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OK, I'm signed up for hell(41 posts)

OK, I'm signed up for hellDog
Aug 20, 2001 5:32 AM
Signed up for the 508 race in October. Gee whiz, this may be tough...

Read some of these horror stories. Sounds like 35 hours of torture.

Just can't wait for the 60 mph descent in the dark, though.

Any advice?

re: OK, I'm signed up for hellgb
Aug 20, 2001 5:35 AM
quit posting about it and train!
thanks for the kind sentimentDog
Aug 20, 2001 5:43 AM
Come on, I'm at 500 miles per week already... Doing the Everest Challenge this weekend for training - how's that?

Some people have time to both post and ride. Imagine that :-)

thanks for the kind sentimentgb
Aug 20, 2001 5:56 AM
then quit worrying about it... and while you're at it quit bragging
didn't sleep well last night?Dog
Aug 20, 2001 6:05 AM
Can't recall getting this much unsolicited animosity from someone here. Lots of people detail their exploits here - you don't want to read them, move on. No need to be a jerk.

I apologizePaulCL
Aug 20, 2001 7:07 AM
I really didn't mean to be a jerk. Sorry. I didn't mean my comments/questions to be taken that way. I thought I recalled your posting comments several months ago about having to cut down on your riding time. Maybe I was wrong, maybe it wasn't you. Just my misguided way of kidding you. Again, no ill will intended.

As for the 500miles/week riding - I'm just plain jealous. My work and family keep me down to less than 150m/wk - this weekend, down to zero. Painful.
What a moronPaulCL
Aug 20, 2001 7:12 AM
I just apologized for somebody else's rudeness. Must be Monday. It's just my frustration of having to sit at home on a beautiful weekend. That old drain bamage again.
Aug 20, 2001 7:46 AM
Thanks, Paul; I was a little confused there.

Getting in that kind of mileage really just means that you do nothing in your spare time but ride. Not great for the home life, but it's temporary. Put in 17 hours on a Saturday, and you are most of the way there, though.

As for my changes in direction this year, let's just say that there were a lot of personal circumstances that I can't really share here. Sometimes even the best intentioned plans just can't happen. So, you move on and keep yourself busy.

Sharing plans with people can be a great motivator, though, don't you think? Tell a lot of people what you plan to do, and then you gotta do it, if at all possible.

I apologizeDINOSAUR
Aug 20, 2001 8:26 AM
If I trained 500 miles a week, first my old body would break down, and second Mrs. Dinosaur would be looking for a new reptile to warm her up....
good luck dogpeloton
Aug 20, 2001 7:20 AM
Don't worry about the comments above. Someone is jealous that they don't get in as many miles as you. Have a great time in hell, and give us a full report when you get back!
Geez you guys...Spinchick
Aug 20, 2001 7:41 AM
lighten up why don'tcha??? That's the problem with testosterone - it occasionally pickles the brain.
Oh and Dog, ride like the wind baby!!! ;-) (nm)Spinchick
Aug 20, 2001 7:43 AM
Occasionally? :-) nmDog
Aug 20, 2001 7:47 AM
You said it - not me!Spinchick
Aug 20, 2001 7:49 AM
Question on 500 mi per week....DINOSAUR
Aug 20, 2001 5:30 PM
I gotta ask, I was thinking about this during my ride this morning (while the air tankers were skimming over my head due to the forest fire up here in my neck of the woods).

How do you manage to practice law, stay married and put in 500 miles a week? I'm retired, granted I'm an old guy but if I put in 180 miles I'm pushing it. My wife worries enough as it is if I'm gone for more than a couple of hours.

I'd like to see your schedule then perhaps I could downsize it and plug it in with my own training.

God forbid you ever get hurt, your world will fall apart. You are a A++ personality. Saw a member of my club go this route and he crashed and burned big time. I did it myself running.

This ride looks real interesting, I might try it next year, I still need another season in my legs....
Question on 500 mi per week....Dog
Aug 21, 2001 6:16 AM
Take a look at this, which talks about long distance training:

It really is just a matter of priorities, and then not wasting much time. Most people could ride RAAM if they just spent their TV time on a bike.

Also, the more you ride, the faster you get, so it takes less time. For much of my riding in the flatter areas now, I'm averaging 20 mph or above.

The bulk of the riding comes from long weekend rides.

Also, I only sleep about 6 hours a night, and then get up and go to work early, so that I can train in the evenings.

My wife does not like this. Still trying to deal with that. You just have to try to make them happy when you are together.

Question on 500 mi per week....DINOSAUR
Aug 21, 2001 7:50 AM
Thanks, I'll click on that site.... I think I know what makes my wife happy after 35 years of marriage and it isn't being a cycling widow.
But to each their own, you must go through a lot of tires. I pray that you don't crash, that's a lot of exposure.

Ride safe
Question on what makes them happy...Dog
Aug 21, 2001 7:54 AM
At least retired, you can ride a lot and still have time to spend with your wife. Time is probably the key word, right?

But, if you have figured out what makes them happy, I'd sure be happy to hear it. That's where I don't have a clue. Is there a board like

Aug 21, 2001 8:31 AM
It's a white lie, I have never figured out what exactly makes her happy, sometimes anyway. Time is no problem, it's staying motivated. Actually as much as I love cycling I wish I could run, and I'd sign up for the Cal-Sates Western 100. Alas, my heel injury did me in years ago.

I think we all ride for different reasons, I like to ride for the experience of the ride. Sometimes I like to stop dead in the middle of a ride in a nice spot and admire the splendor of nature, contrasted with the furry of all the folks rushing by on the freeway. It's like there is another world here and most folks don't realize it, as they are in too much of a blasted hurry. I think I've entered the zen era of cycling. The next thing you know I'll be back to riding lugged steel with downtube friction shifters. The beauty of it all is that technology changes, but cycling at it's heart doesn't. It's still you, your bike and the open road. A great life to lead, must you agree?

Ride safe
Go for the steelDog
Aug 21, 2001 9:55 AM
Dino, you have to go back to a good lugged steel bike, downtube shifters, the whole bit. When I ride my old Bianchi, I feel completely different, even if it has absolutely nothing to do with the actual ride characteristics of the bike. The experience is difference, a different attitude and perspective. You are not there to take advantage of all the whiz-bang techo thingies, but instead to trim the shift levers to get totally silent chain action, to look down and see some beautiful chromed lugs, and to ride for the sake of riding, as you mentioned.

Too often I ride through some gorgeous areas of the mountains around here, and I think to myself that I really should stop and enjoy creation and all it's splendor. But, then I keep moving, as I don't want my heartrate to drop or something like that. I think that even the most serious riders should work in some rides purely for the enjoyment of riding, but they need a traditional lugged bike to really do it right (or a cruiser - HH). It's an entirely different experience.

I vote for the lugged steel. Having had one in the past, maybe you could locate an older Bianchi with Record comonents? You couldn't help but to ride all day long with a big smile on your face.

How tall are you, anyway? I'd be happy to let you borrow my old 55cm Bianchi if it fits you. You could at least see if thats what you want.

Go for the steelDINOSAUR
Aug 21, 2001 1:37 PM
I'm 6-0 (actually 5-11 3/4). I have long legs (34.25) and a short torso. I'm sized for a 57, but I rode a 57 for a couple of seasons and I felt like I was riding a little kids bike. A 58 or 59 should be what I'm riding. My Klein is a 61 and the top tube is too long.

I'm seriously thinking about a 59cm Colnago Master-X Light. I'm sort of jumping the gun on a new bike. I promised myself one when I turned 60, which will be next summer. My lovely Italian wife said I could buy a bike this year, as long as I sold my classic car first. Well, no sale so far, and no new bike. I guess this shows you who wears the pants in the family. But next year I said I'm buying a new bike come hell or high water. Good thing about Italians is that they don't stay mad for long.

When I came back to cycling about three years ago I told myself I wasn't going to ride with a computer for the first six months. Well, it's going on three and a half years now and still no computer. I ride by time but sometimes I forget to look at my watch when I start so I loose track. It's fun though, sometimes I feel like taking my watch and chucking it. I lived by a watch for 27 some odd years and I'm tired of keeping track of stats.

Retirement is nice, time doesn't mean anything anymore....

Funny my first road bike was a 1962 lugged steel Bianchi. When I look at old TDF photos I see bikes just like it.

The sti stuff has me kinda spoiled, never thought it would work, but it's nice.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd like al either.

Actually a restored lugged steel or NOS with down tube friction shifter might be a good idea. You see them for sale all the time...
Oh Doug, aren't you the guy...PaulCL
Aug 20, 2001 6:12 AM
...who, at the beginning of the season, said he was going to cut down on his riding and posting?? Something about starting a family and then your partner passed away?? How in the world do you find the hours in the day to ride 500 miles per week?? (unless you average 30 mph)

By the way, have fun visiting hell. Hope you come back with some good stories. Paul
H-E-double-hockey sticksHaiku d'état
Aug 20, 2001 6:41 AM
endure the haiku
for at the bottom of post
you'll find my advice.

everest challenge
twenty nine thousand feet plus
better go by car

five hundred nine miles
my butt is sore from weekend
seventy two miles

do(u)g's post not flame bait
but flamer's don't care, do they?
"hell": appropriate

how to manage time
five hundred mile training weeks
when do you sleep, do(u)g?

3 K miles this year
and 3 K miles was my goal!
surpassed from here on...

eight months, 3 K miles
haiku jeffrey just realized
it's six weeks for do(u)g

my advice, kind sir
(worth just what you've paid for it)
is beyond haiku:

just put your head down and keep pedaling.
re: OK, I'm signed up for hellkeith m.
Aug 20, 2001 6:54 AM
Good luck Doug. I look forward to hearing your thoughts afterwards. Hey gb, you need to go for a long ride please.
Yeah, don't try both hands behind your back in the dark ...Humma Hah
Aug 20, 2001 7:41 AM
... although I suspect you'd hit 70.

You're a better man than I am, sir. With my planned 150-miler, you're again planning to out-perform me by our usual ratio of 3:1 or more (I'll cut myself a little slack here due to not being on pavement).
speechless (and a few questions)Duane Gran
Aug 20, 2001 8:22 AM
I wouldn't presume to have any advice. After reading one of the rider's accounts of the journey I'm an in awe and speechless. I don't fancy myself as an ultra cyclist, but I almost always want to ride/race further distances. So far all of these events seem to be on the West coast. Are brevets and ultra races popular out East also?

I do have a question/thought to bounce your way. You have done a bit of "traditional" USCF racing (which I do also) and if I recall you have just started in ultra events. From what I see, ultra events don't have any semblence of pack racing. I see people on aerobars and the picture of an ultra racer is a lone cyclists in the middle of nowhere.

Personally, one of the things I love most about USCF "short" races is that you must operate within the pack, which involves reading your competition and timing your strategy. Is drafting permitted in Ultra events? It is just impractical for a (relative to USCF) small group of racers to maintain a pack for such distances? Is it a philosophical difference in the racing styles?

I appreciate your feedback and input on this. I flirt with the idea of doing Ultra events and I really enjoy hearing about the things you are doing.
Brevet links ...Humma Hah
Aug 20, 2001 8:43 AM
There are pockets of this insanity all over the US. The kingpin organization is Randoneering USA:

All true randoneers without the money to haul their bikes to Paris aspire to the 1200k domestic equivalent, in and out of Boston:

In addition to the Boston series, there's one qualifying series around DC:

I think there's another series around Atlanta -- would have the info.
Plenty of East Coast rides/milesMB1
Aug 20, 2001 8:46 AM
Here is a good place to start.
Got your e-mail!Humma Hah
Aug 20, 2001 8:48 AM
... Keep sweet-talking Miss M! I'll pray for no rain immediately prior to the ride.

Its a shame this won't count as a 200k brevet! In some ways, its more authentic (no pavement).
long timetrialsDog
Aug 20, 2001 8:50 AM
The true ultra events in the U.S. are long timetrials. No drafting. Some of the longer races, like this one, are qualifyiers for RAAM, and follow RAAM rules (no drafting). You basically stay down on the aerobars as much as possible for a day and a half to two days.

The biggest difference, other than length, between this and road racing in packs is that you seek to have a very even pace, vs. hammering at times to drop people. You are really racing against yourself, but you do see and use other racers out there as motivation to go faster and stay on the bike. Another big difference, as you can tell from reading the race stories, is that the fastest rider may well not win, but rather the one who can hold the food down, stay comfortable on the saddle, and just keep going. That's an advantage, or at least a hope, for mediocre riders like me, who don't have much innate talent.

long timetrialsDuane Gran
Aug 20, 2001 9:47 AM
Ah... that is one way to confound the sprinters! They probably stay far away from this sort of event. It is very interesting and the more I think of it the less it resembles day races. Best of luck and thanks for the perspective.
Talent???Jon Billheimer
Aug 20, 2001 6:34 PM

If YOU'RE a mediocre talent, where the hell does that leave the rest of us?

With respect to an earlier post about your schedule, being married, working, etc., I'm reminded of a comment Pete Penseyeres made on the same subject. He said he had the perfect job for an ultracyclist, since he sat at a desk all day. That gave him time to recover from his morning 40 mi. ride so he could go out and ride another 40 to 60 mi. that evening. Then he'd do another 300-400 on the weekends! Moral of the story? A super-type A's a super-type A no matter what. So your choice is, ultra-cycling or a career move to the U.S. Supreme Court? I personally think you've got your priorities straight.
not innateDog
Aug 21, 2001 6:20 AM
By talent, I mean natural ability. I don't have much. Actually, I'm a sprinter. I was never beaten in a sprint race until high school, ran the 400 in college, and can still pretty much win about any bike sprint if I'm fresh. The long distance ability is purely hard work and consistency. I never allow myself to regress, particularly over the winter. I think that's the secret. While others are backing off and enjoying themselves over the winter, I'm out doing 100 miles every Saturday and trainer sessions in the evenings. My theory is that endurance is cumulative - it continues to build if you keep at it.

not innateJon Billheimer
Aug 21, 2001 8:16 AM
I agree with you about the winter training. For the first time last year I stuck with 6 to 8 hrs. per week right through the winter on my rollers and trainer, and believe me, that's tough to maintain through a six month Alberta winter! But I can't believe what a difference it's made this year in overall fitness and ability to recover.

I think you're really on to an under-emphasized aspect of fitness development. Note that Chris Carmichael says that Lance's performance is a cumulative result of 9 years of intensive training and racing! There's definitely a lesson here for us hoi-polloi.
At least enjoy the ride!grzy mnky
Aug 20, 2001 9:15 AM
Had some friends that have tried the 508 - some successful and some not. Having a good support crew is critical. Setting goals is great, but retain the ability to change them. Try to remember why you're doing it.
At least you didn't say "Take it easy!" ...Humma Hah
Aug 20, 2001 6:39 PM
... that one always gets me. I'm chatting with someone during a break on a ride, and then its time to get moving again, and they say "Take it easy!"

They obviously don't get the point, do they?

Dog, enjoy the ride, right up to the point where you question your sanity for ever entering, then enjoy the pain as you press on and conquer the limits that hold lesser mortals back!
I envy your commitmentThioderek
Aug 20, 2001 9:31 AM
I was/am still toying with the idea of signing up for the 508. The ride I did on Saturday (post below) was a sort of test to see where I was at fitness wise and mentally. I have to tell you that I am hesitant to try the 508 now. The ride I did on Saturday took so much out of me, I dont know if I could handle it.

What kind of miles are you doing at the moment?

How did you decide to actually sign up for the 508?

What is your training going to be like for the next 7 weeks?

The place I think I would have the hardest time in the 508 would be the climbs. There wasnt anything that was really bad on my saturday ride, I just dont know if I could nail a 3000 ft climb at mile 350.

More power to you!!!

Take it the wall!!!
Use a good headlight ? nmLeroy L
Aug 20, 2001 12:04 PM
any recommendations?Dog
Aug 21, 2001 9:45 AM
I need a reliable, long lasting, easy to use, but very bright headlight. The reviews are all over the place. Can't decide. Any recommendations? Thanks.

No offense Dog...Vlad the Impaler
Aug 21, 2001 2:59 PM
but you are insane :)
You are my hero..........Len J
Aug 28, 2001 12:14 PM
for even attempting this. Congratulations on your courage.

The only advice I can even begin to provide is about the mental side. Having done some ultra-running, I found that I was successful when I made sure of the following:

1.) Expectations were appropriate. If I could remember that it wasn't life or death, that it was a personal test of my own capabilities, I was able to stay relaxed about the outcome and enjoy the journey. I was able to stay in the individual moments of the event. This is more difficult than it seems because of the investment you put into this one event. When I was able to stay in the present, I always did better than when I worried about the result.

2.) Trust your preperation. This seems self evident, but ties into # 1 above.

3.) Anticipate & relish the challange as opposed to worrying about the possibilities. Another way to say this is to stay in a positive frame of mind.

If this ride is anything like an ultra running event you will swing back & forth mentally between extreme highs and extreme lows, the challange for me was always remembering that the lows are part of being tired & that they don't have the power they seem to.

Good Luck & great ride!

Congratulations on your striving.