2013 25 Hours in Frog Hollow, Part I

11.5.2013 | 1:06 pm

Things were not looking good for me. Not good at all.

I had the longest mountain bike race of my life — by more than double of any distance I had ever raced before — ahead of me the upcoming weekend, and I just didn’t feel ready. I hadn’t really trained for it. Hadn’t really studied the course or thought about what I would eat. 

By itself, that would be OK. I could go to the 25 Hours in Frog Hollow — known as “The Longest 1-Day Race” because it always takes place over the time change — and just sorta kinda put a half effort into it. 

Except I couldn’t. 

I couldn’t because I know myself: when I get to the line I know that I am going to have the madness of racing take me. 

I couldn’t because my volunteer crew — Zach Terry and his family — were giving up a weekend to take care of me.

And I couldn’t because I didn’t want to disappoint The Hammer, who was very excited about the race.

But I could worry out loud to her. I could tell her how unprepared I was, how my heart wasn’t in it, how I could already feel my pants and t-shirts getting tight as I begin to put on the first of many layers of winter blubber.

Until finally The Hammer told me to cut it out. I was sucking all the excitement for this race out of her. 

I thought about it. She was right. I was being a complete and utter Eeyore about the 25 Hours in Frog Hollow. Not because of the race, but because of my own burned-out-ed-ness. I needed to pull myself together.

So I did. I cheerfully participated in IM conversations with The Hammer throughout the day as she speculated on how many laps she needed to set as a goal:

IM Chat With The Hammer

So now you know what conversations between The Hammer and me are like. We speculate and speculate and speculate about race distances and time and effort and what reasonable objectives are. 

Big Problem, Quickly Solved

Then, last Wednesday, I suddenly had a problem. Racer — of Racer’s Cycle Service — sent me a message: my beloved Specialized Stumpjumper Singlespeed (The SSSS) was in no condition to do a big race: the BB cup was loose in the frame — it looked like the carbon inside the shell had been damaged.

IMG 7688 

Needless to say — with fewer than two days ’til we headed out toward the race venue in Hurricane, Utah — I was a little bit freaked out. By which I mean I was a lot freaked out.

So I called Specialized, and they said, “Hey, you know that our shipping facility is in Salt Lake City, right?”

And I said, “Yeah.”

And they said, “Well, why don’t you come get a replacement frame right now?”

So I found the Specialized Warehouse / Shipping facility:

IMG 7689

Where I picked up a brand-new Specialized Stumpjumper HT Singlespeed Frameset.

Yes, that’s right. From discovery of problem to having a new bike frame in hand: under two hours.

IMG 7690

Yeah, I know that’s not typical (for one thing, I live remarkably close to the right place to pick up the frame; for another I happened to be in SLC that day anyway, so was even closer).

But I’m still going to give major props, kudos, and huzzahs in general for taking care of me like that.

So I took my new frame over to Art Dye Park, where — very conveniently for me, since this park is about three miles from my house — Racer was entered in a cyclocross race. I gave him the frame and he promised he’d build the bike up for me on Thursday, so I could pick it up on Friday on the way out of town.

And sure enough, the next day I got photos from Racer as he built up my bike:

IMG 2803

IMG 1848

IMG 0837

IMG 3264

IMG 1881

IMG 7324

I was back in business. In fact, I’d say it’s safe to say that bike-wise, I was even better off than I had been before. 

Incomprehensibly huge thanks go out to Racer, for — once again — staying late at the shop and taking care of me. Racer’s been a great friend and mechanic for me for — I’m guessing here — about fifteen years. There’s a reason I happily travel more than twenty miles to go to his shop.

What to Eat?

You would think that, having recently done the Salt to Saint race, The Hammer and I would have the “What should we eat when we’re riding continuously for more than a full day?” question answered.

But you would be wrong.

In the absence of any food strategy whatsoever, we went to Costco, hungry, and asked ourselves the same question, over and over: “What would be really good to eat when we’re really tired and have been riding for, like, fifteen hours?”

Our answer was, pretty much, everything. Including, but not limited to:

  • Muffins
  • Cookies
  • Barbecued Chicken
  • Flautas
  • Chicken soup
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Rice pudding
  • A vast multitude and variety of pastry
  • An inexhaustible supply of Red Bull
  • Even more Coke than Red Bull
  • Tortilla chips
  • Two tubs full of Nutella, each of which is large enough to drown either a collie or your sorrows
  • Bananas, basically acting as Nutella-delivery devices
  • Dried mangos
  • About a gallon of trail mix
  • Spaghetti

Many, many of these things would be scorned during the race, which even now is unfathomable to me; how is it possible that I don’t want to eat when I’m racing? I love eating, and I love all these foods. 

I can only conclude that when I am racing, madness takes me. 

By Friday afternoon, we had purchased enough food to feed a family of four through the end of the decade, and we had four singlespeeds ready to go: Specialized Stumpy SS as our primary bikes, Superfly SS as our secondary bikes. 

It was time to head to Frog Hollow and ride.

And ride and ride and ride and ride.


  1. Comment by climbnkd | 11.5.2013 | 1:30 pm

    And so it begins…

  2. Comment by pfonke | 11.5.2013 | 1:32 pm

    “Two tubs full of Nutella, each of which is large enough to drown either a collie or your sorrows.”


  3. Comment by Brian in VA | 11.5.2013 | 1:40 pm

    I always love these preambles…

  4. Comment by Owen | 11.5.2013 | 1:53 pm

    TruckerCo pads? just bought the sintered pads to give a try – how do you like? looking forward to this race report

  5. Comment by Tommy J | 11.5.2013 | 1:58 pm

    You are spoiled with such service. Are those the TruckerCo brake pads from ebay?
    If so, How do you like them?

    Racer’s brother is one of the owners of TruckerCo, so Racer gets them direct. And I like ‘em fine. – FC

  6. Comment by Clydesteve | 11.5.2013 | 2:19 pm

    All I need to deliver Nutella is a spoon. We don’t need no stinkin’ bananas!

  7. Comment by Clydesteve | 11.5.2013 | 2:23 pm

    Fatty, did Racer build this frame up with all new components, or did he strip the old Stumpy and just renew the wear components like cables and brake pads?

    Stripped the old Stumpy, mailed it off to Specialized (they’re curious about how I managed to do that to a BB shell), and put the old parts on the new frame. – FC

  8. Comment by Clydesteve | 11.5.2013 | 2:27 pm

    OK, now that I look closer I do see a bit of wear on the bars & stem, and some dirt on the rear brake, but the chain & sprockets look new. And so does the fork.

    Chain, chainring, cog and fork are all used. Racer just did a VERY good job of cleaning them up. – FC

  9. Comment by old guy who likes to ride | 11.5.2013 | 2:33 pm

    Two magic words: Lifetime Warranty.
    Kudos to Specialized on the speedy frame replacement.
    Orbea took super great care of me when my Onix had an issue, now I’m an Orca guy.
    Looking forward to the rest of the saga.

  10. Comment by old guy who likes to ride | 11.5.2013 | 2:34 pm

    I should say Orbea and the crew at LBS, Carmichael Cycle

  11. Comment by eclecticdeb | 11.5.2013 | 2:50 pm

    @Clydesteve: I don’t need a stinkin’ spoon! My finger is vehicle enough.

    Fatty: Have you tried “Speculoos Cookie Butter” from Trader Joes? D-E-A-D-L-Y.

  12. Comment by blair | 11.5.2013 | 2:51 pm

    Collies. There used to be a profession called “collier”, but, sadly, it wasn’t nearly as much fun as it sounds…

  13. Comment by GregC | 11.5.2013 | 2:51 pm

    You know I was just wondering about this the other day, how much Nutella does it take to drown a colllie? Now I know, two tubs!

    For the same reason you are a Racers Cycle Service and a Specialized fan, I am a Cannondale and Newbury Park Cycles fan. When you get awesome service, why go anywhere else? Kudos!

  14. Comment by slo joe | 11.5.2013 | 3:01 pm

    FC, for the ignorant or “hard of remembering” why iz it you are racing a SS over a 25 hour race instead of a bunch o’ gears thingie? If you could include that in one of your rambles..er.. I mean posts…much obliged.

    It was The Hammer’s idea. She knew we were going to be doing our other big MTB races on singlespeeds, so she had us do this one on them too. – FC

  15. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 11.5.2013 | 3:15 pm

    I am so looking forward to the rest of this report. I imagine I will even try to keep up with it next week when I am on vacation in the Virgin Islands (Cap’n Jim, at your service).

    I have to admit I cheated and looked up the results – and I am still excited to read hte many installments ahead of us. You have set the stage very well, now let the play unfold. Allez! Allez!

  16. Comment by UpTheGrade SR, CA | 11.5.2013 | 3:28 pm

    I was going with 14 laps for The Hammer, and then I remembered your “The Hammer, a cheerfully bloody mess” bullet point, so now I’m going with only 13 (I’m savoring the story, so not looking up the results).
    As for eating on a hard ride, I can barely swallow a shot bloc when I’m riding hard, let alone eat food. I think it has more to do with lack of saliva than too much exertion. For example, my boy scouts troop and I can eat your list of food EACH after a long hike ;-)

  17. Comment by J | 11.5.2013 | 3:33 pm

    Is it me or does FC’s phone firmware seem out-of-date?

    Huh? Oh you mean the IM conversation. That screen grab was actually off my computer, not from phones. – FC

  18. Comment by Christina | 11.5.2013 | 4:19 pm


    Yeesh, with the “No, YOU can do more.”


    How many bikes have you broken? Not because you’re fat, but because you rode them out.

  19. Comment by The Real Wife#.667 | 11.5.2013 | 6:58 pm

    Thank you Clydesteve and others for keeping the comments coming. I’m also pleased to see that Fatty and Lisa communicate electronically. I just wonder what room she was in, or, were they both in the same room ’cause that would be perfect!

    Saw Orville Wright’s SS today at the air and space museum and thought of Fatty. That would be a Fatty vs Levi race to bet on!

    Saw the Rocket Ships and thought of Greg and Matt. Just wished I had a FC Sticker with me because it would now be part of the National Air and Space Museum(these things were LOADED with stickers!)

  20. Comment by The Real Wife#.667 and davidh, washington, d.c. | 11.5.2013 | 7:03 pm

    did i mention i have really long arms?

    Lastly a thought for Fatty for 2014:f9da80fa.jpg

    ‘Fatty’ takes all comers challenge!

  21. Comment by Carl | 11.5.2013 | 7:51 pm

    That’s one sexy looking bike!

  22. Comment by AKChick | 11.5.2013 | 8:55 pm

    Bonus for me. I was too busy to check yesterday, checked this morning and didn’t realize it was from yesterday, logged on tonight to read the comments and voila, the first race report! :) Yay me! I win!

    I have learned that my digestive system can’t take a lot of food during a long ride (I have yet to ride in anything over 110 miles or 8 hours so not sure about a 24 hour ride). I stick with liquids, replenishing electrolytes and having a couple orange wedges or a plain bagel at aid stations. I carry my own energy drink – my stomach can only tolerate a couple drinks during a ride. The really funny thing is that when I do training rides, this isn’t a problem. Weird.

    Looking forward to reading all your bullet points from the 25 Hours of Frog Hollow (I just realized after reading this post why it’s called that – yes, I am slow sometimes).

    PS When are you going to get fat tire bikes? You will love it so much that you’ll get a workout and have so much fun doing it that you won’t realize how strenuous it was and you’ll keep the winter blubber at bay (I really think you must be hallucinating about the extra weight with all the riding you’ve been doing this year). We are having the longest warmest fall I can remember so we haven’t had any snow yet. Well, the mountains have snow and people are dragging out the rock skis and boards and hiking up to carve some turns. Crazy!

  23. Comment by Kristina | 11.5.2013 | 9:50 pm

    @AKChick – This fall has been fabulously amazing, has it not?! It just started snowing a bit in the past week here in Fairbanks, but I have been loving the weather of the last two months!

  24. Comment by The Real Wife#.667 and davidh, washington, d.c. | 11.5.2013 | 9:54 pm

    So this is pretty cool. I believe I counted 59 bullet points, plus sub points a-f. In review we’ve completed the following (5) today;
    Fear and trembling with The Hammer
    The Hammer tells me to quit being such a baby about the race
    The Hammer has predictions
    The fastest warranty in the world
    24hr race philosophy

    This is going to be the BEST WINTER EVER!

  25. Comment by Jeremy | 11.7.2013 | 12:36 am

    There’s something about taking carbon Stumpy single speeds with Superfly single speeds as backups that makes me want to shout, “Not fair!” I am envious of that stable of yours.


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