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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 08-30-09, 08:11 AM   #1
aquateen
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So I'm starting to freak out a bit about my first century...(Indian Head)

I'm doing the Indian Head Century here in Maryland on September 13th. My buddy and I have been consistently riding 50 hilly miles on the weekends for a while now with no problem and yesterday we did 60. I just looked at the elevation map for this ride and freaked out a bit. Someone tell me I'll be fine!
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Old 08-30-09, 10:15 AM   #2
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Supported century rides are pretty easy . . . if you can do 50 hilly miles without constant rest-stops and all the food you can eat, you'll do fine.

And remember, "No one can defeat the quad-laser!".
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Old 08-30-09, 10:18 AM   #3
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Pace yourself. Have fun
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Old 08-30-09, 11:13 AM   #4
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Those elevation maps always (most of the time anyway ) make the rides appear much worse than they really are. None of those climbs are bigger than 200ft. Just big rollers. Some may be a little steep though. Overall it looks like a great first century. Don't worry about it, just go out and have fun!
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Old 08-30-09, 02:22 PM   #5
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I'm doing the Indian Head Century here in Maryland on September 13th. My buddy and I have been consistently riding 50 hilly miles on the weekends for a while now with no problem and yesterday we did 60. I just looked at the elevation map for this ride and freaked out a bit. Someone tell me I'll be fine!
How fast do you do those 50/60 milers? You might consider making sure you leave earlier. And make sure you don't start out at a killer pace.
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Old 08-30-09, 04:55 PM   #6
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Start early,take a nice easy pace and remember to eat and drink plenty.This is a supported ride and there should be plenty of good food and water for you.And the most important part is to just have fun and relax,you'll do just fine.
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Old 08-31-09, 04:17 AM   #7
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I have this ride on my "maybe" list for next weekend, depending on the weather. I don't think there's much in that part of MD that would be considered really hilly. Rollers can take a bit out of you though if you're not used to them.

Good luck on the ride, and don't be nervous. Looks like great weather for the weekend!
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Old 08-31-09, 08:27 AM   #8
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Attitude contributes a lot to how good of a ride you'll have. Times when I've gone into a ride lacking confidence and questioning my ability I have not had as good of a ride. When I feel confident and simply trust whatever training/riding I have been doing, I have a great ride. I've even taken weeks off the bike to hop back on and do a century with a good attitude and the ride has gone great.
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Old 08-31-09, 08:34 AM   #9
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I just read that you are regularly doing 50 mile hilly rides.....you will be fine!!!! If you are prepared, it is then all about mentally knowing you are going 100 when you swing a leg over the top tube that morning. If someone asked you to go another 50 after your weekend ride you would think they were crazy, but knowing you will do 100 when you start is a very different game.

On Saturday, we got about 20 people together and dragged 4 guys out for a century who had never done more than 30 miles at a time. One of them has only owned his bike (his first bike: a titanium frame made by Dean with full DA; Lucky jerk ) for a month! I know it sounds crazy but IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT ALL 3 WERE IN FANTASTIC ALL AROUND SHAPE (the brand newbie is a personal trainer and the other three are regular mtb riders/commuters).

They were all very tired but 3 of the 4 finished just fine in 7 hours with the 4th only going 90 miles (opted out of an out & back to the state line). There were quite a few rollers along the way and we just slowed way down for those. Believe it or not, the guys who had the hardest time were the guys with prior century experience who for one reason or another have not really spent much time on the bike this summer.

IME: the very hardest thing about your first few centuries is getting the heck back on the bike after breaks. Those breaks can easily eat 1/2 hour at a time if you are not careful. I would just plan on hitting the head, grabbing some food and rolling out. Better to eat on the bike than let your legs go dead sitting around, imo. Good break management can make the difference between a 7 hour century and a 6 hour century.

I guess my point is that as long as you have put in some sort of training on those muscles (so that you are not risking an overuse injury), getting to 100 miles is just a matter of time and effort. As someone else said, just go out and have fun. The miles will add up and you will get it done.

Last edited by Sawtooth; 08-31-09 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 08-31-09, 08:48 AM   #10
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First of all congrats on attempting it. That is a big deal! A couple things I remind people who tell me they are out for their first centuries:

1) attitude is huge; believing (knowing you can do it) is very important. Remind yourself of this during the ride, "I am going to finish this no matter how long it takes & what else do I have to do today? - I love riding my bike & today I have all day to ride this!"

2) becareful, especially early on, to get in a group of people that ride a comfortable speed for you. Too many times at these centuries, there will be a fast group & people jumped on wheels, adrenlin starts kicking in & before you know it you are riding record pace through the first 20 or 30 miles & feeling strong; then you get dropped & 20 miles later your legs are Screaming & you still have 50 to 60 miles to go.

3) eat & drink plenty - drink before you are thirsty / eat before you are hungry.

4) good night sleep the night before & eat something normal - the next day will be a long day on the bike & the port-o-potties are not always as close as you hope.

5) do some soft riding the days leading up to it.

You will be fine & in fact you will have a blast! You will feel an amazing sense of accomplishment & I look forward to a detailed ride report in 2 weeks.
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Old 08-31-09, 09:43 AM   #11
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Pretty much what everybody else has said: pace yourself, eat & drink lots, and have fun. Sounds like you've laid a good solid foundation. You should be fine. Let us know how it turns out.

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Old 08-31-09, 12:27 PM   #12
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Looks like I got the date confused. If I do this one, it will be a "twofer" with the Civil War Century the day before. Not too sure about that idea...

Anyway, good luck, and I'm sure you'll do fine.
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Old 08-31-09, 02:30 PM   #13
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Get an early start. Take it easy. Save up to be strong at 80-90. Better to look and be strong on the return leg then kickass on the way out but granny gearing it on the return. Suck wheels when you can and don't get carried away pulling to show off.
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Old 09-02-09, 08:00 AM   #14
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I just finished my first century this past weekend. My longest ride to date before that was 50 miles as well. Pace yourself, go with a buddy and you should be fine. Miles 75 to 85 will probably be the hardest. I didn't question if I would finish but I did question if I could keep up my pace. I ended up doing fine and finished 114 miles with an average speed of 16.1 mph. As others have said, drink lots of water and eat a little at each stop.
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Old 09-13-09, 05:11 PM   #15
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first century was a success! i actually pulled off 110 miles (missed a turn, kept going for 5 miles).
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Old 09-13-09, 07:00 PM   #16
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congratulations! Good job.
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Old 09-13-09, 10:20 PM   #17
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Congratulations! When are you doing your next one?
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Old 09-14-09, 07:12 PM   #18
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Congratulations! When are you doing your next one?
sometime next season. aquateen and i did this one together. the trick we found was to eat LOTS of sandwhiches. we basically ate the whole time on the bike and it made the ride hugely more enjoyable.
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Old 09-15-09, 02:22 AM   #19
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Congrats aqua! Glad you had a good ride. It was a beautiful day, wasn't it? I was a little bit beat from doing the Civil War Century the day before, but I still mostly had a good time. The event was pretty well organized, and I was able to follow the route just by the road markers without having to use the cue sheet. There were usually enough riders ahead of me anyway so I could tell where the turns were

Now what are you doing for your next one? The Potomac Pedalers century is next weekend. I highly recommend it:

http://www.bikepptc.org/PPTC_Century
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Old 09-15-09, 02:31 PM   #20
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lol, at about mile 90 we missed a turn and ended up going an extra 10 miles because of that. either way, still a good ride.
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