100 Miles of Nowhere: Burke-Gilman Trail Division

05.12.2010 | 1:00 pm

Beautiful but chilly 47 degrees as I rode down to the Seattle Burke-Gilman stage to meet my cycling buddy, Jessica, for our 100 MON. Jessica had never done a century and she may not be my buddy after this one.


Our route ran along a 1.15 mile section of the Burke-Gilman Trail near Metropolitan Market. Other than Metropolitan Market’s excellent pink elephant sugar cookies and clean bathroom, the routing may have been suspect (and all my fault).

Early going was great at 6AM with the trail empty, but soon the mini-peletons, runners, walkers, and pretty much everyone in Seattle was out on the first truly beautiful day this year despite the cold. After 8 AM, we had many moving roadblocks including a dude walking his dog while riding a skateboard. The trail was in decent condition for this time of year, but coming to a dead stop to turn around every 2 miles was brutal.

The weather warmed up later in the day, but that just lead to good sweat and a helluva show for folks seeing me in the white jersey. We had get some great support and even Kamala himself was out for the ride, complete with TWO livestrong bracelets.


Jessica’s mom showed up to say hi. Around Miles 30 and 90, a couple of other buddies I know joined up to spin a few laps. Superstar status goes to Jessica’s pal, Shane, for riding 35 miles with Jess after I started flagging and fell behind.

Jessica climbed atop the podium in the Women’s Burke-Gilman Division in about 7 hours of riding time (best not to ask about total time); I followed up to top the Men’s Division around 7:30. Medals to be awarded at a banquet this week.

Awesome event! But next year on the trainer with movies!

– Mike S, Seattle

PS: Check out the video — it’s awesome!


100 Miles of Nowhere, Seattle Front Yard Division

05.12.2010 | 12:01 pm

I had a great time with the 100 miles yesterday. My husband “teased” the neighborhood for 5 days with a countdown sign in the front window.


We had a rare gorgeous Seattle spring day. Sunny, warm, and perfect. We had two spinning bikes in front and my husband and some other friends kept me company on the bike. We had a bake sale, and a garage sale, and chatted up the neighbors while I rode. I managed to get my 100 miles done in a searingly fast 8 ¼ hours.


That was the first century I’ve done in my life. Thank heavens I was able to control the resistance… so I didn’t seize up too badly.

I’m already scheming for next year’s route.

In all of this I decided to join your fundraising team and I’m happy to report that as a fledgling member of Team Fatty I’ve already reached my fundraising goal of $3,000. My husband and I volunteer at the Seattle LiveStrong event, so I got my 100 miles done early!

After finishing riding I tried to get a look at the great divide movie. I guess I was too late, maybe it got taken down by 9pm… as I got a 404 file not found message.
Oh well! We’ll look forward to it in the theaters!

– Lesley J, Seattle

PS: While not part of her story, Lesley sent the following hilarious time-lapse photo strip, titled “Ken Takes the Lead.”


100 Miles of Nowhere, 15-Year-Old Mountain Bike Around The Block Division

05.12.2010 | 11:00 am

We all need a catalyst to prompt change. I’ve been reading Fatties exploits for quite some time and kept telling myself I should dig out the bike… but never did. I’m not sure why, but the moment I read about the 100 Miles of Nowhere something clicked and I signed up that day. The ridiculousness, the personal challenge, and a great cause all came together as an awesome goal. So after 13+ years of not really riding a bike, I got started. My ride – a straight up, old school, 1994 hardtail XC Jamis Diablo mountain bike. Fast forward through 7 weeks of slow, painful training and it’s race day!

The course was a half-mile loop around my block. I figured that if I threw a clot, at least I’d be close to home and neighbors who might call 911. Up early, ate a decent pre-ride meal, and got my aid station ready with the swag from the ride package.    
Just because I like to make things complicated, I decided to catch a cold a few days prior. I loaded up with various drugs and throat lozenges and set off. First lap and I realized (after 7 years of living here) that our block actually has a slope! The backside of each lap would be slightly uphill. Hmmm.
For the first 20 miles I was a rock star. I contemplated mtb racing in the masters division. 16 mph average speed thanks to the downhill. I don’t know why I thought this would be so hard. And then boom – all of a sudden I had to shift down to the middle chain ring. My brother-in-law showed up to ride a few miles with me to show support. He was riding a beach cruiser and I was struggling to keep up. Not a good sign. A while later his whole family rode over and did a good 4-5 miles with me. Having the support of my niece and nephew riding along is what got me to mile 50.
201005110629.jpg The halfway mark was a real low point. I started developing tremendous knee pain in both knees and the head cold was just ugly. Riding alone, I settled into a pattern of doing 5 miles, then stopping for nose blowing, water, and a throat lozenge. Every 10 I’d eat a little something. Did I mention that I like to make things complicated? I decided to call up some gusty afternoon winds to negate any benefit of the downhill portion of each lap. Miles 50-70 were spent battling the urge to quit. I cooked up an elaborate plan to crash into the back of a parked car so that it wouldn’t be my fault that I had to abandon. As soon as I reached the three-quarters mark I knew I’d be able to finish. No way was I going to go that far and not complete it. The miles slowly ticked by. It was neat, in an oddly voyeuristic way, to watch my neighborhood routine from beginning to end. I was riding by from the time they picked up their morning papers, doing yard work, washing cars and various projects, afternoon chores, to barbeques starting up and kids being called in for dinner. Interestingly the last 5 miles I felt really good. Maybe it was just the satisfaction of knowing I’d accomplish my goal, but I was able to push aside the knee pain and ride pretty hard. Not quite the early morning pace, but close. The finish was a little anti-climatic. My wife had to leave for a previously scheduled event and all the neighbors must have gone inside for dinner. I rode the last few miles on quiet streets without seeing anyone. When the odometer ticked over to one hundred I simply rode up into my garage and that was that. It’s hard to describe the satisfaction of accomplishing a hard goal.   I achieved two things. The first is getting back on the bike – I don’t know why I stopped riding in the first place, but it’s not going to happen again. I’m looking forward to a fun summer of riding the trails. Second, and most important, through the awesome support of friends, family, and co-workers I raised $685 for Livestrong! http://sanjose2010.livestrong.org/ericw A great cause and I can’t thank enough those who donated. Did I suffer a little bit? Yep. However, not nearly as much as folks who are impacted by cancer… so anything we can do to help the cause is a great thing!

100 Miles of Nowhere, “Velodrom” (not “Velodrome”) Division

05.12.2010 | 10:00 am

A Note from Fatty: I met Jenni and Pat at the Philadelphia LiveStrong Challenge last year, and they are both incredibly fantastic, positive people. Jenni’s got their race report over at Jenni’s blog. The report begins with this photo:


Go read it now.

100 Miles of Nowhere, Team Marine Division (MUST READ)

05.12.2010 | 9:00 am

A Note from Fatty: You gotta read this one.

We are both deployed with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS NASSAU. I’m a Harrier pilot by trade and John is an Aviation Ordnance Officer. In other words, he makes the bombs and slaps them on the planes, and I deliver them with care.

I’ll admit it, when I had heard about the first “100 Miles to Nowhere” I thought it was a horrible idea. I admired the “bullheaded” nature of the effort, but who in their right mind rides 100 miles on a trainer or around their cul-de-sac?  

Fast forward 2 years and here I am, 111 days into a deployment at sea on an amphibious carrier. That’s 111 days without a single stop in port. The only option to keep bike fitness from withering away is to ride the spinners in the ship’s gym.  

Thankfully, I have a friend and co-worker out here with me who shares my love of cycling (probably even more than I do) and keeps me motivated to get on the trainers.  

We are both fans of the Fatty blog, and when the 100 Miles to Nowhere was announced this year, we thought what better place to do it, than stuck on a hunk of steel floating in the Gulf of Aden?


With a flight schedule to contend with and the unreliability of mail out here, we figured the chances of receiving our kit on time and having the 8th as a free day were pretty slim. However, the moons aligned and our kits arrived with a few days to spare and the ship even scheduled a rare “day off” to celebrate our half-way point on the deployment.  

You have to understand that our ship, the USS NASSAU is over 30 years old, and I doubt the spinners in the gym are much younger than that. We are Marines, so we are used to making due with less than perfect equipment. Adapt and overcome, right?


It took a little maintenance and TLC to get the spinner up to speed for the ride, including gerry-rigging a cyclocomputer on the bike and sewing some homemade straps for the toe clips. My wife even mailed me my saddle and some of my cycling gear from home to make the ride a little more enjoyable.

John came through with the “support” equipment too. In order to keep our heads in the game and break up the monotony, we plugged his laptop into the TV in the gym so we could watch some cycling races. The 2009 Paris-Roubaix took us all the way to the 75-mile mark or so and we finished up with the Col de Tourmalet stage of the 2001 Tour de France.  


We even sprinted with Boonen in the velodrome and got out of the saddle a few times on the Tourmalet. It made the ride a lot more fun and enjoyable.  

We knew we would get a lot of questions from our shipmates as they used the gym, so I made a couple signs to spread the gospel of Fatty.  


We had a great deal of support from our friends and co-workers during the ride, including manning the feed zone and taking pictures. We even had our own domestique who brought us ice-filled water bottles and even rode the last 40 miles with us.


We completed the ride in 4:50, with only a few “comfort breaks”.  


Including our breaks, our total time was under 5:10. All things considered, the ride went by much faster than we had expected and I dare say it was even fun.

Our only regret from the day was having to do it all inside. We had grand plans to ride the last hour on the flight deck or one of the catwalks on the ship. Due to some logistical issues, we couldn’t make that happen. All in all it was a huge success though.

Seeing as there is zero opportunity to ride a bike out here, it was the closest either of us had to a real day of cycling (we even busted out legit cycling kit, despite the opinion of lycra among most Marines). So we would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to “escape” for a day.  

We’d also like to thank your sponsors for making this happen too – especially Clif for the nutrition, and DZ Nuts for the tingle down below. It was an honor and a pleasure to be a part of this year’s ride. Keep up the great work Fatty!


– Captain Jason R (snot rocketeer) and Chief Warrant Officer 2 John M (bykjunkie)  

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