Monday, May 10, 2010

100 Miles to Nowhere

A while ago I signed up to be an official participant in Fatty's 100 miles of nowhere race. A race where everyone wins. I had never ridden a 100 miles before. Neither had my wife. Something we were rather proud of actually. I have done some 6 hour mountain bike races and 12 hour team races so the 100 miles at my own pace wasn't too much of a daunting task.

However, I wasn't too fired up about riding 100 miles inside in the spring so following the lead of St. Louis locals Team Seagal from a few years ago <> and I mapped out a 4 mile loop which I could repeat 25 times. <>.

This route went around Lone Wolf Coffee Co. <>. in Ballwin, MO.

It headed east down the ever popular Clayton Rd. bike lane and then west through a quite neighborhood which featured several rollers. The route around Lone Wolf was key to my success in this event due to their outstanding support of me during this event with platter full of wonderfully tasty granola bars and fresh roasted coffee.

Preparation for an event like this is key. First, I asked my wife, The Pro (she's a Professional Engineer), if she wanted to ride with me in an unofficial capacity. She agreed even though she was unhappy I didn't sign her up to race officially. After she finally calmed down about not getting a t-shirt we then set Friday May 7th as our race date because we needed to honor some family commitments on the official race date of May 8th. The night before I did the normal pre-ride checks including a quick recable on The Pro's bike, cleaning my bike, mixing up my packets of Carb Rocket and putting beer on ice. Also, heeding Fatty's recent I checked The Pro's cycling cleats to make sure they were tight after I had checked my cleats. I also noted that we too could compete in an Ironman because we apparently (by Fatty's own fake statistics) have the two most popular tri bike brands: Trek and Cervelo. Road bikes not tri bikes, not that there is anything wrong with tri bikes.

Race day. We arrived at our start to see nobody around except The Pro and I.

Despite the lack of prerace ceremonies we started our ride. We had a strong tail wind as we headed east down Clayton which turned out to be a good thing. We also enjoyed the full use of the bike lane on Clayton Rd.

The turn south off Clayton we encountered our first city limit sprint, which I handily won. I ended up taking 20 out of 25 in total.

The turn east meant a head wind, but it was reduced due to the homes, rolling hills, and big trees we passed on Claymount. Next a short trip on Kehrs Mill and we back to the start. 4 miles down, 125 ft of climbing complete. 24 more laps to go!

10 laps into the race our fans came out steal our tasty tray of granola bars from Lone Wolf Coffee. Each one of our fans said they would ride with us, but came all up with multiple excuses as to why they couldn't. One said he had to meet his boss later in the day. The others are self employed and don't have bosses. One spouted some babble about growing "O" sports in St. Louis. The other whimpered about taking care of his wife who had the flu and his kids. The final one said he was racing the next day and Friday was his rest day because his coach told him to rest.

The 50 mile mark was a big milestone because after that the Pro and I were in a rhythm. Ride 5 laps, stop and get some food and drinks, get going again.

We did encounter a few folks who live in the neighborhood. When I asked them if they were going also participating in Fatty's 100 Miles of Nowhere they all got mad because they thought I said, "You are fat and are pedaling nowhere." Other than that is was business as usual for the final 50 miles except for the tree trimming crew who started to give us dirty looks the 10th time we passed their tree trimming operation. By the time we passed them a 12th time they FINALLY offered a friendly wave hello.

Other highlights from the ride were I got a fairly good look at the outside of the four homes for sale in the neighborhood. 2 for sale by owner, and 2 with agents. I think I know which one I would buy.

End of the day came and we officially finished with 101 miles in 5 hr 51 min of pedaling with 35 minutes of stoppage time and my first century complete.

Thank goodness for Lone Wolf Coffee Co's support of the Pro and I for this event.

PS-Note of the laps have inconsistent lap distances because I forgot to push the lap button on my Garmin or sometimes pushed it by accident while riding but the total distance is correct.

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