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  1. #1
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    Making Strides But Have Questions

    I'm big on hike, bike, and boarding. I recently made the head in dive to pure road bike. I'm also a Clyde. I'm just a beginner with not enough time!! I've gotten lots of 10 mile rides and over the last week I've gotten 2 25mile rides in. Sore ass and some elbow/arm fatigue. Nothing I think is due to a bad fit...maybe still need tweaking. Working on that.

    What I'm wondering is what is a decent baseline for a century...by baseline I mean cadence, mph avg, and time. I do realize it's often rider specific but some generalizations would be nice. Something to see a mid point and something to see as a goal.

  2. #2
    JSR
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    Try to keep the cadence to 80 - 100 rpm and the other metrics will report themselves to you.

    100 miles is an accomplishment in its own right. If you did your first one under six hours, or 16 mph, you'd earn an oak leaf cluster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by biscut View Post
    ...over the last week I've gotten 2 25mile rides in. ...

    I do realize it's often rider specific but some generalizations would be nice. Something to see a mid point and something to see as a goal.
    Generalizations? Sure thing. Off to Bicycling magazine!

    The 8-Week Training Plan to Ride a Century | Bicycling

    Check the chart at the bottom, and consider yourself in week 1.

    There are more comprehensive training guides online if you like. But that one is a good basic 8 week plan for a beginner who is looking to finish without killing themselves.
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    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by biscut View Post
    What I'm wondering is what is a decent baseline for a century...by baseline I mean cadence, mph avg, and time. I do realize it's often rider specific but some generalizations would be nice. Something to see a mid point and something to see as a goal.
    Your generalization is too general. A baseline for who? Are you talking about if YOU go out tomorrow and do a century? Or if you do a century in a few months after riding more. Or someone who's been training a bit and working towards doing a century or done a century before?

    Also a huge factor will be the amount of elevation. 100mi with 1000ft of climbing will be astronomically different than 100mi with 7000ft of climbing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Also a huge factor will be the amount of elevation. 100mi with 1000ft of climbing will be astronomically different than 100mi with 7000ft of climbing.
    Not to mention wind conditions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Your generalization is too general. A baseline for who? Are you talking about if YOU go out tomorrow and do a century?
    A big part of my job is translating back and forth between novice and expert modes of knowing. Generally, novices don't know quite how to ask questions, and can easily be overwhelmed with getting full information. So it is good to try to look at what the novice asks and try to see what you can do with that before moving into expert mode.

    You might note the OP talks about doing a 25 mile ride. And talks about goals and progress. Progress likely means not tomorrow, right? And when people ask about other people, they usually are pretty clear about that.

    The plan I linked to starts in week one with... a "long" ride of 25 miles. So it starts where the OP is starting from. And shows progress targets/goals for 8 weeks.

    There is a LOT more to say about century riding, and training for riding one in terms of finishing, finishing comfortably, or riding a relatively fast century. Of course. Have at it, I am sure the OP and others who read this thread now and in the future will benefit from such discussion.
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    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiQuaeQuod View Post
    A big part of my job is translating back and forth between novice and expert modes of knowing. Generally, novices don't know quite how to ask questions, and can easily be overwhelmed with getting full information. So it is good to try to look at what the novice asks and try to see what you can do with that before moving into expert mode.
    Which is why I asked the OP to clarify. That's not moving into "expert mode". That's.... discussion.

    You might note the OP talks about doing a 25 mile ride. And talks about goals and progress. Progress likely means not tomorrow, right?
    If only I had a dollar for every rider who goes from riding 25mi (or less) to doing a century the next day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    Not to mention wind conditions.
    A stiff head wind on century day is likely to make a lot of people bail before finishing, that's for sure. A bit of rain as well, or a small chafe that turns into agony at mile 70. Things happen, and they even happen to very experienced riders.

    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Also a huge factor will be the amount of elevation. 100mi with 1000ft of climbing will be astronomically different than 100mi with 7000ft of climbing.
    Very good point! Also important is how concentrated the elevation gains are. A couple long steep climbs will be much harder than 10 shorter more gentle climbs with the same total elevation change.

    If we are talking about an organized century, it is best to know the route and profile (usually published ahead of time) and make sure how you train in terms of miles will have enough climbs to get you ready for the event.

    But if we are talking just riding 100 miles, then the route will likely be mostly, if not all, training route. So the elevation will take care of itself. But if it is ridden in a new place, best to check the elevation to avoid nasty surprises.
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    You want to survive an endurance sport, you train for the event.
    Usually <2 times previous duration is the best plan. So if you want to ride 100 miles, you work up from 10 miles to 20 for a few weeks. Then 20 to 40 for a few weeks. Then do a couple of 100 km, 63 miles. If you're okay at 63 miles then you can try your first 100 miles, on the same terrain.
    As far as speed, it is up to you. My speed is 9 to 11 mph, sometimes 12-13 if the wind is behind me. Sometimes 6 if the wind is hard against me. Your posture may be different, I respect my spine and don't bend over that much. I sure don't flex my neck way back the way many do. Your goals may be different. Mine is keeping my heart healthy for 100 years, while seeing a bit of the country I ride through. I've done a 100 km, that was enough for me. About 8 hours and the scenery wasn't all that interesting either. Flatland Hope IN. You go too slow the sag truck goes home, better carry your own tire tools. I do.
    These days my goal is 27 mi from my townhouse out to my summer camp, 3 hours uphill and 2.7downhill. Carrying groceries, mower parts, water, uphill, light downhill.
    Numbers aren't everything. I had a friend who would ride with me at my speed and talk about what we saw, about 25 years ago. He was a triathelete and could outswim or run me greatly, but he was slow on bicycle. He moved away.
    The people in the local bike clubs ride so **** fast with their pate pointed forwards and eyes pointed down at pavement, nothing interesting to say except their latest gear purchase. I see animals, houses, people, it is an interesting landscape out there in Clark Cty. Today there was a woman with blue cornrow braids that had to walk around me because I meant to quick-stop the intersection, and there were three cars. Life has detail, enjoy it.
    Enjoy the sport.
    Last edited by indianajo; 3 Weeks Ago at 03:57 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Which is why I asked the OP to clarify. That's not moving into "expert mode". That's.... discussion.
    I suggest you think about how your questions for clarification can be read as other than you intended. Some questions can come off as more helpful in tone, some can come off as overwhelming, and some show a distinct lack of listening/reading the words of the other and trying to understand the intent of those words. Questions can even be seen as intentionally missing the point being made.

    For example:

    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    If only I had a dollar for every rider who goes from riding 25mi (or less) to doing a century the next day.
    Your generalization is too general. Do you mean trying to ride a century the next day, or actually completing one? Are you talking about people who have riding for a long time and long miles who rode 25 miles the day before a century, or people who have ridden 25 miles as their longest ride EVER but ride regularly, or beginners like the OP clearly is, or people who have ridding one ride of 25 miles on a new bike after not having ridden since childhood?

    By your definition, that's just discussion. By my read, it is something else entirely. By picking on your language, I am not coming at it like a normal person, but I am applying a relatively rigorous analysis to casual sentence construction. I am applying an expert analytical perspective on communication that is not constructed to withstand that type of analysis, and likely was written without any expectation that it would face such analysis.

    I am pretty sure about what you meant, just as you could easily have been pretty sure about what the OP meant. Do I really need to nail down every possible meaning in your sentence above to "get" what you were trying to say? Nope.

    I most certainly get picky on other boards on this site at times, but for beginners, I try to be as charitable to their meaning and as gentle as I can in trying to be helpful without being overwhelming. It is VERY easy to be overwhelming coming from decades of riding experience, even when we think we are being very simple.

    YMMV on that perspective, of course.
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  11. #11
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiQuaeQuod View Post
    I suggest you think about how your questions for clarification can be read as other than you intended. Some questions can come off as more helpful in tone, some can come off as overwhelming, and some show a distinct lack of listening/reading the words of the other and trying to understand the intent of those words. Questions can even be seen as intentionally missing the point being made.

    For example:



    Your generalization is too general. Do you mean trying to ride a century the next day, or actually completing one? Are you talking about people who have riding for a long time and long miles who rode 25 miles the day before a century, or people who have ridden 25 miles as their longest ride EVER but ride regularly, or beginners like the OP clearly is, or people who have ridding one ride of 25 miles on a new bike after not having ridden since childhood?

    By your definition, that's just discussion. By my read, it is something else entirely. By picking on your language, I am not coming at it like a normal person, but I am applying a relatively rigorous analysis to casual sentence construction. I am applying an expert analytical perspective on communication that is not constructed to withstand that type of analysis, and likely was written without any expectation that it would face such analysis.

    I am pretty sure about what you meant, just as you could easily have been pretty sure about what the OP meant. Do I really need to nail down every possible meaning in your sentence above to "get" what you were trying to say? Nope.

    I most certainly get picky on other boards on this site at times, but for beginners, I try to be as charitable to their meaning and as gentle as I can in trying to be helpful without being overwhelming. It is VERY easy to be overwhelming coming from decades of riding experience, even when we think we are being very simple.

    YMMV on that perspective, of course.
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    Quote Originally Posted by biscut View Post
    What I'm wondering is what is a decent baseline for a century...by baseline I mean cadence, mph avg, and time. I do realize it's often rider specific but some generalizations would be nice.
    No, it's not even rider specific. It's highly conditions specific for anyone. I've done centuries between (guessing somewhat here) 14 and 20 point something MPH all with pretty much the same fitness level and effort. What I consider my best effort and with the help (drafting) of some strong riders was was only 18 MPH.
    Wind, hills, road surface and air temp. are big factors. When they are all in your favor times get fast and visa versa regardless. If this were indoor track cycling a rough guestimate would be possible but for road cycling it aint.

    As an example if you life in Florida (pan flat, decent roads, warm) you can probably expect at least 4 MPH faster than if you live in Vermont (wicked hills, bad asphalt, probably some gravel)

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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiQuaeQuod View Post
    I am not coming at it like a normal person,
    I'll give you that much.

    Another option is to just answer the question. Or say it can't be answered.

    Being a novice is pretty fresh in my memory. I've asked similar questions as the OP. Trust me, you're not the communication expert you perceive you are nor are you providing any useful information.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Being a novice is pretty fresh in my memory. I've asked similar questions as the OP. Trust me, you're not the communication expert you perceive you are nor are you providing any useful information.
    Read my first response the the OP, including the link. That was useful information. As was pointing out the concentration of climbs, not just the total elevation, matters. That expanded on a point tlg made.

    Baiting certain people, that was purely for my entertainment.

    Have a nice day.
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    Hmmm...Let me address the written word comments. I hope to offend no posted BUT I'm a man and I do speak my mind. I'm open to opposing views and can sure be one critical bastard...just ask those under me. Writing is critical in my professional life. A bike form will NOT see hat skill set. If so, then I guess I let a net raider get the best of me. And then the joke is on me because the time meter isn't on.


    That behind us....

    We can banter about so many conditions that would affect a 100 mile ride. I was very vague for a reason. That reaons was to get a wealth of responses. I wanted to hear from the midwest guy who says no winf I'm cranking 18mpg avg but if the wind gets me it's more like 10mph. I also wanted to hear form the guy in CO hitting steep grade after steep grade. lets face it, if I even said steep grade in my original post; define steep?? Right?

    I was looking for anecdotal info on what you guys on the form felt when you were new and approaching a century. I'd love the luxury of having the time to merely focus on riding a bike. Damn, especially mountain bike time. Really liking the road and I will be a road guy!! But I dont have that for now. So I ask.

    It's not cross examination, just wanting to hear your experience. I'll build my own for sure, but it's good to hear your experience and keep that in the back of my head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by biscut View Post
    I was looking for anecdotal info on what you guys on the form felt when you were new and approaching a century. I'd love the luxury of having the time to merely focus on riding a bike. Damn, especially mountain bike time. Really liking the road and I will be a road guy!! But I dont have that for now. So I ask.

    It's not cross examination, just wanting to hear your experience. I'll build my own for sure, but it's good to hear your experience and keep that in the back of my head.
    Time: You can do a century with 8 weeks of training from where you are now, with pretty much just one "long" ride a week and two shorter training rides each week, if you ladder the training miles correctly. But you will have to train. If you want to do one eventually, then I would say spend this year just riding. Try to up your miles a bit each couple of weeks, try to up your saddle time until you can do a 2 hour ride without discomfort, and try to do some speed work to up your comfortable speed. That will put you in good position for a century next year at a reasonable pace, if you like.

    It will also benefit your MTB riding, quite a bit in my experience.

    I first rode 100 miles 30 years ago. If you are not a college student in great shape from being a competitive athlete and gym rat, I don't think my experience then would be helpful. Let's just say it hurt, but pain at that age is a lot easier to take, and ignorance about what I was going to go through played a big part.

    What's your longest MTB ride ever? How does that compare to the "normal" ride you were doing at the time? I ask because I see parallels between that and long road rides, metric or full centuries.

    There was a time when I rode 2 hour MTB rides regularly, and 4 hour rides on occasion, in the mountains of CA with lots of up and down. During that time I rode an 8 hour ride... and not intentionally. I took a wrong turn. So, 8 hours was twice as long as my previous longest ride. I made it, but it really, really, really hurt by the end. I wasn't hallucinating, but I was definitely altered.

    Long road rides are kind of like that. If you have ridden 50 miles relatively comfortably, you can do 100 with enough will power, but it will REALLY hurt. If you have ridden 75, then a century will be not that hard. It will hurt, but a normal hurt. But make no mistake, a century is quite an accomplishment. Not something to do without training (including training yourself on how to keep fueled over that long of a time on the bike, since eating at hour 6 sometimes requires a different approach than hour 2).

    As for pace, when I go on such a ride where I am going to be in the saddle for a very long time compared to my on "normal" rides, I start off at about 2mph slower than a normal comfortable pace. For whatever terrain and conditions exist. True of both MTB and road. This is not hard to do, but it requires attention, since it feels wrong.

    After a couple of hours I might bump that up if I feel it is a particularly good day, but probably not because experience has told me to keep things steady for that long a ride. After 4 hours I might start slowing down even more than that. Once I ended up finishing and 80 mile ride at 11mph (flat, no wind), and barely could hold that. Not a good day.

    So, you need some miles and hours in your legs, you need to pace yourself, and you need to know your body. And even then, even if you have ridden many multiple long rides, sometimes your body rebels at the situation.

    So here is my rule of thumb. It applies to me, and many people I have told it to say it applies pretty well to them:

    Normal ride, comfortable, will have no effect on you in terms of after effects. Do the ride, and you won't notice it the rest of your day. Add 10%, and you will feel it as a good work out, but no real effects on the rest of your day. This is why adding 10% per week to your hardest/longest ride is a good way to build up. Add 25% and you will feel it as a very hard work out. Add 50% and you will feel it quite a bit, suffer towards the end, and likely feel it for a couple of days. Add 100% and you will wreck yourself, but you can do it if you take your time and persevere. Trying to go more than double your normal long ride is a very, very bad idea.

    I hope that helps.
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    Thanks for taking the time to write. It helps.

    Longest MTB for me was just under 6 hours. It was hot and I pounded down 3 liters and it wasn't enough. I didn't have enough food and didn't space out the food I had correctly. I ended up "bonking" for the first time ever. I couldn't even walk my bike without being very dizzy. Took me a while to recover.

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    I have a few more rides in. Nothing longer than 25 miles. I do have my cadence up to avg of 88. So far zero issue with back or legs...elbows a lot better...get a little tingle in left hand thumb and feel light fatigue in elbows.

    Ass isn't sore but akin to sitting on a wooden chair too long kinda feeling. Literally 1 minute break and my ass feels new for a bit.

    I'm going to try a new saddle on Fri....yes Fri!! My only other day to ride this week is tomorrow and that's reserved for the MTB.

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