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Suggestions -- Training for multi-day ride

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Suggestions -- Training for multi-day ride

Old 04-29-16, 07:18 PM
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Suggestions -- Training for multi-day ride

New member here. Happy to have found this forum.

I'm 300 lbs and have been commuting to work about 3 miles each way for over a year. I also ride a rural trail nearby between 15 and 25 miles on weekends during the summer. I enjoy both immensely and want to move things up a notch.

I'm very interested in 4-6 day tours that ride from town to town (around 50-60 miles a day) and camp at night. Making the leap from street/trail rider to long rides over multiple days on highway shoulders seems very daunting right now.

My goal is to do this next summer 2017 and use that as motivation to continue to lose weight, and find opportunities to try riding on the road.

My questions, after all of that, are 1) what are things that I should do to help prepare for this? Am I making this out to be a bigger challenge than it is? Are there things about getting out on the highways that I should know before I start? And 2) Any particular bikes that would be good for this? I have a Giant Escape 3 that works well as a commuter but I know isn't going to cut it for a longer ride.

Thanks. I have enjoyed reading the many other threads here and look forward to spending more time here.

Last edited by Cynomyso; 04-29-16 at 07:19 PM. Reason: corrected a word
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Old 04-29-16, 07:55 PM
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A good training plan will help immensely. When I decided to tackle ragbrai, which is 7 straight days averaging about 60 miles a day, I used a training plan similar to this one Training | RAGBRAI
It really helps to build up the miles gradually. The trick is to know what pace you need to ride and how to stay fueled and hydrated, and that's something that comes with experience. And definitely don't underestimate the task at hand. I put in a 1000 training miles from Jan to July last year for ragbrai, and it was still a difficult task, both physically and mentally. But if you put in the work, you can do it. Believe me, if I can ride 400 miles in 7 days so can you.
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Old 04-30-16, 05:44 AM
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If possible, increase the ride into work a little. But definitely, slowly increase the ride home from work until you are putting on some decent miles a day on that ride. Then increase the weekend mileage, try to work up to a 60 mile ride on the weekends.

On a multi-day tour, you don't have to follow a set pace. You just ride at your own speed. That reduces the need to train to a certain pace or speed like you would on a fast group ride. So instead of trying to increase speed, try to slowly increase mileage at an easy pace.

Monitor your pace by listening to your breathing. If it gets rhythmic and hard to talk, then you are starting to wear yourself down and the clock is ticking on how far you can go. If your breathing stays regular where you can carry on a conversation, you will be able to ride a lot longer. You can ride slow and easy much longer than you can if you constantly push yourself into that aerobic zone on the bike.
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Old 04-30-16, 08:09 AM
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I've been entertaining the thought of participating in the Erie Canal tour for the past few years, the PTNY (Parks & Trails New York) advertises something like 50 miles a day for 8 days for 400 miles total. Of course something always comes up, either family/work related or I simply feel unconditioned for such a ride. The plan is to actually do this ride in 2017, even if I have to do it self-sustained.

RAGBRAI is also on my bucket list, however being >1000 miles away I'm not sure if I'll ever get there. May be a good excuse to see some family I haven't seen in years who reside in Iowa, however. A dream of mine when I retire (ha, like that's ever going to happen) is to ride my bike across the USA but again that's likely just a pipe dream.
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Old 04-30-16, 08:28 AM
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If you live not too far from Missouri, I'd recommend this ride. Your bike would be about perfect for it and you don't need to worry much about traffic.

https://mostateparks.com/2016KTRide

As far as training, increase your mileage about 10% per week and also your longest ride by about 10% each week until you get to something like 100-150 miles in a week with a 50-60 mile ride once a week.

Also do a few back to back long rides like a 50-miler on both Saturday and Sunday.

It's important to hydrate and refuel properly when doing multiple-day rides. Make sure to drink enough fluids to not get chronically dehydrated. It can sneak up on you. You also want some carbs and protein within an hour of finishing a long ride. This will help you recover faster for the next day. I like a SlimFast drink and some research shows that chocolate milk works real well also.
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Old 05-01-16, 07:12 AM
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Thank you for all of this good information. I particularly liked the training schedule on the RAGBRAI site and the tip on the Kady Trail event. I'm in Lincoln, Nebraska – so am also definitely in easy distance of both of these. It seems that a lot of things I have read recommend a steel-framed 26 inch bike, but a person at a bike shop yesterday (that rode from Alaska to Argentina) swore that they could build a bombproof 700c wheel and that it was getting harder and harder to find 26inch stuff as everybody continues to move towards 700c and 29. Thoughts? I just want to be enjoying the ride and not constantly wondering when I'm going to pop another spoke. Thanks!
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Old 05-01-16, 08:34 AM
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I'm 6'3 320 and have 1700 miles on a pair of 700c Mavic cxp 33's with 105 hubs. Had to have them retensioned after a couple hundred miles, and I have to do the occasional adjustments on the bike myself with a spoke wrench but so far they've been fantastic.
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Old 05-02-16, 08:17 AM
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The biggest challenge on a multi-day tour is usually riding 5 hours a day for days on end. The solution is simple: ride lots. As suggested already, work your way up to back-go-back 50-60 mile rides on weekends. You may also want to see if you can do a century ride this fall.

Any bike will work as long as it's in good shape. If you're riding knobby tires, replace those with slicks for road riding. It's a good idea to take your bike down for a tune-up or overhaul a month before you leave (gives the bike shop time to do the work, and you time to make sure they didn't miss anything before your trip). If there's a good wheel builder in town, ask him to look over your wheels and make sure they're adequately tensioned and stress-relieved.
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Old 05-02-16, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Cynomyso
New member here. Happy to have found this forum.

I'm 300 lbs and have been commuting to work about 3 miles each way for over a year. I also ride a rural trail nearby between 15 and 25 miles on weekends during the summer. I enjoy both immensely and want to move things up a notch.

I'm very interested in 4-6 day tours that ride from town to town (around 50-60 miles a day) and camp at night. Making the leap from street/trail rider to long rides over multiple days on highway shoulders seems very daunting right now.

My goal is to do this next summer 2017 and use that as motivation to continue to lose weight, and find opportunities to try riding on the road.

My questions, after all of that, are 1) what are things that I should do to help prepare for this? Am I making this out to be a bigger challenge than it is? Are there things about getting out on the highways that I should know before I start? And 2) Any particular bikes that would be good for this? I have a Giant Escape 3 that works well as a commuter but I know isn't going to cut it for a longer ride.

Thanks. I have enjoyed reading the many other threads here and look forward to spending more time here.
Good goal. But, I'd be surprised if can you ride 50-plus miles several days in a row at this point. It's harder than it sounds.

First step would be to work yourself up to riding 50 miles in one stretch or maybe with a short break. That's difficult enough. Once you can comfortably ride 50's, you should be good to go on a multi-day tour. I do not know how long that takes. Some people adapt quick. Others take a few seasons.
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Old 05-02-16, 08:21 PM
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Ride more, eat less, that should cover it.
Will you be toting all your gear? If so, try to have a go at that before making a lot of plans. I say this because I can load up my Carradice bag with junk for an overnight trip, and it feels like I'm sucking half the fun out of riding right there. Another 20 or 30 lbs, and I feel like I'd be sucking ALL the fun out of it. Anyway, if so, handy to know that before you set off on a week-long trip. If you motel-hop, that eliminates 80% of that excess crap you'd be carrying otherwise. And if you can get a group riding and have somebody tote suitcases...hey, no stuff to tote at all! (IE, check around if there's any organized tours along that line).
On the ride more, eat less, that is really serious. Do get out and do some longer rides without any luggage and get used to that.
Around here, the good riding is not on shoulders of highways, it's on roads that have very little traffic. Your area may vary.
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Old 05-03-16, 05:01 AM
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Go for it. Your bike will be Fine if you've been commuting on it. Get the wheels checked out, tried and tensioned before the 5 day. Do a couple of overnight bike camping trips. Google S24O and you will see a lot of helpful information. The actual rides will tell you what you need to work on. How much climbing do you anticipate? This makes a big difference. I did a 2 day last year with 2500 feet of climbing over 110 miles on little training. Just take it easy and listen to your body.
Have fun and enjoy the ride and stops.
Tom Palmer
Twin Lake, MI
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Old 05-03-16, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by TomPalmer
Go for it. Your bike will be Fine if you've been commuting on it. Get the wheels checked out, tried and tensioned before the 5 day. Do a couple of overnight bike camping trips. Google S24O and you will see a lot of helpful information. The actual rides will tell you what you need to work on. How much climbing do you anticipate? This makes a big difference. I did a 2 day last year with 2500 feet of climbing over 110 miles on little training. Just take it easy and listen to your body.
Have fun and enjoy the ride and stops.
Tom Palmer
Twin Lake, MI
You do realize you're suggesting someone who rides 3 miles a day and maybe 15 on weekends to just "go for it" and try riding 50-60 miles a day for a week straight. Right?

Yeah, that shouldn't be a problem. What could possibly go wrong?
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Old 05-04-16, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by baron von trail
You do realize you're suggesting someone who rides 3 miles a day and maybe 15 on weekends to just "go for it" and try riding 50-60 miles a day for a week straight. Right?

Yeah, that shouldn't be a problem. What could possibly go wrong?
I wasn't suggesting he take off today without preparation, simply encouraging him that he can do it next year when he is planning. Others have suggested training ideas.
Many people do nothing out of fear of the unknown and I suggested he try a couple of shorter overnight trips. You learn for more by doing and seeing what works for you than by reading about what others think.
Sorry if I was misleading to the OP.
Tom
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Old 05-04-16, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by TomPalmer
I wasn't suggesting he take off today without preparation, simply encouraging him that he can do it next year when he is planning. Others have suggested training ideas.
Many people do nothing out of fear of the unknown and I suggested he try a couple of shorter overnight trips. You learn for more by doing and seeing what works for you than by reading about what others think.
Sorry if I was misleading to the OP.
Tom
Sorry, I must have misunderstood your post. Here's what I wrote to the op earlier.

Originally Posted by baron von trail
Good goal. But, I'd be surprised if can you ride 50-plus miles several days in a row at this point. It's harder than it sounds.


First step would be to work yourself up to riding 50 miles in one stretch or maybe with a short break. That's difficult enough. Once you can comfortably ride 50's, you should be good to go on a multi-day tour. I do not know how long that takes. Some people adapt quick. Others take a few seasons.
To add: I'd also suggest the OP try to ride the 250-300 "tour miles" in, say, 15 days or so. See how that goes. If he can do that comfortably, perhaps it would be a good idea to reduce it to ten days. And, then, I'd probably suggest even giving a 5-day, 50 miles per day riding experience a shot on his own before going on the tour.

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Old 05-04-16, 10:43 AM
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Goals are good, set some. You will need to work on saddle time. 2-4-6 hrs at a time, work up to it. How are the hills on this tour? Find some, climb them. Any bike groups you can join? Start with say 2, 10 mile commutes from work to home. Weekend? Start with 2 hours, work up from there.
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Old 05-04-16, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Cynomyso
New member here. Happy to have found this forum.

I'm 300 lbs and have been commuting to work about 3 miles each way for over a year. I also ride a rural trail nearby between 15 and 25 miles on weekends during the summer. I enjoy both immensely and want to move things up a notch.

I'm very interested in 4-6 day tours that ride from town to town (around 50-60 miles a day) and camp at night. Making the leap from street/trail rider to long rides over multiple days on highway shoulders seems very daunting right now.

My goal is to do this next summer 2017 and use that as motivation to continue to lose weight, and find opportunities to try riding on the road.

My questions, after all of that, are 1) what are things that I should do to help prepare for this? Am I making this out to be a bigger challenge than it is? Are there things about getting out on the highways that I should know before I start? And 2) Any particular bikes that would be good for this? I have a Giant Escape 3 that works well as a commuter but I know isn't going to cut it for a longer ride.

Thanks. I have enjoyed reading the many other threads here and look forward to spending more time here.
Riding on highways? I avoid them if there's an alternative, since low traffic rides are more fun. It does get easier as you get experience with highway riding, and a helmet or glasses mirror makes it easier to keep track of traffic behind you.

I'd start with quiet country roads. There's no shoulders, but there's few cars to pass you. It looks like the roads near Lincoln are mostly straight, so cars can pass easily. Ride in the right tire track, so you stay out of the debris kicked to the side of the road by the car tires, and to make the cars change lanes to pass you.

For places to go: check out this Strava Heat Map for the Lincoln NE area. The dark red roads are the most popular with cyclists, blue roads somewhat popular. It's based on a year of uploaded ride recordings to Strava.

Last edited by rm -rf; 05-04-16 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 05-04-16, 11:41 AM
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I was going to talk about hills too. The wife and I went on a tour last year and had about 1100 outdoor miles in by mid June, just prior to our tour. We live in MN, that's a lot of miles for the months that we could get out. We also had a lot of sessions on our stationary bike as well. Where we failed to train was hills. We should have been doing hill repeats until we puked. Our tour ended up being lots of hills. Some as steep as 12% that were sometimes long climbs. We weren't prepared for it. If we were to be able to go this year I would be doing hill repeats every day.

Bottom line, ride, ride as much as you can. Get that saddle time. My bike felt a natural part of me by the time we went on that tour. Also make sure you have the right gearing for climbing.

Last edited by Yendor72; 05-04-16 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 05-04-16, 01:30 PM
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Since you are in Lincoln, NE you may want to look into the BRAN ride. It's a little more distance than BRAN or GOBA. But for a week long ride it is a nice ride.

I live in Nebraska but my touring buddy and I like to ride the GOBA ride it is in Ohio and it is better suited for me. GOBA has 7 days of riding, the shortest is normally 35 miles and the longest is about 70. There is an optional century ride but that is strictly optional. GOBA also has two rest days, on the rest day there are rides of 50 miles and a 50 miler with the option to ride 100. But these are rest days so the rides are back to the same campground that you started at, so if you are tired or sore you can take the day to sight see.

Also, GOBA alternates each year with a hilly and flat rides. The first year I rode GOBA the tallest hill that I rode was an overpass over the interstate. It was that flat on the flat ride,
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Old 05-04-16, 08:42 PM
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Suggestions -- Training for multi-day ride

Be sure you have got fit dialed in. On multi-day rides proper fit gets very important
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Old 05-05-16, 12:29 PM
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A good "starter" ride sort of out your way is CANDISC in North Dakota. It's relatively small, which means you don't have zoo-like conditions like you do on something like Cycle Oregon, which as 2,000+ people. No mountains, but not flat either. (The wind can make up for the lack of mountains.) The mileage is usually moderate, with a century option available one day. Traffic is usually light much of the time. The people are friendly. The meals are mostly prepared by locals, so you get to experience local specialties. Since so few people actually live in North Dakota, the overwhelming majority of riders come from other states, so you get a geographically diverse crowd. Some interesting scenery and kitch is possible. The year I did it we stayed in the home town of Lawrence Welk. His childhood homestead, including his wood-paneled sod house, has been preserved. We got a tour from a niece of his and saw the very bed he was born in. Scratched that one off my bucket list.
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Old 05-05-16, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
A good "starter" ride sort of out your way is CANDISC in North Dakota. It's relatively small, which means you don't have zoo-like conditions like you do on something like Cycle Oregon, which as 2,000+ people. No mountains, but not flat either. (The wind can make up for the lack of mountains.) The mileage is usually moderate, with a century option available one day. Traffic is usually light much of the time. The people are friendly. The meals are mostly prepared by locals, so you get to experience local specialties. Since so few people actually live in North Dakota, the overwhelming majority of riders come from other states, so you get a geographically diverse crowd. Some interesting scenery and kitch is possible. The year I did it we stayed in the home town of Lawrence Welk. His childhood homestead, including his wood-paneled sod house, has been preserved. We got a tour from a niece of his and saw the very bed he was born in. Scratched that one off my bucket list.
I hadn't heard of that one before, it sounds fun. How many riders are normally on the CANDISC ride?
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Old 05-05-16, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclist2000
I hadn't heard of that one before, it sounds fun. How many riders are normally on the CANDISC ride?
I think it was only around 250 the year I did it, which was '06. This year they are going to Medora and T. Roosevelt N.P. in the ND badlands. Never been, but I met someone who grew up there. All summer Medora puts on a musical devoted to western history. It's staged in an outdoor arena with a few of the surrounding scenery:

Medora - Explore it. Adore it. | What to do

I seriously considered do it again this year, but I am already travelling to Montana in June for an eleven day solo tour and I want to save my remaining vacation time for a cross-PA tour and a few other short tours.
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