As The World’s Most Authoritative Bike-Related Blogging Voice, I Answer Readers’ Email

12.13.2005 | 6:41 pm

Well, it’s about time I get a little respect.

I am, according to — a very accurate index of blogs — the #1 most authoritative blogger on bikes in the entire world.

And to think that until now, I just thought I was some dorky, middle-aged, overweight guy who wrote nonsense to himself.

Now I know better. Now I know I am Important. I capitalized and italicized "Important" on purpose, because I’m not just authoritative, I’m the most authoritative. I am, indeed, Authoritative with a capital "A."

To recap: I am Important and Authoritative.

But don’t worry. I won’t let this Importance go to my head. I still intend to communicate with the little people. In fact, to show how open and friendly I am — my Importance and Authoritativenessicity notwithstanding — I will, today, answer electronic mail from my adoring fans.

I want to be clear: while I have removed names and altered language so that I can continue to feel comfortable about my children reading this blog, these are real messages sent to me at my electronic mail address, which my publicist tells me is


Letter #1: An Important Correction

Subject: I think that your estimate of the number of cyclists in the US is wrong

Message: I was reading your article regarding the potential Lance movie. Your estimate of only 6000 cyclists in the US cannot be even close. I marshal many events in the NYC metro area. At the MS Manhattan ride we typically have more than 5000 cyclists. At "Bike NY" we typically have more than 30,000 cyclists. I know that NYC is a large city, but 6000 cyclists in entire US??? I acknowledge that if you intended to say 600,000, that would still mean that the movie was playing to a very small audience.

However, 6000 is definitely not accurate.


The Fat Cyclist Replies: You’re absolutely right, Stephen. I apologize. To refresh other readers’ memory, I said, in my Important, Authoritative article Suggestions for the Lance Armstrong Movie, "There are only about 6,000 cyclists in America, Lance. And this statistic is no less alarming even when you take into consideration that I just made it up."

What I should have said is, "There are exactly 6,418 cyclists in America, Lance…." This would have better followed the first rule of bicycling comedy: "When being ridiculously absurd, be as specific as possible."


Letter #2: A Simple Miscommunication

Editor’s note: I had to change a few words on this letter, which troubles me, since I’m afraid the letter loses a little of the "local color" feel it originally had. Changed words are indicated in purple.

Subject: Hey You big fat bussy

Message: You are a big girl. Grow a set of ANKLES. I use an old stuffed BMX to go to work. It’s about 30k and it’s all on dirt roads. It’s always hot and windy and there are millions of flies. At work I crush rock all day. All I eat is crap meat pies and drink crap beer. I ride barefoot with a torn pair of shorts. AND I’ve got a mate who runs it 30k to work every day barefoot. Don’t come to this country because we will make you wear a skirt, you big fat bussy.

—Some Aussie dude

The Fat Cyclist Replies: But you mean that in a really nice way, right, Aussie dude? Because, as you now know, I am an extremely Important, Authoritative bike blogger, and as such expect lots and lots of respect.

Beyond the friendly and supportive jests, Aussie dude, I appreciate the informative and interesting note. I have a few followup questions.

  • With what is your old BMX bike stuffed? Why did you stuff it? Does the extra weight incurred by the stuffing slow it down?
  • Does your mate run barefoot because he doesn’t like shoes, or because he can’t afford them? The people who read this (Important, Authoritative) blog have shown several times that they’re willing to help a fellow human in need. Let us know if we can help.
  • Do you eat and drink crap-derived products because you have no choice, or because you just really like crap?
  • Why do you ride dirt roads to work, Aussie dude? It seems a real Australian would avoid roads altogether, sticking to rockslides and fields of broken glass.

Gee, that’s all we have time for. Keep those letters coming! After all, while I personally am now far too Important and Authoritative to read them myself, my personal assistant tells me she really enjoys them.


  1. Comment by tayfuryagci | 12.13.2005 | 6:55 pm

    just as I was thinking: "well fatty hasn’t been THAT funny lately" You posted this, big-belly-laugh-worth-post, from the most autho-thingie blogging cycling dude.tayfur

  2. Comment by Daniel | 12.13.2005 | 7:11 pm

    It made me laugh, too, but really, I’m only commenting here so that everyone sees the link to my new blog.I promise to write something about bikes in it today.

  3. Comment by Unknown | 12.13.2005 | 7:28 pm

    Because of your authoritativenessicity, maybe you could clue the rest of us in on when the Aussies started allowing convicts to ride stuffed bikes to work. Is he riding with or without his shackles and orange jump suit? And what would you do with an extra set of ankles, bussy boy?

  4. Comment by Tom Stormcrowe | 12.13.2005 | 7:31 pm


  5. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 12.13.2005 | 8:33 pm

    This is huge. At the start of the article I knew you were important and authoritative, but then I read the second letter and… well, just WOW! Russell Crowe sent you an email. WOW! It’s almost like being invited to dinner with the Royal Family (Brad and Angelina). Now I can say I know someone who has talked directly and personally to the greatest phone thrower that ever lived.

  6. Comment by tayfuryagci | 12.13.2005 | 8:44 pm

    whatta sweet potato is a stuffed bike?

  7. Comment by Rick | 12.13.2005 | 8:51 pm

    Dear Fat Cyclist’s Personal Assistant,Please tell him, the Fat Cyclist, that I’m having a difficult time deciding which is more humorous, the letters or his responses. Both, err all four, made me smile–please go ahead and tell him that too.Thank you in advance for your cooperation,rickmx

  8. Comment by Unknown | 12.13.2005 | 9:01 pm

    Dear Extremely Important, Authoritative bike blogger,I mentioned a while ago that I was in need of some cycling kit. Today, in the post, I received a parcel containing several shirts. It is hard to judge whether they are more noticable for their highly flamboyant designs, or their exceptional rancidness, or possibly due to their size. Although we don’t use this particular sizing scheme in my country, "PT Barnum 3 Ring Special" does seem a more than generous cut. Am I to believe they came from yourself? I would like to convery my gratitude in helping me acquire new cycling equipment. I have rented out the shirts as temporary winter shelters for goats (the only living thing that would go near) and with the profits bought some new clothes.Yours in new shirtsVoreigni Skolari

  9. Comment by Unknown | 12.13.2005 | 9:04 pm

    Dude, that’s nothing. If you did political commentary on your blog, man, then you’d really need a huge set of brass ANKLES. You should see some of the stuff I get from time to time. Sometimes the threats are bad enough to make your PALM pucker.As for that Angry Aussie dude, I think "stuffed" is a synonym for badly FUNNYBONED up. I belive "Crap" is the most popular brand of Vegemite, a substance made out of wheat, yeast (the primary bread-like substance in most bicycle-related infections, but not for people who use Assos), and yes, it contains an assortment of actual Antipodean crap, primarily from dingos, koalas, kangaroos, alligators, former trackies and League Rugby players, but with a slight infusion of Tasmanian Devil Doo to give it an earthy, topsy-turvy global flavor. Unfortunately, if you have a taste for Platypus Poop, you must purchase Crap’s upscale brand, Le Sheit.

  10. Comment by Zed | 12.13.2005 | 9:04 pm

    Hey, but the Aussie Dude is the only person (of whom I am aware) who can authoritatively say, "____ tastes like crap!" Because he’s the only one (of whom I am aware) who knows what crap tastes like. Did he leave a return address? I have a few meals I’d like him to try–for reference. I also have a few restaurants I’d like him to visit …

  11. Comment by A Dawn Tinsley | 12.13.2005 | 9:15 pm

    I have to say, the content on here is always excellent, but the comments are usually just as good. I am not surprised that you are the omnipresent and omnicient God of Cycling blogs. Keep up the good work.

  12. Comment by Unknown | 12.13.2005 | 9:51 pm

    yup, these are your readers. congratulations.

  13. Comment by craig | 12.13.2005 | 10:29 pm

    I am ecstatic you finally let dug be your personal assistant. He must be thrilled. Although, you should stop calling him ’she’.

  14. Comment by Julie | 12.13.2005 | 10:38 pm

    Just when I think your writing can’t get any better – it does. You definitely are the "most authoritative Blogger on Bikes" in the world.

  15. Comment by Christina | 12.13.2005 | 11:45 pm

    MABOB/FC, Why do you collect other people’s whiteboard erasers? How many do you have exactly? I (inadvertently) "collect" other people’s cheap pens. I have about 6,876 so far. What does this have to do w/ your biking expertise? Nothing. I’ve just been meaning to ask about the eraser comment for a while. -Beast MomBTW, a blog on bike repair stands would be supremely helpful. I’m trying to buy one for my husband for xmas and have no idea which is best and why. ~BEAST MOM

  16. Comment by Christina | 12.13.2005 | 11:51 pm

    Ma Bob. This is your new acronym for your title as the foremost blogging authority on bikes. "Most Authoritative Blogger On Bikes" is how you put it… Ma Bob. It’s kind of hillbilly/Walton Mountain-esque. Did the Waltons mountain bike on their mountain? Why do you collect dry erase markers?-BM

  17. Comment by Unknown | 12.14.2005 | 1:11 am

    One has to be so careful with those made up statistics these days… because of the serious numbers of people who actually don’t read the blog but simply look for something to pounce on. I suspect it’s an attention-getting device. There must be at least 6,419 attention-getting devices by now, slightly more than the number of cyclists.Congratulations on your authoritativenessicity! I coulda toldya but it’s nice to make it official! And if they say it on Technorati, it must be official, right?Hugs,MuMo

  18. Comment by Unknown | 12.14.2005 | 12:02 pm

    Actually, the Angry Aussie guy is just an avatar for a drunken, disgruntled Mike Myers, who fell into a drunken rage upon hearing that his plans for Austin Powers XVII were so self-parodic that they collapsed in on themselves creating a small black hole in his mind where his originality and genius used to be. So now he just sits at home in his underwear, drunk on Alexander Keith’s Ale purchased at The Beer Store and driven down from Canada in tiny bike trailers by a team of bearded, granola-fueled recumbant cyclists from the University of Oregon. Unable to let go of his moderately successful past, he spends his days trolling random weblogs and emailing hapless, self-important bloggers (oops, redundancy there, sorry) while assuming the persona of characters he used to play to modest acclaim. That email was obviously based on the Scottish Shop, where if it’s not Scottish, "IT"S CRAAAP!" Good thing for you, Fatty, he wasn’t in caveman lawyer persona. /sAl- Who in real life is actually Lothar of the Hill Climbing People

  19. Comment by Unknown | 12.14.2005 | 2:20 pm

    from the latin: fatticus headius cyclismoa fat headed cyclist. really, i looked it up.nice post, get me the address of the aussie dude and my old sneakers will be in the mail faster then dug can crack wise

  20. Comment by Unknown | 12.14.2005 | 5:36 pm

    Fatty,Congratulations. Now that you are an icon, you might want to revisit your dietary habits as millions of children now look up to you for inspiration and behavior modeling, and we can’t have our kiddies glorping gu can we? Thank goodness your grammar has always been up to snuff so you can concentrate on the important stuff of celebrity like leaving your wife and scoring a trophy rock starlet. Yes, it is a weighty thing that has been thrust upon your broad shoulders. Try to feign humility at all costs no matter how dreary and fawning your fan base is or becomes. Remember that 87.65% of all statistics are made up on the spot. Try to wear clean socks. Be nice to your sisters. Occassionally, try and recall fondly us little people who saw the gleaming of your brilliance before the rest of the world did. We hardly knew ye, Fatster.

  21. Comment by Unknown | 12.14.2005 | 8:14 pm

    I, like Stephen, am in the NYC metro area (as opposed to the NYC farmland) and have seen but 60 cyclists, 23% of whom carried pizzas rendering them merely motors for the food industry and thus not really cyclists.My word against his.

  22. Comment by Unknown | 12.14.2005 | 8:15 pm

    I should disclose that I don’t tend to leave my block.And that I think you are fantastico.

  23. Comment by Juliet | 12.14.2005 | 8:16 pm

    LOL!!! great response to grumpy/crochety aussie dudeMy peals of laughter and incessant giggling are (I’m afraid) starting to attract the attention of my coworkers.Luckily – my real job which currently involves reading daily dispatches from a certain international conference in Hong Kong are providing me with as much comic relief – I have an alibi for now.

  24. Comment by Tom Stormcrowe | 12.14.2005 | 10:50 pm

    It got me curious, Fatty, and I looked up my blogs on Technorati, and it appears I am the leading authority on BEING FAT! What a thing! I’m not kidding either! Post has the link on my blog now!


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.