I look a bit too satisfied and confident here crossing the finish line for the Fire on the Rim mountain bike race — this GIF made from two finish line photos they took


This ride totally crushed me… Yes, I am glad to have finished, but man I was hurting. I went home, took a shower, and was immobile for 4 hours. By Sunday, the stiffness was gone. Yes, I did what I wanted to do, just finish, but the course is brutal and I had really just started riding the mountain bike again a few weeks ago.

It was fun and by some mutual desire to ride this race with Todd Conaway

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Alan Levine

who finished in grand form, and snagged his own 106. I think he was done by the time I got to the water tank, not even up to the last climb over the mountain.

I ended up having to push the bike up the severe trail climbs, but managed to stay alive on the screaming downhill into Strawberry… where it was hard not to think I could have just cruised across Fossil Creek Road back to my house.

The rest of the trail drop into Pine was even more brutal, completely unridable by me on Trail 15, with crazy plunges and rocky climbs seemingly uphill while going downhill… I had to walk most of that, plus was dealing with some continually bottoming out of blood sugar.

I crossed the line. Yes that’s what counts. But it feels a bit demoralizing. My body hurt as much or more than when I ran a marathon, and when you are out there, it looks like everyone is just having so much FUN, while I am trying to survive.


There is only one thing to do.

Get back on it.

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Alan Levine

Maybe next week….

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as @cogdog@cosocial.ca


  1. Great job on the finish! I was hoping to run into you and see if you remembered me (From SCC website development days), but I could not find you… Glad to see you are getting back into the sport, keep it up. I got back in just over 2 years ago, and loving it 🙂

      1. I only did one lap. This was my first race in over 25 years, but I trained pretty hard for it. It was a challenging course, but enjoyable. Next year going to do 2 laps. The important part is to have fun and enjoy yourself and the outdoors!

        I am in Glendale, AZ these days, working as a Web Developer for Wells Fargo. Oh, and I teach part time at SCC 🙂 Glad to hear you are doing well. I will be back out for the race again next year, hope to see you then, or sooner …

        1. I forgot to ask, do you know how I could get my hands on those finish line photos? I would LOVE to have mine and my training partner… I was #53 and he was #48 🙂 I would be super excited to get my hands on them!

          1. Hi Dennis,

            I did not see anyone at the finish line taking pictures and I have not seen mention on FB or on the site where they say that was happening anywhere on the course. Sad. It did see someone taking some images with big fancy camera on that damn tricky downhill between Strawberry and Pine? maybe they will show up?

            I took the images of Alan at the finish.

            See you next year!

  2. As I was reading this I definitely could of wrote this too. My one lap consisted of a flat and tube change at mile 10.5 (luckily I was prepared, but every rider going by offered there sincere help ). This outpouring of help was awesome to a newbie racer as myself. In the single track that followed up to the finish I could feel the tightness in the muscles of my thighs to the point that the single track climbs were too painful and I pushed on walking up the climbs. By the time finish was almost in sight , I took a few minutes and sat by my bike legs crisscrossed waiting for thigh cramps to go away. Once they had subsided , I got back on the bike for a slight uphill and turned the corner for the “splash zone ” which felt amazing. As I looked right from there , the words “do you want a beer ?” rang out and I , of course , obliged and rode off to the finish ending my lap. Thank you to all the racers to offered their help and will be back again !

  3. Brutal ride…Can’t believe the mad CogDog and Ol’ Harchet Jack went for a run on the Rim. I haven’t done any tough mountain bike rides for a while but if memory serves me right all of the leg muscles were on fire! Glad to see you are still pushing the envelopes of life. Kudos for all of the gumption required.

  4. Great to see the mad Cogdog and Ol’ Hatchet Jack runnin’ down & up the Rim. Looks like a grueling and brutal bike ride. I haven’t been on my mountain bike for a while but I do remember leg cramps and burning muscles…no wonder they call it Fire on the Rim…it’s your muscles they are referring to. Kudos to you for always pushing the envelopes in life.

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