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First time century strategy?

Old 05-01-20, 04:30 PM
  #1  
Tomm Willians
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First time century strategy?

Iím hoping to attempt my first century this fall after training this coming summer and have a thought to something that might help complete it?
I am fortunate to have two excellent road bikes that I enjoy riding, one is a bit more comfortable on longer rides while the other is a bit faster. I will be supported by the gf who will carry among other things one of these spare bikes in case the primary one has an issue.
Question being would it be an advantage to rotate bikes say every 20 miles to change body position slightly ?
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Old 05-01-20, 04:44 PM
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Everyone I know just uses one bike for a hundred mile bike ride and takes the more comfortable one if they're not too concerned about speed.
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Old 05-01-20, 05:21 PM
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Take the more reliable bike
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Old 05-01-20, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Tomm Willians View Post
rotate bikes
did that on my first century attempt , swapped 1/2 way, worked out ok. only problem was my planning, wound up w 88 instead of 100
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Old 05-01-20, 05:42 PM
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I'm thinking of tackling my first century this summer and I thought this GCN video was useful:

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Old 05-02-20, 12:05 AM
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Old 05-02-20, 12:10 AM
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nearly everyone focuses on nutrition but an overlooked aspect is saddle time, foot and body feel. if your body/feet/undercarriage is/are sore as hell after 4 hours and 60+ miles in,
you'll only be thinking about that. get plenty of prior saddle time and loosen the shoes a little. don't forget to stand for 15-30 seconds every 5 miles or so to relieve pressure; keeps
certain muscles fresh and to give certain muscles a little break. if on a descent, look to unweight the saddle as much as possible and ease back on when you've gotta start pedalling again.
try to give equal time to the contact points of the feet, seat and hands. the seat usually takes the brunt of affairs.
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Old 05-02-20, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
nearly everyone focuses on nutrition but an overlooked aspect is saddle time, foot and body feel. if your body/feet/undercarriage is/are sore as hell after 4 hours and 60+ miles in,
you'll only be thinking about that. get plenty of prior saddle time and loosen the shoes a little. don't forget to stand for 15-30 seconds every 5 miles or so to relieve pressure; keeps
certain muscles fresh and to give certain muscles a little break. if on a descent, look to unweight the saddle as much as possible and ease back on when you've gotta start pedalling again.
try to give equal time to the contact points of the feet, seat and hands. the seat usually takes the brunt of affairs.
^This is excellent advice. Maintaining comfort in the saddle is crucial to "mental happiness" during your century ride. I can deal with aching muscles and general discomfort just about anywhere, but if my butt is killing me it really wears on me mentally. A quick 5-minute break usally does the trick. It gets me off the bike long enough to relieve pressure, to let the blood circulate and to reset my brain.

There's no rule that says you have to ride 100 miles straight through. There's also no rule that says you have to suffer (more than you have to). A few short breaks along the way will dramatically increase your overall comfort.

Yes, a century is still hard. It's not supposed to be easy. However, there are ways to make it less painful and more enjoyable. Have fun!!!
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Old 05-02-20, 01:17 PM
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Simply by shifting your hand placement positions i.e. hoods, drops, tops, hooks, ramps and the top of the brifters, you will be changing your postures. Ride the more comfortable bike all the way through. Go through this bike and check if you can improve it i.e. endurance saddle? Thicker bar tape? Hood positioning, saddle height/fore-aft, 28 mm tires instead of 25 mm tires? Stretch on your breaks including your shoulders.

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Old 05-11-20, 10:40 AM
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#1 : The best thing you can do to prepare is to get a proper professional fit. I'd rather ride 500k on a bike that fits perfectly than swap out bikes that fit well. A tiny adjustment in crank length, saddle positioning, bar height, etc. can be imperceptible for 25 miles but a deal maker/breaker at 100+.

#2 : If it's your first century, ignore all the folks who talk about pushing through the first rest stop" and take breaks at every opportunity. Walk around, stretch a little--even if you aren't tired. It's more about breaking up the stress of sitting in the same position for 4-7 hours of riding.

#3 : Apply and reapply chamois cream

Have fun!
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Old 05-13-20, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Tomm Willians View Post
Iím hoping to attempt my first century this fall after training this coming summer and have a thought to something that might help complete it?
I am fortunate to have two excellent road bikes that I enjoy riding, one is a bit more comfortable on longer rides while the other is a bit faster. I will be supported by the gf who will carry among other things one of these spare bikes in case the primary one has an issue.
Question being would it be an advantage to rotate bikes say every 20 miles to change body position slightly ?
People will find any number of ways to overthink their first century. The most important thing is to get on the bike in the morning, and keep turning the pedals all day. Just keep doing that, and you'll get a century.
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Old 05-13-20, 02:03 PM
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Start eating at no later than 20 miles. Lots of people don't eat and get to 50 miles and feel like warmed over dog poop
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Old 05-13-20, 03:52 PM
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Everything here was good.

But your mental attitude is important too. Set several individual goals. I never think about how far it is to the end point, that can be too overwhelming. On a brevet, I only think about how far to the next control. You might set several individual goals for where you will stop and take a short break, could be a wayside rest, could be a convenience store that sells junk food.

A saddle can feel very comfortable for an hour or two, but hours later it might feel like a torture device. Try to get some longer rides in to make sure your saddle works for you.

Plan to adjust clothing as you ride, if you have too many layers on and sweat more, that is more hydration you need. If you shed layers, how will they be carried?

Plan for how often you add sunscreen.

Do you have a plan for rain? If your plan for rain is to delay your ride, that is in fact a plan. But if you do not have a plan for adverse weather, it likely will be adverse.
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Old 05-13-20, 06:45 PM
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My recommendation for a first-timer is a loop route-- starting and ending at your house-- of ~34 miles. For your first imperial century, I recommend keeping the elevation gain to a relative minimum-- say ~4,000ft of total gain, around 1,200-1,400ft per loop at the most. Ride it three times. If you decide "today is not the day," and bail after two loops, you've still ridden a metric. The first two loops will be easy. The last twenty miles (at least for me) is when I start asking myself unanswerable questions. Even now, after having done my fair share of them.

There's nothing magic about that hundred number-- my first time out I didn't do a loop, took some wrong turns, and ended up with 109 miles-- it's more about the mental aspect of it than the physical. Pretty much anyone could get on a bike and ride a hundred miles if given no set time limit. You could do a barely-putting-in-effort pace around a park for 12 hours and knock one out if you could handle the sheer monotony of it.
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Old 05-19-20, 06:18 PM
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If the scenery is not captivating to me, riding 100+ miles becomes a chore rather than enjoyment. Also a rough series of roads would be a deal breaker. Give me smooth tarmac and landscapes I can get lost in and 6-7 hours on a bike will fly by.
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Old 05-19-20, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
My recommendation for a first-timer is a loop route-- starting and ending at your house-- of ~34 miles. For your first imperial century, I recommend keeping the elevation gain to a relative minimum-- say ~4,000ft of total gain, around 1,200-1,400ft per loop at the most. Ride it three times. If you decide "today is not the day," and bail after two loops, you've still ridden a metric. The first two loops will be easy. The last twenty miles (at least for me) is when I start asking myself unanswerable questions. Even now, after having done my fair share of them.
I did a cloverleaf century a few weeks ago and it was really nice, I've done dozens of regular loop centuries but never thought to just come back home so I could eat lunch there instead, it's definitely a great way to go for a first century.
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Old 05-19-20, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
If the scenery is not captivating to me, riding 100+ miles becomes a chore rather than enjoyment. Also a rough series of roads would be a deal breaker. Give me smooth tarmac and landscapes I can get lost in and 6-7 hours on a bike will fly by.
couldn't agree more. pick a super scenic stretch if you can. stock the conveniently parked car with snacks and drinks.
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Old 05-24-20, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
If the scenery is not captivating to me, riding 100+ miles becomes a chore rather than enjoyment. Also a rough series of roads would be a deal breaker. Give me smooth tarmac and landscapes I can get lost in and 6-7 hours on a bike will fly by.
Come on up to WA. We have some really amazing centuries up here. Obliteride, while one of my favorites, would be the one I'd suggest skipping, since the first and last 10 miles are on crappy Seattle streets. But Flying Wheels, RSVP, and really anything else in the Pacific Northwest is fantastic.

Also, say hi to Hacienda Heights for me. I got married at the Hsi Lai temple there!
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Old 05-31-20, 03:25 PM
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Start early get 2/3 done by lunchtime?
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Old 06-03-20, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Start early get 2/3 done by lunchtime?
Get in a paceline and finish by lunchtime. The Hotter than Hell 100 has people out there getting sick every year because they haven't trained for it and end up out in the afternoon August Texas heat (that they also haven't trained for). If you ride an hour a day every day, you just need to add a long weekend ride to build up in the weeks before your century. Do a 100k the week before, 50 miler the week before that, and at least 40 every weekend you can.
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Old 07-10-20, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Tomm Willians View Post
Iím hoping to attempt my first century this fall after training this coming summer and have a thought to something that might help complete it?
I am fortunate to have two excellent road bikes that I enjoy riding, one is a bit more comfortable on longer rides while the other is a bit faster. I will be supported by the gf who will carry among other things one of these spare bikes in case the primary one has an issue.
Question being would it be an advantage to rotate bikes say every 20 miles to change body position slightly ?

IDK if the bike change matters, but chunking into 20 mile segments can be good...
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Old 07-13-20, 03:06 PM
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Ditch the girlfriend. Ride the comfy bike. Take your time. Have fun.
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