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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 04-27-10, 08:29 PM   #1
steve0257
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Observations on my first century

Last weekend I completed my first century ride, the Minnesota Ironman run out of Lakeville MN. Temp was in the mid 50s, with scattered showers and a nice stiff northeast breeze. The first 50 miles were easy; had a tailwind most of the time. the last 50 were rough. We turned and were either quartering the wind or riding into it.

The last rest stop at mile 80 was littered with riders that looked like they had had enough and medics were looking at a couple of them. Probably for dehydration. The organizers must have planed for a lot of drops at this point because there were two school buses tat I saw being used as sag wagons.

The last 20 miles took me about three hours. Partly because there were about 10 miles that were mostly climbing directly into the wind. Total time was about 9 3/4 hours.

One thing that bugged me on the ride were the groups riding pacelines. I don't mind them not announcing their presence. But I would really like more than 9 - 12 inches of clearance when they pass me. Especially since the wind was strong enough that when they passed me and blocked the wind I ended up swerving from the sudden change in the wind.

Now I just need to decide if I'm going to do the 200k brevet this weekend. I really want to but the extra 30 miles and 5000 feet of climbing opposed to 2600 gives me some doubts.
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Old 04-28-10, 06:27 AM   #2
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Congrats....the next one will be easier. 20 miles with headwind and hills!?!?!? Good job.

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One thing that bugged me on the ride were the groups riding pacelines. I don't mind them not announcing their presence. But I would really like more than 9 - 12 inches of clearance when they pass me.
Thanks for saying this. This is always my pet peeve on organized rides. I don't have horrible bike handling skills, but, really, why would you trust a total stranger to hold their line by passing so close? One slip of my wheel and that paceline is coming down. Scares me every time.
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Old 04-28-10, 12:50 PM   #3
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Congrats! I did my first century a few weeks ago--a solo 102 miles in preparation for my first 200K brevet, which was supposed to be on April 24. I found that after encountering an unexpected killer hill from miles 62 to 64, I was in a pretty sour mood for the next 15 miles despite the four miles going downhill (and avoiding potholes). The last 20 miles were actually easier.

I ended up bailing on the 200K because I banged my knee hard against a bedpost the day before it...but I'm going to ride a solo 200K this weekend (knee permitting), just to see if I can do it and possibly as a prelude to a 300K on May 8.
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Old 05-02-10, 03:42 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by steve0257 View Post
Last weekend I completed my first century ride, the Minnesota Ironman run out of Lakeville MN. Temp was in the mid 50s, with scattered showers and a nice stiff northeast breeze. The first 50 miles were easy; had a tailwind most of the time. the last 50 were rough. We turned and were either quartering the wind or riding into it.

The last rest stop at mile 80 was littered with riders that looked like they had had enough and medics were looking at a couple of them. Probably for dehydration. The organizers must have planed for a lot of drops at this point because there were two school buses tat I saw being used as sag wagons.

The last 20 miles took me about three hours. Partly because there were about 10 miles that were mostly climbing directly into the wind. Total time was about 9 3/4 hours.

One thing that bugged me on the ride were the groups riding pacelines. I don't mind them not announcing their presence. But I would really like more than 9 - 12 inches of clearance when they pass me. Especially since the wind was strong enough that when they passed me and blocked the wind I ended up swerving from the sudden change in the wind.

Now I just need to decide if I'm going to do the 200k brevet this weekend. I really want to but the extra 30 miles and 5000 feet of climbing opposed to 2600 gives me some doubts.
Wow that sounds like a tough century. I note you did it in Minnesota, and in April. I cycle commute year round, and train for a century, but I don't think about training here in Boston until April at least, mostly because I only ride in the early morning and it's still fairly cold. I follow a ten-week program to prepare, so my first is usually in June. It seems Century season around here starts in May. What kind of training did you do so seemingly early in the year?
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Old 05-02-10, 04:12 PM   #5
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Wow that sounds like a tough century. I note you did it in Minnesota, and in April. I cycle commute year round, and train for a century, but I don't think about training here in Boston until April at least, mostly because I only ride in the early morning and it's still fairly cold. I follow a ten-week program to prepare, so my first is usually in June. It seems Century season around here starts in May. What kind of training did you do so seemingly early in the year?
It warmed up early this year so the riding season started early. During March and April I did 3 20 to 30 mile rides a week and a week before the ride I did a 50 miler. It helped that the area where I live is relatively hilly compared to the MN Ironman route, so except for the last 20 miles the route seemed pretty flat.
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Old 05-02-10, 05:02 PM   #6
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Wow, a definite thumbs up for finishing your first 100 in those conditions.

In my experience, it's the ones who aren't used to pacelines that make you nervous. If you get a group of true hotshots, they'll usually get around you smoothly without giving you cause for concern.
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Old 05-02-10, 08:10 PM   #7
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If you keep riding like that some day you'll be in the paceline passing people <g>

If someone passes close enough to make you uncomfortable you can always say 'on your left' 'on your right' or hello with a surprised tone in your voice. After riding 2 inches away from your paceline for that many miles it's easy to forget some people aren't experienced riders.
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