100 Miles of Nowhere: DNF While Germany is Underwater Division

06.22.2013 | 12:17 pm

How the heck can you possibly DNF something that doesn’t actually go anywhere?

Originally, we were going to do 100 miles along the Main River from where we live near Frankfurt to Würzburg in Bavaria. It would have been a very nice ride for my wife and I, and while breaking the basic tenet of MON, would have resulted in some beautiful photos and a welcome break for her from being a triathlon widow as things get serious before Ironman Frankfurt this summer.

Unfortunately, several things happened to prevent this. The first is that by Saturday I already had two 80 mile rides in during the week, needed to run several hours and basically had an Ironman-induced panic attack. The second is that it was raining. Not just light summer rain, either. Really raining. Half of Germany is underwater ( http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/flooding-worsening-in-parts-of-germany-6-dead-in-europe-so-far-a-903396.html ). Here are some pictures of the trails we’d intended to take:


This is the trail along the river Main. Flooded as far as I could see. I checked all the entrances to it for quite a ways and all were flooded out on Sunday and Monday. The water is going down today, though.


This was part of last year’s MON route. Also flooded out. That’s my city bike, which is what I use instead of a car these days.

So, to recap: Germany is flooded. I’m freaking out and have to stick to the TRAINING PLAN. Which calls for three hours of hard intervals on Saturday. There are no arks available. There is but one option for the Saturday ride. The dreaded trainer.

Which makes this MON a MON in the most traditional sense. I put the tri bike on the trainer, loaded up a movie and started pedaling. I intended to do 50 miles and call it good enough. (And it would have been good enough to win the Ex-Pat Lesbian Wife Good Enough division.)

Sadly, we don’t have any pictures of me on the trainer on Saturday. Have a picture of the cat using the bikes in our living room bike parking area as his own jungle gym. The one in the front is the bike I was on the trainer for 3:06 on Saturday.


Here is a list of movies that are not a good choice for watching while pedaling hard on the bike trainer:

1) Schindler’s List

It is long enough and it is a good movie. Oscar winner and all. But by the time the credits were rolling, I was bawling, and I was done. I didn’t have the last three miles in me. So, in fact, I was DQ’d from my division for cutting the course and only managing 47 miles on the trainer. I think the movie hit me especially hard because I live in Germany now. (Note that I do intend to remedy the DNF and actually get a good 100 Miles of Nowhere in when Nowhere is no longer flooded later this summer.)

So, being alone on the bike for three hours with Oskar Schindler and his efforts led to a lot of very thinky thoughts about history, being the other, and how awful people can be to each other. Germany has welcomed me when my own country doesn’t want me. You see, I’m part of a bi-national same-sex committed couple (that means that me and my wife are both women) and because of DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act), I couldn’t apply for a fiancé visa for my wife. She would never have been able to live with me in the US with fear of deportation. So we made the hard decision and I left my job (which was the better of the two) and moved to a country where I didn’t speak more than two words of the language (Whereas we both speak English fluently). It was a bit of a blow when protection for us was cut from the Immigration Bill ( http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324659404578499592128446394.html ) So to everyone reading this who has been following the Immigration Bill, the Supreme Court cases, seeing the images of demonstrations from France, and who thinks that it doesn’t matter to you or anyone you know, it does. You know someone it affects now. You know me. And my wife. We have cats, we love bicycles; we have 7 between us. I had to leave my mountain bike behind along with 3 other when I moved because I only had enough space for two in the shipping container I could afford, but I’ve added a few since. I’m a decent cook, she works in the main offices for an American firm here in Germany. We’ve both run a marathon, We like to sleep in on the weekends. She was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen on our wedding day. In short, we are no different than anyone else. Remember us. If you’re ever in Frankfurt, look us up and I’ll take you out for beer and sausages and on some of my favorite rides in the area. You can even borrow my good road bike if you want. I’m trying not to be overly political here because that’s not my goal. I’m not asking you to donate anything, sign anything, change your Facebook icon, nothing. Just the next time you’re reminded of the marriage equality debate, you can think of me. Someone you know. You can say, “Oh yeah. I know Lorraine and her wife. She does Miles of Nowhere, they bike a lot together, they’ve got cats, and they’re good people, just like us.”


Here’s us at our wedding reception, exactly two years ago today (June 4). If you’re wondering why there’s a parrot in the background, we had a pirate themed wedding and my brother had it on the shoulder of his suit the whole night, including here where he gave us his blessing. Another thing of note, see the mark on my wife’s (she’s in green, I’m in blue) right arm? Left over road rash from a crash a few days before. She’s got matching bruises down one leg in glorious Technicolor, but luckily the dress was floor length.


  1. Comment by Nancy_in_MN | 06.22.2013 | 12:31 pm

    Thank you for your race report! It sounds like you won your division and that all competitors were in the same boat… pun intended.

    I can tell you two are a fun pair, it’s not everyone that has a pirate-themed wedding. Or is that common in Germany?

    For a second I thought you had seven cats when I read this: “We have cats, we love bicycles; we have 7 between us.” Then you could have won the Crazy Cat Lady division of the Truncated Germany Division.

  2. Comment by Superstantial | 06.22.2013 | 1:27 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story!
    Better luck next year.

  3. Comment by Al Pastor | 06.22.2013 | 3:39 pm

    I hope someday we can change the attitudes and the law in the US so you can live here legally.

    Nice report.

  4. Comment by Tiffany R | 06.22.2013 | 5:07 pm

    Nice race report! I fully support equal rights for everyone and hope it is a reality soon. Even though it is flooded in your photo, it looks like you live near some stunningly beautiful trails.

  5. Comment by Jim Tolar | 06.22.2013 | 7:17 pm

    Well done,under the circumstances. And,I apologize for our country’s reaction to your life-style. I sincerely hope this changes before my grandkids have to deal with it.


  6. Comment by Triflefat | 06.22.2013 | 7:25 pm

    Pity about the non-ride, but it was nice to be introduced to a fellow Fatty who lives life differently to most of us.

    I liked your understated and classy way of personalising (That’s the Australian spelling BTW)your relationship to us.

    Nice to meet you!

  7. Comment by leroy | 06.22.2013 | 11:09 pm

    Glad to meet you too!

    We have the same wedding anniversary.

    Yes, equality matters and hopefully it’s picking up steam.

    In the meantime, let me share a tip. Don’t wear your wedding ring when riding in cold weather with half gloves. Fingers shrink and wedding rings fall off. Don’t ask me how I know.

    And are you sure you didn’t move to Venice?

  8. Comment by Lorraine | 06.24.2013 | 2:33 am

    Thank you all for being so supportive here! Thank you Fatty for posting my report! I hope we get to do MON in the US someday, meanwhile it’s people like you that make all the difference in the world.

    And a further tip, be careful when sightseeing on a cold fall day in Berlin with no gloves and an already slightly too loose wedding ring. Fingers shrink and wedding rings fall off. Don’t ask me how I know that either.

  9. Comment by Tom in Albany | 06.24.2013 | 6:07 am

    Great job, Lorraine! Sorry that seemingly half the country is so closed-minded.

    I had to borrow a metal detector to find my wedding ring once. My wife lost hers and we’re not sure but, one of us may have thrown it away with the kids empty snack bags. My brother in law lost his after bagging 10 bags of leaves with my sister. They didn’t bother looking for it. So, as much as it means, it is just a ring. It’s a symbol. The love is in your heart…

  10. Comment by Daniel Weise | 06.24.2013 | 10:23 am

    Well done! I can see how the last minute change in course had to be a real hassle and make it hard mentally. I certainly don’t consider it a DNF, I think it was course adjusted due to circumstance. :)

    Hopefully you can compete in a US version in the near future.

  11. Comment by hannah | 06.25.2013 | 1:12 pm

    Thank you for saying this so beautifully. I hope you and your lovely wife get to come home soon to a happier, freer, more tolerant country. In the meantime, my family is sending you wishes for health, happiness, and an awesome Ironman!

  12. Comment by keRN | 06.28.2013 | 12:11 am

    tolerance is a such a subjective word…I wouldn’t throw it out there causally.


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