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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 08-19-12, 09:50 PM   #1
JakiChan 
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Pondering a century - am I insane?

A friend is trying to talk my into Foxy's Fall Century at the end of October. I like the idea, but I'm wondering if I should do the metric or if I could be ready for a full century by then.

My longest ride to date was last weekend - 47 miles with 2500ft of climbing. This would be 100 miles with only 2000 ft of climbing. A friend says that it's all about how much time I can spend in the saddle. I could always go for the metric option - I could probably do a metric now and be ok. But I'm not sure if I could be ready to do 100 miles by 10/20.

What say you, brain trust?
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Old 08-19-12, 10:27 PM   #2
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With proper training (and pacing) you can do it. Riding 100 miles is more of a mental thing than a physical thing. If you can ride a metric century you can certainly ride 100 miles.

There are plenty of online tools with training advice for first-time century riders.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 08-19-12, 10:51 PM   #3
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Personally, I think the difficulty of doing centuries is overrated. I'm sure you'll do fine. The better trained you are the easier for you it will be. You couldn't pick a better first century. The Davis Bike Club does a great job of supporting their rides and the route is easy. Get some training in, plan on having a fun time and you'll do great. Go for it!
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Old 08-19-12, 10:51 PM   #4
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2000 feet is pretty flat for a course that describes itself as "rolling hills"

I say go for it. Just be prepared to put some miles in your legs between now and then.
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Old 08-19-12, 11:35 PM   #5
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Personally, I think the difficulty of doing centuries is overrated...
+1

Just make sure you eat at least 200 calories every 20-25 miles and stay hydrated and you should not have any problems. Don't push yourself early when it is more likely that you'd want to stick with someone or a group. Ride at your own pace.
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Old 08-20-12, 01:49 AM   #6
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Yes, there is no reason you shouldn't be able to do this, the end of October gives you plenty of time to prepare.

Read this thread for some tips. As far as training is concerned, just increase your weekly mileage between now and then, ideally by including one longer ride each week. You're now doing 50 miles. Work up to an 80 mile ride over the next couple of months - that's an increase of less than 10% per week in your maximum distance - and you'll be ready.

You could probably do it now, to be honest. 2000' of climbing in 100 miles means that it is pretty much flat. But it's worth extending your distances just so you get used to being on the bike for more extended periods of time. You may as well do it in comfort, after all.
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Old 08-20-12, 02:32 AM   #7
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As others have said the route doesn't seem very hilly. 2000' in 100 miles is 20 feet per mile, or an average that's so close to flat it might as well be flat.

As long as your body can cope with being seated and turning pedals for that long you should be fine. Endless hills will sap your energy more than endless miles, for chewing up the miles you'll either need the mental strength to just keep the pedals turning or one or more people to ride with. It's amazing what a difference it can make riding with someone, even if you're not drafting them. Chewing up endless miles on your own can be a lonely business.
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Old 08-20-12, 02:47 AM   #8
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Doing some reading, they say "2000", but other folks report more like 3600. But still, it seems do-able. I have momentum now, but I can't go for a ride this upcoming weekend. That's a bummer.
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Old 08-20-12, 09:07 AM   #9
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Doing some reading, they say "2000", but other folks report more like 3600. But still, it seems do-able. I have momentum now, but I can't go for a ride this upcoming weekend. That's a bummer.
Even if it's 3600ft it's not a lot of climbing. In fact it's dead flat till you get out towards Fairfield then you have a few climbs as you head up towards Lake Barryessa After you go over the dam you have a fun descent to the valley and a flat ride home. Just pace yourself up the few climbs and you'll be fine. All the climbing is in the middle section of the ride.
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Old 08-20-12, 09:34 AM   #10
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"Pondering" a century IS insane in my opinion. Doing one is not.
I say that seriously, having ridden more than 40 Imperial centuries in April, May and June. The time and energy spent thinking about the problems, pain and whatever is simply wasted once you figure out that you need to carry/arrange for in terms of nutrition, hydration and emergencies. Other than that, unless you are trying to set speed records, Nike's marketing mantra, Just Do IT, pretty much says it all imho.
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Old 08-20-12, 09:35 AM   #11
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If you think you can't do it, you can't. If you think you can, you can. The rule of thumb is that you should work up to 70-80% of the full mileage. Go into this POSITIVELY. Your PMA (positive mental attitude) will be just as important as your physical ability.
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Old 08-20-12, 09:41 AM   #12
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I did my first century earlier this summer and I had only done around 50 miles in a day before that. It wasnt bad at all. The stupid thing I did was to do my second one the next day. Keep doing at least 100 - 150 miles a week before it and you will be fine
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Old 08-21-12, 11:49 PM   #13
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I registered for it. Guess it's time to put up or shut up.
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Old 08-22-12, 12:22 AM   #14
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Hardest part of a century is the 8 inches between your ears.
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Old 08-22-12, 01:14 AM   #15
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You can do it!
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Old 08-22-12, 02:13 AM   #16
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Congratz on signing up, I'm sure you wont regret it!
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Old 08-22-12, 06:50 AM   #17
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Congratulations on signing up! Foxy's is a very good century with all the climbing between 25 and 70 miles. The last 30 miles are very slightly downhill (good news) and a bit boring (bad news), but the overall experience is very positive. I'll be there on my single; wife has a conflict so we can't ride the tandem.
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Old 08-22-12, 09:35 AM   #18
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Just do it ....once you do one, you will be wanting to sign up for more of them. I think like was mentioned earler. Alot of what makes it tough for people is in your head...I mean it is a long ride but it is very do'able if you just pace yourself & don't stay to long at each sag stop, drink lots of fluids, powerade & water, the last 10-15 miles will feel the worst for sure but once it's over & you finish it will be all woth it.

edit - well after reading other replies, it seems u are signed up & it sounds like the hardest part of your century will be the middle & it sounds like it will be down hill mostly near the end which sounds nice, so you should be good.
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Old 08-22-12, 09:49 AM   #19
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"Pondering" a century IS insane in my opinion. Doing one is not.
.
Yup! I've always said if a rider can do 60, they can do the 100 with a little sticking to a ride plan (nutrition, hydration, avoiding other riders' pace etc.)
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Old 08-22-12, 09:55 AM   #20
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of course you can do it. just bring a book cuz it's gonna take time. plan a loooong day.
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Old 08-22-12, 10:02 AM   #21
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Just do it ....once you do one, you will be wanting to sign up for more of them. I think like was mentioned earler. Alot of what makes it tough for people is in your head...I mean it is a long ride but it is very do'able if you just pace yourself & don't stay to long at each sag stop, drink lots of fluids, powerade & water, the last 10-15 miles will feel the worst for sure but once it's over & you finish it will be all woth it.

edit - well after reading other replies, it seems u are signed up & it sounds like the hardest part of your century will be the middle & it sounds like it will be down hill mostly near the end which sounds nice, so you should be good.

+1 -before my first century I read that it is common to hit a mental wall at around 80 miles. Toward the end of the ride, I got to point where I just didn't want to be on the bike anymore. I looked at my computer - 81 miles. Knowing this was typical helped, I rode through it and felt a lot better when I got to 90, even though I was pretty tired. It felt really good to finish.
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Old 08-22-12, 11:07 AM   #22
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Two things I like:

1) I'm glad that this is a good "beginner" century.
2) As a graduate of UC Davis it'll be fun to be back in town for a day.
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Old 08-22-12, 11:31 AM   #23
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+1 -before my first century I read that it is common to hit a mental wall at around 80 miles. Toward the end of the ride, I got to point where I just didn't want to be on the bike anymore. I looked at my computer - 81 miles. Knowing this was typical helped, I rode through it and felt a lot better when I got to 90, even though I was pretty tired. It felt really good to finish.
I myself don't consider it a mental wall, more of a physical wall in my experience. But either way, my wall is at about mile 65. I will fade about this point so I need to eat something, then back off the pace for about 7 or 8 miles. The remainder of the ride will be strong and mile 90 is like mile 30.

Gina and I just did a century this past weekend. I was impressed as she didn't hit her wall till mile 84. We backed off the pace a bit for 5 or 6 miles. She recuped then mile 90-100, she was cranking it up at 19 mph all the way to the finish.

If you can do a few long rides prior the century, just to find out where your wall is, could behelpful in getting thru on the actual ride. You'll know how to handle it and know not to panic at that point.
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Old 08-22-12, 02:15 PM   #24
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All mental. As others said, it's mostly overrated. I bet the hardest fight with your own mind was signing up for it. Everything is downhill form there (except the announced 3600 ft of climbing during the ride)

There's already a bunch of threads with do's and don'ts plus an equal number of century ride reports. Pace, hydration and nutrition should take care of it. Don't try anything "new" in that ride (gear,nutrition,hydration,etc).

Come back with pics and a ride report!!
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Old 08-22-12, 04:55 PM   #25
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The 70-80 mile "wall" is pretty accurate for most I think. Shoulders and upper back seem to go around this point for me as well. And Beanz is correct, take a break, eat, drink, stretch and you can finish strong.

I hit mine about mile 75 last time and about mile 83 the day before. Took breaks and was able to finish quite strong before dying at the finish...
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