It's On Like Donkey Kong

After taking a week past camp to mull my options and relax, I started into training for my first Century ride ever. September 6 I’m doing the Civil War Century. The website says 105 miles and 7400 feet of climbing, but the routes others have plotted out on Bikely say 54/5500 ft. No matter. Regardless of what it turns out to be I’m going to get my money’s worth. I found a site online that had a sample weekly training regimen for an 8 week program to work up to the distance gradually. Doing the distance is not really a worry for me because I’ve regularly pulled 70 and 80 mile rides out of thin air after doing little preparation without feeling too awful the next week. Bigger concerns for me are the mountains and the open roads with cars. My habits have had me riding nothing but short distances on local roads in the city and Rail Trails. I ride in the city, so the majority of my routes are on roads with lots of traffic lights and stop signs. Even the most testosterone-crazed drivers can’t get going too much faster than me. For the amount of time I spend on a bike, it is truly amazing how few roads I’ve actually traveled on. The training program I’m doing has lots of 20 to 60 mile rides, so I have to break the crutch of looping around small streets downtown. The first week in July I spent a ton of time on Bikely researching other peoples routes and sketching out routes of my own to get me out on the open road more but still on safe roads. I should be good for the first few weeks of training, then I have some ideas about how to use the NCR trail as a connector between the city and some of the roads around farmland and state parks in North Central MD. Can’t wait to share some of the routes I’m drafting, but since I stole the routes of other people as starting points, the notes are all messed up, and don’t correspond to the areas on the map. Some of them are going the wrong way too which leads to some pretty bad ‘one way street’ errors unless you know better. I’ll get around to it eventually, but right now, I’m too busy getting my mileage up. Saturday morning rides are where I’m testing out many of the routes, and it provides the added benefit of less cars (plus the drawback of having to get up at 5 in the morning…). I’m in week 2 of training and it’s going fine.

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2 thoughts on “It's On Like Donkey Kong

  1. ‘best of luck. Carving out time for those long rides is my biggest challenge; and then not overdoing it as I build up to it. If I can overcome the saddle sore issues I hope to hit the mark in a month or two.

    I think the roads down your way are great for a century ride.

  2. Thanks, There are a lot of decent roads down here as I’m now finding out. Last Saturday was one of the nicest rides I’ve been on in at least a year, and last night I explored some roads that led into singletrack along a lakeside park near where I live that I haven’t ridden at in close to 10 years. It’s been pretty shameful how little I’ve done so far in the way of exploration, but half of the reason I signed up for this is to get me out of my rut. 25 miles a week of commuting, grocery runs, and 3 rail-trail rides a year isn’t cutting it for me anymore. Best of luck with the saddle sore issue. I’m going to be quadrupling my mileage over the next few weeks, so that’s going to be an issue for me at some point too.

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