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I will be attending the Romney event, and leaving with a friend from the Saratoga region of upstate N.Y. I will be returning alone on Sunday, and find it difficult riding 500 miles in one day. Any tips that may help? I will take periodic breaks of course, and utilize a camelback hydration bladder. 5 hour energy drinks in case of emergency. Other words of wisdom?:confused:
 

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I've ridden 2100+ miles Iron Butt #34453 in under 20 hours. As the day wears on ride an hour or so and stop for 10 minutes or so, stretch, eat, drink water, gas-up the bike, etc. (Hint: Rotisserie dogs are yummy). Stay away from energy drinks if you can help it, the post caffeine crash can be hell!
 

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Key to distance is to start very early and break it up into more digestible goals.

Don't go a whole tankful before taking a break. If you can get in 300 miles before noon....then it's all downhill the rest of the way.

Seat of course is a factor. I've done back for back 1,000 km on my Burgman ....longest on the strom about what you are doing but we could have gone further.


Big difference tho between 500 miles of slab ( easy but boring ) and 500 miles on secondary highways.

Hydration is certainly important but of all factors....the early start is critical.
 

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When? If now (winter) it would be tough to stay on the bike for long.

During normal riding weather it is much easier, if you don't get stuck in traffic. Key to stops: hydrate, stretch, hydrate.. take a piss. And don't stop for too long you wanna be in and out. If you stop for too long mental switch goes off and body get sore, much harder to restart.

Also don't eat anything new and don't eat too much. Too much food in stomach makes it hard to ride. Your food tasting pallet will change, so some foods will taste good and some will be awful. And you don't want to deal with food poisoning (been there done it), so stick to familiar food chains. They may not be selling best foods but they have consistently and have standards, so you know what you get.

I usually get a foot long at Subway, eat half and another half at next stop. Your recipe may be different.

And 500mi isn't bad it's only 8 hours, 1-2 stops. You definitely want to make it in daytime, riding tired in the dark makes it harder.
 

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Make sure you have comfortable, temperature and weather appropriate gear to wear. I like to eat light while on the road, having some trail mix and water/G2 with me for rest stops. Eat a decent meal after you have stopped for the day. Staying hydrated is much more important than what you eat.

None of that is too important if the bike is set up for you. 500 miles is two fuel stops, assuming you start full of fuel. The "secret" is in the bike seat and windshield. Noise and turbulence wears you out. That really adds up after a few hours. Seat speaks for itself. If you are squirming on the seat, trying to get around pain or just find something that is comfortable before your first tank of fuel is done, your seat isn't working. You have time to make sure the seat/windshield work. I highly recommend that first.

Then you might find 500 miles is actually an easy, fun day in the saddle!
 

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Syd,
i rode to Romney last year from Boston area, nearly 600 miles each way, by myself both ways. And it rained a good part of the way both coming and going. The ride there sucked. It was during the week and i hit a lot of traffic. Coming home on Sunday, I planned a different route, which was a bit longer, but more remote and it was a lovely ride.

I've done many long days in the saddle and my advice would be the obvious: pull over as soon as you feel even a little bit tired. If you drink coffeee/caffeine, have some - but not too much as this will make you have to stop and pee more. Gas up, grab a small bite to eat, walk around the parking lot, do some light stretching. In a 500 mile day, I'd probably make maybe 3 of these stops at 15-20 minutes each, plus a 30 minute lunch break. I like to take my time getting up and packing up on that last morning. A lot of guys feel the need to get up early and get the hell out of Dodge as soon as possible. And that's fine, too, but I just prefer to be relaxed and not stressed. The extra hour or two it takes me isn't going to matter. Daylight ends around 7:30-8pm in early May, so you have plenty of time if you don't like the dark. Even on mixed roads, averaging say 60mph, plus 90 minutes in breaks, is still < 10 hours. Leaving at 9am, you'd be home by 7pm, conservatively.

As was mentioned, the type of miles matter. Slabbing on the Interstate for hours on end is a good cure for insomnia. Plan a route that mixes things up a bit. Not only will this keep you from getting tired, but you will also enjoy the ride a whole lot more. I've ridden with you once or twice before, so I feel confident in telling you that you can certainly handle 500 miles in a day.

Have fun,
Mike
 

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Once you ride a long distance day you will pretty much know what YOU need for that particular bike. If possible, do a long distance ride before your trip. In time and through trial and error, when you have been riding long distance for years, you will already know which ergonomic changes will be needed on a bike, and which manufacturers products work for you. But there's nothing like a fly and ride or long distance day for conformation.
 

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I've ridden 2100+ miles Iron Butt #34453 in under 20 hours. As the day wears on ride an hour or so and stop for 10 minutes or so, stretch, eat, drink water, gas-up the bike, etc. (Hint: Rotisserie dogs are yummy). Stay away from energy drinks if you can help it, the post caffeine crash can be hell!
please revise your numbers to something that is believable, 105+mph average for nearly 20 hours subract the time you musta spent at gas stops would likely bring that average rolling speed up to 115mph, I hope ya just fat fingered the numbers on your keyboard.

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my advice to Syd, don't try setting any speed records, you get worn out faster at higher speeds, keep it to a relaxed comfortable pace, get off at gas stops and don't stay on the bike to pump, walk around, take your helmet off, stretch your legs and jaw
 

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My advice. Take Monday off work. Just knowing you can stop eases the mental stress. If you get tired or sore stop. Finish the trip Monday and you will be home early enough for a nice rest. If you surprise yourself, you may still roll in late Sunday and make work Monday anyway.

I never ride a long day knowing the next morning I need to be at work. My mind behaves better with a slack day on the back end.

P.S. - all the stuff mentioned about bike fit and comfort should be solved before you leave.
 

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please revise your numbers to something that is believable, 105+mph average for nearly 20 hours subract the time you musta spent at gas stops would likely bring that average rolling speed up to 115mph, I hope ya just fat fingered the numbers on your keyboard.

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my advice to Syd, don't try setting any speed records, you get worn out faster at higher speeds, keep it to a relaxed comfortable pace, get off at gas stops and don't stay on the bike to pump, walk around, take your helmet off, stretch your legs and jaw

You're right hit 0 instead of 9, it was 29 hours
 

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I'll second the "start early" advice. I also can't agree enough with the idea that you shouldn't jump into a 500 mile ride without any prep rides, any more than you'd run a marathon after sitting on the couch for a solid year. Log a few good solid 250 mile rides before you make the big attempt. Even as much as I ride, if I'm off the bike for a week, that first long ride can hurt.

Now here's some advice you'll hate (cuz I hate it too)....exercises to strengthen your core can really help. You don't have to do crunches while hanging from a bar by your ankles, but some simple yoga style exercises and stretching can make a big difference. A stronger core can give you better posture while you ride, too. Slumping on the bike while you ride can impede your breathing, which increases fatigue.
 

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Biggest thing is don't let the miles get inside your head. Stop when you need a break, ride when your alert. I find listening to music help when clicking off the miles.
 

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All very sage advice offered. Only thing I can offer is have fun.

If you find yourself needing a longer break to walk around, parks, roadside attractions, and Americana offer you and opportunity to stretch and flex mental muscles.
 

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I've done several 600+ mile days. There has been a lot of good advice in this thread.
One thing that I do for long rides that hasn't been mentioned is take some ibuprofen prior to the ride. It will help.
 

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Those are good suggestions by everyone and I follow most of them when on long rides.

I have ridden many 600 + days,
I stop for 10/15 minutes every 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
I do 2 to 3 minutes of calf-hamstring stretches.
I usually try to start early but not the creak of dawn.
I not only do not like the effect of energy drinks as they wear off, I find sitting still after one is tougher.
I take a longer lunch break, I lay down for 20 minutes. I've even fallen asleep. Set an alarm on your phone.
If you have the ability to listen to music or books on tape, it really helps if the road is boring.
A comfortable seat helps on long rides.
I eat lighter when traveling, being overly full is uncomfortable.
I'm heading out on a 725 mile ride in two weeks, if it stops raining. I'm in California.
 

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My advice. Take Monday off work. Just knowing you can stop eases the mental stress. If you get tired or sore stop. Finish the trip Monday and you will be home early enough for a nice rest. If you surprise yourself, you may still roll in late Sunday and make work Monday anyway.

I never ride a long day knowing the next morning I need to be at work. My mind behaves better with a slack day on the back end.

P.S. - all the stuff mentioned about bike fit and comfort should be solved before you leave.

+1

My last long ride was 890 miles. It was a Sunday but I had Monday off. I felt fine riding so I just kept going. I knew I could pull over and camp if needed. No pressure. I did make it to work Monday, rode in like normal.

IMO no bike is comfortable after a certain point. I always squirm around into different positions. I'll ride with my feet back on the passenger pegs or the frame sliders. Twist off to one side of the seat. Etc. If you stay locked up in one position it's going to be a long day!

Oh yea a throttle lock is essential to be able to let go with your right hand once in awhile.
 

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I've done back to back 800 mile days.

Assuming your bike is comfy and setup for you then some things that have worked for me and maybe they can help you:

Ear plugs. If you don't already use them get some and wear them. Besides protecting your ears they add a huge amount of comfort.

A throttle lock or cruise control. Giving your right hand a short break can make a big difference to your overall comfort.

A throttle rocker can also take some strain for your right hand.

Stop roughly every two hours or so and take a break. Doesn't need to be long break but enough to change your focus and move around for a bit and get refreshed.

If it is warm out get some hydrating stuff in you. I first discovered Gatorade helped a huge amount and since have moved to "Nunn" tablets in water. (They don't have the sugar in them.) I drink a lot of coffee but really cut down when doing distance so my bladder doesn't demand attention as often.

Have a relatively light lunch. I found heavy lunches made me get very drowsy an hour or two after eating.

I almost always ride with some sort of music. Generally it's from playlists that I have created on my iPod so it ends up being a nice background that I am familiar with and don't actually think about.

As much as I like riding/driving fast I try to never actually be in a hurry and instead get into a nice comfy speed that goes with the flow. This could be anything from 60 to 90 mph depending on the roads/limits etc.

A few years ago my wife got me a tank bag. I keep my chain lube in there (so I can lube my chain when I stop at gas stations) but also keep a wet Microfiber cloth in a bag and a dry one. I can easily give my face-shield a wipe and dry it off while riding. I hate a dirty face shield! I do carry a Gatorade bottle that has the nipple top and put water with my Nunn Hydrating stuff. Since I wear a modular helmet I can easily drink out of it without the complexity of a Camelback. I can also munch on a protein/snack/granola bar if I want as well so I will keep some in the tankbag.

My eyes don't like glare or bright lighting. Decent sunglasses are a must for me.

I hope some of this works for you!

..Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Great advice Stromtroopers! Thanks for the tidbits. Luckily, my Vee2 is very comfortable. For me, the stock windshield set on the most upright forward position, sends fresh air across my chest with zero buffeting. Also, the sacral quad
armour in my Motoport pants cushions my rear, and makes the stock low seat fine for long trips. I agree that I should make sure to not rush out at 6 a.m. as I did two years ago, and then get tired early. Also, makes sense to eat less and drink more water. I have plenty of Bob Marley on my IPod, and am going to attempt to add some podcasts etc.

Thanks for all the advice, only 2 1/2 months till Romney. Planning these trips is what keeps me sane through the Northeast winters.:smile2:
 
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