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:

Andy
100 miles
2:39 min
37.2mph avg (max 72.8)
65 avg cadence (max 190)

Chris
100 miles
2:52 min
34.9 mpg avg (max 66.1)
97 avg cadence (max 156)

6 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:28 PM

    So you guys didn't take any heat for going freewheel? My buddy and I thought about that but worried that it may go against the spirit of the event. 3 hours sounds much more appealing than 5+. Great write up!

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  2. Way to go guys! My ride is tomorrow morning starting at 5:30AM.

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  3. Anonymous4:09 AM

    Nice work guys! I just got back from my 100 Miles of Nowhere in Qatar. Temps hit about 104F by the end of it, but I made it, first century ever. Love the writeup, keep up the good work!

    -Aaron

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  4. Totally Awesome! Hats off for doing something out of the ordinary. So many people worried about 'rules' and 'spirit' of an event that had no rules. The spirit of the thing was signing up and participating in any way. This is the most interesting so far.

    I myself gave the ride an entire skip, went to the Y, and swam 100 Laps of Nowhere instead.

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  5. Anonymous10:11 PM

    I really liked the way Chris got 34.9 miles per gallon!! That CarboRocket must be good stuff.

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  6. To our credit, neither of us had ever ridden a trainer with resistance off, and we had grossly overestimated the work. We both had set aside at least 6 hrs to complete it the task. I think reality struck us when we hopped on and realized that you could, in short bursts, bring your speed up to something short of a Ferarri. Next year we are definitely finding a track for this event. Either way, we still raised some dough for a worthwhile cause.

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