I started biking in ’98, then waited some 12 years to ride my first century. This time, though, I think I’m going to keep it to around 4 months.
Last time, I kept to the road, mashing my pedals all around my hilly city on a singlespeed. My legs hurt, but all the time out of the saddle, standing during climbs, kept my butt from feeling too much pain. This time, though, I’m swapping my SS road bike for a geared MTB, the roads for a rail-trail, and the hills for the flattest trail around.
Sometime before the end of September (I hope, but it’s dependent upon the weather), I’m going to ride the Eastern section of Missouri’s Katy Trail, from Jefferson City in the middle of the state, to St. Charles in the East (map). Total distance is about 104mi, according to this chart, so it’ll be my longest ride to date. I’m figuring on about 8 hours, if I average 13mph, but that’s if my legs die on me. If I can keep around 15mph, then that should drop to 7 hours. It’s sort of a toss-up between more time seated–thus an unhappy ass, but less tired legs–or a faster, more tiring ride.
I have a few parts to swap on my bike first, namely lighter tires & tubes, my rigid carbon fork, and a smaller cassette (I don’t need 32T gearing), just so I have less weight to propel all that way. Other than that, I think I’m in shape for it, so I won’t do any training ahead of time (what sort of pansy prepares for epic rides, anyway?). I’ll be sure to take my camera along so I can return with plenty of boring photos of flat, straight trail, as well as the 22 small towns that I pass through on the way.
Tentative date: September 25.
I’ll keep you posted.