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Are distance riders independently wealthy?

Old 10-19-11, 07:37 AM
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Are distance riders independently wealthy?

I mean if some of you ride hours and hours at a time, are some of you jobless?
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Old 10-19-11, 07:41 AM
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Being retired works for me.
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Old 10-19-11, 07:49 AM
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I've often wondered the same thing. I'm in my mid 30's with 2 little kids, a wife and a full time job. I probably average 2 rides per week. Three in a week is heavenly. Even finding time to train for and ride a century is a big challenge. I planned on doing 3 this year and have only gotten one done (for a variety of reasons). I've become pretty good at finding those chunks of time to fit in rides but I always have to balance riding with my many other responsibilities.
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Old 10-19-11, 07:50 AM
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Are distance riders independently wealthy?

Yeah right!! In my dreams!!

Most of the years I've been riding long distances I've held down 1 fulltime (45+ hours per week) job + night classes, or 1 fulltime (45+ hours per week) and 1 part time (16+ hours per week) job, or fulltime university and 1 part time (16+ hours per week) job, or some variation of that.

It's a welcome break on the occasions when I just have 1 fulltime (45+ hours per week) job.


But I don't understand why you would think the only way we can cycle lots is if we're jobless.

Let's do the math:


A week has 168 hours.
Work takes up 50 hours (including preparing for it, getting there, etc.)

That leaves 118 hours each week.
Let's say we sleep 8 hours/night = 56 hours

That leaves 62 hours a week.
Let's knock off another 12 hours for things like eating and doing some household tasks.

And now we've got 50 hours/week for cycling.

Even at my slower speeds of about 18 km/h that's still a potential of 900 km/week.

Of course, I rarely do that much in a week, but the potential is there.

And there are these great things called "weekends" where we could potentially start riding early Saturday morning and keep riding until later Sunday evening.

There are also even better things called "holidays" ... I try to take at least a month off every year in holiday time. I think I've managed to do that every year but one in the last decade. When I've done 1200K randonnees, I do them during my holiday time, and I try to book long weekends for 400Ks and over.

Last edited by Machka; 10-19-11 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 10-19-11, 08:04 AM
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It's called time management. I have a friend who averages about 20,000 miles/year. Full time job, wife, two kids. I do some volunteer work, and the saying is, if you are looking for a volunteer, ask someone who's really busy. They're already good at finding the time.

Example: So you get up a little earlier and do a creative commute that's about 30 miles. If you're doing 20,000 miles/year, you can knock that off in 2 hours, even in traffic. I know people who commute for that long in a car. If you have an hour lunch, you can get in another 15 miles. Then 30 miles home. On the weekend, you can ride a century or 200k on one day and do family on the other. Add it up.
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Old 10-19-11, 09:50 AM
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Far from it. I wish I had more money so I could afford to travel to all the events I want to do.

I focus mainly on one-day events, so all it really takes is one day a week to focus on a long ride. The rest of the week can be spent doing 1-2 hour rides as a mixture of intervals and recovery. Like Carbonfiberboy said, commuting is a good way to get that time in. Otherwise, how much time a day does the average guy with a job and a family spend watching TV or things like that? It just takes some commitment, time management, and an understanding family.
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Old 10-19-11, 10:01 AM
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I cyclo-commute. It's great for recovery rides and interval training. And hills, when I can detour to hit a few good ones (man, I need more hill time).


Weekends, I can usually carve out a morning for one good ride - 100k only takes 4 hours, including prep time and showering afterwards. I get home from a Saturday morning ride like that and half my family is still in their pajamas.

Can almost always get at least one weekend a month for a 200k. Well, I'm determined to get a 200k in per month, at least till I get my R12.
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Old 10-19-11, 04:53 PM
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I've done the LD stuff I've wanted to do (brevet distances up to 600K) on 5 to 6 hours of training a week. The events themselves chew up some time, but getting ready for them doesn't really. I know a lot of recreational riders who put more saddle time in than me and would never think of doing this stuff. The best kept secret of LD is that it's not really all that hard.
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Old 10-19-11, 05:37 PM
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Generally, the tendency I see is to not have kids at home, and to not have a spouse interested in doing anything else- so either your spouse is in it too, or else they don't much care about being together. That also helps on the money end. Bikes are expensive, but so is a lot of travel and motel rooms. Being single with a good job or married where both work are the trend there.
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Old 10-19-11, 06:24 PM
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It's amazing how much more time you have in your day when you don't own a television.
And it's amazing how much riding you can get in when a bicycle is your primary mode of tranportation.
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Old 10-19-11, 08:19 PM
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Yep ... the years I rode the most were the years where I didn't own a vehicle.

I commuted 13.6 km round trip by bicycle 5 days a week most of the year. (13.6 * 5 days * ~40 weeks = 2720 km/year just in commuting). Then during the warmer months, I'd stop at home to drop off my work stuff, change bicycles, grab a quick snack, and then keep riding till dark or later.

And one of those years, my TV died in late April/early May and I didn't get it fixed until October. I figured I wasn't going to be around to watch TV anyway, I'd be out cycling instead ... and that's exactly what I did.


Now my commute is 3.2 km/day ... and I walk it 5 days a week, year round, totalling over 800 km of walking each year.
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Old 10-19-11, 10:07 PM
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I wish i could commute to work - Its 20 miles each way, but we have no shower on site, nearest gym/shower is 4 miles away and I have to wear a suit at least 4 days per week, and generally have to drive from OC to LA twice a week... I am certainly not as much of a LD rider as many on here - 100 miles is my max to date - but I can usually get in 20 per day at 5:00 a.m., and 75 to 100+ on the weekend (3 kids under 9 and a wife who doesn't work or cycle)
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Old 10-20-11, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by jimxyz View Post
I wish i could commute to work - Its 20 miles each way, but we have no shower on site, nearest gym/shower is 4 miles away and I have to wear a suit at least 4 days per week
Baby wipes
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Old 10-20-11, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
It's called time management. I have a friend who averages about 20,000 miles/year. Full time job, wife, two kids. I do some volunteer work, and the saying is, if you are looking for a volunteer, ask someone who's really busy. They're already good at finding the time.

Example: So you get up a little earlier and do a creative commute that's about 30 miles. If you're doing 20,000 miles/year, you can knock that off in 2 hours, even in traffic. I know people who commute for that long in a car. If you have an hour lunch, you can get in another 15 miles. Then 30 miles home. On the weekend, you can ride a century or 200k on one day and do family on the other. Add it up.
When I add it up, I don't see much family time - 8 hours sleep + 8 hours work + 4 hours commute = 4 hours a day for meals, household chores, and family time.

Mike
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Old 10-20-11, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Being retired works for me.
This post makes sense.
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Old 10-20-11, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mikepwagner View Post
When I add it up, I don't see much family time - 8 hours sleep + 8 hours work + 4 hours commute = 4 hours a day for meals, household chores, and family time.

Mike
Honestly... 4 hours a day is probably above average for time spent with family.

And meals ... well, breakfast is 'husband/wife time', lunch is @ my desk while working (technically, I eat 2-3 snacks/meals, not a 'lunch'), and dinner is 'family time'.

You prioritize what's important.
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Old 10-20-11, 05:26 PM
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60 miles a day would be a lot of commuting for someone who also does a long ride on the weekend. I'd be afraid of burning out at that rate. I did ~30 miles a day for a while and that was about as high as I'd want to go.
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Old 10-20-11, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mikepwagner View Post
When I add it up, I don't see much family time - 8 hours sleep + 8 hours work + 4 hours commute = 4 hours a day for meals, household chores, and family time.

Mike
Of course my friend is an outlier. It's completely unnecessary to ride 20,000 miles/year. 200 miles/week is enough for an ultra racer, so that's "only" 10,000, and one doesn't even need to do that year 'round, so say 7000 miles/year, which is probably 450 hours including gym time. I think that's a good number if one wants to finish in the top tier on long brevets. Plenty of family time if you kill your TV.
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Old 10-20-11, 08:05 PM
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What do most people do during "family time" anyway?

A large part of "family time" for me and my family when I was growing up ... and again now that Rowan and I are a family ... was and is spent riding bicycles.

Or if not riding bicycles, then engaging in other sporting activities like cross-country skiing, hiking, long walks, canoeing, golf, etc. ... all of which have in the past, and still do, allow me to both spend time with my family and help keep me in shape for cycling.
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Old 10-20-11, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Baby wipes
I better get the Costco size carton of wipes.
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Old 10-21-11, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
What do most people do during "family time" anyway?

A large part of "family time" for me and my family when I was growing up ... and again now that Rowan and I are a family ... was and is spent riding bicycles.

Or if not riding bicycles, then engaging in other sporting activities like cross-country skiing, hiking, long walks, canoeing, golf, etc. ... all of which have in the past, and still do, allow me to both spend time with my family and help keep me in shape for cycling.
Agreed that if your family rides with you, then cycling time is family time. That's what I would call "optimal".
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Old 10-21-11, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Of course my friend is an outlier. It's completely unnecessary to ride 20,000 miles/year. 200 miles/week is enough for an ultra racer, so that's "only" 10,000, and one doesn't even need to do that year 'round, so say 7000 miles/year, which is probably 450 hours including gym time. I think that's a good number if one wants to finish in the top tier on long brevets. Plenty of family time if you kill your TV.
450 hours a year = 8 hours or so a week. That's a reasonable goal for time.
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Old 10-21-11, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Being retired works for me.
2008 = 890 Hours road riding.
2009 = 1232 hrs
2010 = 749 hrs
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Old 10-22-11, 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by jimxyz View Post
I better get the Costco size carton of wipes.
Or try Safari Towels. They're like baby wipes on steroids.
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Old 10-22-11, 06:49 AM
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I trained for my first 200K by commuting 3-4 days a week, about 20 miles a day. Occasional 40 milers on the weekends. It's not that bad if you have a comfortable setup. When I finished my 200K, my legs felt great, it was my butt that was sore. I see a Brooks saddle in my future.
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