25 Hours in Frog Hollow, Part VI: Date Night

11.18.2013 | 12:15 pm

Here’s a very useful tip for you to keep in mind if you ever want to do a 24 (or 25) hour race, solo. Don’t have this thought as the sun goes down: “I’m going to be riding my bike in the dark for the next twelve hours.” 

Because, while perfectly accurate, it’s not a particularly productive thought.

Luckily for me, I was no longer riding alone. The Hammer and I would be riding through the whole night together. We’d watch the sun come up together. 

TT FatCyclist 113

So with Imagine Dragons playing (like I said, The Hammer got to pick the group for the first lap), we took off.

Then Heather came riding by us, flying. Doing her team proud. Not realizing that she was coming by us on the right, The Hammer moved right and they nearly collided.

“I’ll see you guys soon!” Heather shouted.

“No, Heather, wait! Ride slow and hang out with us!” I yelled back.

Nope. She was gone.

A Short Review of the Boombot Rex

The Boombot Rex we were using to play music was fantastic. Loud enough for both of us to listen to — although we had to decided between listening to music and talking, since if the music was loud enough for The Hammer to hear, it was too loud for me to hear what she was saying.

Oh, and the volume buttons are tiny — difficult to sense when you’re wearing thick gloves in the middle of the night — and placed in a hard-to-reach position on the underside of the speaker.

Oh, and the speaker kept falling off the mount when we were descending fast down rocky sections, to the point that I finally stopped putting it back on the mount and just stuffed it in my jersey.

“OK, this thing is not for mountain biking on the Jem trail,” I said, after it fell off the mount the third time.

In its defense, however, I’m not sure anything is made for mountain biking on the Jem trail.

The Evolution of my Eating Philosophy

After each lap, we’d stop and eat something. Which—as I sit here, comfortable and relaxed—sounds great. Eat whatever you want, every hour or two, with no penalty, no guilt.

But when you’ve been riding for fifteen (or sixteen or eighteen) hours, it’s really difficult to find something you can tolerate eating.

Really difficult.

“What’ll it be?” Zach or Brooks would ask as we pulled into the pit. And I would have no idea. We had brought all this food — two ice chests and two bins full of food — and I’d say, “I don’t know. Nothing sounds good.”

But little by little, I figured out what I liked to eat. The food just had to pass a surprisingly simple test: 

It needed to require absolutely no effort to chew and swallow.

Pizza? Too hard to chew, and required you to wash it down with something to drink.

Mac and cheese? Perfect.

Spaghetti? Yes.

Subway sandwich? For sure, as long as you drown it in mayo.

Granola bar? No way in hell.

Riding Through The Night

As the night wore on, I lost track of how many laps we had been on. Was it twelve? Or eleven? Maybe thirteen?

It didn’t matter anymore, anyway. With every pedal stroke, The Hammer was increasing her new record for women’s solo singlespeed on this course. The previous record — ten laps — was way behind us now.

“And how am I doing?” I’d ask our crew as I pulled into the pit after each lap. 

“Oh, you’re fourth or fifth or so,” they said. By which they meant, I figured, that I was far enough behind that it wasn’t really worth them keeping track.

Fair enough. My stated objective for this race was to simply keep plugging away, and I was doing it. Even better, I was now actually helping The Hammer as she utterly destroyed the women’s solo SS record.

And it was so nice to get to our pit after each lap together. We’d sit at the fire and have something to eat and drink, while our crew treated us like royalty — cleaning out chains, cooking us food, and making us hot chocolate.

Relaxing between laps

And then, after a 10-15 minute break, we’d head back out. Riding and talking together, both of us alternating between saying how nice it was to be doing this thing together, and rolling our eyes at how cheesy we sounded.

The Hammer was riding so strong that I did not need to hold back at all. I was incredibly proud of her strength and toughness.

And then, around four in the morning, the race changed.

Which seems like a good place to pick up tomorrow.


  1. Comment by J | 11.18.2013 | 12:30 pm

    Hot coco is always a great treat in cooler weather. Especially with a large amount of marshmallows. Which bike lights are being used on this ride? I can’t seem to locate the info while on the mobile. Thanks in advance FC

  2. Comment by andy@wdw | 11.18.2013 | 12:35 pm

    Loving this report! Keep these installments coming!

    You and the hammer have such an awesome relationship. My wife and I also make each other roll our eyes like that, almost as much as we make other people roll their eyes. :-)

    So… if you had fingerless gloves on, then the volume buttons would be a lot easier to push, right?

  3. Comment by AKChick | 11.18.2013 | 12:46 pm

    I would say that Fred, Zach and Brooks (and Zach’s awesome photog girlfiend whose name escapes me at the moment-so sorry!) are hired for overnight races. :) I’ve had my husband support me during longer events from time to time and it’s really nice not to have to worry about anything and to not have to carry all that you need. Very nice!

    Can’t wait to hear what changes. I haven’t looked up the results so I’m hoping it means that Fatty is now in the running by going slow and steady. :)

  4. Comment by AKChick | 11.18.2013 | 12:47 pm

    Also,I’m seriously considering doing the Frosty Bottom 25 on Jan 4. 25 miles on nice trails, but you never know if it will be single digits, below 0, in the 20’s or 45. Waiting for the sign-up to be posted.

  5. Comment by Christina | 11.18.2013 | 1:41 pm

    I love the last picture. It also makes me think, “Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta.”

    I also have to give a shout out to Carbo Rocket again. They’ve saved me from the “nothing sounds good” bonk.

  6. Comment by MattC | 11.18.2013 | 1:47 pm

    So when you say the race changed, you mean it was going to FINALLY start being a fun relaxed ride with you wife?

  7. Comment by MattC | 11.18.2013 | 2:59 pm

    (in lieu of the absolute death-ride horror you had been enduring thus far I mean)

  8. Comment by bikemike | 11.18.2013 | 3:24 pm

    This is just like Boardwalk Empire on a bike except for the bloody murdering and alcohol and drug running.Oh,and the funny clothing.

  9. Comment by Clydesteve | 11.18.2013 | 3:41 pm

    really? you turd. you can’t just write a tiny column and then cliff it like that. OK, you can, but you may not. OK should not.

  10. Comment by Davidh-Marin,ca | 11.18.2013 | 4:15 pm

    @clydesteve. Sorry, Charlie. If put to a vote I’m confident mini cliffhangers would beat out complete one day stories. It gives us so much more to say, and in the end we actually hear MORE about the event.

    Mini on Elden!

  11. Comment by MicroTim | 11.18.2013 | 5:12 pm

    In my experience things that happen at 4 am are rarely good..

  12. Comment by Heidi | 11.18.2013 | 6:27 pm

    @bikemike – hahahaha! Might have to check out Boardwalk Empire…

  13. Comment by walter | 11.18.2013 | 6:50 pm

    Love that last pic. Fatty looks like a minion with those googles :)

  14. Comment by eclecticdeb | 11.18.2013 | 7:30 pm

    To quote my Mom (as she was giving my my curfew for the umpteenth time): “Nothing good happens after 1:00am”

  15. Comment by Rabi | 11.18.2013 | 9:40 pm

    +1 on no granola bars. Even worse to me are Clif Bars – I cannot handle that much chewing on an endurance ride.

  16. Comment by ADHD | 11.18.2013 | 9:47 pm

    You are really milking this one for what it’s worth. What to do when you don’t have new material, draw out the material you have. Enough already with the Frog Hollow. Give us an ending please.

    And then you can get back to your normal lunch ride and good cause morsels.

    PS I am a fan, I just had to give you a little merda for this one.

  17. Comment by AKChick | 11.18.2013 | 9:56 pm

    @ADHD I disagree with your statement. I suspect others do as well.

  18. Comment by Nancy_in_MN | 11.18.2013 | 11:20 pm


    “really? you turd.” I can’t stop laughing about this simple little comment! Poop humor again, I guess.

  19. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 11.19.2013 | 1:28 am

    So I’m re-reading the synopsis (aka-spoiler alert(s)) getting a feel for the story. Will this be pre-Thanksgiving, or a Black Friday 4am opening meant to keep us home? Will FC leave something out, and why? From the post: http://www.fatcyclist.com/2013/11/04/a-summary-probably-meaningless-of-a-long-day-of-riding/ It seems we’re about half way through. The rest of the night, the day, and the denouement.

    This will be fun!

    Keep ‘em coming Fatty, I have lots of popcorn. Maybe there should be a ‘quiz t the end.

  20. Comment by Bozidar | 11.19.2013 | 1:33 am

    Nothing of note in this installment. Waiting for the next one, expecting more interesting stuff.
    Funnily enough, nothing about physical effects, pains, bike and trail issues. You boiled the last two installments down to a love story, get the story back to cycling!

  21. Comment by Rick | 11.19.2013 | 7:56 am

    Fatty, just curious whether you used the boombotix handlebar mount 2.0 (which just started shipping and is supposed to be pretty secure) or an earlier version?

    Great story so far. Looking forward to the next installment.

  22. Comment by TominAlbany | 11.19.2013 | 8:07 am

    Wherein Fatty makes an attempt to podium?

  23. Comment by Davidh-Marin,ca | 11.19.2013 | 8:48 am

    @Bozidar. Odd I always thought biking Was a love story. never having to say you’re sorry.

    Keep it up Fatty.

  24. Comment by Bryan (not that one) | 11.19.2013 | 9:42 am

    The race changed? Like to a doughnut challenge race on little kids bikes??? Awesome! ;-)


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