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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 08-12-09, 10:05 AM   #1
undisputed83
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During a century... how often do you stop?

I was just curious. Ideally I would think you wouldn't have to stop at all... but in a way that seems impractical... I haven't done a century yet... but I think I"d probably have to stop atleast twice.
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Old 08-12-09, 10:10 AM   #2
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Every two hours or so to top up the water bottles. Sooooo.... 2X

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Old 08-12-09, 10:13 AM   #3
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As often as I feel I need to. On a flat, fast course that might only be 3 times to fill bottles and empty myself. On a tough, hilly course I might stop 5 or 6 times to get off the bike and walk around for a couple minutes, have something substantial to eat, etc.
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Old 08-12-09, 10:53 AM   #4
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when i did my first and only century last year i stopped after 21 miles for snack
then stopped at 51 miles for some lunch, then stopped at 75 miles to refill water
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Old 08-12-09, 10:57 AM   #5
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For me, it's all about the fluids, since I only carry 2 bottles.

Depends on the weather - cooler temps and I don't go through my water as fast, and can get farther. If highs in the low 70's or lower, I can get by with just 1 stop. Higher temps and climbing/elevation definitely add to the water consumption. I think I stopped 5 or 6 times at DR, but I had heat, climbing, and elevation there.
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Old 08-12-09, 11:00 AM   #6
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I think it depends how long it is going to take you to do the century, how hot it is and how much water/food you are carrying. I've done one unsupported non-stop century(actually 115m) that I can think of. We did it really fast(4:45) in a group. It was early morning so it was cool and I had two water bottles and a camelback. Usually though I stop whenever I need water or food. Sometimes it's every 20-30miles on an organized century. I like to get my dollars worth.
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Old 08-12-09, 11:04 AM   #7
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4-5 times for me on solo-centuries. Fewer if I'm racing someone. I don't think I could roll one non-stop, but I could see stopping only once if I planned it that way.
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Old 08-12-09, 11:06 AM   #8
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Like others said, stop for water/gatorade, but try to carry snacks with you (you won't know the availability along the way, unless you know the route).

Stopping for lunch, is always a nice recharge. Hit it past 60mi, that way you feel that you just have a short trip back.
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Old 08-12-09, 01:09 PM   #9
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Depends on your goal(s), temperment, tolerance for discomfort, etc. For the first one, stop whenever you like. Just keep riding arouind until you hit 100 miles. Then you'll have a better idea of what's possible and what's desirable. I have several weeks free in the summer, so I hop on the bike when my wife leaves for work, and we get back about the same time. I've ridden 100 miles by then, but have stopped for drinks, lunch, etc., up to 4 or 5 times. But then, I'm just riding around, having fun.
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Old 08-12-09, 01:45 PM   #10
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I'll take two substantial breaks away from the bike for food and beverages. I'll also put my feet down on the pavement and pull out snacks & hydration two other times. I'll spend an hour off the saddle and 5.5 to 6 on the saddle during a 100 mile ride.
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Old 08-12-09, 01:59 PM   #11
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Depends on the route and how much supplies I have with me. If you know how to pee while riding and have a camelbak and such, you can do it non-stop.

Or maybe you're cool enough to have people standing on the road side every 25 miles to hand you a fresh bottle, and a musette at the halfway point.
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Old 08-12-09, 02:18 PM   #12
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I usually stop about twice where I'll use the restroom. I usually eat on the bike and pack/prepare foods that are small enough so this is an easy task.
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Old 08-13-09, 10:30 AM   #13
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I usually have to stop about 4 times for stretching (otherwise my back hurts) and peeing.
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Old 08-13-09, 11:19 AM   #14
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It really depends on the weather. Not too long ago I did a 90-mile ride that was cool and overcast and I needed to stop only once and that was just to pee - I didn't even need bottle refill (two 32oz bottles).
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Old 08-13-09, 11:53 AM   #15
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It depends on a number of factors: weather, terrain, solo vs. group, personal health/gut feeling on the day.

On a mostly flat route, I'll usually do one stop, either solo or with a group. This is all contingent on my feeling well prepped and in good spirits. The stop usually takes place between miles 55 and 65, and is usually between 10-15 minutes, sometimes shorter.

On a moderately hilly route: if it's solo, two stops; if with a group, one or two, depending on group dynamics. Each stop is 10 minutes or less. Single stop between miles 55 and 65, group stops between miles 45-55 and 75-80.

On an extremely hilly route: solo or group, two stops, between miles 45-55 and 75-80. Each stop between 10-15 minutes, usually on the short end of that.

More info: I ride with two 24 oz. insulated water bottles (on extra hot days, I'll keep a third, 20 oz. bottle in my center jersey pocket). One bottle is filled with a thick slurry of Hammer Petpetuem and HEED, 50/50 ratio and mixed strong to last for hours. I will bring gels, Clif Shot Bocks, small sandwich pieces (usually PB & honey on whole grain bread) and such in a Bento Box, and might bring a flask with extra energy drink powder in my jersey (usually straight HEED, sometimes more slurry mix). I usually don't run out of fluids between stops, as I hydrate well for the days leading into the big ride.
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Old 08-13-09, 11:54 AM   #16
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Whenever I feel the need. For me, a century is a long drawn-out process, and I'll make multiple stops along the way. On charity rides, I'll usually stop at least briefly at every rest stop.
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Old 08-13-09, 12:04 PM   #17
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2 - 3 times. About 30miles at a time is good usually, any less than 20mi is too short. Depends on how i feel. If I don't feel totally wasted, and I stop... I feel like i'm just stretching it out. I'd rather keep moving. Stopping sometimes seems to hurt my performance once I'm "in the groove and on the move".
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Old 08-15-09, 10:05 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knoregs View Post
Every two hours or so to top up the water bottles. Sooooo.... 2X
+1. 2 bottles to refill from my Camelback about every 2 hours.

For an organized, supported ride, I'll hit all the rest stops to be sociable.
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Old 08-21-09, 11:21 AM   #19
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Overall, I agree with what everyone else has said. How often you need to stop will depend on your own needs for fluids/fuel, which can be heavilly influenced by terrain, weather, etc.

On an organized ride, one other factor may be how the organizers are managing the ride. I was at a ride last weekend where you were requested to check in at each rest stop to help them manage where folks were on the course. So at a minimum, you were off your bike for a minute or so to log your rider number, and if you're off anyway, you might as well stretch a bit and top off your bottles. I might otherwise have skipped at least one of their rest stops; but it was a well run event with well stocked checkpoints and freindly volunteers, so no complaints from me on how they run their event.
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Old 08-21-09, 11:18 PM   #20
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once, unless I get lost
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Old 08-22-09, 02:27 AM   #21
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This thread prompted me to try a century without any stops (other than traffic lights) this morning. I was aiming for 5 hours (on a flat route). Would 2 x 750ml of water be enough? Everything was going fine up until about mile 90 when I got lost in a town I had never cycled in before. Throughout the ride I had been imagining an opponent riding at a steady 20 mph. I had been maintaining my 5-6 minute lead over him until I got lost. It's hard to keep up your speed when you're thinking you may have to turn around and retrace your tracks. My imaginary opponent passed me at about 95 miles, by which time I was too dehydrated to respond. I did complete the 100 miles (5 hours 5 minutes) without stopping, but 2 minutes spent topping up and passing water would have been time well spent. What did I prove to myself? That you really have to stop at least once on an unsupported solo century when carrying 2 water bottles!
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Old 08-22-09, 02:42 AM   #22
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I have done 2 centuries to date. First, unsupported 116 miles and about 3500-4000 feet of climbing. I probably stopped 3-4 times for water/electrolytes and it was pretty easy. The second time was the Livestrong challenge ( plus a made few extra miles to make 100).

For the Livestrong, It wasn't horribly hard of a course, except a nasty, nasty, steep hill and a total of about 4500-4800 feet of climbing. For those of you in the South Bay Area, it is Metcalf Road. Evil.

My point is, be prepared for what you are going up against. You will get a descent idea of what kind of terrain you will be up against if you read extensively as to what other people have to say about what you are about to ride.

Really, the best thing is to listen very closely to your own body and hydrate and feed accordingly. Or there is a boy scout saying goes as such: eat before you're hungry, drink before you're thirsty thirsty.
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Old 08-22-09, 04:44 PM   #23
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I'll stop 3 - 4 times, especially on a hilly ride. Water intake and fluid "outflow" (if y'know what I mean) are kind of fixed constants. Charity rides tend to have good food, so I stop at all the stops. Although I was on one a few weeks ago that had a water stop 7 miles from the finish! I didn't stop.
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Old 08-22-09, 09:36 PM   #24
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I did 83 miles on Friday and had to stop every hour and a half or so to fill bottles. There was practically no shade the entire way and it was at least 100 degrees out (90 something on a thermometer outside a school, in the shade of an awning). Even then I felt a little dehydrated.
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