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what is "good" time for century?(18 posts)

what is "good" time for century?cyclopathic
Mar 7, 2001 11:59 AM
/I guess answer would depend what category you're in/
Mar 7, 2001 12:08 PM
Categories for centuries not applicable - not races (just in case...).

For a new century rider, I'd say 15 mph average (6 1/2 hours), plus stops, is decent unless it's really hilly, really hot, or really windy.

Someone has purported to have done one in 3hrs 42min, which is 27 mph average. That's very fast.

For many average, recreational cyclists, breaking 5 hours total is a goal. That means averaging over 20mph and with minimal stop time.

Re: cat's?cyclopathic
Mar 7, 2001 12:49 PM
I meant what is expected century time for different categories?
never see it that wayDog
Mar 7, 2001 12:55 PM
Can't really tell; you'll never see century times broken down by category, as they don't keep records like that.

Unless it's really hilly, a Cat 5 could easily do the same as a Cat 1, if they were riding as a group and cooperating (I've done it). But, assuming they were solo, I'd estimate a Cat 5 at 20 mph, and add 1 mph for each Cat. That's really, really rough, though.

I always think of the times as total time, not just riding time. That's more honest and objective. In other words, 5 hours means 5 hours total. If you don't do it that way, it encourages long stops to rest and eat, drink, and replenish glycogen, if you are just reporting riding time.

Mar 8, 2001 8:59 AM
I'd think that maintaining a 20+mph average over 100 miles would be pretty tough unless you had a good draft line going. I usually ride solo when I do centuries and find that 5-5.5 hours is a pretty tough prospect. Recreational riders not drafting routinely take 7+ hours to finish. If I was drafting I could crack 5 hours easy.
The 5 hour mark...JBergland
Mar 7, 2001 12:40 PM
... is the one I hear most often. 20 MPH might not seem that fast for some training rides, but spread over 100 miles, it's a pretty good pace.
The 5 hour mark...Hap
Mar 7, 2001 12:47 PM
Do folks factor out food stops; or is it non-stop, or total time including stops? Just curious. I've done a metric century in 3hr25min non-stop. It would be mighty hard for me to get 35 more miles in another 1hr 35min. I don't think I can carry enough fluid to go 5 hrs. non-stop.
The 5 hour mark...JBergland
Mar 7, 2001 12:57 PM
I think it depends on who you talk to. Some treat it like more of a race... there is a start and finish. Others count only time ridden, any stops are off the clock. Personlly, I prefer the time ridden approach. The best part of a century can be talking and visiting with other cyclists at rest stops.
I did my first century...Cartman
Mar 7, 2001 6:42 PM
in 6:50. That was a very hilly 102 miles on a very hot day. I think there was 0ver 3300 feet of climbing. Also my riding partner was plauged with flats. Oh, I averaged 15 mph. The link for the century I did is:

If you look close in the second photo, you'll see a back view of me! That's me in the maroon jersey and blue hat! More info on the century can be found on the Seven Hills Wheelmen link at the botom.
Matter of semantics but . . .Scott B
Mar 7, 2001 7:27 PM
I gotta disagree with Doug Sloan here. I think that 5 hours, regardless of total time or just riding time makes you MORE than a decent recreational cyclist. In my opinion (and, like noses and other things, we've all got one) 5 hours of riding time is a damned good recreational rider.
thoughts of a recreational rider4bykn
Mar 8, 2001 7:12 AM
I personally find a good time for a century is the time I finish, smelling the brats on the grill and the cold beer (Capitol City Century, Springfield, Ill). The time is not the most important item, finishing is, in my opinion. Only failed once and that was due to an accident that put me in the emergency room. Ride at a pace that will challenge you and still allow you to finish, and that will be a "good" time in your case! Oh, by the way, I generally finish in the 5:30 to 6:00 cat.
Mar 8, 2001 7:37 AM
Do you have info on that ride? It's a managable distance from me and there's nothin' like cold beer and brats to motive me!

CCC: sure thing4bykn
Mar 8, 2001 7:48 AM
Check this link, has a lot of rides. CCC is the second Sunday in September, and is always one of the highlights of my riding year.
I agree ...Humma Hah
Mar 8, 2001 9:45 AM
... It usually takes me closer to eight hours total time, usually with little or no drafting, on the cruiser. But I would probably have difficulty breaking 6 hours in a paceline on a roadbike.

That's OK -- I finish. While its certainly no Herculean feat among cyclists, 90% of Americans probably couldn't even come close.
Good time century in ILAlex
Mar 9, 2001 5:35 AM
If you're looking for a fun century the weekend after Capital City, come up north to the North Shore Century. Leaves out of Evanston, takes a spin on the velodrome in Kenosha and then cruises back down the lake. Very nice ride.

I'm there for the Capital City. I'll try to remember to ask what you ride before September.

re: what is "good" time for century?Dougal
Mar 8, 2001 7:37 AM
Just out of interest, in the BBAR series in the UK (done over 50, 100 and 24 hours) the top 3 all did a 100 mile tt with an average over 27mph. Then again, the winner of it, Micheal Hutchinson did a 10 mile tt in 18-40.

That guy is fast with a capital F.
re: what is "good" time for century?ColnagoFE
Mar 8, 2001 7:39 AM
would also depend on the course. hilly and no drafting would take lots longer than something in say florida with a massive tailwind and a 10 man paceline. that said...5 hours is good to shoot for.
An exampleJesse Smith
Mar 8, 2001 10:22 AM
At last year's 111 mile El Tour de Tucson, the winner Jame Carney finsihed in 4:24. A CatV teammate of mine finished in 4:34.
Pro Steve Hegg finished in 4:41. You can never tell.