Strange Dreams

01.8.2008 | 10:13 pm

A couple days ago, my friend Brad posted about a dream he had about the upcoming 2008 Leadville Trail 100 Race. It’s an excellent story and I don’t want to spoil it by summarizing, so I’ll instead just say: click here to read it. It’s wonderfully surreal.

Hey, check me out: I used “surreal” in a sentence.

Anyway, reading Brad’s post reminded me that I, too, have been plagued over the years by odd dreams about racing in the Leadville 100. These dreams are all strange, and they all have a certain weird thematic undercurrent.

These dreams are as follows:

  • I’m Late: I show up to the race twenty minutes late, because — for some reason — I had a difficult time remembering the combination to the lock on my gym locker, which is where — of course — all my bike clothes are kept. And my tires were flat. And they had moved the starting line.
  • The Race is Different: For some reason, we are all told the day before that the Leadville 100 is now a cyclocross event. And there is a swimming leg. So it’s now a 100-mile cyclocross / swimming duathlon. Both in gear and in training, I feel that I may not be optimally prepared. However, when the race starts I find that it doesn’t really matter what kind of bike I have because by “cyclocross,” the race organizers actually meant that we were not allowed to ride our bikes at all. Rather, we were required to run alongside them, pushing them the entire distance.
  • The Race is Inside: For some reason — which my dream has not been kind enough to provide — the race is not being held on the usual course. Instead of the traditional Leadville-to-Columbine out-and-back, the race is being held entirely within the confines of the old gymnasium — the one where race meetings are held, and which barely contains the thousand or so participants. The race consists of going around the gym floor, going up the stairs to the second-story bleachers, walking the circuit there, coming back down the stairs, and repeating. My dream does not provide how many repetitions of this makes 100 miles.

I guess I should just be grateful that I’ve never had a dream where I show up to the race in nothing but my underwear. Or that I’ve never dreamed that I realize, at the start line, that I haven’t ridden my bike even once this season.

Your Turn
I have to assume that others of you have had memorable dreams in anticipation of an important ride or race. I’m very interested to find out what they are.

Or, if you feel so inclined, feel free to interpret my dreams.


  1. Comment by Boz | 01.9.2008 | 11:31 am

    Some of us have the underwear dream quite often. I do, my wife doesn’t. Shame, I don’t look good in just my underwear, while she looks good in hers. Maybe it’s the hash marks in mine.
    I think maybe you are afraid of the unexpected and things you can control. Like your commenters.

  2. Comment by Boz | 01.9.2008 | 11:47 am

    Or maybe your just weird.

  3. Comment by Rio's Rider | 01.9.2008 | 11:56 am

    For me, I usually have this kind of dream when I’m stressed about something. So it’s interesting that I don’t really dream about races or events. But I do dream about the Spinning classes that I teach.
    I just had another one of these dreams last night. In this dream I showed up to class wearing nothing but my bike shorts. I was trying to nonchalantly cover myself up while thinking to myself, “What are you so worried about? You dress like this all the time!” Besides nobody seemed to notice the half-naked instructor. Then I remembered that I usually have a t-shirt on, so I found one of the other instructor’s sweat shirts and hoped nobody would wonder why I was wearing something so bulky to a fitness class.
    Next, I went to put music on, but I couldn’t find any. I kept looking and looking but all I could find were CDs of movie soundtracks, and I didn’t want to use those. I spent the rest of class looking for music while telling the class to “just keep pedaling, it’ll be just another minute.” As I looked around the room I noticed that we weren’t in a Spinning studio at all — just a regular classroom with desks. People were leaving from boredom and there were kids running around. I never did find suitable music.

  4. Comment by bikemike | 01.9.2008 | 11:57 am

    yep, the gym locker combo thingy.
    also, can you fly with your bike?
    can you burst into flames like the human torch and fly with your bike?
    do you stand at the top of a pyramid with your bike and have naked girls throw pickles at you?
    pretty sure we don’t need analysis to let us know we’re all whacked.

  5. Comment by Brian C | 01.9.2008 | 12:00 pm

    i constantly have dreams of trying to beat people up, but when i throw punches my arms feel like they are under water, and the person im trying to destroy remains unscathed. there metaphoric value in that somewhere, and its the sad kind.

  6. Comment by woogie | 01.9.2008 | 12:02 pm

    Lately I’ve been dreaming about wearing my clothes inside out and suffering from painful chafing.

  7. Comment by Rick S. | 01.9.2008 | 12:10 pm

    I to have the gym locker combo issue but its worse because I cannot remember which locker is mine. I have this dream at least once a month.

  8. Comment by Bander | 01.9.2008 | 1:02 pm

    One of my coworkers showed up to our staff meeting today with his polo shirt on inside-out. It was a good laugh when somebody noticed. Also, I often have a dream that I have a test upcoming in a college math class that I have forgotten to attend for several weeks. Which is weird, because I haven’t been in college for years.

  9. Comment by Jen | 01.9.2008 | 1:19 pm

    Speaking of epics, where is the La Ruta story from that guy who got the ergon pack?

  10. Comment by barry1021 | 01.9.2008 | 1:36 pm

    The exam dream is the most common that people have. Like at the beginning of Risky Business. You apparently have taken this type of dream and applied it your cycling. Maybe because school was not a challenge for you, or more likely, because you dropped out in the 4th grade. I, on the other hand, not only have the exam dream regularly despite not having been in school since the early 80’s, I also have the one where I am going to the bathroom and it turns into a public display, like in a lobby of a hotel or something. I have also played many rounds of golf indoors, often hitting through open windows or doors as my next shot. Any one want to take a shot at psycho-analyzng me? Didn’t think so.


  11. Comment by Don ( | 01.9.2008 | 2:07 pm

    I think it lends itself to huge amounts of substance abuse in the past?! Seriously man. I think maybe you should take a break from cycling for a while, nooo, not really. But I think the Century on rollers might be a bad idea.

  12. Comment by LanterneRouge | 01.9.2008 | 2:45 pm

    Fatty, based on what I’ve learned from Brad’s post and the lovely Tasha, all those dreams are nothing to worry about they just mean you’re gay.

  13. Comment by chtrich | 01.9.2008 | 3:03 pm

    “Jen Says:
    Speaking of epics, where is the La Ruta story from that guy who got the ergon pack? ”

    Fatty probably still hasn’t sent the pack. :-)

  14. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 01.9.2008 | 3:26 pm

    Man, you people are kooky! Hash Marks? Girls throwing pickles? That’s the kind of stuff that keeps me reading the comments!

    I can hardly wait to hear about Al Malviva’s dreams…

  15. Comment by randomhigh | 01.9.2008 | 4:01 pm

    that locker thing happened to me this week at school except I got it backwards… I remembered the combination but couldn’t remember the locker number so I ended up trying to open 3 different lockers before I finally found the right one… guess that certifies me as a bona fide nut :)

    don’t worry, FC, your dreams just means that somebody’s gotta lay off their wife’s ambien hehehehe

  16. Comment by stuckinmypedals | 01.9.2008 | 4:32 pm

    I’ve had the same nightmare several times that I show up to ride a century without a stitch of clothing. In my dream I’m not rational enough to go get clothes, so I just ride the whole thing as is. Ouch!

  17. Comment by Trekker | 01.9.2008 | 6:35 pm

    Last night I dreamed I was just about to ride down an awesome hill, really steep, but no serious turns, and plenty of run-out. You know, the sort where you can expect to top 60 MPH? Well, my handlebars came loose, and on top of that my cyclometer started acting up, so I couldn’t see my maximum speed.

  18. Comment by joliver3 | 01.9.2008 | 6:52 pm

    Woogie, you stole my idea. I was going to ask if, instead of dreaming of showing up for the race in his underwear, he dreamed of showing up for the race with his bib shorts on inside out….

  19. Comment by Rocky | 01.9.2008 | 7:42 pm

    I have dreamed that I have signed up for the race numerous times with the manliest of intentions, only to have those intentions dashed an equal number of times, costing me somewhere in the neighborhood of $800 over the course of the years with little in the way of tangible evidence of having raced.

    Dreams suck.

  20. Comment by je | 01.9.2008 | 8:22 pm

    I’ve had a recurring dream.

    I load the bike up onto the top of the minivan in the bike rack, secure the front fork and lock it down then lock down the rear wheel. I put the little bike bra on over the handlebars to keep the bugs from splattering all over the bike.

    I load the van with the helmet, shoes, gloves, socks, team kit, bike pump, extra tubes, accelerade, GU gels, clif shots, etc.

    I drive four hours to the race and realize I left the front wheel back at home.

  21. Comment by Anonymous | 01.9.2008 | 8:25 pm

    To dream that you are late, denotes your fear of change and your ambivalence about seizing an opportunity. You may feel unready, unworthy, or unsupported in your current circumstances. Additionally, you may be overwhelmed or conflicted with decisions about your future. You feel time is running out and that you do not have time to accomplish all the things you want.

  22. Comment by Little1 | 01.9.2008 | 8:43 pm

    had a nsaty dream just as I was falling off to sleep last night, was out riding with my husband and a friend. We were on the section of the route I love, a long gentle down sloped avenue of trees, when all of a sudden directly in front of me my husbands front wheel (?) popped out he came down and I rode straight into him. Of course the crash woke me!

    I wonder if this was his way of getting back at me or crashing in front of him in a race (excellent gravelly downhill section with lots of surprise rocks), forcing him to try and jump over me, he almost made it over but couldn’t land it as I was in the way causing him to crash to.

  23. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 01.10.2008 | 6:14 am

    The other night I had the worst dream of my life: I was doing leadville on a rigid singlespeed.

  24. Comment by solidjack | 01.10.2008 | 7:20 am

    I am absolutely a wreck the night before longer races. Whole night is spent a.)concerned I will oversleep so waking up ever 1/2 hr or so and b.) dream/nightmare about how I am going to feel in a few hrs and that I somehow forgot a major piece of equipment. This usually results in me fumbling around with my headlamp at 4 am or so trying to find that last gel shot I might need in the morning.

    i don’t like sleeping in tents the night before races due to this. Getting through a night before the race is almost tougher for me then the actual race itself. Needless to say the lack of sleep and dreams usually makes itself known a few hrs into the race.

  25. Comment by Donald | 01.10.2008 | 7:53 am

    I can’t make it to the line. The race has started and I can see riders taking off but I keep trying to get to the line. I’ve also had the dream of forgetting my clothes. What’s with all the naked stories? Maybe we feel it’ll make us faster!

  26. Comment by Joe G | 01.10.2008 | 8:30 am

    I’ve also had the race indoors dream before. I’ve raced inside just about every house I’ve lived in over the years when asleep. In my dreams, the houses were always much bigger and full of strange people trying to prevent me from winning the race. Kind of like some of the MXC events on Spike TV.

  27. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.10.2008 | 8:52 am

    The Race is Different: However, when the race starts I find that it doesn’t really matter what kind of bike I have because by “cyclocross,” the race organizers actually meant that we were not allowed to ride our bikes at all. Rather, we were required to run alongside them, pushing them the entire distance. ..

    Just to state the obvious, Fatty, but that isn’t different from the real Leadville race. All photo evidence indicates that every nut in this race spends the whole time pushing their bikes.

    ..just sayin’

  28. Comment by Al Maviva | 01.10.2008 | 9:26 am

    I have a couple kinds of pre-race dreams.

    One kind that I get in ‘cross season all the time is that I’m racing cross naked. The weird thing is that the family jewels, for some reason, are quite a bit larger in the dream than they are in real life. So they keep getting whacked on the top tube and the pouchy-bits keep getting caught on the nose of the seat when I do runups, hup-hup the barriers and remount. I’m always on the same cross course when I have the dream, whcih is pretty weird because it’s a course where I absolutely suck, totally not my style. Hey, maybe this naked nutcracker thing is what motivates the fixie hipster that BikeSnob is always on about to rock top tube pads – maybe all those skinny jeans Emos have the same dream.

    Another kind of dream is that we get to the bottom of a long hill on a closed short course. It’s a dream about a course near where I live, where we have a sort of classic circuit race. The pack digs in, an attack is starting, I’m near the front, which is perfect. I dig in hard and start to pass a couple guys who have slowed, and all of a sudden, I have no chain. I spin like hell but just keep slowing down. For some reason I don’t seem to be able to stop spinning, but I’m getting dropped, hard. I don’t know if this is a failure dream, or just a dream that imitates life, since I’ve broken chains and pedals in races before. This dream only happens during road season, pre-race.

    Another sort of dream I seem to have once in a while is a dream where I’m sort of underwater. It’s like carmelly water, it tastes sweet and sugary, like some kind of weird energy bar or some too-sweet energy drink like Powerbar. I can’t get to my bike, and the race is starting; or if I’m on my bike everybody else is going full speed but I can only pedal with glacial slowness. It’s not the same dream every time but it definitely has the same director – I guess the crux is I’m moving in slow motion and everybody else is rocking the race.

    That, and seagulls. And rage.

  29. Comment by Dutch Girlie On a Bike | 01.10.2008 | 9:36 am

    I dreamt once that my underwear were on inside out….

  30. Comment by mark | 01.10.2008 | 10:05 am

    My superpower is that I cannot remember my dreams. Except once in a while, but then only for the rest of that day. Of course, I cannot remember jokes, the location of my wallet and carkeys, or to bring my daughter’s ski boots when I am taking her skiing, so the dream thing is the least of my troubles.

    As for gym lockers, I have never been one to bother locking them. I figure if someone wants my sweaty clothes, they can have them. Only been burned by that once, which incidentally was part of my own blog post today.

  31. Comment by Judi | 01.10.2008 | 10:49 am

    Fatty, I dreamt I was doing an Ironman and we could do the run portion on Saturday and the bike portion on Sunday. ROTF!! Loved your race dreams too.

  32. Comment by fatty | 01.10.2008 | 11:47 am

    Al Maviva – you’re dreaming that you’re wading through PowerGel? That is a freaky dream. I’ve dreamed that I’ve been trying to run through something like that, but don’t recall ever tasting it.

    In fact, now that I think about it, I don’t recall ever dreaming about tasting anything. That’s odd.

  33. Comment by Sk8rAl | 01.10.2008 | 11:53 am

    I’ve had the “I’m Late” dream many times. Most of my races are crits, so I show up and eveyone’s already going in circles. Part of the stress usually also involves the fact that I drove a long distance to participate. The tension I feel after these dreams is similar to the ones when I’ve signed up for a university class and by the end of the semester I have attended no classes or done no homework.

    But, by far, my WEIRDEST bike-related dreams happened after racing at the track. These races are on weeknights and I end up getting home around 11:30 and having to go straight to bed. The problem is that my brain is still going in circles around the track. These dreams don’t really have a plot, but just lots of color of mobs of jerseys going in circles. Twice these dreams became vivid in that it transferred to my “waking” state. The mob of jerseys became people in my house and in my bed. I “woke up” feeling log-jammed in bed. I was caught between knowing it wasn’t real and a physical sense that there really were people jammed in bed weith me. So, I slowly crept out of bed (so as to not disturb all the people in bed with me). After sneaking downstairs and using the bathroom, my logical side was starting to win, but I still went to my front windows to make sure there were no cars parked out front (all those people up in my bed had to have gotten to my house somehow). I then went back up to my bedroom and turned on the lights for final confirmation of the situation. That’s what happens when the last race of the night is 25+ laps long with 20-50 people – your brain doesn’t always get it that you’re not going in circles anymore.

  34. Comment by KT | 01.10.2008 | 12:55 pm

    I don’t usually have dreams about biking… and then when I do, they’re pretty true-to-life: I’m going up a hill, and it’s killing me. I’m going up a hill slowly. I’m riding to work and there’s traffic. That sort of thing.

    My usual weird dreams are of the “oh no I have a test in this hard class and I’ve skipped it all term”, “I can’t even find the classroom”, “I can’t find my locker to get my books” and lately, “I have to take a shower but I can’t get my clothes off because they appear to have shrunk”.

    I haven’t been enrolled in school for 10 years. And I usually don’t have a problem getting clothes off for showers, unless it’s really cold and I’m all bundled and comfy. :)

    Has anyone else been in the midst of one of your usual wacky dreams, realized you’re dreaming, and changed your dream? I’m working on that one.

  35. Comment by Al Maviva | 01.10.2008 | 12:56 pm

    Fatty, it isn’t just powergel. It’s slow motion powergel.

    If I could only package it and sell it to mountain bikers, to help them handle fast, highly technical descents…

    And, come to think of it, moving in slow motion is how I feel in a lot of my races. Based on my placing, it’s also how I ride.

  36. Comment by aussie kev | 01.10.2008 | 1:01 pm

    i have plenty of nightmares after races ( esp after my last race in late december – very humiliating !!!)

  37. Comment by Marrock | 01.10.2008 | 2:54 pm

    I haven’t dreamed since 1985 so I have nothing to worry about… except my pending psychotic break.

  38. Comment by oldschool | 01.10.2008 | 9:43 pm


    Do you ever remember actually speaking something in a dream?

  39. Trackback by Buy hydrocodone. | 03.14.2008 | 4:38 am


    Hydrocodone without a prescription. Hydrocodone. Opana same pleasurable effects hydrocodone.


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.