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100 Miles of Nowhere - Cycle

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Camden, Maine
United States
Fat Cyclist
80F / 27C
Total Time = 7h 19m
Overall Rank = 1/500
Age Group = 47
Age Group Rank = 1/1
Pre-race routine:

For six years, Fat Cyclist (Elden Nelson: has put on a virtual race called "100 Miles of Nowhere." The first year, he rode 100 miles on rollers in his basement. The race is now suggested as riding the most monotonous route that you can safely come up with to make 100 miles.I have wanted to participate in the past, but the timing never worked out. This year the stars seemed to align.

One of the criteria for participating is you must create your own division and it must be specific enough to guarantee first place in your division. My division this year was 46 year old mother's of two kids from Maine.

I had several options for routes: down in the basement on the trainer with ready access to NetFlix, Hulu and the facilities, a 5.12 mile loop that passes within 1/2 mile of the house, but has enough elevation gain that over the 20 loops I would have to ride would come out to over 10,000 feet of elevation gain (which really sounded like more than I could handle) and the final loop is a fairly flat 2 mile loop that is lightly traveled, passes right in front of a friend's house, and is mostly shady. Once the weather cooperated - the shorter 2 mile loop became the route of choice.

Fat Cyclist is a truly phenomenal cyclist, and for him to bust out a 100 mile ride on a weekend isn't that exceptional (he must ride 100 mile rides at least twice a month during nice weather), so I knew I would be approaching this race from a decidedly different place than the typical participant. I haven't ridden 100 miles outside in many, many years and definitely not since I got into triathlons. I was quite nervous about attempting this distance.
Event warmup:

I woke up early (around was a weekend and I really should have been sleeping...but I was awake, so I got up), headed downstairs and made my coffee and breakfast. Ate a bagel with smoked salmon, a bowl of fruit and a coffee. I lubed up with lots of sunscreen (it was supposed to be a sunny and hot day), loaded up my backpack with lots of extra food, water, sunscreen and an extra change of clothes just in case. I rode over to my friend's house (who had graciously offered their driveway as a pit stop - with facilities!), dropped the backpack and got started.
  • 7h 19m
  • 100 miles
  • 13.67 mile/hr

Started out just cruising, focused on drinking a swallow of either Nuun or water every loop with food (either a Honey Stinger Waffle, a gu, or chomps) every 30 minutes. I was trying something a little different nutrition-wise...fueling much more than I have in the past.

After about 16 loops, an organized ride that I like to participate in on Sunday's came by and they all road 2 loops with me. That was fun! Then Sally (a friend who I'm trying to convince to participate in the Dempsey Challenge - a 50 mile bike ride in October) showed up and road another 3 loops with me.

I was stopping about every 10 loops to use the facilities (if necessary), reload the food stash, top off my waters and relube with the sunscreen.

It was really interesting to see how the route changed over the course of the day - at the start, it was dead calm, no one about, a little fog coming off the lake. About an hour in, lots of walkers with their dogs (who all thought I was a little nuts when I passed them so many times), then migrating to kids riding their bikes to the lake with a little more vehicle traffic and then finally to nuts like me out on long bike rides.

I felt pretty good, but expected to through mile 60 or so. Around that time my kids showed up and rode a couple of loops with me (that was nice!), then corralled the kids at the pit stop house to go swimming, so we all rode over to the swimming area (right on the route). I grabbed a sandwich (I had asked my husband to bring me lunch - he brought peanut butter and honey sandwiches which on the cover sounds really good, but after all the sweet gu, chomps and honey stinger waffles didn't taste good to me at all), and kept riding.

I made it to 80 miles and knew I only had 10 loops left (whoo hoo!). I felt great, and knew this thing was going to happen. 9 loops left, the wind started to pick up a bit - of course on the 1/2 mile incline part. 8 loops left, I ate a honey stinger waffle and decided to drink as much as I could (I hadn't peed in quite a while and it was getting quite warm). 7 loops left - I know I've got this. 6 and 5, just chugging along. I told myself that I would eat my last waffle on the 4th or 3rd loop. Once I got to those loops, I (foolishly) told myself that it wasn't much longer, hold on and just drink. Let's just say the last two loops were more challenging than they needed to be. Last loop, as I turn onto Molyneaux Road, the Garmin does it's thing and I let out a whoop! I finished!

One thing that kept going through my mind is that no matter how frustrated I get with my lack of progress (I really would like to be faster and not injured), it is remarkable how far I have come from when I started this journey. I live in a beautiful place, with lots of dear people around that support me...and I can ride 100 miles in a single day.
What would you do differently?:

Eat consistently, remind my husband to bring non-sweet things for lunch, and keep drinking!
Post race
Warm down:

I rode my bike to where the girls were swimming, ditched the bike and bike shoes and jumped into the lake. Wow did that feel great! Floated for a bit, puttered around getting things into the car and then back home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The usual: genetics, age, working full time, raising a family

Event comments:

Because this is a self-directed virtual race, I only have myself to blame if the race wasn't organized, running on time, lots of volunteers, drink stations, etc.

It's a great cause, and a great way for me to participate and challenge myself. I'd do this again in a heart-beat. Just not tomorrow.

Last updated: 2013-06-02 12:00 AM
07:19:00 | 100 miles | 13.67 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/1
Overall: 1/500
Performance: Good
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: 2 mile loop (Up Start Road, right on Molyneaux, right on Beaucaire, right on Start Road). Minor hill up Start Road (about 1/2 mile in distance, maybe a 4% grade), flat, flat, flat on Molyneaux and a couple of bubbles on Beaucaire. The biggest problem with the route was the fairly rough condition of the road.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks: Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2013-06-02 7:02 PM

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Midcoast Maine
Subject: 100 Miles of Nowhere

2013-06-06 3:50 PM
in reply to: #4764300

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Subject: RE: 100 Miles of Nowhere
Jennifer, I've always wanted to do this event. Thanks for writing up a rr and congrats on your 1st place finish! ;-) I'm going to mark my calendar for next year.
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