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  1. #1
    Senior Member dave42's Avatar
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    Completed My First Century

    I'm feeling somewhat proud of riding 103.4 miles this past Saturday. My longest ride before that was about 40 miles around Johnson City and Elizabethton, TN. Most rides have been less than 20 miles.

    My route was sorta planned and sorta spontaneous. I rode down 107/S. Roan St to Okolona Rd, turned on the road that goes to Laurels and on out to 19E.

    From there, I rode up to Roan Mountain, TN and got groceries at the little store there at the turnoff for Roan Mtn State Park. I had initially planned to ride through the park and head back home over Hughes Gap rd through Buladean, but, on a whim, I headed on up 19E to Spruce Pine, NC.

    Though I fought a headwind the whole way to Spruce Pine,

    I couldn't have picked a prettier day to go for a long ride in the mountains.

    Well, in Spruce Pine, I was 60 miles or so from home, and feeling a bit whooped from the climbing. I called my wife for directions, and she routed me over to NC 226/80 etc, where I stopped for a cup of coffee. The feller at the gas station looked at me funny when I asked him if I was going in the right direction to get to Tennessee. I was.

    So, more climbing, more descending. I sat on a guardrail at a stop sign 3 miles outside of Bakersville and chatted with a guy for a few minutes. He was a little excited about my ride. It was nice to talk to a positive person, tired as I was.

    Somewhere around here my right knee decided to start acting up, and it got progressively worse all the way to Buladean. This hampered my speed considerably, but with no cell phone signal, I had to ride.

    I stopped at the little store(The Foxx Den) in Buladean, which was closed, and refilled my bottles at their spigot, sat and smoked my pipe, and tried to prepare myself for the darkness that was fast approaching. Damn, my knee was hurting. Back and shoulders and neck were sore, but manageable, but that knee was possibly turning into a crisis.

    My water was sufficient; I had food(oatmeal cream pies, bananas, and tater chips), I had lights. I had it to do.

    30 miles to go.

    I crawled up out of Buladean in low gear spinning about 40 rpms and trying not to scream with every stroke of the pedals. Up until this time, I had climbed all the hills, but now I had to walk for about half a mile. No help for it; it hurt to bad to pedal uphill without weaving all over the road. So, I walked some. In fact, I walked into Tennessee.

    I didn't realize how low my headlight batteries were, so the long descent into Limestone Cove was pretty hairy. It was DARK and Fast. I tried to brake intermittently and keep my speed below 30. I was cold, too, so I stopped at Limestone Cove to get my jacket on and, on I noticed my tail-light was dim. I went ahead and changed out all my batteries and man, what a difference. When one is hurt and cold, some things are not as obvious as they should be.

    Now, warm and with better light, I poured on some steam, as well as I could, anyway, and made it to Unicoi, and on up to the BP at Okolona Rd just inside Johnson City. I realized my wife had tried to call, so I called her back and chatted.

    She said, "Baby, I can come get you," to which I replied, "Hell, I just rode 98 and a half miles. I've got to make it a hundred."

    I made it.

    Had to walk another two short stretches uphill between there and home.

    But, I made it. It was fun, super fun. My knee is getting better. I can't wait to do it again.

    I learned a couple of things.

    I need to be stronger, and I need lower gears(I'm running 42/52 with a 14-28 freewheel). I need to true my wheels better.

    I had enough to eat, just barely. I ate a small ham sandwich, one piece of American cheese, four or five packs of cheese crackers, a small bag of potato chips, 3 bananas, and 12 oatmeal cream pies. I drank six bottles of water and 1 cup of coffee. I never felt dehydrated, and never really bonky(when I felt bonky I ate).

    My bike (1989 TREK 400) felt unstable at speeds over 30 mph. However, the wheels need some truing. I can feel a bump in the front one.

    Other than that, the bike held up fine.

    Total time 14 hours with quite a few ten minute breaks thrown in.

    Next time I think I'll try for about 10 hours over a similar route, or I may ride Carver's Gap next and down into Bakersville. I love Bakersville. It's quiet and pretty.

    Thanks for reading,
    Dave

  2. #2
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    Congrats!

    I have done a few centuries, but all supported. I need the constant food + hydration stops, as well as the rest. Make sure you ensure proper recovery, although that should have started the other day.

  3. #3
    Senior Member dave42's Avatar
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    Thanks, Tycho!

    Yeah, my knee is tons better. I piddled around some on the bike yesterday. I may try a longer ride today or tomorrow, 20 miles or so. I feel fine.

  4. #4
    Mostly Harmless rjones28's Avatar
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    Well done Dave!
    Quote Originally Posted by truckstop View Post
    getting banned from trollheim. does that mean you win?

  5. #5
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    wow
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  6. #6
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    Nice job.. Certainly a ride you won't soon forget.

  7. #7
    Senior Member dave42's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys. I'll try to post a photo link of me and my bike here. This is after a shorter ride last week.

    http://s843.photobucket.com/user/smi...tml?sort=3&o=0

    EDIT: Cool. it works. You can flip through the slideshow to get better pics of the bike.
    Last edited by dave42; 09-30-13 at 02:14 PM. Reason: clarification

  8. #8
    jmX
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    Senior Member jmX's Avatar
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    Dude what the hell? That is epic. 14 hours and 12 oatmeal cream pies?? Great writeup, I enjoyed reading it. Keep up the good work.

  9. #9
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    Congrats. That's a lot of climbing for your first century.

  10. #10
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    That IS epic! Congrats. I think my butt would have melded to the seat in 14 hours.... I'd be a cyborg.... part man, part bike!

    Careful with that knee. Pushing hard through that much pain can set up an injury in tissue that takes a loooong time to heal.
    Every time that wheel turn 'round,
    Bound to cover just a little more ground!

  11. #11
    Senior Member zvez's Avatar
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    big big congrats to you! My longest ride so far was 44 miles this past saturday. Big ups to you!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave42 View Post
    I called my wife for directions
    If I had to call my wife for directions, then I must be really screwed!

  13. #13
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    I gotta know. Did you carry all those cream pies with you, or pick them up along the way?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Jakedatc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalameda View Post
    I gotta know. Did you carry all those cream pies with you, or pick them up along the way?
    that is a lot of OCP.... for that many hours some more actual food might have been better. (holy moly.. 318cal per OCP.. x 12 = 3800cal )
    2007 CSK
    199? Trek 1420 ** 15% Off Hammer Nutrition Referral Code **

  15. #15
    Senior Member dave42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jakedatc View Post
    that is a lot of OCP.... for that many hours some more actual food might have been better. (holy moly.. 318cal per OCP.. x 12 = 3800cal )
    lol I think it's 160 per. I bought a box of the small ones. I agree on better food, but as I said in another post, for 3 bucks and change on food, I did alright.
    Last edited by dave42; 09-30-13 at 05:43 PM. Reason: clarification

  16. #16
    Senior Member dave42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalameda View Post
    I gotta know. Did you carry all those cream pies with you, or pick them up along the way?
    I bought all my food except the sandwich(and the crackers) at the store in roan mountain. 3 dollars and some change, which left me coffee money. I only had about 5 bucks to do the trip, so that's what I could get easily. It worked out pretty good.
    Last edited by dave42; 09-30-13 at 05:50 PM.

  17. #17
    Middle-Aged Member MikeyBoyAz's Avatar
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    Congrats. I used to only do supported Centuries, but a friend of mine and I now do them when there is good weather and the wives are too distracted to say no
    I HEARD YOU'RE IDEA'S AND THEIR DEFINATELY GOOD.
    xkcd.com / 1238

  18. #18
    Senior Member dave42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe View Post
    If I had to call my wife for directions, then I must be really screwed!
    Ah well, I've driven some of those roads, but a wrong turn on a bicycle makes for an exponentially longer detour than the same in a car. just coverin' the bases.

  19. #19
    Senior Member hokie cycler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave42 View Post
    Thanks, Tycho!

    Yeah, my knee is tons better. I piddled around some on the bike yesterday. I may try a longer ride today or tomorrow, 20 miles or so. I feel fine.
    Was it on the outside of the knee? If it was, good chance your knee pain was actually IT band pain.

  20. #20
    Senior Member dave42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokie cycler View Post
    Was it on the outside of the knee? If it was, good chance your knee pain was actually IT band pain.
    hey, hokie cycler, it was the inside of my leg, around and above the kneecap. things were also popping and grinding together somewhat on both knees. Now, they're mostly just a little sore. I think your guess is as good as mine. I'm thinking poor pedaling form and high force/low cadence was the issue. I need to get stronger and pedal smoother and faster. I also could use a couple of lower gear ratios as I'm surrounded by mountains.

    My short-term goal is to work on spinning. I've calculated a few of my low gear ratio minimum speed/cadences i.e. 39.6 gear inch low, 60 rpm, about 7 mph. In short, if I'm in the mountains and dropping below 7 mph, i'll get off and walk.

    My max sustainable cadence on the flats right now is a fairly smooth 105, so I just need to make it a habit.

    May work on that awhile and hit the mts again this weekend or next.

  21. #21
    Senior Member spectastic's Avatar
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  22. #22
    Senior Member budkid's Avatar
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    Awesome! Good job!
    The Stable:
    2013 Velovie Vitesse 400
    2007 Pedalforce RS

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