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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 08-14-08, 11:07 AM   #1
brett jerk
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Fixed centuries?

I'm slowly working my way up to one. I could probably do it now, but I don't want to be dead for two days.

Who else has done em? What was your training like? How did your body feel in the days afterwards? Any recommendations?

I think my first one is gonna be 25 mile laps that take me to my house so that I can refill waterbottles and eat without having to carry too much on me
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Old 08-14-08, 11:20 AM   #2
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i am probably going to sign up for my first half century soon, i've never done more than 30 miles fixed.
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Old 08-14-08, 11:52 AM   #3
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i did almost 50 miles of trails on my fixed 29er last weekend. haven;t done a whole lot more than that on the road
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Old 08-14-08, 12:06 PM   #4
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Did the Trans Alt NYC Century a couple years ago fixed. Pretty flat route, but lotsa stopping and starting at intersections on this urban ride was hardest on my knees. Knees were achy for about 4-5 days after that. I ran a front brake and 44x16. Including my ride to and from the route, ended up doing 130mi that day, still my 1 day mileage record. For training make sure you ramp up your mileage approaching the event, doing at least one progressively longer ride/week, so that the week prior to the event you're able to do like a 75-80mi ride. Doing hilly rides made the flat event a cakewalk. The week of the event take it easy with some easy spinning rides, to keep your legs loose, and make sure your eating and sleeping adequately. Good luck!
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Old 08-14-08, 12:32 PM   #5
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There are a quite a few online guides to century riding and they should apply just fine to fixed centuries.

A user here Machka is a (geared) distance super star and has a pretty good how-to on her website. http://www.machka.net/century.htm. I would especially encourage you to check out her nutrition tips, especially on training your eating habits while you train to ride. I think eating and drinking right is the biggest hurdle you will face.
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Old 08-14-08, 12:40 PM   #6
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I've done one century fixed, and a few metric centuries too (100kms... like 60/66 miles).

I've recently been 'training'- but my rides are basically just my commutes to work. As I live 33 miles away from my office I've anything from 5 to 33 miles each journey to choose from (I usually use the train, too). Make sure you're fed well, you're rested and take lots of water. Bring along snacks like granola bars, gatorade, PB&J sandwiches and perhaps a protein bar here or there and you should be fine.

When I did my fixed century it was a long haul, 116 miles in total but spread over a day (day trip upto a lake fora swim and back) and I took a nice meal break at a rib place which ruled.

On uber-long distance rides I try to discipline myself to warm up slowly, meaning staying at 16-17mph for 30-45 minutes or even upto an hour and then slowly up it to my usual cruise speed (19-21mph). It's really hard to do this, and weather/road conditions also play a big part - Ontario is relatively flat by most standards, we've just got rolling hills that suck, so I haven't really dealt with any proper hill climbs.

I typically ride between 150-250 miles a week commuting, which seems to be reasonable 'training' for doing a century. I'm planning on doing a double century soon, but that won't be fixed (yet)
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Old 08-14-08, 01:37 PM   #7
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100

You can do it...just ride smart. It is 4 - 25 mile coffee rides strung together. Just remember to stop at every rest stop and eat and drink - Drink while you ride.You need to keep fuled and hydrated. When you go longer distances / hours that is the REAL difference. Don't forget to eat something before you ride - 2 hrs prior - about 400 cal. I would suggest a 68" to 72" gear. Have a blast. Reg roadies will think you are crazy strong for doing it FIXED - ENJOY!!!
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Old 08-14-08, 01:57 PM   #8
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I should specify that I'm planning on doing 100 miles by myself first, before I try to do it as part of a competition or something. I did 70 in a day once, but that was about 14 hours of screwing around and taking it easy with a bunch of different friends, I'm looking to do this and actually keep track of my time.

what would a reasonable time be for my first fixed century?
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Old 08-14-08, 02:05 PM   #9
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what would a reasonable time be for my first fixed century?
6 hours.
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Old 08-14-08, 02:36 PM   #10
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6 hours.
That seems very ambitious for a first time solo unsupported century. Maybe 6 hours of actual riding, but I would plan for more total time.
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Old 08-14-08, 02:41 PM   #11
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I think my first one is gonna be 25 mile laps that take me to my house so that I can refill waterbottles and eat without having to carry too much on me
Personally, this seems to me like the worst way to do a century. The laps are going to get boring, and its going to make your ride seem longer than it really is. The temptation to quit will suck the fun out of it. I would aim to do your century without repeating scenery. When I do 100-200 mile rides I usually do one big loop, so that when I hit the half way point I have no choice but to commit to the whole distance. An interesting route makes the miles go by much faster. Finding water, gatorade, and food is easy...convenience stores are all over the place.

For a reasonably fit cyclist, 100 miles is not an extreme distance, but if you want to maximize fun and minimize pain, you have to strategize a little.
1. Remember to eat...not too much, but small portions at relatively regular intervals. If you wait until you are hungry, its too late. People vary, but generally a couple hundred calories an hour, give or take. I usually stuff my jersey pockets with cliff bars and eat one every 1-2 hours, and if I feel like its not enough, I supplement with pretzels, corn chips, etc that I buy on the way.
2. Stay hydrated. For long distances, you need more than just water. I usually drink about half water and half gatorade or some other electrolyte drink. If its really hot or I'm really riding hard, I'll also swallow a couple of hydration tablets every 1-2 hours.
3. Don't push yourself too hard too fast. Force yourself to take it easy until you get comfortable with your nutrition strategy and capacity for sustained exercise. If all goes well, you can push it harder the next time.

Nutrition and hydration strategies are key. When I do a 100-200 mile ride correctly, I usually experience moderately sore leg muscles the next day, and I certainly require a few days of recovery to get back up to speed, but its certainly not an unpleasant level of exhaustion. A slow recovery ride the next day is very relaxing and accelerates the recovery.

Good luck!

Last edited by mihlbach; 08-14-08 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 08-14-08, 03:08 PM   #12
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That seems very ambitious for a first time solo unsupported century. Maybe 6 hours of actual riding, but I would plan for more total time.
It probably is, but it is such an open-ended question without any regard to terrain, roads, traffic, etc.
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Old 08-14-08, 03:19 PM   #13
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be sufficiently fueled. pace yourself. use a brake. employ a practical gear ratio.
if the route is mostly flat, you're gonna be fine..good luck.
you're gonna feel real good about this achievement once your legs recover.
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Old 08-14-08, 04:03 PM   #14
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That seems very ambitious for a first time solo unsupported century. Maybe 6 hours of actual riding, but I would plan for more total time.
Yeah, I'd allot maybe 8-10 hours for the whole thing- for a first century AND fixed, completing it is the goal, once you have one time you've something to work toward next time. It took me 6.5 riding 8.5 actual hours on my old road bike last year coming back from Niagara Falls to Toronto (an even 100 miles) Just finish, don't worry about pace - that's for the next time to compete against yourself for.

Also +1 on the laps around the house being a bad plan - as easy as it seems to say, your biggest enemy will be your mind and the desire to quit. If you stop in at home every 25 miles, the temptation and the comfort encountered might be too much. Worry about mental strength to keep on going, hydration and nutrition.

Your body is stronger than your mind will ever allow yourself to believe. Just feed it what it needs.

Have a great dinner the night before (lotso carbs), sleep well, wake rested and have a good breakfast about an hour before you plan to leave. Take gatorade, as much water as you can and your fast digesting proteins/carbs to snack on (all things mentioned above).

Pace yourself, use your fixed as active rest if you feel your legs waning a bit - drink regularly - watch the weather/heat.

#1 thing though... enjoy yourself while you're out there, this will be a great accomplishment.

Last edited by Flimflam; 08-14-08 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 08-14-08, 08:01 PM   #15
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come to hawaii for the century ride here in sept.


YEAH!
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Old 08-15-08, 12:22 AM   #16
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my laps would not be repeating the same route, there are a bunch of 25+ mile routes I could do that would take me in a loop, I've kinda already picked the four I would do. I'm not at all worried about giving up. I am worried about the lack of someone to pick my ass up 50 miles away if something terrible happens to my bike (it's a POS, but it works). I would also like to consider that I could take an actual break to eat and refill water without having to lug so much crap around.

Honestly, I'd love to do it unfixed for my first century, but all I have otherwise is my mountainbike and no money to drop on a new wheelset.

All that being said, I definitely plan on this being an all day event, with my average riding speed being something like 14mph

I'm also gonna invest in some chamois cream for this ride, haha
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Old 08-15-08, 12:23 AM   #17
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also, thanks for the help and encouragement
and a special thanks for that website, I'm definitely gonna set that up as my weekly routine (more or less what I was doing anyway, but I like how structured it is)
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