Author Topic: Planning Trip / Intro  (Read 2464 times)

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Offline BPCycler

Planning Trip / Intro
« on: March 16, 2018, 07:46:26 pm »
Hello folks. I'm in IT and ride to get my exercise in since my job often involves a lot of sitting. I've been riding casually for several years, with rides averaging 10-15 miles. Now and then we'll do a 20 mile ride; maybe 3-5 a year.

This is the first time I've joined an advocacy group, and it took some time but finally decided to pick ACA over LAB. I was motivated by the efforts my small town has been making over the past couple of years to make it more cyclist friendly.

This year we're planning a 4 day ride on the C & O Canal path from D.C. to Cumberland (184 Miles). The days will be 43 miles, 42 miles, 40 miles, 59 miles; or 43 miles, 42 miles, 51 miles, 48 miles, depending on how we decide to break it up. Therefore we're going to spend several months working up to it so that we are physically prepared.

We'll be staying hotels along the way to help lessen the blow (yeah right) then plan to stay an extra day in DC enjoying what it has to offer.

Just wondering what you guys do to prepare for long rides.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Planning Trip / Intro
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2018, 06:32:47 pm »
This year we're planning a 4 day ride on the C & O Canal path from D.C. to Cumberland (184 Miles). The days will be 43 miles, 42 miles, 40 miles, 59 miles; or 43 miles, 42 miles, 51 miles, 48 miles, depending on how we decide to break it up. Therefore we're going to spend several months working up to it so that we are physically prepared.

Just wondering what you guys do to prepare for long rides.

Welcome!

To answer your question, ride a lot.  It sounds trivial, but the hardest parts of the first week of touring are going to be getting up the third day and riding 50-60 miles after riding 40-odd miles the previous two days, and your butt is going to be talking to you about how long you've been in the saddle.

Standard advice is to increase you maximum ride length 10% per week.  If your normal ride is 15 miles, ride 17 tomorrow.  Next weekend do 18, and 20 miles the weekend after that.  After you're doing about 30 miles once a week, see if you can ride 33 miles on Saturday and 20-25 miles Sunday (adjust days of week to fit your schedule, of course).  That will help get you ready for the back-to-back-to-back ride of your tour.

Gradually increasing the maximum length of your ride will let you condition your muscles and your butt to face the longer rides of your tour.  Pay careful attention to how you feel after each ride.  It's normal to find that some bit of equipment doesn't work on longer rides as well as it does on shorter rides, so you may need to try different shorts, shoes, or gloves to find what works for you.

Have fun on your tour!

Offline BPCycler

Re: Planning Trip / Intro
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2018, 12:25:57 pm »
Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Build of the butt calluses anyway! I think I can handle a 40-45 mile ride. It's Day 2, 3 and 4 that I know will be what kills me if I don't build up more endurance. We've given ourselves just over 5 months to prepare so I'm going to make the most of it.

One day I'd like to pull off one of these "Century" rides speak of. 100 miles would be the bees knees, but my conscience would all me to count 100km. What would that be called? An English Century?  :o

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Planning Trip / Intro
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2018, 05:49:34 pm »
One day I'd like to pull off one of these "Century" rides speak of. 100 miles would be the bees knees, but my conscience would all me to count 100km. What would that be called? An English Century?  :o

100 km is pretty respectable, but it's a "metric century."  Miles were an English unit before the Brits went metric, so the English century is still 100 miles.

Offline canalligators

Re: Planning Trip / Intro
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2018, 08:57:18 pm »
All good pointers.  I rode the C&O years ago and plan to do it again; it was a great experience.

I'd aim for no more than 40-50 miles/day on the C&O.  It's slower going than on roads.  Also, have a contingency plan for when it rains a lot; map out the local paved roads to use instead.  Parts of the trail turn into a mudbath on the day of a heavy rain and most of the day after.

Offline BPCycler

Re: Planning Trip / Intro
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2018, 10:14:50 am »
On the day or two after a rain I'll end up riding in the grass next to the path as much or more than the path itself. And the ground under the grass is mushy, making for some tough sledding.

Offline Nyimbo

Re: Planning Trip / Intro
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2018, 04:09:43 am »
I rode the GAP and C&O last summer.  I hit the bike trail during a couple days of flooding rains in western Pennsylvania and had to find shelter for a half day plus another full day.  I was on the GAP during the storm. I found an Adirondack shelter and put up my tent. I read and watched the rain. It was actually an enjoyable break. 
[/size][/color]
[/size]My tent did fine the first 3//4 way across the county but it was gradually loosing its ability to repel water and the first night of the pouring rains it finally gave up. I rode about ten miles in the storm the next day until I found the shelter and then holed up.[/color]
[/size][/color]
[/size]Anyway I started this story in order to say that the GAP dried out quickly but the C&O was still pretty sloppy for several days after the rains.[/color]

Offline StuartB

Re: Planning Trip / Intro
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2018, 04:41:16 am »
One day I'd like to pull off one of these "Century" rides speak of. 100 miles would be the bees knees, but my conscience would all me to count 100km. What would that be called? An English Century?  :o

100 km is pretty respectable, but it's a "metric century."  Miles were an English unit before the Brits went metric, so the English century is still 100 miles.

As I'm from New Zealand and we use the metric system, I have to multiply everything you are all discussing by 1.6!

Offline BPCycler

Re: Planning Trip / Intro
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2018, 03:43:28 pm »
That actually sounds kind of fun. Except you need a more waterproof tent!

I rode the GAP and C&O last summer.  I hit the bike trail during a couple days of flooding rains in western Pennsylvania and had to find shelter for a half day plus another full day.  I was on the GAP during the storm. I found an Adirondack shelter and put up my tent. I read and watched the rain. It was actually an enjoyable break. 
[/size][/color]
[/size]My tent did fine the first 3//4 way across the county but it was gradually loosing its ability to repel water and the first night of the pouring rains it finally gave up. I rode about ten miles in the storm the next day until I found the shelter and then holed up.[/color]
[/size][/color]
[/size]Anyway I started this story in order to say that the GAP dried out quickly but the C&O was still pretty sloppy for several days after the rains.[/color]