There are numerous websites that we’ll discuss how to train for a century bicycle ride. Here is a good one. Accordingly I will focus on personal tips I can provide you that will help you have a safe and enjoyable ride. For the purpose of this blog I am going to assume that you will be riding in a group. Of course most of the tips will apply if you are riding alone. First of all I strongly encourage you to use one of the creams that prevent saddle sores. They all work fine however my personal preference is button hole. Even if you don’t usually have problems with sores, the century is long enough that without cream, it is likely you will.
Fall is my favorite time to ride for several reasons. First, It is the time of year I am usually the most fit. Second, I love the weather (even though it means winter is soon upon us!). For these reasons, most century rides are scheduled in the late summer/fall. When riding in a century, getting the proper amount of nutrition and electrolytes is critical. It is almost impossible to eat too much during the ride. Most people make the mistake of not eating too much. Make sure you bring plenty of nutrition with you. Though you will be able to eat during rest stops, many rides will not provide you anything to take with you. This is also a bad time to experiment with any gels, bars, etc, you have never tried before. When you are riding in a group over a long time, it becomes very easy to start to lose focus towards the end of the ride. This is how most accidents happen in centuries, the front wheel touches the rear wheel in front of you. Pay extra attention to the rider in front of you. In fact just last week, I rode a century and 60 miles into it, the rider in front of me touched wheels (and went down) with the rider in front of him. I was very fortunate not to go down myself! Luckily, the rider was still able to finish the century!
Last but not least. Don’t get caught in the excitement and ride faster than your normal pace at the beginning of the ride. Make sure you ride at a pace that allows you to feel good at mile 50. The most important about a century is not only finishing, but feeling strong at the finish! Good luck.
Ride. Be Safe. Have Fun.
Bicycle Injury Lawyer/ Enthusiast
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