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Sunday, May 24, 2009

100 (and 76) Miles of Nowhere

Yesterday was the FatCyclist.com 100 Miles of Nowhere. After collecting donations in the 100 Miles of Nowhere challenge, I raise $880 prior to the start of the event. I pledged to ride 1 mile for every $5 donated to my LIVESTRONG Challenge page so I committed to riding 176 miles, not just the 100. I also allowed the donors a vote on how I did it with every $10 they donated. They had a choice between the trainer in the garage, a spin cycle in the gym, or a .15-mile loop. The loop won so I got to ride approximately 1174 times around that loop over the course of the day.

On Friday, I got bottles filled and food ready. I am allergic to nuts and sesame seeds so having actual, high-energy food is a bit difficult. It was nothing but gels, sport beans and Clif Bars kid's ZBars. Don't get me wrong, the ZBars are tasty, but they run a little more than half the calories of their adult-style brethren. When you run through 9,000+ calories on a ride, half the calories just doesn't cut it. I welcome feeding advice from folks who use allergen-free fueling methods.

Saturday morning, I wanted to be up and rolling prior to 5:30 a.m. in the interests of being finished by my youngest daughter's second birthday. Breakfast took longer than I wanted and I needed to set up my feed zone and information, so at least the neighbors could find out what I was up to.

I got rolling before the neighborhood got moving. My pace was decently high for the first few hours while the sun rose. I tried switching direction after the first hour and decided the off-camber turn in the opposite direction was uncomfortable and would require ditching too much speed in the corner, so it was all rights, all day. I also made the resolution I wouldn't look at mileage until I reached the next hour of riding so I wouldn't drive myself nuts looking at the miles tick by.

The girls came up a couple of times to shoot pictures and shout encouragement.

I greatly appreciated the brief periods of human contact. Riding that loop over and over was a very lonely experience. I started the day dreaming of what I'd do if I won the lottery. Somewhere around miles 60-80, my brain completely shut off save for checking for cars and rocks on the turns. I absorbed the music from my iPod and thought about absolutely nothing except surviving this ride.

I stopped for a extended break at mile 80 when I cramped on the inside of my right leg. A little caffeinated, sugary help, a few minutes stretching, and a resolve to bring the pace down a bit to prevent recurrence later, and I was on my way again.

At mile 85, the girls checked in again. I managed to accidently press both buttons on the brake hoods and reset the trip meter. Fortunately, I had the GPS backup. I gave them the extra battery to recharge on the GPS.

Somewhere along the way, my parents and my brother and his fiance stopped by to check in. They got a sandwich for me, which I ate in multiple sittings, and that helped a little with the calorie deficit.

One of my colleagues and his family stopped by with some energy goodies at about mile 120. They hollered encouragement from the car and, once again, I appreciate having a little human contact and encouragement. The girls were tied up all afternoon getting ready for my youngest daughter's second birthday so I had no visitors at the loop for a while.

My wife brought back the extra GPS battery somewhere around 4:45 p.m. I apparently didn't seat the connection correctly so the GPS ran out of battery shortly thereafter.

I took a little break at about 6:00 p.m. for the party. I was at mile 161. I also discovered the GPS ran out of juice at that point. I had to go off the initial odometer reading to make sure I got through 176.

My dad shot a picture of me after I walked in to the party. I looked much more chipper in the others but I thought this one really captured how I felt.

After presents and cake, I headed back to the top of the hill to ride the final 15 miles. Never have I felt so relieved to be able to get back on the bike. I really wanted to make sure I finished this ride in one day.

In the end, I finished my first race, I rode 62 miles longer in a day than I ever have before, and I raised a bunch of money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. I even surprised myself and averaged 16 mph while riding. I was hoping I'd be close to 16, but I figured I'd drop well below that in the end. It was one of the more lonely things I have ever done but if it means raising $900 for the LAF, I'd do it all over again.

Here's a little video I put together of the ride:

FatCyclist.com 100 Miles of Nowhere, Keizer Edition from Jeremy Everitt on Vimeo.

The GPS track of the ride:


1 comment:

Steve said...

Jeremy! I can't believe you got in 176 miles on such a small course. Outstanding!

I was certain I was going to beat you in Farmers Market in Brownsville, since I was south of you and pointing south. But with an extra 76 miles, I am pretty sure you overtook me.

Glad you were in a different division so I still got the win!

Congrats to you.