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In Over My Head?

Old 08-09-10, 07:54 PM
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In Over My Head?

Noob here, never toured before. Have been working all summer and decided to take a week off before I go back to school. Bought a bike, acquiring all the gear and I'm planning on a 600 mile trip in 6 days. Am I dumb? Haven't rode a bike at all really the whole summer. How will I fare attempting this? Granted, I am in good shape, and I'm young and determined so I have that going for me. My main worry is waking up after the first day of 100 miles and not being able to stand up. Also worried about ass complications. I have ridden 100 miles in a day before (last summer) but never consecutive days of any significant distance. Anyone spontaneously go on a tour this distance with little prep? Would love tips no matter how big or small. Or if you want to dissuade me that's fine too I am willing to face my ignorance. Thanks.
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Old 08-09-10, 07:59 PM
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Bad idea, given the parameters..
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Old 08-09-10, 08:08 PM
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100 miles a day seems a tad bit ambitious to me. That said. I say " ride on McDuff, and damned be he who says ' hold enough.' " You may have a great time or fail misserably, either way it will be unforgettable.
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Old 08-09-10, 08:08 PM
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Does it HAVE to be 600 miles in 6 days? I mean, you can try it, but if you haven't ridden in awhile, you may have a tough time doing consecutive 100 mile days. You could instead shoot for 50 mile days and ride more if the legs feel up to it.

You might want to consider a weekend 'shakedown' tour just to see how you hold up doing 100 miles, that way you can adjust as needed. It's also helpful to find out what kind of gear you need and don't need.
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Old 08-09-10, 08:08 PM
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If you had two weeks, I would say "go for it". With one week and no significant mileage to date, I think you are biting off more than you can chew. Long days can cause problems for even fit cyclists, let alone someone who "haven't rode a bike at all..."! If you are determined to try, carry a cel phone, so you can get help WHEN (not if) you need it.
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Old 08-09-10, 08:21 PM
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Just for more detail, my reason for going this distance is because my friend lives on the other side of the state, so my goal is to ride there then drive back with him. Otherwise I would need to do some kind of loop that ends where I start. I appreciate the replies though and I'm certainly considering this, some kind of less ambitious loop around the local region. And if it makes a difference, I may be able to stretch the days to 8, and according to google maps my intended route is 530 miles, which equates to about 65 miles per day instead of the 100.
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Old 08-09-10, 08:35 PM
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How soon do you plan it? If you can get in some 'saddle time' beforehand, it will go a LONG way toward being happy with your attempt.
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Old 08-09-10, 08:41 PM
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Ass complications: Bag Balm. Or A+D ointment. And make certain to clean at least that certain area at least once a day.

I can remember an age where I rode 108 miles so that I could barely walk that evening, but I was still able to get up and go for another hundred the next day. My main concerns would be whether you can tell between getting tired and getting hurt, whether you have a plan B in case you start getting hurt, and whether you're actually going to enjoy yourself biking that long each day. Biking to your limit can be an exhilarating experience, but it gets old after a couple of days. Planning for 65 miles a day is much more doable for somebody who is in general good physical shape.
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Old 08-09-10, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Herp dee Derp
Just for more detail, my reason for going this distance is because my friend lives on the other side of the state, so my goal is to ride there then drive back with him. Otherwise I would need to do some kind of loop that ends where I start. I appreciate the replies though and I'm certainly considering this, some kind of less ambitious loop around the local region. And if it makes a difference, I may be able to stretch the days to 8, and according to google maps my intended route is 530 miles, which equates to about 65 miles per day instead of the 100.
where are you touring?
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Old 08-09-10, 08:52 PM
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If you still have some time before the ride, I would recommend riding 30-50 miles a day until a week before you leave, then a few 50-75 mile days loaded up, then break for a couple days before finally heading out. Honestly though, you're asking a lot of yourself. 100 miles a day is a lot when everything goes as planned; things wont go as planned. Not for six days.

I'm assuming you weren't fully loaded when you rode 100 miles last year? 100 miles loaded is more like 150 miles unloaded (or at least, it's going to feel that way). You need to get out and ride some serious distance with your full kit. See how it feels. Hit some hills. See what breaks. Sort out the new pains you're going to feel from carrying and handling extra pounds, while sporting the profile of a dumpster.

In general, the whole campaign sounds like a really bad idea. If I were you, I would totally do it.
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Old 08-09-10, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by badamsjr
How soon do you plan it? If you can get in some 'saddle time' beforehand, it will go a LONG way toward being happy with your attempt.
I would start this coming Sat. or Sun, and end the next Sat or Sun (or Monday max) ( I know it's really soon). It would definitely be possible for me to put it a few dozen miles after work this week. My thinking was that it would wear me out for the next week but if it would help, great I'll do it.

Originally Posted by AsanaCycles
where are you touring?
Idaho, north to south.
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Old 08-09-10, 09:03 PM
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That does not leave much time for 'conditioning' your butt, AND resting a couple days beforehand, to keep from being too tired at the start. Again, if you are determined, then be sure your cel is charged up, and think about a 'plan B'--just in case. Best of luck on your decision.
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Old 08-09-10, 09:06 PM
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Thanks for the replies guys.

I'm making sure I don't get too far from civilization, only going on roads where there is a town at least every 20-30 miles. That way, worst case scenario I can hitch/walk/somehow make it to a town then bus it back. Boy would that be a shame....
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Old 08-09-10, 09:37 PM
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ride in his direction until he's done waiting for you then he picks you up on his way across the state. I don't see the necessity for making the full trip in 6days if he's driving back to your home town. Just ride at a comfortable pace. Turning it into a dragfest seems unnecessary but if you take some amphetamines you should be able to stay on the bike for a long while before some kind of collapse occurs.
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Old 08-09-10, 11:02 PM
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Warning Warning Noobie Alert
So, last week you didn't have a bike and now your want a 600 mile tour ??
I hope it's a magic Pee Wee Herman bike.


Are you the same twerp who wanted to ride 126 miles from Minneapolis, day 1, and go 320 miles in 3 days . ?? haha
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Old 08-09-10, 11:23 PM
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I accept the criticism, though I don't think I was unclear in my admittance of noobness and naivety. I appreciate the support though, honestly it gives me a bit more motivation to complete the ride.

I think I got what I was looking for out of this thread, I'll be sure to update whether I make it or turn around and crawl back home to my bed after the first 30 miles.
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Old 08-09-10, 11:40 PM
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Eating and drinking enough is almost as much of a challenge as the riding will be. Scratch that - it's more of a challenge. If you're tough and persistent, and prepared to change lots of flat tires, the riding part is probably do-able. But keeping your body fueled and hydrated is not a matter of toughness, it's a matter of knowing how much and how often. You'll have to learn real quick how many hundred calories per hour you need and what kind of food your stomach can process while riding, and how much and what kind of fluid to drink. This is true for a single century, and magnified for back to backs.

Figure out the eating and hydration part, ride from dawn to dusk, and you'll get it done. Bonk or get dehydrated and you'll be done.
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Old 08-09-10, 11:40 PM
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Just getup in the morning eat breakfast , ride till lunch , eat lunch , ride till four or five,
have a cuppa tea in your campsite , cook dinner or make another sandwich.

go to sleep , wake up the next morning and repeat..

forget mileage goals, enjoy the journey absorb the scenery , if you don't get the 600 miles, on day 6, so what ,
cover the rest of the miles in a bus or load the bike in someone's pickup truck.

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-09-10 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 08-10-10, 03:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Herp dee Derp
Just for more detail, my reason for going this distance is because my friend lives on the other side of the state, so my goal is to ride there then drive back with him. Otherwise I would need to do some kind of loop that ends where I start. I appreciate the replies though and I'm certainly considering this, some kind of less ambitious loop around the local region. And if it makes a difference, I may be able to stretch the days to 8, and according to google maps my intended route is 530 miles, which equates to about 65 miles per day instead of the 100.
Your body may thank you if you choose this option.

And YES ... post back here and tell us how it went!! That would be a pleasant novelty.
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Old 08-10-10, 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Herp dee Derp
Just for more detail, my reason for going this distance is because my friend lives on the other side of the state, so my goal is to ride there then drive back with him. Otherwise I would need to do some kind of loop that ends where I start. I appreciate the replies though and I'm certainly considering this, some kind of less ambitious loop around the local region. And if it makes a difference, I may be able to stretch the days to 8, and according to google maps my intended route is 530 miles, which equates to about 65 miles per day instead of the 100.
That brings it into the range of much more doable. My advice would be to not try to push too hard out of the gate. Do easier days to start and build as you go. Too many riders do really long mileage the first days and wind up beat and in need of a rest day before they are in the groove.
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Old 08-10-10, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by ploeg
I can remember an age where I rode 108 miles so that I could barely walk that evening,
You know, we could have saved you a lot of riding; there's a technique with a baseball bat that will render you barely able to walk in seconds

OP; 65 is still pushing it for every day. If that was one long stretch in a tour of 45-50 mile days, I'd say go for it, but unless you can prove to yourself that you can do 65 miles in one day and still be okay the next between now and your start date, I'd look into having the friend meet up closer to home.
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Old 08-10-10, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
forget mileage goals, enjoy the journey absorb the scenery , if you don't get the 600 miles, on day 6, so what ,
cover the rest of the miles in a bus or load the bike in someone's pickup truck.
Actually, that sounds really pleasant; get out and ride, forget the endpoint, don't worry about the miles, and on the next-to-last day when you make camp, call your buddy and tell him where you plan to camp the next night so he can join you there.
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Old 08-10-10, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53
Warning Warning Noobie Alert
So, last week you didn't have a bike and now your want a 600 mile tour ??
I hope it's a magic Pee Wee Herman bike.
It isn't far fetched at all to do a 600 mile tour other than the expected daily mileage of 100. Lots of people have done the Trans America who were not previously avid cyclists and with minimal preparation. The thing that makes his trip less feasible isn't that it is long but more that it isn't long enough to start slow and build mileage as he goes. Still a reasonably fit young person should be able to manage 65 miles a day if they pack light and are determined enough (assuming reasonable terrain).

One example... One of my Trans America companions was never an avid cyclist. While she did own a bike she had not ridden it through her undergraduate years. She borrowed a bike from me and got in a few rides in the few weeks before the trip. Her longest ride was 33 miles and all of her rides were unloaded. By necessity she didn't get her bike for the tour until two days before we left. I spend some hours fitting her and setting up the bike before we had to box it up. It helped that she was a runner and an avid outdoors-person with good camping gear and skills. She did fine (we started with easier days) and finished the 4244 mile tour in 73 days.
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Old 08-10-10, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Herp dee Derp
My main worry is waking up after the first day of 100 miles and not being able to stand up. Also worried about ass complications. I have ridden 100 miles in a day before (last summer) but never consecutive days of any significant distance....Anyone spontaneously go on a tour this distance with little prep? Would love tips no matter how big or small....
Yes, I've done it. You are right to be worried about ass complications. Best advice: get a gel saddle (or a gel saddle cover at WalMart if you need to save the money -- the ones with the cutout down the middle). And get some gel shorts if you can, or sew some gel into some riding shorts.

The double gel will go a long way toward preventing problems. You don't really have time to wait for the toughening-up process to be effective.

Avoid seams in pressure areas. Stay clean. Stand up periodically to relieve the pressure on the soft tissues, and provide some circulation and oxygenation to the tissues you are sitting on (this avoids tissue ischemia problems). You should be all right.

Also, don't pressure yourself and strain at keeping your speed up. That approach is often exhausting. Instead, pace yourself. It isn't a race. Just find a reasonable, sustainable pace rather than wearing yourself out.

It's a lot better to do eight or ten or even twelve hours of riding at a reasonable pace than five hours of riding at an exhausting pace.

Giving yourself some extra time each day and overall (to attain the mileage you are after) makes sense. It takes some of the pressure off. Having the extra time is a good feeling.

Also, getting high quality rest and sleep is important for a good state of mind, physical recovery, and full enjoyment of the trip.

Last edited by Niles H.; 08-10-10 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 08-10-10, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Herp dee Derp
I accept the criticism, though I don't think I was unclear in my admittance of noobness and naivety. I appreciate the support though, honestly it gives me a bit more motivation to complete the ride.

I think I got what I was looking for out of this thread, I'll be sure to update whether I make it or turn around and crawl back home to my bed after the first 30 miles.
If your friend was going to drive back to your destination why do you even have to make it to his? You ride at a comfortable pace until your time runs out and he drives in your direction and picks you up for the return trip. That sounds like the best plan.
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