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Century Season

Old 09-12-16, 08:48 AM
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Century Season

Has arrived in FL. Nine members of last year's couch to century program made a trip to the Endless Summer Watermelon Ride to support a team member who was injured last year and didn't get to ride with the team last year. I sneaked in a solo century in early June, and have been leading progressively longer rides since mid July (started around 55 miles and ended with a 72 mile ride last weekend). The only thing I was worried about was the weather, because the last 2 weekends have been cool (if that's a thing in FL in August) with temps under 90. The forecast was for a high of 86, and they missed it by a few degrees, it was a blazing hot 91 with zero cloud cover, thankfully the ride organizers had plenty of water, and ice at all the rest stops. The organizers asked people to line up according to ride speed, we were too honest and had to work through a lot of riders on the 30 mile route at 13mph, which cost us a lot of time. We had the course sweep rider catch us at mile 63, which was a little disheartening, but attrition started kicking in shortly after that and the sweep rider had to drop off our group for mechanicals, and then people started loading up in the SAG trucks, but we kept going. Mile 75 had the longest climb of the ride, I wasn't in good shape, and our 1st time century rider blew up, but I knew there was a rest stop at mile 77. We limped in, got cooled down, got fueled back up, and started hitting the sodas (mainlining the caffeine and sugar). Up till this point in the ride I was eating real food, but after this point I hit the gel pretty hard and the gel and soda combo picked up my energy level out of the garbage. At the mile 88 rest stop, we again had the sweep rider right behind us, but it didn't matter how long those last 12 miles took, we were going to finish. We finished with a 15.6 avg speed, we only dropped 1 rider who was planning to do the century (they wound up with 75), we had zero mechanicals, and we had a great time showing our great team spirit. It was also very cool to hear from other riders who recognized our C2C jerseys from last year or from the write ups in the newsletters. It's a good start to the season.
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Old 09-12-16, 08:51 AM
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Out of curiosity, how much elevation change is to be had on a Florida century?
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Old 09-12-16, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope
Out of curiosity, how much elevation change is to be had on a Florida century?
The flattest you could probably get would be 80 feet of climbing in 100 miles (but that requires doing the 7 mile loop at Flatwoods park till you are dizzy-Kurt Searvogel finished his Highest Annual Mileage Record there last winter, and Amanda Coker has been pounding out 200+ miles there daily this summer trying to set a new women's (and at this pace overall) record). The worst you can do in an organized ride is about 6,000' in The Horrible Hundred in Clermont, I'm guessing you could lay out a 100 mile course in those hills with 10,000' of climbing pretty easy if you didn't mind doing loops. I would say the average century is between 1,000 and 2,000.
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Old 09-12-16, 03:33 PM
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Nice job. Average speed of 15.6 mph is fantastic for a century.

Your nutrition on a century is very similar to how i approach a long ride. Usually eat real food until late in the ride when a little caffeine and sugar ( Mountain Dew in my case) perks me right up for the kick at the end.

Last long ride I was on was July 2015. Took me 11 hours in the saddle to complete 125 miles. Very slow, but had a few mountain passes on the route.
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Old 09-12-16, 04:42 PM
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These reports are just as inspiring as the epic extreme mileage or climbing reports are. I could just picture your group at the 88 mile mark; not giving up now!

They sweep 15.6 average speed riders? huh. Seems plenty fast to me.
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Old 09-12-16, 04:59 PM
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I was asking about the elevation because I'm aware of Florida's pancake-flat reputation. I've never ridden an organized ride longer than 45 miles-- everything I've just gone out and done solo. All of my rides over 100 miles have had between 3,000 and 4,000 feet, so flat by the standards of my location.

I think I'd rather enjoy a century ride with 1,000 feet of climbing in it. Just to mix things up, if anything.
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Old 09-13-16, 06:07 AM
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Y'all should come do Hotter'n Hell next year. 91 degrees would be wonderful there

Very little climb on that one was well. I did a 45 mile ride in my area last Saturday that has about as much climb as the century does at Hotter'n Hell.

And you get to ride 100 miles with 13,000 of your closest friends:
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Old 09-13-16, 07:01 AM
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ummmmmm^^^^^NO......way too many for me
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Old 09-13-16, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf
They sweep 15.6 average speed riders? huh. Seems plenty fast to me.
The sweep rider wasn't telling us to hurry up or encouraging us to give in, we just happened to be the last riders on the course at the time-he was probably making a note of the condition we were in (which was better than a lot of riders still on the course). We had a nice couple of minute chat cruising along. The NFBC does a great job with the ESWR, and I've heard great things about their spring ride Tour de Forts as well.
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