As I’ve mentioned previously, yesterday was the 100 Miles of Nowhere ride. The annual event was started by Elden from fatcyclist.com. The ride is capped at 500 participants, so I sent our registration fee in early to make sure we had a spot. (Fees go directly to Team Fatty’s LiveStrong challenge). Elden states that the ride can be done anywhere and can be any number of miles. Despite the name of the ride, participants don’t have to ride 100 miles if they don’t want. Our goal was to each ride at least 50 miles, but we figured if we were even considering riding the entire 100 miles, we needed to allow ourselves plenty of time and start the ride when the cemetery opened at 8:00 a.m.
We started the day at 6:30 a.m. I’m not a morning person. Especially that early on a Saturday. After getting dressed, walking the dog, fixing breakfast, pumping up tires, checking brakes and chains and taking one last pee break, we headed down the street to the neighborhood cemetery. The outer perimeter of the cemetery is 1.3 miles of mostly flat pavement with not much traffic to worry about, so it’s a great ride.
The temperature was 52 degrees – much cooler than we expected due to a storm that passed through the night before. It was a beautiful day – perfect for a bike ride. With the exception of 30 mph winds that we had to fight against all day. Before we had completed our first lap, Carrick’s bike emitted a weird buzzing sound. We stopped to find a twig sticking between her spokes and front fork. We pulled it out with no harm done. Problem solved. (Whew!)
During the next lap in almost exactly the same stretch of road as the twig through the spokes, we heard another noise. This time, it was the unmistakable sound of something metal falling off a bike and hitting the ground. Not good. We turned around to search for whatever it was that fell off, hoping it wasn’t something horribly important. It turned out to be the cover from the nose piece on Carrick’s sunglasses. The screw came loose and the entire piece fell out. Luckily, the tiny screw was still attached to the nose piece, otherwise we’d have never found it. Once we completed our first 10 miles, I headed back to the house to fix her glasses, get something to eat, and take another pee break. (I discovered the drawback to riding in cooler weather is that I don’t sweat out the fluids I take in, so it requires more frequent pit-stops.)
By mile 25, I was starting to get hungry. Really hungry. We decided to go home for lunch and a short break. Peanut butter and jelly with a glass of chocolate milk gave me the energy boost I needed to get back out there and do more laps.
The wind was really making the riding a struggle at times. But I kept telling myself I could complete what I set out to do. I’ve never been on a ride farther than 35 miles (and that ride was last October), so I was determined to do at least 50 miles to prove to myself I could do it.
By mile 40, I was ready for it to be over with. I was tired, cranky, my shoulders were getting sore and I’d renamed the ride the “Torturous Monotony Ride.” Music helped though. I never ride my bike with headphones and an iPod unless I’m on the indoor trainer, but since we didn’t have to worry about urban traffic, we decided to break our own “no headphones” rule and listen to our iPods. It definitely helped. I can’t imagine trying to ride this far, around and around in a big circle with no music. I put my iPod on shuffle and rediscovered some good music I’d forgotten about. My iPod is one of the original models (the “brick”), so the battery doesn’t hold a charge for very long anymore. I made sure it was fully charged the night before the ride, but by the time I hit my last mile, the battery died. On one of my favorite Nine Inch Nails songs too. But at least it died on a good song that was stuck in my head for a while.
I intended to try riding more than 50 miles, but by the time I got to 50, I was so tired of fighting the wind that I decided to stop. I did what I set out to do. I rode my longest ride to date. It showed me that I can do something I thought might be a little out of my reach and it renewed my determination to get in better shape. I made it 50 miles and Carrick made it 65 miles, so between the two of us we covered the 100 miles. Next year, I hope to be in better shape (and 20 pounds lighter) so I can do the entire 100 miles.
WOW! I burned an entire day’s worth of calories! I should do this more often. Oh, and by the way – when I stepped on the scale this morning to weigh, I expected to see I’d lost at least a pound. Nope. Not. One. Freaking. Pound. Oh well, at least I had fun (for the most part).
Thanks to Carrick for doing this with me and thanks to Elden at fatcyclist.com for making this an annual event with the money going to a great cause. Here’s a short video summary of the ride:
Today’s food journal:
— Panera sesame bagel = 289 cal.
— Strawberry banana smoothie = 250
— Chocolate Builder Bar = 270
— Large baked potato = 163
— Skinny Cow cookies & cream ice cream cup = 120
Life is a journey. Enjoy the ride!
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