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First solo unsupported century

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Road Cycling ďIt 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.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

First solo unsupported century

Old 04-26-10, 09:07 PM
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First solo unsupported century

Had a wild idea on Sunday that I'd do a solo century today. Here are the results:
https://connect.garmin.com/activity/31391006

Got fairly pounded by the winds, which were 7-15 mph. Took a 10-12 minute break at my house at the 60 mile point ... eat PB&J sandwich, fill bottles, etc. After that, it was 20 miles into the headwind. Ick!

Sandwich didn't digest so well, so most of the headwind time I spent wondering if I was gonna vomit from the effort or pass out first and vomit while unconscious .... My philosophy during this part was to just make it up the hills so I could mostly coast down 'em. This 20 miles was by far the hardest part for me, both mentally and physically.

After getting out of the headwind, it was a lot better, but just didn't have much energy in the legs. And had 20 miles left. Had a second wind (of sorts) at the 85-90 mile point, but that didn't last too long. Before then, I had strange mental processes: found myself wanting to get THE bucket to kick, or find a corner in which to lay down and die.

I originally intended to ride 108 miles, but after fighting the wind decided it would be better to keep it right at the 100-mile mark. So I took a different turn, which meant I had to ride around the neighborhood streets several times just to get the last 6-7 miles in. Oh well.

This was actually my first century. I had done a group ride last year, but missed a turn so it ended up 95 miles instead.

Glad it's over. I plan to do more centuries, but don't know if I'll do them unsupported. That's a long ride alone.
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Old 04-26-10, 09:29 PM
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Congrats! I've always wanted to try to do a century by myself. My friend did 200 miles last summer by himself, which is something I could never do.

How long did it take ya?
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Old 04-26-10, 10:19 PM
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oh man, congrats on riding that century.
the most i have done is 50 miles, 12 of those into some strong 20 plus mph headwind, took a lot of juice out of me. I had to stop at that because of cramping. it took me 5 hours, 3 hours 37 minutes of actual moving time.
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Old 04-26-10, 10:25 PM
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Thats awesome... I wouldn't call it bonking out, but when trying my first few hill and not letting myself give up no matter how slow I was (sometimes as low as 6mph!) I got to the top or near..whatever was flat and felt like throwing up and after a few minutes when the feeling didn't go away I to wanted to find a nice shrub to hide the shame on my face as I passed away.... but then some ladies came by and I HTFU and pretended to talk on the phone... felt better and went on my merry way

Congrats on the solo effort!
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Old 04-26-10, 10:26 PM
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Nice job, unsupported is the way to go.
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Old 04-27-10, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by mattm
Nice job, unsupported is the way to go.
+1. For whatever reason, there is much more satisfaction in conquering a new feat by yourself. It's maybe not quite as fun, but much more rewarding.

and yes, miles 70-80 are usually the toughest part. Well done.
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Old 04-27-10, 05:36 AM
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you'll do it again. you will.
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Old 04-27-10, 05:48 AM
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good work.
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Old 04-27-10, 06:07 AM
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Congrats! I remeber my first century a few years back. A woman told me to watch out for mile 80, I hit mile 80 and felt OK, then hit 85 and felt like I just got the flu! I barely made it back to my car.

It gets better with practice. Eating and drinking more sooner helped a lot. I start at mile 25 so my body has something ready to go when I'm at mile 80. Lots of caffinated GU packs for the last 30 miles too. If you do one Century a month through the summer, your biking friends will be impressed and your non-biking friends will want to have you locked up in the funny farm.
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Old 04-27-10, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by pokalex92
Congrats! I've always wanted to try to do a century by myself. My friend did 200 miles last summer by himself, which is something I could never do.

How long did it take ya?
Well, go for it! And never say never. One of my mantras while riding is: "It's not impossible -- just hard."

After a night of rest, I'm now thinking of a few more solo centuries, and wondering about the possibility of a solo 200. Where does the addiction end?

My times were:

Time: 05:37:06
Moving Time: 05:34:11
Elapsed Time: 05:58:39

(In the OP, there is a link to the stats on Garmin Connect.)
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Old 04-27-10, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by quito70
It gets better with practice. Eating and drinking more sooner helped a lot. I start at mile 25 so my body has something ready to go when I'm at mile 80. Lots of caffinated GU packs for the last 30 miles too. If you do one Century a month through the summer, your biking friends will be impressed and your non-biking friends will want to have you locked up in the funny farm.
Every 15-20 minutes, I sipped a little Perpetuem (Hammer Nutrition). Yeah, caffeine woulda been good for the last part. Will do that next time.

One a month, huh? Hmm, we'll see. Look me up at the funny farm, K?
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Old 04-27-10, 07:41 AM
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Next time schedule your stops sooner and more frequent even if they are just 5 min and you feel you could have gone longer without stopping. It will make your life so much easier. After a few of those you can space out the breaks, and it won't feel so bad.
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Old 04-27-10, 07:54 AM
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nice work. i would love to have just a 7 to 15 mph wind forecast. later.
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Old 04-27-10, 07:59 AM
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Nice job. Mile 80 to 100 is always really physically and mentally tough for me too, no matter how many times I do it.
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Old 04-27-10, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by MrTuner1970
I spent wondering if I was gonna vomit from the effort or pass out first and vomit while unconscious ....
See, the key to doing these long rides is having a distraction!

Last edited by njkayaker; 04-27-10 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 04-27-10, 09:12 AM
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That's cool. I've been wanting to do this: 107mi from my parents home in Franklin, TN to my home in Madison, AL. But I bonked recently on a 56mi ride and lost my confidence. Of what distance are your "usual" rides?
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Old 04-27-10, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by MrTuner1970
Well, go for it! And never say never. One of my mantras while riding is: "It's not impossible -- just hard."

After a night of rest, I'm now thinking of a few more solo centuries, and wondering about the possibility of a solo 200. Where does the addiction end?

My times were:

Time: 05:37:06
Moving Time: 05:34:11
Elapsed Time: 05:58:39

(In the OP, there is a link to the stats on Garmin Connect.)

Joing a "century a month challenge " in one of the long distance forums. I joined back in 05 with a goal of 1 century every month, ended up with 23 centuries for the year.

20 of them were solo, and 3 were with other riders. I enjoy doing the rides on my own. Even on an organized ride like Palm SPrings where there are 10,000 riders, I do them alone rather than sitting on a wheel for 100 miles.

My times were 5:45 -6:00 so your 5:37 is excellent for a first solo century!
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Old 04-27-10, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz
Joing a "century a month challenge " in one of the long distance forums. I joined back in 05 with a goal of 1 century every month, ended up with 23 centuries for the year.

!
You have a good point. I guess that is a long distance Forum thing. I split my training between long distance rides and rides with lower CAT racers going for speed. This could explain why I do neither very well!
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Old 04-27-10, 01:36 PM
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Thanks everyone for the tips, encouragement, and internet back slaps. And for the gentle reminder that 7-15 mph winds aren't that bad.

My "usual" rides are between 30-46 miles, with an occasional 50+ ride (or longer on some group rides when I get to do those). Sometimes I'll only have time for a 20-miler. When I do the 20, I usually do a hill that is right by my house. It's 1/3 mile long ... up to 11% grade at the halfway mark, then 11-15% to the top. I have typically not liked hills, so what better way to get better than to do a tough one? One day I did it twice in a row (basically a 1.5 mile loop back to the start of the hill). I need to start doing this hill after each ride. It makes a big difference, both in ability and attitude. In fact, on yesterday's ride, the hills looked about half as steep as usual even though I got really tired. Go figure.

I'm doing one ride a week of hard intervals, which has improved overall speed and stamina. And I'll do an easier spinning ride after that, then a couple rides of moderately hard effort. When possible, I ride 4-5 times a week (no Sundays). I would enjoy riding 6 days a week. But single-parent life and work sort of make that not practical. So I take what I can get.
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Old 04-27-10, 01:44 PM
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And I meant to say earlier that I did this ride on my Lynskey R330 (with Hutchinson road tubeless tires). Dang, that bike is such a comfortable ride. Can't say enough good about it. My back was a little sore afterwards, but it's fine today. I'm guessing if I did longer rides more often it would be more used to that. Being nearly 40 probably doesn't help matters either.
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Old 04-27-10, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by MrTuner1970
. Being nearly 40 probably doesn't help matters either.
You're a Kid!
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Old 04-27-10, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm
Nice job, unsupported is the way to go.
+1

Unsupported and solo. That's how I roll.
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