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My first 25 Mile Ride yesterday and want 50 by next month.

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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

My first 25 Mile Ride yesterday and want 50 by next month.

Old 04-02-20, 08:40 PM
  #1  
mango18
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My first 25 Mile Ride yesterday and want 50 by next month.

Hi All,
This seems like a great place to hang out while I learn all about my addiction. Story so far I am in my early 50s and brand new to biking. My sons bike arrived just on the day of the shutdown in California so I decided to borrow it to try riding it mostly to get out and get some still legally allowed exercise. (its a Trinks Teimpo 1.0 if you have not heard of it I dont blame you type of a bike). He did all the research and picked it based on his student budget. Anyway since we are more or less similar heights it seemed to fit me as well. Its now 12 days later and I am hooked. I was able to do a 25 miler yesterday (my 5 ride) at perhaps 14 miles/hr on a flatish bike trail. I feel pretty ok but neck and a butt soreness are my main complaints. So here is the thing ...I want to do a 50 mile ride by middle of next month to celebrate my birthday. Yeah I got the fever. So far I have been trying to get out there every other day or so and increasing my distance as much as possible on the weekends or if I can get out early after work from home. I am actually surprised by my fitness or maybe it is just that the technology on bikes is so much better ! Anyway if I can manage my 2 afore mentioned pains while riding ( it more than just a niggle and but short of chronic) I think I can try pulling this caper off. I am mostly into hiking having done Mt Whitney about 2 years ago but otherwise "IT type" sedentary. Oh also doing this to lose a few pounds as well. So watching and recording my diet give me some to obsess rather than the news. Anyway sorry about the long initial post. If I am able to pull this off I will reward myself with a better bike. Any suggestions welcome. Thanks all.
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Old 04-02-20, 09:38 PM
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EGBigelo
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The butt soreness can be resolved with a good pair of padded riding shorts or bibs. And I would say the neck soreness is normal at first if you haven't ridden in a while, but could also be a poor bike fit. With a proper sized bike for your size, and a good fit, you shouldn't have the neck (or any) pain. Watch some videos on getting a decent bike fit. You can do it yourself and get close, and not only should the pain go away, but you'll probably be more efficient as well.
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Old 04-02-20, 09:47 PM
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Hi Mango, congrats! I'm a bit like you, jumped into cycling at about 40 and got hooked. I'm still learning too and can't give a whole lot of expert advice, but from experience, take it easy at first. I tried to push through pain and bite off too much too soon. I ended up injuring a ligament in my foot and that put me out of cycling for almost a month in some of the best cycling weather we have, not to mention my brand new bike sitting idle.
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Old 04-02-20, 09:50 PM
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I use a large seat. It is very comfortable.
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Old 04-02-20, 10:01 PM
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Make haste slowly. Your body will let you know when it’s ready to ride 50 miles.
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Old 04-02-20, 10:54 PM
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mango18
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Thanks EGBigelo. I will indeed spend some time on that. I do have a padded riding shorts thanks to quick delivery from Amz. But the soreness does not want to go away and I find myself raising out of the seat every mile or so which actually is not a deal breaker for me at this point. The neck pain though I need to look into a better riding posture and I am glad it may be a fit issue rather than a fitness issue. Will do a deeper dive and see what tweaks I need to do.

Last edited by mango18; 04-02-20 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 04-02-20, 10:57 PM
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rdeeui
Oofff.. thats is not a good thing to happen esp if we dont want to burden the health system at this time. Cycling weather in CA though is perfect at this time look out of my window and want to be out there all the time. On another note have not figured out how to like posts yet.
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Old 04-02-20, 11:00 PM
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@alo thats an option to consider. Will need to do that as well perhaps soon. Any recomendations?
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Old 04-02-20, 11:17 PM
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Colnago62
There is a plan t I am going after. 8 weeks prep for 50 miles taken from the internets.
Cant post the link here since I am not past 10 posts yet.
Yes the body will need to cooperate. We will see. Since I am liking this so much I might just find myself riding all the way to retirement and beyond.
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Old 04-02-20, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mango18 View Post
@alo thats an option to consider. Will need to do that as well perhaps soon. Any recomendations?
I just happened to be in a place where there are a number of bike shops, and asked if they had a large seat. I bought a second hand long seat post, and a second hand large seat, for an inexpensive price.

I also rescue bikes from the trash. If I see a large seat, that is one I will pick up.

Since you want it relatively soon, it is probably best to look on the internet for a good large seat. See what you find.
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Old 04-03-20, 01:11 AM
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The butt pain will most likely go from unbearable to tolerable with bib shorts but it takes a few weeks of consistent riding to really harden your butt up. You may need to make some adjustments to your position. If you don’t mind, try sliding your seat up and forward a bit to take weight off your butt and put it onto your hands. Back off if you start getting pain or numbness in the hands. You may even need a new saddle if none of this works, depending on the type of pain.

Wrt neck pain, what kind of helmet and glasses do you use? If your helmet has a visor, I recommend removing it. It will prevent you from “looking through your eyebrows”. You want to keep your head tilted as low as possible while still being able to see. If you have some oversized sunglasses, those would also help keep wind out of your eyes.
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Old 04-03-20, 06:18 AM
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Good advice here to make haste slowly.The recommendation is to add to mileage about 10% each week. This should prevent injuries while your muscles adjust to new demands. Butt soreness will diminish in time, probably. Sometimes a different saddle is needed and they come in a wide variety of shapes just as butts come in a wide variety. It happens that a saddle that is moderately comfortable for 20 miles could be unbearable agony for 50. So be mentally prepared to make changes as you go. Getting comfortable and fit on a bike is an ongoing process.

When I began cycling about 9 years ago, I reached a point just where you are now doing 25 mile rides. An opportunity came up to participate in a fund raiser related to cancer. There were several options on the length of the ride and I choose 55 miles. As recommended, I added 10% to my mileage each week and the week before the event, rode the actual course. On the day itself, I made the mistake of trying to keep up with a tandem and paid the price during the last third as my legs began cramping. Lesson learned. Cycling is an endurance sport so the effort as well as the length of the effort have to match as you train up. Good luck.
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Old 04-03-20, 07:12 AM
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When you're new to cycling, you may go through an acclimation period of a couple weeks even if you've found the perfect saddle, so don't be too hasty in your judgement. That said, there are some pains that you'll get used to and some that shouldn't be ignored. Tenderness caused by pressure between the saddle and sit bones is something that'll diminish. Numbness of your manly bits is something that you address right away.

Cervelo did some research and came up with some guidelines to saddle selection; it's a nice place to start. Do a search for "Cervelo's four and a half rules of saddle selection" or something like that.
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Old 04-03-20, 07:23 AM
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Might also want to check your saddle height, sometimes if its just a touch too high the rocking back and forth will hurt despite the shorts, and as others have mentioned sometimes a saddle just doesn't work for you.
As to the neck, a slightly different stem that maybe comes back a little and up a little might help till you get stronger.
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Old 04-03-20, 08:04 AM
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A large seat is NOT the answer. You need a saddle that matches your sitbone width and has a reasonable amount of padding. Unfortunately, ther are so many brands and models that finding the right saddle can be difficult. When I started riding again at age 65, after 8 years off from riding 5000 miles per year, even my favorite saddle was uncomfortable for awhile. I looked into SMP saddles that have a full length cutout. SMP has fitting guidelines based on waist size, that assume that a larger waist means wider sit bones. If you're carrying extra weight, think back to your waist size when thin. The narrowest model with standard padding worked for me. They make models with thicker padding too.

https://www.albabici.com/selle/tech-...smp-saddle.htm

If your seat pain feels like bruising, some of that will go away with more saddle time. Chafing can mean a poor saddle fit or inadequate pad in your shorts. Always use some sort of skin cream to lubricate the crotch and reduce the chance of chafing.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 04-03-20 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 04-03-20, 11:57 AM
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Getting "biker butt" takes time. I was away from the bike for 15 years, and my recent return (at the age of 51) required a couple weeks of regular riding to get my butt re-acclimated to sitting on a small bike seat. Good shorts definitely help, as does proper saddle positioning, but there will still be an adjustment period. Sometimes it's also a matter of finding the right shaped seat for your butt.
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Old 04-03-20, 01:05 PM
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Re: neck pain. At age 65 and with significant arthritis in my neck, I premedicate with ibuprofen before my rides. I also use a glasses-mounted mirror so I don't have to turn my head to look behind. Both help; 30-40 mile rides are my typical daily rides, and I throw in longer rides as my fitness improves after winter loss.
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Old 04-03-20, 01:21 PM
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One can learn from these forums and YouTube videos. For example, how to measure your butt (and what to measure) to ensure your seat fits, how to dial in your seat's fore-aft position, reach, etc., etc.

Have fun. Be safe.
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Old 04-03-20, 05:14 PM
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I think if you keep riding, you should be fine with 50 miles in a month from a conditioning standpoint but the butt pain may keep you from doing as long a ride as you otherwise might be capable of.

It definitely takes some time for your butt to get used to riding but given the budget of the bike, it's probably got a really low end saddle or just not be right for you. When I started riding, I bought a used bike and just never did get comfortable on the saddle it came with even though it was a fairly good saddle. After 20 miles I was uncomfortable, 30 miles really uncomfortable, and at 40 all I could think of was how much it hurt. When I finally replaced it, I started doing 50 mile rides almost immediately then 60, and longer.
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Old 04-03-20, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mango18 View Post
Hi All,
This seems like a great place to hang out while I learn all about my addiction. Story so far I am in my early 50s and brand new to biking. My sons bike arrived just on the day of the shutdown in California so I decided to borrow it to try riding it mostly to get out and get some still legally allowed exercise. (its a Trinks Teimpo 1.0 if you have not heard of it I dont blame you type of a bike). He did all the research and picked it based on his student budget. Anyway since we are more or less similar heights it seemed to fit me as well. Its now 12 days later and I am hooked. I was able to do a 25 miler yesterday (my 5 ride) at perhaps 14 miles/hr on a flatish bike trail. I feel pretty ok but neck and a butt soreness are my main complaints. So here is the thing ...I want to do a 50 mile ride by middle of next month to celebrate my birthday. Yeah I got the fever. So far I have been trying to get out there every other day or so and increasing my distance as much as possible on the weekends or if I can get out early after work from home. I am actually surprised by my fitness or maybe it is just that the technology on bikes is so much better ! Anyway if I can manage my 2 afore mentioned pains while riding ( it more than just a niggle and but short of chronic) I think I can try pulling this caper off. I am mostly into hiking having done Mt Whitney about 2 years ago but otherwise "IT type" sedentary. Oh also doing this to lose a few pounds as well. So watching and recording my diet give me some to obsess rather than the news. Anyway sorry about the long initial post. If I am able to pull this off I will reward myself with a better bike. Any suggestions welcome. Thanks all.
Mango, I applaud your enthusiasm. Now, I'd like to suggest that you curb it, to avoid hurting yourself and killing the thrill.

If you want to go the distance, lay down some miles that will not kill you (or your butt). Ride for an hour a day throughout April, then consider something longer. Riders call this building a base.

My own story is that I don't usually ride in March, but with the mild winter and the work from home disease, I rode >350 miles in March, none longer than 21 miles. That's a big deal for me, and I have been riding since 1974. I will lengthen my distances in April, but I have my eye on June, when I will ride a lot.

First, your keister will acclimate to your saddle or not. My experience is that having the seat post too high is the first thing to look at when your Assos hurts. Next, your body will get used to the hurt/thrill of riding. Your bod needs the education.

Regarding the 50 mile/birthday ride in a month, is that reasonable? I don't know. But don't injure yourself to do it, and don't kill the joy. I do a birthday ride in late June/July (>68 miles) and it's the highlight of my season, but you're just a kid at 50!

Finally, when The Plague lifts, find a shop you like and get a bike for yourself that fits you, and go ride forever.

All best,
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Old 04-04-20, 07:49 PM
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Others have written good advice in this thread re: butt pain. The leap from 25 miles to 50 miles is significant... I rode in my mid-late 20's, then picked it back up 8 years ago, at 48 yrs old. I was trim and not unfit, and it still took me some time - a few months at least - to work up to a 50 mile ride. There is a point - with me, around 35 miles - when the energy you have to turn the pedals when you got on the back is gone. I call anything 35 miles or longer an attrition (or depletion) ride. This means that, for rides 40 miles and more, I have to start consuming carbs while still on the bike, the sooner the better, to avoid the dreaded bonk. Before attempting 50, I would get comfortable with getting to the point of depletion and beyond, and learning to consume calories while still on the bike, or at rest stops. This is all under the caveat of riding pretty hard. That first 50 mile for me was finished in about three hours, on rolling Ozarks terrain with plenty of short, steep climbs. I felt - and still do after many longer rides, slightly ill for a few hours afterward, but the pride of accomplishment and gains in fitness and speed are definitely worth it.
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Old 04-05-20, 12:36 AM
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One thing about saddles .... you can make tiny adjustments fore and aft, in tilt, and in height which have major effects in how they saddle feels. When I get a new bike, or if I don't ride a while and my body has changed some, I sometimes make micro-adjustments mid-ride ----tiny changes in tilt, height, or position, and test them on the fly. Also, as your legs get stronger they will bear more weight, which makes the saddle hurt less.
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Old 04-05-20, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by mango18 View Post
Thanks EGBigelo. I will indeed spend some time on that. I do have a padded riding shorts thanks to quick delivery from Amz. But the soreness does not want to go away and I find myself raising out of the seat every mile or so which actually is not a deal breaker for me at this point. The neck pain though I need to look into a better riding posture and I am glad it may be a fit issue rather than a fitness issue. Will do a deeper dive and see what tweaks I need to do.
Your butt will get used to the saddle and it won't be much of an issue after a while. Once you're used to it, unless you've got an awful saddle or bad position or some pre-existing condition, saddle soreness just isn't something you'll have to deal with in the way you're dealing with it right now. In my opinion it's a similar type of situation to how if you first start lifting weights in the gym you get insanely sore from the initial break-in of your muscles, but after a week or two that fades away and you get tired, yes, but not painful.

I have no idea what the state of the art is in saddles, but there's a lot of them out there and various people swear by various different saddles. I'd definitely recommend against getting one of those very wide granny-bike gel-padded saddles that some folks will put on their bikes to combat the butt pain. Those saddles will work against you as you get fast and extend your distance. Best to just tough it out and over a period of weeks your body gets used to it and it doesn't hurt anymore to some extent.

The original saddle that came with the used road bike I picked up in 2012 was a traditional, somewhat modern (2003-era bike) Sella Italia saddle. It was the stock saddle that came on the bike from Trek. I got used to it, and didn't really feel that much pain in the butt while riding it, though if I went far enough I'd find myself standing up, shifting a little, etc., and on rides longer than around 30 miles or so I did eventually get saddle pain that I'd have to deal with during the ride. After I ordered my Lynskey bike in 2017 I ordered a Brooks B17 leather saddle after lots of reading online. I mounted it on the old Trek and road it for several hundred miles before the Lynskey arrived, then shifted it to the Lynskey and never ended up riding the saddle that came with that bike

The Brooks saddle hurt like hell when it first arrived, which I'd read about and was expecting, but oh my God was it bad. It felt like I was sitting on a concrete telephone pole. It took me riding through the pain, with faith in the Flying Spaghetti Monster that it would eventually break in and turn wonderful. After probably 200-300 miles it was starting to improve, and I noticed more or less full break-in after maybe 500-700 miles. Since I was doing around 150 miles/week at that time this means it took me about a month and a half or so from "oh my God this is horrible" to "ok this thing has improved immensely," to my present attitude of "this thing is the Shiznit!" The Brooks is extremely comfortable for me now. Before my enforced break from cycling in early 2018 I'd gotten to where I could do 30-60 mile rides with zero saddle issues during the rides, and did one century with it as well. It was way better on that century than my original saddle on the Trek had been during the century I did on that bike. Anyhow, I'm a believer.

I'm glad to hear that you've gotten hooked on cycling. I'd ridden a lot as a teenager and into my early 20s, then all but stopped once I was employed full time after college with long-distance commutes by car. I didn't own a bike at all once my old Univega Supra Sport from around 1985 or so had been thrown away during a move, until 2009 when I was just into my 40s, when I picked up an inexpensive mountain bike. I had to totally break in my body again to cycling, and I went through all those aches and pains you're dealing with now. It does improve. Back then I was dealing with numb hands, numb feet, saddle soreness, etc. Rode thousands of miles on that MTB with narrowish slick tires until I got the used Trek in 2012, which was a huge upgrade, and relegated the MTB back to traditional trail riding. I've had a couple military deployments and some long schools that threw me out of my cycling routines for up to a year at a time, but have still gotten over 20k ridden in the last ten years. I personally love it, and I believe it's fantastic for overall fitness, and it just plain feels good. With a few sporadic rides since my return from my most recent deployment last year I'd only done a couple hundred miles last year, and only in the last month and a half or so have started ramping up mileage again. I felt a little saddle soreness at first because I'd lost my veteran cyclist butt status through inactivity, but it's coming back quickly, and I should be crossing 600 miles or so for the year so far later today, and I'm feeling reasonably well broken in again to cycling and am just trying to get my legs and endurance back.

Last edited by SethAZ; 04-05-20 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 04-05-20, 10:11 AM
  #24  
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Sorry, after seeing my massive wall of text I cut the bottom section, but still feel it to be apropos of this thread, and want to include it in a second post. It's still way too much talking, but hey, I like to talk, so here you go.

I don't want to rain on your parade by critiquing your goal of doing a 50-mile ride by next month, though I would advise some caution. While it's fairly easy with lots of riding to go from thinking 5 miles is a bike ride to feeling like you haven't done anything if you haven't done at least 15 to 30 miles, the step from 30 to 50 actually crosses some thresholds that are different. These thresholds have to do with energy sources and aerobic endurance. I'm no expert, but I've experienced things on 50 to 60 mile rides that I never (or hardly ever) experience on say a 30-mile ride. I'm talking about things like running completely out of glycogen from the muscles, while also not providing any (or enough) external calories in the form of eating or drinking quickly digestible carb sources, and ended up "bonking". I've bonked several times before, so I'm familiar now with the feelings I get in my body when my energy level is becoming a problem.

Btw, energy level is a real thing. It's not motivation or gut check level. Riding 50 miles isn't just the same thing as riding for 25 miles, but doing that for twice as long. When you bonk no motivation in the world is going to save you, and if you did manage to gut through it you'd risk literally harming yourself, since bonking is your brain starting to shut down your muscles in order to keep your brain alive. I had no idea what bonking was the first time it happened, and I went from cruising along at 18-19 mph no problem to being three miles away from home, limping along at 8-10mph and wondering seriously if I was going to make those last couple miles home, with grave doubts. It's going to be different for different people, and it's going to depend on a lot of things including how hard you're working, how efficiently your body is able to break down fat as an energy source, etc. For me, at cruising speed (18-20mph), the cut-off for mileage I can do without external energy sources during a ride lies somewhere beyond 30ish miles or so. If I were to slow down to say 15mph or so I could extend that quite a bit, since my rate of energy consumption would be lower enough that my body could satisfy the demanded energy much longer on fat alone. By 45-50 miles I definitely have to be eating a little snack, drinking some Gatorade powder (mostly for the sugar, not the electrolytes), etc. in order to be fine on the energy. For any ride north of 50 miles* I have a comprehensive energy plan where I bring at least two to three sources of energy, and for a century it will be more than that.

Anyhow, what I'm saying is that it's fairly easy to get up to doing 25 or 30 miles without having to worry that much about energy during a ride, if like me you have some body fat to spare, are generally not starving yourself, and have worked up your aerobic efficiency and endurance to where your body can power itself on energy you ate earlier in the day and body fat, and stored glycogen in your muscles. Pushing through those ranges you start getting into territory where energy starts to matter more, and beyond some distance you're simply not going to be able to do it at a fast cruising speed or faster without some thought and planning around energy management. Since you're brand new to cycling this is probably going to be all new to you, and will take some learning, experience, and figuring out on your end.

*one little anecdote, and sorry if this counts as a bit of a thread derail. I'm not a skinny guy, so a lot of my cycling is in the context of also limiting calorie intake for weight loss purposes, and I've done some long rides at low energy states before where my body is simply in worse shape energy-wise than I would be if I were eating a lot. On one particular 54-mile ride at a good 18 or 19mph cruising pace I'd brought one of two water bottles that had a couple large scoops of Gatorade powder added to it for the sugar content. I figured with that one energy source during that ride I thought I'd be fine, and I've done the same ride at other times and been fine like that. This one particular time I was homeward bound, only about 4 or 5 miles away from home, and I felt the signs of an impending bonk. Note I hadn't bonked yet, but having bonked before I felt it coming. I had to stop at a gas station, chugged a 20-ounce Powerade from the fountain purely for the sugar content, and ate a gas station hot dog. I was at the gas station for a good 10 or 15 minutes to allow some of the sugar from the chugged powerade to come online, then got back on my bike and cruised more slowly those last 4 or 5 miles. You'd think that having ridden 50 miles already those last 4 miles would be a piece of cake, just keep doing the same thing I'd already been doing, right? Not so. My body was in energy trouble because I hadn't been eating enough otherwise for weeks, while also riding heavily, so I had started that ride at a too-low energy state, glycogen stores probably not fully topped off, etc. I stopped at that gas station because I knew if I didn't stop I was probably going to bonk before I got home, and bonking is not only dangerous, but it sucks bigtime as well. All this is just to say that riding 25 miles isn't the same kind of thing as riding 50 miles, because there are energy storage and energy supply issues that you might not even know are a thing at ranges like 25 miles that, depending on you and your body might actually be a very important matter at 50. Riding 50+ miles isn't particularly hard assuming you've worked up to that, but it's different, and at least in my case I have to treat it differently. I ride 25 to 30 miles on an empty stomach all the time, but I won't do that for 50, and I know what can happen to me if I try.
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Old 04-05-20, 01:02 PM
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Paul Barnard
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It sounds like you are getting hooked. That's a good thing. Butts, necks, lower backs wrists and other parts can get uncomfortable as we acclimate to the pressure points and exercise. That's pretty normal. Butts take the longest to get conditioned. See if Aerotech is shipping. If they are, order some of these https://www.aerotechdesigns.com/top-...ike-short.html

Bike shorts don't get any better than that. The saddle that comes on that bike is a bargain basement saddle. It could be that even with the best shorts, that seat will never have a happy relationship with your butt. Know this too. The tissue over your sit bones takes a while to recover if you really aggravate it. It took me nearly a week one time after I did 30 miles on a bad saddle.

I think it's pretty darned good that you worked up to 25 miles in such a short time. 50 is surely within your reach.
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