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  1. #1
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Freds -- share your century preparation secrets!

    My attitude is that it's all hype unless you race. The god's honest truth is 99% of us suck and that's OK.

    Tomorrow, I'll ride another century I go to every year. It's not totally flat, but with less than 5k feet of climbing, the wind is a much bigger deal than the scenic hills. My preparation: ride 44 miles too hard today, drink too much wine, sleep 4 hrs tops, try to remember to bring water bottles, shoes, gloves, bike, and a helmet tomorrow. And have a good time like always.

    To pretend I'm not slow, I'll just take my steel commuter with fenders and rack. The reality is that it has little impact on my speed, even on the climbs. But hey, I get an excuse to hang back, enjoy the scenery, and yak with the women while the fast dudes get a view of nothing but each others' asses and finish maybe 20 minutes faster than me on a ride that takes a more than a half day to complete.

    Freds love distances and climbs. The aging process may be unkind to sprinting speed. But experience really helps on rides with considerable distance and climbing such as the Everest Challenge. It's the way God intended it to be -- and I will never take offense at being associated with such fine folk.

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Centuries are considered Long Distance rides.

    In the Long Distance Forum (http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl...urance-Cycling), we have a thread just for you ...


    Tips for riding a Century: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ding-a-Century

    Feel free to browse there, and add any tips you've got.

  3. #3
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Centuries are considered Long Distance rides.

    In the Long Distance forum, we have a thread just for you ...

    Tips for riding a Century: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ding-a-Century
    But this is practical advice.

    Frankly, the best way to ride is the dumb way because every detail burns itself into your brain forever and makes it special. The furthest I'd ever ridden before I did my first one was 15 miles and I knew nothing. So of course I did everything wrong, but I will always remember that as one of the greatest rides of my life. Way more special than my first double -- I remember people congratulating me for making it, and all I could think was WTF do I really look so bad that there was any question that I'd cross the line?

    All these people doing things the smart way take all the fun out of it. If you're too sensible, of course you can make it. What's far more fun is to watch someone try something that's clearly outside their range of experience. I will always cheer for and get more excited about the 200lb+ n00b crossing the line looking like crap in a pitiful time than the posers and slackers coasting through a sub 5 with drafting.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
    I will always cheer for and get more excited about the 200lb+ n00b crossing the line looking like crap in a pitiful time than the posers and slackers coasting through a sub 5 with drafting.
    Yes.

    I've said it before and will say it again, one of the most outstanding experiences in cycling that I have had is at the end of a Boston-Montreal-Boston 1200km randonnee (that we didn't finish); a woman who had struggled just about the entire way around the course then endured a monster rainstorm in the hour before she finished, and came in to a truly rousing reception.

    A
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  5. #5
    Gunner. robncircus's Avatar
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    It's always best to consume the alcohol before it's over. Last cerntury I did (nothing organized just me and a buddy who were bored), we stopped at mile 93 for burgers and a few beers. The last 10 miles were interesting.

  6. #6
    Dropped again guadzilla's Avatar
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    Eat enough during the ride, that's about it really. I tend not to do so and so start to get low on energy by 100-110km mark. As long as I remember to fuel better, doing a century isn't particularly tough.
    Peace is knowing someone else is suffering more than you are.

  7. #7
    Senior Member slushlover2's Avatar
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    I'm doing a century today so I am eating the last piece of banana cream pie for breakfast.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member island rider's Avatar
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    Preparation for an organized century? I use the following steps to prepare for and ride in any organized century:

    1) Wake up.
    2) Get dressed.
    2) Throw bike in/on car.
    3) Drive to start.
    4) Take bike off car.
    5) Put on helmet and shoes.
    6) Find friends who drove separately.
    7) Wait.
    8) Ride.
    9) Repeat 7 and 8 several times, with the duration of step 7 eclipsing set 8 after a while.
    10) Show up at the finish after the majority of people have finished their 30 miles, eaten their fill, drank and the beer and gone home... watch the volunteers pack up around you.
    11) Swear I'm never going to do that again.
    12) Wait a few months.
    13) Repeat steps 1-12.
    "I think drivers become like dogs when they see a bicycle fly by at 40mph. Instinctively, they just want to give chase, catch them, and eat them." - Papa Tom

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by slushlover2 View Post
    I'm doing a century today so I am eating the last piece of banana cream pie for breakfast.


    That's my kind of training!

    The two that I have done so far this year I did not do any training on an actual bike. Due to weather, my wife's work schedule and other circumstances, I had to do all of my training at the gym on spin cycles. I was taking spin classes early in the morning and long spin rides at night. Both times I was tinkering with the bike the night before the ride. Just hopped on the bike and took off at the start!

    I have another coming up in a couple of weeks. I did get to ride all 3 days last weekend. And at least once now on the weekends. I will continue the spin classes because if it worked before no reason to change. I also do a couple of boot camp style fitness classes each week. I'm focusing on better overall body fitness and not as much riding. It is working so far. The rest of the body is not giving out after 70-80 miles. No lower back, elbow, etc. issues now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
    My attitude is that it's all hype unless you race. The god's honest truth is 99% of us suck and that's OK.

    Tomorrow, I'll ride another century I go to every year. It's not totally flat, but with less than 5k feet of climbing, the wind is a much bigger deal than the scenic hills. My preparation: ride 44 miles too hard today, drink too much wine, sleep 4 hrs tops, try to remember to bring water bottles, shoes, gloves, bike, and a helmet tomorrow. And have a good time like always.

    To pretend I'm not slow, I'll just take my steel commuter with fenders and rack. The reality is that it has little impact on my speed, even on the climbs. But hey, I get an excuse to hang back, enjoy the scenery, and yak with the women while the fast dudes get a view of nothing but each others' asses and finish maybe 20 minutes faster than me on a ride that takes a more than a half day to complete.

    Freds love distances and climbs. The aging process may be unkind to sprinting speed. But experience really helps on rides with considerable distance and climbing such as the Everest Challenge. It's the way God intended it to be -- and I will never take offense at being associated with such fine folk.
    Good call on the commuter bike! As all freds know and you point out, the bike makes little difference. So ride the one that you can ride all day in any condition. If you hit a shower or 2 you'll be grinning from ear to ear while the hardcore guys are throwing roostertails. Plus the commuter puts you in stealth and "sleeper" mode. You can really deflate some roadie egos in full fred mode!

  11. #11
    Senior Member island rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seypat View Post
    Good call on the commuter bike! As all freds know and you point out, the bike makes little difference. So ride the one that you can ride all day in any condition. If you hit a shower or 2 you'll be grinning from ear to ear while the hardcore guys are throwing roostertails. Plus the commuter puts you in stealth and "sleeper" mode. You can really deflate some roadie egos in full fred mode!
    I grin when I throw rooster-tails. Doesn't matter to me, I'm wet already, but the guy behind me... different story.
    "I think drivers become like dogs when they see a bicycle fly by at 40mph. Instinctively, they just want to give chase, catch them, and eat them." - Papa Tom

  12. #12
    Senior Member island rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
    My preparation: ride 44 miles too hard today, drink too much wine, sleep 4 hrs tops, try to remember to bring water bottles, shoes, gloves, bike, and a helmet tomorrow.
    This.

    And have a good time like always.
    Not always this. Sometimes it's just too much of a pain.
    "I think drivers become like dogs when they see a bicycle fly by at 40mph. Instinctively, they just want to give chase, catch them, and eat them." - Papa Tom

  13. #13
    blah blah blah milkbaby's Avatar
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    It's too hot now so my Snickers bar melts if I carry it in a jersey pocket. Solution: a helper in a support vehicle with AC to hand me non-melted candy bars...

  14. #14
    Gluteus Enormus mmmdonuts's Avatar
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    Don't forget on the night before or morning of the century:
    - replace brake and shifter cables
    - adjust saddle and bars
    - buy new shoes and shorts that you'll wear for the first time
    Everybody's got plans... until they get hit.
    - Mike Tyson

  15. #15
    Middle-Aged Member MikeyBoyAz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmmdonuts View Post
    Don't forget on the night before or morning of the century:
    - replace brake and shifter cables
    - adjust saddle and bars
    - buy new shoes and shorts that you'll wear for the first time
    That all sounds like excellent advice unless you want to have a good time... woo hoo.. my 1000th post.
    I HEARD YOU'RE IDEA'S AND THEIR DEFINATELY GOOD.
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  16. #16
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seypat View Post
    Good call on the commuter bike! As all freds know and you point out, the bike makes little difference. So ride the one that you can ride all day in any condition.
    That turned out to be the right call. We had light rain for a significant amount of time, and I was glad for my equipment choices. The descents were wicked slick due to the wet so I had to take them slower than usual. BTW, the 4000s tires that people like on this forum are lousy on slippery surfaces. Anyone who has to descend in the wet much would be better served with PR3's or the Open Corsa CX even though those tires don't last nearly as long.

    The ride was a blast, but notably absent this year were the strong riders. This ride always has over 1000 participants, but only a few people passed me all day. On the positive side, the riders I did see had good control -- I didn't see anyone acting like an idiot (on a bike anyway). Inbreeding is a problem along the route, so we encountered a few motorists suffering from mental retаrdation and LDS. Everyone seemed instinctually aware that such people must be treated with compassion so they responded with smiles and waves when lifted rigs raced their engines and laid into the horns as they passed.

    The wind really kicked up for the second half of the ride which was making everyone suffer some, but all the rest stops were desolate which was great for getting in and out fast.

    The only problem is that I really did ride too hard yesterday so I was ready for the end as I approached the 100 mile mark. With less than 3 miles to go, I started following markers for a different event by accident which took me out of town. I then got lost trying to find my way back so I added about 10 miles to the total. No big deal but you don't appreciate the tulip fields and river views so much when your brain and your body think they're done but you actually have more than a half hour to go.

    Still, a great day out.

  17. #17
    Despite all my rage, I am rooftest's Avatar
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    Why do Freds seem to like wearing the day-glo rain jackets all the time? (It was in the 90's in LA yesterday, and I saw at least 3 examples.)

  18. #18
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by island rider View Post
    Preparation for an organized century? I use the following steps to prepare for and ride in any organized century:

    1) Wake up.
    2) Get dressed.
    2) Throw bike in/on car.
    3) Drive to start.
    4) Take bike off car.

    Fred would never be seen dead with his bike on a car.

  19. #19
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rooftest View Post
    Why do Freds seem to like wearing the day-glo rain jackets all the time? (It was in the 90's in LA yesterday, and I saw at least 3 examples.)
    It's a cultural thing that marks you as a member of the club -- like shaved legs for roadies

  20. #20
    Senior Member DropDeadFred's Avatar
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    your prep sounds similar to mine, change ride 44 miles with zero, replace wine with beer and instead of 4 hrs of sleep make it 2.5-3 tops add an unexplainable urge to poop more than I ever poop.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rooftest View Post
    Why do Freds seem to like wearing the day-glo rain jackets all the time? (It was in the 90's in LA yesterday, and I saw at least 3 examples.)


    This is 100% true! I did a big ride last month and I must've seen 100 of those stupid jackets!

  22. #22
    Senior Member GFish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jfitalia View Post
    This is 100% true! I did a big ride last month and I must've seen 100 of those stupid jackets!
    What do you wear, black?

    Having some glo jackets in the mix helps everyone's safety. It's much better then everyone wearing dark clothing.

  23. #23
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    banajerk is correct, but he forgot the pre-ride bloody mary to smooth you out from the night before...

  24. #24
    Senior Member island rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rooftest View Post
    Why do Freds seem to like wearing the day-glo rain jackets all the time? (It was in the 90's in LA yesterday, and I saw at least 3 examples.)
    Well, because you are much more visible wearing them than you are wearing a full black kit, on a black bike on a gloomy day on a shadow covered road.

    That said, I tend more towards the black on black than the Hi-Viz yellow.
    "I think drivers become like dogs when they see a bicycle fly by at 40mph. Instinctively, they just want to give chase, catch them, and eat them." - Papa Tom

  25. #25
    KingoftheMountain wannabe Savagewolf's Avatar
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    My preparation usually begins with a spaghetti dinner the night before. I then stay up way too late, watching tv or browsing internet forums instead of getting the sleep that I should. In the morning, I sleep in a little bit more than I should due to staying up too late the night before. I then scramble to get all of my gear ready, grab a light snack not nearly enough to fulfill my morning hunger and dash off to the starting point hoping to get there in time for the official start.

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