A Letter from Leadville

08.11.2015 | 1:37 pm

Dear Friends of Fatty,

I’m on vacation this week, hanging out in Leadville Colorado, acclimating to the altitude and getting ready for the big race.

I’m also hanging out with other racers and doing my best to be a nuisance to The Queen of Pain as we do the “Reba & Fatty’s Leadville Experience.”

We’re having a fantastic time. 

The Hammer and I drove out here, which means that we were pretty darned liberal with how much stuff we brought:

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Why four bikes? Well, I’m loaning the Scalpel to a friend, The Hammer is riding her Specialized Stumpy S-Works, I’m riding my (amazing) Cannondale F-Si Black Inc., and we’re bringing my Felt 9 FRD as a backup bike for The Hammer and me.

Nothing but the essentials here, folks.

The Hammer and I didn’t have a place to stay in Leadville for our first couple days, so we rented a little place in Breckenridge.

Within 15 minutes, the place was a complete disaster: 

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The thing is, most of this mess is from The Hammer. When she’s on vacation, her neat-freakiness is on vacation too.

My messiness, on the other hand, maintains its current horrid levels.

The first day we were at altitude, The Hammer and I rode the Columbine climb, the most-talked-about climb of the Leadville 100. We agreed that for this ride, we would go good and hard. I could be humble about the results, but I’m not going to be. I knocked out a 1:06 climb; The Hammer did it in 1:20

We’re both feeling pretty good about those results. 

The next day, we pre-rode the St. Kevins climb, vowing to no longer do any race-level riding.

Which meant that we weren’t feeling too cooked to take a picture.

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Then, yesterday, the Leadville Experience rides began, which meant another climb up Columbine. This time I had fun, talked with people, and took pictures of people as they rode up this amazing climb:

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It was a good-sized group, and we got a fantastic photo of all of us at the summit:


Then I got a photo of The Queen of Pain and me.

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As you can see, I’m an amazingly good selfie-taker.

Linday Guerrette, the amazing photographer documenting this week for Reba, didn’t necessarily approve of my photo, however, and got one that may be a little better:


Today? The Powerline Climb. I’m proud to say that for the first time ever, I did the entire “hard part” without putting a foot down.

Of course, nobody took a picture of that.

However, I did get a picture of The Hammer, also killing it on the climb: 

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And I got a photo of Dave Thompson, doing it the way we’ll all be doing it this Saturday:

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Reba, of course, was riding it. As I’m taking this picture, I was cheering her on:

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“You’re in my way,” she replied.


At the top of the Powerline, Dave Houston posed in front of the incredible mountain vista. He’s riding strong; I have a feeling he’s going to have a terrific race this Saturday.

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For perspective of his heightedness, check out David with The Hammer and me.

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And finally, a tip, because this blog is nothing if not educational. 

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When you drive up to 10,200 feet, be careful or your snacks might explode.


  1. Comment by Charlie | 08.11.2015 | 1:52 pm

    G. H. Creators Chicago Style popcorn is way too addictive. I could eat a bag myself. Let the air out slowly.

  2. Comment by Mark in Bremerton | 08.11.2015 | 2:09 pm

    Having fun, for sure. I’d like to be in those mountains with you.

    Here’s a tip for you: When you eat those snacks, be careful, YOU might explode.

  3. Comment by davidh-Marin,ca | 08.11.2015 | 2:24 pm

    I’m really not ‘that’ tall, I just needed someone(s) to keep me from falling over. Great people, and great having a wife and kids who have made this possible for me.

  4. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 08.11.2015 | 3:27 pm

    Looks like someone is having way too much fun.

    I wish I could be there.

    And @davidh-marin,ca, I think Fatty’s description of your heightedness is on target.

    Wishing all of you great rides and good fun. I am looking forwards to the reports.

  5. Comment by Chris | 08.11.2015 | 3:30 pm

    Best of luck on race day to you and the Hammer

  6. Comment by Corrine | 08.11.2015 | 3:32 pm

    Looks like everybody is having a fun. Wish I was there. @davidh-marin,ca, you are sooo tall!! And you are so going to rock this race. Good luck everybody. I’ll be rooting for you all day on race day and checking progress!

  7. Comment by GT | 08.11.2015 | 4:50 pm

    Nice work Fatty, up Columbine faster than Rebecca’s QOM time.

  8. Comment by Sunny | 08.11.2015 | 4:58 pm

    You are enjoying this entire experience. I think it is totally cool.

  9. Comment by AKChick | 08.11.2015 | 5:10 pm

    I can personally vouch for just how tall @davidh-marin,ca really is having had the pleasure of riding with him in Davis a couple years back. He is SUPER tall. :) Then again, I’m barely 5′2″ so my perspective could be skewed since almost everyone is much taller than me!

    Following along on Twitter and Facebook. Can’t wait to get the report on this one! I’d say I’m jealous, except that ride terrifies me so I’m definitely NOT jealous. :) Have fun and ride safely!

  10. Comment by Bart the Clydesdale | 08.11.2015 | 5:52 pm

    The ride up Columbine was great. the hammer passed me and gave me some great advice to help ward off cramps. Then a few minutes later Fatty rode up to me and a single speed rider giving advice about keeping a positive attitude.
    It was a great group of riders, positive and uplifting.

  11. Comment by Shugg McGraw | 08.12.2015 | 5:25 am

    The official Reba and FatCyclist photo looks as though you are both wearing masks. It would have been better if you had swapped them.
    Now, I know I’m going on about this but when will we see a conclusion to the Crusher in the Tusher series?

  12. Comment by owen | 08.12.2015 | 8:00 am

    new sponsor for Reba and full suspension? – is she going to race on that Niner?

  13. Comment by BostonCarlos (formerly NYC) | 08.12.2015 | 9:38 am

    Fatty, your time up columbine is faster than some of the winners have done it… you’re aware of how awesome that is, yes? good.

  14. Comment by Doug (Way Upstate NY) | 08.12.2015 | 9:49 am

    Let the eating competition begin!

  15. Comment by LikeyNoBikey | 08.12.2015 | 10:06 am

    Do I see a dog in the group photo? Did someone have a basket on their bike?

  16. Comment by davidh-Marin,ca | 08.12.2015 | 12:52 pm

    @likeynobikey the dog is Linda Guerrtte’s the photographer. She had driven most of the way.
    And the downside of being tall I’m even higher with LESS oxygen up here,

  17. Comment by Andy@WDW | 08.12.2015 | 3:35 pm

    Fatty, it looks like yet AGAIN you’ve gotten my email address wrong. Please double check my entry, those are “ones” not “L’s”, and resend my congratulatory announcement!

    Of course my wife is getting endless amusement today watching my reactions every time my email alert goes off on my phone.

  18. Comment by MattC | 08.12.2015 | 3:38 pm

    That’s quite a bike Reba’s sporting…it’s got the new inverted shock (VERY pricey!)….it’s good to be sponsored! Is she racing to “win” this year? Just curious.

  19. Comment by leroy | 08.12.2015 | 4:30 pm

    Went to Times Square last night dressed as the Naked Cowboy to pick up our prize as my dog advised.

    Turns out I misunderstood. My dog says I was supposed to show up dressed as Woody from Toy Story.

    He assures me he’s made arrangements so I can go back tonight dressed as Woody to claim our prize.

    All I have to do to distinguish myself from the other folks dressed as Woody posing for photographs with visitors is walk around swinging a lariat while shouting “Yee-hah.”

    Well thank goodness I don’t have to dress as Buzz Lightyear. That helmet would get awfully stuffy in this heat.

    He sent me a picture so I wouldn’t get lost.


  20. Comment by Alan Miller | 08.13.2015 | 2:52 pm


    You never did tell us how you like your Kuat rack??

  21. Comment by MattC | 08.14.2015 | 7:56 pm

    Good luck tomorrow ya’ll racing Leadville…be safe and have FUN (if that’s possible in a 100 mile mtb race!)

  22. Comment by davidh-Marin,ca | 08.14.2015 | 10:15 pm

    If this Fatty’s idea of a ‘vacation’ I’m going back to work!

    We all know how much of himself he puts into everything he does. He has a family, a job, and an army of fans who want more. And he gives it.

    Each day this week he’s been working with Reba on the clinics, leading rides, coaching and helping many of us ”newbies’. His contacts with reps and bosses of various Bike related industries presents another ‘pull’ on his time and energy.

    He’s fretted about the blog and ‘if he is ready’. He’s ready, he’s always ready. Will he get the coveted time he is shooting for? Who knows, and frankly who cares. I hope he has the ride he wants to have, and walks away feeling proud of his effort.

    I consider it an amazing opportunity to witness firsthand someone I very much aire, and who has done so much for so many.

    Tomorrow we ride and in riding we say Thank You Elden. Now take a real vacation.

  23. Comment by davidh-Marin,ca | 08.14.2015 | 10:17 pm

    …that should say ‘admire’. You’ll know where it goes.

  24. Comment by Libby | 08.16.2015 | 11:28 pm

    I’m not sure how FC feels about his finish but I personally think being 104th of 1,286 cyclists is darn good. And doing it in “08:12:42″ sounds good to me. Weren’t you going for a under 9 finish?

  25. Comment by Mike Schwab | 09.2.2015 | 1:01 pm

    I know an insurance agent who paid a claim for a truckload of exploded potato chip bags. The truck driver didn’t take the needed low altitude route.


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