A Note from Fatty: I am pretty sure that Bill has set a new high bar for the “nowhere” part of “100 Miles of Nowhere.” Which is to say, the course he set seems even more demanding and tedious than riding rollers on a trainer for 100 miles, because at least with rollers or a trainer, you can watch movies or a TV or something. Riding 3000 times around a circular driveway, however, means that you get all the tedium of a trainer, without any of the speed or variety of a bike.
3000 2,702 Laps to Nowhere, A Fool’s Errand
So last Saturday, as I had previously announced, I undertook to ride 100 miles on my bicycle. In my driveway. My circle driveway that constitutes a course of 1/30th of a mile per lap. I’d hereby like to confirm what all of you are thinking: I am an idiot.
But I’m also lucky enough to have the greatest bunch of friends, family, and colleagues an idiot like me could ever ask to have. And so, instead of having to go around telling everybody “Hey, I rode a 100 miles in my driveway last weekend!” – because I’m also, oddly, proud of that idiotic stunt – I can instead say “Hey, I raised over $800 for the American Diabetes Association in one day this weekend!” And THEN proceed to tell everybody how I’m an idiot.
I could also just show them the footage from the 3000 Laps to Nowhere LapCam®:
Yep. That was just three laps. In all, I completed 2,702 laps in the driveway on Saturday. Originally, of course, the plan was to do 3,000 laps. But as a storm rolled in late in the day and made a tight (and therefore, sloooooooow) course even more tricky, I finished the last 10 miles on the trainer in the house. 100 miles without leaving the yard.
And as you might guess, I learned a few things along the way that I feel compelled to share.
2,702 Laps In My Driveway
1. You can’t go very fast when you are always — and I mean always — turning. In fact, I could not average much more than 10mph. This fact set in early in the ride. Like, about four minutes in. Doing the math in my head, I quickly ascertained I was in for a long day. 10.5 hours in the saddle long.
Also, turning all the time means you have to pay attention (because not turning is a bad idea) and it means that your arms get a workout. Triceps, in particular. Who knew?
2. The GPS doesn’t process such a small loop very well. Here’s one attempt with my iPhone and Strava.
The red blotchy stain is my route. In retrospect, a red blotchy stain is not a terribly inaccurate representation.
3. A tight course has its advantages. For one, I had a cheering section consisting of my wife and daughter throughout the day. They’d come out on the porch, check to see if I was still riding around in circles like a crazy man, ring a cowbell, and then go back inside. It was nice.
I also had the occasional companion join me. Spencer is used to racing in a pack and holds his line well. But he’s a lousy drafting partner.
4. 100 miles in a small circle is harder than 100 miles worth of a “normal” century or even, say, 150 miles riding across Michigan. Somewhere just beyond mile 11 or so I began to wish Fatty had called this event “spend 6ish hours on your bike without getting very far” instead of the oh-so-specific 100 mile designation…I’m sure Twin Six could come up with a killer t-shirt for that.
Gratitude Trumps Attitude
By the end of the ride, I was downright grumpy. But at mile 80, I saw that folks following my “pledge break” tweets had donated a bunch of money to fight diabetes while I was out riding in circles all day. I got happy again, really fast. And I am left humbled by all the support and eager to ride in the actual Tour de Cure ride – another 100 mile event – this coming Saturday.
You can still contribute to my Tour de Cure Campaign for 2012 here if you missed the hilarity last weekend. Currently, we’ve raised $2,181! Amazing! I’m thinking that $3,000 would be a great total, but I’d settle for $2,702. Heh.
Finally, thanks to Elden for his brilliant idea and for allowing others like me to enter his event and then use the crazy outcome to make more good in the world. Allez Fatty!