Friday, May 22, 2009
100 Miles of Nowhere
The stage was set for an epic battle between Andy and I for the title of Manchester or Possibly all of New Hampshire Winner of The 2009 Fat Cyclist 100 Miles of Nowhere. Who would win the race to 100 miles. 100 miles, in a trainer, as fast as possible. Saddled up on our trainers, the resistance completely off, under the shade of the Keniston family garage, who would be the victor today. Andy brought his venerable triple to the party; I out of sheer laziness left my compact on. This would prove costly for certain. Before a single pedal stroke is made, Sheldon Brown makes the disparity quite clear:
With the advantage only growing for the 52t triple ring as the RPMs increase, my work was cut out. Ample nutrition was positioned on a table between us. No one would starve today. The DVD was on the fritz, leaving us with VHS to light the way to 100 miles. Revenge of the Nerds inserted, we were off at 8:36AM.
Right away I'm totally screwed. Normal rules make no sense in the 100 Miles of Nowhere. I am spinning well north of 100rpm; absolute concentration is required to synchronize with the pawls in the freewheel and actually feel like you are doing work. My wheel setup is much lighter than Andy's, but this would not be an advantage today. Andy's greater rotating wheel mass, plus his taller gearing combined with pure raw ability to go nowhere make him a dynamo. My greatest short-burst effort put the wheel north of 66mph; Andy completely obliterates this mark as he tops out at an incredible 72.8mph.
Somewhat level during Revenge of the Nerds, Billy Madison was up next and Andy was in his wheelhouse, pulling away with each passing minute. My feeding strategy was sound, but could I overcome my sheer mechanical disadvantage, digging deep into my vast reservoir of experience and tap into my ability to endure tremendous physical and emotional suffering? Absolutely! Not. With my compact, I've brought a knife to a gun fight, and Andy beats me handily by a 10 mile margin. The Keniston family is made proud today in the final statistics:
37.2mph avg (max 72.8)
65 avg cadence (max 190)
34.9 mpg avg (max 66.1)
97 avg cadence (max 156)