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Riding a Century

Posted on 17 January 2011 at 2:06 pm in Musings.

Last week on my tumblr I posted about how if I had a life list, going to see the complete Ring Cycle would be on it (a goal I will accomplish this spring). There’s another thing that would also be on my life list, if I had one (and I guess two items makes a list, so now I do). I want to complete a Century.

Covering one hundred miles on a bike in a day is an iconic achievement amongst wheelmen. I recommend this article from the New York Times on the topic.

I’m under no illusions as to my speed as a cyclist (or my fitness in general). I’m comfortable on a bike and I enjoy riding; stretching my legs on my road bike along the beautiful rural roads of the Bay Area is a wonderful pursuit, but I’m not built like Andy Schleck and there will always be better riders than me. But I want to test myself, and I want to test my endurance. I don’t mind if it hurts.

Knowing goals are easier to achieve with the help of others, I recruited my friend Jeffrey (a better cyclist than I) into doing a century with me. We’re targeting the famous annual Marin Century. Since that typically takes place the first week of August, we’ve got 7th months to get in good enough shape to do it.

BikePausing in Mill Valley, before the real work began.

Yesterday we joined the Sports Basement Sunday Ride for a group challenge, and what a challenge it was; while the group operates on a “no drops” policy (i.e. the group will always wait for the slowest rider at the tops of hills or major junctions), the routes selected can still be a challenge and yesterday’s was hefty. Check out the route map and click on the elevation tool. Look at that climb from around Mile 21 to Mile 25.

Whew.

BikeRideThe scenery was stunning, as expected.

I felt broken the rest of yesterday. My legs and back are still pretty sore today. And yesterday was only 40 miles total.

Here’s to goals. They make life a worthwhile challenge.

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