100 MoN Race Report – Daybreak pre-daybreak pre-crit Division, by TK

06.8.2012 | 12:00 pm

A few months ago, I decided to register for the 2012 100 Miles of Nowhere because it is good to occasionally do tough things, which may not make a whole lot of sense, just to test one’s mettle. It was also great that the proceeds would be going to a good cause. As I started putting a plan together, I came up with some criteria that I wanted to try to stick with:

  • No sharp corners (so I would not have to slow down on the turns)
  • No stop signs (so I would not have to run them)
  • No elevation gain (so I would not have to suffer more than necessary)
  • Good places for spectators to hang out (so family cheer squad would not be bored)
  • Smooth pavement (just because)

After a bit of searching on Google Maps, I found a route in Daybreak (a master-planned community in the southwest corner of the Salt Lake valley) that seemed to meet all of the criteria. The route was a 1.15 mile banana-shaped loop on one-way, bike-friendly streets with roundabouts located on each end.


The route was also about as flat as one can possibly find in the great state of Utah and has fantastically smooth pavement. Perfect.

Now I just needed to find someone to do the ride with me. Luckily for me, I have a cycling buddy that is always up for an adventure. We shall call him Biker Ben, because his name is Ben…and, you guessed it, he has been known to ride bikes.


In fact, if you want to have fun on a bike ride, all you need to do is invite Biker Ben. Regardless of the route, weather conditions, or circumstances you may find yourself in, you will have more fun during the ride and better stories to tell afterwards if Biker Ben is there. Also, he will tell the stories much more enthusiastically than you would ever be able to, so that is an added bonus.

Biker Ben and I have spent a good chunk of the past decade riding mountain bikes together.


And when I say “together” I really mean that we usually stick together on the climbing portion of the rides. Then we get to the top of said climbs and Biker Ben disappears, in part, because he has more downhill biking ability than I do, but primarily because he lacks that rational, little voice in his head which tells him to slow down in an attempt to avoid certain death.

A few years ago, I got the itch to buy a fancy new road bike. Biker Ben also found a nice used touring bike online. The bike is too small for him and weighs about two tons, but it seems to “fit” him perfectly.

Due to scheduling conflicts, we decided the best time to do our 100 Miles of Nowhere would be on Memorial Day, May 28th. Since Biker Ben had never actually ridden a century ride, we decided to sign up for the Salt Lake Century on May 19th just to see how things would go.


May 19th happened to be the best weather conditions for a century ride in the history of Salt Lake City, with mild temps and no wind. We rode hard with a good group and hit the 100-mile mark in 4:47. Things seemed to be looking good for our 100 Miles of Nowhere on the 28th.

We decided to start our 100 MoN in Daybreak prior to dawn, ensuring us a victory in the 100 MoN Daybreak pre-daybreak Division. We rolled out onto the streetlight- and headlamp-lit course at 4:24 am.


There was no traffic or wind, so we breezed through the first 20 miles in just under an hour. A flat tire at mile 25 was no problem since we were never more than approximately .2875 miles from our car which was parked in the middle of our 1.15 mile loop. It also meant that we never had to carry any extra food or drink because the car was close by whenever we needed it. We started to think that riding a century ride like this was the best idea ever.

Miles 21-40 came and went just as easily as the first 20. Our lap times stayed remarkably consistent at 3 minutes, 22 seconds (plus or minus a few seconds). We remarked that someone needed to organize a crit race on this very route because it was absolutely perfect.

The wind started to kick up a little around mile 52, but we were still able to finish up the first 60 miles in just under 3 hours of riding time. Which was precisely when our awesome group of spouses, kids, sisters, brother-in-law, nieces and nephews started to show up.


Then wind shifted and started to get stronger. I would like to say the sky darkened and the earth opened up in an attempt to swallow us whole, but that wouldn’t be entirely accurate since it was only chilly and annoyingly windy. We rode each lap from that point on being cheered by our families. They rang cow bells, clapped, and hollered words of encouragement each time we rode by for the last 40 miles of the ride. They even seemed to be enjoying themselves while they watched us ride around, and around, and around.


They cheered and rang bells for other people who happened to ride by, which probably made each of their respective rides a little more awesome too. We have good peeps in our families; they do good things to make random passersby feel happy.

Miles 61-90ish were a bit rough. Our pace was slowed by the wind and our lap times sometimes stretched to just under 4 minutes. Biker Ben started to realize that maybe he had not fully recovered from his first century ride just 9 days earlier.


My sister pulled out a giant 800mg ibuprofen tablet while we were stopped at mile 72, which he impressively swallowed without the assistance of liquid. We pressed on.

Around mile 80, we were passed by a rider on a Specialized S-Works Tarmac. He had fancy schmancy carbon aero wheels and was decked out in full team kit, cycling cap included. We reeled him in a lap or two later and asked what he was doing. He said he was on a “recon ride” for the crit race on Friday, June 1 st. We then told him we were about 83 miles into a 100 Miles of Nowhere ride and we had been riding laps on the crit race course since about 4:30 am. I couldn’t see his eyes behind his Oakley Jawbone sunglasses, but he appeared to look at us like we were crazy. Then he replied, “Wow…seriously?! Let me give you a pull for a few laps then.” It is odd how a complete stranger, who seems to think you are nuts, can totally make your day. He kindly gave us a pull until we stopped for our last rest stop at mile 85.

Miles 85-100 continued to be a bit of a sufferfest, but at least we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. I took turns pulling double laps as Ben waited for the 800mg of ibuprofen to kick in.


Finally, at 99.9 miles, we both got out of the saddle and sprinted to the imaginary finish line, to the roaring cheers of our loyal family members.


I stopped the GPS at 100.17 miles and 5:13 of riding time.

We finished strong, but were so mentally and physically drained that the idea for a victory lap on cruiser bikes was immediately abandoned.


Instead, we climbed into our cars and headed directly to my sister’s house less than a mile away to celebrate our podium finish in the 100 MoN Daybreak pre-daybreak pre-crit Division.

It was an awesome ride. We had a fabulous cheer squad supporting us. And Biker Ben and I made a great team. Biker Ben and I now know what it must feel like to be a racecar driver who knows every inch of his favorite racetrack…and we may just show up a little early to the crit race on June 1st to offer some helpful tips to the other racers.


  1. Comment by Rich | 06.8.2012 | 12:20 pm

    very cool story and well told….love the idea of a stranger giving you a pull….random act of kindness…

  2. Comment by Fuzz Martin | 06.8.2012 | 12:27 pm

    So there is a use for roundabouts besides confusing the elderly! Congrats on a great ride and great idea for a route.

  3. Comment by Corrine | 06.8.2012 | 12:29 pm

    Great story. I want to bike with Biker Ben! He sounds like a lot of fun.

  4. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 06.8.2012 | 1:15 pm

    Love the story. You have an awesome friend in Biker Ben, and your familes kick butt in their support for you and anyone else who rode by.

  5. Comment by TimRides | 06.8.2012 | 1:29 pm

    Nicely done. I also found a lack of stop signs and a very close “rest stop” on my route to be useful, but it was strange to never stop unless I wanted to.

  6. Comment by Mark J. in Dallas | 06.8.2012 | 1:41 pm

    It’s already been said but that was very cool of your family to stick around for 40 miles. Very cool indeed.

    I laughed out loud that you sprinted to the finish…

    Good stuff. Thanks for the great report.

  7. Comment by KK | 06.8.2012 | 3:23 pm

    Awesome write up TK!! Next year I WILL find a sitter and WILL join you and Biker Ben for 100 MoN. You guys are inspiring your old sis! Love you!

  8. Comment by NW Biker | 06.8.2012 | 3:56 pm

    These are all great reports. I have GOT to do this next time!

  9. Comment by roan | 06.8.2012 | 4:18 pm

    Nice, loved the pics and criteria, esp. the smooth pavement (just because).
    I would think it would be required along with a riding partner to stay focused due to mind wander with the view.

    Fatty this idea has taken off, I can’t wait for next year, but I must, huh ?
    You need to stress that anyone can ride the 100MoN even if not in the 1st 500 sign-ups. I knew this and should have got off the couch.
    I’ve already picked a route, a classic 4.86 miles on WA SR 100, Ilwaco. Google satellite maps, nothing could be better. 21 laps on this highway does goes nowhere and a century ride on WA SR 100 would be awesome. Need some other Team Fatty members for next year from the WA or OR area.

  10. Comment by RTK | 06.9.2012 | 9:33 am

    And to think that this child would never consider getting on a bike back in high school times . . . needed to be hauled everywhere he went. It’s so nice that some things change with time. And he actually communicates well with his old parents now as well! Never say never. Good on you, son. Well done. You make your papa proud. True story.

  11. Comment by Jeremy | 06.10.2012 | 12:09 pm

    That pull by the racer really made the story. Right about the right time, too?

  12. Comment by Rod Martin | 06.11.2012 | 11:38 am

    Sweet pre-crit dude!

  13. Comment by Rod Martin | 06.11.2012 | 11:41 am

    Oh, and I forgot to give my total and absolute agreement to your statement that the Cycle Salt Lake Century had THE BEST weather you could possibly ask for. It was my first century and even though I hit the wall about mile 75 and whimpered under a shade tree for about 20 minutes at the last aid station, I could not have asked for a better day. NO bugs, NO wind and a high of 72 degrees. PERFECT! Let’s just ignore the fact that it took me almost twice as long as you to do it, ok? OK? ok.

  14. Comment by Tommysmo | 06.11.2012 | 1:11 pm

    Awesome job! Great write-up! Will try to get mine done soon!


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