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solo centuries(13 posts)

solo centuriesstan_b
Jul 15, 2003 5:40 AM
I am contemplating attempting one. My longest solo ride thus far was 76 miles in which I averaged 18.8.

How many here have successfully completed this ride? I know that last 25 miles must be tough. Any advice?
just do itJS Haiku Shop
Jul 15, 2003 5:46 AM
there's nothing magical about the number "100".

100 = 76 + 24.

treat it like any other "long" ride. your bike probably won't turn into a pumpkin at 99.9 miles.

eat, drink, pace.

good luck.
It is easy, try it on a fixed. (nm)onespeed
Jul 15, 2003 5:54 AM
Lots of little goals ...Humma Hah
Jul 15, 2003 5:57 AM
... lots of little snacks, lots of little sips, and keep pedaling. Rest stops longer than it takes to buy snacks and drinks will let your muscles start to set up like cement, so keep moving.

I've soloed 130 and 140-mile rides on the singlespeed cruiser. They're hard, but very satisfying. Centuries are just nice, long rides unless there's a huge amount of climbing.
re: solo centuriesPatM
Jul 15, 2003 6:03 AM
At that kind of pace you should not have any problem - the key thing for me is to making sure that there are places to stop and fill bottles and places to go to the bathroom. I would say even if you slowed down your average by 1 mph you would have plenty of energy to finish strong.
just keep ridingterry b
Jul 15, 2003 6:08 AM
boredom is my biggest problem. that and the heat. I try to do them in the spring and the fall, because I'm not really good at getting out of the house by 5 in order to finish before it hits 95.

planning a route is another challenge. depending on where you live, getting in 100 non-repetive miles can be a stretch. but if you're creative it can be done. personally, I find a tremendous sense of accomplishment in doing them alone - much more so than doing an organized version. getting through 5-6 hours with little company and no pile of bikes to look at can be a challenge.

in the end though the answer is the same as any long ride - eat before you're hungry, drink before you're thristy, carry some identification and have a good agenda of life's challenges to review while you're cruising along.
re: that last 25micyclopathic
Jul 15, 2003 6:47 AM
depending on route, training and conditions you hit the wall ~60-160mi into ride. For first century try to ride a tud slower, bring enough water and food and eat it too.
It is a good idea to stop half way and get a sandwitch or burger good luck
No problemvindicator
Jul 15, 2003 7:29 AM
You're in better shape than I was when I did my first century and did it solo. My longest before then was about 78 at about 17 mph average.

I rode point to point with my family meeting me at the destination.

For fuel I took:

2 Zefal "magnum" water bottles with cytomax spiked with some protein and a 100 oz camelbak with water.

2 baggies of cytomax/protein powder for refill

A bunch of fig newtons, a banana, a multivitamin, and a couple of flasks of hammergel.

One stop at a gas station to refill and remix bottles and refill camelbak was all I needed, other than a few very short stops to stretch legs, take nature break, eat the banana, etc. Keep moving!

I tried not to push too hard the first half and the last 15 miles ended being a breeze. Once I recognized where I was, it gave me a lift and I really powered my way home.

One thing I realized in retrospect is that there were large sections of my route which were on little country roads (to avoid highways) with no cell phone reception, very little traffic, and miles between homes. If I'd have had a problem in certain spots, I could have been in trouble. So you may want to plan a route where you're at least confident you can get a cell signal most of the way.

Ended up doing 106.

Go for it!
Go for it....For extra peace of mind...PseuZQ
Jul 15, 2003 8:41 AM
..study maps of your proposed route. Helps also if you've ridden or driven certain segments before and are linking them together. That way, you can know exactly where gas stations, mini marts, parks with water/restrooms are so you know you're never too far from a little respite from your ride. Also, think about what your bailout options are along the ride whether that be taking a shorter route, or what you might do if you had a mechanical you couldn't fix. (Hitch a ride? Find a ranger station? Flag down other cyclists? Take some form of transport, like Amtrak?) You may never need to use any of these options, but for me, knowing beforehand what I'd do contributes to my confidence and makes for a more pleasant ride.

Good luck!
re: solo centuriespmf1
Jul 15, 2003 9:34 AM
If you can ride 76 miles at 18.8 mph average, you can easily do 100. If you feel wiped out after the 76 miles at 18.8 mph, ride a little slower for the 100. Stop and eat a few times. Make sure you drink lots. Frankly, I thing the first 35 miles of a century are the worst because there seems to be so much more to ride. Once you hit the 1/3 mark, its soon 1/2, then 2/3, then 3/4 then its almost over.
It isn't that hard-just "do it".KG 361
Jul 15, 2003 9:43 AM
Do what the others have said. Take along plenty of food and drink or know where there are places to get snacks and drinks along the way. I did my 1st on 2 magnum Zefal bottles + another big bottle in my rear jersey pocket. Food was 3 Cliff bars and another, smaller bar. I had hammer nutrition's Perpetium in 2 of the bottles and h20 in the other. Filled upwith h20 @ around mile 45 and then again at mile 70 or so. I was quite surprised at how easy it was. You'll really enjoy the fact that you did it.
that's a startDougSloan
Jul 15, 2003 9:49 AM
A solo century may seem long now, but after a several dozen of them, then solo *double* centuries and even 250 milers are doable. If you don't try, you'll never know. Just do it.

Doug
Thanksstan_b
Jul 15, 2003 10:25 AM
for all the suggestions and encouragement. I have ridden two group centuries the last 2 years but am in better shape now. I did the 76 solo ride about 2 weeks ago. My hope is to attempt the solo century sometime later this season.

I agree it comes down to properly fueling. On the 76 mile ride I'd say I did so just right between GU and Gatorade. I also felt really good that day. I know I won't attempt it if I'm not feeling good on that day.

I am thinking of selecting an out-and-back route only because it is more mindless coming back. I don't want to have to be figuring out a new route when I'm tired.