A recent post on "does it get better?" devolved into a discussion of century riding and I thought it was an interesting topic in its own right so here are some questions and comments of my own to continue that thread.
First let me say that of course I recognize that doing a century is not a goal for everyone. I'm a clyde that clearly remembers my recent ride of 3mi when it was all I could do. But I have to tell you that although I wasn't thinking much about a century ride, it was probably an unstated goal on some level.
There are those among us who want to be able to do a 5 mile commute and really nothing more. Others just want to get started losing weight. But if you're at Bike Forum, you're likely to be interested in cycling in and of itself.
From that perspective, when "cycling" per se becomes a sport and you've become a "cyclist" in the sense that you are riding regularly and probably continually working toward improving your fitness and cycling ability...you will get fit enough for a century ride at some point. Commuters, bike messengers, people on tour, don't have to set a goal and most probably have no thought to riding a century as a goal, but a lot of us with the time to ride enough miles to build that stamina have to be intrigued about the possibility of that magic number.
Is it a goal of yours? Have YOU done a century? Care if you do? Tried and failed?
I may not pull one off this year. Time may not allow me to get in shape after I heal. Our winters come quickly. But if I do get to return to biking, doing another century will be a goal again. I like goals.