Monday, June 10, 2013

Riding long distance

New Zealand. Route 1 to Wellington.
Many of you will start to laugh if I write that for me, long distance means maximum  of 150km (93mi) a day. That's right. I probably could ride much longer than that, but I see no point in it. Let me explain.

Assuming I start around 6:00AM and finish around 7:00PM, I have 13 hours of daylight to enjoy the ride. There are longer days than that, but even in the summer, in Boston, days are hardly much longer than 13 hours. It usually gets dark around 8:30PM here. But why not ride longer, with the lights on - you may ask. Well, once it gets dark, I can't see the world around me, which means I can't enjoy the scenery. To me, there is no point in riding after sunset.

So how far can I go within those 13 hours? Let's say, I am able to maintain an average speed of about 18km/h (11mph) - which is not always the case, especially on some steep dirt roads. And let's not forget that I want to see the new places on my ride, take stops for food, water and pictures. I assume then, that my stops add up to 30 min. every 2 hrs of riding.  This gives me 10 hours of riding and 3 hours of stops within those 13 hours of daylight. Theoretically, 10 hours at 18km/h means 180km (112mi) in the saddle a day. But realistically, it is much less. I know I would stop more often or ride slower. I also my not feel to spend the entire day riding. I like to be flexible.

Flexibility, some sightseeing, picture taking, relaxing - these are the things I am looking for when riding my bike. That's why 150km is a distance long enough. I feel like riding a longer distance is focused too much on the time limit (sunrise-sunset) and not the ride itself.

But what about the challenge? Sure, if riding longer distances non-stop is something you are looking for, then by all means - do it. How about 325mi on gravel? But why only 325mi? Why limit yourself? Go coast-to-coast! Non-stop. On gravel, if you like. You have a time limit of 2 weeks ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment