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Flatlanders Century Bike Tour - CycleCentury

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Fremont, Ohio
United States
Flatlanders Bicycle Club
75F / 24C
Total Time = 7h 10m 36s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Since the start of the tour was 2 1/2 hours from my house, I drove up the night before. Slept in my car at a campground because I am too cheap to pay for a hotel. Well especially since the town is near a resort area and even the cheapest low budget motels are $70.00 on a Saturday night.

For dinner, I ate a 1/2 portion chicken salad, root beer and a sundae at Applebee's. I was stuffed!

For breakfast the next morning, I ate at Bob Evans and had 2 eggs, 2 pieces of bacon, 2 biscuits with honey and O.J.. I was stuffed!
Event warmup:

Registered for the tour and hopped on my bike. There is no warm-up in bike touring. I would get warmed up soon enough. If all goes as planned, at the end of the day I will have completed my second century ride ever.

Weather conditions were near perfect. Temps had been in the 90's the previous several days, but a front came through on Saturday so Sunday started off with dry conditions, partly sunny skies and temps in the 60's with highs forecast in the mid 70's.
  • 7h 10m 36s
  • 107.44 miles
  • 14.97 mile/hr

First loop (mile 0 to 27): Perfect weather and a beautiful morning. No wind on the first loop. Ended up riding and chatting with a couple of guys from the local bike club that organized the tour. That was fun. I also chatted with a guy that was riding his first century ride today. I am so used to riding by myself, mostly because I am slow on my touring bike. It was fun to chat about a lot of the different tours and just things in general. The first 25 miles flew by. I was a little worried that I wasn't drinking enough because I didn't have to pee until I got back to the starting area, but I felt good. I was still pretty full from breakfast and dinner the night before. 15.2 mph average at the end of the first loop. Ate a banana and two no bake cookies and drank some orange Squencher that was provided as the drink.

Second loop (mile 28-55). Well, the sports drink caught up with me and I had to make 2 corn field pit stops during this loop. The same two guys passed me both stops. That was too funny. I told them I was just admiring the nice corn fields. The wind started picking up during this loop. By the halfway point I was averaging 15.5 mph, but at the end of the loop I was down to 15.3 mph average. I felt good the whole loop though, but alas I was actually starting to get hungry by the end. I was thinking of having lunch after the 3rd loop, but decided I had better eat my lunch now. Lunch was a warm shredded chicken sandwich, pasta salad, grapes, banana, one cookie and more orange Squencher. I talked to a couple guys that came in from central Pennsylvania because they wanted to do a flat tour. They commented on how the wind was killing them. We got to talking about how on hills you have to work hard up, but then get a break on the down. With flat windy conditions, there is no break. You have to keep pedalling all the time. These are the conditions I am used to so it didn't seem too bad to me.

Third loop (mile 56-82). Winds had picked up out of the north, but this loop went out west and then back east so it wasn't too bad. Talked to a young man that had done some riding down in Georgia (?) or somewhere where Lance Armstrong trained. He talked about how much respect he has for cyclists like Lance after actually riding those training routes. He was a cool kid to talk to. The vast majority of this loop I felt REALLY REALLY good. The last 3-4 miles back to the start were a direct shot into the wind and then I started feeling a little tired. I didn't have to pee at all during the third loop so that always makes me wonder if I am drinking enough, but my hydration felt ok. Average at the end of loop 3 was 15.2 mph. Back at the start I had a snack of some cookies, 1/2 peanut butter and jelly sandwich, grapes and orange Squencher.

Fourth loop (mile 83-108). Each loop had been a little long, so in my mind I was planning on finishing with about 110 miles on my bike computer. I knew I had felt a little tired at the end of the last loop, but didn't realize how tired I was until I started on loop 4. At mile 85, I was thinking perhaps I made a mistake by going out for the last loop. I had been so hoping to keep my average above 15 mph, but for the first part of the loop I just couldn't maintain my speed above 15 mph. I dropped back a gear and did several miles around 13.5 mph. The wind was really making the difference here. Whenever I turned a corner and had the wind at my side or back, I didn't feel as bad. Around mile 95 the wind started dying down some and the road made a turn away from the wind. I finally got a second wind of my own and started cruising at 16+ mph. At mile 100, I checked my computer and it was still saying I had a 15.0 mph average. Took a cornfield pit stop at this point. I knew I had a shot to reach my goal of 15+ mph average for the ride. At mile 102, the road once again turned into the wind and the last 6 miles were straight into the wind, but it had died down some. I was oh so tired, but I got all the way down into the drops and kept pedaling. I was able to keep above 15 mph the whole way, but it was hard. My mind kept trying to talk me into stopping for a quick break, but I kept going. The end was so sweet.

EDIT: Had to re-adjust mileage because my bike computer was off since adding the new tires. I just missed the 15 mph average.

Total tour time including stops was around 8 hours and 15 minutes.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. I kept to drinking plain water on the bike and taking in snacks/sports drink at the stops. Since I started doing this I haven't seemed to have stomach cramping issues as in the past (knock on wood). I felt just amazing for 75% of the ride. More T.I.T.S. is what it takes to feel good the whole ride, but I can only do so much with the amount of time I have per week to train. I am elated I can train enough to even do a century ride. Good stuff!
Post race
Warm down:

Snacked a little more, but wasn't really that hungry or thirsty. I did eat a small burger and fries (wanted something salty!) on the way home. Oh and a brownie too. Took a 30 minute nap at a rest area so I could drive safely home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training and my 1994 steel frame touring bike. The usual.

Event comments:

This was a nice tour. Nothing fancy, but definitely put on by people who know cycling. Good road markings and maps. Snacks were plentiful and yummy.

Last updated: 2007-08-27 12:00 AM
07:10:36 | 107.44 miles | 14.97 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: The tour consisted of 4 different 25 mile loops that all started and ended at the same place. Riders could choose to do 1, 2, 3 or all 4 loops. Sag service only covered the loops for 3 hour overlapping time slots so you were supposed to do them in a defined order. As the name applies, the terrain is generally flat. Only one loop had a few very small rollers.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2007-08-27 11:53 AM

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Extreme Veteran
northeast Ohio
Subject: Flatlanders Century Bike Tour

2007-08-27 2:21 PM
in reply to: #942082

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Subject: RE: Flatlanders Century Bike Tour

I love riding into the wind on a LONG ride nothing beats it.  I also always love the feeling you get while your riding into the wind and thinking "I can't wait to get to the turn around so the wind will be at my back" only to have the wind you thought was in your face be a crossing wind, and have the wind still crossing for the whole stinking ride back.

It sounds like a great tour.  Food sounds pretty good, and the drinks sound pretty orangie. 

2007-08-30 6:56 AM
in reply to: #942082

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Subject: RE: Flatlanders Century Bike Tour

I wish I could come do the ride with you.  I love the loop aspect of it and the food sounds yummy. You did awesome like usual.

I have yet to do my first century but hope to do one after my HIM even if it means doing it by myself. Next year I'm doing this century each month challenge.

So close to 15mph with a newer road bike I'm sure you'd make that pace plus a lot more.

Nice ride

2007-08-30 9:51 AM
in reply to: #942082

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Granvile, Ohio
Subject: RE: Flatlanders Century Bike Tour
Way to go Diane!  Sounds like the 4th loop was an exercise in mental toughness, but you passed with flying colors!  Nice ride!

BTW, I can't believe you slept in your car.... TOO FUNNY!
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