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Recreational rider prepare for century? How?

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Recreational rider prepare for century? How?

Old 07-28-18, 07:23 AM
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JLDickmon
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Recreational rider prepare for century? How?

Ok, I've lost my freakin mind, but I've committed myself to riding a century next year. Committed myself by organizing the thing.

Here's my dilemma. I don't know the first thing about long distance riding. I'm a recreational rider. Got back into bikes for cardio rehab after I NARROWLY avoided a widowmaker when I was 50, in 2012.

Couple years ago, I loosely organized a bike club, made up of people from my High School class.
Here's the make-up.. You have me, and know now my backstory, a woman who has a hip replaced a couple years ago and rides for physical therapy, a cyclocross racer, a bike commuter, a Jock who rides with a higher level bike racer, a Minister who runs and rides for fitness, and a diabetic who is am honest to Dog distance biker (this guy does the DALMAC every year).

I feel I need to make sure everyone is at the same level, as I have planned an all-day tour of West Michigan (Kalamazoo to South Haven to Niles, train back to Kalamazoo).

Planning the ride for late next spring.

1. How do *I* prepare?
2. How do I make sure everyone ELSE is prepared?

Sorry for the droning on, but I need some advice!
Please!

Last edited by JLDickmon; 07-28-18 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 07-28-18, 07:34 AM
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I think I need a lighter bike, but I've been on a buying spree lately.
there IS a 97 F2000 on Craigslist for a shade over 200 bucks.
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Old 07-28-18, 08:16 AM
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As the organizer, you will be too busy to ride .... you will have to drive the sag wagon. I know it's a tough sacrifice .... but everyone will appreciate your commitment to the ride's success, and you will appreciate the job when you see how much pain some of the other had to endure.

Seriously, my response is .... Seriously? First off, if the "organization" end of things is beyond you .... quit now.

You will need to pick a route, which includes some rest/restroom stops, and you will need to know if there are alternate routes if the road is blocked by an accident or something. You will need at least one support van, with racks for bikes and supplies for exhausted riders. You will need first aid gear and room to use it (which is why a van is handy) and you will need to have a vehicle follow the remaining riders if you stop to help one. Whoever drives the support vehicles have to be super responsible, cool in an emergency, able to do the most basic first aid, and know enough to help an exhausted/bonked/dehydrated rider.

Also, you will need to have people in both vehicles who can handle a diabetic coma. One-in-a-million chance, but better to be ready. The rider himself will know what to do ... so he can tell others.

Of course, you will need at least one person in each vehicle who can do mechanical work. nothing major, but you wouldn't want a broken chain or a broken spoke to end someone's day. Spare cables, tubes, .... you might even want a couple spare tires (of course you'd need to make sure of everyone's wheel diameter.)

As for yourself, if you plan to ride ... ummm ..... you Might want to consider increasing your mileage steadily. If you cannot do the distance and keep a clear head, you really cannot call yourself "organizer"; and Someone has to be in charge, just to make sure everyone gets taken care of.

Pretty obviously a lot of your club won't need any help. Some of ti might not be physically able to finish. No way to make sure "everyone is at the same level," unless you want to start breaking legs and force-feeding junk food.

You have two options .... form two groups, the slowest paced by the slowest rider and "no-drop," or tell everyone it is a slow-roll pleasure cruise. And if the slowest riders dictate the pace ... you might be looking at eight to ten hours total time.

if it were me, and I was actually friends with the club members, i would look at this as a group endeavor, and make it the point of group rides .... constantly helping the slower riders get stronger and ride longer, so everybody could make it comfortably.

This would mean the whole group would need to go at the pace fo the slowest rider ... and then toss in a few short HIIT session, sprints, or fast hill-climbs to each ride .... and work the mileage upward.

If everyone could work as a team and ride as a group, and if everybody was comfortable with metric centuries or so, you could get by with a single vehicle for support, which makes things a lot simpler.

You will have to make sure everyone eats and drinks on the bike ... which is why it would be good to do a few metric centuries in preparation. You don't need someone bonking at 55 miles, or dehydrating at 75.

Also ... make sure the trains run late. if you and you club have a series of flat tires, a mechanical breakdown, and an instance of stomach flu .... well, some days are tougher than others. If however, all the little slowdowns meant you arrived at the train station After the last train ... the you will need to whip out the gold card at the hotel and lodge everybody.

Of course, ninety nine times out of a hundred everything would be fine if everybody just started riding, with no plan whatsoever, and stopped whenever there were roadside markets and such .... but you need to be ready for the one-in-one hundred bad day.

Since you have six months to prepare .... the most important thing will be doing Lots of group riders, and increasing the intensity or distance slowly to get the slower riders ready. That will be good for the club anyway.
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Old 07-28-18, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by JLDickmon View Post
Ok, I've lost my freakin mind, but I've committed myself to riding a century next year. Committed myself by organizing the thing....

Couple years ago, I loosely organized a bike club, made up of people from my High School class....

I feel I need to make sure everyone is at the same level, as I have planned an all-day tour ow West Michigan (Kalamazoo to South Haven to Niles, train back to Kalamazoo).

Planning the ride for late next spring.

1. How do *I* prepare?
2. How do I make sure everyone ELSE is prepared?

Sorry for the droning on, but I need some advise!
Please!
I have previously posted:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Every time I read a thread of this type, I think to myself that line from old Mickey Rooney / Judy Garland movies, “Hey kids, Let’s put on a show.” FWIW, my usual reply is:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Captain Bringdown replying here, as I do to other threads of a similar nature, about the question of LIABILITY for the other riders…
Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
Having personally been involved in 2 lawsuits I have some pretty good knowledge of what happens when a person is injured and a lawsuit ensues. Believe me, it is NOT pleasant on either side, and consumes tremendous amounts of energy, effort and money.

I believe that our proposed 50+ annual ride in Glenwood next year has progressed beyond a simple gathering together into a more formal "ride."

I.e.
1. We have labeled it publicly as a "ride."

2. I have specifically designated a ride route(s).

3. We have a specific time.

4. I have advertised it widely on BFN 50+. and I believe that other folks have advertised it in other venues, in one way or another.

A usual response to this kind of issue is, "Oh, we are all friends, and no one would EVER sue if they were injured."

WRONG


The problem is, the costs involved in rehabilitiation and medical care are SO HUGE that a person suffering an injury really has NO CHOICE in the matter. Unless they are independently wealthy, or have the world's best insurance, they MUST seek funds from other sources. Take an uninsured emergency room visit. Costs for one day are generally about $12,000.00.

Liability insurance has a 2 fold aspect. One, it protects the person(s) sponsoring the event; and two, it helps assure that the person injured by someone else's supposed negligence can be treated and cared for…

Waivers, if carefully and appropriately written, can be helpful, but no waiver will excuse proven negligent behavior on the part of others...

This is not a pleasant topic, but it is one that must be approached


Even if NOT liable, the costs of defending one's self are tremendous. Liability can only be determined by a court. An entity does not have to be liable to be sued. But, they still must bear the costs of defending against the suit, unless proven that the suit is frivolous ...

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 07-28-18 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 07-28-18, 10:03 AM
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Both posts very good advice.. thanks guys..
anyone else want to weigh in here?
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Old 07-28-18, 10:22 AM
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I don't know about Captain Bringdown, but I approach every thread here thinking, "What can i write to make this person never want to post here again ... and maybe want to quit riding."

if you can survive those two reposnses .... you are unusually tough. I will go devise some response even more unpleasant, i guess.

Good luck if you choose to do it. Ninety-nine times out of 100 the weather will be the worst thing to deal with. And you lawyer can handle the rest.
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Old 07-28-18, 10:22 AM
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Hmmmm .... by commenting here am i making myself liable?
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Old 07-28-18, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by JLDickmon View Post
Both posts very good advice.. thanks guys..
anyone else want to weigh in here?
My thoughts are simply that riding a century is little more than spending the day riding your bike. If your butt can handle it You're good to go. I only wish I had time. An "organized" century, as described so eloquently above requires too many non riding cat herders.
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Old 07-28-18, 11:53 AM
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Hmmm... I usually prepare for a century ride by throwing one leg over the bike, clipping in, and starting pedaling... ..

It sounds to me that you have a huge diversity in the group, with half the group ready to do the ride with no preparation, and half the group considering it worse than a solo climb of Mt. Everest.

I think the first thing is group dynamics. You've apparently been riding together, so you may have some idea of the group dynamics already. But, can you hold the group together for 100 miles? Are the fast riders willing to slow down, and the slow riders willing to speed up?

Is everyone, or anyone willing to do some training if necessary?

I'd probably start easy and organize a couple of 30 to 50 mile rides this summer and fall. That would help your group understand working together, and riding together. Perhaps also share information about bicycles appropriate for the longer rides.

If you can get maintenance right, and fitness right, then there will be no need for a sag wagon.

However, an option would be to look for a local organized event that would be fun. Thus, they provide the SAG, as well as food and water stops. It also provides a good goal for your group.
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Old 07-28-18, 11:54 AM
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The best guide is experience. As the Senior Leader it behooves you to ride a few centuries maybe with one of the more fit cyclists you aforementioned prior to the big event.

Test ride the proposed routes you are considering. Treat this like you are a Project Manager. In reality you are.

Understand that the group will likely separate due to fitness levels. Have bailout options for those that will not be able to complete the full century. Good luck!
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Old 07-28-18, 12:08 PM
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If one is doing the ride self-supported, then you can't allow the group to break up unless there is an emergency and someone heads off to get parts or something. Make sure you have the tools, supplies, and food to keep all the bikes on the road.

Even if you can con a spouse, friend, or relative into providing SAG services, it may be best to keep the group together. It is much easier to manage that way.
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Old 07-28-18, 12:29 PM
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This is probably the most common article written by cycling enthusiast magazines- there are literally hundreds of training plans out there.

But just for you:
1. Plan your route - look for nice places to have rest stops every 20-25 miles, nice roads, etc.
2. Get time in the saddle - unless you're really out of shape, your biggest hurdle is likely to be pain management.
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Old 07-28-18, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Hmmmm .... by commenting here am i making myself liable?
only if it ends up in court
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Old 07-28-18, 12:45 PM
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Start early , get in 60 miles (100km) before lunch.. then just 40 to go ..
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Old 07-28-18, 02:06 PM
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Piggyback it on something that a club or charity is doing. That way, it's mapped, supported, and insured by them. Get in shape: Ride. Do 25-milers several evenings per week and on Saturdays start at 40 miles and increase 10 miles per week until you're at 80. If you can do 80, then add an evening ride and you're done.
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Old 07-28-18, 03:00 PM
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This is how I have trained for a century.

Start by getting comfortable riding 40 miles at a time. You should find 40 miles relatively easy to do. It should not wipe you out. You should be able to do 40 mile rides regularly.

Then increase mileage for your weekly long ride on a week by week basis. Back off every 4th week to allow the body to recover.

Week 1: 45 miles
Week 2: 55 miles
Week 3 65 miles
Week 4: 55 miles
Week 5: 65 miles
Week 6: 75 miles
Week 7: 65 miles
Week 8: 75 miles
Week 9: 85 miles
Week 10: 62.5 miles/metric
Week 11: 100 miles.

It doesn't have to follow this exact schedule but this is just an example. You could stretch it out to 12 weeks, 16 weeks or whatever works for you.

Total weekly miles should increase and back off similarly. You need to be riding during the week. The Saturday long rides can't be your only ride. 20, 30 and 40 mile rides during the week should be normal.

Once you get to 85 miles then you are ready. If you want to be sure then you could keep doing long rides to build up endurance. I have been OK with one 85 mile ride, then an easy week and then do the century.


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 07-30-18 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 07-28-18, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I don't know about Captain Bringdown, but I approach every thread here thinking, "What can i write to make this person never want to post here again ... and maybe want to quit riding."…
I occasionally have previously posted:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Frankly, I have posted that I would not be inclined to encourage, unless by example (nor discourage) someone to cycle-commute, but if they so chose, I would freely and gladly give any advice...

Public exhortations to cycle-commute, or utility cycle are well and good with no individual responsibility for bad outcomes, but I would not want the recriminations of a personal endorsement if something bad happened. Also, with regards to “recreational cycling,” actual organizing, promoting, or similar, may entail IMO a liability beyond a personal guilt trip if something goes wrong….

FWW, I’m not advocatin’ against, just sayin’
Originally Posted by JLDickmon View Post
Ok, I've lost my freakin mind, but I've committed myself to riding a century next year. Committed myself by organizing the thing.
Capt. Bringdown
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
BTW, I don’t list my location under my avatar, but it is “D’uh” [in Kenmore Square].

Jim from Boston
Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Whenever I see a series of nested quotes, I think "it's Jim from 'Duh' again."

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 07-28-18 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 07-28-18, 04:39 PM
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AFAIC, cycling for distance is far more mental than physical. Physically, a person with no training at all, given a full day and a reasonably plotted route, could probably finish a century. It might take them 15 hours. A buddy of mine did the LA Marathon with zero preparation. It took almost 8 hours, so he basically walked it-- but he finished. The hard part is managing your own doubt. Well, as person who has done every 100+ mile ride save one completely solo and unsupported, the mental aspect is the most difficult. I'm the only one telling myself to keep going. Sometimes it's hard.

Training? I did my first century within 6 months of taking up cycling. And I got lost due to my own poor routing, and ended the day with 109 miles. It genuinely wasn't that difficult. As the OP will be in a group, it will be no problem. People to talk to to pass the time, plenty of rest stops for people to rest and regroup.
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Old 07-28-18, 04:45 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by JLDickmon View Post
Ok, I've lost my freakin mind, but I've committed myself to riding a century next year. Committed myself by organizing the thing.

Here's my dilemma. I don't know the first thing about long distance riding. I'm a recreational rider. Got back into bikes for cardio rehab after I NARROWLY avoided a widowmaker when I was 50, in 2012
Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
This is how I have trained for a century.

Start by getting comfortable riding 40 miles at a time. You should find 40 miles relatively easy to do. It should not wipe you out. You should be able to do 40 mile rides regularly.

Then increase mileage for your weekly long ride on a week by week basis. Back off every 4th week to allow the body to recover.

Week 1: 45 miles
Week 2: 55 miles
Week 3 65 miles
Week 4: 55 miles
Week 5: 65 miles
Week 6: 75 miles
Week 7: 65 miles
Week 8: 75 miles
Week 9: 85 miles
Week 10: 62.5 miles/metric
Week 11: 100 miles.

It doesn't have to follow this exact schedule but this is just an example. You could stretch it out to 12 weeks, 16 weeks or whatever works for you.

Total weekly miles should increase and back off similarly. You need to be riding during the week. The Saturday long rides can't be your only ride. 20, 30 and 40 mile rides during the week should be normal.

Once you get to 85 miles then you are ready. If you want to be sure then you could keep doing long rides to build up endurance. I have been OK with one 85 mile ride, then an easy week and then do the century.

-Tim-
Besides being a year round cycle commuter with a minimal 14 mile one-way route (often a CommuterRail ride home) I consider myself a (serious) recreational cyclist, and a Century Ride a hallmark of a cycling season, because It’s such a serious challenge (and I am usually a late finisher ).

For comparison with @TimothyH, I follow a Ten Week Schedule published long ago in Bicycling Magazine:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
During the nice weather, especially when I’m planning for a long, organized ride, I can extend my commute through particularly popular cycling suburbs according to a Century Training Schedule printed years ago in Bicycling magazine.

There are two variations called "Easy Century" and "With Strength to Spare" and I try for the latter. It’s very motivating, and not impossible to comply. FYI:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
... My modification of the plan is to make Sunday my rest day, and Saturday is my century day. This won't print on the Forum as a nice table, but I think you can figure it out:

WITH STRENGTH TO SPARE:
Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Sun. Weekly
Easy Pace* Brisk* Pace Pace Pace Mileage
10 12 14 Off 12 40 15 103
10 13 15 Off 13 44 17 112
10 15 15 Off 15 48 18 123
11 16 19 Off 16 53 20 135
12 18 20 Off 18 59 22 149
13 19 23 Off 19 64 24 162
14 20 25 Off 20 71 27 177
16 20 27 Off 20 75 27 177
17 20 30 Off 20 75 32 194
19 20 30 Off 10 5 Easy Century 184

1,516

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 07-28-18 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 07-28-18, 05:14 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
[COLOR=#333333]Besides being a year round cycle commuter with a minimal 14 mile one-way route (often a CommuterRail ride home) I consider myself a (serious) recreational cyclist, and a Century Ride a hallmark of a cycling season, because It’s such a serious challenge (and I am usually a late finisher ).
Hmm...
Perhaps a New Years Century ride?

Commuting mileage adds up. Most of my riding is commuting of varying distances, and I count most of my century rides as commutes. It helps to have a destination and goal.
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Old 07-28-18, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Besides being a year round cycle commuter with a minimal 14 mile one-way route (often a Commuter Rail ride home) I consider myself a (serious) recreational cyclist, and a Century Ride a hallmark of a cycling season, because It’s such a serious challenge (and I am usually a late finisher ).
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Average Miles Per Commute?

During the nice weather, especially when I’m planning for a long, organized ride, I can extend my commute through particularly popular cycling suburbs according to a Century Training Schedule printed years ago in Bicycling magazine. There are two variations called "Easy Century" and "With Strength to Spare" and I try for the latter. It’s very motivating, and not impossible to comply…:
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Hmm...
Perhaps a New Years Century ride?

Commuting mileage adds up. Most of my riding is commuting of varying distances, and I count most of my century rides as commutes. It helps to have a destination and goal.
Thanks for your comment, @CliffordK; +10 for commuting miles, and riding with a destination and a goal. However for me, the “nice weather” in Boston is from May to October (with tails in April and November) (link), and New Years Day is outside my range, though I do like to do a New Year’s Day ride.

In reality though, I have posted on a few of occasions:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…I have previously posted to this thread, Why didn’t I ride
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
My job; either too much to do, so I stay (comfortably) overnight and resume very early in the AM, missing my commute; or have to travel afar for a meeting...and to a lesser extent, family activities. …

Having a mileage-based training schedule however, effectively motivates me to make time to ride. I have the opportunity to commute a minimal 14 miles one-way during the week (Commuter Rail home), and round-trip on Saturday all year-round, for about 100 miles a week.

During the nice weather, I’d like to put in about 150-200 miles to train and do long rides.

In reality though, I probably get in about 20-30 miles per week during the winter, and maybe about 75-100 during the nice weather (to include early evening rides).
BTW, on my post to that above-mentioned thread, “Average Commuter Miles," I also quoted a Commuting Forum thread, “Commuting Safely Impacting Recreational Fun?”
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Most of my riding is commuting, so I don't really differentiate "fun rides" from "commutes"

However, I don't see the dichotomy…
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Likewise for me, commuting is recreational, and I even do long rides to work on a weekend [for few hours, at my convenience] so the reverse is true…
Another +10.

Now back to our original thread, already in progress.
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Old 07-28-18, 06:50 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by JLDickmon View Post
Ok, I've lost my freakin mind, but I've committed myself to riding a century next year. Committed myself by organizing the thing.

Here's my dilemma. I don't know the first thing about long distance riding. I'm a recreational rider. Got back into bikes for cardio rehab after I NARROWLY avoided a widowmaker when I was 50, in 2012.

Couple years ago, I loosely organized a bike club, made up of people from my High School class.
Here's the make-up.. You have me, and know now my backstory, a woman who has a hip replaced a couple years ago and rides for physical therapy, a cyclocross racer, a bike commuter, a Jock who rides with a higher level bike racer, a Minister who runs and rides for fitness, and a diabetic who is am honest to Dog distance biker (this guy does the DALMAC every year).

I feel I need to make sure everyone is at the same level, as I have planned an all-day tour of West Michigan (Kalamazoo to South Haven to Niles, train back to Kalamazoo).

Planning the ride for late next spring.

1. How do *I* prepare?
2. How do I make sure everyone ELSE is prepared?

Sorry for the droning on, but I need some advice!
Please!
Good to see another Michigander here. I’m about 20mi N of Petoskey in Emmet County. Some years back I made a promise to myself to do the iconic century ride by the end of that summer. By mid August I did it. My training included a long ride on Saturday with a hill ride and 20mi midweek ride. Each week I extended the long ride by 10mi until the 82mi mark which was my jumping off point for the big 100. I wish you wellness and safety in your endeavor.
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Old 07-28-18, 07:13 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by JLDickmon View Post
Ok, I've lost my freakin mind, but I've committed myself to riding a century next year. Committed myself by organizing the thing.

Here's my dilemma. I don't know the first thing about long distance riding. I'm a recreational rider. Got back into bikes for cardio rehab after I NARROWLY avoided a widowmaker when I was 50, in 2012.

Couple years ago, I loosely organized a bike club, made up of people from my High School class.
Here's the make-up.. You have me, and know now my backstory, a woman who has a hip replaced a couple years ago and rides for physical therapy, a cyclocross racer, a bike commuter, a Jock who rides with a higher level bike racer, a Minister who runs and rides for fitness, and a diabetic who is am honest to Dog distance biker (this guy does the DALMAC every year).

I feel I need to make sure everyone is at the same level, as I have planned an all-day tour of West Michigan (Kalamazoo to South Haven to Niles, train back to Kalamazoo).

Planning the ride for late next spring.

1. How do *I* prepare?
2. How do I make sure everyone ELSE is prepared?

Sorry for the droning on, but I need some advice!
Please!
Can you make it just a longer than usual group ride?
How far are your rides right now, and how often?

~~~~

It sounds like this is more like a group of friends that ride together, instead of a formal bike club.

I know some groups like that. They regularly ride together, for 40 to 60 miles. Their occasional 100 mile ride is just another ride, but more difficult and needing some advance warning to be ready. Some of their riders skip these longer rides.

A few strong riders can do these rides with just one group ride a week, but most riders need more. For example, each week, 2 or 3 group rides, usually 2+ hours, and often one is a longer ride.

These riders have a good idea of the group's usual speeds and efforts from the shorter rides, so they don't get in over their heads. I think most riders that can complete a 70 mile ride with some reserves at the end can do 100 miles with no big problems. It helps to be able to ride 60 miles pretty comfortably; then the 100 isn't such a stretch. ("ride 60 miles comfortably"...that's a big achievement for many riders, and quite impressive to non-riders. For many riders, it requires regular weekly rides, at least two rides, but three or four is better.)

~~~
That looks like an interesting ride. A quick google maps routing showed 1100 feet of climbing over 90 miles. So it appears that hills won't be a problem, that makes it easier for riders with different abilities to ride it.

Last edited by rm -rf; 07-28-18 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 07-28-18, 07:18 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Good to see another Michigander here...
BTW, FYA, I too am a Michigan native, from Detroit.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…Back in the 60’s in the Motor City, I had an “English Racer,’ and longed to tour at about age 14, but then joined the car culture. In Ann Arbor MI in the 70’s I really realized the utility of bicycles for commuting, and began touring on a five-speed Schwinn Suburban, but soon bought a Mercier as did my girlfriend, later my wife. We toured in Michigan and Ontario.

In 1977 we moved to Boston on our bikes, as a bicycling honeymoon from Los Angeles to Washington, DC and then took the train up to Boston…
I have often posted that on BikeForums, and elsewhere, Michiganians often find each other serendipitously.
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Old 07-28-18, 07:28 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by JLDickmon View Post
Planning the ride for late next spring.

1. How do *I* prepare?
2. How do I make sure everyone ELSE is prepared?

I need some advice! Please!
You prepare by not being a recreational cyclist and start taking the goal, whatever it is, seriously. In this case a century in 6 months time.

If it were me, I'd make a regular weekly commitment to build up to your target distance weekly, at least 50% being on one single ride.

And at least a weekly ride with all interested parties.

In this case, something along the lines of a 20-25 mile group ride every Wednesday or Thursday evening.

That way you get the group dynamics and familiarity.

That leaves a minimum 24 (or 48) hour recovery time.

Then a solo hard effort 50+ on Saturday to get the distance part of the equation with out the benefit of drafting.

Then on Sunday a minimum of 25-30 more miles at a comfortable pace with interested parties to a coffee shop/bakery, etc...for camaraderie/team building. Monday & Tuesday for 0 mile recovery days.

Study nutrition. As a general rule of thumb, & in broad strokes: For 25-30 miles (or 90 minutes-ish) you have enough calories in your body because you exist & are human. Anything longer than that, you are going to want to eat 3-500 calories about 45 minutes before you are going to need it & about every 45 minutes-1 hour thereafter. Sugar (carbs) are preferred, but what kind matters to some degree. I prefer honey to the usual gels because a big component is glucose. It requires no processing and is put to use as fueling muscles almost immediatly. All other sugar types most be processed/converted to glucose & that takes time, hence the eat before you need it recommendation. But I also pack additional stuff. PB&J for calories, beef jerkey for the salt, if it's hot. Gatorade, for "electrolytes," NUUN for the calcium/magnesium. Both of which are generally hard to get elsewhere even in otherwise healthy diets.

For my own personal mixture (that has been used to "rescue" a bonked rider or 2 on particularly arduous rides) I buy the gatorade powder, add NUUN tablets, then add 1 oz honey to every 6 oz h2o, then fill the bottle so that all the ingredients are more or less diluted to proper amounts. A 24 oz water bottle has 2/3 scoop of Gatorade, 1.5 Nuun tablets, and 4 oz honey. 1 bottle is approx 350 calories, & a half PB&J is 200-ish. You can ride a long time on around 500 calories/hour.

Low sodium V8 before & after rides for the potassium will work wonders for cramps. I'm not a fan of Clif bars, they just sit in my stomach. I instead prefer Perpetuum or PB&J for mid ride fuel.

Eat before the ride. Salt, fat, sugar is your friend here. A McDonalds big breakfast with hotcakes is 1350 calories and has everything an endurance athlete needs. Yes, it's garbage food. Cramming salt, fat, sugar into yourself is the goal on hot long days. Failing that, a big Spam/egg/rice breakfast is my personal 2nd favorite. Or 3rd is a giant bowl of oatmeal & a few hard boiled eggs and bacon/sausages. Though, it would be wise to save this kind of eating for the big mileage days.

Other answers will vary, but this is a good starting point & can be tweaked as necessary for your fitness and conditions vary.

Good luck.

Last edited by base2; 07-28-18 at 07:42 PM.
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