WHEN ANDREW Chonoles tells his wife he's going out for a bike ride in the morning, that means she might not see him until dinner. A weekend ride for him often exceeds 100 miles.
Shortly after he bought his first serious bike in 1997, Mr. Chonoles, managing partner at law firm Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff & Cohen in New York, started doing 100- mile rides known as centuries, the cycling world's version of running a marathon. In 2001, he participated in a six-day, 500-mile charity ride from Fairbanks to Anchorage, Alaska.
He's completed at least one single-day, 200-mile ride in nine of the past 10 years.
The 57-year-old Mr. Chonoles grew obsessed with riding longer distances. He's completed at least one single-day, 200-mile ride in nine of the past 10 years. Mr. Chonoles says he must ride low and hunched to be more aerodynamic, an extra challenge considering he is 6-feet-4. His wife, Laura Chonoles, often reminds him that his shoulders appear to have a permanent hunch from too much time on the bike.
Mr. Chonoles hired a cycling coach last year. “I realized after a lot of years riding by myself, there were probably a lot of things I wasn't doing intelligently,” he says. He was right. Mr. Chonoles used to ride uphill as hard as he could. Now he rides at a steady pace, monitoring his power output. “My power, or watts, are far more telling than my heart rate,” he says. “I also still think I'm 30 and realized I was overtraining. I need a rest day.”
He is training for the Davis Double Century, a 200-mile, single-day ride held on Saturday that goes through California's Yolo, Napa, and Lake counties with about 8,400 feet of climbing. Now that his two sons are in college, he plans to do two other rides between 100 and 150 miles this year. “It's one of the perks of being an empty nester,” he says.
Mr. Chonoles cycles four days a week. Two days he rides hard for 80 to 120 minutes, exerting 80% to 95% maximum effort. He includes intervals, sprints and hill training, and will alternate pedaling with one leg at a time to improve pedal efficiency.
The other two days he rides 90 to 120 minutes at a lower intensity, logging what he calls base miles. He works between 55 and 60 hours a week and gets in his long rides on the weekends, anywhere from 100 to 135 miles, at his second home in Litchfield County, Conn.
Many cyclists like the social aspect of the sport, but Mr. Chonoles prefers to ride solo. “I work in a very collaborative environment and have a family,” he says. “I'm constantly attentive to the needs of others. Cycling is my time to be personally selfish and not have to accommodate the needs of a group. I can ride with music, or if I'm having a good time make a left on some road and keep going.”
Mr. Chonoles works with a personal trainer twice a week, focusing on exercises that counteract the hunched position on the bike. Shoulders, low back and core are key areas of focus. Regular exercises include dumbbell rows, seated rows, lat pull downs, planks, push ups and sit ups. He also runs four to 7 miles in and around New York's Riverside Park at least once a week.
He foam rolls once a week and gets a massage within a day of a long ride. “I stay hydrated, walk a lot, and am never sore the next day,” he says. “I don't even take any Advil.” He tries to get at least 6.5 hours of sleep a night.
Mr. Chonoles religiously eats oatmeal with fresh fruit for breakfast. Lunch is salad with grilled fish. When he's feeling peckish he snacks on mixed nuts. Dinner is chicken or fish with vegetables. He has three to four espressos a day and splurges with one cocktail a week.
On the bike, he is obsessive about fueling and hydrating. He takes two giant gulps of water every eight minutes and a Gu energy gel every 45 minutes. “I am very anal about it,” he says, adding he hasn't “bonked,” or run out of energy, in nine years. When he needs a boost on a ride, he caffeinates with a Coke. On the day of the Davis Double, he estimates he'll have burned 13,000 calories and consumed 5,000 to 6,000 calories, much from energy gels and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and 270 ounces of water mixed with a sports drink.
The Gear and Cost
Mr. Chonoles estimates he spent around $13,000 on his 2018 Trek Emonda SLR Disc bicycle once he added custom wheels and handlebars. “It's super light, less than 14 pounds,” he says. He rides in Sidi Shot Vent Carbon cycling shoes ($525). He likes cycling apparel from Assos; a kit averages $400. He pays $135 per personal training session and $145 per cycling- coach session.
His Equinox all-access membership dues are $2,750 a year. He pays $200 a year for his Rapha membership, which grants him exclusives on cycling gear, events and high end bike rental access in other cities. “Their kits come in great retro colors,” he says. “I have pink booties and a pink vest.” He runs in Hoka One One Clifton 5 sneakers ($130). He owns a Peloton bike ($2,245) for indoor workouts.
“I always start out listening to the soundtrack from ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,' ” he says. “It's mellow, so it helps me stay on pace and not go out too fast.” His playlist also includes the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty and Eminem.
BY JEN MURPHY