Originally Posted by Ronocerous
I thought I would like to try to do a century this summer ( a big deal for me). It will be a solo effort. I have a Trek 7300fx and have a couple of questions...
Congrats. Did my 1st metric on a hardtail mtb (with road tires) in '03 and first century last summer. IMHO, a 1st distance ride like that IS
a big deal for the person doing it. As to your questions:
1) The Trek 7300fx will be just fine. Unless there is a lot of climbing where a much lighter bike would help, or strong headwinds (hint - ride downwind) so being able to tuck low would help. Skinny tires (if you don't have them already) for the ride will help a lot.
2) Besides Machka's site, there are quite a few others. Friel (Cyclist's Training Bible) has a century training plan in "Cycling Past Fifty" that I found easy to understand and useful.
3) Your setup is OK, but watch for sales on basic clipless pedals and shoes. Doesn't have to be "road" style - MTB shoes and SPD or Eggbeater styles are fine for many people. I find my pedaling is much better when clipped in.
4) I rode my 1st century (with about 5,500 feet of climbing) in about 7 hrs riding time, 9 hrs total. I rode with several other people, we definitely could have done a better job managing our rest stops. (and taking less time to fix a flat). You should get faster as you prepare for the actual ride; 20km/hr is about 12 mph (8:20 plus rest stops); I would try to build up to closer to 25 km/hr as an average speed on terrain similar to your planned route. I try to keep my rest stops to 2-3 minutes every hour to 1.5 hrs on training rides, and try to do my eating while riding (I may stop to tear the package open). Numbers nut that I am, I actually did a detailed plan for the ride based on what I thought we could do on the various segments. I wasn't too far off, except the longer-than planned rest stops.
A few other suggestions:
- enlist the help of friends to keep you motivated for your training; maybe provide some support and encouragement during the ride.
- Check with local bike shops and bike clubs - opportunities for training rides, riding partners, maybe find out about a supported century that fits your plans.
- Ride on terrain similar to the planned route. For the metric, I didn't do that, and felt it on the actual ride. For the century, I rode much of the route and KNEW what to expect and that I could manage it.