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  1. #1
    Senior Member joewein's Avatar
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    2013 Century-A-Month Club

    I did not see a thread for this year yet, so I am reposting the rules as per last year:

    Quote Originally Posted by DXchulo View Post
    Who's in? The rules are simple, as always:

    1. Ride a century every month.
    2. Post a report here. Pictures are always nice if you have them.

    Just to answer a few questions that may come up:

    (a) A century is one 100-mile bike ride completed in one 24-hour day. Feel free to be more strict on how you define a century, but here we'll try to include as many people as possible.
    (b) A century is not necessarily a group ride. It is simply a 100-mile ride which may or may not be done with a group and/or part of an organized event.

  2. #2
    Senior Member joewein's Avatar
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    I did my January century last Sunday, 1/6. A friend of mine wanted to do some brevets early in the year, but the first 2 that opened for signup filled up within minutes. Therefore he decided to ride the same course as a private training ride, as theoretically all brevets are. It was a 208 km coastal route along the Pacific west of Tokyo, from Zushi (near Kamakura, famous for its large Buddha statue) to Izukogen (on Izu peninsula) and back. The half near Zushi was flat as a pancake, the other half fairly hilly. The weather was beautiful and there was little wind, which is rare for the coast.

    For the first few hours I could enjoy a clear view of Mt Fuji in the morning light while thinking this would be my easiest 200 km ever. There were five of us, including two riders who had not ventured beyond 125 km a day yet, but there was also a railway line running near the course, so bailout points were never more than a few km away. As it turned out, they held up better than I did. Though I did well on hills, I struggled on the last 30 km and got dropped by my group 10 km before the finish. I basically hadn't done any significant exercise for two weeks solid around Christmas / New Year and it showed. I still managed to finish the 208 km course in 13 hours and 10 minutes, 20 minutes under the official limit, but I felt rather sore.

    I now know I need to find time for endurance training every week, even when I get busy or am travelling.

    Me (left) and my fellow riders:



    Me in front of Atami Castle (an imitation built in 1959):


  3. #3
    Upgrading my engine DXchulo's Avatar
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    Did this route yesterday. Great scenery, but the roads were in terrible condition. Here's looking at the climb while the roads were still smooth.

    centuryperweek.blogspot.com

  4. #4
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    Century done today, 106.4 miles, 5000 ft of climbing, relatively warm, for most of the ride, 31-40F. Cloudy, with fog at elevations above about 1300 feet, which was a good chunk of riding with wet glasses. I like this route (out to Cortland, 41 to 12 to Greene, to Chenango Forks, on 79 to Whitney Point and back in), some nice very quiet roads, I did an alternate for about 8 miles after Greene, instead of Rt 12, I took county Rt 32, a mile longer and some extra climbing.

    http://ridewithgps.com/trips/1014521/embed
    My bike touring blog: http://chipbiking.wordpress.com

  5. #5
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    Do we discuss failed attempts, or just the successes?

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.L. Zamenhof View Post
    Do we discuss failed attempts, or just the successes?
    Failed attempts too! Sometimes they're more interesting stories than successful ones!
    My bike touring blog: http://chipbiking.wordpress.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipg5 View Post
    Failed attempts too! Sometimes they're more interesting stories than successful ones!
    Boy do I have a story then!
    Last edited by L.L. Zamenhof; 01-21-13 at 12:31 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.L. Zamenhof View Post
    Boy do I have a story then!

    I had decided right around New Year's that I wanted to attempt the Century-A-Month Challenge. After looking at my schedule for the month, it looked like Saturday the 12th would be the best day for January. Looking at the weather forecast also told me it was going to be the coldest day of 2013 so far, and the only cold stint so far in January. The forecast was calling for a high of about 19, with a low of about 7. No worries, I thought, I'll just look that much tougher when I actually complete it.

    Since I had commuted in the past at temperatures that were a fair amount lower, I didn't think it would be that crazy to do 100 miles in warmer temperatures. I guess I forgot that my commutes were only 6.5 miles, and how cold I really was on them.

    I began the day by leaving the apartment at about 8:15 in the morning, 15 minutes later than I wanted. Not a big deal. After I got my bike ready for the day, it was 8:25. Then I was having MAJOR issues clipping in. It was so bad I almost gave up and went back to bed. Took me about 10 minutes to be able to clip in, and that was no easy feat. It wasn't for a couple hours that clipping in became easy again. Not a good start.

    Once I got moving, though, things were pretty good. I was making good time (with low expectations), and I was pretty comfortable. At about mile 15 I was riding on a bike path through a state park. There was a light dusting of snow on the trail, maybe a 1/4 of an inch - really just enough to cover the entire path. I took a corner too fast, as if it was a clear summer day. Down I go. Nothing major, just slid out on the non-drive-train side of the bike. All I got out of this was a bit of snow on my pants, and a lesson reinforced. Not a good first hour and a half of the ride.

    My plan was to do about 55-60 miles before I stopped home, ate lunch, and warmed up a bit. But because I under dressed my feet, I had to take my break at 46 miles. My toes were so numb it was as if I came from the doctor's office. I spent about 45 minutes at home getting warm and eating lunch. Changed shoes, too.

    The second half started out pretty well. It was about 1 pm, and it was as warm as it was going to get during the day. This good feeling lasted about 20 miles. After that, it started to get cold fast. And I was losing energy. My riding speed had slowed to barely 14 mph. And that was pushing it. But I was at about 70 miles, so I just told myself "only 3 more 10 mile segments." Shouldn't be too bad, but at this point I was just gutting it out to finish.

    At about miles 76 I decided I was going to stop at a 7-11 to get some hot dogs and Gatorade. Once I left the bike path, I noticed my back tire was a little wider than normal. I stop and notice it's completely flat. I had the stuff to change the tube, but by this point I was too demoralized and cold to have the will-power to change the tube. In a lot of ways, I was glad I flatted, because all I could think about was giving up. I walked to the 7/11 where I waited for my wife to pick me up as I ate two hot dogs. Total miles: 77.49, total riding time: 5:30, elapsed time: 8:20.

    I later found out from the local university's weather station that the temperature at 8:30 am was 7 degrees, and the high for the day was 15. It snowed lightly a couple of times and the wind was blowing hard for parts of the ride. By far the most difficult physical feat I have attempted. I learned that maybe, just maybe, I should try to pick a day with more favorable weather instead of settling for looking tough. As it stands, that was my second longest ride, but that small victory feels hollow.

    Worst part about not completing this one is that I'm not sure there will be a good time in the rest of January to get one in. I may have to settle with doing a bunch of them through the year.
    That's the problem with Jan and Feb around here too, so few days that are actually decent enough for a century ride on days that I can actually ride. I lucked out with the warm weather here yesterday.

    And yeah, very cold winter centuries can be tough. The first few I did I really suffered, especially feet, but then I figured out how to do them and I'm fine, I've done a few in those (temps 5-20 degrees). And flatting in that kind of weather also sucks, trying to change a flat in those temps is no fun.

    For feet, I finally broke down and bought winter cycling boots, Lakes, they're a bit heavy but they work well; when it gets below thirty I'll throw in chemical hand warmers into each boot, with wool socks, with that setup my feet have never gotten cold even on very cold all-day long century rides at those low temps. Which is great because in the past it was my frozen feet, feeling like blocks of ice, that were the most discouraging.

    The other cold issue I had was the crotch area, which can be very uncomfortable, I tried using plastic bags as kind of liners (because the worst was on downhills with that wind blowing...) but I finally got my wife to sew a little pouch inside my cycling shorts over the top of the chamois, and I put a chemical hand warmer inside a very light summer wool sock, put it in the pouch, and again, never had issues since them.

    Key is dressing warm, better to overdress than underdress. As for roadways, yeah it can be treacherous, I usually only go out if the roads/shoulders are clear of snow.

    Looks like you guys might be having some nice weather next weekend, go for it!
    My bike touring blog: http://chipbiking.wordpress.com

  9. #9
    rhm
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    I got my January century done on Saturday as well, along with forum member TimmyT. Hit the road at six, when it was very dark and foggy, like riding through a cloud. It eventually got light, but never sunny. We made a loop down into the pinelands, about nine hours total including some pretty long stops.

    105 miles total, with negligible elevation changes.

  10. #10
    lead on macduff!
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    Date of Ride: 1/3/2013
    Type of Ride: diy solo century-san diego county, ca
    Actual Mileage: 113.5 miles
    Ride Time: 7h 55m
    Total Time: 8h 12m
    Avg. Speed: 14.3 mph
    Altitude Climbed: approx. 4,356 ft
    Weather conditions: dry, clear, sunny, low/mid 60's


    synopsis of ride: late morning start as the early part of the ride was in valleys (brrr) and i'm a cold weather wuss. headed east from mission valley and rode willow/el monte roads near lakeside. hadn't ridden either before (pancake flat) and the east end of willow had a good 3 mile or so stretch of dirt road which was fun. ascended lake jennings rd and descended harbinson grade to dehesa rd. took the 94/campo rd up to jamul and made a right on otay lakes rd, heading west. very light traffic the whole time and a great clear day for a ride. the views were outstanding. navigated thru chula vista to the silver strand bikeway; took that up to coronado and back then headed north along the harbor dr corridor back to balboa park area. ran out of daylight with about 30 minutes to go but fortunately had 2 tailights and all the potholes/bad stretches on 28th st (and there are plenty) memorized.

  11. #11
    lead on macduff!
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    Date of Ride: 1/9/2013
    Type of Ride: diy solo century-san diego county, ca
    Actual Mileage: 100.2 miles
    Ride Time: 7h 36m
    Total Time: 8h 33m
    Avg. Speed: 13.2 mph
    Altitude Climbed: approx. 4,556 ft
    Weather conditions: dry, clear, sunny, foggy mid 40's-mid 60's


    synopsis of ride: had much grander ambitions for this ride but decided a third of the way into the ride that i wasn't in as much of a climbing mood as i had planned. instead of a rural/mountain ride (up past the 6,000 ft mark), i doubled back and made it a half rural/half urban century. farthest east i rode was alpine, ca. once back in town, rode downtown, point loma. cabrillo national monument (foggy for those 8 miles) and around mission bay (+once around fiesta island). mornings continue to be cold (in the 40's) in the valleys till about 10am. warmest in alpine with some great, warming sunshine & little wind. had to stop at pizzeria luigi in golden hill just east of downtown san diego. needed to eat something more substantial than a clif bar and my spirits were flagging since i was just a mile from home and thinking of packing it in after 61 miles. amazing what 2 slices of ny styled thin crust sausage, pepperoni & meatball pizza + 2 og energy drinks (aka coca-cola) can do for energy/morale. lost approximately 40 minutes to stop lights in the city as i seemed to hit all the long ones at all the big intersections.

  12. #12
    lead on macduff!
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    Date of Ride: 1/16/2013
    Type of Ride: diy solo century-san diego county, ca
    Actual Mileage: 110.6 miles
    Ride Time: 7h 28m
    Total Time: 7h 50m
    Avg. Speed: 14.8 mph
    Altitude Climbed: approx. 6,002 ft
    Weather conditions: dry, clear, sunny, mid 40's-mid 60's


    synopsis of ride: northern loop initially following the 15 fwy corridor, then the 56 fwy bike path. rolled through rancho santa fe heading for the outskirts of escondido via del dios hwy then took harmony grove/elfin forest road to the san elijo hills area. north on el camino real to the 76 hwy bike path heading west to oceanside. rode the coast back 30 miles into metro san diego. lots of riders out as it is finally starting to warm up a little. annoying road resurfacing work in solana beach and encinitas on the 101 but hoping it'll be smooth as butter on the next ride through those parts.

  13. #13
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    Good start to 2013

    1st Jan - 165km

    4th Jan - 180km

    18th Jan - 167km
    First 75km ridden in 2:17, Last 90 odd km was straight into a headwind. Destination was the city of Wellington With a latitude of 41 17' South. Wellington is the southernmost capital city in the world and is extremly windy due to its location in the lattitudes of the "roaring forties".

    19th Jan - 167km
    The return trip. Wind had swung round almost 180 degrees during the night. Really need to invest in some aero-bars

  14. #14
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Dad 2 3's Avatar
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    My ride report from January 12th...................



    I did a century back in September of '12. I finished with a moving time of 6:31:06 and an elapsed time of 7:55:11 with an average speed of 15.3 mph. This century was also very flat with only 1,296 ft of elevation gain. The goal for this century was just to finish as I'd never done a century before. After I finished I set a goal to do a faster century.

    One of my goals for 2013 is a century a month. Today I got January's century under my belt. It was a very warm day for January around here (high of 65 F), but roads were wet and the sky was grey. I went into it to get to the 50 mile mark and just see how I felt and go from there. At the 50 mile mark I felt good, so continued on. At the 75 mile mark I hit a wall of sorts, but there was no way I was going to stop with only 25 miles left so I continued on. At the 88 mile mark I had a mishap with a small wet curb and went down. The bike is fine (that's what counts right?), but my left knee/leg and back of my left hand are road rash. Tagaderm and antibiotic ointment are currently covering the affected areas. There was no way I was letting this stop me so I pedaled on. I know I got some strange looks from people in cars while I was sitting at a couple stoplights because my left leg was a bloody mess. LOL At any rate, I finished in a much better time than my first century, so the training I've been putting in is working. Tomorrow is going to be a S-L-O-W recovery ride!!

    Stats:
    100.2 miles with 5,434 feet of gain with a moving time of 6:10:24 and an elapsed time of 6:37:55 with an average speed of 16.2.


    January Century Garmin Connect

    January Century Strava
    My bike: Scott CR1 Elite, Trek 7.2FX
    My Strava: http://app.strava.com/athletes/651178

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.L. Zamenhof View Post
    Glad you got a January century in, and on a sunny day!
    My bike touring blog: http://chipbiking.wordpress.com

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maneo View Post
    Good start to 2013

    1st Jan - 165km

    4th Jan - 180km

    18th Jan - 167km
    First 75km ridden in 2:17, Last 90 odd km was straight into a headwind. Destination was the city of Wellington With a latitude of 41 17' South. Wellington is the southernmost capital city in the world and is extremly windy due to its location in the lattitudes of the "roaring forties".

    19th Jan - 167km
    The return trip. Wind had swung round almost 180 degrees during the night. Really need to invest in some aero-bars
    Fifth century for January today. Casual pace with total time ~6hrs. 30 degree celcius heat plus not carrying enough water meant I finished the ride feeling a little worse for wear. Contemplating a 500k event in 10 weeks time but not sure if my endurance is at that level at the moment.

  18. #18
    Senior Member the fly's Avatar
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    Sign me up...

    Date of Ride: 1/29/2013
    Type of Ride: solo century north carolina
    Actual Mileage: 100.5 miles
    Ride Time: 6hr 9min
    Total Time: 7hr 21 min
    Avg. Speed: 16.4
    Altitude Climbed: approx. 1154 ft
    Weather conditions: dry low 50's to mid 60's

    total time may be a little off. i turned around at end of my driveway and had to go back inside for a bit before I actually started. didn't bother resetting garmin.

  19. #19
    Senior Member joewein's Avatar
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    I did my February century (177 km / 110 miles) on the first Sunday, 4 weeks after my January century and 5 weeks before the first 2013 brevet I'm signed up for (200 km).

    Around Tokyo we can ride all year round because snow is rare here at sea level on the Pacific coast, but most of us don't venture up into the hills until March or later. Miura peninsula and Chiba peninsula are popular for LSD rides, as are the rivers (Arakawa, Edogawa, Tamagawa). However, my first brevet will be hilly, so I thought I should get some hills into my legs and headed out towards Laka Yamanaka at the foot of Mt Fuji, on a course that largely followed the route of a brevet I'm signed up for in April.

    Self portrait outside a convenience store an hour before sunrise:



    Tamagawa at dawn:



    First Fuji view after sunrise:



    Some steep hills and snow once I got into the hills. These doughnut-marked concrete slabs are used for really steep road sections:



    On some minor roads around there I had to dismount and walk because of ice on the road. The snow melts during the day, then the water spreads over the road and freezes again at night.

    All the major climbs (3 climbs near or above 1000 m / 3300 ft) were fine. No snow or ice on the road (maybe a bit of ice on shaded corners).

    Tree house:


    Road sign near Akiyama informing about heavy vehicles bound for the magnetic levitation test track:



    This is the 500 km/h MagLev test track, one of Japan's white elephants:


  20. #20
    Senior Member joewein's Avatar
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    Climbing from Tsuru to Doshi michi:





    Coffee break at Doshi village:





    Stocking up on liquid food during the Yamanakako climb:





    Lake Yamanaka (Yamanakako):





    The Bike Friday:





    The final pass (ca. 1100 m):





    After the final pass came a freezing descent in the final hour of daylight. I braved it out for a while, but finally unpacked the windbreaker and rain gear nylon trousers and put them on. It made all the difference. The regular winter cycling gear was fine for climbs or flat sections, but fast descents from high altitude in February - that called for an extra layer. I was pretty comfortable for the rest of the ride. Probably the weakest point then were the gloves, since they were sweat soaked from previous climbs.


    When I got close to Odawara, still about 40 km of flat course from my original goal, my Android phone started running low on power. It looked like my external USB battery had somehow run out. I considered my options for a while, but then decided -- with the prospect of losing my main navigation tool in the darkness -- to cut the ride short, and caught Odakyu line from Odawara instead of from Honatsugi, for a bit more time with the family on Sunday night. 177 km is good enough for me for a mountain run in February

  21. #21
    lead on macduff!
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    Date of Ride: 2/13/2013
    Type of Ride: diy solo century-san diego county, ca
    Actual Mileage: 102.2 miles
    Ride Time: 7h 01m
    Total Time: 7h 36m
    Avg. Speed: 14.6 mph
    Altitude Climbed: approx. 4,520 ft
    Weather conditions: dry, clear, sunny, mid 50's-low 60's






    synopsis of ride: got a late (after 10am-couldn't fall asleep till 5am) start and headed south along san diego bay, turning inland in chula vista and taking otay lakes rd into the backcountry.
    lots of caterpillars inching their way across the road (i think i missed them all) and the hillsides coming alive with greenery from the recent rains. headed east on the hwy 94 towards campo and
    immediately benefitted from a gentle but persistent tailwind. nice scenery climbing up to dulzura although the road itself is in worse repair than last time i headed this way approx 3 years ago.
    descended barrett junction grade (which is a blast) while staying mindful of the usual crosswinds which can be problematic. turned off hwy 94 and headed north on barrett lake rd to investigate the
    road's potential as a loop ride connector. no go. after 2 miles, the no trespassing/private property/residents only sign & locked gate came out in force and i didn't want to end up as livestock feed or dog food.
    turned around heading back the way i came. ascended the 2 mile barrett junction grade, rode through jamul and headed back into metro san diego via el cajon, santee and mission valley.

  22. #22
    Senior Member the fly's Avatar
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    Great pics, joewein.

    Feb is in the books.

    Date of Ride: 2/15/13
    Type of Ride: solo century north carolina
    Actual Mileage: 100.2 miles
    Ride Time: 6hr 16min
    Total Time: 7hr 03 min
    Avg. Speed: 16.0
    Altitude Climbed: approx. 850 ft
    Weather conditions: dry low 50's to mid 60's

    virtually the same as last months century. terrain is super flat, and i'm getting stuck in 16mph no mans land.

    maybe march will be better.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Dad 2 3's Avatar
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    Date of Ride: 2/13/2013
    Type of Ride: diy solo century-Kenton County KY
    Actual Mileage: 100.6 miles
    Ride Time: 6:27:09
    Total Time: 7:37:59
    Avg. Speed: 15.6 mph
    Altitude Climbed: 6,017 ft
    Weather conditions: dry, clear, sunny, started at 27 degrees at 8am and got up to 47 degrees by rides end.

    Today I got February's century done. My plan was to ride my normal 25 mile loop 4 times with planned stops back at the house to grab quick bites and refill bottles. This was going to be the most aggressive century with regard to climbing than I had ever attempted. It started out quite chilly at 27 degrees at 8am, but the wind was almost non existent at 4-6mph the entire ride. The roads were dry and the sun was shining. I went into this ride not feeling so hot. I knew I had to do it, but I knew it was going to hurt, and hurt it did. I flatted at mile 13 and changing the flat took longer than I wanted due to numb fingers, but I made it back on the road after 10 minutes. At the 50 mile mark I knew the next two "laps" were going to hurt badly! Kind of funny, but at the 75 mile mark I hit the same wall I always hit at that point. In relation to the rest of my 25 mile loops, the last one took me approximately 40 minutes longer than the average of the other 3 laps. I need some longer rides to prevent this from happening, but winter has not been kind in that regard, and I can only take so much time on the trainer! Anyway, this was a good ride and I'm proud I stuck it out despite not feeling strong.

    Stats:
    100.6 miles with 6014 feet of gain with a moving time of 6:27:09 and an elapsed time of 7:23:59 with an average speed of 15.6.


    February Century Garmin Connect

    February Century Strava
    My bike: Scott CR1 Elite, Trek 7.2FX
    My Strava: http://app.strava.com/athletes/651178

  24. #24
    Upgrading my engine DXchulo's Avatar
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    February is always my least favorite month. I think I complain about it every year. It's almost over now and I'm still on pace for a century per week. Here's a picture from yesterday's ride (101 miles, ~7500 feet):

    centuryperweek.blogspot.com

  25. #25
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by DXchulo View Post
    February is always my least favorite month. I think I complain about it every year. It's almost over now and I'm still on pace for a century per week. Here's a picture from yesterday's ride (101 miles, ~7500 feet):
    With winter cancelled for lack of interest two years in a row, Feb hasn`t been too bad. I replied to ask if that was the sugarloaf east of VC, but when I quoted you I got the title, mentioning Six Mile Canyon, so no need to ask any more. Nice pic.

    No centuries at all for me yet this year, but I have a 200K comming up this weekend, so should be changing that soon.

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