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Horrible Hundred

Old 10-05-09, 06:58 PM
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Horrible Hundred

Can anyone give me some perspective on the level of difficulty in Central FL's Horrible Hundred century coming up in Nov?

I have never completed a century before, but I ride ~90 miles / week now (with a long 50 mile ride on Sat). With a ramp up in training between traveling for work, I am thinking I can complete a century. However, since this century tackles several of FL steeper hills, I am not sure what the added difficulty is.

At 5'7" and 140 lbs, the elevation gain I experience here in Miami (i.e. Key Biscayne bridge) doesn't really hurt and I can go up it decently fast, but it is probably minor compared to the elevation gain for some of the central FL's hills.

I would appreciate your advice and thoughts.
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Old 10-05-09, 09:13 PM
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Elevation profile for the 100 https://www.horrible-hundred.com/hh-p...00_profile.pdf

https://www.horrible-hundred.com/

I plan on riding the 100 I have not done a century sine 92 and it seems like you are logging more miles than me right now. I think you should be fine.
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Old 10-05-09, 09:36 PM
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Thanks for the vote of confidence. Appreciate it.
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Old 10-06-09, 09:02 AM
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i've riden the clermont area ..and while they say florida is flat... it isn't

i suggest coming up for a pre-ride, i've been riding out there on the weekends and if u ride flats the rest of the week those hills will catch you off guard

also suggest riding the 70mile loop... it hits all the big climbs ...without the boring final 30miles
at least from what i've heard the final 30 is really nothing special..

run the 70miles..

sugarloaf mountain is a 14% grade... good luck
i may even see you out there
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Old 10-06-09, 09:19 PM
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I'd like to do a recon trip up there one weekend, but since the drive is about 3.5 hours from Miami, I am a little hesitant. It would probably be the wisest move and I could make it a cool trip to see that part of the state.

I've never ride anything near 14% or anything steeper than the Key Biscayne bridge for that matter, so maybe I do head up there.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-07-09, 05:37 AM
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well clermonts not like anyother part of the state that's for sure. Make the trip, you won't regret it. Clermont is a town dedicated to biking, the trails are great and well mark.

do a youtube search for Sugarloaf Mountain, Florida; there are some interesting video's of the climb. it's not a long hill ... but it's a real ballbuster
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Old 10-07-09, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by uberalles

sugarloaf mountain is a 14% grade... good luck
Oh sh*t, didn't know the grade was that high.

I wonder if I should even attempt this ride with 39/53 12/25 gearing?
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Old 10-07-09, 09:33 AM
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Oh sh*t, didn't know the grade was that high.

I wonder if I should even attempt this ride with 39/53 12/25 gearing?
your in tampa.... east on i-4 and north on hwy 27... should take u alittle more then an hr to get there..... preride it in sections and figure out what you need... but you should be fine
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Old 10-07-09, 10:35 PM
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For final training, try riding the Santa Fe Century or the Horse Farm Hundred at the end of October up in Gainesville. We've got a sort of triple crown in miniature here in the fall... the Horse Farm in Gainesville, the Hilly Hundred in Tampa/Zephyrhills (the only time I ever broke 55MPH on a bike!) and the Horrible Hundred in Cleremont. Fun times in the fall!
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Old 10-09-09, 10:39 AM
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OK guys. I have done the HH about 17 times. It can be a tough ride depending on your condition, the weather and how fast you ride.

Sugar Loaf does hit 14%. Don't hyperventilate. As you approach the hill, you hit an increasing grade that goes quickly to 14% and stays there for about 50 yards (a guess but not far). The thing is to pace yourself on the steep stretch. If you go really anaerobic there, you will not recover and you will not make it or if you do it will not be fun. The next nearly half mile is 7%. That is steep and you can not really recover from the 14% but if you are not beat by the 14%, you can motor up it. I can do that hill bonked and my low gear is a 39X26.

The 70 mile ride is a good option. It hits all of the noteworthy hills. The extra 30 miles does take you through some "old Florida" scenery. It can be nice but it can easily be cut out.

There are plenty of lessor hills in the HH.

You start out at the park in Clermont on the lake. You ride around the lake and the first big hill you hit is Citrus Tower. It is steep and pretty long. But you are fresh and warmed up.

You will hit some minor hills for some time. You will get to the first rest stop at around 17 miles. After that you will hit do a stepped climb. You will go down a steep hill and hit "The Wall". The wall is steep but it is not that hard if you pace yourself.

After you turn south you will have a couple of climbs until you hit Grassy Lake Road. When you turn right on Grassy Lake, you will have a really steep short hill. If you are in a low gear and are mentally prepared, you will do OK. Later you hit a T intersection and there is a steep climb there as the road goes east and bends due south. But again it is steep and short.

You will hit part of the road around Lake Mineolla again for a short stretch. You will turn right off it and climb another stinkin steep short hill. If you are prepared, you will do OK. There are quite a few hills like this and they ambush you. Right after that you have rest stop 2. Then you head west into the country. It is a nice stretch of road with some hills but they are nice hills and not steep. After those, the 100 mile diverges from the 70 mile. The 100 mile ride goes out past Groveland and through some rather strange areas. You hit rest stop 3 at about 40 miles. There is a little rural church out there with a primarily black congregation. They seem pretty conservative because they DRESS UP for church. They always seem to be letting out about then. I go rolling by in my sweaty lycra while the church folks are out socializing. It seems a bit strange.

You angle south and wander around in darkest Florida for some time until you head north back to Groveland and recross SR 50. You keep north until you reach rest stop 4 at around 70 miles. It is just before American Hill. That is not a hard hill. Long and steepish. You climb that. You wind around a bit and then after about 77 miles you hit a long steep hill and then go down and you turn south onto Buck Hill Road. That road has 3 climbs. The first climb is the steepest and longest. It seems to be about 10%. The steep section is the longer than Sugar Loafs steep section. After Buckhill you head east down hill and then turn north and do a climb. You then turn east and hit Sugarloaf. After Sugarloaf you have the final rest stop. You continue and do some hills for awhile until you hit the outskirts of Clermont.

There you get ambushed. You turn off the main road and climb a short steep ambush hill through a subdivision. You go down hill again and then you climb Hospital Hill. It is not that bad but since it is at the 96 mile point or so, it feels bad. Then you think you are done. You head west back to your start. You turn again and hit another ambush hill. It is not hard but it can be because you can think your hills are over. After that one, the last 2 miles or so are pretty easy.

The trick is to watch out for ambush hills and be ready mentally to drop down into your small ring and big cog for these. If you try to muslce them, you can kill yourself uselessly.

Good luck. It is a fun ride.
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Old 10-09-09, 11:40 AM
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Wow, thanks for the great review Pat.

I think I'm going to give the 100 a shot, but not before converting my bike to a compact crank.
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Old 10-09-09, 01:25 PM
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Awesome review and thanks for the tips. Like you mentioned, pacing oneself seems to be the key (probably more so than other centuries). The good thing about this ride is that it definitely does not sound boring.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-13-09, 10:14 PM
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I love riding there and seeing people blown away by the hills there...I agree,you need mental as well as physical prep to ride this course...the key is pacing yourself...especially climbing...
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Old 10-16-09, 07:37 PM
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I signed up today. I do 150 to 200 miles a week, I have done a few centuries, the only thing I am concerned about is hitting the right gears. I don't get that many hills on my normal rides, and can muscle them if I get it wrong. This is too long and too many hills for that, hope I don't mess up too bad!

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Old 10-16-09, 07:44 PM
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Hmmm...it's a two-day event, but the rides are only on Sunday? I'm desperate to find a century ride anywhere from Orlando to Miami on either a Friday or Saturday, since those are the only two days I'm off work.

Any ideas?
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Old 10-16-09, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by JonnyUtah75
Hmmm...it's a two-day event, but the rides are only on Sunday? I'm desperate to find a century ride anywhere from Orlando to Miami on either a Friday or Saturday, since those are the only two days I'm off work.

Any ideas?
Don't know if Gainesville is too far for you, but there's a Sat Century coming up there on the 24th.

https://gccfla.org/gcf/sf.html
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Old 10-17-09, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Madridjoe
I signed up today. I do 150 to 200 miles a week, I have done a few centuries, the only thing I am concerned about is hitting the right gears. I don't get that many hills on my normal rides, and can muscle them if I get it wrong. This is too long and too many hills for that, hope I don't mess up too bad!
Don't stress. Ask for the maps for both the 70 and 100. They diverge after the 2 rest stop at something over 30 miles. You will have already completed about 40% of the hills. If you are beaten up, just bail and do the 70.

Climbing hills is pretty easy. It is a matter of pacing. Select a gear that will let you go up the hill somewhere below your anaerobic threshold. Now there are a few spots in the ride where you will be pressed even in your low gear, but they are not long.
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Old 10-17-09, 03:09 PM
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Don't stress. Ask for the maps for both the 70 and 100. They diverge after the 2 rest stop at something over 30 miles. You will have already completed about 40% of the hills. If you are beaten up, just bail and do the 70.

Climbing hills is pretty easy. It is a matter of pacing. Select a gear that will let you go up the hill somewhere below your anaerobic threshold. Now there are a few spots in the ride where you will be pressed even in your low gear, but they are not long.
Thanks, I appreciate the advice.
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Old 10-17-09, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by c.miller64
Don't know if Gainesville is too far for you, but there's a Sat Century coming up there on the 24th.

https://gccfla.org/gcf/sf.html
I went to school in Gainesville but I'm in Ft. Lauderdale now and it's about 5 hours from there. Thanks anyway.
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Old 10-18-09, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mrz80
For final training, try riding the Santa Fe Century or the Horse Farm Hundred at the end of October up in Gainesville. We've got a sort of triple crown in miniature here in the fall... the Horse Farm in Gainesville, the Hilly Hundred in Tampa/Zephyrhills (the only time I ever broke 55MPH on a bike!) and the Horrible Hundred in Cleremont. Fun times in the fall!
Most of us from the shop are going to do atleast the horse farm 100, others are doing the HH, and I haven't heard anyone mention the hilly hundred.

Personl\ally, I'm having second thoughts about my commitment to the horse farm 100 after considering that half the distance is uphill and there are few hills to ride around here.
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Old 10-19-09, 07:45 AM
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I've been getting out periodically and riding, but not as much as I'd hoped to be able to... I'm going to go for the 55mile option on the Santa Fe ride Saturday. I'd love to do the HorseFarm for old times' sake (last time I rode it was 91) but don't wanna miss church. I'm looking forward to going on my first organized ride in nearly 20 years. :-)
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Old 10-19-09, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by JonnyUtah75
I went to school in Gainesville but I'm in Ft. Lauderdale now and it's about 5 hours from there. Thanks anyway.
I checked the FBA calender and the only Sat century ride I could find is Dec 12 in Sebring. Still probably a 3-4 hour drive for you though.....

Here's the link if you're interested-https://www.kenilworthlodge.com/files/klodge/480.pdf
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Old 10-19-09, 02:00 PM
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21st Annual Intracoastal Waterway Century https://www.spacecoastfreewheelers.com/events.htm in cocoa. This saturday. Still a good distance from sofl.
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Old 10-19-09, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JonnyUtah75
I went to school in Gainesville but I'm in Ft. Lauderdale now and it's about 5 hours from there. Thanks anyway.
The Highlands Bikefest is in December and we're only 2 1/2 hours from you. We've got a couple of little hills but nothing like Sugarloaf Mountain. the website is "Kenilworth Lodge" in Sebring. The Saturday century goes up to Avon Park, down to Lake Placid and around Lake Istopoga, back roads, rest stops and sag all included.
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Old 10-27-09, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by c.miller64
Oh sh*t, didn't know the grade was that high.

I wonder if I should even attempt this ride with 39/53 12/25 gearing?
I did the 100 mile route last year on my fixed gear with a 39/14 and had no problem.
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