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  1. #1
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    First century, how many riders finish at the cut off time?

    Hi, A few months ago I wrote about getting ready for my first century, in Moab. Well, it is almost here, the 16th. I think I'll be able to finish, but I expect I will be the very last rider. How much company can I expect to have? Those of you who have ridden a century before, how many riders come in at 10 hours? Are there usually just one or two or will there be more?

    Tabriz

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    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Depends on your average for say a 50 mile ride. If you are 13mph or above then the 10 hours will be beat easily. Organised rides will add 1 or 2mph average for the first half of the ride as you get dragged on by the riders around you- but make certain that YOU do not lead the group very often as this is your first century. Remember about the BONK point that will come about if you push too hard or do not eat and drink enough on the ride. Time for this is 70miles onwards so prepare for it.

    Other than refill of bottles or aquiring food- I stop at 65- take a full bottle- eat something a bit more substantial and stretch. Only a few minutes rest and then off again

    Good luck and take the camera.
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    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    For most cyclists, a century should take no more than 8-8:30, including stops. On most century rides that I do, all riders are in well before the cut-off time. Start at the beginning, not the end, of the start window and only take a few <20 minute breaks. You're not moving down the road if you're sitting under a tree.

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    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    These are very general questions about a specific event. There are no absolute standards. I once did a century ride where I was the last finisher at 8-1/2 hours. I have done another where many riders came in around 10 hours. Some century rides are promoted and staffed to support first time century riders. Others give very little support for beyond 8 hours. I take it the ride you are doing has a 10 hour cutoff? That would be longer than most rides I have seen and may indicate a willingness to support slower riders.

    If you really think you will be among the last finishers, be prepared to need to stop at stores to get water and food as you may find that the rest stops are closed when you arrive. Your first century is not a time when you want to see how far you can go without water.

    The best people to answer your questions would be the organizers of the ride and other people who have done this ride in the past. I would shoot an email to the ride director.
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    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    At the back end of the century wagon riders get strung out. You may feel like you're the only person on the road at the time but most likely there are many riders around you though you might not be riding directly with them. One year on the Assault on Mt Mitchell I bonked quite badly. At mile 96 Elvis had left the building and the next 22 miles took me over 3.5 hours to complete. I was sure I was the last rider on the road but when I checked out the results there were many riders that finished after me and around my time. I don't remember seeing anyone! Stay to your plan, ride your pace and you will finish. Hopefully the ride organizers are prepared for riders late in the day. To be honest I have so much respect for those riders that finish late in the day. I may wonder how some people can ride a 4.5 hour century but I know how someone finishes a 10 hour century. They persist. Have a great ride!
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    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Try to find someone to talk to and ride with, at least for a while. The ride is better for me if I have someone to whine to.

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    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    ...Start at the beginning, not the end, of the start window...
    This! When you begin at the start of the depart window, you will see people all day long. Just don't try to keep up with those fast rollers who pass you. You may even consider taking off 1/2 half hour before the official start window. Another advantage is that the rest stops will be well stocked with food. Toward the end, they run out of stuff, or even close. And...if you are unfamiliar with the route, there will always be someone in sight that can act as a guide so you know where to turn.
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    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    For most cyclists, a century should take no more than 8-8:30, including stops. On most century rides that I do, all riders are in well before the cut-off time. Start at the beginning, not the end, of the start window and only take a few <20 minute breaks. You're not moving down the road if you're sitting under a tree.
    +1 for that. I ride solo and my strategy is to start as early as possible, easy for me as an early morning riser. That way I have a full choice of pacelines that pass by and if I find one compatible with my own pace, I'll ask if I can join; and I'm always happy to lead one too.

    Nonetheless, the prime rule for a Century for me is that I must ride at my own pace, and join or abandon other riders as necessary; and I make that clear if I join with someone else.

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    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by volosong View Post
    This! When you begin at the start of the depart window, you will see people all day long. Just don't try to keep up with those fast rollers who pass you. You may even consider taking off 1/2 half hour before the official start window. Another advantage is that the rest stops will be well stocked with food. Toward the end, they run out of stuff, or even close. And...if you are unfamiliar with the route, there will always be someone in sight that can act as a guide so you know where to turn.
    These are also good reasons to start early, but my favorite Century, which has a massed, staggered start, always warns not to depend entirely on the riders ahead of you because they can miss directions too.

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    Senior Member El Gigante's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabriz View Post
    Hi, A few months ago I wrote about getting ready for my first century, in Moab. Well, it is almost here, the 16th. I think I'll be able to finish, but I expect I will be the very last rider. How much company can I expect to have? Those of you who have ridden a century before, how many riders come in at 10 hours? Are there usually just one or two or will there be more?

    Tabriz
    A lot of variables factor into a century, and its hard to make generalities - wind, elevation gain, traffic can all factor in to your average speed. Like many folks on this thread have said, its best to start at the beginning, not end of the start window, and make sure to take full advantage of rest stops, (but don't linger too long). The hardest part of the ride will be the last 20, so make sure you've saved some gas in the tank and you'll do fine.
    Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

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    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Gigante View Post
    A lot of variables factor into a century, and its hard to make generalities - wind, elevation gain, traffic can all factor in to your average speed. Like many folks on this thread have said, its best to start at the beginning, not end of the start window, and make sure to take full advantage of rest stops, (but don't linger too long). The hardest part of the ride will be the last 20, so make sure you've saved some gas in the tank and you'll do fine.
    +1

    A lot of people spend 15-20 minutes at each stop. I try to spend as little time as possible at intermediate stops and allow about 30 minutes for the main lunch stop. Time off the bike adds up quickly.
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    Starting early

    The one century I rode in Santa Fe had a "suggested" start time of 7am. I left at 5:30am, and I'm glad I did 'cause it was HOT that day. Of course, I had faster riders passing me all day long, but I was not the last one to finish

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    Quote Originally Posted by volosong View Post
    This! When you begin at the start of the depart window, you will see people all day long. Just don't try to keep up with those fast rollers who pass you. You may even consider taking off 1/2 half hour before the official start window. Another advantage is that the rest stops will be well stocked with food. Toward the end, they run out of stuff, or even close. And...if you are unfamiliar with the route, there will always be someone in sight that can act as a guide so you know where to turn.
    You are allowed to start before the official start window???

    Tabriz

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    Quote Originally Posted by big john View Post
    Try to find someone to talk to and ride with, at least for a while. The ride is better for me if I have someone to whine to.
    +1

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmichell View Post
    The one century I rode in Santa Fe had a "suggested" start time of 7am. I left at 5:30am, and I'm glad I did 'cause it was HOT that day. Of course, I had faster riders passing me all day long, but I was not the last one to finish
    A whole bunch of us started the Santa Fe Century about 5:30 am in 2000.
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    tabriz, I just don't stop for very long, ten minutes max at any rest stop, I just seem to lose my rhythm if I stop much longer than that. Also don't eat or drink too much at the rest stops, just enough to refresh yourself.

    Generally I think my first century was better than I'd imagined, I was pretty nervous beforehand, had no mechanical issues and my butt and neck were a little tender the next day from 9+ hours including rest stops.

    Have fun.

    Brad

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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    A whole bunch of us started the Santa Fe Century about 5:30 am in 2000.
    As I recall, when I rode it in 2005, I started early based on the advise in this forum. So, yeah, that was a good idea. Thanks

  18. #18
    Century bound Phil85207's Avatar
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    It really depends on the elevation gain for me. My first century was about 4500 ft. as I recall but they were mostly easy climbs with a few killers in there. The other thing is the wind. If you are fighting the wind especially on the way in or up grade it will work you over. The best thing I can tell you is not to worry about it. I know for a fact that most first timers are surprised how well they did. Of course if you did no preparation you can't expect to do well, but that's not the case with you. Good luck and don't worry.
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