Part Fifthly in my Boggs Writeup, for Some Reason or Other

05.19.2015 | 11:06 am

You know what’s really great about racing in a relay? The part where you’re not racing. The part when you can — for a little while — put aside the fact that soon you’re going to be gutting it out, giving your all, and just…relax. Chill out. Be one of the guys, rooting for other guys.

So right after my first lap in Boggs, I went back to the trailer, cleaned the dust off my face (without getting too religious about it, since I’d be heading out again in less than two hours), and then hung around with Levi for a few minutes, ’til it was his turn to race again.

After which, of course, it would be my turn to race again. 

And that’s the problem with three-person relays on a one-hour-long course: your break from racing just doesn’t last very long.

Still, it’s nice while it lasts.

I Will Probably Not Be Hired as a Broadcast Professional

I walked down to the start / finish line with Levi, to cheer Jeff as he came in, as well as to cheer Levi as he took off (and also to set a 45-minute timer once Levi left, so I’d know when I needed to be back, ready to go again).

Jeff had told us he’d be a little slower. Which meant this would be a good time for me to pull out my phone and — thanks to the remarkably strong 3-bar LTE mobile phone connectivity I had — start a Periscope session (Periscope is a Twitter-owned live video streaming service. If you have an iPhone, I recommend you get it).

Which I cleverly also saved and now present to you in full. I recommend watching it; it actually gives you a pretty good sense of what it’s like to hang out at the exchange point.

Plus you’ll see a woman finish a lap while wearing a wedding dress, a man in a tux, and me being recognized as the famous and beloved person I am, making for an excellent live selfie opportunity.

And also, I ask Levi a few stupid questions.

Moments after I finished this extraordinary piece of live, man-on-the-ground journalism, Jeff finished his lap and Levi took off. 

Jeff, astonishingly, looked perfectly clean after his first lap. I’m still wondering how he managed to keep all the dust off him.

Frankly, I find myself wondering whether he took a much cleaner, less-dusty shortcut or something.

Thumb IMG 2382 1024

Also, I find myself wondering both about the aesthetics and comfort of his sunglasses placement.


Levi was away, so my prep-for-race fuse was lit; I now had 45 minutes ’til I needed to be watching for Levi. But my jitters were gone. For some reason, getting ready to start the second lap of a relay race doesn’t load my body and mind with the same anxiety.

Instead, I calmly suited up and got my tube, lever, CO2, and gels in place. Jeff captured this photo as I prepared:


That photo, as you no doubt are aware, is not staged. Nor am I sucking in my gut. 

I just tend to maintain a heroic pose at all times. Because I am heroic.

I Am An Awesome Singer

I arrived at the start/finish checkpoint early, because I am very punctual. 

I began my vigil for Levi, who would be arriving in a few minutes, when I saw Friend of Fatty David Houston, taking a rest between laps. He was soloing this race, using it as training as he prepares to race the Leadville 100 for the first time this year.

And, as I’ve noted before, it also happened to be his sixty-first birthday.

I recalled how I had been beating myself up for forgetting to sing a line of the Happy Birthday song when I had seen Dave during my first lap, and decided that I would not let such an opportunity go by again.

I walked up to him, stood on my tiptoes so I could put an arm around his shoulders (I am 5’7”, he is 6’9”), revved up my lungs, and yelled for everyone to please join me in singing happy birthday to Dave.

I think a few people might have joined in on the singing, but I couldn’t tell for sure, because I was singing as loudly and as badly as I could. This is in accordance with a family tradition: to always sing the birthday song as intentionally loudly, off-key, and out-of-time as possible. 

I take this tradition very seriously.

Dave was so moved by my singing that he decided he had had enough of a rest after all and that maybe it was time for him to get back to riding.

So, note to people who might notice Dave lallygagging on the course at Leadville this year: sing the birthday song to him. Loud, and off-key. 

He’ll thank you later.


Levi came in, taking forty-nine minutes to complete the course. In doing so, he would be the first person the entire day to complete a lap in under fifty minutes. (Also, he was the only person the entire day to complete a lap in under fifty minutes.)

This after complaining in the above video that his legs felt like concrete. Pfff.

I went out. Riding like a well-oiled clock. Because — take note, clock owners — it’s vital to regularly oil all your timepieces.

Although, if I am to be completely honest, I was a moderately slower clock this time: 1:02:27. About 1.5 minutes slower than my first lap.

Oh, who am I kidding? I’m incredibly proud that I was so consistent.

The Curious Incident of the Disappearing Jeff in the Day-Time

I approached the start / finish warily this time, not wanting to repeat my crowd-pleasing performance as an endo savant. Happily, I did not.

“Jeff, go!” I yelled as I crossed the finish line.

But I didn’t see him go. In fact, I didn’t see Jeff at all.

“Go, Jeff, go!” I yelled, instantly aware of how that sounded. Scanning the crowd, looking for Jeff.

I saw Levi, but not Jeff.

“Where’s Jeff?” I yelled. “It’s time for him to go!” I am capable, when necessary, of stating the exquisitely obvious.

“Jeff isn’t here!” Levi yelled back. 

“Where is he?” I yelled, although by now I was no more than a yard away from Levi.

“I don’t know!” Levi yelled, because we seemed to have established yelling as the way we would convey our messages.

“Let’s go find him!” I yelled.

But we would not find him. We could not find him.

Had he been kidnapped? Possibly! Was he jeopardizing our team race standing? Definitely!

Jeff had…disappeared. 

Which seems like a good place to pick up in the next (and probably final) installment of my Boggs writeup.


  1. Comment by Doug (Way Upstate NY) | 05.19.2015 | 11:10 am

    Yes, where was Jeff? Where was he indeed……..

  2. Comment by Tom in Albany | 05.19.2015 | 11:27 am

    I will never get the 6:37 of my life back. I am ashamed…

    Actually, I’ve made an arrangement with Vimeo; you WILL get all time consumed watching my videos back. Under terms set in our agreement, for every video of mine you watch, Vimeo will extend your lifespan by that exact same amount.

    I have made similar arrangements with WordPress. lifespan neutral since 2005.

    - FC

  3. Comment by Wife#1 | 05.19.2015 | 11:30 am

    Awww….thanks for singing Happy Birthday to the big guy, and exactly as I would have done it, loudly and off-key.

    You know, he only seems 6′9″ to those us that are stature challenged aka lilliputian (a classification which includes me as well). Not to mention, our 14 y/o daughter is also taller than either of us. Fortunately, Fatty, you and I both have exceedingly self-esteem.


  4. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 05.19.2015 | 11:32 am

    Was he in a tree?
    or on a knee?
    Where, oh where, could Jeff be?

    Thank you for the ’song’ I can imagine how your teenage girls are anxiously awaiting their birthday.

  5. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach's executor | 05.19.2015 | 11:33 am

    [As Jeff Dieffenbach's executor, I'm posting from his account to clear up any mystery.]

    Since I too am “wondering both about the aesthetics and comfort of his sunglasses placement,” is there really any surprise that Jeff would be missing at such a critical point in the race?

    Also, if anyone needs to get a message to Jeff’s next of kin, they may do so via this forum.

    Clarence Darrow, Esq.
    Executor, the estate of Jeff Dieffenbach

  6. Comment by BostonCarlos (formerly NYC) | 05.19.2015 | 11:38 am

    @Clarence Darrow – Is it too late to call “dibs” on Jeff’s bikes?

  7. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach's executor | 05.19.2015 | 11:47 am

    Not too late, all are up for grabs, we’re in total N-1 mode here.

    In fact, Jeff’s will consists of just a single sentence: “When I die, I just hope that my family doesn’t sell my bikes for what I said I paid for them.”

  8. Comment by MattC | 05.19.2015 | 12:29 pm

    @ Jeff Dieffenbach’s executor, how tall is (was) Jeff? I ride a “large”, and would LOVE to have a FS niner (for a very reasonable price, paid to his estate…hopefully he told his family a very LOW price).

  9. Comment by MattC | 05.19.2015 | 12:32 pm

    We ARE just kidding about Jeff, right?

  10. Comment by Heidi | 05.19.2015 | 12:51 pm

    Yeah, well, Tom in Albany, I LOVED the video!

  11. Comment by Rydeordie | 05.19.2015 | 1:33 pm

    Congratulations fatty! The fourth? Fifth? Write up and video about Boggs was truly enthralling and herein lies your accomplishment. To take something as boring,mediocre,insignificant,insignificantly futile,hodgepodge,clueless, dull, filled with boorishness, and simple as your life and make it interesting to others, this is an accomplishment! Bravo… I don’t give kudoes lightly. Or while lieing down, as you were, after you fell. Please excuse my attempt at humor, I just read something funny.

    P.s. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

  12. Comment by PNP | 05.19.2015 | 1:35 pm

    Wish you’d left the video on until Levi took off. I’d have liked to see that.

    You know, that would have been cool. How ridiculous of me to not have captured video of Levi riding. (Facepalms) – FC

  13. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach's executor | 05.19.2015 | 1:53 pm

    At his maximum, Jeff was 5′10″. His estate includes 1 contemporary mid-range road bike, 1 vintage (1988) road bike that wasn’t much when new, 1 lower-mid-range 29er MTB, 1 contemporary mid-range CX bike, 1 mid 200s mid-range CX bike, 1 fat bike, and 2 fBIKE Direct folding bikes.

    Shipping and handling incur an additional charge.

  14. Comment by GeistOnABike | 05.19.2015 | 2:47 pm

    Am I the only one annoyed at the doofus sitting there taking up half the exit chute in the video? That seems like a wreck waiting to happen. Or maybe I’ve turned into a grumpy old man. Ah hell, when did that happen?

  15. Comment by AKChick | 05.19.2015 | 10:37 pm

    I know where Jeff was! He was on an emergency mission to get Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Butter because it’s just that good!

  16. Comment by Anon | 05.19.2015 | 11:26 pm



    We shall see.

    I’ll bet a coke (my favorite drink in the whole world) that the next installment will indeed NOT be the final version!

    Mah ha ha ha, better pay up! (I like mine icy cold!)


    I do tend to go on, I’ll give you that. But the fact is, I’m about three ride reports in arrears now. I need to wrap this one up and get started on the next one. – FC

  17. Comment by Ian | 05.20.2015 | 8:18 am

    I appear to have just developed a massive man crush on Levi..

    Nice video*

    *It wasn’t

  18. Comment by Tom in Albany | 05.20.2015 | 8:57 am

    Fatty, Thanks for the ‘lifespan neutrality’! Can you help me out with Facebook now?


  19. Comment by AKChick | 05.20.2015 | 10:27 am

    It is irksome when people make negative comments about Fatty’s videos/posts. I mean, I guess you can do that, but why? What is the point? It leaves a bad taste in my mouth. We are all having fun and joking around and then, splat, someone has to poop on the fun. Please, just don’t be Debbie Downer!

    Thank you.

    PS Debbie Downers, try some Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Butter – it will make you happy (unless you are allergic to peanuts and in that case do not eat it!)

  20. Comment by AKChick | 05.20.2015 | 10:28 am

    PSS I LOVE the multi-installment posts by the way. It allows for more detail and it’s fun waiting to see what happened. But I do understand being very behind in installments. :)

  21. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 05.20.2015 | 10:47 am

    Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Butter doesn’t just make you happy, it brings you back from the dead!

    As for negative comments, well, Fatty and I discussed that out at Boggs. For some reason, at the risk of jinxing things, his blog (and Lovely Bicycle’s, for that matter) somehow avoids the “never read the comments” morass that is the rest of the Web.

    I’m confused in this instance re the negative comments thing. Maybe I’m becoming thick-skinned or something but I haven’t seen anything that feels like a mean comment to this post. – FC

  22. Comment by Hamer | 05.20.2015 | 12:38 pm

    I love that the couple wanted a selfie with you and pretty much ignored Levi. Dude you’re a super star in the “formal wear cyclist” arena! That’s kind of a big deal. Sorry Levi.

  23. Comment by Dave T | 05.20.2015 | 2:15 pm

    A Levi appearance at northern California event like Boggs is not uncommon. A fat cyclist appearance is a rare event and the opportunity for a selfie is not to be missed. A Jeff D. sighing might be the rarest yet though.

  24. Comment by UpTheGrade, SR, CA | 05.20.2015 | 4:05 pm

    Was I imagining it, or did Fatty manage to take a selfie with the formal wear folks and totally manage to cut them out of the picture? I guess when you’re such a renowned and important self-regarded blogger, its hard to focus on anyone else;-)

    What I was seeing and what was being filmed were two strangely different things. Periscope was still filming in portrait mode, but the camera looked like it was in landscape mode…but didn’t capture a photo. The result is the weirdness you see here. – FC

  25. Comment by Anon | 05.20.2015 | 5:26 pm

    Um … just in case this referred to my comment, I was seriously in jest.

    Hence the coke reference and smiley face.

    And Fatty does have a well-known disposition to serialize his posts! (which I sometimes like and sometimes dislike)

    Anyway. =)


  26. Comment by AKChick | 05.21.2015 | 10:37 am

    No Anon, it wasn’t you. ;)

    Maybe I’m too sensitive? :) Could be!

    I wouldn’t say you’re too sensitive; I’d say you’re a good friend who looks out for people she cares about. Bloggers like me dream of having an advocate like you. – FC

  27. Comment by Libby | 05.22.2015 | 9:09 am

    I too missed the mean comment….but then I tend to tolerate bad behaviour more than I think I should (only most times because it takes me a while to realize it was bad behaviour).

    Wow a yard sale after a unfortunate meeting of rider & ground…wish I was there to claim a Fatty souvenir & then get a photo of us together (while I held said souvenir).

    Love the multi-parts, gives me a reason to get up in the morning. I’ve also starting to get ride-envy, wanting to ride in races but I’ve been severely cautioned not to by my party-pooper doctor.

    Ride safe out there!

  28. Pingback by Wilmington Whiteface 100K: Pre-race Press Conference | A Year of Living...humm...dangerous? | 06.3.2015 | 6:36 am

    [...] repeat the start finish/line confusion experienced at Boggs. (Aside: See Doug’s Perspective, Fatties Perspective, and Jeff’s Perspective for 3 views of the same incident.) Well except that someone should [...]


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