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You guys really ride 100 miles?(18 posts)

You guys really ride 100 miles?94Nole
Sep 8, 2002 3:46 PM
Okay, still new and maybe I need to push myself a little more but I can't for the life of me fathom riding 100+ miles. Some have mentioned 150 milers and even double centuries!!!

How long does it take one to ride 100 miles? And do you really ride at 20+ mph avg?!?!?!?! I am lucky if I can keep up with a small group of 18+ mph'ers for 25 miles.

How many times does one stop during a century? Or even on a 50 mile ride?
sure - you can tooOffTheBack
Sep 8, 2002 3:59 PM
You just have to build up the endurance gradually. Start increasing the length of your rides a bit. As for how long it takes and how often you stop, it's totally up to you. I've heard tales of people doing it in 4 hrs, but obviously there are no hills and they're really hammering. A realistic time for most of us is probably 6 to 7 hrs. That allows you to ride 15-16 mph and stop for snacks & lunch.
I did the Seatlle-to-Portland ride last year.....gogene
Sep 8, 2002 4:22 PM
...a total distance of 210 miles in two days. I averaged 14mph (ride time). The keys to doing a century, aside from the proper equipment, is seat time, learning to pace yourself and proper nutrition for the ride. You gotta spend time in the saddle, lots of it. And you have to get used to it. Your butt becomes accustomed to the hours in the saddle by spending hours in the saddle. You are going to be riding for 6,7,8 or even more hours. You need to set a pace that is comfortable to you at the start and will still be comfortable as the hours roll on. You learn this pacing by spending hours in the saddle. Eating for a century is like eating for a race. During a century you will burn 4000~6000 calories. So you have to start eating for the ride several days in advance. And you will have to eat during the ride to replenish the calories burned. There are 'enroute' foods that you take with you to keep your energy levels high. GU, Hammer Gel are just two, there are many more. To find out how much you have to eat to sustain a pace for a hundred miles, you have to spend hours in the saddle. So you see, everything revolves around "ass" time. Ride, ride, ride!
The answer to your questions: it depends...MXL02
Sep 8, 2002 4:11 PM
it depends on what you are trying to do. You can ride a century and stop 4 or 5 times if you want or need to. Or you can ride with a big group working on their speed and only stop once or twice. Some people are working on speed so they ride with a group in a pace line. Others are doing things more leisurely or riding alone, so their pace and number of stops will adjust accordingly.

Although 100 miles may seem like a lot to you now, if you are relatively new to the sport, I think you will be surprised at how quickly you can build up endurance. I road 40-50 miles/ride/Saturday (with short commuter rides in between) for about a month, then went up 20 miles/ride every two weeks, therefore, I was at 100 after another 6 weeks.
It takes me about 5.5-6 hrs to do a century when riding alone, depending on the terrain, including stops. Less if I'm riding in a paceline. I have been riding for almost 12 months. Again, don't get too worked up about the speed, just set a pace you can live with and stay there for the duration. If you use a HRM, some have suggested keeping you heart rate <85% max. Other more experienced riders may have more refined training tips.
The answer to your questions: it depends...MXL02
Sep 9, 2002 4:15 AM
Make that 6-6.5 hrs when riding alone. Sorry, can't add.
re: You guys really ride 100 miles?sweetbuns
Sep 8, 2002 5:07 PM
What is great about riding 100 miles is that you can do it everyday for a few days in a row and feel fine. Most can't run a marathon two days in a row. Eat good food (lots of fruits and vegetables), get alot of rest at night, whatever your body demands of you.

Build up to it gradually, people that are physically fit can ride long distances without any training, better off building up to it, daily, weekly, whatever your schedule allows for. Add on more and more miles everytime you ride. You can incorporate sprints which will help you get faster. Enjoy your first century!
did my first century todaybigskulls
Sep 8, 2002 5:34 PM
Yup, 100 miles (105.3 to be exact, and NO, I wasn't happy to learn about the extra 5.3 at mile 87). I did an organized century, the Transportation Alternatives ride in NYC, and the adrenalin I got from the whole event just carried me through it. I'd imagine a solo century would be considerably harder.

I was definitely tired at the end, and ready to get off my bike, but the ride itself was fantastic, going through many parts of the city I have never seen. People on the ride side it was not a typical century at all, where you can get a rhythem going on a particular route. This was all stop and go city streets open to traffic.

I did little training for it, and many people doing it seemed to have done none at all. I had done a metric century before, and that gave me some confidence I wouldn't totally fall apart at mile 30. My basic approach was eat alot, drink alot of water, and hope for the best.
It's not as bad as you might think...Ron B
Sep 8, 2002 6:02 PM
I did my first century this year and they are not as bad as you might think.

My longest ride ever leading up to the century was a metric century (62.5 miles) at the beginning of May (the century was the end of June).

Mostly I did a lot of 20 mile rides with a once a week ride of 40-45 miles. The 40-45 mile rides were all done non stop and included some good climbing.

I was able to maintain a 17mph on the bike average (not including the 30 minutes of stop time at rest stops) and finished just under 6 hours. Granted the century that I did didn't have a whole lot of climbing (maybe 2000 feet or so over the 100 miles). I also weighed in at around 260 pounds.

The keys for me were to get in 6 days a week of riding (hour a day minimum).

During the ride drink water at least every 15 minutes (several good drinks). Eat a lot of food at each rest stop and maybe a powerbar or something inbetween each stop (the century I did had three stops, one every 25 miles).

Get to know other riders that are of similar ability as you are and start a paceline with them. By doing this the last 50 miles I probably cut a good 30 minutes off of my overall time.

I'm not sure if I'll tackle another century ever again, mostly just wanted to see if I could do it. But if I do I know it won't be as bad as I thought it would be.
Yeah, if that's all I can get ...Humma Hah
Sep 8, 2002 6:06 PM
... centuries are great fun, but not really all that remarkable. They're just really long rides unless there's a huge amount of climbing or some other difficult conditions. You can get in shape to do them within a few months of starting cycling, if you work at it.

My typical century times are somewhere in the 7.5-8 hour range, but I ride them on an old Schwinn singlespeed cruiser. I've yet to ride any other bike further than 65 miles in one day, but the cruiser did 152+ a year ago today.
Come and ride 210 kms (130.5 miles) with 5000 + otherscraigg
Sep 8, 2002 6:42 PM
Well, this should encourage you.

Bicycle Victoria (out of Melbourne, Australia) runs a well organised ride for 5000 + bikers around our bay.

I'm trying out for the first time this year (October).

Have a look at the link below for info on last years event.


re: You guys really ride 100 miles?B2
Sep 8, 2002 8:40 PM
I did my first century two weeks after I started riding. Had a ruptured achilles surgically repaired. About three months after surgery all they would let me do was ride a bike so I went out did a century. I pedaled with my right leg mostly (the other one was pretty useless). Honestly, I darn near bonked but good, but I never turned back. That was six years ago.

Build up to itDMoore
Sep 9, 2002 12:07 AM
My first century this year ended up being 103 miles; rode it in 4:46 with one 5-minute stop to refill the bottles. It was pretty flat, but had a headwind for the 2nd half. Rode it in a group of about a dozen riders. Most of them were Master's racers (like myself, age 51). The second century took 6 1/2 hrs, but it also included 9300' of climbing. It was a solo effort for the most part; only worked with others rides for 25 miles or so. I made 4 quick stops to refill bottles and grab cookies on that one. Speed comes with practice; a 50 mile road race in my age group will average 23 or 24 mph. The "kids" are faster, of course.

You have to build up both your speed and endurance, and learn how to ride smart. You can go much faster in a group, once the group starts working together alternating "pulls" in the wind. You need to stay close to the bike in front, as chasing down gaps is a sure ticket to exhaustion.

In two words - keep riding! With more mileage and experience, you'll find centuries are less intimidating and your riding speed will increase.
re: You guys really ride 100 miles?aliensporebomb
Sep 9, 2002 2:43 AM
I even did a century once in a season where I'd not ridden so much as a city
block on my bike, on a borrowed, broken ten speed and brought no food, water
or other amenities. I had cash though and stopped at places. I bonked badly but
it was definetely a memorable occasion. You can do it.

How many miles have you ridden this season so far?
If I can do it, anybody can...Matno
Sep 9, 2002 3:36 AM
When I was in college, I did my annual summer century with my buddies 4 years in a row with no training. (Finally I trained the 5th summer and cut my time by a couple of hours). It was never easy, but not overly difficult either. Most problems I had were food and water related. Be sure to eat plenty before you go and during the ride. Stop and eat once every hour, and drink as much as you can without getting "waterlogged." Saddle soreness is another issue. Next time I think I'll try saddle butter. Try a long tour sometime too. That's the most fun trip I've ever been on - 10 centuries in a row up the Pacific coast from Cali to Canada. Awesome experience, and it does get pretty easy after the first couple of days. (especially the saddle soreness).
good info on training for century...DougSloan
Sep 9, 2002 5:40 AM

I remember strugglng to keep up with an 16-18 mph pace.bill
Sep 9, 2002 6:22 AM
You would be surprised at what you can work up to.
That's the key -- working up to it (as many here have mentioned). Then, you start riding a little faster and ride with a little faster group, and then you ride with a genuinely fast group and are completely bushwacked, and then you can keep up with a fast group and even dust a few of them now and then. As they say, you learn to go faster by . . . going faster.
As far as a century ride, it's a mental thing as much as anything else (lots of good advice above). If you find a nice, well-supported ride, it really is a great day. As for how many stops and when, it depends entirely on your abilities. To start out, take advantage of every twenty-mile stop (the usual distance between stops on supported rides). Talk to people, look around. Have a ball. With experience (and the desire to roll, which you may or may not develop), you may hardly stop at all, just long enough to pee and refuel, although I would never presume to advocate that as the sole legitimate goal of a century.
On any organized century, you will see lots and lots of people tooling along at 15 mph. You also may see groups screaming by at 25+ mph. Find your comfort level and have a great day.
Yessir..and you'll be giving advice the next time somebody asks!jtferraro
Sep 9, 2002 6:37 AM
I did my first century in July and have just(this morning) registered for my second(Sept. 21 or 22nd). Here's the link to my write-up:

jtferraro "Well, I did it! My first century...and on a mountain bike.." 7/22/02 1:50pm

Sep 9, 2002 4:16 PM
do it too ;)

you'll get it.
just keep pedalin'. it's a mental thang.