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2x 100 mile days close together?

Old 10-30-19, 06:05 PM
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KC8QVO
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2x 100 mile days close together?

I am looking at visiting family elsewhere in the state this weekend if the weather holds out. The distance is right about 100 miles (depending on how I go it could be as low as 94, but I'm rounding up a bit as I want to tune the route some yet). I would only be able to do the run over 4 days or so - 1 day there, couple days max there, then 1 day back.

I guess I am not sure if I want to throw that many miles that close together. I know I can get 100 miles in. I will probably slow down once I get to about 60-70 - at least on the ride out. I am not sure if a couple days recuperating will get me to tackle the return, though.

For what it is worth, the last 2 weeks I've averaged about 100mi/week (last 7 days was 111 of that). I did about 54 miles yesterday (loaded, not performance/fitness racing) and my legs are a bit sore, but not debilitating any. I could still jump on the bike and ride. Looking at the calendar/schedule it would still be another 4 rest days before I could head out so that would put me in a pretty good recovery spot from my last riding before I head out.

What are your experiences with close together high-mileage days? Do you find you have to train harder for them?

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Old 10-30-19, 06:18 PM
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Going with a fast and light bike? I've done some 70 mile days, but that was loaded touring. For me it's about saddle time, and maxing out there. 7 hrs at 14 mph? 10 hrs at 10 mph? Weather and hills? Got a plan B? Multi modal a possibility? Like a train? Start at 5 am double breakfast, double lunch. That's all I got.
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Old 10-30-19, 06:58 PM
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When I have a really long day, if I take the next day off that is usually enough.

Is the weather good, or not? Is the ride one with lots of elevation, or minimal? Is it a stressful ride (highway with no shoulder, etc.) or a fairly peaceful ride on a quiet road in the country with minimal traffic? Mental stress is a consideration too, not just physical stress.

I think you already know what you want to do, not sure why you asked for opinions from others that do not know you.

I assume you are not carrying camping gear, cooking gear, will be sleeping indoors every night, only carrying clothes on the bike along with whatever you want for the ride.

Bring a phone and the number for a friend or family that you can call if you call it quits 40 miles from your destination. And have a great time.

Protein is a key to muscle recovery. After you complete each ride, have some protein within a half hour, maybe a protein bar with 20 grams protein.
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Old 10-30-19, 08:06 PM
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It's doable.

Prior to my trip to Vancouver this summer, I just biked every day to school and around town.
Day 1 to Canmore was about 80km (I thought that was a lot).
By day 8 or 9, the longest I cleared was 220km in one day, and that's over the Coquihalla in the Rockies to Chilliwack.
Average went from 100km to 160km per day overall.

You build up endurance over the trip. Nothing in the gym can really prepare you for it. Nothing like 50km of wind going against you while trying to climb a 7% gradient uphill with total weight of 220kg.
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Old 10-30-19, 08:40 PM
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Finish the first 100 miles fully hydrated and fueled. That will take you a long way toward your recovery.

Get good nights of sleep in-between.

Start the second hundred miles hydrated and well fed.

Stay ahead of fuel and hydration the second hundred.

No Problem.
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Old 10-30-19, 08:59 PM
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I did 17 centuries in 55 days on my last long self-contained tour. Three of those were on consecutive days, but that was with a stiff tailwind. I trained to 200 miles per week before I did that and that helped a lot.
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Old 10-30-19, 09:20 PM
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You are probably better at knowing your abilities than a bunch of us random people on the internet. However, a few thoughts:

1. For someone who has confidence: "I know I can get 100 miles in", it doesn't seem that out of line to do the same after one or two rest days. At times when I've pushed myself on consecutive days, the third day often seemed toughest. The first would be easiest, but even the second wasn't too tough.

2. Your exact abilities will vary by age, fitness and other factors. I've found as I've gotten older, my speed hasn't slowed much but the total amount of time I'm happy on the road has reduced. 35 years ago, my idea of fun touring was going from dawn to dusk including multiple days in a row. Now, I still enjoy getting on the road early, but if I'm done in early afternoon, that works well. In both instances, I was cycling at a rate that I could sustain for repeated days - but throwing a lot more time at it obviously meant longer distances.

My 35-year younger self did a trip once where I traveled 1194 miles in 9 days but one of them was a rest day. The other 8 were all 100+ miles, some by quite a bit. So it wouldn't have been a big deal then...

Now I can still do a trip where I travel 100+ miles in a day if needed. However, it means making a long day, and particularly a longer day than my norm of finishing in early afternoon (*). So it takes some more pushing than average and doing two of those days not too far apart then also becomes a bigger deal.

(*) Even my 35-year younger self would be on the road past early afternoon for a 100 mile day, but they were all long days.

3. So I think you'll be in best position to evaluate how much is really involved for you to do the first of those 100 mile days...and thus also whether two of them is a particular concern.
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Old 10-30-19, 11:16 PM
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a good/decent night's sleep, a big breakfast and an early start goes a long, long ways. even plodding along, by noon you've got around sixty miles and can really plod the last forty.
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Old 10-30-19, 11:33 PM
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do it. what's the worst that can happen? it's not like you're in unknown, desolate territory.....you have family or friends at both ends that can pick you up.

leave early, take lotsa long breaks. carry a lightweight hammock so's you can take a noontime nap.

take your time, don't push too hard. you get to ride late into the afternoon without worrying about finding a place to set up camp.....
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Old 10-31-19, 12:32 AM
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I find that if I can do x distance on the first day, the same distance is actually a bit easier on the second day. However with shorter autumn days it might be hard to do centuries without running out of daylight.
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Old 10-31-19, 12:40 AM
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i'd try to tackle more the first day...like 115-130 miles...especially if the topography is easier. you'll be fresher the first day and shorten the second day.
if the route include lots of elevation gain, try to break that up if possible. i'd rather take on 60-70% of the elevation gain early in the ride
or early on the trip. it gets really tough, mentally and physically, knowing the second half of the ride/tour will be brutal.
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Old 10-31-19, 04:42 AM
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I did the Seattle to Portland ride this year, which is 206 miles over a weekend. Some do it in one day! Most, like me, do it across two days. This is unloaded riding - I was on a rental Fuji aluminum bike with just a saddle bag.

I ended up riding 122 miles the first day and then 84 miles the second day, and felt fine. I'm 62 and it good but not great cycling shape - I'll end up with about 4,000 miles of outdoor riding this year.

For training, I did a few local century rides in the months before and then made sure I did a ride the next day as well, but never did get 200 miles in over 2 days.

The most likely problem area is probably chafing around seat contact points. I don't usually use any sort of chamois cream for one day rides, but on the STP I did and had no problems on or after the second day.
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Old 10-31-19, 05:02 AM
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Back to back ~100 mile days for me are reserved for well into a tour when I am road hardened a good bit. Do I understand correctly that you have a couple days in between the 100 mile days? If so, that would be a lot easier than back to back days.

It sounds doable to me. I guess it depends on how hard the ride will be for you. Will you be carrying gear? How quickly do you usually recover?
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Old 10-31-19, 05:21 AM
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I've done tours that took months but have never done a 100 mile distance in a day.

Gotta admit, I never want to either.

I think a 75mile day is the longest I've ever managed and I didn't want to get back on the bike for a couple of day after it.

I rarely would want to exceed 45 to 50 miles and take my hat off to the folk who can and do double it.
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Old 10-31-19, 07:12 AM
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In 2015, my biggest year of biking, both on the bike trip and around home, I rode 100+ miles every day April 28-May 18, fixed gear. I had to stop the 100 mile stretch then due to needing to get a couple long time involved projects done before I left for my summer bike trip.

Day 1 of the bike trip was 183 miles, not kms but miles. Day 2 was 143 miles,cut short due to Mother Nature. Day 3 was 187 miles and put me down into Annapolis where I was planning to take the next several days off while watching the finish of Race Across America.

After the several days off in Annapolis I left and rode 151 miles down to Richmond the first day out ofAnnapolis and all the way down to the Gulf Coast and across to New Orleans on up to Shreveport I only had one day, in 15, where I rode less than 108 miles/day, fully loaded(30 pounds).

For the trip, while traveling between towns(not including time off at my moms starting on day 47 of the trip) I had 75 days on the road, 8 of those days were spent in town(4 in Annapolis, 3 in Mitchell, SD, and one rain day in Salisbury, MD). Of the 75 days only 19 of them were less then 100 miles(including the days spent in Annapolis/Mitchell/Salisbury).

It's not hard to do the 100 mile days...if you are in shape for it. In 2014 I rode over 20,000 and rode just shy of 22,000 miles in 2015.

Being around the Columbus area you live in a fairly flat environment so unless you are going to West Virginia you shouldn't have too much hilly terrain to deal with.

There really is no reason why you shouldn't be able to do 100,0,0,100 for a trip. The smart thing to do would be to actually ride a few miles on the the two off days to keep the legs a bit active. After big days, when your not in the best of shape for it, the legs can tend to stiffen up so riding 10 miles or so each day can help the legs to not stiffen up. I remember on my 2015 trip I got to my moms house in NW Ohio after 4900+ miles in 46 days and I was forced, by the bike, to take time off. The bike rack was finished, all welds on the rack were broken...I was lucky I made it to her house before it left me sitting along the side of the road. I ended up taking 2 weeks completely off the bike. I then went for a 3, was going to be 4, day ride up into NW Indiana and then up to Lansing, MI before making it back down to my moms again. The first day out was hard thanks to sore leg muscles...thanks to not having ridden in the past two weeks. Don't take the two days off, completely off, keep the legs loose by riding 5-10 miles each day.
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Old 10-31-19, 12:02 PM
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I've regularly done similar rides. Eugene to Portland. Spend a few days in Portland, then come back Portland to Eugene. I vary the distance from about 140 miles up to 200 miles for the long days. And, they're certainly hard on me.

Day #2 is also tough, but usually involves some activity that I had planned.

I also typically do planned rides around Portland while I'm up there, as well as some bike commuting. I've done several of the hilly half century rides up there which are absolutely wicked, and just as hard as a full century.

Usually recovery after the second long ride is easier than recovery after the first one. Training happens quickly.

A couple of notes about the century rides (and century-plus rides).

Get a nice bike if possible. No sense in using an old MTB. Cargo can be a pain, but may just be part of the experience. I have, on occasion towed a trailer as needed.

Have you done a century? It does sound like you're getting your miles up. In some senses a personal century can be easier than the organized rides. Go at your own pace. I hit a few hills headed to Portland, but overall it is a very flat route. Many organized century rides intentionally add a few extra hills.

Age will factor in, so a 20 year old may have an easier overall experience than a 50 or 60 year old.
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Old 10-31-19, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by mev View Post
You are probably better at knowing your abilities than a bunch of us random people on the internet.
+1

Also I don't see all the relevant information. Touring? Camping? Change of clothes and a toothbrush?

Obviously you know your ability better than any of us. I can only say how I would handle it. I don't think I've done a full century yet, but I've come close a few times, and it's always been in a loaded touring situation. Riding 100 miles, with all my gear, and getting up to do it again the next day can be exhausting for me. The two times I've come close, I ended up not making my mileage goals on the day after. But it sounds like you have a two day break between rides? If that's the case, speaking for me, if I can ride 100 miles cold, as long as I don't damage myself on the ride, I'll be just as ready to do it again 3 days later as I was the first time. Having come close to a hundred-mile-day carrying gear for a week's, self-supported touring, I feel pretty confident that I could do a trip where all I needed was a couple changes of clothing and toiletries. Doesn't mean it'd be my favourite day of riding. I usually like to plan for shorter days, but it seems very doable. It also seems like, given the nature of this trip, you might get better tips on the distance/endurance section of the forums.
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Old 10-31-19, 02:56 PM
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Contingency plans can be key.

What to do if one doesn't arrive at the destination.

Bus or train back home if necessary.

Overnighting on the return trip if necessary.

Did we ever get a location? In many places we're experiencing shorter days and colder weather.
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Old 10-31-19, 09:01 PM
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Thanks for all the input thus far.

General location is central and west/southwest Ohio. The route isn't "hilly" - 75% of it is on the major rail trail between Columbus and Cincinatti, so there is very very little elevation change there and it is mostly straight, open nice pavement = good to roll fast on (so long as I don't have a head wind). The start and end inevitably will be on roads and there will be some terrain to deal with, but nothing terrible that I haven't already rode.

As far as being able to do a century - yea, no problem there. I haven't done one this season, but I have done 116 miles riding plus a couple miles day hiking in one day before. That was before I converted to SPD clipless pedals/shoes also. With the clipless system my riding strength and endurance is much increased. I still wear out. Where and when is yet to be determined. I haven't hit any periods of "wearing out" on rides this season, but in the past when I got in to the 70-80 mile range my calf muscles would wear out so I would pull my cleats and switch to the platforms with my feet further forward to give my calves a rest. I wasn't as efficient pedaling that way, but I was able to "rest" what was worn out at the same time as making miles as opposed to sitting in one place.

As for gear - I'd be taking my regular trip outing gear plus foul weather gear and stuff for staying over (computer, bath kit, a couple changes of clothes, etc). Regular trip outing gear includes a backpacking stove and folding recliner. I do have a hammock set up (with fly, insulating underquilt, the whole 9 yards - and yes I winter camp in it) but I left it at my cabins. I'm trying to get in touch with someone that might be able to check around for me and mail it home (I'd go get it but it would be a ~2000 mile trip so I'm a bit up a creek there).

Someone mentioned daylight and having shorter days this time of year. You are correct. And with the time change this weekend we loose an hour.

I ran through my ride spreadsheet and looked at the data on times and speed averages. I noticed earlier, also (a bit off topic here) - my Garmin Edge 1000 shows the speed average as a function of the total trip time - which includes stopped time. It doesn't show a "moving average", in other words. I also track some rides on a tablet with GaiaGPS. This shows both a moving average and a total average factoring in "stopped time". So it is interesting to compare. With that information at hand - I figure if I keep a good pace I can probably do the trip in 13 hours including stops. If I run in to any delays or want to rest more then the time could go up from there. So I have in the back of my mind 15 hours. If I work that backwards from sunset that puts me leaving at 3am. That way I am running the dark hours in the first leg of the trip and not the end.
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Old 10-31-19, 09:25 PM
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If you're visiting family, then you probably don't need a lot of gear beyond what keeps you on the road (tubes, patches, spokes, pump, chain tool, etc). And, of course, food for the day. Something warm for emergencies.

One thing that I've done is to plan on what I can leave at regular destinations.

Mom's house is only about 15 miles away, but I've left a pair of shoes there.
For my Portland trips (150ish miles), I have a place where I can keep a couple of changes of clothes, so I don't carry clothes, and simply wash up as the last thing I do before returning south.

I'm addicted to my computer, but if I can manage a weekend with cell only access, then the computer stays home.

3:00 AM is an ambitious start. I've done that a few times, but I can't get my speed up until the sun comes out. I'd rather ride late. But, arriving at a relative's house at midnight might also be a problem.

15 hours sounds like a long time for a Century. I usually don't track overall time on the road, but try to get 10+ MPH. Sometimes a bit quicker, other times a bit slower, depending on my load, how tired I am, goals for the day, appointments, etc.
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Old 11-01-19, 06:38 AM
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If you are mostly going to be on rail trails, I'll echo my earlier comment about chamois cream. On flat rides you don't get to offload your rear end like you do while climbing and the trail are often bumpier, etc.
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Old 11-01-19, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Back to back ~100 mile days for me are reserved for well into a tour when I am road hardened a good bit. Do I understand correctly that you have a couple days in between the 100 mile days? If so, that would be a lot easier than back to back days.

It sounds doable to me. I guess it depends on how hard the ride will be for you. Will you be carrying gear? How quickly do you usually recover?
I agree. After a few weeks of daily riding on tour I will have upped my mileage and be able to do back to back 100 mile days without suffering too much. Towards the end of my cross country tour I was averaging over 90 miles a day. However, I would be in serious hurt doing it "cold". I took on a trip from Boston to Mystic CT a few years ago without much preparation and that's around 110 miles and I was almost crippled when I arrived and the next day I could hardly walk.
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Old 11-01-19, 03:57 PM
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Thanks for the input. I did get some cream. I haven't used it yet on any of my rides. One of my riding buddies swears by it also.

The last ride I did I felt a bit of saddle soreness. That isn't typical for me so not sure what caused it - and it wasn't a "long" ride. Maybe just the combination of close rides.

However, it looks like my plan is foiled this round. May need to reschedule.
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Old 11-01-19, 09:16 PM
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Physically, I could do it, but I'd run the risk of being really cranky the next day as I recovered. You may be different.
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Old 11-04-19, 02:44 PM
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As it turned out I went ahead and rode. Lets just say I got my ass kicked.

I was running on short sleep for the 2 previous days before I left. Then I didn't get the gear for the trip ready until midnight-ish. Yea we gained an hour, but that only goes so far when you are 6 hours in the hole already. So I gave myself a solid 4 hours sleep before my alarm went off. By the time I had the bike loaded and ready to go the sun was already up. My plan was to leave early enough I had 15 hours before the sun went down, but with the sun already up and short days that put me, what, around 10 hours of daylight, so 5 hours short?

Day 1 was a battle of a modest head wind. My all up average for the day was 5.7mph (not moving, entire trip time). I made it 71 miles and called it quits. Contingency plan "run out of time" was put in place - stealth camping. Even though it was below freezing, I roasted in my sleeping bag. I left my 2 base layers on.

Day 2 was about 12 miles of trail and 11 miles of road. The trail miles were good. I was in much better shape this morning to ride than I expected. Though, I hit the same head wind not long after sun up. So that started slowing me down.

When I got off the trail within the first mile I hit elevation. Plus a head wind. I hit a switch back and had to walk it. After that switch back it was very hilly and the overall elevation climbing. And the wind built up to gusts. When I got to a place I could get on the bike and ride some the wind was so strong it blew me off the road. In the clear spots the wind was so strong I couldn't push the bike against it and had to use the brakes.

After I got blown in the ditch for the 3ord time I threw the towel in. How I didn't wreck I'll never know. 8 miles short, but it was what it was. Though, it was nice climbing the rest of the elevation in the passenger seat of a car. I guess that is a pretty stiff lesson - routing is only one part of the equation. I knew the general area down here, I've rode here before and knew it was a bit hilly in places. But what I didn't prepare for was the significant elevation difference between where the trail is and where I was going... Now I know.

When I get a chance I'll post some pictures. Riding US Bicycle Rt 50 was the best riding experience I've ever had to date. I have been on some of the trails between Dayton and Xenia before, but not Rt 50 and certainly no where near the miles. That would be nice if everywhere you'd want to go by bicycle had a trail like this one. When I lived in IL I did a few thousand miles on the I&M Trail. That is crushed gravel. With the paved trails, rest areas, benches, huts, and - even porta-johns every so often, Rt 50 is in a class of its own. I guess the portion of it I rode is the Ohio to Erie trail, which is a shorter portion of the overall Rt 50. Anyway, mostly good ride. And I am also thankful I didn't bite off more than I could chew last night and just try to hammer out the last 23 miles... That would have been a serious mistake.
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