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YATES 01-05-06 04:00 PM

a few "century" questions
 
I'm planning on completing my first century in a couple of weeks and i know that it'll probably be a full day event.. but what are your recomendations on what time to start in the morning, what to bring with you, how to get home at the end of the ride (haha), what to do about food, and do you try to pace yourself throughout the ride?

Thanks for any response and if you want to throw in a couple of other facts about your centuries go ahead haha.

timmhaan 01-05-06 04:07 PM

is it solo or with a group?

Machka 01-05-06 04:10 PM

If the temperature is relatively warm where you are, and if you've done some training for this century and are relatively fit, you should be able to finish it in under 8 hours. So, I would recommend that you start whenever the sun comes up (check your local sunrise time).

As for getting yourself home when you're done, ride a loop, or an out-and-back, so you start and end at home.

Bring some basic tools (tire changing stuff, and a multi-tool), you might want some medical things like painkillers and a tiny first-aid kit, and bring your ID and some money.

As for food and liquid, aim to eat a good breakfast, and then 250 calories per hour every hour you are on the bicycle after that. Aim to drink one 750 ml (3 cup) bottle of water and/or sports drink every 1 to 1.5 hours while you are riding. I bring two bottles with me, one with water and one with a sports drink, and then I replenish it at convenience stores as necessary. I also bring several energy bars, and then buy food as desired along the way.

Pacing? Well, if you've been training, you'll likely have discovered your comfortable riding pace ... just ride at that pace. Ride so you have something in reserve and not at your upper limit. Save the "all out sprint" for the last couple miles. :)



My centuries ... hmmmmm ... I've done 97 centuries or longer rides since 1994 (most of those have been completed in the last 4 years), and there has been a WIDE variety of conditions, terrain, and situations on those rides!!! I will say this though ... on my first century in 1994, I didn't eat nearly enough (I didn't know about that 250 calories per hour thing), and although I finished, I was in pain and just crawled in ... then I vowed that I would never do another ride that long again. Well ... 3 years later ......... :)

CyLowe97 01-05-06 04:11 PM

You're bound to get several different questions on this one...

Are you looking to do the century as part of an organized event? If so, the organizers should have several stops along the way to provide liquids and energy food (bananas, etc) for those who have registered. You'll need to start off with water or energy drinks of your own, though.

If it's a supported ride, it should start and end at the same spot, so you'll be near your car. (It's rare, but some are not this way)

Take with you the essentials... spare tube or patch kit; multi-tool; a pump and/or CO2 cartridges; sunscreen (often forgotten, but crucial if your skin's exposed); extra energy bars, etc.

Lucky07 01-05-06 04:23 PM

Machka offers sound advice. I load up on carbs the night before and try to get plenty of rest in the days before the ride.

I've only done a couple of centuries. They were easier than I thought (I took it easy on myself and kept a comfortable pace most of the way). Tedium sets in around mile 75 and you just have to fight it off.

caligurl 01-05-06 04:30 PM

i'm normally a calorie counter.. the best advice given to me before i did my first century: don't worry about calories.... EAT! well.. i did! at each rest stop (it was an organized century) and i brought along the trail mix to eat on the bike if i wanted it! when i finished that century... i coulda gone longer.... further! i attribute it to eating (well... and having ridden before the ride.. but you know what i mean!)

i also use the rest stops as mini goals... ok... x amount of miles til the next food stop! :rolleyes:

sprcoop 01-05-06 04:31 PM

Timmhaan has asked a good question but I always prepare for solo no matter what as I am likely to get dropped or lost.


Originally Posted by YATES
I'm planning on completing my first century in a couple of weeks and i know that it'll probably be a full day event.. but
"what are your recomendations on what time to start in the morning"

That depends on how long it will take you. I strongly suggest leaving enough time to get home before dark unless you want to lug lighting equipment 100 miles. At 10MPH average it would be 10 hours. I would hope you could do that or I hope your bike is very comfortable. Here in AZ it gets rideable about 7am and dark at 5:30pm. If you leave at 7am and take 10 hours you will have 1/2 hour for disasters. Plenty of time.

"what to bring with you"

Do a search on this one. The opinions vary wildly but there are a few staples.
1. Cell phone
2. Everything needed to change a tube and fix a flat.
3. Money
4. ID
5. Some allen wrenches/multi tool for adjustments and tightening
6. Spoke wrench
7. Chain fixing gear (extra links and chainbreak or quick link of some sort)


"how to get home at the end of the ride (haha)"

Keep pushing on the pedals. You'll get there.

"what to do about food"

Don't take anything thay you have not already tried on a ride. This is no time to experiment with anything. Food, clothes, equipment etc. Fruit, granola bars, some type of Gel. Eat when you are not hungry, it pays off in the end. Eat a big breakfast (something you've tested before a ride. You don't need spicy sausage burping up all day) and figure 2 more meals worth.

"and do you try to pace yourself throughout the ride"

DO NOT PACE YOURSELF!!! Go balls out right from the driveway. If you know your max heart rate you should hit that within the first mile and see how long you can keep it there!

Just kidding of course. What do you think? Not too much though. If you go too slow you burn more energy just being out there that long.

Thanks for any response and if you want to throw in a couple of other facts about your centuries go ahead haha.

You could just say screw it and take off half prepared and as long as you have a cell phone it's gonna work out. There is something satisfying about going 100 miles on a bike being self sufficient. I don't even mind doing century solos. You would think it would be long and boring but it always seems like I'm done before I even get started (provided I'm in shape and it's comfortable). Good luck, you'll be fine.

timmhaan 01-05-06 04:37 PM

"DO NOT PACE YOURSELF!!! Go balls out right from the driveway. If you know your max heart rate you should hit that within the first mile and see how long you can keep it there!"

haha. that's one of the funniest things i've read today. :)

YATES 01-05-06 04:43 PM


Originally Posted by Machka
My centuries ... hmmmmm ... I've done 97 centuries or longer rides since 1994 (most of those have been completed in the last 4 years), and there has been a WIDE variety of conditions, terrain, and situations on those rides!!! I will say this though ... on my first century in 1994, I didn't eat nearly enough (I didn't know about that 250 calories per hour thing), and although I finished, I was in pain and just crawled in ... then I vowed that I would never do another ride that long again. Well ... 3 years later ......... :)

wow.. that's a load.. but anyways, my ride is not organized. I believe that I will be doing it with 3 friends, none of which have ever completed a century, but we all have bikes and equipment that can get the job done (trust me ;) )

Hipcycler 01-05-06 04:43 PM

Good luck and please post a ride report afterward.....
I'm real curious about this because this is one of my goals for 2006 once our season starts.

I'm not a distance guy at all, so this is going to be very challenging for me. I get bored and sore after a couple of hours. Most I have gone is 52 miles in just over three hours. The thought of how I felt at the end of that then thinking that's only half-way done...YIKES.

But I have to try it.

Good luck to you.
Have a backup contact (ride) all worked out with someone too I'd guess.

WD_40 01-05-06 04:50 PM

Hip, did you ride your 52 miles alone, or with a group? I too get bored when riding by myself, but if I have at least 1 friend to ride with, I can go for ever.

I've done four centuries in the past couple months with a group, and my weekend rides with my team are usually 40-60 miles. Without other riders, I think I would probably get bored too.

cc_rider 01-05-06 04:55 PM


Originally Posted by Machka
.... I've done 97 centuries or longer rides since 1994 (most of those have been completed in the last 4 years)......... :)

Let us know when you hit your 100th. The BF should throw some sort of party for you. :D

Hipcycler 01-05-06 04:56 PM


Originally Posted by WD_40
Hip, did you ride your 52 miles alone, or with a group? I too get bored when riding by myself, but if I have at least 1 friend to ride with, I can go for ever.

I've done four centuries in the past couple months with a group, and my weekend rides with my team are usually 40-60 miles. Without other riders, I think I would probably get bored too.

By myself.
The thing about trying it with others is that I'd be worried that I might crap out on them and let them down. I'm really not sure I can do this, but I will be training toward making an attempt at it some time this summer.

danimal123 01-05-06 04:57 PM

Second the sunscreen recommendation! Put some on before you leave (even if it's only dawn) and take a stick of SPF30 baby sunscreen with you (it's solid....like a big tube of chapstick). Easily available in pharmacies, lightweight and less mess than liquids. This may not apply if the sun's not too brutal in your part of the world, but here in S. Florida, it's necessary.

If it's not organized, do a loop so you'll end up at home. Take a cell phone and let at least one reliable non-riding friend (with a car) know your plans/route/expected finishing time.

If you're relying on convenience stores for fuel, and they don't stock the usual energy bars, etc., grab some fig newtons.

I'm sure there's more info, but that's what I can offer off the top of my head.

Dan

Spinster 01-05-06 05:08 PM

I got into cycling late summer/early fall and am planning on four centuries--all organized events. For those interested, this is a useful site for finding such events.

http://www.bikecenturies.com/

oboeguy 01-05-06 05:11 PM

Definitely eat as advised and keep the pace low enough to use-up fat stores. I cannot stress how important it is get enough calories into your body and to use them wisely. If you prepare well, you'll be fine. My rule of thumb for a century is to do at least two 50+ milers in the couple of weeks before along with daily or almost daily riding.

Edit: One more thing: BodyGlide. Great stuff to keep the saddle sores and general chafing away. I now take a little travel-size one with me on centuries for re-application along the way (usually out of public view, of course! :D).

jameyj 01-05-06 05:13 PM


Originally Posted by Lucky07
Machka offers sound advice. I load up on carbs the night before and try to get plenty of rest in the days before the ride.

I've only done a couple of centuries. They were easier than I thought (I took it easy on myself and kept a comfortable pace most of the way). Tedium sets in around mile 75 and you just have to fight it off.

Read Machka's page at http://www.machka.net/century.htm on riding a century. It is full of good advice.

Sooner Rider 01-05-06 05:21 PM

Hip has a handicap - he has the obligation of several wardrobe changes during events like this. :)

Hipcycler 01-05-06 05:33 PM


Originally Posted by Sooner Rider
Hip has a handicap - he has the obligation of several wardrobe changes during events like this. :)

Hmmm...may need a support vehicle carrying several different kits for me. I mean, IF I manage to pull this major deal off (major for me anyway) I've gotta look good doing it for all the photos that will capture the historic event.

mollusk 01-05-06 05:33 PM

For most folks eating is critical. I can get through a 100 mile ride on a couple of Clif bars or a P&J sandwich, but most people need more. The most important aspect about eating is to know what things your body can tolerate when riding that far. This is a very individualistic thing. What one person loves gives another person stomach cramps, so any advice from us on WHAT to eat isn't worth much. If you know what works for you, you should make sure that you can get enough of it on the ride.

Also, on a first time century ride you shouldn't worry about the time. If you push too hard you might end up as the Mayor of Bonk City. You do not want to do this. Trust me. I was there once. It is better to finish your first one knowing that you could have gone harder. On your second century ride you can push it a little harder because you will be more cognizant of what is involved.

af2nr 01-05-06 05:36 PM


Originally Posted by YATES
wow.. that's a load.. but anyways, my ride is not organized. I believe that I will be doing it with 3 friends, none of which have ever completed a century, but we all have bikes and equipment that can get the job done (trust me ;) )

Where in MS are you doing your ride? I'm always up for a ride, although a metric is the only centrury I've done, so far...

Machka 01-05-06 05:42 PM


Originally Posted by cc_rider
Let us know when you hit your 100th. The BF should throw some sort of party for you. :D


If all goes according to plan ... that should happen in April. :) :)

CastIron 01-05-06 05:49 PM

Hip you planning on doing your first at an organized event nearby?

http://www.ironmanbikeride.org/

Just a thought. :p

FastFreddy 01-05-06 06:01 PM

About eating before and during the ride: stay away from fatty foods or anything else thatís hard to digest. And be sure to drink plenty of water (or sports drink) during the ride Ė even if you think that youíre not sweating that much. You will be losing fluids. Donít wait until you feel thirsty to replace the lost fluids.

YATES 01-05-06 06:12 PM


Originally Posted by af2nr
Where in MS are you doing your ride? I'm always up for a ride, although a metric is the only centrury I've done, so far...

probably going to do the natchez trace, i won't be doin it for a while though.. prob in march or april.. too cold now.


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