100 Miles of Nowhere

Or 100 Miles of somewhere?

I had to think long and hard before deciding that I wouldn’t be entering the 100 Miles of Nowhere this year. Very long. Very hard. (That’s what she said. What?) Two things made me disqualify myself. It is with shameful regret that I will now share those reasons with you. Do not let me dissuade you. It’s an awesome event and well worth doing!

Reason 1: When I heard it was on again, I felt my butt cheeks clench

Now normally, that would be a good thing. Good exercise. Clench, release. Clench, release. Glute workout done. But in this case, it was an involuntary clench brought on by an old and long locked away sense memory. A memory from last year’s event.

Last year, I spent over 8 hours on my e-motion rollers watching The Wire and bitching about how hadn’t seated the rear tire correctly. It went bump, bump, bump for 100 miles. Did I get off and fix it? Nope. Too stubborn. Too stupid. I endured, for that’s what we McCrae’s do. We store it up on internal complaint forms to release at a later date on the ears of unsuspecting listeners.

Slowly, the miles ticked by, and as they did my butt started to speak to me. Not in a Jim Carrey fashion, but in a subtle butt-nerve-to-brain neuron way.

“Please stop,” it whispered.

I frickin’ hate people who whisper when you’re the only one around, so I ignored ol’ chatty butt and cranked on.

But at about mile 85, it started whining. When your butt starts whining, you sit up and listen. Literally. So I slowed, resting my hand on the window I was using as a wall and came to a stop.

“See how much better it feels to sit up and rest?” said Butty. I sighed and glanced at the slowly dipping afternoon sun.

“Yes, Buttockula,” I said. “I hear you.”

And then, quietly, I started up again. Turned the cranks, put both hands back on the bars, and focused on McNulty and his drunken douchebaggery.

The time between each break started getting shorter and shorter. The butt began to scream.

“Gluteus maximusn’t stop!” commanded brain.

Please!” pleaded tush.

“Shhh” said TV. “All in the game, yo. All in the game.

“…”

Time passed like this. Mile by mile, butt complaint, brain retaliation, a quick break to change the DVD thrown in for a brief moment of joy.

And then, finally, finally, it was over. The number 100 flipped over on the Cateye and for a split second I contemplated doing an extra mile just to give the challenge the finger. Fortunately that idea evaporated within .05 of a mile and I came to my senses. I clipped my tired feet off the pedals, peeled my butt off the saddle and stood there for a second or two.

I’m not denying there was joy. I’m not denying I felt like I was slathered in some pretty piquant awesomesauce. I’m not denying that it wasn’t worth it. And later that afternoon on the roof, freshly showered and with my perfect Guinness in my hand, it was easy to entertain the idea of doing it all over again in 2010.

It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year.

Part of me (not my butt, obviously), wanted to do it this year. But when I saw Fatty’s announcement about it, something triggered in my brain. That’s when my butt clenched. Sense memory, you see. Perfect insanity revisited.

Now, I’m not weak. I’ve done plenty of things I didn’t think I’d be able to do. I have no doubt I could easily work through the clenchiness and do it for a cause I dig and am trying to raise money for myself. But when I add Reason number 2 to the equation, things get tricky.

Reason 2: Riding 100 miles on rollers the week before TransAmerica is a dumb idea

It’s dumb because I’m pretty sure that if I ride 100 miles on rollers a week before I set out from Yorktown, Virginia, I will dread getting on the bike. And feeling bike dread a week before you plan on spending three months on that bike is a not good thing. In fact, it’s a distinctly bad thing.

And so, despite the gentle prodding of others, the ego stroking about videos and such, no 100 miles on rollers for Noodle this year. Disappointing, but a sensible decision I think.

By the way, it’s not the 100 miles that I’m declining, it’s the rollers. So come May 8th I’m going to do 100 Miles of Somewhere, and that somewhere is going to be a loop of River Road and 9W in New Jersey. The wonderful climb of Alpine. The glorious straightaway stretch. Rinse, repeat until I get 100 miles. Good training for the tour.

Good luck to everyone doing it year, and if you still haven’t signed up, you better bloody hurry ’cause it’s selling out fast! My advice to you brave and awesome souls taking up the challenge – ignore your butt! Your butt talks shit. What? Wait… That didn’t sound right.

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