100MoN Race Report: Winner of the Paradoxical Norwegian Alaskan (Out Of Canada) Open Water Bandit Division

10.28.2014 | 8:14 am

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A Note from Fatty: You’ve read about my stepdaughter, The Swimmer, here before (here and here and here, for a few examples). 

Well, now she’s all grown up and going to college. 

And while she’s there, she’s spending a couple afternoons each week helping kids—most of whom have parents that don’t speak a lot of English—with their homework.

These are kids without any money, and they’re working hard to overcome some pretty formidable obstacles. So I really love it that The Swimmer is spending her time helping them move forward like this. 

And right now, just for this one day, The Swimmer could use our help. Here’s a letter she posted on Facebook, explaining:

Mondays and Wednesdays are my favorite days of the week. 

That’s because those are the days are when I volunteer at the Hser Ner Moo Community Center in South Salt Lake City, helping kids in underprivileged families with their homework. It’s a safe environment where they can meet and play with their friends. 

Today, while we volunteers gathered 60 young kids together to make the announcements, one young girl raised her hand and innocently asked, “When are we getting Halloween costumes?” 

I hated having to respond, “The center didn’t get enough funds this year to buy Halloween costumes.”  

That sucks. These wonderful kids don’t have much—not much at all, in fact. But they should at least have Halloween costumes. 

And if you’ll help me, it’s not too late to get them those costumes. 

We, together, can make a difference in these kids lives. Will you please donate at the link below? $20 will get a kid a whole costume. $10 is great too. If you can donate $5, awesome. Whatever you can.

ALL of this money will go to their costumes. All of it. So go to this link and donate: 

[Goal achieved; link now removed]

It’s my stepdad’s (Elden Nelson) Paypal account, so don’t worry about the name showing his email address.

There are 60 kids I spend time with every week who don’t think they’re going to have a Halloween this year. I love the idea of them finding out that they are. 

 Thank you!

Some friends and family have donated, but she’s only a quarter of the way to her goal of $1200. I’m hoping that Friends of Fatty can take up the slack. But we’ve got to do it today; they’re either buying or not buying costumes tomorrow. 

10:45AM update: We’re at $907 — 3/4 of the way there. Thanks to everyone who’s donated!

11:30AM update: We’ve hit and surpassed the $1200 mark; I’m declaring victory and shutting down the links. Thank you to everyone who donated; you are incredibly generous.

Another Note from Fatty: Today’s race report comes to you from Mike H, to whom I am awarding the first-ever “Didn’t have to edit this at all, not even by adding additional paragraph breaks” award. Nice going, Mike!

100MoN Race Report: Winner of the Paradoxical Norwegian Alaskan (Out Of Canada) Open Water Bandit Division

Last year, I participated in my first 100 Miles of Nowhere: 220 mind-numbing laps of insanity around a 0.45-mile course. I loved every minute of it. So naturally, I had big plans for this year.

What could I do to top that? Shorter loops had been done. Insane hill-climby loops had been done. Even completely stationary rides had been done.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to announce that I have achieved the impossible: a 0.0000-mile course in which the rider finishes 100 miles away from the start.* It’s 100 Miles of Nowhere that actually goes Somewhere. The mind boggles! Even more amazingly, the entire course is on water, miles from any land. How can this be??

*Actual event not 100 miles; see below.

The Best-Laid Plans…

Of course, great plans rarely go off without a hitch. I hit a major snag before this even got started.

Like all of you, on registration day I dutifully hammered Twin Six’s website to the point of falling over in a pile of melted electronics and smoke. I was pretty sure I got through because my credit card had been charged.

Or so I thought.

Fast forward a month, and I noticed there was no charge from Twin Six on my CC statement. Panic!

Contact with Twin Six confirmed my fear: while my card was temporarily authorized, no order was actually placed. And 100 MoN was now definitely sold out. Imagine one of those great photos of Fatty with an exaggerated frown on his face here.

[A Note from Fatty: Here, I can help you with that:] 

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There was only one thing to do: bandit the race; I just hoped that I wouldn’t get kicked off the course by race officials.

I planned to wear my 100 MoN t-shirt from last year to help look like I belonged. With any luck, nobody would notice the difference between that and this year’s snazzy new jersey.

Norwegian Sun

Aside from that little detail of registration, the plan was relatively simple:

  • Day 0: take a vacation to the Pacific Northwest
  • Day 1: run a marathon somewhere outside Seattle
  • Day 2: get to Vancouver and board a cruise ship to Alaska
  • Day 3: ride bandit in the 100 Miles of Nowhere

That’s right, my 100 Miles of Nowhere took place entirely in the fitness center of a cruise ship. Clever, huh? This was my view:

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Since stationary bikes are notoriously bad at estimating equivalent distance, I decided to measure my progress against the actual distance traveled by the ship while I rode. We cruised at about 18 mph, which would be a reasonable approximation of the speed I might ride on a real bike.

I settled in, loaded up a few movies on the tablet, fired up the GPS, and started the race.

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The ride itself was pretty uneventful. The race officials didn’t bother me, though clearly they posted signs designed to scare off bandits:

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I’m sure registered participants were told to ignore the signs, as of course it would take much longer than 30 minutes to complete the race.

Additionally, the stationary bike would shut off after 30 minutes of use, another obvious tactic designed to thwart bandits (I’ll bet the official race bibs had some sort of chip in them that would deactivate this feature for registered riders). But I didn’t let that stop me; I used it as a nice reminder to get up and get a drink of water before going back to work.

Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

Suddenly, after exactly fifty miles, the race director called off the event. To be honest, I was shocked. The official statement was that “the seats on these gym bikes are excruciatingly uncomfortable,” followed by: “Fifty miles is more than enough just 2 days after running a marathon; what, did you think I was going to jump in the ocean and swim 2.4 miles to complete the reverse Ironman?”

I don’t know what they were talking about, but hey, that was ok with me. And guess what? I still won my division. It was kind of weird that they even had a Norwegian Alaskan (Out Of Canada) Open Water Bandit division, but I’ll take it!

Here’s the actual tracklog of the event (exciting, huh?):

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And here’s a zoomed out view:

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Epilogue

I’ve never run or ridden a race as a bandit before, and I certainly don’t plan to do so in the future. To make this endeavor as official as possible, given the circumstances, I decided to make a donation directly to Camp Kesem. Apparently the internet gods do not want to make this easy for me:

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So a paper check is in the mail. Hopefully it doesn’t get lost or anything.

Finally, I have to give a big shout of thanks to Megan B at Twin Six for making sure I was at the top of the list to buy an official 100MoN jersey after all the race kits went out to registered participants. It just came the other day, and I’ll definitely wear it with pride.

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PS: The cruise was great. We had beautiful weather, got lots of gorgeous photos, and most importantly: ate loads of dessert (I had to replenish my dangerously depleted dessert reserves, you know?).

 

The 100 Miles of Nowhere: Winner of the Black Rock Divison

10.27.2014 | 9:02 am

A Note from Fatty: I’ll be posting 100 Miles of Nowhere reports all this week, while I work hard on a project I’ll be unveiling very soon. It’s a project that’s been a long time in the making, I’m very proud of it, and you should be able to have it in your hands by Christmas. 

Another Note from Fatty: Today’s 100 Miles of Nowhere race report is written by Kristie P, but is about Bobbie R.

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The Noodle Made Her Do It

It was Fatty’s idea but the reason Bobbie got on the bike at all is because the @thenoodleater made her do it. The “Vehemence of Suckage” she wrote, as a descriptor of the ride a few years ago, May 2009. Janeen rode her bike indoors for 100 miles. The true spirit of the 100 Miles of nowhere challenge by the Fat Cyclist, Elden Nelson is to ride 100 miles in a small and ridiculous circuit. An indoor trainer definitely qualified as a small circuit.

The following year she did a small loop circuit. The year after a one-mile circuit of hill repeats at 8% grade. The year after 5 back-to-back days of 100 miles riding to a town called Nowhere.

So why does it matter what Janeen does? It matters because she writes and video blogs about her adventures. Her writing takes you inside that place in your head where stupid plans happen that are both physically and mentally challenging. She captures the quirkiness of the moments, of the suffering, in a way that makes you say, “Hey, I want to suffer like that.”

And Bobbie did want to suffer like that.

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No More Misses

Bobbie has signed up for the “100 MoN” for a couple years only to take a pass on the event for varying reasons that life hands your way. This year was not to be missed.

For 2014 Fatty decided that the inane race event would be held in October rather than May. It is still a fundraiser for Camp Kesem and the sponsorship list has grown. I think the tipping point this year was the new sponsor of The Sufferfest. Fatty and Twin Six teamed up with a pretty rocking jersey to commemorate this race. Gu Energy, CarboRocket, The Feed, Banjo Brothers, DZ Nuts, with a race plate by Bike Monkey. On October 18, 2014, Bobbie would race the nearly mile loop around Black Rock Estates, our neighborhood.

Morning came and Bobbie and I got up, dressed, and had the usual bacon and egg breakfast. At about 7:30 we hit the street. Bobbie took off and I made a u-turn back to the house.

I had forgotten my helmet, duh.

The Plan, Executed

The plan was to ride your own race around and around for 100 miles. Bobbie had downloaded the new audiobook by Cary Elwes, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride to keep her company. This turned out to be a brilliant idea. If you are going to ride in insane circles for hours on end, a story about the making of the greatest adventure is surely good company.

It seemed that if we were going to do a race we should start in the race corral. So here is Bobbie is the starting corral with all her competitors.

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It was a cold morning, hovering in the fifties, and overcast. Bobbie and I were split on the course so I didn’t see much of her.

Around and around.

The route, when we walk the block every day, is a straightaway followed by a slight uphill and then downhill, then a smaller straightaway, then another uphill/downhill.

Repeat.

This never seems like a big deal when we walk the dogs. It didn’t seem like a big deal the first 5 or so miles until the realization hit. The fastest you could ever pick up steam was the longer downhill and you would only top out at 20 miles before the turn. The straightaway was actually a slight incline so 16 mph was probably the best you could do here.

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After 10 miles we met up and flipped direction, now riding the left hand circuit. This had a steeper climb but longer downs.

I pulled off at about 12 miles and decided this day was not for me. Bobbie carried on—with Cary Elwes keeping her company—around and around.

10 miles one direction, flip, 10 miles the other direction.

Here she is somewhere around twenty-ish miles, after Mom got up: a snack break of fresh cinnamon rolls.

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And then, back at it:

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Around the 50 mile mark, Bobbie came in for lunch and had a bit of a break. The hills were adding up and she was already at 3,000+ feet of climbing.

And the wind had started to pick up. The wind had made the left hand circuit a longer headwind direction so she had switched exclusively to right hand circuits.

The boredom was growing.

The Crowd Goes Wild

Back on out Bobbie plugged on, while I stayed inside to do chores.

Then, about 90 minutes later I wandered out with an armload of snacks and drinks and found a rider coming around the corner. We stopped for a chat and a drink and then back on the route for Bobbie.

Around and around.

Anita, the resident musician, was finally up and ready for the day. It was getting close to the time Bobbie should be just about finished. We grabbed a tuba and trombone and went out to the corner.

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Each time Bobbie came around we played some kinda fanfare (since I don’t play tuba it was definitely some kind of something!)

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One of the neighbors, Kris Lewis, and her daughter stopped by.

“What’s going on?”

“Oh, Bobbie is riding 100 miles around the block and we are playing music for her.”

Of course.

Bobbie was nearing the last couple laps so Anita raced back to the house and got a table and some water to look like a snack stop.

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Around Bobbie came and we cheered with music, cute stuffed flowers, a honking neighbor, and a table of water.

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Another neighbor stopped as she drove by, “What’s going on?” We responded the same way and the teenage daughter sitting in the passenger seat looked like this must be the stupidest idea ever, lips curled over braces. We smiled.

Victory!

Finally, the last lap arrived and Bobbie completed a hundred miles in the headwind, on hills, in a boring-ass loop around the neighborhood. Her book ended as she was done and we all went back to the house.

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Bobbie ended up with about 7,000 feet of climbing on that hill we don’t think much of. The wind held steady throughout the afternoon at 12-15 mph and gusts up to 20 mph.

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The 100 miles of nowhere was a tough riding day. It sucked. It was hard. It was done. The vehemence of suckage was experienced.

A smile spread across Bobbie’s face. She was rewarded with a pile of pastries from Saffron Bakery and she inhaled a fresh baklava.

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And then, a long hot bath.

100 Miles of Nowhere: Haiku-Style Report About Epic 120+ Laps and 12,000 Feet of Climbing Division

10.24.2014 | 7:13 am

A Note from Fatty: Today’s 100 Miles of Nowhere race report comes from Chris S, who rode an absolutely insanely wonderfully ridiculous race. It brought me to tears, nearly, it was so crazy. He then wrote a fantastic series of haikus for his report. 

Somehow, he managed to be understated about it all, though.

So you may want to stick around for my postscript at the bottom of his report, where I do a few bonus screen captures from the Strava log of his ride.

100MoN: Winner of the 12,000+ Feet Through Kids Playing Basketball in the Ipswich Alps Division

Looping hill repeats
One hundred miles of nowhere
Twelve thousand foot climb.

Going slow uphill
Rider grinds standing pedals
Small moans mark hilltop.

100MoN

Kids play basketball
Territory being claimed
flying bike blocks shot.

Pass one raking man
Pass two putting leaves in bag
Pass three empty lawn

Mile seventy five
Urgency breaks the circle
I ride home to pee.

Endless loop ending
Part of suburban texture
They look sideways now.

PS From Fatty: Here are the Strava stats from Chris’s ride:

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And here’s what the elevation profile looks like: 

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It’s such a jagged profile that you almost can’t see what’s going on, at that resolution. Here’s a closeup of a portion of just the first few miles of that elevation profile: 

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What does this mean? It means Chris went up 97 feet, on one side of a neighborhood block, then down the other side of that block. More than 120 times. (Maybe he knows exactly how many times, but there’s no way I’m going to try to count.)

Here’s what his Strava breadcrumb around that block looks like: 

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And just for fun, here’s what a closeup of one corner of his ride looks like:

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I tell you, Chris is a wonderful kind of crazy.

100MoN: Winner of the Completely Insane 200 Laps Around a Half-Mile MTB Course Division

10.23.2014 | 8:06 am

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A Note from Fatty: Today’s 100 Miles of Nowhere Race Report comes to you courtesy of Mike K — the very same Mike K I (unsuccessfully) spent chasing in the 6 Hours in Frog Hollow race last April. 

I gotta say, it’s pretty awesome to have Mike, a guy I previously didn’t know at all, now riding the 100MoN and posting a story. 

Enjoy!

I completed my version of this nutty challenge at the Eagle Bike Park in wonderful Eagle, Idaho on Monday, 10/20/2014.

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The weather was fabulous and at the end of the day…well take a look below!

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I got my inspiration from other past participants such Bull Schuck for doing his ride in a Cul-de-Sac; I know that I am not tough enough for that sort of thing, but I figured if I was on my mtn. bike and playing in the dirt, a short course would not be that difficult.

Well let me tell you, the mind can be a terrible thing!

As the picture above shows, the Eagle Bike Park has many wonderful, fun and challenging trails. However, I was on a 0.5 mile section that took me approximately 2 minutes and 20 seconds to complete. I pressed the lap button 56 times in just under 2.5 hours before I finally cried uncle and decided laps really do not matter.

On all but four occasions, I did not deviate from my route! Two of those were for nature breaks and the other two when I tried to break up the monotony and go in the opposite direction. I felt like Derek Zoolander, because I could not go the other way; my turns were all off and I was forced to ride much slower.

So like a lab mouse I figured the safest thing for me was to do the same route; over and over and over again! But I still made sure to have a little fun.

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I was fortunate to have a couple of friends join me off and on for the first 5 hours; Rich Brown and Rich Miller (my photog) chased me or had me chase them while yelling encouragement. Good times!

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Rich Brown in chase mode

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I stopped every hour for a fresh bottle of Tailwind and on occasion a Clif bar or Roctane. I also needed to clean and lube my drivetrain during that time since the moon dust was so thick.

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At the 5-hour mark, when I took a short lunch break, I finally let myself look at the mileage and I was very happy to see 64.2.

YES!

I honestly thought that I might be riding into the night, since the laps were so short and I was too paranoid to peek at mileage any earlier.

After lunch I was ready to rock and set out to push myself a little harder. If I had not yet mentioned it, I was treating this as a race and not a ride. I figured this was my last big training effort before 25 Hours in Frog Hollow; being both physically and mentally taxing due to the course.

My next mileage check was not due until hour 7, so T.V. on the Radio, RHCP, the Beastie Boys and a host of others kept me company until that time and time went by fairly quickly.

I really was having fun in my little maze!

Hour 7 arrived and I switched to the mileage screen; 91.1 miles. Oh yes! It was looking like I was going to finish by 5:30pm, which was some arbitrary time I had thrown out to my friends. Another small victory!

I took my last feed and headed out to knock off those remaining miles. Now I already knew that I should switch my Garmin screen back to ride time and not have the mileage up, but hey it was less than 9 miles to go; how long can it take? Well it took forever and I kept looking at the darn screen! 91.7; 92.2; 92.8 and it just went on.

All I had to do was reach down and press a button twice and I would have my ride time up and life would be better again.

Nope, I had to suffer, watchig the tenths of a mile tick by.

At mile 97 Rich Miller came by to check on me and give more encouragement, so I lied and acted cheerful and exclaimed “only 3 miles to go!” He even got a picture of me with the lie on my face.

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Well those miles eventually showed up on the Garmin; I passed my pit area at about 99.7 miles so I got one more lap.

All in all it was a great experience and I plan to do another 100 MoN; in fact I think I have a spot already picked out. I need to thank the local cross racers for making most of the course that I followed: Waffle Cross was the 18th and 19th and those darn dirty crossers know how to have fun.

And thank you Fatty for one off-the-wall challenge!

2014 100 Miles of Nowhere: Jumping the Gun at Stony Creek Metropark Edition

10.22.2014 | 8:53 am

A Note from Fatty: Today’s 100 Miles of Nowhere Report comes from John Oliver (no, not that one).

Another Note from Fatty: I’ve got several good writeups in the hopper…but fewer than I have expected to receive. If you’ve been thinking about sending me your 100 Miles of Nowhere writeup but have thought there was no way it would see the light of day in my blog, you’re probably wrong. And in fact, this year I’d love to have lots of writeups, because I’m hard at work on another project right now, which I will reveal here very soon. See this post for details on how to send in your writeups

I have a confession to make: although I’ve signed up for a few iterations of the 100 Miles of Nowhere in years past, I’ve never actually done the ride. I rationalized it by telling myself that I had made a donation to a worthy cause, and I’ve certainly made good use of some of the swag I’ve received (water bottles, Banjo Brothers bags, an iPod, etc.), but I never really felt like I deserved to wear the t-shirts. This year, I hoped to change that.

I’ve been riding “seriously” since about 1987, with a few years in which I exceeded 2000 miles, but most have been in the 1k – 2k range, with some very lean years when my son was little. I did an organized metric century in the early ’90s, and I rode 65 miles on July 4th of this year, but that had been my longest ride to date. Most of my rides are in the 20 – 40-mile range, with a 50-miler or two thrown in each summer. I’ve dabbled in mountain biking to greater and lesser degrees over the last 10 years, but I’m a roadie at heart. Through mid-September of this year, I was up to about 1300 miles for the year and in the best shape I’ve been in for years, so I thought this should be the year to give the 100 MoN a shot.

My original plan was to go to nearby Willow Metropark, which has a 2.2-mile loop road that can be ridden with no stops if you go clockwise. But 45 laps of that seemed like insanity, and it’s dead flat, so there would be no natural opportunities to stand up and give my posterior a break. So I opted for Stony Creek Metropark — a little farther away, but with a 6-mile loop road, and with enough small elevation changes that I’d be changing position fairly often.

The weather the last week of September was typical fantastic Michigan early fall, sunny and in the 70’s every day. The days have been getting shorter, and as a result, I’ve been riding less frequently since Labor Day, so I decided that it was now or never, before I lost too much fitness. I took Friday 9/26 off of work, packed just about every piece of riding gear I own, 8 water bottles, and a bunch of food, and headed out to Stony to attempt the ride.

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Starting off at around 9:30 am, it was sunny and in the high 50s, so I put on a couple of layers and got rolling. At 6 miles per lap, 16 laps would get me to 96 miles, so I figured I would have to do 17.

The first couple of laps went OK, but my hips and thighs felt very stiff. I think I may have started out too fast in the cool temps. After a couple of laps, I started to feel a little better, but I was having serious doubts as to whether this whole thing was a good idea.

Given the length of my usual rides, I generally don’t worry about what to eat or drink. Water is enough for me for anything up to about 40 miles, and for longer rides, I usually just stop at a convenience store and buy something if needed. I knew that wouldn’t work for the 100 MoN, so I brought a few Clif bars and packed a couple of lunches’ worth of real food.

After about 20 miles, I figured I better start eating, and half a Clif bar every 10 miles seemed like a good guess (i.e. total shot in the dark). I had pre-opened the wrapper and ate about half of the first bar, then stuffed the remainder back in my jersey pocket under my jacket.

Almost exactly 1 lap later, I saw a wrapper blowing down the road and thought, “Oh look, someone dropped a Clif bar wrapper.” As I got closer, I realized it was a Chocolate Brownie wrapper, the same flavor I had been eating. I checked my pocket — empty. About 100 yards up the road, there was half of a Clif bar in the road.

D’oh!

So another bad omen, as my highly experimental nutrition strategy was already off to a bad start. (Incidentally, as an indication of how nearly perfectly calm the wind was for the entire day, once the errant wrapper made it into the short grass at the side of the road, it stayed in exactly the same spot for the rest of the day.)

After 30 miles (5 laps), I stopped to put my jacket in the car and swap my full-fingered gloves for a short-fingered pair, got another Clif bar and a full water bottle, then got back on the road. The next 3 laps were fairly uneventful, other than seeing some herons on the golf course, turkeys on the roadside, and suicidal squirrels.

Around 11:00, the number of other cyclists increased noticeably, and I started getting passed by riders who were fresher than I was and no doubt not planning to ride as far (at least that was the excuse I gave myself).

At 12:30, I pulled up to my car for a break and lunch. I had covered 49.5 miles at this point (the two trips down into and back out of the parking lot had added the 1.5 extra miles). My original plan was to go beyond halfway before lunch, but there was no way I was riding another 6 miles without a break.

I ditched my arm warmers and traded my wool socks for some lighter ones, because it was up to about 65 or 70 degrees by now. I actually felt pretty good, until I got off the bike and sat down on a curb, at which point I realized how stiff I was. One turkey sandwich (not freshly caught), a bag of pretzels, a Coke, and 30 minutes later, I geared back up and moved on.

Again, I was pretty stiff for a couple of laps, but I gradually loosened up in the sun. I figured I would take one more break at 80 miles — 5 more laps — and then have 20 miles left, which I thought would really need to be 24 miles, due to the 6-mile length of the lap. But as I rolled by the entrance to the parking area to complete 10 laps, I noticed that my Garmin read 61.8 miles, because of the extra distance I covered riding down to my car and back out.

Some quick mental calculations (yes, I am able to do those while riding) resulted in the realization that after 16 laps and one more stop, I should be somewhere between 98 and 99 miles. No way was I going to do a complete extra lap when all I needed was an extra mile or so! I decided I’d do the 16 laps, start the 17th, and then find a convenient place to turn around that would get me to 100 miles as I arrived back at the car.

The next 20 miles were pretty painful, with my shoulders, sit bones, and the soles of my feet all ready to call it a day. Hitting 66.67 miles was significant, because at that point not only had I just eclipsed my longest ride ever, but I figured that I only had to repeat half of what I’d already done to complete the ride. 75 miles was another motivating checkpoint.

Did you know that if you ride 100 miles, each mile is one more percentage point closer to completion? (Duh. The deep thoughts I have while riding.)

[A Note from Fatty: I had that exact same thought during my 100 Miles of Nowhere this year.]

When I stopped at 80 miles, I was hurting, but knowing that I had only 20 miles to go — just a short ride, I told myself, as if I hadn’t just done four such rides in a row already — meant that I wasn’t going to give up. I choked down another bag of pretzels and a root beer, and got going again. The last three laps actually went pretty well, although I couldn’t bring myself to eat any more Clif bars while riding.

As I passed all the same landmarks on lap 16, I mentally checked them off and told myself that it was the last time I would have to see each of them. One of the final landmarks was my Clif bar wrapper from about 5 hours previous, which I stopped and picked up as I passed it for the last time at about mile 96.

After 7-1/2 hours total time (6-1/2 hours of actual riding time), I pulled up at my car for the last time and stopped my Garmin at 100.12 miles. When I uploaded the ride to Garmin Connect that evening, the distance somehow got extended to 100.36 miles, but either way, it was in the books. 100 miles, 2700 feet of elevation gain (and an equal amount of descending), and a very roughly estimated 30,000 pedal strokes.

I had done it.

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Given how tired and sore I was that evening, I’m not sure what this ride portends for my pipe dreams of doing a Gran Fondo or the Michigan Mountain Mayhem or L’Etape du Tour or something someday (nothing good, that’s for sure). If I ever do a ride like this again, I know I need to plan out my food strategy a little better beforehand (more sugar!). And as much respect as I had before for anyone who does an Ironman or Leadville or anything like that, I’m even more in awe of them now, especially those who fit in their training around a family and a full-time job.

Fatty, Hammer, and all the rest of you — chapeau! (I’m pretty sure that translates to “Mad props!”)

And thanks, Fatty, for inventing the 100 MoN — a great excuse to do something fun, and more than a little crazy, for a good cause! I wore last year’s event t-shirt today, and I’ll continue to wear it — and this year’s jersey — with pride!

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