Century rides are bike events where one must prepare and train. Are you all set to go? You cannot go wrong by following your passion but you must always be careful not to take unnecessary risks. Below are some things to keep in mind for your first century ride.
Avoid testing your stomach
There are many century rides that offer various food choices at station aids. Trying snacks your stomach is unfamiliar with might cause problems during the event. Some might appear yummy and enticing, however, they might not fit your digestive system. Bananas will always be your old biking buddy because it’s rich in potassium that helps decrease cramps. Stick to the familiar food. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to try new snacks after the ride.
Avoid lack of calorie intake
Make sure that you have enough energy on century rides. One way to ensure this is to eat well before you even get hungry. Consuming at least 200 calories an hour will help sustain your energy throughout the ride. Be consistent in refuelling energy with the right amount and type of calorie-infused food to burn on cycling. Pack as much nutritional snack as you need and can. Also, take advantage of the aid stations as necessary.
Avoid insufficient hydration
Proper hydration is as crucial as your calorie intake. Make sure to hydrate every 15 minutes and refill at aid stops/stations. Electrolytes are substantial for late day rides so be sure to know what works for you before the century ride. Always check if your bottle has enough and if it’s almost empty, never skip the next aid station for a refill — you don’t want to regret a thing during the last part of the event!
Avoid not setting your own pace
The moment you hear the gunshot — go signal — it’s normal to experience the adrenaline rush and start off too fast. If you have an average cycling routine say, 14 mph- stick to it during the first part of the ride. Going faster than what you’ve trained for might be very tedious once you hit 80% of the ride. Set and follow your own cycling pace, not someone else’s. Again, you are the one who knows your capability before registering to century rides. Be confident and trust your hard-earned training!
Avoid not defying the distance
They say if success can’t find you, find it yourself. A hundred miles is a hundred miles but, you can definitely trick yourself in a positive way during the ride. Consider certain parts of the 100-mile as your internal finish line. Focus on getting to the next aid station, how to make it pass the next climb, or how many 10/20 miles you’ve passed by. 100 miles is really hard just to even think about and by setting your mind in a different manner during the event can somehow help you divert the hardship and tiredness of riding it!
Avoid not having a handy guide
Having a guide map has always been convenient even to century rides. Most have well-marked points and paths, but there are moments where you will find yourself somewhere else than where you must be. Always bring a printed reference of the route especially if the area is new to you. 100 miles is already a long way to go, so don’t make it hard on yourself with additional miles to tackle!
Avoid too many breaks
As mentioned, you can definitely take advantage of the aid stations/stops but it is advised to only do it if the need is adamant. It is good to rest but, prolonging your day and activity can kill your adrenaline and mental energy to push through with the ride. Only stop and rest when deemed necessary and be mindful of the breaks to also conserve time.
Avoid trying out new shoes or gear
You already have your trusted shoes or gear so better stick with it. Impulsive buying isn’t always good especially when you are going on your first century ride. The new shoes might be cool but, if the ride is the next day and it’s not even the shoes you trained on, stop yourself immediately from buying it. New shoes are often hard on the first use and can cause hot feet (with blisters!) So if you want to be hassle-free, stick to your pair!
Avoid not minding the century ride’s purpose
Most century rides are for the greater good of the community or selected beneficiaries and this can inspire you to ride. You will be more than happy to cycle if you know what’s the ride’s purpose or goal.
Avoid not having fun
As a first timer, one must not feel pressured or tensed about not finishing first. What’s important is the experience you gained on the century ride. Join groups or mingle with other riders. You might even be one of their bike groups and be with them on other events! A century ride is just a long day ride and it doesn’t have to hinder you from having fun and great company!
Having the right mindset and tips before your first century ride is a big help. It’s not always the dos that matter. Oftentimes, we also have to know what are the don’ts to reach the finish line. Take note of the above list and surely, you will have an awesome first century ride!