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Century Horror Stories

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

Century Horror Stories

Old 08-10-09, 05:21 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by mazdaspeed View Post
If there is a lot of climbing on your first century I'd suggest looking at your chainrings and making sure there are three of them.
eww
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Old 08-10-09, 06:52 PM
  #27  
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..or a compact double if the lame ewws concern you.
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Old 08-10-09, 07:01 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by logdrum View Post
When I lived in Vermont -- This one it is 132 miles though. We usually do the 4 gap only for a century but Lincoln Gap is really tough. I believe it is the highest mountain in Vermont although for some reason I am thinking Killington. The first time I did it, I puked and had leg cramps. But I persevered and was rewarded at the end.
I did Middlebury gap last summer while touring cross country. Stiff bugger with a fully loaded touring bike. Saving grace was that it was kinda short. Pretty views all around in October.
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Old 08-10-09, 07:14 PM
  #29  
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My first century was with some hammerheads that had many more years of riding in their legs. I cramped at mile 90, got dropped and finished alone.

Then I had a streak of 3 centuries and 3 broken spokes (2 different wheelsets). Still finished each ride... but I now build my own wheels. My prize wheelset has lasted 4 doubles, the Death Ride, and a couple races with no broken spokes (so far, at least).
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Old 08-10-09, 07:23 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by kyakdiver View Post
I did Middlebury gap last summer while touring cross country. Stiff bugger with a fully loaded touring bike. Saving grace was that it was kinda short. Pretty views all around in October.
Middlebury gap is probably smaller than it was pre-2006. I threw up all over it on my BMB attempt in August 2006 ... and I'm talking every few steps. I was off and walking because you can't cycle and throw up very easily, I discovered nearer the bottom of the climb. I had a nasty case of food poisoning from the chicken-rice they fed us at one of the controls ... and all the acids and bacterias from what I hurled everywhere probably wore the gap away!!
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Old 08-10-09, 07:25 PM
  #31  
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The first century I did, I bonked at mile 60. I didn't bring enough food/water/gatorade and bonked like you wouldn't believe. I would have taken either a .45 or a 20oz. steak. But I finished it. It almost killed me, but I finished that darn century.
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Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post

What's frightening is how coherent Hickey was in posting that.
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Old 08-10-09, 07:41 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
My first century was completely uneventful. I have not had any epic failures unless you count the century where I developed fit issues that resulted in terrible knee pain.
There was a 165 mile ride I did with road rash down my left leg last month.
Was this RAIN by any chance?
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Old 08-10-09, 07:48 PM
  #33  
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My first was Stagecoach Century, January 2007, starting temperature was 28 degrees F and stayed like that until noon. A friend I was riding with suffered hypothermia and had to be evacuated from the 25 mile rest stop back to the starting line where she sat in the car with the heater on. I rode back without finishing, so I only rode 50 miles.

A month later I rode the Palm Springs century which was the first I completed.
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Old 08-10-09, 07:50 PM
  #34  
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I don't know about horror stories, but the smoothest centuries I've done were the self-supported ones (no joke). The food was better too.
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Old 08-10-09, 08:13 PM
  #35  
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I have yet to do a century... and I have a feeling if I did attempt one this year... it'd be an epic failure lol...
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Old 08-10-09, 08:18 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
..or a compact double if the lame ewws concern you.
That's what I ride .

Lighten up would ya? Just a little bit of healthy bf antagonism.

I wish I had that picture that botto always posts of the hook, line and sinker to show you as well .
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Old 08-10-09, 08:22 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by undisputed83 View Post
I have yet to do a century... and I have a feeling if I did attempt one this year... it'd be an epic failure lol...
Why do you think that?
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Old 08-10-09, 08:26 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Why do you think that?
Well I've only been biking for about a month now, and the most I've done so far (which I do twice a week) is a 26 mile route. And I've gone from averaging 15.8mph to 17.4mph, which could have been higher had it not been for a head wind for a third of the ride... And living in maine... I've only got two and a half months left before hunting season (I've been shot at on my bike), and don't think I'll be prepared by then to do a century without seriously regretting it 60 miles in... On top of the fact my lower back bothers me on just the 26 mile ride a little bit... I'm hoping that'll just go away. Next year I hope to do atlaets a half dozen century rides...
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Old 08-10-09, 08:28 PM
  #39  
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Bonked at mile 95 on the third day of 6 centuries in a row in Big Sur, San Francisco to San Diego, the last mile and a half or so was an 18% grade and just broke me off.
EAT A LOT
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Old 08-10-09, 08:36 PM
  #40  
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My first century started with a flat road with a tailwind. We flew into the first rest stop at around 24 miles at a 22mph pace. That was way over my abilities and ended up paying for it. Group dropped me on a set of rolling hills and I made it to the 50 mile rest stop having picked up a couple of stragglers. Didn't have enough food, felt like crap. They left me at the rest stop and I did the last 50 by myself with a cue sheet falling apart from sweat.

Made it back okay but very sore and tired.

I've done several centuries since that one three years ago and still finish sore and beat up and having not enjoyed the last 20 miles or so. I keep thinking if I were smart I'd do the metric and be up for riding the next day but when the fork in the road appears I always go the road less traveled.
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Old 08-10-09, 08:36 PM
  #41  
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Saw a guy walking back to the start in the Headwaters Century (Washinton state) last year from around the 3 or 4 mile mark. He had his head down concentrating on his speedo, while riding alone when he plowed into the "shoulder ends" sign which funnily enough was at the end of the shoulder.

His hand and face were pretty torn up, I lent him a couple paper shop towels I keep to clean my shades and offered to call the sag wagon, but he wanted to keep walking.

I kept my head up, didn't worry about my speed and finished my first century fine.

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Old 08-10-09, 08:37 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
Eastern Sierra Double this year. 7700' altitude at the top of a 14-mile 4000' climb at 8am. 35f, rain, sleet, and the ensuing 15 mile 4400' descent averaging 35ish mph.

I was so cold at the bottom that I spent a minute trying to screw the cap to my water bottle back on to some plastic water jug. I had no idea what was going on...
Yea after we abandoned we are in the car on the way home, when we reach the entrance to the Eisenhower tunnel, west bound, the temp outside is 43 degrees. That is at the bottom of loveland pass. For those on bikes at the top, 11990 ft I think it is, would have been a cold cold ride. Sorry I missed it(not)
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Old 08-10-09, 08:39 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by undisputed83 View Post
Well I've only been biking for about a month now, and the most I've done so far (which I do twice a week) is a 26 mile route. And I've gone from averaging 15.8mph to 17.4mph, which could have been higher had it not been for a head wind for a third of the ride... And living in maine... I've only got two and a half months left before hunting season (I've been shot at on my bike), and don't think I'll be prepared by then to do a century without seriously regretting it 60 miles in... On top of the fact my lower back bothers me on just the 26 mile ride a little bit... I'm hoping that'll just go away. Next year I hope to do atlaets a half dozen century rides...
OK, first ... speed has nothing to do with completing a century. It doesn't matter in the least how fast you ride one.

Second, you might want to check the fit of your bicycle if you're having back pain. Also work on your core strength. Good core strength goes a long way to being comfortable on the bicycle for long periods of time.

And third ... my first century was a series of loops starting and ending at my home. At no point was I further than maybe about 15-20 miles from home. If you're concerned about your safety, you could do a local century ... 4 of you 26 mile loops would do it. (BTW - if you don't already, you might consider wearing one of those orange safety vests out there)
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Old 08-10-09, 08:42 PM
  #44  
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I cracked my rear hub where one of spokes attach on the drive side. it put the tire out of true and it was impossible to change gears and the whole thing slipped every few pedal strokes. this was 20 miles into a century in the Ventura area (home to many centuries). I toughed it out and in the end it was good experience.
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Old 08-10-09, 08:44 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
That's what I ride .

Lighten up would ya? Just a little bit of healthy bf antagonism.

I wish I had that picture that botto always posts of the hook, line and sinker to show you as well .
lol
Yous a smurt one.
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Old 08-10-09, 09:00 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
OK, first ... speed has nothing to do with completing a century. It doesn't matter in the least how fast you ride one.

Second, you might want to check the fit of your bicycle if you're having back pain. Also work on your core strength. Good core strength goes a long way to being comfortable on the bicycle for long periods of time.

And third ... my first century was a series of loops starting and ending at my home. At no point was I further than maybe about 15-20 miles from home. If you're concerned about your safety, you could do a local century ... 4 of you 26 mile loops would do it. (BTW - if you don't already, you might consider wearing one of those orange safety vests out there)

My back has always bothered me in sports. It stems from a car accident I was in when I was younger. I'm 5'9 and ride a 54cm frame. So I doubt it's the bike. I think I just kind of need to clear out the cobb webs and ride as much as I can. I forgot to mention up above that on my other two days off I do nothing but climbs, which consist of three monster hills... which I climb three times each. ANd I've noticed on my 26 mile rides the power I've gained from those climbs. I'd like to do a century ride, but I'm just going to focus more on building my base.
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Old 08-11-09, 01:04 AM
  #47  
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Metric or imperial?



Someone had to do that.

In all earnest, all of the long distance rides I've been on went smoothly. Probably because I haven't done that many, I prepared well, had plenty of company, and I made sure to eat and drink enough. Stopping to rest from time to time also helped.
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Old 08-11-09, 07:01 AM
  #48  
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My first century (solo), i started out into about a 20mph head wind. I was thinking, its all good though, b/c once I get half way in it'll be a tailwind all the way back. Well, I get to my rest stop at mile 52 and take a break and notice the winds been letting up some. Great, the first 25 miles on the way back have almost no wind, then a roaring cold front comes blowing in and greets me with a 20-25mph headwind with much stronger gusts for the last 25 miles home. The temperature also dropped from close to 80 down into the upper 40s by the time I was finished. I was freezing my butt off in shorts and short sleeved jersey and could barely bike I was so cold and tired by the time I rolled back up to my house.

Moral of the story, never trust that weatherman who says the front won't be in till early evening...it'll blow in at 11 if you're doing a century.
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Old 08-11-09, 07:32 AM
  #49  
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My first and only had not one but two good falls. Twisted handle bars, sore hips, bruises, possible concussion. It was an MS ride where the main part is 85 and if you want to do 100 you do the 85 and then what they called a power loop. When I got done with the 85 I was abit dizzy and worried about my head so I stopped there.
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Old 08-11-09, 08:26 AM
  #50  
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One word: Hail.


(The weather condition, not the salutation or a mispronounced cussword.)
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