10 Tips to Survive a Century Ride

Cycling for a 100 miles can be tough, even if it isn't your first time. Luckily there are a few simple tips that every cyclist can use to make the experience a little more pleasurable.

Use these 10 tips to survive your next century ride with energy to spare.

More: 6 Tips for Century Ride Rookies


It's important to drink every 5 to 15 minutes for healthy hydration. The wind can make you feel cool, but don't be fooled. The wind evaporates your perspiration. So to prevent water loss, drink at least one bottle for every hour you're on the bike.

More: 15 Hydration Facts for Athletes

Constant Effort

Use your gears to climb and descend with an even effort by maintaining a consistent heart rate. You'll have more energy at the end of your race and be able to finish stronger, which always makes the experience more enjoyable.

Change Gears

Changing gears according to the terrain will help you to conserve energy and make the ride much easier. Aim to keep your cadence between 80 and 100 revolutions per minute (rpms).


Drink plenty of water or sports drink before you ride. The wind produced from cycling evaporates perspiration, making most cyclists unaware of their personal water loss. Keep hydrated by drinking every 5 to 15 minutes. You are losing more water than you think!

More: 10 Tips for Fall Century Rides

Group Cycling Is Fun

In most states, cyclists are legally entitled to ride two abreast where it is safe to do so. When following another rider, look at their hips and beyond. Looking forward gives you the reaction time necessary to adjust for changing conditions.

Practice Pack Riding

Call your local bike shop for information about group rides. You'll find that riding in a pack is a lot of fun once you get used to being surrounded by other riders. It'll also make you more comfortable on race day, which will help you go faster without all the nerves.

More: 12 Tips for Your Next Century

Test Your Sports Drink

Many riders swear by sports drinks, but if you're not used to them they can upset your stomach. Try them out before you're in the middle of a race.

Always Carry Food

Training takes a lot of energy. Some riders like fruit such as bananas while some opt for energy bars. Steer clear of snacks high in fat. Always carry food and try to eat at least 100 calories for every hour you ride.

More: 4 Nutrition Secrets for Your First Century

Check Your Tires

Be sure your tires are in good condition and properly inflated before each ride. The proper pressure to inflate your tires is on the side of the tire (around 100 psi for most road tires). Under-inflated tires will reduce your overall speed and slow your down. If you over inflate, you'll increase your chances of having a flat.

Be Prepared

Familiarize yourself with flat-tire repair. Bring a pump, tube, tire levers, change for a phone call, water and sunscreen, and a rain jacket when needed along with any cold-weather gear you may need. Even if you don't know how to repair a flat, there is normally SAG support at races that can help if you have the proper equipment and supplies.

More: 6 Tips for Century Ride Rookies

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