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  1. #1
    Beicwyr Hapus Gerryattrick's Avatar
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    Centuries are not for me.

    When the winter was over I thought that I would aim to double my number of centuries this year making it two in total!

    I've had a good spring and summer's riding, averaging around 100 miles a week, and have done several 50 mile rides, but I've found that I've absolutely no enthusiasm for riding a century. My 50 mile rides are great, varying between 3 and 5+ hours riding time depending on terrain/enthusiasm and I can do them in a morning or an afternoon and still have time for life out of the saddle. I believe I've got stronger this summer and have cancelled rotator cuff surgery because the symptoms have eased substantially.

    I don't think it's a lack of fitness as I still have riding left in the legs after 50 miles and am not saddle sore, it's just that I lose a bit of interest after pedalling for more than four hours in a day and just want to finish the ride.

    I've decided that I'm not going to set myself any more goals in terms of speed or distance but only in enjoyment.

    Absolutely no criticism of those who do target speed and centuries as it clearly gives them enjoyment, and I will continue to read and enjoy the stories of their rides, but I realise at last it's not for me.

    YMMV literally.

  2. #2
    It's as easy as riding a dannwilliams's Avatar
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    Century ride was one of my first big goals, along with a weeklong loaded tour. I have done both, several times. But I agree with you, I am riding for fitness and enjoyment so I do not feel the need to push myself to doing centuries unless I happen to be on a very enjoyable ride and just keep riding. I know I can do them but no longer need to prove to myself that I can do them. My best rides are in the 50 - 70 mile range, love them!
    "It doesn't get easier, you just go faster."

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I suppose the clubbiness of a whole lot of people socially gathered in 1 place to do them is attractive.. did a couple , .. decades ago ..

    I preferred Multi month making it up as I go along tours, managed just a few . but they were fun .

    Amsterdam NL to Warsaw PL & back, .. SW Ireland to NE Scotland.

    string together a bunch of 50 mile days and it can get you quite a ways..

    particularly throwing in some Ferry, bus & train connections..

  4. #4
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    One of my colleagues feels the same way. He likes metric centuries, and that's it.

    To be honest, with a few exceptions, I kinda stopped caring about milestones like that. I might want to ride to a particular destination (a pass, city, restaurant) and back as a goal, but whether the mileage is 40 instead of 50, 78 instead of 100 ... who cares? Heck, that there are 5280 feet in a mile is kinda arbitrary anyway. Or for that matter, 12 inches in a foot.
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  5. #5
    Beicwyr Hapus Gerryattrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
    One of my colleagues feels the same way. He likes metric centuries, and that's it.

    To be honest, with a few exceptions, I kinda stopped caring about milestones like that. I might want to ride to a particular destination (a pass, city, restaurant) and back as a goal, but whether the mileage is 40 instead of 50, 78 instead of 100 ... who cares? Heck, that there are 5280 feet in a mile is kinda arbitrary anyway. Or for that matter, 12 inches in a foot.

    I know that centuries really are for you, and I always enjoy your ride reports - especially the photos of that brilliant scenery in your area. Who knows, if I lived there I might even change my mind.

  6. #6
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerryattrick View Post
    I know that centuries really are for you, and I always enjoy your ride reports - especially the photos of that brilliant scenery in your area. Who knows, if I lived there I might even change my mind.
    Maybe you just need better scenery . . . kind of sounds like you just get bored after 50 miles. You don't say where you're located ("In a god place") but why not try the Eastern Sierras of California?

    Approved and recommended by Biker395 (and I would agree) the mountain (and lake) scenery is amazing and wonderful (as you know from Vic's photos). Southern Utah is pretty excellent in that regard too!

    If those places are too far away for you, maybe you could pick out some amazing scenery areas that are closer?

    If centuries are just too darn short for you, check out the Eastern Sierra Double Century. Biker395 and I have ridden it several times; always an excellent adventure! Planet Ultra | Cycling Events and Tours Eastern Sierra Double Century

    Oh, and don't get too bogged down in "life out of the saddle." That can really take away from your cycling enjoyment !

    Rick / OCRR

  7. #7
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerryattrick View Post
    it's just that I lose a bit of interest after pedalling for more than four hours in a day and just want to finish the ride. YMMV literally.
    It got dangerous for me, I stopped paying attention and got a little reckless. Twice I almost slammed into a parked car - that was enough of a lesson. I think I've found that after about 3 hours on a bike and my mind starts wandering off, not a good scenario. Scenery doesn't really do it for me, seen one vista ... seen them all. I am jealous of those that can stay engaged.

  8. #8
    Beicwyr Hapus Gerryattrick's Avatar
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    Rick, regular riding in that area would be tricky for me as I live in Wales, but I know what you mean about the south west states as I've travelled there a fair bit over the years - sadly before I got back into cycling.

    Wales is a beautiful place to ride, but it is possibly true that the big wide spaces you have over in the south-west (plus the weather) does encourage longer rides.

  9. #9
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    GerryA-sounds like you've found your niche and what you really enjoy. Good for you! Just curious but have you tried longer miles with a group? I've found doing that to be pretty enjoyable...and possibly not as hard depending on the route and the group.
    Ride your Ride!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Jinkster's Avatar
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    I've discovered that with many things in life there's a fine line between achieving set goals and ruining a loved activity....as much as physical conditioning can become bodily abuse...the mental aspects can decay as well...my suggestion?....3 half centuries beat centuries by 50 miles every time...and often times consistency beats quantity.
    "An Old School Fool With A Lot of Miles To Go To Get There!"

  11. #11
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I worked my way up to riding longer distances, but what really got me involved in doing it on a regular basis was having people to ride with. That makes it a social event as well as an athletic endeavor.

    One reason I started riding in the first place is that it was exercise that I enjoyed, and that's still true a hundred miles out.

    If I had to sit in a house and pedal an indoor bike, I'd probably have trouble getting motivated to get past the 10 minute mark.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  12. #12
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
    One of my colleagues feels the same way. He likes metric centuries, and that's it.
    Heck, that there are 5280 feet in a mile is kinda arbitrary anyway. Or for that matter, 12 inches in a foot.
    All my centuries are metric going forward, and have been for 2 years.
    I prefer to think of them as 500 furlong rides, or my cinco(?) century.
    As we age, we appreciate other points of perspective to find gratification.
    ex - every day smilin from the right side of the dirt's OK. imo
    '81 Austro Daimler Olympian, '86 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, '87 DeRosa Professional, '99 Calfee TetraPro, '03(?) Macalu Cirrus, '04 Tallerico, '97 Co-Motion Tandem

  13. #13
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    Kudos for finding your comfort zone. Enjoying the effort can help keep cycling fresh and exhilarating. For some it also requires beautiful scenery.

    I'm one of those nuts who enjoys pounding out miles for no other reason than getting them done. Sucking the rear wheel of a superior rider in front of me for mile after mile after mile as my heart rate soars and the legs start to burn keeps cycling fresh and exhilarating for me.

    Ride the distances that keep you happy.

  14. #14
    Beicwyr Hapus Gerryattrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe View Post
    GerryA-sounds like you've found your niche and what you really enjoy. Good for you! Just curious but have you tried longer miles with a group? I've found doing that to be pretty enjoyable...and possibly not as hard depending on the route and the group.
    A couple of local groups tend to do 40-50 mile rides which, from experience, can be very enjoyable, but I still prefer the spontaneity of solo rides. Some of the organised clubs do 80-100 mile rides, but frankly they are out of my league - I don't even have a full road bike.

  15. #15
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Personally I don't really give a toss how far I go. Sometimes I still ride 100 miles in a day, but I almost never do organised rides, sportives, that sort of thing. If I'm out, and enjoying it, and want to keep riding, that's what I do.

    A lot of it is about time, for me. In the right surroundings, I'm happy spending fve or six hours on the bike. If that takes me a hundred miles, great. If it doesn't, also great.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  16. #16
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
    One of my colleagues feels the same way. He likes metric centuries, and that's it...
    Gotta agree with your bud. I've done a bunch of metric centuries this year, and have loved them all. It's a nice distance that does not trash me for the rest of that day. Long enough for a good, honest workout, but not so long as to take up the whole day. I just don't seem to have the enthusiasm for imperial centuries this year.
    Deut 6:5

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  17. #17
    Senior Member linnefaulk's Avatar
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    I had that goal to ride a century when I was younger. I made it as far as riding the MS150 which is 75 for 2 days.
    I don't have that goal anymore especially when I barely manage to do 25 miles.
    sharon

  18. #18
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerryattrick View Post
    I live in Wales. Wales is a beautiful place to ride, but it is possibly true that the big wide spaces you have over in the south-west (plus the weather) does encourage longer rides.
    My wife and I enjoyed a holiday in Wales a couple of years ago and while we did hire bikes for some short rides in Cardiff (mostly along the bay area) we didn't get out into the countryside on proper road bikes.

    It is a very beautiful area, you are correct! Far more green than here in the S.W. of the U.S.! We would like to go back there sometime, even if the town names are difficult for us Americans to pronounce . . .

    Rick / OCRR

  19. #19
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post

    It is a very beautiful area, you are correct! Far more green than here in the S.W. of the U.S.! We would like to go back there sometime, even if the town names are difficult for us Americans to pronounce . . .

    Rick / OCRR
    Not just you Americans!

    And there's a reason it's so green...
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  20. #20
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    Sorry I'm not 50 yet, but.... I'm in the camp that I couldn't care less to ride such distances. I've only started last year on a bike trail and started on the road this year. I've done 36 miles to date and I don't care to ride any further than that. I don't care to ride 50 miles let alone 100 miles.

    About 2.5 hours is all I can stand to be on the bike. That would roughly be about 25-30 miles. I started for getting a 1-1.5 hour of exercise and found it to be enjoyable that I ride a lot just to ride. I just don't care to go beyond about 2.5 hours.
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

  21. #21
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
    Sorry I'm not 50 yet, but.... I'm in the camp that I couldn't care less to ride such distances. I've only started last year on a bike trail and started on the road this year. I've done 36 miles to date and I don't care to ride any further than that. I don't care to ride 50 miles let alone 100 miles.

    About 2.5 hours is all I can stand to be on the bike. That would roughly be about 25-30 miles. I started for getting a 1-1.5 hour of exercise and found it to be enjoyable that I ride a lot just to ride. I just don't care to go beyond about 2.5 hours.
    Doesn't sound as if you enjoy it all that much. That's fine, it's not for everyone. But it may change: many people find that the more they ride, the more they want to ride. And anyway, as time goes by you're very likely to find that your 2.5 hour ride has taken you Further than you expected...

    To each his own. I absolutely agree that how far you go doesn't matter much.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    At 79 I still have not done a century. Would like to. Just that it would be pretty much an all day affair for me.
    On Monday I did 65 miles and was out of the house from 10:40 am to 5:30 p.m. That included a stop for a sandwich and later, a gelato. One tuna sandwich, one-half a banana, the gelato and two bottles of water.
    I enjoy different scenery and seem to have the endurance. I did 81 miles a few years ago. Monday I was getting a little cramping in the left thigh so walked up one short hill near home. Probably should have drunk more water.
    The big problem is being away from my wife so long and the possibility that I might have to call for help.So far have solved my problems (flats) on my own and Monday I took along a chain break tool and a few connector links. Had to get through some crummy construction debris on the way out which slowed me down.

    Had kind of a funny thing happen on the way home. Around 4:30 I called my wife to let her know I would not be much longer. She asked (rather irritatedly) if I had tried to ride my age. I was explaining that I had not and suddenly there was no sound on the phone. After a minute I hung up thinking "wow, I am in for it now. She's not even speaking to me." From there on I took it more slowly figuring there was no point in hurrying home to get hollered at or worse, not spoken to. When I did get home I found that while we were speaking on the phone the electricity went out! She was only slightly miffed and we were both amused.
    Last edited by Sculptor7; 09-11-14 at 02:53 PM.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member camelopardalis's Avatar
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    I've been riding sketchily for the last two years. I set a target of 100+ miles per week just three months ago which included a 50+ mile ride on Saturdays. The 50+ ride has now increased to 70+ with a corresponding increase in total weekly miles. Now, I want to do 100mi Saturday rides but I don't have the speed to keep up with my riding group. It's no fun to get dropped alone 50 miles away from home. This means next target is to increase speed (or find a slower riding group).

    As Chasm54 says, the more you ride, the more you want to ride. At least for some of us.

  24. #24
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    Yeah I've found that 100 miles per week is kinda low mileage for comfortable centuries even after squeezing intervals into your routine. Personally I've had so much to do this season that I skipped the local flat September century myself until next year. Now that I'm retired I'll have the time to do it up right beforehand next year and not have the sags hovering over me like buzzards.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

  25. #25
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    I have my first Century coming up and I'm already reading about the stage beyond, a 200km. It's odd really as that's generally not how I am. But with biking, I'm fearful that if I don't set myself ongoing targets I might fall off the wagon and start riding less and less. I don't know exactly why I'm having these insecurities as I'm enjoying the riding very much, but I plan to keep pushing until I find the sweet spot. If that turns out to be 30-40 mile durations, then so be it..

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