2010 (Fiscal) Fall Moab (in Fruita) Ride Report

11.11.2009 | 10:27 am

Yesterday, I should have had a video to post. Really, I should have. But here’s the problem: I let my helmetcam record, mostly nonstop, for most of two big, beautiful rides. I let it record until the 8Gb card was full.

Which is to say, I recorded around six hours of video.

That’s a lot to sift through.

And then there’s the problem that whenever I start trying to extract chunks of video, I wind up just letting the video play and play, reliving the ride instead of editing it.

All of the above is my list of excuses for why:

  1. I did not post a video yesterday.
  2. I did not post anything at all yesterday.
  3. I still do not have a video to post today.

So, today a description of the weekend. Tomorrow — hopefully — a video.


I love certain traditions, and don’t like to see them change. For example, I go to Leadville every year for the Leadville 100, and I always try to get the same room at the same hotel. And go to the same restaurants. And do the same ride the day before the race. And catch up with the same people.

Fall Moab is like that, too. It’s the Core Team going to Moab sometime around the beginning of November. We ride Slickrock, Gold Bar Rim, Amasa Back, and Porcupine Rim. We spend a lot of time in one place, taking turns working on technical moves.

It’s a great formula. Why would you want to monkey with it?

Well, we started changing the formula when we all fell in love with Gooseberry Mesa (and surrounding trails), near St. George, Utah. To suit our collective craving for this incredible network, we decided that “Fall Moab” was a description of an event that centered around the Core Team getting together to ride in the Fall, not necessarily a description of location.

In other words, Fall Moab could be in St. George.

And if in St. George, why not elsewhere? Like Fruita, Colorado, for example?

And the fact that I have family in Grand Junction (which is next door to Fruita) made Fall Moab in Fruita very attractive. I could drive the girls down to Grand Junction (the boys are too teenagery to want to go), leave them with Kellene (thanks, Kellene!) for the weekend, and — abracadabra — I’ve got a weekend with the guys.


It used to be that we always got hotel rooms for Fall Moab. Then, a few years ago, we tried camping. And it’s been camping ever since. Now, I’ve been accused of not liking camping, but that’s just not true. I love camping. It’s just the trying-to-sleep-on-a-cot-in-a-cold-sleeping-bag part that has been a problem for me in the past.

As I’ve mentioned previously, however, that is no longer a problem. Thanks to the miracle of Ambien. Seriously, that stuff is magical. 5 milligrams and a cold sleeping bag turns into a warm, fluffy bed with lullabies playing softly in the background.

And since sitting around a fire, listening to stories (believe it or not, I primarily listen — I’m not much of a storyteller in person) is likely the most time-tested form of entertainment there is, I think I’m safe in saying that people are hardwired to enjoy it.

Really, the only way it can be better — and more primal — is if you’re eating a lot of meat while you’re sitting around the campfire.

Which brings me to bratwurst.

My Favorite Tradition of All

I love good bratwurst — and by “good bratwurst,” I mean “any bratwurst, properly prepared.” And you know what? I love preparing bratwurst.

I was looking forward to brats — both the preparing and eating — so much, in fact, that I skipped the second ride of the day, instead preferring to go to the store to buy everything I needed to make the brats: bratwurst, a pot and tongs (I forgot to bring my own this time), beer, a couple onions, Gulden’s spicy brown, mayo, and a bottle of worcestershire sauce.

It’s a small shopping list for such an incredible meal.

Then, I love opening and pouring — in rapid succession — 12 cans of beer into a pot. Love the smell of brats boiling in a stew of beer, onion, and worcestershire sauce. Love the way they darken on the grill, gathering the smoky taste and crisp skin.

But of course, I mostly love how a brat tastes, served with Gulden’s spicy brown mustard (and for me, mayo, which I understand is a minor sacrilege) on a slice of Kenny’s homemade bread. Everyone sits around the fire, eating and talking. It’s mellow and perfect.

And with 40 brats made for 15 people, running out is unlikely.

I tell you what: The post-ride brats feast was my favorite part of the trip this time.

Two Bikes, One Crash

I brought two bikes with me this trip — my Waltworks SingleSpeed, and my geared Gary Fisher Superfly. The Superfly was an afterthought. Just a “Well, I’ve got room for the bike, why not bring it?” kind of thing.

I was glad I did, though. Because during the first ride on Saturday (I missed the Friday rides because I didn’t want to head out ’til my kids were out of school) — Gunny’s Loop and Holy Cross — I crashed my Waltworks pretty thoroughly.

Specifically, on a very tight section of singletrack with a rock wall on one side and exposure on the right, I hit my left handlebar grip on a rock that was jutting out. This of course wrenched my wheel left and I hit the cliff wall. Then, following the “equal and opposite reaction” principle, I bounced and fell right.

I landed on a ledge to the right of the trail, while my bike continued on down to the next ledge, about five or six feet below. I banged myself up about as much as you’d expect: scrapes and bruises, but nothing serious.

My bike, on the other hand, needed some work. The front wheel was seriously out of true (not a horrible problem since I’m using disc brakes), and the saddle is destroyed. Also, the splines on the rear hub hesitated for about 3/4 a turn of the cranks before catching.

If I’d brought only one bike, it would have meant hours of work — work that I don’t know how to do, frankly. As is, however, it meant that I rode tentatively for the rest of the ride (for whatever reason, after I crash, I am simply unable to get back into the spirit of aggressive riding for the rest of the ride), and then swapped bikes.

A delicious luxury.

The Trail

Another way this edition of Fall Moab differed from previous iterations is the way we rode. Which is to say, these trails were new to most of us, and so we didn’t feel so much of a need to try to find unusual or oddball “moves” to make them fun. The first time you ride a trail, it’s nice to just experience its flow.

And the trails we rode had excellent flow. High desert singletrack, with rocks and ledges to make the course interesting and challenging.

Which brings up a crucial mountain biker’s dilemma: which is objectively the best surface for mountain biking: high desert singletrack, or forested mountain singletrack?

I have a sense that the answer is, “Whichever you happen to be on right that moment.”

What a weekend. I declare 2010 (Fiscal) Fall Moab (in Fruita) a success.

PS: Everyone in the group agreed: my brother-in-law Rocky (Kellene’s husband) was the ultimate tour guide, selecting cream-of-the-cream-of-the crop rides for us on this trip. Thanks, Rocky!

PPS: If you’re with Team Fatty for Movember, why don’t you email me a photo of how your mo is going? I think I’ll start posting a “mo of the day” with each post.


A Movember Update from the Best Blog in Utah, Plus a Tease

11.9.2009 | 8:03 am

I know I said I would be back Tuesday, but I just wanted to post three important items that occurred over the weekend.

photo.jpgFirst, I became officially recognized as the Best (Freaking) Blog in Utah, according to the Social Media Club of SLC.

OK, actually, I was one of several blogs to receive this award, but I have a difficult time sharing glory, and I have an even more difficult time understanding how multiple blogs can share an exclusive superlative. So I’m going to persist in thinking of myself as the best, as opposed to among the best.

Also, my head is going to swell up and explode, due to self-congratulatory self-importance. Better stand back.

Big thanks to my friend Jeff Hadfield, who — as he did with the Bloggie — accepted the award on my behalf. I would have been there myself, but I was busy driving to Fruita for a weekend of mountain biking with the Core Team. I believe I was somewhere between Price and Green River when Jeff accepted the award.

Second, Movember is going just swimmingly for me. Check out my progress on my “Tallahassee” Mo, as of my first shave of the month last night:


Yeah, I think this one’s a keeper.

Here’s another shot I took of myself, trying to simultaneously get a good look at the tricky-to-shave bottom part of the mo, smile, and see whether I was pointing the camera correctly:


All ready to be institutionalized.

If you would like to support my efforts in growing an outrageously awesome mo while raising money and awareness for the fight against cancer, do me a favor and donate here.

Or, if you’re thinking of joining the Movember movement yourself, why don’t you join Team Fatty? As you can see, I’ve grown this much mo in just one week. Surely you still have have plenty of time in Movember to grow your own.

Third, last weekend was the annual Core Team’s Fall Moab event. Which we held in Fruita, Colorado this year. I took hours and hours of helmetcam video, which will take hours and hours and hours to convert and edit down to something you’ll want to watch.

As a teaser, though, here’s an unretouched photo from the trip.


The video should be interesting, no?

Movember With Team Fatty

11.4.2009 | 8:04 am

I have never grown a moustache (or, as we will call it from here on out, a “mo.”). This is not because I am unable to grow a mo. I expect I am quite capable of such an act, for my facial hair –unlike the hair on the top of my head–has not receded in the slightest.

And it hasn’t gone gray, either. OK, maybe I’m starting to get the odd gray stubble on my chin, but my mo-growing zone remains luxuriously thick and dark.

Here, for example, is what I would have looked like with a mo when being photographed at the Austin LiveStrong Challenge with Lori — one of the people I met at the event:


Pretty dashing, I say. And I’m not the only one who would look great with a mo. Consider Kenny, whose mo would go just swimmingly with the flavasava he’s got going on below his lower lip:


It makes him look dangerous, no? Yes!

And I understand even a certain Lance is growing a mo this month.


Holy crap. I look exactly like Geraldo Rivera. When he’s not wearing his toupee, I mean.

I think the evidence is quite clear. It’s time to grow a mo. And for the month of Movember, I am going to. I will photograph myself and post my progress frequently, so you can see how it’s going.

And — if you’re a guy — I’d like you to join me and do the same. (And if you’re not a guy, or you’re a guy without the necessary facial capability, I’d like you to convince some other guy to grow a mo on your behalf.)

What Is Movember?

(For Movember.com’s own description of themselves, click here.) Movember is the month formerly known as November. During this month, men — manly men — grow mos as a way to call attention to themselves (hey, I’m just being honest here).

Then, when people ask you “Why are you growing a moustache?” — and they will ask you this question — you tell them about the cancers affecting men, and ask them to donate to your Mo donation page (the money will be channeled to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and to LiveStrong).

So really, a mo is kinda like wearing a pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness. But a lot more personal. And harder to remove. And it’s displayed a lot higher.

What Mo Will I Grow?

The great thing about growing a mo is that for the first week or more, you have time to ponder the question: “What shape will my mo take?”

And in fact I spent considerable time considering that exact question.

Until I saw Zombieland last weekend. And now I cannot personally imagine growing any other mo than the one Tallahassee had.

First photos coming next week. I am going to look so macho.

Join Up and Maybe Win a Mo T-Shirt or Necklace

So now, I’d like to ask you to join Team Fatty and grow a mo. It doesn’t cost anything to register, and you do not have to be a guy. Anyone can join the Movember movement.

I will ask you, as a member of Team Fatty’s Mo Brigade, to send me occasional photographs of your (or your surrogate’s) Mo-In-Progress. And I will post ones I like on the Blog.

At the end of the month, I will award Movember T-Shirts to the ten most awesome (as determined either by popular vote or by me — haven’t decided which yet) Mos in Team Fatty. They look like this:


Or, if you’re a woman who got someone else to grow an awesome mo, I’ve got ten of these to award, too:

Movember Necklaces.jpg

Really, I simply cannot think of more incentivizing incentives. Go sign up now, and start growing your mo.

PS: I am all kinds of swamped at work and life right now, and I’m trying to get ready for a 3-day MTB weekend with the core team. Also, this whole week is supposed to have perfect “shorts and short sleeves” riding weather, and I’d be a fool to not take advantage of it.

So I’ll be back Tuesday. Unless the weather holds.

I’ve Been Articled and Podcastified

11.2.2009 | 11:46 am

If you get Bicycling Magazine , you might have seen that they have a really nice story about my family and me in the December issue. Click either of the images below to see a larger, more legible version of that page:

bicycling1.jpg bicycling2.jpg

You can see that my teenage sons love being photographed.

Well, to go along with that article, Bicycling did an interview with me for their weekly podcast. So if you’ve ever wondered what I sound like or how much I stammer, now’s your chance to find out. Hint: it’s a lot.

I should point out that between this article and podcast, this is the third time Bicycling has done a real favor to me (the first time was when they put the Fat Cyclist jersey on the cover, the second time was when they talked about the jersey in the editorial page).

I hereby declare Bicycling a Friend of Fatty for life.

PS: I know I said I’d talk about Movember today, but I honestly haven’t taken the time to get things organized. Mea culpa. Soon, I promise.

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