2016 Six Hours in Frog Hollow, Part 3: Coasting Uphill

04.27.2016 | 11:53 am

A Note from Fatty: Today’s post is going to be short, because I have other fish that need frying, and decisions that need making. I’ll have another installment tomorrow, though. Honest. 

I want to begin this post by giving credit where credit is due. The Developer Formerly Known as IT Guy (shortened here to “DevFoKnAIG,” which is prononounced “Duh-FON-Ig” with emphasis on the second syllable) handled his crewing responsibilities flawlessly, as far as I was concerned. 

I mean, consider how things went after my first lap, the first time I rolled up.

“I need three gels instead of two, and I want one of them open now,” I said. “And while I eat that, I want my armwarmers. End pocket, grey duffel bag. They’re white.”

DevFoKnAIG swapped my bottle, tore open one of the gels he had in-hand, and then calmly reached into the back of the truck where my duffel was. He located the armwarmers immediately, handed them to me, and then — as I put on the armwarmers — he got the third gel out for me.

No lost seconds.

As soon as I had the armwarmers on, I clipped back in, and DevFoKnAIG gave me a running push to get me back up to speed. A perfect transition.

And then he took a selfie.

IMG 0142

I Taunt A Famous Person

Here’s an easy way to tell if you have a truly strong tailwind: you can coast uphill indefinitely

I’m not a million percent certain that this kind magical coasting ever happened during this race, but I did notice during the second lap of this race that during a couple moments — the ones where I was going both uphill and with the wind — that I was suspiciously strong.

And then the road would turn and I’d be practically knocked off my bike.

But as I climbed — whether with or against the wind — I was thinking about how, this time, I’d clean that tricky move I had missed the first time. 

I thought about it long and hard. Too much, perhaps.

No, make that too much definitely, because when I got to the move, I saw the two people ahead of me clean it, and became acutely aware of the three or four people right behind me, all depending on me cleaning it too.

And in short, I choked. Again.

This time, though, I had the presence of mind to quickly scramble out of the way so the next person would be able to make the move and continue on his or her way.

As it turns out, that next person was one Tyson Apostol, who is famous for the following reasons:

  1. Being a FattyCast guest.
  2. Having a winning smile.
  3. Having been a pro cyclist.
  4. Having been on and winning Survivor.

Note, however, that I did not include the item “Cleaning the Crux Move on the Frog Hollow Course” in the previous list.

And for good reason.

Tyson put a foot down at the apex of the hairpin corner, stood on it (his foot, not the corner) and pivoted his bike.

“You didn’t clean that?” I said, infusing my voice with disappointment. And then, beceause I’m not especially confident in my voice-infusion abilities, I said, “I’m so disappointed in you.”

“Yeah? Well, I’m not the one standing on the side of the hill watching the other guy go by,” Tyson pointed out, correctly, as he went by.

Log Jam

I’m pretty sure thirty people went past me as I stood there, some cleaning the move, some not, all of them going by. I’m not sure why I didn’t just barge in. Waiting for the light to change, I guess.

Eventually, though, I got back on, got going again, and was once again on the very fun Jem descent.

And by “very fun” I of course mean “usually very fun,” because this time it wasn’t much fun at all, thanks to an incredibly powerful wind that kept me down to what felt like a quarter of my normal speed.

Before long, I caught the guy ahead of me, who had caught the guy ahead of him, and so on and so forth. Basically, the train was about ten deep.

And the guy in the lead had no idea how many people he was holding up.

Within a minute, another four or five or ten people had caught up to me, and within two minutes, the line was twenty strong. 

“Can I sneak by when you get a moment?” the guy behind me asked.

“No,” I replied bluntly. “We all want to sneak by when there’s a moment.” At which point the guy behind me looked past and noticed how far forward the line extended. 

Eventually — like toward the end of the Jem singletrack — the guy at the front noticed what he had created and let us by. To his credit, he said something like, “I can’t believe you guys made me do all the pulling all this way!” as we went by.


I finished my second lap in one hour and one minute: more or less in exactly the same amount of time it took me to do the first lap.

Tyson, who had finished his lap sometime ago — with his brother taking over for the next lap — gave me 5 as I went by:

IMG 0154

You’ll have to trust me: that’s both of us.

I stopped, swapped out my empty bottle for a full CR333 and two more GUs, then asked DevFoKnAIG as he got ready to send me off for my third lap: “How are the ladies doing?”

His answer just about made me fall off my bike.

Which seems like a good place to pick up in tomorrow’s installment of this story.


  1. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 04.27.2016 | 12:10 pm

    It’s great to see you back in ‘cliffhanger’ form. I’ve been missing the writing.

    I do intend to download the podcasts for a long drive to so cal this weekend. I’m confident they’ll keep me from driving off the road…..accidently.

  2. Comment by leroy | 04.27.2016 | 12:10 pm

    My dog informs me that he will not be visiting Utah again until he confirms there are no environmental factors that induce hair loss.

    I have no idea what he’s talking about, but I told him that was his loss.

    He replied “exactly.”

    He and I are enjoying the race reports though.

  3. Comment by centurion | 04.27.2016 | 12:43 pm

    You do know that programming\software development is still a part of IT, don’t you? So there is no reason to not still call the IT Guy the IT Guy.

  4. Comment by Ferde | 04.27.2016 | 1:17 pm

    great writeup

  5. Comment by oldmanutah | 04.27.2016 | 1:29 pm

    Just so long as the IT Guy doesn’t change his name to Defcon5. ;)

  6. Comment by MattC | 04.27.2016 | 4:00 pm

    Wasn’t there some other guy who says “Duh-Plain”? (that’s what I immediately thought of w/ your new ack for IT guy).

    Another great cliffhanger report Fatty…keep em’ coming!

  7. Comment by MattC | 04.27.2016 | 4:02 pm

    er…I meant “Duh-Plane”…stupid English…multiple ways to spell a word that sounds exactly the same! No wonder it takes a kid so long to learn to write here (or is that “right” here?)!

  8. Comment by Kristina Creek | 04.27.2016 | 4:54 pm

    So love these race reports… looking forward to tomorrow!

  9. Comment by J | 04.27.2016 | 9:20 pm

    What’s this about fried fish? I hear it’s usually yummy…

  10. Comment by PaulW | 04.28.2016 | 2:51 am

    MattC – how about “No wonder it takes a kid so long to write right here”?


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