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first century ride since I was 16

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Old 07-28-12, 01:53 PM
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slowride454
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first century ride since I was 16

So I got into cycling this year due to my weight, health concerns, and 2 major injuries. I injured my knee last fall and my wrist in Feb. '11. So I ended up packing on the poundage from inactivity, long work hours, a newborn, and MBA classes.

When I was younger my butt was practically attached to my bike seat, then after I got my driver's license, for some reason I stopped riding. So it's been over 20 years since my last really long ride.

I've been training some, as time and weather permits. My longest ride so far is about 50 miles. Tomorrow is an organized 100 miler. I have a couple more scheduled over the next few months.

What advice do you have?

How should I eat today and tomorrow?

What should I pack? I'll be wearing a 100oz camelback pack.

How early should I get to the start to be ready by 7:00am?
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Old 07-28-12, 02:13 PM
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Your longest ride is 50 miles and you're doing an organized 100 miles tomorrow? Sweet. Nothing like taking the bull by the horns.

Drink lots of water today, skip any alcohol & eat balanced meals.

Do they have water stops on your route? Maybe you can skip the camelbak. I'm becoming fond of them - it's nicer to stash snacks, phone etc in a camelbak than in your jersey and mine keeps the water inside cold for over four hours, which is darn nice. I tend to only use it when I'm rides where I know I can't find water though.

Set everything out tonight, pump up your tires (or put the pump by your bike for the AM). I usually go through a bottle of gatorade per hour, but that drives some people's stomachs crazy, so this is one of those things you should debug while you're building up to your century. What ever you were able to do on your 50 mile ride... do that.

Bring food you know you can digest even if they provide snacks. PB&J is a nice treat at about 60 miles but I tend to eat clif bars or those waffle things too. You need to keep a steady intake of food and liquid. Ideally, you can eat about 300 calories an hour because that's all your body can digest, so between some sort of bar and your gatorade, do that.

Um.... ride at a comfortable pace and DO NOT attempt to stay with faster people early on - better to finish strong than limp across the finish (or DNF) because you didn't husband your strength correctly.

I would plan on getting to your ride by 6:30, so give yourself 30-45 min. at home to get yourself together + driving time. Better to get there early and take a test spin on your bike to make sure everything is peachy. Plus, you won't have to deal with the stress of being late.

Other than that - have fun, it's not a race and post a report when you're done.
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Old 07-29-12, 01:24 PM
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I'm planning my first century in Sept. So I'm very interested in your results. My main problems are being slow, and taking too many breaks. A 54 mile ride can take me 9hrs total time right now. Great luck to you~!
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Old 07-29-12, 05:49 PM
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I had my first "waffle thing" today and it was delicious
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Old 07-29-12, 06:00 PM
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Did my first century yesterday ...

Eat. I really bonked in the last 10 miles. I'm not sure how many additional calories I needed to prevent that, but I was really suffering going up the last hills
Hydrate. If there are stations, refill your bottles and drink from them consistently. If there are no rest stations, then wear a hydrapak/camelbak. You'll want it.
Start out slow. This was mentioned above. I let the lead pack get away pretty early, and it was good I did. They were out at AT LEAST 25 mph over the first hour. My group was slower, but was probably still too fast (right around 20 mph). I think everyone gets excited going out, and pushes it to early.
Have fun. Take pictures. Chat up your riding partners. Make some friends. I had a great time.

PS -- I packed a couple of single-serving packs of Chamois Butt'r ... just in case. Didn't need it, but it still might be a good idea.
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Old 07-29-12, 07:29 PM
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I arrived with plenty of time and ate half of a banana for breakfast. I did not eat much during the ride. A banana, a few apple slices, and a few granola bars. I drink about 175oz of water from my camelback, and about another 100oz of gatorade/powerade. I did not pee until I got home.

All told the ride was 112.97 miles and my bike computer said 13.1 mph average. I did 14.5mph for the first 55 miles and then 11.7mph for the rest. I will NEVER ride my current road bike this far ever again. I should sell that thing to the CIA for enhanced interrogation. I still can not feel the two small fingers on both hands, I've got bruises on my palms and my wrists. I took my padded gloves off part way through the bad section and it did help some. My feet are in pretty good shape. My lower back is toast. Those country roads pounded the crap out of me. The first half of the ride wasn't too bad, only a few sections of crappy roads, but most of the second half was BRUTAL. Frost heaves and cracks that felt like the Grand Canyon, every 20 to 50 feet, heavy tractor traffic turned some of the roads into washboards, and the rest were just in not so good shape. Once I got back into Neenah I was flying along again at 20+mph on the new pavement, even in a pretty decent rain storm. Needless to say, I was the last rider to return by a long shot. It was nice they saved me some food. Even though they stopped serving at 4:00pm. I left at 7:05am and got back around 4:50pm.

"I was all alone for about 95% of this ride

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Old 07-29-12, 07:40 PM
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I don't think carbon handlebars and a carbon seat post will take care of this issue. Either I am a complete wuss(most likely) or my bike is just too damned stiff and racy.
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Old 07-29-12, 07:58 PM
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Or the bike doesn't fit correctly. I would try getting a proper fitting before buying a new bike.
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Old 07-29-12, 08:10 PM
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I did get fit. I was re-fit by a Bike Fit program specialist. He did a great job, or at least I thought so. I spent $60 earlier this summer at a different LBS and did not get a very good fitting. They only adjusted my seat and cleats and flipped my stem. This guy did all kinds of stuff. My right leg and right arm are shorter than the left. After adding shims and moving my pedals out, my pedal stroke is much more efficient per the anatomical markers, laser guides and videos. My seat was adjusted alot too. I can now sit up and pedal, were I could not before. He put the Salsa fit-o-matic on and I now have a very short and very high stem. We also changed the handlebar angles, and move my right shifter up to compensate for my shorter arm. Again maybe I'm just a wussy and need to just get through this. My work group plans on riding 40miles Tuesday and 90miles Saturday to get ready for the 90mile race on 8/19. Then I have another century on 9/9.
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Old 07-29-12, 08:12 PM
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There were sections, like when my phone mysteriously rebooted where I could not read the screen on the GPS and could actually hear the handlebars sort of "ringing" from the washboard road.
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Old 07-29-12, 08:52 PM
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That sounds like a really good fit job so if the bike was improperly sized it should have come up during the fitting.
If the roads were as rough as you describe a change of bikes won't make that much of a difference unless you change to a bike with a suspension of some kind, for example mtb or hybrid. There are some things that you could try if you're going to continue riding roads like that to help take the sting off. You could try getting wider tires and double wrapping your bars or using the gel pads underneath the tape. Those will help but nothing will absorb the kind of punishment your describing except suspension.

This could also just be a case of you not being used to being on the bike for that long which was made worse by the rough roads. However, I would still go re-visit your fitter and tell him you had the pinkies in both hands go numb because that is indicative of a fit issue.
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Old 07-29-12, 09:11 PM
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I ride my 29er hardtail all the time around town and single track. That would be great to ride, but not very aggressive or fast on the road. I run 28c tires and have 4 gel pads per side with foam tape. taking off my padded gloves actually helped a little bit today for some reason. I will be texting the fit guy tomorrow.
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Old 07-30-12, 09:15 AM
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What kind of bike is this awful device of torture anyway?
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Old 07-30-12, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
What kind of bike is this awful device of torture anyway?
Bike:
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...90_-1___202339

Frame:
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...02_-1___202337

Fork:
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...34_-1___202441

Wheels:
http://www.aclass-wheels.com/en/road_alx630.html

Gel Pads:
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...2_175160_-1___

Bar tape:
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...31_-1___202444
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Old 07-30-12, 09:46 PM
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That looks like a nice stiff AL frame... and those aren't exactly famous for compliant rides. The roads you describe sounds awful though, I'm not sure even a fancy carbon frame would have saved your dentures.
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Old 07-30-12, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
That looks like a nice stiff AL frame... and those aren't exactly famous for compliant rides. The roads you describe sounds awful though, I'm not sure even a fancy carbon frame would have saved your dentures.
I talked with a co-worker today who also did the 100 miles and he commented on the roads being a little rough. He happens to ride a 30+ year old steel touring bike. I'm very confused about what to do. I looked at a 2011 56cm Roubaix Elite today, but they want $1850. They also have a 2012 54cm for $2000. Both have compact Apex components.

the bike fitter suggested I look for a new frame. The shop he works out of might have something. I'm just not sure. Some carbon frames can be just as stiff if not stiffer than aluminum. It just feels like I'm throwing good money after bad on this whole biking thing. By the time I get a new frame, new fork, new wheels, new seat post, compact chain rings, new cassette, new RD... I'll have a big pile of parts and have spent more than a new bike would cost.
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Old 07-30-12, 10:33 PM
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I had a Ti bike that shook my teeth loose (the AL fork probably had a lot to do wit hit) and put my bits on to a carbon frame I bought on ebay for $500. (2007 spec roubaix). Couldn't be happier.

Feel free to peruse craigs list and whatnot for frame deals... you can also go the china direct route if you're convinced you want to try it. or go N+1 of course.
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Old 07-30-12, 11:14 PM
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Did you have these issues when doing shorter rides? It could be you just weren't prepared enough, going from 50 to 100 miles is a big jump. As for the bike I have both carbon and aluminum that have race geometry and by far the carbon is a lot better on bad roads. On the other hand my son rides a Caad10 known as being a stiff bike and he has no complaints.
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Old 07-30-12, 11:28 PM
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I did have issues on shorter rides. Whenever the pavement gets bad the issues start. I switched to the 28c tires just from my 3.8 mile commute.
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Old 07-30-12, 11:39 PM
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It could be you just need to get accustomed to the rigors of riding a bike. Some things can be taken care of with bike fit and equipment but some other issues just require time on the bike. Every year when our Canadian winter ends my neck hurts for a week or two and my hands go numb but once the body get reacquianted with the stresses it goes away. Not sure how long you have been riding our total k's but it makes a huge difference, I have 7000km's for the year and evereything is dialed in it does get better with time in the saddle.
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Old 07-30-12, 11:59 PM
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that is probably the case. I've only got 500 miles on this road bike and about 200 miles on my mountain bike this year. I just am concerned because I do not want to have another wrist surgery. I had to have my right ulna shortened due to impaction. my wrists were showing signs of bruising after yesterday's ride. I'll try to pound out another 40miles tomorrow, time and weather permitting.
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Old 07-31-12, 03:12 AM
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I hear you about wrist, broke both of mine when younger racing BMX. I have been lucky though and have very few fit issues on the bike and have gotten to the point where I can tell if my position has changed or something has moved on my bike, I am talking mm's very small changes can make a huge difference. I will say other than time on the bike Yoga has been the number one thing to help with my comfort on the bike.
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Old 07-31-12, 05:53 AM
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so how long does the hand and toe numbness last? It has been 2 days. I plan on riding again tonight. Is this something that will be a problem all summer/fall until I just ride in my nice smooth basement?
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Old 07-31-12, 07:39 AM
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Your numbness should have passed by now. If it was me I would not ride again until it subsided in fear I might cause more damage. I would also start possibly thinking about going to a doctor just to get checked out to make sure there's not something else going on.

As far as the carbon bike, I have a 2011 Roubaix SL2 frame and I can tell you that while it helps absorb some of the high speed chatter it doesn't do much more than take the sharpness off of big hits, so I'm not sure if the money invested will give you the return you're expecting. That road you described sounds terrible and while the carbon will definately be an improvement over the aluminum it's not a wonder material.

One thing I've been meaning to ask is if your your old gloves have an excessive amount of gel in the palm area? I had an old pair of specialized gloves that had a big palm pad and it forced my wrists at wierd angles and caused my pinkies to go numb. Also now that I have gel pads under my bar tape any glove with excessive padding adds too much thickness on the bar forcing me to press down just a slight bit more to grab the bar when needed. I found on long stretches of rough roads that I would get hand fatigue that I don't get now on the same roads using unpadded or lightly padded gloves.
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Old 07-31-12, 10:40 AM
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First, congrats on finishing your century ride. Second, it was probably over-reaching on your part to go for it.
Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
It just feels like I'm throwing good money after bad on this whole biking thing.
No offense intended at all, but maybe you could just slow down and get some miles under your saddle? 500 miles is just barely breaking in the wheels, IMO.

Going from 0 to 40, 50, 100 mile rides is a good recipe for an over-use injury, if you're not careful. I'm assuming that you're not in tip-top physical shape (I apologize for making an assumption, but the odds are with me, between what you said in the first post, and the fact that you're posting in this particular forum), you would be well-served to build up a good base of miles and add to it in reasonable increments.


Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
the bike fitter suggested I look for a new frame. The shop he works out of might have something. I'm just not sure. Some carbon frames can be just as stiff if not stiffer than aluminum. It just feels like I'm throwing good money after bad on this whole biking thing. By the time I get a new frame, new fork, new wheels, new seat post, compact chain rings, new cassette, new RD... I'll have a big pile of parts and have spent more than a new bike would cost.
If you decide to go with a carbon frame, you could move your components over from the Nashbar frame to save you some money while you decide if it's worthwhile, or not.
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