Two Glorious Days, One Fun-Filled Night

09.30.2009 | 12:30 am

You’d think, after 43+ years, I’d know myself pretty well. But there’s something new about me that I’ve been exploring for the past couple weeks.

A giant goiter.

No, wait, that’s not it. Actually, this new thing about myself is intensity. I honestly never knew I had any in me. I considered myself 100% relaxed.

But lately, I have found I love to ride climbing intervals. And I love to time trial. And I love to drive a knitting needle up my nose using a ball peen hammer.

Hold on, strike that last one. I’m not sure how it got in there. My point is that I have found that for some reason, lately I don’t just put up with the physical pain and mental blackness that come with a maximum effort. I’ve been seeking it out.

Does this all seem a little creepy? OK, can we pretend it doesn’t for a bit, then?

For example, a week or so ago, I decided to Time Trial the American Fork side of the Alpine Loop. 10.5 miles, around 3000 feet of climbing. I did it in 53:11. Earlier this year, Mark, Sam and I killed ourselves doing this ride in about 58 minutes.

And then yesterday, I — for the first time ever — Time Trialed the Clark’s MTB climb in Corner Canyon. Now, this is a popular local TT course, with honor-system-based annual standings posted and everything.

I gave it my all. Really just emptied myself into the climb, with my usual mental narrative / inventory / inquisition looping through my skull: “Is this pace sustainable? Or am I about to blow? Is it my legs or lungs limiting my speed right now? Lungs? OK, then I can breathe harder. Can I push just a little harder and still not blow? OK, I’m going harder. No, better back off a little, just touched the edge of my breaking point. Five easy seconds to pull myself together. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Go hard again. My peripheral vision has stopped working, is that OK? Yes, I think it is. I’ll hold this pace for twenty seconds. 20, 19, 18 . . . .”

And repeat.

Meanwhile, my mouth isn’t just hanging open. It’s stretched open. But my eyes are squinting and my ears are back, so I picture myself as grinning madly. My mouth is nothing but a giant oxygen intake device, and it is staying open. If drool needs to leak out, fine. If sweat and snot need to drip in, well, it all started in the same place anyway, right?

Fortunately for everyone in the whole world, I did not encounter a single person going up or down the trail during my TT.

I reached the top, punched the red button on my Garmin, felt the first wave of nausea hit, and then looked at the time.

I finished in 9:50, which triggers an overlay of elation on the nausea. Peculiar.

That 9:50 is good for the #3 spot (out of 55 recorded) in the 2009 results, and the #6 spot in the all-time results.

Which means the weird has happened: I have gotten lean (154 pounds today) and fast.

I believe it’s time to put this to the test.

Team Fatty: Going to 24 Hours of Moab

Brad, Kenny, Rick Sunderlage (not his real name) and I will be Team Fatty at the 24 Hours of Moab this October 10 – 11. We will be racing in the Rigid Singlespeed class.

When you consider that Kenny and Brad owned the singlespeed division of the Park City Point 2 Point and when you further consider that whenever Rick Sunderlage and I go riding he just spins away from me, and when you finally consider that I seem to have crossed some sort of threshold, you might reasonably assume that our prospects for this division in this race are pretty good.

More important than that, though, is what I consider genuinely cool about my team: we’re all part of the Core Team. I’ll be racing with three of the best friends I’ve ever had.

And that is extra motivation, right there. Motivation to kick their butts, that is.

Oh, Hello

You know what? It just occurred to me that not everyone in the world knows what a 24-Hour race is. Well, it’s pretty simple. The course is set up to be a circuit — in this case, around twelve miles long. One person from the team races at a time, handing the team baton (a small wooden dowel) to the next teammate after completing a lap.

So you ride hard for an hour and change, hand off to the next guy, and then have a few hours to eat and relax until it’s your turn again.

And you, as a team, try to rack up as many laps during a 24-hour period as you can.

It’s a very stupid idea, and I’m excited to do it.

Help, I’m Afraid of the Dark

Here’s my problem: I do not have any good bike lights for racing. And I am going to need really, really good bike lights so that I can see and avoid all the stuff that I will otherwise crash into.

It is my fervent hope that someone out there is a honcho or knows a honcho at one of the bike light manufacturers or PR firms and has the insanely good idea that it would really be a great idea to outfit Team Fatty — one of the top two cycling blogs in America! (and I’m pretty sure Bike Snob NYC isn’t fielding a team) — with lights. If you are, you should email me. I daresay you’ll get a quick response.

UPDATE: Big thanks to Princeton Tec, which has stepped forward and outfitted Team Fatty with a full complement of their most powerful light setup: The SwitchBack 3. With a 6-hour burn time at high-beam, we won’t even have to worry about recharging. Count on our impressions of these lights after — and probably during — the race.

Also, if you’re a bratwurst maker, you might want to get ahold of us. Or if you’re Gulden’s Mustard. I would love to be sponsored by a reputable Bratwurst maker and Gulden’s Mustard. “Team Fatty, Presented by Twin Six, Powered by [your name here] Bratwurst” has a very nice ring to it.

OK, all done whoring now.


I’ve heard that there’s WiFi access at the 24 Hours of Moab. If that’s the case, then I will — when not racing or eating or doing something else — post updates on the race.

I suspect that these updates will become increasingly incoherent and angry as the race progresses.


  1. Comment by SkiMoab | 09.30.2009 | 12:38 am

    Wow, very fast Clark’s time, good job! And of course, good luck at the 24 hrs of Moab, no one else stands a chance.

  2. Comment by Janneke | 09.30.2009 | 1:24 am

    Do remember: NO CRASHING!!

  3. Comment by Powerful Pete | 09.30.2009 | 1:32 am

    LOL. I can’t wait for the posts about the 24 hour race.

    And, uhm, Fatty, congrats on the fitness. Very, very impressive (says your Italian Fat Cyclist friend). Bravo.

  4. Comment by Saso | 09.30.2009 | 2:02 am

    Good luck.

  5. Comment by RoverDave | 09.30.2009 | 3:06 am

    Awesome job on the times, way to go! 24 hours of Moab sounds right up your alley and totally epic! Ride like the wind brother!

    If I were a bike light mfg. or a bratwurst maker I would hook it up! Either way the T6 gear is the hotness!

  6. Comment by ChefJT | 09.30.2009 | 3:15 am

    Sounds outstanding! The “New” Fatty is flying. I’ve got another 10 lb off since LiveStrong Philly, but am still very much a clydesdale. You’ve just motivated me to keep going.

    Can’t wait until I’m south of the “201″ on my sleeve!

    Have a blast in Moab. You guys should tear it up. While I have no gifts to bring fit to give this king, feel free to say “Team Fatty, endorsed by ChefJT.”

  7. Comment by Grant | 09.30.2009 | 4:09 am

    Cool. As it happens I will also be doing a 24 hour race on the weekend of 10th and 11th October. Mine is on the other side of the world though:

    I’d offer a virtual race, but I’m pretty sure you will kick our butts. Unless we are allowing beer laps. Are we?


  8. Comment by Max | 09.30.2009 | 4:11 am

    Get yourself some Ayups mate :)

  9. Comment by Jessica @ How Sweet It Is | 09.30.2009 | 4:44 am

    Blogging from 24 hour race? Badass.

  10. Comment by Marla Gnarla | 09.30.2009 | 5:20 am

    You are just insane! I love it! Can’t wait to read the LiveBlog:))

  11. Comment by Miles Archer | 09.30.2009 | 6:48 am

    Ooh. I’d love to see the BSNYC team riding their ironic hipster fixies.

  12. Comment by Ant | 09.30.2009 | 6:54 am

    Fatty, meet Matt. Matt, meet Fatty.

    I think you guys should maybe be having a little chat about some *cough* AYUPs *cough*.

    Grant – will see you @ Stromlo. Will be breaking out my finest black & pink Fatty jersey for the occasion.

  13. Comment by Neil | 09.30.2009 | 6:55 am

    Good to know the knee didn’t slow you down.. Way to go Fatty!

  14. Comment by justrun | 09.30.2009 | 6:55 am

    It surprises me that your intensity surprises you, but okay! Go Fatty!
    Also? Live blogging Moab would be pretty stinkin’ cool.

  15. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 09.30.2009 | 6:57 am

    That’s awesome! You’re rockin’ it on the bike! Win Team Fatty!

  16. Comment by Clydesdale | 09.30.2009 | 7:18 am

    Hey Fatty, czech yer email.

    I will be in Moab that weekend with some of my core team also. 1st time to Moab!! Not racing though so I will check in and see if you need some support. we have done many, many 24 hr races.

    See you soon. I can’t wait!!

  17. Comment by Larry | 09.30.2009 | 7:28 am

    How did you manage to steal Kenny from the Jack Mormon Militia team?

  18. Comment by FliesOnly | 09.30.2009 | 7:32 am

    I am thoroughly impressed. I hate TTs, but like you, I for some reason or another am starting to like the pain. My problem this year has been a very bad back, which has precluded me from doing as well as I would have liked. However, you, dear sir, have now inspired me…bad back or no bad back, I’m signing up for more races.

    Good luck to you and the core. Oh, and if I sold (or made brats)…I sponsor you in a heartbeat.

  19. Comment by Buckshot77 | 09.30.2009 | 7:32 am

    Fatty- for lights check out I can’t say enough good stuff about them (and I paid full retail). They’re a small company with great products and service (similar to Twin 6 from what I can tell).

    I just got done with my first 24 hour race earlier this month. We were on a hilly and technical course that required awesome lighting to go with any speed in the dark. My night laps were barely slower than my day laps with the lighting I ran. I’m using an 800 lumen bar light and a 400 helmet light. My team came out on top in the open class so I was pretty happy overall.

  20. Comment by Robert | 09.30.2009 | 8:21 am

    In the way of flashlights, check out SUREFIRE. They make some amazingly bright lights!

    You may have to look into a way to clip them onto the bike, but they’ll definately be bright enough for you to see the trail!

  21. Comment by MattC | 09.30.2009 | 8:33 am

    AWESOME POST yesterday…I was laughing hystericly (sorry…but other peoples pain is funny for some reason…especially if you can relate!) Anybody who rides has done the ’shower dance of pain’ at some point in their life. But actually biting Mark’s knee in the crash…that is so over the top outrageous…you just can’t make stuff like that up! (good stuff for your book).

    And Team Fatty at 24 HoM…wow…I’ve always wanted to do a 24 hour race…just never made it happen (yet). Be sure to get ‘before’ and ‘after’ pics of rider for each lap, so we can watch the metamorphosis unfurl (to the point of where you no longer look human nor want to get back on the bike). You guys should SERIOUSLY rock your division.

    I’m afraid you are going to be a real animal in Austin..your fitness is pretty amazing right now…doubt I’ll be holding your wheel for very long. My fitness has dropped in the last few months, tho I’m making a desperate last minute attempt to get ‘back’ to where I was just a few months ago. Funny how fast you can ‘lose’ it, but how hard it is to ‘get’ it back. Getting older sucks. Keep the rubber side down in Moab. All of you.

  22. Comment by UpNorth | 09.30.2009 | 8:43 am

    I bought a Light in Motion (Seca 400) light for 24HRS of Adrenaline this year. Technology has come a long way since my first set…

    It was bright, had good battery life & would have been awesome for more than half a lap had I not jammed my derailleur into my cassette.

  23. Comment by KanyonKris | 09.30.2009 | 9:01 am

    Congrats on getting fast. That’s a smokin’ Clarks TT time.

    You guys will be the team to beat at 24 Hours of Moab.

    I’ll be there doing light crew duty for my wife so if you need someone to help out around your camp, let me know.

  24. Comment by Bruce Bebow | 09.30.2009 | 9:04 am

    I like the, “I suspect that these updates will become increasingly incoherent and angry as the race progresses,” remark. I can relate. I’m generally a mild-mannered guy, but I find the level of ‘anger’ I feel near the end of a ride is proportional to the length of time (hours) or amount of suck (insert wind, hills, rain, etc., here). The suck is good, though. Embrace the suck.

  25. Comment by axel in texas | 09.30.2009 | 9:17 am

    the only acceptable lighting technology for rigid single speeds are carbide lamps. Everything else is too high tech and should be left to those who like gears and suspension…

  26. Comment by Frank | 09.30.2009 | 9:19 am

    I’m going faster than ever before and the reason is anger. When I get on the road I just have to channel my rage into my legs and go as fast as I can. At my ride last Monday this resulted in an average of 20mph, 1/2 of the loop I rode towards the headwinds of an oncoming thunderstorm. And I just kept going…without my rides I think I would explode! I’m looking forward to tonight’s ride.

  27. Comment by Big Boned | 09.30.2009 | 9:23 am

    The night time is the RIGHT time. In 24’s I’ve always believed the race doesn’t even start until the sun goes down.
    I’ll second Max. Get yourself some Ayups. PHENOMONAL lighting system. Getting them COMP’ed might be harder than the race though!

  28. Comment by Aaron | 09.30.2009 | 9:27 am

    Good luck in Moab! I’ve done that race on a rigid SS, and you’re going to need it! ;-)

  29. Comment by Nicholas | 09.30.2009 | 9:36 am

    Nothing much to add except a good luck to you and your team! Endurance relay races are fun. Just did my first at the Bradbury 12 in Maine and plan on doing it again and again.

    I will also second the suggestion for Dinotte Lights. They are great lights from a great company.

  30. Comment by Justin | 09.30.2009 | 9:44 am

    I am a honcho at a bike light manufacturer.
    Check your inbox.

  31. Comment by 100poundsago | 09.30.2009 | 10:27 am

    WHEN you get someone to send you some light equipment can you post a review of it? I am striking out all over the place when it comes to finding a good light system for riding in the dark…which I do every day.


    In the Dark

  32. Comment by Yanqui Candle | 09.30.2009 | 10:33 am

    Drat that Princeton Tec! We were just about to step up and sponsor Team Fatty with our new Active Lifestyle candles! Maybe next time, maybe next time!

    In the meantime, all of us here at YC wish you the best and look forward to wasting valuable candlemaking time following your live WiFi feed while you burn the midnight oil!

  33. Comment by GenghisKhan | 09.30.2009 | 10:41 am

    Fatty–you may want to also consider a helmet mounted light as turning your handlebars to shine your sweet P-Tec SB-3 light on the glowing feral eyes you see out of the corner of your eye at 3AM may result in the crash that we are all suggesting you do not have.

    I’ve seen the wax-mounted one candle-power helmet light from Yanqui Candle and it’s a good option, though there may be others…

  34. Comment by Road Divit | 09.30.2009 | 11:01 am

    Hey Fatty – Lights and brats aside. How do you hold on to the little baton at Moab? I picture it Fatty style, clenched between the teeth reminding every other racer to “look at these quads and just try to pass.”

  35. Comment by Road Divit | 09.30.2009 | 11:04 am

    Almost forgot – brats are best boiled in a strong ale and then toasted on the grill

    I wasn’t aware there was any other way to prepare them. – FC

  36. Comment by Charlie | 09.30.2009 | 11:06 am

    Will be there as well… will try to track you down to say “Hi”. Charlie (met you at Leadville a few times).

  37. Comment by Leslie | 09.30.2009 | 11:55 am

    Glad you are finding exactly the right outlet for all your emotions after everything you’ve been going through lately. Can’t wait to hear more….

  38. Comment by SurlyCommuter | 09.30.2009 | 12:11 pm

    I echo many of the comments above Sir Fatty of Fastalot – keep the rubber side down this time!

  39. Comment by MattC | 09.30.2009 | 12:40 pm

    Just went to the P-tec site and browsed the Switchback-3 light page..looks great, but what are the lumens? Can’t find that anywhere! Thats important stuff to know!! Justin???

  40. Comment by TroyBoy | 09.30.2009 | 1:04 pm

    It was a pleasure to meet you in the parking lot yesterday. You’re much skinnier in real life! (And apparently a lot fitter!). Nice job on the TT time. Especially considering your goal of sub 11. You certainly crushed it, the fierce wind notwithstanding! Enjoy 24 HoM. I’ll miss being there this year. Good Luck!

  41. Comment by AngieG | 09.30.2009 | 1:56 pm

    Good Luck in the 24hrs of Moab. Sounds like a great time and what could be better than doing so with your best friends. Video via the helmet cam would be awesome!

    I will be spending the next three plus days volunteering at the Levi Leipheimer King Ridge GranFondo. Lots of work but for a great cause. In fact Levi is sponsoring a $1,000 a plate dinner on Livestrong day (Oct 2nd) all the proceeds going to the Livestrong Foundation. Too rich for my blood, I’m saving everything for my trip to Austin.

    Like MattC said, keep the rubber side down!

  42. Comment by Clydesteve | 09.30.2009 | 1:57 pm

    Fatty, the P-Tecs look great. Be sure and get bike & helmet mounted.

    And, just because of contingencies, I heartily reccomend the Cateye HL-EL-450. 3 AAA batteries, 30 hours runtime on high, 91 grams. One backup on the helmet, one on the front fork will get you by if the big rechargeables go out. Fairly cheap, too.

    These are my winter commuting backups to my MiNewt. My road is smoother & more predictable than your trail will be, but I barely outrun them at 20 – 22mph, so they ought to keep you going!

  43. Comment by Clydesteve | 09.30.2009 | 2:00 pm

    Oh, BTW, enjoy the P-Tec’s filtered collimators. In private though, please.

  44. Comment by Swami Wheelo | 09.30.2009 | 2:35 pm

    Fatty you should try and shake some sponsership brats (and more) out of Chris Cosentino, an incredible cook here in SF. Not only was he recently featured in Bicycling Magazine, (,6610,s1-4-21-20341-1,00.html) , but he also owns Boccalone which turns out artisan charcuterie. What would look cooler on a Fat Cyclist jersey than BOCCALONE “Tasty Salted Pig Parts” ?

    Chris, if you’re reading this, don’t wait for Fatty to call you….

  45. Comment by GenghisKhan | 09.30.2009 | 2:48 pm


  46. Comment by MiSzA | 09.30.2009 | 3:14 pm

    Wait until you decide to get a TT bike!
    That’s when the fun starts :)
    Congrats and have fun – it’ll be a long day ;)

  47. Comment by Pinkrrt | 09.30.2009 | 3:16 pm

    Fatty,Having worked in healthcare/grief counseling for 30 plus years I find your aggression and physical response to all is the best thing you can do for yourself at the moment. Totally enjoy your writing Gods speed this weekend

  48. Comment by Mike Roadie | 09.30.2009 | 3:24 pm

    Mayo I can do…..sorry, no mustard.


  49. Comment by Nancy P | 09.30.2009 | 5:28 pm

    GO TEAM FATTY! GO!!! Ride like the wind!!

    I’ll take my braut with mustard, horseradish and relish.

    Have a Blast ~

  50. Comment by Claire | 09.30.2009 | 5:50 pm

    This is exceptionally exciting. Can’t wait for the live updates. Maybe you can let ClydeSteve or your support crew live blog it here whilst you are actually riding

  51. Comment by PennyPue | 09.30.2009 | 6:07 pm

    Princeton-Tec picked up a great deal!!!

    You’re soooo easy. Can’t wait to follow the race.

  52. Comment by Anonymous | 09.30.2009 | 7:02 pm

    last time we followed your race update you were at the bottom of a canyon on some rocks heading for a medicine man….dont let that happen again. try to stay within yourself and remember your kids need you.have fun and fight like susan

  53. Comment by Steve PMCG | 09.30.2009 | 7:55 pm

    Wow what can I say, not one light manufacturer but at least 2 ready to pony lights up for the team. The pen (keyboard) is truly mightier than the sword.

    I am still waiting however to see what sausage manufacturer is ready to have its name emblazoned in the glory that will be team fattys victory.

  54. Comment by Tom F | 09.30.2009 | 7:58 pm

    I’m surprised you think you need lights. I thought you could count on your pasty white shins to illuminate the road…

  55. Comment by Vee | 09.30.2009 | 8:18 pm

    Tegaderm and AyUps are all you need for Moab.

  56. Comment by Michael Christensen | 09.30.2009 | 8:59 pm

    Sometime I’d find myself on sections of trail – after riding throug the night – thinking – I’d never ride this in the dark.

  57. Comment by Jillian | 10.1.2009 | 7:05 am

    Good luck on the 24 hour race. I signed up for my first right before reading this post. Solo. I’m also concerned about the light situation. I really don’t ride at night now. Please review the lights you get quickly, my race is the next weekend.

  58. Comment by lifein360 | 10.1.2009 | 7:34 am

    24 hour races are awesome even though you are cursing yourself the whole time. At 3am in the rain (on speedskates) I find myself making deals with Jesus and telling myself I am never doing this again. But I sign up every year. How can you resist thousands of people in spandex?

  59. Comment by lifein360 | 10.1.2009 | 7:36 am

    *Sorry my site link was errored*

    24 hour races are awesome even though you are cursing yourself the whole time. At 3am in the rain (on speedskates) I find myself making deals with Jesus and telling myself I am never doing this again. But I sign up every year. How can you resist thousands of people in spandex?

  60. Comment by Rick S. | 10.1.2009 | 8:40 am

    How many calories does a brat have? I wonder if I should ditch my Gu packs and stuff a brat in my jersey pocket instead.

    Thanks Princeton Tec for the light hook up. My current lights (diff Brand) just blew up. Perfect timing for me.

  61. Comment by Charisa | 10.1.2009 | 10:03 am

    This may quite possibly be the best live-blog ever! Especially at hour 23.5!

  62. Comment by Andrea | 10.1.2009 | 10:06 am

    It should be mentioned that there are some twisted individuals out there who do the entire 24 hours by themselves (not me of course, but I know them), just in case there are some out there who think you have to do it as a team. Good luck. I’m sure Team Fatty will crush the competition.

  63. Comment by UltraRob | 10.1.2009 | 10:58 am

    I’m still trying to figure out how to find enough time to go to the 24 Hours of Moab to hang out and shoot some photos. Last year it was so windy and dusty they took down the WiFi. They kept saying it would be back soon but I never was able to connect.

    The 24 Hours of Moab is a very cool race. I’m sure your team will rock it! I’ve done the 24 Hours of Moab solo 4 times. I’ve done something like 50 laps on that course but I’d still want a very good light system.

  64. Comment by gogo | 10.1.2009 | 6:37 pm

    You’ve had an angel to help push you along! Congrats on your progress & accomplishments. Enjoy Moab!

  65. Comment by John | 10.2.2009 | 7:41 am

    Fatty -

    I’ll be in Moab racing in the Masters class – I will keep an eye out for for you grinding up the slickness in your puny single cog.

    Team: Old and In the Way

  66. Comment by Margo | 10.2.2009 | 2:10 pm

    Fatty, how many brats can three guys possibly eat in 24 hours? Am I overly naive if I think it’s less than, say, 24 total? (Which, by the way, is the perfect number to fix the uneven bun-to-brat packaging ratio problem.)

  67. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 10.2.2009 | 2:43 pm

    Race sounds like a ton ‘o fun!

  68. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 10.3.2009 | 10:10 am

    Let’s get that fundraising up there Fattys!! We’re in 2nd place overall in team fundraising, we’re at $167,0000ish and the team ahead of us is at $189,000ish.

    I’m raffling off a set of hot pink tires at my blog and surly rider is holding a raffle too. All info is on my blog. (click on my name and you’ll get to the info)

    Both our raffles end at midnight October 5th.

    Please feel free to post your fundraising efforts to my blog and I’ll try to get all tens of people who read it to help you out too.


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  71. Comment by bjchild | 10.8.2009 | 11:05 am

    wow, 53 minutes on the AF Canyon TT is impressive. SBJ should add AF Canyon to his TT blog.

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