opposite approaches preparing for longer ride

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by FatherBob, May 31, 2005.

  1. FatherBob

    FatherBob New Member

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    My buddy and I ride together after work routinely. Neither of us is a trained cyclist, and we're both riding mountain bikes on mediocre but wildly hilly roads.

    We take opposite approaches on pretty much everything when it comes to cycling. He thinks wearing a helmet is laughable, but I wear one about 99% of the time out (and it feels wierd when I leave mine at home for a short ride). He's only interested in riding for an hour after work, whereas I want to work up to a long commute and some longer recreational riding over time.

    We both have what seems to be fairly standard MTB gearing, and he almost never leaves the hardest front sprocket, even when it means standing full up panting to make it up steep hills. I took his advice for a while and tried the same, but started to have drive train problems (chain flopping off suddenly, jarring the bike and any body parts attached to it) & started hearing a variety of bizarre loud noises from the bike.

    Lately I've been studying up a bit and have been trying to develop a regular cadence in easier gears. I've been riding upwards of 3 times farther without feeling the crippling exhaustion with which I grappled before, and I feel like I'm getting a better workout. I've also been getting out of the neighborhood onto more flat, straight stretches of pavement.

    Anyway, we're both happy with our respective approaches, and both look forward to making a trip down Longleaf Trace Trail, which is a 41-mile trip (long, flat, and straight - opposite of our neighborhood) later this summer. I'm riding 10 or 15 miles at a time a couple of times weekly now, whereas my bud still toughs it out at 4- to 6- mile rides.

    Now what I'm wondering is, if we go for the Longleaf trip in a few months and we're continuing our respective routines (assuming that each of us continues to add more distance as we go), are we likely to run into problems? I'd hate to face a situation in which my buddy dehydrates, goes into calorie debt, etc. or have to stop and turn back after 10 miles because he just can't make it.

    He's also married to his knobby tires and MTB, whereas I'm waiting for my Trek X500 to arrive, which I think may get me more bang for my stamina buck.

    How much concern should I have about the potentials in the situation? He's about 30 and in decent health.
     
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  2. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Sounds to me like you'll be dusting him by Longleaf. If *that's* a problem then I'd say you need a new buddy. :D

    You're taking the time to prepare by reading up, lengthening your rides towards the distance of your goal, and getting a suitable bike. Expect that preparation to payoff big time later this summer. Sounds like he's taking the approach of "Bah! I know what I'm doing." For a 41 mile ride, I don't think he will be in danger of dehydration, and he could certainly "gut it out" for that distance if he's at all competitive. If he wants to suffer instead of prepare, then I guess that's his choice.
     
  3. FatherBob

    FatherBob New Member

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    Well, that's cool, then. I'd love the chance to scoff at him, but don't want to do so while trying to find a cell signal so I can dial 911. :)
     
  4. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    I just realized we're talking about Mississippi in the summer and thought I might need to append my response. :)

    He does drink, right? I certainly wouldn't recommend riding for 2-4 hours in the muggy heat of the Miss. summer without drinking anything. You'll definitely need water bottles with refill stations available, or you will be calling 911. :eek:
     
  5. FatherBob

    FatherBob New Member

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    Yeah, water probably won't really be the killer. We'll both lug at least some water, and I have vague plans to carry extra water & some electrolytes (and snacks) in panniers.
     
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