I went on a 4-hour ride last weekend. Some of my friends are starting to get together regularly to ride the American river bike trail. (Sacramento, California area)
I felt pretty good, except for the last hour where my thighs just burned and my rear-end hurt from the bike seat. i dont know how people do it with those little tiny racing bike seats.
Anyway, I did not bring a camera for this trip. I saw lots of wildlife though. I dont really want to bring along a long lens for the wildlife though.
Darin - Sounds like you need two things - #1 - A nice Bontrager seat, the kind that they put on hibrid bikes and #2 an nice small camera to carry. You might try an old Canon sure shot. They fit in the pocket nicely and have a zoom. Then you should be in good shape. Dale
Ah yes, if you haven't been doing it regularly, four hours is a long time in the saddle! I'm currently way out of shape for such an endeavor, but years back I did longer rides pretty often. I found, especially after a winter off, that I had to work up slowly to the long runs. That was partly to restore conditioning, but also to get the butt used to the idea. There must be 1000 different seats out there, apparently one size does not fit all. So far my hands bother me more than my butt, in fact I just added short bar ends to my straight bars to facilitate more hand position changes.
Telephotos might be problematic, but there are a lot of 35 mm P&S cameras that actually take decent pictures. And I can fit my Perkeo II and three rolls of film in a Tamrac belt pouch I have.
A four-hour ride is very challenging if you haven't got much saddle-time in as a build-up. The season is just getting underway here in northern Michigan - my first 7-mile commute hurt some after laying off for the (l-o-o-o-ng) winter here.
I found that as my legs and thighs got into better shape over time, my saddle choice became narrower and narrower - I now ride with what is technically called an ass-hatchet. The big, comfy padded tractor-seats I thought, at first, would be better, create and hold sweat and actually chafe more than a good-fitting road bike saddle, in my own experience.
The biggest problem is that there are so many saddles to choose from and no good way to know how a particular saddle is going to work for a rider without actually putting in some miles on it.
I've been going on 1/2-1 hour rides or walks once or twice a week for a while.
The distance my friends were going I estimated would take about 2 hours. That would have been fine.
But when we got to our turning point, they decided to go further. UGH!
I am definately looking at getting a nice wide seat. If we continue going on long rides, it will at least keep me comfortable until im broken in.
re hands: I have a hybrid bike and thus I ride in a more upright position. Thus I did not have much pressure on my hands. my right hand did 'fall asleep' though, I mut have pinched some circulation somehow. Wont good gloves help?
re camera: the problem with the zoom point n shoots is that they have dismally slow apertures. So combine that with a long focal length (135mm or 150mm max) and hand-holding and you are guaranteed a bad shot. I may take a Stylus or XA with me for scenics and just enjoy the wildlife. If i had a decent pack I could take a nikon n75 with a 70-300mm g lens and not even notice the weight.
Hands: Yes, gloves help, I use a pair, but there are no miracles. I think again part of it is getting used to what works and what doesn't, which may require experimentation. I have a hybrid, but my body is still about 45º, as if I were on the top portion of drop bars. For me, shedding thirty or forty pounds will help things by reducing the loading everywhere (I hope).
Heh, right now if I went on a two hour ride that became four, I might need motorized return transportation!
Yeah i hear ya. I dont consider myself too overweight at about 200. But my belly sticks out like a pregnant woman. I'd really love to shed even 10 pounds.