View Full Version : .5 c+

09-01-2008, 08:12 PM
I have yet to complete my first Century (C), but I've come close...

Back in May of '07 I got 88 miles in, but I failed to get the remaining 12 due to horrible headwinds. It was blowing so bad, that on my return to Beaverton, I had to pedal to go downhill. That qualifies as a Metric Century, but I want a Century (Standard Miles).

Back in '93 I did 169 miles in three days.

I tried again today, and failed, again. I got 53 miles in... I started late, nearly bonked at 16 miles, and after 38 miles, I was invited to dinner... Free food, I'm all for free food.

Any tips for someone attempting their 1st Century out there?


09-01-2008, 09:00 PM
Hey K'tesh,
Congrats on the 88 miles and today's ride. Century rides can be punishing in ways that an 88 mile ride usually isn't. For me, my feet and neck get seriously sore and fatigued. Switching to Sidi shoes and doing some simple upper body workouts have helped...so has losing weight.

Here are some of my rules for riding 100 miles:

Train some more and get comfortable riding 65 miles and then work up to 75, then 85.
Train on a course a bit more difficult than you're intended century-more hills, later starts, hotter etc.
Get comfortable with your gear- invest in good,stiff shoes, decent shorts, gel gloves etc
Make sure your bike is fitted to you and that our bars, stem and saddle are where the should be.
Make sure your bike is in good working order-remove the unecessary stuff.
Work out a bit and get into some stretching/yoga
Pick the right century for you- Dont start with the Death Ride

On the day of the century:

Get an early start
Eat some carbs the night before and the morning of
Refuel with carbs and electrolites often and in small quantities-Gnu tabs in one water bottle works well
Drink plenty of water
Use Goo and similar products sparingly
Ride your own ride
Break the ride into four 25 mile rides and ride each one as it's own ride.
Don't mash big gears-sit and spin
Take advantage of descents
Don't waste energy
Steady and slow wins he ride
Remind yourself that it's a ride not a race

I've done 5 centuries, two double centuries (stupid), one 5 pass Markleeville Death Ride (very stupid)
Most of these were over 15 years ago.
Two years ago I decided to get back into it and I did the Peach of a Century with the Lukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training. They help individuals train up to a century if they agree to solicit donations for their cause. It's a pretty good program for someone who's just starting out. It was great to start with a 25 mie ride and then work up ten miles each weekend until the century. A year ago I did the Livestrong Ride with my dad (a rider and cancer survivor) in the howling rain and cold winds. I also got in a Verboort Sausage Populaire Randonneur Ride-65 miles followed by a great heavy meal! The randonneurs are a bit more casual and laidback.

Good luck and cheers,

09-02-2008, 03:49 AM
I've done three official 100 mile rides, and numerous 95+ miles.

I like to have a destination for my ride. My riding partner and I like to end at the Pelican Brewpub in Pacific City. You may wish to end it at a pub or somewhere nice, so develop a route where that will end there. Also, get out into the country where you can't easily quit. Consider riding in a sponsored century, such as the "Peach of a Century" in Salem at the end of the month. Or, plan to do "Reach the Beach" and make your century helpful for others as well.

But, I agree with the post above. Eat often, early. Drink often and early. I've found Gatorade really helps as opposed to water. It seems to ward off cramping. Rest every so often.

But, if you don't complete a century, I wouldn't worry about it. Sounds like you get in plenty of fun miles, and that's what it's all about.

09-02-2008, 07:18 AM
I used to do century rides years ago. I've done STP twice, Spring Century, Ride Around Clark County, Peach of a Century, Watermelon Rides, and many others I can't recall. All of the above are terrific rides, although some I wouldn not do again (STP - too many people). The Peach of a Century in Salem is great. It goes through the Willamette Valley and doesn't have a lot of climbs. Problem is you may get north winds in the afternoon, just when you need don't them. In the Northwest we always get late afternoon north winds in the summer and early fall on sunny days. It just goes with the territory.

On that note, you could do your own ride on Highway 30 up to Rainier, turn around and have a tailwind all the way home. Ask any STP rider - every year they have that tail wind to bring them in to Portland.

By the way, I haven't done a century ride in probably five years. I understand the desire to do one, and its a wonderful accomplishment. Get it out of your system and move on. There's more to life than century rides. Now my wife and I do week long supported tours like The Oregon Bike Ride, Ride Idaho, Ride Around Washington, etc. You will have more fun and actually meet people.

Most of all, remember that it isn't a race. Ride slow and enjoy the scenery.

09-02-2008, 09:38 AM
I'm working toward my Randonneurs USA R-12 - do a RUSA certified ride (brevet or permanent) for 12 consecutive months, minimum distance 200km.

Eat a good meal before you start.
Keep drinking
Keep eating - every hour, put something in the tank. I've been known to buy a really big Payday bar or Reese's FastBreak bar, and eat a big mouthful every so often. One lasts for about 40 miles :)
Don't ride 30-40 miles at the beginning and then eat. I try to get some food in every 15-20 miles.
Gatorade works for me, as does Heed and Ultima. May not work for you; experiment.
The value of salty snacks should not be underestimated. Fritos are excellent.
V-8 is excellent.
McDonald's french fries are a great mid-ride pick-me-up, should you be so lucky to pass by one. Hot soup. Big sticky buns.
I usually start a 200km ride with two sandwiches (pbj or jam and brie), two bananas, two Sweet Salty Nut bars, and two gels, bottle of water, bottle of Gatorade, plus extra Gatorade powder.
Convenience stores carry many suitable food items.

I've got a riding buddy that brings baked tofu, little boiled potatoes and hard boiled eggs. However, the quality :) of her fuel selections diminishes over time.

Simple Nature
09-02-2008, 09:53 AM
I am not in the shape I use to be... DUH!

But I did train up for the first Cycle Oregon Double Century oh so many years ago.

I rode a tank of a mountain bike and I skipped every other rest stop...
I recognized the same club roadies coming by over and over again.

Day two was a sag day for many due to a climb out of Stayton and a serious headwind. I decided to plow through it and glad I did.

I didn't train 50-75 miles, but I did do the daily ride. I probably never went over 40 miles during my entire training period but did to the west hills quite a bit.

The real success was riding in the group... the excellent pit stops... and the knowing that if you somehow couldn't make it, someone would load you up in the van and provide a free ride. I cannot say enough good things about Cycle Oregon's wonderful catered events. This alone will double your endurance.

Today I hit a brick wall at around 50 miles. When riding with a club, however, I can get past 40 easily and still have umph for another 25 later int he day. And this is on a recumbent weighing in at 40 lbs. I suspect that if I put my mind to it... and a properly hosted event, I could finish a century within about 12 hours or so.

It's all about the company you keep :)

09-02-2008, 09:53 AM
All very good advice. I just did my first on the Portland Century. Prior to April, the longest I had ever ridden was 40 miles. I set a goal of gradually increasing my longer rides by 10 miles per month, and gradually increasing the difficulty of the rides. I targeted several organized rides to use as benchmarks of my progress. In June I did the 45 mile first half of the Pioneer Century. Then I changed the 50-55 mile flat rides I'd been doing into rides that included significant hills. In July I did Summit to Surf; I had signed up for the 56 mile route, but ended up climbing to Timberline for a 70 mile ride and felt good. By the time the PDX Century came around, I felt confident I could do it. Eat and drink often, take breaks, and just keep going. Hardest part for me came after about 85 miles. I ended up with a total of 110 with the ride from home. Set a timetable and train toward the goal, you can do it!