Youth and Obstinacy Versus Age and Experience: Who Will Get the Daisy?

05.6.2011 | 10:51 am

201105060937.jpg A Big Thank You from Fatty, Johan Bruyneel, and WBR : A couple of days ago, Johan and I ambushed all of you with a surprise registration period for the 100 Miles of Nowhere, with the proceeds to benefit World Bicycle Relief. Well, we raised just over $4000, which is enough to buy 30 bicycles for people in Africa. That’s a whole classroom-full of kids’ lives changed for the better, because a bunch of you were willing to do something simultaneously silly and noble.

It’s at times like this that I really love doing this blog, and love the people who read it and get involved even more.

Group hug, everyone.

A couple of weeks ago, I — along with a big group of friends — went to Moab to ride around the White Rim. It’s a tradition. An annual wake-up call to those of us who have somehow fooled ourselves into thinking that we’ve made it through the winter in pretty good shape.

As I have mentioned, I didn’t do so great at the ride. As in, I hardly got started.

201105060946.jpg So tomorrow — along with a much smaller group of people — I’m going to do it again. And since the forecast has the day pegged as sunny and warm (though windy), I’m determined to do the whole ride this time, with a smile on my face, a song on my face and — if needed — a daisy on my handlebars (the talisman carried by the person riding sweep for our group rides around the White Rim).

And you know what? I’m perfectly happy to ride with the daisy on my handlebars. I am. I’ve got nothing to prove, after all.

But I don’t think it’ll come to that. Not for the whole day, anyway.

The Strength (and Naivete?) of Youth

Tomorrow, the group riding around the White Rim will consist of The Runner and I — both of us have done countless rides of this difficulty and duration — and The Runner’s sons (ages 21 and 23), neither of which have done any one-day rides of this distance or duration.

And yet, they seem remarkably unconcerned.

Their arguments are compelling, amounting to things like this: “Well, if Mom can do it, it can’t be that hard.”

Or the equally compelling argument: “We’re young and stubborn. We’ll get through just fine.”

They sound so confident. So self-assured. So young. They almost have me convinced.


What they have neglected, in their calculations, is the fact that their mom is not exactly an ordinary mom. No, she is The Runner, not to mention a certifiable hardcore cycling badass who eats century bike rides for breakfast.

Furthermore, they might have forgotten that their mom has earned aforementioned badassery by doing countless endurance rides and runs for more than a decade.

So tomorrow should be interesting.

Will youth and determination win the day? Or will mom get a really awesome early Mother’s Day present in the form of her two prime-of-their-lives sons confessing (in whimpering, exhausted, and contrite voices) that she — at approximately twice their age — is stronger, tougher, and faster than they?

I have my suspicions (and, let’s face it, biases) but intend to be as objective as possible. I’ll be interested in reporting my findings of the days events, with both words and photos.

And I have made sure to pack the daisy.

PS: Yes, this is my way of talking trash.


  1. Comment by TheITGuy | 05.6.2011 | 11:05 am

    I stand by everything I have previously said, if an old Fatty can do something, then a handsome and fit 20 year old will be able to ride circles around said Fatty as he does the same task.

    Plus, if around mile 70 you start riding faster, I can always have the Sag Wagon forget to stop and fill up your water bottle.

    Dude, I had no idea you have a blog. – FC

  2. Comment by chtrich | 05.6.2011 | 11:12 am

    Age easily

  3. Comment by chtrich | 05.6.2011 | 11:12 am

    Age & Experience that is

  4. Comment by KM | 05.6.2011 | 11:26 am

    They have no idea what’s going to happen. This should be fun. I say the sag wagon option should be forbidden until they pronounce “I’m a small and feeble male who although younger, acknowledges the greatness and awe inspiring endurance and superior athleticism of both my uber Mother and her consort, Fatty.” Feel free to add extra superlatives related to your excellence, after all, you’re an award winning blogger.

    Then I think they should offer you sacrifies of baked goods which you should greedily consume before allowing them to enter the shameful confines of the sag wagon. I mean, you wouldn’t want perfectly good baked goods go to waste would you? That Superfly is as good as mine…wait, did I just write that out loud?!

  5. Comment by hulzdog | 05.6.2011 | 11:46 am

    Don’t forget the TP!

  6. Comment by Kathy McElhaney | 05.6.2011 | 12:35 pm

    Go Runner! Mom’s rule, especially this weekend.

  7. Comment by rich | 05.6.2011 | 12:48 pm

    LOVE IT!
    I’ve ridden with both my son in law and other daughter’s boyfriend and truly enjoyed the part where they had to admit to their respective better halves that an old guy, a grandfather no less, has taken pictures of them on the side of the trail tossing up their cookies….
    Unfortunately, it hasn’t had the desired effect of scaring them away from my duaghters….

  8. Comment by Daren | 05.6.2011 | 12:51 pm


    I’ll be doing WR with a family group as well. If you’re starting on Mineral Road, we’ll see you and say hi.

  9. Comment by George | 05.6.2011 | 12:54 pm

    My money is on the age and experienced “aforementioned badassery”

  10. Comment by Jason | 05.6.2011 | 1:22 pm

    Badassery just might be the greatest word ever.

  11. Comment by Dan in Sac | 05.6.2011 | 1:27 pm

    Like they say “Trail don’t lie.” So truths will be learned tomorrow!

  12. Comment by T Foster | 05.6.2011 | 1:43 pm

    They’ll make it.. and then not be able to walk for a week.

  13. Comment by Clydesteve | 05.6.2011 | 1:45 pm

    I am a sunned fan of the word badassery, as well.

    Leave the burritos alone, Fatty. Better yet treat the youngsters to a couple of monster burritos each, and you & the Runner eat something that won’t make you…. well you know.

  14. Comment by Clydesteve | 05.6.2011 | 1:45 pm

    sunned = sudden in some worlds

  15. Comment by NYCCarlos | 05.6.2011 | 1:47 pm

    I have a feeling the youngins are stronger than you think…

    Also! We got the permit approved to ride in Kissena for the 100 Miles of Nowhere – NYC edition. We have the Velodrome reserved on Sunday, June 5th from 8am to 5pm. If you’re nearby (or far away and willing to travel!) and want to do 100MoN on one of the most prestigious tracks in the country (look up the Kissena velodrome… some pretty cool history), you should let me know – carlosgperea AT gmail DOT com. All are welcome. Even if you’re not riding, please come support us as we ride 403 loops of this infuriatingly small course! We already have a group of 5-10 Fatties who will definitely be there, come join us!

  16. Comment by Clydesteve | 05.6.2011 | 1:51 pm

    BTW tell Lisa Steve said to have a great Mother’s Day!

  17. Comment by KM | 05.6.2011 | 1:52 pm

    If both you and the Runner beat them to the end, they have to get daisy tattoos!

  18. Comment by Bee | 05.6.2011 | 3:20 pm

    My money is totally on The Runner.

  19. Comment by HeidiR | 05.6.2011 | 4:10 pm

    My goal in life is to truthfully be called a “certifiable hardcore cycling badass”…

  20. Comment by Beccles | 05.6.2011 | 4:59 pm

    Never mind whether they have the physicality to do this, If they haven’t worked up to this length of ride, I have two words for them “saddle sore”. I say withhold the Dave’s Nuts and they’ll soon learn about toughness — the leathery type!

  21. Comment by stuckinmypedals | 05.6.2011 | 5:40 pm

    Fatty, the write up of this weekend is just begging to be a series written from different points of view. One from your vantage point, one from The Runner’s POV and one written by her sons. I can only imagine the hilarity that is going to ensue!

  22. Comment by BamaJim | 05.6.2011 | 5:57 pm

    I’m favoring the age and experience on this one. I’m even older, with similar age kids, and the really long ride is the only place where I still have the advantage.

    Enjoy the moment though, I’ve been on some rides with my kids where I got a glimpse of the future where I’m the old slow guy they have to wait for..

  23. Comment by Tim Joe Comstock | 05.6.2011 | 6:05 pm

    Any chance we could get the authors of “Captain Pete’s New Crew” to do an illustrated report of this epic event?

  24. Comment by Debi | 05.6.2011 | 10:26 pm

    Go Runner and Fatty. I’m rooting for you. I’m certain Mom will rule and they will be surprised.

  25. Comment by Anonymous | 05.7.2011 | 6:48 am

    Make sure you weigh in immediately after finishing. No brats or bread and you should be good for at least 5 lbs.

  26. Comment by Janey | 05.7.2011 | 4:03 pm

    Waiting with baited breath….

  27. Comment by cece | 05.7.2011 | 5:58 pm

    My money’s on the Runner!

  28. Comment by roan | 05.7.2011 | 7:25 pm

    Initially I was going to say “Go easy on the youngns” skip that just ride your normal pace. Hope y’all hace cell phone coverage, just so Fatty & Runner don’t have to worry about how kids are doing. Fatty, I’m hoping that you & Runner know of a turnout to park the Sag Wagon on the reverse route, then pull up behind them with words of encouragement and an occasional horn beep just to keep them moovin.

  29. Comment by Henry | 05.7.2011 | 8:29 pm

    Where’s Fatty? Team Fatty jerseys always stick out… You and The Runner are in Bicycling’s June magazine. The picture on pg 39 from Levi’s 2010 King Ridge Fondo… Probably old news to you by now…

  30. Comment by daness40 | 05.8.2011 | 9:46 pm


    I know this has nothing to do with the post. But I was wondering if anyone knows what size specialized romin saddle would fit me best? I measure 134mm for my sit bones. Would 143 or 155 be best?

    Hopefully the large collection of avid cyclists that follow this blog can assist me! Thanks to anyone that can help.

  31. Comment by Angie | 05.9.2011 | 9:00 am

    You should encourage the kids to eat lots of gassy food right before the ride. Don’t remind them to drink frequently during the day. Lastly, don’t warn them about upcoming steep hills, this way they can’t pace themselves! Stack the deck in your favor!!!

    I’m kidding. I honestly want to know the unbiased outcome.

  32. Comment by Franky | 05.9.2011 | 9:29 am

    Last weekend guys past their 60s beat my time at the Gran Fondo NY climbs so I wouldn’t worry about the youngsters. The Runner and you will prevail, and make sure you rub it in for weeks to come.

    @daness40 – The numbers 143/155 refer to the width of the saddle, so based on your measurement you should go with the 143. Specialized also has a 130 size for this saddle. It would be best to try them both out at a local Specialized dealer to see what fits.

  33. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » 100 Miles…The Convenient Way | 05.9.2011 | 11:52 am

    [...] « Youth and Obstinacy Versus Age and Experience: Who Will Get the Daisy? [...]


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.