‘Joining the Century Club’ – The Event, by Aaron Madrid

Here is part 3 of Aaron Madrid’s ‘Century’ series. You can check out the first installment here and the second ‘training’ article here.  Today @AaronMadrid talks about ensuring you have everything ready before the big day and his experiences of his own first 100 mile event. 

Joining the Century Club – Part 3

Now your event is just a week away.  You’ve trained for a while and you are confident that you can do 100 miles.  It’s time to think about the details.  100 miles is not only hard on you, but it’s hard on your bike.  Make sure that your tires and tubes are good to go.  Personally I bought some new tires and tubes to make sure I didn’t have to worry about anything.  Check your chain to make sure it’s not stretched…there is a cheap tool you can use to do this or you can just take it to your local bike shop.  Lastly clean up your cranks and your cassette and apply some new lube to make sure that baby is smooth sailing.  If you are comfortable with it, make any needed adjustments to your derailleur.  I’m a decent enough mechanic to make small adjustments and repairs, but I went ahead and just had my local bike shop do a full tune up on my bike.  If you go the route of the bike shop make sure you give them a couple weeks to get it done just in case. Fortunately my bike shop is awesome and they did it all in just a weekend. I went out a few times before the big ride for some short 20 mile rides, but the day before the big event I stayed off the bike.

Naturally, as a child of the night, I found myself unable to sleep and decided to do a little bike tinkering before bed.  When I finally layed down to try to get some rest, my nerves kicked in.  What if I’m in a big group and someone wrecks?  What if I didn’t put those new tubes and tires on right and I blow a flat in the middle of a steep turn?  What if my chain explodes and cut’s someone next to me open?  What if I rip a hole in my bibs?  What if I just…can’t do it?

When I woke up…I was ready.  The fear was gone, replaced only with focus.  For breakfast I had an 8oz glass of juice, a 12oz iced coffee (Starbucks Vita ftw), and a banana with honey drizzled on top.

We loaded the cars and set off to conquer the day.  Over the couple years since I started riding I had managed to convince a few friends that also happen to work with me to join me in my hobby.  On this particular day 5 friends set out to join me on this quest for greatness, including the founders of the company I work for.  Only two of my friends planned on riding the full century with me, but it was pretty awesome to have all my friends next to me at the start.  Once we got to the event I grabbed a half a bagel and a little single serving peanut butter as well.  I didn’t want to over-eat, but I wanted to make sure I had plenty of calories to get me through the first leg.

THE Event

Our Tour de Cure event took place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indy 500.  We were to ride our 100 miles around the massive track.  This was great because it promised no hills, outside of the steep banked turns.  The plan was to stop no more than every 25 miles.  We didn’t want to just finish, we wanted to destroy.  We took the track shortly after the 500 or so riders were given the flag to start riding.  Unfortunately we were a little late for the gun, but not by much.

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