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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 08-25-13, 01:43 PM   #1
Long Tom
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Century ride- destination vs. loop

Hey folks. Another question. I did 50 with my riding buddy yesterday and we are plotting a century. I've been training hard- 223 miles in the last week- and he's a grizzled old veteran road-biker who's done a few century rides in years past. At any rate, this seems like a no-brainer to do one while we both (presumably) can; at our age you just can't assume that next summer will have the same opportunities etc.

Soooo.... I'm not concerned about being "able" to do it; I'm riding 50-60 every other day and have plenty left in the tank. It'll just be uncomfortable. On our ride yesterday we were debating riding to a destination- say, Eugene > Portland, vs. just going out and riding around until we hit 100 roughly when we get back home. For some reason a destination sounds psychologically superior to me, but heck if I know. Riding to a destination obviously presents logistical challenges too.

Interested in your thoughts! Mark and I are best friends and this will be done in the spirit of adventure and camaraderie; not a brutal iron-man type thing. So, making the whole thing as fun as possible is the goal, not trying to notch a certain amount of climbing or whatever.
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Old 08-25-13, 01:54 PM   #2
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Either way works. Is that helpful?

One minor point: A loop from home means that as soon as you're done, you can jump in the shower and relax. If you wind up 50-100 miles from home, you've got to get back somehow.
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Old 08-25-13, 01:57 PM   #3
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Either way works. Is that helpful?

One minor point: A loop from home means that as soon as you're done, you can jump in the shower and relax. If you wind up 50-100 miles from home, you've got to get back somehow.
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Old 08-25-13, 02:01 PM   #4
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I'd love to do a destination ride, but I haven't yet. In the back of my mind, I think about the possibility of making a call of shame, and what a pain in the ass it would be for the person that would bail me out. I think that the furthest I've been from my start point, as the crow flies, would be about 40 miles. If you get that figured out satisfactorily, I go for it.
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Old 08-25-13, 02:11 PM   #5
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We are thinking of having the wives (also good friends) meet us wherever (the coast, Portland) and just stay the night there... if we opted for the destination route.
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Old 08-25-13, 02:29 PM   #6
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Just do two 50- mile destinaton rides back to back.
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Old 08-25-13, 02:34 PM   #7
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We are thinking of having the wives (also good friends) meet us wherever (the coast, Portland) and just stay the night there... if we opted for the destination route.
If this was the plan, I'd say destination for sure. Have the wives come together later in the day and meet you at the end, enjoy the evening, have a nice dinner and crash. Then drive home the next day, or if you're feeling really spirited, century x2.
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Old 08-25-13, 02:41 PM   #8
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Also, if you pick a day when there is a tailwind, you'll have it the entire way on a destination century.
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Old 08-25-13, 03:36 PM   #9
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Riding to a destination equals logistics, and potentially long shuttle. Last thing you want after your first century is several hours waiting for a ride, driving home etc before a shower.
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Old 08-25-13, 03:57 PM   #10
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We are thinking of having the wives (also good friends) meet us wherever (the coast, Portland) and just stay the night there... if we opted for the destination route.
I've gone this route if my wife and I were already planning to go somewhere. When we go visit my parents I'll frequently ride there, she'll leave 2.5 hours after me in the car so we arrive at the same time (103 km). I find this kind of longer ride the most satisfying: you're trying to get somewhere and you succeeded.

If I'm doing a ride with out a specific destination, I like an out-and-back, or one big loop better than multiple smaller loops. I have a 40km loop I do with my wife, but when I do a full century ride I think it would be mind-numbing to do that 40km loop 4 times.
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Old 08-25-13, 06:24 PM   #11
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Also, if you pick a day when there is a tailwind, you'll have it the entire way on a destination century.
Not to throw a damper on anyone's plans, but wind direction has been known to shift 180 degrees over the course of a day.
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Old 08-25-13, 06:26 PM   #12
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Curse those days!
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Old 08-25-13, 06:40 PM   #13
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We are thinking of having the wives (also good friends) meet us.
Well, which is it?
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Old 08-25-13, 07:30 PM   #14
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Just let someone else take care of your logistics by riding The Duncan Ride. It's relatively local to you and ends at the Brew Pubs, where your wives can wait for you (maybe you better do the driving on the way home). What's not to like?
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...d-Century-Plus
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Old 08-25-13, 09:22 PM   #15
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Well, which is it?
Wives and girlfriends. It's about time they met. Sorry, should have been more clear.

What could possibly go wrong?
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Old 08-25-13, 09:28 PM   #16
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I would opt for the destination.
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Old 08-25-13, 09:37 PM   #17
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On our ride yesterday we were debating riding to a destination- say, Eugene > Portland, vs. just going out and riding around until we hit 100 roughly when we get back home. For some reason a destination sounds psychologically superior to me, but heck if I know. Riding to a destination obviously presents logistical challenges too.

Interested in your thoughts!
Do both. Do one of each. Do a loop this week, and a destination next week.

I've done a lot of centuries in over the last 2 decades, and they've been a wide mix of ride type.
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Old 08-25-13, 09:41 PM   #18
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Destination is a great idea if you've got a place to go to.

I have a cabin in the woods about 135 miles from my home. It's got a solar water tank, so there's always a hot shower waiting for me. Right now that's an 8 hour solo ride for me.

For me it's all about the logistics of cleaning up, eating, and chilling out.

This spring I took a credit card and just went as far as I could at a steady pace, made it from Louisville to Huntington, WV, around 180 miles. Stayed at a hotel. Tried to do the 180 back the next day (which would've been my biggest two-day total ever) but ended up making the call of shame with around 100 miles to go. Just didn't have the fitness to match my ambition in April.

Once a year my group rides from Cincinnati to Danville, KY, about 110-115 miles, and we stay in Danville, then ride around Central KY for a day, another night in Danville, then back to Cincy. That's super fun, but ends up costing me $350+ and the entire weekend.
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Old 08-25-13, 10:32 PM   #19
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Personally, I'm not fond of "out and back" routes. Create a nice big loop for youself and go have fun.

Meeting the spouses somewhere 100 miles away also works if you can trust them to remember and not go shopping/drinking/dancing while you guys pound on the hotel room door.
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Old 08-26-13, 12:01 AM   #20
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Destination is a great idea if you've got a place to go to.

I have a cabin in the woods about 135 miles from my home. It's got a solar water tank, so there's always a hot shower waiting for me. Right now that's an 8 hour solo ride for me.

For me it's all about the logistics of cleaning up, eating, and chilling out.

This spring I took a credit card and just went as far as I could at a steady pace, made it from Louisville to Huntington, WV, around 180 miles. Stayed at a hotel. Tried to do the 180 back the next day (which would've been my biggest two-day total ever) but ended up making the call of shame with around 100 miles to go. Just didn't have the fitness to match my ambition in April.

Once a year my group rides from Cincinnati to Danville, KY, about 110-115 miles, and we stay in Danville, then ride around Central KY for a day, another night in Danville, then back to Cincy. That's super fun, but ends up costing me $350+ and the entire weekend.

I have to say...riding to a cabin in the middle of nowhere, as well as just riding until you can't any more, then staying in a hotel and riding back the next day, sound like fantastic ideas. I want to do that! I need to do that before summer is over.
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Old 08-26-13, 03:08 AM   #21
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Usually when I do over 100 km I just go from my house and that is where I end.

But there have been a few times actually where I cycled from, or towards a destination. And while it is a little bit more work and organization, it really feels nicer. Like you are not just riding/training, but also on a trip. It is also possible to reach areas that would otherwise be too far away.


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I once made a post on this forum asking whether anyone ever takes a train somewhere. In the past, when I was younger. I would look at the wind direction and then take a train as far as I thought I could still make it back in one piece with wind in my back. As a young person without access to a car etc. this was awesome. However, some people on the forum attacked me for it, going as far as to say my mom failed in my upbringing (because I would pick a direction based on wind direction). I just think I was a kid who liked to explore and see things. This is the part of riding to a destination that still appeals to me. When you do a loop, after a while you have ridden all the roads in your area.
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Old 08-26-13, 09:58 AM   #22
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I prefer loops or out-and-backs over destination routes for the reasons above.

Also, don't overthink it. It's just a long bike ride.
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Old 08-26-13, 10:11 AM   #23
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Soooo.... I'm not concerned about being "able" to do it; I'm riding 50-60 every other day and have plenty left in the tank. It'll just be uncomfortable. On our ride yesterday we were debating riding to a destination- say, Eugene > Portland, vs. just going out and riding around until we hit 100 roughly when we get back home. For some reason a destination sounds psychologically superior to me, but heck if I know. Riding to a destination obviously presents logistical challenges too.
Eugene to Portland is pretty easy logistically. Buy seats and bike tickets on the Amtrak Cascades, ride out so planned arrival time is at least a couple of hours before train boarding time, clean up in a Starbucks bathroom, eat a big meal, then get on the train.

Wife shuttles are nice, too.
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Old 08-26-13, 11:32 AM   #24
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Do the destination ride if you have a worthwhile destination, otherwise, go for the loop.
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