Rode my first century since 2014

Joined
Mar 3, 2011
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2,234
Location
California's Central Coast Wine Country
I've been riding bikes most of my adult life but pretty much quit riding between 2017 and 2020. I started riding again on a regular basis starting January 2 2021. New Year's resolutions are a good thing! It's great being back in the saddle!

My last organized event was in 2014 when I rode a 200K Gran Fondo. My riding this year hasn't been focused on long distance riding. Instead, I've mostly been riding 90 minute out and backs from the house into the nearby hills.

Well, I got the itch to challenge myself. I signed up for the Marin Century, which I rode this past weekend on October 2nd. I've ridden Marin 4 or 5 times previously in the '90s. Being later in the summer (usually August, but it was October this year because of COVID) means that most people are fit and at the top of their game. Plus, the Marin County riders have always impressed me as a highly capable group - experienced and fast. I like that.

I knew it was going to require a careful strategy on my part given my lack of long(er) distance training rides. I've only had two rides over 40 miles since the beginning of the year. But over the years I've ridden 40 or 50 centuries (100 milers), 11 double centuries (200 milers, part of the California Triple Crown), and PAC Tour in 1992 and 1996 (1,000 mile per week crossings of the continental US). In the 1996 PAC Tour I rode 2,993 miles with 90,003 feet of climbing - in just 23 days.

Given my long-distance background I felt confident I could go the full hundred miles, but I didn't want the ride to turn into one of "grim determination". That's not fun.

And I'm 68 years old.....uncharted territory. I had my goals, the first being to finish. Secondly, I wanted to ride a respectable time. I'm happy to say I achieved both.

Although it wasn't a timed event I estimate I finished in the top half, probably the top third. And without question I was one of the oldest guys riding the century route. At my age I couldn't beat the young bucks in a straight up fight, but I kept them honest.

The morning was nice and cool, shrouded in deep redwood forests. Spectacular! The inland portion in the afternoon was hot, very hot. Over 100 degrees for the final 2 1/2 hours. And ZERO shade. But still spectacular!

There were two long, sustained climbs but the rest of the climbing was made up of a series of sharp hills, 1/4 to 1/2 mile long, many of them 12% to 16%. I estimate there were about 50 to 60 of them. The picture is an accurate representation. Let me tell you, they take their toll over time...

91.83 miles (it was a short century) with 7,016 feet of climbing. 7:31:48 total time, including all stops for water and fuel. I had an operator error using my Apple Watch and accidentally divided the ride into two segments. But you can see the route. The color shows heart rate, not temperature. Red is a high heart rate. And a picture of the Saso, my partner in crime.

At points it felt like more work than I wanted, but it was without question a good day. FWIW.

Scott

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slo town

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Congrats. It’s been a few years since I have done a century. At least you didn’t bonk out at the end
For longer rides I always ride with 5 or 6 Vanilla Bean GU packets. It's good emergency use energy, but you don't want to "come down" on that stuff if you still have some riding left.

I didn't bonk, but let me assure you I was happy to finally get off the bike!

Scott
 
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Joined
Feb 14, 2017
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SW of Chicago, IL
Hat's off to you, Scott!

I rode my last century in 2001. I figured that my century days were over. Now I find someone my own age who just rode one. I should reconsider.

Fortunately, here in the Midwest we don't really know what hills are.

Thanks for posting!
 
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Hedgesville, WV
Congrats on the ride, at 67 and being more sedentary the last 18 mos than I am used to I am impressed. I would love to do another century but I cant find a 100 mile downhill run anywhere.
 
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NE,Ohio
I am going to be honest.. I am pretty sure I could do 10-20 miles.. typical work day is over 18000 steps so I'm not in terrible shape,
but a couple of those hills would totally destroy me. Havent been on a bike in 15 years though

Hats off to you.
 

slo town

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One of the things I most love about cycling is the bikes. A high end frame with high end components is a precision machine. It's like having my own Grand Prix car. The Saso is a custom frame designed for me. Fillet brazed Tange Prestige and Ultimate tubsets. Built in 1994! And custom not just for size, but for handling characteristics as well. Surely my bike banged off 3,000 or 4,000 flawless 9100 Dura-Ace shifts during Marin and did it without a hint of complaint. Perfect. Riding 100 miles on beautiful roadways, and doing it quickly, powering and braking, drivetrain whirring, my 27 year old frame torquing and vibrating underneath me, tracking down the roadway with perfect precision on a set of Campagnolo Shamal Ultra wheels...I am very fortunate and consciously grateful.

Scott
 
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Joined
Jun 4, 2003
Messages
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98245
Congrats! I resemble your entire story, a few weeks ago rode a 100 miler with a few friends. I realized the last time I rode 100+ miles was back in 2001, La Ruta across Costa Rica, which was 300 miles and 25000' of climb in 3 days. All off-road through jungles & mountains. Yeah, 20 years ago! Back in the 90s I did some century rides around Marin on road bike and with my wife on the tandem (Holstein 100). I have done some big rides like the OTGG earlier this summer, a 5-day stage ride with 350+ miles and 30,000' of climbing off-road, Kokopelli's trail in Colorado/Utah, and a bunch of 60-70 mile rides. But not a true 100-miler in 1 day since 20 years.
Any day you spend 6+ hours on your bike is a good day!
 
Joined
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For longer rides I always ride with 5 or 6 Vanilla Bean GU packets. It's good emergency use energy, but you don't want to "come down" on that stuff if you still have some riding left. ...
One thing I learned is that I cannot do sugar. Carbs are great but no sugar. For endurance rides I shoot for 240 calories per hour all real food with little or no sugar. Nuts, grains, a mix of complex carbs with a little protein & fiber. Most of the energy bars have 10-20 grams of sugar which just konks me when riding. Some of the Kind bars have only 5 grams or less which works. I see lots of other riders doing sugar but it does not work for me.
 

slo town

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Joined
Mar 3, 2011
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Location
California's Central Coast Wine Country
I did the entire ride on one large Pay Day candy bar (eaten a little bit at a time), 4 water bottles with Skratch Labs Lemon/Lime (but I drank plain water too), and two Vanilla Bean GU packets (about 15 miles from the end). I felt fully fueled the entire ride.

Scott
 

FZ1

Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
5,518
Location
Texas
I've been riding bikes most of my adult life but pretty much quit riding between 2017 and 2020. I started riding again on a regular basis starting January 2 2021. New Year's resolutions are a good thing! It's great being back in the saddle!

My last organized event was in 2014 when I rode a 200K Gran Fondo. My riding this year hasn't been focused on long distance riding. Instead, I've mostly been riding 90 minute out and backs from the house into the nearby hills.

Well, I got the itch to challenge myself. I signed up for the Marin Century, which I rode this past weekend on October 2nd. I've ridden Marin 4 or 5 times previously in the '90s. Being later in the summer (usually August, but it was October this year because of COVID) means that most people are fit and at the top of their game. Plus, the Marin County riders have always impressed me as a highly capable group - experienced and fast. I like that.

I knew it was going to require a careful strategy on my part given my lack of long(er) distance training rides. I've only had two rides over 40 miles since the beginning of the year. But over the years I've ridden 40 or 50 centuries (100 milers), 11 double centuries (200 milers, part of the California Triple Crown), and PAC Tour in 1992 and 1996 (1,000 mile per week crossings of the continental US). In the 1996 PAC Tour I rode 2,993 miles with 90,003 feet of climbing - in just 23 days.

Given my long-distance background I felt confident I could go the full hundred miles, but I didn't want the ride to turn into one of "grim determination". That's not fun.

And I'm 68 years old.....uncharted territory. I had my goals, the first being to finish. Secondly, I wanted to ride a respectable time. I'm happy to say I achieved both.

Although it wasn't a timed event I estimate I finished in the top half, probably the top third. And without question I was one of the oldest guys riding the century route. At my age I couldn't beat the young bucks in a straight up fight, but I kept them honest.

The morning was nice and cool, shrouded in deep redwood forests. Spectacular! The inland portion in the afternoon was hot, very hot. Over 100 degrees for the final 2 1/2 hours. And ZERO shade. But still spectacular!

There were two long, sustained climbs but the rest of the climbing was made up of a series of sharp hills, 1/4 to 1/2 mile long, many of them 12% to 16%. I estimate there were about 50 to 60 of them. The picture is an accurate representation. Let me tell you, they take their toll over time...

91.83 miles (it was a short century) with 7,016 feet of climbing. 7:31:48 total time, including all stops for water and fuel. I had an operator error using my Apple Watch and accidentally divided the ride into two segments. But you can see the route. The color shows heart rate, not temperature. Red is a high heart rate. And a picture of the Saso, my partner in crime.

At points it felt like more work than I wanted, but it was without question a good day. FWIW.

Scott

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Congrats! Is that a cro molly frame?
 

slo town

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Joined
Mar 3, 2011
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Location
California's Central Coast Wine Country
Congrats! Is that a cro molly frame?
Yes, a fillet brazed chrome moly frame built by a San Francisco Bay Area builder named Dale Saso. It built with a Tange Prestige tube set with a Tange Ultimate down tube. I'm 6'5' and 230. The frame is custom built for my size, proportions, weight, and power. The Ultimate down tube is larger diameter than the Prestige version, which stiffened up the bottom bracket area. Frame is either 65 or 66 c-t-c with a longish top tube because of my longish torso.

I build up all my bikes from a bare frame. I had the Saso built in 1981 and originally built it up with an 8-speed Shimano Dura-Ace gruppo; with down tube shifters! Later I upgraded it to Campy Record 10-speed and rode that for years. That was a nice gruppo. Just last year I upgraded it once again this time to Dura-Ace 11-speed. Over the years it's been through 5 or 6 wheel sets - and I replace the bars and fork every 3 or 4 years depending on how much I'm riding.

I take care of my bikes like I do my cars. The joke about my bikes is that I "lick them off every time I ride them". The Saso (and my other custom road bike, a titanium Seven Axiom) are far too nice to park in the garage. They're parked inside the house in my office.

The Saso frame has over 35,000 miles. Original paint too! Pictures are when it had the 10-speed Record gruppo on it.

Check out the fillet brazed joints. They're absolutely perfect! And notice the picture of the two bikes side-by-side. You can see the frame size and proportions are nearly identical to each other.

Scott

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FZ1

Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
5,518
Location
Texas
Yes, a fillet brazed chrome moly frame built by a San Francisco Bay Area builder named Dale Saso. It built with a Tange Prestige tube set with a Tange Ultimate down tube. I'm 6'5' and 230. The frame is custom built for my size, proportions, weight, and power. The Ultimate down tube is larger diameter than the Prestige version, which stiffened up the bottom bracket area. Frame is either 65 or 66 c-t-c with a longish top tube because of my longish torso.

I build up all my bikes from a bare frame. I had the Saso built in 1981 and originally built it up with an 8-speed Shimano Dura-Ace gruppo; with down tube shifters! Later I upgraded it to Campy Record 10-speed and rode that for years. That was a nice gruppo. Just last year I upgraded it once again this time to Dura-Ace 11-speed. Over the years it's been through 5 or 6 wheel sets - and I replace the bars and fork every 3 or 4 years depending on how much I'm riding.

I take care of my bikes like I do my cars. The joke about my bikes is that I "lick them off every time I ride them". The Saso (and my other custom road bike, a titanium Seven Axiom) are far too nice to park in the garage. They're parked inside the house in my office.

The Saso frame has over 35,000 miles. Original paint too! Pictures are when it had the 10-speed Record gruppo on it.

Check out the fillet brazed joints. They're absolutely perfect! And notice the picture of the two bikes side-by-side. You can see the frame size and proportions are nearly identical to each other.

Scott

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Wow! Beautiful bike up close. Chromoly is much more comfortable than aluminum. Dura Ace is the best.
 
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