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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 06-22-10, 06:54 PM   #1
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Do you think I could ride a century in mid-August?

Hi, just got back into cycling, this time with my own bike.

It's nothing great, a 1993 Ross Professional Gran Tour. It rides really nice (well, 5th gear has this chain jumping issue that I can't shake, taking it to a mechanic) and I've logged probably 40-50 miles in the last 2 days. I can ride 20-30 miles pretty easily as long as I'm not trucking along at 20 miles an hour. I'd say I'm doing a pretty decent speed the whole time (I'll get a computer eventually ).

With that said, do you think I'm on track to ride my first century in August? I heard a rule of thumb is that you should be able to ride 50 miles pretty comfortably. I feel like I'm not too far, maybe 6-8 weeks away from that.

What do you guys think? And as a side question, how much do you guys pack for it? I've heard everything from 3 water bottles and a wallet to loading up a small backpack or having a saddlebag. I'm a less is more kind of guy, so I think I'd be closer to the former, but I'd definitely bring a handlebar bag or something. What about you guys?
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Old 06-22-10, 08:02 PM   #2
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I think the general consensus here is to be able to ride 75% of the distance comfortably before the event. Take some time off just before the event so you will be fresh.
If the event is supported, they should have water and some eatables at the aid stations.
Good luck.
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Old 06-22-10, 08:03 PM   #3
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Here's some good reading material for you-
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Old 06-22-10, 08:06 PM   #4
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Keep riding, put in all the miles you can, gradually increase your distance. Go out some Saturday and ride 100k (62 miles) and that will likely tell you the story on a century. If you do it, make good time, and feel good, you're in good shape for the century. If you do it and think you're going to die and it takes 8 hours, reconsider. That'll also give you a chance to discover and correct comfort issues or other problems along the way.

What you take: It depends. On charity rides, with rest stops every 10 miles, I'll take a bottle or two and flat-fixing stuff and my wallet. On randonneurring rides, take a few extras, but I generally know ahead of time where I'll be stopping to buy more stuff. I have a rack with trunk bag and a small handlebar bag, and vary my load depending on the circumstances.

Consider hills and climbing also. If you ride in a hilly area and the century is the same hilliness or flatter, that's fine. If you train somewhere flat as a pancake, then go ride some century that goes over three sides of every hill in the county, you could be in a world of hurt.
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."
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Old 06-23-10, 09:33 AM   #5
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Another "yes" vote. Just bump your mileage up about 10% a week, drop back to short easy stuff the week before, and you'll be set. And use your training rides to figure out what food and drink works for you. Aim for 2-300 calories/hour, which appears to be the max that most folks can digest while exercising. And drink lots o' fluids.

Oh, and check back come August and tell us how it went.

Bend, OR
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Old 06-23-10, 09:44 AM   #6
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Another YES! Follow the Ultracycling training guide for a Century and you should be okay. Just pace yourself and make sure your bike is comfortable and you are free from cramps, aches, pains, etc. for several 60+ mile rides beforehand. If the century is supported then you'll need little besides roadside tools and couple if bottles. If it's not supported make sure the route has stops for food and water/gatorade. You'll consume about one bottle of liquid an hour.

I'll be riding my second century tomorrow morning. Riding with friends on a known route. We roll out at 6:30. Training for RAIN ! (
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Old 07-19-10, 01:25 PM   #7
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I started riding a bike in late June 2009 and did a century in mid august of that same year. The longest single ride I had done up to that point was 50 miles and I was riding roughly 50 to 100 miles a week . There were sag stops every 30 miles or so. I completed it with a friend in 7.5 hours at an average speed of 16 mph. If I can do it so can you
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Old 07-20-10, 08:13 PM   #8
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If you are not trying for a certain time (8hrs for example), you should be able to do the century. Just remember to ride at YOUR pace. If you get caught up in the moment and overdo it in the early going, you may suffer for it later. I found this out the hard way!

I carry a spare tube, patch kit, multitool, and Topeak Turbo Morph pump. Two bottles-one with Hammer Perpetuem, one with water. Also use a Camelbak for water, and to carry the pump. Rest stops will have food and water if this is an organized century. There should be Support And Gear vehicles patrolling the course to help riders in need, as well.

Good luck, and report back.
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