Friendly Advice to My Friends Who Will Be Racing the Desert Rampage This Weekend

03.2.2007 | 11:53 am

Hi Guys,

First off, let me just say that I wish, with all my heart, that I could be heading to Southern Utah and racing with you this weekend. You know there’s nothing I love more than a good roadtrip.

Alas, I have other responsibilities. I’ll be traveling for work for the next two weeks, and just couldn’t bring myself to ask my wife if I could also be gone this weekend.

It is this kind of wisdom, my friends, that has kept me married for nigh on 20 years.

Since I cannot ride with you, however, I wanted to take a few minutes to offer you some practical guidance for your race this weekend.

Helpful Advice
Many people arrive at a race thinking that if they just ride their bikes like they always do — only faster — everything will work out just fine.

These people are fools.

If you want to have a successful racing experience, be sure to follow these simple rules:

  • Make sure your equipment is in tip-top condition. Is the chain lubed? Plenty of air in the tires? Shifters (if applicable) and brakes in good shape? Wheels true? All of these things are important, unless you’re Dug. In which case, since you haven’t even scraped the mud off your bike since the last time you rode it (five months ago), you should pick the bike up and slam it onto the road a few times, just to knock the big clods off. Maybe check to see if the chain has rusted solid. Otherwise, don’t worry about it.
  • Dress for success. The fact that you’ve never won anything before doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t win this weekend, so picture yourself on top of the podium, and then select a jersey you’ll be proud to show off during your moment of glory. If any of you want to borrow my Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup jersey, just swing by my house on the way out of town.
  • Bring plenty of water. I know that this race will last only an hour or so (or two hours, for Rick Sunderlage [not his real name]), but you should never underestimate the importance of staying properly hydrated. Here’s a rule of thumb: for every minute you’re racing, you should consume five ounces of water. So, for an 80-minute race, that means you ought to carry 400 oz (just over three gallons) of water. For convenience and speed, You may want to tow a 5-gallon drum full of Gatorade in a B.O.B. trailer. Don’t worry about this slowing you down; everyone will be bringing that much to drink.
  • Bring plenty of food. Top nutritionists agree that during a race you should consume one calorie per second, which comes out to 3600 / hour. This is not as easy as you might think. The best way to avoid a calorie deficit is by continuously eating sticks of butter during the race. Oreos work great, too.
  • Use proper passing techniques. While not likely, it’s at least possible that sometime during this race you will want to pass somebody. If this happens, yell “TRACK!” nine times, in rapid succession. Then — and this is important — yell “On your left!” or “On your right!” The confusing thing is, my friends, if you yell “On your left!” it means you want them to move left, because you want to pass them on the right. Don’t worry, though. Everyone racing knows this. (Note: It’s vital to have a clever quip at hand for when you pass an opponent. I recommend saying, “I am much faster than you!” in a Peewee Herman voice.)
  • Don’t be ashamed to ask for directions. With all the people in this race, it’s easy to get disoriented. Don’t be ashamed if you feel the need to pull over and ask a bystander whether you are on the proper course. Be sure to follow up by asking whether you are going in the proper direction.
  • If you fall, stay put! If, in the unfortunate likelihood — for Brad, almost a certainty — of an accident, stay right where you land and wait for police and emergency medical personnel to arrive. I repeat — and I cannot stress this strongly enough — no matter how angry other racers get because you’re laying right in the middle of the course, do not move. Even though you feel just fine and think that you could easily get back on the bike and finish the race, stay seated and wait. Don’t make a bad thing worse by trying to move yourself. You may be injured much worse than you think. (Note to Kenny: If you fall, yell “I broke my hip! I broke my hip!” because you probably did. You may also want to yell at the other racers to get offa yer lawn.)
  • Be prepared. Yes, I know this is the Boy Scout motto, but it should be everyone’s motto. In particular, I recommend you be prepared by having ready an interesting and compelling excuse for why you lost. Don’t wait until you’ve actually lost to start getting this excuse ready. Begin now and try to have it as fully-formed as possible by the time the race begins. You can then flesh it out — add details and events from the actual event — during the race. When you tell your story, it’ll seem practically believable!

I hope you find this advice both practical and valuable. Good luck at the race, guys!

Kind Regards,

The Fat Cyclist

PS: Today’s weight: 162.0

PPS: Thanks to everyone who nominated me for the VeloNews site of the day. The editor’s sent me an email begging me to cut it out, so I think I’m now either a shoo-in for site of the day, or banned for life.


  1. Comment by Rick S. | 03.2.2007 | 12:14 pm

    Thanks for the advice Fatty. I now feel more prepared. I gave the legs a fresh shave last night (while listening to Enya, surrounded with scented candles) and then worked on my podium speach. I made sure to give you your “propers”.

  2. Comment by clydesdale | 03.2.2007 | 1:35 pm

    “PPS: Did you know that is doing a “Site of the Day” feature? Gee, it’d sure be exciting if someone nominated me for it.”


  3. Comment by bikemike | 03.2.2007 | 1:37 pm

    also, if someone asks for assistance and you choose to verbally respond, ask them if they would also like fries with that. cracks me up every time, boy-howdy mister fellow guy.

  4. Comment by dug | 03.2.2007 | 2:07 pm

    silly elden. i’ve ridden my bike since fall moab 06. i rode at least a mile or two of the bonneville shoreline last week with ricky and kenny. the last half mile, unfortunately, was under about 6 feet of mud. we were lucky to get out alive.

    i’m pretty sure my bike is okay though. it looks fine. the mud seems caked on non-movng parts mostly. couple revolutions of the cranks during the first lap of the race, and i should be in great shape.

    is mud heavy?

  5. Comment by Lissee | 03.2.2007 | 2:23 pm

    You really had me suckered with this how to prepare article, I was with you for quite a while…I can just see some poor fool, -newbie cyclist- lugging around 50 gallons of water. lol

    Emailed velo news for ya, good luck

    -Liss, NYC

  6. Pingback by Racing Videos » Friendly Advice to My Friends Who Will Be Racing the Desert … | 03.2.2007 | 2:45 pm

    [...] Original post by fatty and plugin by Elliott Back [...]

  7. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 03.2.2007 | 2:45 pm

    OOHH, traveling. That’s gonna hurt the B7 score! Are you packing grapefuit in your suitcase?

  8. Comment by fatty | 03.2.2007 | 2:54 pm

    botched – i should have a contest where people guess how much weight i’ll gain during two weeks of travel. i, personally, am going to guess 7lbs.

  9. Comment by Mrs. Coach | 03.2.2007 | 3:54 pm

    You won’t gain any weight. Just repeat this mantra three times before you’re tempted to eat anything over 100 calories:

    “I’m good enough, I’m thin enough, and gosh darn-it- people like me!”

  10. Comment by Terri | 03.2.2007 | 4:59 pm

    Fatty, with a friend like you giving these guys advice, they don’t need any enemies.

  11. Comment by Anonymous | 03.2.2007 | 6:57 pm

    looks to me like the REAL advice for your friends is in the goooogle ad at the top. It is for Aranesp, which helps battle fatigue (from anemia and other reasons, like the hard stage yesterday). Ask the good doctor Fuentes about the details…

    So does Google associate a bike racing post automatically with doping? pretty advanced…

  12. Comment by LanterneRouge | 03.2.2007 | 7:53 pm

    Fatty, while you are gaining weight eating the surf-n-turf at the pirate themed restaurant/piano bar of the airport Holiday Inn during the next two weeks, the rest of us will have visions of free FC jerseys dancing in our heads. How demoralizing will it be to see 170 on the bathroom scale again?

  13. Comment by monkeywebb | 03.2.2007 | 11:01 pm

    You forgot to remind your speedy friends to wear their elbow pads, knee pads, and, if there’s more than a 5% chance of precipitation in the forecast, swim goggles.

  14. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 03.3.2007 | 8:11 am

    LanterneRouge: The unholy trinity of eating, hurry, stress, and boredom are exactly the circumstances one finds oneself in when traveling. Cinnabon, soda, fast food, business lunches at Italian resturaunts. . .

  15. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 03.4.2007 | 8:44 am

    Pizza Hut personal pan pizzas. They’re so cute, I like to by 7 or 8 and make a little pyramid out them and then eat them without using my hands.


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