From Time to Time, I Do Not Suck

01.18.2006 | 4:50 pm

Most rides I do don’t really stand out from each other. I enjoy what I’m doing while I’m doing it, maybe have a few highlights I’ll tell friends about later, and then let the recollection of that ride drift off into this big, warm, fuzzy collective memory I have of biking.

There are, however, certain exceptions.

Occasionally, something big enough happens that the memory of the ride — or part of the ride — remains clear in my mind forever. My crash at Gold Bar Rim, resulting in a terrific photo. My crash on a local trail, resulting in facial scarring. My crash at Brian Head, forcing me to ride without a seat. Yeah, crashes are easy to remember.

Even more occasionally, though, I’ll do something I’m really proud of, and that memory sticks with me, too.

Today, I’m going to push the crashes out of my mind, and talk about some of my favorite mountain biking accomplishments.


Practice Run

I give Dug lots of grief about being churlish, but the reality is he’s about the best biking ambassador I’ve ever known. I am just one of probably more than twenty people he has brought into the sport. He introduced me to a jeep trail I could get to from my house. The first time we rode it, I was hooked.

In reality, it wasn’t an especially technical trail, nor a long trail, nor a steep trail. But for a beginner, it was all of those things. The steep pitches were too much for my legs. The gravel and embedded rocks would throw me off my line. I’d be tired and out of breath before I got to the final, long climb.

It was, in short, a perfect challenge for a beginning cyclist.

I started riding that trail every day, trying to string the whole thing together without putting a foot down. If I spun out toward the beginning, I’d turn around and go back to the bottom to try again. Once I spun out at the very end, in the final pitch, and rode back down the entire 2.5 mile course to do the whole thing over.

Toward the end of the season, I finally did it. I rode the entirety of my practice run without ever taking my feet off my pedals. I had built this up into such a huge deal that actually completing it seemed really remarkable. I told all of my friends about this huge achievement, who seemed a little confused. “You mean, you sometimes do put a foot down on that road?” Bob asked. “I can’t think of anywhere you’d need to do that.”

Sure enough, a couple years later — just for nostalgia — I rode what our group now called “Elden’s Practice Run,” and found that there’s nothing noteworthy, difficult, or otherwise impressive about this little trail.

But it was still my first big triumph, and it still feels like a big deal.


Finishing the Cascade Creampuff

I had heard the Cascade Creampuff was difficult, but I’d done the Leadville 100 several times and figured that it couldn’t be much harder. They were both 100 mile mountain bike races, and the Creampuff is in Oregon at a nice low altitude, so I expected it to be about the same effort.

I was a fool.

The Creampuff has you do three laps of a 33 mile course. You climb about 6000 feet — mostly on graded dirt road — for eighteen miles or so, then descend on tight singletrack for about fifteen miles. So by the end of the day, you’ve done 18,000 feet of climbing, as opposed to the 12,000 or so you’ve done at Leadville. That’s 50% more climbing, for those keeping track.

The climb of the first lap of the Creampuff seemed easy. I was having so much fun. I was passing people, goofing off, and rolling a nice, high tempo. I expected to place very well in the race.

The descent on that first lap was incredible. I had never ridden such great singletrack, nor seen such incredible trees. This was going to be the best day ever, I could tell.

As I finished the first lap, I told my wife (crewing for me) that I was having a banner day, that I loved this course, and that I’d see her in another 3.5 hours.

Then the climb for the second lap began, and I bonked hard. I was soft-pedaling in my granny, unable to give it any more than that. I could not see any possible way I would finish this race. But even as I contemplated how I was going to quit, I kept pedaling. I’d quit at the next aid station.

It took forever, but I did get to the aid station. I decided to eat and drink for half an hour, and then I’d quit. By the time I had rested that long, though, I decided that I could make it to the next aid station, and would quit there.

I played that game the whole rest of the lap. I would quit, but I’d do it at the next checkpoint. Finally, when I met my wife, I said it out loud: “I quit.”

“No, you can’t,” she said.

“I’m done. Seriously,” I said.

“You will hate yourself forever,” she said.

I knew it was true. I would.

Sullenly, I got on the bike, and started the third lap. It was only a little bit harder than the second one.

I don’t remember my finish time for the Cascade Creampuff — something close to 14 hours, I think — but I do remember crying with relief when the finish line came into view at the end of the third lap. I quit dozens (hundreds) of times that day, but finished the race anyway.

I owe my wife big time on this one.


24 Hours of Moab, Duo Team

Racing the 24 Hours of Moab in the Duo Pro/Expert division (two guys taking turns racing a technically demanding 15.7 mile course for 24 hours) with my friend Brad was probably the most intense race I have ever done.

Brad and I agreed to do sets of two laps, giving each other more opportunity to rest between turns. That meant I wouldn’t have anything to do for at least the first couple hours of the race, except wish that I had worked harder at staying in shape.

Brad and I turned in very consistent times, though we stopped doing two-lap turns fairly quickly. As the day turned to night, we slowed down, going from 1:20 laps to 1:50 laps.

Between laps I had a pretty effective regimen going. Go back to the camp, give my bike to Jeremy (our mechanic), go back to my car, start the engine and turn on the heater, make a sandwich (Great Harvest bread, smoked turkey, lots of mayo) while the car warms up, climb into the back seat and change into the clothes for my next lap, eat the sandwich and drink about a quart of water, refill my Camelbak, rest for about 20 minutes, go to the restroom, then back to the staging area and wait for Brad.

Toward the end of his seventh lap, Brad bonked. And when Brad bonks, he really bonks. As he handed me the baton, he said that he had done the math and figured that I would finish my next lap (my seventh) by about 11:40 — twenty minutes before the race was over. He was completely fried, he said, and there was no way he was going to do another lap.

"You have to!" I yelled.

"No way," he said.

"You have to!" I reiterated, just in case I had been unclear the first time.

"No way," he said, just in case I hadn’t caught the subtle nuances of his previous statement.

For emphasis, I yelled "You have to!" one more time, climbed on my bike and took off.

For the bulk of that lap, I was preoccupied with what we would do when I finished my lap. At first I figured that Brad would see that he had a moral obligation to do that lap and would be at the staging area ready to go when I pulled in. Then I thought about it a little harder and decided that if Brad said he was cooked, he was really cooked. I didn’t want to hold back, though, and intentionally turn in a slow lap for my final effort. I had treated this event like a serious race for 23 hours; I was going to finish it like a serious race. I decided that if Brad wasn’t able to do the final lap, I’d do it.

Around 11:25 I pulled into Jeremy’s pit stop and asked if Brad had suited up for another lap. The people sitting around (Jeremy was crewing for more than ten people) said he hadn’t and that I should just sit down and chill out until noon. Instead, I handed Jeremy my bike and asked him to lube the chain while I filled up my Camelbak. I don’t know if there were really wild cheers all around, but it seemed like it at the time and drove my morale right through the roof. I took off for lap number 8.

Stuff I had been blowing through in my middle ring now required a granny gear. I walked things that I would never walk. I felt like I was out there forever, but the actual time wasn’t much different than my other times for the day: 1:49. Good enough for a fourth-place finish.


The Banjo Brothers Bike Bag Giveaway: Your Turn

What have you done on a bike — something you’ll always remember — that you’re really proud of?


  1. Comment by barry1021 | 01.18.2006 | 5:16 pm

    Well compared to you guys, it’s a little embarassing, but being 53, at least 30 el-bees (as opposed to El-don) overweight and a "serious" rider for two seasons, I am most proud of my first 50 miler last year. it was a large fundraiser and the adrenalin and the flat first half of the route had me thinking that if there is a TDF for seniors I was in. By 44 miles I was taking it one pedal at a time, but I finished and even with the bonkish ending, (really a total spalm if you must know), my time of 16.8 MPH is a source of great pride for me, even if my appearance was a concern for officials at the finish line. First century coming up in May!!Barry1021

  2. Comment by Unknown | 01.18.2006 | 5:50 pm

    I had an experience back in 1978 that I will never (ever) forget. It was the highlight of an incongrous number of years when I thought I was a good roadie (but wasn’t) and was struggling (although I didn’t know it at the time) to find a niche in cycling that worked for my particular set of skills. I was racing in the Tour of Bisbee, a short stage race in Southeastern Arizona that had a kind of "down home" feel to it with a lot of civic involvement. It was a team stage race primarily, and a lot of the then current hot roadies were there (Boyer, Howard, Cook, etc.). It was the first or second stage, a 100 mi. (or so) road race where I found myself in the front of the group, knowing that two teammates ( and three or four others) had slipped away at the start of the race, and were smokin’ it 7 or 8 minutes clear of the field. The hotshots didn’t know, and the surprise they showed when they got a "time check" (you know, that little guy on the motorcycle with the chalkboard?) about 70 miles into the race, and, well, it was an interesting reaction. This was the first, real experience I have had with the "hammer going down", and it went down hard, believe me. I sat on, for dear life, for about 20 miles, as the field dwindled to just a few, and the last climb (a long one…six or seven miles) started. I have never been so absolutely shelled and wasted, but I hung on as long as I could, and Cook, Boyer and Howard, especially, rolled up that climb so fast, it was mindboggling….like 53 x17 fast. I couldn’t help wondering, and have been thinking about it ever since…what if I could have stayed on? Logically, there was no way…the nuclear blast that shattered me was irrevocable. They (I think just Bob Cook (RIP) and John Howard) eventually caught the break, and Cook won the stage, but my teammate beat Howard in a two up sprint for second. I crawled in and died a thousand agonizing deaths, and started the very next day, and most days after that, with new expectations.

  3. Comment by Unknown | 01.18.2006 | 5:51 pm

    once i sat through the entire 6 hour bbc version of pride and prejudice. i didn’t ask my wife to pause it when i had to pee, but i think it still counts.

  4. Comment by Unknown | 01.18.2006 | 6:15 pm

    Mine is also a racing recollection from 1978. It was the Tour of Nutley, which is one of the big Memorial Day Weekend races near New York. I was 18 at the time, just graduated out of Juniors. It was a 100k criterium, and the National Team was there, as well as just about every other good racer in the U.S. and a few from Europe. There was a breakaway of about five guys who got away by about mid-race. I was near the front when I saw a guy take off after them. Someone from my club was standing on the side of the road and he yelled to me to go after him. So I did. I got on his wheel and he pulled me for two laps. I looked back and I couldn’t see the pack. Yikes. Two other guys joined us. When we went past the announcer, he told the crowd who we were. Tom Doughty – National Team, Kent Bostick – National Team, Rick Baldwin – 8th in the ‘77 road nationals. And me, a skinny 18-year-old just graduated out of Juniors. We rode for a while until Tom decided were too slow and he left us and caught the breakaway. The three of us tried to make it to the finish. We didn’t make it. At one lap to go, we were all fried and the pack went by like freight train. I just wobbled over to the side of the road and fell over in the grass. It was the single biggest triumph and defeat at the same time. And it was the single greatest ride of my life.Fortunately, I have some pictures from that day, or I’d never believe it happened:

  5. Comment by tayfuryagci | 01.18.2006 | 6:21 pm

    I have one. I probably will allways remember this one. It was the first summer I decided to cycle "Seriously". You know with a helmet and all. After about a month or so of cycling I thought to myself: Well I’m a tuff cyclist now. (I weighed 95 kilos) So I called a cyclist friend of mine, we hooked up at a place 25kms away from my place. We cycled for 50 kilometers in 2 hours. I was toasted. At the way back home he came with me because I didn’t know where I was, was constantly mumbling to myself and just a little foaming in the mouth. At the last 10 kms I bonked as hard as possible. Every 100 yards I lied on the ground spasms took control of my body. I came back home, my friend put me inside the elevator with my bike and cycled away. I am seriosuly proud of the day I cycled for 100 kms in just over 5 hours with 21 kg 24 speed piece of crap MTb with the knobbiest tires ever. Yeah that was a seriously cool day.

  6. Comment by Unknown | 01.18.2006 | 6:29 pm

    My story comes from one of my very first road rides, I was primarily a Mountain biker and had done a few races at the local level but was still very much a beginner! A friend (in hindsite a real friend would not have done this to me) talked me into doing a Lake to Lake century road ride from Harrisburg PA to Reading to "help with my fitness" . So idocy or nievity took over and I saddled up my trusty fat-tired steed and set out. My "Friend" riding his sub 18 pound road bike proceeded to tow me for 75 brutal miles @ an avg speed of about 13-14 MPH. I learned a couple of important lessons that day: 1: be careful when your "friends" recommend rides for fitness and not fun2. BUY A ROAD BIKE FOR ROAD RIDING ON LONG DISTANCES FOR GOD’S SAKE (You would think that would be #1)3. 75 miles on a mountain bike can be quite an accomplishment for a novice rider!! in Hindsight it did help my fitness and it introduced me to road riding as a training tool for off-road and a whole new appreciation for cycling in generalit also spurred my interest in professional races (Lancaster, NJ, and Phila are very close to home) and Now I really enjoy them to a greater degree!!!ThanksRich Mowrer

  7. Comment by Unknown | 01.18.2006 | 6:35 pm

    Fatty, I’m an old and aging female rider, and a big wuss as well. I started the whole “bike thing” a few years ago as part of a fundraising event (TNT Triathlon). Who knew that riding a bike would be so challenging? The very first training ride was a 12 mile FLAT spin….I didn’t even know how to change gears on the borrowed and beat up hybrid bike I was pretending to ride. But I digress.Fast forward to last year. I had now been riding (if that’s what you call what I do) for three years. I’ve purchased a sweet little road bike, ride to work about once a week, and my Christmas gift list includes such things as “Heart Rate Monitors, Bike Shorts, and Cytomax”. I’ve got great friends, who are basically uber-athletes. Just to give you some perspective, one is a former tri coach and an awesome cyclist. When I ride with her I’m working my ass off, however she generally refers to the day as a “little spin”, or a “coffee ride”. But she always stops and lets me regroup, without making me feel like the fat slow slob that I am. That’s one thing that makes her a great friend. However, again I digress.On this particular beautiful Sunday morning in the Bay area, we were contemplating our ride route. I wanted to do about 35 miles, with a few hills. Emphasis on FEW, and I was thinking LITTLE hills. I knew I was in trouble when we were getting ready (pumping tires, etc) and Heidi (the tri coach) started talking about "we’re going to Santa Cruz", then suggested Old La Honda (OLH). I have NEVER even remotely considered climbing that hill, it’s one that all serious cyclists in the area (which I’m not) know their ascent rate. It’s about 3.3 miles – UP UP UP. But, since this wasn’t a training ride, I knew that I could ride at my own pace and wouldn’t have to worry about anybody. I’ve also been working on my hydration, and have had some success with Gu2O, having found that Gatorade just makes me puke (literally).So, it was with some cautious optimism that I set off with the group. Of course, when we hit the first little hill, I was dropped, but no worries. I just kept to my game plan and held my heart rate to about 165 and went slow. Well, I finally got to Old La Honda road and I started up. I had told the group not to wait for me, and that I would see him at the top. Or, if they got tired of waiting, they could come down and do another repeat with me!Thankfully, Heidi had described the climb. If you watch the house numbers, it is pretty close to telling you how far you have gone. 182 = 18%, 455 = 45%, etc. She also described a steeper part around 45-55 percent up. She wasn’t wrong! I managed to keep climbing until after that "steep" part, but had to stop and grab a CliffShot (and my breath) at the lower "Upenuf" road. Seriously, the name of that road makes me laugh.Well, I kept climbing, slow and steady and was passed by about 15 people, most who were chattily carrying on conversations with their mates while I was huffing and puffing, dripping with sweat and turning interesting shades of red.At the top, I saw about 15-20 people. I pushed myself up to the stop sign, VERY excited to have made it to the top. So excited that I forgot to unclip. ***Crash***Hysterical!! In front of all those "real" cyclists, I toppled over. They were grading me like Olympic judges grade ice skaters. “I give her a 6.3!” “No, it’s at least a 7.5…she’s still clipped in!” and on and on. It was pretty funny. When I got on my bike for the descent down Hwy 84, I realized that my little crash had bent my left gear shifter and brake over to the middle. Thankfully they still worked, just made the brake position a little weird. Coming down Hwy 84 was fun and terrifying at the same time. I kept thinking "this is how people are killed….they lose control and fly off the mountain or into traffic". By the time we got to the end, my hands were cramped.We stopped and got coffee and smoothies. On the way back Heidi told me "You know, I really didn’t expect you to get to the top. I was so happy to see you there". HA! (Little secret, I wasn’t to sure either!) We ended up doing a little over 30 miles, pretty much what I wanted to do.What a great day, what a great ride, what a great group of friends.

  8. Comment by Unknown | 01.18.2006 | 6:53 pm

    Nothing. Yet.

  9. Comment by Unknown | 01.18.2006 | 6:58 pm

    I entered Paris-Brest-Paris in ‘03 after training from January of that year til August. (PBP is an ultramarathon ((1200 km)) road ride held once every 4 years and is older than the Tour.) I thought I was in good shape having trained between 4 and 5 thousand miles in preparation but I’d never done a ride like this straight through with little sleep. At the end of one of the four qualifying rides I found a small stuffed dog that I brought home for my young daughter. She gave it back to me before I left for France for good luck–good thing she did. I zip-tied it on the back of my saddlebag and started the ride with some friends from NYC. On Thursday night, sometime after midnight, so I guess it was really Friday morning, I couldn’t go on because of back pain and sleep deprivation (1.5 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday night). I told my friends to go on without me or they wouldn’t make the cut off time of 90 hours for the 750 miles. I just laid down on the side of the road and tried to rest my back and sleep. As I was laying under my space blanket, I saw the stuffed dog on my bike and thought about how disappointed my daughter would be if I didn’t finish this thing so I got back on the bike and rode to the next check point. They told me I was just within the time limit so I took a short nap and rode on. I was so inspired that at the finish I had caught up to my friends and we all finished about the same time well within the time limit and I was able to call my daughter back in the states and tell her that I finished–in French; which was our code for telling her that I finished under the time limit.I’ll never forget that ride or the dog or the inspiration the dog (from my daughter) gave me.

  10. Comment by k | 01.18.2006 | 6:59 pm

    I rode <a href "" target=top>this race</a> on a 12 year old Giant Cadex. Rigid. I finished. I did not place last. Be sure to check out the photos for the full effect of "I rode….rigid."

  11. Comment by k | 01.18.2006 | 7:01 pm

    man. they should allow edits to comments. If I could code like I ride….oh, well I guess I did…

  12. Comment by Unknown | 01.18.2006 | 8:05 pm

    There are quite a few moments that stand out but I guess right now this one is the biggest:Last spring, perhaps April or May, I decided to go for a bike ride one Saturday morning. Decided to take my boys with me (they were 3 and 1). So I hooked up the bike trailer, threw in some drinks, blankets and a couple of rugrats. Hitched it up and pulled away. The plan: To go for a bike ride and enjoy some time together. What happened? A lot more.I remember the ride was pretty uneventful as we ventured down the side streets of our neighborhood making our way to our normal trail entrance for the city wide trail system. The trails kind of run along the Cedar River here. We stopped at the park so we could play. I mostly rested and then we saddled up again and ventued further. We came across the lake downtown with all the ducks and geese that live there. We rested there and feed bread to the animals for a long time. Finally saddled back up and ventured on.We stopped at a donut shop and had a little snack. Well, I had two snacks. Ventured on further down the trail system until we eventually came across another park. Stopped for more play time. By now we were going on about an hour and half away from home and probably only 12 miles or so of actually movement. (Hey, we move slow) We eventually came to the end of the trail system, turned around and started for home. (The first time I had actually gotten to this end of the trail) This time we didn’t stop at all. All said, we spent about 3 hours together riding the trials, covered about 25 miles, had 4 donuts, handled out about a loaf of bread to birds, played on two different playsets and by the time I got home I had two sleeping rugrats.I’d say it was a good day. I had a good nap that day too. I was really proud of spending that time together, showing them a very interesting world along the river, pulling that much weight behind my bike, and knowing enough not to hurry what we were doing.Matt

  13. Comment by Unknown | 01.18.2006 | 8:12 pm

    MY proudest moment on a bike:I rode the 1988 version of the LOTOJA Classic (203 miles). I had graduated from High School that spring and was going to train all summer, but my job at a bike shop and my need to chase girls took much of my time. So mid September comes and about 8 of us from our neighborhood climbed in cars to head to Logan. It was about half way there that I realized that I only had about 400 miles on my wheels for that year. I was doing fine, (you know the strength or stupidity of youth), until Tin Cup Pass (where is that summit?) where I was tucking down and looked under my arm and saw a friend’s front wheel coming into my rear wheel. (I still am not sure if he came into me or I went into him) He went down HARD, our support crew took him to the hospital and left me without support, I didn’t have any $$$, and there was not a neutral feed.On I went, at the next feed there was no crew, at the second feed there was another crew from our group, but I was on my way to bonking. I played mental tricks all the way to Jackson, I have no idea how many "mental bikes" I built. As I neared Jackson the crew pulled up and yelled out the window of the car " the finish is just UP there." I replied "UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" At that point I was done with up.I made it under 13 hours, around 12:35 if I recall correctly.That is my proudest moment.

  14. Comment by Savvas | 01.18.2006 | 8:41 pm

    The usual ride we do back home (in Cyprus) is this trail that descends from the top of Mount Mahairas (1600m) to the St Helias monastery (at around 500m) in around 11km. Not counting the first 2-3 km it’s not that technical and it goes up and down (obviously mostly downwards). When the whole gang was well trained we did it one or twice the other way around (from bottom to the top) and although it was hard we were not exhausted in any ways. Then for many reasons we all stopped riding for six months (you know how it goes, one stops than the other skips rides and the next thing you know you start thinking and realize that it’s been a hell of a lot of time since you’ve got on your bike). Well the Christmas vacations came around and we all started riding again (it’s perfect in Cyprus at this time of the year). We did the trail once or twice the normal way and the last day of the vacations (after two weeks riding almost daily) we decided that we should celebrate the fact that we were riding again by doing "The Trail" (that’s what we call it) the wrong way. To make a long story short, we arrived at the top of the mountain EXAUSTED!!! We had all bonked heavily and we were all out of food. We had no idea how we would be able to go back. At some point I left the others and went towards the toilets (there is a picnic area there) and found some hunters that were taking their lunch. As is customer in Cyprus they invited me over. I asked them if they had finished and then I explained them the situation. After getting the ok from them, I took a big sausage and a huge piece of bread and returned to the rest of the guys. I found them in the process of thinking if trying to split between 6 people 3 biscuits that one of them found in his camelbak. When they saw me with food in their hands they stood there clueless. They could not arrive to understand how I found food n a place that we never see anyone. 2 minutes later we were all over the leftovers of the hunters. I don’t think that the hunters ever saw anyone that skinny eat all that food that fast! We stayed there for another half an hour finishing our lunch with the fruit that the hunters gave us (oranges and mandarins) and then hit the trail back to the cars. Ride saved and I was the hero of the day!!

  15. Comment by Unknown | 01.18.2006 | 9:07 pm

    Back in the early 90s, early in my days of mt biking, a group of people enjoyed a weekend of high-altitude exploring from one of the 10th Mountain Division huts in the Colorado Rockies. Saturday morning a herd of us mountain bikers headed out from our hut and blasted down 10 miles and 2,000+ vertical feet of winding, rocky jeep trail. We climbed a couple miles up to a campground, refilled our waterbottles, and then the fun began. Between the eight of us we had three different maps, each with it’s respective strong points. On the old USGS 7.5 min. map it showed that if we climbed up this road it would narrow down after 5 miles but continue another 3 miles to another road leading to another hut. The other two maps showed the road ending at 5 miles. We figured it was worth seeing if we could get through. We climbed the 5 miles and 1,500 feet on nice, red hardpack with stunning views of high peaks in front of us and and sprawling canyon valley behind us. At the end was a sign saying "trail closed, no motorized vehicles, horse and foot traffic permitted". We decided that since it didn’t specifically prohibit bikes and since we have less impact than horses we could continue. The trail petered out after about 50 yards and the adventure began.It was great. No one hesitated when the trail ended. Everyone just sort of spread out and forged ahead through the woods. Some carried theirbikes, some pushed, sometimes one person would lead, sometimes another, but we all headed in roughly the same direction. We would stopperiodically to check the map, reach no agreement on where we were, then forge ahead following whoever was up to it at the time. Occasionally we would pick-up pieces of the the trail again which might allow us to ride a little bit, but it would always disappear again, especially when it came to a meadow. So we’d check the map, disagree again, and press on. The one general point of agreement was not to lose altitude, but eventually we came to a point that our only option was to go down or go back. Again there was further consultation. We decided to ride down across this meadow and up another hill rather than turn back. After first checking if anybody was "uncomfortable with it", we mounted up and bounced down the hill.After another fifteen minutes or so we picked up the trail again and it soon lead us to the road. Two hours of bushwacking with our bikes we’dgone about three miles and another 500 feet–not bad time given the total random approach. We were soon rewarded by finding a stretch of killer winding single track descending back to the valley. It was the kind of trail you dream about–narrow, technical butrideable, quiet and beautiful surroundings. The sun even went behind some clouds to eliminate the shadows making it more ridable. I didblow a couple tight hair pins and rag doll once but it was marvelous. We then climbed back up to the hut where beer and margaritas awaited us. The total ride was 36 miles and 6,000 ft total elevation gain all on dirt. But the really cool thing is when eight guys wandered off in to the woods and noone questioned the logic of it, noone really knew where we were going, but it all worked out beautifully. A classic ride!

  16. Comment by Jsun | 01.18.2006 | 9:11 pm

    Well, like your training hill, my biggest and best remembered events on the bike are minimal in comparison to a lot of other riders. Most aren’t a specific ride or ‘move’, but are tied into the accomplishments of others, like turning someone else onto the beauty of a biking experience or a first off-road ride. But you asked for my proudest moments, so I assume that you’d like my story, not my vicarious experiences.It’s funny too, how the proudest moments seem to be under-rated. Riding the whole loop without a dab, or finally cleaning that section, seems to matter only to me. I could also talk about early life experiences like taking off my own training wheels or riding down at the bmx jumps, since these are really engrained into my psyche as not only the best bicycling moments, but the best moments in life generally speaking.So as I sit here typing, hoping to single out that great moment, what I find that I am most proud of is that I still ride a bike. That I am healthy enough to still ride a bike. That it is still as much fun as when I was a kid. That I am always improving. That I am not alone in my obsession with riding. And that I have shared these memories with others.Darnit, I have had some great memories on my bike and I was sure that one of them would stand out as “a proudest moment” deserving of a really cool Banjo Brothers bike bag. I still believe there are plenty; I just don’t need you (or this Dug guy) passing judgment on them either. They are mine. Get your own. Oh, you did, and they are worthy. Nice work.

  17. Comment by Unknown | 01.18.2006 | 9:12 pm

    I used to personify the MHTB acronym (thanks rocky–see his blog for definition).I recieved standing ovations for riding off the back stairs of the bike shop and for riding off the roof of said shop (my heart starts pounding again just thinking about it).I jumped over a culvert once and didn’t exaclty land cleanly. That resulted in bleeding from the urethra. That one made me infamous (to about 6 people).As for personal triumphs, I actually can’t think of any. I won a coule races one year. Felt great at the time, but in retrospect, I was riding against just a few weak riders.Botched

  18. Comment by Unknown | 01.18.2006 | 9:28 pm

    The worst was stitches in my mouth and a light scar on my face for looking up too soon when riding under a tree. O-tree, the expert friend leading me, says it is the only time he’s ever called "You ok?" and heard "No" in response.Runners-up are my 12-hour duo race and Chequamegon 40, both on a rigid single. Five years of serious riding and I still don’t own any suspension.My personal best is completing the Minnesota MS150 charity ride, on a 25-year-old Falcon fixed-gear conversion. Those two days are still my longest road rides ever, I collected almost $1,000 for a good cause, and I felt great on the fixie. I saw a handful of singlespeeds on that ride, but nothing else fixed, or nearly as old as my ride.

  19. Comment by Unknown | 01.18.2006 | 9:29 pm

    Hey, Rocky, while I don’t have great moments in biking, I *can* talk about my greatest moment of shame. It was when I made this enormous, gigantic, incredibly silly math error in blog comments on this other guy’s blog, and I ranked him out about it and hit publish before I realized how incredibly stupid my comments were. Then, because I was a total wuss, I had the guy who owned the blog remove the comment before anybody else could read it and call me out. Because he was a great guy and took pity on my pathetic self, he did remove that incredibly dumb comment, which was basically insane because I’d just ranked him out over the mistake. He should have left up my comments and let me twist in the wind. But he took pity on me. It was a close call, and it felt good at the time. But now I feel really bad because the coverup was waaaayyy, wayyyyy worse than the initial crime. I still live with the regrets. Well, okay, it didn’t happen to me. But it did happen to a guy I know who is on the bike scene, and it was bad enough that I count it as one of *my* worst moments in biking. It was like watching a car crash.

  20. Comment by Unknown | 01.18.2006 | 9:31 pm

    My cycling, er, exploits?, have been mostly embarrassing, self-esteem shattering moments that I wish I could erase from my memory. That said, I’ve got nothin’.

  21. Comment by Unknown | 01.18.2006 | 9:35 pm

    Thanks, Al. Sarcasm and pointed censure deserved and noted.

  22. Comment by Unknown | 01.18.2006 | 9:40 pm

    Hey Fatty,Nice topic. One time that I do not suck has turned into an annual event over here. After doing the traditional "Tri Pass", (White, Cayuse, Chinook passes) I wanted something more challenging. I came up with a 220 mi just under 20k verticle route. I came up with the name on the first sucessful attempt of the ride. It was early July. I started at 3am at a place we call the "Y". It’s where highway 12 and 410 intersect just outside of Naches, Wa. Typically a very windy area as these two canyons come together. Anyway, you go up White pass and down to Packwood and take a road called Skate Creek to the Nisqually Entrance of Mt. Rainier. It was here I ran into some riders who were training for Ramrod. So on that climb up to Paradise, down Stevens canyon and up Cayuse I decided to call the route Damfrod(delerious around Mt. Frigging Rainier One Day). Always in the past Cayuse Pass would kill me. I swear Elvis was on my rear wheel eating jelly donuts going up that pass. The commit point is at the top of Cayuse Pass. To complete the ride, you have to go down the other side of Cayuse to the White river entrance to the park and then ride up to Sunrise. Many a time every imaginable excuse was uttered when at the top of cayuse and looking across and up on the horizon at the road to Sunrise.Finally, four years ago by myself I quit making excuses and took off down the road. It was worth all of the pain. Incredible views and one of the sweetest downhill rides in the state!(Down from Sunrise)The ride finishes by going back up Cayuse, then Chinook and back out to the Y. If luck is with you, the tailwinds pick up as you decsend into the valley. With 20 miles to go, there is a minimart with esspresso service. Always a stop here for that final kick needed to finish. What a rush, buzzed on caffeine, endorphines and speed(mph)! That feeling can’t be fabricated any other way. When I finish this ride I know I do not suck.

  23. Comment by Unknown | 01.18.2006 | 9:40 pm

    I realize now you were asking for my proudest moment, not just what I’ll always remember. My early, epic colorado ride was memorable, but not necessarily worthy of pride. I guess I haven’t done much that’s prideworthy, but I always feel good when I’m the first one to get over the damn headwall at the top of the canyon.

  24. Comment by Tom Stormcrowe | 01.18.2006 | 9:46 pm

    My greatest cycling moment happened last summer in recent memory. It was my first ride in recent history where I made any miles at all. Those of you that have followed my blog know that in March last year, I was in a wheelchair due to a heart problem and morbid obesity brought on by a pituitary disorder as well as being on oxygen. This ride was out to a park called Fairfield Lakes County park. This was a 7.2 mile ride and at the time, I was having to take frequent breaks, but I did make it out there. Believe me, riding with a 15 pound oxygen tank strapped on your back ain’t easy. I know that a bit over 7 miles doesn’t really sound like much, but at that time it felt to me like I had just aced Lance Armstrong in the Tour de` France! I’ve learned to appreciate every ride I make, good, bad or indifferent! Fatty, again, I’m not in the running for a bag as I have officially DQ’d myself. By the way, the trunk bag, small seat bag and handlebar bags are great! Well made and they look pretty good as well!::GRIN:: Eric with Banjo sent me some bags to field test… soon for my review! (Sorry for the self promotion, Elden!)

  25. Comment by joan | 01.18.2006 | 10:32 pm

    Three words – I got on.

  26. Comment by Unknown | 01.18.2006 | 10:36 pm

    My proudest moment on a bike…riding a new 10-speed Centurion home from the shop. It cost about $100, most of my paper route savings, but gave me wheels! It was the start of fast "commuting" to schools, bike hikes, and a long-standing love of two-wheeled human-powered transportation. I don’t remember what happened to it when I went to college (20+ years ago now), but I hope somebody somewhere is still getting somewhere faster with it.I have to say one of my most embarassing moments on a bike came on that same ride home. Down the steepish hill, tucked in to the drops for the first time ever, feeling fast, too fast, reach for the brakes, where are they, found them, thud – bike meet curb, kid meet grass…ride home slowly. Must have been a tough rim as it survived.Great blog!

  27. Comment by Unknown | 01.18.2006 | 10:37 pm

    I don’t have anything interesting to tell anyone on this score. I am simply proud of the fact that, after an inexplicable, years-long hiatus from cycling, I have re-discovered the joy of the bike. I’ve invested in a good road bike and re-established communion with a sport that keeps my body healthy, improves my outlook, aids my perspective, and generally balances my anxious, stressful tendencies. My cycling renaissance coincided with the arrival of our first child, so there have been no monumental cycling moments so far. 54 miles is a huuuge ride in my world. But, I’m 15 pounds lighter after a year, and I hope I’ll be missing another 10 by the end of this upcoming season. Hell, I might even try racing. Who knows. A century is pretty much a must-do first, though.

  28. Comment by ladilynn | 01.18.2006 | 10:44 pm

    Back in ‘90 I had decided to lose weight and chose biking as my exercise of choice. As added incentive to exercise, I signed up for the Dallas Area MS 150 bike ride. I bought a cheap hybrid, a helmet, some bike shorts and started ‘training’. I rode around the area – mostly flat (just north of Big D) – working up to 5-10 miles per day. One day on my leisurely travels through the countryside, I discovered some hills on the highway feeder road. A relatively small hill started off the series. When you got over and down that one, you immediately started a steep climb up the second, which was just a bit higher than the first. The third, and last, hill was the tallest and steepest of all. Off I went. The first time, I didn’t even make it half way up the first hill and ended up coasting down, then walking up the next two. I headed home utterly defeated and vowing that I would make it up and over those stupid hills if it was the last thing I ever did. At the end of my daily 5-10 mile ride, I would attack the hills. I became obsessed with the 3 hills – local riders called them the "Three Sisters". Every day I would get just that much further. When I mastered the first hill, I was so happy, but that was only the first one… A few weeks later, I mastered the first and the second, but the third still killed me. By the end of my training period, two weeks before the MS 150 bike-a-thon, I finally did it! I rode up and down, up and down, and up and down. All three hills had been defeated – my bike and I were one, we were invincible! With an inflated bike ego and my feeling that I could do anything, I attacked the two day bike-a-thon. I rode all 150 miles – not bad for a newbie biker. I couldn’t feel my butt for a few days afterwards, but I did it all – and I still have my participant number and finishing medalion after 16 yrs. When I need a ‘you can do it’ type of boost, I pull it out and remember my triumphs over the ‘Three Sisters’ and the MS 150.~D~

  29. Comment by Unknown | 01.18.2006 | 11:10 pm

    This one i’m proud of myself but i’m more proudof my girlfriend. She had only been riding for about 6 months and just bought a used entry level Trek roadbike.I’d been riding for about 20 years and wanted to do a double century. I’d done plenty of regular 100’s but alwayswanted to do the big 200. she asked if she could do it withme and i said sure. (no way is she going to make it.)We live in Indian River County,Fla. and the weather inthe spring is awesome. So we start out about 4:00a.m.just rolling around the county,along the Atlantic shoreand up and down the Indian River.After about 100 or so miles, i’m figuring she’s about readyto finish so i start doing shorter and shorter circuitsaround where we live just in case she needs a bail out point.Well there she is still glued up on my wheel and i’m askingif she needs to go home, nothing to be ashamed of andi’ll just finish on my own. (here’s where the male ego says, c’mon you’ve been riding for 20 years surely she’snot going to take away from your glory and finish thiswith you) Heck-dang she sure does and we do it in about 13 hours.Plus she gets up the next a.m. and spins it out for about30 or so miles. Meanwhile i’m doing some serious bed tocouch intervals.Bottom line is this woman rocks and we are just about ready to do our annual April double again this year.So i’m really proud of her becaus you can’t ride her offyour wheel and she doesn’t know how to quit. Not that i really care about the bag, but if this entry doesit, the bag goes to her.

  30. Comment by Jill | 01.18.2006 | 11:45 pm

    My proudest moment … Rolling over the Empire State line after leaving Salt Lake City eight weeks earlier.(picture linked to my posted URL)

  31. Comment by Unknown | 01.19.2006 | 12:19 am

    So..I am sure I could win the bag if I tell my story of my my most memorable day on the bike! Actually the most memorable for my husband since he had to do the rescuing .I am not proud of my riduculous fall, but very proud of my super hero husband that came to the rescue of his broken wife!I took the most amazing fall! Fell 20+ feet right on my face on a pile of boulders. No rolling, just straight free fall! Many injuries to sport around and be proud of:broken jaw, 14 broken teeth, broken wrist and arm, sheered off kneecap, stiches in arm, chin, and lip and beautiful black eyes..After lots of dental work, braces, new teeth,and plastic surgery I am better than ever! You can check out my $30,000 smile on Rocky’s blog!!!I guess the proud part for me is that I still ride! Thanks to my Rockheaded husband! He got me back on the bike while I still had a cast on! Just around the neighborhood. Then for my first ride he patiently went with me to the place of impact and coached me through it.I love riding, and hate being a "girl" on the bike. For that I am proud!?

  32. Comment by Unknown | 01.19.2006 | 1:24 am

    Fats, I had the winning proud moment and it involved you but, after reading your Sis’s entry I have to conceed the bag to her.

  33. Comment by Unknown | 01.19.2006 | 1:26 am

    No, I can’t spelle.

  34. Comment by Unknown | 01.19.2006 | 1:53 am

    The only thing that I am really, really proud of in all of my years cycling is that I completed the North Umpqua Trail in Oregon in a single day. It stands as the longest mountain bike ride I have ever done, completing the 70+ miles in 13 hours. Sure, it’s no CreamPuff, but to me it was so difficult that just after leaving the last SAG stop I quit. My two buddies continued on, but I had had enough. Upon my return to the SAG spot, I saw my wife drive away. Now I had a dillema. Head on down the road (wimpy) or try and catch up to my friends who thought I was in a car by now. I decided the latter and took off like a shot — it’s amazing what adrenaline will do! My previously destroyed body found reserves of energy at the thought of finishing the remaining 18, or so, miles alone. I raced up and down the trail and finally… finally caught them. What did they say when they saw me? "I thought you were taking the car down." Not this time! Boy, do I owe my wife for leaving me behind!

  35. Comment by Mike | 01.19.2006 | 2:44 am

    In January 2000 a friend and I weighed more than we ever had in our lives. I had just hit 229 lbs. We bought road bikes and started going on rides with a couple of very patient and gracious seasoned riders. That summer we both finished the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic (STP) in two days. I broke a rear spoke each day of the ride. I was really surprised we finished and then really proud. The next year we finished STP in one day with 30 minutes to spare before they closed the finish line at 9:00p. I’ve ridden it in one day two more times since then and plan to attempt it again this year. It still really surprises me each time we finish with no breakdowns (mental or mechanical) or injuries. It usually takes several days of reflection and people making a really big deal about what we have accomplished before I start to believe them.

  36. Comment by Rebecca | 01.19.2006 | 3:34 am

    Creampuff’s on June 25th this year. I think I’m going to give it a shot. It’s all in the calendar I compiled of NW races.

  37. Comment by Unknown | 01.19.2006 | 3:47 am

    I’ve always wanted to try the Lotoja race. This is a 206 mile road race from Logan UT to Jackson WY. The first 100 miles has 3 major climbs and the last 100 miles is mostly flat with a long but relativly easy climb into Jackson. So last year I registered for the 2005 Lotoja. Of course, it just so turns out this was the year of bad weather. Rain, snow, and freezing temps forced over half of the 1,000 racers to drop out. 12 hours later, I finished in Jackson. Brutal conditions but a very cool race. Can I have my bag now?Rick

  38. Comment by Big Guy on a Bicycle | 01.19.2006 | 4:04 am

    I rode for Team-in-Training (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) fundraising events not once but three times (so far). I’ve personally been able to raise around $12,000 to date just by riding my bike (and, of course, asking folks to sponsor me for doing it). $12,000. It’s sometimes hard to get my mind around that number (=~$40/mile) just for doing something I enjoy (except the asking folks for money part).

  39. Comment by Unknown | 01.19.2006 | 5:32 am

    First: finishing the Creampuff on my 3rd try. Words can’t do that sumbitch justice (well, not my words anyway; Elden does much better)So I’ll tell another story about a ride I did a few years ago, and the magic of hubris.When I lived down in Olympia, my friend Scott and I rode our butts off down in Capitol Forest. We rode all the time; we planned our class schedules around getting out to ride during the week, we rode every weekend, and so on. Since it was Olympia, we rode through lots of mud and water and other bicycle-destroying crud. We decided, in the interest of saving money on parts and time on maintenance, to join the burgeoning singlespeed scene, and both built ourselves up some pretty sweet singlespeeds. We tooled around town on them, took them on some easier rides through the Forest, then, one February weekend, rolled out on their maiden "big" voyage: a 25-mile loop, whose appetizer was a 7-mile climb.So we rolled out, this chilly and (of course) rainy March morning, in full singlespeed glory. We were riding with a couple of other friends of ours, who weren’t riding as much as we were, and we rolled ahead of them on the beginning of the climb. As we left them further and further behind, and ascended through the mist and mud and standing water, our pride at our single-speed badassedness grew. We muscled up short little ascents, kept our momentum along the steady grades; in short, we both felt fan-freakin’-tastic.After roughly an hour of climbing, we reached the sign at the trail intersection at the top of the climb, got off our bikes, and leaned them (o glorious singlespeeds! let all the world revel in the simplicity of your drivetrains!) on the sign. We sauntered over to a convenient log where we sat down, unwrapped our clif bars, and waited for our riding compatriots to come and praise us.So allow me to digress, briefly, and tell you about the trail we were about to go down: it’s rocky, rooty, steep, and (yes) muddy. It’s slippery and treacherous. Not the sort of thing you need a downhill bike for, by any means, but a tricky trail on the way down and a genuine pain in the ass on the way up.Scott and I are sitting down, chillin’ out, and we hear a couple of guys riding up said nasty trail. "Cool," we thought, "people to brag to about our singlespeeds!" (well, Scott probably didn’t think that, and I certainly wouldn’t admit it in any context other than the relative anonymity of the internet) Sure enough, two guys rolled up, we got to talking, and they did admire our singlespeed bicycles and our prowess at muscling them up the hill. And around this time our riding buddies showed up (who I should mention were, to add sting to the you-must-think-by-now-inevitable putting-in-place that’s about to happen, attractive young women) and also exclaimed at our brilliance and we basked in the glow of our fantastic hill climbing ability with — yes — ONE gear!So we’re all sittin’ around, talkin’ bikes, and one of the two guys says, "gee, I wonder where Brett is, he shouldn’t be too far behind." And but a few seconds later there came the sound of breathing and gear shifting and up comes Brett, cleaning a nasty little technical move, indeed cleaning an entire climb that I’d never succesfully ridden on any bike, rolling up like it ain’t no thing. And Brett – yep, Brett Wolfe – has only one goddamned LEG. He rolled up the trail, did a trackstand (well, maybe I’m making that part up), said hi, and kept going, like some ego-destroying ghost.I’m still proud of my ride that day. But I’m truly thankful that it had such an inspiring coda.

  40. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 01.19.2006 | 6:41 am

    Does my solo 394 miles in 4 days (prequel to the ambulance ride) count, or is it old news these days?!1pUjZ7WRnMU57BBH9u4WQHgw!179.entry

  41. Comment by Unknown | 01.19.2006 | 6:52 am

    I won’t fill up your comments with all the details, they are on my blog post. But my proudest bicycle achievment so far probably pales in comparison to others. It was a solo ride of 25 miles and over 3000 foot vertical gain in the Rocky Mountains out side of Estes Park, up and over Pierson Park, ending up at Lion’s Gulch. Just when I thought I could call a friend to pick me up, I realized I had no cell phone reception, and had to finish the 7 mile, 1000 foot climb back to town on the road. I was totally spent, but totally amazed at my achievment! Check out this post for lots of pics and lots more commentary. ;)

  42. Comment by Unknown | 01.19.2006 | 7:07 am

    I have done a couple of bigish feats (for my standards) but I will always remember the feeling when I first managed to climb the ascend to my house – (800metres @ 10% ) in one clean go !! I felt as if I won the Alp d’Huez !!!

  43. Comment by Ryan Schmid | 01.19.2006 | 7:11 am

    I played offensive line in college and weighed 290 pounds. The impact from football left my joints a mess. Most of the guys I played with were in the same boat, and have gained a tremendous amount of fat since graduation. Not being able to run well, I turned to cycling. I lost 70 pounds my first year out and 4 years later I’m still around 220lbs. In that respect…ahh, does adding 20 years to my life count as something I’ve done on a bike that I’m proud of?

  44. Comment by Bryn | 01.19.2006 | 8:53 am

    Mine’s simple, but for me it was an epic. Around a year ago, i was still into cycling, but didn’t really cycle, i was riding a 20kg steel mountain bike worth $300. It wasn’t the best of bikes but i still loved and rode heaps. During my holidays i set myself a task of riding 100km’s into another state and then turn around and come back, thats around 200km in one day on a bad bike without any fitness. I didn’t really think i would do it, however on one particular day my plans fell through. So at around 10o’clock in the morning one day i set out on my longest ride ever. I didn’t know exactly how to get their or the roads to take, but it wasn’t too hard, follow the coastal beaches and you’ll get there. To cut the first half short, i made it. I had riding around 100km into another state and i was hurting when i made it. Half way back, i almost died, i’d decided that it wasn’t the best idea to ride for a couple of hours in 30+ degrees celsius in a city called the Gold Coast without any form of sunblock or energy bars, i had a camelback and a drink bottle, no muesli bars, no energy gels, no gatorade, just water to last me 7 hours of riding. To most cyclists, 7 hours isn’t that long and it isn’t for me anymore. But i’ll put it in perspective, i was 14 years old, my bike was made of steel and weighed more than me most probably, i had no sunblock, i had no food, i rode 7 hours and over 200km’s into another state of Australia and back, i developed cramps half way home and they lasted til i got home too. I made it home after not telling anyone where i was going, i also had developed an almost purple sunburn from not wearing anything other than a t-shirt and a pair of boardshorts. This ride started me in cycling, im as much a bike nerd as anyone else out there now, i know more about products at my LBS than the ppl working their do, i’ll always remember that ride as the ride that started my love affair with cycling, it’ll be in my heart forever. PLS PLS PLS Fatty, this story of course has no broken limbs or bad crashes, it has no road rage or amazing comebacks, but i’ll ask one question, how many 14 yr olds do you know that could and would do what i did. Make history fatty, declare your first Australian winnner for your banjo brothers comp.

  45. Comment by Jan | 01.19.2006 | 3:09 pm

    A couple years ago, I was at a provincial championship road race. I’m a Cat4 racer, and I lined up in 8C, rainy weather. I was shivering at the start, and for about 20 minutes more as we rode. The wind was awful, and the rain slashed at us almost the entire time.I wasn’t there to win. It’s a hilly course, and I’m no climber. My teammates and I went to the front over and over again, trying to drive the pace enough to drop people out of the pack. I remember sucking down endless numbers of energy gels, just trying to keep my body temperature up. At some point, I pulled out from behind one of my team riders and rode away from the pack. I got so far that one of the escort motorcycles broke off to stay with me, and one stayed behind.I only stayed away for 5-8km or so. I cramped up on an inclined corner, and had to drop off the back to finish on my own — about 20km of steep hills and frigid descents. My day had been made, though. My teammates placed well, we drove the pace fast enough that had the Cat3 racers been with us, their top finisher would have been in the middle of our pack, and I got my own motorcycle. For 15 minutes, I felt like a pro.

  46. Comment by Unknown | 01.19.2006 | 3:45 pm

    When I was at school, I was friends with this lad, who also had a younger brother and sister. We used to tease the younger brother something rotten, always getting at him about some daft thing he’d say or do. Well one day he says he’s found a space alien! It was like all our christmases had come at once, we tore into him with all of our 14 yr old wit.Then the X-Files boys arrived, surounded their house and put the family into isolation. It was true junior had actually found a space alien. We’re all stood around outside, when Mike comes legging out in one of the spooks vans, yelling at us to run interference. We jump on our BMXs are head off to the park. Mike dumps the van and he and his brother get on their bike. Mike’s brother has got something under a sheet. We set off through town trying to avoid the cops and the feds. We make some really sweet moves, jumping cars, drop-offs and stuff. Just when we thought we’d made it, the cops block the road, guns out. Then suddenly we are flying. Yes really flying, on our bikes. We sail over the cops, who all stand around looking stunned. Eventually we land in the woods and Elliot gets his space alien out (not a euphamism). The alien space ship lands and Elliot says goodbye to his friend.We didn’t take the piss out of Elliot much after that.My proudest moment – helping save ET.

  47. Comment by Unknown | 01.19.2006 | 3:47 pm

    I may have embelished the story slightly

  48. Comment by barry1021 | 01.19.2006 | 3:51 pm

    Re: Everyone’s commentsIs cycling great or what?

  49. Comment by barry1021 | 01.19.2006 | 3:54 pm

    Oh and EldenCongrats on using "churlish" and "sullenly" in the same article. Both words just churn with spalmicity (spalmicitousness?).

  50. Comment by Loes | 01.19.2006 | 5:18 pm

    I was cycling as a 13 year old girl with some guys and another girl. So we did one or two laps, about 10k long, and after that we did a TT on the same lap. The other girl wouldn’t ride the TT because she was well, tired (after just 20k!!!!!!). We would start one minute after one another, and I would be the last one to start. A 21 year old guy would start before me. So I started and like halfway I saw a cyclist in front of me. He wore the same clothes as that 21 year old guy, but I thought there was no way that could be him. He wouldn’t be that slow. But, anyway, I would try to catch up with him, it’s always nice to have someone in front of you. And I came closer and closer. And it really was that 21 year old guy. So I overtook him. He tried to stay in my wheel but he just couldn’t keep up with me, although he wasn’t that far behind him when we finished. And that guy was still satisfied, he had an average of something like 30km/h. That day I was really proud of myself.The other guys we were riding with loved it. One of them still talks about it even though it was like 2 or 3 years ago.

  51. Comment by Unknown | 01.19.2006 | 7:20 pm

    most memorable – it’s a tie (and a way to get two stories in front of the judge)1 – first completely independent bike trip – my brother and i (11 & 13) left on a wednesday with nothing but tarps, sleeping bags, some changes of underwear (this was pre biking shorts for us) and $50 bucks apiece. we were gone for four nights and 5 days riding around the san juan islands, humping it up mt. constitution, sleeping in farmers fields and generally having a complete blast (’80s reference since that was the era). we called from about 20 miles out on sunday and my dad drove back up our route home to take some pictures. he caught a shot of us that to this day is about the happiest i have ever seen myself on a bike.2 – fast forward 5 years now i’m 18 and starting to race seriously. so as training i entered the seattle to portland, opting for the double century since i couldn’t get off work for two days. i will never forget sliding into my first real paceline (more then 5 people). the absolute rush of watching the lead person swing off and drop back and then me being the very tip of this 50 person snake of energy. i try to keep it smooth, marvel that maintaining 27 mph for 5 seconds is easy, drift over to the leeward side, wait for (interminably)that tap on the rear that signals the second to last rider then slide in and hunker down in the biggest draft of my life. i remember that day because riding was still effortless and new and i did 200 miles at a crack on under 10 hours.subject change – - – NOTE TO EKIMOV – GET RID OF THE MULLET>>>>>PLEASE

  52. Comment by barry1021 | 01.19.2006 | 7:52 pm

    from Dug-once i sat through the entire 6 hour bbc version of pride and prejudice. i didn’t ask my wife to pause it when i had to pee, but i think it still counts-Dug i am confused, were you on the trainer or rollers? If not it looks like you do not meet FC eligibility standards for the bag, which of course you do not care about anyway. Still an impressive feat no doubt. When I am in that situation, I get up, put a hand on the stomach as if to say "The sushi and pepperoni pizza are not agreeing with me" and never return. Most of the time my wife says the movie sucked anyway and i did not miss anything….

  53. Comment by Unknown | 01.19.2006 | 8:23 pm

    Twenty-some odd years ago, I was at the barbershop and I saw an article in a magazine about these guys in California who would rebuild old bicycles and ride them down fire roads. It sounded like a great idea, except I didn’t have a bike and I didn’t know how to ride one. Eventually I managed to get most of an old 3-speed and rebuilt it—K-mart tires, BMX brake levers and a seatpost and handlebars made of gas pipe. In retrospect, that flat handlebar was actually pretty advanced. I proudly showed it to a couple of my fraternity brothers (yes, I was that old and did not know how to ride), who promptly convinced me that using a 3-speed internal hub without a shifter was not a good idea. We went to the K-mart and bought the finest $14 rear wheel that they carried and bolted it on. Then we got rid of those old brakes from the 3-speed, since they were always a little iffy and I was assured that the coaster brake I now had would be far superior. That just left the not knowing how to ride problem. Back to K-mart we went, since it had an inordinately large parking lot that I could practice in. My friend Bill went with me and was remarkably unembarrassed about the spectacle running along side of me, holding and releasing the bike until I finally took off on my own. I was afraid to steer to quickly, so I was riding huge magnificent circles in the parking lot. HUGE magnificent circles. Circles that eventually involved going around the entire K-mart building. Because somewhere along the way, I had neglected to ask how a coaster brake worked. It took a few passes to relay this to Bill and get instructions about what to do, mainly because he was laughing so much. I have had ten more bikes since that afternoon, many of which I built and most of which I rode into the ground. Now I go mountain biking most weekends and bicycle commute every weekday, but that first glorious afternoon is what will always stay with me.

  54. Comment by Kelly | 01.19.2006 | 9:50 pm

    There’s an epic hill in every cycling story of mine, and this one from my childhood is no different. It took me exactly one month to attack the hill and go down it on my bike, but I had just gotten braces and my mother was worried I’d take a softball to the mouth or get my mouth stuck to the climbing rope in P.E. class and she became overprotective.All the boys in the neighborhood taunted us little girls and dared us to speed down The Hill. Since I felt the need to tempt death and my mother in the same task, I waited till everybody had cleared out and went down The Hill. No problem. The next day, when all the guys were there taunting and teasing and generally being He-Man of the Hill, I dared a guy to race down the hill. WHAT? Not only was I going to go down The Hill, I was gonna go fast. He snorted and decided to take me on. I beat him and when we got to the bottom he was really pissed and being laughed at by the other guys. He proceeded to punch me in the arm really hard. Instead of waiting for any of the other biking boys to protect me, I then kicked his ass. Yeah, this was my proudest moment. I did it all while still attached to the bike. My teeth are perfect to this day.Kelly

  55. Comment by A Dawn Tinsley | 01.19.2006 | 11:20 pm

    I wish I had a bike story I was proud of, but all of my bike stories involve debilitatingly embarassing events…

  56. Comment by barry1021 | 01.19.2006 | 11:27 pm

    -Instead of waiting for any of the other biking boys to protect me, I then kicked his ass. Yeah, this was my proudest moment. I did it all while still attached to the bike. My teeth are perfect to this day-Woah! With due respect for some incredible stories, there’s a winner!! You go, Mocha Momma!!!!

  57. Comment by Unknown | 01.20.2006 | 1:40 am

    The most impressive thing I did on a bike was to decorate a soft sky blue, banana seat hand-me-down with lovely and long baby blue and white streamers on the handle bars and write my name on the frame with a shiny, metallic gold paint pen. I was 25. -e(ok, I was 9.)

  58. Comment by Jake | 01.20.2006 | 5:08 am

    For me, finishing Leadville and getting a belt buckle is the highlight. I trained hard, dropped 20 lbs., but still had doubts I could do it. My younger brother Charlie, who had a completed it before, was a huge inspiration through the whole process. Training and completing Leadville was definitely one of the major mental and physical highlights in my life. It was life changing event, and I’ll cherish is forever.

  59. Comment by Tyler | 01.20.2006 | 5:54 am

    That the reason I started training on the road bike was because of a girl.That, after progressing from hadn’t-ridden-since-childhood to 10-to-12 hours a week, losing some weight, and getting much stronger faster, I saw this girl again.That when she saw the new version of me, she looked me up and down, smirked and said "damn!"That I never saw her again, but now train 15 to 20 hours a week.


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