Tenth Time’s (Not) the Charm: My Leadville 2006 Experience

08.17.2006 | 1:54 am

Around mile 41 or so of the Leadville 100 (for those of you who don’t know: Leadville, Colorado is a tiny town, above Vail, at an altitude of about 10,000 feet) this year, something occurred to me: I had not yet checked for a single trail marker. I was riding the course from memory.

That, I suppose, is a good indicator I’ve been doing this race for a while.

Why have I done the Leadville 100 ten times? Why will I do it an eleventh? Well, the reasons keep changing, but anymore most of the reasons revolve around people, traditions, and memories.

Here are a few photos and standout memories from this year’s race.

The Ride Before the Ride
Every year, the day before the race, a group of us go out and ride some flat, fun singletrack along the shore of Turquoise Lake for about an hour. It’s a chance to talk with people about the race, get a sense for what they really hope to accomplish, and–usually–to see at least one person screw up his bike because he thought he could climb a flight of stairs on his bike, but really couldn’t.

This year, we had a lot of people in the group. Some of us were there looking for a personal best: Racer, Bry and I all wanted sub-nine buckles; Lisa Rollins wanted to best her previous time of 11:55. Some of us were trying to win: Kenny wanted to win the singlespeed class, Mark and Serena were protecting their four-year winning streak on the tandem, Jilene wanted to win the women’s category, Chuck wanted to win the whole enchilada). And some people wanted to get across the line: Nick Abbott (the guy I rode with more than anyone else back in Washington), Rocky, and Rich Rollins, my former neighbor all fit into this category.

During this ride, I ran into Mike, a Fat Cyclist reader and first-time Leadville 100 rider. I guess he recognized the Reeses Peanut Butter Cup jersey. Or maybe it was the George Hincapie glasses. Or maybe it was the Weapon of Choice. Regardless, he snapped and emailed me this photo:

Mike, by the way, would eventually finish in 11:19. Nice work, Mike!

This would not be the only time I was recognized as "Fatty" during the event. I also met JSun, his wife, and their three-week old infant. JSun would be racing the Leadville 100, but being a new dad doesn’t mix really well with racing. And I met lots of other people who I have never met who would embarassedly call me "Fatty," then let me know that I’m not really all that fat. To those people, I promise that when Winter comes, I will once again be plenty fat. It’s my way.

Strangely, my mom (who was crewing for me) started introducing herself as "Fatty’s Mom." I’m not sure I’m entirely comfortable with that.

The Start
I was nervous for the start of this year’s Leadville 100, and for more than the usual reasons. As always, I was nervous about the effort, but I was also worried about my bike setup. I had broken a rule I’ve always been pretty firm on: no monkeying around with equipment just before a race. But practically everything on my bike was new, and the rigid fork was only three rides old.

More than that, though, I was nervous about whether I had lost enough weight to fit back into my old "Racers Cycle Service" Jersey, so I could ride in the same colors as my friends. It was a close call, but I went with it.
Here I am, nervous and serious, lined up about three rows from the front, as if I were a fast guy or something. Mark (of the Mark/Serena Warner Tandem Dynasty) is on the far left in the same jersey. Also, I would like to call attention to my rather awesome quads and my almost-trivial paunch.

Just for fun while at the starting line (and because I’m a fidgety person and needed something to do), I set my handlebar-mounted Forerunner 301 GPS to count backwards from 8:55 minutes, and from 105 miles. I wanted to think in terms of how far I had to go, and how long I had to get there.

More importantly, I also set it to chime every half hour, as a signal for me to eat. And I made a hard and fast rule: when the chime went off on the hour, I would eat a packet of Shot Bloks. When it went off on the half hour, I would have a Gu. The only allowable exceptions would be when I was in the middle of a technical climb or descent and needed both hands on the handlebars (in which case I would eat as soon as possible), or was in an aid station and was eating something else. I told myself that my opinion on whether I felt like eating was irrelevant. The chime was the law.

The gun went off at 6:30 am. Most years, the escort vehicle heads out at 25-30mph, letting the field of 700 (or so) riders string out. This year, though, the escort vehicle stayed under 20 the whole way, keeping us bunched up and nervous until we hit the dirt five downhill miles later.

First Inkling
I started the race planning on finishing in under nine hours. By the time I finished the race, ten hours had elapsed. So at what point did I begin to understand that my sub-9 finish was in jeapordy?

Before I had even completed the first big climb — seven miles into the race.

Yes, that soon.

Here’s how I could tell: In years when I have come close to finishing in under nine hours, I have had to restrain myself on that first climb; I had to force myself to drop out of the middle ring and not blow by everyone, because I had so much power.

This year, in contrast, the small ring felt just right. Oh, sure, I could’ve gone to the middle ring, but it wasn’t a big temptation.

In short, I had power, but I was not a powerhouse.

At least the weather was good, though.

First Descent
Before long, the St. Kevins climb ended, I dropped down the paved road for four miles, and then climbed up Hagerman’s pass. I caught up with Mark and Serena during this climb, and was feeling good about myself for doing so, when Serena said, "Man, we’re just not having a good day. I guess we’re just gonna ride it, cuz we sure ain’t racing it." I’d explain the implications of what this meant, but I don’t think that’s really necessary.

After the Hagerman’s Pass climb, I began rocketing down the Powerline descent — five miles of technical downhill. I was passing people all over the place, setting the course on fire.

No, I’m just kidding. I didn’t pass anyone. In fact, I noticed that there was almost always the sound of breathing and braking behind me, and when there was a good opening, half a dozen people lined up behind me would shoot around.

You know what’s cooler than being the slowest downhiller around? Pretty much everything, that’s what.

But I didn’t flat, like a bunch of people (I’d guess I saw five people on the side of the trail coming down Powerline), and I didn’t completely taco my front wheel like one guy I saw with his bike shouldered as he jogged down the course. I wonder if he was hoping to salvage his race by bumming a new wheel off someone? Hat tip to him if so, because he had about seven miles to jog before he got to the next aid station.

When the Powerline bottoms out, it intersects pavement, and groups form to motor along in a paceline. Here, as I have probably three times in ten years, I ran into my LT100 friend Dean Cahow. I’m not sure why we always intersect on this pavement, but we do. We hopped onto a paceline, which was way too fast, let it go, and then worked together until we got to the first aid station, 27 miles into the race.

I looked at my computer — 2:11 had elapsed. I was already eleven minutes too slow. I wasn’t out of contention yet, but this wasn’t a promising sign; I’m generally much stronger in the first half of a race than in the second, and need to give myself some cushion for the likelihood that I would fade.

I powered through the first aid station; I had plenty of food and water. The next aid station would be in only thirteen miles.

Hanging Out With Friends
As I went through the first aid station, a couple of strange things happened.

  1. At least two groups yelled, "Go Fatty!" or something like that. Neither of these groups were with me (I had sent my crew on ahead to the second aid station). This gave me a huge morale boost.
  2. I thought a huge crowd was cheering for me, but it turned out that they were actually yelling for Jilene Mecham, who was overtaking me. I had recently taught Jilene the Ze Frank song, "How Do You Spank a Giant Baby?" and she sang it as she passed me. Then I grabbed her wheel and asked how she got the crowd so riled up. "You work ‘em," she said, and then showed me. Pumping a fist into the air, she yelled, "Yeah!" The crowd on both sides of us immediately responded by cheering for her. Jilene then rode away from me, but I promised myself I’d catch her as soon as the course turned up. I knew I was a stronger climber than she.

The thirteen miles between the first and second aid stations are the flattest of the day, and probably the least painful of the course. It was here that I met Joe Jensen, a local Utah rider. He introduced himseelf by saying, "I don’t care what Dug says, you’re an OK guy." I replied with, "Well I’m here racing, and you’re here racing, and Dug’s in Chicago going to fancy restaraunts. So out of the three of us, who do you think is a pansy?" Joe (who would eventually finish with a 10:40) and I agreed we should ride together sometime under less painful conditions. I look forward to it.

Next, I caught up with Ricky, one of the guys who’s done the Leadville 100 since the first edition. He and I had ridden up the Columbine Climb together the previous year, and he had been great company. Hoping that he’d have a sense of whether we were making good time or not, I asked, "Do you feel fast this year?"

"Nah," said Ricky. "I’m just cruising along."

That’s not the answer I was hoping for.

I kicked it up a notch, trying to not lose sight of Jilene.

Pit Stop
I pulled into the second aid station–meaning I had gone 40 miles–after 3:03 of racing. My Mom was there, with all the stuff I needed.

Just look at us. We’re the very model of efficiency. Here, I"m tossing off my Camelbak, to be replaced by another one, already filled and ready to go.

Okay, now it looks like I’m doing the hokey pokey, but I’m actually swapping out the empty wrappers from the Shot Bloks (I keep them tucked under the elastic at the bottom of my shorts) for new ones, which my Mom has already torn open and folded to spec (kudos to Al Maviva, by the way, for the practical advice on the right way to open and fold a packet of Shot Bloks.).

After sucking on a camelbak tube to drink all day, it’s nice to get a couple of big gulps of water just by tipping the jug back. Note that my Mom’s ready with the soup. Please note that I no longer have much of a gut (at least, not when I’m wearing bib shorts). Also, please note the ominous dark clouds. Those will factor into the story soonish.

And two minutes later, I’m on my way again. Note that Mark and Serena’s tandem is laying on the ground here; they were only a minute behind me at the time I pulled into the aid station. Also, please note that I wisely kept on my arm warmers.

Even as I pulled away, I knew that I was no longer racing for a sub-9 time. I was already 18 minutes off the pace, and the hard work hadn’t even begun yet.

Time to Climb
When I think about the Leadville 100 race course, I think about two things: The Columbine Mine climb and the Powerline climb. I was now at the Columbine Mine climb: eight miles of climbing, with 3600 feet of vertical gain. You start at 9000 feet and reach the turnaround point at 12,600.

People suffer here.

I knew, though, that this was where my main strength is: grinding away on long climbs. I put my head down, turned off my brain to whatever degree I could, and spun.

Before long I saw Jilene. She was leading a paceline of about three guys. Of course, at 5mph, there’s no aero advantage to a paceline, but there’s still a psychological one, and these guys were hanging on as best as they could.

I rode by, and loudly said to the guy directly behind Jilene, "Dude, are you staring at her butt?" (He was.) He was very embarassed. It was a good moment.

The first five miles of the Columbine climb are not at all technical. I found another Fat Cyclist reader on this climb; he told me he blogs too. I told him there’s no way I’d remember his name because I had turned off all higher brain functions for the day, but if he’d email me, I’d link to him. Once you’ve ridden Columbine with someone, you’re no longer strangers. You’re family. I rode away, feeling strong and hoping that this feeling wouldn’t suddenly disappear (it’s happened before).

Somewhere along this road, I saw Racer riding down. His knee had been re-injured; his race was over. Next year, Racer.

The 29" wheels and rigid fork were working great for me; I was climbing lots of stuff others were walking. One of the great things about Leadville is how considerate other racers are. When someone behind sees that you’re riding a part others are having to push, they’ll yell out, "Make way for the rider!" so others ahead of you will move aside, letting you conserve your breath for the climb. By riding a lot of what I’ve always walked before, this gnarly section of the course seemed much shorter to me than it ever had before.

About a mile and a half from the top, I came across my friend Bry, who I thought for sure would be going sub-9.

He was standing still.

"What are you doing waiting for me?" I asked, irritated. "I don’t want you to wait for me."

"I’m not waiting for you," Bry said, morosely. "I’m dying."

"Oh. Sorry." Not much else to say, really. If he really couldn’t go on, he’d turn around. If he could go on, he would.

I kept going.

I hit the turnaround point at 4:53. It was now as good as official: my sub-9 dreams were gone. The Leadville rule of thumb is that your best-case finish time is double your turnaround time.

Which meant I was in serious danger of finishing in ten hours, not nine.

The most common thing I heard as I descended back down Columbine Mine was, "On your right." The second most common thing was, "On your left."

The cool thing was, though, I got to see that my friends who were still working on the climb. Nick was riding strong and looking happy. Lisa was up much further than I expected her. Rocky was smiling. All good news.

And then Jilene passed me, singing, "How Do You Spank a Giant Baby?"

I wished I had never taught her that song.

Jilene would eventually finish with a 9:47. Not what she wanted, but 20 minutes faster than me. I’m pretty sure that 20 minutes is exactly how much time I lost on downhills during the race.

Pulling into the second aid station for the second time, I was no longer in quite as much of a hurry as before. Let me illustrate:

I’ll tell you what: after riding for 5:37, sitting for three minutes (or was it five?) in a camp chair is a little slice of heaven. My Mom clearly thinks this is funny.

Next, my Mom gave me a little grief over not drinking enough water, as she notes that the camelbak I had just handed her was not yet empty.

What can I say? It was a cold day and I wasn’t sweating that much. Note that the piece of foam rubber (with adhesive) that Nick had stuck to the top of my helmet the day prior is still in place.

Reluctantly, I got on the bike and took off.

In case you were wondering: yes, I did clean that steep, loose little bump right there. So I still had a little bit of juice in me.

Interesting Observation, Embarassing Moment
As I rode along the rolling thirteen miles that connects the second aid station to the very hardest part of the Leadville 100–the Powerline Climb–the guy who I passed on the Columbine Mine caught me. "I didn’t think I’d see you again," he said. I pretended to be glad that we had hooked up again, which meant ignoring the obvious likelihood that he was about to drop me. He stuck around for a moment, though, telling me that the previous year he had DNF’d and was hoping that wouldn’t happen again this year.

"Oh, you’re in no danger of that," I let him know. He was riding a sub-10 pace, for sure. One of those strong-second-half guys I envy so much.

And then he was gone.

I had a moment to think while riding along, and I had two epiphanies in rapid succession:

  1. I felt fine. By this time of the day in a big ride, I usually have all kinds of stomach pain and gas. Today, using my rigorous eat-every-half-hour rule and sticking with Wonderful, Magical Shot Bloks, I had no stomach pain or gas at all.
  2. I definitely would not do the E-100 in two weeks. It was a stupid idea to even consider it. In fact, mountain biking is a stupid idea in general.

And then it was time to do two quick hike-a-bikes up some steep hills. I felt good, though, and rode up a big chunk of the first one. I was very pleased with myself.

For the second one, though, I got off and started marching almost from the bottom. Someone called out to me, "Make way for the rider!" I couldn’t believe it. I figured whoever it was deserved an extra little push. So I moved aside and started my push.

Except it didn’t work out that way. The rider stopped riding right as I began my push.

You know what? It’s a little bit awkward to find yourself standing on a hill with your hand on a stranger’s butt. Probably even more awkward if you’re a 40-year-old man, and the stranger is a 20-something (I’m guessing) woman.

"Um, sorry about that," I said, then put my head down and pushed on, avoiding eye contact at all costs.

Up We Go
I always have mixed feelings coming into the final aid station. I’m glad to be done with the section between the Twin Lakes Dam and the Fish Hatchery, but am dreading the final 27 miles of the race, because it’s made up of two big climbs (including the Powerline Climb, which is the toughest climb of the race), two rough descents, and a final grunt of a climb.

And chances are you won’t be at your best right then.

Still, I felt OK–still no stomach issues, and my legs were still responding. And, once again, in the same place I had seen him 50 miles earlier, was Dean Cahow. So we rode together again, but this time in the other direction. Before long, Dean would ride away from me, finishing ten minutes before I did. Nice work, Dean!

The worst part of the Powerline Climb comes right at the beginning. You’ve got to slowly march your bike up the sandy, steep hill. Riding isn’t even an option for most of us.

Near the top, though, there was the nicest guy in the world. He was pouring Coke into paper cups and handing it to riders, telling us to just toss the cup when we were done; he’d pick them up.

That was the best drink I have ever had.

I had managed to catch up with Mark and Serena again, and we were trudging along together when it started sprinkling.

"This is a nice change of pace," said Mark.

Then the water started coming down in bucketfuls.

"This is a less-nice change of pace," said Mark.


Before long, the rain and mud had completely obscured my glasses. I had uncontrollable shakes, and no jacket. My own stupid fault.

And then the descending began, through running water, with my blurry vision, my blurry glasses, my shaky arms, and my rigid fork.

I was not exactly a speed demon.

In fact, in spite of my tiredness, I was glad when the course turned uphill again, just so I could warm up.

Meanwhile, the Warners, in spite of the fact that they were riding a fully rigid tandem, rode away from me, finishing in 9:57 and winning the Tandem category for the fifth year in a row. According to the Rules of Armstrong, aren’t they required to keep going until they’ve won seven straight years?

Big Finish
After the paved climb, I descended St. Kevins–the last climb of the day–gingerly and slowly, getting passed by everyone who was not blind. I started churning along the dirt road, looking forward to the finish line that was now only about five miles away.

And that’s when Bry caught up with me. I was surprised, having figured that from the way he had looked on Columbine, he would have abandoned long ago.

But here he was, and he agreed with me that we should finish the race together.

As we rode the final three mile dirt road stretch, an idea occurred to me: since we weren’t going to finish with a good time, why don’t we finish with a little panache? I brought the idea up to Bry, and he agreed completely.

So we spent the rest of the climb planning and plotting. What would we do at the finish line? It had to be easy (we were tired) and there had to be little chance that we would crash (we were really, really tired).

So, as we approached the finish line–me on the right, Bry on the left–Bry yelled "Break!"

Then, in perfect (?) synchronization, we pulled U-turns in opposite directions, crossed paths, and came back to the finish line holding each others’ arms aloft. Here I am, halfway through our maneuver:

The crowd went wild. Natch. And here’s Bry and me, looking spry as can be after crossing the line with a race time of 10:06:

OK, so we weren’t that spry.

Lisa Rollins demolished her previous time of 11:55 with an 11:10. More to the point, she finished happy, lucid, and strong:
Rich (whose back of the head is showing above) wouldn’t admit it to himself, but he had a good day too, doing the first 60 miles of the race. That’s a lot more than he could have done a year ago. Plus, now that he’s seen the whole course, he’ll be ready to finish the race next year.

As time wore on, I became worried my friend Nick wouldn’t make the 12-hour cutoff. At 11:55, though, he barreled across the finish line, muddy as can be and with a huge smile.

Kenny took second in Single Speed class, which is just astounding. I mean, it’s astounding anyone is faster on a single speed than he is. Still, he got a nice trophy and the required shot of him standing with the race organizers, Ken and Merilee:

If you ask me, with that shiner, Merilee maybe should have avoided being photographed with the bottle of booze.

Chuck finished in 8:06. I tell you, I can’t even imagine that kind of speed. Here he is at the finish line:

As for me, I got to show off the cool blanket my Mom’s made for me out of all those "Finisher" sweatshirts I never wear:

Oh, and one more thing (6" x 4.5", in case you’re wondering):


  1. Comment by Unknown | 08.17.2006 | 2:56 am

    Fantastic race report, Fatty.   And the buckle looks fabulous.  Great job.

  2. Comment by Unknown | 08.17.2006 | 2:58 am

    Thanks for the mention in your race report! I sent you an email too but it was great to ride with you at Leadville this year. I did go on to a sub 10 hour finish (9:53) and despite the rain I had a great time. Congrats on your 1000 mile buckle!!!

    Hope to run into you at a race again.
    Your new blood brother from the Columbine climb
    Chris Plesko

  3. Comment by Tyler | 08.17.2006 | 3:27 am

    There’s a few realizations I’ve had over the past few days, some of which I’m going to blog about, and others I thought of as I read your ride report.
    * I think Oakley Racing Jackets look pretty sweet.  Some people call them Robot Shades, but I’ve always liked ‘em on George* Fatty, you don’t even look vaguely fat anymore.  But "Fairlyslendercyclist.com" isn’t terribly exciting, is it?* Mountain biking — sometimes, I think I might want to do it.  And then I realize that I’m really bad at descending on roads, so I’d be even worse on a MTB.
    * Shot Bloks are the most annoying thing to eat in the world.  No, wait, that’s Powerbars.  But they come in second.
    Finally, let me know if you’re gonna be back in Washington any time soonish!

  4. Comment by Zed | 08.17.2006 | 3:35 am

    That’s awesome. Yes, the fact that you finished and won the buckle.
    But it’s also awesome that your calves look so ripped in all of those other pictures and so slender in that photo of you with the blanket. How’d you pull that off?

  5. Comment by Born4Lycra | 08.17.2006 | 3:43 am

    Brilliant piece of work. I almost feel like I was there. Would not have been in the photos tho on account of my pronounced unphotogennicness. Well done and Well done to Fatty’s Mum as well.

  6. Comment by Jesse | 08.17.2006 | 4:04 am

    Hey, I’m a long time reader first time commenter on your blog, I love your blog, in fact, its what got me into bicycling last year, this year I got serious (i’m more of a roadie)Congrats on the race, and your report was the best thing I’ve read all year! Thanks Fatty, you’ve inspired me.

  7. Comment by bradley | 08.17.2006 | 5:26 am

    I’ve never done Leadville, though know folks who have. No more Fat Cyclist, even without breaking nine. How about the Fa(s)t Cyclist blog from now on?

  8. Comment by Tom Stormcrowe | 08.17.2006 | 12:32 pm

    Lookin ripped, Elden! Good job on 10 finishes! Congrats!

  9. Comment by barry1021 | 08.17.2006 | 1:13 pm

    1. George looks goofy in those glasses and you look every bit as good as George in them.
    2. Your Mom is hot-looking (same hairstyle as my sexy 56 year old wife).
    3. Time to change the name of the Blog to FFC, Formerly Fat Cyclist–the name is now an affront to truly fat cyclists like myself (down to a 37 inch waist, yippee!!).
    4. You knew more people on this ride than I know, period! This is partly because, as my wife says, I don’t like people much, but still, who’s bigger than you are (in a non fat sense of course)?
    5. You have convinced me, I am a roadie for life.
    6. Nobody spins a ride story better’n than you (‘ceptin’ maybe Rocky, but as you said, it was probably your gooder editing).
    7. Congrats. A lot of blood sweat and tears in that buckle. How many have they given out??

  10. Comment by Alisen | 08.17.2006 | 1:58 pm

    Yea Fatty!  I’m happy you had so many people recognize you…I wouldn’t without the Reeses jersey ’cause, um, you’re not fat.  You’re just another biking dude now, blending in, I suppose, if it weren’t for the glasses.  I saw a guy wearing a Reeses jersey at a 24 hour race not too long ago, and I excitedly said, "Fat Cyclist!?" while pointing at him.  He looked blank and I tried to explain what I was talking about but he didn’t seem to want to listen and walked away quickly, apparently thinking I was calling him fat.  Oops.  Anyway, congrats and great job on your 10th Leadville!  You will be my inspiration when I race in my first 24 hour event next weekend. 

  11. Comment by UltraRob | 08.17.2006 | 3:38 pm

    Congrats again on gettng the giant buckle!  For people that have no idea what the Columbine Climb is like or those that have raced it and never had a chance to look around, I took some pictures when I drove up in the evening after the race.  They’re posted on my blog.

  12. Comment by Random Reviewer | 08.17.2006 | 5:44 pm

    Your excellent race report almost makes up for your pathetic ride. I hope you take this race more seriously next year.

  13. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 08.17.2006 | 6:05 pm

    So how did the chick’s butt feel? I’m still laughing about that.
    I came to the same conclusion about the E100 as you did. I’ve pretty much decided that mt biking sucks, with road riding following a close second, but endurance cyling sucks worse than both of them combined.
    Bitter Botched
    P.S. Kenny is a freak. Chucky is a freak.

  14. Comment by Lauren | 08.17.2006 | 7:21 pm

    Nice write up FC, I felt like I was there.
    PS Kenny is hot.

  15. Comment by Lofgrans | 08.17.2006 | 7:40 pm

    Hey FC, remember me? I told you that if you get below you’re ideal weight you might loose power? See two sentences above "First Decent" heading. Told you so. I’m no expert but I’d bet just about anything that if you were at 160 you’d have reached your time goal.
    My husband coaches if you’re interested.
    I always enjoy reading your blog. Congrats on the buckle.

  16. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 08.17.2006 | 8:12 pm

    "Holding each other’s arms aloft" could be translated as "holding hands".

  17. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 08.17.2006 | 8:14 pm

    I wonder if Bry set the record for losing the most finishing places from one year to the next.

  18. Comment by Unknown | 08.17.2006 | 8:25 pm

    Yeah, Fatty.  Just look at all those Tour riders.  If they were as skinny as you, they’d never get up all those climbs (the drugs might help, too).  Next year try it at a nice round 200 and see if it helps.
    P.S.  Ditto Lauren’s comment.  And according to Fatty, "the nicest guy in the whole world."  Dreamy.

  19. Comment by Tim | 08.17.2006 | 9:01 pm

    Interested to see that you were riding with a Garmin Forerunner. Any chance of uploading your ride to Motionbased? I, for one, would be interested to see the length, elevation etc…Cheers, Tim

  20. Comment by Heath | 08.17.2006 | 9:58 pm

    Congrats on 1000 miles!!
    Hey, I was sitting right in front of you at the awards with my Dad!! I thought that was you fatty, but wasn’t sure. It’s not like I’d go up to someone and say, "are you fatty?" Even after you went up to the stage I didn’t know your name.
    Oh well. I promise to say hi next year. I’m pretty sure I was riding with Jilene and Leslie up Haggerman or Powerline. You can find my pic on the blog link. Anyho nice to almost meet you all. It was a great race. Thanks for all the words fatty, I used your descriptions to help peice together what to expect. Later A Minnesota Guy.

  21. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 08.17.2006 | 10:21 pm

    argentius – the look of the oakley racing jackets is pretty much moot for me. i wear them because the frame will take my prescription. i have the glasses place make lenses (not oakley lenses, btw) that are scratch resistant, work with my nearsightedness, and darken in light. they’re expensive, but they’re about as perfect a solution as a contact-hating cyclist could want.
    caloi – easy; i have inflatable calves.
    born4lycra – yeah, like i’m magazine cover material.
    barry – nope, i’m the fat cyclist, and will not be changing my blog name. it’s not so much that i’m opposed to being called something other than fat as that i know myself well enough that i expect to become fat again, at which point it would be too painful to have to revert the blog name. plus, now i’ve got that cool logo and stuff.
    motorjesse – i got you into cycling? that’s like the hugest compliment you can give a cyclist. thanks!
    bob – next year you race it with me. right?
    sophia and lauren – yes, kenny might look hot, but he has terrible body odor. and he snores with the volume and intensity of an oliphant.
    lofgrans – your husband coaches? i’ll bet he’d get all kinds of great publicity from coaching a genuine biking celebrity. that publicity seems like it’d be worth even more than money, you know. nudge nudge, wink wink.
    t1mm0 – already posted, actually. you’ll find it at http://eldennelson.motionbased.com.

  22. Comment by Lofgrans | 08.17.2006 | 10:33 pm

    FC, I’ll talk with him about it, he might be willing to work something out. Shoot me an email for further discussion if you’re interested.

  23. Comment by Jon Paul | 08.17.2006 | 11:12 pm

    Congrats on the 10 hr time! Given how many things you changed, it’s a great time. Wonderful writeup as well; the writeups are one of the things I enjoy most about your blog. Going to go for sub-9 next year?

  24. Comment by brendan | 08.18.2006 | 1:07 am

    Fatty – that is amazing.  Great ride, great story, some nice pics, and a touching embarrassing moment (literally!).It makes me want to hop on a plane and do that ride next year. :-)

  25. Comment by John | 08.18.2006 | 4:12 am

    As I was making my way to the start of the Columbine climb, the first place rider passed me and said good job. Though he was going the other way, I believed him, and counted this as my brush with fame for the race.
    I respect and admire Mr. Weins, a Hall of Famer, but it was the brush with the brusher of fame that is still exciting. My girlfriend and crew and my neice were making their way to the last aid station with arm loads of stuff. A voice asked if aid could be provided. This voice came from, as it is reported to me, a very nice woman. As the three chatted, this nice woman said that her son was riding. "They call him Fatty." My girlfriends jaw dropped and said that she frequents his blog often. Fatty’s Mom was astonished to hear that even in Minnesota, Fatty gets read.
    It was cool.
    Made for a good race, even though my finish was 12:32. Powerline eats my lunch every year. But not next year.


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