The Best Crew Ever: 2013 25 Hours in Frog Hollow, Part II

11.6.2013 | 4:31 pm

I should state up front that this post is really little more than an unashamed love letter to the crew that took care of The Hammer, Kenny, and me for the entirety of the 25 Hours in Frog Hollow: Zach, Trisha, and Brooks.

Although, to tell the truth, they began taking care of us long before the ride began.

The Hammer and I got away from home in late afternoon, picking up our four singlespeeds from Racer, and were listening to The Cuckoo’s Calling in audio book format.

And then we passed an RV, pulling a trailer with “TOSH” (for The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital, the place where Zach works, and which is also his cycling team) printed on it.

Our crew!

We honked and waved, excited that they had so much gear for crewing for us that it didn’t even all fit in an RV.

Our expectations soared.

But our expectations were about to be exceeded. Wildly.

Grand Tour

The Hammer and I got to the venue about 5pm, with Zach, Brooks, and Trish just a few minutes behind. Kenny had taken the initiative of reserving the single nicest spot for crewing on “Solo Row,” which meant that there was room for our truck, Fred the RV, the trailer, tents, and Kenny’s Sprinter van right outside the exchange tent:

IMG 4033
My truck is on the very far left of the photo. The exchange tents are on the very far right.

Yep, that’s all us. We had the biggest, nicest, prime piece of real estate in the Frog Hollow universe.

Here, let me show you around.

First of all, here’s Fred, now including the most awesome custom decal in the whole world:

IMG 7696

Next, here’s The Hammer, relaxing on one of the couches our crew brought along, her feet resting on the carpet our crew brought along.

TT FatCyclist 129
We were lucky to have Trisha — a professional photographer — take pictures throughout the event. Be sure to check out her photo site,

So yes, we had leather couches. And carpet.

IMG 7697

All under a nice shady easy-up. Everything was so buttoned-down and nicely arranged that I had plenty of time to ogle my newly-built Specialized Stumpjumper Singlespeed HT:

TT FatCyclist 141

TT FatCyclist 139

IMG 7698

Oh mercy, that is a nice bike.

And then there was the fire pit.

TT FatCyclist 150
Brooks and Heather relaxing by the fire pit during some rare downtime.

I don’t even know how to describe how wonderful it is to finish a lap at three in the morning and be able to sit down for a minute by a fire while drinking warm soup. It just makes the whole experience better.

Plus, they brought strings of lights, which — aside from making it easy to see everything — just made the whole place incredibly cheerful and welcoming. 

IMG 4244

Every single rider had to go by our setup every single lap. I have no question that the envy levels were incredibly high.

They brought a microwave. They brought food. They brought tools. They brought a bike stand.

IMG 7699

They even brought a suture kit, which came in handy when Zach took a nasty spill and cut his leg open.

IMG 4105

Yep, he numbed and stitched himself up all by himself. Tell me you wouldn’t want this guy taking care of you. 

Seriously, I do not believe they forgot a single thing.

Let The Race Begin

With such a competent, friendly, funny, easygoing crew taking care of things, the normal night-before-the-race jitters were much lower than usual. We all sat around the fire, eating brats, relaxing, talking, and just feeling happy.

Our bikes were ready. Our stuff was out. We had a group of three people with us who pretty much instantly had become good friends. 

I know. I know. I’m gushing. Fine. So be it.

The crew gave The Hammer and me a bed in their RV, we ambiened out, and got a good night’s sleep.

The next morning, all we had to do was get our number plates on our bikes…

TT FatCyclist 134

TT FatCyclist 126

… and suit up…

TT FatCyclist 122

And then get in line for the Lemans-style race start. We knew that Zach, Brooks, and Trish would take fantastic care of us.

All we had to do was pedal our bikes for the next 25 hours.


  1. Comment by Joe | 11.6.2013 | 4:43 pm

    Wow. I want to become a beloved world famous award winning blogger just so I can put out a request for crew help at an event and show up to see that. That’s just beautiful.

  2. Comment by SteveB | 11.6.2013 | 5:05 pm

    “Lemans style race start” means you run over to your bikes, trashing those of your competition en-route, hop on and pedal away like mad men?

  3. Comment by iRide | 11.6.2013 | 5:08 pm

    Fatty could you please set up an app so we’re alerted when you’ve posted. Thank you.

  4. Comment by J | 11.6.2013 | 5:35 pm

    RSS feeds FTW

    As far as preparedness, this team has it all! I wish I had something to numb my wounds when I stitched them up. And to top it off, leather couches to crash on! Our team needs to stock up on stuff. You know who you are…

    *cough* JeffBike *cough*

  5. Comment by Kukui | 11.6.2013 | 5:56 pm

    Wow – what an amazing setup! That sounds like a well-prepared and extremely competent crew!

    Just… wow!

  6. Comment by walter | 11.6.2013 | 6:00 pm

    Wow!!! Your crew is simply awesome. Leather couches? Microwave oven? Rugs? In the desert? This can’t be real. Photoshop, right? :)

  7. Comment by Mark in Bremerton | 11.6.2013 | 6:10 pm

    You’re going to turn the blogosphere green, with all the envy going on. Wow, what a setup and crew! How did Zach get that wound, he wasn’t riding, right? I’m sure that will be answered somewhere in the next 18 posts. Keep ‘em comin’.

  8. Comment by Darren | 11.6.2013 | 6:27 pm

    What kind of mount is The Hammer’s Garmin on?

  9. Comment by Clydesteve | 11.6.2013 | 7:31 pm

    I just read The Cuckoo’s Calling a couple of weeks ago!

  10. Comment by AKChick | 11.6.2013 | 8:19 pm

    So if all the Fatcyclists who are riding in Davis next year pooled our money together, do you think we could afford to pay for Fred, Zach, Trish and Brooks would come out and not only ride with us, but also set up Fred for the team? With the Tosh tents and the leather couch and the carpet? Although for an an Alaskan, it’s really hot that time of year so maybe we’d need lawn chairs and fans as opposed to fire pits. :) In any case, even if Fred couldn’t make it, it sure would be fun to have Zach, Trish, and Brooks join the team. :)

  11. Comment by Fred | 11.6.2013 | 8:26 pm

    Your crew needs to add a one-week tour of Iowa in late-July 2015 to their resume.
    I volunteer to ride. I can bring teammates.

    Heck, with crew support like that, I’ll find a way to ride in July, 2014. That is rock star camping/crewing.

    Why was there no pig on a rotisserie over that fire pit?
    Never mind. I got it. You can’t start cooking the pig until about 13 hours into the race. I look for the pig again on about Part VII of the report.

  12. Comment by UpTheGrade SR, CA | 11.6.2013 | 8:51 pm

    You couldn’t pay enough for that kind of 5-star treatment! Awesome. If I had that kind of support, I’d take up racing for almost sure. Make sure you sign Zack up to support your RAMM attempt. Heck, I might be persuaded to join you ;-) (just wait a few years till my kids have finished college)

  13. Comment by Cyclingjimbo | 11.6.2013 | 9:12 pm

    Very impressive. Fatty, you made a great choice for your crew and now all the rest of us are envious and anxious to join in any event where Zack, Brooks and Heather are present. Absolutely fantastic.

  14. Comment by The Real Wife#.667 and davidh, washington, d.c. | 11.7.2013 | 12:17 am

    Damn! I guess pie just doesn’t cut it anymore. Going to have to figure a new offering for Davis 2014.

    I’m going to have to find a less famous, non-award winning blogging, droll, mastermind(?) to follow.
    Huh! This has promise.(though I might question Mastermind from this:profilebohlturn.jpg

  15. Comment by Jeremy | 11.7.2013 | 12:50 am

    Someday, I’m going to have to do an event like this, but my expectations of my crew can’t possibly live up to this.

  16. Comment by MattC | 11.7.2013 | 8:56 am

    Sheesh Fatty…you had it made in the shade (of a lovely tent…WITH leather couch…AND firepit…AND lights…AND AND AND!) My crew for any events I do typically consists of the other 2 people living in this tiny brain (myself and I). They usually forget stuff, leaving ME to do everything while they argue about who’se fault it was. And the fact that they had a suture kit WITH painkillers is the most amazing thing…(never done sutures myself…yet). And that Zach had to suture himself…WOW! (support crew aren’t supposed to get hurt at a MTB race…who knew crewing for you was so dangerous Fatty!)

  17. Comment by Heidi | 11.7.2013 | 9:08 am

    Seeing that sweet set-up must have made your shoulders drop after coming into it feeling so mentally and physically exhausted. Way to go, crew!

  18. Comment by Christina | 11.7.2013 | 9:20 am

    I don’t want to read the rest. I just went to sit in this image for awhile.

  19. Comment by rich | 11.7.2013 | 9:20 am

    Wow…..first you get top shelf warranty treatment from the big S and now you do the Frog Hollow race with a crew like this?
    Fatty, I think you might actually have attained Rock Star status…..
    Next step is we’re all going to have to fill out an application and reserve a time to read this blog and only after being cleared as worthy to do so…

  20. Comment by Lisa in Athens | 11.7.2013 | 10:08 am

    With that set-up, I’d gush, too.

  21. Comment by Bryan (not that one) | 11.7.2013 | 1:19 pm

    Wish the pictures linked to a larger version the way they used to. Wanted a better look at the “our truck, Fred the RV, the trailer, tents, and Kenny’s Sprinter van right outside the exchange tent” picture.

    All that gushing had to be done. Sounds like they were amazing!

  22. Comment by EdwinH | 11.7.2013 | 5:57 pm

    All posh and dandy, but does this crew run a finger around your tire after they fix a flat…?


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.