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200 Mile Bike Ride Next Year

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200 Mile Bike Ride Next Year

Old 10-17-13, 08:05 PM
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200 Mile Bike Ride Next Year

I did a very painful 100 miler this year on my hybrid. Even though I knew going into it I wasn't prepared I did it anyway. I'm going to pencil a 200 miler in for next year and if I think I can do the 100 miler way easier (better prepared, etc) then I'll do the 200 miler around this time next year.

I WAS thinking "Do 200 miles at once, only stopping if I have to for sleep, etc, whatever I have to do to make it" but then I was thinking I may want to ease into it. I'm more thinking 75 on Friday, 75 on Saturday and end with 50 on Sunday. That would still be a pretty big deal for me.

I know we have some endurance riders here but any normal-dude riders like me do something like this and can give some personal experiences?

I'm thinking of making sure I'm near stores, etc. so I can pack lighter and maybe plan my route between state parks with camping areas so I can sling up a hammock.
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Old 10-17-13, 08:19 PM
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With those kind of mileages per day and the fact you will have overnight stays, you are talking about touring. Thousands of people are doing this. Some of them in the touring forum. Check there. And if you search first, you will find tons of tips on this forum and in the general internet searches.

But the best tip is don't do the miles just for the sake of doing the miles. Pick an area you would like to visit. You live in Ohio so the Great Allegheny Passage is not far away and it would offer the kind of miles you want to do and more. But there is the California coast, Oregon coast, the U.S. Rockies, Canadian Rockies, Europe, the list is pretty much endless.
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Old 10-17-13, 08:31 PM
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Doing the miles for the sake of the miles is EXACTLY why I'm doing this! I do like to bike camp so I'm mixing in the two things. I like setting goals like this as it gets me on the bike more often.

And you are right, this is touring so I"ll go read their stickies and the other posts that will cover most of my questions. Thanks for the point!
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Old 10-17-13, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by WonderMonkey
Doing the miles for the sake of the miles is EXACTLY why I'm doing this! I do like to bike camp so I'm mixing in the two things. I like setting goals like this as it gets me on the bike more often.
Frankly I do not understand the point of riding miles just for the sake of riding miles, at those numbers per day. Unless you have some physical disability or are elderly, the miles you laid out per day is not exactly a challenge so the number of miles isn't exactly a goal. Those miles are about what the average touring cyclist does in a day. Many do far more than that.

At those daily miles you could have a very enjoyable tour and have plenty of time to enjoy the tour given a interesting choice in a touring area.

But I guess to each his own.
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Old 10-18-13, 03:29 AM
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Actually, you might want to check out the Long Distance forum ... especially if you're thinking of doing it all at once (known as a Double Century)
https://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl...urance-Cycling

However, if you're planning to break it up into shorter distances, that would be touring.

Doing 200 miles in one day is not too difficult ... pretty much the same as riding 100 mile in one day, only longer. Do a few 100 mile rides. Do a couple 130-150 mile rides. Then do your 200 mile ride.

But probably best to ask this question in Long Distance.
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Old 10-18-13, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker
Unless you have some physical disability or are elderly, the miles you laid out per day is not exactly a challenge so the number of miles isn't exactly a goal.
Hey thanks for the insult. This last Thanksgiving I was 300lbs and I started this year out being able to do "not much". Given my coaching schedule and the other commitments I have even doing the 100 miler killed me. Doing a 200 mile weekend is a HUGE accomplishment for me and the people that can scrape together the time to ride and go on trips with me.

The 200 mile weekend is a goal, a target, a motivator. And it will most likely take everything I got to prepare for it and complete.

Not everybody had the time to train properly. When given the choice of continuing to coach these kids or go ride my bike I'll choose the kids and figure out how to get on the bike later.
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Old 10-18-13, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
Actually, you might want to check out the Long Distance forum ... especially if you're thinking of doing it all at once (known as a Double Century)
https://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl...urance-Cycling

However, if you're planning to break it up into shorter distances, that would be touring.

Doing 200 miles in one day is not too difficult ... pretty much the same as riding 100 mile in one day, only longer. Do a few 100 mile rides. Do a couple 130-150 mile rides. Then do your 200 mile ride.

But probably best to ask this question in Long Distance.
Thanks, I'll go read both forums. Chances are high it will be broken up into days but I say that just because I'll want to use it as a stepping stone for a one day 200 miler.
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Old 10-18-13, 02:32 PM
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Greetings WonderMonkey,

I went on my first 200-mile ride on August 24, 2013 (to Jim Thorpe, PA and back). I rode my 35 pound Trek Wahoo 29er hardtail which has heavy (915 grams) 29” x 2.1 Continental street tires. I enjoyed the ride immensely and can hardly wait to go again, but it’ll likely have to wait until next year.

I took the most direct route to Jim Thorpe and purposely took the longer more mountainous route homeward to make it a 200-mile ride. I reduced my normal pace and made certain that I ate and drank frequently (on average every 15 miles) to prevent bonking.

I couldn’t have asked for better temperatures for the day portion of my ride, but as I descended the route 309 mountain (Hawk Mountain) that night, it got so cold that I could see each of my breaths in my Cygolite headlight and I was only wearing short pants (though I had put on my sweatshirt just prior to descending the mountain). I hadn’t anticipated that it could get that cold in late August.

I intended to check out Todd Lake on my Jim Thorpe ride, but I had missed my turn and went a coupe miles off course prior to reversing and going back to make the plotted turn. In my hurry to make up for lost time, I plum forgot about Todd Lake, so that’s a good reason for my next Jim Thorpe ride. Even so, it bums me out that I forgot one of the biggest points of interest along the way, but missed turns and shortage of daylight can take its toll in this manner.

I wish you success on your 200-mile ride attempt. Enjoy the scenery along the way and pull over to check out whatever interests you or you’ll regret having failed to do so upon your return. Take pictures of your favorite scenery if you have a camera.
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Old 10-18-13, 02:49 PM
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Yes, give it 3 days .. then its a bike tour.. at a pleasant pace,

and having time to enjoy the countryside you are passing through.

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-18-13 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 10-18-13, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by WonderMonkey
Hey thanks for the insult. This last Thanksgiving I was 300lbs and I started this year out being able to do "not much". Given my coaching schedule and the other commitments I have even doing the 100 miler killed me. Doing a 200 mile weekend is a HUGE accomplishment for me and the people that can scrape together the time to ride and go on trips with me.

The 200 mile weekend is a goal, a target, a motivator. And it will most likely take everything I got to prepare for it and complete.

Not everybody had the time to train properly. When given the choice of continuing to coach these kids or go ride my bike I'll choose the kids and figure out how to get on the bike later.
No insult intended. You do have a physical limitation that you are looking to fix so good for you. As I mentioned such a goal for someone with a physical limitation is a valid reason to set such a goal.

Before undertaking such a ride, it is important that you consult your physician. I certainly hope you ran your 100 mile plan by your doctor before doing that ride. Exceeding your limitations could literally kill you not just figuratively . It is admirable that you are setting goals for yourself but it is important that they are safe ones.
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Old 10-18-13, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Gnosis
Greetings WonderMonkey,

I went on my first 200-mile ride on August 24, 2013 (to Jim Thorpe, PA and back). I rode my 35 pound Trek Wahoo 29er hardtail which has heavy (915 grams) 29” x 2.1 Continental street tires. I enjoyed the ride immensely and can hardly wait to go again, but it’ll likely have to wait until next year.

I took the most direct route to Jim Thorpe and purposely took the longer more mountainous route homeward to make it a 200-mile ride. I reduced my normal pace and made certain that I ate and drank frequently (on average every 15 miles) to prevent bonking.

I couldn’t have asked for better temperatures for the day portion of my ride, but as I descended the route 309 mountain (Hawk Mountain) that night, it got so cold that I could see each of my breaths in my Cygolite headlight and I was only wearing short pants (though I had put on my sweatshirt just prior to descending the mountain). I hadn’t anticipated that it could get that cold in late August.

I intended to check out Todd Lake on my Jim Thorpe ride, but I had missed my turn and went a coupe miles off course prior to reversing and going back to make the plotted turn. In my hurry to make up for lost time, I plum forgot about Todd Lake, so that’s a good reason for my next Jim Thorpe ride. Even so, it bums me out that I forgot one of the biggest points of interest along the way, but missed turns and shortage of daylight can take its toll in this manner.

I wish you success on your 200-mile ride attempt. Enjoy the scenery along the way and pull over to check out whatever interests you or you’ll regret having failed to do so upon your return. Take pictures of your favorite scenery if you have a camera.
Did you do 200 miles in one go or did you break it up somehow. I assume 200 in one go because you didn't mention otherwise.

No matter how I get to 200 miles I'll certainly take pictures and some video. I like capturing these types of things so I can go back and relive them when I'm old and can't remember anything anymore.

Thanks for posting!
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Old 10-18-13, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker
No insult intended. You do have a physical limitation that you are looking to fix so good for you. As I mentioned such a goal for someone with a physical limitation is a valid reason to set such a goal.

Before undertaking such a ride, it is important that you consult your physician. I certainly hope you ran your 100 mile plan by your doctor before doing that ride. Exceeding your limitations could literally kill you not just figuratively . It is admirable that you are setting goals for yourself but it is important that they are safe ones.
Fair enough and I understand your stance now. Going with that then yes, fitness and weight were my limitation and to a certain point it still is. Not sure if I can get to below 200lbs due to my general build so I may not be overweight but certainly physics will still come into play for me (6'2", etc).

As far as seeing my doctor I happened to have a checkup not too far before that where I was taken off all my meds and was told I could push myself as hard as I could as long as I properly prepared. Well...... I went over that a bit and how far I pushed myself is up to the viewer but while I felt my legs and rump were not ready my cardio didn't cause my veins to bulge. On that note I started to think about a humans capacity to keep moving. While I felt I pushed myself how much further could I have gone had there been a reason? What was the limits? When could I simply not pedal one more stroke even with 15 minutes of rest?
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Old 10-19-13, 05:04 AM
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Have you had a bike fit done? Having a bike that fits you properly will make it a lot easier.
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Old 10-19-13, 09:19 PM
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Such an undertaking can be highly variable.
Let's start with the 200 miles in one day. That can just be a long day on the bike. Unless, that is, it is really hot, or windy, or you're riding in some place that is really hilly. But as pointed out above, you don't do a lot of 20 mile rides then go do a 200 mile rides. You do a lot of 200k rides. You get comfortable and confident with that. You get leg cramps and discover how to avoid them, you ride in the heat and the cold and the dark and the rain, and figure out how to deal with them, then you go do a 300k or 200 miler, and you have a reasonable idea of what to expect, and a reasonable expectation of finishing it. By the way, visualize to yourself that if that 200 miles is say, an out-and-back, then you're likely going to be riding a 100 miles of headwind and a 100 miles of tailwind. If you go for the 200 miles in one day, your goal is to travel light and fast, so you carry a minimum of stuff along.

Now, suppose you split it up into three days. If all you're doing is leaving your house, riding 75 miles, and coming back to your house, no problem. Just don't forget the sunblock. And work out a saddle that is comfortable so you're not sore when you get off of it. And you should be fine. But, if you're going finish each day in a different spot, then all the sudden, you're looking at lugging all kinds of crap with you for camping or whatever, and for me, that could very easily suck a lot of the joy out of riding. Now, if you had somebody willing to meet you each night toting your stuff in their car, that would be nicer.
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Old 10-19-13, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by WonderMonkey
Did you do 200 miles in one go or did you break it up somehow. I assume 200 in one go because you didn't mention otherwise.

No matter how I get to 200 miles I'll certainly take pictures and some video. I like capturing these types of things so I can go back and relive them when I'm old and can't remember anything anymore.

Thanks for posting!
When I arrived in Jim Thorpe, I relaxed for roughly 25 minutes prior to getting underway again. I needed to make use of as much daylight as possible because I’d be stretching the run time of my single Cygolite Expilion 350 as I rode through the night.

I was also using a secondary 4-LED 3-AA battery Walmart headlight that would get me by if the batteries died on my Cygolite, but I used the Cygolite’s lowest lumen setting while slowly climbing and the highest lumen setting only when descending at higher speeds for safety’s sake, so my Cygolite managed to get me through the night.

I’ve since purchased a Cygolite Expilion 680 (an awesome headlight), so I’ll have two Cygolites on my next Jim Thorpe ride.

















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Old 10-20-13, 12:58 PM
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I think 200 miles is a good goal. I rode a 175-miler a few years ago with some friends (it was only supposed to be 164) with only one century under my belt, and enjoyed it enough that it inspired me to keep pushing the miles afterward. I would definitely start browsing the LD and Touring forums if you haven't already, and consider doing some populaires and 200k/300k brevets as you work up to the 200 mile mark -- intermediate goals accomplished will help slingshot you toward the big one.

I'd suggest coming up with more reasons for this plan, as well. Riding miles for the sake of miles can get old in a hurry, and perhaps if you have friends that live 150 miles away that you could visit by bike, or you want to do even longer rides in the future, that will help motivate you when you're at mile 180 and wondering why the **** you're doing this again.
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Old 10-20-13, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Rhodabike
Have you had a bike fit done? Having a bike that fits you properly will make it a lot easier.
I will be doing that (a fitting) soon. I'm also working on making sure I use all my spin. I've started to pedal with just one leg as that really exposes what you are doing and shows you how it should feel. Even though try to use the full stroke with two feet clipped in I know I'm compensating (I'm a horrible masher). I think using the trainer this off-season will really help me focus on that.
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Old 10-20-13, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenH
Such an undertaking can be highly variable.
Let's start with the 200 miles in one day. That can just be a long day on the bike. Unless, that is, it is really hot, or windy, or you're riding in some place that is really hilly. But as pointed out above, you don't do a lot of 20 mile rides then go do a 200 mile rides. You do a lot of 200k rides. You get comfortable and confident with that. You get leg cramps and discover how to avoid them, you ride in the heat and the cold and the dark and the rain, and figure out how to deal with them, then you go do a 300k or 200 miler, and you have a reasonable idea of what to expect, and a reasonable expectation of finishing it. By the way, visualize to yourself that if that 200 miles is say, an out-and-back, then you're likely going to be riding a 100 miles of headwind and a 100 miles of tailwind. If you go for the 200 miles in one day, your goal is to travel light and fast, so you carry a minimum of stuff along.

Now, suppose you split it up into three days. If all you're doing is leaving your house, riding 75 miles, and coming back to your house, no problem. Just don't forget the sunblock. And work out a saddle that is comfortable so you're not sore when you get off of it. And you should be fine. But, if you're going finish each day in a different spot, then all the sudden, you're looking at lugging all kinds of crap with you for camping or whatever, and for me, that could very easily suck a lot of the joy out of riding. Now, if you had somebody willing to meet you each night toting your stuff in their car, that would be nicer.
All good thoughts. I laid out my plan a bit to get to the 200 mile in one day at it was certainly along the lines of the progression you offered up. Along that progression at some point I'll be able to say "Yeah, I can do that" be it in one or three days.

Breaking it up into three days will indeed mean I've got to carry a few things. If I can stage items, or have people meet me at the camping spot then that would certainly be simpler.

I'm going to track my progress and use the Winter to improve my form and stroke and to enter next Spring with the ability to do a 40 miler right out of the gate. Assuming I can do that (I will) then as soon as I can I will start stretching out the distance to the 100k's and then at some point back to back days of 50 miles, etc. A progression of some sort. I'll have to make it us as I go as my daughter plays fastpitch and I'm one of the coaches so much of my free time is spent in a ball park out of town. I'll have to figure out how to progress even when doing all that.
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Old 10-20-13, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Gnosis
When I arrived in Jim Thorpe, I relaxed for roughly 25 minutes prior to getting underway again. I needed to make use of as much daylight as possible because I’d be stretching the run time of my single Cygolite Expilion 350 as I rode through the night.

I was also using a secondary 4-LED 3-AA battery Walmart headlight that would get me by if the batteries died on my Cygolite, but I used the Cygolite’s lowest lumen setting while slowly climbing and the highest lumen setting only when descending at higher speeds for safety’s sake, so my Cygolite managed to get me through the night.

I’ve since purchased a Cygolite Expilion 680 (an awesome headlight), so I’ll have two Cygolites on my next Jim Thorpe ride.
Great pictures, thanks for sharing. Did you say how long the ride took? And how many hours of that was on the bike?
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Old 10-20-13, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
I think 200 miles is a good goal. I rode a 175-miler a few years ago with some friends (it was only supposed to be 164) with only one century under my belt, and enjoyed it enough that it inspired me to keep pushing the miles afterward. I would definitely start browsing the LD and Touring forums if you haven't already, and consider doing some populaires and 200k/300k brevets as you work up to the 200 mile mark -- intermediate goals accomplished will help slingshot you toward the big one.

I'd suggest coming up with more reasons for this plan, as well. Riding miles for the sake of miles can get old in a hurry, and perhaps if you have friends that live 150 miles away that you could visit by bike, or you want to do even longer rides in the future, that will help motivate you when you're at mile 180 and wondering why the **** you're doing this again.
In addition to just doing the miles I do these things and other people jump on and do them with me. Then about 33% of my longer rides to get ready for "the event" is with someone. I say "Hey, doing 40 or more this Saturday, who's in?" and a fair amount of the time someone is. Planning the event is fun, talking about it is fun, and having people ride with you to get ready for it is fun. While I may say that I'm doing it just for the miles I suppose when you really break it down shooting for that miles does in fact bring other reasons, mostly social, into it.
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Old 10-22-13, 08:30 AM
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Rather than 200 miles in a weekend, maybe your next goal should be a supported tour? Doing tours puts you squarely in the range of most cyclists' abilities. Most tours average around 65-75 miles per day, and the organizer hauls your tent and gear. GOBA, in your home state, averages about 50 miles per day.

As you increase your mileage, you might want to consider a road bike. It'll roll a little easier down the road, and it'll give you more hand positions. I see people every year on DALMAC, using hybrids and even mountain bikes; but they're the slowest riders as a group and I have to believe they're working harder than the rest of us.
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Old 10-22-13, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
I have to believe they're working harder than the rest of us.
I spilled my coffee when I read that, given that you're riding one of the most aerodynamic bicycles known to man.

Us. Huh.

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Old 10-22-13, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by cplager
I spilled my coffee when I read that, given that you're riding one of the most aerodynamic bicycles known to man.

Us. Huh.

Yeah, short of a velomobile, I usually win in the speed-for-effort category.
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Old 10-22-13, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by WonderMonkey
... I know we have some endurance riders here but any normal-dude riders like me do something like this and can give some personal experiences? ...
A long-wheelbase recumbent will be WAY more comfortable than any upright bike. You will be able to ride 3-4 times as long before any pain sets in, and still be less exhausted overall at the end of every day of riding. You don't get Shermer's neck if you don't ride Shermer's bike.

Originally Posted by spinnaker
Frankly I do not understand the point of riding miles just for the sake of riding miles, at those numbers per day. ...
I kinda feel this way too.
If you are doing it for fun, then why bother with any of the boring parts? Might as well just stay at home and crank miles on a trainer.
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Old 10-22-13, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
Rather than 200 miles in a weekend, maybe your next goal should be a supported tour? Doing tours puts you squarely in the range of most cyclists' abilities. Most tours average around 65-75 miles per day, and the organizer hauls your tent and gear. GOBA, in your home state, averages about 50 miles per day.

As you increase your mileage, you might want to consider a road bike. It'll roll a little easier down the road, and it'll give you more hand positions. I see people every year on DALMAC, using hybrids and even mountain bikes; but they're the slowest riders as a group and I have to believe they're working harder than the rest of us.
I've had several people around here mention the GOBA event. I think that and generally a supported tour would be a great thing if it happens to fall on one of the few weekends I have available. I coach and our season(s) are during prime riding weekends. But.... fine suggestion and I'll keep an eye out and maybe I'll get lucky and the planets will align. I do know that once my daughter graduates high school that will free me up to do events like that.

Also on the topic of the bike I am going to purchase towards the end of the summer or early fall next year. I'll train all year on my hybrid in anticipation of using a road bike (more of an endurance class) bike for this tour. Of course I'll have to have it in time to get used it it, test it out for a length of time, etc. before doing a long ride. I often wonder what the real increase will be when I go from my hybrid to an endurace bike. The Raleigh Revenio Carbon 2.0 is what I have my eye on now but I have plenty of time to figure all that out.
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