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Almost Not a Newbie
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Discussion Starter #1
I've committed to doing a century this year. Last year I rode my age in miles (67) near my birthday. The longest ride I've done next to that is about 42. I've been building a reasonably OK endurance base since I started cycling seriously in June, but I'm still very limited on long climbs.

So what I'd like to find is a century somewhere in this area (I live in Pasadena) which is reasonably flat or rolling in nature. Someone I ride with mentioned a "Pearblossom Century" but I can find no reference to it on the web.

Any and all suggestions appreciated!

Bernie
 

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bernmart said:
(I live in Pasadena) which is reasonably flat or rolling in nature.
Where do you ride? Do you ever ride up toward Altadena or up any of the mountain/canyon roads?
 

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Almost Not a Newbie
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Hi, Rocco--I live near the Rose Bowl. This morning I'll be doing a ride with the Foothill Cycle Club which will go from South Pasadena, down into the Bowl, then up out of it to Altadena Drive, then over to Sierra Madre. Right now, that's as hilly as I can handle. The real canyon rides--San Gabriel, etc., are beyond me for now.

BTW, I like your avatar!
 

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The Solvang Century is about as easy as they come. There's a small climb near the finish, but hardly worth mentioning. Other than that, it's mostly flat or rolling hills of no consequence. The organizers claim there's around 4,000 vertical feet...I don't know where it comes from!


bernmart said:
I've committed to doing a century this year. Last year I rode my age in miles (67) near my birthday. The longest ride I've done next to that is about 42. I've been building a reasonably OK endurance base since I started cycling seriously in June, but I'm still very limited on long climbs.

So what I'd like to find is a century somewhere in this area (I live in Pasadena) which is reasonably flat or rolling in nature. Someone I ride with mentioned a "Pearblossom Century" but I can find no reference to it on the web.

Any and all suggestions appreciated!

Bernie
 

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bernmart said:
Hi, Rocco--I live near the Rose Bowl. This morning I'll be doing a ride with the Foothill Cycle Club which will go from South Pasadena, down into the Bowl, then up out of it to Altadena Drive, then over to Sierra Madre. Right now, that's as hilly as I can handle. The real canyon rides--San Gabriel, etc., are beyond me for now.

BTW, I like your avatar!
Well that isn't exactly flat either. I wouldn't characterise the general area as reasonably flat or rolling in nature. I live in Highland Park so I do most of my training around the same area. Sure Linda Vista, Aroyo, Windsor, Lincoln and streets like that are only 1% to 3% but that isn't exactly flat and it's certainly a better workout than riding on truly flat roads. If you ride on Highland Dr, Chevy Chase or Verdugo then your talking 3,4 and 5%. Inverness and Lida st. are as much as 6,7 and 8%. Same with Loma Alta and Lake st. north of Washington. Crown and Starlight Crest Dr. in La Canada are 8, 9 and 10%.

If you want to get better then gradually work the tougher streets/climbs into youir riding. If you're patient and you stick with it you'll develope your technique and power.

Anyway, you're either going up and up or down and down around here so if you can handle that ride with your club ok then I bet you're able to hang tough and do Angeles Crest, Big Tujunga Canyon or San Gabriel. San Gabriel at least up to East Fork rd. isn't really that hard IMHO. You just need to have the right gearing for you and pace youreself for the longer climbs. To be safe you need the pick the best time and day to ride those roads because of traffic patterns. SG seems best at mid-day on weekdays but insane on the weekends. AC seems crazier on weekdays though it's not so bad between 11:00 am and 1:30 pm. AC is supposed to be best early in the morning on weekends. Big T is always basically fine any day and any time.

Thanks... about the avatar. It's a parody of right winger RBR member Live Steam but with an opposed message.
 

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OrbeaXLR8R said:
The Solvang Century is about as easy as they come. There's a small climb near the finish, but hardly worth mentioning. Other than that, it's mostly flat or rolling hills of no consequence. The organizers claim there's around 4,000 vertical feet...I don't know where it comes from!

That should be easy because where bernmart and I ride one can easily do 1,500' or more on a 30 mile ride.
 

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Century schedule and training tips

Hi Bernie,

These two sites might get you started in the right direction.

At bikecenturies.com, you'll find a comprehensive calendar of centuries available for download. The rides are grouped by region, sorted by state and date, and include ride difficulty information that can help you target an appropriate ride for your first century. If you want more data, a google search will yield any number of ride reports written by past participants.

Also, you can find great generic training advice for succeeding at distance races at ultracycling.com (http://www.ultracycling.com/training/century.html). A little focused preparation can increase your chances of rolling across the finish line with a smile on your face rather than a grimace.

Have fun,

Jaime
 

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if you don't care about being with a group, and just want to go ride 100 miles, i recommend the following:

start in Long Beach, and head south on PCH. ride to the San Onofre nuclear plant, then keep going (past the campgrounds, and into what looks like the beginnings of Camp Pendleton) until you get to the a tunnel. don't go into the tunnel. stop, look north (back up the coast), and realize how far you have to ride to get home, and then get back on your bike and start pedaling again. continue pedaling until you're back in Long Beach.

there are some rolling hills along the way, but nothing that i would call climbing. sometimes you can have a real beetch of a headwind on the way home, but it varies a lot. there are literally thousands of places to stop for food/water along the way, and the scenery is pretty nice. there are lots of cyclists on PCH, and many of them are good for an on-the-bike chat. also, with the exceptions of Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach, there's really not much interference from traffic.

if you start in the Belmont Shore area of Long Beach, this ride will turn out to be around 101 miles. (it was 100.92 when i did it last.)
 

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go to the beach and back on the san gabriel river trail, that's 75 miles return trip from Pasadena. Eat something at the beach then come back. It doesn't go more flat than the river trail. Add 25 miles around town and you have a century.

Pierre
 

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Solvangs Vertical

I did Solvang last year and there are at least 2 fairly steep climbs, not walls as they describe them, but certainly enough to give you a very good challenge.
Very nice ride it is.
I think it is in 2 weeks.
Rocco from Boston



OrbeaXLR8R said:
The Solvang Century is about as easy as they come. There's a small climb near the finish, but hardly worth mentioning. Other than that, it's mostly flat or rolling hills of no consequence. The organizers claim there's around 4,000 vertical feet...I don't know where it comes from!
:p
 

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covrc said:
I did Solvang last year and there are at least 2 fairly steep climbs, not walls as they describe them, but certainly enough to give you a very good challenge.
Very nice ride it is.
I think it is in 2 weeks.
Rocco from Boston
:p

Yes, sir. Very nice scenery.
 

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OrbeaXLR8R said:
The Solvang Century is about as easy as they come. There's a small climb near the finish, but hardly worth mentioning. Other than that, it's mostly flat or rolling hills of no consequence. The organizers claim there's around 4,000 vertical feet...I don't know where it comes from!
About as easy as they come? The Bicycle Ride Director's Association of America rates Solvang as difficult. Data I collected from this year's ride shows just a bit less than 4900' of vertical gain. It also showed the average temp was 42. But it didn't capture the two hailstorms.

Maybe the OP is one of those fixed gear riders who blows past the SAG stops?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hah! Hardly a blaster past anyone, on any hill. I've only passed one guy on a hill who was on a "serious" bike. I felt great about what seemed evidence of my progress, only to find out at the top that he was just getting over serious surgery, and this was his first time back on the bike in three months.

My endurance on the flats keeps getting better and better, but progress on hills is much more gradual.
 

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Pierre said:
go to the beach and back on the san gabriel river trail, that's 75 miles return trip from Pasadena. Eat something at the beach then come back. It doesn't go more flat than the river trail. Add 25 miles around town and you have a century.

Pierre

Yes I am surprised no one mentioned this earlier. Its truly the easiest long distance ride in the area. At least 75+ uninterrupted miles of paved bike trail to the beach and back.
If you extend your ride all the way up to the mouth of Azusa Canyon, then its closer to 85 miles and a trip back to Pasadena would easily make it 100.
 

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Tour De Palm Springs

Is about as easy as you can get no hills, just rollies. Hardly any elevation gain. This year it was 104 miles. I've taken many friends on their first century to this century. Have a look here:
Tour De Palm Springs
 

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Squeegy200 said:
Yes I am surprised no one mentioned this earlier. Its truly the easiest long distance ride in the area. At least 75+ uninterrupted miles of paved bike trail to the beach and back.
If you extend your ride all the way up to the mouth of Azusa Canyon, then its closer to 85 miles and a trip back to Pasadena would easily make it 100.
Hello everyone, I'm new here. I've been riding a mountain bike for couple of years and want to get a road bike in the future since I ride 80% of the time on the road. Can anyone tell me how to exactly get to this trail from Burbank? Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter #20
How to get to San Gabriel River Bike Path

From Burbank, take the 134 east and merge into the 210 headed toward Pasadena/San Bernardino. Exit at Rte39/Asuza. Go through Asuza toward the mountains. A mile or so north of town you'll see a small ranger station on the right, and a parking area on the left. Park there, and the trail is right next to the parking area. Good luck!
 
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