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Old 09-08-17, 10:57 AM   #26
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Why not just ride at a comfortable pace for a comfortable distance?
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I
My other suggestion to the OP is this is probably better done as an experiment on your own than a polling question for the group. That way you will know what works for your particular situation.
I don't have the luxory of training or experimenting. And I have limited time to make this trip. This is more of a gruelling challenge than a site seeing trip, to see how tough I' still am. Due to time constraint , I'm going to have to ride 3 English centuries in a row...rest one day...and do 3 centuries again back home. I just hope it's not going to be windy. I don't know if this is a world record or anything...but it's an order of magnitude more difficult than I've done.

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Old 09-08-17, 11:12 AM   #27
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I don't have the luxory of training or experimenting. And I have limited time to make this trip. This is more of a gruelling challenge than a site seeing trip, to see how tough I' still am. Due to time constraint , I'm going to have to ride 3 English centuries in a row...rest one day...and do 3 centuries again back home. I just hope it's not going to be windy. I don't know if this is a world record or anything...but it's an order of magnitude more difficult than I've done.
In my experience, faster is more fun because it allows for more recovery time. I would plan to lose some speed each day. If you can swing it, shoot for daily mileages of 125, 100, 75, 0, 120, 100, 80, respectively. Plenty of folks ride 1200km (750mi) in under 90 hours for the fun of it. It should be substantially more fun to have a a full 170 hours to complete your 600mi mission.
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Old 09-08-17, 11:46 AM   #28
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I don't have the luxory of training or experimenting. And I have limited time to make this trip. This is more of a gruelling challenge than a site seeing trip, to see how tough I' still am. Due to time constraint , I'm going to have to ride 3 English centuries in a row...rest one day...and do 3 centuries again back home. I just hope it's not going to be windy. I don't know if this is a world record or anything...but it's an order of magnitude more difficult than I've done.
How far/long do you ride now? If you are only used to, say, 30 miles over two hours, there is likely no amount of slowing down that is going to make six centuries in seven days an enjoyable experience if you have no time for training.
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Old 09-08-17, 12:52 PM   #29
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This is indeed an interesting question and finding answers is a frustrating exercise.

I would think that it is useful to think in terms of power output (i.e. watts) produced over time. Watts translate into speed depending on the wind, terrain, load etc. such that thinking in terms of "how fast should I ride" is more delicate.

The question could then be rephrased like "how can I maximize the number of watts that I can produce over a day, given my level of fitness?". No definite answer, but it would look like "endurance" output, which can be sustained indefinitely, and is in the 55-75% range of Functional Threshold Power (FTP). FTP is defined as the output that you can sustain over an hour. So, if you can sustain 150 watts for an hour, you should be able to generate close to 100 W all day.

If you have access to a power meter, you can try to put hard numbers on these ideas. More generally, it would boil down to "ride at the maximum pace that you feel you could sustain forever". You may also get a good approximation by reverse-calculating your wattage with this calculator.

And then there are other issues, such as how often and how long should you stop. How/what to drink/eat while you ride. etc.
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Old 09-08-17, 01:10 PM   #30
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I don't have the luxory of training or experimenting. And I have limited time to make this trip. This is more of a gruelling challenge than a site seeing trip, to see how tough I' still am. Due to time constraint , I'm going to have to ride 3 English centuries in a row...rest one day...and do 3 centuries again back home. I just hope it's not going to be windy. I don't know if this is a world record or anything...but it's an order of magnitude more difficult than I've done.
English centuries? Is that like pub stops and sheep crossing with high tea in the afternoon? Or you mean a metric 100 km or USA 60 miles. Got a plan B? Travel light, carry less, plan your stops.
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Old 09-08-17, 01:14 PM   #31
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I never train.
I ride 100 miles with camping gear two days in a row. 12 hrs of saddle time. No problem.

By the third day my butt and hands say ....NO!
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Old 09-08-17, 01:29 PM   #32
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In my experience, faster is more fun because it allows for more recovery time. I would plan to lose some speed each day. If you can swing it, shoot for daily mileages of 125, 100, 75, 0, 120, 100, 80, respectively. Plenty of folks ride 1200km (750mi) in under 90 hours for the fun of it. It should be substantially more fun to have a a full 170 hours to complete your 600mi mission.
If OP is doing this ride in the near future, then he will also not have 14 hours of daylight (not sure where he is located but we are nearing the equinox so it doesn't matter).

I wouldn't intentionally ride slower to spend more touring time in the dark.

I would pick a reasonable pace he can sustain. Also agree with advice above to try front-loading some. If I haven't trained enough then I've found 2nd/3rd days to be tougher than 1st all other things being equal.
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Old 09-08-17, 01:48 PM   #33
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I don't have the luxory of training or experimenting. And I have limited time to make this trip. This is more of a gruelling challenge than a site seeing trip, to see how tough I' still am. Due to time constraint , I'm going to have to ride 3 English centuries in a row...rest one day...and do 3 centuries again back home. I just hope it's not going to be windy. I don't know if this is a world record or anything...but it's an order of magnitude more difficult than I've done.
That sounds like a tough ride.

What kind of bicycle are you riding? What kind of load are you carrying? Types of roads? Hills?

I'd encourage you to do a little "training", but for each person it is different, and a lot will depend on past experience. Are you regularly riding century rides?

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In my experience, faster is more fun because it allows for more recovery time. I would plan to lose some speed each day. If you can swing it, shoot for daily mileages of 125, 100, 75, 0, 120, 100, 80, respectively. Plenty of folks ride 1200km (750mi) in under 90 hours for the fun of it. It should be substantially more fun to have a a full 170 hours to complete your 600mi mission.
I'm not sure I'd do even this regimented of a ride. By day 7, the OP will either make it or break it. So, one could potentially still do a long ride for the last day. At least my experience for longer multi-day rides is that the body either trains up, or habituates to the long rides by later in the trip.

So, I might modify it somewhat like 150 miles on the first day with an early start, 75/75 on second and third. Then probably 100/100/100 for the last three. But, really go with how ever far one gets too. Try to mainly ride from dawn to dusk (or a little more).

Hitting a lot of tough hills, or a lot of elevation gain one day might actually leave a person short for the day's ride. So, either more hours, or finding a different place to stop, so having some flexibility is good.
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Old 09-08-17, 01:49 PM   #34
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.... sheep crossing with high tea in the afternoon?....
Where men are men and sheep are nervous
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Old 09-08-17, 02:25 PM   #35
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I don't think it's a straight linear equation as far as reduction of exertion vs less fatigue is concerned. There is a certain threshold of fatigue one will experience just by being on the bike for a number of hours.

So I may be able to go longer in the saddle by reducing my max speed but at some point I will not gain any more distance because I will be limited by time fatigue regardless.

I think the 50-75% ftp ratio is a good one to aim for. By doing this I can ride all day. About a month ago we did 17.5 hrs with two 1/2hr breaks.

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Old 09-09-17, 10:24 AM   #36
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I don't have the luxury of training or experimenting. And I have limited time to make this trip. I don't know if this is a world record or anything...but it's an order of magnitude more difficult than I've done.
I don't know if this is a good idea. I have a busy buddy in his mid 50's that typically doesn't get in much training before our yearly group tour. We aren't going near your distances and he has ended up calling his wife to come get him on pretty much every trip for the last 3 years by the 3rd day.

How much training are you putting in right now? Miles per ride and days per week? Youth helps if you're young.

I'd have a back-up route that isn't as ambitious. Preferably one you could carry out using the same initial route your are planning now. I'd expect you want to enjoy your trip. Everyone is different, but now that I'm in my 50's I prefer to ride 60 to 80 miles per day. If you're in shape, back to back centuries are doable and more likely at a easier pace. If you haven't been training, I would bet you're going to have a tough time by day 3.

When I was in my 30's and training constantly, a friend and I rode 1200 miles in 11 days. We had an awesome time. We typically started at 5:30 am, took long breaks at times, and ended each day at dusk around 9 pm.
We probably rode 9-10 hrs per day. Our biggest issue was saddle sores. We ate an disgustingly awesome amount of calories each day.
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Old 09-09-17, 10:52 AM   #37
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when I ride w Wifey (slower) it's kinda like torture
Must be nice. My wife rides like she's on a rocket, and whines and complains about it on the home stretch.
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Old 09-09-17, 11:51 AM   #38
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Speed and distanceare irrelevant. Do what you feel comfortable doing. The best thing you can do is get yourself in shape before you leave for the trip and that can dramatically increase the speed you feel comfortable riding at as well as the number of miles you feel comfortable doing each day.
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Old 09-09-17, 05:03 PM   #39
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I wonder if a good strategy is to intentional ride very slower but for more hours...then you are actually faster. Tortoise vs Hare.

Like slow down to 8mph average...and ride for 14 hours...to reach 110 miles per day.
Yeah, I don't think that's how it works.

If you ride 8 hours a day close to your LT, you will have less physical fatigue (e.g. back, arms, muscles contact points) than if you ride 14 hours a day.

Slower speed + more hours or may not cause more mental fatigue. That depends on factors like your own mental toughness, how long you're on tour, can you really ride 14 hours a day without burning out, do you need to spend mental/physical energy setting up a campsite and cooking.

In theory, riding below LT can burn a little more fat, and riding closer to LT will burn more blood glucose. However, if you ride in the fat-burning zone, you won't increase your fitness, including your ability to optimally store and burn more blood glucose.

If you're riding for a week, this may be a moot point, as you're not likely to dramatically improve your fitness in that short a period no matter what. On longer tours, or if you try this policy during your training period, it adds up. Over that longer time, if you are riding closer to LT and doing intervals (intentionally or just hitting a bunch of small hills), you will get stronger, and will be able to ride more miles at a faster speed. You will be better at replenishing, storing and using blood glucose too.

To be clear, I don't think the goal of touring needs to be focus on improving improving fitness. Different people tour for different reasons. (I for one prefer to look at scenery and eat like there's no tomorrow.) I'm only pointing out that I don't think your plan works in the long run.
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Old 09-09-17, 06:22 PM   #40
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This thread is in the wrong forum

Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling - Bike Forums
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Old 09-09-17, 06:56 PM   #41
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I don't have the luxory of training or experimenting. And I have limited time to make this trip. This is more of a gruelling challenge than a site seeing trip, to see how tough I' still am. Due to time constraint , I'm going to have to ride 3 English centuries in a row...rest one day...and do 3 centuries again back home. I just hope it's not going to be windy. I don't know if this is a world record or anything...but it's an order of magnitude more difficult than I've done.
Well.. I don't really get the highlighted parts but be that as it may, there is a pretty easy way to schedule such a trip out. The problem being, without doing some prior experimenting you won't know what speed you can ride fast but comfortably at over a long period in order to plug your numbers in.

On a loaded touring bike on average ground I can do 15kph for a long time which is pretty close to 10mph so I'll use that figure.

Day 1: 100 miles
Day 2: 100 miles
Day 3: 100 miles
Day 4: Rest day
Day 5: 100 miles
Day 6: 100 miles
Day 7: 100 miles

The riding days could look like this:
  • 2.5hr's riding at 10mph
  • 15 minute coffee rest
  • 2.5hr's riding at 10mph
  • 30 minute lunch rest
  • 2.5hr's riding at 10mph
  • 15 minute coffee rest
  • 2.5hr's riding at 10mph
That gives you 11hr's travel time/day which allows a buffer of 1 hour for extended breaks or rougher terrain and still keeps to a 12hr day. That may seem like a long day for sightseeing but if the primary goal is a distance challenge then 12hr's isn't that long of a day. With that framework as a plan you could then pace yourself accordingly and know if you were hitting your marks along the way at any given time. If you know your comfortable but fast speed and stick to your schedule you could be pretty sure to complete the task barring unforeseen injury or unusually tough terrain. It would then come down to whether you actually had the mental commitment to do the task you challenged yourself to do.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 09-09-17 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 09-09-17, 07:04 PM   #42
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Comparing this to what I know about my riding ability, my first impression is that you're fracked , but hey, if that's what floats your boat and you are capable, good on ya.
All the best with it.
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Old 09-09-17, 07:31 PM   #43
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I don't have the luxory of training or experimenting. And I have limited time to make this trip. This is more of a gruelling challenge than a site seeing trip, to see how tough I' still am. Due to time constraint , I'm going to have to ride 3 English centuries in a row...rest one day...and do 3 centuries again back home. I just hope it's not going to be windy. I don't know if this is a world record or anything...but it's an order of magnitude more difficult than I've done.
Training is not a luxury. Training is practice. If you have not ridden 450 miles a week or three centuries back to back I doubt you'll do 600 miles in a week. Ride for three days, rest, turn around and ride home. This sounds like an opportunity to damage knees and a few nerves.
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Old 09-09-17, 08:05 PM   #44
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In my experience, faster is more fun because it allows for more recovery time. I would plan to lose some speed each day. If you can swing it, shoot for daily mileages of 125, 100, 75, 0, 120, 100, 80, respectively. Plenty of folks ride 1200km (750mi) in under 90 hours for the fun of it. It should be substantially more fun to have a a full 170 hours to complete your 600mi mission.
I much prefer to back-load my miles. I'd rather start with lower mile days and end with long ones than do it the other way. Given the OP's set-up, I might look at doing 65, 100, 135, 0, 65, 80, 155.

I think the added energy one finds to just plain ride to the end is called barn sour, and I've got it big time. I've had days where I ride the last fifty miles like I'm on an unloaded bike and those are the only miles done all week, in spite of there having been over a hundred miles prior that day and it being the end of the second week of riding. Maybe I'm the only one like this; we should each explore our own selves, I suppose.

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If OP is doing this ride in the near future, then he will also not have 14 hours of daylight (not sure where he is located but we are nearing the equinox so it doesn't matter).

I wouldn't intentionally ride slower to spend more touring time in the dark.
Perhaps unique to my wife and me, but we really enjoy riding at night. In general, we like to do a lot of pre-dawn riding, both when we tour and when we are just riding around our home area. It's peaceful, traffic is almost always lighter, moonlight is romantic, wildlife is more plentiful (might be a bad thing in some situations) and there's a weird psychological sense of being ahead of the game even when one doesn't have a schedule that comes with having already ridden fifty-odd miles before sunrise. We also tend to make camp earlier in the day so we get the best spots at formal campgrounds.

If we find ourselves riding after sunset, we are just as likely to go ahead and ride through the night as make camp in the dark. This might not work for others, it's just the way we like to roll.
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Old 09-21-17, 04:57 PM   #45
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Perfectly viable strategy. Wind force is proportional to the square of speed so all else equal, if you double your pace from 8mph to 16mph, you will quadruple the wind force/air friction you are fighting. In practice though, bicycle rolling/mechanical friction is proportionate larger at slower speeds, and the wind force factor really only kicks in exponentially hard as you get into the teens mph.
Love the scientific justification!
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Old 09-26-17, 06:31 AM   #46
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I wonder if a good strategy is to intentional ride very slower but for more hours...then you are actually faster. Tortoise vs Hare.

Like slow down to 8mph average...and ride for 14 hours...to reach 110 miles per day.
I feel like that's not how it works in the short term. Most of the people I meet doing lots of long days go fast and ride all day, while those who do short distances in a day usually go more leisurely and enjoy the ride.

However, in the long term the slow riders seem more likely to cover whole countries and continents, while the fast riders often do shorter routes.

Of course, you can probably find lots of exceptions.

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Old 09-26-17, 09:13 AM   #47
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I have only done one solo bike tour. That is the only tour I have done where it was easy to change my destination during the day while riding based on how I felt, weather, etc. The bike tours I did with others, we had pre-determined points where we planned to finish the day. Thus, most of my touring where I had a fixed destination each day, in part my riding effort, caloric intake, etc., were based on the planned distance and elevation gain for the day.

I ride at a comfortable pace that I can sustain for many hours. If I slowed down, I would get bored and my bum would hurt more. So, I am not slowing down.

BUT, there are windy days (headwinds) that leave me out of steam long before my destination. Those are the days when I glance at my GPS or bike computer to see if I am making much progress and then realize that I looked at the computer or GPS about five minutes earlier.
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Old 09-26-17, 01:59 PM   #48
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Most of the people who cross the U.S. loaded seem to ride at about 10-12 mph average.


Now, if you're going across Asia, Africa, or going N-S along the Americas, the average seems to drop. That coincides with "roads" that may not be well paved, may be covered in boulders, etc. I suspect the drop in average speed is related more to riding surface quality than to how long the riders are planning to go.
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Old 09-26-17, 03:34 PM   #49
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Got a long ways at 7mph, but it was not during a miserly 2 week un paid vacation time, but over months,. Years ago, ..
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Old 09-27-17, 04:09 PM   #50
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how about faster = farther?
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