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  1. #1
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    How many have completed a Imperial Century?

    I recently completed my first century. Physically it was the most difficult thing I have ever done. I will say this much, if you can do 50 miles; you physically can do 100, the only factor is how badly you want to. I don't know that I will complete another anytime soon, after ~80 miles the fun was gone and it was just a matter of getting home; I was exhausted.

    This was intended to be a poll, not sure how to do that though.

    My question and the thought that helped me on the last 20 miles was this: How many cyclists, let alone Americans, will ever ride 100 miles in 1 day. Anyone can quit....only the determined push through, staying focused on the end goal.

    The other thing that helped me push though is in my signature. MY WIFE...You see my wife has MS. MS has deteriorated the nervous system in her body, she gets tired really easy, she has little feeling in her feet, some days it hurts just to move. Yet she is a grad student in psychology, a full time wife and mom, and my best friend. When I was out there struggling the last little bit, I was thinking this is how my wife feels when she is fresh and she does it every day. Like her I kept putting one foot in front of the other and made it to my goal...home.

    I am riding in the Oregon Bike MS in August and this was part of my preparation for that ride.

    Want to help find a cure for MS?? Ride in one if the Bike MS events or Donate to mine.
    Last edited by matfam; 06-16-2013 at 10:53 PM.
    People sleep peaceably at night because rough men and woman stand ready to do violence on their behalf. George Orwell

    Oregon Bike MS 2013 Team Matfam

  2. #2
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    I started road biking in Mid April this year and just finished the Big Ring Century this past Saturday. I had almost bailed midway through because I had developed muscle cramps in my calves and thighs since almost the 20 miles mark. I willed myself to finish even if I had to ride on the easiest gears much of the way to avoid putting too much stress on either legs. It can be done if you put your mind to it.

  3. #3
    wyrd bi ful rd
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    Well done. I just did mine a few weeks ago. It was hard going ...

  4. #4
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    Good going. My first century was actually last year's MS ride.

    We rode from Cherry Hill, NJ to Ocean City, NJ and back. Most people were staying overnight in OC, but four of us had things to do on Sunday so we rode back to Cherry Hill on the Saturday, after taking a 30-min break for pizza.

    I did 141 miles that day, and felt like I could have done more. We had a 20.8mph average at the 100 mile mark, and ended up with a 20.1 at the end. One guy was fading fast, so we slowed down a lot.

    I kept myself fueled and hydrated with electrolyte drinks the whole way, and I felt fine when we were done. I went out and did 30 miles the next day just for fun, and ended up back in the last part of the MS ride.

    I'm looking forward to doing it again this year. I may go out with some friends and do a double century, or maybe 250 miles one day this summer. I have a couple of people interested so far

  5. #5
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    Congrats on your accomplishment.

    I've done a few centuries, and I agree - right around mile 80 is where, for me, it starts to get tough.

    Actually, my first century was the easiest. I did it solo, because I didn't want the pressure of finishing within a certain time. A benefit that I did not realize I had until I had done other, group, centuries was that I did not feel pressured (inspired??) to ride at anyone else's pace, I just kept to my own. And, being my first century, I was very cautious about my pace and rode a bit slower than I really had to. The last 5 mi. or so, I was really flying because I had so much left in the tank and I was back on familiar roads.

    I was in pretty good shape, though, since I'd been riding 2 - 3000 mi/year for a few years, and I'd regularly ride a (very) hilly 65 mi loop on week ends. For some reason I was intimidated by the 100 mi thing. I should have done it earlier.





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  6. #6
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    Re: How many have completed a Imperial Century?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxpowers View Post
    I started road biking in Mid April this year and just finished the Big Ring Century this past Saturday. I had almost bailed midway through because I had developed muscle cramps in my calves and thighs since almost the 20 miles mark. I willed myself to finish even if I had to ride on the easiest gears much of the way to avoid putting too much stress on either legs. It can be done if you put your mind to it.
    Big Ring (in OC) isn't a particularly easy first century. There's over 5,000 feet vertical and a nasty 15% grade climb right around mile 80. Well done!

  7. #7
    old school drop out
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    The more centuries that you do the easier they get. Also, some days a century seems easy, other days they are incredibly hard: wind, temperature, elevation change, fitness level, and nutrition all play factors in how hard a century ride is in any given day.

    I signed up for my first 100 mile ride in 2002 and was not sure that I'd be able to complete it. I'd done a few 70 mile rides, but nothing further. However, after doing 100 miles the next time I did it, I knew that it was possible. Last year I did 6 or 7 100+ mile rides (although only one was an "official" event) including three 100+ mile rides in three consecutive days. In the past couple of years I've also done a 150 and 200 mile ride. Looking back, that first century was a huge goal for me, but once you've trained to complete one, you'll find that your body adapts and they get easier - although on a windy day a 100 mile ride (or less) can still seem incredibly difficult.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1442397 View Post
    Good going. My first century was actually last year's MS ride.

    We rode from Cherry Hill, NJ to Ocean City, NJ and back. Most people were staying overnight in OC, but four of us had things to do on Sunday so we rode back to Cherry Hill on the Saturday, after taking a 30-min break for pizza.

    I did 141 miles that day, and felt like I could have done more. We had a 20.8mph average at the 100 mile mark, and ended up with a 20.1 at the end. One guy was fading fast, so we slowed down a lot.

    I kept myself fueled and hydrated with electrolyte drinks the whole way, and I felt fine when we were done. I went out and did 30 miles the next day just for fun, and ended up back in the last part of the MS ride.

    I'm looking forward to doing it again this year. I may go out with some friends and do a double century, or maybe 250 miles one day this summer. I have a couple of people interested so far
    Great job! I was curious about riding down to Ocean City from Philly. I looked over the route that the MS150 folks took, how are the roads and shoulders going down to OC? Is it pretty safe? Any sketchy spots? It looked pretty flat too!

    I was going to leave a few hours before the wife and kids and meet them down there. I mapped out a route that would be about 109 miles. Sound like a good idea?

  9. #9
    What did you say? Huh?
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    First and only registered supported imperial century ride...Started at the crack of dawn with a pack of 20 people, out-and-back route basically and a light breeze. At about mile 25, the wind really started picking up by mile 35 it the pack was scattered and a head wind of 25-30MPH had picked up in the plains with no windblock at all. Longest miles ever. The return trip though, didn't even need to pedal or use the drops, sit up and sail....was one of maybe 5 people to finish with time.
    Man. You are all stuped.
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  10. #10
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    I haven't done a century yet, but I am going to ride the Portland Century on August 18th.

  11. #11
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    I've ridden all 25 of my local MS150 events in the Texas panhandle, 7 Waves to Wine MS150 events in Santa Rosa, CA, and 3 BP MS150 events Houston to Austin.
    That's 35 in total.
    I'll say that the MS organization has been top notch in every one of these which is why they've survived and grown over the years. About the only change I see is they have become overly concerned about risk/litigation which has actually influenced our local ride.
    Our ride is this coming weekend and will include a very tough 105 route for Saturday.
    Can't wait!

  12. #12
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    I did my first 2 weeks ago. 2013 Elephant Rock ride. 100 miles, 6,500 feet of elevation gain, a constant 15 mph headwind with stronger gusts, and all at a relatively high altitude (6,250 feet and higher). This was my first century ride, hell, it was my first ride over 63 miles. It was a COLD 41 degrees when we started with a strong steady 15 mph headwind for the first 45 miles and through most of the climbing with gusts over 25 mph. The wind remained strong all morning and eventually died off once we finally got to turn and head back North. It hurt us in the morning and didn't help us in the afternoon. Aid stations were not set up for a quick in and out, you turned off the course and road down the street till you got to the aid area and then water bottles were refilled with pitchers. The one mechanical issue was from my TorHans Aero 30 bottle, every bump in the road it will leak a little fluid out the straw hole, it ran down the bike and gummed up the rear derailleur and shift cable. I lost rear shifting a few miles before an aid station where the mechanic gave it a quick clean/lube/adjustment to get me my gears back. Aid stations setup, waiting for my wife at each aid station, and the mechanical were the cause for the 29 minute minutes of not moving time. I crossed the finish and my GPS read 99.xx miles, I road a couple circles in the parking lot to get it to read 100 miles before I stopped it, overall it was 6:30 total time, not bad considering the wind and amount of climbing. The ride was a bit easier than I was expecting.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshhan View Post
    Great job! I was curious about riding down to Ocean City from Philly. I looked over the route that the MS150 folks took, how are the roads and shoulders going down to OC? Is it pretty safe? Any sketchy spots? It looked pretty flat too!

    I was going to leave a few hours before the wife and kids and meet them down there. I mapped out a route that would be about 109 miles. Sound like a good idea?
    Yes, it's a nice ride once you get east of Rt 73 in NJ. It turns to country roads after that, and you don't see too much traffic until you get close to OC. If you're coming from Philly and plan on riding across the Ben Franklin Bridge, be aware that it puts you in Camden, which may send your cadence up over 100

    The MS150 route was a bit longer than it needs to be, but it was a nice route. We took a more direct route back, using Rt 30. That's a busy road, but it had a wide shoulder and traffic wasn't a problem.

    Here's a link to Strava so you can see exactly where we went: Bike Ride Profile | MS Ride, Cherry Hill to Ocean City and back to Cherry Hill, NJ near Cherry Hill | Times and Records | Strava

    Have fun!

  14. #14
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    Did 120 last yr on the first day of the STP... Planning on a one day (205) this yr... Got in a solo 76 mi ride last week in prep.. I'm still aprehensive

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1442397 View Post
    If you're coming from Philly and plan on riding across the Ben Franklin Bridge, be aware that it puts you in Camden, which may send your cadence up over 100
    Haha, I was planning on crossing via the Benjamin Franklin. I grew up in the 'hood and my uncle had a shop in Camden we would visit often for many, many years so I'm not too worried about it.

    Thanks again!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by matfam View Post
    I recently completed my first century. Physically it was the most difficult thing I have ever done. I will say this much, if you can do 50 miles; you physically can do 100, the only factor is how badly you want to. I don't know that I will complete another anytime soon, after ~80 miles the fun was gone and it was just a matter of getting home; I was exhausted.
    Assuming you did a decent job of preparation, it is most likely that you rode too fast, ran out of fuel, ran out of water, or didn't take in enough salt. If you can comfortably do 50 then 100 is a matter of pacing, eating, hydration, and electrolytes. Of course if you struggled to complete 50 then 100 was certainly going to be a much bigger struggle.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by banosser View Post
    Did 120 last yr on the first day of the STP... Planning on a one day (205) this yr... Got in a solo 76 mi ride last week in prep.. I'm still aprehensive
    Don't be apprehensive. STP is an easy 200+ miles because it is so flat. Try to get in a couple of longer rides. 100 and 120 would be good.

    I did the one-day when I was 41 and 61. I have 15 more years to get ready for 81. I have a Spectrum in Seattle so I might start doing STP a little more often.

    Jeff

  18. #18
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    Re: How many have completed a Imperial Century?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1442397 View Post
    Good going. My first century was actually last year's MS ride.

    We rode from Cherry Hill, NJ to Ocean City, NJ and back. Most people were staying overnight in OC, but four of us had things to do on Sunday so we rode back to Cherry Hill on the Saturday, after taking a 30-min break for pizza.

    I did 141 miles that day, and felt like I could have done more. We had a 20.8mph average at the 100 mile mark, and ended up with a 20.1 at the end. One guy was fading fast, so we slowed down a lot.

    I kept myself fueled and hydrated with electrolyte drinks the whole way, and I felt fine when we were done. I went out and did 30 miles the next day just for fun, and ended up back in the last part of the MS ride.

    I'm looking forward to doing it again this year. I may go out with some friends and do a double century, or maybe 250 miles one day this summer. I have a couple of people interested so far
    Very cool. I have done that ride a few times and am starting a new team at my new company this year. I always want to go both ways but no one else wants to. So it is just an easy ride and then a beach day with the kids. Still good.

    For a double in NJ have you considered The Longest Day? Want to do that one of these years.

  19. #19
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    Re: How many have completed a Imperial Century?

    Quote Originally Posted by joshhan View Post
    Great job! I was curious about riding down to Ocean City from Philly. I looked over the route that the MS150 folks took, how are the roads and shoulders going down to OC? Is it pretty safe? Any sketchy spots? It looked pretty flat too!

    I was going to leave a few hours before the wife and kids and meet them down there. I mapped out a route that would be about 109 miles. Sound like a good idea?
    The City to Shore route is pretty good. Some high traffic spots. But not too many. Ocean City seems to be the best island to ride to as far as bridges go.

    Depending on where you are coming from I might think slightly north may provide a more scenic route.

  20. #20
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    I've done a few. In two weeks I will do three in 3 days. I have done it before and the second day is the toughest!

  21. #21
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    I've done 3, all during a Strava 60 hour endurance challenge and 2 were on back to back days. All 3 were solo and within a 10 day window. I couldn't have done them in a group because of the pace, but solo it was really pretty easy and I felt pretty good after 2 of them, the 3rd my legs were pretty toasted by the time it was done.

    To the OP, sorry to hear you and your family are dealing with MS. That's a tough disease and the treatments are just as tough. I will ride an MS ride when I get the chance, it's a great cause.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshhan View Post
    Haha, I was planning on crossing via the Benjamin Franklin. I grew up in the 'hood and my uncle had a shop in Camden we would visit often for many, many years so I'm not too worried about it.

    Thanks again!
    You're welcome! Have fun, should be a nice ride.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJBiker72 View Post
    Very cool. I have done that ride a few times and am starting a new team at my new company this year. I always want to go both ways but no one else wants to. So it is just an easy ride and then a beach day with the kids. Still good.

    For a double in NJ have you considered The Longest Day? Want to do that one of these years.
    I did consider The Longest Day, but the logistics are a pain in the ass for me. I'd have to get to Highpoint, which is a long drive, and have a way to get home from Cape May (or a place to stay). I decided I'd rather just do a big loop around South Jersey instead.

    I still might do The Longest Day next year...we'll see!

  24. #24
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    I've long ago lost count of how many centuries I've done. I do remember the first, about 25 years ago. It was my easiest, because it was one of those days in my youth when I felt like I could ride forever. I still have those days, but they are few and far between. The only one I've done this year was on a cross bike with lots of gravel, it was hard.

    I don't do many centuries as they don't fit in with my training. I mainly do 100 mile mountain bike races, and it's rare to actually go that far training for one.
    "I felt bad because I couldn't wheelie; until I met a man with no bicycle"

  25. #25
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    The key to longer rides is fueling and hydration. You say all the fun was gone after 80 miles and you were exhausted. It could be that you were simply dehydrated and low on sugar to burn. For 100+ mile rides, it's important to be drinking 1 bottle per hour (more if it's hot) and getting a good blend of carbs/protein/electrolytes.

    For my own centuries and beyond, I prep my first 2 bottles of the day with both Hammer Sustained Energy powder and Skratch Labs electrolyte powder. Sometimes I will bring another baggy of the Skratch for bottles 3 and 4, especially if it's going to be a hot day. I also bring 1 Gu gel for every 15 miles of road. And start the day with a blend of simple and complex carbs yourself. A banana, a few strawberries and old fashioned oatmeal!

    Keep drinking. A century can take over 6 hours - that's 6-8 bottles of water. You can't do a century without refilling your water or eating along the way. And you are going to burn 3000-4000 Calories on a 100 mile ride. You should be consuming at LEAST 1500 during the ride, if not closer to 2000.
    More tea, Mr. Bike?

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