Pioneer Century 2024

After more than five years off (and much longer off writing about it!) I finally got back to some long riding with the Pioneer Century. This loops starting from Canby headed south. Some parts of it overlapped with rides I did a long time ago, but most of it was new to me.

How’d it go? Well, you can get the stats on Strava but it was definitely my slowest century ever. Not surprising given the relatively minimal amount of training I’ve actually done prior to it. My desk treadmill has kept me in enough cardio shape, but lack of much hill riding meant my legs just didn’t have the power I used to.

The ride starts with a long climb up to over 1000 feet. While the grade never got particularly bad, it was grueling going up and up for such a long time. The downslope was a nice reward, but as I came to the rest stop after the main climbing near the 50 mile mark, my quads were more sore than I ever remember them being.

I had a few moments of doubt there, wondering how much I was risking injury if I continued on for the full century. That rest stop branched off for a metric century (100km) so I had an easy out. But I didn’t want to take it. I ended up stretching quite a bit, resting, and my legs bounced back. With that and assurance that if I needed to bail at the 75 mile rest stop my family could pick me up, I went for it.

As the map shows, I did manage to finish. I think I may have been the last rider to get back – they were already tearing everything down, the promised post-ride food a mere memory. Ah well. Now I know where I’m at and before trying another similar ride I’ll definitely focus on more hill riding. Fast or not, a finished ride is a finished ride and I’m glad I did it. And not going to lie, this graph is very gratifying.