Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling apparel.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 21
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    109

    first century report

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    I rode my first century yesterday. It was great! I rolled out at 7:15 am in order to try and beat as much of the heat as possible. And wouldn't you know it, the batteries conked out in my cyclocomputer after 17 minutes. (My own fault for unplugging the cradle to charge my mp3 player and forgetting to turn the unit off). Riding without the computer was both nerve-wracking and kind of liberating. I had no way of ever knowing how far I'd gone, or how much further there was to go to a stop. By the same token, I'd done 35 miles before I knew it, and then 50 also completely snuck up on me.

    I was riding alone, although at two different points I wound up kind of swapping positions with two other solo women riders. After lunch, I kind of glommed onto a group of 5 guys who were riding in a loose paceline. I didn't join their line, or even really draft off of them (although they very graciously invited me to, which I appreciated), but I decided to just stay behind them for a while to help regulate my pace and maybe take a bit of wind-shield now and then. I was behind them for about 15 miles, and then I pulled their paceline up a big hill and for the last 5 miles until the final rest stop. It was actually quite fun, although at times they went maddeningly slowly. Actually I have no idea if they were going slowly or not, because I had no computer! I think if I hadn't forced myself to keep their pace, I would have spent all my energy much too early, because I'd been really dropping the hammer up until I joined them.

    I forgot to eat at the final rest stop (mile 78), so mile 80-90 were kind of painful. I felt myself bonking a bit, and generally running low on enthusiasm. Fortunately I think I took in enough calories from Gatorade that by mile 90 I tapped some final reserve of energy and the last ten miles went pretty well (and quickly). All in all, I consider this experience a huge success. Not only did I achieve my goal of finishing, but I did so way faster than I had anticipated (16+ mph average, calculated only by start and finish times, minus lunch and rest stops). Plus I finished feeling pleasantly tired and not sore, as opposed to wrecked, and all of the tweaks I had made because of the bike fitting last week really paid off. No saddle soreness, no neck pain, only minor hand and foot numbness. Also, I cannot say enough good things about the Louis Garneau Neo Power shorts. They were fantastic.

    I also learned a lot about how I'd do it differently next time:

    1)I discovered that I have trouble eating solid food after about 50 miles. I ate my Gu Chomps and Clif Shot Blocks first, and saved my Clif Builder's Bar and cheese crackers for later. I should have reversed it.

    2)I am not coordinated enough to swap the position of my bottles in their cages while actively maintaining pace. I thought I'd pulled it off and then dropped one of my brand new insulated water bottles Oh well, I'll just consider it an offering to the cycling gods. So I really need to figure out a better hydration system. I have a camelback, but it's so much nicer not to have anything on your back for all those hours.

    3)People on these rides are typically pretty friendly, so it's not a bad idea to join someone's line or find another solo rider to swap pulling with. I don't have a lot of experience with pacelines or drafting, but it's a good way to learn. And it does make a big difference in terms of conserving energy and increasing speed. That being said, I really am a solo rider when it comes down to it. I like doing my own thing, keeping my earphones in, and so on. If someone wants to draft off of me, no problem, but I don't like feeling responsible to others on my ride (aside from my general responsibility to be a conscientious rider, of course).

    I have to say, I am completely hooked on centuries now! I'm registered to do another one in Virginia in mid-September. It's going to be logistically difficult for me to pull that off, although I really hope I can figure out how to do it. And in August I'm relocating to Tampa, FL, so hopefully there will be some centuries later on in the year that I can do down there. My goal for the next one is to finish in under 6 hours, and my ultimate goal is the 5 hour century!
    2006 Giant OCRc
    2011 Giant Escape City W
    198? Univega Nuovo Sport 42/16 fixed gear conversion
    1979 Peugeot 44/18 fixed gear conversion

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Big City
    Posts
    434
    Congrats!! That sounds AWESOME. I would love to do a century if they had any way out here in the boonies! You should feel really accomplished

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    where ARE we?
    Posts
    429
    Congrats! And I'm right there with ya when it comes to solid food. Yikes.

    There's a big century ride in Gainesville FL in October - I plan on going to that if I can squeeze it into our plans. :-)
    2009 Fuji Team

    My blog - which rarely mentions cycling. It's really about decorating & food. http://www.crisangsteninteriors.com/blog

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    109
    I don't even know where Gainsville is in regards to Tampa! Have to look at a map. What ride is it?
    2006 Giant OCRc
    2011 Giant Escape City W
    198? Univega Nuovo Sport 42/16 fixed gear conversion
    1979 Peugeot 44/18 fixed gear conversion

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    1,058
    Congrats!
    "Well-behaved women seldom make history." --Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    '09 Trek WSD 2.1 with a Brooks B-68 saddle
    '11 Trek WSD Madone 5.2 with Brooks B-17

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    the dry side of Washington
    Posts
    149
    Sounds like a great day! I love reading reports like this
    Women are. Like tea bags; you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water~ Eleanor Roosevelt

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,251
    SO great!!! Congrats! For a first time, it sounds like you really did everything well! Yippee!!!
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Portland Metro Area
    Posts
    859
    Congratulations on your century ride. I enjoyed reading your story and I think it's great that you learned something useful about yourself for next time. Nice job!
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls & looks like work" - Thomas Edison

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    South Central Indiana
    Posts
    624
    Congrats to you!

    I recently did 30 miles without my computer working and it was very interesting. Scary at first, but it was over really quickly!

    I hope to follow in your ladies' footsteps and ride the big 100 eventually!
    ***proud Hoosier, statistics nerd, and mom to a headstrong toddler***
    ****one car family and loving it!****

    Owned by:
    Le Monstre Vert - 2013 Surly Cross-check
    Chessie, Scottish Terrier
    Bonzai, Catahoula Leopard Dog

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    1,222
    Congratulations on a milestone ride! Just curious though...if your computer konked out at the beginning of the ride, how did you know how far you had ridden at any given point? How did you know when you hit 100? That would have drove me nuts not knowing how much further I had to go.
    2012 Seven Axiom SL - Specialized Ruby SL 155

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    109
    Quote Originally Posted by nscrbug View Post
    Congratulations on a milestone ride! Just curious though...if your computer konked out at the beginning of the ride, how did you know how far you had ridden at any given point? How did you know when you hit 100? That would have drove me nuts not knowing how much further I had to go.
    For the most part I didn't. But I was riding the century in an organized ride, so there were scheduled rest stops, and I knew the mileage of those from the cue sheet: the store was at mile 35, the lunch stop at mile 50, the last rest-stop at mile 78, and then 100 miles was at the fairgrounds where the ride began. When I was riding with the group of guys, I asked them at one point how far along we were and was told we were at about 70 miles. So at least I had a general sense.
    2006 Giant OCRc
    2011 Giant Escape City W
    198? Univega Nuovo Sport 42/16 fixed gear conversion
    1979 Peugeot 44/18 fixed gear conversion

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    1,222
    Quote Originally Posted by blue_angel View Post
    For the most part I didn't. But I was riding the century in an organized ride, so there were scheduled rest stops, and I knew the mileage of those from the cue sheet: the store was at mile 35, the lunch stop at mile 50, the last rest-stop at mile 78, and then 100 miles was at the fairgrounds where the ride began. When I was riding with the group of guys, I asked them at one point how far along we were and was told we were at about 70 miles. So at least I had a general sense.
    Ahhh, I see. I guess I should have picked up on the point that it was an "organized" century...but must have missed that. I've only done 1 organized century so far, the rest (about 8 total) have all been self-supported. One of these days, I'd like to do another organized one simply because the route is already planned out, and it's great to have rest stops stocked with good snacks.
    2012 Seven Axiom SL - Specialized Ruby SL 155

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    865
    Blue angel.. if it was "one helluva Ride" I was there too!


    Not all who wander are lost

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    70
    That is so awesome! Congratulations!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Whitmore Lake, Michigan
    Posts
    920
    Congratulations! and thanks for posting about your insights. It really does help to jot notes for the next time. I find myself rereading some of my blog to discover things about how my riding is evolving or different issues I have had along the way and how it compares to now.

    My first thought was that you went on the "one hell of a ride" also because I knew it was that weekend and it had a century in it. I was planning on going but a quick trip with my sisters for a few day getaway popped up and that put the kabosh on the organized ride. I hear it's a lot of fun! Maybe next year.
    Bike Writer

    http://pedaltohealth.blogspot.com/

    Schwinn Gateway unknown year
    Specalized Expedition Sport Low-Entry 2011

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •