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Old 09-21-12, 09:12 PM   #1
hyegeek
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Just finished my second century

I successfully completed a century (almost 102 miles) on my trek sawyer. Most of the ride was on gravel and much of that was washboarded. I made better time than I expected (8 hours and 20 minutes on the bike).

I did my first century last July on the same bike, but on a mostly flat MUP. It was part of my training for today's ride. I did that one in just under 6 hours. The gravel and hills added quite a bit to the challenge and fun. In some ways, today's ride seemed shorter.

Thanks to what I learned on the first one (water is very important!) and lots of training (36mile round trip commuting to work) this ride went better than I had hoped. While I'm tired and cramping a bit, I managed to finish strong. Last year, I did a metric century without enough training and, while I finished, I certainly did not finish strong.
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Old 09-21-12, 09:23 PM   #2
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Bravo Zulu, keep up the good work!
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Old 09-21-12, 09:29 PM   #3
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Now get on your cheap bike and give me a double century. You walking can of Crisco!!

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Old 09-22-12, 10:06 PM   #4
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Good job, and you even feel up to typing about it! Is it an organized event or did you go off on your own? I don't know if the local (Salem area) bike clubs ever go on gravel roads. I like them for the lower traffic levels, but it sucks when cars do go by. It's worth it to me.
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Old 09-23-12, 07:02 AM   #5
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This was a solo (supported by my wife). I've only done one group ride and in that, I ended up between groups of people. I guess I tend to go at my own pace. The lack of cars is one reason I go for gravel and had a lot to do with the route I chose. The other reason I ride a lot of gravel is, if I didn't, there'd not be many places to ride around here.
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Old 09-23-12, 07:12 AM   #6
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Any tips on gravel riding? I slid out on some gravel at the fairground, it was about 3 inches deep though.
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Old 09-23-12, 08:15 AM   #7
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3" of gravel is what took me down about six weeks ago. I ended up with 13 stitches and a bruised rib. My advice for gravel is don't try to ride through 3" deep gravel.

To try to be more helpful, the main thing I watch for in gravel is my turns. I try to not have any sharp turns and I try to leave room to straighten out if the wheels start to slip. The above mentioned crash happened on a turn where I was trying to avoid loose gravel (fresh chip seal) on the road and ended up riding on 3" of gravel that looked like it was paved. I was down before I knew there was a problem.

Even on straight stretches, deep gravel can do bad things to you, when I see deep loose gravel ahead I try to make sure I'm going straight and I stop peddling and I have a death grip on the handle bars.

The other main dangerous thing I run into on gravel is washboards. These are usually only dangerous when you are going down hill and high speeds. It turns out the bike brakes are ineffective when the wheels are in the are.
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Old 09-23-12, 08:39 AM   #8
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Congrats ... have you been to the Long Distance forum yet? Maybe you'd like the Century-A-Month challenge there, starting next January.
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Old 09-23-12, 08:46 AM   #9
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I have been in that forum and decided my exploits were more in line with this one. While I have been slightly tempted by the Century-A-Month challenge, even if I was not on gravel roads, the climate here makes it difficult to be able to ride 100 miles over the course of a month, during the winter, let alone finding time/roads that would allow for 100 miles in a day.
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Old 09-23-12, 08:51 AM   #10
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If you're not up for a CAM, we've also got a simple Century Challenge ... just see how many centuries you can do this year.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...tury-Challenge
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Old 09-23-12, 09:11 AM   #11
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That sounds like a fun way to keep in shape all year long. I'll have to look into it.
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