Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hundred-mile rides have a special allure. I've done eight of them now:
9/11/04 - 100 miles in a Cab-Bike, around 16 hours
9/11/05 - 100 miles on a combination of bikes, including 7 on a 1959 Raleigh 3-speed
9/10/06 - 100 miles mostly in the rain, on a Greenspeed GTO trike. Again, around 16 hours
9/9/07 - 50.8 miles on a double-delta Greenspeed Anura / Hase Kettwiesel trike tandem, then 40.2 miles on my old LWB (long-wheelbase recumbent) Osell; another 15-hour ride.
7/4/08 - tandem century on the Anura / Kettwiesel tandem.
8/8/08 - 105 miles on the Anura / Kettwiesel tandem as the third day of a 250-mile ride; this one took a bit over 12 hours.
9/7/08 - 100 miles on my Osell LWB.
9/11/09 - 104 miles, with the first fifty on the Anura and 54 on my Osell LWB.

My time was under 10 hours for the 100 miles, for an average speed (including rest stops) of 10.4 mph.

Most people who post reports of their century rides have completed them in less than 9 hours, and a lot of riders finish in less than half of my best time. I choose flat routes on local bike paths, loop back to home to change bikes and/or clothes, and -- until this year -- take generous rest breaks.

The century rides started with the realization that my September 11 birthday had lost a lot of its fun value after the terrorist attacks, and I needed to find a different way to celebrate.

Even with the slow times and the easy routes, the accomplishment feels good. And there's always the hope of finishing with a better time next year.