How to Defeat Jill Homer

05.21.2009 | 11:41 am

When I heard that Jill Homer — the hardcore endurance cyclist of Up in Alaska fame — was going to be in town, I naturally pestered her to please please please come on a ride with me, so I could find out how I stack up as a cyclist against someone who has raced the Iditarod, ridden the Kokopelli and White Rim self-supported and back to back, and is prepping to go race the Great Divide.

What a huge mistake that was.

What nobody realizes, from reading Jill’s blog, is how incredibly imposing she is. And I’m not just talking about her incredibly overbearing, outrageous, obnoxiously loud personality, either.

What you can never tell, from her photos in her own blog, is how incredibly big she is.

Check out this photo I took of her and Kenny during the ride:


Seriously, she must be 8′11″ tall.

Of course, that’s not the only odd thing this photo reveals, either about Kenny or Jill. For one thing, I wish Kenny would stop always taking off his shirt whenever I try to get a photo of him. More importantly, though, it was about 78 degrees (Fahrenheit) outside, and Jill was still outfitted like she was heading out snowcaving or something.

“I’m not comfortable unless I’m wearing six or more layers,” said Jill.

The next thing you probably don’t know about Jill is that she’s incredibly mean. I mean, about halfway through the ride Brad was starting to drop off the pace Jill had set (and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t about to barf myself).

“Pick it up, Keyes,” said Jill, tersely. Jill calls everyone by their last name.

“I can’t. I’m totally maxed,” whined Brad.

Neither Brad, Dug, nor I would have ever expected what came next from Jill: a blindingly fast spin-kick to Brad’s larynx, crushing it and sending him writhing to the ground.

Dug rushed to give first aid. “Don’t,” said Jill, in a voice that brooked no dissent. “He wanted to whine; now he’s got something to whine about. Let’s roll.”

It’s possible that Brad’s still on the trail. I hope he’s OK.

My Strategy

Knowing that I had no chance of surviving the ride without using dirty tricks, I came up with a brilliant strategy right at the parking lot: I would loan Jill one of my bikes.

This is more brilliant than it sounds, believe me.

Here are the handicaps the loan of the bike provided:

  • Cleats: Jill’s used to riding flat pedals. But the bike I loaned her is a singlespeed, and it’s very nice to have an upstroke on sustained climbs when you’re riding a singlespeed. So I loaned Jill shoes, too. All of this was new to her.
  • Fully Rigid: The bike has no suspension, at all. And we were headed to ride Jacob’s Ladder, a trail famous for protruding rock and nasty little drops.
  • Singlespeed: As mentioned earlier, I loaned Jill — a high-cadence devotee — a singlespeed. It was the first time she has ever ridden one. For a technical trail. 5000 feet higher than she’s used to. With a group of three guys who never ride anything but singlespeeds.
  • Exoticness: What I have not revealed up to this point is that I loaned Jill the Superfly Singlespeed, which she knows is a crazily exotic bike, thereby causing her untold intrepidation. Nobody drives so slowly and overcautiously as in a borrowed Ferrari.

And yet, Jill rode fine. She fell a few times but — unlike Brad — never made a peep. In fact, I think she smiled biggest whenever she hit the ground. In other words, for her first singlespeed / clipped-in ride ever, she rode up Clark’s, up Jacob’s, down upper and lower Jacob’s, then down Ghost. Without particular difficulty and without breaking a sweat.

Then after the rest of us — exhausted — went home, she went on another ride, climbing a mountain pass.

Something’s wrong with that girl.


As proof of everything I have disclosed here, I present the following video:

See what I mean?

PS: Don’t believe anything Jill says about the ride. Especially the picture she has of the two of us. That’s totally Photoshopped.

PPS: Song credit for the video: “Rough Boys,” by Pete Townshend, from the album Empty Glass.


  1. Comment by GenghisKhan | 05.21.2009 | 11:53 am

    Sounds like Brad’s not the only whiner and someone got off lucky by not getting an Alaskan spin kick to the larynx…

    Sounds like a fun ride. I’ll go check out Jill’s perspective now.

  2. Comment by Manti | 05.21.2009 | 11:54 am

    Seriously… are you riding or taking a conference call… every time the video shows you stopped he is talking on his phone. Next time you should just ride by and knock that stupid phone out of his hands and run over it.

  3. Comment by Kt | 05.21.2009 | 11:58 am

    So… he’s either checking in at home, or trying to make imapmyride work. :) Kidding!! :)

    Looks like she had a good time, too, especially there near the end when you had to unclip her foot while she was laying in the bushes. You don’t have poison ivy or poison oak around there, hopefully. :) That would have sucked.

    Great post, great vid! Glad you remembered to take the lens cap off! :)

  4. Comment by MOCougFan | 05.21.2009 | 11:58 am

    Um… was Dug on the phone the WHOLE RIDE?

  5. Comment by roleur | 05.21.2009 | 12:07 pm

    Fatty, you are one funny bastard.
    Thanks for the laughs.

  6. Comment by shannon | 05.21.2009 | 12:07 pm

    haven’t heard that song in a long time — I’d forgotten how much I love it, and it’s perfect for a ride video.

  7. Comment by Philly Jen | 05.21.2009 | 12:09 pm

    Now that I see the snap of you on Jill’s blog, I notice another one of your sneaky subterfuges. With that jersey on, you were trying to make her see stars before she even had a chance to endo…

    Go Jill! And the rest of you should probably just count your blessings that she didn’t just hook up a sled to your bikes and holler “Mush!” the whole way. (Though I think that would be an awesome skill for the twins to use while riding on the Alleycat…)

  8. Comment by Nick | 05.21.2009 | 12:15 pm

    Hurray for Jill! I’m surprised she didn’t get angry and break you in half. Alaska women are tough.

  9. Comment by cheapie | 05.21.2009 | 12:21 pm

    should have given her one of those new camelbak bottles we all got. those things are sweet! that would have cheered her up.

  10. Comment by Jim | 05.21.2009 | 12:32 pm

    Elden, that’s a great picture of the two of you on her blog.

    Past experience tells me to warn you, though – you can break a rib if you suck in your gut that hard too often. Take care, Elden.

  11. Comment by Chris | 05.21.2009 | 12:39 pm

    From the comments section of Jill’s blog:

    “I seriously thought it was you and another girl in that photo, until I saw the facial stubble on Elden. He’s got arms like a girl !. Looks like he needs to spend some time at the gym doing some upper body workouts.”

    Are you going to take that?

    Yes, I am. – FC

  12. Comment by john | 05.21.2009 | 12:39 pm

    interesting camera angles. lol.

  13. Comment by 100km | 05.21.2009 | 12:44 pm

    That picture of you two on Jill’s blog is a good one. And I must admit I was immediately struck by how puny she made you look. Of course you’re both still bigger than life bike blogging celebrities so it all evens out.

  14. Comment by Fatbikeracer | 05.21.2009 | 12:48 pm

    Hmmmm…. strange that if she was so big that she fit both your Superfly and your shoes so well. The real question is, why are your feet so undersized? You never mentioned this when complaining about your shoes failing! Maybe they don’t test ride shoes that small?

    Her feet are size 64 (EU), just like mine. – FC

  15. Comment by Mike | 05.21.2009 | 12:59 pm

    were you riding the Waltworks? which leads me to my next question, when is the Singlefly review being published? I would like to hear how the Singlefly compares to the WW.
    Also, that trail system is amazing. Lucky lucky
    p.s. Win!

  16. Comment by Rob | 05.21.2009 | 1:06 pm

    Another great video. Keep up the good work!!

    And seriously….what was so urgent for Dug? Put the phone away, dude.

    Win Susan!

  17. Comment by Barbara | 05.21.2009 | 1:24 pm

    Fatty, the first thing I noticed on the picture on Jill’s blog was the bike saddle growing out of your head. If you can’t have hair, go for the bike seat.

    Everyone, after you read Jill’s account of the ride, check out the pictures she’s been posting the last few days – wow!

  18. Comment by dug | 05.21.2009 | 1:28 pm

    “Um… was Dug on the phone the WHOLE RIDE?”

    “And seriously….what was so urgent for Dug? Put the phone away, dude.”

    what was so urgent? THE FATE OF THE FREE WORLD!

    actually, that’s the price you pay for riding at 1pm on a wednesday–it’s why i have that phone. to those of you unsaddled with such exigencies, i salute you.

  19. Comment by Dana | 05.21.2009 | 1:34 pm

    this is the funniest thing i have seen in a long time.

  20. Comment by Bill | 05.21.2009 | 1:44 pm


    I have heard rumors of your site and never proceeded to search for it until Alaska (aka – Jill) talked about your ride.

    I am glad I found it and will return many times in the future.

    That is a great write up and I don’t know who to believe – you or Alaska. Guess it will give me something to ponder over the weekend!

    P.S. – Can I borrow your bike :) Ride on brother!

  21. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 05.21.2009 | 1:47 pm

    And here I was thinking Jill is this introspective and thoughtful person :-) FC – I think you’re pulling our collective legs. Nice that you guys all got together…she needs the friendship extra just now.

  22. Comment by Kala | 05.21.2009 | 1:50 pm

    I think I finally figured out your secret, Fatty. You really got the camera so that you would have good reason to be in the back of the pack! It’s no fun if you’re in the front and not videoing anyone else! I need to capitalize on this idea- then I’ll have my own reason to be slow! :)

    Just Kiddin! You could definitely out-ride my sorry behind ANY day!

  23. Comment by Clydesteve | 05.21.2009 | 2:18 pm

    yikes. Jill sorry for the comment in Eldens post yesterday that might have been contrued as sexist.

    (I hope I still have a throat after the Seattle ride)

  24. Comment by MikeonHisBike | 05.21.2009 | 2:22 pm

    The two best bloggers go for a ride it’s like the perfect blogging storm. Wish I could have been there. By the way, I got my Century to Nowhere package in the mail yesterday. I’m now ready to roll nowhere on Saturday.

  25. Comment by MOCougFan | 05.21.2009 | 2:25 pm

    Dug, thanks for the explanation. Wish I could ride as much and when you ride. I stand in awe.

  26. Comment by tim | 05.21.2009 | 2:35 pm

    great post, but I can’t get the vid rolling!
    great choice of song, love that album :)

    Win Susan!

  27. Comment by KanyonKris | 05.21.2009 | 2:37 pm

    Oh you had fun with this post – yes, it shows. Good stuff.

    I never would have noticed the dig at phone-man dug in the video unless others wouldn’t have mentioned it. (Huge eye roll)

    I’m not going to say anything about Jill because I like my larynx uncrushed, thank you.

    Hey, can you add the time/position control to the video? I like being able to jump back and watch scenes again.

  28. Comment by KanyonKris | 05.21.2009 | 3:26 pm

    You had fun with this one – good stuff.

    I’m glad several commentors pointed at the dig on phone-dug in the video, because I never would have picked up on that. (Huge eye roll)

    Please add time/position control to videos. I like being bale to jump around and go back and watch segments over.

  29. Comment by rexinsea | 05.21.2009 | 3:27 pm

    Wow – first a Green Day post/album review now you bust out one of my favorite Pete Townsend songs. Is this a cycling/music blog now? Sure hope so!

    Looks like fun riding!

  30. Comment by rich | 05.21.2009 | 3:30 pm

    So, Dug was taking work calls????
    I was guessing he was trying to call a taxi….or order a pizza to be delivered to the trailhead….at least that’s what I woulda been doing

    Awesome video and great post….

    Win Susan!

  31. Comment by Mike from Melbourne | 05.21.2009 | 4:14 pm

    Great video Fatty, wish I could have been there to ride with you guys. Well done Jill.

    BTW, my son and I saw The Who play at the Australian Grand Prix a couple of months ago. They were awesome even though Rogers voice is not what it used to be.

  32. Comment by kentucky joe | 05.21.2009 | 5:04 pm

    great post and fantastic video, the scenery where you ride is just awesome, I think even I might try switching from the road to mt if I had that to ride on

  33. Comment by dicky | 05.21.2009 | 5:17 pm

    She 8′ 11″ tall?

    I’m in love with her more than I ever was before.

    So much woman……

  34. Comment by Scoty in Salida | 05.21.2009 | 7:11 pm

    Kenny got short!
    Miss you two!

  35. Comment by Aaron | 05.21.2009 | 7:36 pm

    Funny post.
    I especially like how you got to splash her at the end of the video. A classic MTB trick to play on somebody.

  36. Comment by Kevin | 05.21.2009 | 8:23 pm

    After watching the “fun” on single speeds going uphill, I’m not sure I get why one would choose to ride that type of bike. Is it the same thing that draws riders to recumbants, possibly? And the guy (I assume, Dug)that is on the iPhone the whole time, needs to get a life and tell his wife to stop bothering him! Love your writing, blog, etc, but that video was painful to watch. Sorry…


  37. Comment by Mike Roadie | 05.22.2009 | 5:24 am

    Jill is just AMAZING!!!!

  38. Comment by Trail Dog Craigers | 05.22.2009 | 6:15 am

    Now this post is funny. I mean laugh out loud funny. People in the office are wondering why I’m laughing. Great stuff Fatty!

  39. Comment by AucillaSinks | 05.22.2009 | 7:20 am

    That post was an absolute joy to read/watch.
    Thanks Fatty!!

  40. Comment by Bjorn 4Lycra | 05.22.2009 | 8:18 am

    Much more fun riding behind Jill than Dug. FC whereabouts did you end up putting the teeter totter will that ever appear in one of your vids in the wild?
    Jill looks like you had a great day out.

    Win Susan.

  41. Comment by WheelDancer | 05.22.2009 | 11:42 am

    Another great video!

    So now Jill has come and joined your crew is the next step for you to join her on the Iditarod Trail Invitational?

  42. Comment by Jenn | 05.22.2009 | 12:38 pm

    I love 8′11″ Jill. Indeed that size matches her loud, obnoxious personality. I loved reading both your perspectives on this ride. Thanks for the laughs, fatty (or really, based on the photo on Jill’s blog, I am going to start calling you skinny).

  43. Comment by Uni-Tom | 05.22.2009 | 7:34 pm

    Elden, you got the title wrong. Should be How To (TRY) to Defeat Jill Homer. You threw her all those curveballs and she still rocked it. Then finishing with Little Cottonwood? That’s an event all by itself…


    I concede that point. – FC

  44. Comment by JoeDell | 05.22.2009 | 8:23 pm

    Fatty, I read your blog today because of Jill’s post ‘when worlds collide’ – I loved your post, the funny pic and the great video. Jill never looked so HOT.

  45. Comment by Slowerthensnot | 05.23.2009 | 12:35 am

    Had a small sampling of being defeated by JH on Saturday…

    Thanks for the post!

  46. Comment by Bluenoser | 05.23.2009 | 2:31 am

    Thanks for the post. I was really happy to see this.


  47. Comment by jill | 05.24.2009 | 3:03 pm


    Thanks for being so kind! I really did have a great time and Dave Nice helped me improve my technical rock skiils. Give me another week and I’ll be ready to rock it ! Or not. :-) Either way, I do hope to ride with you again. I’ll let you know how the clipless work out.

  48. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Vote for Fatty…Or Vote for One of Fatty’s Friends | 01.22.2010 | 10:14 am

    [...] have ridden with Jill from Up in Alaska. I have sat in a bar in Brooklyn with Bike Snob NYC. And I have exchanged recipes with the Pioneer [...]


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