My Rockwell Relay Prediction: We Will Lose

06.11.2015 | 3:47 pm

Greetings from the SBR Sprinter Van, currently en route to Moab, Utah.

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Lynette and The Hammer, talking and laughing. Laughing and talking. And laughing.

Team SBR-WBR is on its way to the Moab city park, where we will be grilling the 500 bratwurst we boiled in beer yesterday (shown below):

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I’m very excited to grill all this bratwurst, to talk with racers, to raise some money for World Bicycle Relief, and to hand out some Root Beer Gu Energy Gel to anyone who donates at least $5.

I also am excited to conduct a secret research project as I hand out all this food, the results of which I will share with you sometime in the near future.

And then, Friday, I’m excited to race — for the fifth year in a row — the Rockwell Relay.

Unfortunately, Team SBR-WBR is going to lose the Competitive Coed division. And we’re going to lose badly.

The Problem With Team SBR-WBR

Team SBR-WBR is made up of four very strong riders, when compared to other coed teams comprised entirely of members of AARP.

Our average age is 51. For realsies.

But our age isn’t really the problem. No, our problem has more to do with who we are.

Allow me to explain.

The Problem With Racer 1

The biggest problem of Team SBR-WBR can actually be best understood by the fact that the team’s name is “Team SBR-WBR,” not “Team Fatty-WBR.” 

Which is to say, my team isn’t called “Team Fatty” because I lost a bet. And that bet is that I would get down to racing weight before this race began.

Which is to say: I am not at racing weight. Not even close. I am strong, but fat. Fit-fat, if you will.

Fortunately, being strong-but-heavy is only a problem if the ride you are doing has a lot of climbing. 

Unfortunately, the leg of the race I’m doing has pretty much nothing but climbing in it.

Even if the rest of my team raced perfectly — and maybe they will — we will lose. Because of me. Because I suck.

The Problem With Racer 2

The Hammer is Racer 2 in Team WBR-SBR. She has been training for The Rockwell Relay in a novel way: by hardly ever riding her bike.

Her focus this year has been on running, so she could do the Squaw Peak 50 Trail Race. And that focus has paid off handsomely: she took second in the Masters category last week.

Now, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: doing a 50-mile trail run with 10,000 feet of climbing in it will sometimes make your legs a little bit fatigued for a few days afterward.

Fortunately, when The Rockwell Relay starts, she will have had a full five days to have recovered from the Squaw Peak 50. I’m sure the fact that she hasn’t been riding her bike coupled with the fact that she did a twelve-hour long race less than a week ago won’t impact her riding this weekend at all.

The Problem With Racer 3

Cory Borup is the guy who I placed the weight-loss wager with. Unlike me, he hit his goal, losing around forty pounds.

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He looks fantastic, doesn’t he? He’s worked hard to get so light. Which is awesome and impressive and admirable and stuff. It’s also why our team name starts with SBR his Bike / Tri shop — which goes very nicely with the van we’re currently sitting in:

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Yes, ownership of a Sprinter van is a prerequisite to my friendship.

Anyway, it’s great that Cory has lost so much weight. Unfortunately, he has done this at the expense of the ability to maintain any momentum whatsoever on the bike. He is now a frail husk of a man, easily knocked off his feet by a light breeze.

He used to be a remarkable TT specialist. Now, air resistance poses a serious challenge to him. No, not wind resistance. air resistance.

The Problem With Racer 4

The fourth racer in Team SBR-WBR is Lynette. 

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Lynette is one of those people who has done more Ironmans than she can count. She’s fast. She has great endurance. And she has, for the past couple of years, averaged one collar bone break per year. 

Staying upright has been a problem for Lynette as of late.

It is our fervent hope that she will abandon this new hobby (i.e., crashing her bike) now that she has run out of collarbones to break.

The Competition

Now, I’m not trying to anti-trash-talk here. OK, maybe I am, but the fact is, even if our team was perfect, we’d still lose. Because there’s this other coed team which will — and we are quite confident on this point — crush us.

Team Infinite Stamina.

Now, I’m not saying that other teams will not also crush us. The very likely will. But it doesn’t matter. As long as this one team is out there, we’re sunk. How deeply sunk isn’t all that important.

Here’s why Team SBR-WBR is in trouble:

  • Racers 1 and 2: Team Infinite Stamina is racing its two women in slots one and two. Really, anything I could say about these two racers can be better said in this picture, from the podium of the 2014 Lotoja Classic, a very popular 200-mile road race:NewImage
    You see second place there? That’s Marci. And third? That’s Mary. And they’re on the same coed team. That could pose a significant problem to Team SBR-WBR.
  • Racer 3: Troy is Racer 3. He was actually the guy who introduced The Hammer and me to The Rockwell Relay. Each year, my team has beaten his team. I can tell he wants to win this year. Wants it real bad.
  • Racer 4: Danny is Racer 4. Honestly, I don’t know anything about him. But I choose to imagine him as an eight-foot-tall giant of a man who crushes rocks for fun and is not a professional cyclist only because he didn’t find it difficult enough of a challenge.

Luckily for me, I’m not at all interested in the competition aspect of this race. I’m just doing the Rockwell Relay to see the sites, enjoy others’ company, and have fun.

Yeah. Right.


  1. Comment by Mike | 06.11.2015 | 4:07 pm

    Can I be the first to predict that you’ll win anyway?

    (Running uphill translates to faster bicycle riding. Ironman triathletes finish strong regardless of whether they break their collarbones. You, Fatty, have never let your fat stop you before. And come on, what kind of Achilles’ heel is “being too light”?)

  2. Comment by wife#1 | 06.11.2015 | 4:39 pm

    Brats AND root beer GU? I hope they have lots of Porta potties and even more TP. Bring extra gloves people!

    But most of all…have fun!

  3. Comment by JeffL | 06.11.2015 | 5:02 pm

    Good luck, Fatty! I’m right down the street in Moab with the family on vacation. We’d come by for a brat, but we are jumping on a jet boat in an hour. Next year, I’ll see you on the starting line.

  4. Comment by MikeL | 06.11.2015 | 5:06 pm

    “We are so bad. We do not stand a chance. We will be crushed.”

  5. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 06.11.2015 | 5:49 pm

    The handicap of your unwillingness to drop the weight was evident at Boggs. How far behind DaveT were you….? Oh wait ahead of Dave and just behind Levi.

    As for the the AARP slap, I resemble that remark. Maybe I could get Gary Fisher and Otis Guy to participate next year to show “Old Guys Rule….and Drool.”

    Have a great event!

  6. Comment by BamaJim | 06.11.2015 | 7:28 pm

    Seems like you have a history of understating your chances, so I figure you have a pretty good shot. Unless “Danny” turns out to be Levi or Lance or some other ex pro entered under an assumed name.

  7. Comment by Dave | 06.11.2015 | 10:46 pm

    I am the pacer that Troy has hired for the race. You will see him on my wheel out on the course. It’s not personal. He wants to beat everyone. See you out there!

  8. Comment by Mathew | 06.12.2015 | 4:49 am

    I assume that was great trip.

  9. Comment by Tom in Albany | 06.12.2015 | 8:27 am

    It’s a good thing I know you’re not competitive. I won’t have to worry that you’ll do something silly to lose weight – like cut off an arm.

  10. Comment by Brian in VA | 06.12.2015 | 8:38 am

    I’d just like to say that the picture of brats actually brought a tear to my eye…..and a growl to my stomach.

    Fat fit! I love that and am now using it as my descriptor.

    Good luck to you and the team!

  11. Comment by Tes | 06.12.2015 | 5:46 pm

    Now I want brats.

  12. Comment by Cyclingjimbo | 06.13.2015 | 12:09 am

    I guess all we can say at this point is, “Good luck!” – though I suspect there may be a little sandbagging going on here. It will be fun the read your report, as usual.

    So Fatty, how much beer does it take to boil 500 brats? I assume you can get a lot of brats into a big pot of boiling beer, and that once you have the beer boiling you just keep on rolling, but how much beer is that really? And are the brats better for having been boiled In the beer, or would it be more beneficial to just consume the beer directly?

  13. Comment by ScottR | 06.13.2015 | 11:10 am

    DNA cycling package received today. So far the hoodie and bibs far exceed expectations, other things waiting to be tried on, but my XXL tshirt (which is tagged as such) is in reality like an adult medium, maybe large at the most.

    Anyone else see anything similar?

  14. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 06.13.2015 | 3:04 pm

    @Scott, got mine as well. My L jersey is slightly larger than other L jerseys I have, but not unacceptably so. My L LS jersey and my L vest fit very well.

    For me, the “unfit” is with the L bibs–they are on the small size. If anyone has XL that they’d like to swap for L, let me know.

    dieffenbach at alum dot mit dot edu

  15. Comment by leroy | 06.14.2015 | 4:05 pm

    Well this is odd. My package from DNA Cycling came yesterday while I was out, but my dog just told me about it and gave it to me.

    I think it’s great that they unseal the manufacturer’s packaging and pre-launder the kits for you, but does anyone else’s kit smell a little like wet dog?

  16. Comment by Danny | 06.14.2015 | 9:35 pm

    Comment deleted due to being a massive spoiler. – FC

  17. Comment by bob | 06.14.2015 | 10:37 pm

    Who’s the gal on the top step and I can I get her number?

    It’s a brunette thing…

  18. Comment by Shugg McGraw | 06.15.2015 | 7:53 am

    Maybe delete Danny’s comment?

    Done. – FC

  19. Comment by Angelena Hudkins | 06.18.2015 | 1:34 pm

    I will say just one thing Mr! “Good Luck”
    And i just do one pray to creator “Be happy as always you are.”


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