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Old 07-06-06, 12:09 AM   #1
dauphin
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Am I nuts?

I am seriously considering signing up to do my first group century ride. I've done 64 several times and 100 once. The upcoming ride is The Auburn Century and takes place September 16th. It's 106 miles with over 11,000 feet of climbing which includes a 1.75 mile climb with an average grade of 13.5%. Maybe I'm nuts, but I think I can do it. Tomorrow I am going to add some hill training to my daily ride.
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Old 07-06-06, 12:24 AM   #2
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Sounds like you're in shape for it. Keep including lots of climbing in your training rides, by September you'll be more than ready.

Of course make sure your gearing is low enough for those steep climbs you mentioned.
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Old 07-06-06, 05:15 AM   #3
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Sounds like you're in shape for it. Keep including lots of climbing in your training rides, by September you'll be more than ready.

Of course make sure your gearing is low enough for those steep climbs you mentioned.
+1 on all counts, and don't underestimate the value of low gearing! By the way, you are nuts. As someone who has ridden the "Mountain Mama Road Bike Challenge" (slogan: Mama's Gonna Whip Your Butt) and the "Blue Ridge Extreme," I know what I'm talking about. Anyone who would do a ride like any of those is nuts.
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Old 07-06-06, 05:41 AM   #4
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I don't think you are nuts, it sounds like a great ride. Youve done a century so you kind of know what to expect. The better the preperation the more fun you'll have.
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Old 07-06-06, 05:45 AM   #5
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Yeah, to the average person you're nuts. But, to those of us here, you're perfectly normal. Go for it!
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Old 07-06-06, 06:00 AM   #6
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Go for it dawg! It will be a great accomplishment, a lot of fun and a proud memory. Yeah, you're nuts, but all the best people are.

"Some may never live, but the crazy never die!" - HST
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Old 07-06-06, 06:16 AM   #7
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Why not try it??

Some thoughts:
Make sure you have a least a 30 (front chainring) and 27 rear cassette for the climbs. If you run a compact crank (50/34) you need at least a 12/27 on the rear. Hills that you can climb easily are a LOT harder after 70-100 miles. These dang mountain rides I've been doing lately seem to end with the hardest climb the last 2 miles......and finish on top of a mountain.

Get in lots of climbing in the next 6 weeks. It's a real mental game to do 11,000 feet in 100+ miles. You need to know what it feels like to go 5-6 mph with no relief from pedaling for an hour at a time. It's a different set of leg muscles that you need to build up as well. You'll feel muscles just behind the top of the knee and your hamstrings get a good workout. Actually every leg muscle you have will get a workout.

Try and do sections of the route ahead of time just so you'll know what you're in for. The climbs after 50-70 miles will be a good bit harder on used legs, though. Some of that is helped with riding with others. Try and do the hardest climb before the ride, especially.

Eat before you're hungry and drink before you're thirsty.

Ride within your limits but you'll probably want to come up with ways to talk yourself into continuing to ride during the ride..........stay mentally tough. As long as you're going forward you're doing okay.

The finish is an incredible reward and quite an accomplishment.

And yeah......we're all nuts.
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Old 07-06-06, 07:23 AM   #8
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Well, crazy is a relative term I think. Crazy would be doing the Triple Bypass on a unicycle. Fully supported centuries add some and take some away from solo efforts. You'll have people to draft with to help some, but group riding also increases the chance of touching wheels. Stay alert when you're in a group.

A triple chain-ring is darn nice if the hills are tough. Train hills at tempo or steady state intensity. Over/Unders help so you can stay with a group when you need to. It's not a race, but it's hard not to get caught up in the 'race' mentality. Get some long rides in on the weekends, up to 85 miles followed by 50 the following day.

Make sure you fit your bike like a glove and that the saddle will give you no fits 1/2 way thru the ride. There's three levels to centuries I think. 1) Survive it. 2) Pull thru it nicely. and 3) Rock it like you belong in todays 5th Stage climbing with Schroder. Your training will determine which level you fall in. Try to train where you can roll along at your aerobic workout level for 5 hours plus. Then increase it so you can go slow race pace for hours on end.

Try to roll past the first couple rest stops and keep your momentum. Prepare for the mental anguish...there will be ebbs and flows during the day. Keep spinning thru them and the bad parts get better with time. Watch your HRM more than your mileage...and enjoy the view now and then!
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Old 07-06-06, 10:32 AM   #9
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That climb is less than 2% of the entire ride. Big deal. You'll make it fine. There will be a little extra adrenalin pumping that will make it easier, too. It's just a series of short rides between rest stops.
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Old 07-06-06, 11:35 AM   #10
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Yeah, to the average person you're nuts. But, to those of us here, you're perfectly normal. Go for it!
Yeah, what he said!

Steve
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Old 07-06-06, 12:58 PM   #11
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Piece o' cake...have a blast.
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Old 07-06-06, 01:57 PM   #12
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Now you have a reason to train hard. You have plenty of time. Give it a go.
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Old 07-06-06, 02:22 PM   #13
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So, I just got back from driving the course of the Auburn Century. I decided to see it for myself. I think I need to start hill training tonight! I took a few photographs of the course that I will post later this evening . Also if you visit the following link, you can read what a participant said about the course.
http://www.loshombres.org/californic...n-century.html
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Old 07-06-06, 02:43 PM   #14
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I lived under the Foresthill
bridge for several months
in the middle 70s. I know
the entire area well and can
tell you it will be a great adventure.

And the weather in
September will be ideal.

Have a great time, and
live to tell the tale...
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Old 07-06-06, 03:31 PM   #15
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You'll be doing a group ride and this is a bonus for the hills and distance. Hopefully you have the right gearing- If not- what you have got will do. Do a bit of training for the hills and a good training is to find your steepest hill in your area- and do it at a steady pace. Couple of nights later do it twice- then a few nights later do it 3 times. Remember this is a 100miler and keep the pace sensible. Nuts?- Probably but providing you eat enough and drink enough on the ride- You'll be OK. Incidentally- Weigh yourself before the ride- and after. If you are the same weight before and after- You have eaten enough and drunk enough. If weight is lower- You will know you have done a ride.
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Old 07-06-06, 05:03 PM   #16
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I've found a couple of good hills near my home that about a mile in length. I think I will start with those for training purposes and then move on to the longer distances and higher grades.
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Old 07-06-06, 09:59 PM   #17
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Tonight was a good first hill training session. There were two hills that were about half a mile and 12% grade. The total ride was mostly hills and went for 15.15 miles. I'm thinking this will be a great place to start!
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Old 07-07-06, 01:47 AM   #18
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Ok, well it's down to daily training now looking toward September 16th which will happen two days prior to my 52nd birthday. As promised, I managed to take a few photos of the course today. I figure I won't be doing too much photography in September, but you never know. In any case, here are some of the sights I saw as I drove the course today.
http://www.pacfit.com/auburncentury.htm
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Old 07-07-06, 05:22 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dauphin
Ok, well it's down to daily training now looking toward September 16th which will happen two days prior to my 52nd birthday. As promised, I managed to take a few photos of the course today. I figure I won't be doing too much photography in September, but you never know. In any case, here are some of the sights I saw as I drove the course today.
http://www.pacfit.com/auburncentury.htm
Pretty country.

Hey, you could ride TWICE your age on your birthday!
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Old 07-07-06, 08:11 AM   #20
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Pretty country.

Hey, you could ride TWICE your age on your birthday!
Now that's a great way to look at it!
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Old 07-07-06, 08:48 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by dauphin
Ok, well it's down to daily training now looking toward September 16th which will happen two days prior to my 52nd birthday. As promised, I managed to take a few photos of the course today. I figure I won't be doing too much photography in September, but you never know. In any case, here are some of the sights I saw as I drove the course today.
http://www.pacfit.com/auburncentury.htm
I thought I saw a actual flat spot in the road in the lake/road barrier pic!
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Old 07-07-06, 10:14 AM   #22
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That thing climbs out of the American River Canyon, doesn't it? I've done that part of the route, though not the official event. I'm a terrible climber (more of a retired-offensive-lineman type than a King of the Mountains type), but I think even a good one would gear down for that grade. I rode it on my Atlantis with a 46-36-26 triple and 28t large cog, and if I had to do it again tomorrow, I'd root around in the garage for the 24t ring off my old mountain bike (as I said, though, I'm a genuinely bad climber...).
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Old 07-07-06, 10:31 AM   #23
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I've got a 48-38-28 and I did a couple of steep ones last night. I think I will be ok after some intense training.
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Old 07-07-06, 11:01 PM   #24
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So...we decided to try the monster hill (Iowa Hill) which is 1.75 miles with an average grade of 13.5%. Let me tell you, it felt more like 20%. I had to stop at least five times on the way up. Thank god I installed bar ends today. That really made a difference. That hill made me wonder why I ever worried about any other hill before. What it did was give me confidence and better knowledge for attacking such a hill in the future. It really is all about using the right gears and understanding how to pace yourself. Next time I think I will do much better. At least it is no longer an unknown! Here is a photo of what part of the hill looks like. This is from someone elses photo album..those motorcycles were not there today!
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Old 07-07-06, 11:44 PM   #25
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Whoa! Given that picture and your description, you have my complete and total respect, Sir!
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