Week 12: The end (but really the beginning!)

August 30, 2016/ Maria Parker

This is week twelve of a twelve week series to help you train for and successfully complete a century ride. Check out the free 12 Week Couch to Century training plan here.

If you’ve completed a Century ride, congratulations! If it’s your first, wow!!! It’s an accomplishment that no one can take away from you. You are now a serious cyclist. My memories of my first ride over 100 miles are still crystal clear. The sense that I could now go anywhere on my Cruzbike and use my Cruzbike for real transportation changed the way I looked at distances. Instead of hopping in my car to run an errand or go to an event, I would look at the number of miles and think, I could do that on my bike in 15 minutes or 30 minutes or 2 hours…. Shortly after completing our first century, Jim and I had a wedding in a city about 85 miles away and decided to ride our bikes to it instead of driving. We arrived in plenty of time to have a shower and show-up with our post-ride glow. We were possibly happier than the bride and groom that day.

In addition to the sense of accomplishment and fitness acquired, I began to dream of a life that involved fewer car trips. Though I have not given up my car, like some of our Cruzbike customers, I think each time I get in it, can I ride my bike instead?

Like so many things, the first 100 gave me confidence that I could go further. Though I now race long distances, my favorite rides are multi-day tours of 400-500 miles where I take my time and enjoy beautiful places from the unique perspective of my Cruzbike “magic carpet.” Jim and I are taking our Cruzbike QX100s to Victoria BC to enjoy the beauty of Vancouver Island (we’ve checked them in our baggage on that tiny plane in the photo!).

If you’re still working on the training plan, that’s okay too. Building up to a century can take a lot longer than 12 weeks. Don’t be discouraged if you’ve fallen off the training wagon, just reset your goals, and keep going. Even if the weather is bad, putting your bike on a trainer and binge watching your favorite shows will keep you feeling like you are moving forward.

If you haven’t even begun to train, but are still in the precontemplation stage (to use counseling parlance), that’s ok too. Sometimes I can get overwhelmed by the enormity of a project and give up before I start. If that’s the case for you, just start riding your bike more regularly. If that means once a week, that’s ok. Riding your Cruzbike should be a joy and a pleasure, but sometimes you don’t feel the joy and pleasure until after you’ve been on it a few miles.
I remember a family member saying to me once “I’m not like you, I don’t enjoy exercise.” I thought (but didn’t say), exercise is hard for me too, I have to make myself do it every day. As my dad used to say, “it feels so good when you stop.” The point is, it takes a bit of energy to get on your bike and go, but you’ll always be very glad you did.

Congratulations on taking on your first Century ride! Maria Parker, world record-holding cyclist and Cruzbike CEO, put together this 12 week training guide and blog series to help you successfully complete your first century ride. Share your progress with the Cruzbike Community @CRUZBIKE on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We’ll cheer you on through your first 100 mile ride.

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