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Rat Biker
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Howdy all I am finally getting my bike back in shape for long distance riding. One goal I have wanted to do for years just never had a bike fit for it is to ride a century now I am wondering if any of you that have done one have any tips to offer those of us that wanna try and go for it.
Cheers
Jim
 

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You going to do it solo or will it be an organized event?

If you're going it alone, be sure to plan a route with at least two good rest stops. Not only does this allow you to refill water, snacks, etc, it is just nice to have at least 2 decent breaks in a ride that long, IMO. Depending on the weather, I go through at least 5 water bottles, and if it's hot, it's more like 6 - 8 bottles, over a century. I usually start out with 4 or 5 gels, one bottle of Accelerade and a small baggy with Accelerade powder for a refill, 2 solid foods like granola bars or Lara Bars (my favorite of late), and a few semi-solid foods like Cliff Shot Blocks, Sport Beans, or Honey Stinger Waffles. I also make sure at least one of my planned rest stops is somewhere where I can buy more food if necessary.

Ride With GPS is an excellent source for mapping/planning routes. It's free and I've found the elevation profile to be quite helpful and pretty much dead on with the elevation my Garmin shows.

Good luck and, most importantly, enjoy!
 

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Rat Biker
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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry forgot to say it's gonna be a solo ride I only ride solo never have done an event before.
 

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Having just completed my first solo century two weeks ago this is what I did:

Planned my route with a long ride that took about 70 miles then got back into familiar territory for the last 30 miles.

Planned route with parks or chruches so I could refill water bottles, carried powered gator-aid in a baggie to mix in with water.

Carried a bike lock incase I needed to use convience stores for "nature breaks" or more food.

Packed lots of fig newtons and power bars.

Carried my wallet with ID & $

Made sure bike was in top shape & carried 2 tubes & patch kit

Enjoy every minute of it!
 

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Recumbent Evangelist
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One goal I have wanted to do for years just never had a bike fit for it is to ride a century now I am wondering if any of you that have done one have any tips to offer those of us that wanna try and go for it.
Cheers
Jim
Good to see you back in the saddle, Jim!

I really can't add much beyond the wisdom already given, as it agrees with my own experience.

About twice a year I make some long distance touring trips through parts of Europe (400-600 miles one way), and have become accustomed to doing about 100-110 miles per day * maximum*, so that I don't wear myself out too fast (my tours are typically 2-3 weeks in length- one week out, a few days to a week at the destination, then one week back home).

One thing I try to always do before starting the next day of a long tour: stretch, stretch, stretch!

Have a nice warm-up stretch for at least 5-10 minutes at the start, just pulling gently on arms, legs, and back muscles until you just barely start to 'feel the burn'. Do it again during your breaks (less intensive), and definitely once more when you get home. It will help with muscle soreness and cramps later on.

Also, take your time! If it takes you ten hours, then so be it! Better to be slow and feeling good at the end, than rush it and hurt the rest of the night. Improving your speed will happen automatically over time with the more centuries you do, as your body gets used to the idea of regular lengthy fitness.

Good tour!

-Jimm
 

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Having just completed my first solo century two weeks ago this is what I did:

Planned my route with a long ride that took about 70 miles then got back into familiar territory for the last 30 miles.

Planned route with parks or chruches so I could refill water bottles, carried powered gator-aid in a baggie to mix in with water.

Carried a bike lock incase I needed to use convience stores for "nature breaks" or more food.

Packed lots of fig newtons and power bars.

Carried my wallet with ID & $

Made sure bike was in top shape & carried 2 tubes & patch kit

Enjoy every minute of it!
This sounds like great advice. I couldn't help but chuckle at the typo for powered Gatorade though. Instead of electrolytes, I'm picturing a powered fluid that can run electric lights.
 

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Century planning is not rocket science, there are some really good charts you can use that will help you train in a 8 week period for a century at the end of the 8 weeks, here's one such chart see: Training for a Century Ride

Here's another chart: Training

Depending if the century is supported or self supported will depend on how much food and water you should carry. Most of my centuries are self supported thus I will carry 3 water bottles filled with 50% diluted Gatorade and a small 70 oz Camelbak filled with water. Then to refill, should I run out, I just go to a store buy a bottle of Gatorade and pour into my bottles with half G and half water, or carry the powder and mix myself. Food wise I just take Power Bars or Clif Bars. At Walmart they have a section of protein drinks and bars and they have a couple of bars that have 30 and 32 grams of protein...can't remember the name but the protein is listed on the front of the bar, and they work better then Power and Cliff bars for the about the same cost.

Depending on where your riding you need to make sure you carry repair stuff. I carry the following in a expandable wedge seat bag: A ultralight folding tire, ultralight tube in it's box to protect it, 6 glueless patches, Soma tire levers and a QuikStik, Park MTB3 Mini Tool, cheap small folding pliers, 2 AA bats and 2 AAA bats for tail lights, $60 cash, state photo and insurance ID cards, key for house and phone.

Because I live in Indiana the weather can change if you sneeze so I carry a handlebar bag and put a light rain jacket in there along with the food.

If your a good cook you can make your own high protein power bars, here's one: get a ½ cup butter, ½ cup Cream Cheese, 1 ¾ cups Vanilla or Chocolate Whey Protein powder,
1 T. vanilla or chocolate extracts, 2 T. Sugar or sweeten to taste, ½ cup chopped nuts,
¾ cup peanut butter preferably with nuts.

Then Melt the butter in the microwave; add the peanut butter and the softened cream cheese. Mix together with a spoon, no need to drag out the mixer (I do), add the protein powder, flavoring, sugar, nuts, and stir well. To keep it creamy, add more peanut butter but be careful too much will make it sticky and a gooey mess.

Press the mixture firmly into an 8x8 inch pan or glass dish. Roll it evenly with a small tumbler. Slice into small squares, and cover with foil. Put in freezer until frozen. Take the squares frozen on the bike but they will thaw before you need to eat them.

Makes 12 bars, Each bar provides close to carbohydrate 22 Grams, Protein 30 grams, Fat 20 grams. I prefer to buy mine because I can't cook worth a darn and the store bought ones remain a lot firmer but making them is cheaper.
 

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The name of the high protein bars I get from Walmart are called Med Rx 100 Colossal. Those bars make the Power Bar and the sort look wimpy.
 

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What region of Indiana are you from Froze?
 

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I have a few family members up there, but I'm only 30 miles north of Louisville, Ky.
 

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If memory serves correctly, "Collassal"s are actually meal replacement bars (and delicious) and very high in calories which would be quite beneficial on a long trek.
 

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Hazy in May in Indiana there is only one thing that anyone used to pay attention to. They wouldn't let me sing Back Home Again in Indiana there though. There was a time Id have given a months pay to go, but then no one could get tickets. Now I could walk up and get a ticket no problem, but no way I'd want to go now.
 

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If memory serves correctly, "Collassal"s are actually meal replacement bars (and delicious) and very high in calories which would be quite beneficial on a long trek.
That's correct. They work better then Power or Cliff bars and I take them on rides over 50 miles. Also Snickers (in the same area that the Collassal's are found) makes a meal replacement bar as well that is quite tasty.
 
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