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Chaingang route lengths

daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 10,998
edited April 2022 in Road general
Morning all,

only went out a couple of times last year on our clubs chaingang, but want to get more into it this year, and did so last night - was tremendous fun, as we had a group of 10, all in a similar power output range.

It only splintered right at the end when there was a rise, a few people surged/opened up the taps, and 3 or 4 got popped out the back.

Anyway, I digress - the route we use is circa 24 miles, so took us just over an hour, but I was wondering if people who do these regularly tend to use longer routes at all?
For that route, we are basically riding at or above threshold for the majority of it, so for a longer route it would have to be throttled back a fair bit.

Would it be pointless to have a 30, 40 or even 50 mile route, or useful training?
Fuelling would also then be a key consideration.

As I say, I'm new to these so apologies if this is a stupid af question :D
Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
Scott CR1 SL 12
Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
Scott Foil 18


  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,988
    edited April 2022
    Depends how much time you all have. A 90min or so ride is fine for the evening blast where a longer 2-3hr ride might not be reasonable. If you do go longer, just regulate the effort according to the distance and the number of riders.

    It also depends on what training objectives you all have. No point doing 'through n off' for three hours if you only ever ride 1hr crits.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 8,464
    Ours is shorter - while since I've ridden it but 18-19 miles maybe. There are longer weekend rides - one bi-weekly which is fairly flat or rolling in places and fairly full on (for me) which you could call a 50 mile chain gang but it's not through and off the whole way.

    I suppose it depends on your training philosophy - I've adopted a fairly loose programme of staying around 70%MHR unless it's a hard session - but as I'm riding for fun not as a career or even to race these days Id do a shorter chain gang or a longer hard ride and not worry too much about what is optimal at the time.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • joeyhalloranjoeyhalloran Posts: 863
    edited April 2022
    I used to be able to keep up with the longer/faster chaingang which is 32 miles with a few of what counts for hills around Cambridgeshire. It would normally be under 1hr 20 mins but not by much and certainly no less intense than the shorter route used at the beginning and end of the year due to day light. For me it was nearly always the highest 60-80 minute normalised power that I put out right at or sometimes above my set/calculated FTP, I was always on the rivet and only made it round 50% of the time.
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 5,775
    Mine was 30 miles so took about 90 minutes (incl lots of traffic at the start) so about 1hr of unadulterated misery once you got going including a couple of sprints mid ride.
  • wavefrontwavefront Posts: 346
    I haven’t done any for a few years as my goals changed, but when I did, we’d do x3 20-25 mins loops most would ride there and back so that added on another 45 - 60 mins at an easy pace. For a few years my volume / load was high, around 12-14 hrs wk and to maintain that load I would tack on another hour at tempo after the chain gang. As I was out anyway. I made a night of it, which allowed my wife to have a night to herself. It meant my rides were then kept a bit shorter at weekends so we could do more as a family. As mentioned above, depends
    on what your goals are.
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