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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Gravel Ride Training Tips

Old 08-12-22, 02:43 PM
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dcole300
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Gravel Ride Training Tips

I think I need some help vetting a 'training routine' for an upcoming gravel ride (50 miler, one month away). I've been logging about 12 miles/ day (60 miles/ week) commuting to work. I might be able to stretch it from 6 to 8 miles one way. My concern is that's not a long time in the saddle like it would be for this upcoming ride (15-30 minutes vs a couple hours). I might be able to get one or two longer rides in the 30 to 40 mile range prior to this event.

Do you think this is enough base miles for a 50 mile gravel event or am I gonna have a bad time?

A friend who's recently decided gravel riding is their new hobby asked me to participate with him and I think it'd be fun but I'm concerned about base miles since my main effort is commuting to work with limited time for riding in the morning/ evenings. He's been doing two 20 mile rides every week day with a long 50 to 60 mile ride on the weekend.

Also, any tips for essential gear for an unsupported ride is welcome. I have two bottle cages on the frame with an option to add a third. I have a bike bag on a rear tire rack with tubes, patch kit, tire levers, pump, etc. and snacks and a rain jacket.

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 08-12-22, 03:35 PM
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Gravel is harder than asphalt. Find a way to extend your commute home (when you have more time) to maybe 10-15 miles. That'll get you additional training miles.

General rule of thumb, on a not too hot or humid a day, is 20 oz. water bottle per hour, YMMV. Add the 3rd bottle cage, maybe find some of the big Zefel 32oz. Water bottles, or at least the CamelBack 24 oz. insulated bottles. I personally would be wearing my 100oz CamelBack pack. Plus 2 water bottles
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Old 08-12-22, 04:08 PM
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Is it not possible to extend the commute even further? Are you already commuting on your gravel bike with gravel tires? You can air them down for more RR to simulate gravel roads
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Old 08-12-22, 05:54 PM
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If you ride 12mi every day then you can get thru 50 in a day.
With that said, unless your schedule literally never allows you to take an extra hour at the end of the day and turn the 6mi commute into a 20mi commute, you should find time to ride a bit further.

Even 3 rides where you are on the bike non-stop for 25mi at a time will help.
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Old 08-12-22, 10:49 PM
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How is the climbing on your commute compared to the event? If the commute is basically flat the the ride is 100ft per mile you are in trouble.

Last edited by Bmach; 08-12-22 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 08-13-22, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
How is the climbing on your commute compared to the event? If the commute is basically flat the the ride is 100ft per mile you are in trouble.
Really. There is fifty miles and then there's FIFTY MILES !!!
50 miles with 5,000 or more ft of gravel climbing is quite an adventure, and that would be fairly average around here... I expect, in Wyoming you could have way more, or way less if it's ranch roads..
One of the easier rides round here is 14 mi RT. and does 2700 ft...
If you haven't gotten clued in on the route, now's a good time to do that.
And Wyoming doesn;t strike me as 'Deep, Shaded Forest' - more like 'Glaring Sun Baked', but what do I know... I'm sure there's quite a variety. And if it's 'Glaring, Sun Baked', you'll wanna know that.
Really. Knowing where the ride is going will tell you everything you need to know about what you need to do to handle it... We're just guessing...
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 08-13-22, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Gravel is harder than asphalt. Find a way to extend your commute home (when you have more time) to maybe 10-15 miles. That'll get you additional training miles.

General rule of thumb, on a not too hot or humid a day, is 20 oz. water bottle per hour, YMMV. Add the 3rd bottle cage, maybe find some of the big Zefel 32oz. Water bottles, or at least the CamelBack 24 oz. insulated bottles. I personally would be wearing my 100oz CamelBack pack. Plus 2 water bottles
My commute is 1.5 miles so I've already stretched it quite a bit. I'll keep working to find sensible routes around town.

3 bottles it is! I do have a camelback I can fill and use. I'm not a fan of biking with a backpack but I also don't want to run out of water.
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Old 08-13-22, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Is it not possible to extend the commute even further? Are you already commuting on your gravel bike with gravel tires? You can air them down for more RR to simulate gravel roads
It's possible and something I'll work on. I only live 1.5 miles from my office so I've extended it a bit. And I am on my gravel bike. I'll try airing down to increase rolling resistance.
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Old 08-13-22, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
If you ride 12mi every day then you can get thru 50 in a day.
With that said, unless your schedule literally never allows you to take an extra hour at the end of the day and turn the 6mi commute into a 20mi commute, you should find time to ride a bit further.

Even 3 rides where you are on the bike non-stop for 25mi at a time will help.
I only have 2 open weekends before this ride that I plan to log longer rides. But I do have a bit more flexibility in lengthening my commute home. An hour in the saddle would probably be the most I could extend it to. Gotta squeeze the gap!
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Old 08-13-22, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
How is the climbing on your commute compared to the event? If the commute is basically flat the the ride is 100ft per mile you are in trouble.
That's a good thought. My commute is pretty flat. The ride is about 1,500' so stilsonot bad. I can work some hills into my commute and the 2 long rides.
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Old 08-13-22, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
Really. There is fifty miles and then there's FIFTY MILES !!!
50 miles with 5,000 or more ft of gravel climbing is quite an adventure, and that would be fairly average around here... I expect, in Wyoming you could have way more, or way less if it's ranch roads..
One of the easier rides round here is 14 mi RT. and does 2700 ft...
If you haven't gotten clued in on the route, now's a good time to do that.
And Wyoming doesn;t strike me as 'Deep, Shaded Forest' - more like 'Glaring Sun Baked', but what do I know... I'm sure there's quite a variety. And if it's 'Glaring, Sun Baked', you'll wanna know that.
Really. Knowing where the ride is going will tell you everything you need to know about what you need to do to handle it... We're just guessing...
Ride On
Yuri
Yeah this will be one of those sun baked roads. 1500' elevation so not bad. Start time is 9 am so it'll be warming up by then. Too bad it doesn't start at 6 haha.

Last edited by dcole300; 08-13-22 at 10:08 AM.
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