My First Century

This post has been sitting in my draft folder for 8 months. I'm back dating it and posting, because it describes an event simply too silly to be relegated to ones draft folder.  

This September (2012) I completed my first cycling century. One hundred miles all at once on a bike. Nine months earlier a ride like this was unfathomable, but I'd developed something of an exercise habit in that time. That, and a mate of mine said, "I'm doing this. You in?" Which is basically the equivalent of a Tripple-Dog-Dare.

So there it is, the 100 miles.

The route got a bit hilly in the middle. About 47 miles in there's a hill that looks like you're cycling up a ski slope. Riding up that hill was the first time I was able to accurately measure my pulse simply by listening to my heartbeat pounding in my ears. 172.

But I lived, and with the exception of eating three dinners that night I felt great.

Me and Arthur Dent after finishing the Century

A few interesting things I learned building up to this ride.
  1. Eating properly while cycling is the most important part of a ride over 50 miles. Salt and Potassium intake are critical.  Get them right and you can ride forever, mess it up and you're screwed... Pheidippides kind of screwed.
  2. Bring a friend. It makes everything easier.  With willpower you can overcome seemingly impossible tasks, but pushing (and mostly being pushed) by a friend makes those tasks seem easier.
  3. Spandex is not flattering. 

My goal for this ride was to finish. So I took it easy for most of the ride. Now that I know a century is doable, the next challenge will be to do it faster and further.

In that spirit I just signed up for a 2-day 180 mile ride which, in addition to forcing me to workout this winter, will raise money to fight MS.