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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

120 miles a day for roughly 40 days, doable?

Old 12-07-11, 08:48 AM
  #51  
brian416
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Here is the recommended training for Pactour rides. I roughly followed this before my ride across the country and was fine physically at 116 miles per day, other people on the ride who didn't put in the training time had a lot more trouble getting the mileage in on the rode.

1. Veterans have found it better to save up their limited training time and ride longer days over 75 miles two times per week instead of short rides everyday.

2. Begin some of your training rides at sunrise. Ride in the heat, rain and wind and be use to a variety of weather conditions.

3. Participate in several weekend group events and be comfortable riding with others. Most PAC Tour participants ride in groups with 3-4 other riders.

4. Use the bike you will be riding on PAC Tour during your longer training events. Get your arm supports, shoes and saddle adjusted before the tour.

5. Ride back-to-back long days over 100 miles as often as possible, but stay within your weekly mileage goal. Riding consecutive long hard days in training is the key to feeling good on PAC Tour.

6. Be comfortable training 200-350 miles per week for the ten weeks before the tour. Get ready gradually...during PAC Tour you will ride 900 miles per week.

7. Don't forget your speed...each workout should include some rolling hills to sprint up, some farm dogs that chase or some fast tail wind sections to help you push a big gear.

8. Ride 200 miles in less that 14 hours at least twice before the tour. Warning: this is a minimum standard. Most PAC Tour riders can ride it in under twelve hours and some can ride 200 miles in under ten hours.
Three Months Before PAC Tour

150-200 miles per week
One day per week over 100 miles
One long 150 mile ride during the month
Hang in the back of a fast group (20+ MPH) 30 miles per week

Two Months Before PAC Tour

200 - 250 miles per week
One or two days per week over 100 miles
One 200 mile ride during the month
Ride in the middle of a fast group 30 miles per week

One Month Before PAC Tour

250 - 350 miles per week
Two days per week over 100 miles
Ride a 200 mile event under 14 hours
Ride in the front of a fast group for 30 miles per week
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Old 12-07-11, 09:34 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Locko28 View Post
This would entail starting on the US/Canadian border town of Blaine (N-W) cycling down to the oposite side of the border of Tijuana, then back up to LA across to New York.
You may want to consider whether you want to go as far down as Mexico - the news from along the border is of ever-increasing violence. It seems as though tourists were immune (or that the powers that be protected tourist havens for economic reasons) for a long time, but that may no longer be the case. I don't think that tourists are very often the objects of violence - other than robber and ordinary mayhem, but they seem to be caught in the crossfire pretty regularly anymore.

I don't know how much of that news makes it across the pond, but the US/Mexican border has become an extraordinarily dangerous place to be. I'd advise you to investigate thoroughly before you head down there.
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Old 12-07-11, 09:35 AM
  #53  
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Interesting; I thought of recommending the PAC Tour training program to the OP.

My only comment on that plan for what the OP has in mind is that the PAC Tours tend to be more performance oriented than "tour" oriented. I totally agree with doing as much speed work as you can to increase your average rolling speed. My $0.02 is that that work is most effectively done in short (1-2 hour) rides rather than long ones. Doing long, fast rides (or "hard rides", as the PAC Tour program describes it) isn't something that, I think, would benefit the OP for what he's talking about doing.

I'd also recommend against the OP riding double-centuries. I think his time would be better spent training for his specific event. If he's got no days longer than 120 miles, that's what he ought to be focused on. (Of course, he ought to focus and plan on saddle time, rather than mileage, but hopefully riding in all kinds of crap weather will get him that experience and training.) A 14 or 12 or 10-hour double -- I don't think -- isn't a particularly good training element for 40, 120-mile days. If the OP said he wanted to go out there and kill it every day, then I'd probably have a different opinion. For what he's got in mind, I'd rather see him doing, for example, three or four 120-mile, sub-10hr days in a row 6-8 weeks or so before his tour. If he can't do that, or it sucks, he's got time to change his training program to get faster/more comfortable/whatever.

Not mentioned yet, but if this were me I'd do it on a road-style bike rather than a touring or CX bike. The OP sounds young and fit and flexible. He'll take more abuse on a road bike, but the increased efficiency is probably worth it. With SAG/crew, he's not going to be carrying anything and unless he's riding really crappy/unpaved roads, I don't think he likely needs the geometry/comfort of a touring frame or the tire clearances (and higher bottom-bracket, which makes the bike a bit squirrely) of a cyclocross frame. Totally agree that he ought to get the bike asap and do all of his training on it, though. This whole deal will succeed or fail in large part based on the OP being and staying comfortable on that bike.
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Old 12-07-11, 03:06 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Locko28 View Post
I currently work six days/50 hours a week in a bar so always on my feet - in fact its a very famous pub in Nottingham, England called the Olde trip to Jerusulem, which is supposed to be the oldest in England so as you can expect very busy,

Some of you mentioned the bike fit and being in the same position constantly for probably over 8 hours day would probably the biggest problem due the constant strain!
I've been to that pub in Nottingham back in November 2002, and it was packed. I was staying with a friend and his family in Quorn, and they took me there.

And yes ... you will definitely need to get the bicycle fit right.


So ... Step 1. Buy a bicycle. Step 2. Go for a ride and see how you feel.

Last edited by Machka; 12-07-11 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 12-08-11, 11:30 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by mikepwagner View Post
You may want to consider whether you want to go as far down as Mexico - the news from along the border is of ever-increasing violence. It seems as though tourists were immune (or that the powers that be protected tourist havens for economic reasons) for a long time, but that may no longer be the case. I don't think that tourists are very often the objects of violence - other than robber and ordinary mayhem, but they seem to be caught in the crossfire pretty regularly anymore.
my understanding is that this is overblown for reasons we need not go into and the actual statistics don't back up this notion at all. OTOH, there is increased activity by immigration officers that might make a wide berth away from the border worthwhile.
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Old 12-09-11, 11:50 AM
  #56  
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A number of years ago I averaged aproximately 115/day for 30 days for a most miles in a month contest (I didn't win).
Wow - that was great month.

I did the same thing, much more casually with two ultra-riders in the mid west. I managed somewhere around 2400-2500 for a 30 day month. The one guy did a few miles over 3000.

Anyway - lovely to see all the BS - but it looks like only two or three of us have ever even made a 2000 mile month........... Yet these people toss - wait a minute they just shovel and shovel - well you get it......
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Old 12-09-11, 12:44 PM
  #57  
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Have done months where I averaged 100 km a day / 3000 km which is about 2400 miles and you have to be in good shape and pay really close attention to getting enough fuel and rest to sustain this level of riding and one should not go into this without being in some good shape with a bike you know you will be comfortable on for the long haul..

120 miles a day is 3600 miles in a month... it is some pretty serious mileage for an experienced rider to tackle.
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Old 12-09-11, 01:05 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
Anyway - lovely to see all the BS - but it looks like only two or three of us have ever even made a 2000 mile month........... Yet these people toss - wait a minute they just shovel and shovel - well you get it......
Got to love the internet.
DickHead is the ultimate cup half-empty kind of guy.
My cup always runneth over with optimism.
Admittedly, reality is usually somewhere in between his yin and my yang.

You've got a variety of opinions and advice here. You're an adult; weigh and judge it -- and who is giving it --for yourself. Personnally, I enjoy giving all the Negative Nancys in the world like Dick the finger after completing something that they told me was "impossible" for little 'ole me to do.

Now stop reading this and go get a bike.

Have fun and report back on your progress and hopeful success.
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Old 12-11-11, 01:42 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
...then your shovel-filled post won't smell nearly as bad...

Wow - that was great month.

I did the same thing, much more casually with two ultra-riders in the mid west. I managed somewhere around 2400-2500 for a 30 day month. The one guy did a few miles over 3000.

Anyway - lovely to see all the BS - but it looks like only two or three of us have ever even made a 2000 mile month........... Yet these people toss - wait a minute they just shovel and shovel - well you get it......
RC, you raise a couple of interesting points.

On the original question, seeing as how the question is, "Is this feasible?" from someone that hasn't any experience in the field, that seems like a very reasonable question to ask, regardless of whether the answer is yes or no, and consequently doesn't strike me at all as "shovel-filled" (which I take to mean "BS").

As to who is qualified to answer, that is a different issue. The original question relates to riding 4,800 miles in 40 days. I haven't done that, you haven't done that, and I gather nobody responding has ever done that. So in that sense, none of us are qualified to answer the question. As to whether the qualification cut-off should be just slightly less than what you have ridden, or just slightly less than what I have ridden, or some other standard, I see no reasonable way to set it one way or the other. If you think you and select others are the only ones qualified to answer, it would probably be helpful to all concerned to publish your real names and emails or phone numbers, and then people could just contact you all directly, and save them dealing with the unwashed masses on the forums. Or if the original poster is interested in the opinions of a lot of different people, then there's no reason to belittle what others have said.

Something to consider also is that an expert in the field is not always the best person to answer a beginner question. For example, I learned to ride a bike when I was 6 or 7, and honestly don't remember much about the process. So if someone asks "How do I learn to ride a bike?", someone that learned last year could probably be of more help than I could. Similarly, if someone asks about the best bike for a beginner, Lance Armstrong isn't necessarily a good one to answer- it's been ages since he was a beginner, and he probably doesn't keep up with beginner bikes. The current question is "Can a beginner do a whole gob of miles real soon?" and beginners that have tried to do a bunch of miles may have some insight that someone who has been doing a bunch of miles for years and years doesn't have.
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Old 12-11-11, 03:21 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Locko28 View Post
Cheers for the quick response! Its very much in its early stages as I dont have a bike yet however have just been into a cycle shop and they say it would be a touring or cyclo cross bike I would be looking at, any suggestions?
It's been 9 days since you posted this ... do you have a bicycle yet? Time's a-wasting! And you need all the time you can get to train for this thing.

You're going into winter in the UK too, so you'll have to do all your training in the middle of winter. Are you prepared for that? Do you have a trainer for the bicycle so you can ride inside on the really bad days?


We really can't offer advice until you get a bicycle and have been out for a ride or two ... and then come back and tell us how you fared.
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Old 12-27-11, 03:32 PM
  #61  
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It is doable if you tilt the conditions in your favour
1. get a very reliable bike, something like an Alfine 11 hub gear with drop bars
2. fit aerobars
3. you pick the course. I suggest getting a friend to drive you to the highest point possible, and then cycle downhill with the wind behind you.
4. wear good bib shorts, an "aero" cycling jersey, and other good kit.
5. if possible have a cycling partner to lead you so you can tuck in behind
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Old 02-07-12, 12:09 AM
  #62  
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the average speed of a beginning cyclist is 10-12mph. even after a couple of years casually riding I only managed to increase from 10mph to 13mph on all day rides so I think it's safe to say you will be around 10-13 by june. So expect some long riding times. By the way, not sure if anyone has mentioned this but you really risking injury trying to ride that hard without working up to it. Yes cycling is a low impact sport but imagine even power-walking for 12 hours a day for 40 days; if you aren't used to it you could hurt your ankle. A lot of the cyclists in this forum might not remember being pre imperial but personally after about 70 miles I get sore sometimes and if I keep going I can't walk the next day. So many parts of the body are required to ride a bike. But then again Eddie Izzard did like what? 30 marathons back to back without training so who knows.

Last edited by garethzbarker; 02-07-12 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 02-07-12, 03:15 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Locko28 View Post
Hi there, a friend recently proposed a challenge of cycling roughly 120 miles a day for about 40 days straight at beginning early June, there is no particular speed that we have to go at however as long as we complete the mileage. One catch though, I am a complete novice at cycling! I have a very good level of fitness already as I do alot of all types of running both interval and endurance. I know this is doable however could anybody give me some guidance as to if this is enough time to train for it?

Any feed back would be gratefully received!

Regards
So ... how's the training going?

Have you purchased a bicycle yet?

It's been 2 months since you posted this ... you should have done your first century by now, I would think. How did it go?
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Old 02-09-12, 11:58 AM
  #64  
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OP hasn't visited since 4 days after his initial post. I wonder if he thought better of his idea and was too ashamed to admit it here.

Personally, the plan sounded like a miserable way to lose all of his newfound enthusiasm for biking. Hopefully, he'll readjust his goals and find a more realistic path to LD cycling.
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Old 02-09-12, 03:11 PM
  #65  
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the people I know that have ridden on the Pactour Elite 19 day USA crossing rides have been extremely strong, and the people I know best have had to drop out. That's 165 miles a day though. I wish I had done some of these things when I was younger and faster so I wouldn't have so much motivation to pull crazy stunts like that now.
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Old 04-02-12, 08:09 AM
  #66  
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Hi guys sorry for the delay, have had to get a different job to cater for the training. I have a bike - its a Specialized Sector Sport and have been banging out the miles as much as i can!

Progress report:
I have done several rides quite a few 60 milers which is the most i have done so far.
The first I did the 60 miler I took a 20 min break halfway through, lower back hurt a bit and so did wrist and ass and averaged about 15mph over undulating terrain across countryside (though on roads obviously)- rarely completely flat.

With wrists and ass arent a problem as I can get a gel seat and padded shorts and bars on handle bars to rest on (not sure what there called, drop down bars?) legs were fine, bit tired though with another slightly longer break could have easiely carried on for the same distance again. Lower back and neck hurt abit, is this something that gets better with time? Or just take a couple more short breaks and stretch out?

I have a website facebook page and blog up and running and a team together - including another cyclist and myself and a driver for the saftey van. I have some corporate sponsorship already and alot of help from a friend of mine who was the fastest bloke to cross america on foot - he walked! www.asteptoofar.com - legend! I am doing it for Soldiers, Sailers, Airmen and Families Association charity.

Anymore help and advice would be really appreciated. Nay sayers - with all due respect I'm definitely going for it so if you dont have any good advice do one. That being said constructive criticism now matter even if negative is still great.

Once again sorry for delayed reply - have been very busy with work, training, sponsorship website and the rest!

Cheers

Will
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Old 04-02-12, 08:14 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Locko28 View Post
Progress report:
I have done several rides quite a few 60 milers which is the most i have done so far.
The first I did the 60 miler I took a 20 min break halfway through, lower back hurt a bit and so did wrist and ass and averaged about 15mph over undulating terrain across countryside (though on roads obviously)- rarely completely flat.

With wrists and ass arent a problem as I can get a gel seat and padded shorts and bars on handle bars to rest on (not sure what there called, drop down bars?) legs were fine, bit tired though with another slightly longer break could have easiely carried on for the same distance again. Lower back and neck hurt abit, is this something that gets better with time? Or just take a couple more short breaks and stretch out?
Sounds like your bicycle setup isn't right. Find a bicycle shop that will do a fitting.

And gel isn't the best saddle type for long distance cycling.


Have you done back-to-back 60 mile rides yet?

And it's the beginning of April ... high time to start increasing the distance. There's a big difference between 60 miles and 120 miles. Get your bicycle set up properly, then go ride a century (100 miles) this coming weekend ... and then post the ride in the Century Challenge thread.

Last edited by Machka; 04-02-12 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 04-02-12, 08:51 AM
  #68  
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Awesome cheers will do that, I havent done any back to back yet purely because of my shifts at work, I feel as though I definitely could as my legs are usually fine, also I have moved the dates on to leaving July 18th giving me just over 3.5 months. Will post again after some back to back and 100+

cheers
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Old 04-02-12, 10:32 AM
  #69  
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Thanks for the update.

My $0.02 at this point is to:
(1) ASAP, get someone who knows how to fit a bicycle to get you fit to your bike. Pay a professional.
(2) Immediately after that, get yourself ramped up to one, 120-mile ride. You've got to get one of these in, asap.
(3) Re-assess fit based on getting to that benchmark.
(4) Re-assess diet and hydration and pacing, based on same.
(5) Start getting ramped up to multiple 120-mile days
(6) Don't forget speed work.

If these were me and I were in your position with experience and current training volume, I'd start clearing the decks of anything in my life that wasn't absolutely, positively essential and focus on getting ready for this project. Still doable, but you've got a tremendous amount of work to do and not a lot of time to do it in.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 04-02-12, 02:52 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Locko28 View Post
...With wrists and ass arent a problem as I can get a gel seat and padded shorts and bars on handle bars to rest on (not sure what there called, drop down bars?) legs were fine, bit tired though with another slightly longer break could have easiely carried on for the same distance again. Lower back and neck hurt abit, is this something that gets better with time? Or just take a couple more short breaks and stretch out?...
Be careful with gel seats. As a rule, gel seats are a mistake for long distance cycling unless you never want to have children. They also tend to increase your chances of getting saddle sores. No matter what saddle you have on there you're going to have a sore ass until you get enough miles under your belt to break your butt in. Your lower back and neck pain could be a result of fit but more likely they are a result of not developing those muscles yet. You need to give yourself some time to train and recover so that you don't end up with a repetitive use injury. As Machka and the octopus mentioned, get yourself fitted properly before you ride much further. Then take things as they come.
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Old 04-02-12, 03:21 PM
  #71  
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As the others have said, the most important thing right now is a bike fitting.

Also you mentioned "drop down bars." Those are called aero bars and they would probably be a good idea for the kind of riding you're planning to do. But you should get those before the fitting so the fitter can set up the aero bars for you too. Then you'll want to start training with the aero bars now because they do take some getting used to.

The issues with the butt, wrists, back, neck, etc. should all get better with time in the saddle assuming you get fitted correctly on the bike. You may have the leg strength and cardiovascular fitness, but it takes some miles to develop the muscles and flexibility needed to sit comfortably on a bike all day.

I admire your determination and wish you the best of luck.
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Old 04-02-12, 03:32 PM
  #72  
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One thing I learned in training for a 1200k last spring was that you can do great on one length, but that doesn't necessarily mean you can increase that length and still do great. Not so much muscle power, but joint issues, fit, and comfort. So I rode my second 600k (a 2-day ride), had no discomfort or numbness, did my 1200k (4-day ride) and had a saddle sore, numb hands, sore feet, had some knee issues along the way. So you need to be at the point where you can actually go ride two or three days or longer at your required daily distance to see how it works. Memorial Day is a good chance for that.
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Old 04-03-12, 12:46 AM
  #73  
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Go here to St John St Cyclery and look for the Thorn Audax model.

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/bikes-dept395_pg1/

There are some specials at the moment. You want a bike that is comfortable, well equipped and reasonably fast for the type of ride you intend. SJS Cycles also should be able to do a fit for you so you will be comfortable right out the door, and you don't have to be so concerned about the pain you are suffering from what is really not much training.

Oh, and get a Brooks saddle and start breaking it in now, irrespective of the bike you intend to use. Likely a Brooks B17, in either steel or titanium (the latter obviously is much lighter and slightly more comfortable in my estimation).
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Old 04-03-12, 02:37 AM
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krobinson103
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I could do it if I had the time. I know I can ride 25 miles a day for 25 days solid. I just did. But, with kids and a job to fit in there as well? It would interesting finding the time. I would need at least 6 hours of FREE time every day to even hope to do that. Possible, if you have lots of time.
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Old 04-03-12, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
I could do it if I had the time. I know I can ride 25 miles a day for 25 days solid. I just did. But, with kids and a job to fit in there as well? It would interesting finding the time. I would need at least 6 hours of FREE time every day to even hope to do that. Possible, if you have lots of time.
Big, big world of difference between riding 25 miles a day for 25 days (not too difficult at all) and riding 125 miles a day for 40 days (much more difficult).

And you'd need more than 6 hours each day to ride 125 miles/day. Yes, some people in absolutely ideal conditions could do 125 miles in 6 hours on some of the days over those 40 days, but you're not going to get absolutely ideal conditions every day, and the fatigue factor will start to take effect.
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