By Jeff Landry, HCC Member
To cyclists, the term century means a 100 mile (160 km) road ride. For some, the goal might be to complete a century by the end of the season, to others it’s nothing more than a weekly training ride. Regardless, for an avid cyclist, while potentially arduous, a century is relatively common and easily attainable goal.
My confession: While I have been an avid cyclist for 20 years, I have yet to complete a century. Never during the course of one ride has my odometer spun past the 160 km mark. I have been close, but my longest rides have topped out starting with a 14. That is not to say I haven’t had some difficult days on the bike, just as of yet, not seen that elusive 100th mile.
That was about to change, in a big way.
While I much prefer to call myself a cyclist, many of the rides/races I have done would classify me as an endurance mountain biker. The definition of ‘endurance’ is open to interpretation, but my idea is generally rides/races that exceed 4 hours. I organize a yearly, pseudo underground group ride that encircles the Hamilton Harbour, mostly off-road, typically 80-120 km. I have raced many 8 hour relay events as a solo, done marathon MTB races and completed Transrockies, a 7 day epic MTB race. Heck, I’ve ridden to the top of Whistler mountain just for giggles. Long, hard, days are not new to me, yet still surprisingly, I have never completed a century.
So when a friend asked if I was interested in joining them on a group road trip to mid-Ohio for the Mohican 100 MTB race, my interest was sparked. It was time to put the century notch on my belt, but do it in style. Off-road.
I signed up. And while somewhat tempted by the 100 km option, I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied at the end of the day, so the 100 mile box was checked with no second thoughts. Most people would want a training plan, looking ahead at least a couple months to prepare themselves for such a task. I signed up only a couple weeks before the race. I was hoping that wouldn’t backfire. Continue reading