Bike It - 100 miles to nowhere: recap
Jun 02

100 miles to nowhere: recap

It started over a drink with JF, who mentioned The Fat Cyclist’s “100 Miles to Nowhere” (which in 2008 was a crazy decision to ride 100 miles on rollers indoors with snacks and TV, and is now a distributed challenge/excuse to ride 100 miles on a short loop course near your house and also raise some money for Livestrong). We decided to do it.


Well, why not?

This is exactly the kind of arbitrary structure and Just-Because event I like, and I’m less interested in heavily-organized bike events or races (RAGBRAI excepted). And since I’d be out of town on the official date, we did it last Saturday, joined by KE.

We considered loops around the Port of Oakland (what could be more Nowhere than where there’s no There there?) but decided to ride this slightly-under-7-mile loop in Golden Gate Park over and over (plus some miles to and from the park). It’s a scenic, partly car-free route on weekends, we’d get to see the ocean 14 times, and we’d get to watch  the evolution of park BBQs over the course of the day. Some photos follow:

License plate, with the Team Fatty clydesdale logo. The tear-off paper strips on the bike top tube are my low-tech odometer / lap counter, since I don’t have a bike computer or GPS:

Halfway through each lap, at the ocean, I took a quick photo. The day can really be summed up by this one collage (hi-res version):

Starting near the Conservatory of Flowers:

At the ocean (the sign cropped out in the upper right says Tsunami Evacuation Route).

Biking along mostly car-free back roads through the park:

One group of picknickers we passed had a bouncy castle and some human-size “hamster balls”:

Sedate bison:

Something nice about riding in circles is there’s no rigid lunch time— when we got hungry, we took a detour to Velo Rouge Cafe for food.

About half done, plus a comical set of bike accessories:

Mini * 3:

Twelve loops in we were talking about how comfortable the weather had been. You know what’s nice about biking in San Francisco? It’s not too hot, not too cold, and between April and October it basically never rains.

Then during loop 13 it started pouring. Hard. Driving sheets of rain, drenching shirts, shoes, and socks, overflowing and masking potholes (ow, my wrists), and making other groups pack up their BBQs, jump in their cars, and dash out of the park.

We looked at each other and decided to keep going— once we’d come this far, we were going to finish 14 laps.

The caption for this photo is “riding on rollers in front of a TV with a bowl of snacks [see the t-shirt logo] sounds pretty good right now”.

And then, somehow, we were done. It took us all day (roughly 9 to 6:30), but we made it, with no major problems except for KE being T-boned by an errant skateboarder. And we did notice something new about the park almost every time around (“did you see that interesting pine tree?” “where?” “back there— I’ll point it out to you in half an hour when we pass it again”).