Ah, yes. The double century. For those of us who have something to prove.
The Century is surprisingly easy. You either have the fitness to complete it, or you don’t Weirdly enough, after riding enough centuries, it starts to become “old hat.”
I know many people who ride at least one century every year as a gauge of their fitness. It keeps them motivated throughout the year to watch their diet and to train a little bit. They refuse to let their fitness drop below this basic level.
After enough years, you begin to feel stale and are ready for the next level.
Enter the double century. A whole new set of bragging rights.
The double century is typically held over two days. You ride a century on day one and a century on day two.
It’s difficult. My experience is that the first century gets the best routes with the flattest course. After all, more people will ride it. The second century is a lonelier course with fewer riders on it. It also tends to have more hills and worse roads.
But, it is worth it. Completing the double says that you have reached a new level of fitness. And for those of us who want to make sure we are going forwards and not backward, that is essential.
How To Train?
Fitness-wise, I like to be doing at least 60 miles per week before trying a double century. I know that sounds like a lot, but it is only about 4-6 hours a week on the saddle.
With a regular century, you can get by with a lot less mileage. I’ve seen folks complete a century while only riding 3 hours a week in their preparatory workouts.
How To Ride A Double Century
The trick here is to pace yourself on day one. Don’t dawdle at rest stops, but stay hydrated and keep your average a mile and hour slower than you did on your last century effort.
You want to make sure that you are keeping some in the tank for the next day.
That night, focus on hydration and stretching.
The next morning it is all about riding at your own pace.
The double century should not be intimidating. It is one of the most rewarding events you can complete.