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Thread: Am I nuts?

  1. #1
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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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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    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.

  3. #3
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis
    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.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  4. #4
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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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.
    Carpe who?

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    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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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!
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  6. #6
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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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
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  7. #7
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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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.

  8. #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!

  9. #9
    Lincoln, CA Mojo Slim's Avatar
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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.

  10. #10
    Get A Life - Get A Bike cheeseflavor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88
    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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    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Piece o' cake...have a blast.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

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    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    Now you have a reason to train hard. You have plenty of time. Give it a go.
    Bike riding New England gentleman.

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    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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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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    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...
    Ned Goudy, Glendora, CA USA
    Lightning Thunderbolt, Easy Racer EZ1, Rhoades Car
    http://www.rhoadescar.com/4w1p-j.jpg

  15. #15
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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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.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

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    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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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.

  17. #17
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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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!
    Last edited by dauphin; 07-07-06 at 02:25 AM.

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    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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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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    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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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!

  20. #20
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Pretty country.

    Hey, you could ride TWICE your age on your birthday!
    Now that's a great way to look at it!

  21. #21
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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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
    I thought I saw a actual flat spot in the road in the lake/road barrier pic!
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

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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...).

  23. #23
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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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.

  24. #24
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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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!

  25. #25
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Whoa! Given that picture and your description, you have my complete and total respect, Sir!
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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