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My new goal - Century ride

Old 04-20-11, 02:35 PM
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megarot
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My new goal - Century ride

I goal this year is completing a century ride and one that I can plan out for myself. I have friends who will do this ride with me. It's going to take some work to get up to a century but I'm pretty confident I can do it by the end of the year.

I guess my first goal is to start putting in some 50 mile rides. I'm waiting on my road bike to be shipped out to me so I can start putting in longer rides. Right now all I have is my single speed city commuter and the gearing is pretty high on it.

Anyway, this is the path I'm thinking about taking from Chicago to Kenosha, WI.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sour...&z=10&lci=bike
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Old 04-20-11, 03:33 PM
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MrClyde
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Cool! You can do it. Just do it before winter so you don't get buried in that snow you get along the lake.
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Old 04-20-11, 05:02 PM
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I have never done a century. The farthest I have ridden in a day was about 75 miles, but that was on my Rivendell Atlantis that was set up as a loaded tourer, and loaded with all my camping gear, water, and food, the bicycle weighed a little over 90 pounds:



I think I could do a century on a bike that wasn't carrying all that crap.
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Old 04-20-11, 07:43 PM
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rdtompki
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I'm assuming this route is quite flat given its proximity to Lake Michigan. Seem to be lots of towns along the way so no problem getting water or snacks - one less thing to worry about. You'll want to build up to 60-70 mile rides as much for your seat as for your muscles. Nothing says misery on a long ride like a painful posterior.
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Old 04-20-11, 09:44 PM
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iforgotmename
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You can do it....just try.
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Old 04-21-11, 09:48 AM
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I actually feel pretty confident about it, I don't have too many doubts but I guess when I start hitting 60 and 70 mile markers I'll see how I feel about it then. For me I'm not so sure that's about the endurance as it is about being in the saddle that long so that's where I'm really going to have to build up to.

In the meantime I'm getting a new/old road bike - Schwinn Premis. And although the suede turquoise seat is beautiful I'm sure it's going to have to be replaced for my long rides. I'm thinking about a Brooks B17.
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Old 04-21-11, 10:06 AM
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I personally find Brooks B17s to be the most comfortable saddles I have ever used, and I have used a lot of saddles. However, not everyone finds that to be the case. If you buy one, buy it from someone who will accept a return if you don't like it such as wallbike.com, or amazon, or REI.

Buy it soon and get your ass broken in to it. I don't really believe a Brooks forms itself to your sit bones as much as your ass adjusts itself to the Brooks. The one on my Soma Doublecross has a lot of hundreds of miles on it, and I don't see much in the way of it deforming itself to match my anatomy. On the other hand, I can ride it all day and it remains comfortable... and I think that's because my ass has become accustomed to it.

I just added a new B17 to a new bike this week and it already feels the same to me as the 10 year old one on my Soma.
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Old 04-21-11, 10:25 AM
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Hey. that route will take you within a couple of blocks of my house! I have ridden a lot of that route. The Green Bay trail is really flat straight and boring (maybe you want that if you are just trying to cover miles). It has a lot of stops and starts too. And that section that runs along the canal is cool because it is a sculpture park much of the way. But if it is a hot day look out, that canal gets STINKY! (My four year old calls it the stinky river, we even have a stinky river song that we sing while riding that trail). The bike trail that starts at Devon and Lehigh is prettier as it winds through forest preserves and goes through the Chicago Botanic Garden too (but it gets crowded on weekends).

When were you planning to do the century?

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Old 04-21-11, 10:38 AM
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I've actually done the bike trail at Devon & LeHigh and you're right it is a nice trail. It was a little crowded but it wasn't like there was any traffic jams for me and our little group didn't feel the need to speed through the trail (we're not any serious roadies, just city commuters and recreational riders).
I haven't done the Green Bay Trail at all - kinda sounds nasty but I do want to give a go, either way. When I was riding up in Evanston I saw markers for a Tour de Chicago or Tour de Evanston, I'm really not sure but I wonder if you can map out the entire route and how long it is. Do you know anything about it?

Another ride I was considering is the Prairie Path which goes out west. As you can see Belmont & Broadway is pretty much my starting point so I'll just be trying to find nice paths to rack up some miles. I'll definitely be doing the ride to the Botanical Gardens again - probably in a few weeks when I get my bike actually.

I've looked on the forums for the mid-west and saw some path recommendations. I have to check it out again but for the time being I was just google searching how far I would go for a Century ride and I saw that route.

I'm thinking for the full century I would like to shoot for maybe beginning of September. Hopefully it won't be so hot by that time as it would be in August.
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Old 04-21-11, 11:13 AM
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I didn't mean to put you off on that route. The only part that is stinky is the section called the North Shore Channel trail that goes from Devon and McCormick to the North side of Evanston. And the worst is at Howard street where the water treatment plant is. If it is hot and stinky you can easily adjust your route and go a few blocks to the east or west.

The section from Wilmette up to Lake Bluff runs right next to the Metra tracks. It is out of traffic for the most part a lot of it is wooded (at least on the non train side). I grew up in Wilmette and as a kid would ride up and back that section all the time. It is really not bad. Just know that when the trail ends, follow the signs as it always starts up again a few blocks later. From Lake Bluff north, I am not that familiar.

I have not ridden the prairie path but I have heard it is nice. I have ridden the path up in Wisconsin that runs through New Glarus and it is nice.

The Evanston Bike club does a North Shore Century every year and it is september 18th. I don't know much about them or the ride but I am thinking about doing it. That way you get mechanical support and snacks along the way.
http://www.evanstonbikeclub.org/nsc/
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Old 04-22-11, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by michaelnel View Post
I have never done a century. The farthest I have ridden in a day was about 75 miles, but that was on my Rivendell Atlantis that was set up as a loaded tourer, and loaded with all my camping gear, water, and food, the bicycle weighed a little over 90 pounds:



I think I could do a century on a bike that wasn't carrying all that crap.
Michaelnel, love your bike what brand-make-model of mirror are you using?
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