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Am I a cyclist now?(6 posts)

Am I a cyclist now?mtnpat
Aug 19, 2002 3:47 AM
I told some of my friends that I wanted to do my first century this year...just turned 40, and am having a crisis (just kidding). My plan was to do the Shenandoah Valley Century Sept 8. I called the organizer and he told me the ride was "rolling to hilly", so I figured I had better train. I mean the longest ride I had ever done was 50 miles on Skyline Drive. I bought my first MTB in April of 1998, and rode MTBs exclusively for 2 years. Then I bought a used Cannondale R1000 in July of 2000. Still not a whole lot of miles or anything. Mostly 10 - 50 mile rides, couple of times a month on Skyline Drive (6-7% grades the whole way).

So, Saturday I set off to do a training ride on the W&OD paved bike path (Virginia). I wanted to do like 70 - 80 miles. But I started thinking, why not just do the whole thing? I mean it is only 89.8 miles from Purcelleville to Arlington and back to Purcelleville! Then I thought, heck, if I am gonna do basically 90 miles, I am gonna do 100. So I did!

100.07 miles, 6 hours 35 minutes on the cyclometer, actually away from car for 7 hours 30 minutes. Cyclometer said I averaged 15 mph, I guess that is pretty good with all of the street crossings (seemed like at least 100), and all of the people, joggers, tourists, etc?

I found out that you have a lot of time to think when doing a century and I knew that I would be back to the car at about 90 miles, since I took one short detour into a park for some shade, so I needed to add 10 miles. As I reached Purcelleville and the more major street crossings, I turned around, to go back 5 miles (adding 10 miles total). Well at about 4.something miles I hit an intersection that I didn't feel like messing with, so I headed back towards Purcelleville. I hit the parking lot at Hatcher St where I had my car parked at like 99 miles exactly . So I kept heading West to the train station and the official end of the W&OD, and back to the car. Damn, now at 99.33 miles. OK, so I head East .33 miles and back to the fa-reakin car, landing there at 100.07 miles - done!

So, I did my first century, solo, still planning on doing the Shen Valley Century Sept 8.

Some (magazine editors) say the measure of a cyclist is doing a century. Am I a cyclist now?

re: Am I a cyclist now?african
Aug 19, 2002 4:34 AM
Yes, and that book you wrote to find out from us what we think qualifies you as a journalist.

Just kidding, good job.

By the way if you have a bike, ride it from time to time wearing spandex and polyester bright colored clothing you are a cyclist.
You've barely made it :-) [nm]tz
Aug 19, 2002 5:37 AM
Nice! I think you're definitely ready for the organized century.jtferraro
Aug 19, 2002 5:50 AM
Congrats on your 1st century. I did my first last month. Decent time and decent ave speed, too! Yeah, I think you might be a cyclist now! ;-) Keep up the riding!

When asked "What do you do?" What do you answer?dzrider
Aug 19, 2002 9:23 AM
Just kidding. Although if you are asked about hobbies or what you do for fun it might make some sense.

Congrats on a great effort. You'll enjoy the organized that much more with the confidence you've earned.
Thanks everyone for the comments (nm)mtnpat
Aug 19, 2002 2:21 PM