I rode in the Wild Wild West End warm up/training ride for the MS150, hosted by the West End Team from West End Cycles, Houston, Tx… About 1,500 people were preregistered, and the line was very long at registration this morning. It was 52 degrees when I left with the pack at 8:30, and 72 degrees when I pulled back into the parking lot before 3PM. I only stopped at the rest stops and managed to finish BEFORE a handful of bikers. Gusts of wind really put a damper on speed on a coker, but I averaged 12mph until mile 50, and then dropped to 11 for the home stretch. At mile 45, I thought I was going to die. At the end, my odometer only showed 61 miles, but I decided the organizers had more accurate equipment and I didn’t need to lap the parking lot a few times.
The brake was only used as a conversation starter with the people passing -it was a flat ride. The carbon fiber seat frame was invaluable. I got a lot of respect from the bikers, and my groin earned it. The most often heard comment: ‘On your left’. But I also heard a lot of ‘You rock’, ‘You’re my hero’, ‘Ouch’, ‘You da man’…
My longest ride on the Coker has been about 35 miles. I’m also high cadence challenged. I can maintain 12 to 13 mph for a few miles at a time on the flats, but I don’t like doing that. I don’t like maintaining that high of a cadence for that long.
Next weekend, on February 29th, I’m going to do the Chilly Hilly on a Coker. It’s only 33 miles but it has lots of rolling hills. It climbs a total of 2,700 feet. My main concern right now is that I hope it doesn’t rain. I’m also trying to decide what length cranks to use.
I’ve tried the air seat with dog bone, but had some troubles. AJ told a horror story regarding an air seat blow out during one of his MS150 rides -finishing with only the cover and a jersey stuffed inside it for padding. I need to toy with the padding some more, but found the tube moved around during rides so probably will not go back to it.
No, there’s nothing wrong with the metric system. My computer uses it to calculate distance in miles. It’s just a “real” century is much farther than a “metric” century, and I don’t want to give an inacurate impresion. No disrespect intended.
I wanted to do this ride to help me decide if I could do the MS150. It is a benefit ride for MS starting in Houston and finishing in Austin. About 178 miles over 2 days. Houston is flat and can be warm, but Austin is hilly. Over 10,000 riders were in it last year. Realizing my ride was about 1/3 of the MS150, I have to stand back and provide support for those who are willing to try it again. I know AJ has done it -and completed it more than once, and is ready to do it again this year, but I’ll wait until next year. So if you’re thinking of doing it, get with AJ, and stop and see me at the El Mason tent for beer/food.
My goal for this summer is to do a century. I hope its realistic. Last summer I worked up to 30 mile days and really felt that I could keep going. I think if I can take a solid day that I can do a century by the end of the summer.
Jerryg,Congrats on the ride! Long days in the saddle on the Coker are awesome!
Nick, For long rides, train/train and train some more. Start hydrating a week before the ride, and start carbo loading 24-48hrs before. Stretch allot, and take along lot’s of GU or your choice of energy gels. GU2O is an excellent addition for your water. After the ride is over, eat properly, stretch, and hydrate. Do this within 2 hours after ride for best results. The sign of a person in great shape for long rides is one that can do them day after day : so nutrition, training, and stretching are keys to success.
John, If there are hills go with the longer cranks. They will definetley help with the uphills and the downhills. I use 175s in the mountains of Colorado.
I just got a Coker and rode it for the first time yesterday on the dead flat Santa Monica bikepath. After ten miles my plumbing was totally numb, even though I have a KH seat. Gonna have to get an airseat, but what kind? Suggestions most welcome.
Also, trying to wind that thing up with the long crank arms had my legs moving like crazy. Got the shorter articles coming. I can envision 110MM crank arms and cruising at 20 MPH.
Well done. 100 km is still a long way to go on Coker.
Re: Going numb
An airseat will not prevent that. The only way I know of to avoid that is to get off of the seat. A handle helps a rider lift off of the seat while riding. Once that doesn’t help, it is time to take a break. On long rides, I take a 10-15 minute break about every 1.5 - 2 hours of riding. That is usually about every 20 miles.
Success in a century:
It really helps mentally to have other riders along attempting the same course. You won’t feel like you are doing it alone. I completed my first 100 miler last August and largely do to the encouragement from the other riders(approx. 200 bicyclists). I believe that it also helps to do these types of rides for a charity or noble cause. When I rode up Mt. Diablo on uni the first time, it was for Eastere Seals. The 520 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles was for the Arthritis Foundation. The century was for a church program which helped underpriveledge kids of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Knowing that I was doing the ride to help others allowed me to “suck it up” and move forward when my body had wanted to quit or take a break.
I encourage all of you to challenge your abilities, beliefs and limits. You may just surprise everyone.
That’s great to hear. Honestly I would have liked to know about it. I would’ve joined you. Next time maybe. Thanks again for the invite for the food at the ms ride. I will be there hobbling and with a big grin on my face. See you then, dude.