Sure you might have the best training regime out there to get your legs and heart ready to survive 9+ hours on a bike. But, how much thought have you given to your core and arms. I took a strong rider out the other day on a 5 hour ride through the trails of Jim Thorpe. It wasn't race pace, but by the last hour of the ride he was wondering about his ability to hold himself up on the bike.
What most people don't realize, is that in order to get yourself through a hundred miles on the mountain bike, your upper bits are as important as your lower bits. Really you should look at it as a symbiotic relationship. A strong core, shoulders and arms allows you to transfer power more efficiently to the pedals. It's like a race car the has to have a stiff chassis to harness every ounce of power from the engine and transfer all of those horses to the wheels. No one wants a flexy bike, so why would you want a flexy body.
Do yourself a favor and start a core and upper body workout program today. It will payoff more than you can know,.. till you know, then you'll be telling others all about it to! There is no need for a gym membership. Get a couple of 10 or 15 pound weights, a pilates ball and 15-30 minutes a day. Crunches, back extensions, lunges, tricep curls, abdominable crunches, push-ups, planks, dead lifts, wrist curls...
If it works your abs, lowerback, shoulders triceps, forearms it's a good thing.
Start now, because you can't suddenly build this kind of strength two weeks before a race!
"When you're on the starting line of your first century, it's not wise to sit there and think, 'I've got to ride one hundred miles.' I remember my first one, and my thought was to get to the first rest stop. I made each succeeding rest stop my goal. When they're about twenty-five miles apart, you don't get imtimidated by what seems an impossible distance. All you need to do is ride twenty-five miles four times." -Seana Hogan