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Old 04-27-06, 09:30 PM   #1
Banzai
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Thinking about doing a Century

In less than a month is the Salt Lake Century ride. As the title suggests, I'm thinking about doing it.

I haven't done much in the way of "training", per se, but I am a regular to semi-regular bike commuter, with a 10 mile each way route. And that has become fairly easy. I go on 30 mile or so rides on weekends about twice a month.

So. I probably need to prepare a bit more. That goes without saying, and I have little time to do it. Any advice on that front will be welcome.

I also have some equipment considerations. I currently ride on platforms...should I go clipless, and how long do you think it would take to get comfortable with them? Would I have time enough to adjust?

I commute half the time in cargo shorts. I know, not "acceptable" bike wear, but it's a handy way to carry certain things (ID, etc.) Should I consider getting some "bike shorts"?

Anyhow, any words are appreciated!
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Old 04-27-06, 10:27 PM   #2
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Look at some training programs online and see whether you can pick up at whatever they suggest for 4 weks before a century.

If they have a metric century option, I think you could do that with your current fitness level with a good training effort for 4 weeks. A full centry may be tough.

Don't forget to rest a day or two each week (or an easy ride) and this means the day before too.

However, with that said... GO FOR IT! An organized century should always have SAG vehicles etc that give you the option of bailing if you can't make it.

On the day of the ride, take your time and don't worry about finishing in a specific time, just have fun and persevere. Eat and drink often to keep your energy and hydration in line.
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Old 04-28-06, 01:32 AM   #3
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Here's my article on riding a century:

http://www.machka.net/century.htm

You might find some tips in there.
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Old 04-28-06, 06:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by banzai_f16
I also have some equipment considerations. I currently ride on platforms...should I go clipless, and how long do you think it would take to get comfortable with them? Would I have time enough to adjust?

I commute half the time in cargo shorts. I know, not "acceptable" bike wear, but it's a handy way to carry certain things (ID, etc.) Should I consider getting some "bike shorts"?
Clipless will make your pedaling more efficient and they don't take long to get used to at all. Other options that will also increase your pedaling efficiency somewhat are clips & straps or Power Grips. I have done centurys in all of them, platforms, clips & straps, power grips and clipless. Whatever works best for you.

Same goes for clothing. Cargo shorts are fine...you might want to find some with flat seams or get a pair of padded undies or lycra shorts to wear underneath on a long ride like a century. There are also MTB style shorts that have padded lycra inner liners. Again wear whatever works best for you. With the right saddle and enough time in the saddle to toughen up your butt, some of us don't even wear padded shorts at all for normal riding, though for a century I kinda like some padding.

You can ride a century with no problem and no big-time training schedule. Basically just ride as much as you can and try to increase your distance until you can do 50-60 miles a week or two before the century ride. It isn't a race, it's a ride. Ride your own paceand have fun - no need to follow the herd when it comes to riding style, clothing or equipment.
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Old 04-28-06, 09:54 AM   #5
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Sounds like you have a good enough base. Just try to get in at least a couple of 50 mile rides. Perhaps a 60 miler. Also be aware of the weather. Don't know how hot it will be out there in a month. Finally if you can find out the general route check it out for climbs. Sometimes it is not miles but hills that do riders that are trying 'longer' rides. You might also try doing a longish ride and then a short 5-10 mile ride later. Almost all century rides have a lunch stop and if you are hurting you can take a long rest, but it is good to know you are able to start back up.
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Old 04-28-06, 10:04 AM   #6
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The century ride- a grand tradition of bicycle riding dating back to the 19th century!

Yes, go for it, you will be amazed at your sense of accomplishment, and will be in good company if your are doing it as an organized event!

My one bit of advice- don't stop eating, eat all the way to the finish line.
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Old 04-28-06, 01:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
Basically just ride as much as you can and try to increase your distance until you can do 50-60 miles a week or two before the century ride.
I'd say I average that if I commute only 3 of 5 days a week. Of course, the daunting thing is doing a week's + of riding in only one day.
I'm going to go try to do a metric century on my own tomorrow, hopefully.

Thanks for the words of advice so far.

While we're at it, I was looking at clipless...what's the difference between a "touring" shoe and a "mountain" shoe. (I think I want a shoe I can easily walk around in. I've seen guys attempting to walk in their "road" shoes...it is, needless to say, comical at times.)
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Old 04-28-06, 01:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banzai_f16
In less than a month is the Salt Lake Century ride. As the title suggests, I'm thinking about doing it.

I haven't done much in the way of "training", per se, but I am a regular to semi-regular bike commuter, with a 10 mile each way route. And that has become fairly easy. I go on 30 mile or so rides on weekends about twice a month.

Anyhow, any words are appreciated!
Good luck....
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Old 04-28-06, 01:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banzai_f16
I'd say I average that if I commute only 3 of 5 days a week. Of course, the daunting thing is doing a week's + of riding in only one day.
I'm going to go try to do a metric century on my own tomorrow, hopefully.

Thanks for the words of advice so far.

While we're at it, I was looking at clipless...what's the difference between a "touring" shoe and a "mountain" shoe. (I think I want a shoe I can easily walk around in. I've seen guys attempting to walk in their "road" shoes...it is, needless to say, comical at times.)
I didn't write that well. You want to work up to a 60+ mile ride just before your century ride...when I re-read it looked like I was saying to average that in a week.

I have never had 'touring' shoes...but I imagine they are no different than MTB shoes, but without the toe spikes and such. I have Shimano SH-021s, no problem walking around in them.
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Old 04-28-06, 01:50 PM   #10
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Old 04-28-06, 02:32 PM   #11
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In less than a month is the Salt Lake Century ride. As the title suggests, I'm thinking about doing it.

I haven't done much in the way of "training", per se, but I am a regular to semi-regular bike commuter, with a 10 mile each way route. And that has become fairly easy. I go on 30 mile or so rides on weekends about twice a month.

So. I probably need to prepare a bit more. That goes without saying, and I have little time to do it. Any advice on that front will be welcome.

No need for any preparation except for the butt. Do a 4 hour non- stop ride to get it attuned. That will also get the milage up so no need for any more- In any case you only have a month so bit late if you are not ready.

I also have some equipment considerations. I currently ride on platforms...should I go clipless, and how long do you think it would take to get comfortable with them? Would I have time enough to adjust?

Whatever you ride at present- is the way I would do the ride. Clipless would help any rider, but can take some getting used to and NEW shoes will take some wearing in. I would not take the chance before the ride but do get them soon after.

I commute half the time in cargo shorts. I know, not "acceptable" bike wear, but it's a handy way to carry certain things (ID, etc.) Should I consider getting some "bike shorts"?

Lycra or cycling shorts are more comfortable and as to carrying things in the posckets- I take it you do not have a cycling top either. Don't want to wear Lycra- then stay with what you are comfortable with but a good quality cycling specific top is a a god send. Wicks away the sweat and comfortable.
Anyhow, any words are appreciated

Points to remember- Don't get pulled into a fast group. Find a steady rider that is around your normal speed and stay with him (Or her) If they lose you- find another rider. You will be doing a longer ride than you have done before,so no racing up hills, no pulling wheelies to show how good you are, take no risks with traffic. Carbo load before the ride for a week with plenty of pasta- rice- bread- potatoesand the best bit -Sticky buns. Take a variety of snacks with you that are Carb loaded- Cereal bars- dried fruit- cake- biscuits etc. Drink plenty on the ride- Take two bottles or a camelback and ensure you drink one bottle each hour- more if you can. Dehydration will hit you if you do not drink enough.

On top of that- enjoy the ride. Sounds daunting doing a century, but all it is - is a long ride.

On May the 20th, I will be doing my 100 mile ride. Bit different to yours as mine is offroad. Plenty of hills, rough tracks all the way and only 15 hours to do it in. I have been training all year for this, and training for next year will be starting around 1 week later. You sound like a youngster so you can do it- I am an older rider and in fact- for the last two years I have been the oldest rider on it- So if I can do it- then so can you.
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Old 04-28-06, 04:35 PM   #12
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Mountain style shoes have a thick sole, so that the cleat can be recessed into the sole. They're known as "walkable", but typically have really stiff soles (the whole point of having a cycling shoe), so you wouldn't want to walk far.

Road shoes lack that sole, and you therefore walk on the cleat. How hard that is depends upon the cleat style. Look cleats are renowed for being very slippery. I use SPD-SL cleats which have little rubber bumpers that you walk on, and they aren't slippery at all. I have walked 1/4 mile in them before, but I wouldn't recommend it...
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Old 04-28-06, 05:37 PM   #13
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I can't tell you how hard you will find a century because that is an individual thing. I also can't tell you for sure how you will fare with going clipless. But I can tell you that clipless will help you a lot on a century. Especially on climbs, etc.

Honestly, riding a supported century, with your riding sounds very do-able to me. I'd get the clipless yesterday so you are accustomed to them by the big day.
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Old 04-28-06, 07:56 PM   #14
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I can't tell you how hard you will find a century because that is an individual thing. I also can't tell you for sure how you will fare with going clipless. But I can tell you that clipless will help you a lot on a century. Especially on climbs, etc.

Honestly, riding a supported century, with your riding sounds very do-able to me. I'd get the clipless yesterday so you are accustomed to them by the big day.
This is an excellent point. Whatever you plan to use/wear get it now! whether shorts, bar tape, socks, or whatever... get them now. Don't try anything new on the day of the event or immediately before.

Start experimenting with foods to see what you handle best on a long ride also.
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Old 04-28-06, 08:38 PM   #15
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Okay...I just bought the shoes. Tomorrow I will ride the bike up to the store and get the pedals. Which brings me to my decision.

I'm very much leaning towards the Crank Bros Egg beaters. (By the by, I did get a shoe with a recessed cleat. It's a Specialized shoe that's also designed for walking, so the sole, while stiff, is not super stiff.) However, recommendations are again welcome.

Continued advice on anything else concerning a century ride is also more than welcome. I don't want to derail my entire thread into a shoe debate.

Alright, I'm off to search the forums for shoe ideas.

Oh, and thanks for the words about the food, dgregory. I'm not too worried about that though, as I have a fairly cast-iron stomach. I think it comes both with the job and my experience at survival training.
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