Monday, January 31, 2011

Fatty Time vs. Ned Overend Time

It's Fatty Time!
From kayaking in Key Largo, hiking in Breckenridge, riding a Volcano in Maui, no matter what endeavor you choose or wherever it is, undoubtedly you’ll been exposed to Fatty Time.  Chances are you’ll kick its ass.  That was the case for us while on vacation in Key Largo last week.  (Now you know why the blog’s been dormant for a week.)

As an endurance athlete, we’re all used to doing outdoor activities for hours and hours.  Consequently we look for similar activities while on vacation.  If you can’t do three hours on a road bike at home, you look to do three hours on a beach cruiser, three hours in a kayak, three hours hiking on the trail.  The problem is that the quoted times for vacation activities aren’t given in fit-person time, it’s Fatty Time. 

All Hail King Ned
There’s been only one time where I was actually quoted a time for an outdoor activity where I couldn’t even come close to touching it.  That was in Albuquerque, on Sandia Peak.  Apparently way way way back in the day when I had a Proflex with purple anodized parts, they held a hill climb on Sandia Peak and pro mountain bike guru Ned Overend won (on what now would be a sad excuse for a Specialized bike.)  Our trip was back in the early 90’s.  We went to visit a friend who worked for Intel in Albuquerque.  I’m not sure if the signs are still posted, but as we climbed the trail to the summit, along the way we were reminded of how much we sucked.  The signs read, “Ned’s Time 35 minutes.”  Foolishly I looked at my computer.  It read 55 minutes.  On and on, Ned's gap grew to nearly an hour at the top.  Even when I was in my late 20’s, Ned was killing me.  He still can.

Conversely to Ned’s Time, I was quoted Fatty Time in Key Largo last week.  We rented sea kayaks at John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park.  The guide at the kayak rental place quoted us 1 ½ to 2 hours to complete a trail carved out through the mangrove swamp along the ocean.  For four cabin fever plagued Cincinnatians, we couldn’t sign the waiver fast enough for a two hour outdoor adventure under sunny skies in 75 degree weather.  We set off zigging and zagging our way up and down three channels, snapping photos and playing bumper boats.  We sprinted for buoys.  We had a blast and covered every inch of trail and probably a few places we weren’t supposed to paddle through.  We docked the boats.  Less than an hour had passed.

Dammit.  We were quoted Fatty Time.

Haleakala Downhill Dorks
Ya see, Fatty Time is a time quoted for an outdoor activities based on how fast the average tourist can complete the activity.  It takes 2 hours for the average tourist to kayak the mangroves in Key Largo. quotes 5-6 hours to complete an 18 mile downhill bike ride from the top of Haleakala to the sea.  Most of the people who read this blog can ride a slight grade uphill for 18 miles in under an hour.  I haven’t kayaked for 2 years.  I get sea sick in open water.  I am the tourist kayak king of Key Largo. 

When booking activities on vacation always keep Fatty Time and the following in mind.  The average tourist takes the car from the hotel room to the front desk to get fresh towels.  The average tourist has barely enough endurance to walk the aisles at a grocery store.  The average tourist doesn’t bring their own bike helmets and running shoes on vacation.  The average tourist can’t swim the length of the hotel pool.  The next time you rent a bike, hike a trail or kayak, remember to ask, “…now is that Ned's Time or Fatty Time.”  

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