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The Ride of Life

The Schwinn (on loan) ready for the 100 mile long haul. If they rode it that far in the 80's- surely one can do it again.

So turning the big 30 is supposed to be a big deal right? At least to some. Sure it’s a milestone, more or less having reached a little under half the average human lifespan. Some try to understate it and cover it up, like a chair strategically placed over a stain in the carpet – and hope no one notices. But why hide – life is too short.

I don’t really remember my birthday last year. Do you? I don’t really remember the one before that one either, now that I’m thinking about it. In fact, I dont really remember many of my birthdays for the same reason you probably don’t either. They all seem to get muddled into one theme – hang out with friends/family, go out to eat, have a few drinks, go to bed….wake up the next day and hey, look at that, it’s not your birthday anymore! How boring! I wanted to do something I will truly remember.

Something that’s as hard as it is rewarding.

So tomorrow at dawn, Wednesday, June 29th, the day before my birthday, I will give myself a present of pain/reward that I will never forget. I will ride my loaned 16 speed 80’s Schwinn as far as it will take me and attempt a century ride – 100 miles in a single day. Coveted in the biking world, and feared by everyone else.  Will I make it? Maybe. (I hope so) It’s highly likely I wont! Innumerable excuses: heat, hydration, fatigue, equipment, flat tires, etc etc. But, in this 30th year of life, I’d be an old man to say I’m not willing to try.

Out the front door, 100 miles down the road. But the destination, is somewhere inside.

Stay tuned.

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UPDATE: Friday, July 1st 2011

A very long, hot, and demanding day! …and a day to remember for sure. From the 6 a.m departure from my door step and all the way to my final destination around 3:30 p.m., at long last my 9 1/2 hour journey ended with a simple celebratory smile to myself. It was DONE! Although not as physically hard as I imagined, the mental stamina to sit on my bike for that long was a struggle. In the end, one of the hottest days of the summer (95 degrees+ on the road) the heat was what almost did me in! A throbbing head and red-hot sunburns, my body was starting to show signs of heat stroke. Luckily, the hottest part of the day was during the last leg of the ride (the last 20 miles) no shade, no wind…but I could SEE the water towers!  Even if I had to walk the last part, I was going to make it, there was no stopping at that point. Truly an epic personal achievement for me as I look into the future with hope and optimism – who KNOWS what this next year will bring.

Thanks everyone for the encouragement …and also my girlfriend for making me homemade cupcakes to greet me with at the finish 😉

Early start - mile 1

Bathroom break - mile 49

 



Finish line - mile 100

Ready for a shower & some AC!

  • Good luck my friend! This better be memorable!

  • Good luck my friend! This better be memorable! Happy Birthday!

  • dell

    Good luck man, the bike and the road is a great journey inside and out.

  • Aaron

    I love it!! Good luck man!

  • Two words…padded seat;) Enjoy the ride!

  • Michael Nyffeler

    THANKS for the encouragement everyone! Im looking forward to the journey

    • You inspired me:):):)

  • Russnyffeler

    That was quite a feat on a rather heavy looking bike.What did you have in the bag? Change of clothes? Or a cantaloupe? I have a carbon fiber bike for sale if you plan to do this again.

    • Anonymous

      It is rather heavy looking (and actually rather heavy!) …but I figured if people rode 100+ miles on bikes like that before, why not again? That bag was Roger’s old one with change of clothes, food and some tools (spare tube etc) …Although a cantaloupe WOULD have been refreshing! haha 🙂

      Not sure on the plans to do it again yet – I definitely WANT to do something like this again….just no plans yet. Cant afford any new toys right now with the move and all, but what kind of bike is it? Can you send me the specs?

      Thanks for reading Russ!

      -M