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Showing 1-10 of 63 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 83 reviews
on July 1, 2015
I had been riding my bicycle long distances for half a dozen years before I read a word on the subject. It didn't seem like there was much to say about it: You get on the bike, and then you put one foot in front of another. Fast or slow, eventually you get there, and with practice, you're able to go farther and faster. It's not like learning to play chess. It's a simple pastime, a way to see the countryside and get some fresh air, and have an experience on the cheap. Right?

For better or worse, "Long-Distance Cycling" pretty much confirms my prejudice. The training advice boils down to "ride your bike a lot, sometimes at a high level of exertion, but mostly low. Don't train too hard though!" There's a few chapters on selecting equipment, the thrust of which is mostly "buy more expensive bike parts than Alexander Kobulnicky can afford."

Most of their advice is stuff you just figure out on your own: If your digestion suffers, try taking anti-diarrhea medication. Eat and drink as much as you can stomach, but no more. And sometimes it's not really advice at all. If your bike seat is chafing you, they say, try shifting around and sitting in different postures. (Who needs a brainstem when you have a book like this?)

This may well be a useful book for competition-grade long-distance cyclists. I couldn't possibly judge, and I'm sure Amazon wouldn't want me to. But as somebody who just rides 180 miles to while away the time, I still find three appealing things about it:

First, paradoxically, it's useful to know that there isn't some trick that I had been missing all these years. For all the blather about lactic acid and aero bars, it really *isn't* much more complicated than putting one foot in front of another.

Second, there are still some useful tidbits: The best kind of candy bars to buy at a convenience store, the best kind of stretches to do for back pain, that sort of thing.

Third, there are some passages that are deligtfully off-the-wall. We're warned that fainting from heat exhaustion is most likely to occur when we stop -- so don't stop at the top of a hill. In another chapter, there's a subheading titled "Techniques for Staying Awake," telling you the key to "preventing or at least minimizing hallucinations," and recommending that you "make a game of how much you can see around you at night." You cannot make this stuff up.
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on October 29, 2015
A year ago, a normal cycling distance for me was less than 20 miles. Now my average ride is 50 miles and some go over 100 miles. This change started when I decided to ride the Seattle to Portland (STP) with my daughter. Now I had never ridden 100 miles in a day before, much less 100 miles two days in a row! I knew I needed to train so that I could enjoy the ride, so the first step I took was to go to my local bike shop, Oakdale Bike Shop, and connect with their group rides. These rides helped out a great deal with my fitness by pushing me faster and farther than I had been riding in the past. However, at a typical distance of 30 mile the rides were still shorter than what I needed to give me the confidence I wanted to take to Seattle.

Some of my fellow group riders had done long distance rides and were able to give me some input. But a lot of their advice amounted to "just get out and ride and you will be fine!" My problem was then and is now that I don't have the time to go 200-300 miles a week every week and I also hoped that it wouldn't take that kind of riding just to be able to enjoy the STP!

So I went online and found several sites that gave tips on prepping for century rides or even for the STP itself. Most of these sites fell into the category of the "quick list of things" you can do. You know, like "10 tips from an STP veteran", which gave some helpful tips to prepare and ride the STP but didn't answer many of my questions on how to train, what to eat, and most importantly, how to make sure I would still be able to sit on my bike saddle on day two of the ride! I needed more in depth coverage of what it takes to train for and ride a century ride.

I found this kind of help in the book "The Complete Book of Long-Distance Cycling" by Edmund Burke and Ed Pavelka. In the book they cover topics in more detail than on any web site. It starts with discussions of how to build a training plan targeted to the type of ride you plan to do. A good discussion of training intensity and heart rate zones leads to an understanding that you are better off with rides of varying intensities to build your base endurance, climbing power and sprinting ability. It is important that not every ride should be ridden at full intensity. Your endurance is better built by riding in heart rate zones 1 and 2. The authors go on to discuss over-training and how it can set you back in your preparations. A cursory review of gear is included that is helpful in getting to know what is out there and what it is called so you can at least converse with other cyclists about their favorite gear.

They go on from there to talk about different types of long distance rides and give specific suggestions on training plans, gear, clothing, food and mental preparations. I found this section useful to read as it helped me prepare for the rides with greater confidence and not feel that I had to take everything with me!

The remainder of the book covers details about various topics. These include a section on Danger Zones, which are the things that can end your ride. Also covered are saddle sores, general body issues and dealing with the elements. Following the suggestions included in these sections allowed me to complete the 200 miles of the STP with no saddle soreness and feeling well enough to ride the bike from the finish line over to my daughter's house. My Selle SMP Lite 209 saddle certainly helped out with that accomplishment!

I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to take on a long distance event. Following the information in the book will make your ride much more enjoyable.

Two other books that you might consider on the topic of cycling training are:"Cycling Past 50 (Ageless Athlete)" by Joe Friel ***** ******* and "Fast after Fifty" also by Joe Friel. ***** ******
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on August 11, 2013
I started serious cycling 6 months ago with the purchase of my first road bike. As my mileage increased, so did my ambition to train for my first century. I quickly found as I approached the 40 mile mark that simply riding my bike and steadily increasing my miles was not going to work. I was bonking hard during my rides and wasn't even halfway done even though I'd take rest stops and eat. It went from being enjoyable and challenging, to exhausting and frustrating. I wasn't progressing and I started questioning if this was going to be possible. I read the reviews of this book and decided to give it a shot and I was blown away at how much I learned even in the first 5 chapters. The explanations on nutrition and hydration regarding scheduled eating and drinking alone allowed me to progress to 50 miles, a task I thought was insurmountable before. I would recommend this book to anyone who are interested in long distance cycling and have recommended it to all of my friends who cycle, or who are interested in cycling. I should've bought this book with my bike!
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on February 18, 2015
Nothing more than the usual training schedules for a century, a whole lot of V02 max, and lactate thresholds, etc. This book offers very, very elementary instruction on selecting bike, loading gear for touring. Information you can find pretty much anywhere. Regardless of you opinion of Lance, for a training guide I recommend The Lance Armstrong Performance Program: Seven Weeks to the Perfect Ride. Or just get a subscription to Bicycling magazine.
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on August 1, 2014
A Good book for a total newbie (what are finger less biking gloves for?), a little dated,Plenty of good information in this, However this one is better: "Distance Cycling by John Hughes", Contains much better information if your looking on how to get better at long distance, instead of, what is long distance.
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on November 1, 2013
I'm just about finished reading the book. When I'm done I will be reading it again with a notepad to take notes. There are a ton of nuggets of information in this book that I will want to refer to during future training. Lots of information about nutrition and how to train so you are ready for any event.

The only criticism would be the authors are really into chemical nutrition (sports drinks). It leaves me wondering if there are foods that can be used in their place.
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on February 24, 2006
I've recently decided to ride in my first 200 mile ride and thought I better prepare myself mentaly as well as physically. So I purchased this book.

First off it it an extremely well written and easy to read guide. I had no problem understanding any of the difficult concepts the authors were trying to convey. As well as getting an even larger appreciation for cycling in general.

They cover many different subjets from bike fit, clothing choices, food and hydration, mental toughness, training schedules, pains and ailments, as well as how to work with other cyclists during training rides and events.

All in all a wonderfully informative book as well as a truely valuable referance guide.
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on June 26, 2013
Shipping was quick and the book was in perfect condition. Great transaction! The book is filled with great info for anyone who want to get out and ride longer. It helped me stay fueled up to tackle a 45 mile ride with many steep climbs.
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on September 20, 2013
This has some good basic information. The only part I really question is the section on women's issues. The author is not a woman and there is plenty of research to support that our cycles do indeed affect the quality of our workouts, injury rates and dehydration during certain times of the month. I would strongly suggest that he gets a woman to rewrite that section for him.
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on February 23, 2013
This is a good book for someone who has never ever ridden very far and wants to get out there and ride 50, 75, 100 or more miles. I mainly wanted something with a training schedule (and it does have that) but it goes into lots more topics, from bike to clothes to food. Even covers how to rearrange your schedule so you can "squeeze" in time you need for riding. I'm an experienced bike traveller, and I found useful tips here and there all over the book.
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