100 Miles of Nowhere: More Racers’ Reports

05.25.2009 | 11:13 am

Let’s start this batch of race reports with what I consider to be the holy grail of 100 Miles of Nowhere Rides: Doing it in a cul-de-sac.

Bull Schuck: Cul-de-Sac Division

I did finish today’s 100 miles of nowhere today and I think I locked up the “cul-de-sac” division. Precisely it was on two cul-de-sacs. Check out the GPS map. You can even see where I took off after my dog ran out the front door.


I get all my maps from www.bimactive.com, which uses the GPS in my phone so it’s not as nice as a Garmin. It tries to smooth it to the road and it doesn’t recognize the roundabout nature of a cul-de-sac. This image shows 15 miles but my odometer (I swear, I only used one magnet) showed 27.

I did about a mile and a half all in the one circle of the cul-de-sac. It finally got to be too much for me, but for the GPS smoothing algorithm (OK, sorry if that math-speak gives you tired-head) errr, the way the phone sees GPS, the circle was too small. It interpreted it all as noise. So I got one dot.


One solitary dot for all that work. Total ride to nowhere. Effort-but-no-achievement-goodness.

We also had a bake sale. The girls made apple bread muffins and sugar cookies. I think we made close to $50 and we still have some left.


I’ll also be riding another century next week with Will and his group out at the velodrome. I’ll be on a trainer since I’m not track certified. Maybe I’ll try out my son’s rollers. Riding a century to fight cancer is like good food. If it’s worth eating, it’s worth getting seconds. So maybe I’ve locked up the “involving cute girl-children to sell overpriced carbs” division and am on the fast track to ace everyone else out in the “so fat he needs to do two centuries” division.

I ended up taking about 8 hours and 18 minutes because you just can’t go fast when all you’re doing is turning. My max speed was about 15 and change.

Someone told me on FB that I’m an animal for doing this as my 1st century ever. I told them, of course, a barnyard animal. And I ride like one, dumb and strong. I also climb like a mother. Well, more like a grandmother.

Gotta sleep. I’m officiating some real races tomorrow and I have to be there, in the shadow of the velodrome, at 7:15 tomorrow.

Leroy: How I Dominated the Brooklyn 100 Miles of Nowhere

The course: The three and a third mile loop around Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York.

The strategy: My one chance for victory was to break away at the outset and stay in front for the entire ride.

The secret weapon: I chose the starting time and told no one.

I arrived early to study the course:


Being first to the rest areas more than made up for leaving lesser cyclists to draft each other:


Next year, however, I will re-think my strategy of drinking all four bottles of Carbo-Rocket as a pre-race breakfast:


The feed zones along the course were well-stocked, even though valuable seconds were lost fumbling for correct change:


It takes serious bike handling skills to keep the mustard on a Brooklyn energy bar while maintaining a proper cadence:


After dominating the field, the reception at the podium was a little anti-climatic:


I‘m sure the crowd gathered by the time the rest of the riders arrived. But I had to leave to track down the barbecue I smelled on an earlier lap.


Philly Jen (Team Fatty Philly Co-Captain): 100 Miles of Junk Food

We rode in Dave’s living room, through the following scenery:

  • 36th Chamber of Shaolin, a 1978 martial arts classic with some of the best training sequences ever committed to film.
  • Monsters, Inc, the only Pixar film I had never seen
  • Still Crazy, an obscure 1998 British film about a reunited glam-rock band. The title was quite fitting for the later hours of Ride to Nowhere.
  • The (taped) second half of the Barcelona-Osasuna soccer match


Then there was the mass of extra calories that several consecutive hours of cardio work leaves you at liberty to consume:

  • Jelly Belly jelly beans
  • Trader Joe’s cheesy puffed corn, aka Pseudo (Pirate) Booty
  • Dark chocolate wafers
  • Freeze-dried bananas
  • Dried apricots
  • Chocolate soymilk
  • Ice cream bon-bons!

I swapped out my saddle sometime after the first couple of hours, and spent a little time riding on Dave’s recumbent. Barcelona match + ‘bent + trainer = BarcaLounger.

I also wore my special argyle socks so I would match the new water bottles (go Slipstream!).


Doward H: Late Entry Division

I’ve been kicking myself for weeks that I missed signing up for the 100 Miles to Nowhere . . . and then I remembered that I almost never actually pre-register for any of the rides I do. As any chronic-registration-procrastinator knows: we just pay the fee and forego the schwag.

So I woke up this morning and decided that I would donate the 75-bucks to the Fatty Livestrong Challenge page and do the 100 Miles to Nowhere anyways. My chosen course was a 1/3 mile bike track located on the Rice University campus, but that track was closed, so I instead headed to the Braeswood Bayou trail, which is a roughly 28 mile loop and very flat except for a few ramps that descend/ascend to the upper/lower trails. My route, which was five feet wide, was shared by walkers, joggers, roller-bladers and the like. According the Italian media, a rider strike was organized by none other than Lance Armstrong over these crowded conditions (apparently one of those times he dropped back to get Levi water bottles, he dropped WAY back to Texas). The ride went on anyways.

Now, I realize that a 28 mile loop is a bit of a cheat, but rest assured I was punished. Around mile 70 it started raining (which was nice on a hot day), but around mile 80 the thunder and lightning began (which drove me to cover). I spent a couple of long rain delays hiding in bus booths . . .

The best part of the 100 Miles of Nowhere: lunch was at home where my wife fed me all my favorite foods and I got to use my own bathroom instead of a port-a-john or a gas station restroom.

This event was a brilliant idea. I’m glad I decided to take part even if I missed the actual “registration.” I rode today thinking of my grandmother who died a month ago after complication from metastasized cancer and for Dr. Bill Wilson, my friend and mentor, who passed away in January after a very short fight with pancreatic cancer. I also, of course, thought of Susan and your family, as well. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to spend quite some time on the bike thinking of them (6 hours 6 minutes in fact – we weren’t exactly pushing the pace!).

WIN SUSAN! and LiveStrong!

Lorie F: “Elvis is My Copilot” Division

Due to rain this morning in good old Missouri, my solo ride (with Elvis of course) was changed slightly as my husband joined me on the trainer to ride. I’m sure it was the lure of the Elvis movie (“Viva Las Vegas”!!) and not just that his ride was cancelled. We decided to do this ride as a team, each being sure to ride their 33.3333333 miles.

Elvis started out early this morning, getting his miles done first thing. Notice that he’s even color coordinated with my bike.


I then hopped on and rode throughout “Viva”, with Elvis on the handlebars/stem in aero position. I think he really just wanted a good view of the big screen tv and himself, of course, in all his glory. He also wanted to claim a metric because, well, he’s the King!

The ride was completed by my husband John who, after having some stomach issues (could it be the Elvis movie or the fact that he had some chocolate while on the bike??), finished strong.

All in all, I know that John and I rode each rode around 2 hours, not sure what Elvis did…….

Thanks for a great idea! It’s the most fun I’ve had in a long time and all for a great cause!


100 Miles of Nowhere: Racers’ Reports

05.25.2009 | 9:54 am

A Note from Fatty: Today is the last day you can enter the Win a Cadabra contest. Go here to read about what, how, and why, and then go here to donate. Thanks!

Huge congratulations to everyone who raced — or will soon race — the 100 Miles of Nowhere.

And an even huger thanks to everyone who sponsored it: DZNuts, Banjo Brothers, Garmin/Slipstream, CarboRocket, Clif Shot Bloks, Twin Six and ProBar. Without all the schwag, well, it would have just been an extra-long and incredibly awful training exercise.

Get Your Winner’s Certificate

I have chosen to commission two well-known local artists to create the winners’ certificates for the 100 Miles of Nowhere, and am pleased to unveil the blank versions here:

Version 1:

Version 2:

To get your personalized winner’s certificate (I plan to pay my 13-year-old $0.25 for each certificate, letting him learn a little about Photoshop and earn some money at the same time), send me an e-mail with the name you want on the certificate, the division in which you won, and your finishing time (i.e., how long the race took, not what time you finished it).

I — or rather, my son, acting as a proxy for me — will email you back your certificate as a ready-to-print PDF. I recommend printing it on very, very expensive paper, triple-matting it, framing it at a custom frame shop, using their very most expensive materials and museum-quality glass, and then hanging it in a prominent place.

Like in your garage.

And now, here are your stories from the day.

Doug: Recumbent Exercise Bike in His Own House Division

I used an indoor, recumbent exercise bike that’s got a built in computer for “distance”, “speed”, heart rate, cadence and power. I didn’t bother to try and use my Garmin 305… I would have only been able to record the HR information anyway.

I started sometime after work and getting things set up a bit. I completed it all, just after 1 AM the next morning. Here’s some of the results reported:

  • Elapsed time riding: 375 minutes (6.25 hours) — does not include breaks
  • Miles: 100.0
  • Average speed: 16.1 mph
  • Average cadence (estimated): around 90
  • Calories: 2529 kcal

I didn’t put in too hard of an effort, as this machine really puts a lot of stress on my knees. Putting higher resistance levels, especially for long periods of time, feels like climbing a super steep hill in a big chain ring for me, and I wasn’t going to do that for 6+ hours. I had to take breaks every 30 minutes or so and get up and walk around for a minute or two. Every hour, I mixed up a new bottle of CarboRocket to keep hydrated, and for two of my hourly breaks sometime in the middle, I took a bit of a longer break to get some solid food.

I did pretty good for a couple of hours, watching some DVDs and switching to the Universal Sports broadcast of the Giro. Toward the end, I kept questioning “why am I doing this”, but kept on going. It was pretty anti-climatic when the miles went from “99.9″ to “0.0″. I was kind of hoping for a kill screen or something like that. But, that has been my longest ride ever (indoors and out), by far. My knees and quads were killing by the end, but were fine the next day.

But, yeah, I did 100 miles, and I went nowhere.

Chris and Andy: Manchester or Possibly all of New Hampshire Division

Chris and Andy went head-to-head in their garage, using no resistence, massive gearing, and watching Revenge of the Nerds.


Read their whole story here.

Aaron P: Qatar Division (Yes, Really: Qatar!)

This was my first century attempt of my life. I’ve only been riding since November and only consistently since February. My wife and I live in Qatar where we teach elementary school. When I heard of this event, I had no choice but to sign up. My mother-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer a couple of months ago and it’s been tough being half way around the world.

I decided to do my ride outside as I don’t have a trainer or rollers here. I picked a stretch of road that we ride often at the Losail International Circuit where they hold Moto GP races. The track has some access roads around it that are well lit and very low traffic so a lot of area cyclists frequent it there and have group rides to do laps after dark. I took one stretch of it and rode it roundabout to roundabout, 50 times.

Alarm went off at 1:45 AM and I popped up and made some oatmeal. Grabbed the breakfast burrito my wife had whipped up the night before (what a great domestique!), filled the cooler with ice and headed out the door. Got to the course at about 2:45 and wanted to be on the bike by 3:00.

There was the normal jitters before an event. Am I ready for this? Will I embarrass myself? Will I get smoked by a guy on a knobby tired singlespeed? Will someone be wearing the same jersey as me? As luck would have it, I was the fittest, best looking rider with the best bike at the race, but not too nice a bike that I seemed silly to be on it and be so fat. It was all right in the sweetspot.

I put the iPod on, fired up my favorite podcasts and hit the road. First pedal stroke at 2:58 AM, right on schedule. I rode as long as my first bottle held out and stopped at the car to refill. Checked the computer, 42 km (26 miles) in and feeling really good. Light was starting to crack over the horizon and my pace was higher than I expected.

Got back on the bike and rode another 20 km when my wife and a couple of friends on the way to the airport in Doha stopped by to say hi at 5:30. My wife, LIndsay, stayed around for the rest of the ride handling all the domestique duties. She was awesome and I couldn’t have done so well without her. Got a few rolling bottle exchanges, cleaning the sunglasses, keeping the food coming.

Rolled on to the 100 km mark and took a break for some food and hydration. The quads were definitely getting a little sluggish at this point. If I stood too long I’d get some cramping. Tried to drink more water and calm them down, but what are you going to do?

The sun was still coming up and making the day quite a bit hotter. It was getting into the 38 C (100 F) area and I was trying to get done as fast as I could. Another cyclist showed up, a triathlete and he got in and rode a few laps after we offered him some water from the cooler and explained what the hell we were doing out there. 135 km down.

25 km to go and I was feeling good that I was going to finish and quicker than I had originally thought. I was counting down the laps and my rear was getting more and more sore (longest time I’ve been in the saddle and my DZ Nuts didn’t get to me obviously before the race). The last few laps I definitely was thinking about the people this event would help, my mother-in-law, my uncle, my grandfather I never met, my wife and her sisters who have a genetic condition predisposing them to colon cancer, Susan. The thought of everyone else riding this ridiculous and pointless event for such purpose pushed me on and I raised my fist as my odometer rolled over 100 miles. I limped in to where my wife and two friends were waiting, cheering me in.

We headed home as the mercury climbed to 42 C (108 F) and fired up the grill for some celebratory burgers and dogs.

  • Finishing time: 9:30 AM
  • Final Distance: 161.97 km (100.64 miles)
  • Saddle time: 5:39:51
  • Average Speed: 28.5 kmh (17.7 mph)
  • Max Speed: 41.7 kmh (25.9 mph)

Joe R: Freewheel Rumble on Ridgewood

Just finished the Freewheel Rumble on Ridgewood against former TdF namesake Neil Stephens. On the line was the “Liege Jaune” (Yellow Cork), which would decorate the Champion’s handlebar for the next few months.

The setup was 2 stationary trainers, without resistance, in my garage, while watching Hell on Wheels and Breaking Away. To add some difficulty to the event, I placed a box fan up front to create a bit of a headwind.

Unfortunately, I was not up to the challenge and was beaten to the finish by nearly 30 minutes! My first thought was, “he must be on something” but I didn’t have any evidence.


After having a short conversation with my opponent I was shocked to discover that he had not paid to participate in the event. He was, in fact, a bandit. I don’t know about you, but from where I come from, they hang people for less.

After consulting with a course official (my beagle, Rocky), Neil was disqualified and I was declared the Champion! I’ve never been prouder of myself or my ability to use the “rules” to my advantage. I can’t wait to defend my title next year!

Mikeonhisbike and Jenny-Jenny: Marysville, WA Division

Here’s a picture of Mikeonhisbike and Jenny-Jenny at the start of our ride this morning. 24 is in the background on the TV.


We’ve never seen 24 before so we borrowed the first season from a neighbor. I agree with you, it made for some great trainer TV watching. Thanks for putting this event together, although it was tortuous at times it was a lot of fun and a heck of a challenge. By the way, Mike won the Marysville WA division of the race.

More Race Reports Soon…

My copy-and-paste fingers are getting tired. I’ll post more race reports later today.

Noodle’s 100 Miles of Nowhere

05.24.2009 | 10:53 pm

Noodle just sent in a video of her 100 Miles of Nowhere, which definitively answers the question, “What would happen if someone who knows what she’s doing with video documented her 100 Miles of Nowhere?”

I demand you watch this, right now:

That was so awesome. Noodle, thanks for taking the time to make that. Obviously, that took some work.

I’ll post more race reports tomorrow.

100 Miles of Nowhere: Inner Circle, Regents Park, London

05.23.2009 | 6:33 pm

I just got a video race report from frequent commenter BuckyTheDonkey, who — along with friends Peter, Tom, and Colin did The 100 Miles of Nowhere on the Inner Circle of Regents Park in London.


Here’s what BuckyTheDonkey had to say about the event:

The course was 160 laps of the Inner Circle in Regents Park, one of the main parks in central London. Tom figured out a vertical gain of 7 metres a lap, so a surprising 1120 metres in all! ;-)

We had a great time in perfect conditions although I think we all underestimated the mental challenge of doing something so repetitious – the 70-90 mile period was pretty tough (every kilo a prisoner!). Very glad it’s over but we’re unanimous in being very glad that we took part!

The real reason I wanted to post this right away, though is that the video is so fantastic:

I tell you, BuckyTheDonkey makes riding around in a circle 160 times look like fun.

If you did the 100 Miles of Nowhere, be sure to send in your photos, stories (keep ‘em short), and videos. I won’t be able to post all of them, but I will definitely do my best to get up some representative samples.

Nice work, Charlie, Peter, Tom, and Colin!

Tomorrow’s the Big Race

05.22.2009 | 9:25 am

A Proud-of-Sister Note from Fatty: Be sure to take a look at my sister’s blog post today. In one day, she’s went from $0 to $755 for her LiveStrong Challenge. All by not being afraid to ask people. For those of you who have signed up to be on Team Fatty but haven’t gotten up the courage to start raising funds, take a lesson from Jodi and get started. You’ll be amazed at how generous and helpful people will be when given an opportunity.

A What-We’re-Doing-Makes-A-Difference Note From Fatty: You all know Heather Gilbert as the person who came up with the cool “Cadabra” name for the new Kona bike, and is now giving it away to raise money to fight cancer (it’s not too late for you to enter that contest, by the way: click here to learn more). Well, Heather’s also a doctor who fights cancer full-time, and she just sent me this e-mail:

I [just] had the opportunity to interact professionally with the Lance Armstrong Foundation today. I’ve got an unfunded patient whose cancer has recurred. Her only chance for survival is a bone marrow transplant — which, of course, she can’t afford. The good folks at LAF are going to see if they can help her. They responded immediately to my request and have been incredibly helpful. It was a nice confirmation that the money we are raising is going towards a great cause.

It’s great to be reminded that the money we’re raising is going toward helping people fight cancer right now. And it’s really good to know there are people like Heather who are making this fight their life’s work.

200905220846.jpgTomorrow’s the Big Race

I hope you’ve all been properly tapering and carbo-loading, because tomorrow is the big day: The Second Annual 100 Miles of Nowhere. Personally, I’m pretty nervous about the event, but am hopeful that I will be able to ride my own race, keep my head in the game, and stay focused.

If I do all this, I think it’s possible — probable, even — that I will win the “Fatty’s Upstairs Spare Bedroom” division of the 100 Miles of Nowhere.

Although I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes down to the sprint at the finish.

Prediction for Fastest Time

I’ve been getting email from some participants letting me know what their courses are going to be like. There are some I think are definitely worth sharing.

I think the person who will turn in the fastest time — while simultaneously expending the least energy — will be Erik B, who has programmed his Tacx Fortius T1940 with a course that is downhill for all 100 miles.

A good an conscientious citizen, Erik contacted me asking if this was legal. I of course responded that it is not only legal, but pure genius. I did, however, make the following stipulations:

  1. He must provide a graphic of the simulated elevation profile of his ride, for me to post and mock.
  2. He must provide stats upon completion: top speed, elapsed time, average speed, average heart rate, max heart rate, etc.
  3. He must do at least 25 of the 100 miles in an aero tuck.

Because he will be traveling tomorrow to go to a real race his wife is running, Erik’s downhill-specific heat of the 100 Miles of Nowhere will not begin until Monday. I will be interested in his results.

200905220905.jpgPrediction for Most Dizziness and Nausea

Will Swetnam is a LiveStrong fundraising powerhouse. He’s one of the driving forces behind Cyclists Combating Cancer and is the creator of The Cancer Mosaic.

So when Will heard about the 100 Miles of Nowhere, he had a completely insane idea: Do it in a velodrome. And better yet, get a group of friends together and make it an event.

He got additional sponsors, additional prizes, and even made an additional event t-shirt. Since the local velodrome was already scheduled for tomorrow, the “Superdrome Century: 644 Laps of Lunacy” will be held next week.

I’m looking forward to photos and a race description, and I love the course pre-ride GPS track Will sent me:


Seriously, I can’t even imagine doing a velodrome century. That is going to hurt.

In a completely awesome way.

My Plans

I’m afraid that my own 100 Miles of Nowhere is pretty pedestrian in comparison. I’ll be on my rollers, watching episodes of 24, season 7 I have saved up. And if I get through those, I’ll watch some episodes of BBC’s Robin Hood I’ve downloaded.

From time to time, I will go to the fridge and get something to eat.

Send Me Stuff

I’m sure your plans are more exciting than mine, though. Or maybe they’re not. Either way, post a comment here about your prediction for what your personal 100 Miles of Nowhere race is going to be like.

And make sure you get someone to take pictures of you during the race, write up a brief race report, then send ‘em in. I’ll post a bunch of them over the next several days.

Good luck. I’m sure you’ll win your division.

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