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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 08-05-08, 08:30 AM   #1
BikEthan
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Not sure I'm ready for this ride

It's looming now. This beast of a century. I'm a little worried that I'm simply not ready. I'm putting in miles but I feel like I'm pretty slow. Averaging 10 miles per hour on longer rides. 14 or so on shorter (20 miles and under) hillier rides (keeping in mind I'm in the city and stops and starts are frequent.) I know I'm way stronger than I was a few months ago but that doesn't keep me from being really really nervous. I've gotten into the habit of going up hills whenever possible. I look for inclines whenever I'm out on my bike running errands or just getting around town I'll take a detour just to climb a hill. My goal is just to finish but even this seems pretty daunting 109 miles, 70% on dirt roads, 11,300 cumulative feet of climbing. Is there more I should be doing? I've got 35c Panaracer tourguards on my bike and I'm wondering if they'll be OK with all the dirt roads in Western Mass and Southern Vermont? Also wondering if I should actually take the fenders off the bike for this ride for mud clearance? Nervous... definitely nervous...
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Old 08-05-08, 08:32 AM   #2
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I rode 32MM across sandy dirt roads on the UP. Be happy you don't have my 26mm tires.
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Old 08-05-08, 08:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
I rode 32MM across sandy dirt roads on the UP. Be happy you don't have my 26mm tires.
Oof yeah 26mm would not be fun I was thinking going wider... maybe some kinda crazy slick 29er tire, or maaaybe narrower for speed but I'm wondering if that's likely to help enough to make it worth it. Some of the roads are likely to be washed out pretty badly given the rain we've been getting up here lately. But really I should be more worried about the engine.
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Old 08-05-08, 10:00 AM   #4
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What ride are you doing? What's the longest you've done before? I'd love to be able to do a century by next spring. I'm going for 50 miles by next month.
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Old 08-05-08, 06:14 PM   #5
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Yeah, I would definitely remove the fenders. For this kind of a ride, they just add weight and no real function. But the important thing in a ride like this is to pace yourself right from the get-go. Don't fly out the gate (and it WILL be tempting!), because you will be paying for it later. Just ride your comfortable pace and remember to eat and drink. You will have a blast!
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Old 08-06-08, 08:05 AM   #6
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Just a word of advice? Stop worrying. Just get out and do the ride. I wouldn't change your equipment too much at this point. Just remember to keep a steady, reasonable pace. Don't jack rabbit 'cause everyone else does. Thre is absolutely nothing wrong with slow and steady. And remember it's mostly a mental exercise. If you think you can do it, you will. Report back after.

PS - I did my first century (albeit a fairly easy one) after never riding more than 50 miles and even then just casually. I had planned on riding 75 and saggin in but found out, once out there, there were no sags! So I kept riding. I finished 12 minutes behind my buddies who had trained for the ride. I felt great. No soreness at all. But I did go out and do the ride like I was doing 75, nice and easy. I think that's the key.

What's the worse that can happen? You get sagged but learned what to do next year...
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Old 08-06-08, 08:10 AM   #7
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no worries! Sounds like you have been working up for it, so just have fun!

Out of curiosity, what ride/route are you doing? Just curious, from a fellow MA biker.
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Old 08-06-08, 03:39 PM   #8
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Having ridden a century before, you will survive and finish. As said by others it is purely a mental game. You can do it and afterwards you will be asking yourself what you were nervous about. Just go out and ride. Having fun while you are doing it is the best part!
If you think you can you can, if you think you can you can! Go get'em!
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Old 08-06-08, 05:05 PM   #9
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You can do it. Ditch the fenders if the roads are going to be rough, they just make a bunch of noise and are something else that could rattle loose. 35mm tires will be fine. I have ridden mountain bike trails on 28mm Gatorskins, but don't try that at home kids. Like others said, start out slow and plan to be out all day.
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