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What are some milestones I should be hitting?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

What are some milestones I should be hitting?

Old 02-20-18, 05:10 AM
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Sarequads
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What are some milestones I should be hitting?

Coming from a bodybuilding/powerlifting background there are milestones to hit such as; bodyfat into single figures, waist relative to your legs, waist to chest ratio, arms thicker than your neck. Powerlifting; bench, squat and deadlift x amount of your body weight and so on.

What are some milestones I should be looking at hitting in the world of cycling? Ive got a power meter, I commute to work 100 miles per week and access to a wattbike.

Thanks
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Old 02-20-18, 05:17 AM
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CliffordK
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Each person has different goals.

One goal might be just to enjoy your time on the bike.

Some people have speed goals. I've wanted to hit 20 MPH for 20 miles. I've hit 20 MPH for 10 a while ago... so still a bit to go.

Many cyclists also have distance goals such as 100 km, 100 miles, 150 miles, 200 miles, etc in a single day or ride.

You can choose your speed goals for the longer rides, and whether you wish to do them drafting or not.

If you complete one goal, then try the next.
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Old 02-20-18, 05:20 AM
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OldTryGuy
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100 miler
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Old 02-20-18, 05:26 AM
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4W/kg for an hour is a decent benchmark.
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Old 02-20-18, 07:40 AM
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I'm sure you're aware that, aside from maybe body fat percentage, the kind of morhpologic milestones you mention would be indications that "you're doing it wrong" for cycling.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...KDnmmC6Ku7LGCe
Meanwhile, there seems to be some disagreement about whether cycling is as much an aesthetic endeavor as bodybuilding, but if it is, evidently it has more to do with attire than muscular development.
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Old 02-20-18, 08:05 AM
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25 mile TT in under an hour on a road bike is a good one.
But not easy.
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Old 02-20-18, 08:06 AM
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What are your goals?
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Old 02-20-18, 08:27 AM
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400 watts, baby!
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Old 02-20-18, 08:35 AM
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The biggest thing that I have discovered when I started cycling (or any exercise for that matter) is that Goals Change. Idealy I did not know what I wanted my goal to be. I just got on the bike and started riding. I had leg/back injuries that I had to overcome, so here are some of the goals for me as they developed


-Ride 25 miles/week
-Ride 50 miles/week
-Ride without stopping for 5 miles
-Ride without stopping for 12 miles


as time passed and my leg pains started going away,
-Ride 100 miles/week
-hit 20mph average over a span of 24 miles
-Ride in groups and challenge yourself
-Ride 150 miles
-ride 50 miles ride at least once per week


as more time passed
-ride 200 miles per week
-Average over 10,000 FT of elevation per week
-Ride race pace and average more than 24mph for a 60 mile ride
-Ride CRITS
-Ride Flats and improve constant power delivery
-Ride Hills and improve climbing strategy
-Recover FAST
-Keep challenging myself
-Race


When you get good enough,
-smash some KOM's
-Be a Group Ride Leader and Stay up front
-start using specific parameters for training




Those are just some broad goals. The big thing to take away from Cycling is that to me it is like a game of Chess. It is a very strategic sport. To this day I am still learning fine details like knowing how to pace yourself, knowing your strength and weakness and learning when to back off and when to push. You got to know what your body and heart can handle. Even fluid intake and food plays a roll on your overall performance. you will learn how to ride straight how to attack and how to draft and how to climb short and long hills and how to work with others.


I have watched a lot of videos and learned theory of things that I am trying to accomplish. Knowing and putting to practice are two different things.




One thing that you will have to get used to if you are coming from a body building background is that your body tailors to the activity that you are doing. Cycling is going to kill your muscle mass. I used to be 208lb Lean when I lifted weights, and now I am 185LB with tiny arms and super lean legs, but I am completely okay with that because that is what it takes to excel in this particular sport. You can have a little bit of both, but know that you will be an average rider. If you are okay with that, its no issue. I am very competitive person, and I will lose muscle weight to gain speed and cardio.

Last edited by Elvir; 02-20-18 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 02-20-18, 09:20 AM
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Riding for an hour without stops is good to begin with, then up to around 3 hours. If that's also 50 miles then it's a pretty good benchmark. 20 miles in an hour is a typical goal. 25 in an hour is kind of next-level, for people who race or have the potential to race. (I've never done it).

Just riding a metric century or imperial century are milestones.
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Old 02-20-18, 09:29 AM
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If you have a power meter and want to be objective, then setting ftp and "watts per kg", or power to weight...to really see how you compare with other of different sizes. These are the factors that will tell you for sure if you've improved. You'll need to know how to do an ftp test, and do them on a regular basis for evaluation.

For comparison to the pros, this is a really good fact-fills article:

https://cyclingtips.com/2017/06/just-how-good-are-male-pro-road-cyclists/
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Old 02-20-18, 03:50 PM
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Set goals relative to your capacity. With your weight lifting and general cycling conditioning, you'd probably make a helluva sprinter.

Check your local Strava segments, find some interesting looking sprint zones and go for it.

At 60 with several nagging but non-serious health issues, my goals were commensurate with my capacity. When I resumed cycling in 2015 after years of poor health and neck/back injuries from a wreck, my goals were pretty modest: finish a 3 mile ride without stopping.

Now, nearly three years later, I usually ride 20-30 miles at a time without stopping. Neck pain from an old C2 injury usually kicks in between 30-60 miles so I don't ride that far more than a couple times a month. My speed has improved a little. I'm in the top ten on a few Strava downhill segments, but that's mostly because I'm reckless and enjoy the fast downhills -- I sprint where most sensible folks coast or ease back. On flat segments I'm about 30% down the list.

Those were easy. Too easy. I don't really think I'm faster than my younger cycling friends. I just don't think they're trying as hard. When they do, they're usually faster than I am.

Hills were tough. I was dead last on our climbs, mostly roller coasters with a few 5% or steeper segments of a quarter to half mile or so -- assuming I could finish a climb. So my main goal was to finish a hill without stopping to grab my inhaler and gasp for air. Then to move up from dead last. Now I'm middle of the pack on most local hill climbs. For me, finishing a climb without an asthma attack was a big deal.

So, it all depends on your conditioning. Again, if I were younger with weightlifting and general aerobic cycling conditioning already in the bank, I'd be going for sprints. Even some short hill climbs in my area would be within reach of a big strong sprinter.
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Old 02-20-18, 03:56 PM
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Distance is no big deal, but doing it fast is. Take a look at the speeds professional riders average during races (25-30mph) and it'll give you something to shoot for.
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Old 02-20-18, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
400 watts, baby!
Yeah, this. Dialing it down to 400 watts is tough. Rides tend to get slow and boring, but they say it's good for your mental fortitude, or something.
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Old 02-20-18, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Sarequads View Post
Coming from a bodybuilding/powerlifting background there are milestones to hit such as; bodyfat into single figures, waist relative to your legs, waist to chest ratio, arms thicker than your neck. Powerlifting; bench, squat and deadlift x amount of your body weight and so on.

What are some milestones I should be looking at hitting in the world of cycling? Ive got a power meter, I commute to work 100 miles per week and access to a wattbike.

Thanks
20 miles in one hour solo
100 km ride (62 miles)
100 mile ride
200 mile ride

Ease into it. Add 10% to your time riding each week, except for an easy week out of every 3.

Watts/kg (and by extension climbing speed) isn't a meaningful number as long as you're hauling around muscle mass that's not helping your cycling which is most of it. Even your legs are limited by the oxygen your lungs can feed them.

If you only care about cycling, Joe Friel observed that average but well-trained cyclists can get to 4.4W/kg FTP (one hour power) - 0.5% for each year over age 35 and -10% for females with a roughly +/-10% range around that.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 02-20-18 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 02-20-18, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Sarequads View Post
What are some milestones I should be looking at hitting in the world of cycling?
watts per kilo over various time intervals
VAM on various climbs
Race wins
Quality of alignment between tire label and valve stem
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Old 02-20-18, 04:20 PM
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Steer around the milestones.
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Old 02-20-18, 04:23 PM
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Climbing:
If you've got categorised climbs in your area, doing CAT 4 climb without stopping, CAT 3, CAT 2, and so on.

Since you're doing a 100 miles a week, doing it in a day would be a good one to aim for as well.
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Old 02-20-18, 05:51 PM
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Watts / Kg on the road. Body fat % is about all in common between body building and cycling. You saw my link in the other thread I think.

Get a Strava KOM. If you can't, make your own segment. Be safe and don't choose one with traffic controls.

In SoCal we have 3 racers I know that were body builders. They all lost a lot of weight.
Another is a body builder, quiet, does not race. He is full size and he just rides. I don't think he has a cycling benchmark. The fact you are even asking means you are getting very close to the edge.

The real answer would be race if you really want to benchmark yourself.

If you want to stay gym size, look at the track sprinters.
If you are body building, you are likely doing it to what judges think is important. The reality is Strava KOMs, and W/KG and about every other measure is just as important as the person you are telling cares.

Races are more pure. A line or a clock determines who is doing it better (at that course, on that day, in that weather, with those competitors).

Last edited by Doge; 02-20-18 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 02-20-18, 07:54 PM
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40km in under an hour, Merckx style.

Or find the local benchmark climb. In NorCal, if you can do Mt. Diablo in an hour, you've done something.
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Old 02-20-18, 08:31 PM
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Upper arms no bigger than ankles,

Chest about the same size as hips.
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Old 02-20-18, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Sarequads View Post
Coming from a bodybuilding/powerlifting background there are milestones to hit such as; bodyfat into single figures, waist relative to your legs, waist to chest ratio, arms thicker than your neck. Powerlifting; bench, squat and deadlift x amount of your body weight and so on.

What are some milestones I should be looking at hitting in the world of cycling? Ive got a power meter, I commute to work 100 miles per week and access to a wattbike.

Thanks
Ride 100 miles at one time.

Average 18 mph on a ride.

Average 20 mph on a ride.

Finish a fast group ride.

Drop dudes on a fast group ride.

Try a race? Then:
Get dropped in race.
Finish race.
Win race.
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Old 02-20-18, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by exmechanic89 View Post
Distance is no big deal, but doing it fast is. Take a look at the speeds professional riders average during races (25-30mph) and it'll give you something to shoot for.
That's not something to shoot for.

What's done in a large group (especially a race), is inconceivable on your own.

Look at pros training. They're typically doing 18-21 mph averages, not that it really matters much.
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Old 02-20-18, 09:52 PM
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Increasing your FTP by x is probably the milestone to look for. You have a power meter, you should take an FTP test, and use that as a goal. X can be 10 watts, 20 watts, whatever you want it to be. Nothing absolute is as meaningful as being able to increase your own ability based on real metrics. Everything else above will come with that. How you get there is up to you, whether it be hanging with the pros, climbing mountains, time trialing solo, riding a long distance, whatever you like. I've increased my FTP by about 10 watts in the last few months and I never felt stronger, except that I was probably stronger when I was younger and just didn't know it. 10 watts doesn't sound like much but when you do the test all out, you shouldn't have 10 more watts to give so it really is a lot. And repeat the same FTP test each time. They're all a little different.
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Old 02-21-18, 04:38 AM
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Head over to the Long Distance forum and you'll see some challenges over there.

https://www.bikeforums.net/long-dist...rance-cycling/

.

Last edited by Machka; 02-21-18 at 05:02 AM.
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