Free Verse Friday: Reflections Upon a Nineteenth Race

08.5.2016 | 10:51 am

A Note from Fatty: Today is the last day you can vote in my NICA Fundraiser. And while the “What Should Fatty Focus on for His Leadville Race” contest is pretty much a settled thing (unless someone really wants to completely upend my world), the other question is still very much in play. 

Will The Hammer finish the Leadville 100 more than an hour faster than The Monster? Or will The Monster be less than an hour behind The Hammer? 

The Monster Vs The Hammer

For the first time since the beginning of this contest, The Hammer has pulled ahead. It’s a very close race now. 

So today is your last chance to vote — and literally any vote right tip the final result. So here you go. Move that needle. 

Is Hammer MORE or LESS than 1hr Faster than Monster?
How Many Votes Do You Want to Place?

And I’ll send email to winners this Saturday, from Leadville.

Free Verse Friday: Reflections Upon a Nineteenth Race

Wednesday I was in Killarney
Yesterday I was in Dublin
Today I am home
Tomorrow, in Leadville 
Such a traveler am I.

Such great distances
Thousands upon thousands of miles
Followed by hundreds and hundreds
And then finally, one hundred
And four. 

In times past 
I often drove to Leadville
One person, one bike, one goal
A goal which I never achieved
For more than a decade

And now things are different
One man
Four women
Five bikes
All bundled together 
Some racing, Some crewing
All awesome 

And goals have changed
As well
Now I have many finishes
Faster than I’d thought possible
8:12 baby
You can’t take that away from me
Don’t even try. 

And all of those fast finishes
Happened after I started training
With this woman, The Hammer
So It seems only fair
—not to mention fun—
To ride for her this once

But I wouldn’t have done it
Until now
Because that’s not my way
Or at least it wasn’t my way
But now it is

And I am pretty sure
This will be  


Thank you. 


  1. Comment by BostonCarlos | 08.5.2016 | 12:22 pm

    GO FATTY GO! (Is leadville tomorrow, or next weekend?)

  2. Comment by BostonCarlos | 08.5.2016 | 12:22 pm

    Also, that of course means, GO HAMMER GO! as well… since you’ll be domestique-ated.

  3. Comment by UtahTom | 08.5.2016 | 12:25 pm

    One advantage of your Rockwell relay race reports being broken into so many parts, is that now you can transition directly into a Leadville race report, my second most favorite of your race reports!

  4. Comment by old guy who likes to ride | 08.5.2016 | 12:38 pm

    “One man
    Four women
    Five bikes
    All bundled together
    Some racing, Some crewing”

    Awesome indeed, I have many dear sisters.

  5. Comment by leroy | 08.5.2016 | 12:53 pm

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    Good luck at Leadville
    (That’s the best I can do).

    My dog wanted to coopt Mr. Ginsberg’s “Howl,” repurposing the opening to something about the best mimes of his generation staggering speechless up the Columbine climb, but I talked him out of it.

    Too obvious.

  6. Comment by Anonymous | 08.5.2016 | 1:45 pm

    Leadville is a week from Saturday. Best of all, I expect that we’ll see the Crusher report between now and the Leadville report, so it’s pretty much going to be all Fatty all the time this week.

    Best wishes to the entire Fatty community as you all fly up St. Kevins, hurtle down St. Kevins, fly up Sugarloaf, hurtle down Powerline, zip over to Twin Lakes, fly up Columbine, hurtle down Columbine, zip over to Pipeline, fly up Powerline, hurtle down Sugarloaf, fly up Carter Summit, hurtle down St. Kevins, and zip back up the Boulevard to 6th and Harrison.

    And remember, a wise man once told me, “Leadville is an eating contest disguised as a bicycle race.” So eat! It’s practically your superpower …

  7. Comment by Kelly | 08.5.2016 | 2:03 pm

    This was your best free verse ever!
    Have fun!

  8. Comment by MattC | 08.5.2016 | 2:41 pm

    And here all this time I thought that the Tour de Donut was “an eating contest disguised as a bicycle race”…silly me!

    So Fatty…if you’re domestique’ing for the Hammer, is the Monster on her own? I’m only asking to help calculate the odds (will the Hammer be faster by more than an hour, or the Monster less than an hour slower)? If Monster is on her own I’d think that significantly up’s the odds Hammer will be more than an hour faster.

    Have a very OLYMPIC weekend everybody!

  9. Comment by Kate | 08.5.2016 | 5:14 pm

    I’m super excited as this is my first LT100. I’ve been here for a week and the rain seems to be intensifying and I’m desperately hoping for a reprieve before race day! Maybe I’ll see you there.

  10. Comment by rb | 08.5.2016 | 9:58 pm

    That is awesome. I have been in 3 cities this week in 2 states and 1 country. Does that count?

    I drive to Leadville alone. 12 hours across the American West to contemplate…stuff. Will be doing it for the 4th time Monday.

    And magically in Leadville, there are friends.

    And my mom shows up to hand me bottles and be less confused each year as to *why*

    Perhaps one day this girl gang I live with with join me. Perhaps with bikes. Perhaps to run. Perhaps to hand me bottles. Perhaps just to fall in love with the mountains like their father

    so that’s free…if it’s verse I have no idea

    See you in Leadville Fatty!

  11. Comment by Andrew friar | 08.6.2016 | 5:44 am


    Good luck to you and your companions, I look forward to the updates.

    Now to listen to the fattycast.



  12. Comment by Nic Grillo | 08.6.2016 | 8:31 am

    Good luck Fatty and family! Allez! Allez!

  13. Comment by Ferde | 08.8.2016 | 12:43 pm

    Maybe has something to do with the fact you will be the Hammers domestique?

  14. Comment by susie h | 08.9.2016 | 3:58 pm

    whew! just caught up on a year’s worth of reading! been a little out of touch, but man I’m so glad I got here to the present before Leadville! sad I missed the voting, but there will be other fundraisers. as always, it’s such a pleasure to read your blog, Elden! the best of luck to you, the Hammer, and the Monster!

  15. Comment by Tom in Albany | 08.10.2016 | 10:59 am

    Fatty, I think I accidentally deleted the email wherein you tell me what I’ve won! Can i get a resend, please?

    Have fun in Leadville. Remember and bury yourself for the Hammer and then get out of the way!

  16. Comment by GenghisKhan | 08.10.2016 | 2:42 pm

    @BostonCarlos, it’s 8/13;

  17. Comment by PNP | 08.11.2016 | 2:36 pm

    If this keeps up, the we’re going to have to file a Missing Fatty Report.

  18. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 08.12.2016 | 9:27 am

    Actually, tomorrow, we’ll know EXACTLY where he is!

    And, there will be live video from 5 camera locations:

    Later, I’ll post best guesses as to when Fatty/Hammer will get to each. I’ll do the same for the Monster assuming a finish time 1 hour later.

  19. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 08.12.2016 | 11:52 am

    Okay, here’s my BEST GUESS at the time of day that the EldenHammer Train will be arriving at each of the 5 stationary cameras (see second link in my prior post). If you’d like a good chance of seeing the black blur go by, perhaps start watching 15 mins earlier?

    Start: 6:30a MT
    6th Street inbound: 6:30a MT
    Partway down Powerline outbound: 8:10a MT
    Just past Twin Lakes Dam outbound: 9:25a MT
    Most of the way up Columbine outbound: 10:50a MT
    Part way down Columbine inbound: 11:30a MT
    Before Twin Lakes Dam inbound: 11:50a MT
    Part way up Powerline inbound: 1:35p MT
    6th Street inbound: 4:00p MT
    Finish: 4:00p MT

    NO GUARANTEES, CHECK MY MATH. Here’s the Google Sheet I used, combining expected splits at the main check points for a 9h 30m finish with my timing for an 11h 30m finish last year.

  20. Comment by Jon | 08.12.2016 | 12:36 pm

    Oh this is going to be great! And to think that next year a friend of our will also be up there. He and FC should arrange a Meet&Greet as FC will easily outpace him.

  21. Comment by Ed | 08.12.2016 | 3:39 pm

    Fatty, The Hammer and The Monster,

    Good luck to you all tomorrow!

  22. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 08.14.2016 | 2:36 pm

    Greg Van Avermaet


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