Find your fit
Road bike fitting is an absolute essential for longer rides. This is done in a couple of ways.
The first is accomplished by dialing in your bike fit (with a reputable bike fitter, at your local bike shop, or by yourself if you have the skills). Saddle, stem length, and setback adjustments can also make a big difference to ride feel, so it’s worth taking the time to make sure they’re correct.
Next, think about the contact points between you and your bike. Some people like riding with gloves, others don’t. Some people like stiff road shoes, others find them uncomfortable. Find what works closer to home, where adjustments can be made, not on the day you decide to ride 100 kms or more at once.
A constant for all cyclists is the importance of a good chamois and proper fitting bib shorts. (Pro tip: always wash your bibs when they’re new to activate the chamois and make it more comfortable.) Bibs should be tight. Next to skin. The better the fit, the less you’ll notice you have them on and the more likely they are to act as a seamless connection between you and your bike, no matter what distance you’re riding.
Ride in a group
Kilometres come quickly during group rides. It’s just science. Your average speed tends to be faster, too. If you’ve not tried it – because it’s intimidating or because of the group ride skills required – try showing up to a local ride or shop and ask if there’s one you can join. Most typically offer something for all levels and are equally happy to share tips on how to group ride safely.
In a group or solo. However you do it. Keep it fun and you’ll be riding centuries routinely in no time.