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Old 10th June 2024, 19:08   #1
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Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?

I like endurance type activities, trekking, long distance motorcycle rides etc. Iíve done the 1000+ km Mumbai Ė Bangalore ride multiple times, 16-18 hours in the saddle. I enjoy the horror of being alone with my thoughts.

Iíve been living in Germany for about a year now, in a small-ish city near Berlin called Magdeburg. The overall experience of immigrating to Germany has been an absolute nightmare, but thatís a story for another day. Iíve been trying to make the best of my time here, by cycling as much as humanly possible.

Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?-cycling-triban-rc-500-germany-1.jpg

Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?-cycling-triban-rc-500-germany-2.jpg

With the Autobahns right next to me, the logical thing to do would be to get a license and start driving or riding bikes here, but getting a license in Germany is very expensive, and I canít justify the cost at this moment. I donít care for cars, and I rode motorcycles in India because thatís the most fun way to travel. In Europe, cycling is better.

Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?-cycling-triban-rc-500-germany-3.jpg

I bought a Triban RC500 from Decathlon a few months back, the damn thing cost about 60,000 INR, which is more than what I paid for my Bajaj Pulsar 150 in 2007. Cycling is not a cheap hobby, how the hell can a 10 kg hunk of Aluminum be more expensive than a 150 kg precision machine of steel? But thatís also a subject for another time.

I love cycling, it takes you to places where automobiles canít go. Itís almost like a video game sometimes, exploring the open world, finding new places to visit on the map. Iíve been cycling since I was a kid, being born in one of those rare small towns in India where you can cycle to school without dying immediately.

Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?-voodoobizango1.jpg

When I was in the UK I experimented with mountain bikes, and it was a lot of fun. I bought a road bike in Germany simply because I had never experienced them before, and they are fantastic, though uncomfortable. Iíve been building up my endurance slowly, consistently riding farther and longer.

Iím 35, and in no mood to push myself too hard, so my rides mostly involve getting to a junction and taking the path I havenít taken before, hitting dead ends in the process, and just chilling out while looking at the pretty clouds.

Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?-cycling-triban-rc-500-germany-4.jpg
Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?-cycling-triban-rc-500-germany-5.jpg
Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?-cycling-triban-rc-500-germany-6.jpg

There are many cycling groups here, and I donít ride with any of them on purpose. Most of them seem to prefer riding on roads, and I do not. Cycling paths in the middle of nowhere are so much more fun, I feel too self conscious on the roads, always feel like Iím blocking people in cars from living their life.

Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?-cycling-triban-rc-500-germany-7.jpg

The first time I went out on a long-ish ride on the RC500, I did 27 kms and nearly fainted. I think it was a combination of looking down at the ground because I couldnít hold my neck up, and the raging pain everywhere in my hands and behind. As I kept riding the right muscles got stronger I guess, so I kept riding some more.

The first 50 km ride felt like nothing, I couldíve easily gone for an hour more. The first 70 km ride was harder, I was really tired by the end of it. On the next ride I thought Iíll cross 100 kms, but at the 80 km mark I was just destroyed, and the last 10 kms to home became absolute hell, especially when it started raining and the cold water hit my nether regions, and I realized I was out of water and extremely thirsty. At least I knew that I could ride 90 kms without dying, even though it was close.

Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?-cycling-triban-rc-500-germany-8.jpg

Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?-cycling-triban-rc-500-germany-9.jpg

Yesterday I finally completed my first 100 km ride. It was brutal. The first 60 kms were great, I really enjoyed the scenery, explored a new area Iíd never been to, but the moment I turned back I realized why the first half was so nice, I was riding with the wind. Now the next 50 odd kms will be pushing against it, almost like I had gone downhill all this time and now had to cycle back up.

When you drive a car you don't need to worry about the weather, terrain, or wind. When you ride a motorcycle you need to worry about the weather. On a cycle, you need to become an old timey sailor and worry about weather, wind speed, wind direction, which cities are cursed, and the phases of the moon. It's crazy how much wind affects your stamina, and being in Europe means it's always windy.

Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?-cycling-triban-rc-500-magdeburg-1.jpg

You can actually see the massive difference in my speed in this graph from Strava, the point where my speed just completely falls off the cliff about halfway is where I turned back. The thing about wind is that thereís nothing you can do about it, just head down and keep pedaling, looking directly near your feet helps because the ground rushing by makes you feel faster. I did that, but the progress was painfully slow.

I had learned enough from my previous rides to keep myself hydrated and well fed, so at least my legs didnít completely give up, but around the 80 km mark the ride became an exercise in pain management. Iíd try to get some blood into my numb hands only for my bottom to become red in pain, trying to fix the bottom pain caused my neck to be on fire and my feet to get numb. It was bad.

Some 5 kms from home a large group of what looked like professional cyclists overtook me. I had heard that itís easier to follow people than to ride on your own, they punch a hole in the air so you donít have to work so hard. I attempted to keep up with them to use their slipstream, but of course what happened was that they were professional cyclists and hence very quick, and I pushed myself way beyond my comfort zone just to keep up with them. Not that I was actually able to keep up with them, they kept drifting farther and farther away as I pushed more and more to keep up, eventually stopping when it felt like Iíll just vomit and fall.

Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?-cycling-triban-rc-500-germany-10.jpg

But I made it, and immediately started looking for places slightly farther away to go next time. I was lucky not to get a puncture, I was carrying nothing that wouldíve helped. And Iím luckier to find myself in this part of Europe where you can cycle for a hundred kilometers on dedicated cycling paths and barely see 30 other people. I want to ride 160 kms in a day next, because thatís 100 miles, because I donít need a better reason. It will suck even more, itíll be brutal, but itíll be 8 precious hours of my life spent in blissful pain, alone.

Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?-cycling-triban-rc-500-magdeburg-2.jpg
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Old 10th June 2024, 20:11   #2
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Re: Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?

What a great write up!

The pictures look ready to tempt anyone into cycling mode. Greenery, rainbows and what not.

Riding with a group of cyclists probably takes the essence out of it. Different people different views. Riding slow and solo without pushing the mind for a target, brings in so much more relaxation than the body expends physically.
Looking forward to your 100 (160) target and pics next.
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Old 10th June 2024, 20:51   #3
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Re: Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?

Possibly the greatest place to start (or restart) cycling! Excellent. Loved the photos.

A century is always special, and first one the special-est. Took me a solid year of riding before I attempted century and it felt like a personal victory. Now I try to do a century every month and still feels like a small win every time.

Take it easy though. Enjoy the sport. Looking forward to the writeup for 100 mile ride!
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Old 10th June 2024, 21:01   #4
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Re: Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?

Great story. My bicycle rides here in the Netherlands are often about 90-100km. And like you I hate riding against the wind. So I look at the weather forecast and take my bicycle on the train upwind so to speak. So I know I will have the wind in my back most of the time.

On local trains it is dead easy, similar to the Dutch system. On the longer journeys I understand it can be a bit of a pain as you need to reserve in advance.

I have also read about people using certain busses that have bike racks fitted. We had that system in Kansas City too!

Regardless, enjoy your cycling adventure. I would like to hear about your story why Germany is such a disappointment for you. Personally, I love Germany. I have lived there a short while, many years ago.

Jeroen
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Old 11th June 2024, 00:12   #5
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Re: Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?

What a refreshing take on cycling! Love it.
The only thing harder than riding 100 kms is resisting the urge to ride anything shorter after that!
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Old 11th June 2024, 10:03   #6
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Re: Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiderZone View Post
I like endurance type activities, trekking, long distance motorcycle rides etc. But I made it, and immediately started looking for places slightly farther away to go next time. I was lucky not to get a puncture, I was carrying nothing that would’ve helped. And I’m luckier to find myself in this part of Europe where you can cycle for a hundred kilometers on dedicated cycling paths and barely see 30 other people. I want to ride 160 kms in a day next, because that’s 100 miles, because I don’t need a better reason. It will suck even more, it’ll be brutal, but it’ll be 8 precious hours of my life spent in blissful pain, alone.
Very good write up. You are actually lucky to ride on dedicated cycling tracks, breathing fresh and pure air. I am yet to hit a century on my hybrid bike (road bikes are faster but never thought to spend so much) here in India, but have done 60Kms. Somehow I dont get that kick as compared to running a Marathon. Crossing that finish line is something else altogether. I am first a runner and then a cyclist, may be thats the reason I am unable to motivate myself to go for over 100 kms.

Reading your story, let me attempt one sunday.

Last edited by graaja : 11th June 2024 at 17:43. Reason: Minor typo
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Old 11th June 2024, 10:26   #7
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Re: Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?

Kudos to you man!
And totally agree with you on cycling in small towns back in the days vs today which is impossible. I was born and brought up in Bhopal (Bairagarh) and actually went to school from 6th standard till 12th on my BSA SLR (Ferrari Red) non geared bike. Totally enjoyed the ride to school crossing through hills and going down the slope on the other side. But now in Mumbai and Pune I could dare not expect my kiddo to do the same, right like you said. We do have a bike but it is rusting in our garage cause it's dangerous even to ride around our area.
Loved your refreshing take of riding in Germany. Keep up the good work and best wishes for when you complete 200 KMs in one stretch without killing yourself. I can predict you will do it soon.
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Old 11th June 2024, 10:50   #8
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Re: Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?

Spent some time in the Netherlands last year where I had a rental cycle. I did a couple of 40km rides to check how well I could do and then went out for a 67km ride away from towns and the hustle bustle. It was serene and not too tough for the first 35kms. I rode on a loop route but it still meant I had to come back on a route opposite to what I took for the first half and good God, I HATED the wind. It directly pounded on my chest and there were times when I was trying to pedal but not moving forward! My legs were on fire, my feet were numb and my posterior felt like it had decayed. It was horrible to such an extent that I didn't even bother with the amazing scenery on the way back. However, I just thought of it as a jacked up endurance workout. Would I do it again? Yes for the ride, no for riding against nature��
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Old 11th June 2024, 11:24   #9
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Re: Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiderZone View Post
I bought a Triban RC500 from Decathlon
I’m 35, and in no mood to push myself too hard
Yesterday I finally completed my first 100 km ride. It was brutal.
I love RC500, i think its the perfect begineer road bike at a decent price.
First 100 ride is very special acheivement and yes its brutal.

I did my first 100 in an event from pune-lonavla on a 15.5kg MTB bike with 2.1 tyres.Just like you i enjoyed the ride till 50-60 kms but the last 10 kms were hellish for me, eventually i completed the ride after 6.5 hours.

After that i have sucessfully completed really long rides the best being 210 kms pune-pandharpur ride with a large group.
Beleive me it was an easier ride than my first 100, as by this time i was good at managing my body throughout the ride.

The most important thing for long rides is preparation. Its your body and mind that needs to be prepped up for the ride.You need to eat and rest well before such a long ride and during the ride its your water and food management which is crucial element.

Drink before you are thirsty and eat before you are hungry is the Mantra.
Finally cycling tests your mental strength especially as you are nearing the end of your long ride, and once you conquer it it gives you immense pleasure.

You are just 35 dude, age is just a number so are the cycling milestones.
Whats important is the enjoyment of the ride and sweet sense of acheivement you get after completing one.

I can bet you will do longer rides with much more comfort and ease going ahead.

Cheers and good luck

Last edited by silverado : 11th June 2024 at 11:33.
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Old 11th June 2024, 13:13   #10
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Re: Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?

I have done a few 100 km rides on my bicycle.
I really enjoy it when the wind is behind you and you’re led to believe you’re a strong rider until you turn back and the headwind kills you.
Overall it can be tough , but if you can manage your pace it is good fun.
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Old 11th June 2024, 13:59   #11
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Re: Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?

Used to do this quite frequently at one point in my life (circa pre lock-down). It's fairly easy to prep your physique to do this and you need a bike that fits you well. We used to do these long rides to prep for Brevets.
However, in the longer run I realized that the muscle loss that comes with extended cardio is just not worth it, nor is the time expended.
I have since, sold off all my cycles and moved entirely to strength training.
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Old 11th June 2024, 14:06   #12
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Re: Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?

Awesome. A nice alternative to explore the places when you're in a foreign land and don't have/want a DL. It helps given the infrastructure and the general public is respectful towards cyclists over there (not sure about Germany though). Once your body gets used to cycling, you will be doing much longer distances without breaking a sweat.

Your bike reminds me of my Jamis Nova which I bought when I moved to the UK for short term and explored a lot of places (50-150 kms round trips) on the bike during the British summers.

Please keep updating this thread if you finish more rides. Thanks.
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Old 11th June 2024, 15:28   #13
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Re: Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?

Thanks everyone for your comments!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Great story. My bicycle rides here in the Netherlands are often about 90-100km. And like you I hate riding against the wind. So I look at the weather forecast and take my bicycle on the train upwind so to speak. So I know I will have the wind in my back most of the time.

Regardless, enjoy your cycling adventure. I would like to hear about your story why Germany is such a disappointment for you. Personally, I love Germany. I have lived there a short while, many years ago.

Jeroen
Yeah that's what I'm trying to do next time too, ride with the wind behind me until it stops being fun, then take the train back home.

Germany as a concept sounds good, but the reality of life here and more importantly, the reality of the absurd immigration process, has just destroyed the excitement and charm of moving to this new place for me. I will try to write about the experience, but the fact is that my wife and I have still not recovered from it, and the anxiety issues it has created. My wife is undergoing therapy and taking medication, I cycle

Quote:
Originally Posted by that_sedate_guy View Post
It directly pounded on my chest and there were times when I was trying to pedal but not moving forward! My legs were on fire, my feet were numb and my posterior felt like it had decayed.
Haha, felt exactly the same way. I even tried leaning more far forward on the drops to be more aerodynamic, made absolutely no difference except making things more painful

Quote:
Originally Posted by minzanurag View Post
Awesome. A nice alternative to explore the places when you're in a foreign land and don't have/want a DL. It helps given the infrastructure and the general public is respectful towards cyclists over there (not sure about Germany though).
Germans are great towards cyclists, I don't ride on roads purely because I don't find it fun, the drivers are very accommodating and careful, nothing to complain about at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_libran View Post
However, in the longer run I realized that the muscle loss that comes with extended cardio is just not worth it, nor is the time expended.
I have since, sold off all my cycles and moved entirely to strength training.
I don't have that many muscles to begin with, so not much loss there. I can't do normal gym type activities, I find it incredibly boring. With cycling the whole fitness part of it is a side effect for me, the main aim is travel and exploration, and being forced away from screens.
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Old 11th June 2024, 17:41   #14
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Re: Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?

Superb thread. Congratulations on you first 100. Bottom line is that the faster you become the sooner you can get home. It still hurts the same. Just for a shorter time.

Cheers, Doc

Last edited by ebonho : 11th June 2024 at 17:47.
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Old 11th June 2024, 18:49   #15
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Re: Cycling 100 kms in a day: How hard could it be?

Congratulations on your first 100km. But totally get it - the struggle is real, along with the pain. But that's what cycling is all about. We all enjoy the pain. All the best on your journey.
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