First some nomenclature: A century is 100 miles on a bicycle. ItΒ  is something serious cyclists would maybe call a long ride, but which weekend warriors have elevated to event status as a testament to the fact that in our culture doing things with other people somehow validates crazy behavior.

In case you want to join me or cheer for your favorite blogger, we’re talking about the Delta Century in the foreclosure capital of the world, Stockton, CA.

Forsooth, I could probably ride the 100 miles myself and thus save the $40 registration fee, but then I would be crazy, right? Therefore frugality takes a hit for the sake of appearances. I tried talking DW into joining me and doing the family ride (25M), but she wussed out. So-called experts say that a century is roughly equal to running a marathon (without the bone jarring impact), therefore I intend to train for it for at least a couple of days.

Now, the ride has 200 feet of elevation gain which according to my scientific estimate corresponds to roughly 400 speed bumps. I got a double so this should be a breeze. The thing that had me worried for a while was the fact that the event starts at 6am (which is cold) and ends about 6 hours later depending on speed (which is hot). I have some shorts, which are too short for “cold” and bib tight, which is too warm for “hot”. I also have my standard jacket which is too warm for “hot”. To make things worse, I have no storage space on the bike. Hence, I have been playing the world’s worst online shopper for quite a while. First, I figured I would get some leg warmers and maybe a long sleeved jersey. Then I figured maybe jacket instead of the jersey, some tights, and a bib short to avoid the double waistband syndrome. I have been turned around several times though. When it comes to shopping sites that tell you how much the price of things have been reduced, I’m certainly not going to buy anything that hasn’t been reduced by at least 20%. Second, if a site regularly sports sales gimmicks such as 10% extra off or free shipping on orders above X dollars, you can be sure that I am going to tailor the order exactly. It takes me quite a while to shop, however the special offers only last so long. However, since they are ongoing, I just change my order slightly from time to time. Another problem with online shopping for rebates is that sometimes my size is not available or worse, I don’t know what my size is, because the site does not give measurements. Thus they have been unable to close a sale on me. Too bad.

I finally came to the conclusion that I don’t need to buy anything. I’ll wear my shorts and put some running tights over them for the cold. For the upper body, I’ll use my arm warmers (which I already have) and put a sleeveless shirt over my cycling jersey. It may look quite unstylish, but it will cost nothing and it should fit inside my saddle bag and jersey pockets. I shall test it today and this weekend (Saturday’s post might be delayed).

Originally posted 2008-04-18 07:01:19.