A Note from Fatty: I love the stories of people riding 100 miles of nowhere who are actually out in the middle of nowhere.
As I stepped outside, the world’s largest hair drier was blowing. That’s the best way to describe the wind here in our “undisclosed location in southwest Asia.” When it’s this hot, about 115 degrees Fahrenheit, and the wind is blowing it feels like someone is holding a hair drier on you.
Throw in the blowing sand for your complimentary microderm abrasion treatment and you have a fairly typical day here.
It was about 1630 local (4:30 p.m. for you civilians) on 1 June. I had planned on doing my 100 Miles of Nowhere on 2 June as that was the target date but the facility where the spin bikes are located was not going to be open on Saturday.
So I adjusted.
I had never ridden 100 miles in one sitting before. My longest mileage was a 50 mile community fundraiser last July.
I made my way down to the tent where the bikes are located, open the door and it’s a slice of heaven. It’s only 85 or 90 degrees in the tent, which after 115 is really nice. Only one of the six air conditioning units is fired up and running and it’s not the one on the end of the tent where the bikes are located. When I arrived Jeremy was there, he had heard I was doing this ride and thought it would be a good challenge for him. He’d been doing spin for the last month or so but I don’t think he’d done anything near 30 miles on a bike let alone 100.
He’d already started so I felt under pressure, like I was late to the start line and needed to catch up. I never “caught up” with him though. I hurried and put out my race supplies: gummy bears, chocolate covered granola bars, Honey Stinger Vanilla waffle, my Fatty 100 MoN bottle with water and a couple bottles of Gatorade. And off I went.
The first 20 or 30 miles, no big deal, listening to the MP3 player (no iPod for me, not that I have anything against them) and reading a book off and on. Miles 40 to 50 and my backside started to feel a little uncomfortable nothing big just sitting for so long was starting to get to me. My plan of standing and pedaling for two minutes every half hour was working decently.
Some back story: up until I deployed I’d never been to a spin class, but really this would be my only option for any cycling while I was over here. About three months of class attendance three times a week and I was feeling pretty good with my spin ability and then our instructor informed us that he had too many other things going on and he would no longer be teaching spin.
Oh crap, there goes my workouts.
Well me and my roommate who also started spin when he got here volunteered to teach and had been for the last couple of months.
Knowing that I was going to be doing 100 miles my roommate was planning on teaching the spin class for Friday night but he ended up having to go do something with some bigwigs that he couldn’t get out of. So right before class was to start he brought over his iPod and left it with me to conduct the class. Some fellow classmates hooked it up the music and we got started after my 50 miles of warm up.
Actually the class was a nice break to the monotony of just pedaling. I laid off the resistance when I called it out for the rest of the class but I did do all the updowns and sprints that they did and that took me all the way to mile 67.
Uh oh, at mile 75 or 80 I get a notice from my body that told me I am a well hydrated individual and we would need to take care of this at some point. Between the music and reading I was able to put that thought out of my mind, heading out to a portojohn that’s as hot as an oven was not something I wanted to do.
There was a lot more standing and pedaling through the last ten miles or so as I pushed towards the end. Jeremy finished up a few miles before me.
And then it was over.
A small letdown though: the computers on the bikes don’t have a digit for the hundreds column so we only got to 99.9 miles.
Great ride for a great cause. Hopefully I can get in next year’s event. Thanks Fatty for putting this together and all the sponsors for the great schwag.
Oh yeah, I was also the winner of the “35-39 in an undisclosed location in southwest Asia in a tent” division.