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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 02-14-14, 07:12 PM   #1
HuffinandPuffin
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What I learned from my first Century ride.

In reflecting back on my first century ride entered and completed these are some observations that come to mind.

1. Don't over think it. It's just another bike ride. If you can do 75 miles with something still left in the tank you can do 100 miles.

2. Ride your ride. You will always find some who is faster thinner, younger, has better equipment then you. This is all about you setting a pace that will allow you to cross the finish line.

3. Your training needs to be harder than the actual event. You gotta learn to do hills no matter if you like them or not, they're going to be there somewhere along the ride. Learn to ride in the wind, especially in a cross wind.

4. This next point is the most important one to me. Be aware that somewhere along the ride fatigue will start to set in and our thinking process won't be as sharp or clear as it should be. For me I started to pay extra attention to my surroundings at the 50 mile mark. Case in point last Saturday during the ride in Palm Springs at the 62 mile mark a 55 year old cyclist was hit broadside in an intersection and later died. As you get closer to the finish line the possibility of losing your focus looms greater just because of your physical exhaustion.

Closing thoughts: Was it worth it? YES! Would I do it again? In a heartbeat! I can remember riding up the street and making that right turn and heading for the finish line hearing the cow bells ringing and different people cheering for the riders as we crossed the FINISH LINE and getting off my bike and thinking, "I just road 100 miles." Even 6 days after the event I'm still amazed that "I rode 100 miles on my bike."

Phil - Tour De Palm Springs 6:53:01 15.10 MPH
RIDE SAFE
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Old 02-14-14, 07:21 PM   #2
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Cool story and good tips. I would love to do a ride like the Tour de Palm Springs!
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Old 02-14-14, 07:57 PM   #3
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Good tips for sure HnP and congrats on your first century!

Any pics to share?
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Old 02-14-14, 09:40 PM   #4
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Congrats again! You're right - the hardest part of riding 100 miles is mental. Of course, if your bike doesn't fit right, it'll hurt but for me, my first century got impossibly hard at the 85 mile mark.

You can probably start looking for your pics here if you want: http://www.runningguru.com/Pictures.asp?eID=10562

By the way, TdPS is a pretty flat century. Another good one, and more scenic and thankfully less windy, is the Cool Breeze century in August. A bunch of us did it last year and it's always a good time. I have to be honest though, I always (twice now) finish Palm Springs feeling really good about myself & cycling.

I imagine you're starting to think about a double metric now...
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Old 02-14-14, 10:07 PM   #5
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I can't speak for HnP but I'm thinking just double (never mind metric). How about you TH?
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Old 02-14-14, 10:35 PM   #6
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double metric would be a good start..
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Old 02-15-14, 10:56 AM   #7
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Make sure you have access to enough nourishment whether you carry it yourself or whether you can find it along the way.

I did a self supported century on a rail trail and didn't bring enough food. I couldn't find any stores or restaurants open in any of the small towns on the trail. I bonked after 85 or so miles. The last 20 miles were tough.
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Old 02-15-14, 12:00 PM   #8
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GREAT read HnP!! I'm looking to do my first century this Fall. In preparation I plan to do a a few metrics prior.... Thanks for sharing!!
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Old 02-15-14, 04:45 PM   #9
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Ya gotta feed the machine. I carry cliff shots and never miss a chance to refill my water bottles. I usually plan my routes to allow for water, food, coffee, bagels, etc.

i agree on the fatigue issue, be mindful of your condition and surroundings.

congrats on your first century, you are officially a member of the club.

Ride safe.
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Old 02-15-14, 05:11 PM   #10
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Good points. It reminds me of two 'first' centuries for me.
The first was pretty much like your description. It was a supported ride and I jumped in here and there with different groups. The biggest thing I ran into was the support stations running out of stuff around 2/3's of the way through. Naturally it was a slow pace I was on.
Fast forward several years
The second 'first' was one where I had a goal of riding it in under 5 hours. I recruited two riders that I trained with. One was a serious Ironman participant doing multiple per year. The other was a former NFL receiver (he rode with me on his slow days mainly because I never said no.) I told them both I know I can't ride with you, but I am asking you to ride with me and they did most of the pulling, like 80-85%. After the first 20 miles, I think we were averaging about 25 mph. No one was near us. Then at about 45 - 50 miles, I said if we don't back off, I am going to blow up. We did and a big group caught us at a ferry crossing. Coming out of the ferry it climbed up from the river, I pulled out and said, no mas. One buddy stayed with me, one went with the group which I think finished at 23 mph. My other buddy and I did not make the goal of 20 mph. We came close at 19, but I can tell you those last 35 miles were the most miserable miles I have ever spent on a bike.
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Old 02-15-14, 07:48 PM   #11
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Agreed on the being watchful once fatigue sets in...tho I disagree with using the lady who died as an example of what can happen. Circumstances in the fatal accident appear based on witness accounts to have been a multitude of factors starting with 1. vehicle stopping to "be nice" resulting in dangerous situation as others in vehicles traveling on the roadway would not be expecting a stop w/o turn signal indicating driver intention to turn...and thus do not know why the vehicle is stopped and that going around would be very bad 2. No signage in area warning motorists on that 55 mph roadway of bicycle event in area and asking for added caution 3. Driver of truck that hit her was towing a fully loaded horse trailer and was from out of state and may not have had any idea of an event in area involving bikes. She was a very experienced rider and very fit hence being that far along route at the time she was hit. She was not a new century rider.
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Old 02-17-14, 12:07 PM   #12
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most riders will speak about the 80 mile mark in a ride - not unlike the "wall" in marathon... what training for a ride will do is give one the skills to push pass the pain, fatique, "what the f,---" attitude that tends to set in around 80... knowing I am able to do that now helps me in all sorts of challenges... no matter how hard and tough something is... I can just keep at it and come out on the other side - OK.

Now that you have posted this and gotten your 100 under the belt, don't let people like Rick@OCRR try to talk you into 200... talk about pain! Congrats on your great time!
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Old 02-18-14, 03:11 PM   #13
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Great advice HnP! The longest ride I've done is only 50 miles, but I'm hoping this year will be a big year for me to reach that 100-mile milestone on my hybrid. I've got the route mapped out, much of which I've ridden before but never straight through. I've been riding the trainer in prep for a metric century ride on a backwoods rail-trail on Memorial Day if it's warm enough.
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