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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

Opinion on my progress?

Old 10-14-08, 03:12 AM
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Freakonwheels
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Opinion on my progress?

Well as some of you may know I'm currently in-training for a 93 mile ride, my Road Cycling debut. I'm training on a mountain bike but I'm getting a road bike soon, which I'm anticipating . On Sunday, probably my most intense training session yet, I rode about 30 miles in about 2 hours (give or take 5 minutes or so), which means that my average speed was about 14-15 mph. Keep in mind I've only been training since just last month.

My goal for the race is to complete it in 5 and a half hours, which based on past results would put me in about 70th out of 100 entrants. My goal is to just not finish somewhere right near the back. To get this would mean that I'd have to raise my speed by about 2 mph. I think once I get my road bike I'll be able to accomplish this easily, and with increased speed in the road bike plus my training, I might even be able to finish it faster than that. To get into the Top 50 would be nice. I'm trying to be realistic about my chances though because since it's only my first road race and although I can read on the net I wouldn't have had any practise utilizing any race tactics or anything before.
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Old 10-14-08, 03:18 AM
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What road bike are you getting?
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Old 10-14-08, 03:29 AM
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A silver Avanti one. That's all I know. lol I'm not buying from a shop.
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Old 10-14-08, 04:22 AM
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Draft a faster rider and you'll go 2 MPH faster.
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Old 10-14-08, 04:51 AM
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It took me 7 hours 18 minutes to complete a 107 mile ride; two weeks later I did a 100 mile ride that took me 7 hours 40 minutes. If I subtract off the time spent at the rest stops, my average speed was 17.3mph and 15.4mph respectively. Second ride was much hillier.

To finish in 5 and a half hours you will need to be drafting off other fast riders or strap on the guads of cypress.

Good luck.
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Old 10-14-08, 04:59 AM
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Finishing in 5.5 requires a LOT of training, and/or very strong legs to boot. It might be do-able. Who knows?

Good luck!
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Old 10-14-08, 05:45 AM
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averaging 18mph for a century (your goal) is certainly attainable for a reasonably strong cyclist.

Doing it SOLO is considerably tougher than doing it in a paceline.

I did a century last saturday in 5:40 with 4 other guys. It was easy. If I had been alone...NOT EASY

Sounds like this is a race. So stay in the peloton and just wheelsuck. You will go as fast as they do.
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Old 10-14-08, 06:52 AM
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What is the course like? Back in my home state of Illinois 100 miles would be easy as it is very flat. Here in Tennessee where all roads are uphill and there is always a headwind, it would be a lot tougher but still able to be done in 6 hours with mountain crossings.

You'll be amazed at how much faster you will be on the road bike. The difference is night and day.
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Old 10-14-08, 07:01 AM
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Something doesnt seem quite right. I dont know how racing in NZ works, but what I'm reading here is that you're governing body permits one to enter a road race that is 93 miles long, and you've not only never done a group ride but dont yet own a road bike?

Arent you required a racing license to race in NZ?
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Old 10-14-08, 07:03 AM
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One month of training? I wouldn't set your goals to high. You could be setting yourself up for a let down. You are either already strong or you've been riding for several years. I've been riding for quite a few years and it still takes me several weeks to get ready for a ride that's over 40 miles at 18 average.
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Old 10-14-08, 07:48 AM
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93 miles in 5.5 hours when your most intense ride was 30 miles at 15 mph is pretty ambitious. You will have learned much coming away from it, if you don't die.
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Old 10-14-08, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Freakonwheels View Post
Well as some of you may know I'm currently in-training for a 93 mile ride, my Road Cycling debut. I'm training on a mountain bike but I'm getting a road bike soon, which I'm anticipating . On Sunday, probably my most intense training session yet, I rode about 30 miles in about 2 hours (give or take 5 minutes or so), which means that my average speed was about 14-15 mph. Keep in mind I've only been training since just last month.

My goal for the race is to complete it in 5 and a half hours, which based on past results would put me in about 70th out of 100 entrants. My goal is to just not finish somewhere right near the back. To get this would mean that I'd have to raise my speed by about 2 mph. I think once I get my road bike I'll be able to accomplish this easily, and with increased speed in the road bike plus my training, I might even be able to finish it faster than that. To get into the Top 50 would be nice. I'm trying to be realistic about my chances though because since it's only my first road race and although I can read on the net I wouldn't have had any practise utilizing any race tactics or anything before.
So is it a "ride" or a "race"?
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Old 10-14-08, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by bakerjw View Post
You'll be amazed at how much faster you will be on the road bike. The difference is night and day.
This is true, but only to a certain extent... I highly recommend that you ensure that you have enough time to practice on the road bike before you attempt this feat (preferably accompanied by a seasoned roadie).

There is something to the psychology of riding a different bike in a race (given it is a race) when you have practiced on a mnt bike (truth be told, I wouldn't want to practice on a different road bike that has significantly different geometry nonetheless a mnt to road bike).

Also, there is the comfort factor... first, you mention that the new bike is not coming from a shop and that this is your first real road ride, from these facts I conjecture that you have not ridden a road bike in the past, no? If this is the case, as is the case with many first time roadies, there is a transitional period whereupon you have to get accustomed to the riding posture. Unless you are inherently flexible, five and a half hours on a road bike might be tough on your body (contingent upon a number of variables, of course).

Truth be told, I think that a relative newbie, given enough grit and ambition (and more than modest fitness), can finish a relatively flat 93 mile course. The time goal might be lofty, but I think it still MIGHT be attainable.

My only advice would be to ride the road bike a lot before this race. Also, ride with other riders and, as mentioned by other posters, practice wheel-sucking (it really helps). Your back-side, legs, back, etc. will thank you for it... (and in the future, you will seek out even more lofty goals, equally as attainable).
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Old 10-14-08, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Grumpy McTrumpy View Post
averaging 18mph for a century (your goal) is certainly attainable for a reasonably strong cyclist.

Doing it SOLO is considerably tougher than doing it in a paceline.

I did a century last saturday in 5:40 with 4 other guys. It was easy. If I had been alone...NOT EASY

Sounds like this is a race. So stay in the peloton and just wheelsuck. You will go as fast as they do.
To add:

When I did the Montauk Century in May, that was the first time I did a ride like that with a pack. We were averaging between 20 and 24 mph, and it was pretty easy for a good 30 miles or so before I started losing strength.

If you ride with a pack, make sure that you pull a few times. You don't want to be known as the wheel-sucker.
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Old 10-14-08, 11:13 AM
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I found road biking to be a lot more difficult (pain-wise) than MTB. But a road bike is a lot faster. Less comfortable, but faster.

I wouldn't count on averaging faster than 15 mph on your first try. Just my experience doing solo centuries on moderately hilly roads.

You really should try some shorter, say 30-50 mile rides on that new bike before tackling the long ride so that you can learn to pace yourself.

Have fun!
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Old 10-14-08, 11:24 AM
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Ambivalence .
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Old 10-14-08, 11:27 AM
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If you want to increase your speed, the easiest way would involve learning to draft someone else. This requires practice. I certainly wouldn't want a newb drafting me if I was on a century. Also, learn how to pace yourself. Keep in mind that doing 100 miles is a LOT more difficult than doing 3 33 mile rides (most riders begin to hit the wall at around mile 70).

Good luck
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Old 10-14-08, 11:54 AM
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This is trainwreck waiting to happen. I look forward to reading the report when you finish or blow up spectacularly trying
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Old 10-14-08, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
This is trainwreck waiting to happen. I look forward to reading the report when you finish or blow up spectacularly trying
if he is gonna do it, might as well do it spectacularly. just sayin. later.
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Old 10-14-08, 12:02 PM
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Prepare to be humbled.
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Old 10-14-08, 12:34 PM
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what ride are you doing?
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Old 10-14-08, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
This is trainwreck waiting to happen. I look forward to reading the report when you finish or blow up spectacularly trying
To be honest, I agree.... That is if the OP has no practice (states that he/she will just go for it without any prior road bike experience). Handling a road bike is different from an MTB and you'll definately have to get used to the position and saddle before committing to anything over 30 miles.

I highly suggest the OP do some smaller riders before this one.
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Old 10-14-08, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
So is it a "ride" or a "race"?
To some there is no difference. It's just a state of mind.
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Old 10-14-08, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Nachoman View Post
To some there is no difference. It's just a state of mind.
It makes a big difference in the state of mind of all of the other participants, the expected pace, etiquette, etc.
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Old 10-14-08, 01:07 PM
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There is a world of difference between 30 miles and 93. Even on a MTB.

Also, riding at 21 mph in a paceline is a different ride than solo at 17mph on a mtb.

My prediction is suffering. You are either going to blow up at mile 45-50 and DNF or you are going to slug it out and finish and suffer through the last 30 miles. Depending on the field you may even get around your goal.
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