was a road ride....I've never been on a mountain bike ride more longer than maybe 10 miles. It has up and downs, hilly for florida but relatively flat compared to other states. It has been muddy lately because of hurricanes, probably a bit better by the time I actually ride on it.

    Yeah if I could do 17.6mph off road then I'd be set.
    OK. I stand corrected. BAsed on what you have told me, you will be very lucky to average 11-12 mph over that distance. That puts you on the bike for 4 1/2 hours or more. It will be a big challenge if you aren't used to it, but the only way to find out is to try.

    A MTB, is a very different animal from a Road Bike. The lack of pavement also makes a HUGE difference.
    Last edited by Portis; 12-15-04 at 07:22 PM.

  12. #12
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    I'm guessing it's the IDIDARIDE or the San Felasco 50.

    The riding isn't technical AT ALL! The worst part will be the sugar sand. I rode the IDIDARIDE last year and was considering going again, but I've had one crazy year and I'm not prepared physically or mentally.

    My buddy who was incredibly out of shape (and 40 years old to boot) did the IDIDARIDE and made it.

    Figure your average speed will be about 10 mph. The Really fit racer boy riders finished in about 3.5 hrs.

    It's NOT a race and if you treat it as such you'll be alright.

    I ended up with a group of riders about my own age and ability. One guy started cramping really badly at about 40 miles into it. I gave him some potassium asporate pills I carry. (I tend to cramp a lot too). That helped him.

    The hardest part was dressing. In N FL in Feb. you really don't know if it's going to be cold or hot. I started out with not enough layers knowing it would warm up.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  13. #13
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    if youre serious about getting back into shape i would suggest going out and riding 5-10 mile sprints for about a week wearing your camel-back,the cool dense air this time of year is great for conditioning the circulatory system.....start with fairly flat rides,then work yourself into some hills .a couple of rides a day should prepare you for a leisurely 50 mile ride...just make sure you take neccesary precations before you go riding(make sure you stretch,are hydrated etc) and as far as frame size is concerned,at 6'1" a 21" frame would be just about right..as long as its adjusted properly, a properly fitted bike takes a lot less energy to ride ....if you enjoy the bike youre on ,you`ll want to ride it more & further

  14. #14
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    Sprints sound like a good idea. It's the Tour de Felasco race, and it turns out to be on Jan 8th, I was off by the date. I've been doing some stationary bike riding and a little bit of bicycle (undersized comfort bike that isn't mine) riding until I get back in state, then I'll have a week to prepare on my own bike.
    Put the rear down first!

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