View Full Version : 10 Things I Learned From My First Century

07-19-2006, 10:33 AM
1. Don’t be That Girl. Like when I pulled up to the registration table to pick up my numbers and I found an open spot to set my bike against the steep curb, in between a sea of expensive bicycles set carefully and delicately against the same curb. And when I did so I bumped the tire of one shiny bike and created a domino-effect of about 20 bikes that all decided to topple over as I stood gaping in horror. (note to self: when you are a clutz, don’t assume you can perform such a task without horrendous side effects, also park bike well away from fancy bikes and bike owners who probably spent more on their bikes than I did on my car).

2. For that matter, don’t be That Guy. The one that fell down before the ride even started and busted his leg open (how on earth he managed to hurt himself so badly when he wasn’t even moving, I don’t know, but it happened nonetheless).

3. Don’t clip in until you’re sure you’re going to do more than shuffle down a few more steps. It’s better to straddle the top tube with both feet on the ground. Thank the lord that you’re not a guy and don’t have to worry (as much) about bonking your nether-regions on the top tube hard enough to send stars shooting to your eyes. Starting a huge organized ride is similar to driving on the Schuylkill expressway at rush hour. Someone, somewhere is probably moving, but just because they’ve started the ride it doesn’t mean that you will be moving anytime soon, and when you do finally start moving, that doesn’t guarantee you will gain enough speed to keep from crashing down and taking others down around you (thankfully, not learned from experience, just observation!)

4. Don’t assume other cyclists know what they’re doing. When over 5,000 cyclists take to the streets of Philadelphia, what do you get? Well, lots more traffic accidents, that’s for sure. Never assume someone is going to be riding his/her bike in the regular direction of traffic. If anything, assume only one thing: chaos. You will most likely not be disappointed.

5. Don’t assume the ride, no matter how huge it is, will have a table for breakfast at the start (shame on you, ACS... and don't even get me started on the running out of Gatorade thing). That way when you’re at mile ten you’re not wishing you’d stuffed that extra banana in your back pocket because you’re already seriously starting to bonk.

6. Always find out your riding buddies plans before the ride. Don’t attempt to keep up with them the first 20 miles of the ride when they’re riding around 22 mph and then realize belatedly that they’re not planning on doing the 100 after all and that maybe you should have paced yourself.

7. Too much fruit is a bad, bad thing (especially when there is no indoor plumbing!).

8. Don’t get upset when you get passed. You will get passed. By everyone, from the fast and hardcore training team to the kid on a 15 year old Raleigh bike with flat pedals and a t-shirt 4x too big for him. Oh, and the guy on rollerblades. Up a hill. Uhm, yeah.

9. Arranging for a driver to pick you up at the finish is a bonus. Arranging for said driver to take you to the beach so you can lounge in the sand and soak your muscles in the cold salt water is an even bigger bonus. No style points subtracted if your cycling tan lines look odd with your bathing suit.

10. Always bring flip flops to the finish. Road shoes are not very comfortable when you’re not on the bike. Especially after you’ve been in them for several hours.

All in all, it was a great experience, and of all the things I learned the most important is that I Can Do It, and most likely will several times over in the future.

So. There it is, my first century ride. A friend’s trip report (and pics, including some of me) are located here (http://www.muda.org/pictures/20060709_acs)

07-19-2006, 10:48 AM
Sounds like a real learning experience!
So... do you have gender confusion? I do... ("Don't be That Girl..." ... "Thank the lord that youíre a guy and donít have to worry (as much) ...")

First Century, in far less than ideal conditions! Congrats~! The nextg one can be much better....

07-19-2006, 12:56 PM
*shrug* That Guy or That Girl can be anyone. Maybe I should have said That Person.

And when I bonked my groin against the top tube in the process of shuffling up in line it hurt, but I couldn't help but think how much more painful it might have been had I inherited the family jewels!

The conditions were actually pretty good, overall, I finished in not too bad a time and didn't feel completely thrashed so I guess that's good enough for me!


07-20-2006, 09:57 AM
Congrats on your first century! I'll be doing my first one in September, and I'll remember your tips. L.

07-20-2006, 11:14 AM
and the fans go WILDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!! Congrats Kimmy - isn't riding a century just about the coolest thing in the whole world? I loved some of your tips coz I've seen pretty much all of them on the very few organized rides I'm able to go on - cept the "knocking over the bikes". It my case it's usually just My bike that falls - and it always seems to fall on the cassette side! (tyvm lol) As for the food stops et al: I just always carry my own food anyway so I just don't count on them - for pretty much anything! LOL

Welcome to the Century Club my friend! May you ride many more in the years to come!

Tri Girl
07-21-2006, 07:09 AM
Congrats on completing your first century Kimmy! :D Sounds like it was a pretty good experience and you learned many valuable lessons. I'm going to remember them for my century in Sept. (like Lise).
Great job!

07-21-2006, 07:11 AM
Congratulations Kimmy...I love your report! I have my first century coming up in about 4 weeks and I'll try not to be that girl. :D