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Rode my first century yesterday

Old 08-05-10, 08:42 PM
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Rode my first century yesterday

Yes, it's yet another first century thread... But, I'm still excited about it, and wanted to share. Sorry

Short version: Snohomish, WA to Arlington to Clear Lake, around west through farmland, back to Arlington and Snohomish. Beautiful sunny but not too hot day. 108 miles, 6:53 on the bike, around 8 hours total.

Long version: after feeling good on several mid-distance rides (40-60 miles), including rides with lots of hills, I felt like tackling the challenge of a century to see how I did. I plotted out a route that was not too challenging on either the terrain or the navigation end. I started at the Centennial Trail in Snohomish, and took it up to Arlington. It's a lovely tree-lined MUP with little traffic and beautifully smooth pavement--if it weren't for the f$%king obstacle course gates they put up at a number of intersections, it would be an ideal MUP. I suppose navigating them was a good bike-handling skill builder for me, but by mile 107 I was really over them...

After the Centennial Trail I got on Hwy 9 north towards Sedro-Wooley which had enough hills and twist and turns to make me feel like I was accomplishing something, and enjoy some fun descents, but not so much to make me suffer unduly (no, I haven't drunk the rando Kool-Aid yet...).

Then I picked up on a section of an SIR permanent (https://permanents.seattlerando.org/2...ivers-v-2.html) (note how it's advertised for its flatness...) to loop out and back from Clear Lake to Arlington. I was lucky that there was almost no wind, and it was nice to just keep up a steady pace for a while, but I will admit the flat started to get a little boring... After all, what has to go up also gets to come down...

From Arlington, just the Centennial trail back to Snohomish (f$%king obstacle course gates), and a long 8 miles from "Hooray, I did a century!" to "Hooray, I'm at my car!" On the way home I stopped at a gas station and for the first time truly understood what a beautiful thing it is that in this country you can get a 32oz cup of deliciously cold ice and soda for just over a dollar. I love America

Things I'm still happy about:
--I felt comfortable and within my limits. At the end I was going about the same speeds as I was in the beginning.
--I finally christened my bike by falling off of it... It had to happen some time, so I'm glad to have that over with. Everything still works (on me and the bike) and I have a couple awesome bruises to show off (though one I can only show off to *good* friends...)
--Wait a minute--I started riding at the end of June and I just did a solo century--crazy!

At any rate, it was a lot of fun and an exciting challenge to put to myself. No pics because I'm lame and didn't take my camera.
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Old 08-06-10, 08:56 AM
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1) Congratulations on your first one! Sounds like there will be many more to follow.
2) Did you stop at the Rexville Grocery? That place is awesome. Even though it's just an info control on the 3RV2 permanent, I still stopped in to get some grub.

On the Centennial trail, you can ride around most of the bollards by cutting through the gravel/dirt paths were everyone else has managed to go around them. Just be mindful that traffic has the right of way, and that's why the bollards are there. I think there's only 2 intersections where you can't cut around them. Macchias Station (along the trail) is a great place to refill water bottles and sit at a picnic table for a few minutes, and the bathrooms are clean.
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Old 08-06-10, 09:03 AM
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Congratulations on the century. The First One.
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Old 08-06-10, 10:21 AM
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No need to apologize! Awesome achievement in a very pretty area of the region. Can't believe Clifton hasn't suggested some rando as the next step, so I'll do it even though my rando career currently consists of a whopping two DNFs. Hope to see you out there some time!
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Old 08-06-10, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
1) Congratulations on your first one! Sounds like there will be many more to follow.
2) Did you stop at the Rexville Grocery? That place is awesome. Even though it's just an info control on the 3RV2 permanent, I still stopped in to get some grub.

On the Centennial trail, you can ride around most of the bollards by cutting through the gravel/dirt paths were everyone else has managed to go around them. Just be mindful that traffic has the right of way, and that's why the bollards are there. I think there's only 2 intersections where you can't cut around them. Macchias Station (along the trail) is a great place to refill water bottles and sit at a picnic table for a few minutes, and the bathrooms are clean.
I did stop at the Rexville Grocery. It was not what I expected out of a rural gas station! The beer on tap looked Really Really Good... But I stuck with refilling my water bottles and getting some potato chips (salty, yum!). I went around some of the bollards, and through some of them--didn't like them either way, as going around often entailed lots of rocks and a sudden drop off from the asphalt to the dirt. I can understand why they have them, but I rather like myself in my un-car-squished state, and actually make an effort to keep myself that way. I found they made me feel less safe crossing the street, because I had to cross more slowly in order to negotiate the bollard on the other side.


Originally Posted by Kamala
No need to apologize! Awesome achievement in a very pretty area of the region. Can't believe Clifton hasn't suggested some rando as the next step, so I'll do it even though my rando career currently consists of a whopping two DNFs. Hope to see you out there some time!
My husband wend rando last year, and that was part of what inspired me to get a bike--on other threads I've gotten some nudges that direction, and I'm definitely interested. I was thinking of doing the SIR 200k for new riders in September, but the description was recently updated to include phrases like "gravel adventure" so I think I'll wait this year out. It sounds fun, but for where I am as a rider right now, I'd be pretty nervous/worried and don't think I'd enjoy myself.

I had to laugh when I got home and told my husband "guess what I did today"--he thought I was crazy for just going out and doing a century, and yet he's the one signed up for the SIR 300k of mountain passes, gravel roads, and elk this weekend...

Oh yeah, did I mention that cycling through farm country with roadside fruit stands was an unintended stroke of genius on my part? Perhaps the tastiest raspberries I've ever had, and I don't think that was just the ride hunger speaking...
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Old 08-06-10, 08:39 PM
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Very cool. If you enjoyed that, do check into the rando rides, sounds like you'd just fit right in.
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