Last week, I posted a story about how I had won the Sport class in the local weekly race. It was my first win ever, so I was ecstatic. How could I not be?
There’s just one problem: I didn’t actually win.
While official results haven’t yet been posted (don’t really know if they ever will be), I just found out from the race director of the series that Larry Bollschweiler spent the entire race so far off the front of the pack that the pack didn’t even know he existed.
So: I am still winless. Sigh.
One could take a lesson from this. Something like: “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” Or possibly: “Don’t say you won a race until the results are posted.”
I choose, however, to take a different lesson. It is, “Claim victory early, and then avoid people who might know better.”
I’m happy to report, by the way, that Larry has moved on up to the Expert category.
I Continue to Not Win
Yesterday was my debut as an actual real-life sponsor of a sporting event. Which means that I gathered up all the cool stuff I could get my incredible Ads-for-Schwag partners and Microsoft to send me (Thanks Twin Six, Banjo Brothers, and Matisse and Jacks!).
I’m pleased to say that these prizes were a huge hit, and thanks to my partners’ generosity — every one of them sent me more than I asked for! — I actually was able to provide enough prizes that pretty much everyone with a raffle ticket walked away with something, and the Utah Chapter of the MS Society raised thousands of dollars.
So let’s talk about the race, very briefly. Soldier Hollow is where the 2002 Winter Olympics Biathlon and Cross Country Ski events happened. And now it’s a fun place to have a rolling, dusty fast-paced race with quick, short climbs, quick descents, tight curves, and plenty of places to pass.
I didn’t ride my singlespeed yesterday; I’m trying to put some hours into the Weapon of Choice so I feel comfortable on it for Leadville.
Right off the bat I got into about second place. By the halfway point of the first lap (Sport did three laps), I had moved to third place. By the end of the first lap, I had moved to fourth.
But then something happened to me. Or rather, something didn’t happen to me. I didn’t fade. I kept my first lap pace up on the second lap, by which time I had moved back into second place.
The guy in first place wasn’t even in the same zip code as the two guys I was mixing it up with.
The third lap began with some embarrassment. The singletrack at the beginning of the course briefly puts you on a paved walkway. I was getting punchy and looked on the wrong side of the sidewalk for the course markers and blew right by it. If the guy behind me hadn’t yelled out, I would probably still be out there, riding off yonder.
By the time I turned around and got back on course, I was back in fourth place. All the singlespeed riding I’ve been doing, though, has given me some high-torque legs and I was able to blast up steep short pitches in a high gear, putting myself back into second, which is where I stayed for the rest of the race.
After which, I went and congratulated the winner on his fast time, and asked him how much he beat me by.
“Oh, I don’t know. A few minutes.”
I politely suggested he might want to consider Expert next time.
Hey, if the only way I’m ever going to win is by pushing the top of the stack into the next stack, so be it.
PS: My Son Cracks Me Up. My thirteen-year-old son kills me with his sense of humor. For my birthday, he made me the below electronic birthday card, using Adobe Flash. It’s his interpretation of the time I saw Bob hit a deer on a bike. Check it out:
I hereby declare that “Plentysix” is my new favorite number, and will be used anytime I do not know what speed I was actually going.
Last Saturday a bunch of us went on a ride.
A long ride.
A really long ride.
Specifically, we rode the “Alpine Gauntlet Supreme” — a road loop around Mount Timpanogos, where pretty much every inch is either a hard climb or fast descent. The difference between doing the Alpine Loop and the Gauntlet, though, is that the Gauntlet has you do all the spurs off the loop, changing the ride from a 40 mile loop with 3000 feet of climbing into an 80 mile loop with 7000 feet of climbing.
And then Dug or Rick or someone had to make the (stupid) observation that if we really wanted to do all of the climbs in the loop we’d need to turn around and come up the other side (ie, the Sundance side) of the mountain, making for a total of 7 climbs, 92 miles, and about 10,000 feet of climbing. Like this:
That’s a lot. (By the way, you’re welcome to look at my upload of this ride on Motionbased, where you can see a map, distance, speed, time, heart rate info, and everything else, but be aware: the amount of climbing it credits us with is waaaaay off the mark: 21,941 feet! If you do the math based on the bottom and top of each climb, you get around 10,000 feet of climbing, which seems about right.)
So How Many People Did the Ride?
When you do a big group ride, one thing everyone wants to know is how many people were in the group.
The answer is very simple: i don’t know.
Oh, it’s not that i didn’t count at the beginning of the ride. There were eight of us.
But that number kept changing. you’ll see what i mean in a minute.
We started the ride at 6:00, pretty much as planned. Those who had Fat Cyclist jerseys wore them — except Brad, who thought he’d drum up business for his mortgage brokering company by wearing his bradkeyes.net jersey. What a putz.
Within a couple miles — right as we entered American Fork canyon– another rider joined us. I just assumed he was part of our group, but no, he was just an interloper, using us as a peloton of convenience. That was fine with us; all riders welcome.
We rode together — more or less — up the canyon and then up what i would call the “prologue climb” — Granite Flat. Here, Sans Auto demonstrated the benefits of weighing 140 pounds and riding your bike everywhere you go (including when you move from Oregon). The kid (he’s still in college and i’m 41, so i can call him “kid”) flew up the short-but-steep climb, providing the only serious challenge to Brad’s climbing supremacy of the day.
We finished the quick climb up granite Flat, coasted back down, and took the obligatory group photo. Already, though, the group had splintered a bit. The guy who had piggybacked onto our group had flatted and — even though he should have had plenty of time to change the flat while we regrouped and took a photo — hadn’t caught up. So we took a group photo at the Tibble Fork Reservoir, with Mt. Timpanogos as the backdrop.
I mean, the mountains are beautiful. The guys in front of it, maybe not so much. And i feel a little bad about it, but we took this shot before one of the starting group caught up. Sorry!
Also, I want to make it clear that we did not intentionally separate the jersey “have’s” from the “have-not’s.” It just happened that way.
For some reason, though, every time I look at this photo, I feel a sudden urge to refinance my mortgage. Weird.
Nobody had any illusions that we’d all do the entire ride as a group, and I think everyone knew where the group would splinter — on the big climb up to the Timpooneke parking lot, and then on to the summit of the Alpine Loop.
Sure enough, before long it was Brad, Rick Sunderlage (not his real name), Sans Auto, and me, working together on the first big climb of the day.
But wait! There was Chris, catching and hanging with the group. Suddenly, I perceive him as a serious B7 threat.
As we rolled, i found out someone else had been seen wearing the Fat Cyclist jersey up ahead of us. I figured this must be Lisa, my neighbor from back when i lived in Orem. I knew she had started riding on the road, but figured we’d catch her before long.
Tough Love for Linde
As we climbed, we caught up with Linde, who had started the ride on his own, after leaving multiple messages on my phone (none of which i received — i didn’t even bring my phone, knowing i wouldn’t have a signal for most of the ride).
I’m afraid, though, we didn’t ride long with Linde. The lead group had a sense of purpose — finish the ride before the day got too hot. After all, it was only 7:00am and it was already warm.
And after all, on big climbs everyone rides alone.
Hey, I really like that saying: “On Big Climbs, Everyone Rides Alone.” I wonder if that would fit on a bumper sticker.
Two Reasons for a Silly Spur
The second of the seven climbs we did was climb up to the Timpooneke parking lot.
This was, frankly, a ridiculous little half-mile spur, but I had my reasons for doing it.
- I wanted to be able to claim a perfect Gauntlet Supreme. If the idea of doing the Gauntlet Supreme is to do every single climbing spur of the Alpine Loop, then this climb must be included.
- I wanted to be able to rub Dug’s nose in it. I knew that last year Dug, Rick and Joe had done this ride, but they had skipped doing the Timpooneke climb. By including this spur in my ride, I could now claim they nearly did the full ride, and it’s a shame they didn’t complete the entire thing. Of course, by doing this we risked being mauled by bears, but hey: anything for the purity of the sport.
After finishing this silly-but-dreadfully important spur, we finished the climb up to the top of the Alpine Loop. I kept expecting to catch up to Lisa, but we didn’t. Weird. Could she really have stayed that far ahead of us?
As we got to the top of the Alpine Loop, Sans Auto said goodbye; he had started his ride at 4:00am and had a long way to go before he got home.
I believe it was at this point that I stopped concerning myself with who or how many people were on the ride. It wasn’t so much a group ride, I decided, as a pick-up ride. Join in when you can, do as much as you want, leave when you have to.
That is a very cool idea, when you think about it, and this course was just perfect for it — Since it was an out-and-back with spurs, it’s easy to drop into the ride, not to mention skip or truncate spurs you don’t want to do.
I am an unintentional genius.
Of every climb I regularly do, Cascade Springs makes me the most nervous, for two reasons.
- The first part is ridiculously steep. Without trying particularly hard, I hit my top speed of the day during the first mile: 53mph.
- It requires total commitment. Unlike most climbs I do, the road to Cascade Springs starts at the top of the mountain and drops down. So, after seven miles of descending (broken up in the middle with a mile-long climb), you’re at the bottom of a big ol’ climb, and the only way out is to do the ride. There is no bail-out option.
I kept wondering as Brad, Rick and I blasted down toward the bottom of Cascade Springs when we’d catch up with Lisa. Finally, I figured it out: Lisa must have gotten tired and skipped the Cascade Springs spur.
Then, about 1.5 miles from the bottom, we caught up with her.
She was going the other direction.
What this means, gentle reader, is that Lisa had already done the entire descent and was significantly on her way back up to the top.
This was not the Lisa I remembered.
When Brad, Rick and I got to the bottom, we skipped the leisurely rest we had planned on earlier. Now we had a mission.
We had to catch Lisa.
So we hammered. Before too long we encountered Chris coming the other direction, so he wasn’t far behind us. Then we came across Linde and BotchedExperiment, each of which elected to skip the rest of the descent and turn around, joining us in our climb.
OK, in all fairness to Botched, he had to be home by 9:30am, so had been planning on a truncated version of the ride all along. He’d be heading home once he got back to the top of the Alpine Loop.
Bonus Question: So, how many people were now on the ride? Don’t forget to include Scott, Lisa’s brother, who I have not otherwise mentioned in this account yet, but was nevertheless not far behind his sister.
It’s interesting the way one small section of a ride can color your perception of the entire ride. That’s how mile six of the Cascade Springs climb is. It is so incredibly steep it reduces me to about 4mph, which is a pretty ridiculous-feeling speed on a road bike.
It’s so steep that my impression of the entire Cascade Spring section is of being steep, even though much of it is really pretty moderate.
I believe it was during this mile that Brad rode away from me, I think in third gear.
I kept expecting, at each bend, to see Lisa, but never did. She was still maintaining the lead, and we still wouldn’t catch her during the descent to Provo Canyon.
I was glad to start the easiest climb of the day: South Fork. In fact, with less than 500 feet of climbing, it hardly even feels like a climb, in comparison.
It was during this section that we finally — finally! – caught up with Lisa. She explained that since her husband (Rich) gave her a road bike for Christmas last year, she’s just fallen in love with road riding and that’s all she wants to do anymore.
And it’s obviously paid huge dividends. She’s at a completely new riding level. I told her she needs to stop thinking about a sub-11 hour time at Leadville this year, and start thinking seriously about sub-10.
I have to say, it’s really, really cool to see someone find what kind of riding they love. Lisa’s always been a strong cyclist, but until she found the road bike, I’d hesitate to say she was in love with cycling. Clearly, she now has. It makes you think: the debates people have over what kind of cycling is best are totally futile. The best kind of cycling is the kind you like best. For me, that changes about four times per season.
We cruised down South Fork, most of us starting to dread the Squaw Peak climb a little bit. 1800 feet in four miles. And it was now officially a hot day. Yikes.
I admit to not having much of a recollection of Squaw Peak. I mostly remember that Lisa took off for the climb while the rest of us were filling our water bottles and that I would not see her again until the top of the climb. I remember that Linde broke off from the climb and headed home (so how many people were left on the ride?) I remember Brad dropping me. And Rick dropping me.
If it were possible, I would likely have dropped myself.
But at the top, Rich (Lisa’s husband) was waiting for us with an ice chest full of cold gatorade.
The dude’s a saint.
Special note to Linde: You’re going to need to become a stronger climber or you’re going to log another 12+ hour time at Leadville in August. Tough love, dude. Tough love.
While we were eating and drinking at the top of Squaw Peak, Sunderlage was looking at his watch, clearly torn. He had promised to be home by 12:30, but there was no way he could do the last climb and be home by that time. So he made the hard choice and rode home through the valley.
Which means, of course, this is twice now that Sunderlage has almost done the Gauntlet Supreme. Maybe next year, Rick. Ha.
Lisa stayed and talked with her husband and son for a bit while Brad and I took off, anxious to get this last climb over with.
The thing is, the Provo side of the Alpine Loop is clearly the harder climb. Especially the first five miles of it. It’s just steep. And the day was so hot. And I was so cooked.
Even Brad admitted to mild discomfort on the climb.
But we did it.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a ride that has left me unable to easily descend a set of stairs. But that ride — 90+ miles, 10,000+ feet of climbing, in 7 hours — did the trick.
I was fully thrashed.
And I’d like to do it again before the end of the season.
A few months ago, before we knew Susan’s cancer was back, I got a bonus at work. So I bought some nice bib shorts.
I mean, really nice bib shorts.
This was a new experience for me. Until this point, I had never owned a pair of biking shorts that cost more than $60. And now I was buying three pair of shorts, each of which cost more than $100.
“I’ll review them for the blog,” was my rationale. And I will, soon. If I feel like it.
The thing is, one of the pair of shorts — Etxeondo Hilaires,Â the most expensive shorts I have ever bought –Â had a big problem. Or sort of a problem extending from another problem. First, the stitching was a crazy rainbow color, which was not at all evident in the photo when I ordered them from Colorado Cyclist. (Just in case anyone’s about to give me grief about not buying from a local store, you should know that the local store to which I have massive loyalty — Racer’s Cycle Service — doesn’t really stock much in the way of bike clothes. I’d buy local if my local guy sold bike clothes, and so should you.)
I was not thrilled with the rainbow stitching, but I would have lived with it because the shorts were really comfortable and the chamois was awesome.
But that rainbow stitching, besides being kind of strange-looking, had another, much bigger problem: it didn’t stretch. The rest of the fabric stretches as you put the shorts on; the rainbow thread popped.
Inside of a couple of months, the shorts looked — and felt — terrible.
So I called Colorado Cyclist, all geared up for a fight. They calmly told me to send the shorts back. I did. They called me on what must have been the same day they received the box, and said that they no longer stock this kind of bib short. I got all geared up for a fight. They saidÂ they’d be happy to replace them with an equivalent-priced short or refund my money.
Well, that buys some customer loyalty, doesn’t it?
Here’s the other side of that customer service coin. I’ve been with the same Internet hosting provider for a long time. About seven years, I think. Up until I started doing this blog on my own domain, I used only a tiny fraction of the bandwidth allocated to me each month.
That’s all changed, recently. More readers visit and comment than ever before and people post in the forums and participate in the contests. All of which I love. But it’s been costing me more and more each month. I’m at the point now where I’d have to move up to the $100 / month service plan with my host.
So I sent them an email, telling them that I’ve been a loyal, on-time paying customer for seven years and now I’d like them to cut me a break.
They said, essentially, “Screw you.” (AlthoughÂ they used many more sentences.) Which I read as an invitation to start shopping around.
It did not take very long for me to find Phillips Data. I called them and got a screamingly good price — one that lets me continue to post pictures and stuff without worrying about whether it’s going to mean yet another bandwidth overage fee to me.
And — better yet — they said they’d like to do the “Ads for Schwag” program, where Friends of Fatty can get 25% off their already-great hosting costs. Very cool.
I’d like to think that any of you who’ve bought a jersey from me think of me as being more like Colorado Cyclist or Phillips Data than this unnamed Internet hosting company. I.e., hopefully nobody out there has paid for a jersey but hasn’t received one, and I’m pretty sure I’ve been able to cover all the exchanges people have needed to make. But if I’ve goofed, let me know. (Nicely, if at all possible.) Here at Fat Cyclist we (by which I mean “I”) are all about customer service with a smile. Often served with a side order of snark, but still.
So there’s going to be a little hiccup in this site sometime today when I move everything from the old-and-busted hosting service to the new hotness. I’m turning off comments for a while as I move. And I’m going to put the Forum on pause while I move it over. Won’t take long. The move’s complete now, and everything’s back. Took about twenty minutes. The site feels noticeably faster. These Phillips Data guys rock.
I’m also hoping that the crazy slowness a lot of you have experienced with comments posting will disappear.Â That would be nice. (I could tell a story here about how I complained to my old hosting service about how slow comment postings were happening now and how their “research” into the problem consisted of typing in my URL andÂ bringing up the home page successfully, once, but I think I’ve already made my point.)
Happy Birthday to Me
I’m 41 today. Yay, I guess.
A old (OK, more middle-aged than actually old) friend of mine (we’ve known each other longer than we haven’t) bought me a cool present: tickets to go to the Police concert tonight in Phoenix.Â I do believe this will be the first non-bike-related overnight recreational event I haveÂ signed up for in more than ten years. I’m not sureÂ how I’ll handle myself. Â
But if I had to guess, I’d wager “dorkily” is not far off.
I had plans for last Wednesday. Big plans. Specifically, I was planning to get out and ride for about two hours, either on my singlespeed or my road bike. I hadn’t decided which. I also hadn’t decided where, exactly.
Like I said, I had big plans.
And then Rick Sunderlage (not his real name) called me. He told me I should come to Sundance (yeah, Robert Redford’s Sundance) for the weekly local mountain bike race.
“Well, I kind of already have plans,” I said. “But yeah, I’ll come race.” Hey, it would be a good chance for me to test the Fat Cyclist jersey under race conditions. And to see whether I can hang with Rick when it matters.
One of the things that’s great about a weekly local race is that it’s low-key. It’s weekly, so it’s not like anyone’s got their hopes and dreams for the season pinned on it. It’s local, so it’s not like you have to worry about someone with actual talent coming and decimating the field.
So why, then, do I still get incredibly anxious before the race? I mean I get nerves so bad I seriously considered just not doing the race, so I could avoid that rock-in-the-gut feeling.
But I did show up, suited up, paid my $10 to ride in the “Sport” category, and then rode in small circles on my bike (my singlespeed — a fully-rigid Gary Fisher Rig) waiting for the race to start. For some reason, someone took a picture of me doing this and put it on the www.utahmtb.com site. Strangely, my rear tire is entirely transparent.
The good thing about jitters (for me anyway) is they go away as soon as the race begins. Weirdly — at least it seemed weird to me — everyone took off like they were on the final sprint to the finish.
As it turns out, there’s a strategic reason for going hard and fast at the beginning of this course. The first quarter mile of the loop is paved and is practically the only easy place to pass another racer on the otherwise-singletrack course. Once you’re behind someone, you’re stuck until they let you by.
So, in the field of maybe 20 Sport-class racers (Experts had left earlier), I entered the singletrack in maybe seventh place. Sunderlage was ahead of me, but in sight.
The only thing that mattered to me was that I not lose Sunderlage. I didn’t care if he beat me. It just couldn’t be by a lot.
So I passed a few people by saying, “Hey, yield when you can, OK?” and then waiting for the trail to widen enough for me to get by, and kept Sunderlage in view.
And it was while I was doing this that I realized something: by being forced to ride behind some people, I was being kept from racing at my limit. I was not out of gas. I still felt pretty good, in fact. Like I could go faster, should the opportunity arise.
Also, I got an immense amount of pleasure from the mental image of whenever I passed someone. There’s no way around it: they had to read “FATCYCLIST” as I went by. You know, that’s got to be demoralizing to whoever you’re passing.
I’ve confessed many times that downhill is not my strong suit. So it wasn’t much of a surprise that when we finished the big singletrack climb for the first lap and started downhill, at least three of the people who I had passed in the climb caught back up with me.
This time, though, the difficulty of passing on singletrack worked in my favor. I stood by my policy of letting by anyone who asked, but only one guy asked. So when we got to the pavement to begin the second (shorter) lap, we were all bunched up together. They got ahead of me by the time we got to the singletrack, though, and I began the second lap pretty much where I started the first lap. Sunderlage was still ahead, but in sight. I was riding the wheel of a guy who was just slightly slower than I.
And I still had something in the tank.
My unwilling domestique brought us closer and closer to Rick until Rick — most courteous guy in the world — actually asked if we wanted him to yield.
“Hell, yeah!” I yelled, in my best Al Maviva voice (no, seriously, I used the voice I imagine Al Maviva sounds like: big, deep, and dangerously imbalanced).
I couldn’t believe it. Sunderlage pulled over and let us by.
By law, I was required to slap him on the butt as I went by. And who am I to flout the law?
Moments later, I decided we must be near the top of the climb — I wasn’t sure, because the second lap is not the same as the first lap — so I asked the guy in front of me to let me by.
Which means that I was in the lead.
Time to see if I really did have anything in the tank.
I had been right; there wasn’t much uphill left. So while I managed to gap everyone a little bit in the remaining climb, two people caught up with me during the downhill.
I did not ask either of them if they would like to go by.
Instead, when I hit the brief uphill section of pavement that leads to the finish line, I stood up and sprinted as hard as I could, hoping I could stay ahead of them.
Which I did.
Which means I had just won my first bike race ever, and I had done it on a rigid singlespeed.
I Liked It So Much I Bought The Company
I had an awesome time racing. And I’m not just saying that because I won. In fact, I’d break it down as shown in the following pie chart:
Afterward, I caught up with Mark Nelson, who runs the whole race series (at least I think he does). I told him that I knew that the following week the race proceeds would be going toward raising money for the MS Society, and that I’d like to help by donating some of the cool stuff my Ads-for-Schwag partners — The Banjo Brothers, Twin Six, Ergon, and Matisse & Jacks – have given me.
Turns out that I offered enough stuff that I’m now a platinum sponsor of the series.
Yes, I’m a very important person now. I plan to start putting on airs any moment.
So here’s the stuff you can win from me if you come race next Wednesday. And it’s all raffle-based, so your chances of getting something cool are great no matter what category you race in:
- 3 Twin Six jerseys (2 Fat Cyclist jerseys, 1 other Twin Six Jersey)
- 2 Twin Six T-Shirts
- 1 Banjo Brothers Jumbo Messenger Bag
- 2 Banjo Brothers Commuter Backpack
- 20 Banjo Brothers Pocket Messenger Bags
- 3 Sets Ergon MTB Grips
- 3 Training Videos
- 10 boxes Matisse and Jacks Bake-at-Home Energy Bars
- 1 XBox 360 Messenger Bag
- 1 Toyota - United Cycling Jersey
- 8 USB Memory Sticks.
And I understand I’m not the only one bringing prizes, either. So if you’re in the area, come race with me this Wednesday.
Sure, I realize that having more people there virtually guarantees I’ll drop into the midpack finisher group, but I can live with that.
This is a one-question quiz, in the form of a story problem. It is not a trick question; you may assume that the obvious meaning of a sentence is the intended meaning. The answer to the problem follows the question, but you should nevertheless try to answer honestly and without looking over your neighbor’s shoulder.
There is an extra credit question. You may answer it if you like, but are not required to.
Ready? Let’s begin.
Suppose each of the following is true:
- On Saturday, a cyclist (we’ll call him “Fatty,” for no particular reason) embarks on a bike ride. He begins at 6:30am, and ends his ride at 3:30pm.
- Saturday is a sunny day.
- Fatty does not wear any sunscreen whatsoever for the duration of this ride.
- Fatty is a conscientious rider and always wears a helmet.
- Fatty has recently reached the male pattern baldness threshold for which he has always told himself he would shave his head rather than do a combover, or get hairplugs, or get a wig, or do any other hijinks that are almost magically transparent.
- Fatty, having reached aforementioned threshold, has honored his commitment to himself and has shaved his head.
- On Monday, Fatty went on another ride, this time with Brad and Dug. This was another road ride.
- The originally-planned duration of this ride was 1.5 hours.
- Fatty does not apply sunscreen for any ride to last less than 2 hours.
- Midway through the ride, Dug — who is shortly leaving on a bikeless holiday and is therefore looking to get in some extra miles — suggested extending the ride by approximately 1.5 hours.
- Dug’s proposal was not met with resistance. Dug’s suggestions are rarely met with resistance, but that is not relevant to the problem at hand.
- Fatty continues to be a concientious rider and continues to always wear a helmet.
- For clarification purposes, you may assume “always wears a helmet” may be interpreted as “always wears a helmet while riding a bicycle.” Fatty can quite often be seen without a helmet when he is not on a bicycle.
Provided each of the above statements is true, what does the top of Fatty’s head look like?
Based on the pattern evident (and, believe me, it’s even more evident in real life) on Fatty’s noggin, what is the brand and model of helmet he wears?
PS: Come ride with me. Ever think to yourself, “I’ll bet I could kick Fatty’s corn on a bike?” Of course you have. This Saturday (June 16), 6:00am sharp, if you’re in the area, why don’t you come prove it. A few of us are meeting at the Kohler’s in Highland, UT, and riding the Gauntlet, in reverse direction and with an extra helping of “ow.” Meaning we’ll be going up to the Alpine Loop summit on the American Fork side, down to Cascade Springs, up to the summit again, down the Provo Canyon side, up South Fork, back to the canyon, up Squaw Peak, back down to Provo Canyon, up the Sundance side of the Alpine Loop, and then down the American Fork side again, detouring to climb to the Timpooneke parking lot and the Granite Flats campground to show that we left no climb unclumb. How long will this take? I dunno. Seven hours? Ten? There will be places to fill your water bottle, and there’s a possibility of a support vehicle, though I’m not certain on that point. Any questions? Bring them up in the forum.
PPS: Congrats to skinnycyclist(at)fatcyclist.com, the winner of the “choose your email address” contest. I love the symmetrical-yet-contradictory feel of this email address. Nice work, SkinnyCyclist! Your bag’s on its way (no seriously, it really is).
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