05.20.2009 | 10:02 am

A 100 Miles of Nowhere Update from Fatty: I got a note from Twin Six yesterday; all 100 Miles of Nowhere kits are boxed and shipped! If you’re in the U.S., they should arrive by Friday. (If you’re outside the U.S., you will probably need to wait a little longer.)

If, by chance, your kit doesn’t arrive by Friday, it should get there sometime soon after. As I consult the official rules which I am making up right this second, I see that if your kit arrives after the race, you are automatically awarded a time bonus of 48 hours! Which makes it almost certain that you will finish the race several hours before you even begin. Congratulations!

Also, I am hard at work designing the Winner’s Certificate, which means it’s going to look every bit as good as everything else I make in Photoshop. which is…not very good. So when you frame it and hang it on your wall and people ask why you have such an ugly certificate, I’d like you to please respond that it’s an ironic, post-modern thing, where one intentionally displays things that are intentionally ugly, in defiance of conventional aesthetics. Hence, by displaying your certificate, you will be simultaneously demonstrating your keen sense of irony and your willingness to do something entirely pointless. I’d make it the centerpiece of my household, if I were you.

Information and instructions on how to send me the info that goes on your certificate will be available early next week, because by then I should have it figured out.

And if you haven’t ordered a bib yet, you can still get one. Just donate $5 to Clay Frost’s LiveStrong Challenge page here.

Important Guests

Once in a while, a neighbor will ask me to show them a favorite trail or road ride. And once in a separate while, someone who reads the blog will email me, saying they’re going to be passing through the area and would like to go on a ride.

You have no idea the state these kinds of requests throw me into.

It is not easy at all to figure out what ride I should take them on. Apart from the question of road vs. mountain (I usually know the answer to that), I have to consider what they’re most likely to enjoy — something relatively easy, or the very most challenging thing I have to offer? And which of those trails / roads are in good shape? And will result in a ride of the right length?

It may sound like I’m just an anxious-to-please host (possible), or perhaps it just sounds like I’m a hyperactive dork (probable), but it goes much, much deeper than that.

You see, what I really want is for you to like, admire, and hopefully envy me.

Pride of Ownership

You see, when I take you out on one of my favorite rides for the first time, from my point of view we’re doing much more than going on a ride. I’m sharing an intimate, key component of my identity with you, and anxiously awaiting your verdict.

If you love the ride, I take it very personally. You have just validated me as a human being. You like something I have chosen to spend hours and hours and hours with, so I can sigh a deep sigh of relief. We’re going to be friends.

Likewise, if you seem ambivalent or unimpressed, I’m going to do one of two things:

  1. Feel crushed and reassess my opinion of the road / trail and of myself. This happens if you’ve shown in the past that you are an excellent judge of ride quality. I make this determination based on trails you have shown me. If you don’t like a ride I heretofore thought was fantastic, I may mope for days.
  2. Reassess my opinion of you. Some of the rides I love have proven themselves sufficiently. If you don’t like them, it says something about you, not the trail. Saying “I don’t like Tibble Fork” is like saying “I don’t like the Beatles.” Tibble Fork (and the Beatles) are unaffected. Only the naysayer is diminished.

Special Circumstance: The Home Ride

This puppy-like anxiety I experience in sharing a ride is magnified tenfold when I choose to show off a ride I can do from my house. Right now, for example, I love to show off the fact that The Alpine Loop (road), Lambert Park (dirt), and Hog Hollow / Corner Canyon (dirt) are all rides I do right from my front door, without needing to get in a car at all.

I expect, though, that the folks living at Suncrest might feel that way about Corner Canyon even more intensely than I do. Last Saturday, for example, I drove to Dug’s house, from which Rick Sunderlage (not his real name), Sam, Dug and I embarked on a three-hour singletrack tour of Corner Canyon, starting with the new freeride trail.

I captured the freeride part (and at the very end, the part where I nearly overshoot a corner, narrowly avoiding flying off the trail — you can hear Dug laughing at me as he goes by) on video:

Yes, Dug (and a lot of other people at Suncrest) have mile upon mile (and many new miles on the way) of singletrack within seconds of their homes. My guess is that this probably would accomplish the “envy” objective of showing off your trail rather nicely.

Double-Extra Special Circumstance: Showing Off a Trail to Someone Who Can Crush You

I’m currently working out timing to show Jill Homer — yeah, the Jill who rides Kokopelli and White Rim back to back, who rides the Iditarod, and who is planning out a Great Divide attempt — a home ride or two.

And I am fretting like mad, trying to decide which of my rides is going to be challenging enough to interest her. ‘Cuz, when someone like that offers an opinion on your trail, you kinda have to take it seriously. She’s got some context.

I shall wear the helmetcam, though that won’t do any good once she rides away from me.

So I can’t help but wonder: is this anxiety about introducing a trail / ride to someone common? Or just another neurosis?

I’m leaning toward common.


  1. Comment by buckythedonkey | 05.20.2009 | 10:14 am

    I’m really going off you.

    At least 3 riders for the London 100MoN, delighted about the time bonus!


  2. Comment by Grizzly Adam | 05.20.2009 | 10:20 am

    I do that as well. I feel like if I don’t show a good trail off, or if the trail is in poor shape the rider is going to think I am an idiot.

    At least that is why I think they will think I am an idiot. It could be other reasons…

  3. Comment by Jenny-Jenny | 05.20.2009 | 10:26 am

    Oh the joys of bicycling. I can’t think of anything better to stress about!?

  4. Comment by Christa | 05.20.2009 | 10:30 am

    I don’t like the Beatles.

  5. Comment by GenghisKhan | 05.20.2009 | 10:33 am

    Beatles are tasty. And, hey, your videos are much, much better without the lens cap on. And a charged battery. And… Well, nice video! ;o)

  6. Comment by Jay | 05.20.2009 | 10:36 am

    I need ideas of what to do while riding a trainer for hours on end. I will watch movies, but I need ideas. Probably no bike movies (ie, Breaking Away or that other one). And not “all of Lord Of the Rings”, because I’ve done that and it takes 9 hours, and I hope to not require that much time on the trainer for 100 miles.

    So. Any ideas?

    Watch the most recent season of 24? That’s what I’ll be doing. I’ve been saving it up for just this occasion. – FC

  7. Comment by SurlyCommuter | 05.20.2009 | 10:44 am

    Awesome trail – from Duvall Wa I can ride to about 5 different trail heads, but the closest is 20 minutes not 26 seconds! The weather is going to be beautiful for the 100 MoN – might even have to forgo the vaunted certificate that you are building and go somewhere instead of nowhere. The sun doesn’t come out all the often over here lately!


  8. Comment by Angie G | 05.20.2009 | 10:45 am

    Your either a total self absorbed narcisst or not human if you don’t feel a little anxiety when your proud of something and want to share it. I think most people that call you when their passing through are not just interested in riding the trails you have talked about or shown on video. They really want to ride with “The Fat Cyclist”. You are a legend. As shown by your support and the inevitable victory of Heather and the new Kona Cadabra. You could probably take them on a ride through the McDonalds drive thru and they would gush over it for months.:-)

    Its thoughtful that you stress so much over trying to please us all. But we keep coming back for more because we like YOU, not necessarily the rides. Well maybe thats partial BS, its the rides too. But really it’s YOU. :-) Pedal Fast

  9. Comment by Hamish A | 05.20.2009 | 10:47 am

    Jay, I’ve found watching Dexter gives the best balance of distraction / entertainment when doing anything on a trainer.

    I always get nervous whenever I am showing people ‘my’ trails for the first time. It’s not just a quality / will they like the trail / me thing it’s down to my need to prepare for every eventuality I’ve ever come across on that particular trail. Which means I end up carrying an AWFUL lot of gear which most of the time will never be used.

    Your latest video confirms what I’ve suspected for some time now: I need (not want, NEED) to live in Draper.

    Wait’ll you see what’s next in Draper. Jamie Pogue has convinced the city council to build a downhill-specific CX trail. It’s going to be wonderful.

    And luckily for you, there are around a thousand houses for sale on Suncrest right now. Cheap! – FC

  10. Comment by cheapie | 05.20.2009 | 11:09 am

    jill has stated repeatedly that she’s not all that coordinated on a mtb but has great stamina. so….if you want to take her on a ride that offers you a chance of staying with her, don’t pick something that falls into her area of strength. pick something with a lot of technical stuff and good descents where your bike-handling skills and “downhill muscle” will allow you to show off the trail and affirm your status as a real cyclist. and it lowers the chance that you’ll get beat by a girl. not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  11. Comment by Big Boned | 05.20.2009 | 11:10 am

    I used to feel like that when I lived in Colorado Springs. I had some of the best trails I’ve ever been on just minutes outside my front door.
    Now I live in Northern Virginia unless you get all excited about a paved bike path, there aren’t too many trails within 45 minutes of here that are worth loading the MTB up for.
    I am soon to move to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico though, so my trail selection should get much more exciting. Just think of it, between dodging the human/drug smugglers going one way and the arms dealers headed the other, I should have hours of entertainment available. Ciudad Juarez is home to the Chupacabras 100 MTB race, so there has to be some trails around. And this is the REAL home of the Chupacabras, unlike the “poser” Chupacabras who have been reported here lately.
    Come on down for a ride…anyone…PLEASE (I don’t want to die alone!).

  12. Comment by Lissee (formerly known as Bitter) | 05.20.2009 | 11:14 am

    The executive assistant is leaping out of me, and I haven’t even gotten past the first couple paragraphs of your post. *sigh*

    So in order to get the–Ooooo, OOooo, pick me, pick me, I have a suggestion–out of my head so I can enjoy the rest of your post, I’m posting early. :)

    Okay, so.


    I think it would be a particularly brilliant idea if you created a google docs spreadsheet. Then linked a data entry form (also from google) to the spreadsheet.

    People could click on a link, get taken to the form, enter in their race stats, name, etc.

    Then the data would populate your google spreadsheet, and then you could export that data into your award certificates. :)

    Even if you weren’t going to export the info like that, it would make it nice and handy for collecting purposes. I’m thinking of you copy pasting and formatting 421 responses…. not fun.

  13. Comment by MikeonHisBike | 05.20.2009 | 11:21 am

    We are making the yearly trek to UT to visit the inlaws this summer and I was just thinking about asking for some directions/route help to the Alpine Loop ride. Good thing you told us before I caused you some more stress. Never mind.

  14. Comment by Lana | 05.20.2009 | 11:46 am

    I can second the Google Doc idea – I use it for my Tri club all the time and it is SO convenient and you can set up permissions if you like. The only problem is that it isn’t quite as robust as Exel, but for the purposes of data entery via form, it would be fab.

  15. Comment by Banger | 05.20.2009 | 11:56 am

    Great footage and editing. I am jealous Fatty.

  16. Comment by Weiland | 05.20.2009 | 11:57 am


    If you need help with the certificate let me know, I have a delivery system that has delivered 90,000 prints of custom certificates and awards a month. Maybe I can help you out.

  17. Comment by Randoboy | 05.20.2009 | 12:05 pm

    I don’t mountain-bike (is that really a verb?), but I own a few RUSA permanent routes. When people don’t love my permanent routes, it hurts my feelings terribly. Of course, these are 200K (125-mile) routes, so there’s bound to be some things that they won’t like.

    When you put a route together, it’s almost like fathering a child … except that you don’t have to change its diaper, or help it learn its multiplication tables, or put it thru college. Okay, it’s not that much like fathering a child, unless you’re a really crappy father.

    But, that being said … or, written … you must have a sense of proprietary pride regarding your route. And I don’t just say that for the alliteration. I really hate it when urban sprawl sprawls out into one of my favorite routes, changing it ever so subtly. It is a deflowering — both literally and figuratively — of my progeny.

  18. Comment by Animator Thom | 05.20.2009 | 12:27 pm

    I don’t like the Beatles either. Thhppt!

  19. Comment by "G" | 05.20.2009 | 12:39 pm

    I only read two blogs, Jill’s and yours, so if you have room enough for one more rider? I am definately available. I’m in PG

  20. Comment by spkell | 05.20.2009 | 1:23 pm

    It’s worse when you helped build/maintain said trail.

  21. Comment by MrTeamPhillips | 05.20.2009 | 1:31 pm

    Got the 100 miles of Nowhere delivery today when I went home for lunch. Talk about a great pick-me-up for a Wednesday. I’m in NJ so I should think most everyone has received their delivery by now. I really should have called in sick for the remainder of the afternoon because its 80+ and sunny.

    BTW I also get the trail anxiety when introducing new rides to people. I think it is normal. The only time I don’t get this is when I am leading my beginner mtb ride for the local bike shop. I guess I don’t feel the need to impress the newbies – they don’t have the experience to tell trails apart and I’m more concerned about preventing accidents, injuries and coaching them a little to make them better riders.

  22. Comment by jill | 05.20.2009 | 1:39 pm

    I watched your freeride video and am now officially shivering with fear. Other than that, I’m really looking forward to it! See you in an hour. :-)

  23. Comment by MOCougFan | 05.20.2009 | 1:59 pm

    Can’t wait to see you and Jill in action. Or rather Jill in action and your shadow… er… shadowing her. Will be fun to read the write ups from both perspectives.

    btw… looking forward to riding together in late June. Road or Mountain. I’ll bring them both.

  24. Comment by Rob | 05.20.2009 | 2:21 pm

    I don’t like U2.

  25. Comment by KanyonKris | 05.20.2009 | 2:37 pm

    I thought the corner you almost blew was the tight, downhill, right-hand switchback on the freeride trail. I just about endoed on that one last time.

    But then I saw it was the “white dirt” turn. Yeah, that one has nearly gotten me before. Now I remember that white dirt means danger.

    Good video.

    Yes, I obsess some over trails to show. The less I know about the rider the worse it is.

  26. Comment by WheelDancer | 05.20.2009 | 2:57 pm

    It only makes sense to have some pride in the trails you spend hours on and are showing to someone for the first time. It would be very cool to come out and get a tour of any of your local trails and I have confidence that you wouldn’t take us through the McDonalds drive-through because that would be a bit disappointing though I would be the gracious guest and not curse you out…

  27. Comment by rokrider | 05.20.2009 | 3:20 pm

    I’m a bit confused. In the video, I didn’t see any of the Beatles. Where they behind you?

  28. Comment by Corey | 05.20.2009 | 3:43 pm

    My issue is not the trails, as it’s hard to go wrong here on Colorado, but rather matching a trail to a riders real skill (as opposed to assumed skill)

    Too easy for a good rider and we’re both bored, too hard for a novice rider and I’m giving them a ride to the ER.

    I usually narrow down a few options and send them a link to where they can read, and see pics and maybe video, then let them choose.

  29. Comment by Clydesteve | 05.20.2009 | 3:45 pm

    Actually, Elden, I think a video of Jill riding away from you would be really OK. just sayin’

  30. Comment by Clydesteve | 05.20.2009 | 3:45 pm

    hi jill!

  31. Comment by Grant | 05.20.2009 | 5:45 pm

    This is going to be like a cross over episode of your two favourite tv shows, only not lame or jumping the shark at all!!!

    My wife would advise that at this point I squeal with anticipation, but I say I let out a manly expression of my curiosity and expectation.


  32. Comment by RosieReader | 05.20.2009 | 6:24 pm

    Dear Fatty,

    Thank you for allowing me to be a beneficiary of your amazingly great super power of getting people to give you things. My swag bag arrived today (Seattle) and it truly is an amazing amalgamation of stuff. If it
    doesn’t power me through what I’m hoping will be at least 50, and maybe 75, Miles to Nowhere come Saturday morning, then nothing will.

    I look forward to proudly displaying my certificate, once I find a suitably ugly frame in which to tape it, as well as some “certified to yellow” cellophane tape to use.

    Eternally in your debt,


  33. Comment by Aaron | 05.20.2009 | 6:59 pm

    Cool video. One of my favorite songs too.
    I was just up near your house last week. I was staying in Highland, right next door. I rode Lambert, and went to the Soldier Hollow Wednesday night race series. I did see Kenny there, with his Spot SS. I thought about saying hi, but I doubt he would know who “Aaron, from Tucson” is. Anyway, yes, I think it’s common for people to need approval from others, when they are partaking in something that is special, and personal, to you.

  34. Comment by Jakub | 05.20.2009 | 7:30 pm

    Heya Fatty,

    You don’t know me but I feel like I know you :).

    Fantastic ride. Thanks for the link to Jill’s blog (just bought her book).

    That’s some nasty urban sprawl in those shots though. Ouch. Waste of scenery, but oh well.

    The sprawl’s going to happen no matter what. But the singletrack, in most places, wouldn’t. I count this as a big win for cyclists. – FC

  35. Comment by El Animal | 05.20.2009 | 9:09 pm

    Can I live there?

  36. Comment by USAFANARC | 05.20.2009 | 9:54 pm

    What is the name of the song in the video? I’d like to grab it from iTunes. Thanks.

    Oh, I can’t believe I didn’t put the band, album and track info in the video. I’ll fix that soon. Meanwhile, that’s Social Distortion’s “Reach for the Sky” from the album “Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll.” I recommend purchasing the entire album. It’s one of the best albums from my very favorite group. – FC

  37. Comment by donbiker | 05.20.2009 | 11:08 pm

    I got scared just watching the video. The osteoporosis of 77 years keeps me on the road. Oh, and I’m too much of a wimp for that stuff. Fun to watch.

  38. Comment by Bisso | 05.21.2009 | 12:27 am

    Like the Londoners, I am stoked about the 48 hour bonus. Those of us in Oz definitely wont be getting our packs and so i have already finished!

  39. Comment by Jenn | 05.21.2009 | 1:26 am


    I love that you met Jill.

  40. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 05.21.2009 | 3:02 am

    See! There’s another reason to avoid mountain biking. It would do my head in to have to make those kinds of decisions on behalf of “new friends”.

    Therein lies the beauty of the velodrome. With a deft sweep of the arm you can completely introduce and describe the entire course. Although, for many, it still takes months or years to prefect all the curves, straights, climbs and descents.

    And I can descend at 40mph without the anguish of hitting a tree root mid corner.

  41. Comment by Lowrydr | 05.21.2009 | 6:39 am

    I don’t like ABBA!

  42. Comment by GenghisKhan | 05.21.2009 | 8:32 am

    @Lowrydr: Funny, ‘cuz I don’t like ABBA, which is a palindrome for ABBA… Ahem.

  43. Comment by Phil | 05.21.2009 | 9:05 am

    Look at the size of those houses!

  44. Comment by stlmtb | 05.21.2009 | 9:17 am

    Here is an idea for a follow up article. Choosing the perfect trail for the new girlfriend’s first mountain bike ride. The first thought is how much do you want her to like it? If there is a future with this girl, what if she is really slow and wants to tag along on all your rides? Even worse, what if she is good and gets to be faster than you…

  45. Comment by allan | 05.21.2009 | 9:41 am

    Fatty, That is an awesome song. My fave off that album is Footprints on the Ceiling. That ride looks amazing to.

    WIN SUSAN!!!!

  46. Comment by axel in texas | 05.21.2009 | 10:51 am

    Usually any trail that doesn’t send your guest to the hospital is going to be ok. Unless they ask for the hard stuff, they will be ok with scenery, comradery and a good post ride beer and/or swimming hole, yet light on the adrenaline. I tend to take people on trails that are too hard…
    I liked the video – I used to be able to go from work to a great trail in 26 seconds, that was good! Then the company moved, now I go from work to a lame trail in 15 seconds…

  47. Comment by Fletch | 05.21.2009 | 11:16 am

    If I eat/drink everything in the 100 MON pack I may get up to 75 miles – or fall over as I become a twitching mess!
    Can the DZ Nuts stuff become addictive? It smells wonderfull, they should make cologne. Come to think of it, I could just wear cycling shorts everyday – I’m a stay at home dad, so no dress code. Bonus!!

    Good luck all….

  48. Comment by jay | 05.21.2009 | 5:58 pm

    I just blogged:
    Looking for movie suggestions for the ride!

    Also I’m collecting other riders, would like to have a list of everyone who participates and writes about it.


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