Monday, May 30, 2011

100 Miles to Nowhere - Roswell, GA Edition

Or, more accurately, the "Not Quite Ready for Prime-Time Race Direction and Hot as Blazes Edition."

When I signed up for Fatty's challenge, I thought it would be cool to be part of the event and a good excuse to do a nice long ride. Originally, the plan was to do loops of my neighborhood but my partner in crime (Natalie) thought it would be more fun to do a longer loop.

A longer loop.

Of hills.

So, I thought, why not? You get extra credit for doing 100 HILLY miles, right? Brett has a joule and calculated that we actually did 8,333 feet of climbing in our 100 Miles to Nowhere. Regardless, I thought it would be challenging and Natalie and my husband would ride with me and it would be a great day.


It was a great day, but the pie-in-the-sky plans I had for a seamlessly organized and perfect event miraculously did not materialize when I overscheduled by doing the Rev3 Knoxville HIM the weekend before (race report will follow), work got crazy and it turned out that my daughter's First Holy Communion was the day before the event. I was still putting up the directional signs at dawn and screeched into the garage in time to change my shirt and hop on my bike. No shower, no tooth-brushing, no breakfast, no artfully-arranged display of GU and schwag.


Both the City of Roswell and the City of Mountain Park were friendly and accomodating when I asked them about our event. They did not require me to get an event permit and since they were not for a commercial purpose, were small and removed quickly, there was no fee for the signs either. Yes!

Here is the very professional-looking result of my handiwork, which I realized once we were riding, is really small. And hard to see. Next time, I'll have to print them at a sign place. They were really cute, though. I even put "encouragement" signs going up the big hill. Like, "Suck it Up Buttercup" and "You Can Do It!"

One of my many signs indicated a stretch of downhill that was very bumpy. Unfortunately, I failed to heed my thoughtful warning and pinch-flatted my front tire on one of the larger bumps. And, because we had not had time to remove my race wheels from the Rev3 Knoxville HIM, it was a tubular tire, which I've never actually changed. Darnit!

Nat and I successfully wrestled the tire off of my wheel but could not get the valve-extender off.

It turns out that the reason Doug puts my multi-tool in my Bento box when I race is not really to crowd out my GUs. It is because you need the allen wrench to remove the valve-extender from the race wheels. AHA! Nat and I did not figure this out until Brett and then Seth and finally Brian lapped us and stopped to provide advice/assistance.

Apparently, it takes five triathletes to change a tire. (Sorry Nat, for purposes of this discussion, you count as a triathlete).

Luckily, I knew enough to stretch out the tire while Brian removed the extenders for me. Brett helped us get the new tire on and we were back on track. Whew.

During the planning stages, GU stepped in and supplied me with enough GU and Chomps to feed an army. They also said it was OK if I used the Electrolyte Brew that we had left over from the Run at Work Day event. Super! So, we were well-fueled and Doug kept the coolers full of delicious lemon-lime GU Brew and water all day. He also set-up the tents, brought out chairs, boiled peanuts, grilled BBQ, served frosty beverages, handed out water balloons to the kids and kept track of our loop times. See, it was actually super-lucky that he didn't want to ride. Or is just super-smart.

I publicized the event on BT and sent email soliciations for donations to everyone on my phone list and suddenly, my 3-person event rapidly grew into quite a party! There is a secret here, you see. If you put out Doug's beer and BBQ, the people will come. Here is a photo of a guy from Team Awesome, Doug's dad, and my friend Larry. You can see Doug and kids in the background.

In addition to the original six (Brett, Brian and Seth in the fast group with Nat, Kevin and me in the slower group), another twenty-three people showed up to ride at least one loop of the course. It was AWESOME! We raised over $1,000 for Livestrong and the Prostate Cancer Foundation!

It is not to late if you want to donate. Just click the links.

So, back to the ride. Dan and Mindy (Team Carpenter) came down from Athens ride. They are real cyclists and quickly left Nat and me in the dust.

Cindy brought a bunch of work buddies and kicked all of their behinds with five loops (on her platform pedals with no clips!). Here we are in loop 5 or 6.

Shortly after this photo, I ran over a piece of glass and flatted again. I had no repair kit on my bike, of course. After I had run about 1/4 of a mile with the bike, Doug's sister Michelle showed up and drove me back to the house where Nat's brother-in-law, Wes, who is a professional cyclist, changed that tire for me while I took a pit stop. Pretty darn cool. Here are Wes, Pookie and Ryan (Team Awesome).

Then, after one solo loop (the only one of the day!), Neal and Scott joined me for the last two loops. They waited until the heat of the day to ride so that I would not have to do the last bit alone. They rock! Justin made sure we were hydrated and we were on the home stretch.

Scott and I headed out on the final lap together. You can see him behind me, looking decidedly less loopy. He thoughtfully pretended that he wasn't coasting to keep up with my slow pace.

Shortly after the photo, I high-fived Doug on the way out, lost my balance and promptly wiped out in the driveway. Yep. Grace is not my middle name. Might have been a bit loopy also, because it was super hot. But we finished and Scott didn't even mind taking the longer loop home so that I could add back enough miles to make up for the running and car travel.

Final score: 27/28 riders in all. 8,333 feet of climbing. 101.40 miles in 7 hours, 21 minutes, and 36 seconds for a whopping average speed of 13.78 miles an hour and 2,863 calories burned while raising $1,118 for 2 great causes (plus some extra for the Colon Cancer Foundation).

And, because I can't resist photos of my kids and their cousins, are photos from First Communion. It was a beautiful Mass and we had a great party after, too. Team Bachman can throw down.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Great job on that ride and raising all that money! Having just done my first century I have to say that I can not imagine riding in circles that long!