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100th century!!! 200K randonnee ride report ...

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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

100th century!!! 200K randonnee ride report ...

Old 04-29-06, 11:08 PM
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100th century!!! 200K randonnee ride report ...

I left the house at 5:34 am, and it was a good thing I did because it took me a good two hours to get to the start. However, I still had time for toast and jam from the local A&W (my only other option was McDonalds), and to get Machak set up for the ride.

9 of us started the ride (a near-record number for the Alberta Randonneurs) and I didn't recognize three of them, so perhaps they were new!

I liked the way this course was set up. It's approx. a rectangle, but has out-and-back legs coming out at different places. There are two advantages to a set-up like this: 1) If it is windy, the riders are going all different directions all day, so there's a chance they won't be into the wind for any great length of time; 2) Riders get to see each other along the way. If they are not riding together, they might pass each other going the opposite direction several times on these out-and-back legs.

Bill and I took off together at the stroke of 8:01 am, and left the rest to finish getting ready. We knew they'd catch us, and sure enough, very shortly, they did and left us in the dust. I saw them one more time briefly, but that was it. Bill also took off and gradually increased his lead, until at one point, near the end, he was about 40 kms ahead of me. Meanwhile, Dave from Medicine Hat had departed later than all the rest, and as I was leaving the first control, I discovered that he was behind me. About 1.5 hours later, he caught up to me, and we rode the rest of the way to Okotoks (just over half way) together. We lost each other in Okotoks, but I saw him several times on the out-and-backs after that. It was really nice not to feel like the only one out there!

The first 21 kms out to Pridis (the first control) was really tough for some reason. We were climbing a bit, and we were into a headwind, but I didn't think it should have been that tough. I was wearing my HRM, and my heart rate sat in the 170s the entire time. I felt horrible ... and I arrived at the control with 20 minutes to spare. The scenery, however, was wonderful!! We were heading right for the mountains which were large and snow-covered on the horizon.

The next 51 kms to Longview (the second control) went faster ... I had 1.5 hours to spare by the time I got there, but again my heart rate was in the high 160s when I was "cruising" and shot up to the mid-180s when I was climbing. I wasn't eating enough along this stretch and felt quite nauseated when I arrived in Longview. Nevertheless the scenery continued to be beautiful ... we were riding beside the mountains which showed themselves on the horizon, and then ducked behind hills to hide, and then peaked over the hills, and then showed themselves in all their beauty between the hills. I love the mountains!! I also saw a coyote cross the road in this section.

It really started to warm up through here, and I began shedding layers. You’ve no idea how wonderful it feels to ride in temperatures that are significantly above freezing after doing almost all your long rides over the past 6 months in sub-freezing temps!!

The next 39 kms to Okotoks wasn't much better for me! Dave told me that there would be one hill on this section ... the one out of Longview ... and then it would be flat. I've said it before .... one person's "flat" is another person's "mountain range". I was thinking about that, and laughing to myself, as I climbed roller, after roller, and then a 7 km climb! This area reminded me very much of the Last Chance ... the scenery and the terrain. We came across a large herd of deer, one of whom ran along beside us for a while, and then ... like it had springs in its feet ... it leaped over the fence in a single bound to join the rest of the herd.

The last 7 kms into Okotoks was uphill and into a wind, and I was in the early stages of a bonk by the time I rolled into town. However, a half-hour break and some lunch, and I felt much better. When I left Okotoks, my heart rate was comfortably resting in the low 150s, with occasional spikes into the high 160s when I was climbing. That was much, much better ... I finally felt relaxed! I don't know if it takes me 100 kms to warm-up or what ... I'll have to wear the monitor on a ride again.

Up to this point of the ride, the wind had been coming mainly from the west and west-north-west. After Okotoks, the route headed east then south, and then from that point on, there was 60 kms mainly north to the finish. I was dreading that part because I figured I would be fighting a bit of a headwind to the end. I did the east and south bit, with a tailwind, but as I was pulling into High River, the wind seemed to calm down, and become shifty and variable. When I left High River, the wind was west-south-west .... and I basically had a tailwind all the way in!! There were many parts of the route where I was sailing comfortably at 30 km/h, and coming in at the end, I kicked it up to between 32 and 35 km/h!

I really enjoyed the ride after Okotoks … the route took us various places with many views of the mountains, and lovely view of Calgary. In places, the leaves have started to come out, so there was some green, instead of the usual brown. In addition to that, I miscalculated the distances … I thought I had an additional 10 km to ride. At 24 kms to go I thought I still had 34 kms to go, and it took a little while before I realized my mistake … and realized I was almost done!! It sort of left me with a feeling like I was missing something when I finished the ride.

But I wasn’t! And I had finished the ride in 10 hours and 10 minutes!! Much, much better than I thought I was going to do when I started the ride, and about an hour less than any of my 200Ks last year!!



And that was my 100th century (or longer ride)!!
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Old 04-30-06, 05:49 AM
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Congrats Machka!

I've only done 5 centuries, I can't imagine doing 100!
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Old 04-30-06, 07:17 AM
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Sooo..you ARE getting faster!
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Old 04-30-06, 07:26 AM
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Interval work paid off, eh?
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Old 04-30-06, 07:40 AM
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Great ride report! Too bad you didn't have any pictures, it sounded very scenic. Congrats on your 100th Century. An amazing accomplishment!
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Old 04-30-06, 07:55 AM
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Great report. Must be beautiful country. How long did it take to reach this feat of endurance? What can one say about the acomplishment...WOW. Congrats!!
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Old 04-30-06, 08:38 AM
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Congrats Machka! Enjoyed reading every word of your report!

I've done scores of centuries, just that it is a lot harder now, to get away from family over the weekend for six hours, to go riding! Almost to the point where I have no idea when my next century will be. So some of us have to live thru the accomplishments of others. Felt your pain thru the entire report/ride

Thanks again for a well written report.
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Old 04-30-06, 10:42 AM
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Congratulations Machka, Here's to the next 100. Cheers!

The wind was wierd/swirling yesterday. It felt like I was riding into the wind my entire ride.

T.J.
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Old 04-30-06, 12:59 PM
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Fantastic! A great read plus an amazing accomplishment! Congratulations!

In two weeks, I'm doing my 3rd Century ever. I can see I'll be very old before I catch up to you!


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Old 04-30-06, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by big john
Sooo..you ARE getting faster!

Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
Interval work paid off, eh?

Something paid off! The thing was, after being so slow on the first 21 kms to the first control, I got it in my head that I was slower than I'd ever been before ... after all that hard work this winter. It wasn't until I hit the 100K point in 5 hours (after struggling through several sections - uphill, against the wind, etc.) that I began to think that perhaps I wasn't slower after all.

This 200K was about the pace at which I did my 200Ks in 2003 ... a year when I felt like I was in pretty good shape. But this 200K was tougher than the 2003 200Ks because this one had a lot more climbing.
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Old 04-30-06, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by nesdog
In two weeks, I'm doing my 3rd Century ever. I can see I'll be very old before I catch up to you!

Originally Posted by Hammertoe
Great report. Must be beautiful country. How long did it take to reach this feat of endurance? What can one say about the acomplishment...WOW. Congrats!!

I did my first century in 1994, and I vowed I'd never do another ride that long again. I didn't do any more centuries till 1997, when I decided I'd give it another try.

Here's the break-down of the 100

1994 - 1
1997 - 2
1998 - 3
1999 - 4
2000 - 4
2001 - 8
2002 - 9
2003 - 26
2004 - 18
2005 - 21
2006 - 4, so far
---------------
Total - 100!
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Old 04-30-06, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
I did my first century in 1994, and I vowed I'd never do another ride that long again. I didn't do any more centuries till 1997, when I decided I'd give it another try.
You can double your mileage by moving down here to a warmer climate. Our Brevet season started in Jan. So far I've completed one complete series and have started on a second.
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Old 04-30-06, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by TomM
You can double your mileage by moving down here to a warmer climate. Our Brevet season started in Jan. So far I've completed one complete series and have started on a second.

I'm not sure my body could take 22,000+ kms a year!!!
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Old 04-30-06, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by reneuend
Great ride report! Too bad you didn't have any pictures, it sounded very scenic. Congrats on your 100th Century. An amazing accomplishment!

I took several photos, but I'm still on old technology (disposable camera) so I have to wait to have them developed.

However, I found a number of the area on tourist info sites, etc., and have included them on my website story:

https://www.machka.net/2006/2006_200_Okotoks.htm


BTW - I forgot to mention in my account that I completed this 100th one on the 16th anniversary of the date I started cycling "seriously". On April 29, 1990 I struggled and fought my way through a 2 mile ride ... and then decided that I had to ride more to get into shape again.
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Old 04-30-06, 08:24 PM
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Wow! What a beautiful ride! I just saw the photos on your website. Do you have your own ride pics to upload?
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Old 04-30-06, 08:44 PM
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Congratulations on 100 Centuries!!! WOW! Always enjoy your ride reports!!!
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Old 04-30-06, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by reneuend
Wow! What a beautiful ride! I just saw the photos on your website. Do you have your own ride pics to upload?

I have some of my own photos, but they are entrapped in my camera and I have to wait to have them developed. I'm not in the digital age yet.
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Old 04-30-06, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Stealthman_1
Congratulations on 100 Centuries!!! WOW! Always enjoy your ride reports!!!
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Old 04-30-06, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
I did my first century in 1994, and I vowed I'd never do another ride that long again. I didn't do any more centuries till 1997, when I decided I'd give it another try.

Here's the break-down of the 100

1994 - 1
1997 - 2
1998 - 3
1999 - 4
2000 - 4
2001 - 8
2002 - 9
2003 - 26
2004 - 18
2005 - 21
2006 - 4, so far
---------------
Total - 100!
That is awesome! 26! That's better than two a month! Someday, maybe......
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Old 04-30-06, 11:31 PM
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You are an inspiration to all of us!

Keep up the riding and reports so that we may all live vicariously through you!
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Old 05-01-06, 05:55 AM
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100! Wow...

Congrats and thanks for sharing the ride with us and letting us enjoy it vicariously.

Az
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Old 05-01-06, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Polonswim
That is awesome! 26! That's better than two a month! Someday, maybe......

In 2003, when I did the 26 100+ mile rides, I did one per month in Jan, Feb, Mar, and Dec ... so I was doing 3 and 4 per month during the season ... and I did 5 in June.
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Old 05-01-06, 02:16 PM
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Congratulations Machka - only 900 to go. I only have 98 to go to catch up to you, but it will be over 100 before the year's over.
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Old 05-01-06, 04:42 PM
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Incredible.
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Old 05-01-06, 05:01 PM
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Congrats Machka

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