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.

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  • 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 '12 at 6:11
  • Ok folks. I guess that it doesn't matter all that much. – user313 May 11 '12 at 22:53

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.

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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.

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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.

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  • Short ride = Up to 20 miles – user313 May 3 '12 at 4:01
  • Long ride = Over 60 miles – user313 May 3 '12 at 4:02
  • Some will argue, that's ok. Just a proposal. – user313 May 3 '12 at 4:03
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    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. – Goodbye Stack Exchange May 3 '12 at 4:03
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    I finally had that USB brain interface installed. – Goodbye Stack Exchange May 3 '12 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? – Goodbye Stack Exchange May 3 '12 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. – Goodbye Stack Exchange May 3 '12 at 4:14
  • let us continue this discussion in chat – user313 May 3 '12 at 5:16

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