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Four Types Of Rides I Do

Old 08-14-14, 10:13 AM
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Four Types Of Rides I Do

Some people like to get out and ride any way they can. I'm a goal kind of person so most of my rides have a purpose. It's how I enjoy getting out there, generically speaking.

1 - Increased Pace - We have a 15 mile route we go on and we push the pace. We don't try and set PR's but we want to NOT do a long slow ride. Even though 15 miles isn't long for me (though boy did it used to be!)

2 - Section Sprints - One of the routes (12+ miles) crosses several roads and we use every other section as a sprint. We push hard enough that we can make it the entire section.

3 - Intervals - 20 seconds of pain. Still learning what gears, how many is best to do in a session, etc. Did this one yesterday and it really hurt.

4 - Long Slow Rides - These are very enjoyable and I just pick a distance that I have time for and head out. This is done on a Saturday or Sunday
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Old 08-14-14, 11:22 AM
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I have focused on the long slow rides, with long defined based on my fitness level at the time based on the season, and time in the saddle. I am a fairly slow rider, and usually cruise at 10-12 mph.

My long rides this year seem to be in the 30 mile range.

I also enjoy fairly long higher intensity rides... I like to push myself for 10-15 miles, trying to maintain a pace that I can maintain for the whole ride. Last week I did about 16 miles pretty quickly when I needed to try to get to the end of the trail before dark.

I have started mixing in some segments that lie in between your section sprints and intervals, but not as many, probably 3 or 4 in a ride. I just recently got to the point where I feel comfortable getting up out of the saddle and hammering it for a little while to get me up to a sprinting speed in short order. When I decide to "sprint" (quoted since I sprint at cruising speed for many riders), I shift up 2 or 3 gears and stand to take off, I then settle in and sit while I push it for a minute or two. On a local rail trail, the trail parallels a track used by a slow moving tourist train, and I tried to race it recently... I lost, but I did better than I thought I would.

I definitely feel I have made a difference this year by varying my pace and level of effort.
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Old 08-14-14, 12:00 PM
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For me it's:

a) hills (by definition, this involves doing some hard pushing)
b) flat
c) family ride (eaaaasy!)

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Old 08-14-14, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Darwin
I have focused on the long slow rides, with long defined based on my fitness level at the time based on the season, and time in the saddle. I am a fairly slow rider, and usually cruise at 10-12 mph.

My long rides this year seem to be in the 30 mile range.

I also enjoy fairly long higher intensity rides... I like to push myself for 10-15 miles, trying to maintain a pace that I can maintain for the whole ride. Last week I did about 16 miles pretty quickly when I needed to try to get to the end of the trail before dark.

I have started mixing in some segments that lie in between your section sprints and intervals, but not as many, probably 3 or 4 in a ride. I just recently got to the point where I feel comfortable getting up out of the saddle and hammering it for a little while to get me up to a sprinting speed in short order. When I decide to "sprint" (quoted since I sprint at cruising speed for many riders), I shift up 2 or 3 gears and stand to take off, I then settle in and sit while I push it for a minute or two. On a local rail trail, the trail parallels a track used by a slow moving tourist train, and I tried to race it recently... I lost, but I did better than I thought I would.

I definitely feel I have made a difference this year by varying my pace and level of effort.
I think what you are doing is great for keeping your rides fresh and different and such. Some don't like to do anything but just ride but I like the variety to keep me engaged.
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Old 08-14-14, 12:47 PM
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For me it's either:
1. TT practice (12.5mi or 25mi as fast as I can)
2. Recovery ride (longer dist, but Zone 2 max)
3. Intervals at the local track (Sprint, wheeze, repeat)
4. Slow (short with the younger kids, longer with the older ones).

Once in a great while I can get enough time for a long ride, but not often enough. For me that would probably be best for weight loss, but I don't have 5 hour+ blocks of time. SWMBO wouldn't be pleased.

Last edited by delcrossv; 08-14-14 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 08-14-14, 12:58 PM
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I just ride. Taking it easy I found incredibly difficult. Rode with my daughter the other day on the flat bike trail. She won't lead, thus I'm watching her the whole time in my mirror to see if she's keeping up. She rides on my old junk Walmart bike about 11-12 mph. I'm not terribly fast, but it is dang difficult for me to ride at 11-12 mph.

I don't do anything special. I just either stop at the trail close to work, detour a bit going home and hitting the paved trail, or go home and depart from the garage. That gives me ever so slight grades for a mile or 2 at a time, dead flat, or constant up and down.

All I want to do is ride for 1 - 1.5 hours. I don't care if I'm fast or not, just looking for some calorie burn to go along with the calorie cut. Unfortunately, I'm not doing well with either and have been pretty stagnant on both riding and weight loss this year. 3 full months the end of summer had me at 580 miles on a Walmart bike. 4 months so far this year on my beloved Giant Escape puts me at 578, still 2 down from last year.
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Old 08-14-14, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by delcrossv
For me it's either:
1. TT practice (12.5mi or 25mi as fast as I can)
2. Recovery ride (longer dist, but Zone 2 max)
3. Intervals at the local track (Sprint, wheeze, repeat)
4. Slow (short with the younger kids, longer with the older ones).

Once in a great while I can get enough time for a long ride, but not often enough. For me that would probably be best for weight loss, but I don't have 5 hour+ blocks of time. SWMBO wouldn't be pleased.
I would think what you are doing NOW is best for weight loss. Of course a long miles day burns a bunch but the high effort, high recovery activities do quite well I would think.
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Old 08-14-14, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mrodgers
I just ride. Taking it easy I found incredibly difficult. Rode with my daughter the other day on the flat bike trail. She won't lead, thus I'm watching her the whole time in my mirror to see if she's keeping up. She rides on my old junk Walmart bike about 11-12 mph. I'm not terribly fast, but it is dang difficult for me to ride at 11-12 mph.

I don't do anything special. I just either stop at the trail close to work, detour a bit going home and hitting the paved trail, or go home and depart from the garage. That gives me ever so slight grades for a mile or 2 at a time, dead flat, or constant up and down.

All I want to do is ride for 1 - 1.5 hours. I don't care if I'm fast or not, just looking for some calorie burn to go along with the calorie cut. Unfortunately, I'm not doing well with either and have been pretty stagnant on both riding and weight loss this year. 3 full months the end of summer had me at 580 miles on a Walmart bike. 4 months so far this year on my beloved Giant Escape puts me at 578, still 2 down from last year.
I think if that is what gets you out there then that's awesome.
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Old 08-14-14, 06:50 PM
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Although I've been known to just ride whenever I can get the opportunity, to improve my fitness on the bike I have two types of rides I do:

1. Hill training and fast paced flats. I commute daily(7days a week from 4-4:30am) and have 2 routes mapped out, both being about 5 miles one way - one is flat with some rolling hills and one involves a ~10-12% grade. I switch it up every now and then depending on how I feel.

2. Distance (On the weekends, with the 9yr old, she leads thus she also sets the pace (which is roughly an easy 13mph avg) we ride anywhere from 30-60 miles but we hope to extend it this weekend (she's been anxious to ride 100 miles)
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Old 08-14-14, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by WonderMonkey
I would think what you are doing NOW is best for weight loss. Of course a long miles day burns a bunch but the high effort, high recovery activities do quite well I would think.
Good for speed but I think I lose quickest when I do lots of miles.
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Old 08-15-14, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by delcrossv
Good for speed but I think I lose quickest when I do lots of miles.
I argue with myself on this. I really like the higher intensity shorter (13-15 miles) rides I've been doing but I may switch it up and do longer rides for a few weeks to compare. I started the shorter rides due to research on the grand old internet and then coupled that with some of my own results. I can easily see how I could allow myself to over-compensate on calories as I'm now more hungry (which I take as a sign of what is working).

Last year I lost a bunch of weight and while nutrition was the central focus of it I did longer rides. Can't complain about the results I got from there either.

In the end getting out there is the key. With just a bit of focus good things will happen, whatever the type of ride.
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Old 08-15-14, 05:40 AM
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The bike is an integral part of my life. I ride for sport. I ride for transportation. I ride for travel. As for that last one, I should be in Ohio in three weeks to start a tour from Vienna (near Youngstown) home to Philly.
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Old 08-15-14, 07:44 AM
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Mine are based on how much time I have.
Short 30-40 minutes in zone 3.
Mid length 40-60 minutes in zone 2 and 3.
Longer rides in zone 2. I am still worker on being able to ride longer. I can only handle 90 minutes as yet.

My boys start school on Monday and I hope my daily rides will all be 60+ minutes.
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Old 08-15-14, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
The bike is an integral part of my life. I ride for sport. I ride for transportation. I ride for travel. As for that last one, I should be in Ohio in three weeks to start a tour from Vienna (near Youngstown) home to Philly.
I googled the route with no corrections. Seems to be about 500 miles, maybe a bit less. Why start in Vienna, know someone there?
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Old 08-15-14, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by linnefaulk
Mine are based on how much time I have.
Short 30-40 minutes in zone 3.
Mid length 40-60 minutes in zone 2 and 3.
Longer rides in zone 2. I am still worker on being able to ride longer. I can only handle 90 minutes as yet.

My boys start school on Monday and I hope my daily rides will all be 60+ minutes.
It's good to know what you can get out of the time you have. Know how I built up distance/time? If my previous distance (convert to time as needed) was 15 miles I'd ride 9 miles in one direction and make myself come back. Ta-da 18 miles. I'd make sure I'd take breaks, etc. I did my first 60 miler that way... went 30 "that way" and then had to come back.
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Old 08-15-14, 04:49 PM
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I just started riding again in May. I am still working up to long distances. And I have some fit issues with my bike to resolve.
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Old 08-15-14, 05:10 PM
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My riding mostly consists of a mix of the following:

1) Aerobic enduranc rides (Zone 2), 2+ hours: Haven't had time lately for these much, will work them back in later this month.

2) 2 x 20min intervals (upper zone 4): To get faster on flats (and slight incline/declines).

3) Climbing (Zone 3 except for threshold and anaerobic bursts as necessary to climb the hills around here). Functionally trying to combine tempo rides with climbing because I have to ride out a fair bit to get to the challenging climbs.

4) Recovery rides 60-75min (Zone 1): Days between hard rides.

I find this mix allows me to stretch myself in all areas and has allowed me to make gains in terms of speed, LTHR and climbing ability at a decent rate.
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Old 08-15-14, 06:26 PM
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My best rides are my commute to and from work.

AM: 20 hard miles as fast as I can, target 1hr.

PM: 30 hard miles as fast as I can, target 1hr 45 min.

I usually come within 5 minutes of both targets, except if wind is against me. Headwinds are a bear. I lost 15 minutes on the ride home last Friday due to a steady breeze in my face. I was exhausted by the time I got home.
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Old 08-16-14, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by WonderMonkey
I googled the route with no corrections. Seems to be about 500 miles, maybe a bit less. Why start in Vienna, know someone there?
I am taking my own route to Franklin, picking up the Allegheney River Trail to Emlenton then taking PA Bike Route V to the Bloomsburg/Catawissa area. From there I will head south through Amish county in Lancaster County then east to pick up the Schuykill River Trail. Haven't totaled the mileage, but it I think it will be around 450. I did 490 in Montana back in June.

I did a cross-PA tour last September via the GAP and PA Bike Route S. I wanted to do another cross-PA trip and Avis has one-way rental car service to the Vienna area. As luck would have it, last month while doing the Bon Ton Roulet, the GF and I met a fun couple who just happens to live 2 miles from the rental drop off location. I will drive out on a Friday, stay with them and start riding from their house.
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Old 08-16-14, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by baron von trail
My best rides are my commute to and from work.

AM: 20 hard miles as fast as I can, target 1hr.

PM: 30 hard miles as fast as I can, target 1hr 45 min.

I usually come within 5 minutes of both targets, except if wind is against me. Headwinds are a bear. I lost 15 minutes on the ride home last Friday due to a steady breeze in my face. I was exhausted by the time I got home.
That's a bunch of miles each commute! My commute is 21.5 miles and I'm just getting ready to kick that back in.

How many times a week do you ride that?
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Old 08-16-14, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
I am taking my own route to Franklin, picking up the Allegheney River Trail to Emlenton then taking PA Bike Route V to the Bloomsburg/Catawissa area. From there I will head south through Amish county in Lancaster County then east to pick up the Schuykill River Trail. Haven't totaled the mileage, but it I think it will be around 450. I did 490 in Montana back in June.

I did a cross-PA tour last September via the GAP and PA Bike Route S. I wanted to do another cross-PA trip and Avis has one-way rental car service to the Vienna area. As luck would have it, last month while doing the Bon Ton Roulet, the GF and I met a fun couple who just happens to live 2 miles from the rental drop off location. I will drive out on a Friday, stay with them and start riding from their house.
I think it was the Allegheney River Trail I looked at as a possible route from the East Coast to Ohio, where I live. Trying to prepare for a year (or three) from now when I have more time I can dedicate to it. Also I don't know how I'll do on a multi-day ride, mentally. I like hiking alone for three days but I've never gone longer.
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Old 08-16-14, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by WonderMonkey
That's a bunch of miles each commute! My commute is 21.5 miles and I'm just getting ready to kick that back in.

How many times a week do you ride that?
It depends on weather and time. On a good week, I'll get in four rides. A bad week, only one. I'd say typical is 3. That's from April through October.

After October it's a crap shot and no rides from Jan through March. Although I'm thinking of tweaking that by using a winter bike and sticking to the shorter route for both directions.
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Old 08-16-14, 07:50 AM
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For a lot of people, time is the constraint. My usual ride is coming to be 20-25 miles riding along the coast with a couple of moderate hills (about 900' gain over entire distance). The ability to create varied routes that fit in to a certain time block keeps things fresh. The OP's listed 4 types of rides is a good mix. Variety, the spice of life. I rode my local roads for years and eventually crossed most of them in my county. At first, it was the same path everyday. Eventually that got boring and cycling turned into exploration.

WonderMonkey, how many routes do you have that fit into your time frame?
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Old 08-16-14, 09:12 AM
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Rain forecast here all week this mon-fri. I'll probably ride in it. Rain rides are tougher.

I used to ride centuries on Saturdays. But spending six hours on the bike with a new house and other responsibilities is no longer realistic. I miss those rides, but found shorter 1 & 2 hour sprints to be more effective.
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Old 08-16-14, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by linnefaulk
I just started riding again in May. I am still working up to long distances. And I have some fit issues with my bike to resolve.
I increased my miles a bit too quickly last year. I did do a 100 miler after starting at zero miles at the beginning of the year but it put a hurting on me.
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