Going from 15 mile to a 40 mile ride - bad idea?
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  1. #1
    ujj
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    Going from 15 mile to a 40 mile ride - bad idea?

    Hey!

    I just bought a road bike a few weeks back, I have gone out for a few 15 miles rides. I was wondering if it is a bad idea to undertake a 40 mile ride - it is flat ride?

    Is there a formula to how one should scale?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    since it's flat, just pace yourself and enjoy your ride. you'll surprise how " easy " 40 miles will fly by.

  3. #3
    Man, I'm Awesome
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    Take your cell phone in case you end up bonking and need a ride home. Make sure there are plenty of places for you to refill your water bottles and take some food with you.

    You will hurt those last ten miles. But that is part of the fun.
    "I like to ride my bicycle." - Lance Armstrong -

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    Assuming you're healthy, what could go wrong?

    As long as you don't have some medical problem that might really do damage, what's the worst thing that could happen? You get tired and you're sore the next day?
    I'm not necessarily recommending this, but I did my first century on 12 hours' notice with no training to speak of when I was 44 years old. I was a runner just beginning to ride (a few 10-12 milers in the previous month) when a friend called Friday night and said "Let's try it." It took us eight hours and I felt like crap, but it wasn't a big deal.
    Last edited by Cory; 04-02-2007 at 07:50 AM.

  5. #5

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    I'd recommend to hop off the bike every 15 miles, just enough to stretch lower back, and the neck... NOT long enough to cool down... And like everyone else mentioned... Don't try to go for speed, go for fun.
    You can ride a BIG WHEEL as long as it puts a smile on your face.

  6. #6
    Bacon!
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    Assuming you're in shape at all you'll be fine. Bring plenty of snack food for energy and eat a little (200-300 calories an hour) each hour and enjoy the ride. It'll go by easy except for a possible sore rear end.
    “To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit — ever. They’re like the Viet Cong — Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower.”

  7. #7
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    Take plenty of fluids and something to nibble on toward the end of the ride. The biggest issue for you will probably be, simply, holding the same riding position for the extra time. Take a few Aleeve before the ride to help stave-off the discomfort you may, or may not, feel.

  8. #8
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    I think the question that's missing here is - do I want to more than double my mileage in one go and be stiff the next day so that I am forced to take a couple of days off? Or, do I slowly increase mileage, focusing on good cadence and nutrition, and ride more consistently during the week?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by shongalola
    I think the question that's missing here is - do I want to more than double my mileage in one go and be stiff the next day so that I am forced to take a couple of days off? Or, do I slowly increase mileage, focusing on good cadence and nutrition, and ride more consistently during the week?
    I assumed this was for a charity ride or something, but since you are not obligated, personally, I would chip away at that number. Maybe do 25 miles for your next couple of rides then bump up to the 30-35 mile range for a couple of rides. You will see that the demands on your body change a good bit when you hit the 2-hour-plus mark, mostly in terms of nutrition, fluid intake and, general fatigue. If you're like me and suffer from lower-back issues, you'll need to find little tricks to keep yourself loose and comfortable via stretching.

    If you're young and full of energy, go for it, I guess. Otherwise, if you're a mere mortal, gradually work your way up, otherwise, you may only get sore and discouraged.

  10. #10
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    I say go for it! I had a total of maybe 300 miles on my bike when I did my first race. Hadn't been on a bike for almost 10 years. That was a 48 mile race that was somewhat hilly. Only 3 riders finished behind me, but I did finish. The only problem I had really, was having to stop twice to pee because I had too much to drink before the race. Other than that, it was a great sense of accomplishment. Just take your time and enjoy the scenery.

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    I agree with the incremental approach.

    It'd make things easier if you went a few more miles each time. That said, as long as you're doing a flat ride, you should be fine. I understand the desire to do something that feels epic, and that can definitely make you feel excited and keep you on the bike.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ujj
    Hey!

    I just bought a road bike a few weeks back, I have gone out for a few 15 miles rides. I was wondering if it is a bad idea to undertake a 40 mile ride - it is flat ride?

    Is there a formula to how one should scale?

    Thanks!
    Assuming are not totally new to a bike (i.e. don't struggle to keep balanced), it really depends upon your age, health history, fitness. Young person in decent shape with no health prob's- Go for it! I attended my 1st organized group road ride (charity event) in my 40's only a week after buying my 1st roadie. Intended to do 15, ended up feeling good & let an experienced senior rider talk me into doing 45- and still felt great. I had a decent base from some trys at MTB club racing, though.
    OTOH- Someone who is 40+, overweight, high blood pressure, etc. should first check with their doc before starting an exercise program, then (if ok'ed) increase their riding distance gradually (perhaps 10%/week). If you feel tired & sore at 15, 40 will be 3X worse.

    I've heard advice that you can handle an "event" about 1/3rd more than your normal long ride without being too wasted (assuming similar terrain-hills, etc). Around 50% more if you are willing to suffer for it. That seems about right to me. Last year my solo long rides were metrics (100k,62mi), and I did 5 or 6 century (100mi) events just fine. Well, except for that REALLY hilly century on a hot August afternoon- I suffered on that one ;)

  13. #13
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    I would either increase my mileage 5 miles each time I ride and see how I feel. If you are hurting a little, then keep it at that mileage for a few rides. If this is too slow for you, then jump to 25 miles and see how you feel. Not only that day but the next day. Then try 30-35 miles before you try 40 miles.

  14. #14
    wim
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    If your 40-miler means going out-and-back on a windy day, try to get a sense of which way the wind is blowing. Then go out with a headwind and come back home with a tailwind. That'll ease the last few miles considerably.

    As far as physical ability is concerned, I don't think you'll have any big problems. It's kind of like going on vacation and walking 3 miles on a beach for the first time in a year. I'ts easily done—the price you pay is how you feel the next morning . . .

  15. #15

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    you can't go farther and faster if you don't go....farther and faster.

    take plenty to eat and drink. have fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I am The Edge
    you can't go farther and faster if you don't go....farther and faster.

    take plenty to eat and drink. have fun.
    The faster thing brings up a good point. If you've been going hard on your fifteen mile rides, then you should be spin 40 miles. However, if it's all you can do to stay going on the fifteen mile rides...

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    its 40 miles. not 200.

    fill up two bottles (the bigger sized ones), grab 1-2 small snacks (i prefer a package of fig newtons and a pb&j sandwich), grab a cell phone, stuff for a flat, and go ride your bike

    i promise, you will be fine.

  18. #18
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    I prefer meatloaf sandwiches for my consumable during a ride. I agree with allons-y... you will be fine with a couple of snacks, liquid and a minimalist repair kit for flats/necessary adjustments and a cell phone.... now... if you can just convince your SO to drive SAG.

    -jP

  19. #19
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    You say the course is flast, so if you're in reasonable good shape / health, going at a moderate pace you could go for a 100 mile ride with enough food / water. Heck, you could probably do a 200 miles ride, but your butt / neck would likely be sore. The bottom line: if you go slow enough, you could just keep going forever.
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  20. #20
    ujj
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    Quote Originally Posted by allons-y
    its 40 miles. not 200.

    fill up two bottles (the bigger sized ones), grab 1-2 small snacks (i prefer a package of fig newtons and a pb&j sandwich), grab a cell phone, stuff for a flat, and go ride your bike

    i promise, you will be fine.
    Thank you all for your replies. I ended up doing a 45+ mile ride yesterday, I must say I slept really well last night

    I carried a few energy bars, two bottles of water and of course the extra tube/pump.

    To add some background - I live in San Francisco and work in Mountain View, so I plan to do this ride at least once a week. And ride the train back home in the evening.

    The feeling of completion was great; I couldn't believe I had ridden all the way from home and I was pulling into work. It was awesome!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ujj
    Thank you all for your replies. I ended up doing a 45+ mile ride yesterday, I must say I slept really well last night

    I carried a few energy bars, two bottles of water and of course the extra tube/pump.

    To add some background - I live in San Francisco and work in Mountain View, so I plan to do this ride at least once a week. And ride the train back home in the evening.

    The feeling of completion was great; I couldn't believe I had ridden all the way from home and I was pulling into work. It was awesome!
    good for you. as someone said, a small allen key/multitool thingy is handy when for some reason your saddle is just out of position or or your brakes need tweaking or whatever. you use it maybe 1 out of 100 rides, but its handy to have, because not having it makes your day bad.

    nothing is quite as good as post ride sleep/nappage. someone on here once said, if i had only an hour to ride, i would ride 30 minutes and nap for 30 minutes. while i think thats a bit extreme, i personally get some of my best sleep after races, especailly after 2-3 days of racing. i can just pass out and stay out for EVER.

    just wait till you are riding centuries.....45 miles will be a breeze.

  22. #22
    Lemur-ing
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    Good for you and I'm glad you hit a new milestone in your riding.

    Now you know how it feels like so you can start going for rides around that distance or so and more in future even.
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  23. #23
    Cowboy up
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    Good job. It's amazing how much food and drink can help you keep riding. If you sign up for an organized ride they will often have rest stops along the way with snacks. That way you can enjoy a long ride, eat well, and not carry a lot of food on you.

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