A Note from Fatty: I am always awestruck by people who have the energy, tenacity, and skill to organize actual real-life events. As you’ve probably noticed, I am not one of those people. Which is why I put on a ridiculous virtual event: the 100 Miles of Nowhere.
What amazes and inspires me is that some people take my silly fake event and turn it into an awesome real event. For example, did you know the 100 Miles to Nowhere (Dobson Ranch Edition) is a real event, and has been going for seven years now?
They raised nearly $10,000 for Cardon’s Pediatric Oncology Program this year. (Sure, that’s a different fundraiser than my intended charity for the 100MoN, but I am 100% in favor of people leveraging my ideas to do good in other ways.) Check out Jim’s race report here.
I have to say, though, that I’m extra double-excited to see that David Harman of Houston put together a 100MoN that sounds like…well, it sounds like a bike-themed county fair to be honest. I wish I could have been there. It sounds that cool.
Of course, that’s becoming a bit of a theme: practically everyone is putting on better 100MoN events than I ever could.
Which, to be clear, I am absolutely perfectly cool with.
100 Miles of Nowhere Race Report: Family Fun Edition
by David Harman
Saturday, November 12th, 2016 at Bear Creek Park on the west side of Houston dawned clear, calm, and full of… boy scouts?
Wait, isn’t this a write up about a bike ride? Supposedly about FatCyclist’s 100 Miles of Nowhere, a ride without a place that raises funds for Camp Kesem?
Its a write up about families. Families that just happen to be riding bikes, watching people ride bikes, eating while riding bikes, eating while watching people ride bikes, launching rockets near bike riders, and chunking pumpkins after people finished riding bikes.
At said park, a bunch of members of Northwest Cycling Club got together to ride in circles around the local crit loop, .75 of a mile with a whole 4 feet of elevation per lap. It was nothing short of a gruelingly difficult course. Especially considering the awful 70 degree, non humid and mostly sunny conditions.
This kind of challenge needed baked goods, lots of them, and spectators. The former was taken care of by my wife, Erica Harman who baked enough to qualify as a Keebler elf the day before the ride.
The latter was held down by a large group of boy scouts who were unexpectedly camped in the middle of our loop! There’s our first non traditional family of the day, 100 or so well behaved scouts who might look at us a bit oddly as the day went on.
Ron Breitwieser II and Gail Scruggs were there early, along with Christina and they all helped us set up a pop up tent, table, food, coolers, tape lines for start and finish lines, and finally, our own bikes.
Rich Faulkner showed up in the middle of the process, the first of our awesome photographers for the day. His skepticism was high for the quality of the ride, but we would soon prove to him that the supremely difficult route was a worthy challenge.
More riders showed up as we approached our 8 am start time. Andrew Rubin, Greg Smith, Kerilyn Scoville, Leigh Willis Moorman, James Monroig, Geoff Donnelly, our second awesome photographer Jeff Rohling.
One brave soul even came out to run with us, thanks Janet Vrasic! Her significant other Sandro came out and rode his old school 30+ lb 80s hardtail MTB for quite a few laps too!
Later in the day, Leigh’s hubby and kids came along, as did Kerilyn’s. They all rode laps too (Dan Scoville promptly blowing away everyone on the course, and Danielle Scoville dropping some seriously speedy laps for a 10 year old, proving to her parents that she’s a sandbagger for sure!)
Throughout the day, the same theme repeated, as James’ wife came out, Kerilyn’s mom and dad showed (and rode!) Brent’s wife and recently introduced to the world future champion cyclist child River came. Jeff and Christina worked together in the past. Janet and I had as well. Family, of all kinds. Blood, friends, colleagues, all united by the intensity and insane difficulty of riding a tremendously difficult challenge. United in insanity.
United with 5150 race plates.
To spice up the 133 lap mental challenge, we dropped a few challenges in throughout the day. We had the following races during the race:
Flying 200 meter sprint (ok, more like 150 meters or so):
- 1st – Dan Scoville – 9.79 seconds
- 2nd – David Harman (yes, me) 9.81 seconds. 2 hundredths off. ARG!
- 3rd – Ron Breitweiser 10.34 seconds
Bunch sprint crit style lap
- 1st – Brent Neal
- 2nd – Geoff Donnelly
- 3rd – Ron Breitweiser
Ok, this one needs some explanation. We did a lap each on a very heavy, single speed cruiser with coaster brakes. Basically the hardest thing to go fast on. It was highly amusing, and MUCH harder than expected!
- 1st – Brent Neal 2.19
- 2nd – Dan Scoville 2.24
- 3rd – Ron Breitweiser 2.26
Who can ride about 50 feet the slowest without putting a foot down or crashing?
- 1st – Ron Breitweiser
- 2nd – Brent Neal
- 3rd – Gail Scruggs
Fastest lap of the day
- 1st – Dan Scoville 1.52
- 2nd – Brent Neal 1.55
- 3rd (Tie) – Ron Breitweiser and Kerilyn Scoville 2.06
- 4th – Greg Smith 2.08
Around and around we went, alone, forming small groups, duos, trios, stopping for banana bread, cookies, brownies, pie, cake, and ok, some water. We chatted, We rode hard, we rode easy, we rode with people we always ride with, we rode with people we were just getting to know better. And we gradually became our own kind of family. Supportive, different in style and approach, a little crazy, and a whole lot of fun.
People packed it in when they felt like it. Some rode only a few miles. Quite a few rode 50 or more. Janet ran more than six miles. The boy scouts started launching rockets around noon.
For a 133 lap slog, it never got boring! There was Rich’s and my near death experience setting up for my flying sprint attempt (brakes were hit during the 3 man lead out wind up, my rear wheel locked and went sideways at 22+ inches from the next wheel, and Rich was behind me filming the whole thing. If we go down, we all go down hard. But I managed to right the ship, nobody laid it down, and we nailed the sprint the next lap through!)
The wind picked up making the finishing straight tougher as the day went on. More folks showed up, Teresa Foshee Cardamone did a couple laps on the POS bike and rode with us on our final lap, Daniel Sanchez and his wife came out for the last hour or so to cheer us on.
Four brave folks finished the full 100. Greg Smith finished first in a blistering 5:40 or so actual time. He got the big medal for his category, Fastest Crazy.
Then Kerilyn Scoville finished about an hour later, getting the award in her category, Fastest Person with a Metal Rod in her Leg.
Then James Monroig, in the category Fastest Person who Tossed his Cookies in the Morning Pre Ride.
I rode with them all on their last laps. Finally, I closed the course down in about 7:20 actual time (lots of stoppage time though.) On my last lap, all the brave souls still at the park came out and we rode a victory lap. I won my category, Fastest Actual Fat Cyclist.
Other category winners:
- Ron Breitweiser – Fastest Insurance Adjuster
- Gail Scruggs – Fastest 57 year old
- Geoff Donnelly – Fastest Jet Lagged Brit
- Jeff Rohling – Fastest Former Super Cop
- Rich Faulkner – Fastest Former Skeptic
- Dan Scoville – Fastest Really Actually Fast Person
- Brent Neal – Fastest On The Least Sleep
- River Neal – Soon To Be Fastest Neal
- Danielle Scoville – Soon To Be Fastest Female Rider In NWCC
- Andrew Rubin – Fastest Person Getting or Getting Over a Cold
- Christina – Fastest Person With A Cup Holder On Her Bars
- Erica Harman – Fastest Baker
Medals were summarily awarded to all cat champions. I’m forgetting some, so please call me out in the comments!
All in all, it was a truly memorable day with our families, blood and otherwise. Great fun was had by all, anyone who was skeptical about how good a ride around a circle 133 times could be was convinced otherwise.
And to top it all off, while we rested at the end, beer or cake in hand, the boy scouts set up a trebuchet (yes, really) and tossed a couple pumpkins for our entertainment. You can’t script this stuff.
Next year, even sillier, even bigger, and even more fun. See you all then!