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  1. #1
    Senior Member Xrisnothing's Avatar
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    What to bring on first century

    I'm riding from San Antonio to Austin, TX next weekend for my first century. My brother will be meeting me at the half-way point just in case anything should happen.

    I've got a 70oz camelbak, that I can put a tube in and a wrench and tire lever to remove tires, plus a pump. I've got a rear rack that I'm going to attach to carry a gallon of water. I'll also bring along a couple energy bars.

    I plan on taking a break at the 50 mile mark to choke down some food and rest for a bit. I've got a route off of another cycling website.

    Does it sound like I'm prepared? Am I forgetting anything?

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Unless you are sure you can purchase food along the way, bring more than just a couple energy bars with you. Plan to consume about 250 calories per hour as you ride. Don't forget to drink lots too .... one 750 ml (3 cup) bottle of water and/or sports drink every hour to an hour and a half.

    If you don't have sports drinks, be sure to bring salt tabs, electrolyte tablets, or make a point of eating some foods high in the electrolytes (such as salted almonds).

    A couple tubes, and/or a patch kit might be a good idea ... especially if your part of the world is prone to have goatshead thorns.

    And I ALWAYS bring at least a light jacket with me. Maybe Texas weather is very predictable, but in the parts of the world where I've ridden ... you just never know!!

    What about lights and reflective gear? How long do you estimate this century is going to take, and what time are you going to start?

    You might also have your brother bring along a small first aid kit and small tool kit for you.

    All the best!!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xrisnothing
    I'm riding from San Antonio to Austin, TX next weekend for my first century. My brother will be meeting me at the half-way point just in case anything should happen.

    I've got a 70oz camelbak, that I can put a tube in and a wrench and tire lever to remove tires, plus a pump. I've got a rear rack that I'm going to attach to carry a gallon of water. I'll also bring along a couple energy bars.

    I plan on taking a break at the 50 mile mark to choke down some food and rest for a bit. I've got a route off of another cycling website.

    Does it sound like I'm prepared? Am I forgetting anything?
    What route are you taking for your century? 281/290 from SA to Austin?

    I'd make sure to have plenty of liquid. Sports drinks, or Nuun tablets come to mind. Nuun is cool, though I've not seen any reviews on it. Plop two tables into a water bottle of water, let fizz, guzzle. Great for replacing salts sweated off due to Texas heat and humidity. Hydration is key... the second you feel thirsty, its pretty much too late.

    The jacket suggestion from Machka is good... there is the old adage about Texas weather, "If you don't like it, wait 5 minutes."

    Other things to consider that I thought of off the top of my head (use your judgement... I've not run a century yet

    Tube patches (if you flat more than once.)
    A small multi-tool (Topeak something or other.)
    Brake/shifter cables.
    A chain breaker + pins if you are using a Shimano HG/IG system.
    Cell phone.
    A small bike lock. Even a cheapo cable combination lock will do, its to prevent a casual theft from happening while you are in a 7-11. Any lock is better than none.
    Some cash. Dollar bills sometimes can be used to keep a tube from popping if you get a large enough gash in your tire's sidewall.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xrisnothing
    I've got a rear rack that I'm going to attach to carry a gallon of water.
    A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds. I am *so* not a weight weenie, but (in the context of a century ride, anyway) that gives even me some pause. It's been 25 years since I've been in the San Antonio area, and I have no idea how remote your planned route is, but if you'll be passing through places where you can refill your Camelbak, I'd probably think twice about hauling the water.

    I can't remember if anyone else mentioned this, but don't forget the sunscreen. If you can, bring a small amount along so you can re-apply halfway. That Texas sun . . .

    Have fun!!

  5. #5
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    I agree that a gallon of water is way overkill. The OP needs to look over his route to identify likely stopping points along the way. Look for convenience stores (you can use yahoo maps if you are not already familiar with the route).

    I think a patch kit should be taken along with the spare tube. Might get more than one flat! And why not tell your brother to stay at home and just keep the phone handy in case you have a problem? It shouldn't take him long to reach you if you need some assistance.

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    add my words to everyone else who thinks that hauling a gallon of water is too much. I'd rather haul extra food than extra water. You can get water refills at almost any gasoline station, but food can be more touch and go; as lots of gas stations just stock candy bars and sugary crap.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Xrisnothing's Avatar
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    Yeah, on second thought the water is too much. There are several convenience stores along the way. I think I just want to use the rack I bought, because I haven't had a chance to.

    I'm using this route:
    http://bicycleaustin.info/getaround/...anantonio.html

    Reversed, obviously. I'll be going all of the way to Round Rock, where my parents live, so I'll hit the 100 mile mark.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xrisnothing
    I think I just want to use the rack I bought, because I haven't had a chance to.
    Well, hey, no problem there! Get a small rack trunk, attach it to your rack, and put in it all the stuff that the previous posters suggested you bring.

    (Don't I know the "well, it's there, I gotta use it!" mindset!!) I have *no* trouble thinking of stuff to drag along . . .

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    All I would take is the normal spares you take on a normal ride. For me that is Tube, levers, patch kit, multitool. A 70oz camelback should last providing you can top up en-route, but Food. Do a lot of carbo loading the week before- every meal to be pasta- rice- bread- sticky buns etc. Have a breakfast an hour before you start and take plenty of snacks- Ceral bars- cake- dried fruit- cheese(for protein) And snack regularly,. Eat before you are hungry and drink before you are thirsty. If necessary set a time- ebvery 15minutes to eat a bar and a good sip on water. Then get hold of a couple of gel-packs. These will give you a boost about 20 minutes after you have taken them, so ideal if you start to feel a bit tired because you have not eaten or drunk enough. Then a clothing- have a showerproof- or water proof - or just an extra layer (The showerproof should do that)

    Then on the other hand you could go mad and carry what I have to on the Tandem on our big offroad trecks. We have to carry these as the Tandem eats chains- tyres Tubes and does need adjustment as we go. But to be honest- If you need this amount then you need an extra set of legs to propell it up the hills.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xrisnothing
    Yeah, on second thought the water is too much. There are several convenience stores along the way. I think I just want to use the rack I bought, because I haven't had a chance to.

    I'm using this route:
    http://bicycleaustin.info/getaround/...anantonio.html

    Reversed, obviously. I'll be going all of the way to Round Rock, where my parents live, so I'll hit the 100 mile mark.
    That is a nice route... especially because it parallels I-35 without forcing you to ride on the interstate.

    Since you are running through some pretty good towns, you don't have to pack too much as opposed to the route I thought you were taking. I was thinking you were doing the 281/290 route which is a lot more rural and a mechanical would be a lot more nasty.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxine
    A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds. I am *so* not a weight weenie, but (in the context of a century ride, anyway) that gives even me some pause.
    I agree that it's too much for a century, but I'd like to emphasize that it depends on the ride parameters.
    In my Brevet 400 in late May, the last 156km (almost a century) ran through the desert. By desert I mean no inhabitants whatsoever. Not even a gas station.
    When I started this leg it was night, and I got to the end in daylight, on a hot day.

    I had 3.750 litres, and it barely sufficed.

    On the Brevet 600 we'll go through the same route, and I plan on carrying at least 4.500 litres, even though the weather should be colder.

    Tal.

  12. #12
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    100 miles with your brother meeting you halfway and convenience stores along the route???

    Bring half as much food and water as you'll need and have your brother replenish. Even if he stiffs you you still have the convenience stores available.

    I generally bring two tubes and two CO2 cartridges along with levers. Also like to have fresh rubber for additional flat protection.

    What's your longest ride to date anyway? Do you know how much you normally eat and drink on a ride? That would help gauge your needs. Your speed will also dictate some of what you will require. Riding a century in 5 hours is in a sense easier than riding one in 7 or 8. Fitness aside, being on a saddle, exposed to the sun for 7+ hours is extremely draining. A brisk 5 hour ride (assuming fitness) is much less stressful.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Hambone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xrisnothing
    I'm riding from San Antonio to Austin, TX next weekend for my first century. My brother will be meeting me at the half-way point just in case anything should happen.

    I've got a 70oz camelbak, that I can put a tube in and a wrench and tire lever to remove tires, plus a pump. I've got a rear rack that I'm going to attach to carry a gallon of water. I'll also bring along a couple energy bars.

    I plan on taking a break at the 50 mile mark to choke down some food and rest for a bit. I've got a route off of another cycling website.

    Does it sound like I'm prepared? Am I forgetting anything?
    what others said, eye protection, if you can use the tool to ix something, bring it if not leave it home and then learn!

    I don't know your part of the world but I'd google bike shops on your route and add them to the map.

    For long rides like that I put a half dozen wraps of duct tape around my seat post. Amazing stuff.

    Get a detachable chain link. (Wipperman/SRAM/etc) And chuck that in your bag with your patch kit.

    Ibuprophin (or your pain killer of choice.)

    My 1st century, I put a six-pack of Dogfish Head Raison d'Etre in a cooler in the car and Mrs. Hambone kept it chilled for me. (Believe it or not -- chocolate milk, they say, is the best none-geekie rehydrating drink for post ride.)
    Inside me is a thin man dying to get out.
    (He is kept comfortable by some pie, a half case of Bud, two cheese-dogs and a big screen Sony.)

  14. #14
    Blue Light Special kmart's Avatar
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    For long rides like that I put a half dozen wraps of duct tape around my seat post. Amazing stuff.
    What's that for, night visibility?

    I have been looking for uber-reflective tape at bike shops but they only have the orange kind. I have only seen colored tape on eBay so I'm thinking of getting some black tape to match my black frame...

  15. #15
    Senior Member Hambone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmart
    For long rides like that I put a half dozen wraps of duct tape around my seat post. Amazing stuff.
    What's that for, night visibility?

    I have been looking for uber-reflective tape at bike shops but they only have the orange kind. I have only seen colored tape on eBay so I'm thinking of getting some black tape to match my black frame...
    Duct tape is just for having duct tape. It can help fix a torn tire, mend a seat, along with a piece of shirt it can make a good gauze, it can fix bar tape cuts, yada yada yada.

    For reflective tape: Other than going to the 3m site or some other specific vendor, go to an automotive shop for reflective tape. Like Pep Boys. I got a roll of white tape there for highlighting my son's new stroller. It is amazingly bright! (I don't remember brand, not 3M. From Pep Boys or Strauss. If you want me to check, IM me. -hambone)
    Inside me is a thin man dying to get out.
    (He is kept comfortable by some pie, a half case of Bud, two cheese-dogs and a big screen Sony.)

  16. #16
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    I agree that a gallon of water is way overkill. The OP needs to look over his route to identify likely stopping points along the way. Look for convenience stores (you can use yahoo maps if you are not already familiar with the route).

    I think a patch kit should be taken along with the spare tube. Might get more than one flat! And why not tell your brother to stay at home and just keep the phone handy in case you have a problem? It shouldn't take him long to reach you if you need some assistance.
    Frame Pump, instead of CO2 cartriges! The frame pump never goes empty on you! It can break, but it doesn't leak out all it's pressure before you need it!
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  17. #17
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    A credit card, with one of those handy things you can pretty much overcome most mechanical and food/water shortage problems providing you are not in a totally isolated area.

  18. #18
    Blue Light Special kmart's Avatar
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    If you've got a Shimano chain with the dimples on the end of the pins, then you will need some special Shimano replacement pins if you ever need to do repairs with the chain tool. You can get these at any bike shop or on Nashbar. Not sure if there are differenent for the 9 speed chains but here's a link:
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...bcat:%20Chains

    And another for 10 speed pins:
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...bcat:%20Chains

  19. #19
    Senior Member jwc3's Avatar
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    I recommend a cell phone and a map.

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