Remembering The 100 Miles
My First Century Was In 2002
It was a 100 miles MS ride that had me going the full range of feelings and emotions. There were three of us and sometimes four in our group.
The ride organizers did provide some interesting diversions, however.
The Cue Sheet was sent out ahead of time. However, instead of something foldable that would fit in a cue sheet holder
We got about 12 pages with:
At 1.2 miles, turn Right onto Main Street
Stay on Main Street for 1.2 miles, then
Turn Left onto 22nd Avenue
Fortunately, since we received this a week before the ride, I was able to re write it so it would be usable.
The motorcycle club lead out was supposed to be some version of rider support. We did not see any of them until well into the ride. A single motorcyclist was sitting in a parking lot waiting for us. He said all his buddies left after the lead out. He stayed with us until the very end, however.
At the start of the ride we had a 15 mph wind at our back. And, of course, we were all full of whatever we get full of when first starting a ride like this. We did pay for this on the way back. Although the ride was a narrow loop, it was ride East for 50 miles, then ride West for 50 miles
On the way back, along one seven mile stretch I quickly discovered the value of pace lining, when the biggest rider pulled to the front. Most unkindly, however, everyone else “forgot?” to pull until we got off the beach.
About mile 75 I decided to bonk. Well, I didn’t really decide to bonk . . . I just did. Got on my bike…got off my bike…sat down…drank two quarts of water over the next half hour…and took a swallow every five minutes after that.
The hotdogs and hamburgers at the end of ride almost didn’t happen. It seems the organizers had forgotten all about the century riders and were in the midst of packing thing up. Our motorcycle shepherd had called them to give them a heads up. It seems they went out and bought more food at that point.
I survived the ride with a sore butt.
That evening, I vowed to never ride a century again.
However when Susan (my wife) decided to her first century, in September 2008, I agreed to ride along with her, of course.
With us, one other rider, Bill, from our club, joined us.
It was supposed to be flat . . . we thought . . . there are no hills in that part of Long Island, NY.
Ah the first 25 miles were a breeze and a joy.
After the next 35 miles along with wind and hills, my wife was ready to call it day. Bill and I encouraged her to go on.
It went like this:
…more hills, much frustration, but stubborn determination
…Bill and I took turns keeping her company, because the pace was slooow
…finally, about mile 85 back to the flats, with the end in sight
…at the last rest stop, at mile 92 we were told that the actual ride was 105 miles, but the short cut was a smidgen under 100. We took the shortcut and came in at 99.8 miles.
…the solution was to ride down the flat road until the odometer hit 99.9, then ride back for an even 100, which we did.
A century is a long ride, but the sense of accomplishment is real.
- Was it worth it? Just look at our faces.
- What was our average? We decided that was not important.
- Were we planning our next century? fugetaboutit
- What happened to Bill? I think he is with Waldo.
- Would we recommend it? Staying away from that one.
At that point we decided that a metric century was plenty of bike ride.
We have not done more than 72 miles in a single day since.
Tips for riding your first century.
Remember your riding etiquette