Lying in bed the other night a thought popped into my head. Could I ride 100km in under three hours? I’m talking three hours total time, including stops. Rolling in a decent bunch I could definitely achieve it, on Sally’s Ride in Launceston I missed out by a couple of minutes. But what about solo? That’s a whole other kettle of fish! Also, why are fish in a kettle? Then I drifted off to sleep…
What would a sub 3 hour 100km require?
Speed: Obviously, I’m going to need a hefty chunk of speed to achieve this! Assuming NO stops, I’d need to hold an average speed of 33.35kph (~20.75mph) to scrape in under the time limit. Even stopping for a short time really pushes the required average right up! Say I stop for 10 minutes to rest the legs, I’d then need to keep the average up at 35.3kph, or near enough 22mph!
Course selection: It goes without saying that a flat route is going to be better. Any big climbs or even longer grinds are going to kill the average and push the power requirements up. A “fast” course would need long uninterrupted stretches of road, minimal junctions or turns, and smooth road surfaces. I’ll need to use a loop and most likely ride that loop multiple times. This certainly won’t be a tailwind assisted point-to-point ride! There’s nothing wrong with doing that of course, but it’d be a logistical mess for me.
Equipment: Aerodynamics is going to be King here, with power the Queen. Sustaining enough power over the three hour duration is not going to be easy. I know roughly the wattage I can hold over that timeframe and it’s probably not quite enough without some serious aerodynamic assistance. Every little reduction in aerodynamics will be advantageous. Picking the right bike, the right wheels, holding an aerodynamic position, tight fitting clothing. It all adds up.
So can I do it?
Well, yes and no. I know right now I could not. There’s work to be done. Looking at Strava my fastest ever solo 100km ride averaged 31kph, equating to around 3 hours 15 minutes ride time, but factoring in stops that blows out to 3 hours 30 minutes.
I’m going to give it a crack though! Target SUB3-100K!
I’ve been training well lately and if I continue to do so through winter, I should have the sustained power and endurance to tackle this challenge. Getting the riding position dialled will give me the aero side of the equation and a huge boost. It’ll then be down to mapping out a suitable course, waiting for a “favourable weather day” to lock it in, and of course pedalling hard to get it done.
Bring it on! 👊
BONUS: What does it take to ride 100 miles (160km) in under 3 hours? Check out the video below. Jonathan Shubert broke the world record last year, riding the fastest ever 100 miles with no drafting. Bonkers!