Winner of the 2013 100 Miles of Nowhere: Potsdam NY MTB Crit Challenge Category

06.4.2013 | 3:17 pm

By Doug Bolling


I have “raced” the 100 MoN for the past 3 years. In fact, my first century ride ever was my first 100 MoN ride. Things are a little different for me this year. I am training for a “little” mtb race in Colorado in August [That would be the Leadville 100 - FC] and have a tune-up race next week. So I was trying to figure out how to fit the 100 MoN into my training schedule.

Looking at my training calendar I saw that I had a 5 hour ride on tap Sunday June 2. Perfect, except how to get 100 miles in 5 hours AND accomplish my training goals?

So I thought, and thought, and thought some more.

Then it struck…..a timed crit…..on my mountain bike……riding the dirt road short lap around my block! It’s a 2.7 mile loop that takes about 11 minutes. There are three “hills” (maybe 30 ft elevation gain each). One is an attention-getter (12% grade) the other two are a little more mellow. And let’s just do six hours instead of 5. With the course and time set, my division? The Potsdam, Training for a Big Race, Mountain Bike, Timed Criterium.

The weather was calling for scattered thunderstorms, and I started the ride in a downpour. The dirt roads were muddy and soft. But the rain only lasted about 2 laps, then it stopped. And gradually the roads dried a little bit, and got a little firmer.

I settled back into the ride: crank/sprint up the kicker hill, “recover” down the backside, temp the rest of the way around.

One of the things I like about this event is that it is meditative. You can settle into it and through repetition lose yourself. Yeah, OK that’s definitely the half full metaphysical version. 32 laps around my block was definitely tedious. :)

Coreen and the kids came out periodically and cheered me on. They got me bottle refills, and 3 hours in, brought me a coke (Yumm, best mid ride drink ever!).

The weather held pretty good until about 4 hours into the ride (2 hours to go) when it rained hard again for about 20 minutes. All that nice firming up of the dirt road, gone. It became soft and muddy again.

After 6 hours the GPS said I did 86 miles, with a 14.4 mph average and a 4400 ft elevation gain. Oh, and I won my division (go figure).


My most memorable moment of the day: hitting a big snapping turtle. It’s turtle-mating season here and they are all over the place. They like to lay eggs next to the roads. The incident occurred during the initial downpour. I had a face full of spray — was cleaning it out — and when I looked up, there she was: directly in my path. I swerved and clipped her. She was fine (me too!), but it could have been very ugly.

Cars? Only was passed by one the entire six hours. I love living on a dirt country road.


  1. Comment by Wife#1 | 06.4.2013 | 4:19 pm

    “It’s turtle-mating season here…”

    There’s no topping that line!

  2. Comment by leroy | 06.4.2013 | 4:39 pm

    Is that the turtle on the bottom right of the last photo?

    If it follows you home, can you keep it?

  3. Comment by Grego | 06.4.2013 | 5:36 pm

    I didn’t know Basso made mountain bikes! Is that Ti?

  4. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 06.4.2013 | 5:44 pm

    Honey. I think the turtle does have to get on top for success.

  5. Comment by Doug (way upstate NY) | 06.4.2013 | 7:41 pm

    @grego, yes it’s Ti. The frame was made by Lightspeed for Basso. It was made in 1993 and sat wrapped in my LBS until two summers ago when I built it up. Love that bike.

    We have all kinds of “seasons” up here. Turtle season is just one of many. ;)

  6. Comment by Grego | 06.4.2013 | 8:28 pm

    Sweet, Doug! Basso really had their angles well-tuned. 1993 Litespeed–also highly desirable. Congrats on your discerning choice and on the 6 hours of loopz.

  7. Comment by Sam Peri | 06.5.2013 | 1:22 am

    Wow! You’ve finished 86 miles for 6 hours with a 14.4 mph average and a 4400 ft elevation? No wonder you’ve won on your division. Amazing! :-)

  8. Comment by art | 06.5.2013 | 6:21 am

    Two of the things I miss most about Potsdam are long rides with no car traffic and checking out the NOS oddities at the Treadmill.

  9. Comment by Tom in Albany | 06.5.2013 | 7:40 am

    Nice job, Doug! You’re lucky that turtle didn’t snap your tire!

  10. Comment by rich | 06.5.2013 | 8:22 am

    nice job!

  11. Comment by Heidi | 06.5.2013 | 8:41 am

    ONE CAR? Wow…

  12. Comment by Carl | 06.5.2013 | 8:44 am

    You are a hoot Doug! Great job!

  13. Comment by UpNorth | 06.5.2013 | 10:41 am

    I love that you managed to fit Pooh into your post.

  14. Comment by Jenni | 06.5.2013 | 6:39 pm

    FABULOUS!! Atta boy!!

  15. Comment by Nancy_in_MN | 06.5.2013 | 9:38 pm

    Boy, that turtle incident could have gone very badly!

    Seems like you set an impressive pace, given the climbing and road conditions. Kudos, Doug!

  16. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 06.6.2013 | 1:17 pm

    A picture of the offending party, The New York State Reptile, has been found. Doug should apologize for making this story BIGGER than it was. Hah!


  17. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 06.7.2013 | 9:48 am

    Actually davidh it was more like this:


  18. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 06.7.2013 | 9:49 am

    Stupid link. Here it was like this:

  19. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 06.9.2013 | 10:15 am

    Rain, Mud in the eye, or just a food bonk, I’m sticking with my opinion. Every time I’ve gone back to see the rut, rock, or root that caused my crash I’ve been very disappointed.
    I will ‘tip my hat’ to 4400 ft, wet shorts, and mud in the eye.

  20. Comment by The Hammer | 06.10.2013 | 9:48 am

    You are awesome Doug! The ride and the pix of the “snapping turtle” has me laughing very hard! I’m excited to see you at Leadville again this year! Good luck with the training!


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