What do you get out of very long rides?

I’m new to the cycling world and for me 90 minutes is as long as I’d want to ride.

What am I missing?

what are you all doing on these 5, 8, +++ rides? What do you get out of it?

asking more about outdoor rides for fun…not so much the training aspect of it.


Escape from the rest of the world. Time to be alone with my thoughts. It’s like active meditation.


It varies. Routes can be fun and there is a lot to see. Group rides are social and there is some bonding that occurs when you out on a long ride as everyone accomplishes something together. A particularly long ride or route could be a goal or challenge. And from a training perspective, it could be something on your plan you are aiming to complete to stay on your plan for whatever goal you have. And last, it is fun, relaxing, exciting.


Epic fun with other people. Camaraderie. And usually a fitness bump a month or two later.


I find it to be 10 - 21 days later. Normally around two weeks… not months.


I’m a slow responder!


Time out doors

Checking out the world

Access to better places to ride (e.g. Sometimes you have to ride 4 hours to get in 2 great hours)

The feeling of accomplishment from going somewhere kind of far away

The challenge of facing the elements (within reason!)

Getting X miles/hours from home and having no option but to ride all the way back


are y’all literally on the bike 6 hours? or is that 2 hours, stop for an hour of coffee, 1 hour, stop a half hour, etc…

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I try to ride for 5-6 hours without stopping. When I’m prepping for a gravel or long mtb, I roll with a hydro pack and everything I need. Can usually string together 5 or so hours without needing to stop, will coast, but keep it on the gas when I can.


Me; Maybe a “natural break” stop of a few min. Then a stop at the quickie mart to refill water bottles. Mostly just riding.


A long ride when you are not looking at data is good for the soul. Getting out early when no one else is on the road, you get to see the sunrise, and are home before lunch is the best way to spend a weekend morning.

I also feel kind of cheated when I am not out on the road and it is nice weather. If I did 90 minutes on a nice day I would guilty about wasting the weather. Probably a MN thing though.


This is how I explain it to my friends, but if I am completely honest with myself, there is also some amount of obsession.

But practically speaking, 750+500ml bottles sugar water and same amount of electrolytes allows to go 5h at IF 0.8 or 6h at IF 0.7 non-stop. With 1.5L hydration pack with electrolytes + 2x750 sugar water stretches around 8h at IF 0.65. Any longer ride requires water refilling stops.

Interestingly, there is never need for nature breaks during those long rides. I guess excessive fluids are simply sweat out?

my first one:

About 2 months after buying my first road bike. 2 water stops, plus a stop (with pic) to fix Linda’s flat as we were climbing the back side of Mt Saint Helena.

7 hours 10 minutes elapsed

6:06 moving, so about an hour of stops.

Epic. Next time I see one of them I’ll bring up that ride and reminisce. That’s one international crew in the pic: Brazil, Pakistan, Spain, and USA.

That was the day I learned you need carbs to fuel long rides!


Damn, I drank a combined 2 gallons / 7.5 litres on my last century. That included 6 x 750ml with 100g, the rest was water.

However, it was over 105 F / 40 C, humid, and I was firmly in low zone 2 (maybe less sometimes) so it took 6 hours.

I did have 1 nature break which I took as a good sign that I was almost getting enough fluid at those temps.

However, in the winter I do the same easy ride on 3 500ml bottles and piss 3 times. Evidently I probably only need 2 small bottles when it’s cold.

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Yeah, this year have been quite cool in Northern Europe and not too much rain. Actually perfect weather for cycling.

But you have good point about having pee-stop – it is possible I do not get enough fluids. Definitely better to over-drink than getting not enough.

Maybe you do. A friend of mine can do a warm century on maybe 1l and he does totally fine.

When I rode or did anything active growing up in northern England, I don’t recall drinking much. Then that one hot summer ride hits and you’re dying because that bottle of squash/cordial ran dry 2 hours ago and being 14 and in the middle of nowhere with nothing but small change, you slowly drag your arse home after finding a corner shop in a village with penny sweets or a random van on the moors with a coke. One pub took me in once and gave me a cuppa.


Its mostly doing a roadtrip on bike instead of being in a car or motorcycle. Enjoying the scenery, discovering new locations, taking time to stop at a local restaurant.
Its more about leisure riding, chilling-out and enjoying the moment than performance or going fast.


It’s just nice to go somewhere else, under your on steam. Like just getting on your bike to ride to another city, or the beach, or actoss a mountain pass. Its a simple as walking, but with a much larger range.

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I viewed things similarly as the OP a couple of years ago. I didn’t enjoy rides post 1:30 - 2:00 hours. However, things have changed. I wanted to increase my fitness and be a bit more competitive on my group rides. Those rides were already pretty intense for me, so I needed to look for more endurance type rides to increase my fitness. In my case, I now include one or two 3:00 hour rides in the weekend to increase volume. It’s nice to just take things at a lower pace, listen to a bit of music and enjoy the ride a bit more as opposed to be full out at my limit during the group rides.

There are plenty who do really long rides every single weekend and plenty who do “short” rides.

For me, my sweet spot length is 2-3 hours as it allows me time to have a nap and do many other chores around the house.

If I’m training for something longer I’ll go longer on the weekends.