Same Day, Same Name, Totally Different Sports

06.26.2007 | 3:22 am

“Mountain Biking” is too big a term.

Consider this. Last Saturday, a small group of friends — Dug, Kenny, Dan, Racer — and I went mountain biking. It was a seven-hour epic circumnavigation of Mount Timpanogos: thirty seven miles, the first 22 of which took almost six hours (yes, we averaged about four miles per hour) because it was so brutally steep.

Dug and Racer had their cameraphones with them, and so got a few pictures.

The ride starts with a ride along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, which connects to Grove — a narrow, steep, shale-strewn trail with a clff going up to your left and, often, a cliff going down to your right. Here’s Racer riding up:

After about 2000 feet of climbing (which means you’re a third of the way up), there’s a stream crossing. Here’s Kenny, looking sassy.

And here’s Dug, putting the stream to more practical use.

After about four hours, you get a brief break from climbing as you descend from the top of Timpooneke to the Timpooneke trailhead (watch out for bears!). During this descent, I took a hairpin too tight and augured in, briefly dislocating my shoulder. This happens so often that by the time Dug got out his camera to take a picture, I was composed and smiling again.

For those who have been wondering, that helmet’s a black Giro Atmos, by the way.

Next up is a climb to Julie Andrews Meadow. Yes, it’s really named that. The urge to spin around, arms flung wide, and sing “The Hills Are Alive” is nearly irresistable. Here’s Dan — doesn’t he look like he’s about to break into song?

Once you get to the Summit, your six hours of climbing earn you about twenty minutes of descending, at which point you’re at the Sundance Ski Resort having a giant macadamia nut cookie (me) or a beer (Kenny):

Rocky’s Ride
Also last Saturday — 250 miles away — my brother-in-law Rocky went mountain biking.

Kellene sent me some pictures, though I’ll have to improvise the story. Here’s Rocky, riding down an impossibly steep, boulder-strewn pitch toward certain death.

And here’s Rocky, again. This time he’s riding down an impossibly steep, boulder-strewn pitch toward certain death.

And here’s Rocky, now with his bike so impossibly positioned that I can confidently say he is one single moment from his demise.

And finally, here’s Rocky, evidently committing suicide:

So here’s the thing. If someone tells you they went out road biking, you have a good idea of what went on. You may not have an idea of how far, how fast, or how steep, but you know what road biking looks like.

If someone tells you they went mountain biking, on the other hand, you still don’t know anything.

PS: In these photos, Rocky is wearing the exact same kind of Camelbak I wore when racing the Kokopelli Trail (i.e., a ginormous one). The primary differences are:

  1. His Camelbak is fuller than mine was for a 20-hour ride
  2. He’s out on a two-hour ride

This leads to an interesting question: What is Rocky carrying? My current theories include:

  • A picnic lunch for 12
  • A parachute
  • 6 gallons of water (Rocky sweats at a rate of 1 pint / minute)
  • A large tub of Whupass Jam
  • A very extensive first aid kit

By all means, you should feel free to speculate too.


  1. Comment by timk | 06.26.2007 | 3:31 am

    To make matters worse – we had an older guy who used to come on our road rides on a mountain bike and do his share of pulling. Was he road biking or mountain biking?

  2. Comment by Weean | 06.26.2007 | 3:58 am

    About the helmet: Thank you!

    I am now wrong but informed. The perfect position.

  3. Comment by Big Boned | 06.26.2007 | 4:12 am

    Sounds like one of my buddies. That joker is 53 (I think) and while on his MTB can drop most roadies 25 years his junior. Dude is sick.

  4. Comment by rick | 06.26.2007 | 4:21 am

    Dude, love ya and all but its either time for some smaller glasses or a bigger head.

  5. Comment by Craig | 06.26.2007 | 4:33 am

    I vote bigger head.

    thanks rick, that was troubling me for some time and I do not possess the tact to approach the subject

  6. Comment by gian | 06.26.2007 | 4:38 am

    No way, smaller glasses. a proportionaly bigger head would be much heavier than smaller glasses would be lighter. Huh?

    And your brother didn’t biff it at all? Huge freakin’ balls. I fell out of my chair just trying to imagine the angle at which he was descending.

  7. Comment by Clydesteve | 06.26.2007 | 5:10 am

    Wow! There are a lot more navigable trails around here than I thought….For a crash test dummy.

  8. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 06.26.2007 | 5:23 am

    Wow what a contrast. I think I prefer the Julie Andrews type of mountain biking over the Rocky meets Rocks type. Great pics tho.
    4 out of 6 riders in FC tops only Kenny and FC letting the side down now how did that happen. I reckon keep your head and get new glasses altho if you are going for the Fearless Fly (remember him?) look you’ve got it nailed. My wife just had a look and she reckons the glasses belong to an Oz icon Dame Edna Everage but it’s possible you don’t know her either. I’m sure the other Oz members of Team FC will make the connection.
    Hope things are going okay Sue.

  9. Comment by Tom | 06.26.2007 | 5:32 am

    Has anyone ever heard FC saying ‘Hellloooo possums!’ cuz that would be REALLY Dame Edna.

  10. Comment by barry1021 | 06.26.2007 | 5:38 am

    I am glad someone besides myself brought up the Hincapie-on-steroids glasses. Anybody that routinely pops his shoulder back in on a ride, smiling, definitely deserves cooler glasses. You look like the depiction of the aliens in Roswell stories.


  11. Comment by Mike Roadie | 06.26.2007 | 6:00 am

    Great pics………I am a road rider ’cause we have NONE of that in FLA(t)!!!

    Take the lenses out of the glasses, save 6g in weight.

    I don’t care what you wrote, that helmet sunburn pattern is from a Pneumo, not an Atmos. I’m not ayin’…….I’m just sayin’
    Help Me Win the Messenger Award this year!!!!


  12. Comment by Mike Roadie | 06.26.2007 | 6:00 am

    Great pics………I am a road rider ’cause we have NONE of that in FLA(t)!!!

    Take the lenses out of the glasses, save 6g in weight.

    I don’t care what you wrote, that helmet sunburn pattern is from a Pneumo, not an Atmos. I’m not sayin’…….I’m just sayin’
    Help Me Win the Messenger Award this year!!!!


  13. Comment by Yukirin Boy | 06.26.2007 | 6:00 am

    Fatty your ride looked and sounded fantastic and then it fell in a heap and a dislocated shoulder when I saw that first picture of Rocky!
    The guy is clearly one sprocket short of a full casette.

  14. Trackback by Go Clipless | 06.26.2007 | 6:03 am

    Mountain biking is too broad of a term

    Fat Cyclist on why mountain biking is too broad of a term:So here’s the thing. If someone tells you they went out road biking, you have a good idea of what went on. You may not have an idea of

  15. Comment by Weean | 06.26.2007 | 6:07 am

    Dame Edna Everidge (not Barry Humphries) inexplicably ended up PLAYING a character on the final series of Ally MacBeal. This was my Spanish wife’s first introduction to Dame Edna. Non-plussed just doesn’t cover it.

  16. Comment by Mocougfan | 06.26.2007 | 6:11 am

    I must admit that when I rode with Fatty and Company 2 weeks ago for the Gauntlet, the first thing I noticed when we met were the glasses. A bit on the large side.

    PS….Rocky is insane. My HR jumped just looking at those pics.

  17. Comment by Jose | 06.26.2007 | 6:46 am

    Isn’t that Rocky the “energy black hole”? The same one that breaks handlebars in Leadville races? That’s not bad luck, he is bound for disgrace!

  18. Comment by Jose | 06.26.2007 | 6:48 am

    BTW, has anybody told Dug that he looks kind of gay with those pants (capris)? Oh! yes his son did, sometimes kids are very wise, he should listen to him.

  19. Comment by BIKEMIKE | 06.26.2007 | 7:14 am

    i can sum up florida mtn. biking in two words, palmetto roots.
    they suck

  20. Comment by fatty | 06.26.2007 | 7:37 am

    everyone: with regards to my glasses, yeah, i’ve noticed that as my face has gotten a bit thinner lately, the glasses have started looking biggish on me. here’s the thing, though: they’re incredibly comfortable. and they’re lightweight. and they don’t break because they don’t have hinges. and they don’t fog. and the lenses cost me a fortune (prescription + lightweight material + light-to-dark transition = ~$300 — just for the lenses). and i’ve had the frames for around 8 years. it’s hard to let them go, you know?

    although i must admit i’m very intrigued by the new oakley radars, which are available in prescription, if i remember correctly.

  21. Comment by Badder | 06.26.2007 | 7:43 am

    Dug, You seriously need to go on “What Not To Wear”! Like really, really bad.

  22. Comment by Al Maviva | 06.26.2007 | 7:43 am

    Man, I love hearing about epic rides like this, and also have to admit that the Julie Andrews meadow is fabulous. If I was riding there, I would definitely need to stop, sing “The Hills Are Alive,” a couple pieces from “Cats,” and the entirety of “Sweeney Todd,” and perhaps some Elton John. (I could wear Fatty’s shades for that last part).

    That meadow is enough to make a straight man go utterly teh ghey, which would explain some things.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course.

  23. Comment by TeeBone | 06.26.2007 | 7:44 am

    I hate to get off topic but – the results from the last two weeks of Wednesday Night MTB races are now posted on Here’s the deal; two weeks ago you reported that you were 1st, but you were actually second. Last week you reported that you were 2nd, but it appears you were actually 3rd. So I guess we will know that you actually won your first race when you boast to us that you came in 0th place. Is that how it’s gonna be?

  24. Comment by Boz | 06.26.2007 | 7:50 am

    I wish my wife would read this, so she understands why I NEED all the stuff I have. Can’t road race on an MTB, can’t ride cyclocross rig on the road, can’t wear baggy shorts on a road bike ect, ect. And don’t get me started on helmets, the have apply to seperate disiplines as they provide different coverages for different crashes. Nothing spells this out more than watching a MTB at a local ski area. It was a nasty, steep, technical root and rock fest w/ a steep downhill ski slope to the finish. At the tail end of the Sport class comes a goof-ball on a big suspension, 800 lb dh bike, no clip pedals, rounded DH helmet, baggy shorts and shin guards, you get the picture. He stops at the top of the last climb, lowers the seat BMX style, and heads down, only to biff at the first turn. He said he was too tired to steer. Now you get the picture, the proper gear for the ride makes the ride.

  25. Comment by dug | 06.26.2007 | 8:22 am

    badder, yeah, i was thinking that. the jersey is too much isn’t it? i know, i should get a pink jersey.

  26. Comment by Mocougfan | 06.26.2007 | 8:23 am

    An admittance from me if I might. In 1986 I bought a pair of Oakly Frogskins. They were the same that Tom Cruise wore in Risky Business ( absolutely loved them. In 1993 they were stolen and I managed to find an identical pair and bought them. In 2006 my wife finally convinced me that they were a little out of fashion and I should splurge for some new ones. I did and I like the new Oaks very well. However, when she’s not around, I still wear the old ones. So Fatty….I understand. Keep the old ones. We’ll just make fun of you a little.

  27. Comment by fatty | 06.26.2007 | 8:32 am

    teebone, i’ll go one further than that. i hereby declare myself the winner of TOMORROW’S race. as such, i see no need to actually participate in the event, what with the outcome being foregone and whatnot.

  28. Comment by Boz | 06.26.2007 | 10:01 am

    I think Rocky is actually carrying a large Badger or Wolverine the captured with his bare hands. It leaped off a ledge and Rocky opened that Whup-ass jam on it. The Rocky family is very proud of this feat of manliness.

  29. Comment by monkeywebb | 06.26.2007 | 10:03 am

    I’m guessing Rocky has a couple spare helmets in that pack. Or the helicopter that will be imminently needed to medivac him to the nearest trauma center.

  30. Comment by sans auto | 06.26.2007 | 10:06 am

    I have a couple pairs of Briko sunglasses from the mid 90s that I believe were banned as an illegal fairing.

  31. Comment by dug | 06.26.2007 | 10:09 am

    sans auto, if elden had posted any pics of me from the FRONT, then you would see that i am, in fact, wearing briko sunglasses from the mid 90s.

  32. Comment by Eufemiano Fuentes | 06.26.2007 | 11:03 am

    I’d have to guess that Rocky is carrying the case to your glasses in his camelback. That would probably take up most of the room.

    And since he was left with no room to carry water, it looks like he crafted some sort of catheter device (as shown in the 1st picture) to his netherregions to re use fluid, something akin to DUNE.

    Anyway, just a guess.

  33. Comment by Tim D | 06.26.2007 | 11:06 am

    I think Rocky is carrying an air bag, but someone should tell him it doesn’t work, it should have deployed in every one of those photos.

  34. Comment by AMG in Texas | 06.26.2007 | 12:14 pm

    Hey fatty,
    Are those bifocals?? Must have cost you a fortune to get the seamless bifocal lenses!!! With light to dark transistions even!! Did you get the scratch coating too???

    Your sons video was a RIOT!! Also, did I see Mike Roadie do an aspritzen?? Whats up with that???

    Best wishes for Susan… I have still not received my Pink Fatty jerseys even though twin six cleared the charges already :-(

  35. Comment by Jose | 06.26.2007 | 12:16 pm

    Did you noticed that either Fatty and Kenny shaved their goatees? oh gosh this is getting kind of scary, what’s next? are you going to carry a drop of each others blood around the neck?

  36. Comment by MTB W | 06.26.2007 | 12:17 pm

    You and your group definitely had a different MTB experience than Rocky. You had a grunt thru beautiful country, having a great day with good friends (while avoiding bears and breaking into song). Rocky, on the other hand, is trying out to be a death defying stuntman. Great pics, though. (Kellene, great shots! and they are not even posed. Don’t know how you stood there b/c I had to grab my chair to keep from falling out just looking at the pics)

    I didn’t realize you and Rick S. (not his real name) were only 2 seconds apart in the race, with another racer between you. Good finish! He and the third place finisher must have been reading your “fatcyclist” back right into the chute.

    I also have prescription sunglasses that look funny on me but they are comfortable and work, so phfft on the fashion police!

  37. Comment by Bob | 06.26.2007 | 12:30 pm

    Wow, Rocky. My first thought was that I would never go down that rock field, not even if I could borrow someone else’s body. My next thought was that we need a road trip to Grand Junction/Fruita. Those trails are amazing.

  38. Comment by fatty | 06.26.2007 | 1:08 pm

    amg – nope, don’t need bifocals quite yet. my up-close vision is excellent. it’s when i’m driving or biking that i need glasses. i talked with twin six and they’re getting the pink jerseys in the next few days. we should be seeing them next week.

    mtb w – thanks, man. i feel better. pfft on fashion indeed.

  39. Comment by tigermouth | 06.26.2007 | 1:23 pm

    Sorry, but Tom was wearing Ray Ban Wayfarers in Risky Business, not Oakley Frogskins.

    Ray Bans:


  40. Comment by Mocougfan | 06.26.2007 | 2:43 pm

    I knew they were Raybans. Closest thing I could find that looked like the old Generation of Frogskins. Thanks for the clarification tho. Should have made it myself.

  41. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 06.26.2007 | 3:41 pm

    Fatty – I think your articles are taking a swing towards the artistic. The only true action shots were bought in from an independent freelance source. Sure, they’re family, but I bet they charged you for the shots.

    Of the photos from your ride there’s the posed shots on the bridge and creek plus your dinner date with Kenny. There’s certainly action shots there as well, but have a close look. They have a boutique catalogue kind of feel about them.

  42. Comment by Rocky | 06.26.2007 | 6:11 pm

    Bob – any time you want a road trip to our little town, you are welcome. The System will handle it well, but I don’t think the rigid singlespeeds are much good for most of the riding around here.

    I was having a conversation with a L.B.S. owner not a week ago about the diversity of the mtb experience. Nice work skinny Fatty with the stark compare/contrast. Kellene is a great photographer, and even better with PhotoShop!

    By the way, it’s a mini-me in the pack, in case someone gets hurt and has to call for help. He is equipped with a full sandwich making system, and a cell phone.

  43. Comment by Heather | 06.26.2007 | 7:01 pm


    You have the funniest readers in the entire world. You all crack me up!

  44. Comment by fatty | 06.26.2007 | 8:20 pm

    heather – i do, don’t i? a bunch of very funny, smart readers and a surprising lack of trolls. anymore, my job is mostly just to set the ball up and then stand back and watch everyone else spike it.

  45. Comment by buckythedonkey | 06.26.2007 | 11:34 pm

    Rocky’s Camelbak is full of bog roll.

  46. Comment by buckythedonkey | 06.26.2007 | 11:36 pm

    Somehow managed to miss your Great Divide post until today – I’m hooked!

  47. Comment by barry1021 | 06.27.2007 | 4:40 am


    See how seamlessly FC switches from MTB to volleyball analogies? And this from a former pole vaulter. He sets the bar high for us, that’s for sure.

  48. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 06.27.2007 | 5:23 am

    Ah, nice one b21, pole vault/set the bar high. You must be one of the funny ones they’re all talking about.

    Me… I don’t write much that’s funny but if you ever met me in person. Well, let’s just say, my mirror cracks me up.

  49. Comment by Al Maviva | 06.27.2007 | 7:16 am

    No Mike, he was talking about Fatty’s secret collection of Polish people which he keeps in his house, locked away in a tiny room, hence the “Pole Vault.” Some would find it weird and everybody talks about Pole vaulting as one of the hardest things in the world to do, but Fatty has always been known as an outstanding Pole vaulter.

    As for “setting the bar high,” the only way to keep the booze away from the likes of Barry, Boz, Kenny, and me is hanging it in a tree like you do with bear-safe food bags. We’re considering a similar rig to keep Fatty out of the Jelly Belly Sport Beans.

    Gosh, I wish you’d keep up.

  50. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 06.27.2007 | 7:48 am

    Sounds like Rocky was carrying a big old challenge to rigid singlespeed riders!

  51. Comment by BIKEMIKE | 06.27.2007 | 8:38 am

    another great band name, The Rigid Singlespeeds.

  52. Comment by mark | 06.27.2007 | 9:01 am

    Crazy thing is that both of these varieties of mountain biking are within the sub category of trail riding. We haven’t even entered the realm of freeride, DH, or trials.

    Botched, I would love to see someone ride Fruita on a rigid singlespeed. I have ridden the line in the first photo on my 6″ travel trailbike and can’t imagine the skills it would require to do it rigid.

  53. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 06.27.2007 | 9:50 am

    I’d love to give those trails a try. We (elden, dug, kenny et al.) have talked about doing a trip to Rockytown approximately 18 times, but all those conversations have come to naught. We keep going to stupid places like gooseberry and moab.

    So far, I haven’t found anything that I could ride on my FS bike that I could’t ride on the rigid.

    This may say at least one of several things about me: 1) I wasn’t riding anything difficult on the FS bike. 2) I have yet to come across anything difficult on the rigid bike. 3) I have ungodly skeeeeelllllzzzzzz yo!

  54. Comment by Boz | 06.27.2007 | 9:56 am

    Al – I ressemble that remark. You cannot set the bar too high for me. To prove it, I get drunk on airplanes. Justask any air marshall.

  55. Comment by Kathy | 06.27.2007 | 10:04 am

    Is Dug trying to do a handstand in the creek? I was going to make fun of his black grandpa socks, but I noticed Rocky had on black socks too and there is no way I’m making fun of Rocky. Is it some kind of solar-engergy-to-the-ankles theory?

  56. Comment by mark | 06.27.2007 | 10:16 am

    If you ever make that trip to Rockytown, let me know. We took a detour over to Fruita the first day of spring Moab 06 and had a good time. Lots of technical rock with plenty of opportunities for carnage. For a three day trip, I would put the over/under for the number of times Fatty dislocates his shoulder at 5.

    The added benefit to a Fruita trip is that Kellene could set up the perfect pinwheel shot.

  57. Comment by LMouse | 06.27.2007 | 10:27 am

    It’s true. The writing here has been incredible lately. The summer cycling endorphins must have kicked in. Woo Hoo!

  58. Comment by barry1021 | 06.27.2007 | 10:58 am

    Actually Al and Big Mike, I misspoke with my high bar analogy. Blame the screw-top Merlot. I meant to say that FC sets the bar really LOW for us, as I was attempting to make a limbo analogy. My bad.


  59. Comment by barry1021 | 06.27.2007 | 10:58 am

    Actually Al and Big Mike, I misspoke with my high bar analogy. Blame the screw-top Merlot. I meant to say that FC sets the bar really LOW for us, as I was attempting to make a limbo analogy. My bad.


  60. Comment by barry1021 | 06.27.2007 | 11:00 am

    AHHHH, I didn’t click twice I swear!!! This azspritzen is totally on FC, not on me! Now where’s the bottle….??????


  61. Comment by dug | 06.27.2007 | 11:59 am

    Kathy, i’m just trying to get my body temperature below 110 degrees. we had just finished riding (well, as for me, mostly pushing) our bikes up several thousand vertical feet, and we weren’t even halfway done.

    the black socks are anti-fashion. as soon as they catch on, we’ll move onto something else. like pantyhose.

  62. Comment by Clydesteve | 06.27.2007 | 12:53 pm

    Big Mike – I actually do not think that Dug’s pose would be allowed in most catalogs I am familiar with. Do they depict that sort of thing in Oz-bourne catalogs?

  63. Comment by Al Maviva | 06.28.2007 | 1:16 am

    Barry, Fatty’s web coding is enough to drive a man to drink.

    And I, for one, think we should be grateful to Fatty for that…

  64. Comment by esj | 07.3.2007 | 9:27 am

    OMG! I hiked up Timpanogos a few years ago and felt brave – can’t imagine going up on a bike (of course, I just a roadie – not MBing for me!!) – one small jerk of the bars and youare off the one inch trail and sliding down to your death! And I actually did burst out in “The Hills are Alive” and did a few twirls when I got to the Julie Andrews fiield – had no idea until now that it is actually called that.

  65. Comment by cyclegoddess | 01.31.2009 | 5:55 am

    kenny really needed that beer by the looks of his face. (Hey mister, Im sorry the bear ate your baby!)

    Dug may have a rival here in Oz ( as we aussies call Australia) my husband. Last time we went went riding(and its road riding mind you!) he wore;
    purple capris with orange trim and toggles
    mismated woolen sleeveless gloves( one lavender and new and one unraveling black one apparently circa 1230)
    black calve lenght socks
    a pink top with a glitter flower ( stolen from me, bought in girls department at target)

    or the red flennel pajamas pants embossed with snowflakes
    or or or

    And here am I, trying to look all cool( as I cant ride far yet, as I was sick for about 7 years so at least dress the part!) in slick black lycra, wraparound shades , etc etc!!
    And yes, fatty dear , you do have that Dame Edna sort of charm in those specs! Fair dinkum!!

    My guess to whats in the pack, is that turkey dinner you mentioned in another post on what to bring riding.


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