Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

My friend and I are planning on riding America's Most Beautiful Ride, the 100 mile ride in Tahoe, June 1. My question is this...how do we train for high alltitude if we live in flat Yolo County? The Tahoe ride starts at over 6300 ft. and peaks out at over 7100 ft., all with 100 miles of riding and numerous assorted climbs.

Has anybody done this ride? What did you think? Any training ideas would be much appreciated. FYI, we are both experienced bike riders having done centuries in Napa and the Foxy in Davis, among other rides.

Thanx for your time.

Eric
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Hi Eric! Everyone's response to altitude is different. I did this ride many years ago. It was my first experience riding @ altitude. I thought I was going to die. I felt as though I was sucking air in through a cocktail straw. But, it was the fastest century I've ever done (even to this day). I've now done lots of riding at altitude, including several stints in CO, and I find that I'm not really affected until I hit about 9,000'. As fitness improves, our body's response is lessened.

Anyways, back to your question. Honestly, you cannot prepare your body for altitude with the exception of an altitude tent.

You can, however, minimize the negative effects by staying super-hydrated and avoiding caffeine and alcohol.

Your response to altitude will kick in after the first 12-24 hours, so if you drive up to Tahoe the morning of the event (rather than the day before), you might not feel the effect. After the first 24 hours, your body will continue to respond to altitude for about 21 days.

Hope this helps! Be careful on that ride. Because of the nature of the event (it's a national Team in Training event) there is a very large percentage of first-time, inexperienced riders (that's all I'll say).

Lorri
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
320 Posts
Lorri - thanks for posting

eha - On a plus side, the altitudes you are working with aren't all that high, so there is a good chance it won't affect you that badly (besides a bit more huffing and puffing than you normally do). Negative side - it is altitude, and there is a chance it will affect you. If you have gone skiing at Tahoe or been riding up that way at all, you should have a feel for how it affects you.

The response to altitude she talks about is often called acclimating. I have heard similar to what Lorri has posted. One difference is I heard that the acclimation is a curve of sorts. On the first day or two, you progressively start feeling it. Then after that, and over the next weeks, you do slowly start getting better. I used this when I did a mountain bike race out in Colorado (one with an average altitude of over 10k). I made a vacation and did some business on the trip to there (riding in Park City and stuff like that), spending as much time as possible (about a week and a half) at high altitudes so I could acclimate as well as possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
SS, you are correct -- there is a curve. Again, individual, but the increase in performance/reduction of effects occurs beginning at days 3-5.

Another positive aspect of riding @ altitude is that the thinner air allows you to ride @ faster speeds than you would achieve @ sea level, so while you may be working harder, you reap the benefits by going faster. I can achieve descending speeds in CO at less steep grades than I would ever see here @ sea level -- yippee!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,678 Posts
If it's not a race, why sweat it?

Just train as if it were a tough century. Hydrate, fuel, take electrolytes, slow your pace a bit, be prepared for bad weather, and enjoy the ride.

Not to brag, but I don't think 6,000 or 7,000 ft is anything to worry about. Hundreds from sea level race the Leadville 100 - between 9,000 and 12,600 ft - every year with no problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
robwh9 said:
Not to brag, but I don't think 6,000 or 7,000 ft is anything to worry about. Hundreds from sea level race the Leadville 100 - between 9,000 and 12,600 ft - every year with no problems.
you must be a CO boy! most of the sea-level folks I've known who race Leadville arrive @ altitude weeks early to acclimatize.

Let's not forget that the secondary purpose of forums (besides just gleaning info) is to build community and engage others in conversation. If Eha wants to ask a question and start a conversation, we shouldn't shut him down -- just saying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,678 Posts
velogirl said:
you must be a CO boy! most of the sea-level folks I've known who race Leadville arrive @ altitude weeks early to acclimatize.

Let's not forget that the secondary purpose of forums (besides just gleaning info) is to build community and engage others in conversation. If Eha wants to ask a question and start a conversation, we shouldn't shut him down -- just saying.
Nope, I'm at sea level (Sunnyvale, CA).

Sorry if I sounded like an @ss. I just didn't want him to worry too much and have it detract from the ride, which sounds awesome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,347 Posts
Chances are that it won't be a problem. Lots of people come up from sea level and ride the Death Ride (tops out at over 8000') with no problems. The first time I rode it I was just about hyperventilating in the car on the drive over the day before, but on the ride itself I was just fine.

Since then I've discovered that I am affected by altitude but it's at higher altitudes and at higher heart rates like in races. For a century where you don't go that hard and can slow down a little if you need to, it's not a problem.

You will probably be a little bit slower than at sea level though, so take that into account with your gearing. And some people really are affected by altitude more than other, but you'd probably know that already if you were.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
320 Posts
velogirl said:
you must be a CO boy! most of the sea-level folks I've known who race Leadville arrive @ altitude weeks early to acclimatize.
My trip out that I mentioned before was for Leadville. I spent the week and a half mostly at altitudes between 5,000 and 7,000, with some day trips to higher points. If I remember right (I raced in 99), it wasn't huffing and puffing from altitude that was the worst, but my back acting up after some 7 hours. I was a sub-10 hour finisher.

The others I knew in the race from this area spent less time than I acclimating (including at least one who got the huge gold belt buckle for a sub-9 hour time).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
I agree with the idea that you shouldn't worry about the altitude at Tahoe. I lived for several years in Davis and rode at Tahoe a lot and didn't think much about the thinner air. I did several 14,000' peaks without acclimating much at all and didn't really notice the thin air until about 12,000'.

I've done the America's Most Beautiful Ride several times and you'll find that the terrain is about on par with the Foxy's Fall Century. There's a steep but very short climb before Emerald Bay and then a longer but quite gradual climb on the East Shore up to the Spooner area. If you had no trouble with the climbing in the Foxy's then AMBR will be cake.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
sellsworth,

your post was reassuring. I am already using AMBR to be my motivation for training and posts like yours make me feel great and confident!

thanks to everybody for their responses, hope to hear from more folks with other comments or insight.

eric
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Eric,

This was also my first century. The altitude was no problem for any of the people I rode with and we live near sea level. The biggest problem were the Team in Training riders who took up the road and were quite slow. I recommend that you start early so that you quickly settle in with others who ride at the same speed.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top