An accidental imperial century

This morning I set out with a solo 100km in mind. That’s about as far as I ever go. I’m no long distance cyclist, preferring to smash out a more intense two or three hours in the saddle. Sometimes though you need to go on a journey and as I had nothing else to do all day, I just kept pedalling! By the time I got back to the car I had covered a shade over 166km! Quite accidentally, my longest ever ride (and only my second ever imperial century).

It was one of those mornings where the forecast said “awesome” but the actual weather was crap. It rained overnight, then rained again within the first 10km, washing all the lube from my freshly cleaned, polished and perfected drivetrain. I spent the next 80km with a dirty bike and an awfully annoying creaky drivetrain.

When the forecast says dry but you wake up to wet…

There was only one major climb of the day, the Cat 3 rated 4km long Grasstree Hill. It’s a solid climb but has a fairly consistent gradient. If you pick the right tempo you can complete the whole climb using only one or two gears. Go too hard though and it’s easy to misjudge and blow before the top. Even with a squeaking drivetrain I managed to set a PR up there, which bode well for the rest of the ride!

Descending the other side and crossing into Hobart the sun finally made an appearance! I stopped at the markets for lunch, scoffing down a double shot cappuccino, bratwurst burger and pancakes with ice cream. Then, sick of the dry chain grinding away my chainrings, I hunted for a bike shop to purchase a small bottle of lube! Thankfully AVANTI were open so I restored my drivetrain to smooth and silent once again using their courtesy customer workshop.

From pristine to filthy in a single rain shower!

Around the 130km mark I noticed a rider ahead coming towards me, as we drew level he chucked a quick u-turn then jumped on my wheel! Strange, but okay. He did pull alongside and ask so all good. I did a turn, then he got on the front and pulled for a mile or two before we parted ways. Thanks to the power of Strava FlyBy I tracked him down afterwards and it turns out he had this photo for me. I took tired…

By this stage I was making mental calculations as to whether I could eek out an imperial century or not. Making a note of average speed, distance to go and time until sunset (it’s winter here so it gets dark early) I realised it was possible! I pushed on, but not before ducking into a roadside bakehouse for a delicious apple slice. That sugar and pastry hit powered me home over the final 25km and I rolled back to the car with a big grin on my exhausted face and my longest ever ride in the bag.

Like I said, some days you just need to go on a journey! #keepcycling

20 Comments Add yours

  1. stuwj_velo says:

    Kudos is due for that average speed. Kudos also for supporting local bike shops – people don’t realise that you can’t do ‘pit stops’ at online retailers that don’t exist in the real world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. It was a matter of getting my fuelling and pacing right. That bike shop is ace, also has its own cafe attached it it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. bgddyjim says:

    Nice job, brother. I much prefer the 100k to the 100 mile as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ericritter65 says:

    Welcome to your first real century! Metric centuries are fun little rides, but given the chance, I’ll take a full century, if I have the time and sag support; they take planning and hard work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Time is the main thing, especially with short winter daylight hours! I prefer to go harder for shorter, really smashing myself over 2-3 hours, rather than slower low intensity stuff – but there’s something nice about being out on the bike all day once in a while. I don’t often have that luxury. :-)


  4. loneriderc1 says:

    Chapeau! Only 2 tons! ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Yep just the two hundred milers, both unplanned. Both in the middle of winter too!

      Liked by 1 person

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