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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 07-21-12, 02:07 PM   #1
troutbreath
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First Century ride next weekend

And, I am seeking advice from those of you who have "been there, done that." What do you recommend for a 100-mile rookie? What should I avoid?

Good advice will be deployed. Bad advice ... well, it might be deployed, too.
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Old 07-21-12, 02:14 PM   #2
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And, I am seeking advice from those of you who have "been there, done that." What do you recommend for a 100-mile rookie? What should I avoid?

Good advice will be deployed. Bad advice ... well, it might be deployed, too.
First of all, Read this.

Avoid going too fast early. Understand that somewhere in the middle of the ride you may doubt your ability to finish. Ignore those doubts. That's about it.
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Old 07-21-12, 02:19 PM   #3
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chasm54 had a good link there.
About 60 miles in, try loosening your shoes a bit. Your feet can swell a bit after a few hours, causing lots of pain if you forget to loosen your shoes.
I'm assuming you've done at a ride of at least 75 miles within the last couple of weeks.
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Old 07-21-12, 02:24 PM   #4
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Just finished a ride of 68 miles today. I did 72 a couple of weeks ago, and then had to travel a bit. I'll go over 3,000 for the year during the Century, so I feel like I am ready from a mileage perspective.
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Old 07-21-12, 03:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
First of all, Read this.

Avoid going too fast early. Understand that somewhere in the middle of the ride you may doubt your ability to finish. Ignore those doubts. That's about it.

Great link! Thanks!
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Old 07-21-12, 03:30 PM   #6
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Glad to see that you've already begun riding longer rides. Not progressing to the expected distance is the #1 mistake. Here's some tips from my blog...
  • Eat about 200kcals per half-hour. Eat your first food within the first hour of starting. Take small bites frequently.
  • Donít overeat during the ride. A full stomach & hard exercise donít play nicely.
  • Eat a sensible, light breakfast about 90-mins to 2-hours before the ride.
  • Donít overeat before the ride.
  • Know what foods play nicely with your system. Donít experiment during the ride with food or drinks youíve never tried before.
  • Drink 500ml of water every hour (one normal sized water bottle). More if itís hot. Drink small amounts often. (My rule of thumb is to drink whenever I see someone else drinking.)
  • Drink enough so that you should have to pee occasionally during the ride (and definitely after!).

There's a few more on the article page.
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Old 07-21-12, 06:03 PM   #7
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If it's an organized/group ride, don't latch onto a group whose pace you won't be able to sustain. You'll be pumped at the start of the ride. Know your limits and stay within them.

When things start to hurt, get off the bike for a few minutes. You'll be amazed at how fast the little hurts go away.

Take advantage of the rest stops if it's an organized ride.

You have the base. You've done the work. You WILL finish this. Now the most important piece of advice---have fun.
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Old 07-21-12, 06:23 PM   #8
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All of the above and watch your time at rest stops. Try be very efficient with your time off the bike and keep the rest stops to less than 10 minutes at a time.

Can you eat and ride? I hope so because that saves a tremendous amount of time. Hit the head, refill water bottles, grab food (open the wrappers) and place it in your jersey pockets. Eat while riding when it is safe.

BTW, I did a self-supported 65 miler today and learned the importance of pre-opening food. At 90 minutes into the ride (30 minutes too late) I decided to eat my granola bar. I was trying open the wrapper while moving about 20 mph when suddenly the granola bar was on the road and a little corner of wrapper was in my mouth. I keep riding and almost bonked caused I was too hardheaded to stop any sooner and get my other food. Learn from my experience and not your own ;-)
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Old 07-21-12, 07:12 PM   #9
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decided to eat my granola bar. I was trying open the wrapper while moving about 20 mph when suddenly the granola bar was on the road and a little corner of wrapper was in my mouth. I keep riding and almost bonked caused I was too hardheaded to stop any sooner and get my other food. Learn from my experience and not your own ;-)
I did this but I stopped and picked my bar off the road and ate it.
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Old 07-21-12, 07:52 PM   #10
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I just started doing organized longer distance rides this year. Set your own pace, it's better to start slow and finish strong than to try to hang with the pack and blow up at the half-way point. As others have said, eat and drink adequately. The last piece of advice I have for a fellow newb is to take the opportunity to get off your bike at each rest stop. Even a minute of walking around can put a lot of life back in your legs.
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Old 07-22-12, 07:41 AM   #11
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Thanks for the good advice, folks!
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Old 07-22-12, 09:25 AM   #12
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You've done 72 miles means you are ready. Hydrate and enjoy the ride. With a base of 2900 miles you should be in great shape. Physically you should not have any issues. It is the mental part that you will have to control. Know in your mind that you will finish and having the will power to do so is what will get you there. Move you hands often as well as you head. Try to get out of the saddle every now and then. Stop at rest stops for a few minutes. Day 2 of the STP although was short of a century can serve as an example of how group rides can lend motivation. My average speed was faster than I usually ride for a much longer distance and there was plenty of elevation. I pushed hard on this ride and that was a day after doing 117 miles. I knew I would finish and also knew that if I ate small bits often then I would not bonk. Not to be argumentative but I dismiss the notion that says keep it slow for fear of bonk. If you have put in the base miles and those have included longer rides 3/4 the distance of your goal on terrain like your century ride then you should be physically capable of finishing. Do not be afraid to push yourself, just be smart about it.
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Old 07-28-12, 01:24 PM   #13
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Done! And, let me say, ouch. That was painful.

My average moving speed was 16.3, which was a bit better than I expected. I am really not used to taking breaks in the middle of my rides (though they were needed). I paired up with a good group for the morning. The hills . . . god, the hills. I will see them in my nightmares.

But, it's over. Thanks for the support and suggestions!
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Old 07-28-12, 01:27 PM   #14
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If there was a lot of climbing, then that is a very respectable pace for your first hundred. Well done.
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Old 07-28-12, 09:22 PM   #15
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Done! And, let me say, ouch. That was painful.

My average moving speed was 16.3, which was a bit better than I expected. I am really not used to taking breaks in the middle of my rides (though they were needed). I paired up with a good group for the morning. The hills . . . god, the hills. I will see them in my nightmares.

But, it's over. Thanks for the support and suggestions!
Congratulations! That is awesome.
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