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My First Century - Solo

Old 11-23-07, 03:24 PM
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My First Century - Solo

It has taken me a couple days to post this, but wanted to share the story on my first century. I ordered my first road bike in August and found this board in September. Since that time and reading in particular this section of the bikeforum.net. Ever since that has been my big goal; my first century. I enjoy reading all the post on this section about first centuries, even the one by the poster who wrote about his failure; I learned a lot from that post. Originally I planned to ride a century in Charleston, SC in April; however that timetable got moved up. I picked up my bike about a month ago and have two loops that I enjoy, a 25 mile loop with about 1200 ft of climbing and a 55 mile run that includes about 2800 ft of total climbing.

Anyway, I had some work to do in south florida and the group I work with decided to take three days afterwards and go to Key West to "burn steam". We were staying in Key Largo and then heading down to Key West late the next morning. Then I get the idea, if I am able to ship my bike down there, I could ride from Key Largo to Key West (roughly 100 miles). Contacted my LBS and they rented me a case, plus with three cars leaving a couple hours behind me, I figured what the heck. It would be my longest distance, but it was all flat and I had cars behind me if I had problems or decided to quit. I called the LBS and got some tips about the roads & set off on my way.

Finished it much better than I expected. Less than 5 hours (seat time), avg almost 22 mph, took two breaks (8 mins planned at 50 mile mark & 22 mins at 88 mile mark due to a nice florida sun shower). I did do a good job with my nutrition. It was really easy because they had mile markers the whole way down, so it was easy to follow how far you have gone and basically made sure I was eating every 10 miles and drinking every 2 to 3 miles. Also, the ride was absolutely beautiful, blue water, nice boats & white coral beaches.

A couple general comments regarding my ride:

1) I left early on a Sunday a.m. (7:30 a.m.). It was good because I was going South and most of the traffic was going north. I saw about 20 cars for the first hour and allowed me to settle in and get comfortable.

2) I took WAY TOO MUCH stuff with me. I wasn't sure of my speed, so I planned on 7 hours. Which means, I planned on two gel packs and one powerbar an hour. So 14 gels, 7 power bars, 5 bags of Cytomax for the water bottles, 2 Clif Gel Bites things, an extra water bottle (3 total), cell phone, sandwich bag with tools, a couple bananas and a bag id, insurance card, cash and credit card. The next time, I will probably just do Gel's, they are so much easier and the powerbars were a little hard to stomach. In fact, I only ate two on the whole trip, the gels worked just fine. When my friends caught me I just started dumping crap to get lighter. Also, I going to carry/buy two tubes of salted peanuts. I was soaked in salt and love peanuts, so I think it would be a good 70 to 80 mile treat.

3) I have to thank my friends for their support. With 22 miles to go, it started pouring rain. With 3 feet of shoulder to work with, it took me 3 miles to find a place to pull off. They were about 5 miles behind so caught me quickly. I was ready to quit, not because I was hurting, but didn't want to delay the rest of the groups activities. They refused to let me quit and went ahead to see where the rain ended. Then for the final 15 miles, they would drive ahead and every 4 to 5 miles be pulled over on the side of the road cheering and taking photos. At first when I told I was doing this (Saturday evening - just in case I changed my mind) they thought I was nuts. After I did they were throughly impressed and bought my six drinks after it was over and made sure to tell every person that would listen about it.

Now that the first one is done, I am already jonesing for my next one. I have read many posts about the century a month, but I am setting a goal of a century in each state. I figure 5 a year and will be done in 10 years. I am sure this in not an orginial idea, but it has been fun to plan. I am still going to do my charleston ride in SC in April and want to do the Sea Gull Century in Maryland in October (2 reasons: 1) I am from Delaware and my mom want to see me do one & 2) all the positive feedback based on this board. I am in the process of searching for one in NC, either the Blood Sweat Tears ride or the ascent on Mt. Mitchell would be good. I am excited to do an organized ride sometime.

Thanks again - I love this section of the board and learn something everytime I read something here.
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Old 11-23-07, 03:31 PM
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Wow! A great setting to do your first century. Sounds like a lot of fun. Good pace too. Cheers!
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Old 11-24-07, 07:35 AM
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Sounds like a great experience. Well Done and thanks for the report.
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Old 11-24-07, 11:56 AM
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Porter,
Congratulations! Very inspiring, and what cool friends to keep cheering you on like that! I live on the W.Coast of FL and was just down in Key West last month and brought my bike and did a little riding, it is really beautiful around there, sounds like a great ride.

Way to go!
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Old 11-24-07, 08:49 PM
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I'd like to visit every state and would consider that an accomplishment. Ride a century in each? Don't tempt me!
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Old 11-30-07, 06:23 AM
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great write up. Any pics?
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Old 11-30-07, 11:46 AM
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Congrats! Sounds like a nice ride (maybe 'cept for the rain)
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Old 11-30-07, 12:43 PM
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Took a while to figure out the pictures. Here is me coming out after the rain.
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Old 11-30-07, 12:44 PM
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Here is me with my support staff at the Southern Most point. There was a long line to have your picture with the marker & we were ready for carb replishment.

I'm still waiting on a couple more & will post later.
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Old 11-30-07, 01:46 PM
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Congratulations! Maybe, we'll see you at the Sea Gull next year.
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Old 09-15-20, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Porter20 View Post

Now that the first one is done, I am already jonesing for my next one. I have read many posts about the century a month, but I am setting a goal of a century in each state. I figure 5 a year and will be done in 10 years. I am sure this in not an orginial idea, but it has been fun to plan. I am still going to do my charleston ride in SC in April and want to do the Sea Gull Century in Maryland in October (2 reasons: 1) I am from Delaware and my mom want to see me do one & 2) all the positive feedback based on this board. I am in the process of searching for one in NC, either the Blood Sweat Tears ride or the ascent on Mt. Mitchell would be good. I am excited to do an organized ride sometime.

Thanks again - I love this section of the board and learn something everytime I read something here.
Well, did you complete all 50 states? Iím planning a Key Largo to Key West century this November and I stumbled across your post. Great write up!
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