A Note from Fatty: NYCCarlos — one of the premier Friends of Fatty — is a finalist in the “Get the Sun Valley Remedy” contest, where he made a video and now needs a lot of people to watch it and tweet it and mention it on FaceBook and stuff. If he wins, he gets a mountain biking trip and a canoe-ful of gear.
I think we should help. So here’s whatcha gotta do:
- Go watch the video. And maybe leave a comment too. Can’t hurt, right? And besides, it’s entertaining.
- Retweet my Tweet about the video. All you have to do to do this — provided you’re on Twitter and stuff — is click here to go to the tweet I posted about Carlos’ video and retweet it. Social media at its finest here, folks.
- Visit Sun Valley’s Facebook page and leave a comment. Like, say, “I found Carlos’s video to be truly sublime.” But in your own words.
There. It’s that easy. Do Carlos this favor, because you know he’d sure as heck do it for you.
Another Note from Fatty: Part 1 of the ongoing story of this year’s Rockwell Relay can be found here.
After kenny and I finished our first legs of the race, it was time to start crewing for the women of Team Fatty. Both of us had concerns about this, due to the fact that the day was getting hot, and the headwinds just kept getting worse.
We didn’t care — seriously, we didn’t — about whether we would lose what was apparently a rapidly solidifying repeat of our Coed team division victory (when I came in from my first leg, no other Coed teams even seemed to be on the radar). We just didn’t want to watch our women suffer.
I tell you this, of course, so you’ll think I’m a wonderful, caring person.
However, I am evidently not so caring (nor wonderful) that I threw in the towel. Instead, I handed off the bracelet to The Hammer (she races third) and wished her good luck.
The Hammer Makes a Friend
Within a few miles, The Hammer could see another racer up ahead — the third racer from Team Life Time Fitness. “There’s my carrot!” The Hammer shouted.
And sure enough, she caught — and dropped — him on the next climb.
But then, impressively, this rider from Team LifeTime Fitness rode up and latched on. Then he rode forward and took a good long pull.
And suddenly, an alliance was born.
We learned from the rider’s crew — who we had plenty of time to get to know as we took turns supporting each other’s riders — that Ryan (the rider working with The Hammer) is a programmer at Adobe. That he’s been training since December, during which time he’s lost 60 pounds. And that putting a LifeTime Fitness team together for this race had been his idea.
Seriously, how could you not be a big fan of Ryan?
The Hammer and Ryan worked together for nearly the entire leg of this race, each making the other faster. Taking fair, consistent turns at pulling — Ryan suggested forty crank rotations per pull, according to The Hammer, which worked out great for both of them.
Though I suspect, based on looking at their photos, that The Hammer might have gotten slightly more draft benefit than Ryan did.
The Hammer’s leg of the race was a long one: 56.4 miles. And sometimes it gave the distinct impression that we were trapped in a Road Runner cartoon:
Even so, though, she smiled the whole way. Not ceding any places to any racers, working with the other rider to make good time on her leg of the course. Loving the ride, loving the view, loving having made a friend, loving the experience of this race.
We were all digging it.
Eventually, of course, it had to come to an end. The last five miles of this leg of the race are steeply uphill. Ryan simply could not hang with The Hammer, and she finished a few minutes ahead of him, passing the baton/slap bracelet off to Heather for her turn climbing in the heat and wind.
But The Hammer insisted the rest of us (Kenny and me) wait to take off ’til Ryan got to the Exchange point, where she cheered for him louder than anyone, then rushed up and gave him a huge hug, and we got this photo:
The leg these two worked together on show exactly why I love this race.
And then we were ready to pile back into the van. The Hammer looked pretty cooked (not to mention salt-encrusted):
She had a right to be. She had just raced more than a half-century, in the heat, against a hairy headwind, against a field entirely of men (as near as we could tell). And she had not only not given up a single place in the race, she had moved us up a notch.
I was incredibly proud of her.
Team Control4.com’s (formerly Team Lobotomy) Fascination With Heather Continues
Last year, The Hammer’s son — AKA “The IT Guy” — was on Team Lobotomy and rode his first leg with Heather, providing good and valuable services along the way.
This year, unfortunately, he wasn’t on the team.
So it seemed pretty shocking that Team Control4.com (no longer called Team Lobotomy) was right there, riding with Heather, for almost the whole leg this year, too. Just with a different rider (Troy) this time.
It wasn’t planned this way. In fact, we have it on good authority that Team Control4.com had made it a primary objective to beat us this year (which was OK with us, since they were an all-male team).
But still, within a couple miles of this windy, hot, climbing-centric lap, they were working together. And a good thing, too, because this leg is brutal enough without having to push through the wind on your own.
Here they are together, as Heather gets ready to drop off a bottle:
And here’s Heather, getting a bottle hand-up from Kenny:
And here’s Heather, taking a drink:
In fact, now that I look through my photos, I’m not sure there are any pictures I have of Heather in this leg where she isn’t getting a drink. The day was that hot.
The thing is, though, in spite of heat, wind, and derailleur problems that kept making her chain drop, Heather never stopped smiling. Big happy grin the whole leg.
And she rode incredibly strong.
The cool thing is, in the same way that we got to really know the LifeTime Fitness guys in the previous leg, we got to know Troy’s wife, who was crewing for Team Control4.com, on this leg (and, as it would turn out, on pretty much every leg — we were neck and neck with Team Control4.com for the whole race). Here she is, cheering Heather and Troy on:
I saw her and her red truck just about as often (maybe more often) than my own team during this race. And the awesome thing is, she cheered Team Fatty on just as (or maybe “almost as”) enthusiastically as she did her own team.
When you’re doing something wacky like this race, the competition between teams kind of fades into the background; you start thinking more about how much you have in common with anyone who has chosen to spend their weekend out in the Utah desert, riding, racing and crewing nonstop, for around thirty hours.
Which explains why, when she got toward the end of her leg and noticed Troy was fading, Heather waited up for him.
“We’ve ridden this whole leg together,” she said. “Let’s finish it together!”
Maybe not the awesome-est race tactics in the whole world, but in an event like The Rockwell Relay, racing is only a small part of the experience, and — honestly — probably not the most important part.
And besides, we were now a full rotation through the race and had not seen or heard of another Coed team anywhere in sight.
Our Coed Team victory — and a reasonable claim of a dynasty — looked pretty much like it was in the bag.