All About Me: My Leadville Plan for Tomorrow

08.8.2014 | 10:05 am

Thank you to everyone who donated to The Hammer’s World Bicycle Relief fundraiser in order to get a copy of Rusch to Glory. We had Reba come over to the house we’re renting here in Leadville the day the books arrived to show off a copy: 

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And then we put her to work signing them:

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That’s Amy Thompson and The Hammer, telling Reba who’s next, stuffing envelopes, and otherwise being efficient.

I’m happy to say that every one who bought a book as part of Lisa’s fundraiser now has their book in the mail (as of yesterday morning), and should have a Leadville postage mark. Let me know when they start arriving!

Then, yesterday evening, I joined Rebecca on stage to do a Q&A with her about her book:

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Photo by the very talented Linda Guerrette

I was nervous as could be beforehand (as was Reba), but once we started talking we just went on and on, chatting for about half an hour. I think there’ll be video of this online at some point; I’ll be sure to link to it.

And now, it’s time for me to focus on my race.

Which is tomorrow.

All About Me

I’m going to keep this short (as short as I can, anyway, which may not be that easy because…well…I’m me.). Because I’m nervous. Freaked out. Amped up. Wigging.

But here are the things I am thinking about.

First and foremost, I’m relieved, because I think I’ve got a good workable solution for my shoe problem: The Giro Code. Here they are:

IMG 9425

Yuri Hauswald (a good friend as well as a pro singlespeed mountain biker) pointed me toward these shoes, saying they work great for him and his wide feet. Knowing that he rides the same way I do and trusting his depth of knowledge, I rush-ordered a pair, then took them to a shoe repair store and had them strategically stretched where I have the bunion on my left foot.

No more pain.

Now, I haven’t been on any super-long rides with these shoes, but I think they’re going to do the trick. And just in case, I will have another pair of mountain bike shoes — which are kinda old and busted, but generally don’t hurt too bad — I can swap to mid-race. 

But I have high hopes that won’t be necessary.

The Ibis Tranny 29

I have to admit, I’m nervous to race on a bike I haven’t ridden for very long (my Ibis Tranny 29), using a drivetrain — the Gates Carbon Drive belt that is new to me.

But here’s the thing: I am in love with this bike. I love the way the Ibis feels, the way I feel on it. I love how direct and smooth the drivetrain feels. And I love that — especially with all the rain and puddles and grit on the course — that I don’t have to worry about lubing a chain or keeping the crud off it. For this course, I like that a lot


I have high hopes of finishing in under nine hours again. If I do, it will be my fourth sub-nine-hour finish, and my third sub-nine-hour finish on a single speed. 

I have no expectations of podiuming. If I’m on a podium at the end of the race, it’s because nobody faster showed up, and there are a lot of people here who are faster than I am.

But — and this is weird for me — I’m a lot less interested in my race than I am in The Hammer’s. The fact that she’s racing with Rebecca Rusch and has a chance at a sub-9 finish is incredible. I am so proud of how fast Lisa has become and what a competitive person she is. 

And I am so excited to hear their story. 

Here are the two of them, showing off their game face:

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Photo by Linda Guerrette

I’m going to give Rebecca a 9.5/10 for her game face. The Hammer gets a 2. And I’m being generous with that 2. 

And of course after that shot, the whole “game face” thing went out the window for both of them:

Screenshot 2014 08 08 09 49 51
Photo by Linda Guerrette

This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of The Hammer.

Watch Us

I’m pretty sure there’s going to be live updating on the Leadville Trail 100 site, so be sure to watch for us; I’m racer 176 and Lisa is racer 382.

And you’ll also want to watch the awesome Live View feed (more and more cameras are going to be coming online today. Currently I’m watching the Twin Lakes one, and the audio for it is “Eye of the Tiger.” Yeehaw.)

Shout for me as you see me go by, OK? 

I’ll post our finish times as soon as I can, and will now ask for your wishes of good luck for The Hammer (and her domestique, The Queen of Pain) and me. And I’ll leave you with one last awesome photo taken by  Linda Guerrette during yesterday’s group ride up the Boulevard: 

Screenshot 2014 08 08 09 51 48


  1. Comment by chapell | 08.8.2014 | 10:11 am

    Good Luck to you all!

  2. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 08.8.2014 | 10:13 am

    Good luck Queen, Hammer, and Fatty! I’ll be ringing some cowbell while volunteering at the Twin Lakes aid station.

  3. Comment by UpNorth | 08.8.2014 | 10:43 am

    Good luck!!

    Are the Hammer’s hands/arms always that purple? She might have some circulation issues…. (or you might need a better camera).

  4. Comment by ScottyCycles62 | 08.8.2014 | 10:43 am

    Good luck! Rip their legs off!

  5. Comment by Doug (way upstate NY) | 08.8.2014 | 10:44 am

    Elden, I remember you asking me last year at the spaghetti dinner if I was nervous. I had a giant headache and was 50/50 if I was going to puke right then and there. I think all I said was a weak “yes”. You told me you were nervous too. That made me relax. Have a great ride!

  6. Comment by Brian in VA | 08.8.2014 | 10:51 am

    I’m pretty sure that The Hammer’s game face is big ol’ grin and that’s why she can’t mean mug anyone. I can see why you like that photo; it’s awesome!

    Good luck and safe, strong riding to all of you! Above all, have fun!

  7. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 08.8.2014 | 10:54 am

    Great Riding to both of you! And to DaveT, you are our Fof Standard Bearer this year!

    Go Get ‘Em!!!!!!!

  8. Comment by Corrine | 08.8.2014 | 11:56 am

    Good Luck to Fatty and The Hammer and Reba and all the other FoF riding tomorrow. Ride hard and have a great day.

    I agree that The Hammer is trying not to smile but it sure makes her look like she is constipated! Great photo anyway.

  9. Comment by Kristina | 08.8.2014 | 12:03 pm

    Weird (and completely non-Leadville related) comment:

    I had a dream last night that you and the Hammer were going on a fancy date and I was babysitting your kids, despite the fact that they are too old to need a babysitter and I am too old to be babysitting. I was sleeping on a couch, and woke up to an annoying chirping sound. And then another. And then another. FOUR of your smoke alarms were dying, and I had to change the batteries but could only find one extra battery. Even in the dream I knew this was related to an old blog post that I have not read recently (

    I cannot decide if this is really funny or really weird. And possibly also mildly creepy.

  10. Comment by Kristina | 08.8.2014 | 12:04 pm

    Now for a Leadville-related comment:

    CRUSH IT, Fatty and Hammer!!

  11. Comment by MattC | 08.8.2014 | 12:15 pm

    Good luck Fatty, Hammer, DAVE T and any other FoF’s riding Leadville tomorrow…Dave, I agree w/ davidh…..we’re all counting on you (no pressure). I’m quite sure you will CRUSH it, after watching your prep’s on Strava…you are STRONG. I’ll call up the live cam’s when I get back from my Sat morning club ride. And Reba…take care of Hammer (I’m sure you will)…and all of you racing, have FUN! (and be safe!)

  12. Comment by New Zealand Ev | 08.8.2014 | 12:28 pm

    Good luck to all!! Ride strong and stay safe!!

  13. Comment by CycleMedic26 | 08.8.2014 | 12:42 pm

    I have a sneaking suspicion after tomorrow it will be re-named the “Hammerville 100″
    Good luck to all!

  14. Comment by Sara | 08.8.2014 | 12:46 pm

    Good luck to all!!

  15. Comment by Wes | 08.8.2014 | 12:54 pm

    This is kind of a dumb, chicken before the egg question, but I am curious. You have a cool arc of progression, finishing in under 9 hours many times when years before you never thought it would be possible. I want to be fast! Did you notice yourself getting faster upon switching to more SS riding or is there no correlation there? Or did you train harder, get faster, and want the fun challenge of SS? Thanks!

  16. Comment by wtfast 2014 crack | 08.8.2014 | 1:20 pm

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  17. Comment by DaveT | 08.8.2014 | 1:25 pm

    The last few days here in Leadville have been amazing. Feeling a bit nervous but good. davidh and MattC appreciate the support. Wishing all the Leadville participants good luck with your race especially the Hammer and Reba.

  18. Comment by Jeremy | 08.8.2014 | 1:28 pm

    Best of luck to the Hammer, Reba and Fatty. We’re rooting for you!

  19. Comment by Heidi | 08.8.2014 | 2:35 pm

    @Kristina: Did you check the refrigerator?

    Happy trails this weekend!

  20. Comment by JT | 08.8.2014 | 3:33 pm

    Fatty, I have been reading your blog since 2008 and never commented, but I work for a company in Idaho called Kate’s Real Food that makes awesome organic energy bars and this year we are Leadville sponsors. You’ll be getting a bar that I made in your race packet, and for me that’s pretty much like having a celebrity try the product. I’m stoked! Good luck tomorrow!

  21. Comment by rich | 08.8.2014 | 3:41 pm

    Good luck to you all! Tear their legs off….

  22. Comment by AKChick | 08.8.2014 | 4:04 pm

    Allez Fatty, Dave T, Hammer, and Queen of Pain!

    Also SQUEEE – can’t wait to get my book! :)

  23. Comment by Jeff Bike | 08.8.2014 | 4:13 pm

    Fatty you should ride as a domestique for Hammer like the Queen of Pain, It would be super supportive and then you guys would all stand a better chance of a record time.
    Ok I understand you start at different group times. It was just an idea.

  24. Comment by Andy@wdw | 08.8.2014 | 4:19 pm

    I’m beginning to wonder if Fatty will be able to keep up with The Hammer!

    GOOD LUCK EVERYONE! Stay safe, have fun, and just crush it out there tomorrow!

  25. Comment by leroy | 08.8.2014 | 6:09 pm

    Have a great ride!

    (And that game face photo scared my dog. I’m going to save it for when he needs a talking to.)

  26. Comment by KevinM_VA | 08.8.2014 | 6:11 pm

    Best of luck to you, The Hammer & The Queen of Pain …. Can’t wait to see the results & the upcoming race reports …. Rest well tonight & give em h#ll tomorrow!

  27. Comment by Carl | 08.8.2014 | 7:00 pm

    Good luck you guys. I’m sure you will both kill it.

  28. Comment by Kristina | 08.8.2014 | 7:38 pm

    HAHAHA, @Heidi…

    That’s where I found the one battery!

  29. Comment by Clydesteve | 08.8.2014 | 9:42 pm

    well you are probably already in bed, unless you are at some silly pre-race dinner – But GOOD LUCK, rip your lungs out, Fatty & Lisa, & QoP!

  30. Comment by Drew | 08.9.2014 | 5:56 am

    There are two photos of young Henry Rollins and Ian McKaye together that are similar to the photos of The Hammer and Reba in all the best ways.

    Disregard the middle finger in the second one. It’s a gag. They’ve been close for decades.

  31. Comment by CaseyW | 08.9.2014 | 1:53 pm

    Good Luck to you both! And I really hope you get a pic with Mark Webber…

  32. Comment by Liz M. | 08.9.2014 | 3:14 pm

    Congratulations, Lisa, Rebecca and Elden! Amazing! Great to see your smiling faces crossing the finish line.

  33. Comment by sdcadbiker | 08.9.2014 | 4:25 pm

    Odd that Elden is so silent considering what just happened; nary a tweet even!
    Congrats to you both :-)

  34. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 08.9.2014 | 4:46 pm

    I was volunteering at Twin Lakes, here’s Fatty coming through.

    Look how comfortable his feet look!

    More pics later, but only one more of Fatty and none of the Hammer (she only shows up as a blur).

  35. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 08.9.2014 | 4:52 pm

    And here’s the other of Fatty (was supposed to be video of the short drop into Twin Lakes inbound, but operator error).

  36. Comment by AKChick | 08.9.2014 | 5:30 pm

    YAY! FitChick (Selene Yeager), Hammer, Reba and Fatty!!!! Sub 9 SO awesome!!! Woo hoo! Congratulations!!!

  37. Comment by Andy@wdw | 08.9.2014 | 5:42 pm

    Way to go everyone!! WHAT A FINISH!!

    I cannot wait for the race reports! I so hope we get to read at least something from all three points of view.

    Bravo all!

  38. Comment by MikeL | 08.9.2014 | 6:30 pm

    Too cool the way you all came in together. Way to rock it.

  39. Comment by Don Davis | 08.9.2014 | 6:32 pm

    Eight woman my foot, the Hammer is #1 in Fatty’s world!

  40. Comment by owen | 08.10.2014 | 6:43 am

    wow congrats to all!!! whats up with those race plates they look like paper?

  41. Comment by Shawn Dohmen in Hawaii | 08.10.2014 | 8:16 am

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  42. Comment by MattC | 08.10.2014 | 9:51 am

    Way to Go HAMMER!!! 8:39 for gosh sakes…that is BEYOND SMOKIN!!! And very cool you rode in w/ Fatty (and Reba…huge thanks to her for mentoring you all week, AND riding w/ you…can’t wait to hear your stories!)

    And DaveT…very nice!! You are da MAN!!!

  43. Comment by Jeff Bike | 08.10.2014 | 1:16 pm

    I’m so happy you took my advice (see above). I would now like to advise you to buy this really nice piece of “ocean front property in Arizona”.

    Ok bad jokes aside you guys are great! I am so happy for you all.


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