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I'm contemplating riding the Apple Cider Century, but only have my beat to hell three speed. Is it a mad idea to ride a century on a 3-speed? If you recommend against it, what do you think would be a good selection?

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I did my first century on a fixed gear. My butt hurt more than my knees or legs at the end of it.  

My first century was on a 1973 Schwinn Suburban 5 speed. It's doable, but damn that bike was heavy.

It depends on whether they reach their cap of 5,500 riders (I think) before the day of the ride. Some years they do, some they don't. If you follow them on Facebook they post when they are getting close to the limit.

OLB 0.1 said:

Hopefully not too off-topic.

Does anyone know if there is day-of registration for Apple Cider Century available?

I checked the site and it wasn't clear (to me anyway).

Thanks.

I'd wager they'll sell out again this year as they have the past few, especially since this is their big anniversary year... p

OLB 0.1 said:

Hopefully not too off-topic.

Does anyone know if there is day-of registration for Apple Cider Century available?

I checked the site and it wasn't clear (to me anyway).

Thanks.

Thanks for the responses. I guess I'll have to decide soon between this and the North Shore Century. Or both.

I say do it! Just gear her low enough that your 1st/granny gear will allow you to climb any hills. You'll lose some of the top end but that is life on a non derailleur bike.

If you need insperation go read "THE CENTURY COMPETITION OF 1911" in Boneshacker #8. Marcel Planes complete over 300 cemeteries in one year on a single speed with a coaster brake. :/ So I'd guess you can have fun and complete one on a three speed! :)

http://boneshakermag.com/
You could do it. You could also eat soup with a fork. Try either one though, and you will quickly get the impression that the must be a better way.

NSC is nice and flat.  Well, certainly compared to the Dairyland Dare I'm doing tomorrow. I'll likely do the NSC this year again (I live in Evanston, it could hardly be more convenient).

OLB 0.1 said:

Thanks for the responses. I guess I'll have to decide soon between this and the North Shore Century. Or both.

What are you riding? Old Raleigh? If it still has the stock 46/18 gearing, you may end up hating your life, but you can still do it. As mentioned earlier, lower the gearing. Replace the 18t cog with a a 20t and you are golden.

Three speeds are all you need.

Iv'e done Apple Century three time so maybe can add some perspective.

The event normally sells out. You may be able to buy somebody else's ticket..there is a lot of reselling right up to the event. I don't believe there is day of registration.

I have seen people do it on Mounntain bikes and other  non road bikes. you can always take the 35 or 65 mile rout if you don't want to do the 100. We all start together and then the others branch off.

I've done ACC 100k and recently completed the Dairyland Dare 100k. While it is true that people do ride all kinds of bikes at these events and that some people have completed Paris-Brest-Paris (1200k) and other endurance events on fixies and 3speeds, those people have exceptional physical and mental stamina.  A 100k is not as much of an endurance event as a 200+k, but it's enough of one that you shouldn't take it lightly. IMHO, you could certainly do it on a 3Speed if you're in prime shape and want to challenge yourself via the limitation of 3speeds. But a properly geared bike (10+ speeds, preferably a rear cog with a 28 low gear and/or a granny ring up front) and some general preparation (work up to at least 1 or 2 rides of around 50-60k before the event, the more the better, the higher the mileage the better) and you'll have a much more pleasant experience. Also, do those practice rides on the bike you'll be using so you can work out any kinks in the bike.

That said, ACC is a very well supported event so there's relatively little to worry about if you have a problem and as people have said, you can always drop down to one of the lower-mileage rides partway through the event. Be sure to properly hydrate and to provide enough caloric intake throughout the ride as well. I don't think you can drink too much, as I learned at Dairyland Dare.  

Also, for the record, the guys I saw on fixes at both ACC and DD ended up bailing after 50k (DD is MUCH hillier than ACC, but some of hills at ACC are decent).  A 3peed has more range and capability than a fixie or single speed, but you'll still be happier on a properly geared bike that you've borrowed or bought than a 3speed. Working Bikes should be able to provide you with some acceptable and inexpensive options if Craiglist doesn't have anything. And once you've done your first 100k you'll probably find yourself wanting to do more (it's addictive) so a decent bike will likely get used. 

I should also add that if you're a dedicated 3peed tourer, you should consider the Lake Pepin 3Speed Tour, which is 85 miles split over 2 days, all done at a very leisurely pace with much less elevation gain than ACC.  It's every May, if I am not mistaken.  http://www.3speedtour.com I was going to make it but my 3speed wasn't completed before this year's ride...maybe next year. 

Thanks, everyone, for the recommendations. I'm in the process of trying to find a suitable alternative to borrow and short of that, me and the trusty 3-speed will go as far and we can together.

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