Should I choose the 1/3 Century or Metric Century for my first organized, supported group ride? In one week I will participate in my first organized ride since buying my road bike in May. The longest training I've done is 28 mi averaging 14-15 miles/hour on chip sealed roads with maximum elevation gain of 800 feet. Both routes will be similar terrain and elevation change.

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    There are a few very similar questions and answers on the site. This question What should I be doing a week before a long distance bike ride? might help start you finding them. Especially as "long" for that question is also 50 miles. Try this search for example.
    – Móż
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 2:46
  • Hey @robin! How did that ride go?
    – andy256
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 23:51
  • I did the 1/3 century in early September and then a 50 mile a couple of weeks later. Both were good and the support was very helpful. My training included at least one longer ride of 22-26 miles and several 14-20 mile rides/week. High protein during the week & constant carbs during longer rides with hydration and no soreness after. Exciting - can't wait for spring!
    – robin59718
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 16:18

2 Answers 2


You're asking should you try to ride 33 miles or 65 miles when your longest training ride is shorter than either?

I think you'd be much better off trying a 60 mile training ride before the event. Sure, you could probably do that on the day, but you could easily end up either failing or struggling through and feeling miserable.

If you think the "supported" part will make a difference perhaps try carrying a bit of cash and choosing a ride that lets you stop a couple of times at shops where you can buy snacks and drinks. Personally, I'd carry both on the ride. A extra couple of pounds isn't going to make any difference unless you're right on the line before complete exhaustion stops you. And you shouldn't be there.

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    I believe that for marathon training (26.2 mi), people will often do 20 or 24 miles as their longest run. If the OP had cycled 50 miles, then I think it would be reasonable to try a route that's 65-75 miles. I don't think they'd need a 60 mile training ride. That said, you're correct, with a 28-mile longest ride and no known athletic background, 33 miles would be the better choice.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Commented Sep 26, 2023 at 15:28

It depends how comfortable you were feeling at the end of the 28 mile ride.

My rule of thumb when advising people is that if they are quite comfortable riding one distance, then they can probably ride for half an hour more at a similar pace, or 20% further if they keep to a lower pace overall.

In your case, the answer comes out the same: do the 33 mile ride.

60-odd miles is a long, hard ride if you are not used to such distances. I would only recommend it if you were riding 50 miles comfortably.

Supported rides are a good situation for extending your limits, but I recommend that you take advantage of the support, rather than rely or depend upon it.


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    I felt really good after the 28 mi ride, but I think I will go with the 33 mi. How many miles should I add each week to increase my endurance in a beneficial manner?
    – robin59718
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 4:06
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    +1 Also depends on the group - if it is "good mates who sometimes ride together" then push it a bit further. If its "a group of riders who hang out sometimes", its more about the cycling - don't push it or you may not get invited back.
    – mattnz
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 4:25
  • @robin59718: Very rough guide is 10% per week - But careful not to over do it, less is more in the long run.
    – mattnz
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 4:30
  • Yes, 10% is the maximum per week. If you increased by the 20% I suggest, you would expect to feel stuffed afterward, and really need to do a short recovery ride the next day, and then rest for a few days.
    – andy256
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 4:45
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    Rule #24 // Speeds and distances shall be referred to and measured in kilometers. (...) All of cycling’s monuments are measured in the metric system and as such the English system is forbidden. ;-)
    – Carel
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 7:18

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