Updated: Jun 14
There are a lot of reasons people ride bikes. Some prefer to commute to work on bikes to save on gas and squeeze in some daily exercise, while others may ride for fun or fitness. Well, those options make perfect sense, and no one really questions those choices.
Then, you have those people who go the extra mile…or 80…or 100. Why ride 100 miles (or even more) on a single outing? Who does that kind of thing? And why do they hate their legs so much that they would go out for five plus hours and torture themselves? Well, I do it. I do it a lot, and I enjoy it!
When I first started riding in 2013 I was just looking for a way to get outside and stay fit. I began by riding along the river trail in Sacramento, California for 10 to 15 miles at a time. Along with the scenic riverfront, I saw the city from a whole new perspective. After a while, I became curious as to what else was out there that I wasn't seeing by turning around after a few miles.
That's kind of where it all started. One day I went 20 miles. A few days later I would go 25 and then 30 miles. Eventually, I had reached the end of the trail. It was nearly 50 miles to the end of the trail and back to my apartment. What next? I had seen everything along the American River Trail several times by then, and yet I was still curious as to what I was missing.
That’s when I joined a club and started doing longer rides along the roads around the towns of Folsom and Auburn. I quickly discovered that I wasn't quite ready for those hills! I got dropped a lot at first. A nice guy named Gordy would always wait on me to catch back up at the top of the climbs. Then, after a few weeks I started being able to keep up with the group. We would go out for 50 to 60 mile rides on the weekends. One day, Gordy convinced me to sign up for a big group ride called the Party Pardee ride. It was a metric century. I had to Google what a metric century was. I was still pretty new to all this bike lingo.
After I successfully completed the metric century, I became curious yet again. I started wondering if I could actually ride an imperial century. Don't Google that – it’s not a proper bike term. We just call them centuries. Anyway, I began training by doing some 60 to 80 mile rides. After a few weeks of training, I set out on my challenge to ride 100 miles. It was May 6th, according to Facebook’s Timehop app, that I rode that first 100 miles. Since then, I have probably ridden 100+ miles at least 20 times. The longest single day ride to date is 135 miles.
If you’re still reading at this point, then I guess you're curious as to why I keep riding so far. Well, I guess the best answer I can give is that there is still so much out there left for me to see. I enjoy being outside, I love the challenge that cycling for half a day provides. Honestly, I just love to ride my bike.
If you're new to cycling or if you have been cycling for years but never challenged yourself to ride 100 miles, I encourage you to do so. Fair warning – it can be addictive! But then there are way worse addictions, like running. :)
Get outside, get on your bike, and #JustRide