Jim’s Wilderness 101

-by Jim Nagy

While I did ride my fat bike over 100 miles once, this was my first 100 mile race. My only goal was to ride my bike all day and hopefully finish without getting cut off due to time. I started out in the back and just took it easy. I would pass some people on the climbs, and then they would just coast past me on the descents. The majority of the race is a blur, but I had a really great time, minus the last hour or two which was pretty painful. There were some really fantastic trails on the course, but man were those descents long! My hands and feet were numb by the time I got to the bottom several times.

The dude at aid #4.5 said that he saw me roll past his house in the morning and he figured there was no way I would finish on the fat bike. He was amazed to see me, and he was fairly incredulous that I was able to ride up the climb after aid #4. I really didn’t think the climb was that bad. It was a beat up old woods road, and I had fatty traction. It also wasn’t as long or as steep as I was expecting, based on what people had said.

I knew it was pretty easy after aid #5, so I was very relieved to get there. My hands and neck were both really hurting. There were some great trails that I just really couldn’t enjoy that much, because I could barely hold onto the bars. There was one climb after that last aid station, and it really wasn’t bad, but it really hurt. I was barely moving, but I eventually got to the top. I was very close to getting off and walking, but I couldn’t make myself do it.

That hike a bike section toward the end was pretty crazy. I would like to go back there sometime when I’m fresh to see how much I can do. When I saw the can of wasp/hornet killer on the ground, I was like, “oh great, this is how I die.” Fortunately I didn’t see any hornets or wasps, and I didn’t get stung. Sounds like I might have gotten lucky there.

I had texted my wife at aid #5, telling her I would be done around 7:30-8pm, but the text didn’t go through. I figured that might be the case, so I had told her before the race to be back at 7:30pm if she didn’t hear from me. I finished at 7:51pm, so I guess that was pretty good planning.

We hung out after the race for a bit with @xc62701 and @Sven Migot, and then went back to the hotel so that I could take a most glorious shower. Then we met back up with Ryan and Sven for dinner. Sven was also gracious enough to drive my bike back to NJ for me, so that I didn’t have to cram it back in my wife’s car. He even dropped it off at Hilltop for me, so that Jim can exercise its demons. There was a pretty horrendous creaking sound that started about 70ish miles in. Thanks Sven!

In the end, my total time was 12:51 which wasn’t DFL, but probably close. I lost about 20 minutes due to missing the turn into the single track before aid #3, so my finishing time should have been more like 12.5 hours. I’ll aim for 11.5 hours next year.