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Will I be able to finish my century?

Old 05-17-11, 09:38 PM
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Will I be able to finish my century?

Hey, all. In 3 weeks, I'm going to be doing the LA River Ride, either the 70 mile or the full century (preferably the century). However, I'm not certain if I'll be able to finish. Here's some info about me:

I just started cycling last summer. In fact, I actually just learned to ride a bike last summer (embarrassingly). Since then, I've gotten rid of the mountain bike I learned on and bought a Bianchi Volpe and replaced the cyclocross tires with 25c slicks. I have about 700 miles on it so far. In terms of fitness, I'm 16 at 5'3" and about 105 pounds so obviously I'm small, but I run cross country and track, in which I run 6-7 miles on a daily basis. In the last couple of weeks, I've gone on 3 "long distance" rides with a roadie friend. The first time, I did 35 or so miles at a rather leisurely pace. The second time, we did 45 miles a bit faster, averaging about 15 mph for the entire ride. The most recent time, we did 50 miles, the first 25 of which we did extremely fast (for me) at about 17-18 mph and finished the ride with a 16 mph average. With this amount of training (or lack thereof), do you guys/gals think it'd be possible for me to finish all 100 miles of the century? Any suggestions for training or for the ride itself would be appreciated.
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Old 05-17-11, 10:01 PM
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You'll do fine, with your cross country and track experience, you most likely have the endurance for it.

Keep riding for the next three weeks and try to get a couple 60 or 70 mile rides in.

There will be tons of people of all skill levels at that ride, you'll have people around to ride with.
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Old 05-18-11, 04:30 AM
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Age 16, run x-country. You'll do fine.
One thing could keep you from completing the century:
_ _starting too fast, staying with friends that insist on riding too fast.

A couple years ago, riding as an MS-150 Bike Marshal, I came across a 16-year-old whose "friends" had talked him into trying the 75-miler instead of the 35-miler, then on course talked him into trying the 100-miler, then decided he was too slow and left him. When I found him, going the wrong way, he was beyond toast physically, and mentally was worse than that. While waiting for the SAG (and after commenting that I was sure he wouldn't believe or understand me at the time, but maybe he would later), I explained to the kid (whose name I no longer recall) that sometimes you have to let a group go if they are dragging you too fast too soon; I also told him that his "friends" were not what I would call friends.

So ... if you don't let yourself be dragged into riding the first 40 miles at too fast a pace, you'll do fine.

Save the legs and fast pace for the last 10 miles.
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Old 05-18-11, 08:10 AM
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With this amount of training (or lack thereof), do you guys/gals think it'd be possible for me to finish all 100 miles of the century? Any suggestions for training or for the ride itself would be appreciated.
I don't know how many times I have to say this but I'll say it one more time:

DISTANCE ISN'T THE ONLY FACTOR IN DETERMINING WHETHER A RIDE IS DIFFICULT.

That being said, anyone can ride a 100 miles if they take their time. On the other hand, riding a 100 miles with an accomplished rider who will ultimately just laugh and chuckle at your pain as you die a long, slow and painful death nearing the 80 or 90 mile mark may be just what you wanted - right?

Yes of course - go try it...
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Old 05-18-11, 08:40 AM
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Gee RC, it took you almost a full day to despond to this thread. I know, these are your favorites!
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Old 05-18-11, 10:36 AM
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FWIW, the ride is suppose to be quite flat. The ride organizers advertise it as a good first century. As it's from Los Angeles to long beach, there is of course a slight downhill grade on the way there and a slight uphill on the way back.

Btw RC, if I end up struggling my way through the last 20 miles but still persevering through the pain, I'll consider it an accomplishment. Of course, I don't plan on riding with my roadie friend... He intends on averaging 18+ mph. I'll probably ride with his brother.

Last edited by happa95; 05-18-11 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 05-18-11, 11:23 AM
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Sounds to me like you're in good shape to give it a shot. The main thing is don't burn yourself out trying to keep up with other people. Find a pace that's good for you and go for it.
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Old 05-18-11, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
I

DISTANCE ISN'T THE ONLY FACTOR IN DETERMINING WHETHER A RIDE IS DIFFICULT.


Yes of course - go try it...
This! My hardest ride this season was only 50 miles. 50 very windy, hellish miles. No reason not to give it a shot- the world won't end if you don't finish, and a good ride is still a good ride.
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