Completing a 100-mile ride — also known as a century — is a popular training and racing goal. Many consider it the cycling equivalent of running a marathon. The experience of riding 100 miles can push your body and mind to the limit. But what exactly happens to your mind and body when you head out for that 100-mile ride? Last week I bicycled a century, here is what It felt like. Riding a century is a huge deal in the world of road cycling. Arguably it is the main thing, the benchmark distance to which we all strive to hit at least once in our riding lives. Even the most experienced riders cannot hide the satisfaction of ticking off 100 miles in the saddle.
The beginning of my ride:
Poised on wheels as wondrously as on wings, I pass Through the green and golden land, Daffodils and grass. White the road beneath me slips a river with green shores; And glowing through my golden mind Denmark's beauty pours.
Typically, an average cyclist can finish a century ride in 7-8 hours, though that always varies on your skill level and how much time you spend off the bike during the course of the day. I loved the first few hours, but then a cyclist biggest enemy came along in the story, the hills. Ohhh, man. The first 50 km was very easy, but then the next km became harder and harder while the hills became bigger and bigger. Just so know I took this trip with a large group, so we decided to sleep in a hotel.
As you can see the elevation gain it’s kinda high but it’s nothing compared to what professionals ride. But I can say that it’s very windy, which slowed down our speed.
But if take a wrong turn Or in your tyre you find a hole maybe you crash as you're trying to learn Get up; dust yourself and take back control This is your bike and the owner is you One paddle is for people, one is for progress The wheels might get worn out while the tube is new The cog gives you problems, these are yours to address.
‘He tumbled from his weary wheel, and set it by the door; Then stood as though he joyed to feel, his feet on earth once more. And as he mopped his rumpled head, his face was wreathed in smiles; “A very pretty run,” he said, “I did a hundred miles.”’
Incidentally, this poem from 1894 proved remarkably prescient about riders’ obsessions with numbers. When asked about what beautiful sights he had seen during his many hours in the saddle, the rider replies, ‘I cannot say. I did a hundred miles.’ Although no longer a prerequisite for membership, the achievement continues to be commemorated in the names of many of today’s cycling clubs, such as Liverpool Century and Fife Century.
‘As a distance, 100 miles has stood the test of time, spanning the entire history of road racing,’ says Birchall. ‘It survives, in my opinion, because it still is a classic distance to which riders aspire, time-triallists and tourists alike.
And that just sums up, how I felt. In conclusion : It was hard, but the journey was enjoyable, and the end was my reward. And taking the next few days off, and just laying down.
Would you ride a century? And if yes, do you need some tips and tricks, to help you on your journey?