How to Distract Yourself from Your Horrible Circumstances By Acquiring Lots of Cool Stuff

04.29.2013 | 10:38 am

Some time ago, I realized something very important. But that was late at night, and by the next morning I had forgotten what it was and have never quite been able to recapture it.

If at some point it comes back to me, though, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Meanwhile, however, I have recently realized something that’s not important at all, which I will now share with you, in italics and on a line of its own, to lend it gravitas (also, I just used the word “gravitas” to lend this upcoming realization even more of this now thrice-mentioned gravitas):

The nerdliness of a sport is exactly the same as the quantity and complexity of gear required.

I mean, consider running (no, I’m not telling you to actually consider going running; I’m asking you to contemplate — in a purely passive sense — what the sport of running entails), which requires nothing more than a change of clothing: Shorts, socks, shoes (increasingly seen as optional), maybe a shirt. You don’t have to go anywhere to do it.

It’s the simplest sport you could possibly have. 

Sure, some runners try to geek it up by putting nuance into what their shoes ought to be like, what kind of tracking device they should have, and the pros and cons of various visors, but you can tell their hearts aren’t really in it.

Due to this simplicity, nobody gives runners any grief for being a runner. It’s absolutely non-risky.

On the other end of the spectrum is triathaleticism, which is the act of accumulating and transporting as much junk as is humanly possible from one place to another in order to use all of that equipment to do three races — races that really have nothing to do with one another — end to end.

I have, somehow, managed to get roped into these triathaletic events from time to time. Notably, The Hammer and I will be participating in one — The St. George Half Ironman — this Saturday.

We will be driving my truck there. Because we will need it to hold all the gear required to do a triathalong. 

I’m not kidding. The gear requirements of a triathalong are so complex — so convoluted — that about a month ago I started having anxiety about all the stuff I was going to need to remember, and have since been keeping a checklist, adding to it as I go. Here, for your entertainment, is that checklist as it stands at this moment (note that it’s not even a simple checklist; it’s divided into key locations, times, and checkpoints). Please note that this list is entirely real and not made up or exaggerated in any way whatsoever.

Half Ironman Equipment Checklist

Prior to event

  • Leave jewelry (wedding rings, earrings) at home
  • bring morning-of duffel bags
  • one-piece outfits
  • warm clothes to wear on bus
  • warm socks to wear 
  • shoes
  • gloves
  • sunscreen

Bring on morning of

  • wetsuits
  • Chip
  • goggles
  • neoprene caps
  • colored cap
  • towel for stuff to sit on
  • towel to dry off with
  • ibuprofen
  • arm warmers
  • gloves
  • sunglasses
  • helmets
  • Headband (Lisa)
  • bike shoes
  • socks
  • body glide
  • plastic bags to make it easier to put wetsuits on
  • food (lisa)
  • espresso
  • 2 waffles
  • water
  • water bottle
  • food (elden)
    • 6 gels
    • water
    • 2 waffles
  • food for both while standing around
    • bagels w cream cheese

    Swim to Bike Transition

    • bike
    • bentos box (Lisa)
    • 2 gels
    • 3 pkg chews
    • tums
  • gps: garmin edge 500
  • chain lube + rag
  • Bike to Run Transition

    • Race belts
    • shoes
    • 4 Gels (elden)
    • 2 Gels (Lisa)
    • Excedrin
    • hats
    • water
    • 2 Waffles (elden)
    • 2 Waffles (lisa)
    • Garmin 10
    • Tums
    • Stuff for hanging around finish area after race
    • shorts
    • tshirt
    • sandles
    • Action Wipes

    Please note that all of this is in service to a one-day race. No, not even a one-day race, really. Half a day. 

    Furthermore, we’ll spend the whole day before the race getting all that gear to the appropriate places for the race. And going to pre-race meetings. And getting our bodies marked.

    It’s ridiculous. Truly purely utterly ridiculous

    Here’s the thing, though. I’m outrageously excited for this race. Which, I suppose, says something about me and my outsized love of nerdly athletic gear.

    Hey, let me tell you about some stuff that I love. Even if you’re not a triathalete (I am getting so sick of my spell checker trying to get me to misspell triathalete!), I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some things in here you might like. 

    I Love Ultegra Di2, and I Love My Shiv

    [Full Disclosure: Shimano hooked me up with a discount on the Ultegra Di2]

    Last year I used my superpower — the ability to ask for things — on Specialized to excellent effect; they sent me a Shiv, their no-holds-barred, no-stupid-UCI-rules-observed time trial / tri bike. 

    I fell in love with it, and had some great results on it as part of the Team Fatty (The Swimmer, me, and The Hammer) relay team, both at the Utah Half iron-distance race and at the Leadman Tri in Bend, OR

    Here’s how the bike looked when I first got it:


    And here’s how it looks now:

    IMG 6324 

    Notice any differences? Here, maybe this will help:

    IMG 6327

    Yup. It’s all electrifical. Specifically, I’ve upgraded the shifting to Shimano Ultegra Di2. Which I absolutely love. For obvious reasons, and some that maybe wouldn’t be as obvious.

    For one thing, I love the no-fuss, no-stretchy cables reliability of Di2. I’ve been riding my Orbea Orca with Di2 for four solid seasons, during which I’ve had to have it serviced exactly zero times. (Well, that’s not exactly true — I took it into Racer’s once during this four years and said, “Would you look this over and make sure everything’s good? I feel bad about never needing to bring this bike in.” He returned it later that week saying, “Everything’s great.”)

    Shimano Di2 is just incredibly reliable and precise and perfect.

    For another thing, I love how easy it is to shift. It’s as simple and effortless — literally — as pressing a button. And when shifting is that easy, you shift a lot more often, so you stay at your right pedaling effort a lot more consistently.

    The shifting is instant. It’s precise — no mis-shifts — and it sounds awesome in all its R2D2ness.

    I’m also loving the fact that I can shift whether my hands are on the aero bars or on the brake levers.

    Finally, I love how affordable the Ultegra Di2 is. While Shimano helped me out on these components, I bought The Hammer’s Shiv (yes, I loved my Shiv so much I got The Hammer one so we could TT together) with Ultegra Di2. Expect more stories about our racing these bikes later this year.

    The fact is, there’s nothing I don’t love about this setup. Between the Shiv, the Ultegra Di2 and the fact that I am currently lighter than I have ever been since high school (and am roughly thrice as strong), I expect to have a very good day — at least on the bike — this Saturday.

    I Love Gu Recovery Brew 

    [Full Disclosure: Gu is sponsoring The Hammer and me at this half-Ironman by providing entry to the event as well as Gu products to train with.]

    Have I mentioned anything about working hard to lose weight recently? I have? Oh, well then have I mentioned anything about not wanting to be skinny but unable to race?

    Yeah, that’s been important to me too.

    So in addition to eating light to drop the pounds and using carbs when training long, I’ve been using Gu Recovery Brew – Chocolate Smoothie flavor after big efforts. It’s got a ton of protein, which is a big part of my plan to drop fat, not muscle. It’s also got amino acids and antioxidants, along with carbs.

    But you know what I think really makes it work? The fact that it tastes freaking awesome. I mix and drink this after big rides (or, to my dismay, after big rides and big runs) and I feel good…not like I need to go ambush the fridge and eat everything in the pantry. 

    I Love My Altra Running Shoes

    Here’s an amazing factoid: last week I did a ten mile run with The Hammer. And while this may not sound quite as impressive when I reveal that she had a friend run ten miles with her first, then — after wearing this friend out — had me run the second half of her twenty-mile run with her, the fact remains: I did a solid ten mile run. Here, check out the Strava:


    The thing is, though, I’m doing OK, run-wise. Not that I’m fast. I’ll never be fast. But I’m not in pain, either right after the run or during it. My joints are OK. 

    I speculate there are a number of contributing reasons for this:

    1. I am lighter. 150 pounds is a lot easier on the joints than 170.
    2. I started easier. By running a couple miles a couple times per week with Brice at the beginning of the year and building slowly from there, I’m not injuring myself.
    3. My shoes.
    Of course, it’s impossible to sort out every reason, but I really do think that the shoes I’m running in now — Altra Instincts — are making a big difference in my comfort during and after the run. For one thing, they have a giant toe box that accommodates my big fat feet. For another, they are a zero-drop shoe, which means the heel isn’t any higher than the toe. But — unlike the barefoot shoes some hardcore runners use — they still have a reasonable amount of cushioning. 

    So sure, The Hammer will still put a ton of time into me during the final leg of the race this weekend, but I think there’s a chance that it’ll be closer to ten minutes than the originally-projected twenty-six.

    At least that’s my hope.  

    And In Conclusion

    Wow, this post is getting long, and I haven’t even covered my wetsuit. Or my super high-tech one-piece tri suit. Or my special laces that make it so I don’t have to tie my shoes, thus saving a valuable nine seconds in the transition area. Or my special belt that lets me put on my race number in the run transition very quickly. Or the socks which I have — after much agonizing and conversing with former professional triathalonetes — decided to wear. 

    Really, it’s just kind of sad that my gear obsessing is limited to three sports. What the world needs needs is a dodecathlon.

    Hey, I’d sign up. Apparently.


    My Half-Ironman Training is Progressing Apace, Part 1

    04.25.2013 | 8:01 am

    Just under a month ago, I proposed a thought experiment which actually included very little thought at all: What if The Hammer and I duked it out in a Half-Ironman? With our respective strengths and weaknesses — although I think it would be folly to suggest that either of us has any weaknesses — will The Hammer win? Or will I?

    I believe it is time for me to update you on our training progress, so you can update, recalibrate, ameliorate and otherwise tweak your expectations.

    Kenny’s Prediction

    A couple weekends ago, The Hammer and I visited St. George to scout out the Half-Ironman course. You know, swim where we’ll be swimming. Ride the ride. Run the run.

    Wear the outfits.

    As we often do, we stayed at Kenny’s and Heather’s house in St. George, which meant that we’d have good guides for our mountain bike rides (hey, we weren’t going to just be tri-dorks for the weekend), along with good company between rides, runs and swims. Oh, and we’d have a free place to stay, but that’s neither here nor there.

    During dinner one of the evenings, the subject of whether The Hammer and I were really racing each other came up. “Sorta kinda but not really but also yes a little,” I replied, helpfully.

    Then I added by way of clarification, “It’s not really that we’re racing against each other. During the race itself, I’m not going to be thinking about beating Lisa; I’m just going to be focusing on being as fast as I can.”

    “That said,” I said, “this really is an interesting race for us. Lisa thinks I’ll win because I’m fast on the bike — faster than I’ve ever been, in fact. I on the other hand think she’ll win because she’s been training on the swim (while I have been swimming only a couple times since we signed up) and is fast on the run — faster than she’s ever been, in fact.”

    “Here’s what I think,” Kenny mused. “The fact that Lisa starts the race six minutes before Elden should be thrown out. All that does is give Elden a carrot, plus the bike portion — Elden’s strong suit — of the event is longer than any other part. So the question shouldn’t be which of you has a faster chip time, but which of you will cross the finish line first in real time.”

    “That’s a good point,” I agreed. And it’s really true. Having The Hammer six minutes ahead of me from the start of the race really will give me a psychological boost — the carrot effect will be in full force.

    “So if you go by which of you crosses the finish line first, in real time, I’m going with Lisa, concluded Kenny. “Once she gets close to Elden on the run, he’ll sag and slow way down. She’ll pass him and finish a few minutes ahead.”

    And I should point out that Kenny has a preternatural ability to look someone over and predict their finish time and place for a given race. 

    Panic at the Reservoir

    One of our objectives during the St. George trip was to familiarize ourselves with everything, including doing a swim at the reservoir. But as we paid our fee to get into the Sand Point Reservoir and saw “Water temp: 55″ written on a whiteboard, I had serious reservations. Because that’s cold water.

    “We’ve got to be ready for it,” The Hammer said. “Get that uncertainty out of our systems.” 

    So we pulled on our wetsuits and climbed — barefoot — down a slope of volcanic rock to the swimming area of the reservoir.

    This is probably a good place to mention that I have unusually sensitive feet (or maybe I’m just a big baby) and so I never go anywhere barefoot. Even walking around my own house, I always wear shoes. As a cyclical result, I have very few calluses on my feet . . . which means that they remain unusually sensitive.

    And in short, walking down a slope of sharp rocks was neither fun nor fast for me, and I was grateful to step into the water.

    Until, that is, I actually stepped into the water. Because at that moment I discovered that 55 degrees is actually colder than freezing.

    I gasped and began breathing shallowly. Rapidly. Unhappily.

    Meanwhile, The Hammer had waded in up to her waist level. Slowly, steadily.

    “Oh, let’s just get this over with,” I said, figuring it would be better to just dive in — kind of like it’s better to just rip a bandaid off.

    Diving in was not better.

    “Goarrgh!” I said as I came up, by which I meant, “COLD!

    And then I commenced to panic. Not just feel anxiety and discomfort. Real, honest-to-goodness, out-of-control thrashing wide-eyed panic

    I managed to half-swim, half-dog-paddle to an outcropping of rocks, then drag myself up onto it. I intended to never get back in the water.

    “I don’t think I can do this,” I told The Hammer.

    “You just need to work your way into the water slowly,” she replied. “It was a shock diving in and hitting that cold all at once.”

    “I said I’m not going back in,” I screeched, shrilly. 

    “Just wade in. S-l-o-w-l-y,” she said, slowly.

    I AM NOT GOING BACK IN,” I reiterated, in the verbal equivalent of bold and caps and italics and with numerous exclamation points at the end.

    But of course, I did go back in. Slowly, just as The Hammer suggested (of course). And I was fine (of course).

    But still, it was . . . interesting . . . to have my first experience with true uncontrollable panic. And to know that within a few weeks, I’d be back in the same water, but starting with more nervousness because I’d be about to race. 

    I should just poop in my wetsuit now and get it over with.

    PS: In the next installment of my analysis of my training for the upcoming (May 4 for crying out loud!) St. George Half Ironman, I shall talk about the ride, the run, and a number of things that are making my training much better. I may also show a picture of me in a one-piece Tri suit. I apologize in advance. 

    NEWS FLASH: Lance Armstrong to do Photo Shoot

    04.24.2013 | 9:40 am

    Austin, TX (Fat Cyclist Fake News Service) – In the wake of the recent announcement by the Justice Department that it will pursue a lawsuit against Lance Armstrong for unjustly enriching himself, a spokesman for Armstrong today made the following announcement:

    “Lance intends to defend himself vigorously in the court of law.”

    The spokesman continued, “Based on our extensive experience in these matters, however, by which I mean dating pretty much as far back as any of us can remember, the court of public opinion will simultaneously conduct a trial of its own, largely through the mainstream media and cycling press.”

    “Toward the end of making the work of these people both more timely and accurate,” the spokesperson announced, “Lance Armstrong will today do a photo shoot for the use of journalists during this trial.”

    “Specifically,” the spokesman explained, “Lance will do a photoshoot consisting entirely of various negative expressions.”

    “This,” the spokesman continued, “is due to the fact that many of the existing photographs of Lance frowning, pursing his lips, or looking defeated have been overused to the point of being ridiculous by the press. Furthermore, many are woefully out of date.”

    “This photo shoot is not only for the benefit of journalists and their readers, however,” said the spokesman. “The fact is, Lance’s attorneys are sick to death of seeing the same set of photographs over and over. We’ve seen these same old photos so often we’ve started giving them nicknames. For example, we call the following photograph ‘Sinister Lance’:”

    Sinister Lance

    “And we call this one ‘Perplexed Lance’:”


    “This one is called ‘Vengeful Lance’:”

    Angry at contador

    “And then there’s the one we see more than any other single photo, which is affectionately known as ‘Sad Raspberry Lance’:”

    Compressed lips

    Photoshoot Objectives Made Clear

    “We know that journalists are going to post photos of Lance in a variety of unhappy moods,” said the spokesman. “Our objective is to expand the range of these photographic moods, as well as update them so the photographs don’t look like they were taken in the 80’s.”

    “The photos we’ll be providing will show Lance making the following expressions, most — if not all — of which will no doubt be used in the coming months:

    • Furious
    • Startled
    • Dismayed
    • Confused
    • Bored
    • Incensed 
    • Enraged
    • Crushed
    • Dazed
    • Blank
    • Crafty
    • Distraught
    • Abashed
    • Wistful
    • Guarded
    • Pensive
    • Defeated
    “Note that this is merely a tentative list,” said the spokesman, “and that we have engaged the services of an A-list acting coach in order to make the expressions in these photographs completely convincing.”

    “Also, we are pleased to announce that all of these expressions will be provided in environments showing Lance both on and off the bike.”

    Reached for comment, Armstrong demurred, noting only that he had a lot of work to do practicing his “apologetic” look.

    Ride Report: 2013 RAWROD

    04.22.2013 | 10:03 am

    The Hammer and I stood together in the Canyonlands Visitor Center. Our arms wrapped around each other for warmth, although it didn’t seem much like either of us had much heat to give to the other. We weren’t talking, because we were too cold to talk.

    All about us stood other cyclists — twenty or so in all. Some were part of our group, some were complete strangers. All of us were taking shelter against the cold. The wet. The wind. None of which had been part of the forecast, which called for a perfect day. Which — foolishly — we had believed, and dressed accordingly.

    Together, we smelled very much like a Wet Dog Convention.

    We had been standing there for forty-five minutes, the entirety of which I had spent thinking of cogent, clear-headed arguments for, once (if!) this weather cleared up, we abandon this ride, head back to the car, and call it an unlucky day. Maybe we could salvage the day to some degree or another by driving down to Moab and going on a shorter ride sometime in the afternoon.

    I took a deep breath and, with  eloquence born of urgency, began to state my case. 

    Earlier That Day

    I hadn’t begun the day with misgivings about this ride. To the contrary. Confident in assurances from the TV weather report cross-checked against two iPhone weather apps, we didn’t even look out the window when we woke up in Green River, Utah early in the morning (Green River’s a lot cheaper to stay at than Moab). 

    We made our way down to the breakfast room, where I impressed The Hammer with my breakfast-eating prowess. Since I’ve been keeping a lid on my superpower lately, she had sort of forgotten exactly what I’m capable of, so my volcanic pile of scrambled eggs — with outlying isles of cinnamon rolls and mini-muffins — startled her.

    I ate it all with no difficulty. 

    We then went back to our room, grabbed our luggage and took the elevator to the ground floor and walked outside.

    Into any icy, rainy, windy, drizzly hell.

    “This is OK,” The Hammer said. “The weather report said that early in the day there might be some rain as far south as I70. I bet it will clear up by the time we get to Moab.”

    The Hammer, alas, was dead wrong. The wipers stayed on as we approached the top of the Mineral Basin climb: the starting point of the annual RAWROD (Ride Around White Rim in One Day).

    As we arrived, the rain slowed. A little. Maybe. 

    “Are we going to do this?” I asked, with about as much enthusiasm as you’d expect.

    “The rain really is supposed to stop,” said The Hammer.

    So we unloaded our bikes and put on the only extra riding clothes we had brought on this trip: knee warmers, arm warmers, and lightweight windbreakers. Neither of us had anything but mesh-type cycling gloves.

    Last, we slung our heavy Camelbaks on. Unlike most years, this year’s RAWROD would be unsupported; we’d need to carry everything we needed for the 100-mile ride. (FYI: 150oz of water is heavy)

    It was just past 8:00 a.m., our agreed-upon time for starting the ride.

    Things Go From Bad To Worse To Even Worse

    We had a small group riding together — Heather and Kenny, The Hammer and me, and Todd W and Joao B. It was cold and drizzly, but we warmed up quickly enough; when it’s cold and wet outside, I’m always grateful to start a ride with a climb.

    The problem was, we were riding toward the rain clouds. And we were catching them. 

    Soon, it was raining harder, and the surface of the road turned into a slick, sticky mud. We’d wander from side to side of the road, looking for some magical line that — for no reason that conventional physics could explain — was clean and dry.

    By the time we finished the first twelve miles — which brought us to the lone paved section of the White Rim loop — we were soaked through. Our toes and fingers were icy cold, and our bikes were heavy with mud.

    We began to talk about whether the smart course of action was to just call it a day.

    Photo by Todd W

    “Let’s keep going at least for now,” someone said, though I don’t remember who, because I’m pretty sure that my mind is protecting me from remembering these traumatic moments too clearly.

    And so we kept going, now on pavement. Which was faster. And wetter. And colder. And windier.

    And in short, it was truly, truly awful.

    By the time we got to the Canyonlands National Park entrance, I was more convinced than ever that we should quit this ride while we still had a chance of saving our bikes and not being stranded in knee-deep mud in the middle of the wilderness, where we would be eaten by dingoes or the Utah equivalent thereof.

    The ranger at the toll booth did not quell my anxiety.

    “We’ve closed the gate down Shafer’s trail (the steep, switchbacked descent into the White Rim basin) to automotive traffic, due to extreme sticky, claylike mud the rain has produced,” she said.

    But then she had something wonderful to say, “You guys look like you could stand to warm up for a few minutes. The Visitor’s Center half a mile down the road is heated.”

    For the first time that day, we rode with alacrity. Urgency, even.

    Difficult Decision

    We were the first cyclists to the Visitor’s Center, but before long, the place was packed with other cyclists who had found themselves in the same predicament as we were. 

    Photo by Todd W

    Some guys on road bikes. Some on mountain bikes. A group of fast guys out to do RAWROD … well… fast.

    At first, nobody talked. We just tried to warm up. 

    Eventually, though, we had to make a decision: go, or no go?. And each of us had to make it for ourselves. Except for The Hammer, who told me I had to make the decision for both of us.

    On one hand, there really was some blue sky starting to be visible, and it was in the direction we were riding toward.

    On the other hand, there was the mud we’d ridden in and the near-certainty of more mud ahead. None of us could remember the gate to Shafer’s Trail ever being closed before, so we figured it must be bad this time.

    On still yet another hand, there was the shame of calling it quits.

    On the son of the return of another hand, there was the problem of the Inclement Weather Re-Start (which I have here capitalized because I’m pretty sure it’s an axiom): If you’ve been riding in the cold and wet and then have gotten warmed up and dry, the difficulty of going back out into the cold and wet rises by a factor of nine.

    Kenny suggested we do calisthenics to get our blood flowing again, and then — to show he was serious about this — did a series of deep knee bends and one-handed pushups.

    The few people who were actually at the Visitor’s Center to see the exhibits looked on in a mixture of concern and admiration.

    Finally, I proposed a grand compromise. “I think we should put off making the final decision of whether we do this ride until we’ve seen how Bad (yes I meant to capitalize “Bad”) Shafer’s trail really is.”

    I paused to let this sink in, because not everyone is as smart as I am and needed time to process the brilliance of this strategy.

    “If the mud on Shafer starts to jam up my bike, I shall direct my woman to turn around forthwith, and we shall abandon the ride with a clear conscience. I recommend you all do the same, though I cannot — and do not wish to — compel you.”

    All agreed that this was a sound course of action. Oh, and also the above text might be somewhat inaccurately quoted.

    We suited back up and left the Visitor Center staff to deal with the wet dog smell as best as they could.

    The Shafer Surprise

    You’ll be startled to know that I occasionally use hyperbole when I write. But you must believe me when I say that I genuinely was afraid of the Shafer trail. Not just the nuisance and damage that could be done to our drivetrains, but the fear of the danger a slick, muddy road brings to a treacherously exposed, switchbacked descent.

    My stomach was knotted up as we ducked under the gate that would have prevented our sag vehicle from following us, had we brought one along.

    We began the descent…and the road was perfect.

    Photo of Joao by Todd W

    Once again, I’m not using hyperbole here. I’ve been up and down Shafer’s trail probably 15 times in my life, and it has never been in anything close to the condition it was in. For the first time, in fact, I enjoyed the Shafer trail descent, which was not loose. Nor was it rutted. Nor was it riddled with washboards.

    It was a fast, fun, not-even-a-little-bit-muddy descent.

    And the beginning of the best-weathered RAWROD ever. The wind seemed to know where we were and chose to gently push us from behind for the whole day. The sun came out to warm us, and then would obscure itself behind clouds before we got too hot. 

    IMG 6298
    I think this is the only picture I actually took the whole trip. Joao on the left, Kenny in the middle, Todd on the right, and the White Rim and blue skies in the background.

    We all rode more or less together, nobody waiting long for anyone. Our breaks were short but relaxing.

    The Hammer would have almost certainly been the Strava QOM for the whole 100-mile loop if we hadn’t been holed up for an hour in the visitor’s center (although she still nabbed plenty of crowns):

    And — very importantly — I discovered how many NikeFuel Points one accrues if one wears one’s Nike+ FuelBand while riding around the White Rim:

    IMG 6303

    And I think I’m going to award myself an extra couple thousand bonus points due to riding in the rain, not to mention an extra 5,000 secret bonus points for my astonishing exhibition of courage, continuing on in the face of near certain mud.

    Register NOW for the 2013 100 Miles of Nowhere

    04.17.2013 | 8:03 am


    UPDATE: The 100 Miles of Nowhere is now SOLD OUT. Big thanks to all those who registered!

    A Note from Fatty: If you don’t know what the 100 Miles of Nowhere is, you can get at least some kind of idea in this recent post

    I love the 100 Miles of Nowhere. I love what it accomplishes. I love what it represents. I love receiving and publishing your stories. I love actually coming up with a plan for where I will race myself. 

    And I love registration day for the race — knowing that there are a bunch of you who are as excited for it as I am.

    So I’m happy to say that, as of this moment, registration is open. 

    Over the past few posts, I’ve revealed a number of what registered racers in the 100 Miles of Nowhere will receive as part of their Swag Box, and in this post I’ll reveal the rest. But I know that at least some of you would like to just get the links to go register, so here you go:

    • Men: Click here to register
    • Women: Click here to register

    Note:  The only difference between the men’s and women’s registration pages is in the  t-shirt sizing.

    More Swag in The Swag Box

    I’m not the kind of person you’d want organizing a big event. I’m not good at it, and I am a horrible procrastinator.

    And so the fact that the number and quality of cool things in the Swag Box pretty much kicks most races’ butts tells you something. I’m not sure what, but something. 

    In addition to the great stuff I’ve already mentioned in a few recent posts (here and here and here), here are the things you’re going to get in your 100 Miles of Nowhere Swag Box:

    NewImageThe Levi Effect

    When I wrote my reaction to Levi Leipheimer’s admission of doping in the context of watching The Levi Effect, it triggered an incredibly interesting and thoughtful conversation, not too dissimilar from the conversation friends and I had when watching the video ourselves.

    Now, as part of your 100 Miles of Nowhere Swag Box, you’ll get a coupon with a code to stream down and watch The Levi Effect yourself, whether as something to do as you pedal for 100 miles on your trainer, or for something to watch with your friends and / or family. 

    Either way, don’t be surprised if you find yourself having some pretty involved conversations yourself after watching this.


    Action Wipes

    I always have a few Action Wipes stowed in my Bikemobile’s glove compartment. And a few in my bike clothes duffel bag. And one in my Camelbak. By always having something I can clean myself up with nearby, I am repulsive to those around me in one less way. And that’s a good thing.

    The fact is, Action Wipes are big, soft, wet towels that are big and strong and nice (but not perfume-y) smelling. Using just one, you can go from having that stinky post-ride funk to being downright presentable and ready to be in public places, in a matter of a minute.

    You’ll be getting one Action Wipes pack as part of your 100 Miles of Nowhere Swag Box. For reasons I believe to be obvious.

    A Race Plate

    It’s not a race if there’s no race plate, right? You’ve got to have something to commemorate your moment (your very, very long moment) of insanity, right? Well, the good folks at Bike Monkey have got you covered. You’ll be getting a race plate big enough to ensure that all and sundry will be aware that you are racing as you ride around the city park 180 times.

    So Let’s Recap Everything You’re Getting, Shall We?

    The 100 Miles of Nowhere – the Race Without a Place – is the signature annual fundraiser, with proceeds going to benefit Camp Kesem, giving children of parents with cancer a week of fun at no cost to their families.

    You’ll be racing on June 1, or some day soonish before that day. Or after that day. 

    And you’ll be getting a whole bunch of good stuff in your Box of Swag, including:

    • The 100 Miles of Nowhere Event T-Shirt: Designed by Twin Six, this is destined to be your favorite t-shirt of all time.
    • Action Wipes: 1 moist towel, perfect for cleaning up after a ride – when you’ve got to get back to work, but don’t have time to hit the showers.
    • HoneyStinger: The best-tasting energy food in the world. You’ll get both a Lemon Waffle, and a Blueberry Buzz Energy Bar.
    • DZ Nuts: Sample packs of DZ Nuts (for the guys) and DZ Bliss chamois cream. One for you, one to share. Because a chafed butt sucks.
    • The Levi Effect: A free streamed viewing of The Levi Effect documentary.
    • Specialized HydroFlo bottle: This is not a cheap, throw-away event bottle. This is a totally premium, no plastic taste, clear, beautiful bottle.
    • Banjo Brothers: Will you get a Jersey Pocket Cycling Wallet? A Top Tube Bag? Or a Seat Bag? All three are things you’d want, and you’re going to get one of them.
    • CarboRocket 333: A single-serving of the best energy drink in the world.
    • Singletrack High: A free streamed viewing of the moving and inspiring documentary, Singletrack High.
    • A Race Plate: Hey, you can’t race if you don’t have a race plate, right?

    Because these are all really nice items and the sponsors couldn’t very well give us an unlimited number of them, the 100 Miles of Nowhere is strictly limited to 500 registrations. Historically, it sells out in less than a day. So sign up now, or miss out later.

    And Where Do You Register, Once Again?

    Once again, for your convenience, the links to go register: 

    • Men: Click here to register
    • Women: Click here to register

    Good luck, and thank you for being a part of the 100 Miles of Nowhere!

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