How Not to Buy a Bike

08.23.2005 | 6:38 pm

Recently, my friend Rick put up an ad on a local online marketplace to sell his Bianchi EV2 — The "Pantani Special," we all call it. Evidently, Rick’s thinking about an Orbea. As you might expect, the jokers who want to "buy" expensive merchandise using a phony cashier’s check or money order came out of the woodwork.

They shouldn’t have.

Rick’s got a wicked sense of humor. He’s played practical jokes that people involved still talk about ten years later; the dopes sending their form letters never stood a chance.

Here are a few of the e-mail exchanges:


Buyer #1: Doroth Blake Is So Interested in Rick’s Goods

Here’s Doroth Blake’s obviously non-form (ha) letter. You can tell she spent a lot of time making sure Rick believed she was speaking directly to him:

    am so interested in your goods hope there are in goods condition, please kindly reply me if you are willing to sell for me and my mode of payment is money order .
phone number ………………..
fax number………..
willing to here from you to conclude the transaction

I for one don’t see a problem. Do you? I have no idea why Rick sent the following reply:


Doroth Blake. Are you sure your name not good Blake Doroth? That making more good cents to me. You are so interested in my goods. This is good. It is good when you are interested in my goods. I can sell my goods to you for a good price of $1,400 and save you good $50–this is equally good. I am so happy to receive good cash from you when you can send me and I can send my goods. Please put a nice wrapper around my good pile of cash and label them "Good Cash for a Good Boy for His Good Bike," and send them to me. 

I am so happy to wait for it,

Good buy

Buyer #2: Mr. Paul Wants a {Bike}

You know, if you’re not even willing to delete the placeholder brackets, your heart’s not really in the scam, is it? Here’s Mr. Paul Crane’s purchase offer:

Greetings to you, My name is Mr Paul, i saw your {Bianchi EV2 Aluminum 2001, 53cm, Record $1450} placed on advert, and it suits what i have been looking for since a very long time,based on the description i have decided to  buy it from you, i’ll also like to know your last asking price and to see the pics also. I am presently not in the country, i am in UK on a business trip,So i will like to ask you if you accept to be payed with  via us Certifier Money Order? If that is accepted by you, kindly mail me back with details:
Best Regard
Mr Paul Crane

I think we can all take a lesson from the courtesy and poetry Rick shows in his reply.

Great Mr. Crane–we have a deal. I know you have been looking for this bike for a very long time. I know this will be your best bike. In fact, I will reduce the price to $1,350. I will accept payment in cash ($100 dollar bills). I know you will come back to the US from a business trip to the UK. When you come back, you can bring me the cash and I will give you super Bianchi, which is the greatest bike in all the land. I shall be proud Mr. Paul Crane. By the way, I have a friend named Paul and a friend named Crane but neither of these friends has a Bianchi. Therefore, neither of these two will enjoy the sensations of riding the best. You will. The water is cool and warm. It is refreshing and sometimes delicious. A Bianchi can ride and when it will be paid in cash it will fly without boundaries or limitations.

Mr. Woody P. Ecker 

Buyers #3 – 20: What are the Odds?

The world’s a funny place. Almost anything can happen. Rick has received, so far, about 20 of these very similar offers. I, for one, believe they’re all genuine. Rick does, too. But that leaves him with a real stickler. Which of these fabulous offers should he go with? With the wisdom of Solomon, Rick sent the following e-mail to everyone:

Hello Bernard, James, Lyone, Mary, Micky, Mr Crane, and ninos,

You will not believe this. I am surprised because you all have very similar offers for my goods. Below are the emails I received from all of you with the same offer–like I said, I can’t believe my eyes! I can’t believe that you are geographically separated but your emails are so similar! How can this be? I remain surprised! So surprised that you all use Yahoo too. Yahoo is a very good email program and you know it.

As a solution, I have set the price for my goods at $7,432. I am very excited because this amount will enable me to purchase an even better replacement bike and also purchase a five-year supply of tubes, handlebar tape, high-end lubrication, and a neon bike flag. I am surprised and excited. The first person to deliver cash - US Dolla Dolla bills y’all may claim the goods. Cashier Cheque will not claim the goods because I do not have access to a bank that will cash your cashier cheque. So figure out a way to get me $7,432 in US Dollars.

Please work together as a team to determine who will receive my goods. I am surprised and excited to learn which of you will claim my goods.

As a side note, I like all of your signatures very much. I especially like the kind words included by your email providers. My favorite one is from Mary. Mary’s says, Tired of Spam? I know this is a joke because Spam is super delicious and nutritious. I have many friends who eat much Spam. Hey, have you seen the Spam website: Thanks Mary–perhaps you will get my goods for your clever signature! Perhaps you can bookmark



Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby declare: Rick rules.


Today’s weight: 166.0 lbs.


Bonus Claim of Fat Cyclist Fraud: Eric Gunnerson, whose name I sometimes drop when I want people to think I’m smart, has a Fat Cyclist consipacy theory.


  1. Comment by Unknown | 08.23.2005 | 8:21 pm

    What a great site! My brother lost 25 lbs. when he got back into riding, and at 42 he looks 32. Keep it up! You’ve inspired me to run today. Thanks! -Sandy

  2. Comment by Unknown | 08.23.2005 | 8:51 pm


  3. Comment by Heavenzeye | 08.23.2005 | 9:01 pm

    You’ve inspired me to keep on keep’n on…and on and on. I too am a bit plumpy so I had to read..and read. I blame you and your site for halting my work day and causing me to jet my eyeballs down the screen for my whole after-lunch-break :) thank you & I hope you reach your goals! I won’t quit today with mine! ~~have fun riding!~~*golf claps out*

  4. Comment by Nichole | 08.23.2005 | 9:32 pm

    be ready for more visits to your Space, FC. on wednesday, we’re planning to point a headline on at What’s Your Story? , featuring you, of course. :-). enjoy!

  5. Comment by Jodi | 08.23.2005 | 9:55 pm

    OHMYGOSH!What are you going to wear? You don’t want to look too fancy like you’re needy or anything, but still….a headline on doesn’t come every day so you can’t just show up in your oldest lycra. I suggest something daring that says "look at me, read me, in my entirety". That something includes lipstick, fatty. Now go prance about like a chubby peacock.

  6. Comment by Unknown | 08.23.2005 | 9:56 pm

    That’s funny. I have very good proposal for you. I could start ride my bike from here towards Spokane, you do same. Then you pay me 1,000 US dollas for meeting you there. Deal? (You may be asking yourself, "What’s in it for me?" – The answer is nothing monetary, just the chance to meet me in person, which, admittedly, is not worth anything close to $1,000)I’m crossing my fingers for the Amazon money this week. (Since you’ve hit your goal, what are the chances of you going up from 166? That’s so selfish on my part, I know.) It seems that many people don’t realize that you named your blog when you began your journey to improve your health, and that you did so when you were 25 pounds heavier than you are today. You may have to find a better way to feature that reality, just to keep the Fat Cyclist title working…

  7. Comment by Ariane | 08.23.2005 | 10:54 pm

    Dude, sweet. In the three words "prancing chubby peacock" you’ve created a phrase that will really never lose that certain je ne sais quoi. I think it will give equal enjoyment every time i hear it.

  8. Comment by shannan | 08.24.2005 | 2:51 am

    Great space…keep up the good work. Congrats on the space recognition!

  9. Comment by Unknown | 08.24.2005 | 4:35 am

    you should write a fake news story about lance armstrong. you’ll get lots of hits, er, page views. it’ll be FUNNY!! and A LAUGH RIOT!!!i’ve decided you are a fraud. fat cyclist my arse. tell these people who you really are. you’ve never been fat even when i used to drag your butt up tibble fork with a bungee cord (this was before your days as a doper). and since then you’ve done what, 100 leadville 100s, 10 brian head 100s, 5 24 hours of moabs, including once on a two man team, run 3 marathons, jeez, what else? you know what you are? you are wannabee fat. you’re a fat poser. you’re like that guy in fight club who went to the support groups so he could feel loved and supported. you’ve got lots of chubby folks here cheering you on. AND YOU’RE NOT EVEN FAT! oh the humanity.hey, i was wondering, did you ever seek counseling from that counselor sister of yours for your (alleged) doping habit? do you have her number?

  10. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 08.24.2005 | 6:15 am

    >you should write a fake news story about lance >armstrong. you’ll get lots of hits, er, page views. it’ll be >FUNNY!! and A LAUGH RIOT!!!ok, fine. i will. churl.

  11. Comment by Unknown | 08.24.2005 | 12:59 pm

    Dude, what a great story- I too am a fat cyclist! Last September I was at 220 lbs, which on a 5′9” frame, i think is a tad worse than 190 on 5′7”, but then i started running, and later got a Trek 1500 and started biking, and eventually started training for and running triathlons, and now I’m at 168 lbs, with just a few more lbs to go. Didn’t do anything quite as cool about the journey though- man, i should start blogging! :D thanks for the site- it’s hilarious!

  12. Comment by pete | 08.24.2005 | 1:14 pm

    Dude, I genuinely have no idea what the f@#k today’s post is supposed to be about. I assume this is some kind if bizarre US scam thing?

  13. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 08.24.2005 | 2:09 pm

    cosh, maybe i should have given more background. it’s very common right now for people in other countries to prowl around online web auctions and offer full price for big-ticket items, saying they’ll pay with a cashier’s check or money order. by the time you discover the check/order is fake, they’ve got whatever it is you’re selling. these are examples of those scammers at work, and ricky’s replies to them. make more sense now?

  14. Comment by Unknown | 08.24.2005 | 2:21 pm

    we are taking offense that you think offers not good.however we overlook and make offer for fat cyclist.a cashiers check for $3.45, and a tub of honey is in the mailplease send him to us when money is received.resgards,Bernard, James, Lyone, Mary, Micky, Mr Crane, and ninos

  15. Comment by Joelma | 03.29.2006 | 3:46 am

    YOU ARE THE   #1


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