on November 11, 2010
This is one of the most COMPREHENSIVE books on long-distance cycling I've ever read and I recommend it to anyone who is going to do any amount of long distance cycling. While you can get SOME of the info off the internet, you can't get it all by far, and why would you want to try when you can get it all in this handy book? Let me tell you about some of what the book covers.
The book does a nice job of going over the most efficient positions to bike in. To me, this is the best way to avoid an injury. But if you do get an injury, the book goes over in some pretty good detail, what the most common injuries are and how to treat them (I also recommend The 5-Minute Plantar Fasciitis Solution if this terrible foot problem causes you cycling problems). I've read a lot about injuries from various sources and the advice is right on the money.
Biking equipment is also covered in a lot of detail, as well as the different types of bikes out there to help you sort out what you need. There's a lot of stuff out there made for cyclists and this could save a lot of people a lot of time and money.
Other interesting topics covered include what to eat (nutrition), how to train for various distance rides (the book breaks this up into up-to-100 miles rides, 100 to 200 mile rides, and 200+ mile rides), specific cycling problems males/females may have (such as prostate irritation), riding in various weather conditions, and even how to stay in shape when you can't ride in the off-season!
As you can see, its a quite thorough book and I can't recommend it enough for those who are looking for a good long-distance cycling resource.
on February 27, 2003
Anyone who ridden a century knows it takes more than strong legs and will power. Authors Ed Burke and Ed Pavelka know this and clear the path for successful riding.
"The Complete Book of Long-Distance Cycling" divulges the secrets of centuries, doubles and beyond. This is a serious book for serious riders.
It starts with a forward by long distance racing great Lon Haldeman who redefined the limits of long distance biking.
Learn which bike serves which distance and course, proper form, clothing and diet. You'll find training tips unique to each distance, ideas for dealing with mid-ride pain, ways to approach sleep deprivation, stretching techniques, pointers for managing bathroom breaks. You'll be on the bike for many hours and every morsel of advice helps.
As a long distance biker and as a reader of many biking books, I am impressed and fully recommend "The Complete Book of Long-Distance Cycling" by Ed Burke and Ed Pavelka.
on June 23, 2004
This book pretty much covers it all, from how to adjust your saddle to what to do about hallucinations on your ultra long-distance ride. Although I have a fair amount of experience training for centuries, I learned a lot and have managed to diminish unnecessary suffering. There are training charts and heart-rate guides for the obsessive-compulsives, and a lot of common sense for the rest of us who just like to ride. It's well written and sound. Now, turn off the computer and go ride!
on May 1, 2003
Long-Distance Cycling covers all aspects of how to pull off long rides, not just the training aspects.
The book starts off with the basics, choosing the right gear and making sure your bike fits properly. These are easy to overlook, but will make all of the difference in the world on a long ride.
It then spends some time overviewing a good training program. Like other cycling books, the authors recommend picking up a heart rate monitor and using it for the basis of your training. They provide training programs for different goal distances (such as your first century) that recommend spending time in different heart rate zones. The training and nutrition information is well done, but not amazingly in depth. If you get more serious about the sport, you'll probably want more information, but this book hits is target audience just fine.
The later chapters of the book cover all of the unpleasantries that come up during a long ride: sores, pain, general discomfort. Again, this information is invaluable during a long ride.
All in all, the authors have done a great job at putting together the information you need to complete your first (or next!) long distance bike ride.
on August 2, 2002
Having taken a hiatus from cycling for 10 years, but now approaching mileage consistency to do my first century, I picked up this book primarily so I'd know what to expect, but also as an update on what's transpired in the last ten years. For example, training based on time at particular heart rate thresholds -- NOT mileage -- is now the generally accepted method of optimizing your development.
This is a relatively quick and easy read providing hints and tips on working up in the distances. One may initially interpret the casual, non-snooty writing style to suggest it would be appropriate for beginner. It's not. I think you should really have at LEAST a year of riding experience before ratcheting up the mileage. For example, their demarcation of "long distance" is roughly sub-century (< 100 miles), century, double (200 miles), and beyond 200 miles.
It was especially interesting to read their insight into the physiology of higher mileage levels. For example, once you're riding centuries comfortably, success in the additional distances essentially depends upon eating and hydrating effectively. Those who made their first transition beyond the 40-60 mileage range without eating are familiar with "the bonk."
A couple of nits: First, the book assumes the "long distance" will be an all-the-way-through event. I would have been especially interested material on multi-day events, specifically on nutritional "tricks" one might use to restock the body's primary glycogen stores. They suggest generally eating a high-carbohydrate meal within 1/2 hour of the ride.
Another -- probably humorous -- question is "how do you find time for these longer rides?"
on February 6, 2002
First let me say that I'm not a beginner, I've been riding for 8 years (no not all in one go!). This book taught me so so much. Thankyou to both Ed Burke & Ed Pavelka!! I thought I knew a lot, until now that is. I've bought other cycling books, before but nothing compares to this one. There is no "filler" in this book.
This book is not just concerned with ultralong distance races, it uses words like "the event" and "personal goals". You can read it and not feel too ashamed that you're not a pro, if you know what I mean. It caters for everyone. It also has a humurous style, which will make it enjoyable reading. It is very easy to pick up and start reading anywhere.
It has chapters on nutrition, stretching, off-season training, lots on training and technique...and that HYDRATION is the key.
Two things that this book lacks:
1) I prefer to use the word "Intentions" rather than "Goals".
It just sounds better. Use whatever word will make you feel motivated. Not much wrong there though, right?
The second thing is this: Ed & Ed (the authors) give you lots of tips (e.g: about how to maximise your time on the bike when you have other important things in your life; get everything ready for a ride the night before; how to cycle efficiently, etc)
2) But, the ONLY thing I can think that they forgot to include is this: you should make a long list of all the places you can ride to or that you want to ride to but you haven't ridden to yet - then write down how far each ride is, roughly how long it will take, etc. That way you can easily see at a glance whether you have got the time to go for that particular ride. Plus you can tick each place off as you get to it. Or alternatively you could stick pins in a map - it gives you a sense of accomplishment!
Great book, once again, and you can tell that both Authors have a lifetime of riding experience to share with you.
My favourite line in the book, talking about people who are past their prime and then quit altogether, is this: "They hang up their bikes and live on memories."
One more thing: I started out highlighting all the good bits. By the time I got to the end, I realised I should have just bought some fluorescent paint and dipped the whole book in!!
on November 18, 2001
Veteran RAAM cyclists Dr. Ed Burke and Ed Pavelka didn't leave anything out.
If you only read one chapter in this book then the first chapter "Start Smart" is the most important for increasing your performance without over extending yourself. The authors pay special attention to using a heart monitor, which is probably the key in being able to significantly augment your cycling abilities. I would also recommend reading "The Heart Rate Monitor Book For In/Outdoor Cyclists" by Sally Eduards afterwards. The combination of these two books helped me increase my speed and strength on hill climbing by 25 percent.
Mental preparedness is a chapter that was very valuable to me, as I continued riding through the autum and now find my self still motivated although winter has blown in with its shorter daylight hours and freezing temperatures. The authors also give tips on coordinating your activities if you have limited time, like myself with a wife and two children. I log in 30 to 40 miles every second day while riding to and from work with one long weekend ride of 85 - 120 miles.
The rest of the book talks about the experience of riding 100 miles, 200 miles and more. Health issues such as rigimortis of the ass and stiff muscles, which we all experience riding great distances.
Women's issues are also discussed throughout the book, which is the fault of many other publications. My wife enjoyed reading it as well for this reason.
on February 23, 2001
I'm using this book to train for the "Davis Double Century," which is a 200 mile bike ride. I've gone on a couple of centuries and half-centuries before, and always struggled to complete them. If I had this book with it's training tips, I would have had an easier time before.
I love the section of this book that gives you ideas about how to make time for training, even when you have a full time job and children!
One nice aspect of this book is that it isn't completely geared toward veteran cyclists, racers or super-strong riders. I think that anyone who commits to their gradual training schedule will have plenty of strength and confidence to finish a 50, 100 or 200 mile bike ride event. On the other hand, if you ARE a veteran, you will enjoy the section on training for events which involve sleep deprivation (like the RAMM).
on January 2, 2003
A lot of interesting reading written in a casual style. It is to provide beginners to more advanced riders with the nutritional information , as well as training ideas, and equippment ideas for riding centuries and beyond. There is nothing especially earth shattering about the info here--if you've been a cyclist (or athletically inclined) you have probably read the nutritional info before, and in more and better detail in other places. Ditto the hydration stuff. But then again, this is a general book covering things in moderate detail.
... The authors seemed to love using the word "butt" about every other sentence it seemed. Plus the instruction to "empty your bladder" is a little absurd. It is in the book for instrution you on how to weigh yourself (empty your bladder) what to do at stops and other places.
on April 9, 2001
This is the most comprehensive, in-depth source of information for the kind of cycling me and most of my saddle buddies do: medium to long day rides, and occasional multi-day tours, for fun and fitness. I'm not a hard core racer, but I am serious about improving all aspects of my riding. The book is accessible to any motivated reader, including the novice, but has considerable depth for guys like me who have read just about everything they could find on the topics covered: training, nutrition and hydration, equipment, bike fit, skills, and lots more. Everything you need for centuries to PBP and RAAM!