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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 11-01-08, 06:03 PM   #1
Libido
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Setting Reasonable goals...

I am new to this site, and new to the world of biking in general. I have only been biking for the last 3 weeks, but have been working on going longer and longer distances, and will include my goals below. One question I have, is when does it start to get rough? Twenty Miles was nothing, and I'm planning on 25-30 tonight after work.

Also, suggestions for gear would be helpful. I know I need to get a light ASAP for night riding, I almost degroined myself on a hidden pothole two nights ago. Here are my goals, please let me know if they are reasonable.

I'm planning on riding on increasingly longer, and longer distances. Here is my current biking goals.

Bike 50 miles in one day - by 11/15/08
(Lake Buena Vista is 27 Miles from here, so a round trip should do it easily.)

Bike 100 miles in one day - by 12/01/08
(Daytona Beach is 51.2 Miles from here, so a round trip should do it with a nice break in middle.)

Bike out of the state - by 1/1/09
(A little less then 200 miles to GA, but I may find an exciting destination to stay the night)

Bike out of Florida and one more state - by 3/1/09
(Going to be more then a one or two day trip, but definately manageable within 4-5 days.)

Bike to VA - by 6/30/09
(First Killer journey,796 miles to my destination, estimating about 2 weeks at this point.)

Bike to the east of the Mississippi - by 9/30/09
(Second killer journey, 937 miles to my destination, estimating about 3 weeks)

Bike across country - by 3/3/10
(Biggest killer journey, 2489 miles to my destination, reports seem to put it at about 6 - 10 weeks.)

Any feedback is welcome, as I am very new to this. My bike is pictured below.
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Old 11-01-08, 06:11 PM   #2
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42 miles was kinda a wall, even after I had 1500 miles on my legs.
Learn to eat and drink while riding.
Stand up coast, pedal in a high gear, will increase your balance and blood circulation everywhere.
Take on your problems one at a time.
Go slow, you will get stronger each week that you ride.
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Old 11-01-08, 06:15 PM   #3
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Thanks

Tomorrow will be the test then, as I've got a 52 mile loop, though I think I'll break it up into two 26 mile rides.
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Old 11-01-08, 06:26 PM   #4
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For some reason my first 50 miles was tough, but then it got easier ... and my first 100 miles was tough ... but after that the sky was the limit. I've had tough rides of longer distances, but not like those first two milestones.

Have a look over my tips for riding a century:
http://www.machka.net/century.htm
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Old 11-01-08, 06:32 PM   #5
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I don't know that your goals are unreasonable in themselves, I'd just question the need to set up goals that far off in advance. Just bike all you can and see where it takes you.

For example, if "20 miles is nothing", you can probably ride 50 miles in a day right now. You could quite likely ride a 100 miles in a day right now. The question is not so much if you can do it, but whether you'll enjoy it and want to do it again and again.

This last summer, I rode my first Century of 100 miles. On the one hand, I managed to do it. On the other hand, I discovered I have no desire whatever to do a Double Century. Biking across the country would be fun. It would require fitness, all right. More importantly, it would require me to be independently wealthy or retired or something, so I likely won't ever do it.

Through the years, I've known people who seemed like they were so interested in the future that they forgot to enjoy today. I've hiked, and I've bicycled, and I've driven maybe 700,000 miles in a car. It's all been fun, but the fun hasn't been some grand adventure but a lot of little adventures. So don't forget to have fun in the meantime.
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Old 11-01-08, 06:59 PM   #6
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I don't know that your goals are unreasonable in themselves, I'd just question the need to set up goals that far off in advance. Just bike all you can and see where it takes you.

For example, if "20 miles is nothing", you can probably ride 50 miles in a day right now. You could quite likely ride a 100 miles in a day right now. The question is not so much if you can do it, but whether you'll enjoy it and want to do it again and again.

This last summer, I rode my first Century of 100 miles. On the one hand, I managed to do it. On the other hand, I discovered I have no desire whatever to do a Double Century. Biking across the country would be fun. It would require fitness, all right. More importantly, it would require me to be independently wealthy or retired or something, so I likely won't ever do it.

Through the years, I've known people who seemed like they were so interested in the future that they forgot to enjoy today. I've hiked, and I've bicycled, and I've driven maybe 700,000 miles in a car. It's all been fun, but the fun hasn't been some grand adventure but a lot of little adventures. So don't forget to have fun in the meantime.
I appreciate the spirit of your advice, as it is very much in tow with Eckhard Tolle's The Power of Now, one of the greatest books I've read.

However, I do believe in setting both short and long term goals in this and other endeavors I've partaken in. A lot of time the goals change, as I learn more about what I'm doing.... still they keep the present on a progressive track rather then allowing me to become stagnate.

Setting goals for yourself, and enjoying the present to its fullest are not by any means mutually exclusive objectives.

-G
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Old 11-01-08, 07:01 PM   #7
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For me, I hit a wall around 70 to 80 miles. Once I push through, it's just a matter of getting the right nutrition and not pushing the pace too hard. You really do have to ride "your" pace. So far, I've only been 300K in one day, but looking to go longer this year.

Some recommend keeping your mileage increases to not more than 10% per week. This will allow you almost 50% per month, so it's still a pretty rapid increase. Pay special attention to your muscles and your knees. Stretch after every long ride, and during the ride if your muscles begin to tighten up or cramp. Learn what and how much you need to eat for the long rides.

BTW, consider putting a Brooks saddle on that bike. :-) And some slick tires would help a lot as well. Good luck.

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Old 11-01-08, 07:07 PM   #8
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What is a brooks saddle, and what are the advantages of using it?
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Old 11-01-08, 07:30 PM   #9
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What is a brooks saddle, and what are the advantages of using it?
http://www.wallbike.com/brooks/standardsaddles.html

They are leather saddles which become customized to you, and thus very comfortable.
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Old 11-01-08, 07:47 PM   #10
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Darn, Vegetarian for 11 years, not so into sitting on a dead animal. Anything more eco friendly?

Thanks anyways,

-G
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Old 11-01-08, 07:57 PM   #11
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Darn, Vegetarian for 11 years, not so into sitting on a dead animal. Anything more eco friendly?

Thanks anyways,

-G
Maybe if you think of it as recycling? There are saddles made of more modern materials, but most of them are made at least in part of fossil fuels - which are supposedly the remains of dead animals as well.
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Old 11-01-08, 08:10 PM   #12
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LOL... I could go into the politics about the current animal factories in America, but I've been doing this long enough to know it won't change any minds. Suffice it to say that fossil fuels are not made from animals processed through factories.

On another note,

I'm thinking my current order of things to buy will be:

Lights
Splash guards
Helmet
Nifty Biking outfit
New Brakes
Two Water Bottle holders

Does that sound like a good order?
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Old 11-01-08, 08:18 PM   #13
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Darn, Vegetarian for 11 years, not so into sitting on a dead animal. Anything more eco friendly?
Nothing as comfortable.

And nothing so eco friendly as to use the skin of the animal which has been killed for our food.
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Old 11-01-08, 08:57 PM   #14
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There so much I could say about the environmental hazards of meat processing plants, and how the fact that animals are killed doesn't really matter to me. If you're interested, I could even point you to a few sights.

In the mean time, lets get this thread back on track. I'd be willing to discuss my diet choices elsewhere, but in this one I would just like to have it noted that I prefer not to use leather for my own personal reasons.

-g
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Old 11-02-08, 12:15 AM   #15
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Here's my opinion on priority order:

New Brakes (if you are implying the old ones don't work well enough otherwise down to the bottom)
Helmet (hey, my opinion...not trying to start a flame war though, opinions vary)
Two Water Bottle holders (if you get out past 2 hours it'll be nice not having to stop as often)
Lights (you won't need these until you push past daylight riding, maybe 150 miles or more)
Splash guards
Nifty Biking outfit (bump this up higher if you don't have passed shorts yet)

The increments to your goals look aggressive but doable. I agree with the kk4df above about the 70 to 80 mile wall. The first time getting past 50 was hard for me but after that I've never had a problem at that distance. But no matter how many centuries and further I've done I still get bogged down for about half an hour between 70 and 85 miles. The more you ride the more you'll recognize certain conditions, know how you'll respond physically and respond appropriately.

Good luck!
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Old 11-02-08, 09:48 AM   #16
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Welcome to the obsession!

Couple random comments.

0) the VERY FIRST thing you should buy is a helmet. I have had 2 accidents which sent me unconscious to the hospital in an ambulance, my helmet saved my life in both. Please do not ride without a helmet.

1) If you are going to be riding on the road, the next upgrade to your bike should be road tires - no tread.

2) If you are really going to do such long rides, it's likely you will very soon want a road bike. So don't spend too much on that mountain bike until you decide.

3) One of the most important things when doing long rides where you spend a long time on the bike is having your bike fit you really well. Something you don't even notice in a 2 hour ride can become agony and even long-term injury at hour 6 or 8 or 10. A little pain in the neck or knee can become crippling after many many hours of repetitive motion. So, when you get ready to invest in a road bike, do go to a realy bike shop and invest time and money into getting a professional fit. This can be the best <$100 you spend on a bike upgrade.

4) don't worry about the brooks saddle thing, there are a number of pieces of equipment that are treated as a gold standard among different groups of cyclists. It's like religion. Brooks saddles are a religious icon amongst the long distance crowd (sorry if i offend here) and you don't need one. They are a great saddle for some people, not needed by others. I ride Selle Italia and Terry, myself. Saddles are a trial-and-error thing, be ready to try and reject a few before you find one you love.

5) have fun pursuing your goals!
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Old 11-02-08, 08:34 PM   #17
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LOL... I could go into the politics about the current animal factories in America...
They're from the UK.
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Old 11-03-08, 11:51 AM   #18
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My first mileage plateau was 50 miles. Once I got past that and did a 100km, it was not too difficult to get past and do a 100mi.
Then I was stuck at 100 - 110 miles while trying for a 200km (125mi). It took me a while to learn how to pace myself at the beginning of a ride, when I felt great and that I should be riding much faster. Once I learned to hold back, the 200km was all mine! My next jump from the 200km was actually right up to 200 miles.
Learning to hold back was my biggest issue after I figured out how to eat and hydrate properly for a long day on the bike.

Now that I have a double century under my belt, I'm shooting for a 400km in the summer, and possibly The Cannonball! in 2010.
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Old 11-03-08, 05:59 PM   #19
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A lot of good points made previously, here is my entry from yesterday in my fitness journal:



Sixty miles today total. Went to pleasure island the scenic route with stop by millenia mall.

Notes:

Rain is good on long rides.

Hunger is still increasing but I am losing weight quickly. Should start upper body workout.

Road is best on long rides.

Hills and sprinting were not much fun after first thirty miles.

I have been waking up much easier since I have been doing this

Hoping to up Daytona trip to Wednesday when I have off. Should pack spare tube and tools just in case.

This feels really good. Noticed brief soreness in shoulders but nothing drastic.

Libido
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Old 11-03-08, 07:46 PM   #20
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I find rowing can really build the back muscles that become sore after many hours on the bike, and still work the heart and lungs.

Also, please please please get slick tires and hopefully a road bike. Drop handlebars give you 6 hand positions instead of two, and put you into a more comfortable, stable position.
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Old 11-03-08, 07:51 PM   #21
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60 miles

60 miles
Awesome ride for you.
You must have some good legs.
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Old 11-03-08, 07:53 PM   #22
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Do slick tires really make that much of a difference?

Also, If I just mod this bike out as suggested... how much better would a road bike be?

Libido
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Old 11-03-08, 07:58 PM   #23
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Do slick tires really make that much of a difference?

Also, If I just mod this bike out as suggested... how much better would a road bike be?

Libido
I have read that slicks would add about 2 mph in speed on your rides.
Road bikes have different gears and body posture for more power and speed.
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Old 11-03-08, 09:37 PM   #24
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Do slick tires really make that much of a difference?

Also, If I just mod this bike out as suggested... how much better would a road bike be?

Libido
Slick tires stick to the road much better than the tires in your picture could ever do.However you don't need all out slick tires to get good road traction,a tire with a center slick spot ,much like car tires will suffice for the type of riding you are planning to do.Check out Schwalbe and Continental tires to help you find the right tire.

For modding out yor bike the way that was suggested I think a Touring bike or Cyclocross bike would be much better than your current bike or even a road bike would be.
Although I must admit that I am a little biased towards touring bikes.
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Old 11-04-08, 09:00 AM   #25
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About $1000 will set you up with a great road bike, and buying from a good LBS will include a fit session to make sure you're both comfortable and avoiding potential injury from poor fit. If you're really serious about this, it's more than worth the investment.

The road is rough enough to give traction, all those knobs are constantly vibrating the tire and bike and making you work a lot harder. They're great for trails, but work against you on the road. Easily the cheapest and best performance upgrade you can make right now are narrow slick tires. 26" x 1 1/4 or 32 mm would be perfect.
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