Jul 01

An Unplanned Century

Today’s schedule called for a 3.5 hour ride.  So, earlier this week I called my dad to see if he wanted to join me.  My dad is what I would classify as a touring rider.  He has logged 8 marathons when he was running, but mainly bikes now.  His last bike adventure was biking around Lake Michigan (roughly 1,200 miles) in 7 days.  I’m not sure what his next adventure will be.  He has mentioned wanting to circum navigate the lower peninsula, but not sure if that is still the plan.

He took me up on the offer and we headed out at 8:00 this morning.  However, we were still halfway between Grand Rapids and Muskegon on the Musketawa Trail at the 4 hour mark.  It was still a good 25-30 miles until I got home at that point.

I did some quick math in my head (which is much harder after 4 hours on the bike I might add).  By just biking home, I would be around 85-90 miles which by itself would have been a record ride.  My previous longest ride was 70 miles.  However, when you hit 90 miles, there is no reason not to add on an extra 10 miles to reach the century mark.  As I got closer to home, I tacked on a loop around Reeds Lake and a few loops around Calvin College before stopping by Subway and heading home.

As I turned on our street, my watch beeped the 100th mile.

Mobile Photo Jul 1, 2010 3 48 14 PM

I was so close to a sub 6 hour century!! Oh well, maybe next time.

As for the ride, it went very well.  I went out a bit fast, mainly because I anticipated only biking 60 miles or so.  When I realized it was going to be a bit longer, I backed off a little. 

We took the Musketawa Trail all the way to the end in Muskegon.  At the halfway point, we stopped for snacks.  I brought along some homemade trail mix (M&Ms, peanuts, raisins, and chocolate chips) which really hit the spot.  The chocolate chips were a bit melted, but I just dumped the bag in the mouth and avoided making too much of a mess.

Mobile Photo Jul 1, 2010 3 52 27 PM

We saw lots of wild life on the trail; birds, bunnies, chipmunks, deer, and even a very angry muskrat.  One of the deer we saw was just a baby.  It was still covered in spots and didn’t seem to know what to make of us.  As we got closer, it panicked, turned and tried to run away.  However, the paved trail was a bit slippery on its hooves and it took a spill.  It picked itself up and quickly hopped into the corn fields.  Further on, there was a muskrat in the middle of the trail.  Generally they are really skittish, so when it didn’t move, I thought it was dead.  But, when I got closer, it, like the deer, panicked and ran off.  As it ran off, it growled at me.  It was not at all happy he had to move for me.

After finishing the Musketawa Trail we stopped by the library to refill our water bottles.  I had been running low for a while and there isn’t anywhere to stop on the trail – it is all farm fields the whole way.  Then headed over to Millennium Park to log a few more miles.

I dropped my dad back at home around the 80 mile mark.  I then proceeded to finish up the last 20 miles on my own. 

The whole ride was fairly easy.  Much easier than I thought my first century would be.  The hardest part was being hungry.  Having not planned for such a distance, I didn’t quite have enough food to hold me over.  My stomach was grumbling the last 10 miles.

I’ve decided to skip my scheduled 40 minute run today.  I’ll still log a couple miles with the Mrs when she gets home, but I don’t think I have it in me to run a decent 5 miles.  I’ll make up the run at my race on Sunday (a scheduled off day) though, so it all works out in the end.

Here are the ride details if you are interested.  I am loving the new(-ish) Garmin Connect site.  It is much better than their original site.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2010/07/01/an-unplanned-century


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  1. kc

    I love those unplanned centuries! You have no time to think of reasons to not ride that many miles. Once you are at 85+, it would almost be a sin to not make it an even 100. Love, love, love the garmin connect, A LOT!

  2. Lisa

    Great job on your long bike ride turned century!

  3. Maria

    I have yet to have my first century but am looking forward to it whenever it does happen. Congrats on yours, true dedication to go the extra mile! And what fun to ride most of it with your dad!

  4. Bret

    8000 Calories… holy cow! I would need to bring two large pizzas to tide me over for the century. It looks like you have a great trail system there in Michigan.

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