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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 02-21-08, 10:14 PM   #1
Buckshot77
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Wish me luck (1st century of the year on 2/23)

I'm headed out for the first century of the year Saturday. Should be interesting. I did a couple last year on the road bike, but this one is a bit different. We're doing it on gravel and I'll be on a hardtail mountain bike. Luckily we're planning for an all day ride (10 hours) so speed isn't any concern and we should have 5-10 people total for the ride. I'm sure the biggest challenge will be the icy roads, snow drifts, and overall cold temps (high of 30 for the day).

Overall, I'm really looking forward to it as I've been riding some off road and other short rides on the mountain bike this winter. I should be good to go on cothing choices as I've been out for 2-3 hours at a shot, but it will be interesting to see how they do all day. I'm planning to ride with a backpack to carry some clothing options/changes and some spare water and food. I've got a decent backpack that has a chest and waist strap, but it'll be my first time wearing it on a long ride. Anyone have any specific recommendations that I should check into before Saturday? (ya I know it's last minute)

Rick
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Old 02-21-08, 10:30 PM   #2
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How will you keep your water from freezing?
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Old 02-22-08, 08:17 AM   #3
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Believe it or not, even in below freezing temps the water takes quite a long time to feeze due to being in constant motion. You're more likely to freeze up the valve on the bottle or hose on a camelback than the water store itself. I expect the spare bottle in my pack will actually stay even warmer due to heat transfer from my back. Thus far this winter I've only had my valve freeze up once and the ambient air temp was more like 15 degrees out and it might have had something to do with me leaving the valve in the open position rather than closing it back up.

Rick
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Old 02-22-08, 08:47 AM   #4
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Believe it or not, even in below freezing temps the water takes quite a long time to feeze due to being in constant motion. You're more likely to freeze up the valve on the bottle or hose on a camelback than the water store itself. I expect the spare bottle in my pack will actually stay even warmer due to heat transfer from my back. Thus far this winter I've only had my valve freeze up once and the ambient air temp was more like 15 degrees out and it might have had something to do with me leaving the valve in the open position rather than closing it back up.

Rick
If you have bottles in your cages on your bike, they're going to freeze. You'll probably have better luck keeping your liquids in your backpack but wearing a pack while cycling for 10 hours can be an awful experience.

I use a vacuum bottle that sits well in my bottle cage and refuel at gas stations or convience stores along the way (like one of these):


If you have any other way of carrying equipment other than a backpack I would definetly suggest that (panniers, saddlebag, handlebarbag, or whatever).

Riding a century for the first time in months can be a grueling experience not to mention on a mountian bike on dirt roads in the dead of winter. You'll get though it if you really want to get it done, good luck!
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Old 02-22-08, 09:57 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice on the bottles Godwin. One of the other guys rides with a vacuum bottle, but I haven't tried it yet. Maybe a swing by the store is in order for tonight.

I'm still debating the whole trunk rack issue myself. I commuted with a backpack a couple times last year and that is only about 45 minutes each way. My major problem was sweating during the summer heat, but comfort really wasn't an issue. I could easily mount a seatpost rack on my bike for sure, it's just do I want to throw down another $50 versus trying the backpack at least once. Of course, if I get into riding these during the summer, I'll probably want the trunk rack.... Hmmm. I'll have to mull that over more.

The guys I'm riding with are planning to all stay together and we're out there for however long it takes so I'm not too worried about finishing.

Rick
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Old 02-22-08, 11:06 AM   #6
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Thanks for the advice on the bottles Godwin. One of the other guys rides with a vacuum bottle, but I haven't tried it yet. Maybe a swing by the store is in order for tonight.

I'm still debating the whole trunk rack issue myself. I commuted with a backpack a couple times last year and that is only about 45 minutes each way. My major problem was sweating during the summer heat, but comfort really wasn't an issue. I could easily mount a seatpost rack on my bike for sure, it's just do I want to throw down another $50 versus trying the backpack at least once. Of course, if I get into riding these during the summer, I'll probably want the trunk rack.... Hmmm. I'll have to mull that over more.

The guys I'm riding with are planning to all stay together and we're out there for however long it takes so I'm not too worried about finishing.

Rick
I recently rode 7 hours with a backpack. It was lightly loaded (clothes), and was not any problem for me. It was the first time I had used a backpack on the bike, but it worked fine for me.
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Old 02-22-08, 01:23 PM   #7
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I'm planning on less than 10 pounds in the pack and possibly less than 5. I'm just packing a few clothing spares in case I get wet or sweat soaked and then a 24 oz water bottle since we've got stops planned to refill every 25-30 miles along the route.

Rick
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Old 02-23-08, 11:29 AM   #8
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Good luck and Godspeed.
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Old 02-24-08, 08:09 AM   #9
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So how did it go?
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Old 02-24-08, 09:58 AM   #10
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Brief synopsis (I'll post a write up later)-
110.9 miles, 10 hours ride time, 13 hours total out, gravel, headwind, mud, 4 total riders made the full ride out of 5 that attempted. 3 others started the ride but had planned on turning back early. Morning temp was about 12 and I think we got to a high of 32.

Rick
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Old 02-24-08, 09:59 AM   #11
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Great ride. Congratulations.
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Old 02-24-08, 07:27 PM   #12
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Wow.. 10 hours in the saddle. That's quite a ride. On a mountain bike nonetheless.
Congrats.
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Old 02-25-08, 09:58 AM   #13
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Not sure when I'll get a chance to do a write up, but here is one from another guy on the ride: http://cyclinglyfestyle.blogspot.com...ut-rather.html

FYI, I'm "Rick" in that narrative and yes I was off the back pretty much all afternoon and evening. I was upfront until we hit about 30 miles in and that's where my lack of mileage started kicking in.

Rick
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Old 02-26-08, 04:58 PM   #14
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http://buckshotsblog.blogspot.com/20...in-saddle.html

My write up.

Rick
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Old 02-26-08, 05:19 PM   #15
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Something's awry with your blog in firefox, works in my ie though.
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Old 02-26-08, 07:07 PM   #16
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I noticed that too when browsing through Mozilla on a friends computer. Not sure what it would be considering it's a standard blogger template with very few tweeks to put some sidebar info in.
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Old 03-09-08, 06:01 PM   #17
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A couple of us hammered out another gravel century yesterday 3/8. 100 miles right on the nose, depending on what GPS information you use the elevation gain was from 5700-6700. The temps started out at 5 when we left and reached a high around 26 mid afternoon. 11.7 for a rolling average so only 8.5 hours in the saddle this time. We also spent less time off the bike so only 11 hours out this time. The nice thing was with the colder temps we didn't hit any mud to speak of. Overall I felt much better on this ride and afterwards than the first one. I did switch my saddle before this ride to the same one I use on my road bike and I was much happier overall.

Just to keep things interesting, I managed to take a tumble on the less than 1/4 mile of paved bike trail we used for a connector between roads.

Rick
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