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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 07-18-11, 05:32 PM   #1
ahultin
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Want to attempt my first century in October

I am looking at attempting my first century this October at the City of Perris California centennial celebration Tour de Perris. It looks to be a fairly flat (2300 ft of elevation gain) My problem is I am not comfortable doing it by myself and cannot find any of my friends to ride with me. How much does human interaction play into the ability to complete? I tend to be an introverted person so it is unlikely I will be "making any friends at the start. Given that this is a supported ride am i over concerning myself? My longest ride so far has been around 50 miles and I still had plenty of fuel left so I have not been too concerned with the distance.
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Old 07-18-11, 06:19 PM   #2
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I have done one organized ride so far, and consider myself something of an introvert as well. Making friends at the start seemed impractical, as everyone is focused on their pre-ride stuff. But riding along it becomes easy. Groups form and dissolve, and reform later. You will find the first SAG stop to be a much cheerier spot than the start, and they get cheerier as they get farther on.

Even if you talk to no one, I found the constant line of people about a great enticement to continue. A rider on the horizon is a wonderful reason to keep pedaling. Enjoy it.
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Old 07-19-11, 11:19 AM   #3
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I have done many, many organized rides. I have a riding partner that usually does them with me. We get excited at the start of the ride at the thought of riding in a big group. We imagine ourselves in the peloton of LeTour. About 5-10 miles into the ride, the fast guys have dropped us and we've dropped the slow guys, and it's just us again. The only time we run into other riders is at the rest stops.

One word of caution, however. Going from 50 to 100 miles is not exactly just doubling your distance. To me, it's more like 4x as hard. I had done many metric centuries (63 miles, some with over 7000 feet of climbing) before doing my first century. But, adding another 40 miles onto the end of that ride was a big deal. Maybe it was mental as well as physical. I've talked to a lot of people and it seems like there's a big mental hit that comes around mile 80-90. You realize how far you've come, but that you still have a ways to go. I bonked at about mile 92 of my first century. Went out too fast and too hard.

I'm not saying that to be discouraging. I'm saying that so you don't make the same mistakes I made. Deliberately ride the first half a mph or two slower than you know you can. Then you'll have plenty of reserve for the second half.
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Old 07-19-11, 11:25 AM   #4
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Maybe it was mental as well as physical. I've talked to a lot of people and it seems like there's a big mental hit that comes around mile 80-90. You realize how far you've come, but that you still have a ways to go. I bonked at about mile 92 of my first century. Went out too fast and too hard.

I'm not saying that to be discouraging. I'm saying that so you don't make the same mistakes I made. Deliberately ride the first half a mph or two slower than you know you can. Then you'll have plenty of reserve for the second half.
I encountered that mental thing too ... at mile 80 I was ready to quit, had a ride back so that wasn't an issue, but was gently encouraged to continue and to finish, and I did

But definitely deliberately go slow the first 20-40 miles ... that's very good advice.

And make sure you're comfortable in the "cockpit." 100 miles is a long time on a bike/bike seat/etc ... that was another issue for me.
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Old 07-19-11, 12:53 PM   #5
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Thank you all.
I am doing my first Metric solo this Saturday. The century gives me 10 hours to complete and my goal is to complete at a 12 mph average so a little over 8 hours. I road a VERY slow 40 miles this weekend with my 13yr old daughter and her friend which was 6 hours saddle time so this shouldn't be much longer, just faster. It will be interesting to see how the mental aspect plays out and I think that is why I want a ride partner. We can goad each other on when the other is ready to call it quits.
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Old 07-19-11, 01:29 PM   #6
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You've got almost 3 months to get ready for this thing. If you've done a 50 and had energy to spare, then you can easily prepare for this with the time that you have. Stay in shape and continue to ride regularly - Pre-ride as much of the route as you can - the route may not have hills but there could be prevailing winds that will be helpful to know about, and it also gives you a feeling of home court advantage on ride day. Try to get in at least two 75 mile rides between now and then to help prepare you psychologically for the longer distance and added saddle time - As others have said, it's not just a physical jump going from a 50 mile ride to a 100, your first century is also a mental jump.

I can't help you re: the friend thing. I'm also an introvert and love being alone on the bike - To me, the best partners are the ones who shut up and ride. If you're in shape and mentally prepared for the ride then not having a partner shouldn't matter.
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Old 07-19-11, 07:55 PM   #7
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I used to do quite a few charity rides. You're normally not riding with somebody else if you didn't plan it that way, but it's stil a lot less lonely than riding out by yourself. And I did have actual conversations with a few people along the way.
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Old 07-19-11, 08:15 PM   #8
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Thank you all.
I am doing my first Metric solo this Saturday. The century gives me 10 hours to complete and my goal is to complete at a 12 mph average so a little over 8 hours. I road a VERY slow 40 miles this weekend with my 13yr old daughter and her friend which was 6 hours saddle time so this shouldn't be much longer, just faster. It will be interesting to see how the mental aspect plays out and I think that is why I want a ride partner. We can goad each other on when the other is ready to call it quits.
If you're doing a metric at an average of 12 mph, you'll be done well before 8 hours. More like 5+.
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Old 07-20-11, 12:24 PM   #9
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Interesting thread. Ever since I hit my first half-century last month I made my new goal for the year to ride a century by October. At first I was psyched and set up a plan to increase my distance 10 miles every 3 weeks until I hit 100 in October.

Sadly, things aren't going as planned. I did 2 metrics within 6 days of each other. The first one was hilly, thought I was going to die. For the second one I decided to try some flats instead... still bonked like crazy after 50 miles.

Ok, so I cut my distance for last weekends ride to 51 miles... definitely felt the bonk rapidly coming at around mile 49, made it home just in time.

... This weekend I'm going to further cut my distance to 30 miles, and I'm feeling somewhat defeated. At this rate I don't think I'll make my goal, and I'm wondering if I was just too lofty.

I'm hoping the weather has something to do with it. 4 weeks ago I did a 45 mile hill ride, and I had so much energy left afterwards that I felt like I could have easily done another 20. But it was about 70 degrees that day. Lately it's been hitting 90 with mega-humidity every day, and it's just oppressive.
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Old 07-20-11, 12:39 PM   #10
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Sadly, things aren't going as planned. I did 2 metrics within 6 days of each other. The first one was hilly, thought I was going to die. For the second one I decided to try some flats instead... still bonked like crazy after 50 miles.
Not sure if this is your problem or not but when you have a big ride planned, consider giving yourself a rest/recovery day or two immediately prior to the ride.
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Old 07-23-11, 10:26 PM   #11
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If you're doing a metric at an average of 12 mph, you'll be done well before 8 hours. More like 5+.
Check your math. 12 miles an hour for 100 miles is 8.33 hours.
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Old 07-24-11, 12:13 AM   #12
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I did 167km in one day, alone, and I'm pretty glad I did it alone. Not feeling like I was slowing anybody down was really nice.
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Old 07-24-11, 07:28 AM   #13
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If you're doing a metric at an average of 12 mph, you'll be done well before 8 hours. More like 5+.
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Check your math. 12 miles an hour for 100 miles is 8.33 hours.
Metric century = 63 miles.
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Old 07-24-11, 08:57 PM   #14
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Alright, Did my first Metric today, went well. 4hrs 39min ride time for just over 64 miles. Had a short steep hill at the end that i could have done without
Did it solo but with my ipod (only one earpohone in ) which I think helped. I think I will do as suggested and try to get a couple 75+ rides in before october.
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