Last edited by jsjcat; 06-16-14 at 08:48 AM. Reason: spelling
I rode 4 centuries in April alone. Just like most people, when I started riding I had no interest in a century ride because it seemed so alien to me. The more I rode, the further my distances increased till it started to make sense to at least try it.
I have to admit there was some serious soul searching on a few of the century rides. I'd say "man I'm an idiot, I'll never do this again," but I was back again the next week.
I did a solo century a few weeks ago and it was one of the best ride experiences I've ever had. I plan on doing another one this weekend on the Chief Ladiga/Silver Comet trails in Alabama and Georgia.
Our Grand Tour training ride Saturday was almost a century (96.1 miles). We did have a fair amount of climbing, 1759 ft. It replaced our usual GT training ride from Flagstaff to Clints Well, which has less climbing but the altitude is higher
Bike Ride Profile | Bull Shifter Clints Well ride near Flagstaff | Times and Records | Strava
Our version of the Skull Vall
Bike Ride Profile | Bull Shifter Grand Tour Training Ride near Congress | Times and Records | Strava
I cant say I have ever ridden an unplanned century. I have ridden several on my own, in which part were with the club ride then I rode more miles to make it to 90 or 100+
I've done two so far. This last November Bike Ride Profile | 440 Days from MI to 100mi. near Oceanside | Times and Records | Strava, and this in March Bike Ride Profile | 101 miles near Solvang | Times and Records | Strava. I am planning this in September, but have to lose 20+lbs before attempting a century with this much climbing. Giro di San Diego Granfondo ? The Gran Fondo Bike Ride
As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.
Well drat! My longest ride this year has been 26 miles. T'was a long winter this year past and I've had a late start on the bike. It also seems as if every year it takes a little longer for the legs to get into shape. That being said, I've been getting the itch to do a century once again and reading this thread has only increased the desire to scratch!
Nice ride Dude and good pics.
It's a bucket list item for me though I have my doubts I will ever do one. The longest ride I've done is 42 miles and I can it without to much difficulty but it is hard to see more than doubling that without major discomfort in my knees, neck and butt .
I currently cannot ride regularly enough or long enough to start to work towards a 100 miles. I can generally only ride 1/week from 2-3hrs max and 1 commute/week 16 miles or so round trip. Between work and work at home there is no more time than this right now
How timely of a thread. May 17th I did a century in two rides, 97 miles Spokane WA Tour de Cure then 4.2 miles on a local trail just to help my buddy complete his first ever century day. It was partly rolling and a mite windy for where it was but otherwise not real epic for me.
Yesterday morning woke up to a normal gusty northwesterly wind of 15-20 mph. Left the house right before 9 am and turned my bike into the wind only to get a half mile and turn back around to grab my YJA, a good thing too. The night before I had driven part of the route planned and left a couple cache gallons of water on either side of the passes(explained later). Knowing what was in store for me I took my time into the wind, and uphill as well to the first summit at 19.3 miles. A minor summit on US 97, Bettas pass (not listed anywhere as a pass but...) Then downhill where the wind did not really matter and continue North where the mtns. provided shelter from the prevailing winds. Past liberty and up over Swauk Pass. Due to the cool temps and not drinking water very fast I rode right by my first water cache. Stopped on top and ate a pack of fig newtons. Continued North down hill in the high gear to my second water cache at the intersection of 97 and Old Blewett. Stopped long enough to fill 2.5 bottles then kept descending to the village of Dryden @ mile 58, 4 hours pedal time. The stop was at a mini mart. Decided to have one of those minimart microwave burritos, first one I'd had in years, lots of years. Hard to believe I used to eat those often. While there I was given kudos for my helmet vent tan lines by a patron.
Back on the bike, Southbound and down.... err I mean up. Next 20 miles uphill with 2970' climb. Stopped at my water cache and topped off my bottles, emptied the rest of the water and put the jug in my string backpack. this time a different route up over Old Blewett and mostly single lane road with nearly no traffic, saw 4 vehicles I think and 2 cyclists going the other way. Paved with lots of pot holes some gravel fallen rocks etc. Paused briefly at the summit. Down the North side somewhat carefully, no speed records that day. Due to the wind and mild temps rode right by my first water cache for a second time. I think my gallon will be there where I left it the next time I venture on this ride or actually part of it. in possibly two weeks. Back onto US 97 and onward I go. For a few miles I was into a very strong headwind. Stopped by my favorite cafe hoping to get a slice of their awesome homemade pie but they were closed. Ate a whole pack of shok blocks instead. There was so much traffic that when i hit the jct of SR970 and US97 I had to wait for a break to turn left to continue South and the short 2ish mile climb back to the top of Bettas once again. Had a nice strong side wind on that climb. Short pause at the top then down the other side with a good tail wind and occasional side wind. Big gear time and just roll pedal roll. Now is as good of time as any to mention that US 97 has fresh chipseal from near Ellensburg to the intersection of SR970. They did not seal the shoulders and they've not done a very good job of sweeping the gravel yet. I was just somewhat nervous after putting on a new tire Saturday night due to a sidewall separation on my Armadillo rear tire, new tire was not an Armadillo and a 23. Finally got to a road where I could turn off the hwy and leave the rocky shoulder of 97. Plus a nice stiff tailwind. My first solo century+ will not be my last.
The ride ended at 112.3 miles with 8:29:00 pedal time, 7812 feet. Strava data.
Based on how I feel today I know for certain that I am prepared for a one day STP in July.
Sir Mark, Knight of Sufferlandria
We didn't start road biking until June last year. I wish we could have begun this journey sooner but now we have time and our daughter is out of college and married. Maybe that's why we see so many middle aged people in this sport. Met some fine folks and a few turds but that's life.
I just celebrated my 72nd birthday by riding a 9600 feet of climbing 100mi SoCal ride. I didn't train for it but do try to ride around 200 mi. per week with around 7000 feet of climbing. Keeps me young. I have to admit I talked my wife into sagging for me so we had a nice picnic lunch in the mountains and plenty of ice cold "coke" and ice cold bottles of Heed "on demand".
I rode my first century of this year last Wednesday on BRAG (Bicycle Ride Across Georgia). After the fist 2 days riding 71 and 75 miles, Wednesday was a layover day meaning we stayed in the same spot Tuesday and Wednesday nights, so it is easier to do the century than if we had to pack up our gear to be transported to the next town. It also means you have to overcome the temptation to sleep late and take a day off from riding, but I chose to get up and go.
I had one friend, Charles, from our camping group who rode with me at the start. We were a pretty good match with him being a little stronger on the flats and me a little stronger on the climbs. We rode together for the first 26 miles to the second rest stop where a group of about 7 of our younger and faster friends caught up with us after their later start.
We joined our friends who drug us along a bit faster for the next 10 miles where they elected to skip a rest stop. Charles stayed with them, but I decided their pace was a little to fast for me to maintain all day, so I stopped long enough to refill a water bottle and grab a quick snack.
From there I rode alone part of the time and occasionally joined groups who I caught or who caught me. I stopped at all the rest stops enjoying the socializing with people I knew from various rides and meeting new people. I was in no hurry and liked the talking and the rural scenery.
Along the final 16 mile straight and gently rolling segment, the weather began to change from sunny with bright blue sky with willowy white clouds to grey and overcast with dark, threatening clouds. I passed a couple of riders who had stopped at stores to wait out the inevitable storm and a SAG driver stopped to let me know a big one like had hit us in camp the night before was on the way, but I tried to press on as long as I could. I finally stopped at a trucking company to stand under their canopy, but accepted the receptionist's offer to come inside to wait it out. Soon a hard rain driven by strong and swirling wind began. I guess I should have spent less time at the stops.
After about a half hour I noticed the winds had subsided, but a light and steady rain remained, along with a dark sky. I headed back out on the bike, determined to finish the 7 miles remaining. Four different SAG vehicle drivers offered to drive me in and I noticed several riders had taken the offer, but the worst of the storm had passed and danged if a little rain was going to stop me that close to finishing a century. It actually felt good to be so determined and press on when I could have quit. It was not so fun when I heard the rolling distant thunder which seemed to be getting louder and closer. But I finished and I got my prize, the century bandana that BRAG always provides for those who complete their century rides. I have a drawer full of them and now one more.
Last edited by BluesDawg; 06-16-14 at 07:54 PM.
The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.
I say congrats to anyone, DS included, who does a century! It's quite the thing, you know. Yeah, I know, it's just an arbitrary number of an arbitrary unit of distance. But still, you can say you did it! And then do another, and another.
Since you asked... I did an unsupported, solo century a month ago. Biggest problem I have is time and opportunity, so it may be the only one I do this year. Do some math. With a moving average of 12.5mph it will take 8hrs, not counting stopping time. So you need a reasonably early start. You can't go too fast or you'll run out of energy, and you can't go too slow or you'll run out of daylight. You need to eat frequently, and drink plenty of water and replenish your salt. Do that stuff right, and if you can ride 50 then you can ride 100.
For my last century I knew I wanted to try. I knew roughly what route I wanted to ride anyway, figured it would add up if I took the long way around some of the places I knew well. A few conversations with folks along the way added to the total time, but that was good resting time too. I rode one of my faster, lighter bikes, still quite vintage, with 2x5 gearing and sew-up tires.
Preparation? None other than being in shape and have done a fair amount of riding.
Real cyclists use toe clips.
With great bikes comes great responsibility.
Some may say a century is just another ride but in my experience success leads to more success so I'm careful to plan for rides that
Grimly determined to have fun.