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I am not usually an impulsive person, but the day I bought a bike I also registered for <a href="http://www.virginiacapitaltrail.org/events.html" target="_blank">this ride</a> .<br><br>
Then I got out and actually attempted to ride the bike. The bruises from clicking out but leaning the wrong way are starting to fade now! In short, I feel like I'm learning to ride all over again. Being around traffic with the potential chance of having to suddenly stop or maneuver the bike is still pretty scary. I have been practicing every night, even if it's just standing on the bike in my living room and clicking in and out, in and out. Mainly I am concerned with safety of myself and fellow riders this weekend. (Already I know my neck, shoulders, and butt will hurt. That's OK.) I don't want to ride faster than I'm comfortable doing and be frightened the whole way, and also don't want to do anything dumb in a group. Being fairly close to other cyclists makes me somewhat nervous because of inexperience.<br><br>
Either I am having an early midlife crisis or this is lingering post-marathon-DNF insanity. Saturday will be full of tales to tell ... if I live to tell them!<br><br>
Any last-minute survival strategies?
 

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Aha, this must be the ride you were contemplating when you asked about jumping into a century. Looks like a beauty! You are going to love it. No particular advice for you. It's a group ride so you will be surrounded by plenty extra eyes and ears. Your fellow cyclists will be looking out for traffic and letting you know what's going on (e.g., "car back" = car approaching from behind). In particular, you will want to keep an eye out for anyone in front of you who points down toward the roadway. Experienced group riders point out road hazards like loose gravel, big cracks, etc. so the people riding behind where the view is blocked can anticipate. Can't wait to read your report.
 

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Don't forget to EAT and drink lots of fluids! 100 miles is a long way to go...
 

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Have spare tubes with you. Wear spandex and flaunt it baby!<br>
Have fun above all.
 

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My BEST advice is LUBE the crooooooooootch!<br><br>
You don't want to sit, peeee and bleeeeeed and SCREAM!
 

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Stay to the left to let people get around you if they need to, but give yourself adequate room from the shoulder/curb. Keep practicing getting in and out of clips.<br><br>
Hydration and nutrition will be the same as running.<br><br>
Learn to keep a steady cadence, and spin whenever possible. Don't use your quads. Use your gears to make it easier, no matter how slow you might be going (kinda like walking hills. . .).<br><br>
Oh, and just GO. Don't spend a lot of time at the water stops. And move at your own pace! You don't need to shoot for a sub-4 hour century, but don't sacrifice your personal goals by letting others set a slower pace either.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Durt, what do you mean stay to the left? Do riders pass on the right?<br><br>
Also, how far should I stay behind the person in front of me if I get in to a group of riders?<br><br>
I'm definitely not worrying about anyone slowing me down too much! Just finishing this one and seeing how I like it will be satisfying.
 

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I'm still learning the click in & out. I just put the clipless on a short time ago and haven't taken the bike on the road yet. I'm nervous!<br><br>
Good luck on your ride. Ouch, my butt hurts just thinking about 100 miles. I think 30 is about as far as I've ever gone!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ha! I have yet to take the bike out of my townhouse complex parking lot due to handling and clicking in-out! I better get on that.<br><br>
I did 35 miles the other week. Fitness-wise it was easy and butt-wise comfortable, but that was on my hybrid bike with the La-Z-Girl granny seat.
 

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OMG. . .Rule #1, don't ever listen to anything I say. . .EVER. I should have said stay to the right, and let them pass you to on the left. The one's passing you have to use their discretion to know that cars aren't coming up, etc.. Just maintain your own pace, and keep an eye on the person ahead of you. I've always found it easier to maintain focus on the person in front of you for guaging distance. If you stare at their wheel all day long you'll get dizzy. As far as distance, you've gotta let experience/comfort be your guide.
 

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He means stay right, I think. And give yourself plenty of clearance in front. Theoretically, you can ride pretty close if the person ahead of you is someone you can count on to give you fair warning. But in these big events, you might not even know that person, or the person ahead of her, or the person ahead of her... At speed, all it takes is for your front wheel to touch the wheel in front of you ever so slightly, and you are going down. It's not really worth losing skin if you aren't trying to win something.<br><br>
 

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Have fun, SGH.<br><br>
The furthest I've ever rode is 43 miles, so I don't imagine I'm much help.<br><br>
I can picture you and your great attitude out there pedaling along. Remember to eat, drink, and a little extra sodium and you should do great.<br><br>
If you go with the attitude that you're going to ride further than ever before, and accomplish that feat, I don't think you can go wrong!<br><br>
I look forward to hearing about it!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My farthest ride to date is 50 miles, which I did on minimal training, just for fun. I'll just approach this ride the same. I've been reading more on group riding etiquette and safety so that feels more comfortable.<br><br>
The forecast is for afternoon showers tomorrow, so we may choose the 50 mile option if it's looking like we'll get dumped on. We'll see. Hopefully we can do the whole course!
 

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I have never entered a bike event. So I have no solid advice. I will say from what I have read you have amazing tenacity and will do well, no doubts. The nervous part will soon settle after the start. Have fun and enjoy! Looking forward to reading a report.
 

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Allz I gotta say about century rides is TG for SAG stops!<br><br>
Can't wait to hear your report!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I will second that comment "TG for SAG stops!"<br><br>
The rain moved in at 11 a.m. rather than the forecasted 3-4 p.m. Without gear I was shivering and drenched after one hour in the rain, so called it a day at 51 miles.<br><br>
I'll write a better report tomorrow, but in short I loved the first 37 miles and learned a LOT in 51 miles, or rather, began discovering how little I know about this new for me sport.
 

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I think you put in a good effort! I've never ridden in the rain, so you're a rockstar in my book!<br><br>
There are LOTS of centuries (around me anyways) so, in a month go for it again!
 

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A bump, since I re-read this one tonight.<br><br>
I've been roped into a 50 mile ride tomorrow. A local ride called the Sweet Corn challenge that offers 25, 50, and 100 mile rides. I heard there's about 2,000 riders. I've never taken part of an event like this, nor have I ever ridden 50 miles.<br><br>
SGH- I have a running friend, who never rides, who is taking the plunge and going for 50 without none to little riding (she rode 1 mile on the bike to test it tonight.)<br><br>
Others in our group say she'll be fine. I'm not sure. I remember you doing something similar too. Thanks for reminding me that it will be okay.<br><br>
I'm imagine this ride will be fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yes, she'll be fine, coach roots. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> Remind all the runners to ride easy and stay in the low gears.<br><br>
You're going to have a lot of fun! Century rides can be basically social, traveling buffets -- good eats at the rest stops, etc. If it's a nice day, it'll be a great time.
 
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