My First Metric Century Ride

CRAM Metric Century Ride

I did my first metric century bike ride recently in May.  Ok, first let’s get some vocabulary out of the way:

Century – (a) A time period of 100 years.  (b) A bike ride of 100 miles (a.k.a. a really long way!)

Metric – ya know, that universal method of measure that the rest of the world uses, e.g., kilometers, liters, grams.

Metric Century – A bike ride of 100 kilometers, or 62 miles.

So, yes, a metric century is a really, really long bike ride.  Not as insane as a century ride, but still not something you want to attempt without having had some serious saddle time already.  My longest ride to that point had been 50miles.  So I was pretty prepared for it.  I had also been training on very hilly routes and the CRAM is famously flat as a pancake.  In fact, many people try to ride the full century in under 4 hours.  Let me paint that picture for you, that’s riding over 25mph for 100 miles for 4 hours.  That’s insanity.

I’m really glad I did this ride.  The course is really similar to Muncie in that it’s incredibly flat and goes through a lot of farmland, but can be windy at times.  Fortunately we had no wind and the weather was really nice, starting out fairly cool,  and warming up after a couple hours.  I had never done any kind of mass group ride like this before and was pretty nervous, but it was a good laid back ride.

I found a couple people I knew from another training group and latched on to them so I’d have someone I knew to ride with, especially since I knew I wouldn’t be fast enough to hang with my friend with whom I carpooled to the race.  (Thanks for the ride Ken!!)  I felt like the course we really well marked and the rest stops were great.  Thumbs up for peanut butter sandwiches and pickles and extra sunscreen!!  Loved riding past all the farms, including seeing the Mennonite farm with the horse drawn equipment.  And to the packs of men who kept trying to pass our trio of women and then were more than happy to tuck in behind us and let us pull for the rest of the ride….bless your hearts.

It’s a no frills ride, no special finish line, no crazy party, no medal or fancy shirt (plain T with logo), but the registration only cost $30 the week of the race, so I can’t really complain. At the finish we had spaghetti and Dairy Queen ice cream sandwiches.  But for a last minute registration and a completely flat course only an hour away from home, I thought it was a great option.  There is another one in the fall on the same course.

Last rest stop. Follow us men, we know where we're going.

Last rest stop.
Follow us fellas, we know where we’re going.

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