A Note from Fatty: Let’s end this deluge of 100 Miles of Nowhere stories with one from Team CarboRocket. And be sure to read Mary’s bio. She’s awesome. And while you’re at it, check out the Team CarboRocket blog in general. Many of them participated in the 100 Miles of Nowhere, which makes them the coolest cycling team in the world.
“Hi Sammy!” Lisa called out every time we rode by the headless snake in the gutter.
She named him after about the 10th time we rode past him on our 33.5 times around a 3-mile loop in Surprise, AZ. Team CarboRocket of Arizona won the “Team CarboRocket AZ” division, starting early in the morning and finishing early in the afternoon.
We battled wind gusts, heat, one bee swarm, muscle cramps, and climbed over 1000 feet in 100 miles to nowhere. Mountains and farm fields and newly minted subdivisions framed our ride around the box.
Enthusiastic neighbors rode one lap with us rocking the flip-flop-beach-cruiser style; a triathlete lasted about 8 laps. In our final mile, we raced the neighborhood bmx gang.
CarboRocket fueled successful team bonding, and we hatched hillarious plans for Team CarboRocket bootcamp and bbq.
– Mary, Team CarboRocket
I am so proud of my husband! He joined Fatty’s team and did the 100 Miles of Nowhere ride!
We raised $180 in cash donations, plus what was donated online, which last I heard was up around $175. The generosity of friends, family, and coworkers amazes me. Thank you to everyone who gave generously!
Unfortunately he was only able to complete 56 miles of the ride due to technical difficulties, but I am proud of him nonetheless. I was able to be there and support him, which was fun, but now I’m as red as a cooked lobster from sunburn.
I loved Tommy’s water balloon idea where for a donation, his coworkers could throw a water balloon at him as he rode by.
That was how we were able to raise so much in cash donations, and it was so much fun for everyone.
100 miles of nowhere was my first century ride. The day for me was both amazing and sad.
My friends (who are much more accomplished cyclists than I) and I chose a 13.75 mile loop to ride 7 times. The day was incredibly windy, with 25-30 MPH winds coming from the NW. My friends took turns providing me with a wind break on the windy side of the ride. I learned that day that I have the best friends anyone can have.
A lot of my friends wanted to quit, at one point we came up with a scheme to stop at the bowling alley and bowling the rest of the century, counting a frame as a mile. But 4 of us persevered and finished the ride.
The day was sad because I found out halfway through the ride that my grandmother died. After I heard the news I rode a lap completely numb. I didn’t know if I should keep going or if I should stop and go spend time with my family. I decided to keep going.
I don’t know if I made the right choice or the wrong choice, but I think I made the choice she would have wanted me to make.
I will never forget this day.
– Stephanie M
PS from Fatty: Want something a little lighter? Read here to see how Stephanie R. did her 100 Miles of Nowhere Tour de France style: in stages.
I’m pleased to report I have completed the 100 Miles of Nowhere – Suburban Unicycle Division. I finished the race in 11 hours 58 minutes and 53 seconds, and while my time likely fell quite short of the best bicycle times, I nevertheless dominated my division. I only saw one other unicyclist on the course, but he was out for a pleasure ride, not to go the distance.
To my knowledge, I’m the only person that’s completed the race on a unicycle, and while there’s no dispute on whether I won or not…there is a question as to which year I won. Since I did the ride on September 20, 2009, I was either the LAST person to complete the 2009 race, or the FIRST person to complete the 2010 edition. Since I pride myself on both punctuality and leadership skills, I’m going with 2010.
For unicyclists wanting to ride a century, the 100 Miles of Nowhere actually solves a nagging logistical problem. Unicycle frames don’t have space to mount water bottle holders or tool kits, and our tubes and other hardware aren’t “bike standard”. So that means everything we need to make the 100 miles have to carry on our backs…which gets really heavy and tedious after about the first 10 miles.
The Nowhere “rules” solved this, and I chose my suburban cookie-cutter neighborhood, where I could do a five-mile-loop 20 times, while never traveling further than 2 miles from my house. No need to pack a lot of food or water, since I’d pass my house every 25 minutes. No need to pack tools, since help would be a 5 minute drive away. No risk to the rules, since I’d never leave my neighborhood, hence never ride “somewhere”. The only downside, as every Nowhere racer knows: tedium.
The ride itself was pretty un-eventful. Started at 6:30am, ended just shy of 12 hours later. Same loop over and over except for about 15 miles near the end where I just lapped the local middle school cinder track. After 80 miles, even the tiny hills on my route were starting to kill me, so I needed to find something flat for a while.
I started the day with a sub-goal of trying for a “100:10:1″, which is kind of a big deal in unicycling distance circles. It’s 100 miles ridden in 10 hours, in 1 day. That’s total elapsed time, not just riding time, so bio breaks and food stops count against you. On a bike it’s no problem, but on an ungeared uni, it’s really a push.
I managed to stay on pace through the first 50 miles, although with every 10-mile-break the clock was catching up to me. Finally at Mile 50, I decided to bag the 100:10:1 goal to focus on taking a little bit longer breaks, chewing my food, and not worrying about always being in full speed pedal mode.
Biggest excitement of the day was the suspence of not knowing whether I’d be able to finish before dark or not. Dark is not fun on a unicycle, where you really need to see the bumps in the road lest you go flying.
Stats? Hydration was one litre of water with an Elixir tablet every 10 miles. Nutrition was lots of Chewy bars, PB&J sammys, and Boost energy drinks…supplemented by a couple of Builders bars, umpteen packets of Sport Beans cherry flavor with caffeine (thanks Fatty for the recommend), Reeses cups, and those little chewy candies that look like raspberries. End of ride reward: switching from Ibuprofen to Vicodin.
Best moment of the day–other than finishing–was after I’d passed one neighbor for about the 8th time, as he was out doing yardwork.
Him: How far are you riding that thing today?
Me: 100 miles!
Him: Just around the neighborhood?
Me: That’s the idea.
Him: (Pause) Dumb idea.
As Noodle said in her 2009 Nowhere video, I completely underestimated the “sheer vehemence of the suckage”. This might be a “one and done” for me, and future years I’ll sponsor someone on two wheels and a set of rollers.
– Tom B, Issaquah, WA
I’ve been planning on doing this since I read the race reports from last year and it’s been my training goal all spring. After testing out my fluid trainer, I realized I couldn’t do it with the resistance off and really go much faster, and if I tried to do it with the resistance unit engaged, I’d never make it. So I picked a short course on the road. I should mention, I’ve never done a century ride and this was my longest single-ride day ever. I’m 48 and in the 2nd year of being back in love with road biking.
Once the site of Richmond Kaiser Yard No. 3, this one-time shipyard is now the home of the Red Oak Victory museum ship and mostly is the new home of Honda. Ships unload new Hondas and off they go to this giant lot. I picked this area because there’s just about no traffic and all the blacktop has very recently been resurfaced. It also has one of the loveliest views of the SF Bay. ….and wind.
I came down with a cold two days before the 100 MON, and it was a miracle that I was able to wake up and ride on saturday.
My wife Michele acted as Race Director, Team Car Driver, Podium Girl and Soigneur. Got started about 10:00 and finished about 6:30 30 or 31 laps later. Longshoremen were driving Hondas from the lot to train cars, so they must have been amused seeing me go round and round all day.
I also had 5 geese sitting by the side of the road to play the role of race fans. The worst part of the race was right around the 50 mile marker because I was thinking oh no I’ve got to do this 50 all over again. The wind steadily increased as the day went by but I was going mostly north & south and the wind was blowing out of the west so I was able to take advantage of the tail winds when I had them. Once I hit the 70 mile mark, I was sure I’d make it, and when I hit 90 miles I was so stoked I was able to gas it again.
Armed with all the good stuff from Clif and with the Carbo-Rocket in my water bottles, I took advice from many of your posts and brought turkey sandwiches as well. Every 5 laps I stopped to just get off the bike and eat a Shot-Blok or part of a Clif Bar and at every 10 laps I stopped and ate a sandwich. I also brought along my regular GU and Accelerade.
At the end, I put on my 100 MON t-shirt and popped open a bottle of bubbly. I was also surprised with a supremely cool trophy Michele secretly had made (good thing I finished).
I was totally happy to finish. I hope everyone had as good a time doing this as I did. Just wanted to say thanks again. You are a very inspiring person. Now that I’ve acheived this goal, I can set another higher one.
– Eric L, El Cerrito, CA
PS: Want more? Read Robert J’s report — 100 Miles of Nowhere, Baltimore Edition — here.
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