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On the Night Before a Big Ride I....

Old 05-16-19, 08:48 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
I left the whole bag of food and electrolytes on the kitchen table I did spend a couple of minutes wandering a pharmacy vitamin aisle two hours out, trying to figure out what might be a good alternative. Ended up just getting back on the trail and stopping by a bike shop later in the day.
epic, what happened to the "like" button?
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Old 05-16-19, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
realized around mile 45 it wasn't happening and diverted to a train
I bailed in a cab last summer. went back a few weeks later (better prepared) & did the whole ride
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Old 05-16-19, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Not eating enough, not sleeping enough, just hoping that I don't forget some critical piece of equipment when I leave.
This sounds like an honest answer I might give. Did I leave the phone plugged in and charging? Where's the dang GPS? Hard to sleep when I'm trying to remember to fill up the water bottles when I wake up.

On a tour, though, after a day or two I fall into a routine of going to bed early and waking at dawn. Part of that's intentional -- I want to ride as far as I can before it gets too hot. Another big part is just the consequence of riding 50-80 miles for a couple days in a row -- I'm tired enough that I want to rest, regardless of what else is going on.
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Old 05-16-19, 09:41 AM
  #29  
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Of note, I've never quit a ride. If I start it, I'm gonna finish it, and I'll deal with the consequences later. Left the house one morning planning on 70-80 miles, as I neared home realized I was around 90, would have loved to lap the neighborhood a few times to round it to 100, but it was past 100º, I was 2 hours overdue for lunch, and had to pick my kids up from school in about 30 minutes. So that was that. Have there been a couple of times where I should have quit? Probably. Have I gotten heat exhaustion? Yep. Dehydrated to the point of medical care? Sadly, yes. Do I occasionally have a flagrant disregard for my own well being? Sure seems like it.
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Old 05-16-19, 09:44 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
Wow, you guys pump yourselves full of supplements... I just try to sleep so that I don't oversleep. But then again, my biggest ride has been ~55 miles and usually more around 30ish.
I usually ride at least one century a week, and I wouldn't touch that supplement crap with a 20 foot pole.
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Old 05-16-19, 10:05 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Usually I'm second guessing myself, checking the weather ten times, forgetting to download the route to my GPS....

I'm going to try your method. I read somewhere about it working in the past.


-Tim-
Ditto on the obsessively updating the weather. My usual ride is 50 miles out and return, or a 100 mile long triangle, so I actually have to check the weather forecasts for different places along the route.

Definitely no on the pre-ride fasting, and I'm an atheist, so the prayer thing would be a bit problematic.
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Old 05-16-19, 10:49 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Of note, I've never quit a ride. If I start it, I'm gonna finish it, and I'll deal with the consequences later. Left the house one morning planning on 70-80 miles, as I neared home realized I was around 90, would have loved to lap the neighborhood a few times to round it to 100, but it was past 100º, I was 2 hours overdue for lunch, and had to pick my kids up from school in about 30 minutes. So that was that. Have there been a couple of times where I should have quit? Probably. Have I gotten heat exhaustion? Yep. Dehydrated to the point of medical care? Sadly, yes. Do I occasionally have a flagrant disregard for my own well being? Sure seems like it.
The one I quit was supposed to be an out and back century, but a previous ankle injury returned early and got worse and worse. Ended up having to walk a stretch where I couldn't trust it then gingerly rode through to the train station at the far end. Healed up and started an hour earlier around 10 days later and got it done, though even then was riding longer into the evening than comfortable for the poor condition of the near end of the trail.

Somewhere in there was an attempt where I got all kitted and chamois gooped to go and decided it was too late so crashed back to sleep for two hours in my shorts then showered it off and went to work instead of taking the day off as planned.

Anyway...

Anyone read Stephen King's 1963 remember that scene where the protagonist first tries to change history in a small private way and everything from the universe down to his digestive tract conspires to disrupt his plans?
That's me trying to get out the door for a ride. A planned 2.5 hours earlier than last time will be a half hour earlier by the time I get off the train and get to the trailhead.Oh well, at least the just rained morning seems to have dried out, though probably not in the first muddy stretch through the woods...No exploratory side trip this time, but if I can keep the breaks shorter I might finish at dusk rather than rig my lights.
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Old 05-16-19, 11:18 AM
  #33  
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I usually stay up late and do some sort of major work that I've been putting off on the bike that I'll be riding.
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Old 05-16-19, 09:05 PM
  #34  
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Assuming an early start: put out bike clothes, make sure everything is charged, make sure I know where everything is, double check seat pack and add anything useful, and put out things I'll need in the morning and for the ride. Then, I drink a whole lot of water, set six alarm clocks, and hope I conk out by 2AM.

I don't put that much effort into food, but I eat something normal (not pizza delivery). Late night dessert is nice before a big ride.

Originally Posted by Caliper View Post
I usually stay up late and do some sort of major work that I've been putting off on the bike that I'll be riding.
Okay, I've done this one as well.
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Old 05-16-19, 10:50 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
The one I quit was supposed to be an out and back century, but a previous ankle injury returned early and got worse and worse. Ended up having to walk a stretch where I couldn't trust it then gingerly rode through to the train station at the far end. Healed up and started an hour earlier around 10 days later and got it done, though even then was riding longer into the evening than comfortable for the poor condition of the near end of the trail.

Somewhere in there was an attempt where I got all kitted and chamois gooped to go and decided it was too late so crashed back to sleep for two hours in my shorts then showered it off and went to work instead of taking the day off as planned.

Anyway...

Anyone read Stephen King's 1963 remember that scene where the protagonist first tries to change history in a small private way and everything from the universe down to his digestive tract conspires to disrupt his plans?
That's me trying to get out the door for a ride. A planned 2.5 hours earlier than last time will be a half hour earlier by the time I get off the train and get to the trailhead.Oh well, at least the just rained morning seems to have dried out, though probably not in the first muddy stretch through the woods...No exploratory side trip this time, but if I can keep the breaks shorter I might finish at dusk rather than rig my lights.
I saw someone on a big unicycle on a mup last evening, and if I had to guess, I think he was doing close to 15 mph. Not something I see too much of around here. Wow, you guys work hard! That posture is so upright that I could tell there was something unusual about the "bike" ahead of me a full half-mile away, but couldn't quite figure it out until I closed. That has got to be just about the least aerodynamic human-powered vehicle that can actually be ridden.
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Old 05-17-19, 01:01 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Ah, yes, the aimless wandering around. Managed to spend a half hour at 4am one morning last summer looking for a light's bar clamp, gave up and planned to tape it on which worked, came home and found the clamp had ridden along in the first aid kit.

Currently it's the attachment base for the cheapo computer I can't find. And that's because I put it somewhere "more appropriate" after it took a couple of rides in the baggie with my phone cable and wrap-strap blinky lights where it ended up after last season... so no trying to recalibrate pacing this time.
in my case i already aimlessly wander around half asleep due to body pretty much fighting me. bassically body is saying no go back to bed this stupid solo ride is dumb bed is great go back to bed. this leads to me literally walking in circles while getting ready.
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Old 05-17-19, 05:03 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
Wow, you guys pump yourselves full of supplements... I just try to sleep so that I don't oversleep. But then again, my biggest ride has been ~55 miles and usually more around 30ish.
Pumping supplements pre-ride just makes no sense to me. I'll have one Clif Shot chocolate-cherry 100mg caffeine gel, sip of Mtn.Dew Throwback and off I go. As for sleep? Over-rated in my mind. One, two or three hours before is fine for 100+ miler.

Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I usually ride at least one century a week, and I wouldn't touch that supplement crap with a 20 foot pole.
Wednesday was 106 miles. Last Sunday was 101 miles. Last Tuesday was 141 miles. Thinking about 125 to 150 starting in another 18 hours and don't mind gels during the ride.

Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Ditto on the obsessively updating the weather. My usual ride is 50 miles out and return, or a 100 mile long triangle, so I actually have to check the weather forecasts for different places along the route.

Definitely no on the pre-ride fasting, and I'm an atheist, so the prayer thing would be a bit problematic.
Already looked at the weather for tonight to noon tomorrow checking temperatures, precipitation and winds. Should be 125 to 150 miles of simply local riding. The pre-ride fasting or the carb loading makes no sense to me. Eat normally since starting with a full tank is helpful and overloading on carbs has been shown to offer no benefit to performance. With you on prayer. The bazillions hasn't made the World any better than it was years ago.

Have a day of house and yard work. Bike ride to food store. Had breakfast at 4:30AM, lunch around noon and some Alaskan salmon for dinner with a sweet potato and veggies. Grab and hour or two of sleep 9PM to 11PM then should be out riding shortly after midnight. 75 to 100 miles by 6:00AM, back home for a shower, something to eat, clean kit and back out at 7:30 for the LBS ride. Probably add another 40 to 60 miles.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:05 AM
  #38  
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On the Night Before a Big Ride I....
Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Not eating enough, not sleeping enough, just hoping that I don't forget some critical piece of equipment when I leave.
I posted before a 300 mile drive to an organized Ride:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Well you should see my packing list...hate to arrive on time, having forgotten my bike (helmet, gloves, shoes, pump, tools, shorts, water bottle, computer, lights, extra valve stem caps…); never happened…
And just this week I posted about sleeping accomodations.
Originally Posted by jppe View Post
My “retirement job” today started in Smyrna, GA and ended in Anniston, AL. 100 miles end to end on the Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga Bike Paths. Tomorrow’s job is to pedal back to my van another 100 miles to Smyrna….

As luck would have it my back didn’t like sleeping on the budget hotel mattress last night in Smyrna...
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…I found the downside to staying at a motel before a ride is watching movies until 12:30 AM….
Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
...As for sleep? Over-rated in my mind. One, two or three hours before is fine for 100+ miler.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-17-19 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:10 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
Pumping supplements pre-ride just makes no sense to me. I'll have one Clif Shot chocolate-cherry 100mg caffeine gel, sip of Mtn.Dew Throwback and off I go. As for sleep? Over-rated in my mind. One, two or three hours before is fine for 100+ miler.



Wednesday was 106 miles. Last Sunday was 101 miles. Last Tuesday was 141 miles. Thinking about 125 to 150 starting in another 18 hours and don't mind gels during the ride.



Already looked at the weather for tonight to noon tomorrow checking temperatures, precipitation and winds. Should be 125 to 150 miles of simply local riding. The pre-ride fasting or the carb loading makes no sense to me. Eat normally since starting with a full tank is helpful and overloading on carbs has been shown to offer no benefit to performance. With you on prayer. The bazillions hasn't made the World any better than it was years ago.

Have a day of house and yard work. Bike ride to food store. Had breakfast at 4:30AM, lunch around noon and some Alaskan salmon for dinner with a sweet potato and veggies. Grab and hour or two of sleep 9PM to 11PM then should be out riding shortly after midnight. 75 to 100 miles by 6:00AM, back home for a shower, something to eat, clean kit and back out at 7:30 for the LBS ride. Probably add another 40 to 60 miles.
Besides the money-motivated pseudo-science that surrounds supplements, my problem with it is that any time someone has actually tested the OTC supplements, they often include things not on the label, don't contain the things that are listed in the label, the strengths of the items on the label bear no relationship to the strengths listed on the label, and some of the unlisted things in the supplements are downright toxic or the actual dosages of the listed items are actually too high to be safe. The supplements industry has one of the most effective lobbying programs in Congress, and it's almost completely unregulated as a result.

I'm always amazed how many people can, in the same breath, rail on about the corrupt profit motives of "big pharma", then go on to extol the latest fad supplement.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:15 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Besides the money-motivated pseudo-science that surrounds supplements, my problem with it is that any time someone has actually tested the OTC supplements, they often include things not on the label, don't contain the things that are listed in the label, the strengths of the items on the label bear no relationship to the strengths listed on the label, and some of the unlisted things in the supplements are downright toxic or the actual dosages of the listed items are actually too high to be safe. The supplements industry has one of the most effective lobbying programs in Congress, and it's almost completely unregulated as a result.

I'm always amazed how many people can, in the same breath, rail on about the corrupt profit motives of "big pharma", then go on to extol the latest fad supplement.
Agree and "Caveat Emptor"
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Old 05-17-19, 07:16 AM
  #41  
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I am going on an unsupported, overnight tour tomorrow. Around 50 miles to a campground and back the next morning. Since I am using it for training for by two-week tour in June, I am going to carry stuff that I know I won't need (e.g., cold and wet weather gear).

Tonight I am going to happy hour for a couple of Manhattans made by friend and favorite bar tender. Then I will go home, feed the cat, make dinner, finish packing and watch some TV.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:38 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I am going on an unsupported, overnight tour tomorrow. Around 50 miles to a campground and back the next morning. Since I am using it for training for by two-week tour in June, I am going to carry stuff that I know I won't need (e.g., cold and wet weather gear).

Tonight I am going to happy hour for a couple of Manhattans made by friend and favorite bar tender. Then I will go home, feed the cat, make dinner, finish packing and watch some TV.
The sense I get from this thread is that the people who routinely do big rides don't really do much special the night before. My bike is generally rigged for 100+ mile rides, so there's just a few specifics that need to be loaded the night before, like charged phone, water, etc. My body is pretty much adapted to the routine, so outside of taking a recovery day the day before, and maybe letting myself have some extra calories at dinner, the only really big break in my nightly routine is checking weather and planning routes. I get up a couple hours earlier in the morning, however because I want to get the coffee in a bit before the ride starts at sunrise.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:57 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
The sense I get from this thread is that the people who routinely do big rides don't really do much special the night before.
Pretty much true for me. There are some exceptions, like our annual club century to Brooklyn. There is a charter bus that takes some people to the start of the ride. It leaves promptly at 6:00 a.m. from a location that is about a 10 min. ride from my house. With such an early wake up call, I will go to bed earlier than normal. Two years ago while on tour I had a difficult day coming up after a rest day. Only 52 miles but...4,100' of climbing, including a 16 mile climb up to 5,900', absolutely no services (including water) along the way and the forecast was for warm to hot. Normally I would enjoy adult beverages the day before, but I stayed dry because of concern over dehydration. I even turned down some beers a couple in the campground offered me.
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Old 05-17-19, 08:10 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Pretty much true for me. There are some exceptions, like our annual club century to Brooklyn. There is a charter bus that takes some people to the start of the ride. It leaves promptly at 6:00 a.m. from a location that is about a 10 min. ride from my house. With such an early wake up call, I will go to bed earlier than normal. Two years ago while on tour I had a difficult day coming up after a rest day. Only 52 miles but...4,100' of climbing, including a 16 mile climb up to 5,900', absolutely no services (including water) along the way and the forecast was for warm to hot. Normally I would enjoy adult beverages the day before, but I stayed dry because of concern over dehydration. I even turned down some beers a couple in the campground offered me.
Since I never drink alcohol, that calculation is a bit simpler for me!

One point though about prep is that you knew about the no services and the elevations beforehand because you did your homework and planned. One thing I would advise people who are just getting into distance riding is to make sure you know what you're getting into at the beginning of the ride when there's still an opportunity to make adjustments to what you're carrying.
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Old 05-17-19, 08:43 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
One thing I would advise people who are just getting into distance riding is to make sure you know what you're getting into at the beginning of the ride when there's still an opportunity to make adjustments to what you're carrying.
+1. I am a planner. Being prepared for conditions makes the ride more enjoyable. I'm not standing on the side of the road "Shoot. It's 90 degrees out. There is no shade. I still have 15 miles to go and I am plumb out of water. Wish I had know there was no water supply on route. I would have picked up a few extra liters before I left civilization." It's my vacation. I want things to run as smoothly as possible.

During that trip I met my opposite while at a campground/brew pub in Wallace, ID. Young couple who had started in either Portland or Seattle and were trying to get to ACA's Northern Tier route to take them to Glacier N.P. They were basically winging their route each day. They had been riding a long trail and went to its end 7 miles east of town, hoping to hook up with something on their map labeled the Idaho Centennial Trail. They discovered that that trail is not bikeable due to terrain and condition. Dejected and knackered, they returned to town not knowing exactly what to do. I told them I would be hooking up with the Northern Tier in two days and gave them extra copies of my cue sheets. I also warned them my route out of Wallace involved three passes in one day. By the time they got done dinner at the brew pub the light was starting to fade, which it does not do so early in that part of the world two days before the summer solstice. Got the sense that they didn't want to pay for a campsite and instead got back on the trail to head to head a bit out of town to some public park land to "stealth camp." Sometimes I wonder if they made it to their destination.
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Old 05-17-19, 10:20 AM
  #46  
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On the day after a not even that big ride I... grimace any time I move at all?

More beat now from the one way than last August's out and back. Also than from doing the same ride a week ago, probably for two reasons. First, I was trying to go faster and take shorter breaks (and take them walking not stationary), but the data says I just wore myself out earlier. And in the unicycle-unique realm I was experimenting with a new technique of taking two running steps and riding the momentum of a rising pedal up onto the wheel, which is great when it works (and finally allows starting uphill on minor rail-trail climbs) but as a still new and untrained movement added up to a lot of strain compared to a now well honed mental map of all the easily grabbed fences and bollards on the route.

In terms of gear, I tend to go prepared, informed by what I wish I'd had in the past. Ended up using both spare layers on the train home. No water refills available short of buying it and that often means wasting at least 10 minutes diverting off the trail, so what I tend to do is buy a gallon jug and refill everything. Realizing though that my traditional stop at the 2/3 point is probably ill-timed, I should have gotten a sandwich at the halfway point instead, even if the options there are less familiar and not part of my routine. Waiting meant trying to do some extended but mild climbing on wet pitted pavement while both effectively running on empty yet also newly full from the first sandwich half, and toting a full load of water again (half of which came home with me, as it's not yet that hot). I may see if I can find some lightweight sandwich crush-protector and start bringing those from home as the cliff bars just aren't that palatable anymore.

A thought that struck me during the ride is that because I trust the smoothly paved far end a lot more than the bumpy near end in the dark (and have more experience riding it that way) that rather than set my sights on repeating the out-and-back when the days are at their longest, I might instead consider riding north, riding halfway back, and then north again. The downside is that there's more climbing there, and that the last train home isn't all that late.

But returning to the subject of prep, what I really need to do beyond some serious recovery time is to start getting back in the pattern of getting out there early in the morning, instead of early afternoon.
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Old 05-17-19, 11:01 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
On the day after a not even that big ride I... grimace any time I move at all?

More beat now from the one way than last August's out and back. Also than from doing the same ride a week ago, probably for two reasons. First, I was trying to go faster and take shorter breaks (and take them walking not stationary), but the data says I just wore myself out earlier. And in the unicycle-unique realm I was experimenting with a new technique of taking two running steps and riding the momentum of a rising pedal up onto the wheel, which is great when it works (and finally allows starting uphill on minor rail-trail climbs) but as a still new and untrained movement added up to a lot of strain compared to a now well honed mental map of all the easily grabbed fences and bollards on the route.
Having now actually seen someone trail-riding one of those, I have to say it looked almost more like running than riding a bike. How you can do that for 100 miles is beyond me--tip of the helmet to the unis!
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Old 05-17-19, 11:21 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Having now actually seen someone trail-riding one of those, I have to say it looked almost more like running than riding a bike.
Sometimes it isn't faster than a determined runner, but definitely lower impact.

I suspect the best comparison when things are going well would be a fairly upright cruiser setup similarly at only 36 gear inches - very little power output required, until you get to climbs where that at least sort of starts to make sense. But even the most minimal saddles have in order to give control far more that can rub, and that gets old fast. Not sure if the guy you saw was fully upright or with a handlebar, I use a small one mostly to stay on my sit bones. Some people do run a long bar even ending in a tri-bar and arm pad situation and end up in a much lower position. The guy you saw seems to have been going faster, I don't like to go faster than I could run out in an "oops" and at slower speeds air resistance isn't noticed that much except when there's a headwind.

Or the way I think about it - pretty much everyone on two wheels passes me; but only a handful of the dedicated ones are out to ride the full trail - albeit in half the time.
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Old 05-17-19, 11:27 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Sometimes it isn't faster than a determined runner, but definitely lower impact.

I suspect the best comparison when things are going well would be a fairly upright cruiser setup similarly at only 36 gear inches - very little power output required, until you get to climbs where that at least sort of starts to make sense. But even the most minimal saddles have in order to give control far more that can rub, and that gets old fast. Not sure if the guy you saw was fully upright or with a handlebar, I use a small one mostly to stay on my sit bones. Some people do run a long bar even ending in a tri-bar and arm pad situation and end up in a much lower position. The guy you saw seems to have been going faster, I don't like to go faster than I could run out in an "oops" and at slower speeds air resistance isn't noticed that much except when there's a headwind.

Or the way I think about it - pretty much everyone on two wheels passes me; but only a handful of the dedicated ones are out to ride the full trail - albeit in half the time.
No handlebars, and man he was working hard.
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Old 05-17-19, 12:05 PM
  #50  
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On the Night Before a Big Ride I....
Check out the bike, tire pressure, any bags, food, tools
Lay out cycling clothing
Food and sleep - nothing really special, just not too much greasy foods and not going to bed too late
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