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Machka 12-31-13 08:32 PM

2014 -- Century Challenge
This is the thread for those who will not be able to complete the 2014 Century-A-Month challenge ... or those who want to do 1, 2 or a several centuries this year at whatever time works for them ... or those who complete their first century this year ... :)

The Century-A-Month challenge requires that a cyclist ride at least one century (100 miles) in each month of the year. But sometimes because of weather, accidents, or other commitments riding a century in each month of the year becomes impossible. And sometimes people get into cycling long distances partway through the year, but would like to join a challenge for motivation.

Even if we can't participate in the CAM challenge, it's nice to have a place to log our centuries (100-mile rides) throughout the year ... so here it is!

The challenge: Let's see how many centuries (100-mile rides), or longer rides, we can ride this year ... in any month of the year!!

Get ready ... get set ............... GO!!

Machka 04-05-14 05:43 AM

Saturday 5 April -- A CENTURY!!!!! 100 miles! WooHoo!! It has been 2 years since we've ridden a century. And we did it in 9 hours, 17 minutes ... average speed (including breaks, of course) of 17.235 km/h. Rowan tells me that our average riding speed was 19.5 km/h, and that we picked up the pace each of the loops, except the last one.

We've been working toward this goal, building up our distances over the last few months. For so long, I felt like I was getting nowhere. Every ride was difficult and unfulfilling. Then last weekend, we rode 121 km and it was a great ride! It was a like someone flipped a switch. All of a sudden, I could do it!

Today is the last day of Daylight Savings Time, and the length of daylight hours is getting shorter, so we decided today was the day to do the century.

We chose a route that was similar to the sort of route I did for my first century, 20 years ago. Multiple loops. We also chose a route that was relatively flat ... not completely flat, of course, but not overly hilly. The route consisted of four out-and-back journeys from one end of the cycleway to the other, plus an extra distance out to Bridgewater.

Today was cool, with a frosty starting temperature of 9.4C and a high temperature of 17.3C. The wind started a little breezy at 17 km/h gusting to 24 km/h, but then died off until the sea breezes came up later in the afternoon. We had a headwind one way or the other on every out-and-back, but we also had corresponding tailwinds, so that was all right.

Although the route was four out-and-backs, the changing scenery and people kept our interest.

We observed there were a lot of cyclists using the cycleway, but different groups appeared at different times. At 8 am when we started, the cycleway was full of the fast racers hammering out a quick ride early in the day. About 10 am the Hobart Walking Club's cycling group appeared. They are mostly retirees riding at my sort of pace! Around noon, the recreational cyclists were all over the place ... families with children, people just cruising. By mid-afternoon, the cycleway started to empty, but the remaining people seemed to be recreational or long distance. There was a group of guys who stopped at our turn-around point when we were there and we overheard that they were at 90 km then, and debating where to cycle next. And we encountered a woman on three legs of the journey who was running ... training for a marathon perhaps?

And we saw lots of birds ... pelicans, black swans, gallahs, a stray white cockatoo, and a king parrot!

Overall, it was a good ride! I'm a little sore, as expected, but generally I had a lot of energy out there and felt good when I finished.

So please to have finally completed a century again. :D That brings my total number of centuries or longer rides to 165 over 20 years. :)

az_cyclist 04-07-14 09:12 AM

I am doing the Year Rounder challenge by UltraMarathon cycling. They only require rides of 90 miles, and 12 of those in 10 months. Having said that I have rode 100 miles in each of Jan, Feb, and March

JBerman 04-09-14 12:49 AM

Wow that is quite the cycling journey over 20 years! Awesome dedication. Congrats!! I love scenic routes and get excited seeing the wild animals on my rides. Last month one of my rides had a large turtle, rabbits, deer, and a couple peacocks!

Zuzus pedals 04-28-14 06:57 PM

Did a solo century on April 28. 101.12 miles to be exact. I usually time things like this to see how fast I can go, but this one was just comfortably noodling along except for one fairly flat stretch between miles 57 and 71 where I got bored and timed it, averaging 19.6 mph for that part. Of course, drinking fluids at the same rate as on a more effortful century results in hitting the pissoir about once an hour since the fluids just go right on through.

So I barely snuck in the first one of the year before April came to an end. If most of them are as slow as this was, maybe I can get 12 of them in during the good weather portion of the year to make up for not being able to do any in the first 3 months.

Weatherby 04-30-14 05:24 AM

I have done four rides of that distance this year (two 200K and two training rides). As I get older and am slower, the 100+ mile distances are not so appealing as a solo exercise and most group rides aren't working. I used to be able to very comfortably go that distance 5-6 hours, which makes for a nice morning either solo or in a group. Being out most of the day solo is a bit of a grind unless it is a brevet. Most of the club rides in the area are more like 40-60 miles and they are all hammerfests. It would be nice to find a small group of 4-8 riders who like to ride longer distances at reasonable speed. I went on a 85 mile club ride recently that was advertised as a B pace (14-16 MPH). I was off the back in the first ten miles chasing up a relatively 2% grade into a 20 mph wind riding at 21mph and then after catching the peloton, they roared up a 2-3 mile 4% hill also into the same wind.....I was totally maxed out to the wall at 13.5 mph uphill into a 20+ wind. Dropped like no tomorrow, I estimate the five of them were racing at 17mph producing around 320 watts, impressive stuff for B riders. They dropped someone who had done multiple PBPs, she did not even know the area. Get to the top of the climb and they asked me if I was feeling ok. I just said, "Fine, just a bit fat and asked them to go on without me...."did the ride in 5.5 hours, the last 40 or so solo. Tried a different club, same cast of characters. Neither club seems to offer A rides. Plenty of B rides. The triathloners are clueless and dangerous.

Has anyone else found riding longer distances solo to be less appealing as they age and how have they motivated themselves to the challenge? Or maybe it is just a question of becoming more fit and getting into that groove wher the miles just melt away. Maybe the RUSA K-Dog thing where you do a 200K per month or something like that would motivate me although I doubt it. Maybe finding really interesting commercial rides and planning for them.

Sorry for the rotten post.

Machka 04-30-14 06:18 AM


Originally Posted by Weatherby (Post 16714833)
I have done four rides of that distance this year (two 200K and two training rides).

Tell us about your rides. :)

As for the rest of your questions/comments, you might want to start a thread of your own and see what sorts of responses you get. Could be an interesting topic.

az_cyclist 04-30-14 11:42 AM

I guess I have 5 rides over 100 miles so far this year. 1 in January, 101.5 on Feb 1, 192 in March, 207.3 on Apr 12, and 100.9 last Saturday

Zuzus pedals 05-11-14 06:42 PM

Another century on May 11. Easy speed again. Sunny all day and 76 for the high - good day for a long ride. This one included a clockwise lap around Cayuga Lake, the first time I've done the full loop of the lake in that direction. Had a headwind for the first half of the West side of the lake heading North from the South end out of Ithaca, then started feeling like it had changed to a tailwind. That's the third time this year I've noticed that the wind has changed directions completely as I've gotten closer to the North end of the lake. Sure enough, the flags were blowing South to North up at that end of the lake (so a tailwind for awhile on the out leg) and there was indeed a headwind heading back South along the East side. Then it gradually switched around so it was a tailwind again about 20 miles North of Ithaca. Odd.

az_cyclist 05-23-14 01:38 PM

I had 101 miles last Saturday, 17 May. I was helping a friend train for a double century in June by extending the weekly club ride. He was at 67 miles, with some climbing and a bit faster pace than he was used to (so he considered it a quality training ride). I rode home from his house and was at 80 mile when I got home. I ate lunch, and headed back out for another loop.

Zuzus pedals 05-25-14 07:34 PM

Longest ride to date for me on May 25 - 110.17 miles. Another slow and relaxed one, including stops for "Baby" ice cream cones (twice) and another stop for a small hamburger (this made it feel almost like porking out at the SAG stops on a supported ride). With all that plus the 4 Clif Bars en route, I think I might have gained weight on this ride. This is the first time I didn't use Perpetuem on a ride longer than 75 miles. Went through almost 6 bottles of half water / half Gatorade and some Endurolytes instead. Weather was fantastic - between 72 and 81 degrees and sunny about 3/4 of the time with 12 mph NW wind which wasn't too bad except for a few times on the high, open spots on the glacial ridges. The only thing that seems to be bothering me lately is feeling drained being in the sun for more than a couple of hours at a time.

This route went from Ithaca on Route 96 through Trumansburg, Interlaken and Ovid (farm country with a large Amish population) and down a long, gentle hill from Ovid to Seneca Lake (against the wind on the out leg), then back on the same roads with a nice tailwind. The road between T-Burg and Interlaken was awful last year but has been repaved and was a delight to ride on. Then back through Ithaca and up the East side of Cayuga Lake for awhile and back into Ithaca to some shady roads. Really started feeling good once in the shade. Would have kept going for a double metric but unfortunately didn't get started early enough and only had about 15 minutes of light left by the time I rolled in.

Zuzus pedals 06-21-14 08:16 PM

Century #4 for the year on June 21. 100.8 total. A little faster overall because of doing the West side of Cayuga Lake (38.94 miles) North to South along Rte. 89 at 20.01 mph, probably the best long tempo riding I've ever done. I think it's better than my recent PR of 1:58:54 for 40 miles on a pretty easy loop, considering the West side of the lake has +/- 43 feet per mile overall, including a few fairly respectable hills in addition to the many short rollers. Rides like this make me feel like I'm not as much of a duffer anymore.

Isaiahc72 06-21-14 09:03 PM

I've got 5 so far this year on my Trek 7.1FX. But platform pedals do make it kinda difficult. Longest ride this year so far was 144.3-miles. And then I had one century after staying up all night. Other than that, they were all pretty chill.

pedalsimotxilla 06-22-14 09:46 AM

Finished my first metric century today in 5 hours sharp. The ride was organised by the dutch sport association Le Champion ( and consisted of a 100km (with 30 and 50 km options available) round trip throught the province of Noord-Holland: starting in Alkmaar, going down to Purmerend, Monickendam, Uitdam, Ransdorp (on the outskirts of Amsterdam), and back to Purmerend and Alkmaar following a different route (See track here Wikiloc - ruta Rondom Alkmaar 100k - Omval, Noord-Holland (Nederland)- GPS track).
I woke up at 6 AM, had a good breakfast, prepared my stuff and set of to Alkmaar by train. I arrive there and I ride around two kilometres to the restaurant in which the ride started. I get my stamp card and a bit after nine, I start pedaling. I soon meet up with a fellow on his seventies named Cor, or something like this (my Dutch is a bit wobbly). We're riding on the same speed (around 25 km an hour) so we start chatting: he's a retired navy man and worked on planes (I didn't get if he was a pilot or a crew member) across the Atlantic. The first hour and a half was pretty much event free: flat roads and tail wind. When we turn 90 left in the beautiful town of Monickendam we start getting side- and often headwind, so our speed ressents a little, but in a bit more than two hours, we're in the first (and only) control, in the tiny village of Ransdorp. The control is in the town's inn, in which we see plenty of other contendents gorging on coffee and apple pie, so we don't hesitate in imitating them. Great decision, the pie was delicious and fueled us through the 50 km of headwind that were waiting for us. We stopped for five minutes there and then we started the third quarter of the ride, which was the worst for me. Not terrible, but I definitely didn't have a good time. Wind went quite hard and I felt quite deaf from it striking my ears, don't ask me why but I hate this sensation. At 76 km we decide to do a stop for stretching and Cor offers me a bit of his cheese sandwich. I didn't really feel hungry, but I accepted, both for politeness and precaution. We stretch and chat for about five more minutes and we set off again. After 15 km we find signals advertising a "surprise post". We assume it's a control so we start taking our cards but no, it's a guy giving away small bottles of isotonic drinks. It goes really well and we keep pedaling. The wind gets milder and we take turns on facing the wind and we keep a steady 18-20 kmh speed. Not great, but very correct. The last five kilometres feel enormous. You know you're almost there, but still you arent. at 14:05, about five hours after we left, we get to the start/finish line. We check in at the control and exchange goodbyes. I wash my hands and face, put on a clean t-shirt and trousers and head off to the train station. An hour and a half later, I'm at home. A cold shower and a glass of wine later, I'm near paradise: there'll be time for legs hurting tomorrow. Could I have gone on for more time? Possibly. Anyway, I'm very happy of the way it has turned out. And Cor, if you're reading this, dank je wel.

Heathpack 06-23-14 07:17 AM

Just stumbled upon this thread. This is my first full year of cycling, so it's hard to make an exact plan, to some extent, I want to see how it goes.

I rode my first ever century in Feb, the Palm Springs Century, 103 mi & 3000 ft of climbing. It went very well, I finished strong and with a good pace for me 14.7 mph. There was a bit of a wind battle riding through the wind farms and I saw a cyclist who had been hit by a truck (her peloton ran a stop sign) being loaded into an ambulance. They were doing CPR and she had already died from her injuries. :( But otherwise an easy ride for me, I had trained well. Rode it on my old Trek, which is almost unbearable to me now.

In late Feb, I got my new bike, a BMC GF01, which has been a game changer for me, training-wise. It has enabled so much more for me in my training, I'm blown away by it. Somehow this bike makes me feel like I can do anything. Now I call it "the magic bike". My cycling friends kid me when we get to some big hill, they tell me "I wish I had a magic bike too right now"

In late April, I rode the Wildflower Century in San Luis Obsipo, which was 6500 feet of hilly riding. No huge climbs, just lots and lots of little hills. The wind that day was crazy and about 50 miles of that ride were into some kind of headwind. The FB picture I posted of me & my friends was titled "Survivors of the Epic Headwind Climbs at the Wildflower". I wanted to ride that one at 15+mph, but with the winds I was happy with my 14.2 mph and a finish. There was an easy way to abort the century and take the 70 mi route instead, most people did that because of the winds. So as a newby, not aborting & doing the full ride was something of an achievement.

In mid-June, I rode a crazy (for me) century, The Ride Around the Bear, with 9800 feet of climbing and lots of long hills. The first climb was 7000 ft, I kid you not. This ride was from Redlands CA up to Big Bear Lake and then beyond to Onyx Summit, at 8500ish feet of elevation. The big challenges in this ride were the long long long climbs and the last Onyx Summit climb at altitude. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to finish this one, but I made it all about pacing, I worked out a doable pace for me on every section of the ride. I finished faster than I expected but still slow at an average pace of 12.4 mph.

Next up for me are the Tour de Big Bear in August and the Mammoth Lakes Fall Century in Aug. These are both climbing rides at altitude. I'm toying with a double century in Dec and considering dipping my toe in the Randoneurring waters in October. I may start using some organized centuries as training rides, I'm considering a metric double (120 mi) climbing ride for this weekend, so maybe I'll catch up and wind up with 12 centuries this year, who knows? :)


Zuzus pedals 07-10-14 03:21 PM

100.32 on July 10th in sunny 73 degree weather. That's 5 for the year. Included my normal counterclockwise loop of Cayuga Lake and timed the East side from E. Shore and Rte. 13 through Lansing, King Ferry, Aurora and Union Springs to the intersection of Rte. 90 and Rte. 5. This was into a 6 mph headwind that picked up to 10 mph in the last 12 miles of that side of the lake. 6 mph headwind is no big deal, but 10 mph wind really turned that rhythm into a struggle to keep the speed I had planned (and I did plan on there being a small headwind and adjusted the target pace accordingly). Then it was super-duper slow for about 17 miles, then picked it up some more.

Heathpack 07-13-14 10:15 PM

Oh, I forgot to post- I rode a Double Metric (122 miles) a few weeks ago, bringing me up to 4 centuries + this year. Maybe I can mange 12 of these this year after all. ;)

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