A good reason to come ride with me today

08.14.2009 | 7:11 am

GeoTagged, [N39.24875, E106.29456]

The good folks at Garmin-Slipstream had two big boxes of their branded Camelbak Podium bottles waiting for me here when I got to the hotel yesterday.

These are by far my favorite kinds of bottles, and the only kind I use anymore.

I plan to give these away to folks who come ride with Kenny, Dug, Rick, Gary and me at Turquoise Lake at 1:00pm today.

It will be a casual, mellow-paced mountain bike ride on beautiful lakeside singletrack.

Plus, it’s a good idea to get in a short ride the day before the race.

At this point I believe I have been so convincing that I can no longer imagine anyone NOT joining us for this ride.

See you there!


Room 18

08.13.2009 | 7:24 pm

The floor slopes so much in the hotel that they level the left and right side of the bed with different numbers of 2 x 4 blocks.

The longest climb

08.13.2009 | 6:33 pm

Anyone who has been to the Delaware will attest that the hardest clim in Leadville is from the second to the third floor of the Delaware Hotel.

My Grand Strategy for the 2009 Leadville Trail 100

08.12.2009 | 9:52 pm

A Note from Fatty: Thursday night at midnight (MDT), the contest for the Orbea Orca / Diva With Shimano Di2 Components ends. If you haven’t checked this bike out, go here for details, and then go here to donate. Good luck!

Thursday morning, I head out to Leadville. But I’m not driving alone. Nosirree. As you’d probably expect, Kenny is driving with me.

But not just Kenny.

Three other members of the core team — Dug, Gary, and Ricky M — are coming along, too. And so is my sister Kellene and my bro-in-law Rocky.

And they’re not even racing. They’re coming for the road trip of it. They’re coming to crew for me.

They’re coming, in reality, because it’s my 21st wedding anniversary, and it’ll be good to have some friends and family around.

Where I Am, Fitness-Wise

This was me, March 28 of this year:


I’m sorry, I probably should have warned you before showing you that picture.

Anyway, this was me, last week:


Oh, and just in case you didn’t notice the quads:


Notice any important differences? That’s right! For the first time ever, there’s a photograph of me wearing different glasses than Oakley Racing Jackets! I am now the proud owner of a pair of Oakley JawBones, in LiveStrong yellow.

These are the most comfortable cycling glasses I have ever owned. And as a 10+-year user of a different frame, that’s not a trivial statement (Full Disclosure and Gloat: Oakley provided these frames and prescription lenses to me at no charge).

But aside from the glasses, there’s also the difference that I’ve lost about 23 pounds since the end of March, and have very good power right now.

I’ve been riding hungry, and I’ve been riding angry.

But I have not been riding very far, and I think that is going to impact me on race day.

My Plan of Attack

Since I had until recently put the race out of my head as a possibility, I find myself with an odd situation: I am coming to the race without any requirement or goal, except to have fun.

So I’ve decided to try an experiment: I call it “go ’til you blow.”

I don’t think this experiment needs much explanation. I’m just going to ride really hard, until I can’t. No computer this time. No stopwatch. I’m just going to ride, really hard, and see what happens.

Here, by the way, is my prediction of what will happen: I will have a good, fast time all the way to mile 60. Then, on the flats between mile 60 and 75, I will find myself being passed with increasing frequency. By the time I get to the two big mountain passes in the final quarter of the race, I will be so bonked that I will not even know who I am.

And this is what I will be riding (click here for larger version of image):


The Gary Fisher SuperFly Single Speed. I have dubbed mine “The SingleFly.” It weighs 18.5 pounds and it is my favorite bike I have ever owned.

Fully rigid and currently geared at 32 x 20. A conservative choice. I’ll be spun out on the flats, but will have a better chance of remaining on my bike in the climbs.

It should be an epic day.

Let’s Get Together, Yeah Yeah Yeah

If you’re going to be at Leadville, why don’t we get together and go for a casual, easy mountain bike ride the day before the race?

I’ll be at the parking area right by the dam at Turquoise Lake at 1:00pm this Friday. Arrive on time and I will take your picture with Kenny, who has agreed to go topless for the occasion.

Oh, and also we’ll take a picture of you with me, and you can tell your friends that you met Stanley Tucci while in Leadville, and isn’t that weird?

Short Posts, With Pictures

Starting Thursday afternoon, I’m going to start doing posts from my phone, which means they’ll be short posts, they’ll be frequent posts, and there will be lots of pictures.

So check back often.

The Funeral, and What’s Next

08.11.2009 | 10:25 am

Yesterday was Susan’s funeral.

Leading up to it — the night before, and the morning of — I had the same symptoms I have before a big race. Nausea, inability to focus, aimless wandering, constant checking and rechecking to make sure I have everything I need.

But during the funeral, I was OK. By “OK” of course I mean that I cried pretty much through the whole thing, including during when I spoke (I had myself go first, so I wouldn’t be nervous and unable to pay attention to others through the whole thing). But since that was expected, I was OK with it.

Kenny made and printed a 5×8 photo collage to go with each program:


The service itself was really good. It seemed every speaker knew and loved the same things about Susan: her creativity, her self-effacement, her love of family, and her courage and strength.

The funeral was hard on my kids, but they were brave and they made me proud.


And since I asked the core team to be the pallbearers, I got a once-in-a-lifetime photo: the core team, all wearing ties:


What Now?

Since Wednesday, I’ve been focusing on the funeral during most of my waking hours. Having tasks and a deadline has been helpful.

So now that it’s over, I’m giving myself some new tasks, some of which are definitely more task-like than others.

  1. Race the Leadville 100. I no longer have any reason to not race the Leadville 100. Furthermore, I feel like I have incentive to attack it like never before. Tomorrow I’ll detail my race plan, but for now: I’m going to ride it, and I’m going to race it hard.
  2. Ride the Philly LiveStrong Challenge. The weekend after Leadville, I’m going to Philadelphia to participate in the LiveStrong Challenge. I’m very, very excited to finally meet some more members of Team Fatty, although I must say that I’m a little bit afraid of my co-captain, Philly Jen. Since she has more energy than an unmodified human could possibly have, I suspect that she is either doping, or is a warrior robot from outer space. Either way, I’m concerned.
  3. Get the kids’ school year started. They’re really excited about this, I can tell you.
  4. Figure out and pay all the medical bills. I’m really excited about this, I can tell you.
  5. Work on a book proposal. I think it’s time I write a book.
  6. Write something funny for this blog. Some of you may recall that once upon a time I had a sense of humor. I’d like to find out if I still do.


This week — no, I guess it hasn’t even been a week, actually — has been the longest of my life. I appreciate the thousands of comments and email messages you all have left. Your support has made an awful time much easier to cope with.

PS: I got this email from Riley, a friend of mine who’s also racing the Leadville 100 this weekend:


I’m in Leadville, and decided to take a pre-ride up Columbine. Of course I was wearing my “Win” jersey. It happened to attract the attention of the guy in attached picture. He asked me how you were holding up; and I told him that you were fighting even more. He sent his regards and condolences.

Thanks for sending that in, Riley. That’s very cool of both you and Lance.

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