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 concerns...

Old 08-16-04, 12:13 PM
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Century concerns...

I'm training for my first century...Hotter then Hell Hundred on August 28th. I'm nervous and excited all at the same time. I had hoped to be a bit lighter going into it, but that's not my biggest concern. I am concerned about making Hell's Gate, which is a little more then 60 miles in. The ride starts at 7, and I have to make it by 12:30, which is 5.5 hours. I've done a 100K in a little less than 5 hours, but there is going to be more than 7,000 riders at this ride. Considering how long it will take to clear everyone across the start line, and then rest stops (ya got to pee) I don't know what my actual riding time will be. I am trying my best to stay focused, but less then 100 miles is not acceptable. And if I don't make Hell's Gate, they won't let you finish the ride. Any encouragement and especially suggestions would be most welcome!
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Old 08-16-04, 12:21 PM
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I wouldn't worry about the large number of people and taking time to clear out. In fact, because you'll be drafting like never before, I bet you make amazing time.

I'm shocked that they have a time limit like that. Imagine if 5% (350 people!) didn't make that time limit. What then? Are they going to shuttle all those people and bikes back home?

Stay hydrated, stay fueled, keep your electrolytes up and have a kick ass time! I love these events and if it wasn't so far from Denver, i'd so be there.
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Old 08-16-04, 12:51 PM
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Thanks for the encouragement...actually they make you take a different loop if you don't make Hell's Gate in time. You end up riding 80 instead of 100 miles. Well... F*** that...I didn't sign on to ride 80 miles, I'm in this for the long haul! All I can say is if I get there and they deny me the century, they will have one un-happy camper on their hands. If I have to crawl accross the finish line with my bike on my back, so help me I'm gonna finish!
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Old 08-16-04, 01:12 PM
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how has your training been leading up to the century? how many miles are you getting in a week? are you taking in the right kinds of food/fuel? i'd say don't worry too much about the ride and just concentrate on having fun and staying healthy and staying well hydrated! pace yourself and keep up a good candence.. and most definitely stay positive! it's not "i think i can... i think i can..." but should be more like "i know i can... i know i can!!!" i'm also anticipating my first century but it isn't until october (LAF Ride for Roses) so i know exactly what you're going through because if i don't make the first 30mi checkpoint in 2 hours or less i'll get diverted to the 70mi loop.. F*!% THAT! i'm in it for 100mi!!!

good luck to you!!
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Old 08-16-04, 01:27 PM
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The food is definately an issue, because I don't have the best eating habits. The greatest distance I've ridden so far has been a 100K. I ride about 75 miles a week outdoors, then I cycle indoors (spinning class) 3 x a week. Most of my miles I get in on the weekends, although one or two times week I am able to cycle 20 or so miles outdoors. I also swim a mile twice a week and I have a resistance training program as well. I feel as though I have trained well, but as I mentioned before, I don't think I am eating well. A throw back to my heavier days I suppose. Food will always be an issue for me. Good luck on your Century as well...I know another gal who is riding LAF Ride for Roses. Awesome!!
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Old 08-16-04, 03:14 PM
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7000 riders. That's huge! If you figure that each bike rider takes 4 ft of space (lots of drafting here) that's over 5 miles of cyclists (single file)!

I've found that hanging out at the end of the pack makes things easier because the speed demons and most other people have already been to the pit stops and left. The lines for the "facilities" is short or non-existant. Same goes for food and water/Gatorade. This isn't a race, so who cares if I'm in the last 15%. I didn't stand in line. : )

A 15 mph pace gets you there in time and allows you 1.5 hours for pit stops. If you have a pit every 15-20 miles, that should give you enough time to take care of everything.

The best thing you can do for yourself is start drinking the day before. If you start trying to hydrate the day of, you're too late. Drink a lot the day before!
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Old 08-16-04, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by cycleprincess
Well... F*** that...I!
I'm shocked to hear a princess talk like that!

If the longest you've ridden is 100k then I think that's your biggest hurdle. Are you talking 100k multiple times over the last 5 months or just one time? If it's just once, then you ain't ready for 100 miles in spite of all the other cross training you do. If it's multiple times within the last few months then no problema.

There are complicated variables to learn for a century. How much to eat, when to eat, what to eat. The same for fluids and the same for pace and exersion.

60 miles is usually the breaking point for most folks. Within 60 miles you can fudge all of the above and still come out looking very good. After the 60 mile mark, all of the variables I mentioned will come to pay dividends for a strong finish or you'll be in deficit and suffer the consequences of riding the sag wagon (sad wagon) back and or bonking.

The only way to nail those variables is to practice longer rides. 60 miles is the bare minimum. 75-80 miles is a very good distance to get your feet wet 2-3 times before your first century.

But don't listen to me, experience is the best teacher. Hotter Than Hell? Whew, sounds like fun.
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Old 08-16-04, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by telenick
If the longest you've ridden is 100k then I think that's your biggest hurdle. Are you talking 100k multiple times over the last 5 months or just one time? If it's just once, then you ain't ready for 100 miles in spite of all the other cross training you do.
I won't disagree with Nick since he is correct, but I only rode 50 miles a handful of times before I did my first 100 (3 months ago). It was quite the experience, but I was quite satisfied with my 7:15 saddle time. So, I say you go out there and kick names and take some ass.
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Old 08-16-04, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by LordOpie
I only rode 50 miles a handful of times before I did my first 100
Me too. My first was an offroad ride for 120 miles years ago (White Rim Trail, Canyonlands, UT.) I suffered for the last 20 miles and hated my hard tail for months after that. A few years later, I did the same stunt riding the Triple Bypass road century after I got my first road bike in '89. I was unprepared for both. I finished, but not with good form.

Like I said, experience is the best teacher.
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Old 08-16-04, 04:39 PM
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just do it. you'll make the time, you'll crush the 100 miles, you'll suffer, and afterwards, you'll think: i've done a century. i can do it again any time.

sd
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Old 08-16-04, 05:25 PM
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G'day Princess,

a couple of words, Eat, Drink & Draft!.......you already know the importance of eating & drinking. Eat constantly, (a little often) & drink before you are thirsty. Try to eat, then wash it down...get into the habit. With 7000 riders, if you draft I reckon you'll get 50km before you actually have to pedal!....don't underestimate the 'assistance' you will get from drafting....find a wheel going a little quicker than your pace...& follow it, (even better if it has a nice bum perched on the seat....remember the 'donkey & the carrot on a stick'?)....be conservative early with your efforts...you'll make it....don't forget the sunscreen...hope to hear of your success!,

cheers,

Hitchy
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Old 08-16-04, 06:07 PM
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7000 riders. That's huge! If you figure that each bike rider takes 4 ft of space (lots of drafting here) that's over 5 miles of cyclists (single file)!
Hey Pal, you should come to Montreal for the bike fest.
35000 cyclists at the start.

(http://www.landrys.com/Pages/Stories/story14.html)



try to draft that..........
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Old 08-16-04, 09:37 PM
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Hi:

I started riding the HHH in 1983 -- and every year since 1999.

They line up riders in groups starting with the 100 mile group, followed by the 100K, etc.

If you are in the 100 mile group, it shouldn't take that long to get started. Even after your group
starts, its still pretty slow until you get across a small bridge. After that, the pack starts breaking
up some. If you take it slow until the pack starts breaking up, you don't have to worry about
having an accident while getting started. If can you stay to the left side of the lane, you will have more room.

It will be relatively cool until about noon -- that's when it starts to really get hot. There are no
really big hills, only a continuous hot wind. Try to get as far as you can before it starts really getting
hot (100+). The less time you spend baking in the afternoon, the better your chances are.

Hydration will be your biggest challenge -- a CamelBak is your best bet. The dry hot wind will cause you
to dehydrate very quickly. I ride with a CamelBak, a large water bottle with Gatorade and a second
water bottle with plain water.

The HHH is one of the best organized rides I've seen -- they entire town gets involved. It also one of
the most difficult ones due to the heat. Even if you only complete 80 miles or even 100K, it would be
a MAJOR accomplishment.

Be sure to go to the trade show at the MPEC (where you register). Almost every bike shop in around will
have a booth there.

Clint
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Old 08-16-04, 09:58 PM
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I would second bikepro. Camelbak for Tx conditions. I find that filling one about
half full and laying it horizontally in the freezer produces a big enough chunk of
ice that when the reservoir is topped off the whole thing stays cool for 3-4hours.
In hot, humid Alabama I find that fluid consumption (water / gatorade about equally)
in the amount of 1.5-2oz/mile keeps me adequately hydrated. But I would not
personally ride a century above 92-94F, and if I did I would up that to 2.5oz/mile.
To do this tank up before departure with 20-24oz fluid and keep sipping. Port a potty lines can be
a hang up so keep a sharp eye out for their lengths and if necessary eat and drink
while waiting for a slot. Food gets really important above 40-50mi on a century
and a deadly sign is loss of appetite at 70-80miles, it means you are close to bonk
and or dehydrated as well. Eat at every opportunity after the 30mile point and drink
a lot. You should be hydrated enough to have to urinate 2-3x in 100mi. I find that
my fastest rides are in centuries because of the group effect: drafting can increase
your average speed 2-3mph. Steve
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Old 08-16-04, 10:22 PM
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WOW!! Thanks for all your help...keep the tips coming! I have a Camelback, and I take it on all my rides over 25 miles. I have only ridden one 100 K, but I have ridden several 50 mile rides. Baptisim by FIRE!! And water, and gatorade!! I worry about nutrition though, because I know I don't eat enough on the road. I do use the e-fuel gels, I wonder if that's enough nutrution?? Let me know what yal'll think. I am very excited, and I will for sure let you guys and gals know how I fare.

PS...sorry about the language...I am quite passionate about this!!
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Old 08-17-04, 07:59 PM
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Hi again:

When you are training for a century, you should try to find out what type of food works for you. You should eat the same thing you ate on your training rides. That's all part of your preparation for the
ride.
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Old 08-17-04, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by cycleprincess
I worry about nutrition though, because I know I don't eat enough on the road. I do use the e-fuel gels, I wonder if that's enough nutrution?? Let me know what yal'll think. I am very excited, and I will for sure let you guys and gals know how I fare.
cool down on the gatorade. drink more water less gator. for food, eat little sandwiches with PB&J (pros do this) or ham and cheez (prosciutto/swiss). a banana is good too, and so are fig newtons. break your food rationing into hours. for example, banana after the first hour, fig newts during the 2nd, and then a sandwich after the 2nd hr and every hr after that.

sd
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Old 08-17-04, 08:24 PM
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Draft, drink, eat . . . pace yourself!
When temps go up, wear a wet bandana around neck to keep core cooler. Pour water on yourself if need be. Don't be a 'hero' and lead a pack; if drafting in a good pace line, do 100 pedal strokes on the front and fall back (don't wait for someone to come up and take over for you . . . they won't!). Keep your breaks to a minimum: stand in line for P-time? Eat and drink at the same time. Can't P? You better start drinking more!
Pace yourself! Don't hammer full tilt in the first 50 miles; change hand positions on bar frequently. Have fun, socialize, time will pass real fast!
Have ridden over 100 centuries and half dozen double centuries since 1975. You CAN do it too!
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Old 08-17-04, 08:44 PM
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I don't think that you will have any trouble making the 60 mile cutoff. You may be in for a suffer-fest after that though, because it will be something you haven't done before.

Here is what I recommend. You don't really want to lose weight (more than couple pounds) this late in the game. But try to eat healthy. When I am doing a century, I eat pasta for the last three nights before the ride. That will load you up with carbs. Eat a good, but fairly bland breakfast the day of the ride. I usually eat some pasta, fruit and cereal.

I use a CamelBak and put in one 16oz bottle of Gatorade and the rest water. If it is hot, I carry a water bottle full of straight Gatorade also. EAT AT THE REST STOPS. Even if you are not hungry, eat a bananna. Banannas also help prevent leg cramps. If you don't eat, you will bonk and ruin your day. Keep the rest stops short, 10-15 minutes. YOu do not want to start cooling down. Since you have been using gel packs, do that on the road. Drink pleanty.
So, that is my non-expert food advise. But, it is what works for me.

Like has been mentioned before, drafting will dramatically increase your speed, and reduce your energy output at the same time. Good luck. You'll do fine
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Old 08-19-04, 10:24 PM
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I really appreciate yall's input. I am really pumped about this. I'll post my success story post-ride!
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