An Open Letter to Dug, Who Evidently Does Not Realize He Is Slow and Middle-Aged, and Therefore Has Announced He Is Riding Next Year’s Leadville 100 on a Singlespeed

11.1.2006 | 2:05 pm

A Note from Fatty: My good friend Dug has recently announced his foolish intention of riding the Leadville 100 on a singlespeed next year. As a concerned friend, I feel it is my duty to dissuade him.

Dear Dug,

I take no pleasure in what I am about to tell you. No, that’s not true, because I guess I do take a little bit of pleasure in it, but my somber tone of voice is meant to convey the seriousness I want you to think I feel, regardless of whether I in reality feel it.

I know that you have chosen to ride the Leadville 100 on a singlespeed next year, Dug, and it’s important for you to know what everyone who knows you knows:

Dug, you don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of finishing the Leadville 100 on a singlespeed.

It’s questionable, in fact, whether you’d finish the race on a geared bike. But that’s not the point I’m trying to make.

Poor Memory
Dug, I can see why — before thinking about it — you might think you could do a 100-mile mountain bike race on a singlespeed. After all, you have ridden White Rim on a singlespeed, and that’s 100 miles, right? And you’ve ridden the Leadville 100, so you should be able to do it again, right?

Unfortunately (for you), they’re vastly different rides. White Rim is a mostly-flat basin with two short, steep climbs. Leadville has 11,000 feet of climbing, with five excruciatingly long, steep climbs, each of which is miles long (and one of which is about ten miles long. You’ll have to walk all of those climbs, Dug. And don’t forget that the whole ride happens at or above 10,000 feet.

Night will have fallen before you roll into town, Dug.

If you don’t believe me, try to dig back into your own recollection. The best you’ve ever done at this race is 9:45. And that was when you were much, much fitter than you are now. Do you really think that with your decreased fitness, increased weight, advanced state of male-pattern baldness, increased age (your best time happened eleven years ago, man: eleven!), and your haphazard training style, you can do this race in only two more hours than that? On a singlespeed?

Let me give you an example, Dug: the Powerline trail. Remember how, after 80 miles of riding, riding that in your granny gear was all but impossible? How are you going to do that on a singlespeed?

How are you going to ride St. Kevins, Dug? How are you going to ride SugarLoaf? How are you going to ride eight miles of Columbine?

If you’re serious about riding the Leadville 100 on a singlespeed, Dug, I have a piece of training advice for you: bring a bike you’re comfortable pushing. ‘Cuz that’s what you’ll be doing the whole day.

Poor Fitness
Let me ask you a question, Dug. When we rode together this past summer, did you find yourself holding back for me? No sir, you did not. In fact, did you perhaps notice that you had to push yourself pretty damn hard to stay with me?

And what was my finishing time at Leadville? Ten hours, more or less. On a geared bike.

I figure you would have been an hour behind me, had you raced. Or, if you had been on a singlespeed, you would have finished the following Tuesday.

It hurts me (though not much) to tell you this, Dug, but I must: you are middle-aged, out-of-shape, and feeble.

In Summary
Dug, I want to see you succeed, but you can only succeed if you give yourself attainable goals. The Leadville 100 on a singlespeed is something Kenny and Brad can do. You, my friend, are no Brad. And you’re even less of a Kenny.

Don’t be a fool, Dug. Know your limits, and race the Leadville 100 on a geared bike. I look forward to cheering for you at the finish line (which will happen, I suspect, roughly ninety minutes after I finish, shower, change, have a nice meal, and return to the finish area to watch for you).

Kind Regards,

The Fat Cyclist

PS: If you would like to use my blog for an acknowledgment of the foolishness of your decision, I hereby extend the opportunity.


  1. Comment by Eufemiano Fuentes | 11.1.2006 | 2:18 pm


    do not pay this ’so called’ fat cyclist any attention whatsoever. We will come up with a ‘training’ plan for you not just to finish, but to finish strong, with the energy of twelve dugs. Well, maybe not that strong, but really strong. But not so strong as to raise suspicions. Just strong enough to finish in whatever time you want to. Like maybe, I am thinking, 20 minutes or so less than one so called fat cyclist. Keep in touch

  2. Comment by bradley | 11.1.2006 | 2:30 pm

    FC, I’m gonna go all english teacher on ya, which is better than someone goin’ postal, if ya know what I mean. Nice letter, but “kind regards”? “Kind regards”? Not nearly enough flourish there to drive the point home. What is needed is something from 18th century letter writing, something like,

    I have the honour to be, Dug, Your most obedient Humble Servant, Fatty


    I am, dear Sir, with great regard, Your most obedient friend and servant, Fatty

    Sign off like that and there’s no way he can misunderstand your kind intentions. Otherwise, no telling what erroneous conclusion he might jump to.

  3. Comment by kenny | 11.1.2006 | 3:02 pm

    Wow..that’s harsh.. Dug, don’t listen to him. Stick to your guns. I think you can do it. More importantly, now you have to do it. Like when Brad said he didn’t think I could sub nine on a 1×1. I was going to do it or die trying.

  4. Comment by KatieA | 11.1.2006 | 3:22 pm

    Dug – do it man. Prove him wrong and show the whole little blogging world what a superior athlete you are. You can do it!! Go Dug Go!!

    (Fatty – I’m just encouraging him so you’ll have a great story to write about that Tuesday when he finally finishes…)

  5. Comment by craig | 11.1.2006 | 3:50 pm

    Dug, come on man! Show us all your balls of steel!

  6. Comment by dug | 11.1.2006 | 3:51 pm

    elden, did you recently take some kind of zig ziggler course in sales, where you have to use a person’s name in every sentence?

    am i the first to tell you how incredibly annoying that is?

  7. Comment by Rick S. | 11.1.2006 | 4:04 pm

    Dug- when you get home tonight, you will see a half used 5lb container of protein drink on you front porch. It’s my way of saying you can do this.

  8. Comment by sans auto | 11.1.2006 | 4:31 pm

    Normally dug comes across as the cranky guy… Now I see why. Fatty makes me want to root for you, I like the underdog. Just pretend you’re being chased by a herd of savage hummingbirds, you’ll do fine.

  9. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 11.1.2006 | 4:47 pm

    Fatty left out one important fact; Dug will be riding a fully rigid singlespeed. That’s just brutal.

    Dug, I think you can do it, but if you do so, it may ruin you forever on mountain biking. You once said of an Alpine Loop Gauntlet that it was so hard you thought it changed your DNA. Riding the LT100 on a rigid singlespeed will likely cause huge deletions in your genome, rendering you unable to perform hard efforts on a bike.

  10. Comment by Argentius | 11.1.2006 | 5:16 pm

    Whatever. I could ride this “leadville” thing on a singlespeed. You can do it, Dug!


    So I’ve never met you, much less ridden with you, nor have I ever ridden a real MTB, geared or singlespeed.

    I’ve ridden 100 miles, un, um, a road fixie? Does that count?

    Okay, so I guess I couldn’t do leadville, mostly because I don’t have a bike or live anywhere near there. But, yeah.

  11. Comment by Boz | 11.1.2006 | 5:26 pm

    How about riding a unicycle and make it a real challange. It would alot lighter to push up hills. Seriously, from the gist of what you guys say, I pulling for dug to train harder than he ever has and pull this off. Boy, that’s alot of wear and tear on the body. Goood luck in showing your detractors how it’s done.

  12. Comment by Born4Lycra | 11.1.2006 | 7:11 pm

    Dug listen to FC – he’s got a website and everything and just knows stuff. Plus the challenge has already been made – do it on a geared bike and finish within 90 minutes of FC if not in front and you have bragging rights for the following 12 months. Cheers Dug.

  13. Comment by Jsun | 11.1.2006 | 7:47 pm

    I too have been thinking about that sort of self inflicted torture and humiliation, but I have a new baby at home and am slightly sleep-deprived
    Anyway, I give you this link
    how you interpret the offered story is up to you (and Senor Fuentes)

  14. Comment by sleepy | 11.1.2006 | 7:57 pm

    Dug- this will just be another notch in the belt for ya!

  15. Comment by Caloi-Rider | 11.1.2006 | 8:11 pm

    Aw, heck, dug, with the right gearing anything’s possible. What are you planning? 20×32? After all, it’s not as though you have to pedal for all of those downhills.

  16. Comment by fatty | 11.1.2006 | 9:24 pm

    eufemiano – have i mentioned how much i love your comments? would you please write a guest ‘fat cyclist’ entry? please?

    bleck – you know, i actually once knew a guy who signed his letters, “Your Humble Servant.” and he wasn’t kidding. also, he was the most pompous guy i’ve ever met. i get to count that as irony, right?

    kenny – yes, i was harsh. but somebody’s got to wake the kid up, man. by encouraging him, you’re contributing to his inevitable failure and the likely explosion of his kneecaps.

    katie – you know of course that by calling him out like this i exponentially increase the likelihood of his following through and doing the race as he says he will. and oh, what a story that will be.

    craig – just to be clear, you’re talking about his metaphorical balls of steel, right? you don’t want dug to actually show us his steel balls, right? what, you didn’t know that dug actually has artificial, steel balls?

    dug – would you say that my frequent usage of your name through this piece was even more annoying than hijacking my blog — or our other blog — for the purpose of using it as a Hallmark card? cuz the way i see it, i’m about twenty notches left of that level of annoyingness.

    rick sunderlage (not your real name) – so, are YOU riding the LT100 on you SS? cuz i see no problem with that whatsoever.

    sans auto – you know, in real life dug is not cranky at all. i’m totally serious about this. there’s a reason he’s converted more people to biking than anyone else i know. but put him in front of a keyboard and he turns into lewis black.

    botched – you’re exactly right except for the “i think you can do it” part.

    argentius – buy an mtb and come do leadville. you could do it. it’s a total roadies’ mtb race. seriously.

    boz – you know, i would love to see someone try to do that race on a unicycle. it’d be interesting to see how far he got. you’d have to go with that objective — just make it as far as you can. nobody would give an mtb unicycler crap for not completing. in fact, you’d be treated as a hero if you made it to the turnaround.

    born4lycra – no, you’re missing the point. we’re supposed to be locking dug INTO doing the race on the singlespeed. this will be such a treat to watch.

    jsun – hey, you and dug could ride together. that would be cool. it’d be interesting to see which of you drops out first.

    sleepy – why does dug need a new notch in his belt? has he outgrown all the old ones?

    caloi – oh, i owe you some photos, don’t i? i’ll send those along soon (note to anyone who cares: caloi-rider successfully rode the teeter last weekend!)

  17. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 11.1.2006 | 11:06 pm

    Here’s me thinking up this really cool comment and then the time difference killed me. But Caloi’s right dug… you don’t need to push the bike up the hills – just fit it out with a the grandmother of all granny gears. 20×32 would be a good first step, but be sure to test it on a long climb a few weeks before Leadville. You may (if Fatty’s assessment is accurate) be in need of a 16 or even a 14 for the front. And don’t get discouraged when you can’t raise 6mph on the flat. It’s just not physically possible to pedal over 250rpm on any kind of bike, but at least you won’t have to push it up the hills.

  18. Comment by Born4Lycra | 11.2.2006 | 12:44 am

    Moi – miss the point ? Blimey deja vu for me – come to think of it i always miss the point. Dug go for it – me I’m going to start my epic ride missive.

  19. Comment by allan | 11.2.2006 | 4:29 am


    Go check out Rich Dillens blog at He did the E100 on a rigid SS and just recently won the Solo “World Championships” 24 Hour race for the SS division. No real training tips but inspiration aplenty.

  20. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 11.2.2006 | 5:36 am

    OHHH Boz, you reminded me that there was a unicyclist guy that started the park city E100 this year. I never saw how he finished. He probably did better than I. All I know is that I was approximately 3rd from DFL when we hit the first hill (about 200 yards into the race) and the guy was riding a head of me, until I clipped his wheel and sent him down. I mean there’s no way I’m going to let a unicyclist beat me.

  21. Comment by Al Maviva | 11.2.2006 | 5:42 am

    Dug, you’re a complete pussy for even attempting this. Real men don’t ride single speeds in MTB endurance races. Real men ride fixed gear MTBs. Hah, just kidding. I’d try it on a ss 29′er.

    You might want to (1) train really really hard between now and next August, otherwise Fatty will be insufferable when you fail; and/or, (2) make arrangements for your early September knee surgery now, before all the good doctors are booked up.

    On the plus side, if you make it inside the time limit, Fatty should probably give you his new Ibis or something as a reward. Oh, what the hell. I’ll give you his new Ibis if you make it.

  22. Comment by nathanv | 11.2.2006 | 6:39 am

    with humbles apologies….to the tune of ‘pop goes the weasel’

    the dug is riding leadville
    on a single speedy
    fatty doesn’t think so
    cause he’ll blow his knee-dys

    all of us are thinkin’
    can dug really do it?
    or will he like a boat we know
    titanically start sinkin’

    i’ll end this pain your starting to feel
    because i’m out of words now
    but leave you with this haunting thought
    dug has balls of steel

  23. Comment by Uncadan8 | 11.2.2006 | 8:09 am

    Brilliant, nathanv. Now you will have every FC reader plugging their ears and singing “lalalala”. How are we supposed to ride while doing this?

  24. Comment by UltraRob | 11.2.2006 | 8:19 am

    I always tell people gears were invented for a reason. Dug, I don’t know you so I don’t know what your chances are for finishing the Leadville 100 on a single but tell me why would you want to?

  25. Comment by bradley | 11.2.2006 | 8:39 am

    Yup Fatty, that’s irony–even though he does’t know he’s being ironical.

  26. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 11.2.2006 | 9:00 am

    UltraRob, I’ll act as dug’s unofficial spokesman and answer the “WHY” question for you and everyone else who has asked the question: Because he’s trying to make up for being a little bit dumb.


    P.S. In addition to trying to make up for his intellectual insecurities, he may be doing it because he feels like he knows he can finish the race on a geared bike, so why do it. Why pay the money and do the traveling when you know you’re going to finish and you know you’re not going to compete for the win?

  27. Comment by Tayfuryagci | 11.2.2006 | 9:25 am

    Did someone actually want to see Dug’s balls at one of the comments? Sheesh.

    Fatty, love the new site, man.

  28. Comment by Al Maviva | 11.2.2006 | 9:27 am

    Great big cassettes are a substitute for something else. Girls can’t help but laugh, knowing that that cassette is just compensation for what the guy lacks down below. Yep.

    A Sturmey Archer hub.

  29. Comment by regina | 11.2.2006 | 10:21 am

    dug, it is a slippery slope when we begin to measure ourselves by what we think we cannot do. From Don Quiote, “Onward to glory”

  30. Comment by Caloi-Rider | 11.2.2006 | 10:45 am

    Botched, Boz- I’ve already told you guys about the unicyclist I saw climbing Teton Pass, right? I s’pose anything’s possible.
    Go for it, dug.

    Fatty- the teeter was a blast–thanks for letting me come over. And thanks for not mentioning that it was on the low setting when I made it.

  31. Comment by Miguel | 11.2.2006 | 11:51 am

    Bon Voyage fair Dug, tell us what it is like in the underworld of cycling. Do you have to climb up a hill pushing a downhill bike until you finally reach the top and then, upon seeing the most beautiful descent in the world have your bike roll down to the bottom without you? Whereupon you must walk down in your biking shoes (maybe they are ever road shoes) to reach your bike, beginning the accent again? Wow, that would be so Homeric.

    Buena Suerte…

  32. Comment by bikemike | 11.2.2006 | 12:15 pm

    man, this “new” fat cyclist site is massively testosterone-ly fortified.
    just reading this will put most pro cyclist in th cheat column if tested.
    that being said, i love it when GUYS attempt to do things just because another GUY says you can’t.
    do it dug. (or not)

  33. Comment by Telegirl | 11.2.2006 | 12:27 pm

    Singlespeed, HA! Anyone can do that, Dug. I think the previous suggestions about a unicycle are the way to go and here are the people that you really should try to emulate:

    Go Dug, Go Dug, Go Dug…..

  34. Comment by Rick S. | 11.2.2006 | 12:29 pm

    Elden- my plan is to ride Leadville w/ you and try and break a sub 9. I will not be on a single speed. I hope you don’t pulling the entire time.

  35. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Wherein Dug, Full of Righteous Indignation, Challenges Me to a Duel | 11.2.2006 | 1:02 pm

    [...] Fat Cyclist It’s like reality TV. Except it’s real. And there’s no TV. « An Open Letter to Dug, Who Evidently Does Not Realize He Is Slow and Middle-Aged, and Therefore Has Announced He Is Riding Next Year’s Leadville 100 on a Singlespeed [...]

  36. Pingback by Handbags at dawn, Fatty vs Dug - - Diary of a sports addict - the oft inane ramblings of an obsessed mind | 11.4.2006 | 6:32 pm

    [...] The wonderful stories that crop up in the blogosphere… here we have the Fat Cyclist who kindly helps out his friend by publically pleading with him not to attempt this 100 mile MTB race on a SS: Dug, you don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of finishing the Leadville 100 on a singlespeed. It’s questionable, in fact, whether you’d finish the race on a geared bike. But that’s not the point I’m trying to make… [...]

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  44. Comment by $ammo | 06.26.2007 | 7:47 am

    did he complete the race?

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  47. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Place Yer Bets | 08.8.2007 | 10:56 am

    [...] The Dug v. Fatty Saga: I Cannot LoseBack in November, Dug and and I exchanged a little bit of trash talk. Specifically, I told him he was a feebleminded fool to do the Leadville 100 on his singlespeed. Dug responded by betting my bike against his in a fairly complex wager. Here’s how Dug’s challenge to me went, for those of you whose memories are as hazy as mine: [...]

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