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1st Century: How often to stop/dismount?

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1st Century: How often to stop/dismount?

Old 08-04-14, 09:53 PM
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1st Century: How often to stop/dismount?

My first post here, after lurking for a few months! I'm a fairly new cyclist getting ready for my first century in mid-September. It's a flat route (hooray!) so it's mostly a matter of me just hanging in there for the long haul.

My questions is: assuming the ride will be 6 hours +/-, how often would it be typical to stop along the way? I figure I'll stop for at least a couple of minutes every 45-60 min. to take in some nourishment, as I don't like doing that while rolling.
I'm still a clyde at 225 (down from 330 a year ago), and my biggest obstacles are getting a sore butt and some stiffness in my lower back.

Any advice (or words of encouragement) would be welcome.
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Old 08-04-14, 10:21 PM
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Doing your first century in just 6 hours would be pretty impressive...

Anyway, sounds like a good plan. Just be aware the last 20 miles are probably going to be tough, even if you've done several 60-70 mile prep rides. You may find it hard to keep going for more than a few minutes at a time and/or you might find it very hard to get back on the bike after you get off. Especially if you push too hard early on.

It might seem weird, but I'd recommend taking along a small tube of Preparation H as emergency saddle sore balm - as a pain-killing anti-inflammatory, it's pretty perfect if you wind up with a nasty saddle sore but still HAVE to ride some to get home.
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Old 08-04-14, 10:43 PM
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Is it a supported century or a self-guided century?

For your first century, do whatever you need to do to complete the route. If it's supported, odds are good that you'll have 4-5 SAG stops with snacks, water etc. Take advantage, don't stay too long, don't eat too much.

If your route has a lot of stop lights, I think that lends itself naturally to keeping your butt feeling OK. If not, get off as often as you think you need to. 45 min. might be a bit frequent but if it works for you, go for it.

The last 20 miles is likely to be a grind, as achoo mentioned. Just be mentally ready for it and know that you can finish, and you will.
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Old 08-04-14, 11:01 PM
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More traffic lights in the first 20 and last 20 miles, the middle 60 will be on lots of state highway. It's a supported race, with some SAG stops. Thanks for your input!
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Old 08-04-14, 11:08 PM
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Though fresh, eat more and on consistent times the first half of the ride. It will fuel the 2nd half. Stop/rest as needed, but longer stops require longer warm up time when u get back on the bike. Don't forget to have fun!!
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Old 08-04-14, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by DukeCity
More traffic lights in the first 20 and last 20 miles, the middle 60 will be on lots of state highway. It's a supported race, with some SAG stops. Thanks for your input!
Another thing to watch out for is irrational exuberance. New century riders tend to get swept up in the excitement and go out WAY too hard in the first hour or two. Ask me how I know.
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Old 08-05-14, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by DukeCity
More traffic lights in the first 20 and last 20 miles, the middle 60 will be on lots of state highway. It's a supported race, with some SAG stops. Thanks for your input!
This a race or a ride?

Enjoy the ride; stop when you need to but know what your limits are when stopping then having to restart. I know I am not one to set round chewing the fat with others at SAG stops. Fill my bottles and I'm gone.

I'd also say that you should know what you can and more importantly can't eat during a ride. 6+ hours in the saddle (and a 6 hr century is pretty sporty for a first one) is a while; that peanut butter and jalapeno sammich may not set well.


Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
Another thing to watch out for is irrational exuberance. New century riders tend to get swept up in the excitement and go out WAY too hard in the first hour or two. Ask me how I know.
^That.

Was that the "I walked my first hill" thread by Mr. Vest?
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Old 08-05-14, 07:12 AM
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DukeCity - I'm curious - how new are you? I've been riding since the early spring this year and have a 75km ride planned for early Spetember and hope to do a 100km ride at the end of the month. No way in heck I'd be ready for ~ 160km any time before the snow starts to fall.
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Old 08-05-14, 07:28 AM
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I have an opportunity to ride a 100 mile in september that is a little hilly. I have ridden a few 68 mile rides on the flats but was pretty tired nearing the end due to too much effort in the first half. I am going to wait to decide 68 or 100 until the morning of the ride but I think I can do it. I started riding in February and average 75 - 100 miles per week. The last 68 mile ride I averaged 18 MPH but I hope to average 15 on the 100.
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Old 08-05-14, 08:32 AM
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DukeCity - A couple of things...first, kudos on the weight loss! 105 lbs in a year is awesome, and I know it wasn't easy.

On how often you stop - every time you stop and cool off, you'll have to warm up again on the bike. Stop as often as necessary, but I'd try to limit it to every hour or longer if possible. If it's just not possible, then stop and take a break.

Don't overeat at the rest stops. When I did these, my favorite combination was half a banana and half a PB&J, now I'd probably skip the sammich and eat a whole banana. Do make sure you fill your bottles, and drink as much as you need; don't leave a rest stop without both bottles full. In the future, work on being able to eat while riding, it makes things much easier.

To back up what others have said, remember to pace yourself, and that the first half of the century is 80 miles, the second half 20. Best of luck!
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Old 08-05-14, 08:38 AM
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Personally I don't like stopping, and I never stop for long - one just stiffens up and it takes a while to get going properly again. Time to pee and take on water is about it. I probably wouldn't stop more than two or at most three times, but tastes differ.

Get used to eating and drinking on the bike.
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Old 08-05-14, 08:41 AM
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on my 1st and only solo attempt, at the 1/2 way point I took an hr to change clothes and bike, ate and napped. in hindsight, that was more than necessary. I don't remember the other breaks, sorry.
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Old 08-05-14, 08:44 AM
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Eat and drink as you pedal....Stop at 33 and 66 miles.
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Old 08-05-14, 09:13 AM
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When I did my first century I stopped every 10 miles even if I didn't think I needed it. Stop, force yourself to drink water and eat just a bit, etc. Stopping like that MAKES you take care of things even if you are being a bit over-proactive.

My next century I'll be in better shape so I'll probably schedule every 15 miles. If I ever get to where I do longer distances more often I'll adjust.
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Old 08-05-14, 09:21 AM
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I think you got all the right answers above. For the stiff back, try doing planks. I built up to 1 two minute plank every Mon,Tue,Wed, Thur. That's it, just 8 min of exercise per week and all back stiffness is gone regardless of length of ride. Lots of youtube videos on proper form for planks.
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Old 08-05-14, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by DukeCity
...my biggest obstacles are getting a sore butt and some stiffness in my lower back.

Any advice (or words of encouragement) would be welcome.
The sore butt could be any of several things. A poor saddle, lack of riding time using that saddle, or a poor fit. The stiffness in the lower back is most likely due to a poor fit. Everybody is different, but I just know that after I got a professional fit, all my pain in every part of my body went away on rides, short or extended. Something to consider.

When I ride charity centuries, I'll stop at pretty much all of the rest stops to top off my bottles and grab something to eat. I've skipped a few, usually in the latter part of a ride. I try to limit my time at each stop to five minutes or less. On self-supported centuries, I'll force myself to stop every 25 miles. First stop is a short eat break, second stop is a longer, lunch break, the last stop is usually to purchase water.

As others have mentioned, that last twenty miles is very difficult, from a mental standpoint. When I hit that eighty mile marker, I just want the ride to be over.

- - - - -

Not directly relevant. On metric centuries, (all unsupported), I stop every twenty miles for a quick food break. First two anyway. Third stop is to re-fill my water bottles.
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Old 08-05-14, 09:51 AM
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Stop as often as you feel you need to.. Make them quick stops though with just enough time to rest a little, get some nourishment and fill water bottles..

Riding with others will help as the miles fly by when you have someone to chat with..

Congrats on the weight loss and keep a positive mental attitude during the ride.. You can and will do it!
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Old 08-05-14, 09:55 AM
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I started doing some running last fall and started cycling after the first of the year. For the last several weeks I've been getting some 20-30 mile rides in each week, with one longer ride of 40-50 miles each week. Each of those rides has some hilly areas, but the century is pretty darn flat.

My my plan is to ramp up my long rides gradually over the coming weeks: 55, 60, 65, 70, to 75 a week before the century (ride, not a race).

There's a 68 mile version of the ride, so if my long training rides are causing me to doubt the century, or if I get in the middle of the century and it doesn't seem doable, I can always do the shorter course.

Mostly just trying to stay relaxed and positive about the whole thing; not in a hurry to make a specific time. Just want to have fun, and hopefully get my first century under my belt!

thanks for your comments and suggestions, everyone!
Keep 'em coming!
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Old 08-05-14, 10:11 AM
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6 hours is pretty ambitious. Budget 7.5 hours including stops.
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Old 08-05-14, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by DukeCity
I started doing some running last fall and started cycling after the first of the year. For the last several weeks I've been getting some 20-30 mile rides in each week, with one longer ride of 40-50 miles each week. Each of those rides has some hilly areas, but the century is pretty darn flat.

My my plan is to ramp up my long rides gradually over the coming weeks: 55, 60, 65, 70, to 75 a week before the century (ride, not a race).

There's a 68 mile version of the ride, so if my long training rides are causing me to doubt the century, or if I get in the middle of the century and it doesn't seem doable, I can always do the shorter course.

Mostly just trying to stay relaxed and positive about the whole thing; not in a hurry to make a specific time. Just want to have fun, and hopefully get my first century under my belt!

thanks for your comments and suggestions, everyone!
Keep 'em coming!
Pray to the wind gods that the last half is not into the wind :-). I did my first and only years ago, the Hancock Horizontal Hundred in Findlay, OH. Billed as Americas flattest century, I was maybe 25 then, and had a 50 year old friend riding along with me.

I had a decent base but no rides really past 50-60 on weekends, and my Bianchi Premio which was 7speed back then sure did not have a compact crank on it :-). I ended up grinding into a pretty stiff wind on the return part of the 100 mile loop, really really wished I had a couple gears to shift DOWN into.

I did make it, which was good, but the miracle really was that my 50 year old buddy Fred made it, he was riding some random steel frame Raleigh stem shifted thing....and I am certain his weekly TOTAL miles prior to the century were probably around 100 miles. I guess I could not quit knowing he was not going to no way no how :-). I did go home afterwards and take a nap though.

I did not loiter around at rest stops, filled water bottles, took a leak, ate a cookie or two and was back on the bike.

Note: December I become one of those "50 year old guys" hehe.

Bill
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Old 08-05-14, 11:08 AM
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What trojan said...I was with him on the go out too fast (or at least one of his go out too fast)

after 6 of them I learned just not to stop at the first one, but hit the second one, and never stay more than 10 minutes. Less if possible. I get my bottle filled grab some quick food and head out. I drink while riding and eat gels but dont try and eat much more while riding (not that you cant, I just happen to like perpeptuem and it requires mixing so i do that when stopped).

you will think longer stops are better, they are not. 5-1o minutes and back on the bike.

also make sure you carry your own food to some degree. I have found way more than one stop that either was so crowded I couldnt get food in a reasonable time, or it had run out.
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Old 08-05-14, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
Another thing to watch out for is irrational exuberance. New century riders tend to get swept up in the excitement and go out WAY too hard in the first hour or two. Ask me how I know.
+1, especially when participating in an organized event. The first time I did my local two-day MS ride I shared a room with a young guy who had never done a 75 mile organized ride. It was flat and he told me he got in a pack with a bunch of people who were stronger than he was. Then he died. To make matters worse, he messed up a knee. He was dead tired and in pain. Called his parents to come pick him up that night. They had to drive 3 hrs. to get him. They were not happy when they arrived.

And +1 on the last 20 mile thing. Personally, I get bored around 80-85 miles, which is why I rarely do centuries. Have seen a lot of crashes in the last 15-20 miles of centuries.
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Old 08-05-14, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by IBOHUNT
Was that the "I walked my first hill" thread by Mr. Vest?
Nope. I believe that one was a local ride for him... his immediate neighborhood seems to be all mountains, and not those stubby little things you live near.

Originally Posted by vesteroid
What trojan said...I was with him on the go out too fast (or at least one of his go out too fast)
That was a go too fast for you, not me... and no, that's not an insult, you were just kind enough to provide a nice draft for the rest of us, into that awful wind. I think that's the hilliest century I've done so far, not including the one I'm going to do in 2 weeks.
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Old 08-05-14, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by vesteroid
What trojan said...I was with him on the go out too fast (or at least one of his go out too fast)

after 6 of them I learned just not to stop at the first one, but hit the second one, and never stay more than 10 minutes. Less if possible. I get my bottle filled grab some quick food and head out. I drink while riding and eat gels but dont try and eat much more while riding (not that you cant, I just happen to like perpeptuem and it requires mixing so i do that when stopped).

you will think longer stops are better, they are not. 5-1o minutes and back on the bike.

also make sure you carry your own food to some degree. I have found way more than one stop that either was so crowded I couldnt get food in a reasonable time, or it had run out.
Quit the hobo scene did ya?
Welcome back.
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Old 08-05-14, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
Nope. I believe that one was a local ride for him... his immediate neighborhood seems to be all mountains, and not those stubby little things you live near.
Oh no you didn

A Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin': New Found Gap...I wish they hadn't: Pigeon Forge, TN to Cherokee, NC - "While we have altitude, the eastern mountains, for all their draped charms, have attitude. I'll take the altitude."

then...

Engineers in the west look at the steepness and ruggedness of our mountains and say "No one in their right mind would go up that!


Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
That was a go too fast for you, not me... and no, that's not an insult, you were just kind enough to provide a nice draft for the rest of us, into that awful wind. I think that's the hilliest century I've done so far, not including the one I'm going to do in 2 weeks.

Definition of rides...

Watch your dog run away for a week flat = < 35'/mile
Flat = 36 - 50'/mi
Moundy = 51 - 75'/mi
Bumpy = 76 - 100'/mi
Hilly = 101' - 125'/mi
Climby = 126' - 150'/mi
Really? >151'/mi
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