I've wanted to take on a Century since I was 15yo, I'm now going to be 34 and still haven't done one. So I've always felt like this is something that I've never perused hard enough.
When I was younger I used to love cycling, I raced BMX growing up and rode a BMX bike everywhere. I even built my own BMX bikes from bare frames. I used to see club roady riders zipping through my neighborhood and would try to chase them down and pace them. In my mind, back then, I perceived their pace to be somewhat superhuman, and it intrigued me to want to be able to run with them.
I eventually learned that one of my neighbors was a club member, and I was eventually convinced to go on a few club rides. I bought a used steel rigid Panasonic mtn bike from another neighbor, "my first shifter bike" completely rebuilt it, borrowed a helmet, added a computer, and preceded to hit a wall at 15 miles at only a 12mph pace. My first wall, I literally remember my legs completely not working, and laying there in the grass obliterated! Some advice later, I replaced the knobbies with some Continental road tires, added some pedal cages, and managed to eventually eek up to a 30 mile ride before I received my drivers license, started smoking and for some reason let my fitness go to hell and my bikes rust.
But that elusive century has always been in the back of my mind for some reason.
Four years ago, me and my wife bought a couple bikes to go on some short rides together. The roads are pretty gravely around the house "we live in the country" so sadly a road bike didn't seem appropriate, so I bought a mint condition, brand new, never ridden, CAAD3 Cannondale M900 rigid from a local bike shop. "Century still in the back of my mind." I figured maybe this bike could do it all. I added a bottle cage, computer, and a pump, and sadly only put about 200 miles on it with our busy schedule.
Last year, I replaced the tires with some heavy but durable kevlar 1.5 road tires. And logged maybe 50 miles total... Procrastination on top of a busy schedule.
Well, I forgot to mention, I quit smoking now going on 7 years. I started jogging "occasionally" with my wife, started weight training, and am feeling somewhat fit again finally. More so this year than I have in a long time at least. I've gone from a pudgy195lbs last fall, down to a comfortable and solid 180 now. I still have a long way to go though, not in weight loss. I'm comfortable with my weight. But in conditioning.
Last week we went on an 11 mile ride on a rail to trail 45 minutes from us. I was a little tired at the end, but we pushed a headwind pretty hard on the return trip. Overall felt pretty good, better than I did on the same trail when we rode it last year. Got passed by a couple roadies in full garb along the way.
The next day while cruising Facebook, I see a Strava post from an old friend showing him completing a 35 mile ride with a 15mph average pace. Funny, he posted a 25mile ride the week before? Then turn on the TV to see a bicycle race is on. Seems like there's hints pushing me to go ride everywhere ..m.o.t.i.v.a.t.i.o.n?
With said imbued motivation, I went out two nights ago and clicked off another 11 miles by myself. Climbed a few small hills, faced some decent headwind, and came home surprisingly feeling pretty good and not at all tired.
Ended up finding a deal yesterday on Shimano stuff at up to 50% off, and ordered some SPD pedals and shoes. My first clipless pedals!! Hey my birthday's coming up.
Anyway, hope this didn't come off too dorky or boring. I wanted to share my journey to 100, and I'm hoping by keeping a blog that it helps keep me accountable to train. I really want to hit this milestone and start back into cycling again. I just have to overcome my greatest obstacle...me. If I'm able to accomplish this goal, I may even buy myself that road bike finally.
Tomorrow we're going over to the rail to trails route again, hoping to push at least 15 miles this time around. The local Century is at the beginning of Sept. I don't think I can get up to it in such a short time this year, but I would really like to by next year.