Saturday, June 4, 2011

100 Miles of Nowhere Report

This morning was the 4th Annual Fat Cyclist's 100 Miles of Nowhere to raise money for the LiveStrong Organization and it's the first year I've been able to participate. I was sure I wouldn't ride all 100 miles as it's just too early in my training but I still wanted to do something to contribute to the cause.

Since I don't have an indoor trainer, I had to take my efforts outdoors. The first thing to consider is of course, the availability of a restroom. This is imperative to avoid any UCI (Urinary Cycling Infection) issues. I figured the office park where my gym is located would probably be ideal. I was also pretty sure I could get a podium spot in the Women 50-55 Office Park in Mansfield, MA, on Saturday Morning Division.

The route is pretty self-explanatory and it's really no different from the satellite view as it is from the street view.
I had a couple more things to address. One was that I STILL didn't get a new battery for my bike computer so I had to count the laps I would need to do to get the job done.

Trying to determine the number of laps I would need to do, I did some quick math in my head at which time I realized that I'm 50 years old and can no longer do quick math in my head. I brought up the MS calculator, plugged in the numbers, and it came out to about 45 laps.

How to count the laps was the next obstacle because I'm pretty sure I would lose count after about number 3. After toying with the idea of using pennies, I came up with a better method...
Actor's portrayal of author's Sharpie

As the laps would wear on, I would wish it was retractable.

Getting started was a bit of a challenge. As usual, I showed my husband where I would be riding (in case he needed to send out a search party) and, since I was getting an early start, told him not to wait up for me.

I found a space in the parking lot, loaded up with GU and gunk or whatever - the cool stuff that came in my swag bag was consumed within a day or two of delivery (except for the Bike Monkey mag, Banjo Brother's bag, and the Twin Six t-shirt - not sure if I accidentally ate the Leverage voucher) and put my plate on the bike. I decided to put it on the front instead of the back so drivers coming up from behind wouldn't clip me trying to read it.
The seat is pink, the tires are red.
I'm (way) Off!
The first time onto the course, the bike felt sluggish. Wait - did I remember to check my air pressure? Ummm... no. Plus, there was a headwind messing with the brim of my cap. Wait - did I forget to put on my helmet? Ummm... yes. Back to the car to work out the issues.

A morning without coffee is like a morning without coffee.

Take Two
After about two laps, I realized that I needed to shorten the ride to about 2 miles to avoid a stop light that did not change for cyclists or, out of frustration, I was going to be riding in the 100 Miles of Oh, Just Pack It In.

After seeing the same squirrel about 5 times in a row, I decided that I really needed to pinpoint a new mileage goal. It was odd how I started feeling guilty that I wasn't going to hit 100 miles but my total base miles for the year only added up to 248 so common sense (common sense is another strange phenomena that happened to me at 50) told me to play it safe. A metric century (62 miles) seemed the logical choice - longer than the 50 that I had done earlier in the week and a viable alternative on any event-type ride.

What about those extra miles? Well, it occurred to me that there are actually two charities that people are riding for today - LiveStrong and World Bicycle Relief. Since Team Radioshack's director, Johan Bruyneel, is such a great guy to join in the efforts today on behalf of WBR (his favorite cause), I decided that for every mile I didn't ride, I would donate a dollar to WBR. Ahhh... that felt better.

After that, it was a matter of crossing railroad tracks three times for every lap. I was so tired at the end that I didn't even bother standing up. My butt was so numb that it failed to notice.

I had to make an unexpected stop at mile 54. I realized that my right foot was asleep. It was cramping and bonking (there's a rap in there somewhere) that I was waiting for, so imagine my surprise when I noticed that my foot had no feeling in it.

Hanging out in a parking lot, straddled across the bike with one shoe off, I worked some stretching exercises in until the feeling came back. Then I just pushed off to the end.

Finally, VICTORY!

 My laps completed, I headed home to claim my trophy and make my donation.
How does your trophy garden grow?

Last but certainly not least, I'd like to thank the local road kill for reminding me to stay safe today - especially that nasty headless bullfrog at the turnaround (photo omitted). You made a difference.

1 comment:

  1. You're a stitch. Great write up. And great job of hanging in there.