Monday, March 04, 2013

Metric Century

Ever since I started bicycling, a 100-kilometer ride - the "Metric Century" - has been a pseudo-goal of mine. "Pseudo" meaning that four years later, I still have yet to even attempt it. Well, it's time! (Almost. Next month.)

I think Spring is the best season of the year for bicycling, mostly because it's when the weather is best for cycling. I think I'm in pretty good bicycling shape right now, and now I have a bike capable of a super long ride, so I've put it on my Google Calendar. (That makes it official.) The first weekend of April - or the second weekend if the weather mandates it - I'm doing a 100K bike ride. No more procrastinating! I was originally going to save my first 100K for an organized charity ride, but I don't know of any 100Ks coming up that soon, and I don't feel like waiting. Now - well, next month - is the time.

It turns out that a bike ride starting and ending at my house, and going all the way around Jordan Lake, is about 100 kilometers long:

View Larger Map

Sure, Google Maps tells me that route is exactly 100 km, but what happens if I get back home after my ride and my odometer tells me that it was actually only 99.2? Do I go back out there and ride another kilometer? I suppose I would have to, but when I get home after an extremely long bike ride, it is very difficult to motivate myself to go any farther. (That, and I usually have to pee pretty bad.) So, to prevent that from being an issue, I'm going to add a mile in the middle somewhere and shoot for 63 Google Map miles. (Often, the distance according to the bike odometer ends up being a few tenths of a mile shorter than what Google says.)

My longest ride to date is 55 miles, and that was on my heavier and slower "hybrid" bike. (Still hard to believe I rode that thing 55 miles in one shot.) With my new faster bike, I've already done two 50s in the past four months. If I plan ahead, I can do the 100K, although you never really know how your muscles are going to behave on any given day. So, we'll see how it goes.

Meanwhile, in my Bicycling Trip in Australia, I've set another goal for myself: complete the ride by May 8th. (I picked May 8th because we'll be on the road the following week, and so it would make sense to finish one fictional bike ride before we leave town, and start the next one after we get back.) I have 388 miles to go as of the last update (335 miles to go as of today), so my current pace of 40 miles/week will be more than sufficient, especially if I'm planning to knock out 63 miles in one day. But hey, at least it's in writing now.

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