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  1. #1
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    Go long or go home

    To be clear, I'm only talking about my preference for longer rides and am in no way slamming others who ride shorter distances pretty regularly.

    About 18 months ago I started running and am up to 6 mile maintenance runs and a couple of 10 mile runs a month. After the first 6 months of running I realized if I ran less than 6 miles I felt like it was hardly worth the effort of going out. This spring I decided I wanted to get back in to riding to change up my fitness work. So, bought a new bike and am loving it. but I am afflicted by the same disease. Anything less than 10 miles and it feels like I wasted my time. There has to be a solution to this affliction.

    Help?

  2. #2
    Wrench
    Reputation: FNFAL's Avatar
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    Ride faster, then get off the bike and run!

    I race XC, Xterra, and endurance events all around. Here's a breakdown of my usual race times, in hr:mm.

    XC MTB = 1:15 to 1:25, depending on the course and how long the course is.

    Cyclocross times for local races are short, like 0:30!

    Short Track races are also around 0:45, again depending on course and length.

    You can get a lot done in ten miles. When I don't have time for distance, I focus on my speed. Keeping 13 mph on a local trail is very different than keeping 10 mph. Alternatively, you could try doing a "brick" workout. Take your running shoes with you to the trails and go for a run after a ride.

  3. #3
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    I remember a quote from Mark Allen or Scott Tinley from a few years back. It was something like "most people would rather do an easy 10 miles than a hard 1 mile."

    Try riding your shorter distances harder and you won't feel like you're wasting your time!
    I live with fear and danger every day. And on the weekends she lets me go mountain biking.

  4. #4
    Just Ride
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    I'm that way on my road bike. Less than 10 miles seems pointless to me. On the MTB less than 6 and I feel I wasted my time. Not very long by some standards I'm sure. There are those on here who ride 40+ miles daily.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  5. #5
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    I like that idea.. like a personal duathlon

  6. #6
    singletrack bound
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    funny I came across this thread....

    on the MTB today I did 42mi/5000' ele/4hr 30min.

    just got off the phone with my friend and we are meeting at 8:00 AM tomorrow and going out again for at least 3 hrs.
    Sorrel Seeker !!

  7. #7
    beater
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    Go long or go home

    I think distance is somewhat meaningless without the context of topography and trail surface. Ten miles could be either a sub-hour cruise or a half-day sufferfest. But when it comes to short rides, I disagree. I'm lucky enough to have two trailheads within a couple hundred yards of my front door. I frequently take my dog out for a couple mile romp on the mountain across the street. Waste of time? Sh!t no- I just spent 30-45 minutes on my bike. That's never bad.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

    Riding in Helena? Everything you need to know, right here.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    I think distance is somewhat meaningless without the context of topography and trail surface.

    Yes, folks who ride bikes for a living rarely speak of mileage but instead focus on ride time. On most terrain a 10 miler would be a pretty short jaunt.

    Technically there is a minimum amount of time you are supposed to exercise in order to gain the most aerobic benefit and it generally takes me about 20 minutes until my body is warmed up and working properly. I fully agree with evasive though that any bike ride, no matter how short is ever a waste of time.

  9. #9
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    Watched the pros race this past year at Flat Creek Ranch in CenTex. Driving home, we saw them miles away, out on the road putting in their post-race workout.
    What satisfies probably is related to whether by nature you are a sprinter or an endurance type.

  10. #10
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    I agree with most of what has been said here, and yes any time on your bike is never "wasted". Better word may be "unfulfilling".

  11. #11
    dru
    dru is offline
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    I like to be on the bike 2 hours minimum. Anything less just isn't enough. Certainly 35 or 40 miles on the road bike and 15 or 20 offroad depending on how slow I am.

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  12. #12
    Happy Trails
    Reputation: Scott In MD's Avatar
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    Go long or go home

    Quote Originally Posted by Stegerman View Post
    Anything less than 10 miles and it feels like I wasted my time. There has to be a solution to this affliction.
    What do you consider long? Not trying to jam you, just asking. Short rides are a lot better than no rides, though. My last 9 rides totaled 353 miles, and I don't consider myself a very long rider. There are a lot of guys over 5000 miles a year out there.

  13. #13
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    Short ride is better then no ride. That being said, I seldom ride less then an hour more like 2-4 hour rides on the weekend. After work rides really depends on what other commitments I have. for fitness i started running and when I bring the kids to the pool I do laps.

  14. #14
    Rock n' Roller
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    It's a fine balance. I've done 30+ mile rides that seem easy. However, just the other day, 2 miles of uphill on Green Lake Trail completely kicked my butt and left me begging for more. I like to mix it up. Some days, I ride long and hard. Other days, I ride short and fast. Still others, it's about technical skill. And don't forget about intervals! Sometimes it isn't the distance covered as much as it is vert, time in saddle, technical skill, and personal challenge. I could ride that long, flowy, 20+ mile loop, or I could challenge my lungs, legs, and technical skill on a 4 mile loop outside of town.

    I love both. Do what makes you happy and what makes you a better rider.

  15. #15
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    Smile my long and short ride experience

    I honestly think long rides are more worthwhile than short rides. I did my longest mtb ride yesterday, it was a good experience except for the douchebags on the road that don't pay attention to you or give you the right of way. Besides that I love it, it's my second time riding my mtb, and my first mtb that I love and adore. I'm still trying to learn how to mtb ride and willing to learn long distance too. I need some tips as well if I should do short rides or long rides especially for a beginner as myself. Anyone have any suggestions? I got really tired the first 30 minutes and I did couple of sprints here and there and rest.
    I encountered a big truck passing by and the guy gassed smoke (so rude!), the other time the chick didn't pay attention when I was riding by and third, those that are smokers (if you are, no offense) but I disliked smelling the smoke. Oh, and I fell while I was coming to a stop at an intersection on the street and got back up. I didn't realize I got a big, fat bruise on my calve and my other leg by my knee. So, i'm still a new mtbr and do you always have to use the crosswalk to cross the street with your mtb? (I'm confused on the road rules so I was just asking) Overall, I want to be a better mtb rider and long distance too. First mtb ride, I did 4.50 miles in 53 minutes. My second mtb ride I did 11.74 miles in 1 hour and 40 minutes and i even tried going uphill yet that was pretty tough so I had to walk mtb the whole way and tried mtb in low gear. ( in the end, I was tired and knocked out pretty early. ) I went uphill and downhill was pretty fun and scary at the same time and need to know when to brake and the weather was kind of gloomy and sprinkling a little where I rode my mtb.

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