Question: I’m in average shape. I currently commute 10 to 20 miles a day. I would like to do a two-week, 1,000-mile ride five months from now, riding a mountain bike on the road. Am I a little crazy or is this possible? — Jeremy F.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: You can certainly ride 1,000 miles in two weeks. Plenty of riders handle Lon Haldeman’s PAC Tours across the U.S. that cover nearly 1,000 miles each week at an average of 120-140 miles a day. If you train for the distance and the day-after-day aspects of these rides, you don’t have to be a pro to complete the event and have fun.
Build your mileage with one longer ride per week until eight weeks before you plan to start your trip. Aim to eventually complete a 75-mile ride comfortably during this time.
Two months before your departure, start doing long rides on both weekend days. You’ll want to gradually increase to 75 miles on Saturday and 50 to 60 miles on Sunday. These rides will accustom you to the daily distances you’ll experience on the tour. They’ll also give you a chance to make sure that your clothing and equipment choices are suitable.
If you do the ride on your mountain bike, mount slick tires. They make a considerable improvement in rolling resistance, speed, and comfort on the road. Also install bar-ends for additional hand positions and more effective out-of-saddle climbing.