100MoN Race Report: Winner of the “It’s for a Good Cause Division”

11.4.2014 | 11:49 am

A Note from Fatty: Today’s 100 Miles of Nowhere race report comes from Amy Thompson, who is one of the three nicest people in the whole world. 

100 Miles seemed an impossible distance to me. Until four years ago, I would not have even considered it. Four years ago, my husband Dave, signed us up for the ride explaining that we needed to push our son, Rob, to do longer rides. Rob sustained a brain injury six years ago when he was 19. Dave built a tandem three wheeled trike to help in Rob’s recovery. Dave sits in the back and Rob is in a recumbent position in the front.

Dave has been cycling seriously since high school. One hundred miles isn’t a big deal for him.

Rob loves to bike. When he began to speak after emerging from his coma, he regularly asked if he could bike. They were both eager to do a 100 mile ride.


Suffering on a bike is not my idea of a fun time. But this was not about fun, this was about a cause; helping Rob walk again. So I reluctantly agreed.

Our first 100 Miles of Nowhere took more than a month. We would bike about twelve miles at a time. After which, Rob’s legs would tense and shake involuntarily from the workout. I was worried it was hurting Rob. Dave was worried he wasn’t tolerating longer distances. Like many parents, we had different ideas about what Rob needed.


Rob and Dave continued to ride throughout the year. I continued to believe that Dave pushed Rob too hard. Often I chose not to ride with them because it was hard for me to watch. Rob’s legs would rub against the tires during a ride because he didn’t have enough muscle strength to keep his knees from splaying out during a ride. We didn’t realize how bad it was until we took his jeans off and saw the raw sores on the outside of his legs. Dave had to add bars coming up from the pedals to strap Rob’s legs in place so they wouldn’t rub against the tires.

In 2012 Dave signed us up again. Not only was he expecting us to ride, we were going to get up early and drive nearly two hours to ride with other people. I was furious. I thought Dave was setting us up for failure. What I didn’t expect was how nice and supportive the FOF’s were. We rode a 20 mile loop chatting with other riders. Rob was in heaven with all the attention. As we headed for home, Dave started planning the 2013 ride.


Three years after Rob’s accident, we were riding the Livestrong Challenge in Davis and setting a new record, 43.6 miles. It took us longer to ride those 43 miles than it took Elden and Lisa to ride the 100 mile course. I remember saying to Elden after the ride, “I can’t imagine ever being able to ride 100 miles. How do you do it?”

“You just keep doing it and it gets easier and easier,” Elden said. “You could do it.”

I wanted to laugh. But Elden was sincere. I knew he believed that.

This year we rode 60 miles at Levi’s Gran Fondo in Santa Rosa. Well, honestly, Dave and Rob rode 60 miles. I hiked several of the hills and biked the rest. Several times during the day I recalled my conversation with Elden. I knew I could do 60 miles that day. At the end of the day, Rob was tired but his legs weren’t shaking. Dave and I were both amazed at Rob’s progress.


A month later we hosted and rode laps from our house for the 100 Miles of Nowhere. Dave invited 20 people and I stocked up for 20ish hungry cyclists. We had to move the date at the last minute because of rain. Only one other rider showed up, Steve Banks.


I was hoping to set a new record for myself, but it wasn’t my day. Dave and Rob, however, biked 65 miles, a metric 100mon. They biked as long as they could. For the first time since they have ridden together, they both hit the wall. Dave considered that a huge accomplishment.

I am so proud of both of them.


I still think 100 miles is a crazy long ride. Now, I know some day the three of us will do it. All we have to do is keep riding until it gets easier and easier. After all, it’s for a good cause.



  1. Comment by BostonCarlos (formerly NYC) | 11.4.2014 | 12:02 pm

    Rob, Amy, and Dave are the best kind of people. Congrats on your milestone! I’m so excited for you guys!

  2. Comment by NZ Ev | 11.4.2014 | 12:11 pm

    Awesome!!!! Just so Awesome!!!! Thanks for sharing that.

  3. Comment by Jim Tolar | 11.4.2014 | 12:30 pm


    Thank you for sharing your story.


  4. Comment by Fellowfattychris | 11.4.2014 | 12:38 pm

    Just keep doing it and you will! This is one of the best stories I have read this year. Thank you!

  5. Comment by sr | 11.4.2014 | 12:46 pm

    Wonderful. Thanks.
    And good luck for next year.

  6. Comment by Rob L | 11.4.2014 | 12:49 pm

    That is truly inspiring. Wow big cheers for everyone pushing themselves. :)

  7. Comment by MattC | 11.4.2014 | 12:54 pm

    GREAT STORY Amy! It’s been a continuing honor to know you, Dave and Rob these last few years (since we all met on the 1st Davis LIVESTRONG ride). You all are amazing! I only wish I didn’t live so far away so I could ride with you guys more often.

    And Dave…boy oh BOY, NASCAR pit-crews have NOTHING on you….that is one smoking-hot tire repair on the trike! Great video!

  8. Comment by Leigh Anne | 11.4.2014 | 12:59 pm

    count me and steve banks in for next year!

  9. Comment by yannb | 11.4.2014 | 1:05 pm

    Amy, great write up. Really sorry we weren’t able to make it down to join you guys for 100MoN.

    Karen and I are happy to know the 3 of you and look forward to organizing a ride together sooner than later.


  10. Comment by Flying Ute | 11.4.2014 | 1:16 pm

    Great Job guys! Keep riding! It not only gets easier but it gets better and better.

  11. Comment by Eric L | 11.4.2014 | 1:32 pm

    Met Rob and Dave at the LiveStrong in Davis. I was impressed that day and am even more impressed.

    That’s a FOR THE WIN! if ever I saw one.

  12. Comment by Andy@wdw | 11.4.2014 | 1:38 pm

    What an awesome and inspiring story!

  13. Comment by sr | 11.4.2014 | 1:49 pm


    btw, Fatty, you’ve mentioned Rebecca Rusch a few times. She has a piece up at outsideonline dot com , in case you’re interested (actually, it’s an excerpt of “Rusch to Glory”, which I think you’ve already read).

  14. Comment by SteveB | 11.4.2014 | 2:09 pm

    in lieu of my own ride report, I just add here that:
    1) The Thompson’s are great 100 MoN hosts.
    2) Our course featured gravel and geese dodging.
    3) Its much more fun riding this thing with others.
    4) DavidH, sorry you couldn’t make it, but you owe me some pie.


  15. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 11.4.2014 | 2:19 pm

    You guys ROCK!

  16. Comment by Clydesteve | 11.4.2014 | 2:50 pm

    GREAT JOB, Rob, Dave & Amy T!

  17. Comment by ClydeinKS | 11.4.2014 | 3:03 pm

    Thanks for posting, great inspiring story! Amy, I assure you from my experience that if you hit 60 this year you can hit 100 next year. Go for it! Hope to see the summary next year when you do. Also – Dave and Rob, awesome job, keep it up!!

  18. Comment by Doug (way upstate NY) | 11.4.2014 | 3:36 pm

    BTW. That ride in Davis was so much fun.

  19. Comment by Corrine | 11.4.2014 | 3:40 pm

    Truly inspiring. Amy, you will do it, I hope next year! You can do it! Can’t wait for next year’s write up.

  20. Comment by Kathy hemeon | 11.4.2014 | 3:42 pm

    You have always inspired me. You are such an example.

  21. Comment by Steve | 11.4.2014 | 3:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Rob, your will to live and persevere is inspiring. Amy and Dave, your loving and faithful care is an example for parents and anyone who is helping a loved one through difficult times.

  22. Comment by UpTheGrade, SR, CA | 11.4.2014 | 4:50 pm

    Truely inspiring commitment to expanding your horizons, despite the odds. I’m sure you will all be celebrating that century achievement before long.

  23. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 11.4.2014 | 5:17 pm

    Amy forgot to mention Dave and Rob at Rebeccas Private Idaho 2015…or did I let the cat out of the bag?

    Dave was speculating the possibility on the drive home this year, and after the conquering of Coleman Valley I think there’s no doubt they can do Trail Creek.

    An amazing family and so glad to know them!

  24. Comment by BamaJim | 11.4.2014 | 6:46 pm

    Very inspiring! Congratulations on the latest milestone. I’m certain many more are in the future.

  25. Comment by Dinah D | 11.4.2014 | 7:13 pm

    You guys are amazing.

  26. Comment by Janet in Seattle | 11.4.2014 | 7:53 pm


  27. Comment by DaveT | 11.4.2014 | 9:25 pm

    Thank you for the kind comments. So proud of my wife and son’s accomplishments this year.

  28. Comment by bob | 11.4.2014 | 9:25 pm

    It’s getting dusty in here…

    By the way in the 3rd picture who’s the gal 5th from the left in the red jersey and can I get her number?

  29. Comment by Cyclingjimbo | 11.4.2014 | 10:41 pm

    Bravo, Bravo!

    Every ride is what you make of it, and you are getting the most out of yours. Thanks for sharing this great story with us.

  30. Comment by AKChick | 11.5.2014 | 10:41 am

    Can’t tell you how much I needed a wonderful 100 MoN report like this today. It’s been a rough couple months.

    Amy, I have no doubt that you guys will complete 100 miles one of these days. You three are rockstars! :)

  31. Comment by leroy | 11.5.2014 | 11:00 am

    Ditto what AKChick said.

    Wonderful and inspiring!

  32. Comment by AmyT. | 11.5.2014 | 11:24 am

    Thanks everyone for all the kind words and encouragement.

  33. Comment by Liz M. | 11.5.2014 | 12:36 pm

    Congratulations! So looking forward to the sequels next year and beyond. Can’t wait to hear about your further progress.

  34. Comment by Susie H | 11.5.2014 | 2:11 pm

    And Amy? I just want to say, dahling, you loooook mahvelous! Well, really all three of you do! Keep up the good work. You inspire us all!

  35. Comment by Malkin71 | 11.7.2014 | 10:54 am

    I can only say this is a story of what true heart, devotion, determination and spirit is all about. A great reminder of what we can do even when we think we cannot. Great work !!

  36. Comment by NancyJBS | 11.14.2014 | 7:33 pm

    Man, this made me SO happy! Thank you!


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