Moab to St. George: Rockwell Relay, Part II

06.14.2011 | 6:50 am

A Note from Fatty: This is Part II of a long series about the 2011 Moab to St. George: Rockwell Relay race. Here’s what you’ll find in each installment:

  • Part I: A little about the race, team philosophy, pre-race excitement, and the first two legs of the race covered.
  • Part II: The Hammer rips up her first leg of the race, The IT Guy gives Heather motivation to continue by using a novel technique.
  • Part III: The night laps begin. I turn off course, nearly hit a deer, and nevertheless love riding this race.
  • Part IV: Night laps extract their toll on the team; The Hammer works with Jerry to both their benefit; I show off my Superman jammies; Kenny does a hard climbing lap on a singlespeed.
  • Part V: We finish our final legs, going from cold to hot in record time. We collect our prizes and catch up on sleep. We announce our intentions to defend our title next year.

Moab to St. George: Rockwell Relay, Part II

Yesterday, I ended my post with a cheap shot, saying:

I scanned the Exchange area, looking for Lisa, ready to hand the baton/slap-bracelet thingy to her.

But I couldn’t see her anywhere.

I said this because it was true, and I was freaking out, and I wanted to share that freaked-out-ed-ness with you. (And also because a bunch of you recently told me I need to keep my posts down to a reasonable length.)

The thing is, though, the reason I couldn’t see Lisa was that my brain wasn’t working right. Lisa was, in fact, right there. She was on her bike. Rolling forward and ready to take off. Holding out her arm, ready to take the slap-bracelet.

I just didn’t see her, because she was on the left side of the road, and I was looking on the right.



Eventually I did see Lisa, and handed off the bracelet. My leg was over, and now I could rejoin the crewing.

Sexual Discrimination

You may have noticed that I did not mention heat as a factor for my leg of the race. That’s because it wasn’t. Nor was it a problem for Kenny. See, we both rode when it was nice and early in the morning.

Lisa, on the other hand, got about thirty minutes of this nice cool part of the day before the furnace came on.

Intelligently, she wore last year’s white Team Fatty jersey for this leg of the race. And, astonishingly, she’d be smiling pretty much every time we rode by to ask how she’s doing:


Looking pretty hot, if I do say so myself. And not just heat-of-the-day hot, either.

It was on Lisa’s leg of the race that we settled into the pattern that would hold sway for a big chunk of the race. Specifically:

  1. Drive up to the racer and ask what they need.
  2. Drive forward a mile or two, pull over, and get ready the food and/or drink the racer wanted.
  3. Have the racer drop the bottle they want to get rid of right before they get to us.
  4. Take the food or bottle.

As the day got hotter (and hotter), we didn’t even need to ask Lisa what she wanted anymore. Water. Lots of ice.

Meet the Hammer, Everyone

It was during this leg of the race that I stopped mentally thinking of Lisa as “The Runner” and started thinking of her as “The Hammer.” The truth is, she’s riding incredibly strong this year. She’s a strong climber, descends fearlessly, and can pound the flat miles away.

In spite of the fact that we were a coed team, we were staying right with the top Men’s teams.

Which, as the husband and training partner of The Hammer, I find really gratifying.

The Peculiar Awesomeness of Relay Racing

It was during The Hammer’s first leg that I really started getting a sense of what made this kind of racing really fun. It’s one of those things that is obvious in retrospect, but had never occurred to me before actually trying relay racing.

When you’re relay racing, you get to be involved with every part of a road race, all at once. You’re supporting a racer. Then you’re the racer. Then you’re watching the race from a perspective that most people never get: right in the middle of the race.

You’re so involved with so many aspects of your team, you can’t help but get caught up in the race to a whole new degree.

And it’s not just your own team that you get involved with, either. Without exception, every other team we came across was friendly and helpful. Hey, you’re going to spend the whole day (and night, and the next day) passing and being re-passed by the same RVs, trucks, vans, and campers. You may as well be nice to each other, right?

This neighborliness manifested itself the first time during the race when, after we had shot ahead to get Heather ready for her next stage, The Hammer ran low on water. Team set her up with a bottle, full of ice water.

And we, whenever we drove by a rider on another team, would — in spite of the fact that they were competing against us — cheer them on. Invariably, whoever we cheered for would grin and turn the cranks a little faster for a second.

It’s the kind of neighborliness you’d like to see everywhere.

The IT Guy Provides Necessary Support Services for Heather

This is the person I often refer to in this blog as The IT Guy:


He is The Hammer’s son, is 21 years old, and is registered to do his first Leadville 100 this year. He’s been riding hard and picking up a lot of endurance riding experience this past spring.

He is also, according to Heather, the reason she finished her first stage at all.

The heat was getting truly ugly by the time Heather started her first leg. It was brutal hot, on a climb that’s just enough uphill to make you slow down, while still looking flat. These are, in fact, what I consider to be the worst kinds of roads, because they demoralize you. You can’t see the climb, so you feel like your slowness is your own problem.

Heather was not having fun.

photo 3.JPG

And then The IT Guy (aka “Blake” in real life), who was on Team Lobotomy, caught up with her. And did something all of us on Team Fatty are still trying to wrap our minds around.

He mooned her.

And then he said, “Don’t you want to follow this sexy butt?”

photo 2.JPG

And then he gave her a pull ’til she was feeling good again. At which point they took turns pulling for the rest of the leg.

And The IT Guy now has Heather as a fan forever.

Continue to Part III


  1. Comment by Andy | 06.14.2011 | 8:07 am

    Was that the secret weapon to win? Hang a sexy butt off the back of the 2001 Honda odyssey (see we are interested) and drive it just outside the drafting limit. Did you just have one or change it for each rider?

  2. Comment by Andy | 06.14.2011 | 8:09 am

    Wait, the The IT Guy (named Blake?) mooned her or some random guy named Blake did… And if it was a random guy named Blake, why is The IT Guy her hero?

    I need to work on my reading comprehension…


    Sorry for the confusion. Yes, the IT Guy’s name is in fact Blake. Article now fixed. And I’ve given my proofreader (me) a stern talking-to. – FC

  3. Comment by Anonymous | 06.14.2011 | 8:16 am

    what Andy said. Also, I suggest you post a pic of said mooning behind so that we can vote on whether or not it was truly sexy.

  4. Comment by Fat Cathy | 06.14.2011 | 8:16 am

    the comment above was not really anonymous.

  5. Comment by Angie | 06.14.2011 | 8:17 am

    It looked as hot as an oven out there. It’s in the 70’s here in NJ. Can’t wait to read more!

  6. Comment by TheITGuy | 06.14.2011 | 9:23 am

    Wow, I have got some nice man boobs in that pic.

  7. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 06.14.2011 | 9:41 am

    Blake- on men they are called “moombs”.

  8. Comment by Liz | 06.14.2011 | 10:23 am

    Oh Heather, I know those kinds of climbs well and I feel your pain. Can’t say I ever got that kind of “encouragement” in my travels though!

    Looking forward to the next installment.

  9. Comment by GJ Jackie | 06.14.2011 | 10:29 am

    I love guy who can make fun of himself. Well done, Blake!

  10. Comment by Squirrelhead | 06.14.2011 | 10:42 am

    Clearly he wasn’t wearing bibs if was able to moon her (unless he is crazy flexible). Very funny visual for sure and hats off to Blake for breaking up the dread with humor and teaming up to help other racers.

  11. Comment by Up North | 06.14.2011 | 11:08 am

    I’m officially an “IT Guy” fan. Good luck at Leadville!!

  12. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 06.14.2011 | 11:14 am

    Fatty. Can you expound on how you convinced ‘The Hammer’ and Lisa to let you guys go first? And how did that go afterward…or after they got back in the van (2001 Honda Odyssey{insert link to Honda Site-product placement-here}). I would really like to hear the conversation when it was just Fatty, Lisa and Heather.

    Looking forward to more.

    After we decided to do this race, we all pretty much agreed without argument on rider order, based mostly on distance and elevation totals. Mainly:

    Kenny: Rider 1 because it had the most climbing and he’s the strongest rider.
    Me: Rider 2 because it has the second most climbing, and the most descending. I’m a good climber and getting to be a fair descender (on road bikes anyway)
    The Hammer (Lisa): Rider 3 because it has the most mileage (30 more miles than any other! rider) as well as flat miles, and The Hammer is well known for her ability to just kill on the flats.
    Heather: Heather loves MTB most; if this had been an MTB event she would have taken my spot as rider 2. Since it’s on the road and she doesn’t really love road riding, she took what was considered to be the “easiest” group of legs.

    None of us considered what time of day we’d all wind up riding for our various legs, because we just didn’t know. We came to this race with only a vague inkling of what our finishing time might be. Estimates ran from 27 hours to 35.

    In any case, by the time we started the race, everyone had already chosen and accepted their rider position; there was never any discussion of changing it up.

    Good question! – FC

  13. Comment by Yahoo! Rob | 06.14.2011 | 11:40 am

    Hey Heather, I absolutely HATE those soft inclines that seem to last forever. My extra 20 pounds drag me away from the pack and I’m doomed from that point on. Not to mention that you can’t stand with pride at the top of a long, slight incline and say “I DID THAT!”, like you can after an intense climb.

    Sorry that the dudes did this to you.

    Fatty, I would love to hear race reports from the point of view of your team members as well! Anyone second that notion??

    I second that motion! Any race reports from other team members would be awesome to have. Obviously, I’m only able to give my own perspective, and that means very little detail on any legs but my own.

    Kenny, Heather, The Hammer? Step up.

    - FC

  14. Comment by rich | 06.14.2011 | 12:01 pm

    Looks like you guys had a great time! Way to go for the IT keeping things light and novel approach to helping others..

  15. Comment by Jenn | 06.14.2011 | 12:21 pm

    I just love this blog. My hubby kind of half-mooned me this weekend, for the very same reason…I had bonked and was whining about “Go on without me! Tell the kids (our Boxers) I love them!” or some such, and he yanked on his shorts and said almost the exact same thing…”Don’t you wanna follow THIS home?!” You boys…

  16. Comment by christine | 06.14.2011 | 12:32 pm

    Dude, I’d love to hear The IT Guy tell his story! Blake, you’ve got a whole mess of new fans!

  17. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Moab to St. George: Rockwell Relay, Part I | 06.14.2011 | 12:42 pm

    [...] The Rockwell Relay Ruled Moab to St. George: Rockwell Relay, Part II [...]

  18. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Moab to St. George: Rockwell Relay, Part III | 06.14.2011 | 12:44 pm

    [...] « Moab to St. George: Rockwell Relay, Part II [...]

  19. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 06.14.2011 | 1:42 pm

    But wait – if the IT guy gave Heather a nice pull up and over the trecherously vague incline (full moon rising and all – was it the lunar gravity that helped her up and over?), that means that your second (or third?) goal was in jeopardy, at least at this point in the race. The IT guy’s team was even with and maybe a little ahead of you. What’s up with that?

    It is great to hear about teams helping each other out and cheering each other on – makes a lot of difference in how you view the ordeal as you are going through it.

    Can’t wait to read how it all turns out.

  20. Comment by Charlie | 06.14.2011 | 2:14 pm

    Did anyone else notice that the spokes on the wheels have a nice arc to them in the photos? I wonder if that is real or a result of the shutter latency at high speed.

  21. Comment by Team Lobotomy-1 | 06.14.2011 | 3:05 pm

    I have to second that the race was very fun because the other teams treated each other so well. I have done races where the attitude is so different and takes so much of the fun out. Every time I rode with someone else we talked, pulled each other, asked questions about teams, life, encouraged each other, etc. We were friends even though we were competing against each other in a race. Really cool that everyone I came across had that attitude. And our support helped some and others asked me if I needed anything. Awesome!

    Our 3rd rider was our ‘ringer’ rider. He is by far our fastest and made up almost all the time riders 1 (me) and 2 lost to Kenny and FC. Blake was only ~2 mins behind Heather at the exchange for his leg. I didn’t know he mooned her. Sounds like him so doesn’t surprise me at all.

  22. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Moab to St. George: Rockwell Relay, Part IV | 06.15.2011 | 10:25 am

    [...] Part II [...]

  23. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Moab to St. George: Rockwell Relay, Part V | 06.16.2011 | 7:48 am

    [...] Part II: The Hammer rips up her first leg of the race, The IT Guy gives Heather motivation to continue by using a novel technique. [...]

  24. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » A Moment on the Podium: 2011 Tour de Donut Race Report | 07.18.2011 | 11:47 am

    [...] It is not known at this time whether The IT Guy mooned Heather during this race. [...]

  25. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » If Only… | 08.8.2011 | 3:13 pm

    [...] so confident that he was going to ditch me, that he decided to pull his signature move…and moon me. He reached back, pulled his shorts down, exposed bare [...]


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