The Hypothetical Racer Reveals Himself

08.15.2006 | 5:14 pm

A Super-Duper-Extra-Special Note from Fatty: A while back, I posted an entry saying that someone I know was considering doing a race he had secretly signed up for, but just didn’t know if he should.

At his (yes, a male) request, I was careful about not revealing who this person was, because I’ve talked about him before.

Yes, it’s Rocky, the Karmic Black Hole.

Here’s his story of racing the Leadville 100, in two parts. The first part is what he wrote before the race; the second part is what he wrote afterward.

Tomorrow I’ll post my own story; I’m still working on it.

Part I: Pre-Race Ruminations
Fatty spins a good tale. Fatty embellishes some, too.

You may have noticed.

But then, if you don’t know Fatty personally, you may not know that he embellishes. I am a brother-in-law (strike one), a friend (if you see how Fatty and his maladjusted friends carry on, you realize that this is strike two), and I have known him in all of his life phases (see his August 2 blog entry) in one form or another for nearly 30 years—that’s a lot to overcome—which makes me a bit of an embellishment target. Strike three. I provide plenty of ammo for Fatty’s embellishment indulgences all by myself, but then a strike four is moot as I’m already out with the first three.

So in an attempt to avoid becoming embellishment material for the insatiable blog, I did the stealth Leadville thing this year. No one knew about it—not even the spousal unit, and that by design. I have found that if those around me know, there are the incessant questions about feeling ready, about training, about being afraid. I opted out of the questioning, and it was working out so well. It was the perfect plan.

Or at least it was the perfect plan until Fatty, knowing that I have a lovely Gary Fisher Paragon 29er sitting in my garage with nothing to do on August 12, contacted me about using it. His friend Nick needed a bike for Leadville, and so with our 30 years of history, and the brother-in-law thing firmly in place, Fatty figured I wouldn’t mind loaning my bike to Nick.


Now I had a dilemma: I either had to tell Fatty I was going to Leadville, or that Nick could not use my otherwise idle bike, proving to him once and for all that I am a total jerk. I chose the first, and though I trust Fatty, I also know where I fall on his list of friend loyalties. A brother-in-law that is also a friend is always trumped by anyone that is a friend with no asterisks. I am certain that those that I did not want to know about my Leadville escapade now would have full disclosure.

The truth is, I am not great at endurance stuff. I accept that fact, and I choose to endure my shame solitarily. Had Fatty’s pal not needed a bike, I would have pulled this off without anyone knowing about it.


Unless, of course, it goes really well.

It won’t. This I know.

Round 1
When Fatty called about the bike, I was inclined to let Nick have it. It would have been the perfect excuse. “A more skilled rider needed a mount to complete a race—I took the higher road and enabled him to succeed.” What nobler way to bow out of a ride I don’t really care for, anyways. I have not trained for the Leadville at all. Really. Unless copious amounts of ice cream, fast food, large blocks of cheese and summer sausage, and soda pop are a part of some secret training regimen that Joe Friel/Chris Carmichael missed out on. If that is the case, then I have trained.

I told Fatty I had to get back to him about the bike in a couple of days. That allowed me time to go on a long mountain bike ride I used to use as a training ride when I actually attempted to train. It was 40 miles and it is made up of technically tougher terrain with climbing comparable to that of Leadville (just not the elevation) in over 100-degree heat. I have not ridden anywhere near 40 miles all year, so I thought that I might just spontaneously combust on such a ride. Trouble is, the ride is really remote—it’s a do or die.

I didn’t die.

I was still convinced that I wasn’t going to ride in Leadville though. However, when I apprised Fatty of my conundrum, he offered the following wisdom that pushed me over the edge.

Here’s what I’m thinking: come do part of the race. You paid for it, why not come do part of it? Like, just do the first 60 miles of it and call it good. That will give you good experience for next year.

And if by some chance you’re still feeling good at 60 miles, ride to the next aid station, and call it good there. And then if you’re good, finish it. In other words, start planning on finishing at 60 miles, and evaluate as you go.

Since you live close and you’ve spent the money, you may as well, right?

This is a direct cut and paste from Fatty’s actual email. I have submitted copies of them to my attorney in case there is litigation necessary upon my demise. The moment that I made the decision to ride in Leadville, the bad things started happening. Literally. Fatty, et al branded me “The Karmic Black Hole” about a year ago. This is how it works for a guy with such a label:

  1. Incurable virus—the doc says there is nothing to do but wait
  2. Testosterone/EPO injection—the doc says no way—“Crap.”
  3. Strep—resulting from the incurable virus hanging around for days
  4. Antibiotics—resulting from the strep, which resulted from the incurable virus
  5. No riding for the last week, due to incurable virus
  6. Weight loss—seven lbs. in seven days, due to incurable virus and its sundry and unmentionable symptoms and side effects
  7. Rash—in unmentionable but critical location(s) due to antibiotics
  8. Sunny outlook for a Leadville completion

Part II: Post-Race Post Mortem
Okay, now the race is over. Now comes the post-race perspective. Here’s what I think.

  1. Fatty should be an odds-maker—he said “60 miles.” That’s where I landed.
  2. I’m too stupid to have bailed before climbing the eight miles to the highest point of the race.
  3. Fatty’s friend Nick (he gutted out an 11:55 finish and went home in a lovely rust-colored sweatshirt replete with his name and time, and with a shiny new belt buckle, too) is a “right good fellow” (Nick’s from Sydney—insert accent here for the full effect). He can use my bike anytime.
  4. Fatty’s Utah friends are all really nice people with crazy fast legs. What do they feed those people?
  5. I understand my body’s limitations better than I ever have. I know why it is limited, too.
  6. My math skills where finishing under 12 hours at Leadville are concerned, are advanced (hence the bail at mile 60).
  7. I am SO MUCH SSSLOWWWERRR than I was the last time I rode in Leadville—even on the descents, but especially where it really counts—Leadville is a climber’s affair. For example: The last time I was in Leadville, I broke my handlebar after completing 86 miles. Yes, I was pissed. No, a stick as a replacement would not have helped—the aluminum wasn’t strong enough—do you really think that a ¾ inch piece of dry wood would have been? No, I could not have run the rest of the race. Yes, I am still pissed and a smidge bitter. Can you tell I have answered all the dumb questions one might have come up with—like 1,000 times? I digress. When my handlebar broke in 1999, I was at 7:36 in the race. I had completed the hardest part of the day. All of the really hard climbing was over. I had about two hours of work left to do—one long steady pavement climb and the Boulevard—three miles of moderate incline dirt into town. On Saturday last, I was at 7:30 at mile 60. SSSllloowwww.
  8. Putting a ton of mental pressure on myself (or anyone else doing the same) takes away a lot of energy that could otherwise be used as fuel for the ride. I did not do so, and had fun.
  9. I extracted all that my aging body was able to offer on that day. It has been through a lot since I last raced in Leadville (none of which includes intensive training—I haven’t been on a ride longer than 50 miles since then), and I wasn’t altogether unhappy with the result, given the input.
  10. I enjoyed myself in Leadville. My wife crewed for me for the first time ever, my two youngest daughters were there to support me, and got to see me for the true weenie that I am (and they still like me), and I made a few new friends along the way—lots of Fatty’s friends from Utah, people from Omaha, Minneapolis, Sydney, the Netherlands, Kansas, New York and even a guy from right here in lovely Grand Junction.
  11. Yes, I am ofer. In baseball terminology, that means that I am zero hits for three attempts: 0 for 3 (o-fer-three). Yes, ofer sucks.
  12. Yes. I will do it again.


  1. Comment by barry1021 | 08.15.2006 | 5:43 pm

    Dear Mr. K.B. Hole
    Some thoughts
    1. You are being much too nice to FC. HE OUTTED YOU IN THIS VERY SPACE. Read by tens, maybe scores. Sure most of us didn’t know who he was talking about, but friends and family could probably figure it out. He threw you overboard for his blog, dude.
    2. Congrats on your achievement. Sixty is sixty better than sitting on your ass would have been.
    3. You write better than FC (like who doesnt?)
    4. You are better looking than FC (like who isn’t?)

  2. Comment by regina | 08.15.2006 | 6:39 pm

    well done.  just like knowing when you should make the wheels turn it is important to know when to make them stop.  B21 said it sixty is sixty better than sitting on your ass would have been.

  3. Comment by Unknown | 08.15.2006 | 6:52 pm

    aha we finally find out who the cool one of this family is.
    job well done mon-petite-frito.

  4. Comment by Random Reviewer | 08.15.2006 | 8:39 pm

    o fer 3? what’s the rest of the story?

  5. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 08.15.2006 | 9:02 pm

    WOW, that’s one big cranium.
    P.S. I’m supposed to race a 100 miler in a week and a half. I’m thinking 60 miles will about be my goal too.

  6. Comment by Unknown | 08.15.2006 | 9:33 pm

    B21 and bikemike–you are only stating the obvious, on every count.  thanks.
    dug–do you really want to drag me through that again?  how much shame must one bear?
    botched–thanks for the head assessment.  i appreciate you honing in on that largest of my insecurities with such surgical precision.  really.

  7. Comment by Random Reviewer | 08.15.2006 | 10:09 pm

    I wasn’t there when you got so dehydrated you had to be carted off in an ambulance, Rocky, but I was there when your handlebar broke in 1999. I still think you could have finished the race with a dowel stick and a bunch of duct tape. You had four hours to go 14 miles! You were this close! Did you stop to think about that?

  8. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 08.15.2006 | 10:16 pm

    b21 -
    1. more people guessed the hypothetical racer was me than anyone else. not a single person, however, guessed it was rocky. including family, close friends, or even rocky, i think. 
    2. that is an excellent point.
    3. when you say rocky writes better than me, what you’re actually pointing out is that i’m a really good editor. you should have seen the rough draft. i’m not sure it was even english.
    4. do you have something you want to tell us, b21?
    bikemike – you think rocky is cool? rocky picked out powder-blue tuxedoes with dark plue piping and ruffled shirts for the men in his line at his wedding. i remember trying to later tie-dye the tux, but had no luck because it was made of mylar. how cool is that?
    rocky – you’re doing it again? really? that’s awesome. give the word and i’ll include your application in my packet next January. oh, and i think you’re being moderately generous to yourself when you say you’re ofer 3. i’ll say no more.

  9. Comment by Unknown | 08.15.2006 | 10:56 pm

    OK, explain this:  I met Rocky once, more than twenty years ago.  I wouldn’t recognize him if I passed him on the sidewalk, nor would he recognize me.  Yet, somehow, when I read "mango slices dusted with paprika" and "Italian creme soda" I knew–I KNEW it was him.  I stayed quiet, though, as not to suffer the same fate as Jose.
    How can this be??  Is it some strange food or Western Colorado connection?  The mind boggles.

  10. Comment by Zed | 08.16.2006 | 1:00 am

    Rocky, I just want to point two things out to you that you probably already know:
    1. Do you realize what you did? Instead of riding an mtb century, you rode an mtb METRIC century. So when people ask, you don’t have to tell them you only did 60 miles. You did a metric century. Most mt bikers won’t even know what that is. Heck, they’ll probably think it’s longer than 100 miles.
    2. You should never have folded your blog.
    Congrats on your metric century.

  11. Comment by Jsun | 08.16.2006 | 1:42 am

    This is the best post I have read on this blog.  And I don’t say that about every post, just the ones I leave comments on, which is a lot really.  Probably too many, but that’s my sorry problem.  I still think the post is great, mainly because it has pictures (taken with a camera, not a phone) and Fat Cyc’s posts have so many big words that I have to read it a few times to get what he is infering to.  Congratulations on riding a metric century- wow, you beat FC’s 100 miles and did it by eating mangos and drinking Italian sodas.  Perhaps you could write more about your european style metricalous training.  

  12. Comment by brendan | 08.16.2006 | 2:17 am

    Sorry Caloi 60 miles is not a metric centrury.  From the Google calculator, 60 miles = 96.56064 kilometers (I’m sure that last 64cm is important to someone).  KB Hole could say he nearly did a metric century – just short by 3.43936km – but that doesn’t really sound very impressive.However, riding 60 miles of the Leadville 100 does sound impressive – even though I have no idea where Leadville is  – so I reckon he might as well stick with that. :-)

  13. Comment by Unknown | 08.16.2006 | 3:02 am

    Good story. I seem to always ride with your Fatty brother in law. We were just minutes apart and we were both thinking that this was the year to break 9 hours. My wife and I are really interested in the Grand Junction area for a retirement location. Any thoughts you’d like to share?

  14. Comment by Born4Lycra | 08.16.2006 | 3:12 am

    Dear Mr K.B. Hole (good one B21) care off Mr F Cyclist.
    An excellent and entertaining article brilliantly finished off by point 12. You will do it again and that leaves me inspired. Congrats on still being liked by your girls – how do you do it mine will not even tell me how to get my name on the top of this comment – she just laughs uses the word old freely and walks off.
    60 miles of hard riding and making new friends along the way – you are a winner! I probably should know this but who is number 541 in photo 2?
    Cheers – Born4lycra

  15. Comment by Zed | 08.16.2006 | 4:05 am

    Tokyob, buddy, quit rainin’ on the parade I’m throwing for the Rockster here. I’m sure he made up the extra 2.71 miles pacing nervously in the parking lot before the race. Besides, you ought to let the man round up. I’m sure he’d have ridden that far past the aid station if he’d grown up on the metric system.
    I’m sure it felt like a century, anyway.

  16. Comment by Unknown | 08.16.2006 | 5:11 am

    Ah, Fatty (and of course, dug) has a little mean streak.  I was unaware of the fact that he would be using my email as a blog entry.  My email to him was entitled, "FWIW. See, I was under the impression that he would be writing the story (since he has a blog, and whatnot). I guess that’s tomorrow.  Oh well.  Thanks for the editing.  It likely would have needed it, anyway.  I am keenly aware of my propensity for grammatical errors.  I guess I just don’t care.  At least I don’t until someone starts paying me not to make them.
    If you are referring to my two DNS’s, then I am ofer five.  I didn’t think I needed to count races that I didn’t attend.  Does that somehow make you feel better?
    Metric century, 60 miles.  It’s all for naught, anyway.  I DNF’d and that’s that.  I need no consolation.  See the photos?  Do I look irritated, or disappointed?  I gave what I had, and again, considering my miniscule preparatory input, it wasn’t bad.
    Grand Junction is a nice place, though half of the planet seems to be moving in this direction for retirement.  
    Bob–you suck.

  17. Comment by Random Reviewer | 08.16.2006 | 4:22 pm

    lighten up francis.

  18. Comment by barry1021 | 08.16.2006 | 5:36 pm

    1. Well apparently KeepyerBag knew based on "mango slices dusted with paprika." I think EVERYONE knew and was too embarrassed for you to call you on it.
    2. Sometimes we roadies forget how tuff an MTB century is, especially when you make most rides look easy.
    3. Hmm. It’s actually "when you say that Rocky writes better than I (do)", not "me". You were the one talking about editing skills, LOL. I feel like Al M.
    4. No. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
    Hey Rocky—Francis?????

  19. Comment by Unknown | 08.17.2006 | 12:25 am

    Good Job, Rocky. good job on the cool family, too. And good job on the Forester, lastly.

  20. Comment by Laura | 08.17.2006 | 3:27 am

    I thought it might be Rocky, only because Rocky is the only other blogger who I know that you (FC) know, if you know what i mean… my reading of bike blogs is limited to FC, Big Guy and Big Mike. I seldem commet here since I am grammar challegned and dsylexic… and FC scare me as much as my ninth grade english teacherand her red pen did. I was hoping it would be Rocky since I miss the FC family blogs that have stopped in the last 6 months.   Very good tale Rocky, Great editing FC and I enjoyed both of your tales.


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