Here’s a little secret you may have figured out about me by now: I am terrible at organizing events. Really, I mean it, with no hyperbole at all: I am awful at putting together parties.
And so, as you’d expect, every time somebody asks me about how planning and preparing for the "Triathalon" is coming, I change the subject as quickly as possible.
See, my problem is that I don’t understand what there is to prepare for. It’s just a ride with friends — more friends than usual, sure — followed by some sliding down the Sliding Rock, and then everyone comes over to my house for brats.
The only thing I have to plan for, as far as I can tell, is making sure there are plenty of brats. And since it’s no more difficult to make 50 brats than it is to make 5, I don’t see the problem.
When I tell people this, it sounds perfectly reasonable to me. But then the people I explain it to shake their head and slowly walk away.
There. I think I’ve lowered your expectations sufficiently. So now let’s get started with the details of where we’re going to meet, when, and what we’re going to do.
First, I Need To Know That You’re Coming
My greatest fear with the Triathalon is that many, many more people are going to show up than I expect. My second greatest fear is that many, many fewer people are going to show up than I expect. So, if you’re coming — even if we’re best friends in the world and there’s no way I don’t know that you’re coming, or even if you sent me an email a couple of months ago saying you’re coming — please send me an email with Triathalon as the subject line, and tell me how many people are coming in your crew.
A few of you have asked whether it’s OK if your kids come. Well, we have a really great swingset and a reasonably safe trampoline in the backyard, so sure. Bring the kids. But they remain your responsibility even when they’re at my house, OK?
Where and When
OK, first off, the easy part: When. We’re meeting June 21 (Summer Solstice!), 10:30 AM.
The "where" is not quite as simple. Have I mentioned before that my house is in a very small cul-de-sac? It is. And there’s not a bunch of parking available at my house. So you’re not going to park there.
Instead, you’re going to park here:
That’s 890 N Main St, Alpine UT 84004. It’s a church, on the right side of the road.
What We’re Going to Do
And now, the order of festivities, according to the Very Rigorous Timeline which I am going to make up right this instant.
- Before you arrive: Complete all necessary Triathalon Body Markings you may care to give yourself. For example, on one calf you may wish to give yourself a race number. I recommend choosing your favorite number as your race number. On the other calf you may wish to write your first name. This will make it very easy for us all to call each other by each other’s names, since all you’ll have to do to learn someone’s name is walk around behind that person and look at his or her calf. This is very inconspicuous.
- 10:30: Arrive at church parking lot, ready to ride. Chances are the church will be locked, so don’t count on getting water or having a place to change. In other words, arrive ready to ride.
- 10:35: We’ll separate into different riding groups, depending on how much riding you want to do. There will be four categories:
- The "I Don’t Like Mountain Biking" Category: This group will ride on the road — with a short stretch of dirt road and gravel — straight to the sliding rock. Ride time should be about half an hour or less.
- The "I’m Up For a Good Ride, But Let’s Not Be Ridiculous" Group: This group will ride up the South Hogg’s Hollow climb, then down the chute over to the sliding rock. The chute is technical and steep in parts, so don’t be a fool: walk it when you should. Ride time will be about an hour to 90 minutes.
- The Extra Crispy Group: If you’re up for some extra climbing in order to do a really fun descent, this group will climb the South Hogg and then go up and down Jacob’s Ladder — a tricky and treacherous descent that I love very very much — before circling back round and coming down the chute and over to the sliding rock. Ride time should be about 90 minutes to 2 hours.
- The Everything and a Bag of Chips Group: This group will also do the Hogg climb, followed by the Jacob’s Ladder climb / descent, but then it will go down Ghost Falls, climb back up Clark’s, then down the chute to the sliding rock. Ride time should be about 2 – 2.5 hours. I admit to wanting to be the person who leads this group.
- 11 – Whenever: Sliding Rock! Dug’s wife and Rick Sunderlage’s wife (not his real wife) will be the judges. Their decisions are final and not subject to appeal. Dug has promised to demonstrate his famous head-first sliding rock technique, which I have never been brave enough to try.
- After Sliding Rock: After you’ve had enough of the Sliding Rock (most people find that doing it two or three times is sufficient), you’ll ride your bike back down to the church parking lot, where you’ll change into something less wet and stinky. Then you’ll ride your bike over to my house. To get to my house, just head South on main street for .2 miles, turn left onto Pioneer Road, go on Pioneer Road for a couple blocks ’til it comes to a T at Grove, turn left, go a couple blocks, and then turn left into Quincy Court. My house is the second one on the right.
- Brats: Really, the ride is just an excuse to get us all together and eat some brats.
More About Food
As you’ve no doubt noticed by now, I’m keeping this simple. That’s because it’s not really a sporting event. It’s a group ride with free food afterward, centered around a big fundraiser for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
So, here’s what’s going to be on the menu:
- Brats: Fish, the guy who made brats for everyone last year at Leadville, is going to be in charge of making the brats at the Triathalon. You people do not know how lucky you are.
- Bread: Kenny’s bringing homemade bread to go with the brats. If you’re a vegetarian, you’ll still be happy you came, just because Kenny’s bread is so good.
- Potato Salad: Just in case anyone wants to get salmonella poisoning.
- Fruit / Vegetable Plate: Whatever’s cheap. I recently got a killer deal on a bunch of tomatoes, for example. Kind of a black market deal. Not sure why the price was so good.
- Water: Alpine’s one of those places where you can drink right out of the tap. But I’ll also have bottled water on hand for you snobby types.
- Diet Coke with Lime: Personally, I never drink anything else.
And that’s pretty much it.
Stuff to Bring
What should you bring? Well, not much, really. But you might like to have some of the following:
- A campchair to sit on if you don’t like sitting on grass (though I personally plan to sit on the grass).
- Something to drink if you don’t like water or Diet Coke with Lime. But no alcoholic beverages. The Fatty Household is an alcohol-free establishment (except for the beer I’m boiling the brats in).
There aren’t many, but I’m ferociously serious about the ones I’ve got:
- Don’t make a mess: We’re all friends, right? Please don’t leave my backyard trashed when you go.
- Be responsible. If you get hurt, it’s your fault and nobody else’s.
- Take care of each other. If somebody else gets hurt, drop whatever you’re doing and help.
- Keep it light. For a bunch of you, this is going to be either your first time meeting Susan or your first time seeing her in quite a while. Don’t make her answer how she’s doing a mazillion times, especially since we really don’t know right now. We’ll find out Monday. So don’t start talking about cancer treatment or the person you know who got over cancer by smelling limburger cheese thrice daily. I recommend talking to her about making jewelry, about the Lord of the Rings, and about anything that Joss Whedon has ever done. And about what a wonderful husband I must be. That’s a really good topic, too.
I’ll be giving a few things away while we’re eating brats, but the drawing for the Ibis Silk SL (and the other cool prizes) will happen Saturday at Midnight (MDT). You can continue buying tickets right until then. I will notify the winner via email, and once I’ve heard back, will announce the winner on my blog.
This is going to be fun.