I am, among my friends, the one who comes up with the dumbest ideas for races and rides to go to. After I convinced two hearty souls to ride the Black Fly Challenge with me last June (rain, and endless false-flat uphill sand road climbing ensued), it should not have surprised me when neither of them, nor anybody else, responded to my email a few months ago that I was thinking of tackling the 100 Miles of Nowhere. Not even when I suggested we could do it somewhere other than my basement.
Inspired by Fatty
No matter. I had gotten pretty comfortable on my rollers over the long Vermont winter anyway. See, since February, I've been on a quest to lose some weight and get in shape. In fact, I was initially inspired by Fatty's "10 pounds before Christmas" challenge in December, but didn't actually get around to buying or stepping on a scale until early February. I started watching what I ate and riding my rollers, which I found, in some sick and twisted way, I actually enjoyed.
By the time registration rolled around for this years' event, I knew I was ready and dove in, even though I'd never ridden a century (of any sort) before and the longest I had ever made it on the rollers was about 45 minutes. The limiting factor on rollers is more saddle pain than anything. It is very, very difficult on normal rollers to stand up and pedal for any length of time. Mere mortals like me cannot afford e-motion rollers like Fatty has, which do allow some standing. In fact, I have determined that if I had the money for a set of e-motion rollers, I could have seven sets of regular rollers set up in my basement. Of course, you have to remember that nobody wants to ride with me because I come up with dumb ideas for rides, and finding one other person, let alone six people, to share my special kind of misery would have been a challenge.
Anyway. The roller miles kept coming and I slowly formulated my plan. As the father of a seven-month old, I'd do the ride overnight, when my absence would be least missed. I'd start it on June 3, the night before the official June 4 date, so if something happened I would have plenty of time to get my miles in through the weekend. When June 3 came, like a total bike geek, I mounted my number plate and got ready:
|The bike and training table with water and energy bars|
The ride itself was pretty uneventful. I ate my meatergy bar right off, drank some water, and put down the first 25 miles. Then a friend of my wife's arrived or a visit, so I went upstairs, said "hi" ate about three pieces of pizza, drank a beer and a glass of wine, and after about an hour and a half, headed back downstairs to ride more.
After the Break
I rode a 34 mile leg next, which was the longest I had ever been on the rollers in my life. I took about a 15-minute break, then rode another 20 miles, then a break. Lots of water, no more food. I rode a 17 mile leg, then another very short break. Finally, I rode 6 miles and change, bringing the total on my computer to exactly 101.11 miles. My average speed (when I was moving) was 21.3mph, and my riding time was about 4 hours and 45 minutes. Overall, it took me about 6 hours and 46 minutes, so my average speed for the whole thing was about 14.76 mph. Good enough, especially considering the big long break I took.
|Tale of the Tape.|
In the 100 Miles of Nowhere, you get to make up your own division, and then win it. My division was "guys who rode 1/4, 1/3, 1/5,1/6, and 1/20th (about) of 100 miles in the same night." I showered and got to bed at 4:00AM. I was up at 5:30 with my seven-month old for the usual diaper change. Mission Accomplished.
Next year, outdoors.
I enjoyed the ride but I think my only chance of getting anybody to do it with me next year is to move the festivities outside. I'm already searching Google Maps for likely locations:
|This looks good.|
Preferably, ones where we can set up some sort of grill-based aid station. That was something I missed down in the basement, as good as my pork-and-apricot energy bar was.