After years of failed attempts (bad weather, work or just plain not feeling like it) at riding 100mi in a day, I finally did it yesterday.
It turned out to not be as terrible as I thought it might, even though it did have its bad moments. For one, I forgot my gloves. I have some pretty cushy bar tape that damps road vibrations really well, but my hands still moved around enough that my palms began to get raw.
Secondly, I rode around the city I live in–the same city I ride around pretty much all the time. Believe me, it got boring. Having a buddy go along for the ride would have helped a lot in that regard, but I went solo. I probably should have taken headphones and a few podcasts, but I didn’t think about that ahead of time. Fortunately, I did think about food ahead of time…
Since I didn’t want to begin my ride on a full stomach, I pretty much gorged for a couple days leading up to the ride. Then, on the morning of the ride, I only ate a Hot Pocket–so very nutritious, I know–and had a glass of Diet Dr. Pepper. I took a Clif Bar and a Powerbar along in my CamelBak, along with 100oz of water. (*sidenote: It’s always fun stuffing a 100oz bladder into a bag that’s meant to carry 70oz., but I didn’t want to return home for more) At two points in the ride, I stopped at gas stations and bought 20oz. bottles of Gatorade, guzzled like mad, then continued on. Somehow, these completely amateurish ways of staying hydrated and well fed worked, and I was never hungry or dizzy through the ride.
16mi: stopped and ate my Clif Bar, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut–yum. I was on MU campus at the time, and noticed a small plaque on a bench was attached with Velcro instead of permanently mounted. I was tempted to flip it upside down, but got distracted and forgot to do it.
60mi: my legs decided they were done. I went from feeling great, to just about dead, in a matter of seconds. Must have been blood sugar or something, because I snapped out of it later.
75mi: Got my second wind. At this point, I knew I’d be able to finish no matter what, my mood suddenly picked up, and I started riding hard. I decided to stop preserving my energy and just ride and have fun like I normally do.
90mi: F’ing bored. I go through this on long car trips when I’m about 20mi from home. You know you’re getting close, but just want to hurry up and get the rest of it over with. I was about 5mi from home, with 10mi left in my ride, so I had to get creative about my route, without extending it much past 100mi. The last thing I wanted to do was hit the century mark and somehow be 8mi from my front door.
100mi: Done. Grabbed my camera, snapped the pic above, then went inside and got a high-five from my wife. I’m pretty sure the cat and I napped for two hours after that.
If I ever do it again:
– Need more sleep. I only slept for 6hrs prior, and I could have used more
– Take a geared bike. Doing it all on a singlespeed may have been a bit much
– Wear gloves
– Wear headphones or…
– Convince someone to go along with me
– Take less water. With all the Gatorade I bought along the way, I didn’t need to carry so much water on my back; it only weighed me down