Fall Moab 2008

11.13.2007 | 11:23 am

A Note from Fatty: Susan and I went to see the bone tumor specialist yesterday. He didn’t have a recommendation on how to reverse the cancer in her bones, but he did have an answer on what we need to do to get Susan walking again: a hip replacement. Left side. So we’ve got that scheduled for December 5.

Today, Susan and I will be going to her oncologist to figure out what the next steps are as far as fighting the cancer itself.

Thanks to everyone who keeps sending positive comments and email. We really appreciate them. Among the email I got yesterday was this photo from Caren.

She’s just back from the 3-day San Diego Breast Cancer walkathon, where she raised $12,500 — an incredible amount — to fight this disease.

I’ve never met Caren, just like I’ve never met most of you. The fact that so many of you go out of your way to support Susan and me like this is both touching and mind-boggling. Thank you.

An Update on the ”Get a Grip: 1-Week Weight Loss Challenge:” There are now 39 people entered in the 1-Week Weight Loss Challenge, with donations toward fighting cancer totalling $775.00. And just so you know, the Stunt Diet is working great. I’m down 2.8 lbs already. Yes, really. I fully expect to lose 7 lbs by the end of this competition, which will put me in great position to gain it all back (and a little bit more) the following week.

Fall Moab 2008
The thing about Fall Moab 2008 that will stay with me the longest is…the stink.

Four guys, after three days of riding and no showers, will do that to a vehicle. Seriously, I really have no idea how I’ll ever get my truck to smell not-disgusting ever again.

Also, I’ll remember it as the event that forced me to admit that camping can be pretty great.

We set up camp by a defunct windmill right off the Gooseberry Mesa trail, which is outside Hurricane, Utah. And when I say “camp,” I mean real camping. Tent (for some of us anyway — the wealthy and priviliged class among us stayed in Rick’s camper), no water, no facilitites. Which meant we had the area to ourselves — a good thing, considering the topics of the loud conversations that would happen around the campfire at night.

Some of the topics included (but will not be attributed nor recounted, to protect the very, very guilty):

  • Dangerous Liaisons: One of us had, at a young age, been pursued by a wealthy widow who claimed she had had a dream that they were to be married.
  • Revenge: As a teenager, one of us worked for a lawn care company. After being pelted with rocks throughout the summer by children in a trailer park, that one of us revenged himself on his last day of work by writing obscene words in the kids’ lawn with RoundUp.
  • Scary: One of us has a wife who has been threatened by the Mafia.
  • Ew. One of us has had his balls waxed, and looks forward to doing it again.

In addition to the almost surreal conversation, we had extraordinarily good food. I don’t know if it’s a function of being hungry after riding for the afternoon, or if it’s the open flame, but the brats we made were the best thing I have ever eaten.

That is not hyperbole, and I’m pretty sure others camping with me will back me up on this.

We boiled the brats in beer (with an onion chopped in) in a Dutch oven, then grilled them over a wood fire. And then we ate them on Kenny’s homemade bread.

Yes, Kenny makes and bakes his own bread. And it’s incredibly good.

We chose last weekend as the date for this trip months ago. It was a rare piece of luck that it just happened to be perfect weather for pretty much the whole trip. We rode a short section of Gooseberry on Friday, followed by Little Creek Mesa on Saturday, and then rode more of Gooseberry on Sunday.

I’m not sure there’s a more beautiful place in the world. You wind your way through tight, narrow trail, junipers and giant boulders on either side of you. It’s like being in Land of the Lost, but the set’s better designed. Here’s Bob coming out through one of the narrow canyons:

and here’s a nice shot of Dug, riding singletrack on Gooseberry. Massive exposure (i.e., certain death) is eighteen inches to his left.

As usual, I was by far the worst rider of the whole group. I’m often caught between thinking I need to find a worse group of friends to ride with, and being glad I have talented riders for friends, so I can see what’s possible on a bike.

Part of what they can do that I can’t, I think, is twist out of a bad fall. Case in point: check out Corey showing his cat-like grace:

Step 1: wheelie onto the ledge.

Step 2: Hop your back wheel up.

Step 3: Find out you don’t have enough momentum to keep going forward.

Step 4: Start rolling backward.

Step 5: Start bailing out. Look like you’re going to flip over backward and land flat on your back.

Step 6: Execute mid-air splits. I recommend clicking this image to see the larger version, so you can see the expression on Corey’s face.

Step 7: Touchdown.

Step 8: Tuck bike back under you in one fluid motion and…

Step 9: …Ride away as if it were no big deal.

Bob on a SingleSpeed
Bob borrowed my Rig for the weekend, to see what it’s like to ride a 29″ singlespeed.

I think it’s fair to say he loved it. I also think it’s fair to say that Bob rode his heart out, cleaning stuff he maybe wouldn’t have even attempted earlier.

I tell you what: there’s something special about riding a rigid 29″ SS. It makes you better than you were.

Check Bob out:

Going up…

…and coming down.

The kid’s on fire.

I bet you anything he’ll want to buy this bike from me. Now I’ve got to figure out what a reasonable price is.

A few things worth noting:

  • We’re getting old: Kenny had to be careful during this trip; he’s recovering from a broken hip. My shoulder’s messed up. So is Dug’s. Brad often complains about how his goiter is acting up.
  • I was a very boring person to be around: I loved being around my friends this past weekend, but could never shake all the stuff that’s worrying me. I was quiet, didn’t laugh at others’ jokes as much as they deserved, and was very tentative on the bike.
  • We’re all very handsome men: Let’s end with the obligatory group photo (pops to larger version):


  1. Comment by cheapie | 11.13.2007 | 12:19 pm

    very sweet! btw, you need to have celebrity bike trip in the spring. “come ride the famous utah trails with the world-famous fatty!” kind of like those cruises they do with the talk show hosts.

    i’m only 1/2 kidding. i’ll bet you’d get a dozen or more readers to come out. we could even make it some sort of fundraiser since the T6 jerseys are all gone but i’m sure your medical expenses are still continuing to mount up.

  2. Comment by nickc | 11.13.2007 | 12:20 pm

    Has Caren (well done by the way, that really is an astonishing thing you’ve done) made a skirt of cast off tee shirts? I think we need to know…

  3. Comment by cyclingphun.blogspot.com | 11.13.2007 | 12:23 pm

    My prayers continue for you, Susan and your family. Stay strong! It’s hard to do but it’s very important. As someone who is on the sidelines and not directly going through this, I have to say I wish I had a wand or something. I give you so much credit, I can’t help but think that you, Susan and your families are the most amazing people. I’d love to say I’d be as put together as you seem if something like this should happen in my family. I have a great deal of respect for you.
    The diet is going well here also. Down 2.4 myself today vs yesterday!
    *sorrow* I appreciate reading this kind of thing from my desk at work… Really makes me want to be here instead of outside riding.

  4. Comment by buckythedonkey | 11.13.2007 | 12:31 pm

    Nice one Caren. Blimey, that puts my fundraising into the shade. Maybe the Dance of the Seven T-Shirts is the secret of her success..!

    Fatty, if you ever have a Team FC love-in (and it is inevitable and we’ll come, but you have to give us plenty of notice), please make it Moab. :-D

  5. Comment by DNAtsol | 11.13.2007 | 1:07 pm

    Awesome photos. It sounds like a great time was had by all and hopefully you were able to get you mind off the bigger issues you’re having to deal with at least a few hours over those days.

    RE weight. I’m hot on your heels FC down 2.6 from 203.2. Doing phase 1 south beach (no carbs allowed and heavy protein) and doubling by cycling distance is helping. That and the fact I was a slug prior to this so just thinking about losing weight probably lost me 2 lbs right away :)

    Stay strong and best to Susan

  6. Comment by dinno | 11.13.2007 | 1:21 pm

    As far as cleaning the vehicle goes–> You’ll need to rent a steam cleaner for the carpets and seats with the upholstery attachment. . And pine sol and water for the hard surfaces. This is an end of the summer ritual for me now that keystone has some decent mtbing and free camping close by.

  7. Comment by eclecticdeb | 11.13.2007 | 2:45 pm

    You guys suck. No, not the riders — I’d do each and every one of you if you weren’t married. (Ummmm, that didn’t quite come out right.)
    I’m talking about you guys who lose weight just by blowing your nose. I’ll be lucky if I lose 3 lbs. Heck, I’ll be estatic if I lose 3 lbs.

    Good Luck to Susan with the hip replacement. It’s a tough operation in the best of circumstances. I wish I was local so I could help with the kids.

  8. Comment by Caloi-Rider | 11.13.2007 | 2:52 pm

    If anyone has a right to be quiet, unentertained or tentative, it’s you right now, Fatty.

    I say stick with the group of friends because those are some wicked bike moves (that I would never be able to do either).

    Good luck with everything to you and your better half.

  9. Comment by Kris | 11.13.2007 | 2:58 pm

    Looks like a great male-bonding trip. Biking, fire, food, casting off social norms of hygiene and taboo topics of conversation – ahhh, good times.

    I’m heading to St. George this weekend. Would you recommend Little Creek over Gooseberry? I’ve done Gooseberry 3-4 times, but I keep hearing about how great Little Creek is.

    Good luck getting the funk out of your truck. Reminds me a Seinfeld:

    Jerry: Boy, do you smell something?

    Elaine: Do I smell something? What am I, hard of smelling? Of *course* I smell something.

    Jerry: What is it?

    Elaine: I think it’s B.O.!

    Jerry: What?

    Elaine: It’s B.O. The valet must have had B.O.

    Jerry: It can’t be. Nobody has B.O. like this.

    Elaine: Jerry. It’s B.O.

    Jerry: But the whole car smells.

    Elaine: So?

    Jerry: So when somebody has B.O., the “O” usually stays with the “B”. Once the “B” leaves, the “O” goes with it.


  10. Comment by Medstudentitis | 11.13.2007 | 3:01 pm

    I’m glad Susan’s getting the care that she needs to be up and walking again. Best of luck with the oncologist.

    Caren – that’s one amazing fund raising effort! Congratulations!

  11. Comment by weeks | 11.13.2007 | 3:21 pm

    nice man pri’s Doug

  12. Comment by El Animal | 11.13.2007 | 3:28 pm

    Does Dug have several of those capris or he wears always the same one?

    You should have your sister help you with the photo of the group. C’mon lacks style.

  13. Comment by Bob | 11.13.2007 | 4:10 pm

    Fatty, I didn’t think your car stunk when we were in it. It smelled a little bit like campfire. I know that we went on three long rides in three days without taking a shower, and we ate brats and bacon and sausage and a little too much Mexican food, but I’m fairly certain that you’re imagining the bad smell when you get into the car.

    Kris, do Little Creek. I like Gooseberry a little better, but they’re pretty close. Here’s a good link:


  14. Comment by Canadian Roadie | 11.13.2007 | 4:12 pm

    Wow, looks like a lot of fun. Very jealous. And what’s with you guys losing 2-3 pounds in one day?! I’m starving and I think I’m gaining weight! Stupid unsatisfying vegetables.

    Susan, hope the new lift is helping with your mobility. You’re a model of courage for us all.

  15. Comment by mark | 11.13.2007 | 4:20 pm

    Is that Dug’s old Karate Monkey that Corey is riding? Do bikes ever die in your group, or just keep getting handed down? If I recall, that Karate Monkey was a hand-me-down when Dug had it, so if it’s the same one, that’s amazing.

    As for the odor, try Ozium (I think that’s how it’s spelled). You can get it at checker or any other auto parts store for about six dollars a bottle. I’m pretty sure it can get the smell out of anything if you give it enough doses. I’m sure that each can rips a hole the size of Gooseberry mesa in the ozone layer, but at least your truck won’t stink.

    All our best to you and Susan with the hip replacement. At least you’ve got the lift now so she won’t be stuck on the ground floor post-op.


  16. Comment by mark | 11.13.2007 | 4:22 pm

    BTW, how is anyone down over two pounds on the first day? I thought I was going gang busters with my whopping 1.4. Did you do four hours on the rollers after eating nothing but Muesli? If so, not worth it.

  17. Pingback by RocBike.com | The RocBike Review » Links Of The Day: 13 November 2007 | 11.13.2007 | 6:33 pm

    [...] Fat Cyclist: Fall Moab 2008 [...]

  18. Comment by WIllie Nelson | 11.13.2007 | 6:52 pm

    Road trippin’ with bikes, good food and buddies. Life rarely gets better… Great trip report.

  19. Comment by cyclingphun.blogspot.com | 11.13.2007 | 7:22 pm

    How did I only catch ball waxing on the second go round? What the hell was “he” thinking? You dont do THAT to THOSE?! Only thing I could think of that would be worse is to spalm em with Assos afterward.

  20. Comment by Congo | 11.13.2007 | 8:52 pm

    I’ll echo WIllie’s comments (hey didn’t you write a song about that?) and for anyone who’s interested here’s a link to photos of my ride in Vietnam & Laos featuring my orange FC jersey:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/18469787@N08/1883686904/ the obligatory group photo

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/18469787@N08/1915137920/in/photostream/ the weapons of choice being admired by the local afficionados

  21. Comment by TheLurker | 11.14.2007 | 12:25 am

    “We boiled the brats in beer…”, gave me a horrible Swiftian moment until I realised what you that you were talking about _sausages_. :)

    All the best for the 5th of Dec. and the ongoing fight.

  22. Comment by swiss | 11.14.2007 | 12:52 am

    he waxed his nads!!!!! that’s a whole lot of wrongness
    all the best for december

  23. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 11.14.2007 | 4:09 am

    Caren has become another favourite female of mine what a fabulous effort.
    So how long does the op put Susan out of action is it a long recouperation. Hoping you will be be comfortable by Xmas.
    Can’t wait to see the pics of the hotted up chairlift with ergon grips and wicked paint job (Orange). I’m also getting this image of flashing lights and sound effects but is that going to far. Nah didn’t think so. Hope it is having a good effect already.
    Echoing someone else’s thoughts we still have plenty of time to raise more funds for the trip to Italy.

  24. Comment by Big Boned | 11.14.2007 | 4:19 am

    Great trip report. Glad you could get out there with your core group.
    Best of luck with the replacement, it’s being done on my birthday, so I’m pretty confident everything is going to be wonderful. Only great things happen on that day!
    Stay strong Susan (and Fatty, and kids)!

  25. Comment by Pammap | 11.14.2007 | 5:21 am

    You stinking men who lose weight without effort! I was down 2 lbs the first day and thought that was pretty darned good, haven’t weighed in since. We’ll see.

    Amazing pictures, Fatty. I’m seriously impressed. I see you learned from your sister how to take a good group photo :)

    You, Susan, and the kids remains in our prayers and now for a successful surgery.

  26. Comment by Lowrydr | 11.14.2007 | 5:43 am

    Fantastic job Caren. As for the photos, shot #7 of Corey’s hop made my knee blow-up just sitting at my desk. And you should sell that bike to Bob for Plentysix dollars and change.

    Best to Susan and the forth coming hip job. I know that we will all be pulling for her fast recovery. And you should flame that chair lift with pink and white with black edges. Now that would look sweet !!

    For all in the weight loss contest: I just gained 4# reading this, just so you know where it went.

  27. Comment by Philly Jen | 11.14.2007 | 5:57 am

    What’s with the weird shadow on the face of the Pink Jersey rider in the back? Is he hiding from the Mafia, too? Or from a depilatory engineer?

    Or is he a Park Service ranger?

  28. Comment by Mike Roadie | 11.14.2007 | 6:49 am

    A plate of instant coffee will take the smell out within a day or two…..really, try it!

    Good luck with the hip on 12/05…..although I am hearing that is not as bad as it sounds……some people are up and on the go in two weeks post-op. Even better luck still for the Oncologist meeting…..kinda makes the whole weight loss thing lose its punch.

    By the way…great job Caren…..we are also up to $13,515 on the FC endorsed http://austin07.livestrong.org/mlevin site for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. THANKS!!!!

  29. Comment by KT | 11.14.2007 | 9:33 am

    “At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum… it’s breathtaking- I highly suggest you try it.”

    Okay, so I’m female, so don’t really have the experience with shaving and waxing male genitalia, but…. waxing? Your two berries? Are you trying to find something more painful than… than… childbirth, or kidney stones, or something?


    Susan, I’m hoping the hip operation goes smoothly and easily, and that you’re back on your feet in no time. That awesome chair lift will definitely help. Here’s some good karmic wishes heading your way from Oregon!

  30. Comment by Big Boned | 11.14.2007 | 10:37 am

    Why is Dug always wearing chick pants?

  31. Comment by Bryan (not that one) | 11.14.2007 | 12:03 pm

    I can’t believe no one has responded to eclecticdeb’s comment. :) Everyone must be really trying to be on their best behavior… for a change… ;-)

  32. Comment by Clydesteve | 11.14.2007 | 12:11 pm

    Caren – Way to go!

    Susan – still praying for you, glad for some good news.

    Moab krew – What Mad Skilz! This trip truly looked like da bomb.

    Ergon contest – I lost 7.2 lbs the first day. I knew it was an electronic scale fluke, but I liked it, so I did not re-weigh. I had gained 5.6 of the 7.2 lbs back this (Wednesday) morning. Bleh, only 1.6 lbs in two days. Alibi: Yesterday evening was the annual Fall Sports Awards Dessert at my daughter’s HS. I inhaled 16 brownies before I realized I was on a diet. After I realized it, I still picked up a homemade cookie. It was underdone, and I threw it away instead of schlorpping it. See, I do have self-control.

  33. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 11.14.2007 | 2:28 pm

    I was thinking that one of the comment for that photo sequence could go something like this “Check out Corey hyper extend that left knee and scream in pain until the MediVac helicopter arrived.” There’s nothing worse than a blown ACL to ruin an otherwise scenic bike ride.

  34. Comment by gwadzilla | 11.15.2007 | 2:54 pm

    looks like a great trip…

    not sure why you waxed your balls
    but it sounds like a great trip

    positive thoughts sent towards susan and her recovery

  35. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Advice to Attendees of Fall Moab this Weekend | 11.6.2008 | 2:05 pm

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