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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 09-23-07, 11:44 AM   #1
zpl
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This clyde can ride! (my first century, with photos)

I completed my first century yesterday, a goal I had set for myself back at the start of June. This is my first year of cycling regularly since I was in high school, and my first rides in late May were 8-10 miles at a time (man did that seem like work then!). Since then I've ridden close to 1400 miles this year.

The Tri-State Seacoast Century seemed like a good one to pick as my first, as it's a supported ride, has over a thousand participants, and has been called one of the flattest centuries in the country. I believe it officially only has about 1400 ft of climbing over the 100 miles.

My ride stats are:

Ride Time: 6:35:22
Distance: 100.3 mi
Avg. Speed: 15.2 MPH
Max. Speed: 31.3 MPH
Odometer: 1373 mi

My total time was probably just over 7 hours, as I stopped four times, but tried to keep the stops short, no more than 5-10 minutes. I stopped at two of the SAG stops and had a banana and cookie at each. The rest of the time I ate various energy foods on my bike (a handlebar bag and bento box makes this very convenient).

The weather was great IMO. All morning it was overcast and in the upper 60s/low 70s, with a nice ocean breeze. About 2/3 of the way through the ride the sun started peeking through and it brightened up for the final leg back.

My training for this consisted of increasingly longer rides as the summer progressed: 30, 45, 55, 65, and two 70-mile rides over the course of three months. But for the past few weeks I hadn't ridden more than 40 miles at a time.

With the large number of riders participating, it was easy to not feel pressure to keep any particular pace. I was always passing slower people and being passed by faster ones. Every so often I'd notice a small group I could keep in sight for a decent amount of time and I'd push it a bit to catch up with then and draft for a while. The course was superbly marked and I could have ridden it without the cue sheet.

I felt pretty good until I left my second SAG stop around mile 65. Slowly my saddle became increasingly uncomfortable until it was downright painful by mile 82. That's also when I realized my stomach didn't want any more solid food, and I had to rely on gatorade for the rest of the ride. My lowest point was nearing mile 85. Riders were pretty spread out by then, and I didn't see anyone around for a while. Through what seemed like a miracle at the time, a group of riders slowly passed and I grabbed a wheel for a few miles. Just the psychological benefit of riding with them was enormous. By mile 90 I knew no matter what I was going to do this, and relied on every tenth of a mile change in my tripmeter to keep me going. I also had to add a short loop to the ride to avoid coming into the finish a half-mile short of a century.

Fortunately my stomach settled down pretty quickly after the ride and I had a big meal when I got home, followed by 12 hours of sleep. I feel great today.

And, as promised, here are some photos I took. Click on each for a larger version:



Heading north on Route 1A

Route 1A in Rye

A couple of riders I tagged along with for a good portion of the ride.

The Portsmouth, NH bridge, heading into Kittery, ME

Nearing the mid-point, somewhere in Maine

One happy rider!

Last edited by zpl; 09-23-07 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 09-23-07, 11:54 AM   #2
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Cool and congratulations. The idea of a 100 mile ride is daunting. I hope to be able to do it too someday, but I still researching my bike choices ... maybe in a few days I'll have a bike, and I can wear myself out on a 1/2 decade (5 miles lol).
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Old 09-23-07, 12:26 PM   #3
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its a great feeling finishing your first century. i finished my first last year and can say for myself each century after that has become easier. i'm now looking for bigger challenges (ie. hilly courses and higher avg. mph) in my centuries. i love them. good luck and have fun.
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Old 09-23-07, 12:39 PM   #4
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Hmmm...maybe this will be a good one for my first century next year, I used to live in Durham and know the Kittery bridge well. Flat sounds good too.
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Old 09-23-07, 12:54 PM   #5
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Great job, zpl! Looks like a very nice path they chose for you. And I agree that riding in 60-70 degree weather is great!
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Old 09-23-07, 01:19 PM   #6
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Hmmm...maybe this will be a good one for my first century next year, I used to live in Durham and know the Kittery bridge well. Flat sounds good too.
I'd highly recommend it. One thing to keep in mind is that you have to register early for the event. I think registration opens in June and closes in late August. There is no same-day registration, and they can also close registration early if they hit their rider limit (1400 or 1600 riders, IIRC).

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Old 09-23-07, 01:21 PM   #7
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Looks like a perfect day for a ride (nice and cool)
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Old 09-23-07, 02:50 PM   #8
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Congratulations! First century is great feeling and fun - no matter how hard it was. You did it! Now enjoy people's reaction when you casually drop in a conversation - "yeah, just did 100 miles on my bike ..."
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Old 09-23-07, 04:57 PM   #9
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Save and print this!

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Old 09-23-07, 05:39 PM   #10
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Awsome Job!!!!
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Old 09-23-07, 05:45 PM   #11
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Outstanding.
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Old 09-23-07, 08:20 PM   #12
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Save and print this!
w00t! I got my certificate! Thanks Tom.

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Old 09-23-07, 08:32 PM   #13
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Ooooh! I got all fired up just reading about your ride. That is so* cool. Did anyone show you a secret handshake?
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Old 09-23-07, 08:59 PM   #14
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Wow! Makes my 20 look a little weak

A big congrats to you. WHAT IS NEXT?

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Old 09-24-07, 07:32 AM   #15
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Great job. Thanks for posting pics. Sure makes me want to try a ride in the NE sometime. What beautiful scenary!!!
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Old 09-24-07, 08:37 AM   #16
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Congrats!!
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Old 09-24-07, 08:43 AM   #17
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Yea ZPL!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-24-07, 11:45 AM   #18
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Congratulations on your first century! I did my first as well on 9/1 after riding for 4 months. Our experiences sound similar. Especially counting down the last 10 miles ...
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Old 09-24-07, 01:16 PM   #19
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Cool and congratulations. The idea of a 100 mile ride is daunting. I hope to be able to do it too someday, but I still researching my bike choices ... maybe in a few days I'll have a bike, and I can wear myself out on a 1/2 decade (5 miles lol).
They are a little less intimidating than they sound. I did my first (a metric) last month with little pre-ride training other than commuting (~15 mi a week, 3 miles a day) and a few 10-20 mile weekend rides (3 in the 2 months prior to the ride.) The great thing about organized rides is the SAG wagon so if you bonk you can get help. That was what got me on the road for the Civil War Cent, and after 45 (of ~ 62) miles I refused to not finish.

Congrats to zpl. I hope to get a real (as opposed to metric) century down in the spring.
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