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    Senior Member Joe Padilla's Avatar
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    Is 80 to 100 miles a day responsible?

    Hey guys im riding cross country next month and im trying to get 80 to 100 miles a day. I have a 2011 Trek 520 and I rode 45 miles this weekend at a average of 15.4 over 2hr and 51 min. Fully loaded.
    been training for the last year ill post a pic when I get home!

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Tough to say what is a reasonable average. We averaged 60 per day on the TA and I have averaged between 50 and 80 on various tours. To calibrate that a bit I am a moderately fit 60 year old.

    Have a great trip.
    Last edited by staehpj1; 05-03-12 at 10:47 AM.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I'm slower because I want to see where I am , I may not be there again.

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    Senior Member Joe Padilla's Avatar
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    Going threw kansas there won't be much to see! I'll be doing the TA from Yorktown to Astoria. June 18th. Just wanted to see if that's a average that can get me that many with stops. How often do you rest?

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    "responsible", or do you mean reasonable?

    It would be irresponsible with your well being if you develop over-use injury, inflamed ligaments, chondromalacia patellae, itbs because you weren't conditioned or didn't allow yourself to be conditioned for long distance cycling without the need for recovery.

    Expecting to do high average daily mileage weeks on end means you've done it before and if you haven't you plan on developing that conditioning en route.

    If you haven't done 400mile weeks of riding recently, 45miles in 3hrs isn't relevant, then you'll be stressing yourself and needing recovery. If you don't factor in recovery by choice it will be forced upon you by the limits of your body, whether by simple low energy and exhaustion or injury and illness.

    What I'd call reasonable is whatever your high average weekly miles have been since you've been riding more this year plus about 25% but it's very important you reduce your peak output during each days ride to remove the need to recover the next day and to reduce peak loading on knees and connective tissue. If you've done successive weeks and months of 250miles/day fast club riding then 80miles a day should be doable. The biggest problem is ensuring you have adequate sleep/rest and that your motivation for X miles a day doesn't involve pushing/denying your reserves are being depleted. Once that happens you're into recovery territory and all kinds of manageable problems are managed by not riding, resting and recovery. Simple exhaustion can be addressed in a day of easy riding. Over-use injury from pedaling too hard, too long can take days to weeks to months to recover.

    Have fun, and don't grind your knees away.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Joe Padilla's Avatar
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    Lol yes reasonable im typing from my phone, I average 200 a week, I don't own a car I commute everywhere. When I lived further away it was around 350 a week, I've easily put in over 10k miles in the last year. And when I ride I focus more on foot speed and cadence then power. When I rode that 45 last week I was hungrier then hell the whole next day and exhausted. First time I've rode with that much weight. I plan on 60 this Sunday and 80 next. Then im gonna do a 100 and a over night then 100 back at the end of the month.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Padilla View Post
    How often do you rest?
    Ideally by choice. Frequency and duration is totally related to the challenge. Think of it like food and water, by the time you feel the need it's too late and you're into recovery time. If successive days of high mileage over weeks is a new experience try and leave something in the tank at the end of the day for the first week. Kind of like you're charging a bank of batteries. It'll make the trip enjoyable but more important it'll give you the choice to up the miles once you're accustomed to that much seat time.

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    Senior Member Joe Padilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    Ideally by choice. Frequency and duration is totally related to the challenge. Think of it like food and water, by the time you feel the need it's too late and you're into recovery time. If successive days of high mileage over weeks is a new experience try and leave something in the tank at the end of the day for the first week. Kind of like you're charging a bank of batteries. It'll make the trip enjoyable but more important it'll give you the choice to up the miles once you're accustomed to that much seat time.
    yeah this sounds good, thanks. This is the kinda experienced advice im looking for!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Padilla View Post
    Hey guys im riding cross country next month and im trying to get 80 to 100 miles a day. I have a 2011 Trek 520 and I rode 45 miles this weekend at a average of 15.4 over 2hr and 51 min. Fully loaded.
    been training for the last year ill post a pic when I get home!
    Reasonable? Perhaps if you have cycling buddies with you so you guys can draft each other. Remember that when you're cycling in cities, you are well sheltered from the elements, meaning you won't be experiencing the kind of headwind like you would in open country like in Montana, Idaho and some part of the Oregon coast where the headwind itself can really take a toll on your body and your mileage expectation as well as how you feel day in and day out. I've cycled in a 10% grade going downhill and I had to pedal to get myself moving at 10mph in the granny-- the headwind was that strong. One time, I had to cover a distance of 80 miles headwind all the way. Thank god I met a couple of german cycle tourists and we drafted and made good time; well at least I didn't have to have a late dinner and pitch my tent before midnight.
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  10. #10
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    On the basis of your current mileage I don't see 80/100 being a major problem. I would normally tour at 50-60 per day, but have gone as high as 125 per day for a four-day stretch. And as it happens, I'm doing a two-week tour of around 1000 miles myself in a few days time, and since 3 rest days while visiting friends, my daily average on the road will be around 90.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Padilla View Post
    yeah this sounds good, thanks. This is the kinda experienced advice im looking for!
    I agree that was great advice from LeeG. It is always smart to take it a little easy for the first part of a long trip. Way too many go out at some crazy pace and wind up being set back.

    Everyone is different, but...
    My personal preference is to view the need for a rest day as an error. I take it to mean that my daily mileage or pace are too high. I do take rest days for something special like a great hike, going white water rafting, or maybe spending a few days seeing somewhere amazing. To me it would be a shame to sit in a motel room watching TV because I wore myself out beyond what I could recover from overnight.

    On the Trans America we took one rest day to go whitewater rafting. Other than that we limited resting to just a shorter day here or there. Those days we knocked off very early and swam, read, or lounged around in camp. We called them "half days", although the mileage was usually a bit more than half of our average.

    On my other tours it has varied. On the Santa Fe Trail I caught a nasty bug and spent 36 hours sick in a motel room and completely conked out. On my Sierras tour I took a week in Yosemite. On the Pacific coast route, I took one day at an especially nice state park. On the southern tier I took zero rest days and only one day I considered a short day.

  12. #12
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Everyday is a different.

    You ain't racing, so have fun, look around, take lots of pics, talk with the locals, stop often.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Padilla View Post
    And when I ride I focus more on foot speed and cadence then power. When I rode that 45 last week I was hungrier then hell the whole next day and exhausted. First time I've rode with that much weight. I plan on 60 this Sunday and 80 next. Then im gonna do a 100 and a over night then 100 back at the end of the month.
    Sounds like you know what you're doing. That easy light spin that gets you around everyday will get you around with gear, albeit much slower.
    Good lesson from your ride, 15mph for three hours will require a couple days of recovery. That means that much power is way too much for touring. Did you eat at all during that ride or have a normal sized breakfast? Try this for your next long day, ride three hours EASY with two or three short breaks, have lunch, take a walk or some kind of break, then ride one to three more hours with two or three short breaks if longer than an hour for the afternoon ride. Your 80mile/day average will require about 6hrs of bike time with a couple hours of breaks.

    The breaks can make a big difference for making seat time possible. When you said 80-100miles a day that's way over twice your present 200mile/wk average. Anytime you up distance/time/effort there's recovery until the new level is the new normal. If your recovery is longer than a good nights sleep you have to recover on the bike the next day which means less of one or all of those three factors.

    So if your weekly average for the trip is over twice your existing average it'll mean the need to recover well everyday for the first week to build conditioning. I only did one month long trip and numerous one and two week trips when I was younger. What helped me was going easy for the morning portion of the ride. By 10:30am I'd been on the road for one to two hours and had enough time to warm up and assess things, see how I felt after a few snacks and breakfast was pretty much gone by 11am. Thereafter the miles went according to my mood. If something was left in the tank at the end of the day I could uncork it momentarily the next day on a climb or the flats. After a week a new level of conditioning was showing itself but real changes didn't happen until a month and season of work/recovery cycles. To do what you haven't done before takes work and recovery. Ignoring recovery leads to exhaustion and possibly injury.
    I've done the exhaustion routine enough to know the body will stop you if you don't stop yourself.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Not to worry. Your body/mind will let you know if that pace is 'responsible.' Only you can decide. For a few, it is doable. For most, certainly not.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificcyclist View Post
    Reasonable? Perhaps if you have cycling buddies with you so you guys can draft each other. Remember that when you're cycling in cities, you are well sheltered from the elements, meaning you won't be experiencing the kind of headwind like you would in open country like in Montana, Idaho and some part of the Oregon coast where the headwind itself can really take a toll on your body and your mileage expectation as well as how you feel day in and day out. I've cycled in a 10% grade going downhill and I had to pedal to get myself moving at 10mph in the granny-- the headwind was that strong. One time, I had to cover a distance of 80 miles headwind all the way. Thank god I met a couple of german cycle tourists and we drafted and made good time; well at least I didn't have to have a late dinner and pitch my tent before midnight.
    that reminds me of the trip I took up the coast of Ca. right out of high school. I was getting accustomed to all day riding then one day I was grinding up Hwy 1 on the Sonoma/Mendocino coast with 90miles of unrelenting head wind. I had figured out the food/water/seat time but not the stopping part. Spent the whole next day recovering as my lungs felt like they were full of wet towels. Subsequent days were under 60miles a day as I recovered further.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Padilla View Post
    yeah this sounds good, thanks. This is the kinda experienced advice im looking for!
    I'm middle aged and fat so this is all memories. One of the things I absolutely loved about touring and long distance cycling were those moments when it became effortless. Although it took a LOT of effort for that to happen but when you leave a little in the tank you can chose to draw more later. The trick is to allocate recovery time for every big effort then build on it. As much as I enjoyed suffering on the bike it was a lot more rewarding to not be toast in new situations. Although I did appreciate the surroundings if I was stopped by running the tank empty one too many times.
    I didn't learn the physiology of cycling well enough until I joined a racing club. Found a great book translated from German describing cycles of exertion and recovery over different periods of time. Training within the week, the weeks building in a month, months in a season building to racing and each cycle of exertion has a period of recovery whether it's minutes, hours, days or weeks. If you don't recover during the ride you recover over night, if you don't recover overnight you take a few days, if you don't take a few days it may take a week.
    One of the fun magical things is developing that base fitness, like you have now, and floating along just below the level of exertion that requires recovery. When you're "just" below that level, which is too hard for all day riding, everything is possible. It's too hard for a meditation effort but it's the effort that makes the tires sing and every once in awhile I'd get the feeling "I could do this forever" but all it took was a bit more push and the message came back "uh, no, not really". Leaving some in the tank gives those wonderful moments when pushing it the next time the message comes back "oh hell, I feel good!" and you end the day with more in the tank.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    80 miles/day= 8 hours in the saddle, at 10 Mph. or 8mph for 10.

    now if you tour just for bragging rights on how fast you knocked it out,
    that is a whole different purpose for going.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-04-12 at 12:00 PM.

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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    As with some of the others, you're already at high mileage. But...

    If you were riding 350 miles per week, 6 days a week, that's 60 miles. You're talking about jumping from 60 to 80-100 miles per week, for 10-12 weeks, and adding baggage. As others indicate, you don't want to get an overuse injury. I'd start with 40-50 miles, then inch up, and find a distance that works for you.

    Don't forget you also need to eat, find food and water, maybe cook, set up a tent or hotel, shower etc. So even if you're fit to bike 12 hours a day, you still need to allocate time for other tasks.

    I'd ease into it, as well as keep your plans flexible. E.g. don't pre-pay your hotels 100 miles apart before you leave...

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    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    If you're going west to east, you might want to think about taking it a bit easy the first week or two. No matter how fit you are, there is nothing quite like pulling all that weight up a mountain pass or two. If are training in a hilly area that will not be so much of an issue for you. Good luck and have fun. When I did my cross country, I averaged around 60 to 80 miles a day but frankly I would have done it slower if it had been totally up to me. There is a lot to be said for taking your time on a trip like that.

  20. #20
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Have you included mountain range crossings and high altitude riding in your plan?

    What about rest days?
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Joe Padilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    I'm middle aged and fat so this is all memories. One of the things I absolutely loved about touring and long distance cycling were those moments when it became effortless. Although it took a LOT of effort for that to happen but when you leave a little in the tank you can chose to draw more later. The trick is to allocate recovery time for every big effort then build on it. As much as I enjoyed suffering on the bike it was a lot more rewarding to not be toast in new situations. Although I did appreciate the surroundings if I was stopped by running the tank empty one too many times.
    I didn't learn the physiology of cycling well enough until I joined a racing club. Found a great book translated from German describing cycles of exertion and recovery over different periods of time. Training within the week, the weeks building in a month, months in a season building to racing and each cycle of exertion has a period of recovery whether it's minutes, hours, days or weeks. If you don't recover during the ride you recover over night, if you don't recover overnight you take a few days, if you don't take a few days it may take a week.
    One of the fun magical things is developing that base fitness, like you have now, and floating along just below the level of exertion that requires recovery. When you're "just" below that level, which is too hard for all day riding, everything is possible. It's too hard for a meditation effort but it's the effort that makes the tires sing and every once in awhile I'd get the feeling "I could do this forever" but all it took was a bit more push and the message came back "uh, no, not really". Leaving some in the tank gives those wonderful moments when pushing it the next time the message comes back "oh hell, I feel good!" and you end the day with more in the tank.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    As with some of the others, you're already at high mileage. But...

    If you were riding 350 miles per week, 6 days a week, that's 60 miles. You're talking about jumping from 60 to 80-100 miles per week, for 10-12 weeks, and adding baggage. As others indicate, you don't want to get an overuse injury. I'd start with 40-50 miles, then inch up, and find a distance that works for you.

    Don't forget you also need to eat, find food and water, maybe cook, set up a tent or hotel, shower etc. So even if you're fit to bike 12 hours a day, you still need to allocate time for other tasks.

    I'd ease into it, as well as keep your plans flexible. E.g. don't pre-pay your hotels 100 miles apart before you leave...
    I plan on doing 138 miles the first day from Fayetteville NC to the coast. Then to Yorktown va. I don't plan on any hotels the whole trip, state park national parks private campgrounds and stealth camping!

  22. #22
    Senior Member Joe Padilla's Avatar
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    I'm a poor man I work at pizza shop. I don't own a car so I was able to get good gear, but I plan on only having about 1300 bucks for the trip. But my trek will have solid parts and my gear will be dependable.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Joe Padilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Have you included mountain range crossings and high altitude riding in your plan?

    What about rest days?
    i figure i can do 50 in the mountians.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Joe Padilla's Avatar
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    Here's a link to my bike fully loaded. Its the best I could do from my phone.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1499037...n/photostream/

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Padilla View Post
    I plan on doing 138 miles the first day from Fayetteville NC to the coast.
    ok, must be downhill and downwind.

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