Many have ridden in and written about The Hundred Miles of Nowhere before. You’d think this would have dissuaded me from joining because all accounts I read led me to believe this was a bad idea, but I signed up anyway. I got a great swag bag (although I honestly cannot understand the bar-top bag’s function), and had a planning session with my lawyer Rick. Ok, he’s not my lawyer, but he is a lawyer and I know him.
The idea was originally to loop the lake with beer stops. Not exciting, but definitely better than Fatty’s first event on rollers. This morphed into a stage race, and I’ll freely admit that beer was involved both in the planning of said race as well as IN the race plan. A beer per lap to be exact. This was when I questioned whether Rick was a good lawyer. More on Rick later. Including photos. After careful consideration, the in race beer was decreased but the absurdity of the “stages,” increased.
Competitors were recruited, and wisely most declined to participate. I was lucky to have company for all stages, and even luckier that no one “competitor” joined me for ALL stages, thereby cementing my victory. On the first stage (Prologue), Shane was to join me. On my way there (in the PrePrologue), I got a flat tire, and the race was starting in 7 minutes. This was not an auspicious start. Here is what I hit:
My lovely wife and terribly handsome son came to my rescue (one major benefit of conducting the entire race no further than 5 standard miles from home). I had the old tube out, easily found and cleared the offending article (as you might imagine), the new tube in and the tire remounted by the time the team car arrived with another tube and a proper pump – all this in 5 minutes. I met Shane moments later and the race was under way (2 minutes late).
Please see previous blog post for unit conversions and the race plan.
Stage 1: Prologue – 126mi, 2440ft (PrePrologue adds 13mi)
This was intended to be 140mi at a relatively easy pace, but we had winds. And humidity. As a result, the stage was shortened to keep the race on schedule and meet the defined start times for each stage. Midway through the prologue our camera crew showed up and got some footage of me taking the sprint victory (http://youtu.be/U_KxY2KjsrI). Probably my favorite part in the video is the porta-potties. Not because I used them, but because I didn’t. Watch it again if you don’t understand. The stage ended with me in the yellow and green jerseys, Shane in white.
Stage 2: Alps – 113mi, 7860ft
Chris joined us for the Alps. Chris may actually race from time to time, which meant he had to ride in his easiest gear, freeing us to contest the Polka dot jersey. I’m sad to say that I was not victorious, but glad Shane was there to lead us through the mountains.
All in all we had 7860ft of climbing over 113mi. I maintained yellow and green while Shane held white and Polkadot (if you are looking for the white jersey, it’s on the other side of the polka dot). Chris is the only one to have declined the honor of the red jersey.
Stage 3: Plains and Pyrenees – 130mi, 4800ft
This was a long, tough stage, and I’m proud to say I was the only one not to abandon. We lost Chris at the summit of Col du West Shore, and Shane had to abandon in the flats after Mount TP. It was a lonely ride back along the shores of Lac du Roche Blanche, but it’s all in a day’s work for a racer. I wish the post ride interview had been conducted after the podium session, but since I had all jerseys the paparazzi wouldn’t let me rest. Post Pyrenees Interview
Stage 4: Plains 128mi, 2800ft
(If you paid attention to the race plan, you will note that this was originally stage 3, but we hit the mountains early to avoid snow at the summit). Booty joined me for an epic battle against the gale force winds. We suffered mightily at the hands of Aeolus, but since he is a life sized rider like I am, I was able to find some shelter on his wheel. He suffered a mechanical on the summit of a climb and urged me to go on while he waited for the team car. He did make it in under the time cut, and we proceeded to celebrate mightily at The Lake House with beer, burgers, pulled pork nachos, and other classic race foods immediately following the interview and jersey ceremony. Stage 4 Interview
Stage 5: Time Trial / Queen Stage 1.0- 232mi, 4510ft
Attention bicycle racers!! Pulled pork nachos, burgers and beer are NOT ideal pre time trial foods. I know, this was a surprise to me too. We had good organization with Charles joining, David “the Cookie Monster” fully fueled by Whit-beer , Booty back in the saddle, and Daniel in the mix. Sadly, Booty had to abandon before the stage was complete due to boredom, David “CM” abandoned to “go play his viola,” and Charles made it very nearly to the end to ultimately ride off course with the support vehicles. Other than that it was a relatively uneventful stage.
Stage 6: Queen Stage 2.0 – 227mi, 5190ft
2 Queen Stages are better than 1, probably. Zach did not join us, probably because we looked so fast and fearsome, so it was Daniel, Michael and me for this stage. We fought epic winds and had some short punchy climbs, but the 3rd plague of Egypt was revisited upon us with a veritable rainstorm of gnats and other bat food. I was tempted to adhere to rule # 5 and Harden Up by getting my meal on the run, but thought better of it. Michael and Daniel tried to make a break stick, but I did eventually run them down. Breakaway on Bike Interview
Stage 7: Night Crit v 1 and 2 – 36mi, 1220ft
I warned that there would be night racing, and there was. The problem was that we (I) had a math problem and ran the crit too short, so I had to go back out in shorts, tee shirt, gardening shoes and helmet to add on a few more laps. There are no pictures of this embarrassment, however there is some video of the race itself and a post race interview. Post Crit Interview
Jerseys and Wrap Up : 1,005mi , 28,820ft
The Lanterne Rouge was the most hotly contested jersey of this race, with each of us laying claim to it at some time, and in truth all of us owning it by participating at all. Rick has the best claim though, having ridden only in the re-crit of the Crit, and that in “driving” shoes on a borrowed bike with no helmet – but he did bring the Chainbreaker. Daniel ended in White as the best young rider, Michael in Green for stealing all my points by leading a break away on Stage 6. Honorary red jersey assigned to David because he showed up in a tuxedo to eat the cookies Elizabeth made (post viola supposedly).
The last pic is the painting my lovely wife made for me as well as the jerseys she handmade for our race (Thank you E and fam for supporting this adventure!). Thank you to everyone who joined or helped, making this a fun day. Special thanks to the Lake House (@TheLakeHouseWR) for blocking a section for us and for Zach at #DallasBikeWorks for staging and support – having these two next to each other really helped make the day work. And again, Thank You to my lovely wife Elizabeth for putting up with me in general and for this in particular.