Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

How many of your centuries finish before dark?

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

How many of your centuries finish before dark?

Reply

Old 02-14-19, 12:39 AM
  #1  
pennpaul
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Jerusalem
Posts: 105

Bikes: Diamondback Haanjo Trail

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
How many of your centuries finish before dark?

A friend and I will attempt a century this Saturday through the Negev Desert to a southern beach resort in Israel. My wife and kids will provide sag support with our car.

I'm thinking back to my last century probably 20 years ago (and the three before that) and I don't remember that any of them finished before it started getting dark. The plan is to start riding at 7am. It's a mostly downhill course while my other ones rolled through the Philly surroundings. My ride app says 3000ft up and 5600ft down. My normal 21mile training ride is already 1700ft up and down so I'm hoping 3000ft feels like nothing. It's that last 40 miles of flat I'm worried about.

How many of your centuries ended with plenty of light to spare? I'm wondering if I should strap the headlamp onto my helmet now or wait and see. It's not a bike specific light so the battery pack (4 AAAs) would sit on the rear of the helmet. It probably wouldn't bother me for a short ride, but might start to hurt my neck.
pennpaul is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 05:38 AM
  #2  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 21,075
Mentioned: 150 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7732 Post(s)
All of them did.
indyfabz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 06:03 AM
  #3  
GrainBrain
Senior Member
 
GrainBrain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Central Io-way
Posts: 1,047

Bikes: LeMond Zurich, Giant Talon 29er

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 557 Post(s)
I start doing centuries when it's warm here, which means at least 14 hours of sunlight so I haven't been caught in the dark yet. However usually it's the shorter rides after work when I'll get into darkness.

Either way I almost always have a cheap led headlamp from the LBS that clips onto my bars, it's small and unobtrusive. It throws enough light that I could do 14mph in the dark safely enough. I also clip a red flashing LED to my saddle bag as well. I never know what might happen so better safe then sorry.

If I know I'll be going into dark I'll put the larger light with external battery pack on. I helmet mounted light with external 4 AA battery pack sounds terrible imo, they make much lighter solutions.

Edit: Oh yeah, make sure to take some clear glasses to see after dark. Get some decent lenses, the cheap polycarbonate lenses have a weird distortion to them when used at night that you don't notice in daylight.
GrainBrain is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 06:08 AM
  #4  
ridelikeaturtle
Senior Member
 
ridelikeaturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 567

Bikes: Bianchi Ti Megatube, M Alloy Pro, Sprint 76; Amp Research B4; Colnago Crystal; Klein Pulse; Litespeed Catalyst

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 253 Post(s)
Is this at a very high latitude? (Edit: it's in Israel, so no.) If you start at 7am, you're gonna finish around noon, going slow and taking breaks. Unless this is all climbing or off-road, am I missing something?
ridelikeaturtle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 06:23 AM
  #5  
gregf83 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 8,649
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 836 Post(s)
Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
Is this at a very high latitude? (Edit: it's in Israel, so no.) If you start at 7am, you're gonna finish around noon, going slow and taking breaks. Unless this is all climbing or off-road, am I missing something?
Few riders would consider a solo century finished in 5 hrs with breaks to be ‘going slow’.
gregf83 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 06:34 AM
  #6  
livedarklions
Michegas Cup Winner
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 2,396

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; "Motobecane" Fantom CX

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1174 Post(s)
I rode 33 solo centuries last year. All of them but one very late in the year ended before dark. Generally, I take a fairly long break at somewhere between 50-65 miles to have lunch with my sons or something, and I generally get the miles in within about 10 hours, just about 6 hours or so of riding.
The trick to make sure you finish before sunset is simple-- start right after sunrise. Looks like you'll hsve about 11 hours between sunrise and sunset this weekend (I looked up the times for the Negev), so if you start early enough, you shouldn't have any problem getting the miles in during daylight. I'm assuming your roads are decent, of course. I've never been there.
livedarklions is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 06:36 AM
  #7  
pennpaul
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Jerusalem
Posts: 105

Bikes: Diamondback Haanjo Trail

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
Is this at a very high latitude? (Edit: it's in Israel, so no.) If you start at 7am, you're gonna finish around noon, going slow and taking breaks. Unless this is all climbing or off-road, am I missing something?
I guess your definition of "slow" is different from mine. I wouldn't consider 20mph to be slow. Even the centuries I did in my early twenties with some others of similar (good) fitness finished around 15mph, but that was only moving time. Maybe we lingered too long at the rest stops.

We're not going for a PR. None of us have been through this section of Israel so I figure there will be a little sightseeing. Sunset is supposed to be around 5:30pm this Saturday. I know my wife will want me in before that.

Maybe my world view is "dimming" as I age. The centuries I did in Philly were in September and according to sunrise/sunset calculations, sunset is around 7:20pm so I must have been in before dark unless we started late. I know for sure the year I rode sag for the century+ (110 mile route), my buddy and I came in at dark.
pennpaul is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 06:38 AM
  #8  
livedarklions
Michegas Cup Winner
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 2,396

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; "Motobecane" Fantom CX

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1174 Post(s)
Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Few riders would consider a solo century finished in 5 hrs with breaks to be ‘going slow’.
With breaks! Who doesn't consider riding solo 100 miles at 25 mph slow riding?
Maybe he's assuming an ebike? Or a car?
livedarklions is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 06:44 AM
  #9  
pennpaul
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Jerusalem
Posts: 105

Bikes: Diamondback Haanjo Trail

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I rode 33 solo centuries last year. All of them but one very late in the year ended before dark. Generally, I take a fairly long break at somewhere between 50-65 miles to have lunch with my sons or something, and I generally get the miles in within about 10 hours, just about 6 hours or so of riding.
The trick to make sure you finish before sunset is simple-- start right after sunrise. Looks like you'll hsve about 11 hours between sunrise and sunset this weekend (I looked up the times for the Negev), so if you start early enough, you shouldn't have any problem getting the miles in during daylight. I'm assuming your roads are decent, of course. I've never been there.
Yes, we *should* finish in plenty of time. The plan at the end is to dip our wheels in the Gulf of Aqaba which leads into the Red Sea. Hopefully I'll have pics to share.

The roads in Israel are pretty good. We haven't been that far south of Jerusalem but between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the roads are good and maybe better than many roads in the US. Israel doesn't get those freeze/thaws like the US so not a lot of potholes and there isn't much traffic going south. Roads in Egypt are a different story. Jordan is somewhere in between but I would totally love to ride in Jordan. My wife thinks I'm nuts.
pennpaul is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 06:45 AM
  #10  
ridelikeaturtle
Senior Member
 
ridelikeaturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 567

Bikes: Bianchi Ti Megatube, M Alloy Pro, Sprint 76; Amp Research B4; Colnago Crystal; Klein Pulse; Litespeed Catalyst

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 253 Post(s)
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
With breaks! Who doesn't consider riding solo 100 miles at 25 mph slow riding?
Maybe he's assuming an ebike? Or a car?
I don't know what kind of mathematics you guys are using, but even if you're talking miles (not kilometers), then 7hrs on the bike at 14mph just about gets your 100 done (98) - so starting at 7am, with 1hr of goofing around, you're done by 3pm. More goofing around, 4pm. Unless you're doing this in the dead of winter, it shouldn't be anywhere near getting dark.

Does everybody stop for a 2hr lunch? How is it taking 10hrs to go 100mi, w/o a mechanical problem?

I'm not fast on a bike. Maybe I just eat fast?
ridelikeaturtle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 06:47 AM
  #11  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,175

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 118 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2754 Post(s)
Originally Posted by pennpaul View Post
A friend and I will attempt a century this Saturday through the Negev Desert to a southern beach resort in Israel. My wife and kids will provide sag support with our car.

I'm thinking back to my last century probably 20 years ago (and the three before that) and I don't remember that any of them finished before it started getting dark. The plan is to start riding at 7am. It's a mostly downhill course while my other ones rolled through the Philly surroundings. My ride app says 3000ft up and 5600ft down. My normal 21mile training ride is already 1700ft up and down so I'm hoping 3000ft feels like nothing. It's that last 40 miles of flat I'm worried about.

How many of your centuries ended with plenty of light to spare? I'm wondering if I should strap the headlamp onto my helmet now or wait and see. It's not a bike specific light so the battery pack (4 AAAs) would sit on the rear of the helmet. It probably wouldn't bother me for a short ride, but might start to hurt my neck.

I've cycled 190 centuries (or longer rides).

Some of them finished with plenty of light to spare ... some of them didn't.

If you're concerned, bright lights and reflective gear.
Machka is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 06:51 AM
  #12  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,175

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 118 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2754 Post(s)
Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
I don't know what kind of mathematics you guys are using, but even if you're talking miles (not kilometers), then 7hrs on the bike at 14mph just about gets your 100 done (98) - so starting at 7am, with 1hr of goofing around, you're done by 3pm. More goofing around, 4pm. Unless you're doing this in the dead of winter, it shouldn't be anywhere near getting dark.

Does everybody stop for a 2hr lunch? How is it taking 10hrs to go 100mi, w/o a mechanical problem?

I'm not fast on a bike. Maybe I just eat fast?
A century is miles not kilometres ... or if you speak in kilometres, it's 160 km.

A 7 hour century is a fairly brisk century.

My centuries have ranged between 6 hours and 15 hours depending on a number of different factors.



For someone who hasn't ridden that sort of distance in a while, on a nice day, relatively flat route, not much wind ... 8 hours is a reasonable estimate.
Add hills, wind and cold, and you might be looking at 9+.
Machka is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 06:57 AM
  #13  
ridelikeaturtle
Senior Member
 
ridelikeaturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 567

Bikes: Bianchi Ti Megatube, M Alloy Pro, Sprint 76; Amp Research B4; Colnago Crystal; Klein Pulse; Litespeed Catalyst

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 253 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
A century is miles not kilometres ... or if you speak in kilometres, it's 160 km.

A 7 hour century is a fairly brisk century.

My centuries have ranged between 6 hours and 15 hours depending on a number of different factors.



For someone who hasn't ridden that sort of distance in a while, on a nice day, relatively flat route, not much wind ... 8 hours is a reasonable estimate.
Add hills, wind and cold, and you might be looking at 9+.
It's a good point, I think the ones I did last year both had tailwinds on the way back, on nice rollers. You can get into a nice rhythm and fly to the finish.
ridelikeaturtle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 07:05 AM
  #14  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,175

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 118 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2754 Post(s)
Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
It's a good point, I think the ones I did last year both had tailwinds on the way back, on nice rollers. You can get into a nice rhythm and fly to the finish.
I've had the occasional ride like that.
Machka is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 07:06 AM
  #15  
Koyote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 523
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 237 Post(s)
All of mine ended before dark. So did the double century.

But if you're in doubt, definitely bring the lights. Better safe than sorry.
Koyote is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 07:15 AM
  #16  
livedarklions
Michegas Cup Winner
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 2,396

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; "Motobecane" Fantom CX

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1174 Post(s)
Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
I don't know what kind of mathematics you guys are using, but even if you're talking miles (not kilometers), then 7hrs on the bike at 14mph just about gets your 100 done (98) - so starting at 7am, with 1hr of goofing around, you're done by 3pm. More goofing around, 4pm. Unless you're doing this in the dead of winter, it shouldn't be anywhere near getting dark.

Does everybody stop for a 2hr lunch? How is it taking 10hrs to go 100mi, w/o a mechanical problem?

I'm not fast on a bike. Maybe I just eat fast?
Yes, finishing around 3 is quite realistic. Your op had them starting at 7 and finishing around noon, and that's 5 hours. I don't know anyone who would consider 3 pm to be around noon.

Like I said, I rode 33 solo centuries (actually, the longest ride was 168 miles) last year. Since I don't do these in the winter, this means about two a week during the summer. In order to keep it interesting, I tend to take breaks to do something fun. I did one last year in just about 6 hours actual clock time, but it really isn't much fun.

OP is going to want to enjoy the ride, I assume, so taking a few leisurely breaks seems reasonable.
livedarklions is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 07:34 AM
  #17  
NoWhammies
Senior Member
 
NoWhammies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 410

Bikes: Argon 18 Gallium, BH G7

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 198 Post(s)
Considering I do all of my century rides in the summer, all of them finish before it gets dark. Even then, I'm not hammering them. When riding with the wife we make sure to take time to stop at the rest stops and grab water, etc.

I think you'll be fine.
NoWhammies is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 07:35 AM
  #18  
BobbyG
Senior Member
 
BobbyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 4,110

Bikes: 2015 Charge Plug, 1997 Nishiki Blazer, 1984 Nishiki International

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 744 Post(s)
Given the location of your ride, if it does get dark, you may be able to rely on a pillar of light.

exodus 13:21
טיולים בטוחים (Safe travels.)
BobbyG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 07:38 AM
  #19  
SlinkyWizard
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Korea, Kyonggi-Do
Posts: 122

Bikes: 2016 Trek DS 8.5, Giant Fastroad Comax 1 2018

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
I did a century once, it took around 7 hours, so got back before dark, was very proud of my efforts,

only to realize when people here talk about centuries, most are not using the metric system, but in fact 100 miles, ( I did 100km )

Bummer.
SlinkyWizard is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 07:44 AM
  #20  
livedarklions
Michegas Cup Winner
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 2,396

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; "Motobecane" Fantom CX

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1174 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
All of mine ended before dark. So did the double century.

But if you're in doubt, definitely bring the lights. Better safe than sorry.

I love the long summer days!
+1 on the lights, you never know when you might get slowed by a mechanical or the weather.
livedarklions is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 07:55 AM
  #21  
Doctor Morbius
Interocitor Command
 
Doctor Morbius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: The adult video section
Posts: 3,231

Bikes: Endurance Road, Road, DS Hybrid, Hybrid, Sport MTB

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 522 Post(s)
I've only done 1 century (solo) so I'm not the best person to ask. My total ride time was 6 hours 15 minutes, but it took about 7 hours to complete because I took a couple of breaks. Plenty of daylight left. This was September 20th 2004.

The last 20 miles was brutal.
Doctor Morbius is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 07:59 AM
  #22  
livedarklions
Michegas Cup Winner
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 2,396

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; "Motobecane" Fantom CX

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1174 Post(s)
Originally Posted by SlinkyWizard View Post
I did a century once, it took around 7 hours, so got back before dark, was very proud of my efforts,

only to realize when people here talk about centuries, most are not using the metric system, but in fact 100 miles, ( I did 100km )

Bummer.

Stay proud of your effort--that's a good pace, especially if you don't routinely ride distances, and also speeds are very much intertwined with road conditions, weather, elevation, etc., so my 100 miles in New England may not at all be a harder ride than 61 miles where you rode it. I've given up comparing my accomplishments to anyone else, because no matter how fast or long I can ride in a day, @Machka is going to have done more! (She's my go-to voice of experience, btw).
livedarklions is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 08:02 AM
  #23  
livedarklions
Michegas Cup Winner
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 2,396

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; "Motobecane" Fantom CX

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1174 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
I've only done 1 century (solo) so I'm not the best person to ask. My total ride time was 6 hours 15 minutes, but it took about 7 hours to complete because I took a couple of breaks. Plenty of daylight left. This was September 20th 2004.

The last 20 miles was brutal.
Brutality is often related to geography. If you don't mind the question, where did you ride it?
livedarklions is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 08:07 AM
  #24  
livedarklions
Michegas Cup Winner
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 2,396

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; "Motobecane" Fantom CX

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1174 Post(s)
Originally Posted by pennpaul View Post
Yes, we *should* finish in plenty of time. The plan at the end is to dip our wheels in the Gulf of Aqaba which leads into the Red Sea. Hopefully I'll have pics to share.

If you haven't already, watch Lawrence of Arabia before you perform this ceremony.

Happy trails, friend!
livedarklions is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 08:10 AM
  #25  
ridelikeaturtle
Senior Member
 
ridelikeaturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 567

Bikes: Bianchi Ti Megatube, M Alloy Pro, Sprint 76; Amp Research B4; Colnago Crystal; Klein Pulse; Litespeed Catalyst

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 253 Post(s)
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Yes, finishing around 3 is quite realistic. Your op had them starting at 7 and finishing around noon, and that's 5 hours. I don't know anyone who would consider 3 pm to be around noon.
Yeah, I confused a few things there in my head and what came out in my post, as all my local "centuries" would be listed in kms, so 140kms, 160kms, 180kms are the common distances; and normally have a later start time, 9am is not unusual. My mistake(s).

OP: if you don't spend too much time for food stops, taking photos, and don't get any breakdowns, you'll be fine. Enjoy it!
ridelikeaturtle is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service