2015 Rockwell Relay Race Report, Part 9: Battles, Conclusions, and Questions

06.30.2015 | 12:25 pm

Previously in This, The Story That Would Not End: 

  1. Race Prediction: We Will Lose
  2. Part 0: Generosity and Bratwurst
  3. Part 1: Cold Fury
  4. Part 2: A Day in the Life
  5. Part 3: Winning When You’re Losing
  6. Part 4: The Chase
  7. Part 5: Zombies
  8. Part 6: Stop Shouting at Me
  9. Part 7: Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation
  10. Part 8: The Beginning of the End

I know too much. Way too much.

I have spent more time researching and analyzing this, the final leg in the race between Infinite Stamina and SBR-WBR, than I have ever studied anything

It’s not healthy.

As much as I know (way too much), however, I don’t know everything I want to know. I feel like I know who did what and when and where…but I still don’t always know why

I find myself second-guessing. And wondering what would have happened if my team would have done this. Or if their team would have done that.

Was this move smart? Was it the race-winning move, or was it the race-losing move? Would other cards — cards that were never played — have made a difference one way or another? Or would they have been countered and neutralized? 

So much happened in this last leg of the race — more than any leg between a couple of Coed teams should. It was intense, it was strategic, it was dramatic, it was fun, and it was…

Oh, let’s just get on with it, shall we?

And then, at the end, we’ll have an upbeat video recap of the race, featuring music by Duran Duran.


Forensics and Who’s Who

What’s really bizarre is how little, as a racer, I knew about the race I was racing in…as I raced it. In a spread-out race — even when the gap between teams is just a few minutes — you rarely see your competition on the course. When you catch them, you don’t know why. When they catch you, you don’t know how. If they have a good strategy, you don’t know about it ’til after it’s too late.

What I’m trying to get at here is that a huge chunk of this story is stuff I learned afterward. Specifically, I learned it by watching Danny’s Strava Flyby from the final leg of the race.

Why Danny’s? Because this leg pivots around him, really (you’ll see why in a few minutes). And most (but not all) of the players in this leg do in fact show up in his Flyby. 

I’ll also be working from what I understand from conversations that happened after the race, as well as from comments in this blog.

It’s almost like actual journalism

Note: All times used in this writeup are based on when Danny started his ride.

Guessing at Opposing Strategies

For the first time in the whole race, it was hot outside. That was weird, because usually during the Rockwell Relay, every daylight leg is punishingly hot.

This heat means that Danny and Mark — leaving at 00:00:00 — were in for a punishing first six miles of their ride. 800 feet of climbing in that first six miles. Climby, but not brutally hard. 

Screenshot 2015 06 29 19 16 49

After that, they had 32 miles of working downhill to look forward to, punctuated with a couple of short-but-steep climbs.

Also, they’d be riding with the knowledge that Team SBR-WBR was not far behind, and that instead of riding against just Lynette this time, they’d be riding against Lynette and me. 

Lynette and I had put time into the Infinite teams each of the five times we had ridden during this race. And we had no intention of making an exception on this leg, now that we were working together.

That said, Lynette and I were not as confident as I was trying to sound. For one thing, as we sat there in the van — watching Danny and Mark disappearing down the road — we didn’t know how much of a deficit we’d start this leg with.

Earlier during the race, Danny had said that he’d had to ride slower than he’d wanted in his first two legs (leg 4 and leg 8).  On his twelfth leg — this leg — he wasn’t going to be holding back. I believed Danny, and expected him to show us some new speed on the climbs.

But this strategy — dropping Mark so he could do the climb faster — was a two-edged sword. By dropping Mark, he’d be free to fly. But he’d also be abandoning a crucial strategic capability: the ability to bring anyone from the Men’s Team on to join in, mid-ride. You can have people from only your own team jump in and give you a pull.

Without Mark in his train, recruiting the men from Infinite Endurance would become off-limits. Danny wouldn’t be able to leverage Ryan or Billy’s considerable climbing prowess. And — more importantly, considering the enormous amount of working downhill in this leg — he wouldn’t be able to take advantage of Big D’s unmatched wattage.

But that didn’t mean Danny couldn’t call on Mary, Marci and Troy to help.

And judging from the way Mary and Marci were kitted up at the starting line for this last leg, looking ready to ride, it was clear Danny would be calling on at least these two teammates. And it was a fair bet to assume that Troy would be jumping in to help too, as soon as he recovered from riding his own leg.

I guessed Danny would be getting help from Marci — the climber — from the outset. While she wouldn’t provide a lot of protection from the wind, there was very little wind anyway, and she would be a killer pacer.

But I guessed wrong. 

Team SBR-WBR Strategy

I can be a lot more confident in describing the Team SBR-WBR strategy for this leg, since it’s a lot simpler (and I actually knew what it was). In fact, I described it as Lynette and I hefted our bikes and walked across the dirt parking lot toward the timing mat, where we expected (hoped for) Cory and The Hammer, any minute.

“I’m going to pull you as much as possible,” I told Lynette. “We’re going to kill ourselves on the climb, because that’s where we can pull back the most time in the shortest distance. Stay as close to my wheel as you can.”

“Yell at me to go faster when you can go faster. Yell at me to go slower if I start dropping you at all.”

There you go. Our whole strategy.

Well, except we had one more card we could play, if we needed to.


As Lynette and I slowly walked toward the timing mat — me nervously jabbering away — we saw a couple of bikes racing toward us. 

The Hammer and Cory. Our racers. Sooner than expected.

We broke into a run…or what passes for a run when you’re in road cycling shoes, carrying your bike, on a gravelly dirt parking lot.

We got to the mat at about the same time as our racers — maybe just a few seconds behind them — then got the timing chip switched over to Lynette’s leg.

And we were off.

Unfortunately, we forgot to tell Cory and Lisa where we had put the key to the van.

They’d find it, though. Eventually.

Infinite Stamina had a 5:51 lead on us. That’s a lot to make up in a leg with only six miles of mild climbing, followed by 32 miles of descending.

But we were going to give it everything we had.

The Climb, and More Strategy

Danny’s Flyby shows that by the time Lynette and I had started riding, Danny had already dropped his Infinite Endurance teammate, Mark. They had stayed together, in fact, for less than four minutes of this leg of the ride. 

For this climb, then — for pretty much the first time in the race — the Infinite racers were riding alone.

Meanwhile, for only the second leg in the race, SBR-WBR racers were not riding without a teammate.

And, in my usual humble way, I’d like to say that Lynette and I were crushing it. I was going hard up the hill, and Lynette was doing a fantastic job staying right on my wheel. Letting me know when I could pick up the pace a little, letting me know when I needed to ease off a little.

From time to time, we could see up and around a couple bends in the road. We were gaining fast on Mark…and we were gaining on Danny, too.

By the time Danny crested the climb — at which point Mary and Marci joined in to work with Danny for the descent — Lynette and I had erased just about two minutes of Danny’s lead.

And we had one more card we could play, still: Cory.

Cory is an incredible descender; I simply cannot hang with him when the road turns downhill. Lynette, however, can. There’s a big trust benefit to having been married for decades; Lynette and Cory know each other. We could bring Cory out at the top of the Veyo climb and count on huge gains — I’d bet on two minutes — in the final big descent into town.

So: we’d bought two minutes on the climb. Cory could take back two more minutes in the home stretch. That meant Lynette and I needed to earn back at least another two minutes between the working descent and the mile-long Veyo climb at mile 21.

But two minutes is a lot.

Infinite Sightings

I fully expected that Mark would be the first Infinite rider Lynette and I would catch during this leg of the ride. I would have bet money on it.

But I was wrong.

At 29:02, right after cresting the climb, Lynette and I crossed paths with Marci

And she was going the wrong way.

My head spun around. There was no possible way she had gotten confused and was accidentally riding in the wrong direction, right? She had to be riding back to the vehicle that had dropped Mary and her off a few minutes earlier, right?

But why?

Well, exactly twenty seconds later, we’d find out why.

Because twenty seconds later, we’d see Danny and Mary, sitting on the side of the road. Their bikes twisted together.

Crashed. They must have crossed wheels and crashed, I thought, and slowed as I got to them. That’s why Marci’s heading back. To get help.

Then I saw: No, their bikes weren’t twisted together. They were just near each other.

“What happened?” I yelled.

“A flat,” Mary shouted back.


My head spun around. Thrice. In my head, I began a shouted dialogue.

A flat? We caught you because you had a flat?


This doesn’t make any sense, I yelled, inside my head. At least three people on your team (Mark, Mary, Marci) have been with you since you got a flat about six freaking minutes ago? (I wasn’t accounting for the two minutes we had made up on them since the beginning of the ride.)

There are four of you, you have one flat, and you’re still sitting here? 

OK. Deep breath. Here’s what was happening.

Marci was going to go get their sag vehicle, which at this moment was about half a minute away. Mary was with Danny. Mark had seen Danny’s flat, and had kept going. 

How is it possible you are still here? I mentally demanded. You’ve got teammates and crew swarming this mountain like ants. You shouldn’t have been stopped for more than one minute.

But Danny had in fact been stopped for four minutes by the time we got there. All their racing strategy had been completely upended by the fact that they apparently had no plan for what to do in the event of a flat.

The SBR-WBR Problem Plan

For what it’s worth: Lynette and I had discussed, before this leg started, what our plan was in the event of a mechanical. I.e.:

  • If she had a mechanical and the van was not in sight, she would take my shoes and bike and go.
  • If she had a mechanical and the van was in sight, she would take The Hammer’s shoes and bike.
  • If I had a mechanical, she would keep going, I’d fend for myself or get picked up by the van. 

Racing is more than riding. 

Glad they had not crashed after all — and completely astonished that with all their resources Danny was still not moving — I yelled “Good luck!” Then stood up and got back up to speed.

Danny would be back on his bike in a moment (I assumed), and then he’d be working with two very strong riders. And they were every bit as motivated as we were.

The lead had changed, but the race was far from over.

The Chase Begins

Even before we slowed, found out why Danny and Mary were sitting there (in my head I remember them sitting in the dirt, though it’s probable they were actually standing), and took off, Marci had reached the sag vehicle, told them what was going on, and was on her way back to Danny.

By the time Marci returned to Danny, he had been stopped 4:24. At that point I’m guessing she had the sag vehicle with her and they did a wheel exchange. 

Six minutes — to the second — after flatting, Danny Marci, and Mary were riding again. 

But by then, Lynette and I had taken the six minute lead Infinite Stamina had begun the leg with, and converted it into a 2:16 lead for Team SBR-WBR. 

The Train Grows

This lead would only stick if we made it stick. Our plan to make this happen was as brilliant as it was elegant:

I would pedal my brains out, while sitting up and making myself as big as possible, to give Lynette a good draft.

I’m currently about twelve pounds heavier than I ought to be, so the “making myself big” part was easily accomplished.

At 37:42, we caught another rider. A rider in green. Danny’s teammate, Mark. 

“Hop on,” I yelled. I knew he’d strictly be a passenger. I didn’t care. There’s room for everyone on the Fatty train.

The gap was now 2:24. We weren’t just holding the gap. We were increasing it.

We saw the van. (Oh good, Cory and Lisa had found the keys.) The Hammer came running out, dancing, screaming, and ringing a cowbell. 

Screenshot 2015 06 30 11 05 02

“We’re going to win!” I yelled.

“Don’t get cocky!” Lynette yelled back. “It’s not over ’til it’s over.”

She was right. I knew she was right. This race had flipflopped too many times for me to not know she was right.

I committed myself to killing it, right to the finish line.

The Train Shrinks…And So Does the Gap

Mark held on to us for a good solid ten minutes, at which point we hit a little rise and dropped him at 47:46. By then, the time gap from us to Danny had grown to 2:48. 

We keep going. Lynette is doing a fantastic job of holding my wheel and yelling at me when to speed or slow.

As for me, I am feeling incredible. I am riding in “Happy Warrior” mode, which is what happens when you were in “Cold Fury” mode, but have since emerged from “underdog” to “contender” status.

56:46 into Danny’s ride, Marci peels off. She’s done. I don’t know whether Mary stays with him or ends her ride, too. (Mary didn’t upload to Strava for this ride). The time gap has grown to 3:04. 

And then Danny evidently goes into Beast Mode. 

Between 56:46 and 1:06:06, Danny cuts into our lead by twenty-four seconds, bringing it down to 2:40.

Screenshot 2015 06 30 11 27 10
Sorry this is blurry. It’s a still from video, taken from a moving vehicle

If the Strava Flyby is any indication of who he was with at this point (i.e., nobody), Danny is a strong rider, bringing back that much time in such a short distance.


Danny wouldn’t be riding alone for long, though. at 1:06:06, Troy — who had just finished his own race leg — hops on to give Danny a pull. 

Screenshot 2015 06 30 11 27 29

Making it official: All four of Team Stamina had been on the course, working with Danny, for at least part of this leg. All their cards were now on the table.

Three minutes after joining Danny, the two of them (Mary is no longer in the group) sweep up Mark. Within one minute, Mark drops off. This happens during the false flat section twenty-three miles into the race. 

OK, I’m going to be honest and admit I have no idea why they didn’t keep Mark with them at this point. Not only would it have helped to have an extra person to take turns pulling, but it would open up the resources in Team Infinite Endurance — notably, Big D — to them for the bomber descent ahead of them.

But you know, it’s easy to armchair quarterback, right?

Finish Line

We never wound up playing that final card: Cory pulling Lynette on the big descent. By the time we got to that descent, Lynette and I were pretty clearly holding our lead. In fact, by the time we got onto the bike path section close to town, we had brought that gap back up to 2:48.

We held that gap on the bike path section, following the twists and turns, knowing that the race was close enough that any little mistake could — would — destroy our slim lead.

And then, at 1:40:18, we hit the crosswalk light. And we waited for an eternity for it to change.

OK, in reality, we just had to wait for twenty-four seconds. 

And then it was really lucky Lynette was there, because I just about blew a turn. Lynette saw the sign, though, called me back, and we continued on.

Lynette moved to the front. We’re in town now, and she knows St. George better than I do. 

It’s all I can do to stay on her wheel. She is not taking this finish for granted.

At 1:43:06, Danny and Troy hit the crosswalk light.

Forty seconds later, that light changes for them and they begin to cross.

At that same moment, Lynette and I cross the finish line.

Screenshot 2015 06 30 11 48 29

And there is a group hug.

Screenshot 2015 06 30 11 50 22

It’s the end of the closest, most exciting race I’ve ever been part of.

4:08 later, Danny and Troy crossed the finish line. (To me, though, it feels like the real gap between us was 2:48; the crosswalk business was outside of anyone’s control.)


We got a team picture: 

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Then we sat down and talked for a bit while we ate the post-race picnic the organizers were putting on at the finish line.

Or I should say, some people were eating and talking. 

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I personally couldn’t do either. 

Thumb IMG 3431 1024

Yeah, I was smoked.

Then we went back to Cory and Lynette’s house, where we got a shower, ate something, and fell asleep.

I awoke to a text coming from my friend Dave Thompson, who alerted me that we had slept right through the award ceremony.

We rushed back, where — luckily for us — at least some of the people from the other teams on the podium were still there. They were nice enough to pose on the podium for photos for us, in spite of our tardiness:

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Also, while we were napping, The Hammer won a paddleboard in a raffle. 

Thumb IMG 3029 1024

Yeah, we know: that’s not how you use it.

Final Thoughts

I love racing. Love it. And this race was everything I love about racing. It was fun. It was intense. It was dramatic.

And it left questions.

If Danny hadn’t flatted, would Team SBR-WBR have won? I would argue that we would have. Good arguments can also be made for why Infinite Stamina would have won. But there’s no way to know for sure; it was too close. That’s part of what makes it a great story.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this question in the comments, though.

Did Danny’s flat cause the loss? I don’t know Danny, and don’t know what he’s like. I do know that if I’d had a flat in that stage where he did, then my team lost, I would have been miserable. I’d like to say — from my outsider perspective — that this flat tire was no more responsible for their team losing than anything else that might have cost a minute here, a minute there, during this race.

The temptation is to look at the final moments of a race and find reasons for a win or loss, but your time in a race is the composite of all your team’s actions. How and when you fueled. How your exchanges went. Whether you inspected your tires and lubed your chain between each leg. Whether you rode your hardest or sorta phoned it in for part of a leg (like I did in leg 9). How you trained in the months prior to a race.


It’s really rare that a single event wins or loses a big race like this. I will say this: if Danny hadn’t flatted during this leg, I’d probably be kicking myself right now for not going harder during the first 2/3 of leg 9. If I had, Team SBR-WBR might have had enough of a gap that the race would never have been so close at the end.

What if. What if. What if.

Will there be a rematch? With this slim of a win, a rematch doesn’t just seem like a good idea, it seems necessary.

I don’t know whether the Infinite teams will be back, but The Hammer and I have put on hold our wacky plan for doing this race solo. After this experience, we’ve got to do it as a coed team again.

But we reserve the right to adopt some very intelligent strategy we learned this year from the Infinite teams.

I kinda like the sound of “Team Fatty” and “Team Fatty’s Domestiques.”

Is there a video recap of the experience, featuring a hit from the 80’s? Really, this is the most important question of all. And the answer, of course, is: 

2015 Rockwell Relay: Team SBR-WBR


  1. Comment by Paige | 06.30.2015 | 1:02 pm

    I feel like crying. On one hand its because this race report series will be over. On the other its because of how fantastic the race truly was from start to finish and what a fantastic team you had with you.

    Your writing in this 9 part race report was so fantastic. This is why I read Fat Cyclist. I don’t even ride a bike.

    Thank you Paige. This comment totally made my day. And probably my tomorrow too. – FC

  2. Comment by Mike in Memphis | 06.30.2015 | 1:11 pm

    My refresh button thanks you for posting this so I don’t have to keep poking it over and over. Also, amazing race (btw have you and The Hammer ever thought of applying…just saying). Thank you for a very entertaining couple of weeks or reporting.

    I’m new onto the road bike and your blog, which I’ve been binge reading, has inspired me. My body type and frame dictates I’ll probably always be a Clydesdale, but I want to be a lean one like Fatty. I told my wife that all I really want for my birthday in September is a FC jersey to ride with my bike club in.. We’ll see what happens

    The Hammer and I talk about applying to The Amazing Race ALL THE TIME.

    Our consensus is we’d do well at most actual challenges (exception: anything requiring grace), but both of us are terrible at navigation. We’d be eliminated quickly. – FC

  3. Comment by Mark in Bremerton | 06.30.2015 | 1:13 pm

    Epic! Racing *and* writing.

    Great job to both (all three?) teams. I’ll be hitting my refresh icon, anticipating the other perspective.

  4. Comment by Danny | 06.30.2015 | 1:17 pm

    As Fatty mentioned, there are so many points in the race where you can look and ask “what if?” For us, the missed transition before Mark and I rode our second leg feels the most critical. All other things being equal, that would have let Mary and Ryan pass off to Marci and Billy with the lead. Presumably, that would have let us build on the lead by leveraging the teamwork advantage enough that the flat would not have cost us the lead.

    I remember back on my first leg, when I was trying to keep Mark with me. We got passed by a rider, and I asked Mark if he thought he could hold my wheel if I pulled in that riders’s slip stream. He indicated that we should give it a try. Unfortunately, Mark fell off right away. So I watched that guy disappear into the distance, wishing I could get out of the wind on his wheel; another moment that cost us a lot of time in order to keep our team together.

    The flat itself is filled with missed opportunities and what if questions. About the same time that our support vehicle came in, I was getting my bike ready and I noticed my rear tire was very soft. Those of us present debated swapping my wheel right then, or putting air in and hoping. I think we were a bit too paranoid of another missed transition, and we did literally expect Troy and Dave any second. So we opted to put air in, and hope that the low tire was just some funkiness with all the temp changes and altitude etc. It turns out, we would have had time to swap the wheel then and avoid the whole problem. That choice in particular really haunts me.

    When I did flat, my mechanical ineptitude and ignorance was a factor. Marci had a carbon wheel, and thus my brakes wouldn’t be compatible, so we didn’t do that wheel swap. Mary has an 11 speed, and we all didn’t know if that would work at all. So I was trying to change my flat as fast as I could just in case our sag vehicle was too slow. They arrived right as I was about to put my wheel on, but the c02 didn’t fill the tube well and it was still soft. So we opted to swap Billy’s wheel at that point.

    I hope this doesn’t come across as throwing Mark under the bus, but I think we were right to drop him right away. Considering that Mark had only ridden about 700 miles all year in prep for this race, he did well. However, he just would not have been able to hang on with Big D or Billy putting on a painful pace in front. I honestly am proud of Mark for digging as deep as he did on our second ride together. I knew he was totally blown at that point, and that was exactly what all of us hoped would be the case.

    I actually didn’t know the rule about having to have Mark in the paceline. At one point working with Troy, I saw Billy ahead and bridged up to Billy. Troy yelled ahead to me that I couldn’t use Billy, so I confusedly pulled off and stayed with Troy. It’s a good thing Troy knew what that rule and kept me in check :).

    This last leg was the most fun for me in the race. It was a blast to ride with others on my team, and it was very motivational to see them all go into overdrive. I knew they had all emptied their tanks, and here they were digging even deeper to try to help me out. Mary, Marci and Troy all really busted their tails for me, and that is tremendously appreciated. I must admit that part of the fun was the fantasy vision of somehow catching up and having the race decided at a final sprint. Too bad because THAT would have been dramatic :).

    I had so much fun, and was excited to have a chance to feel more like my ride counted. I have very little race experience, and quite frankly struggle with confidence when it comes to competition. So naturally, the ideal outcome for that would have been a dramatic come-from-behind victory, but that wasn’t in the cards.

    I certainly loved this race, and hope that I will be given another crack at a first place spot on that coed podium. There are so many guys on the infinite squad that are much stronger than I am though, so that may depend on who comes forward.

    Thanks for writing that up (and for your other writeups), Danny.

    Super interesting about your tire being soft at the beginning of the leg. My guess is you’ve learned a LOT of best practices for racing this year. By the time you get to be my age…well, I’ll be dead. Wait, I think I had a different point. No, it’s gone now.

    I for one am GLAD it didn’t come down to a sprint. That finish line would not be good for a sprint! Plus I’m no good at sprinting.

    You were a fierce and awesome competitor; it was a pleasure to race with you. I hope to see you out there next year. – FC

  5. Comment by wash | 06.30.2015 | 1:28 pm


    Great write up, thank you for it!

    “Marci had a carbon wheel, and thus my brakes wouldn’t be compatible, so we didn’t do that wheel swap.”

    For future reference, you can absolutely run a carbon wheel with regular non-carbon-specific brake pads in an emergency situation like this. The only real risk is that regular pads sometimes pick up aluminum shards from the rim that will damage the carbon wheel, so after you pull the aluminum wheel, carefully feel the pads to make sure there is nothing embedded in them.

  6. Comment by Danny | 06.30.2015 | 1:30 pm

    If I recall correctly, Mary fell off well before Marci did, so I was actually alone when I was in the proverbial beast mode. That feels a bit gratifying to realize that (at least briefly) I was getting some time back on your team.

    Yeah, I’m still mad at Mary for not uploading to Strava for this leg. By doing so, she created a real blind spot in my Leg 12 Forensics obsession. – FC

  7. Comment by wash | 06.30.2015 | 1:31 pm

    … similarly, you can run an 11 speed cassette with a 10 speed derailleur in an emergency. You’ll get some chatter at one end of the cassette or the other, but you will be moving. I know you probably don’t want to hear any of this now :)

  8. Comment by Danny | 06.30.2015 | 1:34 pm


    Thanks for giving me another “what if” moment :). I don’t know if I would have been comfortable taking Marci’s super expensive carbon wheel and risking destroying it for the win. I certainly couldn’t have afforded to replace it, and I didn’t want that kind of thing to spoil a cycling friendship.

  9. Comment by Danny | 06.30.2015 | 1:35 pm

    Yeah, someone told me the 11 speed would have worked as well, but we didn’t know that at the time.

  10. Comment by wash | 06.30.2015 | 1:38 pm

    Hey, you had to work with the information you had at the time. It’s easy to armchair quarterback. Great racing on your part.

  11. Comment by Billy | 06.30.2015 | 1:58 pm

    So this question was posed above: “OK, I’m going to be honest and admit I have no idea why they didn’t keep Mark with them at this point. Not only would it have helped to have an extra person to take turns pulling, but it would open up the resources in Team Infinite Endurance — notably, Big D — to them for the bomber descent ahead of them.”

    Here’s the explanation:

    When the leg started, we knew that it was pretty unlikely that Danny and Mark would stay together. As Danny has pointed out in a couple of his other comments, Mark was not well-trained for Rockwell and had struggled on the previous two legs. Mark had also suffered from a back injury two weeks earlier (nothing major, a strained muscle from doing yard work, but nonetheless debilitating on the bike). So the plan was for Danny to move ahead without Mark if and ultimately when the split happened. Because of this, our teams had more or less decided that it was largely unnecessary to suit up any of the Infinite Endurance guys to ride, though most of us were still in our riding clothes because we hadn’t had an opportunity to change yet.

    Because of the turn of events — namely the flat tire — our plans began to change quickly and we had to improvise. Once we had seen that Mark was ahead of Danny on SBR-WBR’s wheel, we thought, hmmm, maybe we can somehow bridge them back together with some firepower. We also figured Mark might eventually fall off of his opponent’s wheels since there wasn’t any real incentive to keep him on.

    We realized pretty quickly that Danny and Mark were going to come back together, just over the Veyo climb, since Danny with the help of both Marci and Mary, was closing the gap quickly, particularly on the climbs. After Veyo, it’s mostly a descent, so we thought we might be able to stay together for the rest of the ride all the way into the finish.

    The plan once Danny and Mark were back together on the final leg was just that — to stay together so that we could all hammer into the finish, using as much firepower as we could assemble to attempt to close the gap and reel SBR-WBR back in. That meant a total of six people on the road working together, leaving two people out to drive the sag vehicles back in. This is why Ryan and I hopped on the road just after Veyo — we were summoned by “Team Dad” Troy to do it, just prior to Mark and Danny coming back together. We saw this as an opportunity to make one last ditch effort. Among the chaos, we already had Marci out on the road, and Dave was sitting idly by, waiting to flag Marci in if it made sense, and hop out to crush the descent with us.

    Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be; Mark was struggling enough that he wasn’t able to stay with Danny for more than a minute or so. So our intentions and plans became futile.

    The moment I hopped on the road, I got a rolling start so I could jump right into the group at what I assumed would be a 20-25ish mph pace through Dammeron Valley. As I tried to match the pace, I could see two helmets in the distance. As they got closer I recognized Danny and assumed the white helmet behind was Mark. As they roll by, I hear Troy’s voice shout “You can’t ride with us! We don’t have Mark!”. I was disappointed, because I was anticipating the thrill of the chase we were about to embark on, and I was prepared to take turns crushing and eagerly anticipating the site of the itty-bitty SBR-WBR dot in the distance coming into close proximity.

    Once Mark rolled in with Ryan and I, we knew the gap was just too large, and it was clear that our passenger didn’t have anymore oomph to give — he was “done”. Ryan and I ended up having a fairly conversational pace down the descent with Mark on our wheels, to give Mark a break and get him to the finish line.

    All said and done, we can all say we feel good about how the race went. Of course we’re kicking ourselves for the flat tire and the other silly mistakes, wishing a few of the little things had played out a bit differently. We are excited that we actually managed to remain competitive by avoiding the mistakes that cost us so much time last year — only ONE goofed transition! That was significantly marked improvement from last year’s effort.

    We knew coming into the race that we had a rider (Mark) that would have a bit of trouble in the race. He pushed himself hard to keep our skin in the game. And that we managed to stay in the race, against a team (particularly Fatty and The Hammer) we know to have plenty of strong credentials and a history of doing well in this relay, we were happy.

    Sure, Troy and I will shamelessly admit that we owe much of it to the fact that we were able to recruit two of the fastest women on bikes in this four-state region ;-). We are happy to be friends with these fast ladies, and look forward to the prospects of a rematch if we are able to assemble a team this awesome again. Promise us a few slices of cold pizza for next time and you might have a deal… Until next time.


    From a selfish perspective, I’m glad the plan didn’t work out. From a “guy who loves great cycling stories” perspective, I’m bummed it didn’t work out. It’s possibly the only thing that could have made this race conclusion even more exciting. Either way, it’s good to know what happened.

    Great racing with you! – FC

  12. Comment by Danny | 06.30.2015 | 2:04 pm

    One of the funny moments after the race that I forgot to mention.

    “So when did you get passed, Danny?” Troy asks.
    “When I flatted,” I reply irritably.
    “You flatted!” Troy responds incredulously.

    Apparently in all the chaos, nobody mentioned the flat to Troy. So he must have been pretty perturbed at me, thinking I had blown a six minute lead, as he pulled for me from Dameron Vallye into the finish. :)

  13. Comment by Anonymous | 06.30.2015 | 2:17 pm

    Great story, great write up. Hard to keep track of all the race tactics. Love it! Thanks for sharing from everybody who did the race. I would love to do this race someday!

    The “who is where?” problem is definitely tricky in this leg. I’m not sure I’d get it yet if I hadn’t watched Danny’s Flyby about twenty times.

    I was considering doing a Quicktime recording of the Flyby, doing a narration over it, and uploading that to Vimeo…but this last installment has already been a tremendous amount of work; I just don’t have time to do it. – FC

  14. Comment by anonymous | 06.30.2015 | 2:26 pm

    Why didn’t Troy jump off the stage at the end of the video?

    Troy isn’t really the “jumping off the stage” kind of guy. However, when The Hammer and I were racing the Salt to Saint, he did make a special trip to ride his motorcycle alongside us as we went up Suncrest, cheering for us for about a mile. It was a huge boost. He’s that kind of guy. – FC

  15. Comment by Anon | 06.30.2015 | 2:32 pm

    @Paige, I think there are quite a few of us who don’t ride a bike at all. =)

    Fatty’s writing skills are quite superb. To the point that it draws people with no interest in riding at all to read his reports.

    Well done, Fatty!

    Thanks, Anon! I really appreciate the kind words. – FC

  16. Comment by leroy | 06.30.2015 | 2:43 pm

    Knock. Knock.

    Who’s there?


    Duran who?

    Duran Duran.

    (My dog loves that joke. I loved your write up.)

  17. Comment by MLB | 06.30.2015 | 2:52 pm

    Awesome, awesome write up. Thank you Fatty for wonderful story, and to all the competitors for a great race, and comments. Guess it is high time I get back to work.

    Looking forward to your next great race/write up although I dont know how you can top all of the great drama, strategy, competition, camaraderie, and of course zombies.

    Happy 4rth to all.

  18. Comment by Troy | 06.30.2015 | 3:10 pm

    I had my side of the finish all but done and my phone messed up and I lost it. Hard to type it all on phone. I’ll have to rewrite in Notes and copy and paste it when I get time. As Fatty said, I’m not the jumping kind of guy. I always worry about flats and carry a tube, cartridge and levers in my pocket even though we’d just change a wheel. With all the excitement none of us made sure to have such ready and I failed as Team Dad on this one.

    Dude, you shoulda just called and dictated it to me. I provide that service to riders with broken sternums. – FC

  19. Comment by Danny | 06.30.2015 | 3:12 pm

    Don’t blame yourself on that Troy. I had a tube, tire irons, and c02 in my saddle bag, as did Mary, and we were making use of those items when the sag vehicle caught up. So at least in that regard, we were prepared, and you have nothing to blame yourself for.

  20. Comment by spaceyace | 06.30.2015 | 3:17 pm

    Happy Warrior, Cold Fury, Underdog, and Contender are all now added to my yoga routine.

    What a confusing and exciting ending to this series! Best race report ever. Hoping you can top it next year but I just don’t see how that’s possible. Kudos to both teams for a race well done.

    I’m gonna be honest here; I think this may be the apex. The good thing is…this means I have an identifiable apex of my blog’s “storyteller” phase. Better than nothing but plateaus, right? – FC

  21. Comment by spaceyace | 06.30.2015 | 3:17 pm

    …and so glad I didn’t peek at the results!

  22. Comment by AKChick | 06.30.2015 | 3:21 pm

    Oh if only I were fast enough to be a domestique! :) I’d sign on in a minute!

    LOVED this write-up. Best one I’ve read so far and having the commentary from Danny/Troy/Billy (am I missing anyone?) has been great! I felt bad that they lost, but I was also happy that Fatty, Hammer, Lynette and Cory won. :) Not allowed to stream video at work so will have to watch the video at home. I was a HUGE Duran Duran fan as a teenager.

    Can’t wait to read next year’s account!

  23. Comment by AKChick | 06.30.2015 | 3:22 pm

    Shoot – forgot to say THANK YOU FATTY for the MOST AWESOMESAUCE race report to date!

  24. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 06.30.2015 | 3:47 pm

    Awesome write up and thanks for all the comments and added perspective, team Infinite Stamina. For those of us who could only sit and read about this close race, it simply doesn’t get any better.

  25. Comment by Brad | 06.30.2015 | 4:06 pm

    You are the master of race reports. And you answered the question I had at the finish line: Why is Fatty still in his kit at the finish line when his last leg was over 6 hours ago?

    I know you only race while supported by Sprinter vans, but having a hot and/or cold shower after each leg, a bed to lie down and try to sleep on, and blending smoothies are 3 good reasons for bringing an RV.

    RVs are awesome, just so long as the driver:

    1. Knows what they’re doing.
    2. Is not me.

    - FC

  26. Comment by Zannderson | 06.30.2015 | 4:12 pm

    Seriously Fatty, most compelling race report you’ve ever written. Excellent work. Brought back fond memories of a very hotly contested running relay (Red Rock Zion) I was in a few years ago, so thanks for sharing and giving me the chance to relive the excitement of one of my own past races!

  27. Comment by NZ Michelle | 06.30.2015 | 4:31 pm

    I’m one of those lurkers that has loved reading your blog for years but hardly ever comments. However, while I enjoy all your write ups – I have to leave a comment about this series in particular. Immensely enjoyable, you really draw the reader into the true feeling of the race – the sense of absolute competition, yet comradery that existed between your teams. Loved the extra depth the comments from the Infinite Stamina team gave too.

  28. Comment by fellowfattychris | 06.30.2015 | 4:40 pm

    I would like to officially try out for the Team Fatty’s Domestiques. I’m not the best for the big climbing stages, but I’ll pull hard for you on the flats and descents.

  29. Comment by Shugg McGraw | 06.30.2015 | 5:01 pm

    Congratulations to all involved. Still The Greatest Story Ever Told. And not a bad video either. Night night.

  30. Comment by sr | 06.30.2015 | 5:25 pm

    ditto to paige!

  31. Comment by wharton_crew | 06.30.2015 | 5:42 pm

    Before I read these comments, I have to admit that I’m reading the comments ALMOST SOLELY to hear Team Infinite’s perspective.

    KUDOS to them for providing the alternate perspective to this racing report. It’s been *that* much better as a result!

    And congrats to both teams on one helluva race!

    I wish I could say that this was all part of some master plan I had. But it just evolved out this way and I’m happy it did! – FC

  32. Comment by Troy | 06.30.2015 | 5:52 pm

    I had my side of the finish all but done and my phone messed up and I lost it. Hard to type it all on phone. I’ll have to rewrite in Notes and copy and paste it when I get time. As Fatty said, I’m not the jumping kind of guy. I always worry about flats and carry a tube, cartridge and levers in my pocket even though we’d just change a wheel. With all the excitement none of us made sure to have such ready and I failed as Team Dad on this one.

  33. Comment by Ray Wright | 06.30.2015 | 5:58 pm

    Sign me up as a proud member of Team Fatty’s Domestiques! I would be excellent, I can make huge power for a long time and let’s just say I produce a very useable “wind Shadow”

  34. Comment by Danny | 06.30.2015 | 6:29 pm

    Hey FC,
    I hope your prediction about your longevity is grossly inaccurate. At least, I sure hope you live to be older than 62. I suspect you will still be putting up better segment times on Strava than I am when I am 49.

    It was awesome racing against you.


    I had assumed you were 12. – FC

  35. Comment by Kristina | 06.30.2015 | 7:46 pm

    Such an awesome write-up!! This was so much fun to read, particularly with the supplemental perspectives and comments from others. I concur with others above… best race write-up yet, and you’ve had many other great ones in the past!

    I’m not qualified, bike-wise, to be a true domestique. But I would happily volunteer to be an off-bike caretaker / general cheerleader. Prepping water bottles and food, ringing cowbells, driving when needed (and with the promise I never have to drive a large vehicle in reverse). I’ll buy my own ticket down there and everything. All I ask in return is at least one bratwurst and a jumping picture with the whole team.

  36. Comment by Yannb | 06.30.2015 | 11:29 pm

    Noooooo! It’s over? I’ll echo everyone else’s sentiments. This was one of the best race reports ever. And I knew about most of what happened from our brief talk at the finish that eventing. I am so ready to do Rockwell again next year. Been talking it up to fellow cycling friends since we got back and referring them to your race report. Hoping a few people bite. Would be great to get a few teams from the Bay Area.

  37. Comment by Yannb | 06.30.2015 | 11:31 pm

    I’ll add that the commentary from the riders on the other team added a whole other level of sucking me in to this report.

  38. Comment by DonQuix | 06.30.2015 | 11:34 pm

    What a fantastic write up. I demand a rematch! For whatever the demands from an anonymous poster are worth.

  39. Comment by AKChick | 07.1.2015 | 12:07 am

    LOVE the video! My favorite part: the end when The Hammer is laughing hysterically over something. :)

    That was her just being caught in the giggle loop after leg 9. This laughing had been going on for more than 3 minutes when i finally got out my phone and started recording it. – FC

  40. Comment by Troy | 07.1.2015 | 12:46 am

    I was at Lagoon all day. The doc said the best way to heal a broken sternum is to go to an amusement park, who knew? ;-)

    I considered rolling out with Mark and Danny to help them up the climb at the end of my ride and call it good. After working hard with Dave on Leg 11 to build a 6 min lead against Lisa and Cory working together I needed some rest. Plus I wanted to be able to give all I had from Veyo on in. So once done I got in the RV and headed to the top of Veyo. I saw on the way that Danny had already dropped Mark as we anticipated (and talked about before the race in what ifs scenarios). I saw Mary getting ready to get out to help Danny. I figured Danny would have the help he needed and I could add to that help at Veyo. Once at the top of Veyo Danny’s Dad said he’d get out and watch for them. I laid down and fell asleep really on accident, for just a few minutes. When I woke I checked the time and realized I should get things ready to ride. As I stood both legs cramped from the hips to the knees locking my legs, the worst cramps I have ever had. I rubbed and hit my quads to try and loosen them up. Once I got the cramps to stop I downed a bottle of water and ate salty almonds plus whatever else I could find. After a few more minutes I could finally stand without cramping and that is when I saw Elden and Lynette come by. Well now we’re the chasers I thought. How the heck did they make up 6 mins already? As indicated, I had no idea about the flat until a couple hours after the race. I also had no idea of what had happened from just a couple miles into the leg until the top of Veyo. I hurried since I expected Danny any minute and headed out to get my bike. First I see Mark and wonder how he got ahead of Danny. Then I see Danny so I roll out soft pedaling hoping my legs don’t cramp again. Once Danny caught me I picked up the pace and we quickly caught Mark. When the SAG vehicle came by I yelled, ‘I need Billy!’. The other SAG came by and I yelled, ‘Ryan! I need Ryan now!’ I had a sense of urgency to get all we could on the road and go. With the adrenaline and excitement of soon having a serious train to pull the guys my legs seemed to come back and I picked the pace up more. If we’re going to lose we’re going to go down swinging. Soon Danny said Mark had dropped. We couldn’t slow so I kept the pace. Then Danny said the pace was a bit too much. I told him to tell me faster or slower, checked the wattage and kept it in the range. By this time we were catching Billy soft pedaling and I yelled (with so much wind noise it is always yelling, I don’t always yell :-) ) ‘You can’t ride with us.’ He looked at me and started to jump on the front. I yelled again and this time he understood. I guess sometimes black and green helmets look white. We were not going to break any rules even though we could get away with it until we got close to SBR-WBR. There is no glory in winning if you cheat or play a gray area. But there is full dignity in losing when you are honest and give it your all. I never saw Ryan or I missed him but it didn’t matter since it was going to be only Danny and I. Soon I had to drop behind Danny and take a rest before pulling again. I had faith in Danny as he is a good rider in his own right. When you look back you always think I could have gone harder, stronger or held the pace longer but in the moment you think you cannot. Maybe I took too much rest each time. I should have checked my computer and kept my rest to ~2 mins before getting on front again. That is my only strength, fairly hard intervals over and over as long as I can get some rest between. We keep working giving it our all and eventually Big D yells (yes more yelling) ‘2 mins’ even though later he said it was more like 2:40. He did this for two reasons. One it is much easier to yell 2 mins at the speed we were coming by and two it is good to lie to push us to work harder. I definitely tried to push it a bit more thinking we were making up time as it seemed like a lot more than 2 mins when I saw them come by the RV. But I also knew we were running out of road (I’ve done #4 twice, 2012 & 2013). Once we got to the light I knew we had lost. We missed both directions on the light and it felt like forever but as close as we can tell it was about 2 mins. Again, no bending rules, no ‘may or may not have been creative at the light’ type of thing. I kept the pace high with Danny holding my wheel all the way to the finish to lose the least amount as possible with a glimmer of hope I’d see Fatty and Lynette before the line. No such luck. Danny did a great job exactly as I expected of him. Lynette rode strong in all of her rides, I am very impressed with her. Fatty you probably hurt us the most. After the race I felt like you had made the difference for your team winning but I didn’t know splits to see how well Lynette also rode, she may have made up the most time.

    We gave it our all and lost by either the flat or the 3.5 mins in the transition. I think the transition was more crucial based on how it played out. It was the most fun race I’ve had at Rockwell because of the back and forth between our teams. I was very proud of my teammates giving it their all and also acting with full professionalism, genuine compliments to our competitors, just all around class and dignity. I couldn’t ask for better examples of how racers should act. No comments on another teams misfortune or belittling would ever come from my teammates.

    Looking back maybe we should have used some other riders a bit more. But it is a risky strategy that you may burn out rider(s) before they are done with their race and lose more time than gained. We ended up playing it safe and would have been fine except for the one mistake or the dumb luck of a flat. I don’t know exactly how things will go next year at this moment but I’ll tell you this much Sir Fatty. You better bring another team . . . AND get to race weight ;-). We won’t make any mistakes and our team(s) will be even more solid.

    P.S. Oh, if you go for a solo year. . . sounds fun. . .

    I hadn’t even considered how baffling the race situation would be from your perspective (i.e., without knowing what happened earlier in the leg or why). Hilarious. Thanks for writing it up!

    As for the “creative at the light” jab, just check out my flyby. That’s where I didn’t see the sign and missed the left at the second crosswalk. Lynette yelled at me (as she correctly made the second crossing) that I was going the wrong way. I was being “creative” by doubIing back and getting back on course. It was a mistake, not a cheat or a “bending of the rules” — which may or may not be what you were implying I did. It’s sometimes hard to read nuance in comments.

    It was great racing your team. Heal quickly! – FC

  41. Comment by Dave (a.k.a. "Big D") | 07.1.2015 | 7:28 am

    I am the self-appointed team mechanic. Seriously, I pack enough tools and equipment on my flight to run a small bike shop and can typically handle anything that comes around. In fact, last year I replaced a pin in a competitor’s broken chain add he was stranded at the side of the road, and I replaced the shim in someone else’s Speeday cleat at a transition stop. That’s what made the last leg so difficult for me! Had I not been on the course coming in, Danny never would have left the transition with a flat tire. And had I not decided to wait at the top of the climb to get the time split, I would have been right behind him. We had him up and going in under a minute once we arrived, but after we had watched Lynette and Fatty fly by from afar.

    Maybe next year a full time mechanic with a wheel car is in order.

    Knowing that you’re also a mechanic, I’m now thinking I’m going to have to up my offer to get you to defect to my team. You should have seen how long it took for me to change Lynette’s tube / tire. It was embarrassing. – FC

  42. Comment by JET | 07.1.2015 | 8:33 am

    Awesome write up as always!

    I’m missing something obvious. Why couldn’t certain riders ride together (i.e. Troy above yelling to Billy that he couldn’t ride with them? I thought working together was all good and encouraged?

    Great question! The rule is that when it isn’t your turn to ride, it is still OK to get out and help the racer who is on your team. That means that as long as racers for Infinite Stamina (Danny) and Endurance (Mark) are together, any member of either team can join the train. Because you’re really just helping your teammate; any benefit other teams might accrue is just a happy coincidence.

    However, Danny and Mark weren’t riding together, which meant that ONLY the riders from Infinite Stamina (Mary, Marci, Troy) could help Danny. Likewise, ONLY the riders from Infinite Endurance (Billy, Ryan, Big D) could help Mark.

    Did that help, or just make things more confusing? – FC

  43. Comment by Thad | 07.1.2015 | 8:41 am

    Applying for a “Friends/Domestique’s of Fatty”
    I have a wake like a cruise ship.

  44. Comment by Rockstarster | 07.1.2015 | 8:46 am

    1. Ironically, this writeup and the counter-perspective make a 500+ mile suffer-fest in the Utah desert sound like fun. Svengali.

    2. It was good form to point out the the flat was only one of countless possible scenario-changers that had bearing on the outcome of the race.

    3. I am concerned that all this inter-team goodwill has doused the flame of indignation which prompted the proposal of a “duel” between Billy of Infinite Stamina and The Fat One of Team Something, Something, Something-BR.

    4. You gotta do something about the team name. It’s not so catchy.

    5. White men (and women) can’t jump. They just pull up their knees to make it LOOK like they can jump.

    6. The Hammer is an exceptional dancer, and we now have video proof. ;-)

    7. How about a Zombie update. Is there ANYONE who knows what that was about?

    Thad had what sounds like a reasonable explanation. – FC

  45. Comment by Jim Tolar | 07.1.2015 | 9:15 am

    Far and away the most entertaining race/event report in (my) history of FatCyclist, combined an epic event with your writing and the counter-points of other teams and participants.

    Thanks to you for writing it, to your teammates and the opposing teams for participating and chipping in their viewpoints. Really, really good stuff.


  46. Comment by JET | 07.1.2015 | 10:46 am

    Got it. Thanks Fatty!

  47. Comment by Vickie Klick | 07.1.2015 | 11:39 am

    I’m almost sorry this epic report is over! Great job telling a great story. Congrats to all participants!

  48. Comment by Heidi | 07.1.2015 | 12:03 pm

    Another non-rider here for the writing – outstanding, Elden! Terrific video, and the Hammer’s cow-belling dance and hysterical laughter is the cherry on top of the whole shebang.

  49. Comment by UpTheGrade, SR, CA | 07.1.2015 | 12:43 pm

    This race story was more fun to read than most pro races I can remember! It totally makes me want to train and sign up to be a Fatty Domestique next year (Fat-igue for short).

    But in reading the story, it is obvious that the two teams must be almost identically matched or there is little benefit – you can only go as fast as the slowest rider of the pair, and if you split, then the teams can no longer cooperate. The valiant Mark got to live that reality.

    So the only answer is obvious: for Team Fatty-xxx to have the best Fatigue team support, you need to recruit Team Infinite Stamina to be your domestiques, since you are so well matched. Then you would be unbeatable ;-)

    I’ve already been doing some negotiating. And while I don’t want to give too much away…

    1. Team Fatty may well be an all-family team next year
    1a. Here’s a hint of who else might be in the family team.
    2. The Team Fatty Domestiques may well be a group of men who, were they racing for themselves, would probably win the men’s competitive category. I understand that they really like training.
    2a. I’m not sure there will actually be a “Team Fatty Domestiques” team because I’m not entirely comfortable with the strategy and whether it really fits within the spirit of the coed team category.

    - FC

  50. Comment by Bykjunkie | 07.1.2015 | 1:16 pm

    The absolute best Rockwell relay reports since you started it! The commentary from your competitors just made it better! So glad you found the enjoyment of writing these reports for all of us to enjoy! Thank you Fatty!

  51. Comment by MikeL | 07.1.2015 | 1:53 pm

    In the end it does not matter what if this or what if that. It is what it is or as I call it “on any given Saturday”. Maybe a good mathematician could model all of it in terms of Chaos Theory.

    This whole race report is one of the best pieces of cycling related writing I have seen. Your writing was entertaining as always but having the comments of Troy, Danny, and other folks to provide an additional counterpoint and commenting took this report up another level.

    Congratulations to all.

    Well put!

    Maybe, in some alternate universe, Mary hadn’t been sick the week before, Mark hadn’t hurt his back sometime recently, Danny had changed his tire when noticing it was soft, Infinite Stamina hit all their exchanges perfectly, and — most importantly — Troy didn’t spurn the bratwurst (and all its glorious, cramp-preventing, power-giving calories) offered by us the day before the race.

    In this alternate universe, no doubt everything was different in this race, and the two teams are now considering a completely different set of “what if’s.”

    Still, in this alternate universe, Troy is that much happier, since whenever he is having a bad day now, he can always draw on the memory of eating the best darned bratwurst in any universe. – FC

  52. Comment by MattC | 07.1.2015 | 3:33 pm

    All in all, it was a FANTASTIC report Fatty! I think you should compile ALL of it (including all the comments from your competitors)into a small cycling-book about the Rockwell Relay race, including all your pre-posts about strategy, eating, etc…it would be VERY informative for somebody looking to do it for the first time (you might even go

    I have to admit that at FIRST when you mentioned the Infinite teams plan to always have a ‘domestique’ helping their active rider, I thought it was lame and akin to cheating (even though it was allowed in the rules).

    However…as the story progressed, I came to realize that it was actually quite brilliant. Everybody knows road-racing is a TEAM sport, and nobody typically wins a race (except maybe Fabian) on their own. Strategy is a HUGE part cycling and always will be…and as always, the pre-race strategy only goes so far and then you have to be able to regroup and adapt on the road as the conditions change moment by moment.

    It was an AWESOME race by both teams plain and simple…and it’s only a shame that somebody has to lose. But by all of you giving it your absolute best, there truly are no losers, only winners.

  53. Comment by MattC | 07.1.2015 | 3:35 pm

    Rats..some of my comment disappeared! At the bottom of the first para:

    (you might even go back into past years posts and add some of that info into your book as there’s lots more good stuff).

  54. Comment by Zone Five | 07.1.2015 | 3:59 pm


    It’s comforting to know that you agree that a Team Fatty decision to ride solo instead of co-ed competitive next year would be the same as a concession blog post 346 days in the making – a tad bit pre-mature!

    While I’m sure that Troy, Danny, Billy, M&M&M, and Big-D have their own plans, the real questions you failed to ask are “Who is Zone Five Racing?” and “How badly are they going to beat us by next year?”

    2016 can’t come fast enough…or can it?


  55. Comment by dgyeates | 07.1.2015 | 4:21 pm

    I’m exhausted.

  56. Comment by Steve | 07.1.2015 | 7:37 pm

    Reading your blog makes me wish I had ridden Rockwell this year and I DID ride it (with Thad et al) that’s how well you’ve captured the spirit of this race.

    With your followers and readers it’s a wonder there aren’t 500 teams signed up for this event. Here’s hoping for something close to that next year. More riders = more stories, more friends, more converts, more fun.

    Congratulations on the hard earned victory. See you in Swanney Park, second Thursday of June, 2016.

  57. Comment by walter | 07.1.2015 | 7:56 pm

    Wow – one of your best pieces of writing, though I think you still have lots of great stories/writing left. Pinnacle?Not by a long shot.

    One thing I don’t understand is why didn’t Mark take mary/mar ci’s bike and keep moving until the sag vehicle could catch up, fix his wheel and then switch back to his bike. If I understand, this was Fatty’s plan if he got a flat.

  58. Comment by walter | 07.1.2015 | 8:12 pm

    I would tend to agree that perhaps domestiques is not within the spirit but that is beyond my knowledge of the race. In any event, the secret to the race is clearly DON’T turn down Fatty’s brats!!!

  59. Comment by Rockstarster | 07.2.2015 | 8:39 am

    “Subber-Wubber.” It came to me in the night that if you say it phonetically, it has much more panache than if you say it “Team S-B-R/W-B-R.”

    Team Subber-Wubber. I’d wear that jersey.

    In case you are required to defend your title, with your actual title.

    And it’s kinda sad that I think about this kind of thing in the night. Pathetic, really.

  60. Comment by Danny | 07.10.2015 | 6:29 am

    @walter. I suppose I was more like Pinot than Martin with regards to taking a bike :). It honestly didn’t cross my mind. Mary is much taller than I am, and Marci is much shorter than I am, but I think that the more critical deal is that I ride speed play, and I think they both are on Look pedals.


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