Park City Point 2 Point Race Report, Part II

09.8.2010 | 5:00 am

A Note from Fatty: This is Part 2 of my (three-part) Park City Point 2 Point (PCP2P) race report. Click here for Part 1.

When I was a child, I would sometimes think about what happens when you turn off a light switch. First, current stops flowing, and then the filament starts cooling down, which means that it starts producing less light. The room, then would get dimmer as the bulb cooled down. A gradual process. It just seems immediate, because I wasn’t quick enough to notice the process.

I bring this anecdote from my childhood up for two reasons. First, to make you think that I was a deep thinker as a child, full of unusual insights.

Second, and more to the point, because I think it’s metaphorically appropriate. In the same way there’s an imperceptible amount of time between when you flip a switch and a room is genuinely dark, I expect there was some amount of time between when I started the second leg of the PCP2P (“Which way do I go?” I asked Lisa, as I finished up a Mountain Dew. “Up,” she replied, pointing at the switchbacking snake of riders that traced up the face of the mountain.), and when my own personal light went out.

Some amount of time. But not a lot.

Brad, JJ, and Jamie — three friends who I had wound up riding the final couple miles of the first section of the race with — had gone on ahead while I ate and waited for my bike to be fixed. So I rode this section alone.

OK, “rode” may not be the most accurate description for what I did for the next little while. Maybe instead I should say, “So I walked my bike alone.”

In my defense, I wasn’t the only one walking. As I switchbacked up the mountain, I looked up the trail, keeping an eye on where people were dismounting and — head down, leaning forward, arms stiffly out — pushing up the hill until they thought they had a reasonable chance of getting back on for more than twenty feet.

Or at least, twenty feet was the amount I set as my personal “It’s worth it to get back on the bike and ride” yardstick.

“C’mon, get on your bike and ride, Fatty,” someone urged on one section, even as he pushed his own bike. I laughed at his clever use of self-deprecating irony and tried to form a hilarious response.

It came out as “Huhhhh.”

Friendliest Bike Race, Ever.

So I marched. And sometimes, I rode. And it was all very steep.

But everyone I talked with was very, very cool. Like, suspiciously cool. Like, when I wanted to pass, I’d say, “I’d like by, whenever you can get a chance.” And almost always, whoever was in front of me would just pull over right away.

Similarly, when I heard someone catching up to me to pass, I’d holler back, “Want me to edge over?” The answer would usually come back along the lines of, “Whenever works for you. No rush.”

So I developed a theory. Since everyone was getting passed, and everyone was passing, everyone realized that we were all in the same boat. Everyone understood everyone’s situation, because we were all in the same situation.

Or it just might be that everyone was too tired to cop attitude or pass aggressively, and we all welcomed opportunities to pull over for a second.

Revenge of the Grey Gloves

By the time I had rowed my bike to the top of this section and had a huge downhill back to the aid station I had just left, my hands were starting to feel more than achy. They were raw. Painful.

And basically, they were really, really sore.

But the pain I experienced climbing was nothing, compared to the pain of descending. The technical, rocky-and-rooty singletrack, combined with my rigid fork, combined with my ill-chosen gloves, left me hating and every downhill section. So that practically every person I passed on the climbs passed me back on the descents, as I minced my way down the trail.

I imagined how my hands must have looked, blistered and bleeding under my gloves. I successfully began to pity myself.

“This hurts,” I would tell anyone who would listen.

“And I’m really, really glad Kenny convinced me to switch to a 22-tooth cog,” I thought to myself.

My Memory Fails Me

The second aid station stop is at the same place as the fir, which is convenient to the people who were crewing for the racers (except for the fact that there was not a single portapotty in evidence). While Lisa took care of filling up my Camelbak, I stood at one of the aid station tables, eating orange slices.

Probably six or eight of them. Really.

To everyone who arrived later, hoping for an orange and having to make do with bananas, sorry. That was my fault.

Then I think I drank a can of chicken and stars soup. I’m not certain, because my memory is kind of blurry on what happened from this point forward.

And then Lisa told me she loved me and I started riding again, because I hadn’t developed a good enough excuse for quitting yet.

Too Much of a Good Thing

I’m pretty sure that the PCP2P is proof that there is in fact such a thing as too much of a good thing. Because that race has a lot of singletrack. I mean, oodles of it. I’d guess that 76 miles of the race is singletrack, with the balance being doubletrack and brief stints on pavement connecting one trail outlet to another.

And in short, by the time I got to mile 40ish, I would have really liked some featureless, non-technical jeep road. Or doubletrack.

And downhill singletrack — the kind that twists tightly enough that you have to worry about your back end, not just your front — hardly gives you a rest from all the climbing you’ve been doing.

It’s also possible that I was just getting really tired. And it’s also possible I should have given a suspension fork a little more than just a passing thought..

Shining Moment

There was — at about mile 50 (I noted the distance) — about two seconds of which I was extremely proud. I was riding along, just keeping the cranks turning, “Stickshifts and Safetybelts” now tormenting me by playing endlessly in my head (just ten seconds of the chorus, of course).

And there were a few guys, sitting in the shade off the side of the course, cheering racers on. Extremely cool of them — every time someone urged me on, I felt transformed for at least a minute or two.

But these guys were different. These guys were challenging the racers.

“Take the ski jump! Take the ski jump!” they yelled, and pointed at the “ski jump” they had constructed: A log — about 14 inches in diameter I’m guessing — laying on the ground, with a ski leaning against it, forming a long, skinny ramp.

“Only three people have dared take the ski jump today!” one of them yelled. “Take the ski jump!”

And so I swerved slightly and headed for the ski jump.

Now, before I detail how my ski jump effort turned out, allow me to detail some of the things I did not consider as I rode toward this ski.

  • Whether this ski — when used as a ramp — would support my weight.
  • Whether any ski — when used as a ramp — would support my weight.
  • Whether, in my fatigued state, I was likely to be able to ride up a flexing, 2.5-inch-wide ramp.
  • If the ramp broke — or if I simply fell off while riding up it — how serious my endo was likely to be as I suddenly plowed nose first into a log.

But none of these things happened. Instead, I rode up the ski and did a nice nose-first drop off the other end, finishing off with a little nose-wheelie flourish. It wasn’t much, but it was all I had.

“Yeah!” yelled the guys, as I pumped my right arm in the air (and then quickly dropped it back down, because when I raised it I was reminded that I have no range of motion with that arm right now).

It then occurred to me that I had just done something very stupid. Also it occurred to me that I am extremely susceptible to suggestion when I am addle-brained.

Which is not always, thanks.

High Drama and Cold Beverages

I was so happy when I got into the Park City aid station, because I had big plans. For one thing, I was going to kiss my wife. For another, I was going to sit in the camp chair she had brought along and drink a whole Mountain Dew (Note to the whole world: Mountain Dew is the best during-race pick-me-up in the whole world). And for yet another thing I was going to take off my gloves and earn a ton of sympathy from Lisa by showing her the wreckage of my hands, which I was certain were nothing but a network of popped, bloody blisters.

Rick Sunderlage (not his real name) was there (not racing due to an injury) and captured the moment of me removing my glove:


Hey, what?! My hand looks a little bit red, but not bloody, nor even seriously blistered?!

So, um, I guess I’ve been behaving a little bit like a baby? Oh, OK.

In that case I guess I’ll stop going on about my (to all appearances uninjured) hands, and how bad they hurt.

But it still felt really nice to get a kiss, to get a drink, and to sit in a camp chair for a few minutes.

And you know what? Nick Rico — who had purchased Rick Sunderlage’s entry but then couldn’t used it because Sunderlage’s entry was evidently cursed and caused Nick Rico to break his toe just before the race — noticed how much I was enjoying that Mountain Dew and went and got me a cold Coke.

And that Coke was really good, too.

And so I had another.

Then it was time to leave. Just 18 miles to go.

Can you guess what’s about to happen to me? You’ll find out tomorrow, in Part 3.


  1. Comment by Doug (WAY upstate NY) | 09.8.2010 | 5:35 am

    Humm…. This race sounds like (not)FUN. :)

  2. Comment by Rob L | 09.8.2010 | 5:37 am

    GO GO GADGET – Volcano?

    Sucky gloves do suck. My current ones are too padded and are leaving me over gripping = tired hands way to early.

  3. Comment by Gregg | 09.8.2010 | 5:40 am

    Fatty, I appreciate your thoughtfulness. I’m sure you didn’t want to ruin my breakfast by showing us your other hand. I’m sure THAT hand must’ve just been a mess. Too horrible to reveal at such an early hour. Thanks for your kindness.

  4. Comment by jacked | 09.8.2010 | 5:52 am

    Did I read that correctly? 1 Mountain Dew and 2 Cokes within a matter of minutes before one last final effort of 18 miles, including a bit of uphill…. it can only lead to an experience similar to Dugs. We can’t wait to hear what is coming up in part 3.

  5. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 09.8.2010 | 6:17 am

    I’m guessing all that soda is going to happen to you pretty quickly!

    Way to make that ski jump without wiping out! An injury would have really put a damper on the rest of your ride.

  6. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 09.8.2010 | 6:18 am

    BTW, can I tell you how excited I am that the Fat Cyclist apparel is coming in soon?! I can’t wait to get my hoodie.

  7. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Park City Point 2 Point Race Report, Part I | 09.8.2010 | 6:30 am

    [...] Park City Point to Point Race Report Coming in a Few Hours Park City Point 2 Point Race Report, Part II [...]

  8. Comment by Clark | 09.8.2010 | 7:22 am

    Gastro-Intestinal Distress with no porta-potty in sight?

  9. Comment by Jim | 09.8.2010 | 7:44 am

    I’m a big advocate of drinking Coke or Mountain Dew when stuck in a trough mid-ride, but if I drank that much caffeinated product mid-epic ride, there could only be one result: projectile diarrhea. In fact, I suspect you did this on purpose, just to have something to blog about other than illusory hand injuries.

    You are so predictable.

  10. Comment by Joshua | 09.8.2010 | 8:16 am

    Is it weird that this race recap is actually making me want to branch out from road riding and get a good trail bike. Thanks Fatty, I’m directing my wife to contact you when she flips out from me buying ANOTHER bike.

  11. Comment by Philly Jen | 09.8.2010 | 8:37 am

    The Whizzer of (30+ highly caffeinated) Oz?

  12. Comment by Philly Jen | 09.8.2010 | 8:40 am

    …uh, wait, make that 50+ Oz…ouch…

  13. Comment by randy | 09.8.2010 | 9:05 am

    Faithful readers are getting worried. Here comes another caffeine-overdose-with-no-bathroom-in-sight story.

  14. Comment by Dr. Brett | 09.8.2010 | 9:13 am

    *SNIFF*…*SNIFF*…smells like mechanical…cracked, broken carbon…*shudder*.

  15. Comment by Jason M | 09.8.2010 | 9:38 am

    I know exactly how your hands felt, mine felt the same as I was riding a rigid niner fork as well. I’ve never wanted to not ride downhill more in my life.

  16. Comment by bikemike | 09.8.2010 | 9:40 am

    it sounds like you needed a bigger boat. what with everybody being in the same one going up hill.

  17. Comment by AngieG | 09.8.2010 | 10:21 am

    I agree with @Clark- your mention of the lack of a blue room, all your effort and the consumption of 3 highly caffinated beverages within minutes of each other can only mean some form of bodily evacuation disaster (from either end or god forbid both simultaneously).
    Or possibly when all that caffine finally hit your system you collapsed into a twitching scratching pile on the side of the trail like any well schooled crack addict.
    Odds are with scenario #1. I can’t wait to hear the gory details. We haven’t had a good Fatty bodily function melt down story in too long.

  18. Comment by Mr | 09.8.2010 | 10:29 am


  19. Comment by Travis | 09.8.2010 | 10:34 am

    “bucket seats have all got to go”

  20. Comment by Jen | 09.8.2010 | 10:42 am

    After reading Parts I and II, I think my race plan next year will be to show up at the finish and enjoy the concert. Suddenly, even the duo category seems much less do-able…

    If I do ride, I’ll remember your tip about Mt. Dew, though.

  21. Comment by Kim | 09.8.2010 | 10:44 am

    You’ll have to ride to the finish line with the plush daisy attached to your handle bars…again?!?!

  22. Comment by NYCCarlos | 09.8.2010 | 10:52 am

    Finally! Whoever handle’s Fatty’s ads has gotten their predictive/contextual targeting together! I was hit with a Gatorade ad, a ad, and an Orthopedic Hospital ad… all things you would need after crashing out of the PCP2P! Gatorade to replace lost fluids (although the IV might work better), Backcountry can help you replace your broken bike, and the orthopedic surgeon can help you replace your broken leg!

  23. Comment by Jane | 09.8.2010 | 11:05 am

    Gloves-(Not a comment to read if you love the shortness of the “tweet”.)
    Funny you should bring up gloves. They’re an integral part of many sports and I’ve learned, although not, as you are foreshadowing, the hard way; to always wear gloves AND to always wear clean, soft, well conditioned gloves when I ride (my mule, not my bike.) Like you, I have yet to figure out how to keep track of them.

    Yesterday (Tuesday) I head out on the trail with my 70 year old friend who, according to the media, looks 50. Apparently baby boomers have more to offer society than 45 year old accounts of sneaking into the Fillmore West, and therefore may now say “70 is the new 50″. My friend acts 30 and hopes the rest of us can keep up.

    I’m riding the world’s tallest mule (equines are measured by hands – 1 hand is 4″, the mule is 17 hands from the ground to her back which equals 5′6″ which is only an inch shorter than the top of my head. This is a long way to climb to the saddle.) My friend is on a 2-hand shorter horse.

    Several days earlier my friend and her OTHER horse had been involved in an accident. Like avid cyclists have multiple bikes, my friend has two horses, one old and the other older.

    Equestriennes tell their husbands it’s too hard to have one horse because horses (like husbands) are herd animals and get lonely without a buddy, or two or more. Just like cyclists have several mountain bikes and several street bikes, we need to be prepared for the type of riding we are planning that day. We may need a horse that jumps in an arena plus a horse that jumps in an arena AND out on a cross country course, a separate horse that will do flat trails at a trot or canter plus one that just ambles but handles the hills easily and another that crosses water in case the ambling horse can’t or won’t, and on the chance we have a friend who likes to ride but doesn’t have a horse or doesn’t have a horse who does the kind of riding we want to do together, we need one more horse who does. Many of us need a mini horse in case all the other horses are out except one and then the mini can keep the left behind horse company and it “doesn’t cost all that much to feed cause its not a real horse.” Then there’s the “husband horse” – that’s the one that sits in the barn until its ridden, once a year, out of guilt because its the wife’s birthday and it would “mean so much.” (The husband horse usually gets a new job after its first year of ownership.) I have one horse and two mules.

    At 70, my trail riding friend still rides everyday and this past Saturday (the 4th) her oldest horse went down on his side (“he slipped on the grass,” she tells me-”that’s why I ride a mule” and she concedes my point) She ended up underneath him, pinned between his 1200 pound body and a fence with the horse’s head and neck stretched under the fence. She was with another woman (who is as tiny as the Runner looks) who rolled the horse over and off my friend and then, they walked 4 miles home, leading the horses, on very rutted single track.

    Labor Day she tells me she feels “a little stiff” and maybe she bruised her thigh bone.

    Here is the glove part:
    Yesterday we’re on the trail, me and the mule in front. I take off my glove to open my water bottle. These gloves are fairly new, leather, and recommended by an old guy working at Lowe’s who has a horse for roping, one for reining and one for just “farting around on.” He may have a very rare wife horse, I didn’t ask. I drink, replace the water bottle on my clip-to-the saddle holder and ride on. The glove stays behind.
    Part 2 to follow.

  24. Comment by bahama mama | 09.8.2010 | 11:16 am

    what just happened?

  25. Comment by roan | 09.8.2010 | 11:48 am

    Hay Fatty just get Jane to write her Part II early so you can use it in place of your Part III. Then we can all fall off the wagon with a 3rd or 4th beer…errr…Mtn dew and not finish the entry.

  26. Comment by mateo | 09.8.2010 | 11:48 am

    Did Jane just throw a blog into a blog? Hey, Jane, get your own!

  27. Comment by Eber | 09.8.2010 | 12:31 pm

    sadly I think I was behind the only dill hole on the course not interested in riding the Friendliest Bike Race Ever.

    didn’t ruin the entire day though. what a great ride!

  28. Comment by Elizabeth | 09.8.2010 | 12:54 pm

    Jane, ignore mateo, I want to hear what happened!

  29. Comment by Joel P. | 09.8.2010 | 1:15 pm

    Waitng on part III with much anticipation or is trepidation. We shall see.
    Joel P.
    PS Hey PJ stick with 30+ OZ, it works for me.

  30. Comment by Terry | 09.8.2010 | 2:28 pm

    Okay, let’s see… far we are waiting on Part III from Fatty…..we know it will be gross for sure AND Part II from Jane…….we don’t even know who Jane is but her mini blog was fascinating! I must have no life at all since this is every bit as exciting as waiting to see who wins Big Brother!

  31. Comment by Rinjin | 09.8.2010 | 4:21 pm

    I don’t understand how it ever seemed like a good idea to ride 70+ miles of singletrack with more than 14,000 ft of vertical on a rigid single-speed!?!?!?!

    And I’d like to add my appreciation of Jane’s blog-napping. Awesome. In a scary, self-centered way.

  32. Comment by KK | 09.8.2010 | 7:34 pm

    Maybe “The Distance” would have been more appropriate…

  33. Comment by Sunny | 09.8.2010 | 7:54 pm

    Again I have to say…you are a total entertainer. Don’t know you, but part of me wants to be the daring cyclist you are and part of me says I’m not that crazy. Thanks for the smiles.

  34. Comment by AK_Chick | 09.8.2010 | 8:22 pm

    Purely Awesome blog, Fatty! Loved it. Also, started doing the math with carbonated beverages and altitude. Um, I can’t think of anything good that came of that (plus all the sugar). I have the worlds most delicate digestive system which is even more delicate before, during, and after epic bike rides or hikes. I once tried to drink a flavored Pellegrino water at the summit of a very steep, very hard climb (only a little over 3,000ft). I had taken a few sips when my stomach protested and being that I was there with one guy and three gals, and NO TREES, BUSHES etc., I prayed that my tummy would calm down and fast (it did – whew). So I have the funniest feeling I know what’s going to happen. Ick.

    I have to say that I loved Jane’s mini-blog (self-serving or not). I am an avid horse lover, but can’t afford the road bike I want much less a horse so find it really cool she has a horse and 2 mules. Wow. I can’t wait to hear her glove story because I have never ridden a horse with gloves so am not sure what could have happened. Actually, I don’t like wearing gloves while riding my roadie either. I find them uncomfortable. Hope she shares part 2 tomorrow with your part 3.

    Thanks for the race report even though you torture us by breaking it up into sections. Also, super excited to get my new Fatty gear. :) Sad that I finally realized I won’t be able to make it to Austin this year (plane tickets alone from Alaska are over $1000). I plan on making donations to my account until then and taking part via the internet. I am super bummed. Plan on signing up for next year and coming up with a savings plan for ticket/bike transport fees/hotel.

    PS Darned if I didn’t write a novel here. Oops. Sorry ’bout that. I’m a tad chatty I guess. :)

  35. Comment by roan | 09.8.2010 | 8:54 pm

    I thought about today’s blog replies as I hoofed it home. If I didn’t have bikes I would want horses/mules. My helmet is off to Jane a 70 year old mule rider that reads (I hope) Fatty’s blog.
    I read somewhere that Harry Truman was the son of a Missouri horse and mule trader…not sure which one was the mother/father. Bottom line…Fatty for President 2012.

  36. Comment by Gordon In Melb, Australia | 09.8.2010 | 9:04 pm

    1 I want some of what Jane had (and secretly want to hear the next bit),
    2 Seems like you have read too much AA Milne and are singing Pooh Bear songs, and
    3 On Monday I am having a procedure that involves “both ends”, can we compare notes ‘cuase that is where part 3 is heading.

  37. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 09.8.2010 | 9:50 pm

    I’m afraid all that soda is going to have a down side.

  38. Comment by lorianne | 09.9.2010 | 3:55 am

    I must say that these are some of the most interesting and crazy comments and couldn’t stop chuckling! Jane you should start your own blog….I think you would have some devoted readers.

  39. Comment by Adventure Monkey | 09.9.2010 | 6:33 am

    Well, I moved some meetings around and put a “do not disturb hot project work” sign on my cube in anticipation of part III.

  40. Comment by Miles Archer | 09.9.2010 | 7:25 am

    You look miserable in that photo.

  41. Comment by jeff | 09.9.2010 | 8:59 am

    You hadn’t seen the last of that Mountain Dew and Coke at this point, had you?

  42. Comment by Philly Jen | 09.9.2010 | 9:37 am

    BTW, I just noticed that your two-tone Oakleys match your CarboRocket jersey in the snapshot. Nice!

    Whatever the, er…outcome of this story, at least you were stylin’ while it happened.

  43. Comment by Douglas | 09.9.2010 | 9:40 am

    Post part III already! I might have to start workin”!!

  44. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Park City Point 2 Point Race Report, Part III | 09.9.2010 | 11:00 am

    [...] « Park City Point 2 Point Race Report, Part II [...]

  45. Pingback by Park City Point To Point » That’s a Wrap! The 2nd Annual PCP2P is Over… | 09.10.2010 | 11:58 am

    [...] got to read this > Fatcylist Part I Part II Part [...]

  46. Comment by Arizona Guy | 09.14.2010 | 7:34 am

    Fatty – is it an impressive sign of your appeal to women that the lead add is for Sport Tampons, or an indictment that we, your male readers, are in fact lacking in manly qualities?


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