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Solo Century - what gear and how to pack?

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Solo Century - what gear and how to pack?

Old 04-06-11, 08:10 PM
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bikerjp
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Solo Century - what gear and how to pack?

I'm planning my first century in June and like all my rides will be solo (Vail, Co to Loveland pass summit and back). Here is the Google map estimate.

I'm estimating 7ish hours round trip but could be longer. In any case, I'll probably go through 8 bottle of water or more and 3000 calories of food. There are towns and gas stations where I could fill up the water, but I don't think trying to shop for food left and right is a good plan and how many powerbars can one eat in a day. With the requisite spare tubes, tools, jacket, etc. I don't see how I'm going to carry everything without turning the bike into a touring bike which is not what I want to do.

How do you manage a "lightweight" century?
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Old 04-06-11, 08:25 PM
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I can't be of any help but I'm planning a solo century as well.

I plan to keep my tools and tubes in a saddle bag (which I don't usually use). This should leave plenty of room in the jersey pockets for food. I plan to stop once for a major re-fuel.
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Old 04-06-11, 08:27 PM
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I use a Camelbak pack that is big enough for 1 tire, two tubes, odd bits, 6-8 Gu gels, 4-5 Shot Bloks, 6 Hammer Endurolyte pills, a couple Cliff bars, 3 liters of ice and gatorade, and money for a DQ cone, or a simple ham and cheese sandwich from somewhere. I keep the gels and bloks next to the liquid/ice bladder to keep them chilled. Tools and tubes sometime go into a plastic jar that I'll put in one of the water bottle cages. The other is used for water as back-up or to clean up or wash the salt off my face on summer days.
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Old 04-06-11, 08:29 PM
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Last century I had
-2 Clif Bars
-Two water bottles which I filled up once
-2 tubes
-3 CO2 and valve adapter
-Multitool and levers
The tubes c02 and tools were kept in my saddle bag.

I had lunch half way and refilled water half way. I had a Clif Bar for each half of the century.

Just make sure you have your phone with you and someone to call incase you do need help. Its smarter to have this option then carrying an extra tire, 20 zillion tubes, extra fork etc etc..

Last edited by nick the swede; 04-06-11 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 04-06-11, 08:36 PM
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You don't need that many calories. 3000 calories would be more than 400 calories per hour, which is way more than most people could keep down. 200-250/hour is more realistic. You don't need to replace calories as you go anyway; that is what body fat is for.

I like to make PB & J sandwiches and cut them up into quarters. Maybe a couple of those, some gels if you're into that kind of thing, and some gatorade-type whatever. That should cover it.
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Old 04-06-11, 08:43 PM
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If I ate 3000 calories on a bike ride I would need to stop for a nap.

On previous centuries I have just stuffed my pockets with whatever bars and a banana and maybe a chocolate milk at a gas station.
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Old 04-06-11, 08:44 PM
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I do a century a month and I take a turkey sandwich and a peaut butter sandwich and a bag of trail mix. Any thing else is gas station grub such as salted nuts, chocolate milk, chips, cakes.

I carry a mini pump, 2 tubes, a small patch kit, 2 tire levers and a small multi-tool. I carry a lightweight jacket which I put on if I stop for more than 5 minutes to help maintain my core temp.
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Old 04-06-11, 08:55 PM
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I did four solo centuries last year. By the fourth one, I found that I do really well with mostly just Hammer Nutrition's Perpetuem. One "multi-hour" water bottle full of that, and a few whatever bars in the jersey pockets. (After mile 75-80 I'm hungry and want to chew on something.) Extra water bottle and Endurolytes in the jersey pockets. A little cash to buy stuff I might need. Cell phone always.
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Old 04-06-11, 08:55 PM
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Don't over think the century as some epic ride. Yes you have an epic course and it is an epic ride, but don't think of it that way. It's just four 25 mile rides with services along the way.

So for lightweight, just plan your stops. This can easily be done with nothing but a small saddle bag and your jersey pockets. You're only going to be gone less than a work day shift. Carry a powerbar and gels but just plan where you will stop to get food and eat it, because you're right you will need a ton of calories.

Now everyone is different, but for instance a 40 mile ride is not much and I certainly wouldn't eat anything on something just that long. So in that case I would stop around Dillon and chow down. Then eat a powerbar and gel at the top of the pass. Enjoy the descent and stop in Frisco or Copper Mtn for another chow down. Then push on home with another powerbar and a couple gels in the pockets.

By the way, the last century I did had 10,200 feet of climbing and I burned almost 7000 calories. I didn't eat that much though.
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Old 04-06-11, 08:55 PM
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Yeah, ~250 calories an hour + 500ml or so of fluid should usually do the trick. Sports drinks tend to help a bit with this stuff.

Your body is going to expect some real food at the customary times, so either bring some type of actual meal or plan to stop at a sandwich or pizza place a little after the halfway point.

Don't forget the usual stuff -- ID, tools, credit card, cash, sun block, lip balm, cell phone.

Something like the Topeak Mondo Bag, perhaps with a Bento Bag and/or small handlebar bag, should be more than sufficient to carry your crap without needing a trunk bag.
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Old 04-06-11, 08:58 PM
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I rode 17 centuries last October on regular foods.
Big breakfast, 3 Cinnamon Raisin English muffins with peanut butter and jam during the ride.
Drinks, water, green tea, Gatorade.
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Old 04-06-11, 09:05 PM
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Most of my centuries and longer rides have been solo ... and I've done 151 centuries and longer rides since 1994.

I pack enough tools etc. to be able to fix a flat and make a few adjustments.

I pack a rain jacket and knee warmers ... because you just never know. I pack much more than that if the weather looks like it will be cold, rainy, etc.

I carry two bottles of water, and when one is empty, I start looking for a place to refill them.

I carry several granola bars or cookies ... more if the area I'm going through doesn't have many services, less if it does. I usually plan one significant stop approx. halfway in order to have lunch. Lunch is often something like a sandwich, or hamburger and chips, or a Subway sub, or whatever happens to be available and catch my fancy.

I ride with a handlebar bag, Bento bag, and a small trunk bag.
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Old 04-06-11, 09:07 PM
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I do a couple 90 mile + rides every month. I carry the same stuff as on a 50 mile ride plus a second tube.
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Old 04-06-11, 09:20 PM
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Granted I don't know how long your longest ride has been up to this point. I'm assuming you're semi-comfortable with a 100 mile ride...but given that you are planning/probing for something that is two months away..I'm not sure.

I'm right there with most of the others....I did my last century last week at a brisk pace...~5 hours and 8000 feet of climbing. 2 bottles of EFS mixed at 2 scoops per bottle, a Honey Stinger Waffle, and 3 shots of Hammer Gel. 814 calories total. I ate a PB&J, when I returned home.

Two days later, I did a 75 miler, in just over three hours, One bottle EFS, One Bottle of water, and a Honey Stinger Banana Berry Buzz Bar...286 calories total.

400 calories an hour is too much.
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Old 04-06-11, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by teterider View Post
Don't over think the century as some epic ride. Yes you have an epic course and it is an epic ride, but don't think of it that way. It's just four 25 mile rides with services along the way.

So for lightweight, just plan your stops. This can easily be done with nothing but a small saddle bag and your jersey pockets. You're only going to be gone less than a work day shift. Carry a powerbar and gels but just plan where you will stop to get food and eat it, because you're right you will need a ton of calories.

Now everyone is different, but for instance a 40 mile ride is not much and I certainly wouldn't eat anything on something just that long. So in that case I would stop around Dillon and chow down. Then eat a powerbar and gel at the top of the pass. Enjoy the descent and stop in Frisco or Copper Mtn for another chow down. Then push on home with another powerbar and a couple gels in the pockets.

By the way, the last century I did had 10,200 feet of climbing and I burned almost 7000 calories. I didn't eat that much though.
That's a good way of thinking of it.

Not having done a century before I can't really say how many calories I'll need but burning around 30/mile seems to be about right for me (based on edge 500 data which I thought was low) so that means I'd burn 3000 calories on the ride. I'm betting it's more. I realize I don't need a 1:1 ratio on in and out, but I don't want to bonk. I guess I didn't take into account the calories I'd start with from breakfast, but packing 2000 calories of food is still a lot. Anyway, thanks for the tips. Planning to eat a "real" lunch somewhere makes sense, but then I'm worrying about the bike or need to carry a lock. I don't do fast food so I'll probably find a pizza joint meaning unattended bike for a bit even if I eat outside. Guess I can pack a small lock. The camelback idea might work but I think I like handle bar bag idea better.

Thanks for all the food tips. I think I can find a good combination of stuff here.
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Old 04-06-11, 09:33 PM
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I can find stuff at a c-store/mini mart that will get me by, along with a few things I bring along. Sometimes I carry some powder of some kind and mix it with some water late in the ride.
I do like a small sandwich on a long ride.
I can eat a lot during a long ride but nothing like Biker395. That dude will eat burgers, burritos, anything, and still kick ass.

edit; I think I'd drop if I only had 800 calories during a century.

Last edited by big john; 04-06-11 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 04-06-11, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bikerjp View Post
That's a good way of thinking of it.
It really isn't.

As for the food, your muscles typically store 2000+ calories in glycogen. Add breakfast and bodyfat, and you really won't need to eat that much during your ride.

I'd recommend protein bars and energy gels, and skip the "real" lunch unless you're planning to ride at a slow pace. If you're riding hard, stopping for 1/2 an hour will just make your legs more sore.
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Old 04-06-11, 09:48 PM
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don't bother carrying anything other than that which you would carry on all rides. just a bit more food and cash so you can stop and get a chocolate bar and coke when needed. make sure you get the full fat coke. it is all you need to get your mojo up.
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Old 04-06-11, 09:49 PM
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You have to find what works for your stomach, too. If I don't eat and drink enough, I get nausea.
I also can't stand gels, they mess me up bad.
Also, I don't mind casual breaks during a hard, fast paced ride. The legs loosen up after a short warm-up and it's no big deal.

2 weeks ago I had a bowl of chili with onions and cheese during a mountain ride, it was a great thing.

Last edited by big john; 04-06-11 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 04-06-11, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Forza View Post
Granted I don't know how long your longest ride has been up to this point. I'm assuming you're semi-comfortable with a 100 mile ride...but given that you are planning/probing for something that is two months away..I'm not sure.
Comfortable with the idea as it's one of my goals. Been riding since last July but on the road bike only since Nov and being winter not as often as I would have liked. My longest ride so far is 35 miles with a fair bit of climbing so I'm working up to this. I have some half-century rides planned for as soon as possible and being rural routes I need to bring everything so also getting ideas for those as well.
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Old 04-06-11, 10:01 PM
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I normally only carry a few extra things than normal. shot blocks or a gel, some sort of food like a powerbar, banana, or sandwich, and an extra co2. the normal things would include a tube, patch kit, co2, tire levers, tools, water bottle, and blackberry. i will normally plan a stop somewhere along the way around the half way point or just wing it and stop whenever i see something and am hungry. i will also stop for extra water or to use the restroom whenever i need. my last few centuries i have stoped about 3 times total.

good luck man but im sure you will do fine. dont try to do to much to fast. just try to slowly build up the miles.
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Old 04-06-11, 10:03 PM
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Garmin calorie burn estimates are high, like 150-200% of reality.

Some people may enjoy stopping for a big greasy lunch on a long ride, and you might too, but don't get the impression that it's necessary.
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Old 04-06-11, 10:05 PM
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burger and beer mid ride. followed by a nap if you have time.
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Old 04-06-11, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by coasting View Post
burger and beer mid ride. followed by a nap if you have time.
Hmmm. Now if I could just add a hot bike girl to the mix and make it a "double" century.
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Old 04-06-11, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by flaco View Post
Garmin calorie burn estimates are high, like 150-200% of reality.

Some people may enjoy stopping for a big greasy lunch on a long ride, and you might too, but don't get the impression that it's necessary.
Depends on the model. The older 305 and 705 models used a generic algorithm and even didn't/don't take HR into account if you have a HR strap. They are notorious for over estimating calorie burn.

The newer models use Firstbeat technology...read the article at this link.

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2010/11/h...on-garmin.html

Last edited by Forza; 04-06-11 at 10:22 PM. Reason: error in text
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