I’ve tried at least three times to start this post humbly. To give credit where credit’s due. To thank all the people who made the 2008 Fat Cyclist TriathAlon.
But the truth is, this magnificent event was awesome because I am awesome.
I will explain my reasons forthwith.
Very Clear Messaging
Back when I first announced that there would be a TriathAlon, it was with the intention of making it four events: Mountain Bike, Sliding Rock, Road Bike, Brats.
Then I thought about it and decided it was just too much of a hassle. So I got rid of the road bike part.
The thing is, Boots of Everett, Washington has been on a road trip for several weeks, and so didn’t get the change memo. So when he showed up on Saturday morning, ready to ride his road bike, I would have felt really stupid about such a nice guy traveling so far for the ride, only to be turned away.
That is, I would have felt stupid and bad if I weren’t convinced that I am the Best Event Organizer in the Whole World. So instead I just chatted with Boots for a bit, gave him a bottle and pair of socks, and sent him on his way.
But only after apologizing like, a million times.
Again, Boots: Sorry. Really.
And that makes 1,000,001.
At around 10:30ish, we all gathered at the designated parking lot. It occurred to me as I rode into the lot that I probably should have asked permission to use that parking lot. And that it was also possible that the parking lot would be reserved by somebody else who had thought ahead.
I banished the thoughts immediately, for I knew that if it had been important for me to get permission to use the parking lot, it would have occurred to me earlier.
Then, as befitting a top-notch organizer, I tooled around in the parking lot, talking with people and generally feeling kind of giddy about the fact that I wasn’t the only one there.
I have photos as proof (taken by Sue Richardson, of Sue Richardson Photography, and used by permission — because as an Excellent Event Organizer, I know having a photographer on hand is vitally important to any event).
I have reason to believe this is Kenny’s leg. Well marked, Kenny!
One of my nieces, marking the other one of my niece’s leg. Note the Paris Hilton-esque sunglasses being worn.
Sleepy’s wife, making the Fat Cyclist jersey look good.
After a while, I thought to myself, “Are we ever going to get started?” At which point I recalled that I was the one who would need to start things.
This was also the moment when I remembered that I needed to have group leaders to show everyone around on the course they had selected.
So I called everyone together, made a very motivational speech, during which I surprised various people by announcing that they would be leading groups of riders.
Many people approached me after my speech and told me it was both touching and uplifting, and that furthermore they now understand the meaning of life much more clearly.
It was that good of a speech.
Then we had a group photo (click photo for larger version).
Meticulous Course Marking with Lots of Course Marshals on Hand
I fired the starting gun (or at least shouted, “Let’s go!”), and we all took off. As we started to ride, I realized that this was the first time I had ever been on a large ride where lots of people would be riding different routes on unfamiliar ground…without course markings or anyone to give directions at the numerous unmarked intersections.
Of course, I did this on purpose. Course markings and marshals are for the weak of mind.
My Medical Staff Is Always Prepared
To my surprise and pleasure, nobody got lost, as far as I know — although, to be fair, I probably wouldn’t know if somebody did get lost. I figure that we’re all adults, after all.
Well, except the kids. But I’m sure their parents have noticed they’re gone by now.
The trail itself is only moderately technical, except for the parts where you are riding across sand-strewn granite with exposure on both sides. Or the part where you’re flying down a ravine and the trail sometimes switches sides, veers sharply in another direction, heads directly into a tree, or occasionally vanishes altogether.
That’s OK, though. Nobody got hurt.
OK, it’s possible, I suppose, that both my nieces had endos after catching big whoop-de-doo air coming down the chute. And so did a few other people.
But really, what are scars but conversation pieces you never lose?
Location, Location, Location
It’s a well-known fact that a big group goes slower than a small group, and so the Hogg’s Hollow ride — which I do in about two hours a couple times per week — took about four hours.
By then, everyone was very hot. And out of water.
Which, of course, was exactly my intention, because that made the Sliding Rock that much more inviting.
The Sliding Rock was running fast, making it even more fun than usual. And the cold water felt great.
Photos are more useful than words to show off this part of the event, although I am certainly happy to add commentary to those photos.
Which is whiter: the churning water, or Grizzly Adam’s skin?
Rick Sunderlage’s wife (not his real wife) was supposed to be judging the event, not participating. I’m certain that participants are going to lodge complaints.
For years, I have been afraid to go down the Sliding Rock headfirst, this trick being Dug’s trump card over all of us. Well, no more. Turns out that all I needed was an audience.
There are lots of things I love about this picture. First, I love what a beautiful area this is. Second, it’s cool that there are so many Fat Cyclist jerseys there. And third, I love the protective way Rocky is standing watch over his daughters. “Nobody come near these two, or face the consequences,” his posture snarls.
I wish I knew what they’re laughing at.
Now, if I could take just a moment, I’d like to boast. Once we finished our Sliding Rock shenanigans, we rode our bikes back to my house. And here comes the part I want to boast about: That ride takes about seven minutes. Yes, that’s right, folks: I live seven minutes from that gorgeous, rideable waterfall.
I Am A Delegating Genius
Back at my house, we were ready for the third event. Bratwurst.
The most beautiful picture that has ever been put on my blog.
And here’s where you’ll become completely convinced that I am the Best Event Organizer In the Whole World: I had Kuleani Fisher — better known simply as “Fish” — do the cooking.
And nobody does it better than Fish.
Fish takes care of the grill one-handed and still nails it.
A quick aside: I have known Fish ever since I have started riding, back when he worked at a bike shop. Now he’s a patent attorney, and probably has an obligation or two. But he jumped right in and volunteered to do the food for this Triathalon.
Fish is just a great guy.
And the same thing goes for Kenny, who brought in six loaves of homemade bread to go with the brats. And you know what, those loaves lasted for the entire meal, with plenty left over.
Bible comedy, folks. It’s hilarious.
Meanwhile, the rest of us got to just hang out, relax, and eat.
Mmmm. Bratwurst and homemade bread.
Mocougfan and Chtrich rehydrate.
Oh, and did I mention that we had music for the event? Yeah, Jeff — a friend since we were both 18 — borrowed a professional sound system from a friend and set it up under the blue pavillion you see in the picture below.
Music included pretty much the stuff you would find on my iPod, including some personal favorites Jeff must’ve had to dig to find. Ebn Ozn, Jean Michele Jarre, and plenty of Devo.
I Give Away Awesome Prizes
Because I am an Excellent Event Organizer, I had many prizes on hand, including:
- Ibis: Obviously, the guys who donated the Silk SL. That’s quite a grand prize.
- Anonymous Guy: Someone who wants to remain anonymous gave away a used Gary Fisher Rig. Aaron in Arizona won that. Nice!
- Twin Six: Gave away bottles and T-shirts galore.
- Gary Fisher: Brand Manager Travis Ott donated two jerseys, a very nice shell jacket, and a whole buncha t-shirts.
- Rich (formerly of Colorado Boomerangs): Thanks to Rich, every kid at the Triathalon went home with a prize: a very cool kid’s boomerang. Thanks, Rich!
- CarboRocket: Brad’s CarboRocket gives you laser vision. True fact.
- Timpanogos Audiology / Tour de Donut: The folks putting on the Tour de Donuts gave away a bunch of great prizes. First, a set of custom-made iPod headphones, and several passes into the Tour de Donut, which I think may be the greatest race ever created.
Here’s me, giving away free stuff:
And here are a bunch of people watching me give stuff away.
They seem confused. I am told that I mumble.
I had a great time. I mean, a really great time. And not just because I am such a fantastic event organizer.
We’ll definitely do this again next year. But this time, we’ll start earlier in the morning, so we can do all four events (Mountain Bike, Sliding Rock, Road Bike, Bratwurst), as a proper TriathAlon should.
PS: Other folks have posted about the TriathAlon in their blogs. Lots of good pictures and details I didn’t get to. Check them out: