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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 09-27-08, 08:42 PM   #1
kuzuchi
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Across US in June

I am seriously considering doing a solo cross country ride next summer from San Diego, CA to Charleston, CA. I have done a few century rides and do well with long distance riding. My goal is to do this ride in 18 days or less and just stay in inexpensive motels along the way and take a minimal amount of supplies. I am looking for advice from anybody who may have done a similar ride. Did you load your bike with food and then eat throughout the day or did you take time to stop for lunch and dinner? Training you may have done to ride 12-14 hours a day? Advice for riding across Arizona in late June, looking at going up through Prescott, AZ to Flagstaff, AZ and then get on I-40 and go east? Advice on being able to ride on the Interstate? Basically any information would be helpful. I have a Trek 2300 and it is built to be a tri-bike. I want to use this bike and will upgrade or modify as needed to make this ride. Any advice as to what mods to make would be appreciated.
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Old 09-28-08, 05:10 AM   #2
Bacciagalupe
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I assume you mean Charleson, WV? If so, that's about 130 miles per day, for 18 days straight.

IMO, even if you are an elite cyclist, the only way you could feasibly do this is with support, i.e. a van carrying everything.

To put it into perspective: Most touring cyclists would do that trip in 6-7 weeks, assuming 50 miles per day and 1 rest day per week (and carrying all their gear on the bike). Or, on the other end: RAAM, which is considered one of the most grueling sporting events in the world, goes from San Diego to Atlantic City in 8-9 days. Obviously they are fully supported; riders also train extensively and barely sleep during the race. Many riders DNF for a variety of reasons, including physical exhaustion....

Even supported, a tri bike is probably not the optimal choice for this task. Those types of bikes are not made for all-day comfort; it'll be punishing after a few days. Plus, not sure how you would carry any loads, as I doubt it'll handle racks very well.

If you only have 2 weeks to tour, I recommend you fly up to San Francisco, buy a $400 hybrid, a Brooks Saddle, an Adventure Cycling Pacific Coast map, and ride down to San Diego.
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Old 09-28-08, 06:22 AM   #3
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50 miles a day for 18 days is a much more reasonable goal. You could bike the coast from Oregon back to San Diego. Plan for a couple rest days, but on the average, shoot for 50 miles... not 150.
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Old 09-28-08, 06:41 AM   #4
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The ultracycling association website has a few links and articles. Not sure what the URL is but I'm sure you could google it.

How many km a week are you riding at the moment? 130 mi x 6 days = 780 mi or ~1250 km. So that's like a Great Southern or a PBP or a BMB each week. You'd need to maintain about 20km/h average (12-13 mi/h) for 10-11 hours a day, plus a bit for rest stops. Do-able, but we're talking greater than Tour de France distances here (albeit at a slower pace).

That's way out of my league, but I guess you'd have to train up to being able to comfortably ride 500-600 miles/week, then up it for the cross country trip.

I guess if you get in 3-4 hours of training 3 days during the week, then do back-to-back centuries or metric doubles on the weekends, you'd be approaching the training level you'd need. You would also get an idea of what you need to adjust on the bike, and how to organise your nutrition.

Last edited by Cave; 09-28-08 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 09-28-08, 07:32 AM   #5
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Cave, presently I am only doing three-forty mile rides a week and an 80 to 100 mile ride on weekends. Obviously, I will be increasing my training over the Winter and my mileage by this coming Spring will be much higher than it is now. The century rides I have done left me tired and I might have been able to do another one the following day; however, I know I could not have continued day after day. There is no question though, I was not training for day in day out riding. My goal is to be physically prepared for this ride next summer and spend the next none months getting ready for it. I would like to hear from someone who created a training plan to be able to do 100+ mile rides day after day. The winter will limit my outside riding somewhat and I may have to do some riding indoors, which is not the most ideal situation.
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Old 09-28-08, 07:34 AM   #6
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look at the training tips on www.pactour.com, they do very fast supported cross country trips.
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Old 09-28-08, 08:04 AM   #7
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Bac, I mean Charleston, SC. I have read posts of riders doing this ride in 18 days solo without support. My load will be minimized and I am taking only the necessities. I am planning to ride 12 hours a day, eat on the bike, and crash in a motel at night and do it all over the following day. If I can get my conditioning up to par, I know I can do it. Presently I am in good shape and run marathons and do triathlons. I just want to train my body to be able ride 12 hours a day day after day.
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Old 09-28-08, 01:41 PM   #8
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OK, if you know you're in for a challenge, you've got my support. (That and $0.50 should get you a cup of coffee. )

For what it's worth, I highly recommend you find a professional trainer who has experience with ultradistance events. I'm sure you'll get some decent advice here, but for a project like this I think you'd benefit from personal attention. The folks at PACTOUR may know someone in your area.

I highly recommend you keep an open mind about the type of bike to use. TT bikes are generally set up in a highly aggressive position -- which works well for a one-day high-intensity 50km ride, but may be pure punishment for both your lower back and neck after a few 100+ mile days. You will also almost certainly need lower gearing.

Keep in mind, the goal for something like this is not to ride super-fast every minute; it's to maintain a consistent pace. For example, Jure Robic won the Solo Male 08 RAAM and only averaged 14mph, and most were closer to 10-12mph....
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