Park City Point 2 Point Race Report, Part III

09.9.2010 | 10:52 am

A Note from Fatty: This is Part 3 of my three-part story on racing (ha) the 2010 Park City Point 2 Point. Part 1 is here, and Part 2 is here.

This is going to come as a shocker to some people, but occasionally I do things that I quickly regret. Which is the only explanation I have for why I would have consumed a largish Mountain Dew and two Cokes at the final aid station.

I was thirsty. It was cold and delicious. I drank it.

Hey, you’ll notice that when I claim I am a “beloved, multi-award-winning, superstar cycle blogging sensation,” I never toss “smart” into that porridge of adjectives, right?

Anyway, I drank a lot of soda. Then I started riding.

Within a couple of minutes, the inevitable happened: the carbonated stew in my stomach (for in addition to the soda, I had also consumed a can of Chicken and Stars soup. And a Fruition bar. And a Salted Nut Roll.) sloshed around. My stomach expanded. To the point of distress.

And then past the point of distress. And then past the point that comes after the point that is past the point of distress.

And in short, I looked like Veruca Salt had been stuffed into a CarboRocket jersey.

And in even shorter, I felt terrible.

I slowed to a crawl (not literally), the discomfort seemingly robbing me of my climbing legs.

I kept swapping between wanting to barf, burp, or fart. Or all three. And in the darkest moments, I considered the probability that I was more likely to wind up with horrible, explosive diarreah, like the last time I had had too much caffeinated soda to drink during a stop in the middle of the long ride.

Then, as icing on the cake, I got a leg cramp that went all the way from the top of the inside of my left leg down to my calf. I pedaled through it, knowing that my only other alternative was to get off my bike and thrash around for a while ’til it went away.

Might as well go forward — at least a little bit — while I’m in agony.

A Runner (But Not The Runner)

There were many indications that I was not going fast. Most were predictable: My speedometer stopped registering movement. Cyclists passed me frequently. (JJ, a friend and one of the Suncrest gang, remarked as he passed, “Looks like you’re fighting some demons; good luck.”). Shadows of trees lengthened perceptibly between when I saw them and went by them.

But there was one unexpected sign that I had slowed: a runner. More specifically, a woman trail runner, going uphill. She just cruised right by me.

Looking for some way to further deprecate myself, I shouted out, “Oh, you’re just showing off.”

She did not reply. Just kept going.

Doing Some Math

As if I weren’t feeling bad enough and going slow enough, I had a new bugaboo in my mind: the reported amount of climbing for this race versus the amount of climbing my GPS said I had done.

See, there’s supposed to be 14,000 feet of climbing in the Park City Point 2 Point (PCP2P). But 65 miles into the race, my GPS said I had done around 10,500 feet of climbing. By my math, that meant I had 3500 feet of climbing in the final 13 miles.

And frankly, I just didn’t feel up to it.

So I asked a guy, as he rode by, if he had done the race before. He had. “Do we really have more than 3000 feet of climbing left?” I asked.

“No,” he replied, clearly horrified at even the suggestion of the thought. “There’s only about one more really big climb. Maybe a thousand feet.”

I have never before so dearly hoped that a complete stranger was right (he was; my final GPS reading says I did around 11,500 feet of climbing; I don’t know whether my GPS is inaccurate or the official altitude count is wrong.)


As I got to about mile 67 — eleven miles to go — a wonderful thing happened.

I began to fart. A lot.

My jersey loosened. My spirits lifted. My mind lightened. My climbing legs came back, as did the song in my heart (I almost always have a song in my heart).

So good did each fart feel, that I often remarked on them aloud: “Oh, that was helpful.” Or “Mercy, I feel better.”

As far as I know, nobody heard me commentating on my pleasure at having gas. And I really, really hope to never find out otherwise.

Surprise Ending

I continued to pass people on the climbs, and then get passed by the same folks on the descents, as I daintily picked my way among the rocks, too sore to roll over anything I didn’t absolutely have to.

And as I did, I kept reminding myself of one thing: you weren’t finished when you saw the finish line. People had told me not to be fooled: when you came by the finish area, you’d be redirected uphill for one last big climb before descending to the bottom.

And so when I saw the finish area, I knew I’d shortly be passing it, then heading back uphill. I knew that my day wasn’t done.

Except it was.

I was so cooked that I am the only person in the whole world who didn’t see the finish area the first time. So as I got closer and closer, instead of the elation of knowing I had finished my race, I felt nothing but dread. And pain. And exhaustion.

One more climb? Really? I have to do more climbing? I just didn’t feel up to it. I started to feel like I was going to cry.

OK, I did in fact start to cry.

And then I was routed into the finishing chute, I crossed the line, and it was over.

Weird. I hadn’t had time to transition from grim and exhausted and miserable to relieved, happy and exhausted.

And to be honest, I thought I was going to start crying again.

Get Me Out of Here

The Runner came up to me at the finish line and gave me a hug. “Please, get me out of here,” I whispered to her.

I just hadn’t absorbed that I had finished one of the toughest races — 78 miles of climby, technical singletrack at high altitude — I could ever imagine, in a very difficult way: on a rigid singlespeed.

I’d find out later I had finished in 10:29:59, 19th place in the Singlespeed division. 116th place overall. Which is pretty good, I guess.

But I didn’t feel exultant or triumphant or anything good at that moment.

All I wanted was to get out of there.

The Runner, able to tell that I wasn’t feeling celebratory at all, guided me to the truck. We were stopped several times by friends and friendly blog readers, all of them congratulating me, some wanting to get a photo.

Normally I love this.

But after this race I had one thing on my mind: get away from this place, as fast as possible.

Because I could tell I was going to start crying again.

As we quickly loaded the truck, The Runner did get one picture of me, trying my darnedest to smile:

My Photo_17_2.jpg

Not much of a smile, but it was the best I had to offer.


It was two days before my pee would return to normal color. My body feels fine now, and I’m astounded at the variety, distance, and enormity of the PCP2P.

I might even race it again someday.

But not on a rigid singlespeed. Not that way, ever again.


  1. Comment by Douglas | 09.9.2010 | 10:55 am

    You Make me want to move west and torture myself! Keep up the great stories!

  2. Comment by Douglas Again | 09.9.2010 | 11:01 am

    Oh yea and sell my plush fully suspended geared ride for a rigid ss!

  3. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 09.9.2010 | 11:02 am

    Despite all the pain, you did it. You finished! Through hills and ski jumps and digestive distress. Go Fatty!

    If you do the race again next year…maybe planning a little bit farther ahead would help? ;)

    Again – proud of you.

  4. Comment by Erik | 09.9.2010 | 11:02 am

    Chapeau, Fatty. Well done. I think I have even more respect for you now, this is probably the most honest assessment of any of your cycling rides. I look forward to riding with you in Austin.

  5. Comment by Eric L | 09.9.2010 | 11:03 am

    Fatty man, you’re awesome. Phil and Paul never regale us with stories of poop, farts and pee. I bet Bobke would though.

    Great race posts. Lisa sounds like the most supportive loving team mate – you’re a lucky feller.

  6. Comment by Anonymous | 09.9.2010 | 11:07 am

    Awesome write-up, congratulations! I read this at the office and had coworkers looking over their cubicle walls to see why I was laughing out loud. It’s amazing how grateful you can be for a fart sometimes…

  7. Comment by Jen | 09.9.2010 | 11:11 am

    What was the song in your heart at mile 67?

  8. Comment by Joshua | 09.9.2010 | 11:13 am

    You kept me on the edge of my seat !

  9. Comment by Philly Jen | 09.9.2010 | 11:39 am

    Huzzah for jet propulsion! (BTW, what team did you say you were riding for again?)

    P.S. Listen to your wife — you know, the one who keeps a supply of Gas-X handy when she races. She’s clearly the brains of the operation.

  10. Comment by XCTiger | 09.9.2010 | 11:46 am

    Great story.

    I believe one of the unwritten rules of cycling is that the urge to pass gas is directly related to the distance between your back wheel and the ears of the sweet young thing (who you don’t know) that is following on.

    BTW, That picture looks like you just went a couple of rounds with the Spanish Inquisition and were looking forward to burning at the stake.

    Great story. I look forward to hearing it again in the future.

  11. Comment by Gary | 09.9.2010 | 12:09 pm

    Great post! I have an affinity for ice cold coke myself as a bonk recovery. But after reading your post I wonder if I should just stick to CarboRocket.

  12. Comment by Bryan (not that one) | 09.9.2010 | 12:12 pm


  13. Comment by Rob L | 09.9.2010 | 12:14 pm

    Great tale/telling fatty and big cheers for finishing in that state! And with a damn respectable time!

  14. Comment by Mike Russell | 09.9.2010 | 12:28 pm

    Dude, the Coke part of this story was the best. I think everyone has had GI distress, but nothing like that. Way to finish!

  15. Comment by pipebaum | 09.9.2010 | 12:44 pm

    I was wondering what that ripping noise was that shattered the silence here in Minnesota. Now I know, it was Fatty equalizing himself.

  16. Comment by bikemike | 09.9.2010 | 12:46 pm

    i would do that ride on a 29er with 47(usable) gears + reverse and 283 inches of travel. my camelbak would be filled with 100oz. of 5hour energy drink.

  17. Comment by Dave | 09.9.2010 | 1:04 pm

    Confirms my belief…farting is always funny

  18. Comment by Rob Churchill | 09.9.2010 | 1:06 pm

    And to top it all off, you got a bad case of helmet head. Hate it when that happens.

  19. Comment by Chuck Hagele | 09.9.2010 | 1:13 pm

    Wow – I can’t stop laughing and know that if I tried to explain why I’m laughing no one would understand.

    Great as ever and congratulations!

  20. Comment by Chris | 09.9.2010 | 1:17 pm

    I concur with Dave, fart stories are always funny. congrats on the ride and see you in Austin (meybe)

  21. Comment by PiGgY | 09.9.2010 | 1:21 pm

    “But not on a rigid singlespeed. Not that way, ever again.”

    FINALLY…U came to your senses…:P

    Congrats for Completing the event despite the gastrointestinal setbacks…:)

  22. Comment by Howie | 09.9.2010 | 1:34 pm

    Riding a singlespeed rigid definitely qualifies you as a martyr.

    I need to get me one.

  23. Comment by Susie | 09.9.2010 | 1:40 pm

    goodness me, you have once again regaled us with another colorful account of a race to the point of tears. congratulations on a race well ridden!

  24. Comment by KanyonKris | 09.9.2010 | 2:03 pm

    On first read the second title was:

    Doing Some Meth

    Which I didn’t completely rule out since it would have helped immensely.

  25. Comment by Alison Wonderland | 09.9.2010 | 2:09 pm

    When you posted about how you hadn’t prepared for the race I was going to comment something along the lines of “You did a freaking iron man without training, quit yer crying.” but I didn’t so now I don’t have to say “Oops I guess I was wrong.” Sometimes it’s good to be me. (Better than to be you apparently.)

  26. Comment by Terry | 09.9.2010 | 2:34 pm

    Oh my goodness, you do realize, at least I hope you do, that after you reach a certain age (which you are approaching) that you never never trust a fart!! There is a reason for this slogan you know! It sure coulda been messy and embarrassing.

  27. Comment by marion | 09.9.2010 | 2:36 pm

    so…what color was your pee when it wasn’t normal?

  28. Comment by Yukon 19 | 09.9.2010 | 3:01 pm

    I knew it, another episode of the Flatulent Cyclist. Great story but lately it seems more of your post are going to the dumps ;-)

  29. Comment by judi | 09.9.2010 | 4:58 pm

    you look hurt.

    so whats up? are you going to interbike? im getting married there.

  30. Comment by Clydesteve | 09.9.2010 | 5:05 pm

    wow, sonds like quite a time, Elden. Congrats on the finish. And the normal color. I am sure that is good.

  31. Comment by Tiff | 09.9.2010 | 6:07 pm

    I don’t ride. I don’t follow cycling at all. But I follow you Fatty, because of your ability to make a sport I don’t even follow sound interesting and, most of all, funny. Thanks for the laughter. My stomach muscles even got involved.
    Glad you survived.

  32. Comment by Average Joe Cyclist | 09.9.2010 | 7:10 pm

    Yeah, I agree with Tiff – I enjoy your posts even though I don’t ride in races. Actually, I consider myself too “average” to EVER compete in a real bike race, but when I read your posts, I start to imagine I COULD actually do it, one day (need to lose ANOTHER 40 pounds first, though). Thanks for demystifying the mystique of the fast guys in Lycra. (Hey, who can be intimidated by a guy FARTING his way uphill!)

  33. Comment by Jenni | 09.9.2010 | 7:34 pm

    Do you guys remember when the Fat Cyclists was fat?

    Me neither.

    GREAT JOB!!!!

  34. Comment by Squirrelhead | 09.9.2010 | 9:32 pm

    Excellent write up about a very funny and inspiring race experience. I am still working on getting sprint triathlons under control. I can only hope to do a cool race like the PCP2P race. Keep it up Fatty! Maybe a better name is lil Fatty. LOL

  35. Comment by gomez | 09.9.2010 | 9:32 pm

    Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

  36. Comment by Dave | 09.9.2010 | 11:15 pm

    Congrats Fatty! You continue to be an inspiration for a number of reasons. Strong work!

  37. Comment by AK_Chick | 09.10.2010 | 12:17 am

    Love it! I have to admit I have never understood why you and the Runner drink carbonated beverages in races. Back before I came to my senses and used to participate in marathons, half marathons and trail races (I was never competitive though), we would never dream of drinking a carbonated beverage and I would defizz my pre-race Mtn Dew (also good for hangovers, though I’m too old to drink that much now)and drink it without carbonation. Not quite as good, but I achieved the same affect without the gas. :) Not sure if that is something you two would ever consider? Also Philly Jen is right, if you insist on drinking carbonated beverages, bring some Gas-X. :) Personally, I always have a full first aid kit handy to prepare for everything (gas, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.) You never, ever know.

    Thanks for the delightful 3-part race report. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was alternately laughing and tearing up a little at the end. That is how I felt at the end of my first century ride this year. I didn’t cry, I was too p*ssed off as it ended on a gigantic climb when I remembered thinking on the way out, awesome, this will be all downhill the last few miles and I’ll have a tailwind. I’d like to find the smart@$$ who put in a hill and gave me headwinds on the way back too. And that was only around 4500 feet of elevation gain at nearly sealevel and I was on a road bike on a road. I swore I’d never do the 100 again. Two days later, I was already making plans for 2011.

    Little disappointed I don’t get to find out with the lady and her glove and her mule.

    PS sorry for writing yet another novel.

  38. Comment by Saso | 09.10.2010 | 5:07 am

    Mighty effort, great reading.

  39. Comment by XrayTed | 09.10.2010 | 6:42 am

    Another wonderful, inspirational account. You’ve motivated me to ride my old FAT CHANCE rigid singlespeed this weekend in your honor. I don’t think I’ll match 10 1/2 hours though.

  40. Comment by Penina | 09.10.2010 | 6:42 am

    So, now that it is almost a week later…. how are you doing?

  41. Comment by cece | 09.10.2010 | 7:43 am

    You always amaze me! I love to suffer with you vicariously as I read your posts. You ROCK!

  42. Comment by Elizabeth | 09.10.2010 | 9:29 am

    “The Fat Cyclist” has now become “The Fart Cyclist”? Does that makes us all Farties??? After all, it’s just the next key on the keyboard, I’m just sayin’. Seriously, an action-packed and hilarious account, even if we did have to wait THREE DAYS to reach the end (so to speak…)

    And I hope we didn’t scare off Jane, ‘cuz I really wanted to hear what happened with the horses and the mules and the lost glove.

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

    [...] You’ve got to read this > Fatcylist Part I Part II Part III [...]

  44. Comment by roan | 09.10.2010 | 3:34 pm

    Elizabeth and all other Fatties, if we did scare off Jane tis sad, maybe she will post, maybe not.
    Either way the morel (tis the season and hard to find too),

    A glove on your hand is worth two in the bush.

    Real mtn bikers don’t wear gloves.

  45. Comment by stuckinmypedals | 09.10.2010 | 5:47 pm

    I’ve always know you’ve got mental fortitude in spades. Now I know you’ve got intestinal fortitude to match. Well done, Fatty. Thanks for sharing.

  46. Comment by Daisy | 09.10.2010 | 10:21 pm

    “So good did each fart feel, that I often remarked on them aloud: “Oh, that was helpful.” Or “Mercy, I feel better.”

    Best. Line. EVER.

  47. Comment by sunny | 09.10.2010 | 10:54 pm

    great great reading! nice to feel/sense your enthusiasm for life. found out I am cancer free today so may just peddle up provo canyon tomorrow to celebrate. its the best i can do as a gal beginner at age 60.

  48. Comment by Jenn | 09.13.2010 | 1:49 am

    Your actual suprise ending was much better than the one I imagined might follow that subject heading, given its proximity to the discussion of gas emissions.

  49. Comment by Randy | 09.13.2010 | 10:50 am

    “And in short, I looked like Veruca Salt had been stuffed into a CarboRocket jersey.”

    If you mean you swelled up like a giant blueberry?

    That was Violet Beauregard [of course, after she shoved Augustus Gloop into the river she was better known "Violent Disregard"]

  50. Comment by Ka_Jun | 09.13.2010 | 2:16 pm

    Nice ride report…serious man, serious.

  51. Comment by Jabber Jaws | 09.13.2010 | 2:23 pm

    I think the flashy playtex sports tampon ad at the top of your blog is the funniest part of my day. I keep laughing to myself about a guy bike blog making some moola off the tampon. I hope all revenue from it goes to the ladies in your life. Thanks for the double laugh today!

  52. Comment by cece | 09.14.2010 | 7:55 am

    I am so hoping that Fatty did not give up cycling and blogging after his latest great adventure!

  53. Comment by bubbaseadog | 09.14.2010 | 8:19 pm

    that was the funniest and honest reads yet we have all been in that painful situation with the gas and bloating and saying thank you Jesus after a good long fart or belch hoping no one is next to or behind you.


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