Not Nice

07.18.2006 | 4:12 pm

Contest Note: The Win a Trip to the Tour of Utah contest ends this Friday. If you haven’t entered yet, click here to do it now.
Today, I had planned a very nice post. In fact, the title of the post was "How to be Nice." In it, I was going to relate three bike-related anecdotes where I have had encounters with people who I did not necessarily expect to be nice, but were.
One of the anecdotes was going to be about my ride in to work yesterday, where I tried to overtake another cyclist during the entirety of the Suncrest climb. When I eventually succeeded (about 50 feet from the summit, after a four-mile climb), he was gracious and complimentary, acknowledging that he had been giving everything he had to keep me at bay, and thanking me for pushing him to his limit. That was nice.
The second anecdote was going to be about how, about a week ago, when I yielded to a horseback rider, he observed that he maybe should have yielded to me, because I was climbing and had the harder job to get started again. "That’s OK," I said, "Bikes yield to horses. That’s the rule."  Later, when, by (not so) strange coincidence, I came across the same rider in another place on the trail network, he immediately pulled off the trail and said, "My turn." That was nice.
My final anecdote was going to be about how yesterday, as I rode home, up the north side of Traverse Ridge (about 1500 feet in just about three miles) in the blistering heat, I closed on, caught and passed a small tractor. As I went by the open-air cab, the driver said, "Good job, buddy." That was nice.
I was going to conclude with an inspiring observation about how much nicer people are than I generally give them credit for, and a heart-warming personal resolution to be nice.
That was before I went to the home page of today.
Blindsided by a Spoiler (Which I Will Not Repeat)
Yes, I know that I went on and on about how I was going to use my SlingBox to watch the TdF at work, but the reality is I don’t have time to watch it, and my wife would be bummed if we didn’t get to watch it together each night (yes, my wife loves to watch the Tour every night. Husbands of the world: envy me).
So I’ve been going out of my way to not know what’s going on in the Tour during the workday. This is not easy, considering I’ve bookmarked pretty much every English-language cycling-related site in the world.
Never considering that (in the absence of Armstrong) TdF news would make the home page of a mainstream news page, I went to for my morning news fix.
And there it was: a short headline that gave away the ending of today’s stage. I’m not the swearing type, but: damn it. Yeah, that’s about as severe as I get.
I now know how the L’Alpe d’Huez stage ends, effectively spoiling what I expect will be the most dramatic and exciting stage of the Tour.
And now I do not feel like being nice.


  1. Comment by Unknown | 07.18.2006 | 4:32 pm

    today is the day (today only) to shout out the mantra,
    there now, feel better?
    just be nice to wife and kids, everyone else be danged.
    DANGED i tell you.

  2. Comment by jim | 07.18.2006 | 4:49 pm

    "The most dramatic and exciting stage of the tour"?
    In your effort to avoid being nice, you not only have me itching to watch today’s race but you kept from spoiling my experience as well.
    You have failed at being non-nice.  Sorry.

  3. Comment by Tom Stormcrowe | 07.18.2006 | 5:09 pm

    Elden, for being in a bad mood, you are surprisingly non-tantrum throwing! I’d seriously think about trying to crash the MSN homepage server for that! (Not actually, but I’d think about ways to do it, and NOT implement them just for the sake of venting some internal; pressure!)

  4. Comment by AMG in Texas | 07.18.2006 | 5:54 pm

    Hey Fatty!!  You mean there are TWO of us???  My wife is so into cycling that our vacation this year was to drive across country to see the Tour de Georgia (even though Robbie McEwen was supposed to be there) and camp out in a KOA!  Talk about a hike up the tallest mountain in Georgia to watch Landis smoke the discovery team!!! Classic.  We even saw ourselves in the Cyclism show on OLN (even cooler :-)). 
      I have this Sony Vaio PC that has Windows Media Center with which I can record the TDF.  I edit out the commercials and fluff, and burn DVD’s for each stage.  Last year I discovered that I needed more disk space for these files.  All I needed to tell my wife was that I needed to buy another disk for my PC or else I would not be able to get TDF 2005 for her… SHE DROVE ME TO BEST BUY!!!  "Budget??? What budget???  Record the TDF for me", she said.
      Se was so inspiring to me on the TDF stuff that I got into cycling last year.  I have always known that I am middle aged, bald, fat, and ugly.  Now that I ride my Trek road bike I can add THE SLOWEST to my list…
      Anyway,  the key to your happiness is to keep the wife happy!!
    Ride on Fatty!!!

  5. Comment by Unknown | 07.18.2006 | 6:14 pm

    Velonews does the same thing. Hate it. Cycling News makes their headlines generic as to not give away the results, e.g., "Interview with stage 13 winner."
    P.S. When I read the title, I was sure this post was going to be about dug.

  6. Comment by Andrew | 07.18.2006 | 6:35 pm

    If you TiVo, they will come.
    For the first time ever, my family and I are watching the TdF stage by stage. I’m learning about and admiring the tactics. My daughters like the bikers buns. And my wife thinks the different color kits are so danged cute (she might like the buns too but has enough respect for my frail ego not to mention it).
    Why they watch is no matter to me. I just enjoy finding something the entire family enjoys.

  7. Comment by Unknown | 07.18.2006 | 7:52 pm

    Reminds me of my favorite episode of Scrubs, where the Janitor is watching Sixth Sense in the janitor’s closet and Dr. Cox spoils it for him by telling him that Bruce Willis is dead the whole time.le Tour got spoiled for me when I was watching Wimbeldon the night before and noticed a marquee at the bottom that said Basso and Ulrich wouldn’t be in it. Scheisse! This was gonna be Jan’s year. His hair looked the best it ever has.Go Levi!

  8. Comment by Tyler | 07.18.2006 | 8:17 pm

    Same happened to me a few days ago.
    Seems like if you want to avoid finding out about ANYTHING that’s happened in current events, you must stay away from even the faintest suggestion of media.
    I guess no one RECORDS things anymore…

  9. Comment by Andrew | 07.18.2006 | 8:54 pm

    Jose, you’re scum.

  10. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 07.18.2006 | 9:03 pm

    jose – congratulations, you just left the lamest comment in the history of my blog. it wasn’t funny and it wasn’t clever. it was just lame. and now it’s deleted.

  11. Comment by Jose | 07.18.2006 | 9:08 pm

    I am sorry! I just could not resist….. : )

  12. Comment by Ariane | 07.18.2006 | 9:32 pm

    Of the many joys of not taking a heavy course load or having a regular job, waking up early enough to go for a fine ride and still be back in time to watch the TdF live is one of my personal faves.

    Huh. That comment must’ve been pretty bad… I remember Dr. Lemmler (or whoever) left a pretty nasty comment, and was only ridiculed mightily. Did he spoil the ending to today’s stage?

  13. Comment by barry1021 | 07.18.2006 | 10:12 pm

    I never saw Sixth Sense and was going to rent it this weekend!!!

  14. Comment by Unknown | 07.18.2006 | 10:32 pm

    argentius – Since the TdF barely blipped on the MSM’s radar during the Armstrong era, and since this year’s contendas were all ousted before the race, I can understand why FC is disgruntled.  I, too, would not expect any TdF stories to show up outside of cycling related outlets.
    Tim – AARRRRGGGH!  Thanks for the spoiler.  No really, thanks.  Believe it or not, I’ve never seen the Sixth Sense, but it’s been on my list of movies to see when I have a chance.  I won’t bother now.  Instead, I’ll return the favor:  Darth Vader is Luke’s Father!  Rosebud is the Sled!
    [I'm guessing Jose posted the outcome of today's stage??]

  15. Comment by Unknown | 07.18.2006 | 11:55 pm

    Didn’t have the problem of knowing who won as I watched then race live.You’ll just have to stop going to work and be really dedicated and watch all the stages live. :)Then you can post the winner on your blog.

  16. Comment by Claire | 07.19.2006 | 12:24 am

    Yeah, happened to me as well.  They can’t be bothered to cover the tour in any meaningful way.  Just give away the ending – what’s a bicycle anyway??? Jerks!

  17. Comment by Unknown | 07.19.2006 | 12:26 am

    Dude, I knew the outcome of today’s stage and still felt my heart pounding when Phil Liggett was counting off the seconds at the end.  Also, my wife has become hopelessly addicted to watching the tour coverage, and calls me everyday with the results!

  18. Comment by Unknown | 07.19.2006 | 1:27 am

    Well, dang! Nice blog, though!  I wish you would email me your new addy so I can send Susan a little return gift! It’s little enough after that beautiful bracelet!

  19. Comment by Soleilmavis | 07.19.2006 | 7:55 am

    Please sign your support to stop electronic weapons torturing and harassing citizen  (click “sign your support to stop electronic weapons torturing and harassment” which under categories, read “Soleilmavis’s story” and “Add a comment” to sign your support) It will be much appreciated if you can pass this message around. (If you see any”squares” on your computer, please only read English partial.) ??????(Add a comment)?????????????????????????????   ?????

  20. Comment by Cara | 07.19.2006 | 3:50 pm

    Stay away from any major News Station today; there is going to be some big headlines!

  21. Comment by Unknown | 07.19.2006 | 5:06 pm

    I agree with Cara – the MSN homepage has today’s results without having to click anything. Stay away.
    On the plus side Fatty – you are nice (even though you felt like being not nice) for not passing along the spoilers like some others are wont to do. And your wife is VERY nice which makes up for all the people that suck.

  22. Comment by Kelly | 07.19.2006 | 6:46 pm

    Wow. A cuss word from you. I’m SHOCKED!


    They need to put the title and the fact that they’re going to RUIN it for everyone, but that if you’d LIKE to know, they should allow people to click on a link.

    A Not-Nice Fatty is still pretty cool, though. I’m confident that you could really never be mean. Ever.

  23. Comment by pete | 07.19.2006 | 8:54 pm

    On the bright side, today’s stage (to La Toussuire) was even better and I’m guessing you’d learnt a valuable lesson about staying off the internet until you get home.What did Jose say?

  24. Comment by Unknown | 07.20.2006 | 7:13 am

    I’m impressed you were doing so well.  The guys on my email ride group thing (for lack of a better descriptor) usually give the stage away in the subject line by 8 am so I either have to stay away from email or just suck it up and pretend while I’m watching the stage.  Email usually wins out.

  25. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 07.20.2006 | 8:48 am

    Fatty, I’ll bet your head nearly exploded as you laid down that (semi)expletive.  There isn’t a nasty bone in your body.
    If you really want to have the results of the tour you should come to Australia.  What with the time difference and the international date line plus the summer/anti-winter cross-equator paradox, I’ve already seen Saturdays second ITT.  I’m recording the Champs-Elysees stage right now, so give me a call in about 5 hours and I’ll give you the winner so you can bankrupt a couple of bookmakers.

  26. Comment by Rick | 07.20.2006 | 6:08 pm

    Hey, it could be worse. I caught the news on MSNBC earlier than I wanted too, but I was in the ER getting my arm in a cast and stitches after a woman ran a red light and hit me on my bike while riding to work. No more riding for me, no more bike, but I *can* watch the TdF and cycle vicariously through them (and you)!

  27. Comment by Tim D | 07.20.2006 | 7:40 pm

    I hang my head in shame.  I was the bad man today.  I sent some friends an email that effectively gave away the results for today.  My friend Karl rang me and said should he open it or would it spoil his evenings Tour viewing.  I had to appologise and tell him to delete it immediately without reading it.
    I am working through six 6 hour tapes of the last week and a half.  The weather has been too nice to be inside.

  28. Comment by Unknown | 07.21.2006 | 2:26 am

    FC, put your considerable literary skills to work and give us your take on yesterday’s sensational, historic, miraculous (do Mennonites believe in miracles?) stage 17.  I don’t see anyone calling "mulligan" on this year’s race now!

  29. Comment by Cara | 07.21.2006 | 2:42 am

    I agree with Mark, I can’t wait to see what you come up with FC!


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