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

Remember your first century (100 miles)?

Old 09-22-11, 09:14 AM
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I started cycling 2.5 months ago and just completed my first century last Sunday (backroadcentury) here in VA. The ride was really fun even though I did it solo. I can imagine it would be even a lot more fun if I have a small group of friends to ride with. The most memorable thing for me was seeing the beautiful parts of the States that I didn't get to see before and prob would never if I hadn't started biking. Because we had back-to-back rememnant of the hurricanes passing through the area, I didn't get a chance to ride much for almost 2 weeks before the ride so I was really worry but as it turned out it wasn't a problem. Up til that point, I had logged more than 1000 miles and started doing some internal and hills so that might have helped.
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Old 09-23-11, 09:07 AM
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This past Sunday, Sept. 18, the New York City Century Tour was my first ever century. They bill it as the only all-urban century ride around. What I didn't understand before I set out was that was a euphemism for "New York is going about its life unaware, and occasionally hostile, to your little bike tour, pal.'' With all the stopping and starting and look out for that pothole and that car's making a left, like, RIGHT FRIGGIN NOW. It was very slow-going and much harder than I had anticipated, and I was under no illusion that it was going to be easy. The organizers said it was 103 miles, but I clocked 110, so I think they're pants are on fire. I had the greatest time, was entirely exhausted by the end, but I finished the whole damn tour. I'm looking forward to my next one.
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Old 09-25-11, 04:49 AM
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I remember mine like it was yesterday, well, because it was yesterday! I started cycling in April, and managed a 17.4 moving average, but not sure what my overall avg was because I forgot to stop my watch! My speed dropped after losing a faster group of riders at mile 30 when I stopped off at a SAG station for food. I guess it was the better choice to keep from bonking, but I was largely solo after that. There was a sign to split the century course away from the 65 mile course that a bunch of us missed, but we made the best of it by reriding part of the course. I think that may be my excuse to upgrade all the way to a Garmin 800! The weather was pretty rough with light rain and temps starting in the upper 50's, but the sun came out toward the end along with all the cheering supporters at the finish line.

All in all, I loved my first century - there was a lot of money raised for cancer, an excellent time had, and I met some great people through the training and the ride. I'm already signed up for next year's ride and can't wait, but I won't be that long before I ride another century.
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Old 09-28-11, 01:57 PM
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"All in all, I loved my first century - there was a lot of money raised for cancer, an excellent time had, and I met some great people through the training and the ride. I'm already signed up for next year's ride and can't wait, but I won't be that long before I ride another century."

By any chance were your riding for Team in Training. I completed my first century on 9/11/11 and trained through TNT. It was great! The coaching/training we received was invaluable. I made a lot of great friends through training and we too raised a lot of money for leukemia. Well worth the effort and now I am hooked!

Despite everyone telling me it would be difficult, I did it on my Trek 7100 hybrid. The only part that was difficult was going into the wind in that upright riding position; well that and the extra weight that bike carries with the suspension fork/seatpost. I am already preparing for more, having picked up an '88 C-Dale Black Lightning on CL. It is in exceptional shape and I just had it tuned up, now I just need to ride it to get used to it.
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Old 09-28-11, 02:28 PM
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Mine was in 2005. "America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride" . It goes around Lake Tahoe, and it is truly the most beautiful ride I have ever done. Aside from the mountains and wind we had - sometimes you had to pedal DOWN HILL, the altitude was tough for a person from Sea Level NJ

That being said, I would do it again in a heartbeat!!!
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Old 11-19-11, 07:13 PM
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My very first was the 1981 TOSRV, and I was riding my old blue Rampar. I only rode the first day. It would be another 15 years til I rode another one. And the only other TOSRV I've ridden was in 2001, on a mid-90s Schwinn Passage.

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Old 11-20-11, 10:41 AM
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I'm glad I rode all my first great rides solo. I think hearing a lot of advice or warnings would have screwed with my head. I was 15 years old, riding a mix of back roads and dangerous state highways. When I finished - many of my friends and neighbors didn't even believe I had done it.

My first double was the exact opposite - with all kinds of technical talk and veteran riders around. Somehow didn't seem as mysterious -kind of a let down.......
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Old 12-05-11, 02:57 PM
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I haven't done a real century yet, but I'm training to done one in the spring. I've done a metric century in my 20's, but now I'm 47! I've done some solo 50 mile rides and am doing an organized metric this Saturday as a prelude to the big one. All of your stories here are inspiring me!!!
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Old 12-10-11, 10:58 PM
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Mine was the Cool Breeze Century out of Ventura CA, in August of 2006. It's still be best-organized and supported century I've ever done, and I've done more than a dozen. The scenery is breathtaking, the climbs challenging but doable even for an old guy like me. I rode it on a new bike, with a new saddle and new shoes, and they all worked beautifully. I've done the ride every year since except one, and plan on maintaining the tradition.
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Old 12-22-11, 01:18 PM
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My first century was in Columbus, TX, May 2011, the Rolling Hills Challenge put on by the Lions Club. I drove there from Austin on a Friday night and tried to camp in the park from which the ride would leave, but there was a train track across the highway from the park with obnoxiously loud trains going by every 30 minutes, so about 1 AM I hightailed it for the nearest hotel.

Before I left I the park I spoke with some other people camping there and it was the couple that owns House of Tandems, and they highly recommended the Selle Anatomica saddle(important to remember for the plot development).

I was riding my Surly LHT that I had gotten in Feb. It was the only Surly there. Many people there. This was only my second organized ride. It was cool in the morning but it quickly warmed up. It never got into the 100s.

They let the 100 mile people start first, but the rabbits from the other rides quickly caught up with me. I had to relieve myself a few miles before the first stop, and could not wait. Got underneath a bridge, and a lot of riders were laughing at me.

Halfway into the ride were these rollers, about 12 miles of these. I found it to be fun, acclerating as fast as I could going down and using the momentum to get me up the next hill, rinse and repeat. When I got to the next stage I was pre bonking, and was a little wobbly getting off the bike. The hosts were wanting to call the sag wagon, but I realized it was lunch, so I ate and drank some gatorade they had. Finally got my sugar and energy levels back up and soldiered on. But something wasn't feeling right in my 'mid section'(more plot development).

The second to the last rest stop, this guy told me that I was only 9 miles away from the last rest stop. It was actually 12. When I got to the last stop they told me that I could either head straight to the end or finish up the full century. Well I didn't do all this work to miss 100 miles by 12, so I chose to do the whole thing.

Heading out, the wind was with me so I was making good time. then I turned West on a stretch of flat and had to stop and rest a bit. Then I turned back to the North toward town and hit a bunch of rollers. At a stop sign my bike decided to lay itself down on the opposite side from the foot I had decleated....

As I got back into town I was disoriented and thought I was returning to the city park on the road from the south. It turns out I was coming from the north, and I let out a shriek of joy when I just happened to look up and see my Jeep in the parking lot. I was done!

Turns out my privates had gone numb and thru discussions on this board it turned out the Selle Anatomica would be the best saddle to solve this problem, and it did. So it was a cool thing that I had just happened to have that saddle recommended to me before the ride.

Last edited by c3hamby; 12-22-11 at 01:20 PM. Reason: add a 'y' to the end of a word.
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Old 12-22-11, 03:46 PM
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LOVING this thread,VERY inspiring! Ailments allowing,I'm going to try my first century in early '12 (the cold and my ailments don't play well together). Longest I've ever rideen was 41 miles (SS mtn biking though),I hope to hit a metric century as early as pre-Spring riding the length out and back on the VA Creeper trail.
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Old 12-22-11, 05:58 PM
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My first century was a solo ride from Los Angeles (San Fernando Valley) to Santa Barbara. Second was the Lighthouse Century. I think the Third was a 160 mile training ride with the SFVBC for The Grand Tour. Next would have teh Grand tour itself a double century.
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Old 12-22-11, 07:32 PM
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I rode a century in 2010 and took for damn ever to complete it.

I remember one of the ladies in our group had a noisy chain. After listening to it for hours on end I wanted to hurt her, or at least lube her chain.
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Old 12-22-11, 11:46 PM
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Like someone else my first century was Tour de Palm Springs Feb. 2008. I had never seen that many cyclists in one place ever. Something like 7 or 8000 riders. I had just started riding the summer before and nver thought I would rie 100 miles in the same day. The start was a zoo and the first sag was a circus. I kept getting dropped by my group but we would get back together at the SAG stops. Except somehow I missed SAG stop 4 and so I missed the SAG at about the 70 mile mark and hit the wall by mile 80. TDPS has one last SAG at mile 91 and I was never so glad to see a LOWES in my life. Lots of water, oranges, bananas and some rested legs and I was off for the last 11 or 12 miles. I managed to stay with our group till the finish and got a riding time of 7.5 hours. I ride other centuries during the year but I always sign up for Palm Springs. Last year there must have been 10,000 riders, or at least it seemed like it for the first 40 miles or so.
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Old 05-09-15, 02:52 AM
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Just thought I'd bump this for 2015, especially for those of you who have done your first century in the last 4 or 5 years. But also for those who did your first century some time ago.
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Old 05-09-15, 08:37 AM
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Unscheduled and impromptu solo ride, on a 1985 Schwinn LeTour. Set out to do 100 km, over a route I clocked in the car previously, felt so good at the end that I added a known 42 mile route. Actual distance was 105 or so. No cell phone app, no Garmin, not even a wristwatch.
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Old 05-09-15, 03:26 PM
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The year might have been around 1978 and I set my sights on the Vermont border. Fanned the 52x13 and jammed the rollers on Rt 119 in the 52x17. Youth. Two water bottles. Probably around 170 miles. I turned around at Winchester, NH and came home.
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Old 05-11-15, 01:42 PM
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Just finished my first Century this past weekend on the Cap 2 Cap ride between Williamsburg, VA and Richmond, VA. 101.89 miles....feeling good about it. Did not burn up the road, but finished it after a little more than 9 hours. If I would have weighed my bike beforehand, I might have talked myself out of it. It came in at a little more than 45 pounds. Made for going down hill a little faster than a carbon bike.

Meeting one goal, just adds to the desire to set another.
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Old 05-11-15, 09:09 PM
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My first century was the Davis double century when I was 22. Longest ride before that was a 50 mile ride I did two weeks before to get in shape. Rode in tennis shoes and cut offs. Could not walk right for a week and was numb in hands and crotch for two. What an idiot.
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Old 05-13-15, 10:25 AM
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I really don't remember.

Most likely it was on a tour from Portland OR to Omaha NE in August 1983. 1800 miles in 18 days, including a couple days around 50 miles and a couple around 150, and probably more days over 100 than under.

Lots of new equipment for that tour, including my first mileage computer; if I rode a century before that, I didn't know it at the time.
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Old 05-14-15, 10:28 AM
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My 1st was supposed to be the Harmon Hundred (Wheeling, IL) in mid-late September, 1981. I did 80 miles solo on Labor Day, so I thought I was ready. My bike was stolen that evening, and that still hurts. My actual 1st century was the Harmon Hundred in 1982 - I took a wrong turn, so I actually did about 105 miles, 9 hours. I rode the HH a few more times. I doubt I'll do a century this year, but my goal is 72 miles in 6.5 hours (or less) sometime during the last 8 days of July, depending on weather - riding my age plus 1 to grow on close to my birthday.
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Old 05-15-15, 01:18 AM
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My very first century was in high school. During the summer vacations I visited a friend who lived south of Munich, riding there by myself on my French Motobecane 10 speed touring bike. I lived some 130 km north of Munich at the time. I navigated with a paper map and followed the river Isar through the city center. When I finally arrived at his place in the southern suburbs I had clocked up my first 160 km distance. This was after doing Sunday rides of up to about 100 km.

After the weekend I rode home again. About 30 km from home I ran out of energy. So I stopped to get some food and drinks and rested in the shade for a while. To my surprise I recovered so well, I decided to make a detour and visited a cycling friend of mine who lived 25 km northwest of my parents. I then rode home from there. The total for the day came to 220 km. I didn't do another century for over 30 years.

After I got my Bike Friday in October 2011, I started working my way up from 50 km. In February I did a ride of 155 km, just short of a century, but that was after a crash... The first century after more than 30 years then was my first brevet training ride with a friend, which came to 227 km (training for a 300 km brevet). Like on my first 220 km ride as a teenager I found that when you run out of gas, simply eat and drink something and you will be able to keep going :-)
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Old 05-17-15, 04:10 PM
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Rode my first century in 2011. I have yet to do another. Someday.
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Old 05-17-15, 04:43 PM
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After a few years of commuting and going on some club rides;
I decided to do my first century - Montauk Century by 5BBC:


Have done a few more since; including the New York City Century on my folding bike(16in. wheels):
100 Miles(160 Km.) on a Brompton by 1nterceptor, on Flickr
One day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20X43026ukY&list=UUHyRS8bRu6zPoymgKaIoDLA&index=1
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Old 05-18-15, 01:46 PM
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My first century ride was on March 14, 2012 (pi day & Einstein’s birthday) via my Trek 2.1 road bike and my longest previous ride was a single metric century ride via my 35-pound Trek 29er hardtail. By the time I was within 12 to 13 miles of the end of my century ride, my right knee quickly became incredibly painful and within the next mile or so I could no longer bend or straighten my right knee. I had to painfully limp up all ascents (using my bike as a crutch) and I’d make use of all descents by coasting. Since I was using platform pedals (and I still do 4+ years later), I couldn’t pedal very well on flat ground with just one leg though I did so as much as possible to hasten my slow pace at that point. I finally arrived home many hours into darkness in the chill that late March evening. But I had managed to traverse 100 miles (mostly via my road bike) and I was thrilled at that accomplishment, as it was only 11 months after I commenced bicycling at age 55 after incurring an excruciating near fatal heart attack in late August of 2009 at age 53.

My second century ride also caused pain in my right knee at almost the same point, but it wasn’t debilitating like the first time, so I was able to pedal the entire century ride. Those first two century rides forced me to work through the right knee pain and I no longer incur any manner of knee pain. I’ve been hooked on long distance rides ever since, having even ridden 200 and 250-miles via mountain rides on my 35-pound 29er hardtail.

All of my century rides and longer have been ridden solo.
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