Today is a lucky day for you. Such a lucky day. For today is the day I offer you an unbelievable opportunity. The kind of opportunity that changes your life. An opportunity the like of which does not come along every day. No it does not.
And if it seems like I’m overselling this just a bit, well, that’s just because it is such a fantastic opportunity that I have been losing sleep, every single night, over the fear that I will undersell this extraordinary opportunity, due to the fact that it is so amazingly wonderful and life-enriching and just generally extraordinary that I am, even now, trying to think of ways that I myself could avail myself of this opportunity, instead of giving it to myself.
But I will not do that, because it would be selfish of me to keep this for myself. And I am not selfish. No I am not.
Also, I’m pretty sure it would be impossible for me to do this myself, in the absence of some pretty sophisticated time-traveling or cloning technology. Both of which I possess, naturally, but neither of which I like to use (the time-traveling software is what I charitably call “in alpha state;” using the cloning machine causes an unacceptably large spike in my electricity bill).
Wow, I’m really rambling this morning, aren’t I? I guess that’s what happens when I’m not writing a multi-parter.
But I will be writing another multi-part series soon, about a big new adventure.
And if you’re the right kind of person, with the right skills and the right availability, I need your help in making that adventure happen.
So please, allow me to tell you the what, who, why, and how to apply. And then you can let me know whether you’d like to be a part of it.
This November 2-3, I will be racing — in the solo singlespeed category — the 25 Hours of Frog Hollow.
And so will The Hammer.
And so will Kenny.
That’s right, all three of us are racing in what I consider to be the single best 25-hour mountain bike race around. Beautiful course, awesome vibe, great gimmick (it’s 25 hours instead of 24 because the race happens over the time change every year).
Oh, and all three of us will be racing on singlespeeds.
And none of us have any crew arranged. You see, The Hammer and I recently spent any and all brownie points we had accumulated with our friends and family; nobody we know is interested in crewing for us again.
And Heather can’t crew for Kenny; she’s on a team herself.
So, we could use a little (OK, a lot of) help. A little kindness from strangers.
Which (if you’re very, very lucky) is where you come in.
We need someone to take care of us. Or really, we need multiple someones to take care of us, because while none of the three of us are particularly high maintenance, three low-maintenance racers is still a lot to maintain. So if I were going to put together qualifications for our crew, here’s what would go on the list.
- Mechanical Genius: We need someone to take care of our bikes, along with our bike-related stuff. You’ll be in charge of making sure all three of our bikes stay in perfect riding condition, which — in rocky, sandy riding conditions — can be quite a bit of work. But hey, at least you won’t have to worry about derailleurs, right? Also, you’d be the person who gets our lights mounted on our bikes and helmets at the appropriate times, and ensures that we always have a charged battery at the ready.
- Chef: OK, honestly we’re not expecting any chef-ing from our chef. We just want someone who understands what each of us prefers to eat (and that these preferences can shift pretty dramatically during the course of a long race) and can keep us fueled for 25 hours.
- Clothing and Morale Officer: As the day turns to night and then back again, we’re going to be layering and then de-layering. We’ll need someone who knows what we’re going to need to be wearing before we do, have it ready for us and — if necessary — help us into it. And also to make us feel good about ourselves as we’re riding, using a clever combination of cowbells and inspirational quotes (e.g., “Looking strong, Fatty!”).
Is this three people we need? Maybe, but it’s also entirely possible that the Mechanical Genius is also the Clothing and Morale Officer. Probably two people will be enough to take care of all three of us.
Ideally, the crew would live at least somewhat locally. As in, within driving distance. For one thing, I can’t afford to fly anyone out and back, nor can I afford to reimburse anyone for anything more than a reasonable amount of gasoline expenses (driving from South Carolina, for example, is not what I consider reasonable).
If you’ve got access to an RV you can bring, that suddenly moves you to the very top of the list of candidates. Although if you don’t have one, we’ll still work something out. The Hammer and I have a ginormous tent, for example, and Kenny’s Amazing Sprinter Van will be available at least sometimes.
Oh, and if you’re the kind of person who gets into arguments with people — yeah, I know it’s because you’re right and your way is better — please don’t apply. I don’t want to ride for 25 hours knowing that I’m going to be dealing with a tense atmosphere each time I roll through the crew area.
I really don’t even know why I’m writing this section, because it’s totally self-evident why you’d want to be a part of this incredibly wonderful experience, and I’m fully expecting to get a complete flood of applications. Still, here are a few things — both good and bad — you can expect as part of being in the Team Fatty crew for 25 Hours in Frog Hollow:
- Watch The Hammer in Action: The Hammer is having a banner year. She’s the reigning Leadville 100 women’s singlespeed champ and record holder, as well as the reigning Salt to Saint women’s solo champ and record holder. The fact is, it’s now pretty rare for her to not finish on the podium in whatever she does. Many people would pay good money to watch her race.
- Watch an Epic Battle: It used to be a given that Kenny would thrash me anytime he and I raced. That’s no longer the case. Nobody will have a better sense of how either of us is doing as this head-to-head slugfest unfolds than you.
- See Kenny in Various States of Dress and Undress: There’s no escaping the fact that Kenny is an unusually handsome man, and he’s going to be changing clothes sometimes. You will have to decide for yourself how compelling of a reason this is for you to apply as you balance that fact against the reality that I, too, will be changing clothes sometimes.
- See Fatty Go Completely and Cheerfully Incoherent: It’s a well-known fact that when I race, I quickly lose all powers of higher reasoning and speech, while I simultaneously become happier and happier. It’s a near-certainty that as the day progresses, I’ll become an amiable, incoherent idiot. Seriously, you will be utterly convinced that I am filling my bottles with something a touch more potent than CarboRocket.
- Have a Front-Row Seat to the Entire Race: We have a spot reserved on Solo Row, which means that you’ll not only see us going by every lap, you’ll see all the racers going by every lap. Having a spot on the course is a pretty exciting place to be.
- We Won’t Pay for Much, if Anything: As I have mentioned, this is not a paid position. I just want to be clear on that.
- If the Weather Sucks, We Aren’t Racing: We’re excited for this race. We are, really. But if it’s snowing or raining or there’s a plague of locusts or something, we’re just going to call it a day. The good news is, you will not be required to crew for us through plagues of locusts.
How to Apply
So, if you want to be a part of this — and I’m sure you do — send me an email. Here’s what you’ve got to do:
- Address it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Make the subject “Crewing Application”. Make it exactly that (but, you know, without the quotes and punctuation and stuff). If you make it something clever designed to stand out from the crowd, it will almost certainly instead get entirely overlooked.
- Tell me what part of crewing you’re good at, where you’d be traveling from, and so forth.
And of course, if I don’t pick you, it doesn’t mean you’re not awesome.
In fact, it probably means you’re just a little bit too awesome, and I’m afraid of you.