Monday, June 3, 2013

100 Miles of Nowhere: On a trainer in front of a bike shop with a big finale edition!

It would all end with me throwing up over and over and over again...

...but, you know, not in the bad kinda way. (that's what we call a "flash-forward"). My 2013 Fat Cyclist 100 Miles of Nowhere ride was a true nowhere affair this year. I did it on a staionary trainer in front of my local bike shop: Denny's Central Park Bicycles in Okemos, MI. We are fortunate to have several really great bike shops in Mid-Michigan, and I truly have nothing bad to say about any of them. But the folks at Denny's have always been helpful to me and the staff is geeked about bikes. All bikes and every bike. They love 'em, and they love that we love 'em. And all of that shows.

I was really happy when Dave, the store manager, gave me the green light to take up some sidewalk in front of the store this year. I set up before the shop opened.

Dave had me come in during the morning meeting where I told the techs and the sales folks what I'd be doing. They loved it right away, and one even said he'd rather set up another trainer alongside and do the ride with me than work...and, he was quick to add, "I love working here!" This goes to show you just how crazy bike people are. The Denny's crew ran bottles for me all day and were frequently coming out to get the race radio update.

The Ride
It was overcast and breezy in the morning, with some chance of rain. I quickly made a show of displaying my rain jacket on the nearby bike rack in plain view of the cycling gods to temper any hubris. This worked, because it stayed relatively cool, breezy and at least partly sunny all day. I rode non-stop, sans dismount, for 5 hours & 26 minutes to achieve the 100 mile goal. That's about 18.5 mph, a pace that allowed me to talk with folks as they passed by and to generally be something other than a suffery, sweaty man in front of store.

And that turned out to be the best part of the whole ride: talking to folks about what would possess me (and hundreds of others in divisions all their own) to do such a thing as ride on a trainer on a perfectly lovely day in June. "It's Fatty," I said to one person who asked me precisely that question. "He's a really persuasive dude." Which is true of course. I mean, I've never met the guy and here I am with his name on my jersey pedaling along to no avail right there in public.

But of course the bigger reason is what Fatty is up to. And it is, I suspect, what a lot of us are up to, too, who do the 100 Miles of Nowhere. We are out to ride in a way that not only makes our own lives a little better, but makes others' lives a little better too. Fatty has found a bunch of ways to do that. He raises money for great causes that matter to him and that have touched the lives of people he loves.

Why I Ride to Nowhere
I wrote all about that already in an earlier message, so I won't re-hash it all here. But I ride to nowhere because riding to nowhere gave me my health back. I don't hate the trainer like some do. I am deeply grateful for it. Don't get me wrong, I love to ride on the road and go fast. But riding on the trainer is what got me to the place where I could do that.

I dedicated my 100MoN to a fundraiser of my own - my American Diabetes Association 2013 Tour de Cure campaign.  We raised $601 dollars in a single day on Saturday, bringing my total so far for this year over the $2100 mark with a couple of weeks left to go. Truly awesome. My #100MoN entry fighting cancer, and the ensuing spectacle inspiring others to fight diabetes.

Thanks to all who helped!

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