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Old 12-09-12, 06:29 AM   #1
ctg492
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100 mile for fun?

Do any of you do 100 mile rides for fun? by yourself? just to say "I did it"? I was not sure where to post this as it is not group or century riding, just for the reasons asked. This is my goal this spring and I am working on my route I want to take. If you did/do this, any tips please. I plan on taking lunch and snacks and water of course. I will watch the weather report too.
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Old 12-09-12, 06:35 AM   #2
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I've thought about doing exactly this but never seem to find the day to do it. It's been years since my last Century and every once in a while I get the urge to just go out and spend a day riding. Maybe this season. The only "plan" I have is to choose a route that has plenty of spots to stop and re-fuel.
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Old 12-09-12, 10:00 AM   #3
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Are you planning to try to keep up an average speed or mostly just to spend the greater part of the day out on the bicycle?

Personally I have not done a century in many years but am planning on trying one or more event rides next year and a solo century seems like an interesting idea.
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Old 12-09-12, 10:08 AM   #4
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I used to do this nearly every week when I worked 4 10 hour days. Sometimes part of it was done with another rider or two but often it was alone. I never thought very much about the route. Sometimes I rode hard and sometimes leisurely, and usually a mix.

Now it seems like I work 8-10s so my rides are shorter.

Good luck, I had lots of fun.
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Old 12-09-12, 10:37 AM   #5
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I don't know why else you would do it, if not for fun. I thought cycling was supposed to be fun. But there are probably as many reasons to cycle as there are cyclists. I guess some do it only for fitness. I think of the fitness as a byproduct, I guess. One third of my days on a two-month solo tour last summer were centuries. I enjoy covering that kind of terrain on a bike.

For training, maybe you could think of the century as two or three shorter rides. Train to the point where a 50-miler does not fatigue you greatly, to where you think you could do another one that day, then try the century the next week. Ride fifty, take a long break, maybe treat yourself to a restaurant meal or visit a far-flung friend or relative on your route (make that your destination, perhaps), then ride another fifty.

Finding a partner would be nice, but I've seldom had one for that kind of riding. Finding a compatible pace for a full day is hard, but very rewarding if you can find the right person. There's a fine line between being challenged and over-worked. I'm not a fan of organized rides, but many go that route.
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Old 12-09-12, 10:39 AM   #6
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I have routes planned for 80 mile hilly sufferfests to relatively flat 100 milers. I take popular routes and then add on the mileage it would take to cycle from my house to the starting point.

The reason I haven't yet is the time involved. At my speed we're talking about all day affairs. Between work and family I just haven't had time.
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Old 12-09-12, 10:59 AM   #7
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Old 12-09-12, 11:21 AM   #8
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100 miles is a long way in one day. I've done one century, was not fun but glad I did it. I'm going to try and adjust my riding style for the next one.
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Old 12-09-12, 11:24 AM   #9
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I haven't found a saddle that's comfortable for 100 miles so I'm sticking to 60-80, trying to get ready to do a 200K in the spring. Around here all the interesting rides involve some climbing. If you don't go out of your way it's maybe 50'/mile. If you "climb" we're talking 100'/mi. You really need to be able to climb to do most centuries in Northern California.
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Old 12-09-12, 12:03 PM   #10
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I do quite a few-both as a part of organized events with others and probably even more solo. I'm finding it harder to stay with groups later in the rides so many of mine turn into a solo ride which I'm completely fine with. In fact I like it better that way as I'm riding my own pace, stopping when I want to, etc. However there is a lot to be said about the benefits of riding in a group and covering ground faster with the same effort. The key is to find others that ride close enough to your skill level where there is more pleasure than pain.

A couple of general tips on routes that might help. I find it helpful to venture into areas I'm not familiar with for motivation sake. There is some mental incentive and excitement for exploring or going to an area that makes you ride a little further than you might otherwise. Make sure your destination takes you far enough away to where you have at least 50 miles to get back to your starting point. You will find that around 75-80 miles you are going to question why you are out there. I've seen folks take shortcuts so in some sense it's planning a route that forces you to cover the full 100 miles.

I do loops, "lollipops" and Out and Backs. The only disadvantage to an Out and Back is if the wind is prevalent and strong in one direction it can make or break the ride.

See if you can plan your route so the harder part of the route is in the first half of the ride---like going out with more headwind and coming back in with more tailwind. or the tougher hills are in the first half with less in the last half. I love centuries with the last 5-10 miles are downhill.....

You really don't need as much food as you might think---you can train yourself to do with less. I've found it's just a matter of what riding habits you create for yourself. Here lately I've been making only 1 stop and that's just to get some more fluids and to just get off the saddle for 5 minutes. Yesterday I ate a small banana and 3 peanut butter crackers while I was riding.

I enjoy the centuries and the time on the bike and know you will too.
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Old 12-09-12, 12:09 PM   #11
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I'll do a few near-100 mile rides a year as a solo rider. I carefully plan my route and plan on 3 stops for water, food and other needs. I'll also carry about 800 calories of snack food and some salt tablets.

I did these two rides earlier this year. The first was a relaxed 98 mile ride that included about 40 miles of smooth gravel paths;

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/204049929

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...Gravel-Grinder

The second ride was an as-fast-as-I-can 96 mile ride on pavement with the road bike;

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/205482726
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Old 12-09-12, 12:29 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ctg492 View Post
Do any of you do 100 mile rides for fun? by yourself? just to say "I did it"? I was not sure where to post this as it is not group or century riding, just for the reasons asked. This is my goal this spring and I am working on my route I want to take. If you did/do this, any tips please. I plan on taking lunch and snacks and water of course. I will watch the weather report too.
Lunch is bad idea unless it is quick and you eat a small amount.

Eat snacks as you ride, sip your favorite riding drink, stand up and stretch as you pedal.

Drink a canned Coke or Pepsi for an energy boost that you can feel.
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Old 12-09-12, 12:39 PM   #13
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Thanks all.
I planned on it this year,,,then I ran and my biking miles suffered. I now have my goal of 3,600 for the year within reach as I have been striving to reach it since I backed off on running. I ride 50 with no problem and come home and go about my daily business, so my goal of 100 miles just seems like 50 with a two breaks and a nice break and then 50 home with two breaks. A feather in my cap, is all it will be.
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Old 12-09-12, 01:25 PM   #14
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All of my centuries have been solo and "spur of the moment" rides. I spend the day out on my bike and truely enjoy myself often stopping to chat or just to scratch my photography itch.

Since I ride recumbents during the "Riding Season", saddle comfort etc. is not an issue hence my only limiting factor is fatigue. I figure anyone can tool along at 10 to 12 mph all day long, so that pretty much eliminates even the element of fatigue. I usually ride a couple of loops that start and finish at my house. The intersection of these loops I use for bathroom and food breaks in the comfort of my own home. Sometimes instead of stopping at home for lunch, I call my bride and we meet at a local eatery for lunch.

Don't over think or stress needlessly, it's only a bike ride. Every July I watch the Erie Canal tour pass through town. It's a 400 mile tour lasting eight days. Riders range in age from 10 to 70+. They average 50 miles a day.

So if you can sit your bike for the necessary time required, all that is remains to do is to pick a day and take your ride.

Have fun and let us know how it goes.
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Old 12-09-12, 01:38 PM   #15
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Do any of you do 100 mile rides for fun? by yourself? just to say "I did it"?
Um, yeah. 40-plus centuries in May and June this year just for fun, by myself, just to say "I did it". I got a wild hair and went out and rode, and rode, and rode. Shrug. Seemed like the thing to do.

Tips? Keep on pedaling. That and take enough food, water and emergency tools for unexpected occurences are the only TRULY USEFUL tips I've ever received or used. Not being smart-assed or anything, but 100 miles as a goal in and of itself doesn't require more "tips" than that. Now, it's a different story if you're going for speed or adding in other goals. But, I'm thoroughly convinced any reasonably fit rider on a well-maintained bike should be able to knock off 100 miles without a major strain. YMMV... but I'm betting if you've decided that you will ride 100 miles in a day, you will.

Edited to add: I disagree with 10 Wheels about "lunching". I've done it quite often - including doing "stuff your face" buffets and then jumping right back on the bike to complete whatever distance I set out to do that day..... on brevets, centuries and just "get the f** out and ride a long way". Your mileage will DEFINITELY vary.

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Old 12-09-12, 01:50 PM   #16
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Years ago when I was young and fit, I did a few 100 mile rides. I rode Richmond to Geelong a few times. I would pull into a certain diner in Geelong for a snack before riding home. Most of the trip was on small open roads on flat plains. Wind was the greatest problem. I also once rode from Richmond to Portsea. This was main suburban roads half the way, then hilly roads the rest of the way. At Portsea I stopped at the pub for a beer and a light lunch. Went home via Red Hill, where I got an icecream from the general store.
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Old 12-09-12, 01:58 PM   #17
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For fun? Of course; 90% of my 100 milers are alone and unsupported.
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Old 12-09-12, 03:26 PM   #18
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100 miles is a long way in one day. I've done one century, was not fun but glad I did it. I'm going to try and adjust my riding style for the next one.
Just like anything else, you need to prepare for it. Assuming sufficient fitness, my favorite distance is 300-400 km. But I've been rando-ing for 6+ years, and after a while your body gets used to riding all day and then some. You just need to go long on a regular basis, not just a couple times a year.

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Old 12-09-12, 04:04 PM   #19
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Yes to the first question (just for fun), usually a half-dozen times per year. Yes to the second question (by myself), because that's what I prefer. But as far as saying "I did it"; maybe the first one many decades ago, but now it's just part of who I am.

As far as tips, I think beyond the obvious need for some degree of fitness the biggest factor is knowing how to ride distance. How to stay hydrated, how to stay fueled, listening to you body, fixing any fit issues before they become a problem. IMO, gradually increasing your mileage is more for learning than for fitness.
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Old 12-09-12, 04:19 PM   #20
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I do a lot of randonneuring rides, but they're usually not solo- it's just more fun riding with other people. In the last year, a good bit of my rando riding has been on a tandem, which helps in that regard. But they definitely are for fun. Whee! Yesterday, we wore reindeer antlers on our helmets.
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Old 12-09-12, 07:05 PM   #21
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All my century rides are for fun. Most of any ride I do is for fun. The only rides I do for anything but fun are utility rides.
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Old 12-09-12, 07:43 PM   #22
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Thanks all.
I planned on it this year,,,then I ran and my biking miles suffered. I now have my goal of 3,600 for the year within reach as I have been striving to reach it since I backed off on running. I ride 50 with no problem and come home and go about my daily business, so my goal of 100 miles just seems like 50 with a two breaks and a nice break and then 50 home with two breaks. A feather in my cap, is all it will be.
Based on what you're describing you're not going to have any problem with a century. I would suggest doing a 70-80 mile ride as the next step just to have about 60-90 minutes longer in the saddle than what you'd normally do.
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Old 12-10-12, 10:13 AM   #23
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If you did/do this, any tips please.
Not sure if this is a "tip" per se, this is just how it happened to work out for me: I had done this particular century route in a group so many times that I knew it without a cue sheet, I knew where all the food/water stops were, I knew what my bailout options in case of emergency were...and so there was no real preparation required before I did it as a solo ride. I just waited for a day when the weather looked promising, when I was in shape, and when I had the time & inclination to undertake a few hours in the saddle by myself.

And it worked out great, so I would certainly recommend that as a strategy for someone else looking to do a solo century: Ride it as a non-solo century first.
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Old 12-10-12, 11:22 AM   #24
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Most of my 100 mile rides are not sponsored centuries, and I ride them alone. My best advice is to start early in the day.
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Old 12-10-12, 01:10 PM   #25
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That's really only six hours at a leisurely 16 MPH. Start early, ride two-three hours, take a short break for water/snack, another two hours ride, another 15 minute break, and the next thing you know you've done it without even trying hard.

Or I've ridden the first fifty, taken a three hour siesta and then ridden the next fifty miles.

Or be like most of the guys here and take a ride out to a favorite restaurant for pie...
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