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  1. #1
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Splitting a century

    How many of you would consider two 50-mile rides three hours apart an honest century?

    The reason I ask is that there is a community bike shop 45+ miles from where I live that is open 2-5 pm Sunday afternoons (as well as some other evenings during the week) and I volunteer there often. This summer I am planning to ride to and from the shop each Sunday, weather permitting, in preparation for a couple of charity centuries this summer. By tweeking the route, I could easily make it 50 miles or more each way. How many of you would call this doing a century a week?
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  2. #2
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    The rules are you can't take off shoes or helmet during the break.

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    Back when the League of American Wheelmen (now 'Bicyclists') promoted their Sanctioned Centuries, the distance of 100 miles had to be completed within 12 hours total elapsed time and be self-powered. There were no limitations on how participants wanted to allocate any rest stop periods within that time period. Nor were there any requirements on whether or not shoes or helmets were worn.

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    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    The "rules" are purely arbitrary, but I would call that two half-centuries, not a century.

    If I set off on a 1200k ride, I can stop and sleep each night and still call that "one ride". But if I go to the store, come back, goof off a while, then go somewhere else, that's two rides.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  5. #5
    Senior Member The Octopus's Avatar
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    If you were reporting the total time it took you to ride it -- including the 3-hour break -- then I'd call it a legit century. Otherwise, in my book, it'd be 2, 50-mile rides.

  6. #6
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Octopus View Post
    If you were reporting the total time it took you to ride it -- including the 3-hour break -- then I'd call it a legit century.
    +1

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    Commuter & cyclotourist brianogilvie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Octopus View Post
    If you were reporting the total time it took you to ride it -- including the 3-hour break -- then I'd call it a legit century. Otherwise, in my book, it'd be 2, 50-mile rides.
    +2.

    Either way, you can say that you rode 100 miles in a day. Does it matter what you call it?

  8. #8
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    It would go down in my logbook the same, regardless of how many hours break I had. My log book only has columns for each day for distance ridden, rolling time, and total ascent. As long as it's done during the same calendar day, it would therefore not matter to me.

  9. #9
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    I am new at this. I rode my 100 mile ride in 12.5 hours total time so I had three hours of break time along the way. More than an hour in one sitting because of the heat index of about 100 degrees. Also I did 93 miles in over 16 hours and did not call it a century. It was just a long day in the saddle I would call your ride a century if completed in 24 hours total ( I see others would not because they say 'calender day'. I see night rides as a way to get miles and that is why i am suggesting 24 hours)

  10. #10
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    How do you want to split the hair? In my book, it's all in one day, so it's a century.

    I counted as a century a 70 miler a couple years ago, with 15 miles to the start of the ride to register, and 15 miles home after eating dinner. Pretty soon we'll have to argue over where you break between a one hour meal and a three hour volunteer shift.

  11. #11
    Senior Member az_cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Octopus View Post
    If you were reporting the total time it took you to ride it -- including the 3-hour break -- then I'd call it a legit century. Otherwise, in my book, it'd be 2, 50-mile rides.
    Make mine a +3 here, if you are interested in being consider sanctioned or official. It is my understanding most of the double centuries have official cut off times. RUSA also has overall time limits for 200, 300, 400 and + brevets and permanents.

  12. #12
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Whether it's truly a century or not is pretty easy to determine.

    Did the times of the rides fall on two different days according to the French time zone? If the French don't approve, there's nothing further to argue. The French are the final authority on everything cycling. Everything.

  13. #13
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    To the French, a century would be 100km if anything, would it not?
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  14. #14
    Senior Member The Octopus's Avatar
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    Interesting related note: Back in the day, the Big Dogs Ultracycling site (a few of us here have been logging our rides there for years) used to only give you credit for one century, no matter how long the ride was, if it was longer than 100 miles. Since people were competing to see how many centuries they could ride in a month/year/whatever, some would log a 1200K, for example, as 7 different rides (thus making it 7 centuries). Seems a bit of a raw deal to ride ~740 miles and only get credit for one century. That was changed a few years ago, and the website now give you credit for the number of centuries that can be evenly divided into whatever your ride distance was. The site still doesn't let you put in times in increments of more than 24 hours, though. To a lot of pople (me included), a ride gets logged only on the day it starts, and then you log the total distance of the ride, the saddle time, the total time, and other stats you want to track (weather, elevation change, calories consumed, whatever). I'm always too out of it on rides that are on multiple calendar days to remember how far I went at midnight or 24 hours from the start or any other increment that might make sense.

  15. #15
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    I don't even log century rides because most of my rides aren't century, they are longer than century rides. Today for example, I did over 127 miles.

    I only keep track of how many 100-100+ mile days I ride. I'm trying for one a week for an entire year. Right now I'm on week 28 with two double metric centuries this week alone.

    This time of year with limited daylight I pretty much have to do them straight through but during the summer months when I'm riding faster and when the days are much longer I can break them up anyway I want to.

    My question for znomit is...so you go to walk into a store to buy a snack or go to the bathroom, or fill up your water bottle, do you still keep your helmet on. I never do. Sure I keep the shoes on but I don't ever keep my helmet or sunglasses/ski googles on when I go into a store.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Octopus View Post
    If you were reporting the total time it took you to ride it -- including the 3-hour break -- then I'd call it a legit century. Otherwise, in my book, it'd be 2, 50-mile rides.
    Seems a fair idea to me.

    Personally I never cared much about centuries. It just doesn't seem like that big a deal to ride 100 miles. (That is JUST riding 100 miles, if one is dealing with total time or some of the routes involved it is a totally different story).
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    How do you want to split the hair? In my book, it's all in one day, so it's a century.
    Dang, I wish this thread had existed before I rode a "Midnight Century" last August. The ride is put on by a bunch of the local clubs and doesn't start going until ~6pm. While I think a lot of people finished the metric version before midnight, I rode the 100mi length and didn't get back until a little past midnight. "Midnight Hundred Mile Ride" doesn't sound as good though.

  18. #18
    Senior Member bikejrff's Avatar
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    I'm kinda new at this, though I have logged more than 6000 miles in each of the past 4 years. IMHO there are too many of these nit picky, arbitrary "rules". Ride to the shop and then ride back. You rode a century. Our annual club "century" ride in July....the various routes loop out of one SAG. Some of our members ride the century and spend as much time talking/socializing at the SAG as they do riding. Eventually they get back on their bikes and complete 100 miles. It is a century folks.

  19. #19
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    "My question for znomit is...so you go to walk into a store to buy a snack or go to the bathroom, or fill up your water bottle, do you still keep your helmet on. I never do. Sure I keep the shoes on but I don't ever keep my helmet or sunglasses/ski googles on when I go into a store."

    I used to always take it off, but anymore, find it's just as easy to leave it on.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  20. #20
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Wow, more controversy than I expected. As the entire trip, including three hours at the bike shop, would take between nine and eleven hours, it appears that it could informally be considered a century. I'm not worried about it either way. I'm just trying to tack down some of the terminology for a sport that's fairly new to me.

    It just doesn't seem like that big a deal to ride 100 miles.
    I realize that a century might not be significant to a seasoned rider, but three years ago I weighed nearly 300 pounds and was in a hospital bed with heart problems wondering if I was going to live to see 50. Walking up a flight of stairs left me short of breath and wheezing. Now I'm 60+ pounds lighter. I started cycling seriously last spring and in one year have gone from needing to rest after slogging 5 miles around the neighborhood, to group riding 20-30 miles regularly toward the end of last summer. I've made a few 50-60 mile highway rides without putting a foot down. The 75-mile and Twin Century charity rides I have planned for this summer will be real milestones for me.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  21. #21
    KingoftheMountain wannabe Savagewolf's Avatar
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    I'd consider two separate rides. The distance (cut in half) just isn't enough to call it a century with a three hour break in the middle of it. Three hours is far more than enough time to relax and recover after that distance. It removes the "challenge" of completing a century.

    Don't get me wrong, however. It's still a great accomplishment and you are going to rack up great miles and improve your fitness. Doing two 50 mile rides a day is very impressive.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
    I realize that a century might not be significant to a seasoned rider, but three years ago I weighed nearly 300 pounds and was in a hospital bed with heart problems wondering if I was going to live to see 50. Walking up a flight of stairs left me short of breath and wheezing. Now I'm 60+ pounds lighter. I started cycling seriously last spring and in one year have gone from needing to rest after slogging 5 miles around the neighborhood, to group riding 20-30 miles regularly toward the end of last summer. I've made a few 50-60 mile highway rides without putting a foot down.
    First off, congratulations for the accomplishments of your last year! Second, 100 miles in a day is 100 miles in a day. As mentioned above, RUSA allows any rider to stop for however long he/she wants so long as the final distance is covered in the allotted time for that distance. So, log it as you want - 2-50 milers or a single 100-miler. As you've noted, you've progressively increased your distance, endurance and overall health. The definition of "what constitutes a century for logbook purposes" is, well, superfluous in the overall scheme of things if you ask me - at least in this case.

  23. #23
    Lurking Under a Rock
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    I think you should call it whatever you want to call it. Who cares what RUSA says, UMCA says, random people on the interwebz you've met say? It's a great accomplishment, and my hat is off to anyone who wants to spend their summer sundays riding 100 miles roud trip & volunteering at a bike program. If you want to play by someone else's rules then that is fine. But if you're cycling for the enjoyment, who cares?!

    Where I live, people don't think I am a serious long distance cyclist b/c I have never completed LOTOJA. To each their own (that double century costs $175!, plus you have to enter a drawing). Don't ever loose track of why you are cycling, however it is you define it.

    BTW, I get nasty hot foot in the summers, so I have taken my helmet and shoes off during a 200k. GASP!!

  24. #24
    Senior Member MNBikeCommuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savagewolf View Post
    Three hours is far more than enough time to relax and recover after that distance. It removes the "challenge" of completing a century.
    Three hours is enough time to recover from a half century? I wish I had your body!!!!

    Myosmith, I'll vote for calling it a century. And congrats on your accomplishments over the past three years!

  25. #25
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
    Wow, more controversy than I expected. As the entire trip, including three hours at the bike shop, would take between nine and eleven hours, it appears that it could informally be considered a century. I'm not worried about it either way. I'm just trying to tack down some of the terminology for a sport that's fairly new to me.



    I realize that a century might not be significant to a seasoned rider, but three years ago I weighed nearly 300 pounds and was in a hospital bed with heart problems wondering if I was going to live to see 50. Walking up a flight of stairs left me short of breath and wheezing. Now I'm 60+ pounds lighter. I started cycling seriously last spring and in one year have gone from needing to rest after slogging 5 miles around the neighborhood, to group riding 20-30 miles regularly toward the end of last summer. I've made a few 50-60 mile highway rides without putting a foot down. The 75-mile and Twin Century charity rides I have planned for this summer will be real milestones for me.
    In my book, you've earned the right to call it whatever you want.

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