Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 32
  1. #1
    I'm Gumby, Damnit!
    Reputation: tuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    556

    Good Time to Complete a Century?

    I know it's not a race, but I'm curious. In GENERAL, what's a good time in which to complete a century? What would you goal time be?

    Moderate to hilly terrain, with one or two moderate climbs toward the start and rollers (good ones) that comprise the last 20 or so miles.


    Yes. I have a reason for asking.

    Wheels of Fire in Harris County, GA. My first century, and I came in at 5:50:53 ride time, with 17 average.
    Does this saddle make my azz look fat?

  2. #2
    wots...uh the deal?
    Reputation: mmoose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    1,033
    I think Spring is a good time to complete a Century.

    Serious answer, depends on many factors. How many people you ride with, temp, wind, hills are the big thing of course. Fairly hilly century with misc other riders around under 6 hours is very nice.

    More importantly, how did you feel for the last 10? and then how did you feel afterward?

    I did a fairly flat (maybe 3500') solo, windy, way over dressed for the end of it, 100 in 5:30. But, in the weeknight group rides, everyone else is so darn strong, I get spit out the back quickly. The relative part of cycling is so...relative.
    martymoose

  3. #3
    Not a rocket surgeon.
    Reputation: tihsepa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    9,330
    Quote Originally Posted by tuck View Post
    I know it's not a race, but I'm curious. In GENERAL, what's a good time in which to complete a century? What would you goal time be?

    Moderate to hilly terrain, with one or two moderate climbs toward the start and rollers (good ones) that comprise the last 20 or so miles.


    Yes. I have a reason for asking.

    Wheels of Fire in Harris County, GA. My first century, and I came in at 5:50:53 ride time, with 17 average.

    What kind of wheels do you have?

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: OldZaskar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,862
    Depends a lot on...
    - Weather
    - Number of "engines" (the guys who actually pull)
    - Range of fitness in the group (engines can only do so much)

    Under 6 hours would be a great target for a first century.

    Oh, and don't let the description of the event you're doing fool you... it's a race! ;-)
    Last edited by OldZaskar; 04-20-2012 at 06:53 AM.

  5. #5
    Bike Wing Conspiracy
    Reputation: onespeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    810

    Fastest/Flattest is the Montauk Century

    There is only 600 feet of climbing for the whole 104 miles. It is a straight shot out to the end of Long Island.

    There have been some rough years where there was rain and a headwind, but most of the time it is a blast.

    I do it on the track bike nearly every year. Fastest time (years ago) was 4:45.

    5:30-45 is what I try to do it in now.

    There are people that drop the hammer and do it in 4 hours.

  6. #6
    I'm Gumby, Damnit!
    Reputation: tuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    556
    Quote Originally Posted by tihsepa View Post
    What kind of wheels do you have?

    Bontrager Race X Lites. Had R3 tires, but had a nasty cut on the rear after mile 40, and replaced both with T1s from the SAG.
    Does this saddle make my azz look fat?

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    631
    It's all relative to your fitness and expectations. That would be a very good time for me.
    It ain't rocket surgery. Buy everything on sale, pedal when you have too, coast when you can, and get home in one piece. Keep going forward - there is no reverse.

    OGWB

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: BostonG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2,812
    Well, congratulations on setting your bar. Sounds like a fine time, even a good time - but like others say, it's all relative. You'll easily find numerous guys who'll point and laugh at you over that time and you'll easily find numerous guys who'll be well over it and admire you.

    Log the details of the ride (# of people, how much did you suck wheel, how much did you pull, how was the wind, etc.), do the same ride again but better - taking the circumstances of the ride into account.
    I ride mostly in the honorable pursuit of being kissed on both cheeks at the same time by one blond and one brunette. But not redheads, they scare me.

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: nightfend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,585
    Under 5 hours is a good time. That's 20mph average, which isn't crazy fast, but a decent speed for that distance. Under 5 hours is very doable in a larger group, where you can share pulls at the front.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    203
    Quote Originally Posted by onespeed View Post
    There is only 600 feet of climbing for the whole 104 miles. It is a straight shot out to the end of Long Island.

    There have been some rough years where there was rain and a headwind, but most of the time it is a blast.

    I do it on the track bike nearly every year. Fastest time (years ago) was 4:45.

    5:30-45 is what I try to do it in now.

    There are people that drop the hammer and do it in 4 hours.
    600 feet of climbing over 100 miles is pretty darn flat, but for the flattest, you need to check out the Seagull Century on Maryland's eastern shore. There are two hills -- the bridge to Assateague Island and the same bridge back the other way. That is it. Maybe 100 feet of climbing in 100 miles.

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: nightfend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,585
    And if you do the Seagull Century with the race-team group (which is a conglomeration of teams from around the Mid-Atlantic area), you'll be well under 5 hours. It's the fastest way to do the Seagull, and the average speed is usually around 24mph at the end.

  12. #12
    I'm Gumby, Damnit!
    Reputation: tuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    556
    I had trouble finding a group to ride with. I was either way to fast, or way to slow. And when I DID find a good group to hang with...about 20-22ish, IIRC..., I had a flat at mile(ish) 42, and lost them. By the time I was ready to roll again, they wre long gone.

    For the next 25-30 miles, I was pretty much on my own, in decent headwinds for much of it. At around mile 71 (the last good stop), I hooked up with a crew of about 6 who were on the same level as myself. We stayed together until the bigger rollers in the last 10 miles. After that, I was on my own again.
    Does this saddle make my azz look fat?

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,342
    Quote Originally Posted by tuck View Post
    I had trouble finding a group to ride with. I was either way to fast, or way to slow. And when I DID find a good group to hang with...about 20-22ish, IIRC..., I had a flat at mile(ish) 42, and lost them. By the time I was ready to roll again, they wre long gone.

    For the next 25-30 miles, I was pretty much on my own, in decent headwinds for much of it. At around mile 71 (the last good stop), I hooked up with a crew of about 6 who were on the same level as myself. We stayed together until the bigger rollers in the last 10 miles. After that, I was on my own again.
    I found this is what happens when you average around 17mph on a century with other riders, not exactly hammering but churning along at a decent pace, the groups I come up to are too slow and I would pass them at any slightest slope and I would never find the groups going 22 mph..

    Pretty much I'm on my own. I usually ride centuries by myself unless it is an event I paid for.. don't worry about drafting so much.

  14. #14
    xxl
    xxl is offline
    Moderator
    Reputation: xxl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    29,503
    Quote Originally Posted by kfurrow View Post
    600 feet of climbing over 100 miles is pretty darn flat, but for the flattest, you need to check out the Seagull Century on Maryland's eastern shore. There are two hills -- the bridge to Assateague Island and the same bridge back the other way. That is it. Maybe 100 feet of climbing in 100 miles.
    There's a century ride in NW Ohio, the Hancock Horizontal Hundred.

    The total change in elevation for the ride (not counting a couple of highway overpasses) is less than five feet.

    But pray there is no wind that day.

  15. #15
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally Posted by nightfend View Post
    And if you do the Seagull Century with the race-team group (which is a conglomeration of teams from around the Mid-Atlantic area), you'll be well under 5 hours. It's the fastest way to do the Seagull, and the average speed is usually around 24mph at the end.
    We have one like that in TN. Clarksville Sunrise Century. 163 feet of climbing in 100 miles. Awesome.

  16. #16
    I'm Gumby, Damnit!
    Reputation: tuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    556
    Quote Originally Posted by OutAndBack View Post
    We have one like that in TN. Clarksville Sunrise Century. 163 feet of climbing in 100 miles. Awesome.
    Hey Out... When is this? I'm in Chattanooga.
    Does this saddle make my azz look fat?

  17. #17
    Steaming piles of opinion
    Reputation: danl1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    10,502
    Quote Originally Posted by PoorCyclist View Post
    I found this is what happens when you average around 17mph on a century with other riders, not exactly hammering but churning along at a decent pace, the groups I come up to are too slow and I would pass them at any slightest slope and I would never find the groups going 22 mph..

    Pretty much I'm on my own. I usually ride centuries by myself unless it is an event I paid for.. don't worry about drafting so much.
    Naturally, that's the math of it.

    The fastest groups will be the furthest out. If you are going for time, you have to be in the front group off the line and hang on as best as you can, then naturally settle back to the group that's going your speed. If you start in the back and try to weave up through the wankers, hybrids, and recumbents, you'll never catch a fast enough wheel to provide any real help.

    The trick is to do that without being a wanker yourself.

    OP: 5:50 for an essentially solo ride that included a wait-for SAG mechanical is fully respectable. Unless you've got one of the real flat centuries and a defined team, I'd call anything starting with a 5 a good number.
    A good habit is as hard to break as a bad one..

  18. #18
    I'm Gumby, Damnit!
    Reputation: tuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    556
    Quote Originally Posted by danl1 View Post
    Naturally, that's the math of it.

    The fastest groups will be the furthest out. If you are going for time, you have to be in the front group off the line and hang on as best as you can, then naturally settle back to the group that's going your speed. If you start in the back and try to weave up through the wankers, hybrids, and recumbents, you'll never catch a fast enough wheel to provide any real help.

    The trick is to do that without being a wanker yourself.

    OP: 5:50 for an essentially solo ride that included a wait-for SAG mechanical is fully respectable. Unless you've got one of the real flat centuries and a defined team, I'd call anything starting with a 5 a good number.
    Thanks Dan, for both the info and comment.

    The bit about the front group off the line and the wankers...basically, those who are probably doing the quarter or metric I would assume...makes perfect sense. No one has pointed that out before, nor have I thought of it myself.

    3 State-3 Mountain is the next century coming up. Week after next, here in Chattanooga (Yeah! No long drive for meh this time. hehe). I will keep this tip in the front of my mind from now on.
    Does this saddle make my azz look fat?

  19. #19
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    106
    Quote Originally Posted by tuck View Post
    When is this? I'm in Chattanooga.
    I am close too tuck...It is September 1st. Check this site over the next few weeks for details. Sunrise Century Home Page

  20. #20
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    8
    In a peloton or an echelon cyclists who are part of the group can save up to 40 percent in energy expeditures over a cyclist who is not drafting with the group. 5:50 mostly alone is a great time. Group riders know the huge advantage the enjoy if they can manage not to be dropped - that is the essence of road racing vs. time trials. Triathletes know this as they are not allowed to draft in races - its much harder than in a group.

    Anyway, my opinion is that if you can ride a bike 100 miles in a single outing anytime is a good time. Those people you see crossing the finish line in 7 hours plus have usually done something unimaginable to the majority of the population. Unless you are a pro riding 3-4 hours a day every day of the year there is always someone faster...

  21. #21
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1,013
    spring is a good time.

  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    1,706
    Anything under 5 hours is great.

    Under four hours is quite the feat.

  23. #23
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    1,706
    Quote Originally Posted by OutAndBack View Post
    We have one like that in TN. Clarksville Sunrise Century. 163 feet of climbing in 100 miles. Awesome.
    This is a good one to go sub 4. Flat, no stops, dedicated pace line, even feeds from the car. That last hour is no joke, though.

  24. #24
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    624
    This Clarksville 2011 fast century ride report is pretty entertaining. He finished in 3:51:08 , a few seconds off the front group.

    From the report:
    We had 2-3 motorcycle escorts closing intersections for us which was also key..so we never had to slow down.

    40 miles in, my very VERY new best friend (a racer who contacted me privately to give me tips before the ride) saw I was still hanging in and told me to pull back and save some energy because "this is where they split the group". Sure enough, on cue we hit a long roller and *poof* half the group was gone never to return. The wheel-suckers in the back deserved it..they thought they could ride without working for 99 miles and be in the front at the end, but like someone on here mentioned..cycling has a beautiful way of filtering out people.

    and

    Mile 90 I'm starting to get really excited and nervous. Excited because I'm still barely hanging onto the front group..and nervous because I started obsessively stressing out about getting a flat. We kept slamming into train tracks at full power and hitting gravel and I was petrified I was going to get a flat 5 miles from the finish and not do it.

    Mile 95 I'm thinking its going to be close. Mile 99 and I can't believe I'm still in the front group.

    Mile 99.9 and the front group sprints around the last corner into the parking lot..I let them go because (a) i had no gas left in the tank and (b) they did all the pulling the last 40 miles so i didn't really feel i deserved to go in the sprint.

    So I passed the clock about 20 seconds behind them at 3:51:08 and the other 8-10 riders came in probably a few minutes laer.

    So I have no idea how many finished under 4, but I'm guessing maybe 25 or so.

  25. #25
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    744
    Quote Originally Posted by donow View Post
    In a peloton or an echelon cyclists who are part of the group can save up to 40 percent in energy expeditures over a cyclist who is not drafting with the group. 5:50 mostly alone is a great time. Group riders know the huge advantage the enjoy if they can manage not to be dropped - that is the essence of road racing vs. time trials. Triathletes know this as they are not allowed to draft in races - its much harder than in a group.

    Anyway, my opinion is that if you can ride a bike 100 miles in a single outing anytime is a good time. Those people you see crossing the finish line in 7 hours plus have usually done something unimaginable to the majority of the population. Unless you are a pro riding 3-4 hours a day every day of the year there is always someone faster...
    This last paragraph sums up my feelings. I think it gets overlooked that many of the contributors on this board tend to be much faster than the average cyclists.

    My personal belief is that you should have fun. If setting a p.r. Makes the experience fun, go for it. However there are many people reading that might be intimidated by the very fast times quoted.

    I rode the Clarksville century mentioned above. I finished in about 6.5 hours, had a good time riding through the Amish area in Kentucky. I can also state that there were as many people behind me as in front . Congratulations to OP. I think your time is very good for a first century or your 100th.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

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