i have an opportunity to do the harpoon brewery bike ride, but i'm kind of scared. it seems like its for really hard core peeps, but i feel like i can probably handle it. I've ridden in groups - mostly ride alone. I feel like i can handle the mileage, but skeptical. i've never done more than 60 miles in a single day, but i figure i can strap on my practice shoes and go hardcore for the next month to prepare. any advice would be greatly appreciated! thanks a lot!
Here's my 2 cents & take into account, I have only been riding since last November:
1) I am riding in the B2B this year also. Just booked my plane ticket today (in fact which made check this forum which I rarely do). I have never ridden 140 miles either, but am still training and pretty confident I can finish (we have a month). I am really looking forward to it & have several family members who are coming to town to watch! (but I think mainly to go the Sox baseball game on Thurs 12 - anyone got tickets?). I am busy struggling with which group to ride with. I keep flip flopping between the 19 & 20 mph group while still leaning on the 18 or 17. I probably decide on raceday a.m.
2) As far as the group riding goes, my understanding is the pacelines are only to get out of the city. Once you get out of Greater Boston, you have the chance to move to more of your pace. HOWEVER, I would not want the B2B to be my first group ride. I would look in your surrounding area (call bike shops or something) and find a group ride, just to get use to the lingo, call out obstacles, etc. It doesn't take long to catch on, but it's good to go through a couple. Also, the first group of the day (16 mph plus) are for riders who don't have a lot of experience in pacelines, so you could plan on leaving with them. They are rolling at 6:00 a.m. which gives you plenty of time to roll at your pace & ride by yourself if you want. Finally, there are only 650 riders in this, with a majority probably going in the 19, 20 or 21 mph groups, so once you get out of Boston, chances are your pace lines will consist of 5 to 7 riders max, and that is much easier than a 30 person group. Also, you can read the thread in Road Cycling titled "We will yell at you" which covers a ton of mistakes people make in pacelines, plus other colorful comments.
3) As far as practice mileage, I would hit the next 3 weeks pretty hard. Make sure you are doing at least 140 miles per week & have at least 1 ride around 100 miles. 60 miles is impressive but that is a large step to 140 miles, on both your legs & your backside. You want to make sure both are prepared for it. There are some small climbs, but only around 6000 ft, which is not killer for that distance. The other area a long ride will help you with is allowing you to experiement with nutrition (sp). Riding 60 miles, you can get away with 1 powerbar & a couple water bottles, but 140 miles is going to be at least a 7 hr ride. You are going to have to replenish your body & there are going to be some things it can handle & some things it will not like. Ride day is not the day to find out what works & what doesn't. The week of the event, you really want to rest your legs & focus on high carb meals & hydrating leading up to.
At the end of the day, I think it is going to be an epic ride. Plus they have beer! You sound like you have the confidence and that's puts you halfway there. I would say definitely go for it. I read an article of guy who rides it every year and his only training is 20 mile roundtrip daily commute. So you definitely don't have to follow my training suggestions, but I know it will give me the confidence with those under my belt.
Good luck & if you go, I would love to meet you while I'm up there.