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Advice for First Century Ride

Old 09-11-18, 02:06 PM
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Advice for First Century Ride

I've been riding for a few months now and have never participated in any kind of bicycle event, not even a group ride. But it sounds like fun. So I signed up for the Waco Wild West 100 coming up on October 20th. To date my longest ride is 75 miles, which was this past Sunday. I felt pretty good and could have ridden further, but had simply run out of time and had to get back home.

I'd like to get a 100 mile ride in before the event, but I'm just not sure I have time to make it happen. Is it silly to think that if I felt pretty good after 75 miles, then riding the additional 25 miles should be fairly realistic? I've looked at the ride map and the terrain appears to be flatter than what I'm riding here.

What do you guys think? Any other words of advice?

-Matt

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Old 09-11-18, 02:35 PM
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Eat and drink on the bike. As much as possible.

Remember to eat for recovery afterwards. I find the following day or two worse than the event itself.

In fact, I have one coming up in Oct and have scheduled an appointment with the Massage The****** for the day after the event.
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Old 09-11-18, 02:49 PM
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If you felt good after 75 miles, you can (most likely) ride 100 miles. Don't push too hard, spend time off the bike efficiently (i.e., don't spend an hour at every rest stop discussing football games), eat lightly but regularly, and drink regularly. You'll do fine.
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Old 09-11-18, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
I've been riding for a few months now and have never participated in any kind of bicycle event, not even a group ride. But it sounds like fun. So I signed up for the Waco Wild West 100 coming up on October 20th. To date my longest ride is 75 miles, which was this past Sunday. I felt pretty good and could have ridden further, but had simply run out of time and had to get back home.

I'd like to get a 100 mile ride in before the event, but I'm just not sure I have time to make it happen. Is it silly to think that if I felt pretty good after 75 miles, then riding the additional 25 miles should be fairly realistic? I've looked at the ride map and the terrain appears to be flatter than what I'm riding here.

What do you guys think? Any other words of advice?

-Matt
If you're already riding 75 and felt good and had no issues you don't need any advice. As far as eating and drinking as much as possible, I would avoid that advice. No need to gorge because it may make you sluggish and slow you down. I used to be a glutton at the SAG stops and learned that it wasn't necessary and didn't do me any good.

Last edited by tunavic; 09-11-18 at 03:53 PM. Reason: corrected usage
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Old 09-11-18, 05:19 PM
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"They" say that a cyclist can ride 2x the amount of miles that they can ride "comfortably", which means you could probably do 150 miles, if you dared.

2 years ago I trained for a 24 hr ride (326 miles total) by riding 150 miles two days in a row a couple weeks before the event. But I also had about 7k miles, and a dozen centuries in my legs by that point that season, which helped. Prior to that 326 mile ride, 200 miles was my longest ride, a couple months earlier. That season was my crowning achievement of dedication and fitness and will likely never be rivaled again.
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Old 09-11-18, 06:39 PM
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If you've done 75 you should be fine, especially if it is a flatter route. Don't go too hard starting out, if you get to mile 85 and feel like upping your pace, go for it.

Eat what you normally eat before a ride. Drink as you normally drink doing longer rides. Eat lightly at the rest stops, carry a bar, banana, or something with you so if you feel you need some calories between rest stops you have it with you. Don't spend a lot of time at the stops. Grab a bit to eat, fill bottles, hit the head, and press on.
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Old 09-11-18, 08:18 PM
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Based on the miles you're accumulating in the September thread I think you'll be OK as far as stamina. Practice drinking and eating.

Be The Match Registry is an invaluable cause and I appreciate your participation and the organization's efforts.
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Old 09-11-18, 10:01 PM
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If there are dedicated stops than i would just pack light , i usualy eat bananas and a cup of jasmine rice mixed with white sugar an hour or more before . ive been doind a centry attemp every week once a week for the last 4 weeks i failed my first time and got it the last 3 times . i swear by these quaker oat breakfast squares . it takes about a half hour to kick in but any light oat based bar should be good . you can bring like 4 gels . i also use the jelly belly energy beans too get rid of dry mouth . but if they have stops along the way you wont need to bring much . i usually bring 4 liters of water and can make it with 3 . for some reason every time i do a centry session its like 90 degrees which works out for me becuase i mevwr need to stop for pees .
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Old 09-11-18, 11:00 PM
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Before my first century, an Akie 100 (Arkansas), just for my own mental comfort, I decided to bust a hundred before the event. We had a 60+ mile club ride on a Saturday, and after that, I rolled down to the river trail to lap out the rest. After clearing 100, I approached the event ride with a lot more confidence.
As mentioned before, if you're training rides are up to more than half of the event ride, you'll be fine.

One other thing... many will suggest keeping a steady pace through the ride, but there are exceptions. When I rode in the Hotter'n'Hell Hundred, I knew it was gonna be a scorcher. So, I pushed a bit harder earlier in the morning (unwittingly dragging a pretty hefty paceline) over the first quarter of the ride or so. As the day heated up, I moderated my pace and played it safe, staying well hydrated and fueled for the rest of it. Don't play around with that heat. They had helicopters waiting around, just in case.
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Old 09-12-18, 03:55 AM
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
I've been riding for a few months now and have never participated in any kind of bicycle event, not even a group ride. But it sounds like fun. So I signed up for the Waco Wild West 100 coming up on October 20th. To date my longest ride is 75 miles, which was this past Sunday. I felt pretty good and could have ridden further, but had simply run out of time and had to get back home.

I'd like to get a 100 mile ride in before the event, but I'm just not sure I have time to make it happen. Is it silly to think that if I felt pretty good after 75 miles, then riding the additional 25 miles should be fairly realistic? I've looked at the ride map and the terrain appears to be flatter than what I'm riding here.

What do you guys think? Any other words of advice?

-Matt
My advice with regard to eating and hydration is not to eat a LOT, but to eat early in the ride. I've done some long rides this year, including a solo double century a few weeks ago. My weak point is not eating early enough, and on one occasion trying to push too far without enough hydration. For me it gets harder to eat the farther you go, so eating early is helpful.
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Old 09-12-18, 08:34 AM
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Thanks for all the input guys!

As far as eating goes, I read and watch all kinds of info about bonking or hitting the wall, whatever you want to call it. They all say you *have* to eat every 90 minutes or you'll bonk. That must be for 1) people riding a lot faster than me and/or or 2) people who don't have any body fat. I just don't find it to be the case. I generally start a ride without having eaten for over 12 hours. I have a small protein drink right before I leave. From there as long as I have an energy bar every 40 miles or so, I'm good.

I'll be carrying two 20 ounce water bottles and from the sound of it there will be stops to refill every 10 miles or so. Plus, there have to be convenience stores on the route where I can buy water if need be.

Good advice on pacing too. I find that to be the case on all my rides over say 15 miles. If I start too fast, I'll definitely feel it by the end of the ride. I can always ride faster later if I want. Interesting thought about the heat. I usually start before the sun is up to reduce heat exposure. I won't have that luxury on the ride as it starts at 8 AM. So a slightly faster pace in the morning is time I won't be dealing with heat mid day.

Thanks again for the excellent advice and info. I'm really looking forward to the ride!


-Matt
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Old 09-12-18, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
"They" say that a cyclist can ride 2x the amount of miles that they can ride "comfortably", which means you could probably do 150 miles, if you dared.

2 years ago I trained for a 24 hr ride (326 miles total) by riding 150 miles two days in a row a couple weeks before the event. But I also had about 7k miles, and a dozen centuries in my legs by that point that season, which helped. Prior to that 326 mile ride, 200 miles was my longest ride, a couple months earlier. That season was my crowning achievement of dedication and fitness and will likely never be rivaled again.
I've often wondered how much farther I *could* ride if I really needed to. My gut feel was about 2x. I can feel (and see on my watch) that my average speed drops after 50 miles or so, but I generally recover within a few miles.

Um...200 miles is a long ride! And 326 is just plain incredible! A dozen centuries and 7k miles? Sounds like an awesome season!


-Matt
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Old 09-12-18, 11:55 AM
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I've personally found that 100 miles is a plenty long ride for me, at least. After doing it twice I think it will be a while before I ever attempt it again. It's not that the ride was hard or grueling, it was actually fairly easy with the exception of a stiff wind coming from the south. But after the last two or three SAG stops when I got back on my bike I just had this weird feeling of "Ugh, here I am back on my bike pedaling out more miles." It was like it was almost too much of a good thing. Doing a century ride is as much mental conditioning as it is physical.

Last year I did my first century in an organized ride, and the weekend before I did a 75 mile ride on my own. This year, the weekend before the century ride, I did 72 miles on my own. I don't think you'll have any problem.
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Old 09-12-18, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
Thanks for all the input guys!


As far as eating goes, I read and watch all kinds of info about bonking or hitting the wall, whatever you want to call it. They all say you *have* to eat every 90 minutes or you'll bonk. That must be for 1) people riding a lot faster than me and/or or 2) people who don't have any body fat. I just don't find it to be the case. I generally start a ride without having eaten for over 12 hours. I have a small protein drink right before I leave. From there as long as I have an energy bar every 40 miles or so, I'm good.


I'll be carrying two 20 ounce water bottles and from the sound of it there will be stops to refill every 10 miles or so. Plus, there have to be convenience stores on the route where I can buy water if need be.


Good advice on pacing too. I find that to be the case on all my rides over say 15 miles. If I start too fast, I'll definitely feel it by the end of the ride. I can always ride faster later if I want. Interesting thought about the heat. I usually start before the sun is up to reduce heat exposure. I won't have that luxury on the ride as it starts at 8 AM. So a slightly faster pace in the morning is time I won't be dealing with heat mid day.


Thanks again for the excellent advice and info. I'm really looking forward to the ride!



-Matt

Remember, you are not riding to lose weight for this 100 mile ride. The purpose of eating something every hour is to replace what you are burning. 100-200 cals an hour is what you need.


Rule 1, eat something every hour

Rule 2, do not eat anything new or anything you have not tried before on the ride. Eat what you have been eating.

Rule 3. do not drink anything new on the ride. Drink the same stuff you have been drinking. I will spare you of a friend of mine that decided to drink beet juice the night before our century because it has been known to help with cramping. He did not fare well at mile marker 68 and beyond.

Rule 4. Do not change anything on your bike either. Don't decide to tweek your gearing or try out new shoes or stuff like that. A century ride is not the time to experiment. That goes for clothing too. Wear your trusty shorts. On that note, plenty of lube in those shorts too. Better to be squishy than chaffing at mile 75.

Rule 5. Try and get in a group of riders that are riding your pace or slightly faster. You will save a ton of energy if you can get in a group and ride on some wheels.

Rule 6. Don't try and stretch your rest stops out further. Remember, no NEW stuff. If you stop every 25 miles, then stop every 25 miles. Now is not the time to wing it to mile 35 or 40 just because you feel good. That will not work at mile 80 when you are soft pedaling just to finish.

Rule 7. Don't rabbit out when the gun goes off. Try and maintain your pace no matter how many people pass you. Unless they are stronger than you, you will meet up with them and probably pass them at mile 50 or so. If your pace is 16mph then try and keep 16 if you are by yourself. If you can get in a group that is riding 16-18 or so, then try and stay in the group. Again, you will use a lot less energy riding behind someone.


Other than that, have fun.


john
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Old 09-12-18, 04:23 PM
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I am with the crowd that thinks if you already ride 75 miles, you can ride 100 and don't need food or nutrition advice from me.

Things to consider:
1) Don't wear that nice new pair of bibs/shoes/gloves
2) Check the weather report, plan accordingly
3) Give your bike a checkup the week before the ride but if you adjust anything (new tube, brakes, whatever) make sure you test ride the bike before your ride. And not just around teh parking lot.
4) Get a lot of sleep TWO nights before your event.
5) Don't stay up late drinking wine with your wife the night before. That advice might only apply to me.
6) First day of school rules - layout everything you need the night before. I think I've forgotten just about everything you can forget. Shoes are the worst thing to forget, water bottles are a close second.

Have fun.
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Old 09-12-18, 09:32 PM
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Plan your pace to accommodate the cut-off times at 30 and 40.5 miles.
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Old 09-13-18, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by rutan74 View Post
Remember, you are not riding to lose weight for this 100 mile ride. The purpose of eating something every hour is to replace what you are burning. 100-200 cals an hour is what you need.


Rule 1, eat something every hour

Rule 2, do not eat anything new or anything you have not tried before on the ride. Eat what you have been eating.

Rule 3. do not drink anything new on the ride. Drink the same stuff you have been drinking. I will spare you of a friend of mine that decided to drink beet juice the night before our century because it has been known to help with cramping. He did not fare well at mile marker 68 and beyond.

Rule 4. Do not change anything on your bike either. Don't decide to tweek your gearing or try out new shoes or stuff like that. A century ride is not the time to experiment. That goes for clothing too. Wear your trusty shorts. On that note, plenty of lube in those shorts too. Better to be squishy than chaffing at mile 75.

Rule 5. Try and get in a group of riders that are riding your pace or slightly faster. You will save a ton of energy if you can get in a group and ride on some wheels.

Rule 6. Don't try and stretch your rest stops out further. Remember, no NEW stuff. If you stop every 25 miles, then stop every 25 miles. Now is not the time to wing it to mile 35 or 40 just because you feel good. That will not work at mile 80 when you are soft pedaling just to finish.

Rule 7. Don't rabbit out when the gun goes off. Try and maintain your pace no matter how many people pass you. Unless they are stronger than you, you will meet up with them and probably pass them at mile 50 or so. If your pace is 16mph then try and keep 16 if you are by yourself. If you can get in a group that is riding 16-18 or so, then try and stay in the group. Again, you will use a lot less energy riding behind someone.


Other than that, have fun.


john
All excellent points. I've read the ones about not eating or drinking anything new. The same really applies to new gear and stuff on the bike. Makes perfect sense.

-Matt
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Old 09-13-18, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
I am with the crowd that thinks if you already ride 75 miles, you can ride 100 and don't need food or nutrition advice from me.

Things to consider:
1) Don't wear that nice new pair of bibs/shoes/gloves
2) Check the weather report, plan accordingly
3) Give your bike a checkup the week before the ride but if you adjust anything (new tube, brakes, whatever) make sure you test ride the bike before your ride. And not just around teh parking lot.
4) Get a lot of sleep TWO nights before your event.
5) Don't stay up late drinking wine with your wife the night before. That advice might only apply to me.
6) First day of school rules - layout everything you need the night before. I think I've forgotten just about everything you can forget. Shoes are the worst thing to forget, water bottles are a close second.

Have fun.
More good advice. Didn't think much about the weather since it remains the exact same for about 11 months out of the year in Texas. My main concern would be rain. I can tough out a little rain but anything more than an hour or so of it, and a rain gear sure would be nice.

-Matt
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Old 09-13-18, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by good4u View Post
Plan your pace to accommodate the cut-off times at 30 and 40.5 miles.
Funny, that's the first thing I calculated when I read about those cutoff times. Should be no problem there, barring more than one flat.


-Matt
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Old 09-13-18, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
5) Don't stay up late drinking wine with your wife the night before. That advice might only apply to me.
So is it OK if I stay up late drinking wine with your wife?
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Old 09-13-18, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
So is it OK if I stay up late drinking wine with your wife?
Sure - we'll be up late drinking wine tomorrow night - how do you want to coordinate the times? I imagine 10-midnight, PDT because we have a football game to go to before that.
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Old 09-19-18, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by rutan74 View Post
Rule 3. do not drink anything new on the ride. Drink the same stuff you have been drinking. I will spare you of a friend of mine that decided to drink beet juice the night before our century because it has been known to help with cramping. He did not fare well at mile marker 68 and beyond.
This also applies to pickle juice, which people on my first century insisted was necessary to prevent cramping. Very bad idea (for me). Very unpleasant last 1/4 of the ride.
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Old 09-19-18, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Knet View Post
This also applies to pickle juice, which people on my first century insisted was necessary to prevent cramping. Very bad idea (for me). Very unpleasant last 1/4 of the ride.
Good lord, how much pickle juice did you drink?

If anybody really knew what caused cramps, we'd have a remedy and not 40,000 wives tails, right?
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Old 09-19-18, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Good lord, how much pickle juice did you drink??
Not that much, maybe 3 shots over the morning, It just didn't agree with me. AT all.
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Old 09-19-18, 04:19 PM
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I had this vision of you going after an empty jar full of pickle juice! Phew.
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