On June 5, 2016, I participated the Sequoia Century Ride hosted by Western Wheelers Bicycle Club. I heard about this event last year but didn’t have the opportunity to do it so this year, I decided to sign up this event but I had no idea what I signed up for.
First of all, the longest ride I had done before the race was a 20 miler ride on flat Iron Horse Trail paved paths to test out my bike mechanic and what I needed to fix or repair before the event. In addition, one week before this event I ran a hard race, Mountain To Beach Marathon, on an average pace of 8:32 (m:ss) for 26.2 miles. My soreness of quads didn’t heal until one day before the event and the odds were against me to finish bike ride.
With that said, I skipped through the peak and valley of the event and tell you that I conquered this 100-miler beast with 8970 feet total elevation in 11 hrs, 36 minutes with practically no bike training ride. I knew I can finish the bike ride before the event. Because of my ultrarunning experiences, I knew how to pace myself, intake nutritions at rest stops, and kept track the cutoff times to make the finish cutoff time of 12 hrs. My lessons learned as follow:
- Ensure your bike is ready to handle the long and hard ride
- Clean your bike from top to bottom – do it yourself so you are familiar with every parts
- Change your break pads and replace your inner tubes with self-seal tubes
- Double-check you gear-shifts mechanics and ensure they shifted smoothly
- Make adjustment to all parts of your bike to ensure your ride comfortably during uphills and downhills
- Read and memorized the course map, rest stops, and cutoff times to meet the finish cutoff time
- Know your intake nutritions so you can avoid stomach issues, cramps, dehydration and/or frequency want to peeps
- Last but not least, do not attempt to do 100 miler bike ride without proper bike training ride or cross training. Although I have very little bike training rides, I made up my endurance by doing a lot of runnings. For the past six months, I ran an average of 180+ miles per month and almost 7 days a week.
- Start your ride early to avoid the heat
- Pace yourself on the uphills and use push-pull pedaling
- Wear layer of clothes to combat cold and heat
- Enjoy your bike ride. It was beautiful yet a tough course
Thank you Western Wheelers Bicycle Club for hosting this well-organized event. Bucketlist check for me:-))
Photo credited to: Michael Dhuey, Lorie Deng, Samsudin Kamis, & Sequoia Century FB