It’s time to start thinking about the Sixth Annual 100 Miles of Nowhere. The race without a place. The event where 500 people participate…all by ourselves.
You’ll pay $95 (which includes domestic shipping this year, so your total cost is actually down from last year) for the privilege of riding your rollers, trainer, or a very small course (like around the block or up and down a hill) for 100 miles.
Then — should you feel so inclined — you’ll send in your story of your 100 miles, and I will post as many as I can. Often, following the 100 Miles of Nowhere, I post stories every couple hours for a few days. It’s a pretty fantastic way for us to share with the world what fools we are.
The profits from your entry go to LiveStrong, which will turn around and give that same amount to Camp Kesem — camps all across the U.S. dedicated to giving kids of parents with cancer a week of carefree fun, at no cost to them. My twins went to the Southern Utah Camp Kesem last year, and it was the highlight of their summer. Check out their report here.
As part of your registration for this event, you’ll be getting a very cool box of swag, not to mention the event t-shirt, which I’m happy to now reveal:
I swear, the Twin Six guys just keep getting more awesome every year. I love this design.
Over the next few days (including today), I’ll be describing some of the very cool things you’ll be getting as part of the 100 Miles of Nowhere swag box. Assuming you’re already sold on the idea of doing this ridiculous event, though, here are a couple dates to keep in mind:
- Registration: The registration for this event will open April 17, 9am CT. It usually sells out within a few hours and is strictly limited to 500 people, so you will not want to miss signing up.
- Race day: The “official” race day for the 100 Miles of Nowhere is June 1. Since, however, you’re on your own with this, that date has some flexibility. I, for example, will be in Moab with WBR’s Africa in Moab adventure. So I’ve got to figure out a different day or weekend.
Singletrack High: The Review
The Hammer and I are in a weird stage of life right now. The stage where our kids are growing up. Some are working. One is married and has a kid of his own. One is in college. Two are in elementary school.
And a couple are in high school, which is somehow weirder than all the other things put together. Because high school affects kids in big, permanent ways (click here for a sobering piece on this).
Which is part of why I loved Pedal Born Picture’s Singletrack High, a documentary following the training, racing, and learning of various kids at different schools in the NorCal Cycling League.
Hey, why don’t you check out the preview to this show:
As I watched this film, I found myself saying to myself (over and over and over), “I wish there would have been something like this back at Fruita Monument High School when I was growing up.”
Of course, mountain bikes hadn’t exactly gone mainstream yet. And I was no kind of athlete.
Or at least, I didn’t think I was. I never really tried to find out, since the sports available to me didn’t really appeal. And a big part of the point of this documentary is showing how kids from a lot of different backgrounds are growing and learning and basically being fantastic human beings while riding their bikes.
Most of the documentary is interviews with the kids. There’s Tess, who used to worry about whether people would think biking is cool and whether helmets looked weird, but is now a rising star in her team and wears a Rivendell cycling cap when she’s in her room.
“Prior to this, I think she felt a little isolated at school,” says her stepdad.
Tess says about the team, “I think a good team would see cycling as a family. It brings us all together. We’re different ages and different backgrounds, but we all want to ride and race. Cycling had given me some of my best friends.”
I love hearing that.
There’s Carlos, who rides for the Luther Burbank Bike Team.
Before he joined, he says he thought, “I’m not really used to being in the mountains and I’m not into sports. I’d rather just go to school and then hang out,” and thought of himself as “more of a street person.”
An assistant coach — this team all volunteer-coached by police officers — this team to the Bad News Bears, saying, “We came into the league with broken down bikes and skater helmets. We see kids in other teams riding $6,000 S-Works bikes. We didn’t have, at one point, $6,000 worth of bikes in our whole inventory.”
And then there’s Cody, 15, who’s new to his team and training his first MTB race.
Cody was my personal favorite. I liked his quiet, thoughtful attitude. I liked his goal: to do a little better each race. He wanted to finish a race first, then maybe finish faster than last. But more than anything, he just wanted to push himself.
That’s a well-grounded kid.
There are other kids too — some up-and-comers, some just happy to be out riding. I kind of get the feeling that different people will find themselves identifying with different kids in the show, and rooting for them all.
The documentary follows the kids through different races, progressing through the season, working toward — and sometimes beyond — their goals. And it’s fun, hearing some of them describing the oddness of a bike race. Carlos laughs, saying it was like seeing a bunch of guys wearing Speedos out in the middle of the desert. Which, really, is pretty much exactly right.
There were a couple of things about the race footage that I really liked. First, it looks fantastic. This is a really beautifully-shot film.
Second, I liked the way it doesn’t just follow the race leaders and focus on who’s winning. There are a lot of heroes in this film and not all of them are crossing the finish line first.
Seeing the Film
Should you see this film? Only if you like bikes and seeing normal kids doing great things. So, yeah, you should see the film.
Or — and this is the part I’m really excited about — if you register for the 100 Miles of Nowhere, you’ll get a special password and will be able to watch it on Vimeo from the comfort of your own home (perhaps as you ride your trainer for 100 miles?).
Can anyone else in the whole world do that? No, they cannot. But you’ll be able to, which makes you even more special than you thought.
And That’s Not All
I’ll be revealing more cool stuff 100 Miles of Nowhere participants will be receiving as part of their swag box tomorrow. Be sure to check it out.