This past Sunday I jumped on my bike with my two best biking friends (BRF’s) to tackle the Reston Century. The Reston Century has been put on by the Reston Bike Club (Virginia) for the past 32 years. There are 3 distance options available 36, 67 and 104 miles. We chose the 67 mile metric century route. Just long enough to call ourselves bad ass but not long enough to kill us! LOL!
If you’ve never done a Century Ride there are many things to love:
-It’s untimed. It’s not a race so if you are looking to test out a longer distance or use it as a training ride for a race its’ perfect
-Usually the start time is a window of a few hours so no need to stress about starting at a certain time. This also helps to space out the riders for a more enjoyable ride
-It’s fully supported. There were 4 rest stops available to stop at all stocked with food, drinks, bathrooms and bike assistance if needed
This was my 3rd time riding this course but the first time I was doing it with my 2 brf’s. At the start around 8:45 and ready to go from Reston Town Center, Virginia.
The first 14 miles or so was pretty flat and easy staying mostly on the W & OD trail. We made it to the first rest stop pretty quickly and just had a short water stop.
The course then veers off of the trail onto local roads near Leesburg, Va. Let me just tell you that when I drive to Leesburg, it does not seem hilly but this little stretch between mile 22-30 was killer. Mostly uphill on Woodburn Road and Harmony Church Road with a +1213 feet. This was the hardest part of the ride and at times I was wondering why I was doing this. It took some serious mental toughness to push to the top of these roads. I do not remember it being so hard last year. Truth be told, I did not train as hard as I did last year either. I seriously almost cried a few times.
It was truly beautiful with some amazing estates and picturesque views but holy hills it was a tough one.
The next 15 miles wind through Hamilton and Purceville, VA with a +961 /-906 feet. The hills just kept coming until the rest stop at 44 miles. I did some serious stretching here and a pitt stop.
I think my mistake here was not eating enough to power me through the rest of the ride. I typically don’t feel like eating during endurance events and then I kind of hit the wall (foreshadowing).
We even saw some horses on the trail out in the boonies.
We made it to the last rest stop in Ashburn where they had the coolest thing “Gatorade sno-cones” why don’t they have these at every race? I couldn’t eat the whole thing but it was a nice cool down on a warm day.
Ten miles to go let’s do this! I really hit the wall here and so did my friends. It was very hard to power through and took every ounce of strength to make it the last ten miles. I started to see the high rise buildings of the finish area and just started pedaling as fast as I could. I just wanted to finish. Finally there!
Done and still smiling! 67.4 miles 3119/-3116 feet
Every year they commission an artist to do the t shirt. This is the beautiful design from this years’ shirt
All in all a great fun day. So glad I did it and powered through. I would for sure eat better during the ride. I had a huge bowl of pasta afterwards and then slept for 10 hours! I have a whole new respect for ironman competitors-I cannot even imagine having to have run after this one.
Ever done a Century Ride? Any tips?