Well, the gun was jumped again. The official date for Fatty's 100 Miles of Nowhere is Saturday, May 8th. Due to scheduling conflicts, and my selfishly wanting a bit more time off before Almanzo, this year's 99 of 29 was held May 1st.
Awakening in my childhood bedroom that has since been redone is now a bit strange, but peering through the curtains I saw a beautiful blue sky. The forecast was for temps in the upper 60s. A welcome change from last year's dreariness and chilly temps; it may have cracked 50 for about an hour. But then I saw it. The crabapple tree blossoms doing their best impression of a blizzard in the front yard. The wind was whipping. Figures.
Pete and Amanda arrived. As I opened the door to greet them all they said was "We're going home" I thought they were serious. Apparently the hill was a bit intimidating. The others arrived, food table was set up and we all were ready to roll. In the rush I did not top off the air in my tires as I usually do before a long ride.
The course: Same course as last year. .95 miles (106 laps). A steep climb. A fast descent. A high speed corner. And this year the extra slap in the face of the 20-some mph wind that would remain, and get stronger, throughout the day.
With ring of a cowbell and some cheers, we were off. The first lap I lead out to get everyone acclimated with the turns and then Joshua set a tough pace. The BCR boys hung with him, but I backed off first knowing I would not likely make it all 100 miles. Eventually Joshua got out in front and never let off the gas.
The rest of the day is kind of a blur: A quick stop to fill a water bottle. Watching Adam spill his just filled bottle on a roll of paper towels. Cowbell. Talking with random neighbors. Tina and family showing up. More cowbell. Being looked at oddly by neighbors. The hill getting the better of Pete and Pete subsequently taking my camera to get some good shots. Andy doing a motor pace lap on his motorcycle and commenting "those guys are FAST". The neighbor getting her bike out to try the hill. The mailman honking and cheering. Chris and Drew riding a lap with me.
About 50 miles in, after a lengthy but necessary bathroom stop (dang it, all of Fatty's poo stories are contagious) I decided to check my tires. 80psi instead of my usual 115psi. Shortly after this I found out Joshua was 14 miles or so ahead of me. At the end of the day, he was about 20 miles in front of me. I'm going to claim that had I been running 115 from the start and not had that one long unplanned stop, I would have been within striking distance. Yup. That is my story and I'm sticking to it. This is, of course, completely delusional but it is my party and I'll be delusional if I want to.
The wind did indeed make the day tougher. Somehow it seemed to always be in your face except on the downhill. The flat before the climb, which should be a nice short time to regroup was brutal as it was straight into the wind.
By the end, quite a cheering contingent had formed. Coming around the corner from the climb to the cul-de-sac loop to hear all the plastic hand clappers, yells and cowbells was great. Joshua finished in 5:49. Ty not much more than that, and Adam not far behind. I rolled in at just over 7 hours; 7:04 I think but as I dorked up the Garmin I'm not exactly sure. Amanda and Pete both got in over 50 miles which was awesome as well. Fairly sure it was the climbing that got them and not the distance. One rider (Ty?) said sometime late in the day "This course is ridiculous" It sure was and I wouldn't want it any other way.
Next year is going to be just as great, if not greater.