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Old 06-30-08, 08:56 AM   #1
steve2k
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century ride route planning

Hello folks,
I'm planning a century ride with a buddy of mine and as we're trying to plan a route to take, we're here in the UK so I don't suspect many of you will know about routes here but I wanted to get your advice for what makes a good century?

Is flat better than hills, flat might be easier but maybe boring?
Is it better to go and come back, or do a big loop?
Should we plan in some scenery?
What things would make my 100 miles more fun?

Cheers,
Steve
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Old 06-30-08, 09:03 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by steve2k View Post
Hello folks,
I'm planning a century ride with a buddy of mine and as we're trying to plan a route to take, we're here in the UK so I don't suspect many of you will know about routes here but I wanted to get your advice for what makes a good century?

Is flat better than hills, flat might be easier but maybe boring?
Is it better to go and come back, or do a big loop?
Should we plan in some scenery?
What things would make my 100 miles more fun?

Cheers,
Steve
Go slow, eat and drink while you ride. Have Fun.
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Old 06-30-08, 09:37 AM   #3
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Just speaking for myself, I like a little scenery, but that doesn't necessarily imply a non-flat route. I've done both and enjoyed both. I do prefer a loop to a there and back kind of thing, but that's also a personal preference.

Like 10 Wheels said, go at your own pace, eat and drink as you feel necessary (actually, drink before you think you need to), and have fun. You're not in a race; you're out for a long, good ride. At least I am.
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Old 06-30-08, 12:06 PM   #4
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...advice for what makes a good century?

Is flat better than hills, flat might be easier but maybe boring?
Is it better to go and come back, or do a big loop?
Should we plan in some scenery?
What things would make my 100 miles more fun?
Good questions, but it's going to come down to personal preferences. Here then, are mine:

Flat is easier. However, the scenery in mountains is second-to-none. But, you don't always need to climb the hills to get views of them. Deciding Point: If this is your first century attempt, go flat. If you're accustomed to hills, go rolling. If you're accustomed to mountain passes, go mountainous.

Better to at least do a loop. Better still to do a one-way, take transportation back. Maybe a multi-day.

More fun? Take a camera. We here in C & A want pics of England. Oh...more fun for you?... Two words: more people. I've done centuries alone and with groups of 8 to groups of 5,000+. The more the merrier. By myself? Not so much. Also: eat a popsicle. Stop for a sit-down lunch (if you've the time). Visit someplace you've never gone before (either by bike or auto), get off the bike and walk around to explore.

Just my $ .02
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Old 06-30-08, 06:15 PM   #5
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Centurys in England

Have you tried Cycles Plus Magazine?
They have a forum on century rides and some great tips on where to ride in the british isles.
(Fantastic magazine!)
The best advice I can possibly give is to determine which direction the winds will be comming from that day and do the first half into the winds.
I suspect England is rolling countryside (as opposed to even our Poconos here in the eastern US)so mapping out a route with as few climbs as possible probably won't be the issue.
Set aside time for breaks. Not overly long ones..just enough to grab a snack and a few sips of liquid.
The longer you stop the harder it's going to be to get those legs going again.
Set yourself a 'do able' pace.
Trying to go out at 16/18 mph (unless this is your normal riding pace)is going to kill you 2/3rds of the way thru.
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Old 06-30-08, 08:17 PM   #6
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Personally, I'd go for flat, because 100 m would be the upper limit for me anyway, so I'd need all the help I could get. If I could zip up and down hills like these roadies, then maybe I'd go for hilly and scenic.

I'd try to go on routes I was somewhat familiar with, just to make sure I avoided the narrow suicide roads. Also, so I didn't ride through 90 miles of whatever and exhaust myself, then come to the hilliest 10 miles in the country to finish.

A big loop is preferable, but you'll have trouble making it exactly a 100 miles. Regardless, it helps if you have some places where you can change the route to cut it short if need be. If you start having some chafing or cramping or other unforeseen problem, that last 50 miles could get awfully long.
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