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  1. #1
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    Just Signed up for my first 100 mile gravel ride

    My home town has a big gravel ride in the summer. Normally it is a 200 mile ride. They are offering a 100 mile option this year and I have signed up for it. I started riding last summer and could do 30 miles by fall. This is going to be a serious challenge, but I think i can get up to it. Hope to drop some weight in the process. Started my weight loss mission december 2011 and have lost about 30ish pounds so far. Winter really had me hung up, but I have started commuting again (screw you cold).

    Who has some stories about their first 100mi rides?

  2. #2
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Here's my first one - http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...e-Century-done I have another one in a few weeks so we'll see if I learned anything. I continually amaze myself with my ability to repeat the same damn mistakes.

    The short tips and tricks version - make sure you get plenty of miles in your legs before the century and I would recommend completing at least ONE 80 mile ride in the several weeks before. No need to do a full 100. Ride at least 200 miles each of the two months leading up to your ride. More is better obviously. Figure out your hydration & nutrition needs well ahead of time, which leads to ...

    Critical Tip #1 - do NOT try anything new on century day. no new wheels, shorts, food... (by no new food I mean no new weird performance food, regular food is fine)

    Long rides become a mental exercise towards the end. you will hit a proverbial wall at about 80-90 miles, just believe that you will finish and you will.

    Oh, and as for ride distances, I really don't think you need to limit yourself to 10% increases each week. Pick a weekend and go for 50 if you're currently riding 30 and then do it again with 70. have a plan, make sure you eat and drink plenty of water and you will get it done.

    Enjoy!

  3. #3
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    Congrats on grabbing a great set of goals. Sounds like a fun ride. KSU Grad here, GO Wildcats! What town is sponsoring this ride? You do know that Kansas has some killer humidity inn the summer don't you?
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

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  4. #4
    Senior Member boy scout 161's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daspydyr View Post
    Congrats on grabbing a great set of goals. Sounds like a fun ride. KSU Grad here, GO Wildcats! What town is sponsoring this ride? You do know that Kansas has some killer humidity inn the summer don't you?
    I am guessing he is refering to the Dirty Kanza http://www.dirtykanza200.com/ which is in Emporia. It has become a pretty big deal in the Gravel Grinder world. Emporia as a community really supports the event. I am thinking of the doing the 50 mile ride. I went to Grad School at ESU and lived in the area for 15 years so it will be a ride / visit friends weekend for me.

    Good luck SoggySandwich. Hope to see you there.
    Be prepared. Do a good turn daily.

  5. #5
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    If you haven't ridden too much much on gravel roads, make sure you get experience them before the ride. I do a gravel road ride with some friends once a year. I'm used to it now, but people who do it for the first time will comment how much more it takes out of you than a ride on pave roads. Not sure what kind of bike you have, but don't attempt this on a road bike with 20 mm wide tires. I do okay with 32-35 mm wide tires. On the other extreme, don't try to do 100 miles on knobby tires- way too much rolling resistance.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  6. #6
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    My first century was with a former GF, Kathy, back in '87. I had gone from 265 lbs. to 175 lbs. in only nine months and was ready for my first. It was God awful hot and humid. It was also probably one of the dumbest rides I ever did in the sense that the route was repetitive. We rode three 8.25 mile loops around a river here in town and then rode a 25 mile loop that included riding the same 8.25 miles around the river. The we did it again. That gave us over 100 miles. I don't remember eating much. I guess at age 22 you can get away with more than you can at age 47. At one point we stopped in a shady spot and soaked in a creek. I was so desperate for water that I drank some from the creek, which was also dumb. But the feeling of passing that 100 mile mark was grand. We then road back to the 'hood and got something to eat and some beers.

    Whenever I think about that day I get a little sad. In '03 I learned that two years before Kathy was struck by a pickup truck and killed while riding her bike home from Kent State, where she had recently become an assistant professor in the Geology. Someone familiar with the accident told me it was her fault. Though we had lost touch during the early 90s, I always thought I would see her again. 'Twas not to be.

    Good luck, and be careful.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by boy scout 161 View Post
    I am guessing he is refering to the Dirty Kanza http://www.dirtykanza200.com/ which is in Emporia. It has become a pretty big deal in the Gravel Grinder world. Emporia as a community really supports the event. I am thinking of the doing the 50 mile ride. I went to Grad School at ESU and lived in the area for 15 years so it will be a ride / visit friends weekend for me.

    Good luck SoggySandwich. Hope to see you there.
    I am speaking of the Dirty Kanza. Normally it has been a double century with some "fun" rides with a 50 and 20 mile options. I think this is the first year that they offering the Half Pint a 100 mile ride in the Flint Hills. I am really excited, but also a bit trepidatious as I have ridden with a group that has some riders that completed the double. This is going to be a serious challenge. I started out trying to get fit last summer. I also started out at about 360#. By fall I was riding with this group doing gravel rides of about 30 miles. I am currently at about 325#. Like I said this is going to be a serious challenge, but I will really feel on top of the world.

    More on gravel, I grew up in Emporia and we have easy access to lots of gravel. All of my long rides are on gravel so I am familiar with how fun and irritation gravel can be. Good scenery, but if you get into some of the less maintained and most road you are going to feel like you are trying to plow that road instead of riding on it. Sometimes you hit the smooth stuff. That is one of the things that is great about gravel you are always going to have some good variation. Now I am just rambleing.

    Thanks for the words of encouragement, I hope to see you there too.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    If you haven't ridden too much much on gravel roads, make sure you get experience them before the ride. I do a gravel road ride with some friends once a year. I'm used to it now, but people who do it for the first time will comment how much more it takes out of you than a ride on pave roads. Not sure what kind of bike you have, but don't attempt this on a road bike with 20 mm wide tires. I do okay with 32-35 mm wide tires. On the other extreme, don't try to do 100 miles on knobby tires- way too much rolling resistance.

    I have a decent amont of time on gravel, but you are very right gravel is a different beast all together. By the time summer rolls around a plan to have a lot more time on gravel. I like a lot of riders will be on a cross bike, I may tweak my tire selection between now and then but right now I have 38mm and have had decent results. Many riders go with a bit wider than this (at least that is my understanding). I think this is due to the great variation in our gravel roads. Some are good small rock, some get that deep pack and are almost like riding on bolders. Luckily I live in the area so I can train on some of the same roads that the race might be on.

    Thanks for the advice, I am going to need all the info i can get between now and June.

  9. #9
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    You don't need info, you need miles in your legs. Get cracking!

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