What gives me the best chance for completing my goal on Jan 22 (or should I wait)?

Hi folks,

I would like to complete a 5-hour imperial century on Jan 22. I have completed many centuries, but general either largely in urban areas or gravel (realistically, lots of both). I’ve never raced bikes in a conventional sense, but I have a few KOMs to my name. The point of mentioning this is I am accustomed to pushing, and I’m familiar with the distance. However, I am not a particularly experienced Zwifter at level 14.

Tempus Fugit seems like an obvious choice for a course.

The bike choice is more difficult. If I prioritize it, I can probably get to level 18 and buy the Venge for my century, but I’m not sure I should. I’m 12 days out, so don’t want to be cooked going into it.

Right now I’ve got an Evo, which is a good climbing bike. More-or-less after smashing myself outside on the fat bike yesterday I did an hour and a half on the Evo and was able to keep pace. I did have a quick lunch in between though, so even though I didn’t really have fresh legs, I’m not exactly sure what it told me. This was my first time on Tempus Fugit. My hope had been to find out that I would always have groups to draft with. This turned out not to be the case, but I did catch a pace partner group for a bit. The time was a little bit close for comfort, particularly knowing that I might have to stop pedaling for a moment to avoid hitting a cat (this seems pretty unlikely as long as my wife doesn’t decide to camp out in the basement, but nonetheless, it’s something for which I need to prepare). In any event, I ended at 33.6 kph (32.2 is needed on event day).

I plan on doing a 4 hour zone 2 effort on Saturday. It’ll be earlier than ideal for speed, else one might think why not just put in the extra hour? It’s also possible I won’t be able to put in the full 4 hours. It depends on when my wife wants to go. She’s not an early riser though, so I think I’m safe.

The only TT bike I have is the Zwift TT bike. I don’t have the drops to get anything right now…well, maybe a wheelset, but I have the Zipp 808s. The wheel choice seems pretty obvious given my level.

I’m going to do an hour Zone 2 effort with the TT on Wednesday. I can report back the results.

I don’t have an external deadline. I was going to do the 5 hour century this weekend just and just go with what I could always try again later. However, my wife wanted me to do it on the 22nd instead, so that allows me to think about it a bit more. So, should I just put it off? My wife has a thing on the 29th, so that means I’m going to have to deal with the animals and the likelihood that they can not attempt to kill each other for five hours seems pretty low. The first weekend in February I probably have a work thing. Valentine’s Day is not big hear, but probably not a good idea to plan there. I’m planning to Everest on Feb 20. The weekend after Everesting I’m probably going to sell all of my bikes. The following week I’ll probably buy a different bike, but my wife’s schedule is not out yet for March, so that’s tough. At some point I’ll put Zwift on pause and do more outdoor riding, presumably. Not sure when. There’s always next year, I guess.

So, here are my questions:

  1. Should I just wait? That pretty much eliminates the other ones.
  2. Is the Venge going to be worth the extra miles on the leg going into Jan 22?
  3. Is there a different bike (or wheels) I should look at?
  4. TT bike or Evo?
  5. Anybody interested in riding with me? The plan is to start at 10am US Central on the 22nd. I’d be happy to return the favor at some point.

Hi Doug,
Welcome to the forum!

You have a few different variables but one thing I’d recommend on question 5 is doing the century with an established group. It will give you the draft plus company.

BMTR does a flat century group ride every Saturday at paces for A through D. Here’s a link to their ride this Saturday, Jan 15. But it’ll be the same time on the 22nd barring anything extraordinary. You can follow BMTR on Strava to be notified of their big weekend rides as well.

Best of luck to you!

Edit: Note: BMTR Flat Century starts early on Saturdays (8am EST) so you might have to get up a little earlier than you’d like.

Edit 2: You can check out finishing times from last Saturday on Zwiftpower to figure out which category you should join to make your time goal. I think 5 hours would be D. See link below. Finally, I did a century with this group last year and the banter and commarderie made it much more pleasant than going it alone. For me the best chance of finishing was having company, lol.

Well, you shouldn’t have much trouble doing a five hour century on Zwift, especially on Tempus. The hardest part would be sticking with it. The other thing you can do is ride with Coco Cadence. She’s usually on Tempus and maintains 22mph plus.

  1. Go for it. If you miss, there’s always another week.
  2. Nope. I would pair the best road bike you have with the Zipp 808’s and ride in a pack. TT bikes can’t draft.
  3. See above.
  4. See above.
  5. Wish I could but I’m still broken from a serious IRL crash on my road bike…

Have plenty of food and water staged. I like to have a 16 ounce water and Metamucil beverage a half hour before starting. The Metamucil tends to hold the water in your stomach and improves hydration. Remember you cannot drink too much water.

Make sure all your stuff is set up and ready to go a coupla days before. You’ll need lotsa fans and cool air.

Good luck!

Good luck!

I had forgotten about this! I should have enough drops for the Izalco Max by the 22nd, and if I don’t the Sprint is still an upgrade over the Evo in this regard.

so, I looked at the pace partner routes the other day and didn’t look like Cadence stays on Tempus. Maybe she does a larger look that includes Tempus. It’s worth investigating, thanks!

I get up at 6am every day to feed the animals, so the time isn’t a problem in that regard. It’s not a great time though if I want to keep them from getting under the pedals that will mean late lunch and they will come asking for it. It is worth considering my options here tho. Thanks!

Hi @Doug_Whitfield

I found that a 3am start for the long rides work well with family responsibilities and little distractions.

Don’t overthink it, if you have done a few 100km rides outside you will be fine on Zwift.

If you can find a group ride in that time slot than go for it even if it is only 100km, having some company is always nice.

Let all your friends know what time you are riding some might drop in and ride with you for a bit.

100 miles; imperial century, not metric. I’ve done 120km on Zwift mostly Volcano Circuit but then I went over to the Alpe. I did have a friend tow me for a few laps around the circuit. In any case, the distance is definitely not a problem. I’ve done multiple fat bike 100km+ rides that take 7+ hours. The problem is doing the distance at that speed. In any case, I did actually have a cat try to commit bike suicide during my ride on Sunday and I still managed 33.6 kph (at least according to Strava, so not sure if I actually hit zero there), so maybe I’m too worried about a stop. I am not super excited about the BMTR stops, but I’m going to give it a go for as long as I can (up to 4 hours, anyway, unless I’m just super close to 161km by then) and I can make some more decisions after that.

Zero chance I’m riding at 3am, LOL. 10am is a good slot because I can feed the animals an early lunch and then ride. Plus, my wife will probably be up and can handle them. We have a puppy and he likes to tussle with the cats in a friendly way but he doesn’t understand that he’s ~50lbs and the only cat that will fight him is only ~14 lbs. 3am doesn’t solve the tussle. Now, I could crate the puppy if I end up doing the BMTR ride at 7am. I could also put the cats in a room. There are options. Thanks for helping me think through this!

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While there are planned stops on th BMTR ride, when I did it not everyone did them. I think there are two for the D ride, I know I only did one of them. I skipped the first one and as I recall I wasn’t alone in doing so. So I still had folks to ride with. In your case, doing at least one of the stops might give you time to deal with the animals. So it could be useful. The stops are pretty brief too as I recall.

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I understood that you plan to do 100miles (160.1 km). What I meant is there are not many 160.1 km rides on Zwift but there are some 100km rides if you can start with one of those you will have people to ride with for the first 100km then you can continue to finish the last 60.1km.

You can filter for long events: Events

There are a few this week, they usually repeat every week.

Coco should do this in a little over 4 hours. Get your most aero bike/wheels and hold 2.3-2.4w/kg and that should do the job.

Granted, not the most exciting way to complete your goal, but probably the most efficient.

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Coco alternates weekly between Tempus, Tick Tock and Sand and Sequoias.


yeah, it seemed fast, but then again, I’ve never attempted anything fast in a peloton. Even the group rides I’ve done with the Randonneurs seem to get pretty strung out, so not really much of a peloton. I know, intellectually, that the draft will make a difference, but I have zero idea how much. Before the pacing group turned off of Tempus (I’m thinking making they were on Tick Tock), I was hitting 40kph. I can’t remember how hard I was pushing. It’s worth a shot.

Apparently, we are leaving Friday night instead of Saturday, so I’ve got to figure out how I am going to test, but it seems like a session with Coco is going to be a good test if nothing else.

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She is generally around 39kph. My 100k rides with her are normally a smidge over 2h30.

The only downside is that you can’t stop!

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You can stop.
Near one end of Tempest, stop and take a break and get back on your bike to catch her coming in the opposite direction.
You’ll have to do a U turn.
If you take too long and miss her, just ride in the direction she was travelling and when you see her. Coming, flip a U turn and let her catch up to you.

Check out the JETT, Dutch Diesel or Ascenders teams 100 Km rides on Saturdays (US time zones). For instance Dutch Diesel is doing a 160 Km ride this Saturday. You could start with the JETT ride and switch to Dutch Diesel to finish up. Or use anyone to get you past the first 100Km. I have ridden with all three clubs and they all put on excellent rides. Riding with a group makes it much easier to pass the time. If people are text chatting, get involved you will pleasantly surprised how it helps ease the pain.

p.s. Dutch Diesel Saturday long rides do take a break halfway. Long enough to relieve one’s self, fill bottles or retrieve a snack.

I mean obviously you can stop, u-turn and recatch, but you’ll need to be doing 40kph and time your restart well. I think it would be far too frustrating to try to do after being in the saddle for a long time.

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