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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 07-24-06, 07:46 PM   #1
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I did my first century too

I see the other people's posts about centuries, and I thought I'd post about my first century, which I did Sunday July 23. My times seem to be a lot higher than other people's time even considering a few mishaps. I guess I'm slow, but I made it. I've been telling myself to get this done for two or three years and I finally did get it done. I am planning on doing at least 90 next week with a group if I keep up, and I wanted to get one done solo first.

Total time: Approximately 9 hours from 10:00 AM to 7 PM. The weather was cloudy to start off and temperatures weren't so bad.
Actual riding time according to my cycle-computer:7 hours 13 minutes.
Average speed 14 mph for actual riding time.
Distance when I hopped off my bike to walk up the hill to my apartment: 101.21 miles.

My route was the length of the W & OD trail, a popular rail trail in this area extending from Shirlington (a neighborhood in Arlington, VA) to Purceville, VA, so not particularly hilly. But the trail does generally slope upward away from Arlington out to Purceville and you can see the mountains in the distance out in Purceville. I'm glad the second half of my ride was mostly downhill. The mishaps were two broken spokes on the first half of the ride, so that messed up my total time a bit. Fortunately, there are bike shops at quite a few places near the trail. But I can't blame that totally for my long total time, as I'm sure it would still have been around 8 hours without the spoke problems. I had the second spoke fixed while I was eating lunch in Purceville at the far end of the trail before coming back. The trail is only 45 miles long and I live approximately 3.74 miles from the end of the trail, so when I got back to the beginning, I made sure to detour a bit so that my total mileage would be over 100.

Although I didn't ride up the hill to my apartment as usual, I felt fairly good, at least better than I have after some 70 mile rides earlier this year. Probably the thing that'll help me most, besides making sure my equipment is better shape, is better fueling during the ride. Besides chicken wings and fried rice at lunch, I had three power bars, plenty of water and gatorade.
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Old 07-24-06, 08:26 PM   #2
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Congrats! I kept looking over my shoulder on my first century Sunday. I had a riding buddy and didn't even know it. Don't worry about the speed, I asked because I am curious, but it won't hurt my feelings if it was the slowest century ever.
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Old 07-25-06, 06:32 AM   #3
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way to go duder!!!!!
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Old 07-25-06, 06:53 AM   #4
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good job. a person's first century is mostly educational as you start to figure out how your body responds to the increased distance.
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Old 07-25-06, 05:07 PM   #5
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Don't worry about the speed or the length of time it takes you.
The important thing is to enjoy the ride.
I doubt if you are riding to beat Lance Armstrong one day -- you are riding to enjoy the sport.
Your next goal should be a 200 km brevet. Get in touch with a local randonneuring club for their next event.
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Old 07-25-06, 07:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Cadillac
Your next goal should be a 200 km brevet. Get in touch with a local randonneuring club for their next event.
An intermediate idea is to sign up for a charity ride like with your local chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society or the Tour De Cure. It's not as physically demanding as a brevet, but it can still be a decent challenge for the beginning century rider; and can introduce you to some of the basics of group and organized riding logistics (cue sheets, promiscuous pacelining, checkpoint time management, etc.) Plus you get to put your efforts towards a good cause.
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