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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Straight up, I've been far too lazy in riding over the past 5 years. I can't even begin to justify my lack of saddle time. I've been better the past 2 winters with a trainer, but even still, I haven't ridden nearly enough.

Now, onto the thread title. What's the best practice to prepare for a century ride? My wife has a long-term goal for the both of us to complete a century sometime in 2017. Obviously, start small, but can anyone here recommend a good training regimen?
 

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Join a group, start putting in the miles, ride as many times a week as possible, do intervals, hills, drop some pounds, eat healthy, get faster and repeat all above
 

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Each week, do a long ride, a short intense ride, and as many other rides as you can. For long you'll have to build up toward your century goal from whatever you currently consider a long ride.
Sometimes "time" can be a better guide for training. A 3 hour ride on a flat course may yield 45-50 miles while on a very hilly ride you may be doing well to get 40 miles.
No doubt getting your body composition improved (aka getting skinny) can be the most significant way to improve your riding, particularly if you want to climb well. The best time to do this is now through Jan 1!
This article from guru Joe Friel was an eye opener for me.

Joe Friel - Question on Power & Weight
 

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All of the above and starting a few months before your event making your long ride each week longer by 10% each week on similar terrain to the event up to the point when you are around 4 to 5 hour rides or 70 miles will have you ready. Once you get over 50, start focusing on pacing, fueling an hydration on your long rides. An average 170lb cyclist needs around 250 calories and 1 25 oz bottle of water per hour on a century adjusted for heat and weight. Make sure you are adding electrolytes too. Consume the calories and water every 10 to 20 minutes. Pacing is critical, stay aerobic as much as possible.
 

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yeah, pacing. With proper gearing for hills and wind, a good comfortable bike fit, and enough daylight, pretty much anyone can do a century. Just train for fitness and the distance will take care of itself when you figure out the proper pacing you need to do it.
 

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You need to keep growing your miles. 50 miles can become easy, but if you don't also ride 60 miles 70 can be daunting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok, what about hardware considerations? I'm confident in both of our bikes, mine being a Nashbar touring frame built up with a 105 groupset, hers being a 2009 CAAD8 with Tiagra stuff. What kind of spare/maintenance parts should we prepare for?

Then, there's clothing. My shoes are dreadful, and I only own one pair of bibs, which are getting pretty haggard. Are there any considerations to make when buying clothing geared toward distance riding?
 

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You need shorts, shoes and jerseys dependent on the weather that is to be expected at the time of the ride(spring, summer, fall). Tube, pump, patch kit.

Start putting in the mileage, preparing for the century, and you'll figure out what works or doesn't work for you and your wife.
 

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You need shorts, shoes and jerseys dependent on the weather that is to be expected at the time of the ride(spring, summer, fall). Tube, pump, patch kit.

Start putting in the mileage, preparing for the century, and you'll figure out what works or doesn't work for you and your wife.
Excellent advice Just start riding and you'll figure out the details.
 

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Well your good with those bikes and they just need to be in good shape, with tires, maintenance and brakes in good order. Just regular bike cloths is all you need for the weather you will be riding in.

Training is simple as your going on an endurance ride so just go put in the miles. Increase your miles as your able to. In the spring if you feel your not in that great of shape then ride a metric century first and see how it goes and then sign up for a full century once you have improved your fitness a bit.

Have fun. I just ride the Tierra Bella in Calif each year but this year I was thinking of something around Cambria or Santa Ynez also.
 

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This is a basic guide. Not set in stone

I try to follow this but add in a few lonoger rides of 70-75 in the month leading up to the century. Take some cash a couple of flasks of gel and a power or 2. Sounds fun. Is it supported? If not make some stops for bananas and food and water with electrolytes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I try to follow this but add in a few lonoger rides of 70-75 in the month leading up to the century. Take some cash a couple of flasks of gel and a power or 2. Sounds fun. Is it supported? If not make some stops for bananas and food and water with electrolytes.
Well, we haven't actually signed up for anything yet... we're just at the "let's do a century" phase of planning.

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What's the best practice to prepare for a century ride?
Ok, what about hardware considerations?

What kind of spare/maintenance parts should we prepare for?

Are there any considerations to make when buying clothing geared toward distance riding?
These questions strike me as odd coming from somebody who has 5,750+ posts on the site. Seems to me you wouldn't be asking such basic questions as you must have learned something in the threads you've participated.
 

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remind me again, what is the attraction of riding 100 miles...?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
These questions strike me as odd coming from somebody who has 5,750+ posts on the site. Seems to me you wouldn't be asking such basic questions as you must have learned something in the threads you've participated.
Check my post history; there's a lot of off-topic and posts that aren't really geared toward distance riding. The whole reason I joined this site was when I was restoring an old Fuji bike, and was looking for tips on bikes from the 70's. Beyond that, my biking interests are more in line of shorter rides; 15-20 miles on road, or a few hours around the MTB loop...stuff where it's not hard to call for a ride if a chain breaks or a tire goes flat. I'm not ashamed to admit that I've hike-a-biked back from the trail because I didn't even think to carry spare parts. I've literally never ridden more than 25 miles at once.

Given all the above, it may seem odd that I'm asking rather elementary questions, but this is something that I've never actually ventured into before.

But thanks for your opinion. I'll keep that in mind next time.
 

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Regarding equipment...

New tires and tubes but ride them a few times to ensure no surprises on the day of the ride.

Clothing and shoes are all about comfort. Everything feels different at mile 90 v. 40. Point is don't wait until the week prior to get those new news/saddle/shorts as you want time to isolate and correct any issues with enough time to get familiar with. Small things like too thick of socks, wrong size insoles, misaligned cleats and even chamois cream can make or break a long ride.
 

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It sounds like you intend to ride the century together with your wife. Bring a set of noise cancelling earbuds with good music! J/K. :D
If together, watch each other's training. Perhaps keep mileage logs. During the century, you can travel only as fast as the weakest link, whether her or you. Or make a pact to meet up post-ride. I rode the Solvang century once where my riding buddy slowed considerably before the midway point. It was a struggle for me to go his pace and spend an extra two hours in the saddle. My butt and arms get sore just thinking about it.:incazzato:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It sounds like you intend to ride the century together with your wife. Bring a set of noise cancelling earbuds with good music! J/K. :D
If together, watch each other's training. Perhaps keep mileage logs. During the century, you can travel only as fast as the weakest link, whether her or you. Or make a pact to meet up post-ride. I rode the Solvang century once where my riding buddy slowed considerably before the midway point. It was a struggle for me to go his pace and spend an extra two hours in the saddle. My butt and arms get sore just thinking about it.:incazzato:
Yep, she's talking about buying another trainer to put in the basement, if for nothing but getting some seat time over the winter.

My uncle's got a cabin almost exactly 100 miles north of us along US Bicycle Route 35...if we can't find an official century, we just might do our own. But like I mentioned before, I've never really done any sort of big distance, so even though it's still months away, I want to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

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