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How long is long?

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Jun 16, 2009
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When I used to work as a messenger and train for 24HR-MTB events, 8-10 hours was a long ride. Now I'm inside six days a week and have a baby at home, 4-6 hours is a long time in the saddle. Nowadays, I'd even call a one hour ride 'long' if I had my son in his trailer behind me.

Longest ride I've done outside of a 24-hour race was sixteen hours (260kms on a MTB with a trailer), but it was the last day of a 9 day trip and I really wanted a shower and a comfy bed. Longest ride in a 24HR I covered 306kms of predominately rocky single track.

I have had a beard at times, but I've never owned a Brooks saddle.:D
 
rhubroma said:
It depends, Laszio, on how ***ing tiered you are. Have you ever completely bonked with 40 ks to go after a 200 klm ride with big climbs?

And I forgot to mention intensity of course...I mean riding for 9 hrs at 15 mph is one thing, 6 at 25-26 is entirely another. And if there are hills and climbs? If you bonk? "Bonking" after 80 miles is one thing, after 120 entirely something else.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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rhubroma said:
It depends, Laszio, on how ***ing tiered you are. Have you ever completely bonked with 40 ks to go after a 200 klm ride with big climbs?

completely bonked ? never....I've always been the one to pull myself home, not much choice- my wife is such a poor driver that I haven't allowed her to drive the car at all for the past 18 months ( she drove into the car in front of her after she had stopped for the light when the light turned green- $700 damage ).

all the same; I've been dead bored on some of my long rides, that's before ipods, which helps- boredom is really bad because it usually is a result of over familiarity with route, which prompts the larger loop, but the run back home goes back on the familiar route which make a long day that much longer- but it is still the shortest way home.
 
Laszlo said:
completely bonked ? never....I've always been the one to pull myself home, not much choice- my wife is such a poor driver that I haven't allowed her to drive the car at all for the past 18 months ( she drove into the car in front of her after she had stopped for the light when the light turned green- $700 damage ).

all the same; I've been dead bored on some of my long rides, that's before ipods, which helps- boredom is really bad because it usually is a result of over familiarity with route, which prompts the larger loop, but the run back home goes back on the familiar route which make a long day that much longer- but it is still the shortest way home.

Sounds like a good idea to keep the wife at home and away from we riders on the roads.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Relativity

It's all relative.
On a daily commute after work, 40 is "long" compared to the normal 20.
On a hard, fast group ride, 60 is normal and 90 is "long."
Well into training for a really long (252 miles/406km) "race," 120 miles is "short" and 200 is "long."
As a generalization, I'd agree withthe 5 hours as "long" characterization.
 
Jul 11, 2009
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badboyberty said:
When I used to work as a messenger and train for 24HR-MTB events, 8-10 hours was a long ride.

Two out of those three claims are lies. :p

Umm.......A few times a year I try to do a 200km + ride, those are long. 5 hours at 30kmph is where long starts. Solo V bunch is a debating point.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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400k

Laszlo said:
you have others in your 400 km race ? I find so few are even willing to try a century ride.

This year there are (as of last week) 21 signed up. 22 are signed up for the 253k distance. Last year there were 13 finishers (not sure how many entries, but less than 21, maybe 15 or 16). There were hellacious headwinds the last 80 miles. Not me this year - I've done it (the 400k) twice, for me it requires a pretty dedicated 3-4 months of training to "enjoy" a ride like that. I'm not up for that every year. Hard for me to visualize doing PBP, in effect doing the same thing (250 miles) 3 days in a row... I generally pick a major enduarnce event to gear my training for every year. This year was the Death Ride (http://www.deathride.com/maps.html), next year is a 24 hr MtB, maybe the 400k again...

Around here we have no problems getting people to do a Century, must not be that many cyclists in your area... We have many Centuries here every year, with participants ranging from a few dozen to ~5,000.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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Rupert said:
Around here we have no problems getting people to do a Century, must not be that many cyclists in your area... We have many Centuries here every year, with participants ranging from a few dozen to ~5,000.

Oh there are cyclists here, but not so many on the rural roads I like to explore; less traffic, quieter, peaceful etc.- I am fine with that, and prefer my own thoughts to accompany me on my rides than the wilful noise of aimless banter or endure an uncomfortable silence; but beyond that I like to be free, to do my own thing go when and where I want to go than feel constrained by others who have their own goals in mind. Besides, coming back at 3 or 4 am, arms and legs covered in grime and bugs stuck to sunblock and sweat- is a very special feeling, not something I want to share so easily. Going to work the next day and hearing some moron going on about how he wasted his life doing something silly and forgetable over the weekend - while with a single day I gave myself an accomplishment to remember the rest of my life. It's like a medal, and when too many medals are handed out the medal becomes worthless.
 
May 6, 2009
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A couple of years ago I did 108km in pouring rain and quite a few hills in there and it felt long at the end of the day. Generally 2-3 hours is the norm for me.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Roger that

Laszlo said:
...and prefer my own thoughts to accompany me on my rides ... coming back at 3 or 4 am, arms and legs covered in grime and bugs stuck to sunblock and sweat- is a very special feeling, not something I want to share so easily....

With you all the way. I have gotten away from group/paceline hammerfests the last few years in favor of long solo rides, or rides with my stalwart partner (girlfriend). I bet you're not an ipod guy?...
 
Jul 22, 2009
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Rupert said:
With you all the way. I have gotten away from group/paceline hammerfests the last few years in favor of long solo rides, or rides with my stalwart partner (girlfriend). I bet you're not an ipod guy?...

I envy you for having such a capable girlfriend. I'll ride with an ipod maybe half the time; sometimes I'll take a camera; depends where I am and where I'm going- when you get out it is criminal not to be able to appreciate the natural environment; but the music is to help alleviate boredom or pain...I like to be able to hear my bike, but once in a while you get a ticking or creaking and that can be quite maddening-an ipod helps fix that. It also helps me keep track of time without clockwatching; I'll keep my heartrate, speed and cadence on my polar display; sometimes I like to see the climb percentage- but I try to stay away from the clock because I'm a real nutbar about beating my times from point to point; that is one treadmill that I can't just get off once I start.
 
Jul 2, 2009
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i gauge a long ride by how blurry the road gets along with my mind

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Jun 19, 2009
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Cracked Again said:
what do u guys considor a long ride? 40miles, 60, 80, or 100 and greater?

Depends entirely on what my "normal" ride is that week/month/year.

Lifetime, 200 miles. This year, 40-50 would be a big day. Some people, I have no doubt, would consider anything short of the RAAM not to be long.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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Depends on terrain and wind conditions but normal is 30 to 50 miles with 2000 to 4500 feet of climbing, depending on the season, long is 60+. I like to get a 60+ ride in a couple of times a month - but I usually do not have the time for more than once.
 

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