Cycling a metric century

First stop – Victoria Point looking over at Coochiemudlo Island

I woke up and decided that it was a good day to cycle 100km (62 miles). I haven’t ridden my road bike in months so it’s starting to look sad and lonely in my garage. Sure, I could have just gone out for a 25-40km ride but it just seemed boring.

At 10am I leave home and cycle the 10km to Victoria Point. It’s cold (by my standards) so I wear my sleeveless fleece vest over my jersey. Putting it on means I will have to wear it all day because I’m not carrying a bag, but I don’t expect it will warm up much. I have ‘early in ride anxiety’ for most of this section of the ride. But I feel a lot better when I buy a cheese and ham scroll from the bakery. It is one of my favourite treats and the Victoria Point bakery is the only place where I know I can buy them.

Stop 2 – Point O’Halloran

From Victoria Point I follow the coast to Point O’Halloran. I’m familiar with this section of the road because I run here regularly. It’s one of my favourite places and I can’t wait until I have my inflatable kayak so I can get out on the water instead of being a spectator from land. The heavy cloud cover keeps the temperatures low, which makes the riding easier.

Stop 3 – Cleveland

The ride from Point O’Halloran to Cleveland follows the main road away from the coast. But the road is wide and safe to ride. I see a few other cyclists who I wave to. Unfortunately, with the increased popularity of cycling, the culture of the sport has changed significantly. Lycra-clad racers, whether in bunches or on their own, no longer wave at those not as well-equipped. I find this a sad change because all cyclists used to acknowledge each other on the road, whether the other person was a fancy lycra lover, a mountain biker or someone wearing shorts and t-shirts.

At Cleveland I stop to look for (and find) two geocaches.

Stop 4 – Wellington Point

From Cleveland I ride out to Wellington Point. Again I have to follow main roads but this time there are some hairy sections that are narrow and busy. But once I get out to pretty Wellington Point I know it’s all worth it. The point is as pretty as ever. The tide is high so King Island is surrounded by water.

I decide to come back one day to have a training run along the isthmus to King Island. It’s about 4km return to run over to and around the island. There is a geocache hidden there that I would try to find when I head across. Now I just need to wait for the tide to be right so I can head out one morning before work. The isthmus is only dry an hour each side of low tide so I need to time it correctly so I don’t get caught out by the strong high tide currents.

Final bayside stop – Wynnum

From Wellington Point I ride along the bay as much as I can. I find a few more geocaches as I ride past them. At about the 50km mark I start to feel hungry and realise that I’ve not eaten enough to cover my energy needs for the ride. I grab an apple-cinnamon flavoured Hammer gel out of my jersey hoping it will help. While the flavour of the gel is better than the PowerBar gels I usually use, the Hammer doesn’t give me the same burst of energy that the PowerBar gels do.

A use for my tribars – carrying my fish & chips

I have ridden 59km when I get to Wynnum. I’ve kept up an average speed of 25.6kph, which pleases me. This is the furthest I’ve cycled in a long time, possibly since I started training in July 2011. And I still have 41km to ride before I get home. I decide fish and chips are an appropriate lunch. There’s a restaurant here that I like; it has a takeaway section. At first I ride past to check out a cheaper takeaway but I quickly leave it, deciding I’d rather spend an extra $3 on good quality food than buy anything from a place that smells like old oil where the crumbed fish is laying out on display in a dodgy-looking display case. I take my food down to a park bench next to the water and enjoy my meal break.

Heading back home – re-entering the Redlands

From Wynnum I follow the main roads back to Mt Cotton. I hit the wall at about 68km and try another gel. This time it’s banana flavoured, which tastes good but doesn’t help ease the hollow feeling in my quads. At 72km I pass a shop where I buy a bottle of Powerade, which hits the spot. There really was no food worth eating at the shop so I just rely on the Powerade.

A short side trip in Mt Cotton

As I get closer to home it becomes apparent that I’m going to be 18km short of my 100km goal. So I turn down a side street that I’ve never been down before. I get a nasty surprise when the road travels steeply up Mount Cotton. It doesn’t reach the top but it’s still very pretty. The side trip only buys me 5km so I still need to find 13km of road to ride.

I toy with the idea of just riding home and calling it a day at 87km but know I’ll be disappointed if I do. So I turn down some suburban streets near my home. They are nothing special but they buy me more kilometres. When I reach my street I am only 3k shy of my goal. So I do a lap of my block and then a full lap of my estate, bringing my total to 100.07km when I ride in my driveway.

I enjoyed the ride and hope to add long rides to my weekend adventures.

Total: 100.07km @ 23.3kph and average heart rate of 85% max. Average temperature 16.3’C. 6 geocaches found.

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4 responses to “Cycling a metric century

  1. If you can ride a Metric Century there is no reason you can’t ride a true Century (100 miles). About the only difference is the amount of nutrition and hydration (and another two hours on the bike).

    • I’m sure I can ride a 100 miles. It’s not a distance I usually think about because we work in metric here in Oz. I used to regularly do 200km rides through the mountains and love it. I’d just go out all day. That’s my next target – a 200km day. But I want to wait until the days are a bit longer again, say September, so that I have a few extra hours of daylight up my sleeve 🙂 I have a ride in mind already – one of my old favourites 🙂

  2. Thinking of investing in tribars if it means I can carry fish and chips on them lol.

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