I'm new to riding and I have a training question. I have been doing some research since I started riding, about a month ago. I am overweight and getting into shape now. I have two goals: a 30 mile ride in October and, next summer, the Bike Ride Across Georgia. So I am building up my endurance because I really was starting from zero.
So here is my question. I read that I should be building my base by doing a "long ride" each week. Right now I ride for about 8.5 miles, five times a week, which feels like exertion, gets the endorphins going, but doesn't leave me feeling drained and exhausted. Should I do a substantially longer distance one day a week? At this phase, what would a "long ride" be for me? I am learning to be very sensitive to my body and the distance I'm doing now, which I'm increasing by about 10 percent each week, feels pretty good--I sleep well, my appetite has moderated, I feel good.
Any advice, O Wise Bike Gurus?