Author Topic: Going the distance  (Read 5665 times)

finch

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Going the distance
« on: 25 July, 2023, 12:30:50 pm »
For me , a “bike ride” is usually about 40 miles , this year we’ve kinda made 50 the standard and recently have done a few of 100km which is about 63miles if I’m summing properly.

My brother has decided that before the summer is out we should look to do a 100mile ride - something 2 of the 4 of us ( him and I ) have never done before

My question here is pretty basic , if I can do 100km and feel ok afterwards should the 160km be relatively straightforward? Our last 100km had 2000m of ascent but we would be routing the 160km to possibly have a lot less

Doable ? Easy ? Would need to get it done inside 9hrs

quixoticgeek

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Re: Going the distance
« Reply #1 on: 25 July, 2023, 01:35:13 pm »


Why the 9 hours limit?

If you can do 100km, you can do 200km, it just might leave you feeling a bit stiff the next day.

J
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telstarbox

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Re: Going the distance
« Reply #2 on: 25 July, 2023, 01:39:02 pm »
Completely doable. Plan somewhere good for lunch and maybe a couple of other stops, so you're doing 30-40km legs. That should give you some motivation :)

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Re: Going the distance
« Reply #3 on: 25 July, 2023, 01:44:12 pm »
Its a natural progression to want to ride that little bit further than you have ever done before, and if you build up to it, then nothing is impossible.  Many Audax riders started with the 100km distance and probably went on to (eventually) complete the ultimate - the Paris-Brest-Paris (1200km).

Enjoying your ride is paramount, but try not to set time limits.

finch

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Re: Going the distance
« Reply #4 on: 25 July, 2023, 01:46:21 pm »
Time limitations are dictated by children/pick up times etc - if necessary I can set off earlier if factoring in a meal time half way through

Like the idea of maybe 4x 40km “legs” could do a 2x 80km loop with a cafe at the way point

Re: Going the distance
« Reply #5 on: 25 July, 2023, 02:23:02 pm »
I've started doing 100 milers in the last few years, the step up from 100kms is a stretch but not that bad and for me is not 60% worse. As ever comfort in the saddle matters but if you ride it as say 4x25mile rides you'll probably be fine.
I've started getting other people in on regular summer 100's, we do 2 styles of 100, mostly we have coffee stop in a cafe at 25m (15mins ish), lunch at 50m (30-45mins) and a 'standing around' break at 75m (15mins) standing up seems to stop us stiffening up, our other hundred type is just 2 stops at the 33/66 mile point and both breaks are probably half hour and both sat down as going stiff seems to appear just between 67 and 70 miles ;)
All my 100's have a bail out option to a train (Meresyrail no bike restrictions) at the 80mile mark, indeed the ride is actually an 80mile loop where potential centurions need to do a 10 mile commute to the loop start - so distances between 70 and a 100 exist by virtue of bail out option (never used yet) oh and some ride a 13 mile commute each way for 126miles (200km ). 9hrs is unlikely, we say 10hrs and that's even if we average 15mph, so 8hrs of riding and breaks and 2hrs of faffage  ;D

Re: Going the distance
« Reply #6 on: 25 July, 2023, 02:23:14 pm »
Eat quite regularly. No more than 2hrs between snacks or meals.
Keep speed down.
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finch

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Re: Going the distance
« Reply #7 on: 25 July, 2023, 02:39:53 pm »
Some great and highly appreciated advice here

Re: Going the distance
« Reply #8 on: 26 July, 2023, 08:17:55 am »
Time limitations are dictated by children/pick up times etc

It sounds like you can do the distance fine but the above sounds like the not fun part, to me! If this ride is a special one-off, can you get help with pick-up time? Someone (friend, neighbour, another parent) primed to be the emergency collection person if you text them at a given time? When my kids were younger, a few parents would have each other on the collection sheet - so whoever got there first just took all the kids round to the playground. You don't want to be stressing on the last leg towards home!

finch

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Re: Going the distance
« Reply #9 on: 26 July, 2023, 08:25:24 am »
Unfortunately I don’t have that option unless I manage to choose a day when mrs F isn’t working - we don’t have any assistance from family or anyone else - our youngest has autism and though not particularly challenging , my parents don’t ever take him so it has to be factored in

I’m thinking 06:00 till 17:30 should be sufficient

Re: Going the distance
« Reply #10 on: 26 July, 2023, 08:49:02 am »
Similar here, if it's any consolation - no family to hand, eldest has autism and ADHD: play dates didn't really happen, but ten minutes at the park was okay. I was lucky that my partner worked right by the kids'primary school so could nip out if need be! Anyway, just a thought - years of rushing to get back for pick-up had some stressful moments! All best wishes with your ride.

finch

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Re: Going the distance
« Reply #11 on: 26 July, 2023, 09:16:10 am »
I’ve a tiny bit of annual leave left from taking days here and there when he’s not at nursery so going to plan to use one, do it on a Saturday when Mrs F isn’t working and I’ve got the next day to reinflate my body

vorsprung

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Re: Going the distance
« Reply #12 on: 26 July, 2023, 02:03:09 pm »
Take plenty of liquids (water or water+electolytes) and some on bike snacks.  Eat something once an hour, if it is lunchtime stop for lunch

Don't ride fast.  By this I mean do not have a target speed or finish time.  Have a target rate of effort that is quite low.  I usually aim to breathe through my nose all the time

Plan a route that is easy, flat, good roads, tail wind.  Don't enter "Bastard Jack's 150km evil grimper". 

Whatever the distance (50km, 100km, 500km, 1000km) the last few km always seem a bit difficult, don't let this worry you
The day after do a short "recovery ride" of some easy miles

Re: Going the distance
« Reply #13 on: 28 July, 2023, 02:20:59 pm »
Take plenty of liquids (water or water+electolytes) and some on bike snacks.

If you are at all prone to cramp then definitely keep well on top of hydration and use electrolytes.  Drink little and often, certainly drink before you are thirsty.  Much better to need an extra comfort break or two than suffer with cramp, something I learned the hard way.

Kim

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Re: Going the distance
« Reply #14 on: 28 July, 2023, 08:25:46 pm »
If you can do 100km, you can do 200km, it just might leave you feeling a bit stiff the next day.

Second this.

My take on bike ride length is that there's a sort of natural progression of barriers to overcome.  Something like:
  • Knowing how to ride the bike
  • Having any real cycling muscles
  • Sorting out the ergonomics so you can ride for more than a couple of hours without suffering
  • Fuelling and hydration
  • Sleep

I'd say that the progression from 100k to 200k is mostly digestive.

I'd add that a reliable bike and confidence in navigating will give you two less things to worry about.

Re: Going the distance
« Reply #15 on: 01 August, 2023, 10:04:28 am »
Used to go on organised 'Century Rides' last century.  Quite informal and uncompetitive, you could turn up on any old bike wearing jeans and trainers and ISTR most people did - we were just people riding bicycles..  At the start you checked in, got a Century Ride bidon and set off, following the rest.  There was a half-way stop with sandwiches and ISTR the organisers set a 10 hour time limit inside which you got a certificate - usually not too many hills and it took me about 8.5 hours on my shiny new tourer with 12 speeds.   

   

Sheldon Brown never said leave it to the professionals.

finch

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Re: Going the distance
« Reply #16 on: 01 August, 2023, 10:21:51 am »
We’ve pencilled in 12th September whatever the weather - probably use the winter bike regardless unless it’s super sunny - planning a route that’s relatively flattish but takes in 3 stops - 2x coffee and cake and 1x lunch. I reckon we’re looking at a 10hour window but I expect even with the stops we’ll be a little quicker than that - I hope

Wowbagger

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Re: Going the distance
« Reply #17 on: 02 August, 2023, 12:09:56 am »
I'm quite sure you can do it.

My last completed Dunwich Dynamo (about 118 miles from Liverpool Street to Dunwich) was in 2019, shortly after my 65th birthday. I made the mistake of recruiting a stoker for the tandem on the basis that I could get someone younger and stronger than I am to push me to the coast, who would then not have the responsibility of getting a bike back to London. I was responsible for that.

Sadly, the stoker I recruited was only rated for about 40 miles, so I was doing the bulk of the work from about Dunmow onwards.

Kim can testify for this.
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Kim

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Re: Going the distance
« Reply #18 on: 02 August, 2023, 01:11:56 am »
Indeed.  He was doing admirably well until he abruptly and impressively ran out of steam in the way of someone who's done plenty of cycling, but only ever for short trips.  I believe there were contact point issues too...

The Dun Run isn't an ideal ride to discover this sort of thing on.

ElyDave

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Re: Going the distance
« Reply #19 on: 04 August, 2023, 06:42:04 am »
My experience on both ultra marathons and long rides is that for a one-off "event" two thirds distance is plenty to train at. For a 50 mile race, my Sunday long run would be about 25-30 miles, for my first century ride i was training up to about 60. The rest is more mental than physical
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Going the distance
« Reply #20 on: 04 August, 2023, 07:05:00 am »
Sadly, the stoker I recruited was only rated for about 40 miles, so I was doing the bulk of the work from about Dunmow onwards.

I see a need for old-style coaching inns here. Stop for a refreshment and trade your stoker in for a fresh pair of legs.

Re: Going the distance
« Reply #21 on: 04 August, 2023, 08:07:47 am »
Kim mentioned contact points. Seconded. It's hands, knees and bumpsydaisy. Hands: wear padded gloves, consider a second layer of tape on your bars to reduce road vibes. I get tingly fingers leading to dead hands and the extra tape and gloves keeps that at bay.  Knees is code for position. I abandoned a 300 Audax because a mis-aligned cleat led to knee pain. Wholly avoidable if your position is tried and tested: saddle height, reach, bar height etc. Comfort, a relative term, is the key. Bumpsydaisy: a well worn-in saddle is worth its weight in gold.
The best advice I had (from Hellymedic) was to eat something every hour, even if it's only a boiled sweet or something to keep your fueling up. Most distance riders, and indeed racers, have experienced the bonk - hypoglycemic shock - at some point when you run out of energy in a dramatic and unpleasant way. The hammer falls and you have nothing left to give. Again, avoidable with feeds. Lot's of personal solutions ranging from banana sandwiches (yuk!) said to be an old pro fave, to energy bars and gels and everything in between. I like a slice or two of Soreen malt loaf, but that's just me. Rest for at least 30 mins and eat well but not to excess at your lunch stop. Keep your fluids topped up.
And my third key is spin don't grind. I try to keep to a steady-ish 75 revs/min pedal stroke. In my old club days we were supposed to train at 90 but I could never manage that. Either way a smooth gentle spin is a lot easier on the legs and knees - I'm getting old! - than grinding a bigger gear.
None of the above is an any way original, but it's common ground for longer rides, distilled through the experience of many over thousands of kms
They laughed when I said I was going to be a stand-up comedian. They're not laughing now.

Re: Going the distance
« Reply #22 on: 11 August, 2023, 08:32:35 am »
Hey Finch, lots of good advice on here. I'll just add if you are in a time schedule try and reduce faffing. When i did my longest ride I would roll into a food stop/check point. Be off bike, wee, fill bottles (with water not wee) have a snack, grab more snacks and be ready to go while my friend would still be getting off bike and faffing. Reckon could easily have saved an hour or more.

Re: Going the distance
« Reply #23 on: 22 August, 2023, 09:05:43 am »
Quote
my third key is spin don't grind. I try to keep to a steady-ish 75 revs/min pedal stroke. In my old club days we were supposed to train at 90 but I could never manage that.

I was watching the TdF pros climbing in the Alps and wondering what cadence they were averaging, apparently it's 100 plus..  I don't have a cadence meter on the road, but on Zwift, 83, seems to be my comfort zone at the moment and I would like to get nearer to 90.  In my case I think I use slightly different muscles to grind than I need to spin so it's more practice I need.

Quote
On the other hand, too fast a cadence and you’re likely to find your pelvis rocking, which could lower pedalling efficiency. You’ll also tire quickly.

Having got my first decent bike I went out with experienced riders and tried to match their cadence. They had a good laugh at the way I bounced around on the saddle - my muscles needed to loosen up, and after more miles they did.
Sheldon Brown never said leave it to the professionals.

Kim

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Re: Going the distance
« Reply #24 on: 22 August, 2023, 01:39:35 pm »
There's a crank length factor in cadence, it being much easier to pedal at higher cadences with shorter cranks (though note this also raises the gain ratio), and being difficult to pedal without uncomfortable flapping about when the cranks are too long.

As, to a first order approximation, all bikes have 170mm cranks, it's hard to experiment with this.  Riders for whom 170mm is too long may well think that's what pedalling always feels like.

I expect there's a selection bias effect with pros tending to be the ones whose anatomy works well with standard bike components.