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I have been riding my bike quite frequently since August 2016. I ride a Roadmaster Granite Peak 26'. Initially, I used to ride continuously for probably 7 miles or 8 miles. I used to clock averages of 12 mph (20 km/h) . Recently, I have started putting more effort into my riding and I clock somewhere between 13.5 mph to 14.5 mph (22-23 km/h). Also, I can definitely do longer distances(i.e. 15-16 miles or 22-24 km at a stretch) on my bike now without getting easily tired and a better average speed.

I wanted to increase my endurance more and would like to go on 20 miles-30 miles (32-50 km) stretch continuously with short breaks.

What are some ways I can achieve this goal?

From https://www.walmart.com/ip/26-Roadmaster-Granite-Peak-Men-s-Bike/45089317 From https://www.walmart.com/ip/26-Roadmaster-Granite-Peak-Men-s-Bike/45089317

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    You have already doubled your doable mileage from 8 miles to 16, so keep doing what you have been, practice makes perfect. Fuel and the shape your in help as well obviously but you have already improved double your original amount so just keep at it – Nate W Jun 9 '17 at 22:30
  • The tyres on bikes like that leave some room for improvement, but they also wear out quite fast. At some point they'll need replacing and that would be a good time to get something more suited to the surfaces you ride on. – Chris H Jun 10 '17 at 6:56
  • Not a criticism, but this is the perfect example of a BSO. Firstly, to make the $79.97 USD price point, there have to be corners getting cut. I bet your bike is heavy. Switching out the knobbly tyres for smoother ones will help, and locking the suspension would stop wasting power on bobbing, but it won't have that function. TL;DR a better bike will help you massively. Borrow one and try it out - a rigid commuter or a drop bar road bike. – Criggie Jun 10 '17 at 20:45
  • Over exercising is you biggest threat. My mantra is "You do not get fit exercising, you get fit recovering from exercise" - moving the focus onto recovery means you more likely to notice if you are over doing things. Rule of thumb is no more than 10% increase a week. Mix longer slow rides with shorter faster rides. One week a month harder, one week a month is recovery. – mattnz Jun 11 '17 at 1:04
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The best way to get better at riding is to ride. With that being said, to increase distance or speed, or both, the key is to not get complacent. If you push yourself a little bit each trip, you will do a little better each trip. There are apps available, such as TrainingPeaks, which provide you with a tool to create a training plan. Others, such as Strava, help to prevent complacency. You can see what others have done on a ride, and try to keep up or do better.

For distance training, the magic sauce really is putting in the miles. Pay attention to your cadence. Going at a higher RPM will allow you to ride longer, as your muscles won't fatigue as fast, but there is a cardio-vascular price to pay. Many say that around 90 rpm is ideal. I personally ride closer to 70, but I do start to feel it when I have a wicked climb later in a ride. Alternate your ride intensity. Take one day a week to crank out intervals, another day to ride at a low intensity and high cadence.

Think about your fuel. If you burn a few hundred calories in a ride, that energy has to have come from somewhere. Since it is ill advised to eat a big meal right before riding, think of fueling as something you do all day every day. Bring a snack with you on your ride, as well as sports drink in your bottles.

Finally, do not get discouraged. Approach each ride as its own event. The goal is to have a great ride. Sometimes the wind will be fighting you the whole way. sometimes you have a bad day. Think of all of the factors that go into a ride. Don't strictly compare times or speeds. A 7 mile ride with a 20 mph headwind is much different than a 10 mile ride with a 20 mph tailwind.

I will share a story with you. I started a new job about 2 years ago. I was riding my bike to work. It was a $100 super store bike. There was someone who I worked with that at one point in his life was a sponsored track racer. He saw me riding in one day, and we started talking. He asked me how far my ride was, and I told him about 2 miles each way. A few days later I overheard him making fun of me, saying I am not a real cyclist, my bike isn't a real bike. I decided that this will be my motivation. I started riding more, adding a loop around a block, or taking a detour on my way home. I kept riding, adding a little more at a time. He would continue to boast about his weekly 20 mile training rides. He would do his best to put me down over the distances I rode. Again, more motivation. A few weeks ago, we decided to race. Granted, he did not know that I had gone from 2 miles each way to over 250 miles of riding a week. We picked a 30 mile loop, he got on his $3500 full carbon racing rig while I hopped on my $800 alloy road bike, and set it up as a time trial. Needless to say, he has stopped talking at all about my riding.

The moral of the story is, keep riding, and enjoy the ride. If you don't enjoy what you are doing, you will stop doing it and never get better.

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    "He would continue to boast about his weekly weekly 20-mile training rides." Yeah, that guy was hard-core. Only very serious cyclists put in that kind of distance. – HemiPoweredDrone Jun 9 '17 at 22:16
  • @HemiPoweredDrone on Mondays he would say oh I did 20 miles on Saturday. I would think to myself "wow, great, I did 30 miles with 1500 feet of climbing before I got here this morning." – CRoberts Jun 9 '17 at 23:12
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    You get those "all the gear, no idea" people everywhere. Well done for print him in his place. Most of the serious cyclists I've met would quietly leave him in the dust and be pleased you were riding at all. – Chris H Jun 10 '17 at 7:03
  • Hard to believe that a "sponsored track racer" ( as in track cycling? ) would boast about 20miles (32km) rides. This distance is not even worth mentioning for a dedicated cyclist.. When I was 16 I road once a weak a 75miles trip and several shorter +-30miles trips a week. Plus there was race day about 70miles. Needless to say when I got older the distances increased to a long ride of 125miles.. still didn't make the cut to become a professional cyclist.. – Mech_Engineer Jun 12 '17 at 8:38
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Speed increases come with adding power, and increasing distance comes from building stamina.

Generally you go fast for short times, or ride a comfortable speed for longer times.

Pick a monthly goal and log all your rides with strava. I started with 100km/mo, then 250km/mo then 313km/mo, then in the second year 625km/month and have now swapped that out for a yearly climbing goal.

It means taking a slightly longer ride to or from work every day. I live 2.5 km from work, but frequently do 10 km on either leg, time permitting.

Consider riding new places too. I made a point of logging my rides, and then made a map to show where I'd travelled. Here's January 2015:

enter image description here

That was tediously done by hand. But now you can do it with http://www.jonathanokeeffe.com/strava/map.php provided you log all your rides on strava. (note it can take a moment to get started - be patient.)

Ride with someone - some of my best efforts were when trying to keep up or catch up with someone else.

Reward yourself. A 30 mile/50 km ride is really two 15 mile trips with a rest stop in the middle. So pick somewhere that is 15 miles away and ride there. Have a pie, and a good long rest, and then ride back. Boom - 30 miles done.

If you want to work on strength, find a nearby hill and work on climbing that. This helps with cardio, pacing strategy, and technique.

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    +1 for riding with someone. Finding a partner that can push you and that you can push makes a huge difference – CRoberts Jun 10 '17 at 14:02
  • Ebay / craigslist / trademe (locally) works well... If I buy or sell an item, I might offer to pickup or deliver it, provided its not too large or fragile. It gets me down streets that I would otherwise never travel down. – Criggie Jun 10 '17 at 20:35
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Ride more and longer. You are not at the point where you have to think much about training methodology. Just make sure your bike fits you. If you want to go far and fast you might also want to invest in a proper road bike.

The only thing about long rides (>1.5h) I didn’t realise for quite some time is that (light) food is very important. Bananas, soft drinks, dried fruit etc. (or you can mix maltodextrin and glucose into your water). On a long, intense ride you can easily need ~100g carbs and a litre of water per hour. Carbs, protein and sleep afterwards are important too. Bicycling is one of the few sports you can easily do for hours at considerable intensity, completely draining your body’s carbohydrate storage.

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    I don't think at this level that a bike upgrade is needed. simply working on the engine will proved great results. I believe that as long as your bike can outperform you, you should work on training instead of new gear. Don't buy upgrades, ride up grades. – CRoberts Jun 9 '17 at 19:06
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    I read "soft drinks" as "fizzy carbonated beverages" which are terrible for a bike ride. What do you mean by soft drinks ? – Criggie Jun 9 '17 at 21:47
  • @Criggie: Not if you shake them and allow them to warm up. – Michael Jun 10 '17 at 5:58
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Congratulations to you.

I am amazed you got that many miles out of a Roadmaster Granite Peak.

You have answers you need to fuel as you go but if you had a proper breakfast / supper you don't need to fuel for 30 miles. You do need to hydrate as you go.

Even at 10 mph 30 miles is 3 hours. To me that is gut it out and go.

I pick long training rides at the 2 hour mark. Past that is just more time in the saddle with no benefit. If you push your heart for an hour you have done a cardio.

Racers train for longer but they are also training for fuel as you go.

  • Longer rides isn't just about training though, riding is meant to be enjoyable in its own right and a nice way to see an area. There may be a worthwhile destination at the 20 mile mark. – Chris H Jun 10 '17 at 6:57
  • @ChrisH "I wanted to increase my endurance more" – paparazzo Jun 10 '17 at 8:49

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