I Am a Bike Murderer

09.3.2005 | 6:08 pm

OK, the contest is over, and now it’s time to choose a random number to see who won yesterday’s Fat Cyclist Sweepstakes.

And the random number is…

(Sound of virtual roulette wheel spinning)

…The excitement is killing me….


Congratulations to Jen, who — due to her generous $50 pledge — not only gets the bracelet she’s excited to have my wife make, but also gets a $100 amazon.com gift certificate from me. Nice return on investment, eh?

By way of interesting coincidence, Jen emailed me a few weeks ago urging me to use some charitable purpose as my new weight loss carrot. So I couldn’t be happier that she’s the lucky winner. And while the weight loss aspect of this carrot kind of…um…failed, my friends, family, and blog buddies have helped raise $1034 to help fight MS. That’s very cool. Thanks, everyone.



Yesterday, Bob and I went mountain biking on Tiger Mountain. Unlike most people, we like to ride up the technical singletrack. Technical climbing is in fact what most of the people I ride with do best.

It was a great day for riding. It was overcast, but not rainy. The temperature was probably in the high 60s. There were few riders on the trail.

So Bob and I did the first section of the trail, climbing over logs, threading rocks, and just having a great time.

We stopped at a blackberry bush and ate handfuls of the ripe berries, then started up the second part of the trail.

The friends I ride with have a "three-try" rule for technical moves. You are allowed/required to try technical moves three times before moving on. Bob and I stopped at a tall rock ledge at the end of a switchback. Bob had tried it twice and failed. I was on my second try. And while I rarely clean a technical move in three tries, I still play along, hoping that magically, someday, my technical bike skills will blossom.

So I rode up to the ledge, wheelied to get my front wheel up top, and lunged forward. Not good enough. My bike and I started tipping backward. Arms pinwheeling, I jumped back, clicking out of my pedals. I spun around in the air and — amazingly — landed on my feet.

I was so proud of my miraculous save that I struck a gymnast’s dismount pose: Both arms high in the air, feet together. Big smile. Turn and face the audience and bow.

Bob pointed to my bike. "Was that there before?"

No, I can confidently say that was not there before. While I was saving myself, my bike sailed a good ways through the air and landed — top tube down — on a sharp rock.

Ew. I don’t think I can ride that with confidence anymore.

So, my trusty Paragon is dead. On the one hand, I’m seriously bummed. On the other hand: Yay, time for a new bike!


PS to smart bike company marketing types: Want some great publicity from a cyclist with a blog readership of 25,000 per week, as well as a column in cyclingnews.com? All it will cost you is a mountain bike. Contact fatty@fatcyclist.com. Thank you.


  1. Comment by Michael | 09.3.2005 | 10:43 pm

    Elden didn’t you know that you are supposed to fall under your bike and take the hit to stop it from getting scratched??? Good luck procuring a bike sponsor. Is this going to be the beginning of a career as Elden the bicycle reviewer?

  2. Comment by tayfuryagci | 09.3.2005 | 10:47 pm

    hey elden good luck finding a sponsor. hope you get a good bike.

  3. Comment by Ariane | 09.3.2005 | 11:09 pm

    Oompf… Is that a cable I see dangling there so much like a severed tendon?

  4. Comment by Christina | 09.3.2005 | 11:40 pm

    Bummer about the bike. Just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your blog. It’s hilarious. ~The Beast Mom

  5. Comment by Unknown | 09.4.2005 | 3:15 am

    I’m simply amazed you weren’t physically maimed yourself! And I also hope someone has the smarts to give you a wonderful new bike!BTW…. that Russell Wrankle pottery is some really gorgeous stuff… so I thank you for that link! Nice website, too.

  6. Comment by Jodi | 09.4.2005 | 3:25 am

    hey puffy bruddah…it’s hard to keep up with blogs when i’m not at work and i hope my boss never reads that sentence. anyway, i’m catching up tonight, right now, and i gotta say i’m proud of what you’re doing. not so much the falling off the bike as the MS stuff. good on you. (no seriously, there’s some good on you, right below your lip). uh, do you really have a readership of 25 thousand per week? wow. you’re doing all right for being the fat guy on the block. cooooool. oh yeh, and velveeta? how can something so good be so bad? the way it melts is heavenly. bye!

  7. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 09.4.2005 | 6:02 am

    a.toad – yep, rear derailleur cable snapped as part of the gymnastics routine. i give much for my art.beastmom – loved your news story on the tour de 8 miles of redmond. i can see i’d better get the twins bikes.michael – you’ve got a whole bunch of weird junk over your vowels. please investigate.tayfur…etc. – that appeal for free bikeage was one of those half-jokes. i don’t really expect someone to up and offer me a bike. that said, i certainly wouldn’t decline. errorista – did i say 25,000? i meant 25 *billion.*musemonkey – believe me, if i had gotten even a trivial scratch, i would have played it up with all kinds of drama.

  8. Comment by Robert | 09.4.2005 | 3:32 pm

    As the only eyewitness to the event, I would like to point out that FC’s story is mostly accurate. Funny how memory works, but while the Fat Cyclist claims the accident occurred on a steep pitch, I remember it happening in the parking lot, when he was startled by a squirrel.

  9. Comment by Suzanna | 09.4.2005 | 3:39 pm

    Bummer about your bike. My husband and I went bike shopping on Saturday and he purchased a Trek 7300 at Greggs. Bikes have changed so much since either of us rode one, pretty amazing!

  10. Comment by Unknown | 09.4.2005 | 6:55 pm

    seriously, you like to ride up the hill? up? are you insane? who does that? crazy people, that’s who. and bob does this too? and you’re fat? how can you be fat, and ride up the hill?

  11. Comment by Kenny | 09.5.2005 | 3:02 am

    you, crash … I can’t imagine that. Better to sacrifice your top tube than your face, ie. fallmoab2003. May I suggest you replace your paragon with a paragon. Take your frame to your nearest fisher dealer and see what they can do. The 2006 paragon is a sweet ride with juicy 7 avid discs. I believe the frame is yellow and the 2niner wheels will help you roll over those big technical ups that made you crash in the first place.

  12. Comment by Unknown | 09.5.2005 | 3:18 am

    No offense Eldon but maybe that bike committed suicide. It looks like it’s had a long, hard life.

  13. Comment by Wendy | 09.5.2005 | 3:46 am

    My husband has been following your blog and quite a few of my neighbors too! You are inspiring and have a great sense of humor!!

  14. Comment by Unknown | 09.5.2005 | 3:48 am

    speaking of squirrels, bob, remember that one you ran over up south fork? and that deer you hit? you’re a menace. or you used to be anyway.

  15. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 09.5.2005 | 4:23 am

    steve – my bike rack is to blame for most of the scratching you see there. it clamps down on the top tube and does a good job of ruining paint jobs. but yeah, that bike has also seen more than its fair share of wrecks.queenmckim – i’m going to need some clarity on how i’m inspiring. you mean i’m inspiring you to destroy your bike? or to miss your weight loss goals? to post embarassing pictures of yourself on the internet? i’m not sure i am the right kind of inspiration for anyone.kenny – yeah, i guess the fact that i crashed (again) isn’t going to exactly shock anyone i’ve ridden with. you did just give me an idea for tomorrow’s blog post, though. thanks!dug – you are barely 22% as churlish as usual. buck up, man.

  16. Comment by Christina | 09.5.2005 | 5:26 pm

    I think "inspiring" is a good word actually. Inspiration to laugh anyway… I wrote about you on my blog today b/c you do inspire me in some demented, strange way. But in a GOOD demented, strange way. Really.-Beast Mom

  17. Comment by kris | 09.6.2005 | 1:51 pm

    Can I send you my Stumpjumper so you can ruin that too? I can’t justify a new bike to the wife when this one has carried me through two Leadville 100’s, but I’m POSITIVE that you can make it go away. That’s a shameless plug for a new bike. I like it!!

  18. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 09.6.2005 | 2:15 pm

    kj – that’s an excellent idea for a little side business. Fat Cyclist: Bikes Wrecked, Excuses Made


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