I have been riding just under 20 miles a day (commute to and from work) over fairly flat ground (averaging about 15 mph on a loaded commuter bike). I'm really enjoying my time on the bike and have looked at a few local events that sound pretty fun. The 1st is a bridge pedal (going over all the bridges in Portland... there are 11 crossings total and some of the bridges are quite high). The longest distance offered is 37 miles but you can scale it down to a 6 bridge family ride (14 miles). The other event is a Portland century that has 25, 50, and 100 mile options. I'm confident that I could easily do the 14 and 25 mile rides but am wondering how much harder the 37 and 50 mile rides would be. What kind of training regimen would everyone recommend? Will pulling the fenders and pannier rack off my bike make any difference at these distances? Looking forward to everyone's suggestions...
Bridge pedal: http://www.providence.org/bridgepedal/route-maps.asp
Portland Century routes: http://www.portlandcentury.com/routes.html