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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 03-22-12, 09:22 PM   #1
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First century attempt thwarted by weather

I tried for my first training century today and was doing pretty well. Light winds, cool, gently rolling terrain and I averaged 17.2 mph for the first 50 miles. Then a front came in and the wind picked up to 12-15 mph (headwind my next 24 miles) and the temperature started dropping. I came back into town with just under 74 miles under my belt but was getting pretty tired after pushing into the headwind for nearly two hours. I was also behind schedule and it still gets dark early and I wasn't equipped for night riding. To cut my risk, I decided to do the 10-mile loop north of town twice and finish up riding in town under the street lights. Just a few miles north of town it started to rain. Not all that hard but enough that I got pretty wet and very cold by the time I got back into town. I did a short loop through town and noticed I was getting shaky, it was getting dark, and I just didn't have any more in me. I rolled into the garage with 87 miles on the trip meter and an average speed of 15 mph for the overall trip.

I was disappointed and even considered donning dry clothes with a windbreaker, putting the lights on my bike and heading back out. I just didn't want to quit that close, but once I got off the bike I noticed how shakey and obtunded I was and I started to shiver. Best guess is low blood sugar and the beginnings of hypothermia. It was still raining pretty good and the wind was picking up again. Enough brain cells were still functioning to tell me that riding at night, in the rain, while exhausted wasn't a good idea.

Still had a great time and increased my personal best distance by 20 miles and up until the headwinds, was well above my last fall's best pace for a distance ride. So I sit here nursing a recovery shake and feeling a need to share

Last edited by Myosmith; 03-22-12 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 03-22-12, 10:04 PM   #2
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Sounds like a good effort. On the mental end of things, if you can ride with some friends, it picks things right up, or does for me, at least. On the exhaustion aspect, it may help to have more calories going in, or may help to back off a bit on the speed on the first 50 miles. I can ride all day, but not at 17.2 mph, normally.
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Old 03-22-12, 10:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
Still had a great time and increased my personal best distance by 20 miles
There ya go!

I came really close (95 mi) to getting my first century of the year last weekend, but got a late start, had the same headwind and a flat on the way back, and ultimately ran out of day. Also, it was St Patrick's Day.
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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Old 03-22-12, 11:21 PM   #4
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If I got back to my town after 75 miles, it wouldn't matter what the weather was like, I'd be going home
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Old 03-23-12, 02:40 PM   #5
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Look at it this way: It was a good training ride for your next century! And as the days get longer, you can start earlier and still finish with plenty of light.

We're looking at rather brutal weather for the double-century tomorrow, i.e. lots of rain in Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo, then a heafty headwind riding South toward Solvang. Could be a long day!

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