I began commuting to work about 4 weeks ago, riding my bike 4 out of 5 days each week and usually once on the weekend. It's 12 miles round trip, and on average I do a total of around 60 miles per week. The more I ride, the more interested I get in cycling. And I'm interested in doing a century ride. I am not the most athletic guy in the world, though.
Typically my coworkers and some friends laugh when they hear about me working out. They laughed more when I started commuting to work. But bring up the idea of doing a century, and even my best friends say things like "Brad, I really don't think you should try doing that. You're not an athletic person. Don't kill yourself." I'm not a big guy. I'm 5'11" and weighed around 214lbs back in October '05 and got down to around 200 in early January of this year before injuring my knee. After staying off it for quite some time (with mixed results) and heading back to 204lbs, I started working out again in May and then biking in June. I'm not down to around 190-191lbs. My speed is not quick. Maybe 15mph on flat ground without any wind resistance. Usually somewhere between 8 and 13mph would be my best guess (no computer on the bike).
I ride a 2006 Marin San Anselmo which will soon have Shimano A520 clipless pedals on it, fenders, and a rear rack (for commuting).
I plan on hopefully riding in the Heatstroke 100 in Nebraska in late August (http://www.greatplainsbikeclub.org/H...e100-2006.pdf). In the meantime, I'm going to try and do some longer trail rides and join a club ride or two. Any recommendations to help out? Or are my friends right?