Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Village

This weekend I learned that apparently it takes a village to pull off a 2-square-block-104-mile-battle-of-will-bike-ride.

As of Saturday morning, we had raised $1,700 for H-Bomb's girls and I felt SO good about that feat! Seventeen Hundred buckaroos was WAY more than I thought we would raise and I was so excited to share that final number with H-Bomb and her family. I was also looking forward to riding and visiting with a few friends that ventured to H-Bomb's yard to hang out.

Then, something interesting happened.

As Normie and I ticked off the miles...the support team (and their donations!) grew...and grew...and grew. The presence of a pop-up tent (thanks Bike World!) and social media really helped.

I could not believe the turn-out. H-Bomb's friends and relatives, neighbors, Normie's friends, my friends, our favorite bike shop managers -- heck, even our former AP Bio teacher showed up. Several people joined us for a few -- or a lot -- of miles. There was food, cheering, smiles, brews, and, lots and lots of money being donated for a great cause.

The final raised amount was $3,026.41 (+ some stragglers that are still happening). THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS for the Allen family!

Looking back, as I went to the "oh my. I need to ride my bike a lot in teeny tiny circles" place, I feel like I didn't have the mental ability or energy to truly thank everyone that came to support. So, if you were one of those people that observed the surly side of Smithers, please know that Normie and I are BEYOND thankful for your presence and support! Don't let crabby pants Pbear make you think any differently!

At the end of the day, I had tender muscles, tired eyes, and the mental exhaustion that comes from riding in circles for 14 hours.

But, my heart. My heart was swelling with excitement, love, pride, and accomplishment. And, I can only thank The Village for that.

Thank you, H-Bomb Nation.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Main Issue

The big ride is THIS Saturday! Only FIVE more days!

And guess what?

There is construction on our planned route. Like, one-way-street-orange-construction-fencing-with-only-sidewalk-access kind of construction.

Damn you, City of Ames!

:::Shakes Fist in Air:::

Apparently, [:::insert eye roll:::] Ames just haaaaad to reroute around an old water main that happens to run right between H-Bomb's house and the chemo clinic. Exactly where we were planning on riding.

From the City of Ames website, updated 10/10/14

So, after some Facebook consultation with H-Bomb, we have decided to just ride a different route. Sure, it loses the symbolism of riding to the clinic and back, but, I think it is just the Universe's way of giving the big ol' middle finger to cancer. And old water mains.

Meanwhile, the donations keep rolling in! Check out my sidebar to donate!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

All My Bags are {Sorta} Packed

First, I survived. I survived something crazy and fun and exhausting and hard-to-plan and amazing. From start to finish I planned and executed an 11 hour lock-in with 80% of the 8th graders at my school. 11 hours. With 98 teenagers. About 25 of the 98 kids actually slept at all. The rest were up the entire night. I managed to hoodwink convince 8 of my colleagues to help with the shenanigans and parents donated over 400 bucks to make it all happen. It was pretty much more planning than my own freakin' wedding. Totally worth it -- but everything else in life basically came to a halt in the days leading up to the whole thing. Soooo, I'm back on the 100 Miles of Nowhere Planning Train. Let's do this.

B's dad, Mr. Smitty, was out here last week. So, I sent him back to Iowa with a bunch of gear that I wouldn't be able to fit in my one free backpack on the plane.

Based on the extended forecast, things could get a bit chilly (low of 40, high of 60). Here is what I sent with Smitty:
  • Team Beaver Jersey
  • Cycling Shorts
  • Arm Warmers
  • Leg Warmers (knicker length is all I have)
  • Helmet
  • Arcteryx Base Layer (that Normie gave me when I was super preggo and I completely forgot I had)
  • Cycling Gloves
  • Helmet
  • Bike World Hat (Duh!)
  • Rear Bike Light
  • Shoe Covers
I will bring the rest on the plane, but hopefully this stuff will provide a strong foundation to the gear that I will need for all 102 miles.

The temps don't look too bad, but I am most worried about precipitation. I just don't know how I will handle it if I have to be chilly and soaked all day. So -- think dry thoughts!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Thanks to Our Corporate Sponsors!

Things are really rolling along in 100 Miles of Nowhere Land. We have more donations -- so far, over a $1000 pledged!

My very favorite-ist Ames bike shop has really come through! Bike World will be setting up a 10 X 10 ft pop up (H-Bomb, can we use your yard?) and will be providing snacks and beverages of choice. Heh. Normie and I both wondered if that included our favorite Colorado Cool-Aid.

It doesn't end there -- Leanne has a connection to the owner of "2b Bags" and they have donated a bracelet, a small zip bag, and a larger handbag.

All made from recycled tubes and breast cancer pink zippers. 2b Bags makes all sorts of cool stuff (even koozies!) -- so be sure to head over and check out some of their other items on their website.

Thank you Bike World and 2b Bags!

We are going to raffle these off to all people who donate! Wanna join the crowd? Click here for details about the ride and to learn how to donate. (Or just follow the links in my sidebar)

Monday, September 29, 2014


And it feels soooo good.

That's right. I've been reunited with my Mojo. It has been a long while since I have been in touch with my Mojo and it feels awesome! My Mojo involves working out with intensity, not phoning it in, and keeping my eye on the prize.

Yeah. You know, that 102 mile prize.

So, what have I been up to?

I've gone on a couple runs. One with Spark and one with Tuque. Apparently, it has been a while since Tuque has been on a run because he was definitely worn didn't help that it was a zillion degrees in the scorching Sun. Oh, and Tuque was carrying out a couch to 10k plan -- in one day.

Seriously. A Zillion degrees.

Tired pup.
I've also been doing both real and virtual spin classes. The only place that has spin classes that I can attend doesn't have clipless pedals. I only learned this after hauling @$$ to make it to a class with no other shoes. So, the next week I gave it a try with just tennis shoes. It was okay, but my feet were really bothered because I wasn't used to wearing flexible shoes in the pedals.

I noticed that even though the Rec center didn't have spin bikes with clipless pedals in the class -- they did have 3 older spin bikes with clipless out in the machine area.

Soooo, I did a little digging and found a YouTube Channel with spin class videos...and they are hard core! So far I have done these two:

The guy leading them is Paul Ryman, who is pretty much the devil incarnate. The guy says things like, "things are about to get horrendous" or, my favorite, "this is like the pros climbing the mountains in France, except its for only 4 minutes instead of 3 hours. Now turn it up one more notch."

I just tap into the free Wifi, set my phone on the aero bars, and rock out. The bonus is that the bikes overlook the atrium/entrance area. So, I get to people watch while I sweat my face off.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Let's Start with the Big Spenders...for the 102 Miles of Nowhere.

Yes. It is now 102 miles. And we have raised 860 big ones!

When Norman and I first started to put the plan together for 100 Miles of Nowhere, we knew that we wanted different levels  of donations to really mix things up. We envisioned that we would have a lot of $20 donations, but still wanted to motivate some people to donate big if they wanted to. So, we dreamed up funny things to try to up the ante a bit.

Well. That was an interesting theory.

In reality, there are several people that have supported in BIG ways.

1) My Mom! She remembers H-Bomb from high school and is pretty much a huge supporter of all things Smithers. She is sponsoring mile #31 and donated 100 smack-a-roos! You will just have to wait and see what big adventure she has planned for us for her mile. She was quick to donate and was actually our first submission. Thanks, Mom!

2) Aunt Jacque! H-Bomb's aunt was the first to donate 200 bucks and became the sponsor for mile #101. Ah-maze-ing.

3) Lynn W! The sponsor for mile #102! That's right. We have TWO $200 donations! How awesome is that?!?! Lynn emailed me today and said, "thanks for going the extra mile." I told her we would proudly (and probably painfully) ride the extra mile to honor her donation.

4) SciMom! I LOVE SciMom's request that she earned with her $100 donation. We're going to keep all requests a surprise...but let's just say that this one involves singing with gusto. No, really, she said we have to do it with gusto. No problem Lea Ann! We got this.

5) Kelly N! Our former driver for RAGBRAI was one of the first few submissions and donated $100. He has kicked cancer's ass himself and insists that no shenanigans be carried out for his mile. We will have to see about that. :)

Big K is the one on the right. Thanks, Kelly!
Now, don't let all this talk of big spenders take ANY focus and excitement off of our awesome $20 donors! It takes a village (and a Fatty) to support a couple crazies willing to ride their bikes in circles for an entire day. I will be back later this week to talk about our other awesome supporters.

We have also accumulated more roadies and a corporate sponsor! Stay tuned for those details as well.

Wanna support or donate?
Read about our ride here.
Read about our first roadie here.
Read about H-Bomb's Near Perfect News here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

I Left Out One Teeny Tiny Detail

I am training for a 101 mile bike ride -- without a bike.

After RAGBRAI, I flew back to Colorado and didn't want to pay the extra fees to fly my bike back. I left it in Des Moines with Mr. Smitty knowing that I would probably be returning in October for the 100 MoN. It's true -- the idea for our 100 Miles of Nowhere occurred to me before RAGBRAI. So, I left my bike in Iowa truly understanding that I would have to train for a century with no bike.

After a couple weeks of very sporadic running (read: 1 time per week), I decided to try to get a plan together to get my booty moving. So, I partitioned off the ol' whiteboard to make a calendar and put together a loose schedule to incorporate running and spinning workouts.

I am having trouble feeling like I can find the time to make it to spin classes. The spin classes at the rec center near my house start at 4:30 on MWF...and even though school gets out at 3:05, I just can't seem to get there on time with all the loose ends I usually have to tie up at the end of the day.

I have decided to put together a plan that involves running and spinning. Long and short runs peppered with one spin class each week and one individual spin session each week. I found a YouTube channel with a bunch of interval spin classes.

There are still lots of blanks on the calendar because I want to see how the YouTube spin "classes" go and also because there are still some unknown variables in my schedule.

I am hoping that the plan will keep me motivated to stick with it and be somewhat prepared for this ride. I mean, I don't want to be miserable the whole time!

Look for a 101 Miles of Nowhere update on Sunday. There have definitely been some developments!

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