Actions and Consequences, Part III

09.11.2013 | 7:20 am

A Note from Fatty: This is the third part in this story. If you haven’t read the first couple parts before reading this part, you probably should. But hey, it’s your life; make your own decisions. Maybe this story would be better if you read the parts out of order. What do I know? Just in case you decide you do want to read the parts of this story in order, though, Part 1 is here. And Part 2 is here.

The Hammer and I were fifty miles into our two-hundred mile ride. Next up was Goshen Canyon. The first few miles of this road roll and twist; it isn’t really the best for getting low on the aero bars. We decided to sit up, ride side-by-side, and talk. 

It was all about Salt to Saint, the 420-mile race (relay format, but we’re each soloing it, with the intent to ride together the whole way) we’ve got coming up on September 20. How we’d take turns pulling. How we’re going to be careful to never to go into the red zone…or anywhere near it. Which sections we’d ride our road bikes on, and which sections we’d ride our TT bikes on. What we’d eat, and how often. How far ahead we’d send our crew each time we see them. What we’d wear to keep the adding and removing layers process easy. How we’d manage lights.

We can both obsess over stuff like this for hours. And, in fact, we did.

A Century, Measured in Convenience Stores

We got to Nephi, stopped at a gas station to refill with water, and took off again. We were seventy miles into our ride and maintaining — even with our stops — an 18mph average. Things were going awesome.

The next section was a climb, and the elevation profile for the race makes it look like it’s pretty steep — a section we’ll want to do on our road bikes, not our TT bikes.

But really, it was no big deal. A little climbing, a little descending. In fifteen miles we were in Fountain Green, then Moroni, where we stopped at a gas station so I could get myself a sugar cookie with pink frosting to eat while riding, along a frozen yogurt cone.

Let me just say: It was not the best frozen yogurt cone I have ever had. I’ll leave it at that.

Now we had just ten miles of riding out toward Manti to get to our 100-mile turnaround point, then we could head home.

With nothing but one hand and my teeth (no-handed riding on a Shiv is terrifying; trust me on this) I had some trouble getting the wrapper off the sugar cookie. Finally, I managed, then got into the aero bars and started riding and eating.

Riding with aero bars and eating is a wonderful experience. It’s like they’re made for each other.

But then the wind grabbed the wrapper out of my hand, blowing it onto the road. “Go on, just kinda slowly for a minute,” I called to The Hammer. “I’ll catch up in a minute.”

I slowed, turned around, and rode back the couple hundred yards to go get the wrapper. 

No, I’m not saying this to make myself look good. It factors into the story. Maybe.

The Turnaround Point…No, Make that Turnaround Points

I caught up and we rode along, our eyes fixed on our Garmins. “Aaaaaaaannnnnd, that’s a hundred miles,” I called, as my GPS clicked over.

“Mine hasn’t yet,” said The Hammer, which made sense, since I had just added a quarter mile to my ride that she hadn’t. “Plus, we should go a little farther, since our first hundred miles included the double-back to fix my saddle at the beginning of the day. We won’t repeat that distance.”

Yes, she is really that meticulous about her distance.

So we continued on ’til, at — according to my GPS — we were at 101.5 miles — a few miles away from the town of Ephraim — at which point The Hammer announced, finally, that we could turn around.

Yes, I am fully aware that this little anecdote makes it pretty clear who wears the pants in our marriage.

I Did Not Jinx This

As we started our long ride back toward Alpine, The Hammer said to me, “Isn’t it funny how much of a head game endurance cycling is? When the objective is to ride 100 miles, by the time I get to 100, I’m beat. Since I knew 100 was just the turnaround point today, though, I’m fine.”

And she was right. Because I had made up my mind about it, reaching 100 miles on this ride felt about the way reaching 50 usually feels on a 100-mile ride. Or the way 25 feels on a 50-mile ride. 

I looked up to my right. Big dark clouds were all along the mountainous skyline. The wind had picked up a little — a cross-headwind, of course. The worst kind of wind there is — especially if you’re on a bike that has a profile the size of a barn.

Without saying a word, I lifted my hand and pointed at the clouds.

“Don’t jinx us!” The Hammer yelled.

“I didn’t say any…” I began, but never finished the sentence.

Because right then The Hammer’s front tire exploded.

Which is where we’ll pick up tomorrow. 


  1. Comment by Clymber | 09.11.2013 | 7:25 am


  2. Comment by Trout boy | 09.11.2013 | 7:35 am

    If I get struck by cosmic debris and cannot read the rest of the story, I am holding you responsible.

  3. Comment by Clydesteve | 09.11.2013 | 8:10 am

    golly, I hate it when that happens. (Yes, I just said “golly” for the enhanced humorous effect. Kind of like “weasels”.)

  4. Comment by JRay | 09.11.2013 | 8:23 am

    In a previous life you wrote the cliffhanger series that my Dad always talked about seeing every weekend at the movie theater for a $.25 didn’t you…
    BTW – I’m hooked, again.

  5. Comment by MattC | 09.11.2013 | 8:33 am

    But were there terrorists involved? An exploding front tire is a bad thing.

    (still chuckling about your bikes having “a profile the size of a barn”).

    Do they make an aero/TT version of a bmx bike? Just curious…that would cut down the crosswind profile to around the size of an elephant…which everybody knows is way better than a barn.

  6. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 09.11.2013 | 9:03 am

    So Fatty in this race there is no “you must finish on the same frame and fork” clause in the race instructions?

    Did you think about just doing the entire thing on your road bikes and skipping the TT bikes?

  7. Comment by Geo | 09.11.2013 | 9:06 am

    Wow. Littering, questionable frozen yogurt cones and exploding tires. This story has EVERYTHING!!!

  8. Comment by sdcadbiker | 09.11.2013 | 9:13 am

    I think you’re a jinx waiting to happen; people who ride with you never get a simple flat, they always get an “explode”.

  9. Comment by Welnic | 09.11.2013 | 9:23 am

    Frequent is good.

  10. Comment by UpTheGrade SR CA | 09.11.2013 | 9:29 am

    You and the Hammer pack so much exciting crisis into your rides, I am truely amazed. My rides are typically uneventful by comparison, or maybe I’m not paying enough attention.

    Question for the bolgosphere – I’ve tried a few brands of 25c tires, and they all wear out in about 2-3k miles and its eating up all my cycling budget. Anyone know of a 10k mile tire for road bikes that still rides well?

  11. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 09.11.2013 | 9:36 am

    I was expecting the KABOOM! of lightning and thunder. I guess the expoding tire is just one more in a series of dire circumstances for this ill-fated ride. (Lightning and thunder to follow? We are on the edges of our seats waiting for the next episode.)

    Calamity upon calamity! My fingernails are chewed down to the quick. Quick, Fatty, give us more.

  12. Comment by Marty | 09.11.2013 | 10:03 am

    You are the master of the cliffhanger. Can’t wait for the next installment.

  13. Comment by Davidh-marin,ca | 09.11.2013 | 10:08 am

    Yeah!!!! More parts!

    Let’s just quickly recap some mechanical events and their mechanics this year in Utah:
    Rockwell Relay; Heather (Kaboom) mechanic: Kenny
    200 mile ride; Lisa (exploded) mechanic: alleged Elden)

    If I was a bicycling woman in Utah I think I’d learn to work on my own bike…

    @MattC “a profile the size of a barn” REALLY! You’ve met Fatty…they must have smaller barns in Utah.

    As long as no one was harmed in the making of this story it is definitely a candidate for the next edition of “Best of…”

  14. Comment by Davidh-marin,ca | 09.11.2013 | 10:14 am

    Oh! BTW, Doug is showing serious Bike Porn on his blog. Check it out.

  15. Comment by Al Pastor | 09.11.2013 | 10:17 am

    We need a rocky & bullwinkle style voiceover.

    “Stranded in the desert 100 miles from home. Will our intrepid duo survive? Or will they be eaten by rabid zombie weasels from hell. Tune in next time to find out”

  16. Comment by Brian in VA | 09.11.2013 | 10:48 am

    I can’t wait for the other horrible things that happened. My rides are so boring.

  17. Comment by JL | 09.11.2013 | 12:19 pm

    Next time in Moroni get the turkey sandwich. (Yeah, I grew up there…)

  18. Comment by MattC | 09.11.2013 | 12:24 pm

    I bet they get chased by the Chupacabra in episode IV, and narrowly escape with their lives thanks to the speedy Shiv’s. Had they been on their rather sad and slow DI2 Orca’s, or Fatty on his new Specialized road bike they would have been Chupa-chow for sure!

  19. Comment by bikemike | 09.11.2013 | 12:40 pm

    As if i don’t have enough issues trying to figure out Breaking Bad and Newsroom, then you come along with this.

  20. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 09.11.2013 | 1:05 pm

    Loving my bike porn :)

  21. Comment by Skye | 09.11.2013 | 1:46 pm

    You know what got me about this installment? You could get a pink frosting sugar cookie at a gas station! My gas stations only seem to offer oatmeal raisin cookies….

  22. Comment by Clancy | 09.11.2013 | 1:49 pm

    I just ruined the story by checking my Stava feed. DO NOT check your strava feed if you follow fatty. You have been warned.

  23. Comment by Wife#1 | 09.11.2013 | 3:09 pm

    What happened to a Coke at every gas station? I thought that was some cool foreshadowing but now I am thinking it was a red herring?

    You probably had the social media marketing team at Coca Cola peeing their pants in happy anticipation of all cross promotional work they would be able to do from this series.

    And I’m sorry, but does good frozen yogurt even exist?

    Can’t wait for part 4!!!

    @eclecticdeb: I left you a message in yesterday’s comments about a loaner on a new Fatty kit for Levis GF. If they are shipping the 20th, we should have them by then.

    Lastly, a short PSA: My husband is amazingly wonderful. And sexy.

    Okay, now I’m done.

  24. Comment by MattC | 09.11.2013 | 3:10 pm

    No worries Clancy…I don’t follow Fatty (nor Hammer) as it would just be too depressing (I might as well follow Rebecca or Levi, or Horner even). That would be further reinforcement of my ‘extreme recreationalist’ style of riding (a phrase I just made up that replaces ‘pathetic’).

  25. Comment by Christina | 09.11.2013 | 3:14 pm


    Sorry, I think I solved the riddle and I was super excited about it.

  26. Comment by TK | 09.11.2013 | 3:45 pm

    I really hope you don’t use the wrapper during a natural roadside pit stop.

  27. Comment by Wife#1 | 09.11.2013 | 3:46 pm

    OH OH! Outside has a new story on SingleTrack High featuring our local high school MTB team – and by local I mean they are only about 1/3 mile down the street! Go Pirates!

  28. Comment by JAT in Seattle | 09.11.2013 | 3:54 pm

    I think Christina got it and it’s like the excitement is infectious – well done! (if that’s not it, I still think that was brilliant and is how the story Should proceed)
    UpTheGrade – I’ve gotten a lot of miles out of my 25mm Specialized Armadillos – I do (against the received Zinn-ian wisdom) rotate them to even out the wear…

  29. Comment by eclecticdeb | 09.11.2013 | 4:27 pm

    Did you use the wrapper to patch the tire?

    @Wife#1: Thanks for the heads up in the comments, probably wouldn’t have gone back. And 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.

  30. Comment by KevinM_IN | 09.11.2013 | 5:07 pm

    Oh the anticipation …. Well played Fatty ….. Well played!

  31. Comment by Corrine | 09.11.2013 | 7:14 pm

    How will I sleep tonight, not knowing what happens next? Does the wrapper save the day? Does the storm descend before the tire is fixed? I need to know, I need my sleep. More, now. Forget about work and deadlines, keep your readers happy.

  32. Comment by Davidh-marin,ca | 09.11.2013 | 9:32 pm

    After Wife#1’s story about HS Biking I found Fatty’s next race partner.

    Time to Man Up big boy!:

  33. Comment by Davidh-marin,ca | 09.11.2013 | 9:32 pm

    Oh, and I’m not talking about the biker.

  34. Comment by Wife#1 | 09.11.2013 | 9:57 pm

    @eclecticdeb… boy do I ever have you covered. I am not sure what the hell I was thinking, except that I plan on getting smaller and our daughter is already wearing women sized clothes and I think I must have planned the smallest one for our 9 y/o son and was not going to tell him it was a woman’s jersey…

    But in any case, I have these women’s cut jerseys coming:
    THE FAT CYCLIST V9 (W) Size X-Small
    THE FAT CYCLIST V9 (W) Size Medium
    THE FAT CYCLIST V9 (W) Size Large
    FAT CYCLIST V9 L/S JERSEY (W) Size X-Large

    Please note if you have read any of my earlier rants, I did not order the bib shorts, because, well, they’re bib shorts. Still waiting on the Chapek brothers for an engineering marvel. Short of that, I do have a pair of black twin six women’s shorts in large that have never been worn, otherwise you can just supply your own black shorts. :-)

    Email me your mailing address in the next week or so and I’ll send you the medium and large when they arrive, and then just after Levis GF, you can ship ‘em back at your leisure. I think it’ll be a few more months before I am in a women’s large jersey anyway. Cheers.

  35. Comment by Bozidar | 09.12.2013 | 2:33 am

    It’s overdone! My 2 cents: They had a tire explosion, replaced the inner tube and used scotch tape to immobilize the outer tire.
    Anyone going on such a long ride will be prepared, and have a couple of options to call someone to assist them. It’s not a pleasant day, but nothing too scary as long as you are within cell coverage zone. If I can’t rely on someone, i’ll do the route in a circle around a central point (usually home) to which i can walk. Here is an example route

    Here’s another clue that everything turned out OK: I’m alive and writing these posts instead of recovering in a hospital. – FC


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.