Keeping it 100 (My First Century Ride)
The cycling events are great because they account for various riding levels. I recently participated in the Indian Head 100 where cyclist could choose 17, 26, 40, 56, 70 and 100 mile options for the event. My wife and I completed two 40 plus mile bike rides, but there was no way she was going to cycle for 100 miles, so I asked my buddy Tony to join me and he agreed.
When you sign up to complete a 100 mile bike ride or a century ride, you're not really sure about how you are going to perform because there are many factors that will effect your ride. Those factors are even more concerning when it is your first time cycling that distance. Mentally, I was prepared for the ride. I ate properly leading up to the event, including the night before and the day of. I ensured that I properly hydrated as well, but with the heat, the hot asphalt and a heat index well over 100 degrees, there is always a possibility that your body might not hold up.
My cycling buddy and I did a great job of pushing the pace for the first 50 miles averaging just over 16 mph. There were some cycling teams that were moving at speeds well over 20 mph, but we also noticed that the further along we cycled, we saw less and less cyclists. The heat was taking a toll on many of the cyclists and many of them decided not to complete the event. We consumed a lot of fluids and fueled our bodies with energy bars, bananas and sandwiches.
At mile 42, I had to deal with a flat tire that derailed us approximately 15 minutes and both of us experienced slight cramping along the way, but we decreased our pace and properly stretched at the rest stops and powered through the aches. At mile 87 and 93, I had to clip out of my petals to stretch out my cramps, but I eventually made it up both treacherous hills.
It was a pleasant surprise to see my wife and kids waiting for me at the finish line. I also raised $1180 for Autism Speaks. Not only am I proud of completing my first century ride, I was able to raise money for a great cause.