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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 05-13-10, 01:15 PM   #1
m_yates
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First century tomorrow and boy am I nervous

I signed up for a charity century ride that is tomorrow. I've been told "It is the easiest century you'll ever do." but I'm nervous as can be. I'm putting new tires and tubes on my bike tonight just to reduce the chance of getting a flat during the ride. I took the last two days off from riding to be well rested. Tweaked my achilles tendon on my last training ride, so I'm considering lowering my saddle slightly and wrapping my ankle. For some reason, I have started panic mode. Maybe I shouldn't touch my bike at all. Other riders warned me not to change anything on the bike at the last minute.

Unfortunately, the local forecast is 80 percent chance of rain, 10-20 mph winds with gusts of 30 mph. I'm afraid it is going to be a long, hard day.
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Old 05-13-10, 01:17 PM   #2
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Cold, wind and rain are a bad combination.

If the weather is actually as bad as predicted, reconsider.
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Old 05-13-10, 01:24 PM   #3
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I'm starting it regardless. Finishing it will remain to be seen. There is no way I'm backing out now.
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Old 05-13-10, 02:19 PM   #4
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I'm sure you'll be fine, as long as you remember to ride within your limits. It isn't a race and the point is to enjoy the ride. Leaving your bike alone before a big ride is good advice, but on the flipside I've seen people practically disassemble theirs on long rides. The whole thing is to be comfortable, however you get there.

One suggestion from experience: On a rainy, windy day it's nice to ride with other people. If no one is riding at your preferred pace, you'll be better off hitching on with people going more slowly than you'd prefer than with people going more quickly.
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Old 05-13-10, 02:32 PM   #5
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I'm starting it regardless. Finishing it will remain to be seen. There is no way I'm backing out now.
That's the spirit! Our most recent 300Km had heavy rain early in the day, followed by 24mph headwinds and crosswinds with gusts to 39mph. All 37 of the riders who started completed the event, though three were over the time limit. I was the ride organizer, so I didn't get to ride in it (I got the 90 degree heat a week before). For a ride report, see: http://thedailyrandonneur.wordpress....2010-dcr-300k/

Just take it easy. I wouldn't adjust your saddle height by more than a mm whatever you do. Stay hydrated and well fed so that you don't get cold and dispirited. Make sure you have enough clothes to handle the weather changes.

I've been riding randonneuring events for five years, but I'm still fairly nervous before big events. Once you start pedaling, the nerves disappear and unless weather conditions are truly severe, you just have fun. If you find yourself feeling like you can never finish, stop and get off the bike for five minutes and eat an energy bar. Get back on and pedal slowly. Chances are, without even noticing it, you'll find yourself riding at your normal speed twenty minutes later, enjoying yourself again.

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Old 05-13-10, 02:35 PM   #6
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I'm starting it regardless. Finishing it will remain to be seen. There is no way I'm backing out now.
That's the spirit! Our most recent 300Km had heavy rain early in the day, followed by 24mph headwinds and crosswinds with gusts to 39mph. All 37 of the riders who started completed the event, though three were over the time limit. I was the ride organizer, so I didn't get to ride in it (I got the 90 degree heat a week before). For a ride report, see: http://thedailyrandonneur.wordpress....2010-dcr-300k/

Just take it easy. I wouldn't adjust your saddle height by more than a mm whatever you do. Stay hydrated and well fed so that you don't get cold and dispirited. Make sure you have enough clothes to handle the weather changes.

I've been riding randonneuring events for five years, but I'm still fairly nervous before big events. Once you start pedaling, the nerves disappear and unless weather conditions are truly severe, you just have fun. If you find yourself feeling like you can never finish, stop and get off the bike for five minutes and eat an energy bar. Get back on and pedal slowly. Chances are, without even noticing it, you'll find yourself riding at your normal speed twenty minutes later, enjoying yourself again.

Nick
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Old 05-13-10, 03:08 PM   #7
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I'm sure you'll be fine, as long as you remember to ride within your limits.....
+1. And remember - It's just five 20 mile rides (or four 25 mile rides, or three 33 mile rides, etc, etc).
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Old 05-13-10, 04:14 PM   #8
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Going on a long ride with a "tweak" in you system doesn't sound promising. That particular tendon is one of the few that can sustain considerable damage if exercised in an injured or inflamed state.

If you so new to cycling that you a changing your seat or bicycle fit - and doing it before the longest ride to date - again you are really creating a dilemma.

Good luck, any long ride is doable, provided you keep a comfortable pace and are free to adjust your effort and riding style to whatever level needed to remain pain free.
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Old 05-13-10, 04:57 PM   #9
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I wonder what the longest ride he's done prior is.
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Old 05-13-10, 05:47 PM   #10
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my longest ride to date was 65 miles. that was on a fully loaded camping trip last summer. longest training ride this spring was 30 miles.
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Old 05-14-10, 10:53 AM   #11
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my longest ride to date was 65 miles. that was on a fully loaded camping trip last summer. longest training ride this spring was 30 miles.
Ideally, you would have done a few more longer rides more recently.

Ignoring your ankle issue, if it's flat and you go slow (eg, 13 mph) and keep hydrated and fed, you should not have any problems (but you might be tired at the end of it!).

What people often do is start out too fast.
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Old 05-14-10, 11:03 AM   #12
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I signed up for a charity century ride that is tomorrow. I've been told "It is the easiest century you'll ever do." but I'm nervous as can be. I'm putting new tires and tubes on my bike tonight just to reduce the chance of getting a flat during the ride. I took the last two days off from riding to be well rested. Tweaked my achilles tendon on my last training ride, so I'm considering lowering my saddle slightly and wrapping my ankle. For some reason, I have started panic mode. Maybe I shouldn't touch my bike at all. Other riders warned me not to change anything on the bike at the last minute.

Unfortunately, the local forecast is 80 percent chance of rain, 10-20 mph winds with gusts of 30 mph. I'm afraid it is going to be a long, hard day.
Changing your tires sort of makes sense but not really unless they are really worn out and need changing anyways. Changing your tube however makes no sense. Old tubes are not more likely to flat than new tubes. In fact they are less likely to flat because they have already been proven to work. New tubes are sometimes flaky. Cheap ones can have manufacturing defects like weak valve stems that blow under pressure.
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Old 05-14-10, 05:52 PM   #13
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I did it. The rain held out and wind wasn't bad until mile 50 or 60. My ankle was fine. what bothered me most were elbows, shoulder, and neck. My legs were fine and climbing hills was no problem. Overall, it was a great ride. I'm going to sleep well tonight.
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Old 05-14-10, 08:27 PM   #14
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I did it. The rain held out and wind wasn't bad until mile 50 or 60. My ankle was fine. what bothered me most were elbows, shoulder, and neck. My legs were fine and climbing hills was no problem. Overall, it was a great ride. I'm going to sleep well tonight.
Congratulations on finishing! It's a great feeling. I hope you did sleep well. I find that when I ride more than 70 miles, I usually sleep fitfully that night. (I've never done more than 125; maybe after a longer ride I'd sleep OK.) The subsequent night is usually pretty good, though.
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Old 05-14-10, 08:27 PM   #15
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Congratulations on finishing the ride!
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Old 05-15-10, 07:38 AM   #16
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I didn't sleep as well as I could have because of the sunburn. I'm a dunce and forgot sunblock because I was so worried about finishing the ride.
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Old 05-15-10, 08:18 AM   #17
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Congratulations for finishing your first century! I don't think I would have started in those weather conditions.
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Old 05-15-10, 11:27 AM   #18
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Congratulations for finishing your first century! I don't think I would have started in those weather conditions.
It was a charity ride that had SAG wagon support and police escort. I knew if I couldn't make it, I could always finish the ride sipping pina coladas on the bus. There were 330 riders that always stayed together as a group. The group pace was set at ~15 mph. There was a sweeper in the back. If anyone was having trouble keeping the pace for whatever reason, they were required to get on the bus because the police wanted to limit the number of intersections blocked. The ride was also broken up into 7 stages with 20 minute rest stops in between. For the last ~1/3 of the race or so, we were in a really stiff headwind most of the time. The ride pace was dropped to ~12 mph to help keep the group together. A lot of people told me this is the easiest century ride anyone could do. A handful of people actually completed the whole thing on mountain bikes.

The pace was not the problem for me. What I struggled with was pain in my upper body (neck, shoulders, and elbows). I was actually wishing they could pick up the pace at the end just so I could get off the bike. My legs felt fine at the end. When I reached the end, my cyclo-computer read 97.5 miles. I peeled off with a small group of riders and did loops around an industrial park until we actually reached the 100 mile mark. Not sure why the route didn't equal a century, but I didn't want to end the day saying I rode 97.5 miles.
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Old 05-15-10, 02:22 PM   #19
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congrats
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Old 05-15-10, 03:06 PM   #20
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Congrats, seems like a pretty neat way to ride a century. I've ridden a century with a group of about 10, I really liked it.
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When I reached the end, my cyclo-computer read 97.5 miles. I peeled off with a small group of riders and did loops around an industrial park until we actually reached the 100 mile mark. Not sure why the route didn't equal a century, but I didn't want to end the day saying I rode 97.5 miles.
last year I wanted to ride 12 extra miles to make a (long) 300k into a double, but when I got to the finish I lost all ambition to do that.
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Old 05-17-10, 02:11 PM   #21
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Someone uploaded a video of the group ride on youtube. You can see me go by at 1:18. I'm the only one riding with panniers.

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Old 05-17-10, 02:55 PM   #22
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Right on ... keep on riding
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