Me and My RV: Fatty’s Boggs Funduro Adventure, Part 3

05.11.2015 | 11:25 am

The day started well, and it would end well. And more often than not, it would just be a great day.

But there would be some in-between stuff that I could have happily done without.

No Pressure

Jeff started the day by surprising me with an outrageously cool, autographed poster of Jens Voigt:

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So now I have no choice but to lose this 15 pounds of winter blubber I’m still carrying around and get into race shape.

[Note to self: Write a post sometime soon about how lack of self-discipline in dieting can make for slow weight loss. Said post will undoubtedly be groundbreaking.]

Then, after purchasing Mountain Dew and lots of cookies, we were off toward Boggs Mountain State Forest, where we’d be staying and racing for the next three days. Friday: a short-but-steep hill climb. Saturday: an eight-hour relay. Sunday: a Super D (which I had no intention whatsoever of participating in).

And this is where the problem began. You see, here is a representative section of the road from Santa Rosa to Boggs:

Road to Boggs
Actual size

What this bird’s-eye view doesn’t show is that this is also seriously uphill, except when it’s seriously downhill. Otherwise all those switchbacks would make a lot less sense, I guess.

Anyway, here’s what I’d be driving to Boggs:

Much smaller than actual size

Probably, there are a lot of people who are comfortable driving big vehicles. Maybe you, for example, are perfectly comfortable driving a 24-foot RV. But until this day, I had never driven such a vehicle. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I’m not all that big on driving at all. The main reason I bought the Honda Ridgeline (and have now been happily driving it for eight trouble-free years), as long as I’m being candid, is because it is a truck that drives pretty much like a Honda Civic (which I consider the most-perfect-handling vehicle of all time).

And in short, driving big things is not really my thing.

Hence, I was, more or less, terrified of driving it over three mountain passes and into a forest as my baptismal effort in such a vehicle.

And was even more afraid that I was going to make Jeff—who had been lucky enough to “win” the experience of being my passenger—so utterly terrified that he’d require medical attention. Or psychological attention.

And yet, we survived. And I’ll always be grateful to Jeff for the fact that he managed to maintain casual conversation for the duration of the trip, and didn’t even laugh when I pulled over every three miles to let by the most recent line of thirty cars that had built up behind me. Meanwhile, he navigated and guided and gave helpful advice like “turn a liiiiiittle wider or you’re going to hit that telephone pole.”

I tell you, that guy should talk people off ledges for a living.

Practice Loop

There’s something just a little bit magnificent about arriving to any event and finding that among general seating, your spot is reserved. 

Which is my way of saying that a space for our RV had been roped off, nice and close to the start/finish line for the eight-hour race that would be happening the next day.

I put the RV in Park, absolutely positively certain that I had just completed my most difficult task of the weekend. After this, it would just be riding my bike and hanging out with friends.

Which, in fact, was absolutely correct. 

Team WBR —which I will henceforth refer to as “Team Fatty 2” — had already arrived, but since we had a better parking place, they moved their RV over to ours. 

We were set for the weekend. Better take a selfie.

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Left to right: me, Jeff, Doug (with his head cocked coquettishly to one side), Chris, Dave Thompson. Dave Houston wouldn’t arrive ’til later.

It was only noonish, and the race for the day wasn’t ’til 5pm, giving us plenty of time for a pre-ride of the loop we’d be riding during the relay the next day.

And I’ve got to say: it was a fantastic course. Mostly buffed-out singletrack in cool, shaded pine forest, with several climbing sections on dirt road. The climbs were steep, but were never seriously long. The descents were fast and fun.

I reiterate: a fantastic course.

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Dave T

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Just look at those smiles. Those are not posed-for-the-camera smiles. No, those are “This is a really fun trail” smiles.

How long were we out there? A couple hours. We weren’t going hard; we were just having fun.

Although I would like to point out that, right at the beginning of the course, there is a steep little grunt of a hill strewn with embedded rocks at inconvenient locations.

None of us made it up that grunt the first time, so I suggested we all try it again to get the feel of it and figure out the line.

The second time, both Jeff and I cleaned the move…while nobody on Team Fatty 2 got it.

“I’m going to go ahead and call the move-cleaning ratios by the two teams represented here portentous.”

Nobody disagreed, possibly because nobody expected me to use the word “portentous” in that context.

You can relive this lap, including our numerous regroupings, in this Strava Flyby.

Practice Race

The afternoon wore on and it got close to being time for the hill climb race, which I have no Strava record of, alas. 

No, I’m just kidding about the “alas” bit, because I was on the sad side of pathetic in the hill climb. It was short — less than two miles — and I managed to barely make the back part of the midpack. Or maybe the front part of the back of the pack. 

Either way, for a guy who prides himself on his climbing, that’s not awesome.

Here’s a picture of me nearing the finish line, as a guy in baggy shorts riding a CX bike is passing me.


Have I mentioned that I need to lose some weight?

I tried to put it behind me, though. So I’m heavy right now. But my legs, lungs and endurance are all good. And bike racing is about more than climbing, right?

And, more to the point, it’s not like I’d have been a significantly more asset-y asset to the team even if I were fifteen pounds lighter right now.

I knew that, as a teammate to Levi, the odds of me bringing up the average were pretty darned slim.

Which is where we’ll pick up tomorrow.


  1. Comment by AKChick | 05.11.2015 | 11:47 am

    You’re definitely not average in my book. :)

  2. Comment by The Hammer/Lisa | 05.11.2015 | 12:32 pm

    He’s not average in my book either Sasha! :)

  3. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 05.11.2015 | 2:20 pm

    Why are people being so coy about whether he’s above average or below average?

  4. Comment by Brian in VA | 05.11.2015 | 2:28 pm

    Can I tell you how much I love that you used coquettish and portentous in the same post? In a blog about cycling.

    Good grief, man, I hope you don’t write a poetry blog or there’s no telling what verbiage we’re likely to get.

    Great post, Fatty!

  5. Comment by Doug (way upstate NY) | 05.11.2015 | 3:07 pm

    Ummm. I’m not sue I’m happy with the coquettish thing….. We will have to see what comes out in my post tonight…… :)

  6. Comment by wharton_crew | 05.11.2015 | 6:40 pm

    Blame it on the new bike, Fatty. Or a resurgence of bunions that caused you to cry out with every pedal stroke. Or the fact that you were somehow riding through the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot, which is a well-known gravitational anomaly.

    Any of those will work, just don’t fall off your pedestal with your beloved readers by admitting climbing defeat!!


  7. Comment by UpTheGrade, SR, CA | 05.11.2015 | 7:54 pm

    Even the best cyclists can have average performances now and then. I’m just thrilled when I achieve average, ’cause usually I’m the one setting a low bar, especially when it comes to climbing.

  8. Comment by Geoffrey | 05.11.2015 | 10:24 pm

    I’m a bit concerned, because you may be smiling in the picture, but it appears that someone bodyplanted into a tree in the background of that picture.

  9. Comment by esuvidha rtu results portal | 05.11.2015 | 10:56 pm

    You all fatty guys are lookin’ awesome. nice group photo.

  10. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 05.12.2015 | 6:39 am

    @Geoffrey, that’s me in the tree. Truth is, my MTB skills aren’t all that great, but I’m sticking with the story that I climbed up there for a better photo vantage point.

  11. Comment by CVR | 05.12.2015 | 9:20 am

    maybe its time to get back on the SS and relearn how to attack a climb, standing, grunting and letting the world know how much your suffering – ha. In a recent post you said you were sitting more and spinning and although probably good in longer races probably not so much in this type of event. I just started using an Absolute Black Oval chain ring on my SS – it works for me. No wheel spin and seems to allow me to power thru the steeper stuff easier/less effort.

  12. Comment by Thad | 05.12.2015 | 10:09 pm

    Latest word from the Rockwell Relay is that there are TWO teams registered in the Co-Ed Division. Because you are my competition, I think that 15 pounds looks fantastic, but not as good as another 10 will. Lisa is more than welcome to another 10 at least. I think it would really fill out those kits properly. And maybe give us a shot, assuming you start at the 2pm start time. They haven’t announced that start time because it’s for humanitarian/fund raising cyclists only.

  13. Comment by Thad | 05.12.2015 | 10:17 pm

    If we ride as well as I proof read, you got this!

  14. Comment by davidh-Marin,ca | 05.13.2015 | 8:31 am

    @Thad I think you’re on to something here. Like horse racing, maybe it’s time to ’saddle’ some riders with a weight penalty. The question is, what to use for weight? Brats, cookies, Diet-Coke. It would make for quite a picture, and blog. Good Luck!

  15. Comment by Paul | 05.13.2015 | 1:23 pm

    This is not tomorrow, but you just got mentioned by BikeSnob today, and a picture!

  16. Comment by rgpv results portal | 05.13.2015 | 8:21 pm

    you guys really got a fantastic course.

  17. Comment by MattC | 05.14.2015 | 12:24 pm

    @Thad…I’m NOT saying we should do this, but IF a whole bunch of us were to mail Fatty a box of white chocolate macadamia cookies in the VERY near future, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be able to resist and would easily add that 10lbs you are hoping for.

    I tried that tactic solo YEARS ago during one of his weight contests, but was foiled because he had a secret Ironman or something like that the following weekend and welcomed the extra calories.

    yes…I do believe that a mass ‘gifting’ to our beloved leader (showing him how much we all CARE), would probably pay off in spades during the Rockwell Relay.

    Just a thought.

  18. Comment by Thad | 05.15.2015 | 8:03 am


    He is probably going to Africa this year, so having enough fat stores so he doesn’t eat any of their food, really will help starving kids in Africa. How could we not get his bulk on?

  19. Comment by RV Dealers | 06.24.2015 | 8:45 am

    I like mountain bike trailing, my team doing that twice a week :)


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