I start reading the Fat Cyclist blog after reading an article about him in Cycling Magazine. Since that time I have gotten to do a number of things that I never thought I would do. I road in LS Philly and Davis. In many ways, Fatty is to blame for my getting into the whole Leadville mess I find myself in at the moment.
One of my favorite FC events is the 100 Miles of Nowhere. It’s a fundraiser in which people ride 100 miles on their bikes either on a trainer or on a ridiculously short course. It started as a lark and has evolved into an event that has 500 participants world wide. Registration for it sells out in a day. This year, like last year, the event is raising money for Camp Kesem. Camp Kesem is a really cool camp that kids who have parents with cancer can attend, and just be kids. Oh, and the kids get to go for free. I am happy to support them. I have “raced” the 100 MoN for the past 3 years. In fact, my first century ride ever was my first 100 MoN ride.
The 100 MoN can be done at any time, but the “official” date was Sunday June 2. This year things are a little different for me this year. As you may be aware, I am training for a “little” mtb race in Colorado in August and have a tune up race next week. So I was trying to figure out how to fit the 100 MoN into my training schedule. Looking at my training calendar I saw that I had a 5 hour ride on tap Sunday June 2. Perfect, except how to get 100 miles in 5 hours AND accomplish my training goals?
So I thought, and thought, and thought some more.
Then it struck…..a timed crit…..on my mountain bike……riding the dirt road short lap around my block! It’s a 2.7 mile loop that takes about 11 minutes. There are three “hills” (maybe 30 ft elevation gain each). One is an attention getter (12% grade) the other two are a little more mellow. And let’s just do 6 hours instead of 5. With the course and time set, my division? The Potsdam, Training for a Big Race, Mountain Bike, Timed Criterium.
The weather was calling for scattered thunderstorms and I started the ride in a down pour. Why would it not be raining on a day when I have a long ride on tap? The dirt roads were muddy and soft. But the rain only lasted about 2 laps, then it stopped. And gradually the roads dried a little bit, and got a little firmer. I settled back into the ride. Crank/sprint up the kicker hill, “recover” down the backside, tempo the rest of the way around. One of the things I like about this event is that it is meditative. You can settle into it and through repetition lose yourself. Yeah, OK that’s definitely the half full metaphysical version. 32 laps around my block was very tedious.
Coreen and the kids came out periodically and cheered me on. They got me bottle refills, and 3 hours in brought me a coke (Yumm, best mid ride drink EVER!).
The weather held pretty good until about 4 hours into the ride (2 hours to go) when it rained hard again for about 20 minutes. All that nice firming up of the road, gone. It became soft and muddy again.
After 6 hours the GPS said I did 86 miles, with a 14.4 mph average and a 4400 ft elevation gain. Oh, and I won my division (go figure).
My most memorable moment of the day? Hitting a big snapping turtle. Its turtle mating season here and they are all over the place. The like to lay eggs next to the roads. The incident occurred during the initial downpour. I had a face full of spray, was cleaning it out. When I looked up there she was directly in my path. I swerved and just clipped her. She was fine (me too!). It could have been very ugly. Cars? Only was passed by 1 the entire 6 hours. I love living on a dirt country road.