Tainted Glory 2: I Teach Rick and Dug a Thing or Two

02.27.2006 | 10:29 pm

The day after the first time I ever rode the Alpine Gauntlet  (77 miles, 9350 feet of climbing) was a regular workday. I was tired and planned to do an easy, short, flat spin on the road at lunchtime to keep my legs loose. A recovery day.

And so, of course, Dug and Rick suggested the three of us do the Alpine Loop together: 42 miles, 2700 feet of climbing. Not exactly a recover ride.

I don’t know about you, but I find it nearly impossible to turn down a ride with my friends. And so I didn’t. I did, however, ask them to take it nice and slow. I was wiped out from my big ride the day before. They said that would be fine.

So we rode up Provo Canyon together at a nice, easy clip. Nobody shot off the front; everyone took turns pulling. And since it was just after noon (the Provo Canyon wind predictably blows South in the AM, North in the PM), we even had a bit of a tailwind.

My legs felt a little wooden, but I figured that as long as we stayed at an easy pace like this, I’d be OK.



The hardest part about riding the Alpine Loop (starting from the Provo Canyon side, that is — starting from the American Fork Canyon side is a completely different set of obstacles) is the first 2.3 miles after you turn out of Provo Canyon and ride up to the Sundance (yes, that Sundance) ski resort. It’s just brutal. At my best, I’ll go into the second and third gears for parts of it — and that day I was not at my best. I dropped into my granny and tried to spin as easily as I could, not worrying about the fact that I was going no faster than 6mph. I still took my turn up front, but I was in no hurry.

And that, of course, is when Dug and Rick attacked.

Together, they stood up, ratcheted up two gears, and shot around my left, working together. Taking fifteen-second pulls, they quickly put an enormous gap on me.

I admit it: I was demoralized.


The Tunnel

As Rick and Dug built their lead, I saw three options: I could turn around and go home.


I could continue at my current pace and see them when they wait for me at the top.

That might be OK.

Or, I could “enter the tunnel,” as I called it. That year, I had learned that I could push myself much further than I had ever expected. Specifically, I had learned that pain in my legs didn’t mean I needed to back off. I had learned that hearing blood in my ears didn’t mean I needed to back off. And in fact, I had learned that getting tunnel vision didn’t mean I needed to back off, as long as I didn’t let the tunnel get too dark.

The tunnel is a fast place, but it isn’t a happy place. I don’t think in words when I’m in the tunnel. I think in whimpers and pain.

Anyway, I shifted to fourth gear, stood up, and pedaled into the tunnel.


Fine. Be That Way.

I’m guessing that if Dug and Rick had seen me coming, they could have held me off. But the attack had taken it out of them, and they had backed off. And they didn’t expect me to try to bridge. So when I ripped by them — way on the left side of the road, so they couldn’t hop on easily — they were caught off guard, and without a sufficient quantity of whoopass jam to counter.

I kept on going, staying in the tunnel until I got to Sundance, then I backed off enough that I wouldn’t completely blow up and soloed, victorious, to the top of the Alpine Loop.

When they arrived, we did not speak of the attack. To acknowledge an attack even took place on a friendly ride would be poor form.

But I had triumphed. Big time. On the day after I had done a big ol’ epic ride.


The Part of the Story I Don’t Tell

While I didn’t expect Rick and Dug to try to blow me away on the climb, I did take some precautions so I wouldn’t fall too badly off the back. You see, this all happened back when I was experimenting with ephedra/caffeine/guarana/aspirin stacks. So before we took off, I doubled up my dosage, meaning I doubled beyond the already mind-blowing quantities of stimulants I normally took.

So while it’s true I beat Dug and Rick to the top of the Alpine Loop, it’s also true that I was unable to stop shaking the rest of the day, or get to sleep until about 3:00 AM.


  1. Comment by craig | 02.27.2006 | 10:54 pm

    your last sentence pretty much sums up pro cycling and the summer olympics too. 

  2. Comment by Andrew | 02.27.2006 | 11:19 pm

    Dear Bard of Lard,
    Because my daddy is dying of some weird disease, I have always looked up to you like a dad. I want to win and make both my dad and you proud of me, so I’m going to use powerful and probably illegal performance-enhancing drugs, just like you.
    When I told my dad this he was pretty upset, something about you setting a poor example for the natioon’s youth and stuff like that. He said that he would forgive you if you sent him one of those cool Banjo Brothers bags.
    Yours truly, TWL Jr.

  3. Comment by craig | 02.28.2006 | 12:14 am

    censoring yourself eh?

  4. Comment by Robert | 02.28.2006 | 12:15 am

    I remember that ride. After I got to the top, I was expecting Dug and Rick to battle each other for second place, but then I saw you. I don’t think I said anything at the time, but I’ll say it now: good job.

  5. Comment by barry1021 | 02.28.2006 | 12:27 am

    Guarana? Isn’t that bird poop??

  6. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 02.28.2006 | 12:59 am

    craig – yeah, i censored myself, thoug i like to think of it as editing. here’s the thing: while my 12 and 10 year old kids only rarely check out this blog anymore (except on the days they think they can win money), they do occasionally look at it. it seems too possible they’d take that last sentence the wrong way.
    weak link, jr – your dad’s my dealer.
    bob – had i known you would surge in that last 100 yards, i would have delivered a kidney punch that knocked you sideways.
    barry – no, actually guarana is a singing group with an early 60’s sound. bowser was always my favorite.

  7. Comment by Unknown | 02.28.2006 | 1:02 am

    In spite of the evidence, I refuse to believe that you, my hero, were using performance enhancing drugs, other than Carb-Boom, which I swear by.  You may have admitted it, and been caught using it, but unless and until the U.S. Supreme Court has heard the appeal, I won’t believe it.

  8. Comment by Unknown | 02.28.2006 | 1:05 am

    Reporter:  Fausto, Fausto, Bartoli admits that he uses amphetimines all the time to ride the Giro and the Tour.  Do you dope all the time too?
    Fausto:  Of course not.  Only when absolutely necessary.
    Reporter:  When is that, exactly? Fausto:  Almost all the time. 

  9. Comment by Unknown | 02.28.2006 | 3:22 am

    your pharmacist is better than my pharmacist. since my pharmacist is just a convenience store clerk who sells diet coke, spiked with lime. or vanilla. but rarely with an ephedrine stack.

  10. Comment by Kelly | 02.28.2006 | 3:48 am

    Way to go, Fatty! I’m proud of you no matter the guarana incident. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do. (Says the addicted woman).

    A wondering, if you will: do they sell whoopass lite? Diet and all. You understand.

  11. Comment by Unknown | 02.28.2006 | 4:02 am

    Can I offer up my glory days story with full disclosure?  I am a 36 year old woman who  just started mountain biking last May, and this past January did my first mountain bike race.  I raced my heart out and it was awesome. I didn’t hike my bike once  the entire course. I raced up the hills, bombed down the singletrack braving rocks and mud and sand.  I pushed so hard,  at the finish line I thought I was going to puke.  My moment of triumph came when I got second place, and got to stand on the podium.  Everyone cheered, and took my picture and I got a great plaque.  What a great moment.  The part of the story that I wished I didn’t have to tell?  There was only one other woman racing in my age group. It was her first race too, and she beat me by 20 minutes. So basically my second place plaque is really for last place. And I knew it, and so did everyone else, and I had to stand on the podium and smile and think "wow, I’m getting my picture taken for last place."
    loving the carboom! :)

  12. Comment by Zed | 02.28.2006 | 8:02 pm

    That’s the key, huh, Erien? Just enter the race in a category with no one else in it–citizen/beginner/left-footed/green-eyed senior class. I like it. I think it was clever of you. After all, the alternative is taking cheap doping medications from Dr Michael Lammler (a close friend of Michele Ferari’s) like Fatty did.

  13. Comment by barry1021 | 02.28.2006 | 8:15 pm

    Erien, i think you absolutely earned 2nd place and you should show your trophy with pride! And I bet you were the only one thinking that you got it for last place.
    And as Caloi rider said you didn’t have to dope up or eat bird poop like Fatty did.

  14. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 02.28.2006 | 9:33 pm

    Ah, the wisdom of experience.  At least now you know to employ the expertise of Dr Lammler et al to ensure correct dosages.  Self-medication only leads to insomnia and liver failure.

  15. Comment by Unknown | 03.1.2006 | 12:17 am

    caloi-rider-I’m loving it!  I’ll be picking up my medals with my twisty ties, from now on thanks! :)
    b21-Oh, I am proud of it, but ya gotta admit it’s a better story without having to explain there were only two of us in the age group and I could have basically got off my bike and walked backwards and still won second place on the podium. 

  16. Comment by TIMOTHY | 03.1.2006 | 12:52 am

    erein – I disagree for several reasons:
    1.  You did the race in the first place – this is more than many people are motivated to do.
    2.  You rode your absolute hardest (ok, maybe if you had ACTUALLY puked…but close enough!).  I have yet to stand on a podium at a race, but I always set my own time goals and I’m happy to acheive them.
    3.  You finished.  Had you walked backwards you may have gotten a "DNF" which as we all know is more humiliating than finishing last.  Just ask Bode Miller.

  17. Comment by Rick | 03.1.2006 | 6:18 am

    Yes. Yes, I remember that day well. I can remember specifically asking Dug and you what the odd odor was. You told me you were beta testing Assos products again. I was too tired to seek clarity and Dug was rolling off the front. Those who say that bird poop is odorless have bad noses. I’m starting to realize why you had a large swarm of bumble bees on your bonnet one day at Frank’s meadow. Bird poop not only stinks, it’s also a bee magnet.
    Stack or no stack, you beat us to the top. If I weren’t so worried about Dug turning and going home, I would have tried harder to run you down. Thanks, Dug. No really, thanks. Bobby, you must have been of fire that day. I didn’t even realize you were on that ride.

  18. Comment by Unknown | 03.1.2006 | 4:12 pm

    so what was the whoop-ass (not lite) concoction? inquiring and weak-when-tunneling minds want to know….

    erein, please tell me what race that is so i can join. i need a third place medal for my mantel. then i need a mantel.

  19. Comment by thomas | 03.30.2006 | 3:45 am

    I used to run. Now I’m to fat also. May take up the bicycle. It would be nice to always have a breeze on a hot day, and a water bottle within arms reach. Two things I didn’t always have running. Keep up the great job! Thomas

  20. Comment by Unknown | 03.30.2006 | 6:18 am

    Man, am I sorry I stumbled upon this!  The self-important ravings of an obvious narcissist, judgemental of people whom you claim to admire…  I don’t get it, but I seldom understand people of your ilk.
    I do have one question, however.  A triathalon is three separate sports linked together in a single competition.  Why wouldn’t three sports which are combined into one competition be worthy of being called a sport?  I think your rant is reflective of a lack of ability on your part and your consequential feelings of inadequacy. 
    And how lame do you have to be to try to bribe people to vote for your blog with stuff that you’ve admitted is junk you don’t want to pack when you move?  As tempting as the stuff you are giving away because you are obviously are too lazy to have a yard sale may be, I think I’ll refrain from voting.

  21. Comment by Unknown | 03.30.2006 | 4:04 pm

    Picture this-The Golden Gate on your right, the Bay bridge on your left, and San Francsico laid out before you.
    Picture this- being at the top of Pikes Peak, or at 11,600 feet in the Rockies on your mountain bike, or traversing the Grand Canyon from one side to the other in one day.
    Experiences that brought me joy, happiness, a sense of accomplishment…and FUN!
    Experience all you can…from all angles.  I guarantee it will enrich your life!


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