Michelle's Blog

Cycling 100 Miles: Never tell me 'no'

For me, it’s not all about sweating it out in the gym.  I like to vary my workouts – especially my cardio.  So on the weekends I treat myself by running 6 miles in the park or cycling for as long as I can go. But I have never gone 100 miles – and I really REALLY wanted to.

I picked up a Bike Hiker’s guide last week Thursday…and I saw it.

 The Midnight Century.

One hundred miles beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday night and going until midnight (or until you were done).  The best part? It was mostly flat.

For those that don’t cycle, let me tell you, this is a big deal.  I’ve done partial centuries over the last year ranging from 67 miles in the Tour of Napa to 50 miles in the Gold Country ride. The one thing these rides have in common besides incredible scenery is that they have killer hills. 

The long and not so winding road.

I’m talking crazy big hills where you have ride in the granny gear for miles and it is only sheer determination that keeps you from getting off your bike and pushing it up the hill. Well, determination and a little pride as you don’t want to be the only “walker” on the ride.

Yet, I was worried. I hadn’t ridden 100 miles at once – EVER.  What if my legs fell off halfway through?  It’s dark at midnight. How would I get back? Would they even see me?

And then the big question: Could I pull this off?  It was only two days away so it’s not like I could squeeze in a lot of training.

It took just one email to convince me.


Unable to get this out of my head, I decided to email the organizer of the ride just before midnight and sign up.  He emailed me back at 5 a.m.  His email began with, “I don’t want to rain on your parade…”

I won’t go into the details, but he implied that he didn’t think I up to the ride physically. 

That was it.  I was doing this ride and I was not going to come in last either. While I may not be ready for the Tour de France, I wasn’t a slowpoke – especially when it comes to flat cycling.  


I finished the race in just over 6 hours with at least a couple dozen more people still coming in behind me.  I hurt, was freezing from the wind and I looked like crap, but I did all 100 miles.

As I signed out, the organizer smiled. “You made it,” he said. “See you at the Davis Double next spring?”

You betcha!