Today, I want to share lessons learned from my first century back in 1985: TOSRV. Actually, it was a double century, but nonetheless, if you apply these tips, I guarantee your first century will be full of misery. I’ve even supplied pictures from my epic adventure; I’m wearing the cycling cap.
Ignore the kits and moisture wicking fabrics the pros wear. What do they know. Instead, go with cotton, lots of cotton, and be sure to wear underwear beneath your bike shorts. You’ll LOVE the soggy sensation that will remind you of when you used to wet your bed as a kid.
Go Topless & Don’t Use Sunscreen
Spring or summer centuries are the perfect opportunity to work on your tan. After all, who wants embarrassing biker tan lines at the swimming pool. So strip off that cotton T and show off your big guns & weight lifter’s physique. And by all means forego sunscreen. It’s overrated for protecting you from sunburn and skin cancer. Instead, liberally apply Hawaiian Tropic oil.
Ride Beyond Your Training
You’ll be joining a host of other riders and perhaps even pros, so when that first pace line zooms past, make sure you hop on. Push, push, PUSH yourself to spin with the big boys. Ignore your brain shouting, “Danger! Maximum Overload!” Prove to those racers you’re ready to go pro. But don’t just settle for one fast break, jump on every line. Never mind that you’re riding faster than you’ve trained or that you have another century the next day. YOLO! Carpe Diem! Go fast or go home…even if it’s in a body bag.
Hydration is for the Weak
The pièce de résistance for suffering on your first century is to ignore the sage advice to drink every 15-20 minutes. Only weaklings need that much water. And Gatorade? It’s just a marketing ploy. Instead, become a Zen rider; hone in on that Apache warrior spirit: “Thirst is your friend.” “Dehydration is weakness leaving your body.” And by all means, when you reach the finish line, drink beer. Lots of beer. This will replenish those electrolytes, speed up your recovery, and numb the pain coursing your body.
If you apply these tips, you too will suffer, experience severe dehydration, and reach new levels of pain only elite riders experience. Happy riding!