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Is it better to try and fail, taking the sag wagon home... or to not try at all?

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Is it better to try and fail, taking the sag wagon home... or to not try at all?

Old 04-12-16, 09:15 AM
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Is it better to try and fail, taking the sag wagon home... or to not try at all?

Trying to decide if I should do a metric century or not that I know damn well is too hilly for me (based on the less hilly one I did Saturday).

Pros/Cons?
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Old 04-12-16, 09:20 AM
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Give it a shot and if you don't finish there is no shame in taking the SAG wagon back. At least you know where your training baseline will be.

Eat well the night before. Eat a good breakfast the morning of the ride. Stay hydrated.

BTW, what is your longest ride to date?
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Old 04-12-16, 09:20 AM
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I would say to go for it, but it seems you've already considered failure as an option, which makes it likely.
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Old 04-12-16, 09:21 AM
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If you've ridden much at all a metric should be doable given correct gearing and pacing.
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Old 04-12-16, 09:22 AM
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Its one thing to push yourself but another to jump in over your head knowing you will likely get injury. Injuring yourself does no one any good and if the less hilly metric beat you up badly then you might want to reconsider.

The older I get the less pride I have. When it comes down to it I'd rather ride in the SAG wagon then be miserable and in pain or off the bike for weeks with some kind of injury.
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Old 04-12-16, 09:28 AM
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how do you KNOW you're going to fail? my first multi-day bike tour was solo and unsupported. 5 days of riding, 4 nights of camping. i had no idea if i'd succeed or fail.
but to paraphrase myself - all great bike tours start with my bike leaning against a garbage can: https://goo.gl/photos/LqktBuZj3wZzHj4E6
even my short ones: https://goo.gl/photos/3a9CXBXgVWqpWNQg7 that i used to get ready for the long one.
so go do the metric century. start slow. take it easy in the middle part, and finish at a nice comfortable pace. post a picture of your bike leaning against a garbage can before you take off. to quote D. Trump - "it'll be great. i promise. it'll be really great." (and if not, pack a beer for the sag wagon ride back to the start/finish....)
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Old 04-12-16, 09:31 AM
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eat much, ride slow. you might find some extra hidden motivation riding with a big group or in a big event.
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Old 04-12-16, 09:31 AM
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Longest ride to date was the metric century I did Saturday. It was 21% climbs (about 2200' total). This next one is about 3400' total, and a few miles shorter, so likely 30%+ climbing.

I'm riding with a heart issue, so I can't go over 90% max HR. This is why climbing sucks for me. I find it very hard to keep the HR down. Now that I'm riding with a power meter I can better pace myself, but it's hard to climb at all with anything less than about 170W. At my weight, that's lowest gear almost falling over speed.

If I just go for it I'll end up sustaining over 500W. I would consider moderate pace climb to be like 330W. I just can't sustain those wattages without my HR getting too high.
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Old 04-12-16, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jtaylor996 View Post
Trying to decide if I should do a metric century or not that I know damn well is too hilly for me (based on the less hilly one I did Saturday).

Pros/Cons?
Sag drivers have plenty to do.

Ride what you can finish.

No need to burden the Sags. They are not there for medical transports.
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Old 04-12-16, 09:40 AM
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Well, I just looked at the map of the hill that kicked my ass this weekend. I got off and had to walk it up the last bit (about 80 seconds off the bike). Where I got off the grade was 20.8%... I guess I don't feel so bad after seeing that.

Last edited by jtaylor996; 04-12-16 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 04-12-16, 09:43 AM
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Where is the ride at?
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Old 04-12-16, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by therhodeo View Post
Where is the ride at?
The one I'm thinking about doing is the Muenster Germanfest ride.

http://www.germanfest.net/home/index...d=51&Itemid=30
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Old 04-12-16, 09:54 AM
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The real failure in my way of thinking is not to try at all. I would say, ride at a slightly slower pace aiming to ride the first half slower than the second half. Gear down and spin on those hills well before you are about to fall off the bike, and when necessary, stop to rest and then keep going. Occasionally on long rides I've run out of gas near the the last third or so. It has helped me at that point to slow way down and use a lower gear for, say 15 or 20 minutes, which allows the muscles time to recover enough to finish the ride, and live.
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Old 04-12-16, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by jtaylor996 View Post
Trying to decide if I should do a metric century or not that I know damn well is too hilly for me (based on the less hilly one I did Saturday).

Pros/Cons?
If failure only burdens you - do what you want. I think achievable goals are better, peppered with a bit of Go Big or Go Home.
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Old 04-12-16, 10:40 AM
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If you predict failure you will fail. Be positive, get prepared, and finish proudly.
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Old 04-12-16, 10:48 AM
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You guys aren't doing the OP any favors here.

He says he already knows the ride is too much for him and said he struggled with an easier ride of the same length. Telling the guy to ride a ride which he already knows he can't do is pretty irresponsible.

Pride says ride. Humility says train and and then ride. A week and a half isn't enough time to train. Better to train and ride it well then ride too soon and be off the bike with injury.


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Last edited by TimothyH; 04-12-16 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 04-12-16, 11:25 AM
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I am not sure how the ride being too hilly equates to immediate injury. Unless the OP has some sort of hill-induced latent injury they are trying to keep at bay....

If you struggled through a less-hilly metric last week, chances are you'll be able to tackle this upcoming, hillier metric with similar gusto after a week to recover. Yes, the additional climbing will take a toll, but what is the worst that can happen? You end up riding a bit slower than you thought, but hey, you finished!

Coming from an endurance background, I am of the mindset that I can finish nearly any ride, given enough time.

Take it slower than you think you should, rest when you're tired, eat when you're hungry, and get off and walk a climb if you need to. You should be just fine.
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Old 04-12-16, 11:39 AM
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Old 04-12-16, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by jtaylor996 View Post
Longest ride to date was the metric century I did Saturday. It was 21% climbs (about 2200' total). This next one is about 3400' total, and a few miles shorter, so likely 30%+ climbing.

I'm riding with a heart issue, so I can't go over 90% max HR. This is why climbing sucks for me. I find it very hard to keep the HR down. Now that I'm riding with a power meter I can better pace myself, but it's hard to climb at all with anything less than about 170W. At my weight, that's lowest gear almost falling over speed.

If I just go for it I'll end up sustaining over 500W. I would consider moderate pace climb to be like 330W. I just can't sustain those wattages without my HR getting too high.
When is this next metric scheduled? I looked at earlier posts and didn't see a date??

If it's this weekend, skip it. A month or two down the road, go for it. Don't be afraid to get off and walk if the hills prove to be too much.
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Old 04-12-16, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mprelaw View Post
When is this next metric scheduled? I looked at earlier posts and didn't see a date??

If it's this weekend, skip it. A month or two down the road, go for it. Don't be afraid to get off and walk if the hills prove to be too much.
It's 2 weeks.
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Old 04-12-16, 12:01 PM
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I'd probably go for it, but that's just me.
I DNF'ed one charity ride, the one out of Greenville. I missed a rest stop, was out of water, and by the time I got into the next one, was pretty dehydrated. So the issues aren't always what you expect. Wind and heat can beat you up as bad as hills.
One thing I figured out, though, was that if I wanted to get better at hills, I needed to go ride hills, not avoid hills. So I rode the Tyler ride on my Worksman cruiser. I think I was the very last rider in, but I did finish, and finished before their cut-off time.
I would be curious where that 20.8% hill is, though. They are few and far between. One on Valley View Lane down by Joe Pool Lake, one down by Glen Rose, one out in Aledo, I think.
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Old 04-12-16, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jtaylor996 View Post
It's 2 weeks.
Sag wagon, organized ride, are there shorter options that all start over the same initial route? Typically, turning off at intermediate intersections for the shorter options.? If so, enter and decide along the route how far you want to go. Be honest with yourself, either way.
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Old 04-12-16, 12:14 PM
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There's no shame in walking up a 20% grade. You know your heart issue and have to deal with that. For me I can usually push myself a bit farther than I think I can. If you were absolutely wiped out after the last one, then you should probably not undertake a harder ride so soon afterward, but keep building up. OTOH, if after the last ride you felt reasonably OK after a short period of time you probably have a bit more capability.

Three thoughts: 1 - don't kill yourself the week before a big ride. Ride, but take it easy, 2 - pace yourself, pace yourself pace yourself, 3 - long rides near your limit are as much mental as physical. If you can't psych up for it, don't do it.
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Old 04-12-16, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by jtaylor996 View Post
Longest ride to date was the metric century I did Saturday. It was 21% climbs (about 2200' total). This next one is about 3400' total, and a few miles shorter, so likely 30%+ climbing.

I'm riding with a heart issue, so I can't go over 90% max HR. This is why climbing sucks for me. I find it very hard to keep the HR down. Now that I'm riding with a power meter I can better pace myself, but it's hard to climb at all with anything less than about 170W. At my weight, that's lowest gear almost falling over speed.

If I just go for it I'll end up sustaining over 500W. I would consider moderate pace climb to be like 330W. I just can't sustain those wattages without my HR getting too high.
Just wondering where you find routes like that near DFW.
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Old 04-12-16, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
I would be curious where that 20.8% hill is, though. They are few and far between. One on Valley View Lane down by Joe Pool Lake, one down by Glen Rose, one out in Aledo, I think.

Most of the hill is ~10%, but strava is showing the grade peaking around the turn at 20.8%.

https://www.google.com/maps/@32.4425...7i13312!8i6656

I think what got me was this was the end of a section of 3 steep rollers. There was a sharp turn right before this hill, so there was no way you could carry any momentum up. When I had managed to get up the 10% part, turn the corner and saw the 20% section, then looked down at my HR, I just said "screw that!".
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