True Grit Epic Race Report, Part 4: Foul Language

03.27.2015 | 8:58 am

A Note from Fatty: Before reading this part of my race report, be sure to check out the previous installments: Prologue, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Today you should note that I will be including some foul language. Or at least, I will be discussing the fact that I used foul language, for comedic effect.

Also, you should be aware that my intended comedic effect wasn’t particularly funny.

Staying Behind My Friends

Brad Keyes is the inventor / owner of CarboRocket, which is my go-to energy drink for endurance events. 

He is also a member of the Core Team — one of the guys I’ve been riding with ever since I’ve been riding.

He’s also one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.

Finally, he is both fast and technical. Much stronger and faster than I ever have been, or ever will be.

Sadly, he has a pornstache, making him terrifying to women and small children. And men. Perhaps especially men.

Here he is, kissing Kenny, as I smile benignly at the camera:

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Just in case that isn’t creepy enough for you, here he and I are right before the race:

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OK, it may not be entirely clear which of the two of us is creepier in this photo.

Oh, and one more photo, just because it’s nice to know what folks who are going to appear in the story later look like:

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From right to left, that’s Cori, Kenny, Brad, Brad’s tongue, and me. But enough terrifying photography already. Let’s get back to the story.

Brad, Kenny, and Cori were all racing on singlespeeds, while I was racing a geared bike in my age division (40-49). Which meant that we were all starting in the same combined wave. However, with my start waaaay in the back, I knew all three were ahead of me.

Or at least I thought they were. 

Somewhere along the technical section of the Zen trail, Cori caught and passed me. The only thing that surprised me about this fact was that I thought he was already ahead of me.

“So I just went from being sure I was behind all my friends to being really sure I’m behind all my friends,” I thought to myself. But hey, I was OK with that.

No, I’m just kidding. I wasn’t OK with that at all.

But — apparently — my friends didn’t care about my feelings, and continued to stay ahead of me.


Catching Brad

And then something happened. 

I was bombing down what is arguably (i.e., I would happily make this argument) the single most fun part of the race: the Bear Claw / Poppy trail (linked video is not mine, but gives a great sense of the trail).

The Scalpel was in its element; I was flying down this trail faster and more confidently than I ever have before. So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised (but I was anyway) when, looking very far ahead off into the distance, I saw Brad.

And then I saw him far off ahead in the distance, but not quite as far as before.

And then he was not that far away. Indeed, he was somewhat close.

And then I was right on his tail. At which point it struck me that this would be an awesome time to make a hilarious joke.

Oh, and also I knew exactly what that hilarious joke ought to be: I would let loose with a massive string of angry profanity at the top of my lungs, demanding he immediately get out of the way!

Is it any wonder that I am a beloved internet cycling blog comedy superstar?

Is it?

I let loose. You wouldn’t believe how loose I let. I was shocked by my loosity. 

Brad merely moved right, yielding the left line to me. 

At which point I stopped understanding how my prank was funny. Eventually I’m sure it will come back to me.

“Hey Brad,” I said as I pulled alongside. 

“Hey Fatty, have a good race!” he replied. “And if you go hard, Cori’s just a couple minutes ahead.”

I resolved to remove “pretend outrage” from my joke quiver. Although now that I think about it, this is not the first time that I’ve made such a resolution.

The Hardest Climb IN THE WORLD

With Brad behind me, the biggest climb of the day was ahead: Stucki Springs. And this climb is huge. Monumental, maybe. Soul-crushing, really. In fact, I don’t think it would be out of line for me to suggest that this climb is the most difficult mountain biking climb in the entire world.

I base this, of course, upon my experience from a few weeks ago, when Kenny and Brad vanished off in the distance during this climb, and The Hammer had to hold back in order not to leave me toiling solo in the wind.

It was in fact this climb that had been my big bugaboo for this race. My memory of it was that of pure exhaustion and misery.

So it was a little bit of a shock to find that this time, it was no big deal. I climbed it fast, frequently passing people, without difficulty or incident.

It is so weird how, in cycling, a climb can be so difficult on one ride that you are utterly convinced that it is — objectively — an impossible task. And then the next time you just…ride it.

Hitting the summit, I asked myself, “So, is this actually a hard climb, or an easy one? Which time was I correct?

So much of cycling happens inside your head. 

So much.

PS: No cliffhanger today. I’ll post the final installment of this race report on Monday, with The Hammer’s report on Tuesday. And then some new awesomeness I’m not going to tell you about ’til Wednesday.








  1. Comment by MattC | 03.27.2015 | 9:17 am

    Those are indeed some frightening photos Fatty…and I’m totally flummoxed trying to decide just WHO is the creepiest.

    Agree that 90% of cycling is in your head…the other 75% is somewhere else that I haven’t quite been able to put a finger on. All I know for sure is that when even the teensiest whisper of a thought that “you are not going to make it” creeps into your head, you are done. No need to struggle further, your brain has given up.

    Happy Friday everybody, have a great weekend! And to all Bay area FOF’s, my Sunnyvale trip has been postponed (was supposed to head up on Monday for 3 weeks, now it looks like “sometime in May…maybe).

  2. Comment by Jeff Bike | 03.27.2015 | 9:50 am

    Potty mouth!
    This may help you keep your resolution, think of: Does the Hammer know you talk like that? Would she approve? Would you say that same thing in front of the twins?
    All harassing aside, we all have used words that we shouldn’t have. Your admitting to this poor choice of joking just points out how a beloved superstar blogger can be human.
    Perhaps we all can all learn that we embarrass ourselves when we choose to use undignified language.

  3. Comment by Jeff Bike | 03.27.2015 | 9:52 am

    oops too many “all’s”

  4. Comment by Don | 03.27.2015 | 10:28 am

    The profanity can be overlooked, but Brad’s porn stash is unacceptable! My convictions will not allow me to read the final installment of the “True Grit Epic” race report…..unless it’s really funny.

  5. Comment by Tom in Albany | 03.27.2015 | 10:43 am

    So that ‘new awesomeness on Wednesday’? that’s your cliffhanger right there. And, it is delivered to us knowing that there are at least two posts between now and then!

    Well played, Mr. Fat Cyclist. Well played.

  6. Comment by Lyle Beidler | 03.27.2015 | 12:14 pm

    Wait – you’re posting awesomeness on April Fool’s Day? Not sure if that’s foolhardy or some kind of super awesomeness that my feeble mind cannot comprehend.

    I’m heading for a ride; you’ve now given me something to contemplate…

  7. Comment by PNP | 03.27.2015 | 12:32 pm

    It’s just a tad disingenuous to say that there’s no cliffhanger when you follow it up with a cliffhanger–in the same paragraph. Just so you know that I noticed.

    And what is it these days with people hanging their tongues out whenever a camera appears? Are we a nation of basset hounds? Or maybe I’m just getting old…

  8. Comment by J | 03.27.2015 | 5:02 pm

    Looks like someone needs to rinse his mouth out some more.

  9. Comment by EricGu | 03.27.2015 | 7:29 pm

    Too true about climbs. In fact, I am very scared of the passport 2 pain ride on Vashon (82 miles, 10K of elevation, 13% common, some 20%+), not because I have done poorly on it, but because I did very well on it the time I rode it, and I am terrified that it was a “great legs” fluke.

  10. Comment by Isaac | 03.31.2015 | 2:05 pm

    You know you can’t make any *real* announcements on Wednesday, right? What with it being April 1st and all?


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