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Road Runner

Centuries

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Are they just sado-masochistic rites or are you really into it and find them to be fun?

Jerry's report of his 108 mile odyssey yesterday has re-intensified my interest in why people do this to themselves.

I really like riding.  I have been riding bikes for 65 years, off and on.  Some of my fondest memories of my older brother are when we were carousing on our bikes.  Fun times.  But as an adult rider, after two hours or so, I am ready to dismount.  I like going for a 25 -30 mile ride where I push myself and I get some andrenaline flowing through the old carcass again.  But after a couple hours, the fun starts to fade, the shorts are becoming irritating, and the desire to risk my life is beginning to wane.  I have never ridden a century and I never will.  Unless there is such a thing as a 4-day century.  :)

Have you ridden a century?  Would you categorize it as fun?  Are you a sane person?  :D

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I've ridden 32 centuries, they are fun (mostly), and I'm sane :D I enjoy them. I've ridden my own century a few times solo, but riding with someone or a group is funner. Otherwise the time and miles just drag on.  My longest ride was one-day-ride-across-michigan at 148 miles that BCC and I did. We were riding for 9 hours and some-odd minutes but the time went by quick. Again, with the right company :)  Sheot, also in 2017 her & I rode 9 together including one-helluva-ride (an organized ride) where we had a double paceline of aboot 12 people for the last 70 miles or so. That was a lot of fun. Good fun group of peeps it was.  Keep in mind though, most of my rides average around 25-30 miles.

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I’ve done several centuries both organized & solo but really have no intentions of doing another one on the road.  I have been looking at some MTB/gravel events but would probably do the metrics.

 

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44 minutes ago, Road Runner said:

So how does your crotch feel after 100 miles in the saddle while wearing bike shorts that constantly ride up and chafe your nether regions?   :(

The last one I did a few years ago my crotch was fine but my triceps were pretty sore.  Chamois butt’r is my friend.

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57 minutes ago, RalphWaldoMooseworth said:

Do you have any papers to prove that?  :D  At work there was an old story of a guy who did have such papers and he always asked every one else if they did.  Priceless. :D

I've heard such papers are obtainable, however I do not have them :( So I only offer you my non-professional opinion ;)

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I’ve done maybe a dozen century rides. My normal Saturday rides are usually 70-80 miles so another 20 isn’t a lot. The only one I didn’t enjoy was the one where about 40 miles in a cold front came through with rain and wind. Rode the last 60 miles in sub 50 degrees and 20+ mph winds.

three times I’ve ridden from here to my folks house across the Adirondacks. 153 miles and 6k of climbing. It’s a long day but feels good to do it.

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I’ve done centuries but not the last couple years. They are a lot easier if you ride regularly. I did a century that started in Defiance, Ohio. It was the hottest day of the year, the reported temperature was 108 but the bike computers showed 118. I finished the ride and went straight to the shower truck and took a half hour cold shower.

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I used to ride them every week.  The LBS had a Saturday Century group that I led.  Of course, I was a mere 50 back then and you can do anything when you are that young.  

Now I have been doing a lot of reading that suggests there are more negative than positive heath effects for endurance athletes over 50..  I don't know that I will get back into century rides.   I like the shorter, more intense mtb rides better anyways. 

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11 minutes ago, Road Runner said:

I think a lot of people do it just to say they did it or they feel peer pressure from their riding group to comply. 

Sane people ride alone, set their own pace, and ride for whatever distance they choose.  :D 

Good, because I don’t have any papers to prove that I am sane, so I’ll use that for proof if someone asks. :)

 

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I’ve done a few. My first was in 1998 on the DC AIDS ride. We rode from Raleigh NC north of the VA border. Day 1 was 108 miles. I felt great for the first 102, the last four were tough. Day 2 was 98 miles to Richmond. It started raining before lunch. Day 3 was 87 miles to Manassas in the hottest day of the year. ‘‘Twas humid too. Day 4 was 36 miles to DC. I’ve done several since, groups, solo, road, and gravel. Favorite was solo gravel ride a few years ago. 

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I've done well over 100 century rides. Two years, 2004 and 2006, I did at least one century each month. It's difficult to find someone to ride a century with in months like February in the St. Louis area for some reason. Therefore some of my century rides were solo.

When that wasn't challenging enough, I started doing longer distances such as double centuries. 

Why? I like the challenge. I've failed a few times especially on two attempts at double centuries. It also gives me time to think about things and, conversely, not think about things at work.

I didn't do centuries in 2015 through 2017. But then I did one last year. I'm sure that in the not too distance future I may have to set my goal on doing a metric century or, really challenging, ride my age.

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7 hours ago, Road Runner said:

So how does your crotch feel after 100 miles in the saddle while wearing bike shorts that constantly ride up and chafe your nether regions?   :(

Once the blisters turn into callouses, it isn't too bad. 😁

Like #bikeman564, I put on a lot of DZnuts before the ride. I also carry one or two little 30ml packets of Chamois Butt'r and reapply as necessary.

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My longest ride was 110 km. in 1 day.  I have several 100 km. rides -most with dearie either 1 trip or part of a multi-week long trip which means clocking in total 800+ km. and 1,000 km. on another trip with our own clothing, earlier trips were camping. But we haven't camped in past 18 yrs. 

I have invented my own 100 km. rides, in the cities where I've lived.... except for my current one.  True, after a few months of training, such rides usually were done early summer or early fall...when dearie was away on his transcontinental solo bike trips for many weeks. (I worked, while he has been in early retirement.)  I saw those rides as an enjoyable challenge.  I never had a time goal of when I should complete the ride.  I just went for a huge hunk of the day with an enjoyable cafe stop along the way.

There was a lot of opportunity to hook together multiple bike routes of which 80% would be on bike paths and bike lanes in Toronto and Vancouver. One sees an incredible amount of Nature and some interesting areas in these 2 cities. Dearie taught me how to join /piece such routes together:  advantages of dearie as long-time cycling advocate.

 

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My longest ride was around 60 miles, my ass hurt and I was beat. I decided I would rather go fast than far :D

So, I sold the Trek 520 and bought a Roubaix. My speed jumped from 10 to 12, but has since fallen to around 9.

I love the Roubaix, I may not ride it fast or far, or often, but I enjoy riding it. 

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I think I have done around 10 centuries. The last 2 were in consecutive years on the Cornhusker Games. The high was over 100 both rides! We left at dawn to beat the heat as best we could, but the last 20 miles were hills. I think I did one in 5:15-5:30 or something like that...

The last few years, my longest ride has been 75 miles from our town to Ord for Scratchtoberfest - the anniversary celebration for a favorite brewery. It's a nice ride through one of the prettiest sections of the state. We talk, enjoy the scenery and with a tailwind, make pretty good time! 2 years ago, weather scared off most of the riders. I ended up solo for the last 50 miles with a good tailwind. Averaged 21 MPH! You really get into the moment on a ride like that! 

I rarely have chafing issues with shorts. My challenge is keeping my hands from going numb! I will be spending a lot more time on core work this winter!

 

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12 minutes ago, Further said:

My longest ride was around 60 miles, my ass hurt and I was beat. I decided I would rather go fast than far :D

So, I sold the Trek 520 and bought a Roubaix. My speed jumped from 10 to 12, but has since fallen to around 9.

I love the Roubaix, I may not ride it fast or far, or often, but I enjoy riding it. 

I enjoy my 520. I wonder if I could find a lighter bike that was as comfortable to ride as the 520. Some day I should weigh that bike, it feels like it’s twice as heavy as my aluminum road bike. The three people with the carbon bikes couldn’t believe it when I told them to lift my bike. I told them it gives me s better workout.

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1 minute ago, Longjohn said:

I enjoy my 520. I wonder if I could find a lighter bike that was as comfortable to ride as the 520. Some day I should weigh that bike, it feels like it’s twice as heavy as my aluminum road bike. The three people with the carbon bikes couldn’t believe it when I told them to lift my bike. I told them it gives me s better workout.

I loved my 520, kinda wish I still had it, But, the Roubaix is so much better. Lighter, quicker, and smoother riding.

I would like a gravel bike, which the 520 basically was, but the Roubaix seems happy on gravel. I was worried about the wheels, but as it turns out, you have to actually ride the bike to wear it out, so I'm good. 

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Oh, there once was a time where I aspired a dirt century.  WOOF.  It's too hard on my body.

I did a couple of centuries.  I think they are a rite of passage as you say.  I picked a very hard one for my first.  106 miles, 6600 ft of ele.  At the end, my foot hurt, my ass hurt, my back hurt.  Shit, everything hurt.  

I do like long hard endurance rides on the MTB (3+ hours of pedal), but they are becoming much much harder on me. 

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Just now, Dirtyhip said:

Oh, there once was a time where I aspired a dirt century.  WOOF.  It's too hard on my body.

Last year I did a dirt century w/ some club peeps, and aboot 65 of the 104 miles was on dirt roads. I used my CX bike. It kicked my ass. I was exhausted. Much more effort needed than a road century. But I'm glad I did it :)

image.png.a1f4896b07e8edfb5c505c6a8355f15b.png

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I've done 3..almost 4...my first at 50 was my favorite..all have been done in late May..with just a few hills and the first and last 10 miles on a bike trail... I liked it as a challenge..it was distance not speed...with lunch and lots of breaks. My fastest was only 75 miles..my IT band locked me up at mile 75..I was doing that one with Nicko & my bike buddy..but I was hanging at 14mph til I locked up...got off the bike and couldn't walk!!

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1 hour ago, Dirtyhip said:

Oh, there once was a time where I aspired a dirt century.  WOOF.  It's too hard on my body.

My first time I rode DC to Pittsburgh I had six days before I had to be back at work. I rode the train to DC to start my ride with a bunch of people that had just completed the ride. They told me I didn’t allow enough time to do the ride. They said they did it in eight days and wished they had taken ten days. That had me worried so my first day on the C&O I rode 93 miles. That night I got out my map and realized “I got this”. I backed off my mileage after that and completed the ride in five days.

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I've ridden a few dozen 100+ mile rides.  I'd say half were as an organized event such as my local bike club event that I have done for years.  The other half are often a "prep" ride for a century or a ramble where I just want a long day in the saddle.  I enjoy the few times a year I ride with groups, but I also realize I'm a much happier solo cyclist - my own pace, my own route, my own thoughts.

The sweet spot, for me, is the 40-70 mile ride - long enough to get out to the countryside and have some fun, but short enough it isn't an all day affair.  Since a century is a dedication of ~6hrs riding, 1/2 prep (same for all longer rides), and likely a one hour wind-down (drinking, eating, showering), it really is a time suck on already limited weekend hours.  The 40-70 miles rides are about half that commitment, and can be squeezed in much easier.

Regarding chafing, I am lucky enough to avoid that most of the time, and I gave up using chamois butter/cream years ago.  It worked, but proved unnecessary. My biggest challenge on a longer ride is hydration and salt loss.  I keep getting smacked in the head by rides that start out seemingly "pleasant" in temps & humidity, but 20 or 30 miles in, I realize I have drained my bottles and am getting behind on my fluids.  NOTHING GOOD happens when you start to get dehydrated :(  but I am usually too stupid/stubborn to side-track it to a 7/11 and grab a huge bottle of water or a sports drink.

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6 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

I've ridden a few dozen 100+ mile rides.  I'd say half were as an organized event such as my local bike club event that I have done for years.  The other half are often a "prep" ride for a century or a ramble where I just want a long day in the saddle.  I enjoy the few times a year I ride with groups, but I also realize I'm a much happier solo cyclist - my own pace, my own route, my own thoughts.

The sweet spot, for me, is the 40-70 mile ride - long enough to get out to the countryside and have some fun, but short enough it isn't an all day affair.  Since a century is a dedication of ~6hrs riding, 1/2 prep (same for all longer rides), and likely a one hour wind-down (drinking, eating, showering), it really is a time suck on already limited weekend hours.  The 40-70 miles rides are about half that commitment, and can be squeezed in much easier.

Regarding chafing, I am lucky enough to avoid that most of the time, and I gave up using chamois butter/cream years ago.  It worked, but proved unnecessary. My biggest challenge on a longer ride is hydration and salt loss.  I keep getting smacked in the head by rides that start out seemingly "pleasant" in temps & humidity, but 20 or 30 miles in, I realize I have drained my bottles and am getting behind on my fluids.  NOTHING GOOD happens when you start to get dehydrated :(  but I am usually too stupid/stubborn to side-track it to a 7/11 and grab a huge bottle of water or a sports drink.

I can identify with just about everything you said here. 

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I don’t know how many centuries I have done. I used to do a lot of them, with some weekends consisting of back-to-back centuries, at times on a fixed gear. 

I do know how many double centuries I have done: one. The stats: total time of 12:15 minutes, ride time 10:56 and average speed of 18.2 mph over 200.08 miles.

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2 hours ago, Prophet Zacharia said:

I do know how many double centuries I have done: one. The stats: total time of 12:15 minutes, ride time 10:56 and average speed of 18.2 mph over 200.08 miles.

very nice, I know a few people who have done the double.   Maybe some day :)

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1 hour ago, Rattlecan said:

These days, I consider 50km a good ride. I have done 100 milers a couple of times, both when I was in my 40s, and both times loaded with camping gear and dragging a trailer.

No plans to try that again.

Long rides have lost their charm for sure.  

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