If there’s one thing that all cyclists have in common, it’s a love of food. Not just any food, but good, hearty, rich, down-home cooking. Local race promoter, André J. “Frenchy” Rheault, explains how he came up with the Fat Alleycat concept.
Back in the mid 70’s, when I was working as an air traffic controller at Webb Air Force Base in Big Spring, TX, I was constantly managing complex and takeoff situations, and it gave me a knack for managing risk. Once my lawn business became my main job, I missed that excitement and energy of safely guiding all these complex elements, so I immediately thought, “why don’t I give cyclists a chance to do what they really want: ride really fast between checkpoints, and eat an enormous amount of rich, heavy food. You have all these Clif bars and energy spazzoid drinks, but cyclists completely miss out on the simple enjoyment of ribs or brisket, pints of refreshing ale, the wonderful delights of everyday Texas living. Once I mentioned this idea to my good friend, Lance Armstrong, and he told his good friend, world hot-dog-eating champion Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi, we knew the race would be an international hit and attract serious BBQ aficionados and lycra-clad athletes in droves. As a charity benefit, Lance’s cancer foundation has agreed to manufacture 80,000 BBQStrong bracelets to give away to the expected massive crowds.
After filing street closure permits for various roads around Denton, Frenchy teamed up with local BBQ eateries to design a route between all the checkpoints with maximum gluttony. Starting in South Denton at historic Sweet Y BBQ, the racers have 45 seconds to consume 2 pounds of Grill Masters Choice Smoked Ribs and 2 heaping bowls of mustard greens. Then they begin the race by sprinting on full stomachs to From Tha Heart on South Elm, where they must consume 24 linear inches of delightful sausage. Then, racers climb 2,000 vertical feet to reach Roosters BBQ on Industrial st. Race officials will oversee the two key points of the Industrial street stop: racers must consume a foot long loose-meat po-boy, and 3 pints of Franconia ale at Dan’s Silverleaf. Back on the ultra-light carbon fiber race bikes, grease-fingered cyclists will lay back in the saddle for an endurance stage all the way north to Babe’s Chicken. Once in Sanger at Babe’s, riders will suck down two servings of chicken fried steak and a plate of coconut meringue pie. Back in the saddle, the route winds north to finish in Valley View at Big Fatty’s Spanking Shack. The riders will waddle inside and devour the infamous “El Farto Grande” monstrosity, a macabre culinary weapon of Ricky, the BBQ chef.
Note to prospective racers: pre-race protein-load steak dinner is at 9PM the night before at Prairie House, just east of Denton. All racers must weigh in at the start and finish to prove that they gained at least 2% of total body weight during the race. Reasons for disqualification include vomiting, using silverware, or eating any national chain fast food during the race. Digestive supplements, including Tums and Rolaids, are grounds for race license revocation, and blood-doping lab analysis will search for trace elements of banned substances.