Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

A rite of passage: My first Century

Notices
Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

A rite of passage: My first Century

Old 07-25-05, 09:34 AM
  #1  
superdex
staring at the mountains
Thread Starter
 
superdex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Castle Pines, CO
Posts: 4,461

Bikes: Fairdale Goodship, Spesh Crux, Salsa Timberjack 29

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 351 Post(s)
Liked 123 Times in 79 Posts
I'd asked for a little BF mojo for my first century in this thread here. Well, I did it. I'm a member of the Century Club. I'm still in afterglow.

The weather hasn't been kind the past couple weeks here in Central Va, approaching record temps and heat indices nearing 110. Last Friday it was 75F and 100% humidity at 9am. Blech. Folks were saying that Sunday's temps and weather were going to be better. Well, they couldn't have been any more right. Freaking GORGEOUS! High 60's before the start (7am). The air was nice and cool, and not terribly humid. I didn't notice the heat until well after noon. A good thing.

I got to bed around 11:30 the night before, not the best night's sleep with a 5:30 wake-up call. Actually got to the parking lot a touch late (stoopid me not getting gas the night before). I wasn't the last one there (always a relief). There was a mass that rolled at 7am; I got rolling at about 7:15, thinking to myself, "no worries, I'll just cruise along and meet up with a group at the first pit." I get only about a mile and I hear a (man's) voice behind me, "Mind if I tag along?" Of course not! ... [inside voice]as long as you pull when the time comes[inside voice]. Turns out it was someone I'd ridden with about a month ago during a weekly club ride. Mark, I owe you a huge thank you. See, Mark was only doing the metric, and when he heard that I was planning on the whole shebang, he insisted on pulling more than his share. And pull he did! I was gauging to ride a modest 16-17mph pace (not avg), and Mark was pulling me along in the low 20's. Holy crap! This is how I ride my 18mi weekday rides. We were only a dozen miles in, and I was worried I'd be toast by the end of the day. But I figured some help was better than no help, so I stayed with him until his turnoff at 51 miles. I did end up pulling up one of the longer climbs, where Mark blurted out in amazement something about me keeping his pace. Here's the thing: I never saw him get lower than maybe 53/17. He'd be pushing 53/12 at 22mph when I'd be in a 53/17 spinning behind him. It must have looked pretty funny, seeing the two of us, me behind him with twice the cadence. The image of a Chihuahua running behind a Great Dane crossed my mind more than once. Mark, if you read these forums, THANK YOU. Those first 50+ miles flew by, and set a great tone for the day.

This support for this ride was wonderful, and plentiful pits made it easy to focus on multiple 15-18mi rides instead of one large 100 miler. We didn't hang around long at any pit, maybe ten minutes max. Perfect. I was feeling great, but I knew that when Mark pulled off I'd have to slow it up and just enjoy the ride in. Right before he pulled off we picked up a third rider, Bob, who was riding the Century. Mentally, it was a little bit of a blow. I was enjoying riding with Mark; we had a good feel for each other, and conversation was intermittent but light and he was willing to talk. Having ridden with him before (albiet only once) also had me at ease. Bob was quiet, and it was probably my nerves --or maybe his Ciocc? or that he said he was glad we came along because his group was dawdling?-- but I felt pressured to maintain the 20mph pace. It was starting to get warmer, and I knew I couldn't finish the day like that. Again, having someone to work with is better than riding alone, so we stayed together until the next pit, 7 miles after Mark turned off. I hung around and let Bob go, thanking him for sharing the work. I also had my first twinge of a cramp in my calf. Fricken great. 58 Miles and cramping. I stretched it out, got more water and some Chex Mix in me, and made my way solo, intentionally slower than the rocket pace of the morning. I came into the 58 mile pit with an 18+ average! I was content to let my legs turn over at a natural pace, and with the morning precedent they wanted to cruise along at 18-19mph. Well, okay, I supposed. Shouldn't spend energy trying to go slower, right? What I didn't know was that I was heading into the toughest part of the day.

Two significant hills. Two significant steep hills. I crawled up each in 39/25, just under 10mph. The entire course was rolling, undulating hills and false flats, but these were walls. At the top of the second one I caught two guys, John and Sean. John was a club rider from DC out with his buddy Sean, another first-time Century but who hadn't been riding very much. I asked if they minded if I hung out, and they graciously accepted. I stayed with these two the rest of the way in, and our pace was a much more pleasant 16-18mph, though John and I would creep up towards 20 while chatting, and would hold up and wait for Sean. If either of you guys read these forums, THANK YOU. You saved my afternoon.

Having someone to talk to between 75 and 95 miles is a must have. I didn't notice any lower back problems, hand issues, or shoulder/neck soreness while we chatted. My left hamstring yelped once when I up-shifted, but I was able to stretch it out on the next decline, and it was okay the rest of the day.

I could feel my body nearing its breaking point. My legs were able, but they were less and less willing as we crossed 80, 85, 90 miles. So far my calves and hamstrings complained at least once, and I could feel the saddle sores growing. But I was also staring at the finish. I was in great spirits. I was going to complete this damn thing and I was going to complete it strongly. There was another large roller at around the 93 mile mark (or so, somewhere between 90 and 95 ), and I chased John up it, out of the saddle and sprinting. I get to the top and joke with him that there's no way I should be feeling this good. I'm smiling. I'm having fun. I'm completing a Century. A fricken Century!

We turn into the parking lot, and my computer says 99.6 miles. I tell John I have to get another four tenths of a mile to make it official, and he lets me go as I cruise around the junior high parking lots and pick up my last mileage; a victory lap, if you will. I did it. I rode a Century. And I finished with gas in the tank, water in my bottles, and nary a mechanical. Big Fricken Yay for Me


There was a heated thread on here a short while back discussing the definition of "cyclist." For some, it was just getting on a bike. Others had more stringent requirements. For me, my self-image definition was doing a Century. That is, I couldn't consider myself a "cyclist" unless/until I'd done one. Well, here I am, a cyclist and I'm already looking forward to my next Century, maybe even a double metric. Who knows? I just like to be out on the bike

Stats--
Mileage: 100.43 miles
Time (riding): 5:51
Final average: 17.2 mph
Weather: Sunny and hot.
Terrain: Rolling hills, minor crosswind
Calories burned: 6,368 (according to this calculator)


And some pics (as promised) ...
superdex is offline  
Old 07-25-05, 10:17 AM
  #2  
va_cyclist
Senior Member
 
va_cyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Ashland, VA
Posts: 1,344
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Congrats!! Great ride, and great story.
va_cyclist is offline  
Old 07-25-05, 10:23 AM
  #3  
anthropete
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 44
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
That's awesome! What a feeling! Thanks for sharing.

Pete
https://www.viovio.com/anthropete
anthropete is offline  
Old 07-25-05, 11:22 AM
  #4  
pcsanity1
Censorship Stinks!
 
pcsanity1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Texas
Posts: 389

Bikes: Three

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Welcome to the club....now its time for a century a month, right?
pcsanity1 is offline  
Old 07-25-05, 11:31 AM
  #5  
joeprim
Senior Member
 
joeprim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Northern Neck Tidewater Va.
Posts: 1,688
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Nice write up superdex

Joe
joeprim is offline  
Old 07-25-05, 11:47 AM
  #6  
Don Gwinn
Giant-Riding Ogre
 
Don Gwinn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Virden, IL
Posts: 469

Bikes: 2005 Giant OCR2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Fantastic. You're adding fuel to the fire; I really want to do a century next summer. My family thinks I'm crazy, but you don't sound crazy.
__________________
_________________________________________________

Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Calorie Counter
Don Gwinn is offline  
Old 07-25-05, 12:01 PM
  #7  
OC Roadie
Out of Commission
 
OC Roadie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,272

Bikes: Felt FC, S-Works Roubaix, Epic Comp, Cyfac Proxidium

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Gongrats and nice work on the ride up and ride. Sounds like you've got the bug. Only a matter of a few more and you'll be contemplating youre first double
__________________
If you don't have anything nice to say about anybody, then come sit next to me.
OC Roadie is offline  
Old 07-25-05, 01:44 PM
  #8  
cuda2k
Unique Vintage Steel
 
cuda2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Allen, TX
Posts: 11,583

Bikes: Kirk Frameworks JKS-C, Serotta Nova, Gazelle AB-Frame, Fuji Team Issue, Surly Straggler

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 55 Post(s)
Liked 159 Times in 45 Posts
I'm building up for my first Metric in 2 months. Don't have a lot of road miles under my belt, and I have a heavy road bike to attempt it on - but that won't keep me from trying. Thank you for sharing your story and giving those of us still working on building up the endurance more confidence that we too can do it.
cuda2k is offline  
Old 07-25-05, 02:18 PM
  #9  
superdex
staring at the mountains
Thread Starter
 
superdex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Castle Pines, CO
Posts: 4,461

Bikes: Fairdale Goodship, Spesh Crux, Salsa Timberjack 29

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 351 Post(s)
Liked 123 Times in 79 Posts
FWIW, here are the highlights of how I "trained" for the big one-double-oh:

* In mid-April this year I started riding regularly for the first time, oh, ever. I've been playing hockey for almost 10 years, which provided some base (basically, 1.5 hrs of anaerobic intervals 2x a week). Mileage started with 20-mile rides. I rode once on the weekend, and tried to get at least one in during the week.

* Increased mileage weekly, 5 miles at a time (more or less). Mid-week rides stayed (and are still) around 20-25 miles

* First 50 miler was the Capital-to-Capital Century (I did the half option) on 14 May. Also first organized ride.

* In May tried to ride both weekend days. One day was the long ride, day two was something, anything, just be on the bike. Was able to mix it up with mtn bike rides to keep it interesting.

* First metric was on raba.org's Prince George Century on 22 May. Rode with the main group for 32 miles, turned around and came back. Right around this date I saw the Tour de Vin information. I signed up then.

* June 4-5 I rode in the Fan Free Clinic's Ride to Provide; 150 mile weekend (75/75).

* Since that weekend I did my best to ride 3x a week (18-23 mi during the week, 30+ on the weekend), and I had 12 days off the bike over July 4th holiday. I did a 51 mile ride last weekend to ramp back up (so to speak)


And that's it. Well, I've been playing hockey in there too, but as far as on-the-bike "training" it basically boils down to saddle time.

During the ride, I stopped at every pit. CheezIts and pretzels may seem like a funny choice for pit food, but eat some. The sodium is good for you. I also drank some, and topped off the water bottles. I started with both water bottles with half-strength gatorade, and as the day wore on I thinned out one bottle to pure water by the end, and kept the other with gatorade. I found I wanted just plain water as it got hotter.

I hope this helps,
superdex is offline  
Old 07-25-05, 02:38 PM
  #10  
superdex
staring at the mountains
Thread Starter
 
superdex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Castle Pines, CO
Posts: 4,461

Bikes: Fairdale Goodship, Spesh Crux, Salsa Timberjack 29

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 351 Post(s)
Liked 123 Times in 79 Posts
Spotted: lots of mtn bikes (all three loops had the same route for the first couple pits), at least 5 Discovery jerseys, one Phonak jersey (w/cap!), 1 recumbent, 2 Cioccs, and one Giro pink jersey with white UCI Pro Tour bibs

edit: OH! I can't believe I forgot: we passed a lady meandering along on a Beeeyootiful steel lugged Bianchi. I complimented her ride as we passed, and she said, "Oh? It's just my bike. Do you like it?" like it?! I'da bought it right there had we not been only 6 miles into the ride!

Last edited by superdex; 07-25-05 at 02:55 PM.
superdex is offline  
Old 07-25-05, 02:49 PM
  #11  
Serpico
Banned.
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,460
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
congrats dex
Serpico is offline  
Old 07-25-05, 03:32 PM
  #12  
Ostuni
Guinea Hood
 
Ostuni's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: East of Shelbyville
Posts: 2,791
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by va_cyclist
Congrats!! Great ride, and great story.
second that. great motivation as i'm still trying to crack the 35m barrier....
Ostuni is offline  
Old 07-25-05, 03:35 PM
  #13  
cyclwestks
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Nice pic of the cyclocomputer when you hit the mark. I didn't have a camera, but I did ahave a cell phone, so I just called the wife as the odometer rolled.
cyclwestks is offline  
Old 07-29-05, 01:01 PM
  #14  
TreyK
Chasing the Century
 
TreyK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 66

Bikes: Scott Speedster S2, Cannondale F600

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Congratulations and great job. I can only imagine how good it felt to get that under your belt. I will be riding the Seagull Century in Salisbury, MD. on Oct. 8th and I'm really looking forward to it. This is my third week riding. Just got a road bike 3 weeks ago and I'm loving it. I have been getting 3 20-27 mi rides in 3x/week with a long ride on Sundays. Last Sunday I head over to the Eastern Shore to get my longest ride in to date. It was the perfect day for it and I put in 40mi. It felt awesome, because I would have thought that I would ever ride that far on a bike. Now it just seems natural to keep bumping up to a 100. You were real lucky with the weather on Sunday, it was perfect compared to the heat we have had. Keep on racking up the centuries, and maybe I'll see you at one in the future.

Are you in VA?
TreyK is offline  
Old 07-29-05, 01:23 PM
  #15  
Applehead57
slower than you
 
Applehead57's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: dairy country NY
Posts: 652

Bikes: Gunnar Road Sport, peugeot UO-10

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I understand. I'm prepping for my first century, and wondering how in the heck I will do it! Best of luck.
Applehead57 is offline  
Old 07-29-05, 02:19 PM
  #16  
superdex
staring at the mountains
Thread Starter
 
superdex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Castle Pines, CO
Posts: 4,461

Bikes: Fairdale Goodship, Spesh Crux, Salsa Timberjack 29

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 351 Post(s)
Liked 123 Times in 79 Posts
TreyK -- I'm in Richmond, yeah. I was thinking about the Seagull too, maybe I'll see you out there!
superdex is offline  
Old 07-29-05, 02:21 PM
  #17  
timmhaan
more ape than man
 
timmhaan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: nyc
Posts: 8,091
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
the computer pic is cool. surprised it was almost exactly 100 miles. everytime i've done a century it's like 105 or 107 miles. always a little longer than expected...funny how they sneak that in there. hehe! congrats though, a first century feels good doesn't it?
timmhaan is offline  
Old 07-29-05, 02:23 PM
  #18  
ke422azn22
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
century is easy, do 200 miles now.
 
Old 07-29-05, 02:28 PM
  #19  
superdex
staring at the mountains
Thread Starter
 
superdex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Castle Pines, CO
Posts: 4,461

Bikes: Fairdale Goodship, Spesh Crux, Salsa Timberjack 29

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 351 Post(s)
Liked 123 Times in 79 Posts
Originally Posted by ke422azn22
century is easy, do 200 miles now.
WHOOOO !!!!!! PARTY !!!!

I'm sooo officially a part of BF now that the mighty, honorable, and majestic ke422azn22 has replied to a thread I started! I'm so awash with warm fuzzy feelings. I'm complete. I can die happy. Oh thankyouthankyouthankyou for blessing my thread with a post. My life will never be the same. Glee!
superdex is offline  
Old 07-29-05, 02:31 PM
  #20  
natethaskate
Commuter/Club Rider
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 65
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Working up to my first Century this coming September. (NYC Century). Training is coming along fine, but I usually have numbness in my hands after long rides. Any tips for dealing with this problem?
natethaskate is offline  
Old 07-29-05, 02:35 PM
  #21  
moesch
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 30
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Congrats!!
moesch is offline  
Old 07-29-05, 02:40 PM
  #22  
superdex
staring at the mountains
Thread Starter
 
superdex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Castle Pines, CO
Posts: 4,461

Bikes: Fairdale Goodship, Spesh Crux, Salsa Timberjack 29

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 351 Post(s)
Liked 123 Times in 79 Posts
Originally Posted by natethaskate
Working up to my first Century this coming September. (NYC Century). Training is coming along fine, but I usually have numbness in my hands after long rides. Any tips for dealing with this problem?
I move them around, and avoid resting them in such a way that the middle of the base of the palm (between the thumb pad and outside of the palm; I dunno what it's called) doesn't have any pressure on it. There's a nerve that runs right there, and I try to stay off it. Seems to work....
superdex is offline  
Old 07-29-05, 02:48 PM
  #23  
bshow1
Senior Member
 
bshow1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Greeneville, Tenn., USA
Posts: 100

Bikes: Trek 1200

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Way to go superdex! My next goal is a metric. Let's see if I live through that before I tackle the big boy!
bshow1 is offline  
Old 07-29-05, 03:49 PM
  #24  
cc_rider
Calamari to go
 
cc_rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 3,113

Bikes: Trek 750

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Congrats. Sounds like it was fun.

Reston Century coming up end of August. Can promise lots of hills.
cc_rider is offline  
Old 07-29-05, 03:58 PM
  #25  
pgoat
Batw Griekgriek
 
pgoat's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: NYC - for the moment...
Posts: 2,911

Bikes: 1986 Trek 500 Tri Series, 2005 Cannondale R1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Ostuni
second that. great motivation as i'm still trying to crack the 35m barrier....

me too - I've only done 50-60 miles a few times; 6 mile each way commute and trying to bust out 30-40 regularly on weekends.

Nice job! Thanks for the inspiration, especially all the details and pics!
pgoat is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.