Fatty’s Inferno, Part IV: Third and Fourth Circles

03.31.2011 | 1:12 pm

Note: This is Part IV of Fatty’s Inferno. Read previous installments here:

We were back at the crossroads again. The signpost indicating where I had just been now read, Cycling Laziness, Selfishness, and Unbridled Greed.

“You know,” I said, “I’m beginning to think that hell kind of sucks.”

“And you have as yet seen so little of it,” mocked The Cyclist. “Choose now another road.”

“OK, I choose that road,” I said, pointing at the one that seemed opposite from the Laziness sign.”

“It is well that you choose that road,” replied The Cyclist with the hint of a smile. “But that’s not the next road you’re going to ride.”

“Well, why’d you even bother having me choose one if you’re going to send us on a different road anyway?” I said, knowing that while I was doing my best to hide my irritation, I wasn’t exactly succeeding.

“Just to jerk you around.” said The Cyclist.

“Well, why did you wait ’til now to take me on a different road than I chose?” I was getting worse at hiding my irritation.

“You just got lucky the first two times and picked the roads I was going to take you on anyway.”

“Whatever.” OK, I had given up on hiding my irritation. A part of me wondered at what happens when you start acting peevish toward the grim reaper of cycling.

“I can’t believe you just said ‘Whatever’ again. You sound like a fifteen-year-old when you say that.”

“Can we please just start riding?” I asked.

Later, I would regret being in such a hurry to get started.

Third Circle

This time I was ready for the way The Cyclist always took off before I was ready, and I got the jump on him. I pedaled furiously, at the absolute limit of what I was capable of, feeling a fierce pride in being able to drop this guy.

Three seconds later, The Cyclist blew by me, hands resting on the hoods, his legs spinning comfortably at what I would guess at 140rpm.

“How’s it goin’?” he said.

He then eased up, letting me draft, giving me the chance to assess this version of a cyclist’s hell.

But for the life (the death?) of me, I couldn’t figure out what was so bad about this place. Sure, the road wasn’t perfect – it was chipseal — but it was chipseal that had at least been laid down several years ago, so the vibration wasn’t too bad.

And there was a bit of a headwind, but I’d hesitate to call it a hellish headwind.

The surroundings were perhaps a little bleak, but not horrible. Boring, but not catastrophically ugly.

And I suppose it was uncomfortably warm, but I’ve ridden in hotter. In fact, I ride in hotter weather every day, two months out of each year.

And, looking around, I could see that there was in fact a wide variety of OK riding terrain. I could see some flats (maybe not as long of flats as I’d like), and some mountains (which I’d have preferred to be perhaps a little taller).

And in short, it didn’t seem like a half-bad place to ride. Not great, but not terrible.

“So what kind of half-baked hell is this?” I asked. “I wouldn’t want to move here, but I wouldn’t mind riding here if I had to.”

“You make an interesting observation,” allowed The Cyclist. “But do you see anyone riding here?”

“No,” I said, realizing for the first time that we appeared to be totally alone. “Where are the other riders?”

The Cyclist pointed. “Look, off in the distance. There’s one rider far ahead.”

“Cool,” I replied. “Let’s catch him.”

“Go for it,” said my guide. “I’ll let you lead.”

And so, for the second time in just a few minutes, I stood up, shifted into a big gear, and gave chase. This time, though, I kept my eye on the guy in front of me, looking for signs that I was reeling him in.

And, briefly, I believe that I was gaining on that rider. Just before I blew up. The rider ahead of me vanished over the horizon

“Oh, that’s too bad,” The Cyclist — who apparently had been drafting behind me the whole time — said. “It looks like you were starting to gain on him, too.”

“Yeah,” I wheezed.

Which is when another cyclist — one I had not seen before — flew by, not acknowledging me. In pursuit of…something, I guess.

“Are you beginning to see the nature of this cyclist’s hell?” asked The Cyclist.

“No,” I replied, honestly.

“In this hell,” said The Cyclist, “the only other cyclists you can see are the riders who are faster than you. Which means you can see other cyclists who are passing you, but they cannot see you. You can see — and pursue — cyclists who are ahead of you, but you will never be aware of catching one. Here, you will never see another cyclist who goes your speed or slower.”

“OK…so what’s the point of that?” I asked.

“This hell,” said The Cyclist, “is reserved for those who treat every ride as a race. In life they did not acknowledge slower riders, so now they cannot.

“In this hell, cyclists who felt they had to pass every rider they ever saw will never feel that warped sense of accomplishment again.

“In this hell, cyclists who didn’t look around and enjoy the world around them now have a monumentally uninteresting universe in which to ride. Forever.

“In this hell are the cyclists who, in life, chose to ride alone. Now they have no choice.

“But what about the headwind and the heat?” I asked. “What is the significance of those?”

“It’s hell, duh,” replied The Cyclist.

And then we were back at the junction. The signpost by the road we had just been on — the road to the left of the Laziness road — read Eternal Attackers.

“Ready to see another road?” asked The Cyclist.

“Could we pick this up another day instead?” I replied. “This whole thing’s kind of got me down.”

“Oh, that’s too bad,” sympathized The Cyclist. “Let’s keep going.”

Fourth Circle

Up until this fourth circle, I had been pleasantly surprised at how nice the roads were in hell. This sensation now gave way to horror.

Chipseal. Brand spanking new chipseal. And there were cracks in it — cracks that seem like they had been specially constructed to be exactly the right width to grab onto your wheel and flip you over.

And there were potholes, too. And where there weren’t potholes, there were patched potholes, if “patched” can be applied to the way loose asphalt had been dumped and roughly stomped into the holes.

And it was so hot. As hot as . . . well, as hot as hell, to tell the truth.

But in spite of the heat, the shoulder was unusable, being completely covered with sand, salt and gravel, as if it had only recently been winter and the roads had not been cleared. There was clearly no way to ride there.

And then a sports car flew by, honking hard, with the driver yelling something at me.

This was followed by an SUV, the driver of which threw a bottle at me as he went by.

And don’t even get me started on the crosswind.

“So who is this hell for?” I asked. “It’s got to be the very worst sort of cyclist there is, because this is truly an awful place.”

“Actually,” answered The Cyclist, “This road is for cyclists who like to complain. The ones who tell anyone who will listen that the road sucks, that there are too many cars on the route, that the pavement surface is no good, that the pace is too hard (or too easy). The ones who ruin the ride for everyone else.”

“This place,” said my guide, “gives them something to complain about.”

At that moment, a large group of riders went by, each trying to talk over each other. Each endlessly bemoaning their fate.

“Surely,” I told my host, “this is the most awful cyclists’ hell of all.”

The Cyclist looked at me, and I knew his answer before he spoke it into my mind.

“Not even close.”

[To be concluded in Fatty's Inferno, Part V]


Fatty’s Inferno, Part III: Sloth, Etc.

03.30.2011 | 10:20 am

Note: This is Part III of Fatty’s Inferno. Read Part I: Prologue here. Read Part II: Limbo here.

We were back at the junction. I could not remember arriving there, nor getting off my bike, but there I was, and my bike was laying on the ground — drivetrain side down. I could also no longer see cyclists on the road we had just been on, but the sign was now illuminated and symbols on that sign — and that sign alone — had resolved into words: Cyclists’ Limbo: A Much, Much, Much Better Place Than Where You’re Going.

“Really?” I asked. “The sign needs to use ‘much’ three times? That’s hyperbole, right? Also, it’s not very creative.”

“Choose the next road you wish to travel,” said The Cyclist.

“Well, it’s pretty clear I don’t want to travel any of the roads beside the one I’ve already been on,” I said. “But I’ve read the Wikipedia entry on Dante’s Inferno, so I have a pretty good idea where this is headed. So how about I just skip all the intermediate levels and you show me the final road? I choose this one,” I said, pointing to the road to the left of the Cyclists’ Limbo.

“How naïve. What makes you think the Roads of Hell are arranged in a nice order like that?” sneered The Cyclist. “Furthermore, what led you to think that hell would be arranged clockwise? You Western thinkers crack me up.”

“Whatever,” I replied, fully realizing that I had just given the weakest of all possible retorts.

“Indeed,” said The Cyclist. “Now. Let’s ride.”

Second Circle

As before, The Cyclist got the jump off the line and I was left to pull my bike out of the dirt, mount, and give chase. All that time in the dust seemed to have affected the drivetrain; there was considerable grit in the chain and it was now making a distinct grinding sound, as opposed to the the delicious, smooth meshing sound a clean, well-lubed chain makes.

I shifted to a bigger gear, then stood up and pedaled hard — and nearly racked myself as the chain slipped, hopping continuously between two cogs on the cassette.

“OK, don’t use 5 or 6,” I told myself, finding a gear where the chain wouldn’t jump around.

It took minutes, but I finally caught up with The Cyclist. By the time I reached him, however, my hands were buzzing from the constant road vibration. I looked down.

Striated concrete. Yuck.

“It’s not really that bad of a road surface,” said The Cyclist. “Just a lot of road noise, plus constant vibration you can feel through the handlebars. Oh, and then there’s the bump as you go over the joints every twelve feet.”

“I suppose, however,” mused The Cyclist, looking sideways at me, “It would be a rather annoying surface to ride for eternity.”

I shuddered at the thought, flexing my already-numb fingers.

“But where are the cyclists?” I asked, thinking back to the busy road in Cyclists’ Limbo and noting the relative barrenness of the concrete we were riding on.

“Look at the side of the road.”

I looked, and saw countless cyclists. All with beautiful bikes.

Very few of those bikes were being ridden.

Some cyclists were twiddling barrel adjusters. Some were digging through seatbags and jersey pockets, looking for CO2 cartridges. Some were tentatively prodding their brakes with hex wrenches. Some were staring dumbly at a broken chain held in their greasy hands. Some were slamming their wheels against the ground.

Almost all of the cyclists were weeping.

I slowed to a stop, and noticing a cyclist who was trying — unsuccessfully — to pry a wheel off the rim using nothing but his bare hands, asked, “Got everything you need to fix that flat?”

The cyclist looked up at me, repeated my question back to me — but in a sarcastic whine — and then lunged at me, grabbing my throat and choking me.

Through the horror of simply being attacked, I nevertheless managed to wonder two distinct thoughts: Why was this man attacking me for simply offering to help? And, more importantly, if you’re already dead and in hell and someone chokes you to death, where do you go?

I never got an answer to this second question because, as spots began to appear before my eyes, The Cyclist spoke to my attacker.

“Cut it out.”

Immediately, the cyclist with the flat tire leaped away, and sat cowering, clearly not willing to meet The Cyclist’s eyes.

“What was that all about?” I asked. “I was just going to loan the guy a tire lever!”

“Go ahead,” said The Cyclist, coolly. “Loan it to him.”

So I unzipped my seatbag and pulled out a blue Pedro’s tire lever. Not willing to get within arm’s reach of the guy who had been throttling me a moment ago, I tossed the lever to him. Nice and easy.

Midway through its arc, the lever disappeared. Now, neither of us had a tire lever.

The other cyclist started laughing. But not in a healthy, cathartic way. More of in a “cross the street to avoid that guy because he might be armed” kind of way.

“Why did that happen?” I asked The Cyclist. “And can I have my lever back?”

“The lever is gone forever,” said The Cyclist. “That is part of the nature of this circle of hell.”

“I don’t understand,” I said, because I didn’t understand.

“This circle of hell is for cyclists guilty of greed, selfishness, and laziness. These are the cyclists who did not stop to offer other cyclists assistance — they shall receive no assistance themselves.”

“These are the cyclists who constantly sought to purchase better and lighter and more expensive equipment, rather than to take time enjoy the bicycles they own. They shall spend eternity with two things. First, with a perfect understanding of the latest developments in bike technology. Second, with the bike they died with, never to be upgraded again.”

“These are the cyclists who never learned to fix even the simplest of mechanical problems, relying on others to fix their bicycles. These shall be required to carry the heaviest multitool with them for eternity, confounded forever by their own ambivalence toward bicycle maintenance.”

“These are the cyclists who did not carry tools to fix a chain or flat or other minor mechanical problems during a ride. They shall continue forever without tools to fix their bikes, and no other rider shall be able to offer them assistance, lest their own tools vanish forever.”

These are the cyclists,” said The Cyclist, and he turned toward me and stared at me with red fiery eyes, “who are a lot like you.”

My hands were cold now — it was no more than 48 degrees fahrenheit (“No, you don’t get new clothing either,” The Cyclist spoke into my head) and my terror was immeasurable. Was it true, that I had spent most of my cycling life lusting after new gear instead of learning to take good care of the equipment I already own?

Even before I finished asking myself the question, I knew it was true.

“Can I please at least have my tire lever back?” I asked The Cyclist. “I didn’t know the rules of this place when I tried to loan it to that rider.”

“Sheesh,” said The Cyclist, and the tire lever appeared back in my hand. “They cost, what, $1.99?”

“Whatever,” I replied.

[To be continued in Fatty's Inferno, Part IV]

Fatty’s Inferno, Part II: Limbo

03.29.2011 | 1:13 pm

A Note from Fatty: This is the second part of a multi-part entry. I say “multi-part” because right now I actually have no idea how many parts it will wind up being. Anyways, today’s post will make a lot more sense if you read yesterday’s post Click here to read Fatty’s Inferno, Part I.

“Choose a road,” The Cyclist said.

“Where are we going?” I asked.

“That depends on the road you choose.”

“Well,” I replied, trying to be reasonable, “generally I choose a road based on where I want to go.”

“That,” said The Cyclist, “is total nonsense. As a cyclist, you have ridden countless miles and have, almost without exception, wound up exactly where you started. Like all cyclists, you choose the road for the experience the road brings you, not because you have a destination in mind.”

“OK, fine,” I said, wondering if The Cyclist was always going to be so annoyingly cryptic. “I choose whatever road is the best for riding.”

Frankly, I expected The Cyclist to knock the choice back into my court with some kind of mumbo-jumbo like “One man’s best is another’s bane” or something like that, so I did a mental double-take when he instead merely said, “Excellent. Let’s ride,” and smoothly transitioned from his stock-still trackstand (such was my dream that, until this point, I did not until that moment realize The Cyclist had been trackstanding the whole time we were talking) to a razor-straight riding line.

I got on my bike and pursued.

First Circle

I rode hard, trying to catch The Cyclist, and eventually managed to grab his wheel. Catching my breath, I looked down at the way he pedaled.

He was turning perfect circles. Not nearly perfect. Perfect. Somehow I knew.

“Hey,” I objected, “I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that it’s physiologically impossible to turn actual perfect circles.”

“For you, it is. And so it is for these riders, too.”

All at once, I noticed other riders, at which point I could not understand how I had missed them before.

They were riding side-by-side, talking and laughing. Riding — some easily, some not so easily — and enjoying the day and each other’s company.

The sun had come out, partially. It was light outside, but with little glare, and the sun was in nobody’s eyes. The temperature was an ideal 70 degrees fahrenheit.

“Well,” I thought to myself, “this is a really nice day for a ride.”

“It’s always this nice,” said The Cyclist. “The sun is always directly overhead here, so it cannot get in your eyes, but there’s always just enough cloud cover that there’s no glare. There’s also always just the slightest hint of a tailwind.”

“Is this guy always monitoring my thoughts?” I wondered.

“Yes,” replied The Cyclist. “However, I only reply to the ones worth replying to. Which you’ll probably find is a lot less often than you’d hope.”

“Speaking of thoughts,” continued The Cyclist, “It surprises me greatly that you have not yet considered the road surface.”

He was right. I hadn’t. Honestly, though, I think I can be forgiven for not thinking about the road ’til that moment, because there was nothing to think about. No road vibration. No cracks. No potholes. No crumbling shoulder. Just perfect, smooth, virgin tarmac.”

“This is amazing,” I said. “This is the most incredible pavement I have ever seen, much less ridden on.”

“And you shall never ride its equal again. This place has the best riding surface in the entire universe.”

“But I’m confused,” I said, with a confused look on my face. “You told me before that I was in hell, and then you take me on a place I’d gladly ride in for eternity. I can see there are long flats, curvy roads, challenging climbs, and fun descents. The road’s perfect and so is the weather. Everyone looks incredibly happy. How can you possibly call this ‘hell’?”

The Cyclist raised a gloved hand and pointed a finger at a passing group of cyclists. “Look at their bikes.”

He was right. Their bikes — and, come to think of it, the bikes ridden by everyone I had seen on this road — weren’t exactly awful, but they were far from great. Entry level steel bikes, some aluminum, a lot of hybrids. No carbon anywhere. No high-end components, either. No bike, in fact, that cost more than $699.

“So that’s what makes this place hell?” I asked. “Riding a bike that’s just OK, instead of incredible? ‘Cuz these people don’t look all that tormented. They seem to be having fun, in fact.”

“But,” said The Cyclist, “they have never ridden an extraordinary bike, and so an adequate one seems just fine to them. They have never fussed over the quality of a high-end chamois, so any pair of riding shorts seems comfortable. They haven’t ridden on enough roads in their lifetime to realize that they are now riding on the most perfect riding surface imaginable.”

“So,” concluded my guide, they’re having fun, all right,” said The Cyclist. “In fact, this place isn’t even hell for the people who are here. They’re very happy. Maybe they even think they’re in heaven. The point is, these are the cyclists who don’t know any better.”

“So this is some kind of Limbo?” I asked. “A place where cyclists who just rode for fun go, and their punishment is that they never realize how good they’ve got it, while never knowing that if they had a better bike, eternity could be that much better?”

“That’s part of it,” said The Cyclist. “More importantly, though, I take every really hardcore cyclist for a spin on this road before taking them to their final destination, just to rub their noses in it a little.”

[To be continued in Fatty's Inferno, Part III]

Fatty’s Inferno, Part I: Prologue

03.28.2011 | 4:40 pm

I woke in a fever, breathing hard. Terror in my heart, an eternity of horrors burning so bright in my mind that it took a full minute before I realized I was safe.

In bed. Alive.

Eventually, the shaking and the sweating stopped, and I went about my day. But — even as I went through the motions — I could not take my mind off this dream. For, unlike most dreams that are remembered only vaguely and recede even in the first telling, this dream remained at the forefront of my thoughts.

And to begin thinking about it was to begin — once again — reliving the torment.

It was too much.

So now, in an effort to control the wild terror in my heart by describing it, I take pen to paper and recount (in plain prose, so that I can be plainly understood):

The Dream Begins

The dream begins at the junction of seven roads in a deep and dark valley. Is it dusk or overcast? I cannot tell. I can only see that the roads are all paved and go in different directions. There are signs labeling each road, but I cannot read them; it is too dark, and what characters I can see are not in any alphabet that I recognize.

I stand alone, wobbling slightly on my feet. I look down and see why I am unable to stand steadily: I am wearing bike shoes, with Speedplay cleats mounted.

What is this place? Why am I here? Why is my jersey so uncomfortable? Why can’t I find something to clean my glasses with? I have so many questions.

And then a Man — a man I had not seen before but I am now quite sure was there all along — speaks.

“Your bike is laying drivetrain-side down.”

I gasp, now seeing my beloved road bike in the dirt. It is, as the Man said, resting on its rear derailleur, the frame, and the bar tape. I grimace, wondering how it came to rest like this, knowing that I would never knowingly do such a thing myself.

“In this place,” the Man said, “All bikes lay on their drivetrain sides.”

Rolling my eyes, I pick up my bike and show the man what nonsense he speaks by laying the bike down correctly.

“Behold,” the man says, pointing.

Not wanting to but unable to stop myself, I look down.

My bike is laying on its derailleur again.

“Who are you?” I wonder aloud?

“I am The Cyclist,” he says, and I notice now that he is wearing full kit, all black, with a black helmet and black shoes and black glasses. His bike is similarly black. And in short, The Cyclist seems to have a thing for black.

“And what is this place?” I groan, as I attempt, unsuccessfully, trying repeatedly to put my bike down in such a way that it doesn’t scratch, bend, or otherwise screw up my drivetrain.

The Cyclist looks at me — through his sunglasses I see eyes of pure fire — and says what I know he will say.

“You are in hell.”

[To be continued in Fatty's Inferno, Part II]

Start Planning for the 100 Miles of Nowhere

03.24.2011 | 1:02 pm

Years and years ago (2008), I had a terrible idea: I bet a bunch of Fat Cyclist readers that I could ride my rollers for 100 miles. A lot of you took me up on that bet, and I raised around $1,000 for LiveStrong — and had a story to tell.

A year later, I did it again. But this time a bunch of you joined in, each of you donating generously for the privilege of riding your bikes for 100 miles either indoors at your home or on a ridiculously short course near your house. Then you sent in your stories. And amazing videos.

And then, last year, the event got huge. 500 of you signed up, and we made a ton of money for LiveStrong to use in supporting people in the fight against cancer. Many sponsors sent in awesome stuff, making the 100 Miles of Nowhere event one of the swaggiest events ever.

And for a couple of days, I got to post the incredible stories you sent in.

Now it’s 2011, and the single-most common email question I get is “When Is the Next 100 Miles of Nowhere?”

Well, it’s high time you get some details.

What Is The 100 Miles of Nowhere, And Why Should You Do It?

The idea of the 100 Miles of Nowhere is to ride an infuriatingly small course for 100 miles (or 50, or 25, but ideally 100), to fight cancer and to show you have no sense at all. The profits from your race registration go to LiveStrong, to help them as they help people, worldwide, in their battle against cancer.

The 100 Miles of Nowhere is a race without a place. It’s an event in which hundreds of people participate . . . all by ourselves.

You’ll have fun. You’ll be miserable. And, thanks to the fact that there won’t be hundreds of people all over the place, you almost certainly won’t have to wait for fifteen minutes to use an overflowing portapotty.

And you get some pretty decent bragging rights. Namely, if you take some good pictures of you (and your friends) doing the 100 Miles of Nowhere and send me a good writeup, I’ll post it on the blog.

Also, you get to claim that you won your division . . . since you get to create your own division. For example, I am the three-year consecutive reigning champion of the “Alpine Men’s 40-45 on Rollers” division. Which is a pretty big deal, if you ask me.

Most importantly, though, is the fact that you’re joining Team Fatty in our ongoing fight against cancer. And that matters.

The Timeline

So when do you sign up, and when’s the race? Well, here are the dates you need to know:

Event Registration: April 11 – 18. Be certain that you register ASAP. Like last year, I expect this year to sell out again this year. Registration will be $85 this year.

Race Day: June 4. But many people have emailed me saying that date doesn’t work for them, and they’d like to do it a day or two (or week or two) earlier or later. That is perfectly fine. But if you can do the 100 Miles of Nowhere on June 4, please do. For solidarity.

Stories: Please send your race stories as soon after the race as possible. Like, the same day if you can. Any stories received after June 6 probably won’t make it into the blog (unless they’re so awesome I simply cannot resist).

The Sponsors and The Swag

Here’s a true fact: If I were to call you on the phone right now and ask you to give me something, you’d almost certainly give it to me.

That’s one of my superpowers: asking for stuff.

Luckily for you, I use this power for good, not evil. At least 80% of the time, anyway.

Specifically, I’ve used my superpower of asking several companies I like to send you some great stuff. Here’s what you’ll be getting:

Twin Six: The Event T-Shirt: My good friends at Twin Six are currently hard at work designing a cool T-shirt you can proudly wear to proclaim that you don’t have a lick of sense and therefore chose to ride your bike for 100 miles without going anywhere. The design isn’t done, but check out this sneak peek:

201103241135.jpg A Race Plate: My favorite souvenir of races is the race plate I get to put on my bike. The Runner and I like to staple them to the wall in the garage. So this year I’ve asked Bike Monkey — the folks who promote and run the amazing Levi’s GranFondo — to design a race plate you can attach to your bike. You know, so the fans will be able to recognize you.

201103241230.jpgPRO Bars : I am totally addicted to PRO Bars — it’s just amazing how much better than normal energy bars they taste. Nuts, fruit, berries — they’re just good (and they’re vegan, which I believe will make at least some of you happy).

And now PRO Bar is introducing Halo bars, “The Sinfully Healthy Snack,” which you’ll be getting in your swag box.

These are so new that I haven’t even tried one yet. But I have a suspicion I’m going to like them.

An Issue (and special subscription rate) of Bike Monkey Magazine: Tired of biking magazines that teach you the same 15 tips and tricks, over and over and over, year after year? Or that review stuff you’ll never even consider buying? Then you’ll enjoy Bike Monkey, a magazine that’s about people, bikes, and rides. I dig it, and hopefully will someday be good enough to write for it.

You’ll get a free issue of Bike Monkey with your swag box, as well as a great discount offer in case you decide to subscribe. Which you should.


201103241158.jpgLeverage : True story. As I was killing time in the Chicago airport with a co-worker, he mentioned his favorite show is Leverage — an action-packed show about a group of thieves who run cons to help people who have nowhere to turn.

I downloaded an episode, and it quickly became one of my favorite shows for while riding the rollers.

Then — in a coincidence of awesome proportions — I found out that Paul Guyot, a Friend of Fatty and frequent commenter, is actually a writer/producer for Leverage. He hooked me up to the show, and now you’re going to get a coupon to download an episode for free. Huzzah!

201103241223.jpgBanjo Brothers Seat Bag: You know who the first advertiser I ever had was? You know who the first company that ever did giveaways with me was? In both cases, it was Banjo Brothers, a small company making great bags for cyclists. I have their Seat Bags on every single bike I own — both road and mountain.

This year, Banjo Brothers will be supplying a variety of different seat bags for the 100 Miles of Nowhere. Which will you get — the Mini, the Small, the Medium, or the Large? You won’t know ’til you get your box.

Surprises are awesome.

And a free bike bag is even awesomer.

If that’s possible.

201103241213.jpg DZ-Nuts: DZ Nuts returns for a third year as a sponsor of the 100 Miles of Nowhere. Awesome. If you use chamois cream, it’s high time you try DZ-Nuts. If you have never tried chamois cream, I cannot think of a more perfect time to begin. As I have noted in my review, this is good stuff.

Seriously, if you’re going to be riding your bike for 100 miles and not going anywhere while doing it, you should at least be protecting your junk.


201103241217.jpg CarboRocket “Half Evil” CR333 : A couple years ago, my friend Brad told me about a new sports drink he had in mind: something powerful enough that you could drink it — and consume nothing else — long term, for however big your ride is.

Soon, had had invented “CR333″ — because it has 333 calories per serving.

“You know,” I said, “333″ is half the number of the beast. You should call it ‘Half-Evil’ in your tagline.”

In my defense, I didn’t honestly expect him to take me seriously.

Taglines notwithstanding, CR333 is amazing. You seriously can go all day with it. No upset stomach, no bonk. And 100 Miles of Nowhere racers will be the first people in the world to get to try out the new single-serve packets, in both raspberry and lemonade.

201103241237.jpgWinchester Bars: What’s the antidote to yet another energy gel or energy chew or whatever? Meat-ergy is, that’s what.

Since getting a couple of boxes of these Winchester Beef and Cranberry bars, both the Runner and I have become huge fans. They’re like jerky, but with cranberry to give both taste and texture variety.

I was kidding when I wrote my original “Meat-ergy” post, but I’m not kidding at all when I say that these are fantastic. And if you’re a vegetarian, you can give yours to someone who isn’t. They’ll be glad you did. (And I’ll leave you to consider the ethical considerations of a vegetarian giving meat to someone.).

My 100 Miles of Nowhere Plan (You Should Join Me If You’re Local)

I plan to make an event of the 100 Miles of Nowhere. On June 4, starting around 5:00am, The Runner and I are going to ride the Suncrest hill as many times as necessary to do 100 miles. We plan to ride from the Alpine City Park to the top of the South Side of Suncrest, then down to the bottom of the North side of Suncrest. That’s 10 miles, with 1225 feet of climbing.

Then, of course, we’ll retrace our steps. So one complete out-and-back is 20 miles, with 2500 feet of climbing.

Which means, after 5 laps, we’ll have ridden 100 miles and climbed around 12,500 feet.

That’s a whole lotta nowhere.

We’ve asked some friends to join us, so there’ll be at least five other people doing this ride with us. And we’d love to have any local riders who want an intense day of riding — and climbing — nowhere to join us.

Of course, if our route seems too mild, you could just do the North side of Suncrest, over and over. By my calculations, that should — in 15 laps — give you 100 miles and 18,375 feet of climbing. That would be a pretty amazing claim to fame.

I’ll post more details soon. But if you’re local, mark your calendar: June 4 is the 100 Miles of Nowhere @ Suncrest.

It’s gonna hurt.

What Are You Going to Do for the 100 Miles of Nowhere?

So, now you know when you need to register. You know how much it’ll cost. You know what’s going in the bag.

Now you need to ask yourself, “What course am I going to ride?” You see, when I originally created the 100 Miles of Nowhere, I simply thought of it as 100 miles on my rollers. But readers took the idea and came up with much more creative and interesting ways to ride 100 miles. On a unicycle. Around a roundabout. On an aircraft carrier.

So I’d like to have you post in the comments section your idea for what kind of course you’re planning for the 100 Miles of Nowhere. And are you going to be riding it yourself? Or with a large group?

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