A Note for 100 Miles of Nowhere Racers from Fatty: Team Fatty (Philadelphia) member Clay Frost recently observed a glaring problem in the 100 Miles of Nowhere: there are no race bibs. Cleverly, he has had several printed up, and you can get one — even if you’re not actually in the race, which is confusing but cool — for the measly price of $5.00, donated to Clay’s LiveStrong Challenge account. This is a genius idea, frankly, and I hope you’ll get yourself a bib (pictured here) and wear it proudly on race day. And be sure to send me a photo.
By the way, you can’t have bib #001. That’s mine, because I — as the only entrant, sure — won last year’s race.
To get your race bib in time for the race, click here to go donate $5 at Clay’s LiveStrong Challenge page. Right now.
As part of your donation, Clay will have your address, so you shouldn’t have to do anything else to get the bib. Thanks!
Another Note for 100 Miles of Nowhere Racers: Neil C wins the “Jumping the Gun” award by having already completed the 100 Miles of Nowhere — two weeks before the event actually began. I would like to compliment Neil on his fortitude, his intensity, his speed (almost exactly nine hours), and his apparent ability to bend the rules of space and time.
Based in Rochester, MN, Neil rode a 0.95-mile neighborhood loop on his Specialized Epic MTB enough 106 times. A 75-foot climb on each lap meant that Neil climbed 8000+ feet during his ride.
Says Neil, “It took until after mile 80 for any of the neighbors I didn’t know to say anything.” And then he warns, “This was extraordinarily boring.”
But in a good way, right, Neil?
Oh, Now I Remember
Every winter, my perception of road cycling somehow gets warped. I’m pretty sure this has to do with all the time I spend on the rollers. After months and months of riding my road bike in place, I somehow start to think that my cumulative distaste for the whole ride-in-place thing includes the bike itself.
Somehow, I manage to think of riding the rollers as the same thing as riding the road.
Thus, by the time good weather arrives (and I have definitely become a fair-weather rider during the past few years), I have no interest at all in taking the road bike out. “Let it stay upstairs with the rollers where it belongs,” I think.
And I ride my mountain bikes, exclusively, for weeks on end.
Eventually, though, there will be some external circumstance that forces me to get out the road bike: usually a hard rain at night, followed by a beautiful morning. Too muddy to hit the dirt, but too perfect a day to not go for a ride.
Oh well. I may as well haul out the ol’ road bike.
And then, every year, I rediscover the fact that road bikes are every bit as wonderful as mountain bikes. I would say, in fact, that this annual revelation is emphasized by my low expectations, and what I’ve come to expect a bike to feel like.
Suddenly, I rediscover exactly how smooth a road bike feels. Those hard skinny wheels carve corners with an elegance a mountain bike was never meant to have.
Oh, and the power: compared to a mountain bike, when you pedal a road bike, you just leap forward. The difference is startling, at first. And exquisite.
And then there’s the simplicity I feel when on a good road ride: the focused, clear feeling of doing exactly one thing. It’s not a feeling I get often on mountain bikes.
What’s most amazing to me, however, is that I somehow forget over the winter how incredibly exciting a road ride can be. For the group I ride with at least, mountain bike rides are often social occasions. On the road, however, every ride becomes a race. And then there’s the downhill on a road ride: if you open yourself up to it, it feels very nearly like how I imagine flight must feel.
Once I have remembered that I love road riding — somedays more than mountain biking, some days less, but on average just the same. They’re so different, but complement each other so well. I sometimes think about how lucky I am to have discovered both. Or really, to have discovered cycling at all.
The fact that I spend so much time riding bikes, and so much time writing about bikes really makes it obvious, but I still think it’s worth saying once in a while, with no intended comedy or irony, as directly and simply as I can:
Whether on road or mountain, I love riding bikes.