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  1. #1
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    Rode My First Century

    Over the last 3 weeks I had begun to seriously figure when and how to ride my first century and on Sunday the 2nd I did it.
    I planned a large figure 8 pattern extending to the west of Winston-Salem and then to the east.
    At the half way point I would be back at home. This way if anything went amiss I would really be no further than 25 miles from the house and my wife could find me.
    I set out at 8:00 in the morning heading across the Yadkin River into the rolling farmland of Yadkin County. It was a beautiful morning for a ride and I passed and was passed by a number of riders as this is a popular bike course from Winston. I took my time, stopped often to take pictures (attached) and hydrate, eat, etc. Arrived back at the house for a short lunch in 3hours 3 minutes for an average of 16.3mph. It was a real piece of cake ride.
    Ate a quick sandwich, apples slices and drank some Power Aide while watching the Tour on TV. Then off to the east for the second half of the figure 8.
    The afternoon session was not quite as nice. The temp rose to 92 degrees with a hot wind downsloping out of the Blue Ridge to the west. It at least provided me with a nice tailwind heading to Greensboro and when I reached my stopping point there I had traveled 82 miles with an average speed of 16.4mph.
    From here on it was not alot of fun. Riding back to Winston facing a hot headwind in 90+ weather. to get back into town I had to climb a series of hills beginning about 6 miles from my finish with the final hills being right in the downtown district. At that point I was having no fun at all.
    I knew I would be riding more than 100 miles and so when I hit 100 miles I stopped to take a break, record the figures etc. Average over 100 was 16.00mph in a riding time of 6 hours 14 minutes.
    The final data upon arriving home was 108.68 miles in 6 hours 51 minutes for an average of 15.8 mph.
    I was really beat. Although I had stayed hydrated, going through about 10 water bottles and I seemed to have plenty of food, with a lunch stop and a PB&J for the road as well as 4 little packs of fig newtons. It seemed really a long ride and my legs were tired.
    I was surprised that I did not become saddle sore as so many threads on the forums argue about comfortable saddles and I have always just ridden on the Bontrager saddle that came with my bike.
    Anyway it was nice to get that monkey off my back. Now two days later and having just returned from my regular exercise ride,(thighs still a little sore) I feel it was worth it to ride. I do believe though that the next century I attempt will be in cooler weather and perhaps on a tour ride. There is a popular ride here in Sept called the Tour to Tanglewood that offers a century course.
    Anyway this should help my numbers for July.

    The attached photos show some the the pretty farmland west of Winston-Salem as well as the small town of East Bend decked out for the fourth of July. One shot shows a pretty Methodist church on a hill. In this rural area I pass 4 to 5 small churches like this in the middle of farm country, they seem well attended and are very pretty. The photo of my bike on the sign is of a small vineyard in the area. It's a beautiful place and this region is becoming more and more a wine region as time goes on, perhaps like CA looked 40 years ago. My daughter took a photo of me as I was leaving for the second half of the ride. I didn't look nearly so together upon my final return so no photos of that. The only photo in the Winston area is of the Texas Pete plant. Known round the world and made right here. Also a pic of the bike computer when I hit 100 miles.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by p8rider; 07-04-06 at 01:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    Congratulations. I don't really know what to say to people who do a century ride, especially on their own. It is not on my list of things to do, but I do know of quite a few who have done it on the spur of the moment while touring.

    It has to be quite a feeling of accomplishment when you do finally complete a century. The most important thing is that you brought a camera along. It's nice to see other parts of the country and where people ride.

    Again, congratulation
    Bike riding New England gentleman.

  3. #3
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    EXCELLENT report, great pictures, and wow -- congratulations! A terrific accomplishment.

    You know, the average speed thing is messing with me. When I rode yesterday on my 63 miler for instance, the computer showed me pedalling (for the most part) at about 14-15 mph, but my average for the ride was only 11.7. Yes, there's a boardwalk for about 3/4 mile on the loop where i must slow down to avoid peds and six passenger four wheel bikes, but geez! It took me 5 hours and 24 minutes to ride just 63 miles!

    Anyway, what a great report. Love the pictures too.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Great! Congratulations.

    Love the pics. Beautiful riding country.

  5. #5
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Glad to see that you took time out so that the bike had a rest. Thats a big hurdle out of the way for the pair of you. Forget your tired legs and body now- so give the bike a wash and clean the chain for your next ride.

    Funny how the hills always come when you don't want them, but it didn't affect affect you too much. Well done but despite you mentioning the piece of cake ride- no picture of the pie. (We are all slipping on this point so just a gentle reminder to all of us- me included)

    Well done but take a bit of a rest before your next century. Don't want you to over do it before the ride your age ride.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  6. #6
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Great ride & post. Looks like some great ride by the pictures you put up, and you look pretty relaxed in the last one. The first century is one to celebrate and one you're not likely to forget.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
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  7. #7
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    Congrats! Thanks for posting the report and pictures. It looks like beautiful country.

  8. #8
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Wow!! That is one heck of a ride to do solo Dan!! And it was so HOT out there as well!! Congratulations on a incredible accomplishment. You were smart doing the figure 8 as it allowed you to have a good rest stop midways. You must have been pretty motivated to avoid stopping there and to get back on the road in that heat!!

    I always dread the last leg around here when it heads West as we all know which way the prevailing wind is. You did very well to fight through all that after all those miles.

    We're going to have you ready for Mitchell or Grandfather before you know it. Your idea of doing another century with the Tanglewood ride makes a lot of sense. It will be supported and hopefully a good bit cooler!!

    I have some history with the poles down main street in East Bend. East Bend, like a lot of towns, likes to deck out main street come Christmas season as well. Good to see them flying the flags!!

  9. #9
    Lincoln, CA Mojo Slim's Avatar
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    Ain't biking fun? A solo century is quite a big deal. Now, do one with friends. It's a whole 'nother thing. I do the Home-as-rest-stop thing, too. It's easier to keep going that way. Congrats.

  10. #10
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    I did my first solo century a few weeks ago, so my hat is off to you and anyone who achieves that distance. Great pictures and great report too!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    When I rode yesterday on my 63 miler for instance, the computer showed me pedalling (for the most part) at about 14-15 mph, but my average for the ride was only 11.7. Yes, there's a boardwalk for about 3/4 mile on the loop where i must slow down to avoid peds and six passenger four wheel bikes, but geez! It took me 5 hours and 24 minutes to ride just 63 miles!
    This is a normal drop off in average speed over typical speed for any kind of riding where you have to either deal with traffic, intersections, and/or slow path traffic. Remember, slowing down knocks 5 to 10 MPH from your cruising speed. That's a lot to make up, in terms of your average. Also, remember that when you slow for brief periods, your heart rate remains at about the same level, so you're actually extending the period of time you're in the aerobic zone. A longer ride, time-wise, is better for you.

    Forget about average speed. It's a waste of time to rely on it for comparison sake, as every ride is different. I now only look at the computer screen that shows heart rate, distance and elapsed time. I never look at my current speed while I'm riding, and/or average speed when I'm done.

    If you need a yardstick, rely on total distance.
    Last edited by Big Paulie; 07-05-06 at 03:14 AM.

  12. #12
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    I appreciate everyone's comments. I picked up a registration for the Tour to Tanglewood today and they offer a 140 mile total over 2 days, 100 on day one with a 40 follow up on day two. I know I'm nuts becuase I'm thinking that doesn't sound too bad!!

  13. #13
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by p8rider
    I appreciate everyone's comments. I picked up a registration for the Tour to Tanglewood today and they offer a 140 mile total over 2 days, 100 on day one with a 40 follow up on day two. I know I'm nuts becuase I'm thinking that doesn't sound too bad!!
    Yep, you're nuts, but what the heck! Go for it, and give us a great report afterwards!
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  14. #14
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Very nice ride and congrats! It looks like beautiful riding where you live.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  15. #15
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Congratulations on reaching the century. The scenery in NC is great. I should take more pictures like you did.
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  16. #16
    bobkat
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    Congratulations on the century! I havfe yet to do one, but did a couple of 64's and a 50 a week ago on consecutive days. Hopefully do a century later in the summer. Way to go!

  17. #17
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    Congratulations! Great ride report and photos.

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