On the site, there are questions where 30 (48km) miles is considered a long distance, and up to 50 (80km) miles also considered a long distance.

Anyhow, a beginning, out of shape cyclist could consider that 15 or 20 miles is a long distance. And, an experienced cyclist could consider 50 miles to be just a workout.

Distance is apparently highly subjective depending upon the individual.

Is there a way through tagging or whatever to nail things down a bit?

Last Saturday, I packed up my jersey with granola bars, filled my water bottles and headed out for a 52 mile ride. Considering some questions, one would think that this was an Everest Expedition.

And... please do not take this as condescension...I fully understand that "long distance" has multiple definitions.

  • Neil engaged with me on chat about this. In thinking about it, a "long distance" ride is one where I am on the bike for 4+ hours. And goes up to 8+ hours. So, what is a long ride?
    – user313
    May 3, 2012 at 6:11
  • Ok folks. I guess that it doesn't matter all that much.
    – user313
    May 11, 2012 at 22:53

3 Answers 3


I think there are plenty of people for whom a 50 mile ride means 4+ hours in the saddle. I don't know that we need to define Long, Medium and Short rides.

Some questions are legitimately distance dependent, like, "What should I take to be prepared?" That question has different answers if you are never more than a few miles from your house and someone can drive to get you, rather than 50 miles into an out-and-back century.

Some are time and effort dependent. A 40 mile trail ride would be long for me, but a century road ride is a Saturday morning workout.

I think we can leave the defining of "long" to the individual petitioners, and ask for more info in the comments if we need it.


The definition of "Long distance" is a much a matter of fitness and experience as it is a matter of actual miles.

For the purposes of the questions we get here, if a rider believes something is a long distance, then it it likely is, for them. If I ask how to prepare for a long distance ride, and don't define the trip, then I will (and always have been) asked to define it in miles or kilometers.

The answers to the questions don't change, whether you think 50 miles is a light snack or a banquet. The steps for preparation, aside from the amount of time and number of preparatory miles ridden, don't change. They just need to scale.

I don't think it would hurt to add an FAQ requesting that questions of this type include the actual distance, but I don't think it matters on any practical level, since most users define it without thinking about it, and those that don't will be asked to within minutes.


What are you proposing? Tags for rides of different lengths? We could certainly do that, but I don't think it would add all that much to the site. A good test when considering a new tag is to say: Is this a tag that people would subscribe to, or search on, or exclude?

If people do search questions for rides of [length], then let's look at a way to do this. But I suspect there isn't really a need for this.

  • Short ride = Up to 20 miles
    – user313
    May 3, 2012 at 4:01
  • Long ride = Over 60 miles
    – user313
    May 3, 2012 at 4:02
  • Some will argue, that's ok. Just a proposal.
    – user313
    May 3, 2012 at 4:03
  • 2
    Fair enough, there's no harm in discussing it, but I think these are extremely arbitrary. 60 miles is to many a short day of touring. And to my friend's daughter, who just rode her first-ever 25 mile ride, 20 miles is still on the long side. Attempting to define what a long and short ride is would make this site subtly unfriendly towards some riders. May 3, 2012 at 4:03
  • 1
    I finally had that USB brain interface installed. May 3, 2012 at 4:11
  • I'm not opposed to having tags for rides of certain lengths (say 100 miles, or whatever), I just would prefer to avoid giving them subjective labels. But then we run into the imperial-or-metric issue. Is there any way around that? May 3, 2012 at 4:13
  • Or course, we could simply encourage ride-specific questions to have the title include the length. "Preparing for [metric century/whatever] ride, how to prepare?" and so on. May 3, 2012 at 4:14
  • let us continue this discussion in chat
    – user313
    May 3, 2012 at 5:16

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