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Old 04-13-08, 09:16 PM   #1
BengeBoy 
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Cross one off the list - did my first "official" century today

I've ridden over 100 miles in a day several times in my life, but never at an "official" event and not at all for more than 20 years. So upon returning to biking last year, I decided I had to cross that off the list -- which I did today. Rode a total of 103.5 miles today at the Daffodil Classic in Orting, Wa.; a 60-mile loop and a 40-mile loop plus a little distance getting to/from starting line and some other wandering around.

This ride has the reputation of being the "easiest" century in the Seattle area due to a relative lack of climbing -- there was 4975 feet of climbing in all, nothing too extreme except for a short and nasty 15% grade at mile 97, when we thought any climbing was over. Most of the ride was on rural roads in the communities in the foothills of Mt. Rainier....I stole this photo of the ride from forum member East Hill, who posted it over in the Northwest forum (that's Mt. Rainier in the background).



All in all, a nice ride (except for too many miles of chip seal road: yikes!)

Some training notes for any 50+'ers thinking of their first century:

- I think I've been doing enough mileage (1500 year to date, before today), but not as many long rides as I would have hoped. My longest ride of the year prior to this was a 63-mile ride back in March; I've done only 5 rides over 45 miles all year. Still, I really don't have much problem with the ride -- the last 15 miles seemed a little long, because we hit some moderate headwinds at mile 85, some rollers at 90, and the big hill I mentioned above at mile 97. I feel pretty good tonight, though I"ll probably drive (not ride) to work tomorrow...

- Kudos to my new Selle An-Atomica saddle, which I installed in March. It's terrific.

I now have 2 months to get ready for the "big" ride of the year (at least for me) -- the 82-mile Tour de Blast, which is a ride from around sea level up to the crater at Mt. St. Helens.

Last edited by BengeBoy; 04-13-08 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 04-13-08, 09:23 PM   #2
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Congratulations!
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Old 04-13-08, 09:30 PM   #3
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Congratulations. Seems like a lot of riders are completing meaningful century rides lately, something I hope to do very soon myself.
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Old 04-13-08, 09:44 PM   #4
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Excellent. Welcome to the club.

I didn't do any specific training for my first one either. In fact, when I set out that morning, I didn't even plan it to be a century.
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Old 04-13-08, 10:10 PM   #5
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Glad to see you're putting that great bike to good use. Congratulations.
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Old 04-13-08, 10:11 PM   #6
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Great job, and this early in the season, too. It's great to have goals, and rewarding when we do succeed. I still have (at least) two big cycling goals, but I won't say what they are, I don't want to jinx myself.
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Old 04-13-08, 10:18 PM   #7
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Well done.
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Old 04-14-08, 12:24 AM   #8
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Impressive stuff. An 'easier' 100 miles is still 100 miles.

How long did it take to ride?
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Old 04-14-08, 06:27 AM   #9
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I'm sure that beautiful scenery made it easier, too
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Old 04-14-08, 08:20 AM   #10
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Impressive stuff. An 'easier' 100 miles is still 100 miles.

How long did it take to ride?
I did the first 100 miles in exactly 6 hours 30 minutes of riding time (that was the goal I was trying to hit); total riding time with the extra mileage over 100 was 6 hours 47 minutes. Averaged 15.3 miles per hour for the day. Top speed on a descent was 38 mph.
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Old 04-14-08, 09:38 AM   #11
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What a nice area to ride in! I've driven in the area several times, but not ridden. I'm with you on the chip & seal. Seems to suck the life out of your legs...

Looking forward to your report on the next one.
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Old 04-14-08, 11:51 AM   #12
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Congratulations. Though not so tough as going up Mt. Rainier, climbing almost a mile does not qualify it as an easy century in my book.
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Old 04-14-08, 03:47 PM   #13
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Terrific! I'd love to do some rides in that area-I'm sure the scenery helps the time to pass a little faster.
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Old 04-14-08, 05:26 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
I did the first 100 miles in exactly 6 hours 30 minutes of riding time (that was the goal I was trying to hit); total riding time with the extra mileage over 100 was 6 hours 47 minutes. Averaged 15.3 miles per hour for the day. Top speed on a descent was 38 mph.
Admirable figures, IMO, and a decent day's riding indeed. I'll be quite impressed with myself when/if I ever reach the point where I can stay in the saddle for that length of time and average that sort of speed. And thanks for sharing the figures. Although not of competitive nature in any way, hearing what other folk are achieving helps me to set my own personal goals, and gauge my own achievements against those of others.
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Old 04-14-08, 07:33 PM   #15
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Way to go, BengeBoy. Sometimes I think flat centuries are harder than rolling ones. Especially if it's windy.
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Old 04-14-08, 07:44 PM   #16
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Congratulations on the organized century, BengeBoy. I agree with gcottay. A century + 4,975 feet of climbing is something significant. If that's the local "easy" century, I'm not sure I'd like to try the hard one(s).
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Old 04-14-08, 09:30 PM   #17
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Wow. Congratulations!!! I've got to get one of those saddles.
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Old 04-14-08, 10:04 PM   #18
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I agree with the others, 5000 feet does not an easy century make. That qualifies as at least moderate!
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Old 04-14-08, 10:24 PM   #19
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Great Job!!!!! A century with 5,000' is not a flat easy century.
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Old 04-14-08, 10:44 PM   #20
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I'm only just realising that the 'climbing' figures indicate overall elevation climbed during the ride, and 5000' is way to hell and gone beyond anything I've yet tried!

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Old 04-14-08, 11:42 PM   #21
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Great Job!!!!! A century with 5,000' is not a flat easy century.
Well, I guess it's all relative. As I noted, this was the easiest early-season century I could find.

If you look at feet climbed per mile, it works out to about 48 feet per mile. It's hard to find long-ish rides around Seattle that are much flatter...after seeing your comments I looked at some other long rides I've done since I got a Garmin that measures this stuff:

- My commute to work is 75 feet/mile (lots of rollers)
- I did a metric century in March that was 65 feet/mile (a few killer hills)
- About the easiest long ride I have done this year works out to about 40 feet/mile

...and, the "Tour de Blast" I'm hoping to do in June looks like it will be 98 feet/mile. I shared some pulls yesterday with a rider from Oregon who promised me that the Tour de Blast will be lots tougher.

Other Northwest rides like the RAMROD (Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day - 10,000 feet of climbing in 154 miles; (http://www.redmondcyclingclub.org/RAMROD/index.html) and the High Pass Challenge (http://www.cascade.org/EandR/hpc/index.cfm) are even tougher. Maybe next year!

Then there are the crazed Seattle Randonneurs who sponsor the Cascade 1200 -- 770 miles, 35,000 to 40,000 feet of climbing: http://www.cascade1200.com/index.html. This map makes me tired just looking at it; it crosses the Cascades twice: http://www.cascade1200.com/map.html

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