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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 01-11-08, 12:16 AM   #1
3bikes
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Solvang (California) in March, I'm registered and unready.

After looking over some of these posts, I'm way behind most of these riders... but here goes. I have a mountain bike, commuter bike and a road bike. My two year old FELT F55 (Velomax wheels, FSA & Durace components, Adamo Racing saddle, Looks and Michelin ProRace 2 tires) is what I'll ride at Solvang this Spring. I'm 48 years old, drink too much beer and accustomed to 50-70 mile Sunday morning rides. This will be my first Century ride and I've been stepping up my exercise lately and commuting by bike more often. If someone on this forum thread is not laughing too loud at my upcoming challenge, maybe has done the Solvang Century and could provide suggestions for me... please write a reply.

P.S. Just ordered the new Giro Ionos helmet to replace my Pneumo which is now for commuting.

Thanks everyone in advance.

Last edited by 3bikes; 07-07-08 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 01-11-08, 12:20 AM   #2
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What's the problem? If you are already doing 70 mile weekends, then a 100 will be cake. Unless you are worried about the climbing. You have a lot of time, just add some climbing into your rides.
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Old 01-11-08, 01:28 AM   #3
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You should have no problem doing the century. There is some climbing and the weather is always a challenge. It can be cold, windy, rain, hail or sunshine and nice. Take everything you own as far as clothing because you never know. Have fun!
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Old 01-11-08, 10:20 AM   #4
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Solvang was my first century too, and I was soooo aprehensive, but for no reason! It's flat and pretty and well supported. You can do it.

Here's some things I new, and some I didn't, that might help:

Bring pocket-stuffable-clothes for the early morning cold start. Little things like long finger gloves and an ear warmer can make a huge difference. Make your final clothing decision the morning of the event, bring all your options with you in the car.

Pace yourself - do the first 30 miles at a pace that feels too slow, by a couple of miles an hour. Better to have something left in the tank and finish slowly and more comfortably than have a fast first half and then blow up at the end because you went too hard. If you are riding with friends who are stronger, it is VERY important to have your own personal plan for your pace, and stick to it. Tell your friends that you have a pace goal, and that you are going to stick with it. They can dial it back for you, or not, either way is fine. Better to make new friends along the way than kill yourself trying to keep up with your stronger buddies.

Don't worry about the food & water, they have plenty, don't load yourself down carrying too much of your own - just 2 water bottles and one emergency food thing like a bar or gel.

Don't over-eat thinking you will need the energy - lots of small snacks work better. This also goes for the night before. Eat a LITTLE at each rest stop, and drink a lot. After all, there's a portapotty every 20 miles!

Don't forget to smile and chat with your fellow riders!

Have a great time.
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Old 01-11-08, 11:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
Solvang was my first century too, and I was soooo aprehensive, but for no reason! It's flat and pretty and well supported. You can do it.

Here's some things I new, and some I didn't, that might help:

Bring pocket-stuffable-clothes for the early morning cold start. Little things like long finger gloves and an ear warmer can make a huge difference. Make your final clothing decision the morning of the event, bring all your options with you in the car.

Pace yourself - do the first 30 miles at a pace that feels too slow, by a couple of miles an hour. Better to have something left in the tank and finish slowly and more comfortably than have a fast first half and then blow up at the end because you went too hard. If you are riding with friends who are stronger, it is VERY important to have your own personal plan for your pace, and stick to it. Tell your friends that you have a pace goal, and that you are going to stick with it. They can dial it back for you, or not, either way is fine. Better to make new friends along the way than kill yourself trying to keep up with your stronger buddies.

Don't worry about the food & water, they have plenty, don't load yourself down carrying too much of your own - just 2 water bottles and one emergency food thing like a bar or gel.

Don't over-eat thinking you will need the energy - lots of small snacks work better. This also goes for the night before. Eat a LITTLE at each rest stop, and drink a lot. After all, there's a portapotty every 20 miles!

Don't forget to smile and chat with your fellow riders!

Have a great time.
I'll agree with everything you said, except that the ride isn't flat. The SCOR Solvang Century (I assume the OP is talking about this one) has around 5000 feet of climbing. Not huge, but you will notice the amount of climbing by the end. Fortunately it is spread out, with a bit more in the morning, and Foxen Canyon later in the route.

The SCOR Solvang Century was my first, in 2003. It is a very nice first century.
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Old 01-13-08, 09:51 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions!

Thanks everyone for the suggestions... I'm looking forward to my first century and I'll print out these suggestions for future reference. -3bikes

Last edited by 3bikes; 01-13-08 at 09:54 PM. Reason: Needed a thank you.
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Old 01-15-08, 11:23 AM   #7
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Even in Kansas or Illinois a century ride is going to have at least 1000' of climbing
and by standards of the rest of the country 5000' is typical of a century ride.
By the way riding with a bunch of riders at a good, sustainable pace is one way
of greatly extending your capabilities. That assumes you are not in a group
going 5+ mph more than your usual pace, but sitting in at 2-4mph faster than
usual is easy to do for 50+ miles. Just be sure to drink at least 1 oz fluids/mi
of ride and to begin snacking by the 30mile point at regular intervals. Good idea
to start the ride with a 300-500 cal snack within 30min of the start to give your
gut a head start. You should be able to go 35-50 miles non stop at first, then
stop as needed there after. Unless your usual pace is such that you spend
6-8 hours on 60-70 mile rides, saddle time should not be a problem for you.
You might want to consider some vaseline crotch lube on a century if there has
been any hints of skin irritation in the past on longer rides, or if you anticipate
taking more than 9 hrs to complete the ride.
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