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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Gang,
A buddy of mine turns 50 this next year and has an idea to run the GDMBR. I would love to be in a position to join him at the starting line.
He's a much more advance and experience cyclist. But... I'm wondering...
Can I get fit enough in a year to finish the ride in a month-ish?

If that is a reasonable ambition, are there training plans for this kind of thing? Suggestions?

My guess would be the following (including lots of core work and gym time off the bike):
Base Fitness
3-4 months
Low heart rate, ramping up volume to something like 2 hours per day? Was even thinking about doing lots of this on the trainer, so you can control HR easier.

Ride-it-Fitness 3
3-4 months
Focus on lots of time on the bike, integrating hills more general fitness. Start to introduce interval training.

Climb-it-Fitness
3-4 months
Incorporate long distance (50 and 100mile) rides, climbing the local mountain (and other hard stuff I've not done!)

Ride-everything
3-4 months
Do all the bikepacking events you can leading up to the Grand Depart. Focus on maintaining fitness and getting experience with multi-day bike packing.

Thanks!

PS I'm in the SF Bay Area, so winter weather and hills are on my side!
 

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I am really surprised that no one has answered you in 9 days. There is plenty of talent around here to answer you question. I have set a goal for next year for the GDMBR myself.
You fitness goal if you stuck to it would be more than adequate, All of your non-experience bikepacking and bike handling off road issues are going to be as big of a concern for time management as fitness.. You will want to include more of that earlier in you schedule so it has time to sink in and make sense. Weather and inexperience can really throw a monkey wrench into the one month time schedule. Try some gravel in the rain with your bike. Throw in some strong headwinds on gravel.
I am not a purist so I will probably go from Whitefish to Silver City.
 

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Hey Gang,
A buddy of mine turns 50 this next year and has an idea to run the GDMBR. I would love to be in a position to join him at the starting line.
He's a much more advance and experience cyclist. But... I'm wondering...
Can I get fit enough in a year to finish the ride in a month-ish?

If that is a reasonable ambition, are there training plans for this kind of thing? Suggestions?

My guess would be the following (including lots of core work and gym time off the bike):
Base Fitness
3-4 months
Low heart rate, ramping up volume to something like 2 hours per day? Was even thinking about doing lots of this on the trainer, so you can control HR easier.

Ride-it-Fitness 3
3-4 months
Focus on lots of time on the bike, integrating hills more general fitness. Start to introduce interval training.

Climb-it-Fitness
3-4 months
Incorporate long distance (50 and 100mile) rides, climbing the local mountain (and other hard stuff I've not done!)

Ride-everything
3-4 months
Do all the bikepacking events you can leading up to the Grand Depart. Focus on maintaining fitness and getting experience with multi-day bike packing.

Thanks!

PS I'm in the SF Bay Area, so winter weather and hills are on my side!
Looks good!
 

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The beauty of the Divide route is that its really pretty ridable and you can do it at your own level of fitness. After you've been on it for about a week you'll be in better shape. If the Canadian border is open the first climb is the Elkford Pass. You might have to hike it; its got two climbs rather than one due to an intervening creek, or what they call around there, a river. By the time you get to the US you'll be alright. The Cabin Pass and the Galton Pass are both ridable if you are in average condition. The trick here is to not pack too much; for example a puffy jacket is a good idea to have along but if you have one you certainly don't need a pillow!

This is just me but if you can handle 4500' of climbing in 60 miles you're able to handle the Tour Divide. IMO the first harder pass (if you exclude Koko, which is on the race route) is Stemple Pass. Its also the hardest pass in Montana unless you are northbound, then it might be Fleecer ridge??

If you want to be in shape for racing then its a whole nuther thing. But to be competitive for that you have to be willing to not sleep that much- which is how it is for a lot of ultras. I can't do it- I've never done well without sleep. Plus I really want to see the country through which I'm riding. But that doesn't mean I can't put in 120-140 miles on a day. But one thing you have to keep in mind on the Divide is to be ready to adjust your expectations. Things don't always go as planned. I don't remember the guy's name but he famously said (IIRC) '95% of the Tour Divide is mental, and the other 5% is mental'. If you let your mental game get you down you won't complete. I know people that have overcome some amazing odds and have completed; your mental game might be more important than your condition. One woman (Quinn Brett) who was parapalegic completed on a hand bike in under 28 days or something like that.

IOW as the famous philospher, Nike, once said "just do it".
 

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Great post, @Salubrious.

Averaging ~87 miles a day finishes in a month.

The hardest thing IMO is the unknowns of consecutive loaded riding days. It can be difficult to learn about or train for without actually going bikepacking. I've done what Salubrious suggests - get hammered for a handful of initial days and then it gets better. I've also submitted to a forced zero day after many days. Going in too honed has hurt me - I try to fatten up a little beforehand. I pay more attention to contact points and dialing the bike/gear and not a lot to fitness. (I'm never truly unfit but I'm not racing/a racer.) Notwithstanding, your training program sounds ample. How many days in a row can you ride all day? Knowing something about that could avert a disastrous bonk or repetitive/chafing injury. A preemptive zero or light day(s) in the right spot(s) could be key.

Devil's advocate: I don't think it would be fun for the faster or slower rider to try to ride a 2000-mi route together. A few days or a week, sure. But the total distance is going to amplify any disparity. I haven't ridden with other bikes more than two days on the US GDMBR, nor would I want to. Having to get in his shape and keep up sounds like a setup for anxiety - for both of you. For a special friendship and event I can see it; only you two can work it out.

That spewed, I hope you make me eat crow by riding the whole thing with your friend and having a blast! It's a great riding goal and a beautiful way to see the rural and backcountry splendor of the west. Have fun. ?

PS: Sal, I'm thrilled to hear the Mighty Quinn is active again! Pure badass, with our without a spine injury.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
For a special friendship and event I can see it; only you two can work it out.
Thanks for the responses, I was not planning on riding together, mostly sharing logistics getting there and getting started at the same time, the each "riding your ride". I know for sure that trying to keep up (or slow down) is asking for unhappiness.
 

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Thanks for the responses, I was not planning on riding together, mostly sharing logistics getting there and getting started at the same time, the each "riding your ride". I know for sure that trying to keep up (or slow down) is asking for unhappiness.
I think that gives you the best of everything. Share psyche and solo experiences with your pal; get the glory of doing it yourself. Power to both of you.
 

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Great post, @Salubrious.

Averaging ~87 miles a day finishes in a month.

The hardest thing IMO is the unknowns of consecutive loaded riding days. It can be difficult to learn about or train for without actually going bikepacking. I've done what Salubrious suggests - get hammered for a handful of initial days and then it gets better. I've also submitted to a forced zero day after many days. Going in too honed has hurt me - I try to fatten up a little beforehand. I pay more attention to contact points and dialing the bike/gear and not a lot to fitness. (I'm never truly unfit but I'm not racing/a racer.) Notwithstanding, your training program sounds ample. How many days in a row can you ride all day? Knowing something about that could avert a disastrous bonk or repetitive/chafing injury. A preemptive zero or light day(s) in the right spot(s) could be key.

Devil's advocate: I don't think it would be fun for the faster or slower rider to try to ride a 2000-mi route together. A few days or a week, sure. But the total distance is going to amplify any disparity. I haven't ridden with other bikes more than two days on the US GDMBR, nor would I want to. Having to get in his shape and keep up sounds like a setup for anxiety - for both of you. For a special friendship and event I can see it; only you two can work it out.

That spewed, I hope you make me eat crow by riding the whole thing with your friend and having a blast! It's a great riding goal and a beautiful way to see the rural and backcountry splendor of the west. Have fun. ?

PS: Sal, I'm thrilled to hear the Mighty Quinn is active again! Pure badass, with our without a spine injury.
would snap need to rest 😋 :cool:
 
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