Actions and Consequences, Part II

09.10.2013 | 6:44 am

A Note From Fatty: This is part 2 in “Actions and Consequences,” my story about the final big ride The Hammer and I took in preparation for racing the Salt to Saint. You’ll find Part I here.

We were going…finally. Since we didn’t get out the door (the second time) ’til nearly 8:00am, it was plenty warm; I didn’t bring armwarmers, though The Hammer did. Neither of us brought jackets. Why should we? The weather forecast had us down for 0% chance of rain ’til 1pm, and after that we just had 30% chance of thundershowers for the rest of the day.

Our plan, as we had agreed the night before, was to ride ten miles out beyond Cedar Fort — one of our most frequently-ridden TT routes — then come back to Redwood Road and take it to Goshen. From there, we’d take Goshen Canyon to Nephi, then keep going until we figured turning around and heading back toward home would give us 200 miles.

But during the first few miles of the ride, I had an idea for a simpler, more elegant, revised route. “Let’s skip the Cedar Fort nonsense,” I said. “Let’s instead just hang a left on Redwood Road and then follow the Salt to Saint race route until we’ve gone a hundred miles. That’ll put us somewhere between Fountain Green and Manti. Then let’s just turn around and retrace our route back to home. That way, we’ll see more of the course we’ll be riding in a couple weeks and have a better idea of what doing this race will be like.”

The Hammer looked at me, startled. Why was she so startled? Because I usually don’t have ideas like that — ideas that simplify, are elegant, and demonstrate an understanding of distances between towns and where roads lead.

It was almost as if I had been looking at maps or something.

She agreed, and by so doing, made the third alteration of where we were headed, and what time we’d be at any given point. 

We wouldn’t consider any of this at all, however, until much later in the day.

First Stop

The Hammer and I rode along, taking turns pulling, marveling at how little effort it took us to go pretty darned fast when we work together, down low on our Shivs. On a flat road with no wind, we can sustain 21 – 25mph with very little work at all. 

Of course, the road isn’t always flat, and the wind is sometimes in your face. And — for about a ten mile section of pavement — there is the absolutely worst chip seal I have ever ridden on. Within five miles, your feet, hands and…other soft tissue…go completely numb. “I’m not going to be happy about being back on this part of the road when we hit mile 160,” The Hammer said, and I agreed.

But even with all this, we  kept up the kind of pace we wanted to maintain in this thirty-hour race — a pace where our legs never feel like they’re anywhere near the red zone, but by no means lollygagging. 

By the time we got to our first planned pit stop — the gas station and convenience store in Goshen, we had been out just under 2.5 hours, and had gone 50 miles. We were cruising, on average, around 20mph. Not bad at all.

I refilled our bottles; The Hammer bought us cheese danishes and a Mountain Dew to share.

As we got ready to leave, I excused myself to use the restroom in the gas station. As I stood facing the toilet, I could not help (without closing my eyes anyway) but look at this incredible work of art, mounted at eye level on the wall behind the toilet:

IMG 7293

Any road rider who has ever ridden around Utah Lake will confirm: this adorable painting has been on the wall since…well…ever.

“We should take up a collection to get new bathroom art at that place,” I commented to The Hammer. 

“What art?” The Hammer asked.

And that, my friends, is the difference between boys and girls.

A Beautiful Day

As we left the convenience store, the lady working there asked where we were from and where we were going (considering that this is the only place to refuel for many miles around, she probably gets to ask this question to a lot of cyclists). 

“We’re from Alpine, and we’re headed out toward Manti, and then back home,” The Hammer replied.

“Well, you sure picked a perfect day for such a long ride,” the lady behind the counter said.

And she was right. The weather was warm — but not hot — and there was no wind to speak of. A perfect day.

And it would remain perfect for another couple hours, at which point it would become something else altogether. Something amazing and powerful and as scary as hell.

Which is where we’ll pick up tomorrow.


  1. Comment by Jeff | 09.10.2013 | 6:50 am

    Yes, I think the shorter but more frequent option is the way to go! 6:50 in the morning and I have already had the days Fatty Fix. I will of course have to check back later for all of the comments!

  2. Comment by KenKoz | 09.10.2013 | 7:06 am

    Hate the chip seal…

  3. Comment by JRay | 09.10.2013 | 7:26 am

    Shorter and more frequent is awesome!
    Hotter’N Hell 100 riders all agree… Chip seal sucks. Hard…
    Looking forward to the “amazing, powerful scary as hell” conclusion series.

  4. Comment by Ginger-Schminger | 09.10.2013 | 7:27 am

    It’s a well-known fact that whoever invented chip seal has a deep-seated hatred of cyclists.

    I rode my first century through the most horrendous storm…hail that I somehow just managed to miss and lightning all around. I was too stubborn (read: stupid) to quit.

  5. Comment by Josh in Upstate NY | 09.10.2013 | 7:38 am

    I like these small installments, it makes me eager for tomorrow’s installment and leaves cliffhanger moments! Tune in tomorrow, same bat time…

  6. Comment by Jacob | 09.10.2013 | 8:07 am

    Nothing wrong with shorter and more frequent.

  7. Comment by Frank | 09.10.2013 | 8:13 am

    That’s what she said.

  8. Comment by Daddystyle | 09.10.2013 | 8:37 am

    Short and sweet works for this lurker. If you leave the screen blank to long you and we may start to change priorities.

  9. Comment by MattC | 09.10.2013 | 9:03 am

    You’ve got me on pins n needles Fatty… Riveting story…you are indeed the master of the cliffhanger. Trying to guess what’s ahead and failing miserably…you should be writing for Hollywood. (seriously).

  10. Comment by slo joe | 09.10.2013 | 9:15 am

    This is like the Flash Gordon, Ace Drummond, etc serials (ahem) back in my childhood days at the movies. Couldn’t wait for the next epidsode, aye and pay be nickel admission.

  11. Comment by Wife#1 | 09.10.2013 | 9:30 am

    I’m liking this format so far! And still chuckling about the wall art. So why Mountain Dew and not coke? I thought you were getting a coke at every gas station?

    BTW – for Team Fatty people that were at Livestrong Davis and had to endure my rambling speech… as of this morning, I finally made it. Passed the 100 pound milestone. I was yo-yoing up and down a bit the rest of the summer but got back on track big time a couple of weeks ago and now I’m sprinting downward again. Which is a good thing because I am pretty sure I ordered a not extra large size Fatcyclist kit for myself.

  12. Comment by LidsB2 | 09.10.2013 | 9:34 am

    Based on coverage of the BYU-Texas football game and your subtle foreshadowing, I think I know where this is going…and I look forward to the rest of the story. As aviators all know, you know the weather man is lying when his lips are moving!

  13. Comment by leroy | 09.10.2013 | 10:24 am

    My dog says he has some has a C. M. Coolidge painting he might be persuaded to sell to the right person, for the right price, for display at the right venue for cyclists.

    He says it’s an original.

    The really neat part is that Mr. Coolidge and my dog have similar signatures.

    And their signatures are similar to the one on the Wegman photo my dog sold me last year.


  14. Comment by leroy | 09.10.2013 | 10:26 am

    Well I messed that up.

    Here’s the url to the C.M. Coolidge painting (I hope).

    And I really should proofread.

  15. Comment by Jeff Bike | 09.10.2013 | 10:49 am

    I’m worried about Leroy’s dog. I think that he sold me the original C. M. Coolidge of that masterpiece on eBay a while back. No matter it has a proud place in the reading room.

    Could the weather man have been mistaken? Could the perfect day turn ugly? Will our hero and heroine be caught out? What will happen next? I’m so worried will fatty survive?

  16. Comment by Davidh-marin,ca | 09.10.2013 | 10:49 am

    Fatty. Are you suggesting to us that this story might end in only three parts? Talk about shorter!

    @MattC Clearly Fatty’s role on Leverage has him looking forward to a life in Hollywood.(look out Mr. Tucchi) Either that, or Fatty is sending his drafts to Paul Guyot for ‘finishing’ before posting.

    @Leroy I’m surprised your dog hasn’t supplied his own ‘head shot’ for the wall:


  17. Comment by bob | 09.10.2013 | 11:04 am

    uh oh!

    UH OH!

  18. Comment by bob | 09.10.2013 | 11:04 am

    Don’t forget the Stewie voice…

  19. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 09.10.2013 | 11:30 am

    Love the short installments – keep ‘em coming!

    And – the only thing worse than chip seal is fresh chip seal, where the chips seal themselves to your bike frame, yoour tires, yoour jersey, and anything else the wheel in front o fyou happens to throw them into.

    Drumroll please, in preparatino for the next installment. you’ve got us hooked again, Fatty.

  20. Comment by Clydesteve | 09.10.2013 | 12:36 pm

    I assume you didn’t poop at the gas station restroom, Fatty? ‘Cause you always tell us when you do.

  21. Comment by onmarshcreek | 09.10.2013 | 12:36 pm

    I don’t know what pressure you are running, but Leonard Zinn of Velonews has long been an advocate of lower pressure on most roads–if objects (chip seal) deform the tire instead of deflecting it up and down (vibration,) energy is conserved, and the tire will roll faster. This also reduces road noise fatigue which may be beneficial in a 420 mile race.

  22. Comment by Sunny | 09.10.2013 | 3:57 pm

    Hurry….write the next part!!!

  23. Comment by Nancy_in_MN | 09.10.2013 | 4:12 pm

    @FC It is indisputable that you write the best cycling related blog IN THE WORLD.. Indisputable. But many who measure the quality of said blogs have failed to grasp the nature of the community you’ve created. Even when you are too busy to pop into the comment area with your quips and replies, the comment area thrives and picks up the slack for you. You’ve built something truly amazing. Bravo!

    Aside from the very fine post you made today, they way you hang us from The Cliffs of Insanity, my favorite thing is the following my @Clydesteve:

    “I assume you didn’t poop at the gas station restroom, Fatty? ‘Cause you always tell us when you do.” I wondered too….

  24. Comment by RodNeeds2Ride | 09.10.2013 | 4:14 pm

    C’mon, that picture is cute! They even got the reverse image right in the mirror.

  25. Comment by UpTheGrade SR CA | 09.10.2013 | 4:24 pm

    Can’t wait to hear what happens FC.
    BTW, what mental tricks are you planning in order to stay awake for a 30 hour+ race?

    Congratulations Wife #1 on your weight loss progress. I lost 30 lbs in the first 4 months of the year, but then put 10 back on during 2 weeks of vacation in Texas (mmm BBQ). Still working it off before Levi’s Fondo.

    My short ride story from yesterday:
    I was doing a recovery ride after a hard effort on Sunday, a flat out and back. I was a couple of miles into the back portion and just turned onto the main drag home. My legs had stopped hurting and I was feeling good when a tri-cyclist came up behind me. I saw him in my nifty little helmet mirror but told myself to ignore him, just let him go. He was tucked down low and caught up to me and I had managed not to speed up too much, desperately resisting my urge to race him. He passed me without a word but as the road tipped up just slightly and we hit a slight headwind, he was obviously having difficulty pulling away.
    Well, how long can I be expected to ignore a carrot dangling out there in front of me? As we both took off from a stop sign together, I easily pulled ahead and put my head down – race on. He chased me hard for 7 miles, never able to close the gap and dropping back slowly, but obviously pushing hard. My legs were buring and I was breathing hard when he finally turned off my route and I was relieved to slow back to cruising speed – so much for recovery ride! My competitive urge is irresistable now that I have become a little faster. Maybe I’ll grow out of it?

  26. Comment by Davidh-marin,ca | 09.10.2013 | 6:19 pm

    @UpTheGrade Looking forward to meeting you at the Fondo. You’ll find Fatty inside the velvet rope at the VIP tent, but is you prostrate yourself before the gate with offerings of pie he may come out and touch you on the head.

    Competitive: I commute home from The City on my 29r Hardtail (easier on the wheels given the road conditions in SF) I too, will step it up if I see someone ahead to chase, and get seriously stoked if I can hang with the roadies, or occasionally pass and drop them. Of course once they tun off…so do I!

    Post your Strava link so we can all follow someone more like us.

  27. Comment by eclecticdeb | 09.10.2013 | 6:31 pm

    @Nancy, you are spot on about the community. I has the pleasure of riding around Lake Tahoe this Sunday and ran into someone at a rest stop in a full Fatty kit. While I wasn’t wearing my jersey, I was able to point out that BOTH of my water bottles were of the Fat Cyclist origin.

    Can’t wait until Levi’s Gran and the possibility of meeting other Fat Cyclists. Unfortunately I think my Fatty jersey is going to be too big (yay me) — not sure what I’ll wearing. Oh well….

  28. Comment by Cat_Rancher | 09.10.2013 | 6:55 pm

    10 miles of chipseal? Pfffft. ‘Round these parts, chipseal (or as they so poetically call it here- “squirt-top”….nice) is ALL there is. I haven’t had feeling in the heels of my hands in a looooooong time.

  29. Comment by Tes | 09.10.2013 | 7:28 pm

  30. Comment by Tes | 09.10.2013 | 7:29 pm

  31. Comment by UpTheGrade SR CA | 09.10.2013 | 7:53 pm

    HaHa, I’d rather be touched by the hand of Lord Fatty then put in a stranglehold by his off-the-bike nemesis Loaflock Levi ;-) I wonder if our “cruising at 25mph” bicycling guru even eats pie anymore? It sounds like he now shares cans of soda! (too many calories for a 200 mile ride I expect)

    If you want to meet up at the Fondo best contact me via email: solutionx22@gmail ’cause with a kid in college and another starting next year my cycling budget is minimal and therefore I don’t own a Fatty kit to show off in :-( I also don’t have a GPS device and therefore no strava either – I just go on short rides most days here in the best place to bike in the world (according to Levi, and he should know).

  32. Comment by Davidh-marin,ca | 09.10.2013 | 8:39 pm

    @Tess Bravo!!

    @electricdeb Who did you meet?

    @UptheGrade I will reach out to you. My tandem partner and I do come up your way from time to time to ride and would love to find others to ride with.
    You’re probably ok without Strava…for now…it becomes very addictive. The (poor) Hammer is on Stravatical, and I’m sure I am not alone in missing her accomplishments. Do hope she comes back and posts her StS effort. That’s one series of numbers to see.

    Cycling budget??? It should be about you! Plenty of kids have done just fine at Community College. Also if they’d fit I have some past year Fatty Jerseys I would lend so we can see each other at the ride 2xl, let me know.

    As for the Fondo, if there is not yet a Facebook pagie thingie, I’ll ask Wife#1 what to do. There’s probably a project I could do…or finish…that would get her to set one up.

    Anxiously awaiting Part III Dun Dun Dun!

  33. Comment by UpTheGrade SR CA | 09.10.2013 | 8:45 pm

    I have learned through archival research that Fatty acolytes without Fatty team kit can alternatively identify themselves to other fatties with a special cap

  34. Comment by Clydesteve | 09.10.2013 | 8:48 pm

    @ UptheGrade Sr Ca, @ David-marin,ca, @electricdeb, can’t wait to see all (yes, and Fatty & Hammer, too) at Levi’s GF!

    I hope that the fact that I am going does not mean Levi’s Gran Fondo has jumped the Shark!

  35. Comment by Wife#1 | 09.10.2013 | 10:05 pm

    @eclecticdeb what size kit do you need? Sage and I have FC women’s kits coming in 2 different sizes and we will not be doing Levis GF with David. Would be happy to loan you one of the new ones.

  36. Comment by Christina | 09.11.2013 | 7:35 am

    Wait…your snipe went numb?!

  37. Comment by eclecticdeb | 09.11.2013 | 4:23 pm

    @Wife#1: Thank you so much for the kind offer. I have no idea what size — I think I’m in between a medium and a large — depends on the cut.

    @Davidh-marin,ca: no idea, you THINK I would have asked. Maybe he is lurking??

    @UpTheGrade SR CA: If I HAVE to, I can get a whirly beanie taped to my helmet. A little concerned that will come with a goofy look on my face as well.


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