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October mileage goal set; Yesterday’s ride; Might be getting a road bike today.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

October
2
2012
September 2012 bike totals: 345.78 miles, mostly mountain biking. October goal is to exceed 400 miles.

September 2012 bike totals: 345.78 miles, mostly mountain biking. October goal is to exceed 400 miles.

The totals for September are in: 345.78 miles ridden (most of that was mountain biking), more than 28 hours in the saddle, average heart rate 161 BPM and an estimated 20,000 calories burned (according to Garmin Connect).

My goal for October is to exceed the number of miles I rode in September. I think 400 miles is a nice round number to shoot for, and so that’s my goal for the month.

Yesterday Mike and I did a 27 mile urban assault around Lake Dora. I was on my mountain bike, but the ride was 100% paved. This was a new route for me, and it involved riding on some fairly heavily trafficked roads. As most of you know, I’m not too keen about riding my bike on the road. Distracted drivers are all over the place, and I don’t like putting my life in their hands. Thankfully 99% of the drivers who past us by gave us a nice wide berth.

The weight of my mountain bike bike, the stiff headwinds/crosswinds (especially around the very large lake) and the slow-rolling tires definitely increased the workout’s effectiveness. My average speed was 16.2 MPH, I hit a top speed of 36.3 MPH and my average heart rate was 161 BPM. A good workout.

It was a solid ride, but 27 miles on the road is nothing like 27 miles mountain biking. I remember a while back I remarked that a “dirty century” (100 miles mountain biking) was clearly a much more difficult ride than a road century. I got an email from an irritated roadie that said a road century was just as hard as a dirty century. Oh, bullcrap. 100 miles on a road bike is not even close to comparable to 100 off-road miles on a mountain bike.

I’m going to put my money where my mouth is. I’m getting a road bike very soon (in fact, I may be getting one a little later this morning), and I’ll do a 100 mile ride on it before the year is out. One of my goals for next year is to do a dirty century, and when I do I’ll be sure to compare the two rides. I was trying not to laugh as I typed that.

I’m pretty excited about the road bike. I do enjoy longer rides, and road cycling definitely plays to two of my biggest strengths: power and stamina. I think once I start doing some hardcore Sufferfest workouts on the road bike (attached to a fluid trainer) and take part in some long group training rides, my speed on a mountain bike is going to increase considerably.

John Stone Fitness Comments

13 Responses to “October mileage goal set; Yesterday’s ride; Might be getting a road bike today.”
  1. John I am pretty sure that if you got a road bike today then tomorrow you could do 100 miles on it on the roads. You are right it is completely different to MTB!

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  2. Roadies tell me that 1 mile on asphalt = 2 miles on dirt trails. I assume they’re thinking 2 miles on yellow trails, because 2 miles on a trail like John Brown, Vortex, etc., would be more like 30 miles on asphalt.

    As for group rides, my advice is, don’t even think about it. Group rides greatly multiply the risk of a crash, and when you crash on pavement, the type of injuries resulting from it can be very serious and permanently debilitating.

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    • Yeah, agreed. For example, we did just two laps at Haile’s (about 9 miles) and then a lap at The Rock (about 5 miles), and that left me feeling 3 times as burnt as yesterday’s 27 mile paved ride.

      As to your advice, there are definitely strong and compelling opinions on both sides of that argument. Aren’t you a motorcyclist? I’m choking on the irony.

      Bottom line is I’m a mountain biker–any injury can be “very serious and permanently debilitating.” I’m not into taking foolish risks, but I’m not going to pass up group rides.

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      • Responsible motorcyclists such as myself wear helmets, gloves, boots, and riding suits full of body armor designed to prevent injuries. We also adhere to riding practices which rule out the possibility of collisions on group rides. Bicyclists violate every one of those practices, and the only piece of protective gear they wear is a styrofoam half helmet. There’s a bicyclist in my riding group who has more metal in his body than the Bionic Man – all of it the result of bicycle crashes – an activity he only took up ten years ago. He’s been riding motorcycles since before I was born, and claims to have a million miles under his belt. Compare that safety record to the ‘Freewheeler’ cycling group he rides with, which sends one of their riders to the emergency room every month.

        As for your claim that “any injury can be very serious and permanently debilitating” – that’s pretty obviously untrue. A bruised rib, a minor laceration, or a broken finger can’t be compared to a shattered hip. Had I sustained the same fall on a dirt trail, I would have gotten up without so much as a bruise. I would not have faced a 40% probability of needing a full hip replacement in the event that my surgery was not successful.

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  3. 100 miles on the road all depends on the type of terrain you are on. I used to do 50+ on the road with some decent climbs when I was in pretty poor shape and well over 200 lbs. It was fairly easy. Biggest issues for me were numb rear and hands, I never could seem to figure out how to combat it. I tried different seats, different bar wrap, carbon bars, nothing helped. There is just always constant pressure on those parts of your body.

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    • Quite so. I would say that any rider, irrespective of his level of experience, could manage 100 miles on a road bike, IF he can stand the pain in his wrists and posterior. Have you ever tried an Adamo Road saddle? It doubled the number of miles I could ride in relative comfort. I was introduced to it by another rider who averaged 200 miles per week. He said that kind of mileage would have been inconceivable with any other saddle he’s used.

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    • The hand numbing thing is a good point, and I can see how it might be an issue on long rides. I noticed that yesterday, in fact. I had the front sus locked out, and towards the end of the ride I was shaking my hands out every few miles. I was hoping that the road bike would be more comfortable over long distances than the mtb is.

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      • The road bike will (or should be) more comfortable over long distances than your mountain bike, but mainly because you’ll be covering the same distance in far less time. The way to prevent wrist pain on a road bike is to change hand position frequently. There are three different hand placements possible on a road bike, whereas a mountain bike limits you to just one. It’s sometimes also possible to keep just one hand on the handlebar, allowing you to twist your upper body and assume a more upright posture. That’s something motorcyclists frequently do on very long rides to combat wrist fatigue.

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      • You need to use a different mind set when road biking regarding weight distribution. On a mountain bike the thought process is to distribute your weight to maintain traction and control. Frequently this means putting quite a bit of your load onto the handle bars.

        On a road bike, the road surface naturally guarantees good traction so weight distribution is just to maintain comfort (similar for when riding a trainer). It takes a while to train yourself to not put so much weight onto the bars to reduce hand/wrist fatigue. You have to actively focus on supporting yourself with your core.

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  4. Quite the opposite in my opinion. You feel more vibration on a road bike. Tires at 100 psi you feel every bump and the vibration from rough road rattles up through the bars even with carbon forks and bars.

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