2013 100 Miles of Nowhere: Winner of 144 Laps Around a Park in Houston Category

06.4.2013 | 10:11 am

100 Miles of Nowhere 2013

Having read @fatcyclist’s description of previous rides, I knew I could do something that proved I was a crazy bike-a-holic. Riding 100 miles on rollers or on a trainer was out of the question. Besides that’s been done. A favorite haunt of mine is Bear Creek Park in Houston. During the weekend it’s crowded, but weekdays I have the place to myself. Sullins Way is a .7 mile loop around a couple picnic shelters and a restroom.


Perfect, only 144 laps. I checked in at the office and they said, “Sure, knock yourself out.”


I took the bike out of the car, fired up the GoPro and without fanfare, set off. After the first lap I set the camera to take one picture every 10 seconds. After a couple hours the battery was done. During a later break I changed the battery. I have more than 1500 pictures of the ride.

Around miles 18 and 19 I saw a frog sunning on the roadside. It was there for three laps. On the fourth there was a large black bird carrying the frog away. A second bird was in hot pursuit.

A few laps later a four-foot dark brown snake slithered across the road.

A cycling friend, doing his regular morning training, caught me and pointed out my squeaking chain. (That’s all he noticed? ) He left and I continued circling.


At mile 25 I stopped for a banana and found a bottle of oil in my car. The sample of Purple Extreme was swag from a now forgotten ride. A couple hundred miles later the chain is still running silent.

Another diversion came when the Eagle Trace Walking Team arrived. At first they covered the entire road but soon spread out according to speed and alliances. Two leaders, a single chaser, two walking on the left, two on the right and three in the rear defining the term ‘sauntering along.’ At the end of their first lap the chaser caught the leaders and she stayed with them to the end. The group did two laps to my eight or so, then returned to their cars and left in a grand procession.

I returned to the solitary rounds.


Somewhere around mile 50, I ate this ride’s swag Honey Stinger. I considered the CR333 but trying something new on a long ride has caused me problems in the past. I’ll try it later.

Two riders joined for a lap and some chat. I mentioned the laps done and the laps yet to do. As we parted I said I would continue counter-clockwise screwing myself in the ground. They said I should reverse direction as I was upsetting the earth’s balance.

The next diversion was the trustees who regularly come to the park and do trimming and trash pickup.


Around mile 80 a guy started photographing a Ferrari. He’s been here previously with a Maserati. During my multiple laps he was shooting the car’s front, back, and side. He turned the car around and took more photos. A brief rain forced him to dry the car before taking more photos. At my mile 90 he left and I continued the circuitous route.

Round and round, the day was heating up and the wind made going south challenging.


Finally my RFLKT and Cyclemeter said the madness could stop. I did a solitary fist pump, put on my new 100 Miles of Nowhere tee shirt, packed up the bike, and drove to Starbucks for a vanilla latte. 100 miles, 6.5 hours, done and done.

Thanks @fatcyclist…I think

Frank @mondonico_rider


  1. Comment by iRide | 06.4.2013 | 10:50 am

    Nice job. I liked the lap by lap account of the other activities you witnessed.

  2. Comment by Wharton_Crew | 06.4.2013 | 11:01 am

    The poor frog – oh well – circle of life thing, I guess. You should take those 1500 photos and time-lapse them to music for a 60-second video that will make you millions of fans and dollars on YouTube!

  3. Comment by GenghisKhan | 06.4.2013 | 11:39 am


  4. Comment by Kukui | 06.4.2013 | 11:43 am

    Nice report!

    I wish my work would say, “Sure, knock yourself out,” when I want skip off to do a 100 mile ride in the middle of the work day…

    They’re supportive of the cycling and all, but not THAT supportive. =)

  5. Comment by zeeeter | 06.4.2013 | 11:54 am

    So that explains why gravity was getting a bit sketchy that afternoon!

    Nice report and well done on the ride!

  6. Comment by Tom in Albany | 06.4.2013 | 11:56 am

    Great Job, Frank!

    Great report.

    I have questions!

    With the constant CCW rotation, did you find any unusual wear on the tires?
    Did anything on you hurt mostly on one side?
    Did you have to touch your brakes outside of avoiding the walkers?

    By the way, according to Physic’s ‘Right hand rule’ your CCW direction resulted in a vector pointing AWAY from the earth and thus, you must have been flying!

    Cheers! -Tom

  7. Comment by Bill H-D | 06.4.2013 | 12:48 pm

    The walker race commentary was riveting. Leaders forced a selection, and a heroic solo effort was required to bridge. I was hoping for a bunch sprint. :)

  8. Comment by Jenni | 06.4.2013 | 1:54 pm

    I can completely understand a 100 MoN ride being so boring one can only notice frogs and birds. Harder still in the monotony is to remember to keep note of what lap was what.

    A true accomplishment. This sounds absolutely horrible. Way to keep the spirit of the ride!

  9. Comment by Wife#1 | 06.4.2013 | 2:19 pm

    Excellent report. I like your writing style a lot. Looking forward to many more of these. Fun!

  10. Comment by Heidi | 06.4.2013 | 3:07 pm

    Fabulous, Frank!

  11. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 06.4.2013 | 5:54 pm

    Frank. Great job, .7 mi per lap you are King!

    I too saw the same egret, in the same part of the pond, staring at the same spot, lap after lap after lap. He finally relocated when the tide changed. You know it’s a long ride when you can see the tide change.

    I did stop though to catch the snake in the path and show my son when he came by. He wasn’t nearly as impressed with the snake as I, and no Fatty story is complete mentioning poop. Snake poop is NASTY!

  12. Comment by David | 06.4.2013 | 6:09 pm

    I remember doing some races on that loop 30 years ago. One time I was going CCW,like you, in the middle of the pack on the extreme left side when another rider was trying to pass me on the grass. The shocker was he grabbed my handlebar while passing. I was pretty new to racing at the time, but felt I should trust him at the time. I knew him as Hans Schneider, now a framebuilder, who had raced in Europe in the 70’s and had a ton of racing experience. Still sort of a surreal experience at the time.

  13. Comment by rich | 06.5.2013 | 8:20 am

    great write up and great job…

  14. Comment by Carl | 06.5.2013 | 9:06 am

    Hilarious! Thanks!

  15. Comment by Nancy_in_MN | 06.5.2013 | 9:41 pm

    “Solitary fist pump” Love it!

    I enjoyed how you told the story as it related to the laps you rode. How you endured the tedium, I can’t imagine.

  16. Comment by The Hammer | 06.10.2013 | 9:52 am

    Great write up! I think you are a little crazy!


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