I have done several century rides over the years, both solo and in groups, but I have never cared to do a century ride on a smart trainer in my basement. Until today. Well, I didn’t exactly start out this morning with the intent of riding for nearly 5 hours and not moving a single inch. I started my ride this morning just trying to stretch my legs, but before I knew it, I was pushing 60 miles and I began thinking about the longest ride I had ever done on Zwift. I remember getting a white virtual kit for 100k, which my avatar wears quite a bit.
After a quick restroom break, a snack and a change of dry clothes, I hopped back on my bike and started cranking out more miles with the new goal of hitting the 100 mile mark today and getting the black 100 mile kit.
This started to get a little dicey as I neared 70 miles and the low battery notification came up on my iPad. The iPad was plugged it, but all of the sensors and the app pull quite a lot of energy from the iPad. I had 10% battery life remaining before the iPad would die and my 100 mile goal might be in jeopardy. I started ramping up the speed as the battery life diminished.
With 3 miles to go, I got another notification. This time it was the 5% battery life notification, but I was able to make it to the 100 mile mark and get the black century kit with 2% battery life to space. Good thing I ramped up the pace the last 25 miles.
After all the worries about the battery dying and potentially not getting the black kit, I made the goal of an indoor century, but it left one lingering question. What this indoor century harder than the usual outdoor century? Well here is my take on it. Shear boredom is the biggest thing you are fighting on the indoor trainer. There are plenty of people to draft off in the virtual world, which helps your pace, but without a doubt boredom is the biggest issue. I did have my EarPods in and was listening to country music the whole time, making me feel like it was summer again, but that didn’t totally solve the issue. When doing an outdoor century there are very little options for drafting and the wind can be darn right brutal where we live.
The answer to the question: No, the outdoor century is still the toughest, but also more enjoyable and rewarding. So now that I have the black 100 mile kit, I will probably stick to outdoor century rides.