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How many miles is a "good ride"?

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How many miles is a "good ride"?

Old 07-09-19, 12:18 PM
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ucfdad
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How many miles is a "good ride"?

Just starting to get into riding for fun and fitness. I am 58, 6'1 and 240 and a smoker with high blood pressure. So far in July I have ridden 60 miles in 7 rides. Somedays I can do 12 and some days I am struggling to do 8. When I tell a non cyclist I did 8 miles they are like "wow that is great". When I say I rode 8 to a cyclist, I get a much less positive reaction.

So, when first starting what should be considered a good ride? How much did you ride at the beginning?

Also, would love to hear from anyone who has a success story about lowering blood pressure through riding, need the inspiration.

Please no "quit smoking" comments, I have heard them all and agree with them. Thanks

Last edited by ucfdad; 07-31-19 at 12:26 PM. Reason: Update
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Old 07-09-19, 12:35 PM
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When I started back, I'd ride with one or both daughters to a bookstore for "coffee" -- iced coffee-flavored beverages which seem to have become even more popular in the last 20 years, but I digress. A "short" ride back then was 5.5 miles, one way, and my wife would pick up some or all of us. A "long" ride was both ways, 11 miles. I'd feel virtuous that I was burning off the calories of the coffee.

Now I have a rule of thumb that I don't watch my diet on days with a long ride, that's 50 miles or more. It's amazing what daily bicycling over 20 years will do!
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Old 07-09-19, 12:36 PM
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Sounds to me like you're doing GREAT.

To me, the right amount of riding is whatever makes you want to go again after the ride is over. When you're starting up a new challenging activity, maintaining your own motivation is key. So I'd say do what's fun and feels good to you. That could be: keeping stats or not. Riding hills or flat. Riding group or solo. Riding for challenge or riding to get out and about. Riding roads or trails. Riding upright or aero. Riding five miles or fifty. Seriously, whatever does it for you and keeps you coming back for more, that's the right amount IMO.

I'm 57, and I'm maintaining blood pressure and glucose metabolism in part with riding and other activities. Exercise is a wonder drug. Just wait, if you stick with it you'll be impressing yourself with the results and have plenty to brag about.

EDIT to add "in part". I'm also taking medication, but the difference between exercise+medication and medication alone is so dramatic that it's like having very different, much more manageable conditions.

Last edited by rseeker; 07-12-19 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 07-09-19, 12:51 PM
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First let me address the high BP. I tend to have high BP as well. I was prescribed a beta blocker. It almost killed me. Then, a friend and cyclist, suggested a "fix." She is an ND. So, 100% beet juice. It will lower BP. I add creatine, collagen and protein powder. Amazing stuff. Now to the rest.....don't base your standards on what anyone else tells you. You can ride slowly and do longer rides or you can ride shorter and harder. The latter is known as HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training. I happen to like HIIT and it works like a charm.The key is to get on the bike and do something that makes you want to ride again.
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Old 07-09-19, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ucfdad View Post
How many miles is a "good ride"


Perhaps 200 miles in a day?

It varies a lot with person & training.

Perhaps sign up for a "Metric Century" ride (100km, 63 miles) late this summer or early this fall. And, use it as a goal... and get the training in.

If you get the 100km under your belt, you can set your sights on something longer next year.
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Old 07-09-19, 01:07 PM
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The question is what is a good ride for you. Right now, I think you're doing awesome, but in a few months 8 or 12 miles will feel like a warm up. Keep going, and keep going a little further or a little harder each time.
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Old 07-09-19, 01:15 PM
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There is no answer as such it depends on your background. You are doing better and if you stay consistent and simply add miles/time each week you will soon be riding 25 miles. That will seem great and is a bit accomplishment. If you like cycling and it appeals to you eventually you might get to a point that a ride of 30-50 miles is not bad at all. In your case you are carry 240 pounds at 6"1 so getting weight down I am going to say to 200 would be the best thing you can do. I too and 58 ( 10 days away Lord willing) and like you a bit over 6'1 but I weight 170 pounds. I have been a lifelong runner and cyclist running marathons, but I still have high blood pressure and take medicine. I take Losartan 50 mg daily. That is not a beta blocker so it works well for myself.

Now to answer another question on what is a good ride for myself. I like to go a very fast 30 mile ride or like this morning I road 53 miles at 18.4 mph. At the beginning of year as winter breaks the first 50 miler will feel like a century would in July. I train year around and run but still is relative to the situation. I remember as I progressed on cycling in the early years a 40 mile ride was tremendous and I would be so positive about the distance. Now on a regular bases I can easily crank that out daily with no breaks.

My suggestion is sort of like training as a runner. At least once a week get a good ride in that goes well past your typical daily ride. So maybe on a Saturday or Sunday go out and do a slow easy 20-25 mile ride with the only thought being to complete it no matter how long it takes. Stop if you need to a stretch and you will find the weight will start to come off pretty fast. Bump the ride up each week by 3-8 miles so that in say a month you complete a 35 mile ride. Keep at it your doing the right thing.
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Old 07-09-19, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ucfdad View Post
Just starting to get into riding for fun and fitness. I am 58, 6'1 and 240 and a smoker with high blood pressure. So far in July I have ridden 60 miles in 7 rides. Somedays I can do 12 and some days I am struggling to do 8. When I tell a non cyclist I did 8 miles they are like "wow that is great". When I say I rode 8 to a cyclist, I get a much less positive reaction.

So, when first starting what should be considered a good ride? How much did you ride at the beginning?

Also, would love to hear from anyone who has a success story about lowering blood pressure through riding, need the inspiration.

Please no "quit smoking" comments, I have heard them all and agree with them. Thanks
Your mileage, as they say, will vary.

When I returned to cycling after a 10 year hiatus I had a hard time even doing 6 or mile rides.

Now I regularly ride 60+ miles with lots of climbing. As you ride more you will be able to go for longer rides.

I have coronary heart disease and I "proudly wear" seven coronary stents. Check with your cardiologist before you over do it. but know that riding a bike is a great form of exercise for those of us with heart issues.

You do need to stay on top of your BP because high blood pressure can cause a host of other medical issues, some of which are not fun.

Find a good cardiologist that you can trust (I went through two before I found one I could trust) and work with him.



I would suggest that you get a heart rate monitor and keep track of your heart rate while out riding.

Good luck my friend.

Ride safely.

Last edited by eja_ bottecchia; 07-09-19 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 07-09-19, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ucfdad View Post
So far in July I have ridden 60 miles in 7 rides.
You know that's not too bad. I propose though, that you make it an objective to ride consistently rather than longer distances. If you can do 30 minute rides at an exercise kind of pace, 6 days a week, you will feel better and gain fitness faster than riding 90 minutes 2 days a week. I'm pretty sure doctors will agree with me on this.

Then, once you're feeling like challenging yourself, you can try longer faster rides.

There's a delightful elderly lady in my neighborhood who just noodles along on her old hybrid bike at probably 6mph but she's out there every day for an hour or so riding residential streets and waving at the dog walkers and enjoying herself and staying in shape.
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Old 07-09-19, 02:22 PM
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I started riding as an adult in the early 80s when I was around 30. I did it to get in better shape for off-road motorcycling and I was also a smoker.

I started with 5 mile loops on a flat bike path near home. I was pretty proud the first time I did 2 laps the same day. I met a guy there who became a great friend and we eventually tried some hills and longer rides. I quit smoking and we joined a local road club and started doing centuries every Saturday.

I also love riding a mountain bike off-road, (gave up the motorcycles). There are different ways to enjoy bikes and you can do it for decades, just keep it fun. What has helped me keep at it is meeting other riders and becoming friends with them. It adds to the enjoyment to have friends to ride with.
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Old 07-09-19, 02:23 PM
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I'm in my upper 60's and got back into riding in my mid 50's. I try to do 12 miles/day on a mountain bike, but it isn't a real challenge anymore. I will do a hard ride pushing it the whole time when I ride about 8 miles and feel like I had a workout. I try to average 15MPH on my mountain bike regardless of the distance when I go 12+ miles. I started with BP in the 140/95 range. Over time and regular riding, I've brought it down to 120/75 average and a resting HB around 42. Good luck to you and just continue to enjoy and it will all work out for you.
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Old 07-09-19, 02:41 PM
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Any ride is a good ride. Miles are less important than how often you ride.
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Old 07-09-19, 04:44 PM
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9 miles at 15 mph was a "good" ride for me (at the time 50 lbs overweight, an ex-pack-a-day-smoker, and high BP) when I got back to cycling by commuting to work 7 years ago. Just stick with it and try to ride 4-5 days a week, adding a little bit more distance and speed each week. Those 50 lbs melted away after 2 years, and a couple more years after that I was doing 19 mph 100 mile rides, and ultimately 200 and 300 mile rides, but those may require you to be a little insane.

Last edited by Riveting; 07-09-19 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 07-09-19, 05:21 PM
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You're doing great...just keep riding
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Old 07-09-19, 05:31 PM
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My individualized recipe is to ride away from home until you're tired, then ride back. That's a good ride. Endurance doesn't start until you start enduring. I started trying to ride the 5 miles uphill to a local shopping mall. Not because shopping, just to do it. Felt like I'd have bits of lung on my shoes. Once I could do that, I just kept going.

You can lower blood pressure cheaply and "naturally" by taking 1g of sodium nitrate every morning. The quotes because it is a natural process. Some folks drink beet juice to get their nitrate, but sodium nitrate is cheap and mostly tasteless.
https://www.amazon.com/Sodium-Nitrat...dp/B0190TOJUS/
It'll help your cycling a little, too.
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Old 07-09-19, 05:36 PM
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We have an 87yr old lady in our church that rides her trike around the park. She is in dandy shape.

Just keep riding and extending yourself a little bit on the long ride each week and keep in mind there are no real limits.
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Old 07-09-19, 06:47 PM
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A good ride is just about any ride for me.

Now if you are talking about long and short rides, then anywhere between 10 and 30 miles is what I consider a short ride. 60 plus qualifies as a long ride for me. The miles between 30 and 60 can go either way whichever makes my story sound better.

However it's pretty much a relative value that depends on what you do, not what others do.

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Old 07-09-19, 06:52 PM
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To me, one of the things that indicate that it was a "good ride", is that it left me with a smile. The smiles are just as important as the miles! I'd rather have a good 10 mile, enjoyable ride than a miserable 20 miler!
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Old 07-09-19, 07:48 PM
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16.4 miles is widely considered the standard for a good ride
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Old 07-10-19, 02:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ucfdad View Post
So, when first starting what should be considered a good ride? How much did you ride at the beginning?
When I first started riding ... my first few rides were about 8 km, then within about 3 weeks, I was up to doing about 11-12 km rides, and it didn't take long before I was doing 16-20 km rides.

Back then a 20 km ride would be a "good ride".

3 months later, I was fairly comfortable with rides up to 80 km. So by the end of that first summer 29 years ago, 80 km was a "good ride".

It was 7 years later that I started feeling comfortable with 160 km rides, so they were "good rides". Another 4 years and 200 km was a "good ride".



These days, we're cycling less ... Rowan is recovering, so a 30 km ride is a "good ride".
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Old 07-10-19, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by ucfdad View Post
When I tell a non cyclist I did 8 miles they are like "wow that is great". When I say I rode 8 to a cyclist, I get a much less positive reaction.
Recommend that you stop telling so-called experienced cyclists or cycling enthusiasts about your good rides; why subject yourself to the derision of dumasses with negative and elitist attitudes?

Every ride is a "good ride"; there is no minimum distance requirement, nor any requirement to set goals to increase the distance of rides in order to maintain the goodness of rides.

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Old 07-10-19, 05:57 AM
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I think you'll find that you increase the miles fairly quickly. When I started riding, 10 was easy. But I was used to walking the golf course so my legs were at least somewhat fit. My wife could only get 2 or 3 miles before she was huffing and puffing. After a month or so, she was up to `10 miles and defined that as 'a good ride.' Now, I think of 10 to 15 as a ride on weeknights and 30 on weekends. But that's governed more by available time than the distance I can physically cover. Within a year or so your capacity will increase greatly and you'll just naturally fall into what turns out to be a 'good ride' pattern for you.
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Old 07-10-19, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ucfdad View Post
Just starting to get into riding for fun and fitness. I am 58, 6'1 and 240 and a smoker with high blood pressure. So far in July I have ridden 60 miles in 7 rides. Somedays I can do 12 and some days I am struggling to do 8. When I tell a non cyclist I did 8 miles they are like "wow that is great". When I say I rode 8 to a cyclist, I get a much less positive reaction.

So, when first starting what should be considered a good ride? How much did you ride at the beginning?

Also, would love to hear from anyone who has a success story about lowering blood pressure through riding, need the inspiration.

Please no "quit smoking" comments, I have heard them all and agree with them. Thanks
Simply do what you can, and feels comfortable for you Dont let anyone dictate to you what you "should be doing"!!!
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Old 07-10-19, 06:14 AM
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Some rides are better than others. I've had rides where I'm just pedaling to get to the end. A good ride isn't measured in miles. A good ride is one that leaves me feeling energized after a rest. Like I could go again.
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Old 07-10-19, 06:45 AM
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I can't believe that I'm going to agree with @I-Like-To-Bike ^ above. But I am. Other people aren't you, and cannot experience what you're experiencing even if they're along side of you at the moment. Ride your ride and enjoy every moment.

My "good" rides happen unexpectedly, when my everything just clicks. Maybe it's a more energetic day or that my legs are rested. Maybe it's the fit or performance of my bike and me. Maybe it's something about the weather, like a light rain or a warm wind that makes my senses more alert. Or I'm tagging along behind my wife, who is having a particularly strong and energetic day and is flying (for her). She'll smile and say, "great ride, huh?" 'Yes. It was.', I say.
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