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Preparing for Century

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Old 06-28-09, 10:36 PM
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Mark Turner
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Preparing for Century

It's been a long time since I rode 100 miles in a day, but I'm thinking I may want to do it again. I seem to remember reading here somewhere that if you ride 100 miles in a week then doing it in a day will be OK. The last time was in the '70s and we just took off and rode for the day without any special prep.

I'll make sure my bike is in good shape, carry (and consume) plenty of food and water, and pace myself. This will probably be a self-supported solo ride as I can't see paying money to ride in a crowd. The route I'm looking at will be similar to Tour de Whatcom, but definitely not on the event day.

What am I missing in being ready? I've ridden about 1500 miles so far this year, longest ride 55 miles.
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Old 06-29-09, 06:09 AM
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Put a couple of metric centuries under your belt. That will help.
Also - if you can find someone to go with you it will help break the monotony of 7 hours on the bike.
You can sometimes find a bike club sponsored century on the $20 - $30 dollar range; you may find the companionship and safety in numbers worth it.
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Old 06-29-09, 08:44 AM
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Like cyclinfool says-its nice to have a bit of company during a long day in the saddle.
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Old 07-02-09, 10:39 PM
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Company while riding really doesn't matter much to me. I'm quite comfortable spending long periods of time by myself. I've done week-long solo backpack trips. No road ride takes you away from people so far that someone won't happen along in the unlikely event of a crash. I'll take the advice to do a couple of metric centuries as part of the buildup. Toyed with making today's loop 60+ miles, but decided 45 was enough. I didn't have enough food with me to fuel the extra miles.
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Old 07-03-09, 08:20 AM
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What used to stop me from riding centuries was the inability to sit-the-saddle for more than 60 to 65 miles. Once I overcame that obsticle the rest was a piece of cake.

One day when you're feeling strong during a ride, just go for it. It's really not that big of a deal to ride that far, in my opinion. The challange comes in trying to complete the distance within specific times or maintaining specific avg. speeds.

Enjoy the ride.
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Old 07-03-09, 08:31 AM
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Saddle time can be markedly different when you pass thresholds that your body isn't used to. So, I'd shoot for a ride that is at least 3/4 of the time you think your century ride will take. Note, I'm using time as the denominator here, not miles. Your planned metric centuries will give you the mileage base.
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Old 07-03-09, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
What used to stop me from riding centuries was the inability to sit-the-saddle for more than 60 to 65 miles. Once I overcame that obsticle the rest was a piece of cake.

One day when you're feeling strong during a ride, just go for it. It's really not that big of a deal to ride that far, in my opinion. The challange comes in trying to complete the distance within specific times or maintaining specific avg. speeds.

Enjoy the ride.
+1
A century done at a slow pace with lots of rests is quite easy - but it can take all day.
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Old 07-03-09, 03:26 PM
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3 problems with distance riding-

The Butt. You may be capable of riding 2 hours non-stop with no pain at all. It might work for 4 hours or even a whole century ride- but if butt pain does arrive- the ride will be miserable.

I reckon that if you can get the butt up to a 4 hour non-stop ride- then it will be OK.

The 4 hour non-stop will also give you and idea to the next problem of

Pace on the ride. depends on the route and how hilly but I do a 40 mile ride on a flat course but with lots of slowing for bends.(Lots of 90deg bends) If I can do that ride at 16mph- then I am up to speed for a century ride. I can and have kept 16mph for a metric century and no problem. But to do that extra milage up to 100 miles is not possible for me. So I aim for 14mph. That puts me at around 7 hours for the 100 miles. Work out your speed over a good distance and aim for lower. And if that is too high- slow down.

And finally

You are entering new territory. Especially as you plan to do it on your own. Be prepared to cut the ride if necessary and do it some other time.

Other things like drink a lot- eat a little but often also come into it but if you are doing around 60 miles in 4 hours non-stop- Then you will probably have this about right. Just watch out for the 70 mile mark if you don't get it right.
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