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How to get through a ride your not prepared for?(35 posts)

How to get through a ride your not prepared for?Kristin
Sep 22, 2003 4:29 PM
Due to an insane summer and plenty of bad karma, I have only been riding like twice a week. I'm signed up for the Hilly Hundred and its too late to cancel, so I'm going to show up for the ride. I need to get through these 2 rides.

It is hilly, but the hills are not long. If I recall, 1-2 miles at the most. I've decided not to try to do any hill or interval training before the trip--which is 25 days from now. I would only increase my chances of injuring myself before the ride. I'm hoping to ride 4 days a week until the trip and then planning to just do it tourest style. AKA, average 10MPH and graze at all the rest stops. If I can average 14.5 MPH on a flat course, how fast should I plan on being able to do these courses? Any suggestions would be welcome.
Oops, I lied. It looks like there is a 4 mile climb on day 2.Kristin
Sep 22, 2003 4:34 PM
Hmmmm. I didn't do day 2 the last time I was there. Never did a 4 mile climb before. Hmmmm.
My advise: Take off the 11 X 21, and put on a 12 X 23.......MR_GRUMPY
Sep 22, 2003 4:51 PM
Also: Take off those TT gears( 56 X 44) and put on a nornal 53 X 39. ...................just kidding.
Just take it easy on the hills.
What are you smokin? And can I have some?Kristin
Sep 22, 2003 5:18 PM
Why would I put smaller gears on the bike, I won't go as fast. Actually, I was thinking about turning the mountain bike into a fixie and doing the ride with a 53x11 combo. Does anyone know where I can get a cheap pair of clip on aero bars??

No, seriously... I should have mentioned, that I'm planning to take the mountain bike. 42/32/22 with 11-28 in the back. And I've got it set up a little more upright than the road bike, so I should be more comfortable since I'll be putting more time in than I've done all summer. Will I look like a Fred if I leave the knobbies on?
Do yourself a favor; get slicks.KG 361
Sep 22, 2003 5:46 PM
They can be had for cheap. You will thank yourself. Avg speed? I think a brisk 12.5 avg is doable =)
Just say NO!russw19
Sep 22, 2003 5:49 PM
Kristin, you won't look like a Fred, but you will be suffering on knobbies. Get a nice light foldable pair of slicks. They will make a huge difference. When is this ride? I have a pair of Hutchinson 26x1 inch tires if you want them. I rode them about 3 times and I kept flatting them. I am too big to ride them. I put on a pair of 1.5's on my mountain slick wheels and they rock. Those Hutchinsons were super fast, but I kept hitting stuff and pinching the rear tire. But I am sure I am about 100 or so pounds bigger than you. You might want to look into something like that, or a pair of Avocet 26x 1.25's. Avocet makes really nice slick ATB tires.

Good luck on the ride,
What are you smokin? And can I have some?TNRyder
Sep 22, 2003 7:36 PM
As others have said, go with the slicks! There is a dude here that did the HTH100 on an old Zaskar with slicks and a Rd crankset. He is a pretty small dude, so the smaller frame and wheels seemed to work better for him.
Yet another argument for slicks...your hands!PseuZQ
Sep 22, 2003 8:24 PM
I noticed a huge difference when I put slicks on my commuter. Not only did I get to work faster, my hands weren't numb. Riding with knobbies on pavement caused a lot of vibration. And this was only on a 7.5 mile commute!
Truthfully, though, I'd consider taking the roadie. Personally, I don't like the way they descend on pavement. And if you're gonna climb, you'll want the payoff.

So, the following comes from someone who's felt like she was in over her head lots and lots of times:
My first suggestion would be to try to avoid going anaerobic. You'll last longer if you stay in aerobic zones. This may be easier said than done if you're riding hills you haven't trained for, but just go slow. Also, don't get psyched out by other riders. Just commit to going your pace, even if it means having to stop to get your HR down a bit on a long climb. What I would do is keep telling myself it's OK to be last -- worst case scenario. (And if you ride smart, you *won't* be last!) The other trap I would sometimes fall into is thinking, "Oh, I'm the last person on the course. Wahhh. I'm sure the organizers want me to SAG in..." Bulls***! Commit to keep going til they PULL you off your bike. Hint: Just because no one's passed you doesn't mean you're the past person on the course.

Also, plan ahead to be mindful of biomechanical stuff. Watch your contact points. Make sure you have extra chamois lube, analgesic for muscles that aren't accustomed to climbing, good gloves, good sunglasses. If you wear contacts put some extras in your seat back with some drops. Nothing ruins a long ride like having a contact lens blow out on a descent. (Depth perception while cycling is not optional.)

That's all I can think of for now.

(PS -- I'm bike camping for the first time next weekend and feel overwhelmed and psyched at the same time. So, I feel ya.)
Edit: Don't like how MTBs descend on pavement. (nm)PseuZQ
Sep 22, 2003 8:32 PM
Are you sure you want your MTB?PdxMark
Sep 23, 2003 1:19 AM
Day 1 is 40 miles & 2200 feet of climbing. Day 2 is 30 miles and 1200 feet of climbing. 40 miles is a long way to ride on a MTB bike. If you're road bike gearing is not crazy (53/42 12-21), I'd think seriously about the road bike. With a whole (September) day, 40 miles on a road bike will be manageable, even with the climbing.

The steeper sections are very short on day 1. And the total climbing on day 2 is pretty low. With a triple road bike, and riding through the summer like you have been, I bet you can do the ride without the MTB. A little Chamois Butt'r will help compensate for a lack of saddle time this summer.
The road bike: 53/42 & 13-28Kristin
Sep 23, 2003 6:09 AM
I did put a bigger cassette on the back in May. However, I find that I'm using all of those gears now--there are some small climbs I do on my regular route. Overpasses and riverbeds mostly. So I was worried that the 42x28 combo wouldn't be small enough. With the MTB, I could spin.

Also, there is the ever present concern about my neck. The road bike fits better than ever, but my traps still have a tendancy to knot up and spasm. I want to avoid that and I'm honestly afraid to ride the thing 70 miles.

My saddle is still my biggest concern. I haven't found one yet that I can ride 30 miles--for either bike. I'm not sure what I'll do if I haven't found a suitable saddle by Oct. 15th.
What are you smokin? Use the road bikefiltersweep
Sep 23, 2003 4:23 AM
I think the elevations might be getting to your head- the distances and the climbs really "aren't that bad." Those numbers are pretty typical of the weekly club "hill rides" around here (Mpls/St.Paul). If it is still a month out, many people will already be fading out of shape anyway. Keep in mind that your mtn bike weighs a good bit more than your road bike. I'm guessing if you already have a triple on your road bike, you should be fine. If you are still freaked, buy a cheapo cassette just for the ride. I still think a road bike is WAY more comfortable than any other type of bike. More upright? That just means more weight right on the butt... never mind wrist issues from flat bars, and super twitchy descents...
Nope, they actually weigh about the same. MTB is 1 lb. heavier.Kristin
Sep 23, 2003 6:11 AM
And I do not have a triple on the road bike. Otherwise, it wouldn't be a problem. Road bike has 53/42 & 13-28.
I should state, though, that I'll bring both and decide then. nmKristin
Sep 23, 2003 6:14 AM
I'd ride the road bike on day one and the MTB on day 2 for the steeper climbs.
Sep 23, 2003 8:09 AM
How and why??
What do you mean???Kristin
Sep 23, 2003 8:12 AM
I looked at the Shimano triple on the mountain bike and the rings read 42, 32 and 22. What do you mean how and why? How the hell should I know. That's the way it showed up at my house.
Sep 23, 2003 9:39 AM
Maybe he meant why a 42 on the road bike double. That's what I was curious about. Most doubles have 39's instead.
A 39/28 combination should get you up those hills in style.
Oops, I just caught my typo. The road has a 53/39 combo.nmKristin
Sep 23, 2003 10:42 AM
Say no to knobbies!dcdre
Sep 23, 2003 6:22 AM
I'll echo the no knobbies sentiment here - if you do decide to take your MTB, put on slicks. I did a 5 day / 300mile trip around Lake Champlain on my MTB last year. I had slicks, my buddy had semi-slicks. Every downhill, I'd coast past him as he's pedalling.

As far as how to do it if you haven't trained for it - sheer willpower. I'll be counting on that a lot this coming weekend - 87 mile rollerblading race. Ugh.
Agreed.Humma Hah
Sep 23, 2003 7:17 AM
I ran my 185-mile 2-day on the C&O Towpath on fat street slicks. They ruled! The MTB's with knobbies were carrying a lot of mud on their tires. I slithered around a little, but was overall more efficient. The MTB's loaded their knobbies with mud, still slithered around, but were working themselves to death with that gunk on their tires.
Slick is the way to go !kai-ming
Sep 22, 2003 5:41 PM
Sep 22, 2003 6:33 PM
Think about it. If you get quality stuff, you can have a great time. All you do is train sensibly. Cruise along and enjoy the first day's ride.
On the second day, after a very light breakfast, bust out couple key bumps before heading out. Repeat key bumps at every rest stop.
You'll be leading the pack daring them to hold your wheel.
Drinks plenty of liquids (as opposed to drinking lots of solids;)
Cheetos. Lots of cheetos. I'm not kidding it works. (nm)firstrax
Sep 22, 2003 7:12 PM
Yup. (Is this my legacy?) ;-) nmDougSloan
Sep 22, 2003 8:00 PM
Yup. (Is this my legacy?) ;-) nmaliensporebomb
Sep 23, 2003 2:58 AM
"Sloan's Law: When one cycles long distance one must also bring Chester Cheetah along for the ride lest ye bonk horribly." Adjust to fit.


That being said, after my commuter was stolen my old Mongoose Surge mountain bike became my commuter.

Specialized Nimbus slicks work great - there's just enough tread for traction and they are Kevlar reinforced to prevent punctures.

That bike really flies now when you tromp on it. The gearing isn't completely ideal but it's surprising how
fast it can go with slicks versus knobbies.
you know the routine...DougSloan
Sep 23, 2003 6:37 AM
*ride slower than you think you should, especially the first half each day
*keep HR down and respiration down to conversational level
*use Chamois Butt'r and good shorts
*stand and change hand position frequently
*be careful and don't overlap wheels
*drink and eat plenty; never sacrifice water for speed
*gear down and spin on the hills
*definitely put slicks on vs. knobbies
*it's not a race
*have fun

I was in the same situation a couple of weeks ago ...Humma Hah
Sep 23, 2003 7:14 AM
... mine was totally flat, but longer, 85 and 100 miles on consecutive days. I had almost no base as of the weekend before. I managed to get some short but intense hillclimbing in the preceeding Sunday, and Monday (Labor Day) got in a flat 90 miles.

Knowing I was seriously undertrained, I kept my pace easy, hydrated like crazy, and kept the calories going into my mouth.

Result: riding against the MTB crowd, not notoriously strong century riders, I was consistently in the first 20-25% of the riders, and found it remarkably easy.

Take it easy ... you'll do fine.
40+30 = 100? I don't get it.KSC
Sep 23, 2003 7:28 AM
I didn't see anyone suggest throwing a MTB deraileur on to allow even larger gearing on the rear cassette if you don't think 28 is enough (although I've discovered the hard way that 27 is enough to grind up a hill at around 6 mph). Riding a mountain bike on the road just plan sucks, slicks, no slicks, whatever. Might as well buy a Hummer to drive to work while you're at it.
Sep 23, 2003 7:42 AM
and if that doesn't work, try a sacrificial slaughter or burnt offering.


sorry Kristen, i don't have any good recommendations except just grind it out and revel in the pain.

good luck!!

40+30 = 100? I don't get it.KSC
Sep 23, 2003 7:44 AM
I didn't see anyone suggest throwing a MTB deraileur on to allow even larger gearing on the rear cassette if you don't think 28 is enough (although I've discovered the hard way that 27 is enough to grind up a hill at around 6 mph). Riding a mountain bike on the road just plan sucks, slicks, no slicks, whatever. Might as well buy a Hummer to drive to work while you're at it.
unhilly 70 in 2 daysJohnniO
Sep 23, 2003 8:09 AM
thats just a little more than your WC group rides. Take the road bike. The mountain bike is WAy overkill. Just go your pace, eat, drink and have a good time. The only thing that could get in your way is over thinking it.
Hey! How was your long ride?Kristin
Sep 23, 2003 8:13 AM
Do you know anyone from the WC group that's going this year? Hope all is well with you and yours. ~K
Hey! How was your long ride?JohnniO
Sep 23, 2003 8:20 AM
it was a blast, I don't know what I can do next summer to top it. I'm searching though. Any rides where you moved to ?
Hmmm. ETape? (A good way to blow a few grand.)Kristin
Sep 23, 2003 8:29 AM
I could only find fast training rides and the Spokes group, so I just ride alone and hum George Thoroughgood tunes to myself. Did you keep a public diary of your ride? If so, I'd like to see them. Send me a link. Kristin6 AT HotMale.
re: How to get through a ride your not prepared for?4bykn
Sep 23, 2003 3:21 PM
Day two map is no longer valid, the route is changing this year. And those who say these hills are tame are either climbing fools, or not familiar with the terrain!

Always ride within your own ability, I made a mistake of hanging with a faster-than-me crowd at a recent century and hit the wall hard at about 65 miles (19.5mph average). Take your time and have fun.