How to Eat Like a Fat Cyclist

09.21.2005 | 8:18 pm

I ride my bike a lot. I ride about 250 miles per week, in fact. That’s enough that I should not have to worry about weight at all. And if I ate like a normal person, I probably wouldn’t.

But I don’t eat like a normal person. My appetite is enormous, and my taste in food is lowbrow, as well as occasionally bizarre. Which means I like cheap, bad food, I like lots of it, and I like some odd combinations.

If you were me, then, here would be your favorite foods.

  • Cold cereal. I am entirely serious when I say that I could happily live on nothing but cold cereal and milk. Honey Bunches of Oats. Cap’n Crunch, in all its incarnations. Honey Nut Cheerios. Count Chocula. Reeses Puffs. Fiber One (yes, really). Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
  • Tortillas. As you will see below, tortillas play a prominent role in many of my other favorite foods. However, let it be said: I like tortillas just plain, too. Warm in the microwave for 20 seconds and serve with Cholula hot sauce. Yum.
  • Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwiches. I have thought — more than once — to myself, that if I had to eat just one thing for every meal for the rest of my life, it would be peanut butter and honey sandwiches. But that’s only true if the bread is from Great Harvest. The white bread, I mean. Don’t pollute my bread with whole grains or sunflower seeds.
  • Burritos: From El Azteca in Provo, UT. Specifically, the Chicken Chipotle burrito. You know, it’s very difficult to have one of your favorite foods be location-based.
  • Peanut Butter, Banana, and Mayonnaise Sandwiches: Everyone wrinkles their noses at this one, and I don’t try to convince anyone to try it. My mom made these for me when I was a kid; I liked them then, I like them now. I can’t get my own kids to try them, though. I think, though, my mom used Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise. My tastes have since matured and I am confident in asserting that Miracle Whip would more appropriately be named Abomination Whip. This is good with a tortilla instead of bread, too.
  • Spaghetti: I eat spaghetti at least three times per week. I make it in enormous batches. For a long time, angel hair was my favorite pasta, but I’ve been favoring bowtie pasta lately. Served with a big spoonful of cottage cheese on top, and more black pepper shaken on it than you would think healthy.
  • Spaghetti Sauce Burrito: Take a tortilla, spread some spaghetti sauce on it, add several dollops of cottage cheese, microwave for 25 seconds, wrap, and try to eat without it spilling all over yourself. Really, is there anything that isn’t good with a tortilla?
  • Bananas. Bananas are the fast food of the fruit and vegetable world. While most fruits have skins, bananas have packaging. They have no hard hidden objects inside you can bite into. And while they don’t have an expiration date per se printed on them, a quick glance tells you when a banana is not yet ripe, when it’s too ripe, and when it’s perfect. Bananas have a mild flavor and soft texture that make them perfect for toddlers, octogenarians, and triathletes. Bananas are good alone, good on cereal, good with ice cream, good in pie. When they get old, they’re good as a baking ingredient. Really, the only thing a banana needs to be perfect is a creamy filling. Bonus banana fact: Most people peel bananas the wrong way, starting at the stem and peeling down.  If you try peeling from the other end, you’ll find two things. First, you can now use the stem as a handle. Second, it’s easier to start peeling at this end. I promise you, your life will be 3% easier if you use this technique.
  • Golden Delicious Apples: Most people think of apples in a very general sense. This is wrongheaded thinking, and must stop immediately. Granny Smith apples are so hard and tart they are generally only eaten on a bet (good in apple cobbler, though). Fuji apples are nice and crisp, but have no more flavor than paper. Golden Delicious apples, however, are both golden and delicious. And while bananas have their own removable packaging, Golden Delicious apples let you eat the packaging. Just polish the apple on the leg of your pants — this is a very effective way of ridding the apple of any germs and pesticides — and enjoy.
  • Scrambled Egg Burrito: I’m proud of the technique I’ve developed in making this. Spray Pam into a cereal bowl, crack a couple eggs into the bowl, pour in a tiny bit of milk, sprinkle salt and pepper in, whip with a fork, and microwave for 2 minutes (1 minute per egg). Flop onto a tortilla (of course) with a little cheese sprinkled on top, microwave for another 10 seconds, add lots of Cholula, wrap and enjoy. My 11-year-old believes this is the best food in the world.
  • Mayonnaise: I may as well admit it: I love mayonnaise. It’s good on everything, and not half bad by itself. I apologize to everyone I just creeped out.

Special Instructions on Eating Like the Fat Cyclist After a Really Big Ride

Eat everything, in any combination. Do not worry about taste. Just fill the void.


Today’s weight: 162.4 lbs. I have been showing remarkable restraint this week.


  1. Comment by Karunya | 09.21.2005 | 8:51 pm

    You are so cute! Your blogs completely crack me. I dont think there is a funny writer out there who is half as funny as you. Did you ever think about writing a book? Where did you go to school?

  2. Comment by Unknown | 09.21.2005 | 8:51 pm

    You have the same problem I do, a love for delicious foods. But a lot of recent studies have shown that the more you eat, and the more flavorful the food, the more you will want to eat as your body thinks it’s a good time to stock up on fat for the upcoming times of starvation during the winter or whatever, unfortunately there never is a time when food is not abundant, so we eat more and our body stores more. A way around this…one is just to keep only bland food in the house. Get rid of anything delicious, just lots of bland rice cakes and stuff, you can still pig out, but you will slowly not want to. Takes some self control too. Supposedly if you drink some vegetable oil between meals you will want to eat less too. I dunno.

  3. Comment by Unknown | 09.21.2005 | 9:13 pm

    :) EEEEWWWWWWWYou know in the military we eat some strange things in some very strange countries to keep alive and even when we are just in the field we have strange concoctions of MRE’S that we have somehow created but, Peanut Butter and Mayonaise thats just wrong, but i got to give you credit your cake sounds awesome im gonna try it out this weekend for our units family day. ps. your to great keep up the great job…

  4. Comment by Steve | 09.21.2005 | 9:58 pm

    "…I like cheap, bad food…"Come on, where are the candy bars, Pop Tarts, Cokes, Ramen noodles, and Doritos?Phil, keeping bland foods around the house and trying to drink oil only make you frequently rush out of the house in desperation to find the cheap, bad food. I know from experience, except for the oil-drinking part.

  5. Comment by Unknown | 09.21.2005 | 10:20 pm

    Your column is super funny, thanks a lot for writing it! I just discovered it yesterday, and have been getting very little work done since. I agree on most of your food choices, especially cereal, and in particular cinnamon toast crunch. I eat a huge bowl every morning. Some nights I go to bed and find it hard to sleep because I am excited about breakfast the next day. Your cycling news columns are really funny also, I like the bit about Heras wearing waders and looking for his favourite fishing hole.

  6. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 09.21.2005 | 10:22 pm

    You weren’t a real bike rider when I started reading your blog. Just a hairy legged gumby to be avoided in group rides.Then you shaved your legs and gained your qualification and my respect. You truly were a bike rider of high esteem.Now you have put yourself back in the wilderness with the poor souls who have hairy legs and squeaky chains.Coke is it. And it is Coke. Some less than obsessive bike riders do have traces of blood in their Cokestream. But that is generally after a layoff due to injury. And Pepsi won’t do. Any true athlete knows that Pepsi is just too gassy to drink in the quantities necessary to sustain life.Your list should have read:1. Coke and bananas 2. Coke and Mars bars (do you have these in the US – chocolate coated caramel & nougat)3. Coke and pastacheersBIG Mike (skinny on the inside)

  7. Comment by Unknown | 09.21.2005 | 10:25 pm

    Fatty,Your diet explains why you have trouble losing wieght, and buddy, it ain’t gonna get easier as you get older. I love crappy food too, but I had to make hard choices and now I do better (mostly). I don’t have a point to make and I know you know all of this, I just like seeing my comments on your blog.

  8. Comment by Daniel | 09.21.2005 | 10:40 pm

    To all the adoring previous commenters enthusing on the general cuteness and crackyness of the Fat Cyclist, I’ve figured it out.You know how Dave Barry ‘retired’ from his regular humour (humor) column?I reckon he subsequently cut his hair, went out and bought some bikes and then decided to make a fake online persona.When the Fat Cyclists starts making oblique references to exploding toilets, we’ll *know*.

  9. Comment by Unknown | 09.21.2005 | 11:02 pm

    1. I too was introduced to peanut butter and bananas as a child. Very disappointed to learn that (most of) the rest of the world never heard of it.2. Mayonaise is the most important food in my kitchen. Use it everywhere you would normally use butter or margarine. And everywhere else too. Mayo and shredded cheddar on hot macaroni makes Mac and Cheese as good as any. Mayo is also great on corn-on-the-cob.3. Miracle Whip. Well, we’ll just leave that one alone. Everyone should.4. Cold cereal is a real treat with International Delight Coffee Creamer — French Vanilla. Second choice: Half & Half. Anything less is just water, so you’re better off eating it dry.

  10. Comment by Daniel | 09.21.2005 | 11:14 pm

    Oh, yeah, and, I mean, like, peanut butter and bananas? Everyone does it. Why, just the other morning, I ate peanut butter on toast with bananas sliced over the top.But putting mayonnaise in there too is just kinda disturbing.

  11. Comment by Unknown | 09.21.2005 | 11:20 pm

    I’m with you on the peanut butter bananas, but hold the mayo and add some honey.I think peanut butter is the power food for american cyclist, in europe its too expensive and hard to find. Tortilla’s are awesome, I dip em in hummus though.With you on cereal.Alright since I too eat like the fat cyclist, am I fat or phat?

  12. Comment by James | 09.21.2005 | 11:48 pm

    Peel the banana from the bottom? I’ll admit it, I’ve never tried it, but I think I feel somebody yanking my chain.Fuji apples – yer just plain wrong. GD’s can compare with the texture of a good, ripe Fuji, and the taste is all that.I only eat peanut butter when I can’t get my Nutella fix. Which is usually, in this country. Also, I’m surprised you didn’t mention the grilled peanut butter sandwich. Legume fat between the slices, animal fat on the outsides, pan fry until golden brown and dripping with peanutty goodness. My neighbor likes those, too.

  13. Comment by Unknown | 09.22.2005 | 12:42 am

    You are big time!I’m scouring the Internet tonight and lok who I see get cited in the Birtish cycling Trade Press. Internet is a mighty fine way to make a name for yourself. Keep up the good work.

  14. Comment by Ariane | 09.22.2005 | 12:45 am

    Argh! I eat bananas with peanutbutter… but with mayo? Like on the same sandwich….together? Aww, dude, borf. Of course, I guess I shouldn’t talk. I drink whey protein, daily, and actually like it (tastes like Ovaltine). Sometimes, I drink it just because I like it. My college peers find this deeply disturbing. And I guess you’re in good company; Elvis used to eat banana and mayo sandwiches too, though I think he fried his, and I don’t think he also used the peanut butter.

  15. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 09.22.2005 | 12:50 am

    kr – i suspect your comment gave dug an aneurysm. i’ve actually written a few books, and i didn’t go to school. i was raised in the wild by ferocious animals. OK, well, actually, I was raised by cuddly panda bears in the city zoo.phil – that might work if i was the only one who lived in this house. however, if the only kind of food i ate was what you talked about, the ranks would riot. with just cause, i might add. and i’m not going to drink vegetable oil between meals. would a spoonful or two of mayonnaise have the same effect?jd – i have no explanation for the peanut butter/mayo/banana thing. and yet, i love it with all my heart.steve – you make an excellent point. i like everything you mentioned, as well as most everything ever made by Hostess. the things i’ve listed, though, are the things i actually live on day-to-day. i probably should have listed pizza, though. and i for SURE should have listed diet coke with lime. i think that may be the best soda ever. i go through a 2-liter bottle every – if kr didn’t give dug an aneurysm, you did for sure. thanks!big mike – we have mars bars but i think they may be different in the US. my favorite candy is the reeses peanut butter cup. i got the jersey and everything. and you know, sugared soda doesn’t really do much for me. i like diet coke, and not as a matter of it being lower cal, but as a matter of the texture and taste.jimserotta – nag, nag, nag.dan – have you ever considered the discipline dave barry had to write that much comedy? that guy was a machine. i challenge you: try a peanut butter/banana/mayo sandwich, then get back to me.dumbengineer – you’re phat if you’re 25 or younger. otherwise you’re fat. i tried hummus for the first time a couple months ago. it’s good, and it’s probably not quite as insensitive a food as a ham-n-bagel sandwichjim (the not-jimserotta-one) – coffee creamer on cereal? you just made my head explode. we see eye to eye on mayo and Abomination Whip, though.james – i wasn’t kidding about the banana peeling tip. try it. and the good thing about our divergent apple preferences is that if we ever ride together i don’t have to worry about you stealing my delicious apples, and you don’t have to worry about me stealing your papier-mache-flavored apples. nutella is to peanut butter as crack is to cocaine. it’s like an order of magnitude tastier. i have not problem getting it, but don’t, because i know for sure i would just go home and eat the entire jarful. i have actually done this. in one sitting. i need help.

  16. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 09.22.2005 | 1:04 am

    james – i will absolutely try the grilled pb sandwich, by the way. that’s my kind of food.steve – hey, thanks for pointing that out. i’ll have to send carlton a check.a.toad – "borf?" that sounds like something the swedish chef would say. "Pudda chicken inna panna, borf borf borf borf borf." i’m trying to picture how to fry mayonnaise and bananas without the mayonnaise sliding off, but i just can’t see it. i suppose that’s why elvis was the king, while i’m just a fat cyclist.

  17. Comment by Unknown | 09.22.2005 | 1:07 am

    *Peanut butter & banana sandwich? check*Mayo & banana sandwich? check – that was considered a treat in my family – white bread only for this; whole wheat just doesn’t have the same effect*Peanut butter & mayo & banana sandwich? can’t quite see all of them together, but I’ll eat just about anything, once, if it’s a combination of "real" foods, so I think I’ll give it a try

  18. Comment by pete | 09.22.2005 | 1:47 am

    When it comes to tortillas, you want to keep it simple. One tortilla, some grated Cheddar, one microwave, cold meat of your choice to taste (optional.) Assemble, irradiate and consume.However, if you want an apple it simply has to be a Granny Smith as anything else is mushy and tasteless. If you think they’re sour, try stealing a few crab-apples from an old lady’s garden (only acceptable behaviour up to the age of twelve.)I will attempt to eat a banana the wrong way round tomorrow. If I fall off and small children laugh at me, expect to hear from my lawyer.

  19. Comment by Unknown | 09.22.2005 | 2:11 am

    You are definitely da bomb, kiddo!Tortillas are one of my main foods and they are usually very healthy because they are complex carbo. I rarely eat bread, but when I do, it’s just one cheap brand of oat bread that doesn’t have the cardboard texture. Anything is good wrapped in a tortilla, including any kind of leftovers.Try those "bland" rice cakes with avocado on top and even cottage cheese on top of that. BTW, it’s illegal in some counties to eat cottage cheese without a lot of black pepper. I recently found out that they put SALT in those rice cakes now and they are really good even plain, if you can even FIND a plain rice cake. Try the brown rice or wild rice ones from Henry’s or TJ’s.Diet Coke is baaaaaaaad. I drank it for 20 years and had clinical depression for 20 years. It stopped a week after I stopped the diet coke and never returned. But if they are putting Splenda in it now, it may not be as bad except who knows the long-term effects of Splenda? (Lecture, lecture, lecture, blah, blah, blah…LOL!)Try dipping your tortillas in a bit of olive oil, maybe with a bit of kosher salt in it. I use it almost exclusively, for cooking and even on vegetables instead of b-u-t-t-e-r and I’m an addict now. My cholesterol numbers are always gorgeous… my doctor admires them often.If you ever get a chance, have an Arkansas Black apple. Try a black, you’ll never go back. Golden’s are truly the best, and the only ones that don’t get so brown so immediately after you cut them. They are, however, overripe when they are golden. Try one that is just starting to turn.I believe PB, Banana and mayo sandwich may be another LDS thing, because I’ve known about it all my life. We used to use the Dreaded Miracle Whip but much prefer mayo since our tastes matured. Try rubbing it on fish before baking or barbecue, to keep it nice and moist. Same game with mustard for roasts, steaks, etc. I hate mustard but I like meat cooked this way.I always liked Dave Barry but I think you are far better. I think you have far more facets, far more depth, and there’s more humanity in the things you write. I think what I’m saying is that you are not only a great writer but, goshdarnit, people like you!Hugs,MuMo

  20. Comment by agreenmouther | 09.22.2005 | 2:34 am

    I am actually incapable of peeling a banana from the stem down. Upon discovering that you could go from the other end at about age 10 (apparently I was a slow learner with regards to fruit), my life improved immensely. Imagine if I still had to ask someone to peel my banana every morning still?

  21. Comment by Unknown | 09.22.2005 | 4:27 am

    been gone all day, just read this, can hardly type, brain exploding. better than dave barry? so cute? i must now go visit the castle arrrghhhhh.

  22. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 09.22.2005 | 5:57 am

    I forgot about the diet coke reference. Here’s something to watch for, depending on your volume of consumption. I was 5′8" 160 pounds before "the crash". Pre-crash I was training 3-400 miles/week with about 3 hours of that on the velodrome. Post-crash I kept up the calories but not the training (some bulls**t about my legs not being attached to my brain due to the back injury). It took from March to December to go from 160 pounds to 275. And I was still on 5′8". I switched from Coke to Diet Coke to combat the surge. Within 6 weeks I was down to 245 but had to be hospitalised with chemically induced epilepsy and amnesia from the artificial sweetners. The liver can only process a limited volume of sacharine and the rest accumulates until it reachs a critical concentration and starts shutting down parts of your brain.Coke? Diet Coke? Hmmmm? I’m fat but I’m alive.Isn’t biology a cheerful subject?cheersBIG Mike (skinny on the inside)

  23. Comment by Cuddlydoll | 09.22.2005 | 6:10 am

    I’m a native Utahn, recently relocated to Arizona. As if your blog doesn’t make me homesick enough you had to bring in El Azteca, the best place to eat in Provo. Althought I usually go for the chili verde burrito while my husband is a sucker for the nachos. Thanks for the blog.P.S. I peel bananas the right way.

  24. Comment by tayfuryagci | 09.22.2005 | 11:37 am

    that mayo sandwich took my life. I’m now in a dimension where matter does not exist and only cause of being is to have a nasty nausea. oops maybe it was the shroom and not the mayo :DD

  25. Comment by Unknown | 09.22.2005 | 1:40 pm

    My Swedish grandmother taught me the best snack in the world when I was little. A slice of white bread, lathered with softened salted butter (no substitutions!) and sprinkled generously with sugar, mmmm.Mayo is a great substitue for ketchup with French Fries, especially with pepper on them.

  26. Comment by Unknown | 09.22.2005 | 6:51 pm

    You eat what you eat and in the same breath assert that because you eat mayo vs. Miracle Whip, that your food tastes have matured? Hmmm….lessee, Count Chocula, spaghetti burritos, pb/b/m sandwiches, how old are you again? I am certain that all of the finery Seattle eateries include all of the above, and more for the refined palates fo the perpetual adolescent…..

  27. Comment by Unknown | 09.22.2005 | 7:09 pm

    …oops…I realize that my censure looses some fizz when the errors bleed out as they are wont to do. What I meant to say was that the finer Seattle eateries include all of the above and more for the refined palates of the perpetual adolescent…..

  28. Comment by Lorie | 09.22.2005 | 7:54 pm

    Fill a tortilla with refried beans and cheese, then drop it in a pan full of oil till it is nice and golden brown….MMMMMM good! :o)My father likes peanut butter and banana sandwiches (no mayo, though…maybe I should suggest it to him?!) My downfall is pasta. I LOVE pasta. But, my doctor has told me that if I don’t lose weight, I will be diabetic in 5 years time. I’m now on a weight loss quest.Keep up the good work! I enjoy reading your entries!

  29. Comment by Unknown | 09.22.2005 | 8:17 pm

    Peanut butter and maple syrup sandwiches!! mmmmmmmm yummy. That’s one of my favs of all time. I am also a pasta freak. Can’t get enough. It’s also one of the reasons I can’t get down to the weight I want to be at.

  30. Comment by Unknown | 09.22.2005 | 11:29 pm

    OK – tried it:*peeled the banana from the "wrong" end — works much better*tried PB, Miracle Whip & banana sandwich — not bad, but not my cup o’ tea; still prefer one or the other of the condiments, but not the two togetherNow I’ve got to try everybody’s tortilla suggestions.

  31. Comment by Unknown | 09.23.2005 | 1:30 am

    Nice post. I’m kind of like an overweight linebacker, moving in your thin direction pretty quickly. I only have time to put in 150 – 200 per week, but I am still eating *a lot* and losing weight. It’s a good feeling, but I’m still an awful chow hound, and I sympathize with you Fat C. over your bad habits. One of the weird things for me is the constant eating on rides. If I keep eating, I can keep riding indefinitely. And I keep losing weight. If I don’t eat – a little before, a little during, a bit afterwards, I don’t seem to lose weight as fast. Weird. A small tube of nuts every 30 miles or so keeps me going, along with a blast of sugar (like a frisbee-sized cookie) every 50 miles or so. And all the gatorade, slightly watered down, I can drink. What’s really weird, is sitting at breakfast in the morning, eating some shredded wheat (which I love in spite of its healthiness), a fat smear of brie on some grainy dense bread, and an apple, and thinking that I’d better remember to eat a croissant with my coffee at 10, and a maybe a candybar with my sandwich/fruit lunch and an apple or two when I get home – otherwise I won’t have the gas to do my 30 mile loop after work. It’s a pretty cool sport, where a fat guy has to remind himself to eat more, in order to ride faster and longer to lose more weight. Hey, can somebody pass me the guacamole? And a beer? And a whack of peanut butter on a spoon? I’m tryin’ to lose some weight here…

  32. Comment by Unknown | 09.23.2005 | 3:27 am

    yeah but have you tried the raw tortilla dough from Costco? Bring em home, cook them on the frying pan. Sooooo good.Peanut Butter and Pickle sandwich. Also, very good.

  33. Comment by Sun Goddess | 10.14.2005 | 7:42 pm

    Hey have you ever tried mayo on french fries? I tried it once and I’m hooked. I no longer have the typical American need for ketchup with fries.

  34. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 10.14.2005 | 8:19 pm

    WiseLittleCHANELonFIRE – why, yes i have tried mayo with fries. the only thing in the world better is when you first melt cheddar cheese on those fries, and then eat said cheesy fries with mayo and barbecue sauce. this is something you can actually order at the Training Table restaurant. highly recommend. fine dining to be sure.


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