This Year Will Be Different. Except It Won’t

01.14.2013 | 4:54 pm

Last year was extraordinary. Starting about the time the snow melted, if I wasn’t training for an event, I was racing (or riding) in an event.

I’m not complaining, mind you, at least no more than I usually complain. Which may seem like a lot to you, but I assure you: I could complain much more than I do. In other words: my complaining, with regards to the amount of racing I did last year, is relatively little, to the point of being hardly any at all.

By the way, you can skip the above paragraph without losing any meaning from this post whatsoever. This one, too. Sorry I waited ’til now to reveal that.

Where was I?

Still, at the end of the year, The Hammer and I wryly commented to one another, “One of these years, we should try to not do so many events.” (Except neither of us really knows what “wry” means, and we didn’t really say this to each other, because it would be pretty weird for two people to make the same comment to each other.

Here’s my point, though, which I probably should have simply led with: Last year, I rode and raced a lot.

And my follow-up point — which, mercifully, I’m going to arrive at much more quickly — is that 2013 is looking pretty busy too.

And by “pretty busy” I of course mean that about 50% of all of my weekends, starting in March, are already spoken for. This should (once again) not be confused with complaining, because the fact is, I am totally excited to do every single ride I’ve got on the plan. 

Check them out, in glorious chronological order. 

24 Hours in the Old Pueblo: February 15 – 17

About a week ago, The Hammer and I got an invitation to race as part of Team IMBA at the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo relay MTB race. We’ve never done this course before, but I hear it’s an incredibly beautiful course. 

As part of a five-person team, I normally wouldn’t be too terribly worried about the difficulty of this race. With four people racing laps in between each of my laps, I’ll have plenty of recovery time. That said, I have never raced in February before. And as I’ve mentioned recently, I kinda let myself go during the past few months, to the extent that — even though I’m trying really hard to put myself back together as quickly as possible — I’m going to be riding a little bit slow, with my knees smooshing into my stomach a lot more than I’d like. 

It should be a good wake-up call.

Even more of a wake-up call, though, will be the fact that the person who pointed IMBA toward The Hammer and me as candidates for their team was none other than The Queen of Pain herself, Rebecca Rusch. And she’ll be there, racing in a Duo Pro Team. This, she says, will be a good opportunity for her and SS-racing hardman Yuri Hauswald to give me some training advice (specifically, they will poke me in the stomach and tell me exactly how serious of a problem I’m going to have if I don’t get rid of some of this weight before the season really soon).

I’m also looking forward to talking with the folks at IMBA about what they do and how I can help. For all the time I spend riding and racing on trails, I have given remarkably little back. It’s time for me to fix that.

The Moab Half Marathon: March 16

I have to be honest here: I’m not going to run the half marathon here. The Hammer is.


That was a dramatic “however,” wasn’t it?

“However,” I shall now go on to say, “I will be running the five-mile version of the course.”

And now I’m pausing again, dramatically, because I have something to add.

And,” I conclude, “I will be running it with my 17-year old son.”

Those of you who have been following my life closely for the past little while will understand how big of a deal that is.

Leadman Tri, Tempe AZ: April 14

Last September, The Hammer, The Swimmer, and I participated in the Leadman Tri 250 as a relay. It was an incredible experience, and left me with a hunger to do more racing on my Specialized Shiv.

And I wanted The Hammer to play, too. So we got her a Shiv, too. And now The Hammer and I will look even more adorable as we train together.

We’re both going to do the Leadman Tri in Tempe, Arizona. We won’t be doing it as a relay team, though; we’re both going to do the whole thing (luckily for us, this race is only half the distance of the Bend event). 

And like the last time I did a Leadman Tri, there will be a “Faster than Fatty” challenge. Unlike last time, however, a lot of people are going to destroy me, because I’m going to have to do the swim (which I’m very bad at) and the run (which I’m incredibly bad at).

In other words, this may be a good event for you to score a “Faster than Fatty” t-shirt at.

Oh, and by the way, we’re in negotiations on whether there will be a “Drop The Hammer” competition. (I’m in favor of such a competition; The Hammer has reservations on the idea.)

Africa in Moab:   

Maybe the most extraordinary event of the year will be the Africa in Moab event I’ll be participating in with three lucky winners in the Grand Slam for Zambia contest. I’d detail it here for you, but it would just make you feel bad that you didn’t win the prize (except for the three of you who did).

The 100 Miles of Nowhere: June 1

The sixth annual 100 Miles of Nowhere (click here for last year’s description) will be on June 1. Or as close to that day as you can manage. Frankly, it’s a pretty amazing, bizarre event and I highly recommend you mark your calendar. It sells out in less than one day every year.

The Twin Six guys are already hard at work on a new design for the event shirt. I’ll show it to you when there’s something awesome to show.

The Rockwell Relay: Moab to Saint George: June 7 – 8

For the past two years, Team Fatty has utterly dominated the Coed division, in large part because of the following:

  1. Kenny’s on the team
  2. The division is quite small.

We are going to race it again. And this year, I’d really really like to see some of you come race it with us. I think you’ll find it is a strange mix of fun, intense, and — in the honest sense of the word — epic. Read my report from 2011 or 2012 to see what I mean.

And this year, if you sign up because you found out about the race from me, you’re going to get a very cool jersey. I’ll have details on this soon, but for right now, start trying to find a way to make it to this event, and build yourself a team. 

And don’t worry about whether you’ll beat us. At least not yet.

LiveStrong Davis Challenge: June 23

It’s not an easy time to be a LiveStrong supporter. But yes, Team Fatty will be in Davis, CA, once again, for the LiveStrong Davis Challenge.

Here’s the thing, though. I’ve got something in the works that will — even if you’re kind of soured on LiveStrong thanks to Lance right now — maybe make you want to support this event and even join Team Fatty and do some fundraising.

It’s a big deal, and it’s kind of amazing, and once I tell you what it is you’ll smack your forehead and say, “Oh of course.” But I can’t reveal what it is quite yet, ’til I have the details nailed down.

So do what you can to keep this date open in your calendar, OK? 

The Crusher in the Tushar: July 13

This race — a mix of lots of dirt and paved road, with tons of climbing — utterly destroyed me last year. And I really want to do it again this year, partially to redeem myself, and partially to redeem myself some more.

But there’s a problem. Which is that it’s the same day as  . . . 

The Tour de Donut: July 13

I’ve done the Tour de Donut every year for the past three years (read my reports from 2010 and 2011). I love this crazy race, and love the way it inspired me to come up with the GranDonut race. I don’t want to miss it.

Choosing between these two is going to be an agonizing decision, made even more difficult by the fact that this weekend is also pretty much the best opportunity we have to go on a regular ol’ family vacation. Which means that instead of choosing one or the other of these fantastic events, I’ll have to choose . . . neither.

Life’s full of tough choices.

The Leadville 100: August 10

OK, I probably don’t really need to go on about this race (since I have already written about it a near-infinite number of times. But I’m doing it again, going for my 16th finish. More importantly, The Hammer will also be racing it, going for her 8th finish, and putting her in spitting distance of getting her 1000-mile buckle.

By which time, of course, I’ll be close to getting my 2000-mile buckle, and the cycle goes on and on and on.

Rebecca’s Private Idaho: September 1

For this first year, Rebecca’s Private Idaho — a dirt-road Fondo in Sun Valley, ID — is an actual private event this year. The Hammer won’t be joining me for this event — I’ll be soloing it. 

And I intend to do all 100 miles on a World Bicycle Relief bike, to show exactly how impressively tough these $134 bikes are. Anyone wanna ride on the rear rack?

Salt to Saint: September 20

This is a relay from Salt Lake City to St. George. But there’s a solo option available and I want to try it. I’ve never ridden 430 miles at a stretch before. In fact, my longest road ride is 200-ish miles (I did the STP back when I lived in Seattle). So this intrigues me. 

Later, I suspect that “intrigue” will migrate to “terrifies.”

Levi’s Gran Fondo: October 5 

This is, bar none, my favorite annual event. The course is amazing. The people are great. The post-ride festival is wonderful. And we do some ridiculous fundraising that does a lot of good for both kids and animals. Check out the video below:

Registration’s open as of today, by the way, so you might want to get yourself registered pronto. Otherwise, count on not being able to get in.

25 Hours in Frog Hollow: November

For years, I’ve wanted to see if I could do a 24 hour race solo. This year, I’m going to try it. My sole criterion for claiming a victory is completing it, without ever taking a break of longer than ten minutes between laps.

I believe this will make for an interesting story.

2013 is looking to be a pretty ride-ful year. Hey, if you’re not busy, maybe you should join me for one or two or half a dozen of these rides.


  1. Comment by Aussie kev | 01.14.2013 | 5:20 pm

    Have fun running with your boy. I am happy that seems to be getting better for him

  2. Pingback by This Year Will Be Different. Except It Won’t | Bicycle News Gator | 01.14.2013 | 5:44 pm

    [...] more from the original source: This Year Will Be Different. Except It Won’t This entry was posted in and tagged hammer, lot, mile, people, ride, strong, time, [...]

  3. Comment by babble on | 01.14.2013 | 5:45 pm

    Sounds like you’re going to have a wonderful year… enjoy!

  4. Comment by Bee T | 01.14.2013 | 6:29 pm

    OK, Fatty, BUSTER, the Leadman Tri Bend ALSO has a distance that was “just” half the distance of the full distance, and it was pretty badass, if I do say so myself. I bow to those of you who did that longer climb twice, and I thanked my stars I had my roadie handy. So even that “shorter” distance was pretty dang rough and tough. (Plus, I love my cheese-plate sized medal.)

    Shivs, though, are really, really, really cool, and the Hammer is the nicest human on earth, and therefore I am thankful that the heavens have rewarded her appropriately.

    I’m in a favor of a “Got Hammered By the Hammer” competition. I would not be ashamed to get beaten soundly.

  5. Comment by EdwinH | 01.14.2013 | 6:54 pm

    Great program! And Rebecca’s Private Idaho is probably a valid excuse to miss this year’s Park City Point 2 Point the day before. Just make sure you don’t take any shortcuts on Rebecca’s course…

  6. Comment by Al Pastor | 01.14.2013 | 8:01 pm

    Thanks for the update. You’ve helped me make up my mind. I will forgo the CF ride in Half Moon Bay in favor of the Davis Livestrong event.

  7. Comment by Doug (way upstate NY) | 01.14.2013 | 8:42 pm

    Sounds like a busy, but fun year. Can’t wait to see you in August, at altitude, for (as Dave Weins says) a little ride with friends……..

  8. Comment by Wife#1 | 01.14.2013 | 8:44 pm

    Woohoo – you do have a hell of a year lined up! I look forward to meeting you all in person at Davis for sure (and I mean all the attending Fatties, not just the Grand Poobah himself), and maybe again at Levi’s Gran Fondo. David will be at both for sure but that October date is tricky for me.

    It’s going to be an amazing year for all of us!

  9. Comment by Nic Grillo | 01.14.2013 | 9:30 pm

    Doing Levi’s for sure. Going to try for Davis, but I’ll have to see if I can make it.

    I think you should squeeze one more in. The Catalina Mountain Bike Gran Fondo. 55 miles, 8000ft of climbing. Single track that no one else rides all year.
    Ever race on an island Fatty?? Check it out…

  10. Comment by Austin | 01.14.2013 | 10:13 pm

    I would just like to say thanks for being a part of the IMBA team and being interested in getting more involved with them. They do great work, and its a great cause to be associated with. Well done Fatty!

  11. Comment by Jenni | 01.14.2013 | 11:16 pm

    The run with your son will be the best event of the year. It already is. I ran the 4-mile loop of Central Park with my 9 year old son at the stroke of midnight for New Year’s and it’s the most fun I have all year. I am so incredibly excited for you guys to do that together!!

    I’d like to propose a Team Fatty only event. Other sites have a “reunion” but since we’ve never all union-ed in the first place, it would be hard to re-union. The first time anyway.

    Seriously, one weekend, just for us Fatties. We can pick some place that has decent options for road/mountain reserve a block of hotels and have a kookie fun ol’ time. I happily volunteer to coordinate/organize/or do anything at all to make it happen. We can ride during the day and play at night.

    My year’s plans: kick ass with Team Fatty. All year.

  12. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.14.2013 | 11:35 pm

    @Jenni That union-ed you suggest has been demanded for some time. The Fatty Alpine Fondo (we camp out in Fatty’s yard….or the field at the end of the block. C’mon Fatty a three day event in Utah; I day Road, 1 Day Mountain, and 1 Day Pie!

    Now Fatty, as for the Tour de Donut; that’s an easy one. Doppleganger(look it up) Call on My Guyot to enlist his good friend Mr Tuchi (who is also a bicyclist I believe, and who also suffered a personal loss) to step in for one ride or the other, your choice. Of course Paul will maintain he doesn’t know Stanley, but everyone in Hollywood knows each other, did you see the Golden Globes last night, a smoooze fest of “friends”.

    What an incredible year you have planned. I will take you up on the Rockwell offer. Any Fatties out there want to field a true fatty team?

    Look forward cooking up something special for Davis and our get together. Hey Jenni, come to the coast and have some PIE!

  13. Comment by AKChick55 | 01.14.2013 | 11:38 pm

    I LOVE Jenni’s suggestion! I wold LOVE a Team Fatty only event. We could fundraise for something and meet up and have a weekend of fun. I tiny request of somewhere warm but not 90 degree warm. It’s hard for us Alaskans to acclimate in a weekend to hot temps. :) But 70’s-80’s would be perfect!

    Have all the prizes been awarded yet? Do we get to know who won what? :) It would be so fun to read about it. :)

  14. Comment by Jeremy | 01.14.2013 | 11:41 pm

    See you in Davis!

  15. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.15.2013 | 1:16 am

    @Nic Grillo Are you on for the Island Ride???? If so let me know, I’d love to come down and ride with FOF’s on the island of my youth. You forgot to tell Fatty about the Buffalo along the route if he decides to go as well.

    Greg and MattC any interest in Catalina???….or Rockwell?

  16. Comment by Skippy | 01.15.2013 | 3:56 am

    Just after Christmas , i proposed taking a ” WBR bike ” to the Giro d’Italia and then the ” Le Tour ” ! As it was the 27th Dec , i guess the lady from WBR may have missed my comment raising this idea ? Painted/Decalled ” pink ” for the Giro & “yellow ” for ” Le Tour ” , i think that they would be a ” Media Attention grabber “! I noted that you will be doing the ” Rebecca’s ride ” , on one of these bikes , so anyone interested in joining should checkout

    Sad to see that the LiveSTRONG Revenues have suffered because of recent controversies , thus your continued commitment , to leading ” Fatty’s Army ” will be well publicised and appreciated .

  17. Comment by DOM | 01.15.2013 | 7:06 am

    If Lance will keep his distance from Livestrong, I’m finally willing to support the foundation again. A sad statement, but true.

  18. Comment by Christina | 01.15.2013 | 8:23 am


    How did no one claim that yet?!

    Awesome news on running with your son and awesome that he’s running. I’m bipolar and running and biking help me out a lot.

    100 MoN is the Saturday before a weeklong ride I’m doing. I think this means I am ditching work to do a century.

    Is The Hammer worried because Twin Six wouldn’t give out any “I Dropped The Hammer” shirts and she loves Twin Six?

    And yes to Fatty Fondo!

  19. Comment by Kristine | 01.15.2013 | 8:59 am

    I love that you’re running with your son. It will be your best race of the year.

  20. Comment by Jay | 01.15.2013 | 10:48 am

    Kudos for separating the man from the foundation and continuing to support LiveStrong

  21. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.15.2013 | 11:45 am

    OK, I am now registered for Levi’s Gran Fondo. We shall see about LS Davis.

  22. Comment by Arizona Guy | 01.15.2013 | 12:05 pm

    Fatman -

    I like you have also crested the dreaded 180 summit, but I am on my way back down and hope to gather momentum soon.

    I was crew chief for my buddies RAAM event and if you want some pointers on ultra-cycling, I’m happy to share. (First tip is Brave Soldier Triple Healing Ointment is the best for saddle sores)

  23. Comment by Marsupial Matt (formerly known as MattC) | 01.15.2013 | 12:47 pm

    Fatty….what’s the story w/ Davis (ie, when is the Team page going to be opened up for us to register)? I’m already (still) fundraising in my own small way…

  24. Comment by Barton | 01.15.2013 | 1:54 pm

    @AKChick55 – I second your motion on 1) yes to a gathering, but 2) not too hot for us northern folk (MN chica – we do get hot in the summer but only for a week!). Granted, I think 65 & sunny, w/ a light breeze is the perfect biking weather.

    Fatty – will there be any warning re: sign ups for 100M2N? Just so I can hit refresh constantly & be ready for it? I am all set with my “route” – 100 Miles of Colin Firth – Pride, Prejudice, Mr. Darcy & my bike! (possible sprint during the “lake” scene)

  25. Comment by Marsupial Matt (formerly known as MattC) | 01.15.2013 | 1:55 pm

    OK…I just answered my own question…the LIVESTRONG Team Fatty Davis is up and running already (why has nobody mentioned it? Or if you did, I apologize and I missed it). HERE is the link to the team page to join:

    I’ll put my hat in the ring tonight, just need to check my funds to see how much I can put on the page at the time I register.

    Davis, here we come!

  26. Comment by GregC | 01.15.2013 | 2:43 pm

    As of last check (yesterday) I have a team for the Rockwell Relay. Unfortunately (or unfortunately?) we won’t be in the same division- I was unable to secure commitments from enough cycling ladies to complete a co-ed team. I’m really looking forward it the event!

  27. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.15.2013 | 2:47 pm

    GO! GREG! GO!

  28. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.15.2013 | 3:54 pm

    You know if Fatty did stop blogging the house would be cleaner and the laundry done.

    This is one addictive group we have. Nic Grillo the Catalina ride is awesome! Are you planning to attend, because you have my interest. Any other Fatties interested in a So Cal Roundup in May?

    Gallop’nGregC Rock on at Rockwell! I would join a Fatty Clydesdale Team if there is interest.

    Crushar sounds Grand but compete’s with The Death Ride
    a ride I think both the Hammer and The FatOne would enjoy(??).

    I may get too old to ride waiting for the Alpine Fondo, so both Salt to Saint or Frog Hollow may be the temptation to make the Utah trip. So anyone interested in Salt2St I’m looking for Old Slow Guys or some tallish teammates to field a Tandem Division. (we have two tandems available) As I write this the Tandem Division on a relay race sounds like fun(?) Brothers’C’ are you interested????

    Looking forward to seeing everyone in Davis, for our practice Fondo

  29. Comment by SteveB | 01.15.2013 | 3:55 pm

    I’ve been hoping to join team Fatty for DLC since last summer… After checking with the family CFO I’ll be signing up tonight – thanks for the link.

  30. Comment by Jennfer | 01.15.2013 | 4:07 pm

    YAY! Fatty is coming to Tucson!!!!!!
    If you want to meet for a good brew or food give me a ping!

  31. Comment by Jeff Bike | 01.15.2013 | 6:01 pm

    As long as you are talking dates don’t forget Pie day. It will be held in every home in the world this year. So mark your calender for March 14 (3.14 get it Pi day). Everyone should eat pie on Pi day.

  32. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.15.2013 | 6:29 pm

    @JeffBike Very Good! Maybe we could get Fatty to move the 100MoN to March 14th in the future. It would be so Fatty.

  33. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.15.2013 | 6:59 pm

    WBR Blog shout out! Pointed out to me by Wife#1. Since I’m already a twit, I choose not to tweet.

  34. Comment by JohnD | 01.15.2013 | 11:14 pm

    Signed up for the Gran Fondo, will push me to get out and ride spring/summer. Glad I found out about it on your blog Fatty, might bump into you in Davis too. Enjoy the run with the son. :)

  35. Comment by John | 01.16.2013 | 8:35 am

    Fatty! Welcome back to Tucson! I’ll also be competing in the 24 Hrs of the Old Pueblo (the second for me) and I can confirm its an amazing course. Let me know ifyoud like any recommendations for restaurants or breweries; Tucson’s changed much since you were here last with Radio Shack. Also, dress warm. See you (perhaps as I pass you) soon!

  36. Comment by Nic Grillo | 01.16.2013 | 8:44 am

    Yes, I am signed up for Catalina! If you come down, let me know. I may have room for another bike or two on my boat for the ride over.

  37. Comment by Jenni | 01.16.2013 | 11:15 am

    Pi(e) day should be the nexus of our Fatty family get together. I think we should really start thinking seriously about it (though admittedly it’s too late for this year to plan. We see Fatty is extremely busy, so maybe 2013 we set the bar and hold it, and if he can come, he can come, and then it can become an annual event 2014. I super love the idea. Hanging out with you all has been some of my favorite times ever.

    Stay tuned on this developing story…

  38. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.16.2013 | 12:51 pm

    @Nic Grillo

    OK I’m in! Thank you for the offer. We can work logistics as the date nears. My email: homerhouserugs at yahoo or david dot houston at Macys dot com I’ll now have to follow you on Strava and check those times up the road from the Vanderlip Estate and see if I need to bail(!) Hah!

    OK MATT and GREGG can I interest either of you in Catalina in May? MattC easy to pick you up on the way down.

  39. Comment by Jackie T | 01.16.2013 | 3:17 pm

    Why don’t you add The Ultimate Challenge to your itinerary for summer – Aug 10. Same route as Stage 5 of Tour of Utah. Update on event will be made on Feb 5 with Tour of Utah press conference. Would love to have you at UC this year!

    I’d love to, but will be racing the Leadville 100 on that day. – FC

  40. Comment by sagitarian | 01.16.2013 | 3:41 pm

    I know you refuse to get drawn into The Crucible of Lance Armstrong but was wondering if you might consider writing something in the mainstream media about Livestrong & what it did for you & your family.

    Every day for the past 5 months there have been statements like the following – Lance’s “vanity cancer foundation…no matter how much good it has done, though there is SOME DEBATE ABOUT THAT”. (caps emphasis mine).

    I would be even more enraged if not for the shock & disgust. These “journalists” know nothing about cycling or Livestrong & yet they issue these opinions as “facts”.

    Trying to defend not just Lance but Livestrong in ANY way currently is akin to facing a tsunami of “black water” & debris.

    I have followed your blog since 2006. Given money to Livestrong several times via your contests. When your wife & family were fighting the fight, I confess that some days I could not come here as crying at work is actually frowned upon. I admire Lance Armstrong immensely for creating the Lance Armstrong Foundation (now Livestrong). And I sincerely admire your continued efforts on behalf of the organization.

    I’ve been a sports fan all my life & a cycling fan since 1984. I’ve seen tragedy, corruption, hero worship turned to disillusionment, but I have never before witnessed the tsunami of vitriol & hysteria now being directed at Lance Armstrong.

    LIVESTRONG. Thanks Elden.

    I would love to write something for the mainstream media about LiveStrong. But I have no connections at all to the mainstream media and don’t currently have the time / energy to go on the quest to get published. – FC

  41. Comment by Elizabeth | 01.21.2013 | 11:46 am

    You definitely need to add some “drop the hammer” competitions. I tried to drop her at Saturdays half-marathon. Actually, once she caught me at mile 3, that was my sole motivation for finishing the race. And I thought I had her when I gained a little gap on her on the steep downhill. I started to hurt the last few miles, but I kept on knowing the hammer was still hot on my heels. I was confident I had her when she caught me again in the last half mile, but I held her off and crossed the line just before she did. Unfortunately for me when I checked the official results, her chip time was actually 4 seconds faster than mine. I was devastated (or at least mildly disappointed). So I hope I am given another opportunity to drop her because that would make my entire season. Any chance the hammer is doing st George 70.3, lotoja, st George marathon or hits triathlon in lake havasu?

  42. Comment by tim | 01.23.2013 | 12:25 am


    Do Salt to Saint on a recumbent. I am not kidding. It will make the event much easier. You will NOT have to grow a beard.

    Look up: John Schlitter


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