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  1. #1
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Discretion the better part of valor?

    A club I started riding with in September, is going to ride an informal century event on Sunday. The participants will maintain a pace-line and are seeking to ride the distance with one stop to refill bottles. The object is to finish the century as quickly as possible with an average speed above 20 mph.

    I have done a century in less than 6 hours saddle time without a paceline. My normal solo fitness rides are about 40 miles long and I average 18 mph. Even with a pace-line, I doubt if I can maintain 22 mph for more than 10 miles.

    It’s a 10 mile loop to be repeated. A shortcut exist, cutting the loop in two half’s. Riders that are dropped can rejoin the group by taking the shortcut.

    Most, but not all, of this small group is younger & faster than me. Should I see if I can do this?

    Michael
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  2. #2
    SeŮor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    What've you got to lose (besides your reputation possibly)?
    The search for inner peace continues...

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    Senior Member Mhendricks's Avatar
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    The only century rides that I do are:

    -at my own pace
    -have plenty of tasty food and drink
    -have women who don't mind a man riding with them
    -TURN OUT TO BE HAMMERFESTS/TESTOSTERONE RIDES

    My philisophy is that I'm not getting any younger, I'm not a racer anymore, so why not enjoy the ride.
    Last edited by Mhendricks; 10-02-09 at 02:05 PM.
    They call me "Mr. Mixte"

  4. #4
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    You might be surprised what you can do with a strong group - if they are much stronger than you, just sit on the back and/or take tiny pulls.

    The worst that could happen is you'll get dropped and can add it as a goal for next year.
    pro-meter: lol

    blog

  5. #5
    Senior Member johnknappcc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    A club I started riding with in September, is going to ride an informal century event on Sunday. The participants will maintain a pace-line and are seeking to ride the distance with one stop to refill bottles. The object is to finish the century as quickly as possible with an average speed above 20 mph.

    I have done a century in less than 6 hours saddle time without a paceline. My normal solo fitness rides are about 40 miles long and I average 18 mph. Even with a pace-line, I doubt if I can maintain 22 mph for more than 10 miles.

    Itís a 10 mile loop to be repeated. A shortcut exist, cutting the loop in two halfís. Riders that are dropped can rejoin the group by taking the shortcut.

    Most, but not all, of this small group is younger & faster than me. Should I see if I can do this?

    Michael
    Holy, where's the loop? I could probably manage to get dropped, 20 times then. Not sure what the wife's plans are but I might be up for a good humiliation.

  6. #6
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnknappcc View Post
    Holy, where's the loop? I could probably manage to get dropped, 20 times then. Not sure what the wife's plans are but I might be up for a good humiliation.
    PM sent,

    Michael
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  7. #7
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    It's a 10mi loop course. It's not like you'll get stranded 40mi from your car/apartment/whatever if you blow up 3/4 of the way through and have to drop.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  8. #8
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    It's a 10mi loop course. It's not like you'll get stranded 40mi from your car/apartment/whatever if you blow up 3/4 of the way through and have to drop.
    Good point.

    I think I'll give it a "might go down in flames" try.

    Michael
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  9. #9
    Reeks of aged cotton duck Hydrated's Avatar
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    You can borrow my bike, Michael...

    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.-Aristotle

  10. #10
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I'd hate to draft that!

    I'm the one that might flame out... ...we soon shall know.

    Michael
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  11. #11
    RFC
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    Dan McGehee set his 100 mile WR of 3:56 on a 10 mile loop somewhere in Illinois.

  12. #12
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    One thing that has not been mentioned yet. If you do get dropped on a 10 mile loop with a shortcut, there is no possibility that you will be eating a headwind alone for the last 30 miles.

    Bring a hammock or a nice reclining lawnchair, an ice chest full of refreshment, a couple of roadie bike magazines, some chips etc. Be sure to park your car on the route somewhere. If you blow up, return to car, set up camp, and cheer on the suffering riders each pass.

    Better yet...don't even bring a bike.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  13. #13
    Senior Member yeamac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    I have done a century in less than 6 hours saddle time without a paceline. My normal solo fitness rides are about 40 miles long and I average 18 mph. Even with a pace-line, I doubt if I can maintain 22 mph for more than 10 miles.
    Isn't a paceline suppose to save you up to 30% energy? If so, theoretically you should be able to increase from 18 to 22mph.

    I'd say go for it. Even if you can't keep up, like matt said, add it as a goal for next year.

  14. #14
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    One thing that has not been mentioned yet. If you do get dropped on a 10 mile loop with a shortcut, there is no possibility that you will be eating a headwind alone for the last 30 miles.

    Bring a hammock or a nice reclining lawnchair, an ice chest full of refreshment, a couple of roadie bike magazines, some chips etc. Be sure to park your car on the route somewhere. If you blow up, return to car, set up camp, and cheer on the suffering riders each pass.

    Better yet...don't even bring a bike.
    This summarizes my day ^^.

    I got lost driving to the parking lot, wasted 30 minutes, and arrived late.

    Then I rode with the 5 man group for less than an hour until I went anaerobic. I discovered I can’t maintain 21 mph into a 15 mph headwind. I was OK when behind the other riders, but I was often in the wind, due to the rotating paceline. I “excused” myself, knowing I would fail within the next few miles. Rode 15 miles alone and then rejoined the group for a 25 to 30 mph stretch, this lasted about 6 miles. I “excused” myself again when the route turned into the wind (and it was howling). I crawled at 15 mph alone, was passed by the group again, but this time I couldn’t catch ’em.

    Went to the parking lot. Ate, and began to pack it in. Spoke to another rider who also took a time-out but was planning on rejoining the group when they passed by in a few minutes.

    Oh well.

    Last year, at this time, riding 35 miles @ 15 mph was an accomplishment. I’ve come a long way and have a long way to go.

    Michael
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 10-04-09 at 02:08 PM.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    Knowing your limitations is a good thing I suppose, but being limited by your perception of your limitations is not. In other words, endurance has a lot to do with mental attitude not just physical strength, knowing how to use that strength wisely is the key. Overcoming "defeatist" thoughts takes discipline, applying positive thoughts can, if done correctly, achieve very satisfying results. Knowing where to be in a paceline and when to rest are essential to reaching your goals. Finding good riders who cycle smoothly and at a consistent pace will help, steer clear of riders who pull like a freight train but alter the speed of the paceline with unnecessary surges of speed.

    Anyway, this works for me.
    I'm lame,
    I'm sore,
    I'm stonkered.

  16. #16
    Senior Member skiffrun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    . . .
    Itís a 10 mile loop to be repeated. . . .
    WHY would anyone WANT to do a "century" like that !!??

    No scenery, except the shoulder and wheel of the guy in front of you. No nothing but hammers hammering, doing a crit on a 10-mile loop.

    This whole thread sounds like it belongs in a "racing" forum.

    But that's just my opinion.

  17. #17
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiffrun View Post
    WHY would anyone WANT to do a "century" like that !!??

    No scenery, except the shoulder and wheel of the guy in front of you. No nothing but hammers hammering, doing a crit on a 10-mile loop.

    This whole thread sounds like it belongs in a "racing" forum.

    But that's just my opinion.

    ... your opinion would make sense if this was the touring forum.
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  18. #18
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Oh well.

    Last year, at this time, riding 35 miles @ 15 mph was an accomplishment. Iíve come a long way and have a long way to go.
    Be happy with what you can do today. Work for what you want tomorrow. All you can really do, even if your name is Lance Armstrong, is give it all you got. Sounds like you did just that. Good on ya!
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  19. #19
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiffrun View Post
    WHY would anyone WANT to do a "century" like that !!??

    This whole thread sounds like it belongs in a "racing" forum.
    A very very good way to test endurance?

    There are racers here. All long distance riders welcome!

  20. #20
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevegor View Post
    Knowing your limitations is a good thing I suppose, but being limited by your perception of your limitations is not. In other words, endurance has a lot to do with mental attitude not just physical strength, knowing how to use that strength wisely is the key. Overcoming "defeatist" thoughts takes discipline, applying positive thoughts can, if done correctly, achieve very satisfying results. Knowing where to be in a paceline and when to rest are essential to reaching your goals. Finding good riders who cycle smoothly and at a consistent pace will help, steer clear of riders who pull like a freight train but alter the speed of the paceline with unnecessary surges of speed.
    Anyway, this works for me.


    Good advice, thank you.

    This group is consistent and discussed maintaining a steady effort. The wind really played a role. The route was an east to west rectangle and the wind was from the west in the 12- 18 mph range. In the wind, the group held 19 to 21 mph. With the wind to our back, the pace was 25 to 28 mph with a few spikes when gently rolling down a slope.

    I need to add a HR monitor to maintain a steady effort.

    Cheers,

    Michael
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  21. #21
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiffrun View Post
    WHY would anyone WANT to do a "century" like that !!??

    No scenery, except the shoulder and wheel of the guy in front of you. No nothing but hammers hammering, doing a crit on a 10-mile loop.

    This whole thread sounds like it belongs in a "racing" forum.

    But that's just my opinion.
    I've done a century that was 50 laps of the 2 mile loop around my neighbourhood because I couldn't be away from the house for very long with a fiancee on the mend from a recent surgery.
    Call me crazy, but sometimes it's not about where I go... it's just about spending time on my bike.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  22. #22
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I heard from the other participants. The wind kept the pace to 20 mph and other riders also had to shorten the ride.

    A small paceline can't always deliver huge improvements. Hills and wind will always reduce the pace. A pace line can help, but can't overcome these challanges. If the paceline had been larger, with 10 or more riders, or if the winds had been calmer, the result would have been my fastest ride of the year.

    Michael
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 10-06-09 at 11:49 AM.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member yeamac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    If the paceline had been larger, with 10 or more riders, or if the winds had been calmer, the result would have been my fastest ride of the year.
    Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

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