Training for a Century Ride at 8,000 Feet

Century Ride Training 

Training for a 100-Mile Ride

I am so excited and nervous to announce that I am officially registered for the 2016 Buena Vista Bikefest! (www.bvbf.org) While there are several different distances for riders to choose from (35 mile, 50 mile, 62 mile, or 100 mile) I figured, go big or go home right? The century route (or 100 mile ride) goes from downtown Buena Vista north all the way to Leadville, CO around the Mineral Belt Trail through the historic mining district, and then back down to Buena Vista, racking up almost 5,000 ft of elevation change!

While I do love to bike, I wouldn’t consider myself a serious cyclist by any means and have never raced or participated in any official cycling events, but I’m always up for a challenge. The Buena Vista Bike Fest is notorious for having amazing rest stops and support areas, as well as being patrolled by state troopers and local search and rescue providing EMT support if needed.

Colorado offers tons of different cycling and mountain biking events throughout the season for every type and level of rider. And biking is one of the easiest activities to get into, you just get on your bike and go. But, the more you know about your bike, how it works, and how to fix things, the better off you (and your bike!) are.

If you ride frequently, even just short trips around town or your neighborhood, it’s worth it to learn how to clean and maintain your bike, chain, and gears. That will keep your rides smooth, prevent damage to your bike, and save you money by cutting down on repairs, replacing parts, and make your bike last longer!

With the BV Bikefest happening on June 4, I have about 7 more weeks to train and try to get as many miles as I can under my belt.

So far, I’m totally comfortable riding up to 20 miles, and am slowly increasing distance every week, while also trying to add in some more challenging hills at least once a week. I have also already discovered some cool things that I never would have seen or noticed if I were traveling by car, like The Maxwell Park Schoolhouse in Nathrop, CO.

I have also upped my game and invested in some new gear this year – I finally got my first pair of clipless pedals! Which is misleading, because they are actually the kind where you clip into the pedal and are attached to the bike. While that was very scary at first, it actually is not nearly as hard as I thought it would be to clip and unclip, and I can tell already that my legs are working more efficiently, and it takes less effort to go faster than I had before.

Luckily, I also invested in an indoor fluid trainer so I can still get my muscles moving and my heart rate up, even when there’s about a foot of snow covering the Arkansas River Valley! While it does give my body a workout, it is definitely not nearly as exciting as riding on the road and soaking in the view of the Collegiate Peaks.

Since I started training for a century ride, I have been logging my miles and rides religiously, the MapMyRide app helps a lot! I love to be able to see how far I’ve gone in real time, and it also tells me my elevation gain and loss over the course of my ride, which is awesome!

I hope you get to squeeze in as many rides as you can this year, and maybe even sign up for a race in your area!

Stay at A Riverhouse Lodge

Live the adventure along the Arkansas River in Buena Vista, Colorado.

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