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Woo-hoo, rode my first century yesterday! (long)(8 posts)

Woo-hoo, rode my first century yesterday! (long)TomS
Jul 21, 2002 6:08 AM
Ok, I know for some people century's aren't a huge deal, but I'm pretty proud of it. I had wanted to try to work up to doing one last summer, but for some reason just never got around to it. Actually my longest ride last summer was about 60 miles, and I totally bonked at the end. Earlier this summer I just set a goal (which is rare for me!) to do it this year, worked up my mileage over the last couple of months to prepare. I had talked a few friends into riding with me, but they all backed out so I was on my own.

Anyway it was the horsetooth 100 in fort collins, sponsored by the New Belgium brewery. The ride went in a big loop around the town, mostly flat in the beginning, but there were some nice tough climbs right at the end. I ended up riding by myself most of the time because either people would be going faster than I was comfortable with on the flats (my weak point) or I'd pull away from them on climbs - I've really been working on climbing this year.

The route was well marked except for a few turns that didn't seem to have signs; luckily I was always in sight of other riders at those points, and doubly luckily, they knew where to go! The aid stations were nice and got progressively better, the last one (sponsored by specialized) had a little mist sprayer thing on the tent so you could cool off. This was my first supported ride so I wasn't really sure what to expect there.

I went obscenely slow for the first 20 miles or so to make sure I was warmed up, then really picked it up on the flats until about mile 50 when the climbs started. I ended up taking about 6:50 including rest-stops, about 6:30 riding time. At the end I felt surprisingly good; my legs were dead and I was certainly tired, but I didn't feel like I was about to fall over.

The best moment was when I realized we were heading into the carter lake area; well actually I was worried because I had tried to ride that last summer and after riding 30 miles to get there I just couldn't handle the switchbacks on the entrance road. Yesterday we got there after about 55 miles, and I not only made it up and over, but felt good doing it! I'd have to say a close runner up for the best moment was when I realized I could still sprint across an intersection to beat the red light after riding 97 miles...

The worst moment was when I realized just how bad viva vanilla cliff shots taste when they're really warm, it's 95+ degrees out, and I've been riding for 85 miles :P gag!

Unfortunately I didn't take advantage of the free beer tasing afterwards, I thought I'd pass out if I drank anything at that point! But my wife and I went out for pizza (mmmm beau jeau's) and ben&jerry's before driving home.

Sorry for the long ride story, but I'm pretty excited about this - even a few months ago riding that far seemed pretty out of reach for me. If anyone else is considering trying it but feels intimidated - just build up the miles beforehand, and make sure to pace yourself, it'll be fine!
Oh, and the pizza...TomS
Jul 21, 2002 6:10 AM
I just had to get the "centurion" :-)

(thin crust with spinach, mozzeralla, feta, sun-dried tomtatoes and fresh roma tomatoes)
Ok, now you've made me hungry!look271
Jul 21, 2002 7:54 AM
Congrats! The 1st one you'll always remember. Now matter how much of a "seasoned veteran" you'll become, 100 miles is no small feat. Personally, Cliff shot at ANY temp makes me gag!
Congrats!JBurton
Jul 21, 2002 8:43 AM
I would also like to do my first century at the end of this season. Nice encouragement.
re: Congrats!!cyclejim
Jul 21, 2002 7:28 AM
You motivated me. I've wanted to do a century for a while now, but I am probably where you were last summer by the sounds of it. My longest ride has only been just over 50 miles and I pretty much bonked at the end of it.
enjoyed reading itavitar
Jul 21, 2002 9:27 AM
I pretty much just started riding again afer about 15 years not. I would love to do a century next year, and really enjoyed your story. I live in NYC but used to live in Boulder and now wish I was into riding then. I have not gotten out of our Central Park (ita a pretty hilly 6 mile loop) and I ususally do 2 or 3 times around 3-4 days a week. My problem is I am always trying to ride too fast.. seems like everyone there is riding more like a Time Trial.... I have gotten better at keeping up for some time.. I am spoiled about riding with no cars around. Hopefully this Sept I will try some weekend out of the city rides... I am starting to look for some organized groups
glad you enjoyed it! and about riding too fast...TomS
Jul 21, 2002 11:56 AM
I have a problem with riding too fast too - getting ready for this century I made a big effort to learn how to pace myself... I'd ride hard during the week, but do one long ride on the weekends where I took it easy and made sure I'd be able to eat while I rode, stuff like that.

Today my legs feel tired, just from riding that long, but they don't feel sore at all since I wasn't pushing hard at all.
re: Woo-hoo, rode my first century yesterday! (long)bobwill
Jul 21, 2002 12:42 PM
I'm looking forward to my first century ride in September. I'm glad to hear of somebody's good experience with their first one. :-)