Monday, August 25, 2008

Solo Century Rides

How many of you have ridden Century rides with your friends/buds in the past? I know I've done a bunch, and to tell you the truth..I think they're just junk mile rides that benefit you only by burning calories (if your goal is to drop a few pounds) and getting your butt used to sitting on a bike seat for 6 hrs. But, have you ever ridden a Century Ride solo- and challenged yourself to go as hard/fast as you can? I've ridden two local Century rides solo this year: Suburban Cyclists Unlimited (SCU) Quad County Metric Century and the SCU Lake Nockamixon Century..and starting to prefer them that way- SOLO. And, in each ride I challenged myself to go as fast/hard as I can. The beauty of these rides is the following:

a. you've got a well marked route on the road so you can't get lost
b. you reel in the slower riders one by one- which ought to motivate you to go faster/harder
c. you've got sag support enroute
d. you've got aid/food stations enroute
e. you've got safety in numbers
f. you can ride as fast/hard as you want..usually faster on your own
g. you can find a fast group or riders and sit-in/draft for a portion of the I do
h. you can enter the ride mid-route (on your bike) if you need to drive to the start
i. you don't have to pay..if you don't want...and still eat/drink at the rest stops...hahaha
j. you might see some of your friends along the way
k. you get home when you want to, not when your friends allow you to
l. you get a better workout in on your stopping..slowing..waiting..etc.
m. you can quit..anytime you want when you're cooked..and soft pedal home
n. you can go as many miles as you want..nobody says you have to do 100 can do 125 or 50
o. you can create a race day scenario..i.e. pretend it's an Ironman bike leg
p. you can try to break 5 hrs for 100 miles averaging 20 mph..or some other goal

Anyway, I could go on and on. So, next time there is a Century ride in the area, ride your bike to the route solo..and see if you don't prefer them that way in the future. Yeah, I miss out on the social aspect of the ride. But, you can always meet your buds at the bar afterwards and get your socializing in then...over a nice cold beer or two..or three. Treat yourself for a hard days work. Cheers Rob

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