Sunday, October 4, 2009

Century ride and lessons on saddles and clothing and food

There is something magical about a true 160km century ride, or 100 miles. Today, Martin, Steve, Tim and I did just that. You can see us in the picture holding a centurion's bust after the ride was over. It was the Kanata Nepean Bicycle clubs fall century ride. There were three speed groups. I was leading the middle group, or S3. We began at 930 am, stopped briefly for lunch and at 515 or so, arrived at our start point, muddy but exhilerated and we had a beer and shared a plate of nachos.

Muddy because it had been raining off an on. I decided to wear a wool jersey, shorts and my mountain shoes. My feet froze! I needed my warmer boot covers! My legs were also cold and I would have benefited from my long cycling pants. My jacket, as all jackets, was fairly useless as I quickly heat up. Wool has the advantage of keeping you warm even when wet. This is true, to a point. I would have benefited from another layer as it took a long time for me to warm up when I got home. The real mystery in riding a bicycle is what to wear. Since you cant bring a huge saddle bag with extra clothing on such a long ride, you have to know what you are doing from the start. I clearly have a lot to learn in this regard.

100 miles on a bicycle is a real test of endurance and a true measure of your speed. Our average speed was 26km/hr which means that most of the time we were riding close to 30km/hr.

I was riding on a new brooks saddle and learned that despite all the hype about how long it takes to break them in, with oil applied the night before, they are ready to ride. Despite spending nearly 6 hours on a bike, I am not sore.

Food is also a problem on such rides for me. We stopped for lunch in Merrickville and I had a bowl of chile. This was a mistake as it sat heavily on me for the duration of my ride. I have decided that it is better simply to nibble on almonds and granola and have drinks rather than have a heavier lunch. One would imagine you would be famished after the ride, but this is not the case. This probably explains why most distance cyclists are so skinny. They can't eat!

Endurance biking is very different from a short jaunt say of 60-80km. You have to plan what you eat and wear with much more care than a shorter trip.

It was a great trip and hopefully this will become an annual event with KNBC.

1 comment:

  1. I got a kick when you said 60k-80k is a short jaunt. For us newbies, 80k is a daunting challenge. I can't even wrap my head around 160k. It just doesn't compute.


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