The Evil Epic 250: Such an Awesome Event

03.29.2012 | 5:55 am

A Note from Fatty to Weight-Loss Challenge Contestants: The Week 2 Weigh-In has begun! Head on over to this page on the Challenge Forum to post your results; follow the instructions there. Be sure to do your weigh-in by Sunday. If you don’t, you won’t be eligible for prizes this week.

Last weekend, The Hammer and I went on a road ride with some friends — Lynette and Cory, along with their daughter Mackenzie — who had just gotten back from an awesome vacation in New Zealand. They had been there to do the New Zealand Ironman, which — due to gale-force winds — had been canceled, with a half-Ironman taking its place the following day.

Lynette and Mackenzie went ahead and did the half; Cory watched. “I didn’t have anything to prove by doing another half-Ironman,” he said, which is a completely understandable point of view if you’ve done as many triathlons as Cory.

So they hung around in NZ for a couple weeks, enjoying the beautiful country and having an adventure instead of recovering from a brutally difficult race.

And this gave me an idea for a new event. I think it’s going to be a huge hit.

The Evil Epic 250: The Hardest Race In The World

I think I am going to create a new race, which I will call The Evil Epic 250. I think you’ll agree, it’s an awesome name for a race: it sounds incredibly difficult (it’s 250 miles, for crying out loud! Even hard races only go 100 miles; this goes twice as far as those other so-called epics, which are really nothing more than pretenders. And then, just for good measure, it goes another 50 miles, just to underscore its point) and slightly terrifying (even the race organizer thinks it’s evil, not to mention epic).

I haven’t figured out where the race will be yet. Or whether the race will be on dirt or pavement (or both). Those are small details I can work out later. I guess.

Whereever the race is, I can guarantee you it will be in an exotic, hard to reach location. One that’s kind of intimidating-sounding maybe, and is perhaps known for its beautiful natives and poisonous, sharp-toothed fish. Oh, and rugged terrain and tall mountains.

I’ll bet there’s a place like that somewhere. It’s a big world.

The race description — which will be on my professionally-designed website, complete with numerous photographs and well-written marketing copy — will make it clear that this is not a race you take on on a whim. This is a serious race, one that most people could never even contemplate finishing.

Even to enter this race — which my site will claim is capped at 1000 elite-level entrants — suggests something about you: that you are an adventurer. A risk-taker. An athlete of the highest order.

I will list several professional (and former professional) cyclists who will be at this race, hoping to win (or perhaps take a podium spot) as the crowning moment of their illustrious career.

You will register for it. You will register for it, and begin obsessing about it immediately.

Training and Planning

Before long, The Evil Epic 250 will consume your every waking moment. You will train, nearly non-stop. You will become stronger than you could have imagined possible. Your endurance will be legendary among your officemates.

Acquaintances will begin to whisper that you have changed. That there is a new fierceness about your demeanor. A new sort of lust for life. An intensity that belies your hearty laugh and athletic swagger.

Perhaps a rumor will spread that you have the eye of the tiger. When confronted with this rumor, you will smile your new quiet, confident, intensity-laden smile and say, “I just hope to do my best in The Evil Epic 250.”

When you encounter other cyclists and they ask you what you are training for so assiduously, you will tell them, The Evil Epic 250, and they will be so awestruck that they will forget that the reason they asked you that question was so that you would return the question and they could boast about their own upcoming event — their own upcoming event which suddenly sounds quite un-epic and in fact kind of weenie-like.

You will find it necessary to purchase special clothing and cycling equipment for this race. You will not begrudge these purchases, because they are things you wanted to buy anyway, but had — to this point — foregone because they were not strictly necessary. The Evil Epic 250, however, gives you a reason — not to be confused with an excuse — to purchase those items. With a clear conscience.

You will train with purpose, intensity, and endurance. Each ride will take on meaning. You are not just doing hill repeats; you are preparing for the race of a lifetime. You are not just out on a long, seven-hour ride on beautiful single track; you are building endurance and increasing your technical skills.

You are not just relaxing and watching TV; you are recovering.

And when you are not training, you will be planning. You will consider every detail, every possibility, and have a strategy that takes it into account. And of course, you will spend no small amount of time telling others of your plans.

Don’t worry, people will never get tired of it.

The Race Itself

Finally, the day of the Evil Epic 250 will arrive. You will travel to the aforementioned exotic, beautiful, far-off place. Or perhaps you will just be planning to leave within the next day or so.

Either way, there will be a stunning and tragic development: Due to unforeseen and impossibly tragic adverse conditions such as the biggest tornado in the history of the world, followed by a volcano eruption and a meteor strike that left nothing but a really windy crater filled with lava where the race course used to be, the race has been canceled.

Oh, the tragedy! All that work, all that training! And now you don’t get to do the race!

“Damn it!” You will swear, and people will know you are very angry, because you rarely resort to such coarse language.

Except — deep down — you will be secretly grateful that the race has been canceled, because now you get to have done the best parts of a race — training for it and thinking about it and planning for it — without having to endure the worst part of a race: actually racing it.

Outwardly, of course, you will be disappointed, though stoically so. People will admire your stoicism and your philosophical approach to catastrophes. “There’s always next year,” you will say, with a twinkle in your eye.

And you’ll still get the t-shirt and finisher’s medal.

PS: Secretly, I hope that I’m not the first person who has come up with this idea, and that this is what is actually happening for The Breck Epic.


  1. Comment by Jacob | 03.29.2012 | 7:00 am

    There should be an adventure race where you have to ride with a backup bike strapped to your back because the first bike will likely fail at some point. I’d love to see how riders evolved ways to make that more aero.

  2. Comment by Graham | 03.29.2012 | 7:13 am

    I think that there should be a race that requires participants to parachute into the start because it is in such an impossible location to reach.

    Any race that requires jump training has to be for seriously serious athletes, right?

  3. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 03.29.2012 | 7:33 am

    The Evil Epic 250 sounds pretty evil and epic, but I’d rather race it than Race Across America. I just saw Bicycle Dreams. My reaction?

    Well, two years ago, I saw Race Across The Sky (about the year Levi raced) featuring none other than Fatty. My reaction? I want to race Leadville! I’ve been denied registration twice, may try the qualifying route next year.

    Back to my reaction to RAAM. Uh, no freakin’ way. The fact that the racers’ fingertips don’t regain sensation for months is just the starting point for why I don’t want to do RAAM.

    Now, the 8-person version? I’d love to do it. 7 other takers?

  4. Comment by Travis | 03.29.2012 | 8:12 am

    “Your endurance will be legendary among your officemates” – love that line Fatty. Great post.

  5. Comment by Franky | 03.29.2012 | 8:55 am

    How about a race where you initially have to ride a road bike 1/2 of the way and come back on trails on a mountain bike?

  6. Comment by Jeremy | 03.29.2012 | 9:58 am

    Now that’s an endurance race I could do.

  7. Comment by roan | 03.29.2012 | 10:20 am

    Yes, Yes, Yes. Time for Occupy Alpine.
    Once I was searching for vacation Rentals near Alpine…found a very large house in SLC that would sleep 30 (or more people people, I don’t remember the max. number). On a weekly rental the price if at capacity was very reasonable.
    Can’t get anymore exotic than riding a bike in Fatty’s Territory.

  8. Comment by ScottR | 03.29.2012 | 10:20 am

    Sounds like my kinda race.

  9. Comment by valsidalv niksul | 03.29.2012 | 11:14 am

    You should try Alta Alpina 8 Pass Challenge. You may have heard of the “Death Ride” aka Tour of the California Alps. The Death Ride is 129 miles and over 15,000 feet of climbing, all done above 5,000′, topping out on Ebbets Pass (8,730′). For Alta Alpina riders the Death Ride is an appetizer. Eight passes, 200 miles, and 20,000 of climbing. As I was climbing pass no. 6, I was cursing riding double centuries and all cycling. I swore I was done with doubles and it was going to be a few months before I would get back on the bike. I was certainly done with this ride. Forget the last two passes, I was going to ride back to start/finish. To boot, I miscalculated my location on the mountain. To my surprise, the peak came much sooner than anticipated. I recovered physically and mentally on the descent and completed the last two passes. The ride took 17 hours and I was 25th of 50 finishers. That was EVIL EPIC in my book.

  10. Comment by Haddi | 03.29.2012 | 11:31 am

    Here is an excellent remote place, just prepend this monster with enough flat miles around that convenient lake and EpicEvil is your friend:

    or do:

    and don’t stop and do the extra 70 miles needed.

    Both of these are in Scandinavia, so they are remote, if you are not Swedish or Norwegian and very scenic, even if you are.

  11. Comment by Hautacam | 03.29.2012 | 12:07 pm

    I hereby nominate this as post of the year (so far)!

    Laguhed so hard I blew coffee out my nose when I got to the last line.

    Painful but totally worth it.

  12. Comment by KM | 03.29.2012 | 12:45 pm

    You forgot the part where when the Evil Epic is cancelled due to an “act of God,” and your $666.00 entry fee was non-refundable, this way you get the t-shirt, medal and financial loss associated with an epic race without the physcial destruction. Then you can have someone come over with a ballpeen hammer and beat your deraileur’s, rims and frame/fork so you get the satisfaction of having put some wear on all that kit you purchased. Good times!

  13. Comment by Kent | 03.29.2012 | 12:51 pm

    Or, you could just break your collarbone the weekend before the race. How is IT Guy?

  14. Comment by RodNeeds2Ride | 03.29.2012 | 2:36 pm

    Hey Fatty, I’ve got your answer!

    Straight from the Breck Epic site:

    Cancellation/Refund Policy

    We will grant full refunds to all requests submitted prior to March 31st, 2012.

    Only a 1 day window, but I’m sure your goiter is gonna flare real bad in the next 24 hours…if not already! I wouldn’t risk it.

  15. Comment by Rowan T | 03.29.2012 | 4:20 pm

    Hi Fatty, have enjoyed your posts for only the past 12 months. Big challenge in Australia will be
    This is our answer to Trans Rockies and encapsulates the heart of the Australian High Country

  16. Comment by Guitar Ted | 03.29.2012 | 5:25 pm

    It isn’t a fantasy, Fatty. It’s real, and it isn’t 250 miles, it’s 330 miles:

    And it is in its eighth year, and yes- it has been stopped by “Acts of God” before.

  17. Comment by Tim | 03.29.2012 | 6:53 pm

    Can you just create an Evil Epic 250 jersey for us to buy and wear to impress the hell out of the crowd at lesser races?

  18. Comment by Liz | 03.29.2012 | 8:05 pm

    “Your endurance will be legendary among your officemates.”

    Ha! You don’t know my officemates — my endurance is already legendary and I just ride my bike to work each day. It’s not a high bar.

    I could totally do this event — we do have a week to finish, right?

  19. Comment by Pat from Littleton | 03.29.2012 | 9:47 pm

    Double Triple Bypass. 240 miles and the second day sucks

  20. Comment by Ken | 03.30.2012 | 5:23 am

    Great post! How about some Evil Epic 250 t-shirts and jerseys (dated previous years of course)! Sounds like a great fund raiser…I’m just saying.

  21. Comment by Barefoot Rose | 03.30.2012 | 7:59 am

    Wait, isn’t the 100 miles of nowhere Already THE Evil Epic race?

  22. Comment by Richard | 03.30.2012 | 9:52 am

    I was convinced you were describing the ABSA Cape Epic currently underway in South Africa! It lives up to its name and the route planner is even known as Dr Evil. Co-incidence?

  23. Comment by AKChick55 | 03.30.2012 | 11:40 am

    Fatty, I’m thoroughly convinced that you and The Hammer need to visit Alaska in July and partake in an epic 400 mile road race. This year’s race fall on my birthday weekend and what better present could I ask for than for the worlds most beloved celebrity bike blogger, his beautiful and talended wife, and his amazing quads? Also, the view is AMAZING! On the ride to the venue from Anchorage, you pass by the Matanuska Glacier – it’s truly epic and beautiful.

    There are several choices available – a 50, a 100, a 200 and the 400. The 400 starts on Friday and ends on Saturday. You ride from Sheep Mountain Lodge to Valdez and back. You’ll gain a paltry 28,000 feet of elevation (which is nothing for you two) for the ride. I would drive support and I know which shops stock the Honey Stinger waffles and FRS (my personal fav). :) You could do an Alaskan vacation and get some exercise. Free tour guide too! Whatcha think?

    The website is here:

  24. Comment by AKChick55 | 03.30.2012 | 11:44 am

    Oh my word – Liz – you are priceless! I love it! I’m with Liz, but can I get two weeks to finish the ride? :)

    Also, forgot to mention that I don’t know if the Fireweed has ever been cancelled. Then again, we don’t get really epic weather in Southcentral Alaska in the summer. It’s usualy pretty tame, when it rains, it usually doesn’t pour like it does in the states and we rarely get thunder and lightning. The biggest bummer you’ll face are rain and headwinds – out and back. The winds up here are annoying.

  25. Comment by Andrew | 03.30.2012 | 3:26 pm

    Don’t tell me we are going to be doing the evil and epic 250 miles to no where

  26. Comment by Marty | 03.31.2012 | 8:03 pm

    That’s nothing compared to the nearly announced Coast to Coast race across Australia.

  27. Comment by Shawn McAfee | 04.1.2012 | 8:25 am

    I think the Brek Epic sounds incredible. Thanks for getting some more word out about that one.

  28. Comment by pedalpink | 04.1.2012 | 12:02 pm

    Well, 6,000 cyclists take part every four years in Paris-Brest-Paris, a 1230 km road race from (well, you can probably guess the answer to that question). In 90 hours although the first place riders finish in just over half the time allowance. Of course, it’s France so you don’t really suffer at the controls where they serve you wonderful food (with wine, if you want). It did consume my every waking moment for two years. Now that 2011 is behind me, I am already obsessed with 20015 (I spent my morning training ride trying to decide how I can take a six month leave of absence from work in order to better train and prepare). Epic? Qui!

  29. Comment by davidh-marin, ca | 04.1.2012 | 11:56 pm

    @AK Chick Ahhh Sheep Mountain. Is the little lodge still there for xc skiing? And is the Sauna still stoked by firewood? You forgot to mention a couple of other ‘Bummers’
    Moose and Bears! Now that puts a whole new spin on bummer.

    As for this ride/race, Fatty, is this before or after the Race of Uncertainty?
    Because I’ve been training for that.

  30. Comment by free crossword puzzle maker | 04.2.2012 | 6:08 am

    “You will train, nearly non-stop” – that’s true! Needless to say, nothing succeeds like success, but you have to work hard to get big. Great post, I really enjoyed reading it!

  31. Comment by Breck Epic | 04.2.2012 | 10:39 am

    That. Was. AWESOME.

    And this line? “Your endurance will be legendary among your officemates”

    Was it inspired by this one from Pinhead in the Hellraiser series? “Even in hell, your suffering wil be legendary.” If it was, that’s somehow…awesomer.

    Because, yes. You will suffer. Everyone will. And at the same time, you will also explore previously unmapped depths of ridiculous glee. Mostly from descending lonnng sections of swoopy singletrack. In your big ring. Multiple times. Daily.

    Yer gonna love it.

    Thanks for the mention –


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