One hundred kilometres. A shade over 62 miles in old money. The rock star of cycling distances. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the 100km ride. It’s why I started the Metric Century Challenge back at Woking CC in the UK and why I still challenge myself to complete at least one metric century ride every month of the year.
The 100km ride is a testing distance no doubt, but one you can knock out of the park without taking up the entire day. It’s long enough to empty the legs while still giving you time to take care of other jobs/commitments (or just relax on the couch). It’s the great leg tester.
Unlike an imperial century (100 miles) where you really need most of the day, the metric century can have you done and dusted, home and hosed, all before lunch.
Any longer than 100km and (in my opinion at least) you need to drop the pace way too much in order to go the distance. No disrespect to the long distance endurance athletes, but cruising around in zone 1 and 2 all day just to rack up mileage is not really for me. With the 100km ride you can still smash out some big efforts, recover, then crack on. Sure you still need to learn how to pace, but that’s the beauty of it! Full gas up the climbs, sprint for city limits, but be sure to hold enough back to get home!
You can head out for 100km solo with only your thoughts for company, or you can rack up the miles with friends sharing the load. Hammer it out all in one go? Can do! Stop for coffee half way? Why not! Detour up a climb or two? For sure! The humble 100km is the perfect road cycling distance.
If you’re a new road cyclist, why not challenge yourself to work up to your first 100km ride. It really is quite an achievement to roll over your first one. You’ll soon be hooked.
If you’re a more seasoned roadie, why not challenge yourself to ride a metric century every month of the year? Or if you’re finding the 100km distance too easy, push yourself to ride a previous course harder/faster than before or find a route with more climbing.
So here’s to the humble 100km ride. Get out there, challenge yourself, have fun. With lockdowns easing in many parts of the world right now and the weather improving in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the perfect time to grab some mates, get on your bikes and clock up a metric century ride!
Keep those wheels turning and the rubber side down!