A Century is 100 years...
unless you're an eleven-year-old girl with a new 3-speed bicycle and an unusual mother.
"Although I didn't know it then everything changed the day my mother bought herself a bicycle. Before that, we hadn't paid each other much attention: I was busy collecting baseball cards and memorizing major league statistics while she was occupied washing diapers, ironing sheets, and making pot roast.
Mommy's new bicycle was cause for concern. Was it right, I wondered, for a mother to buy herself a bicycle, ride around town, and write down her mileage in a notebook?"
from "Riding the Century"