My Dream Date With Lance Armstrong

11.26.2006 | 10:31 pm

Several Very Helpful Fat Cyclist Readers (VHFCRs, as I like to think of you) recently forwarded me an interesting tidbit of information: Lance Armstrong intends to race the Leadville 100 next year. Says Armstrong at the opening of his eponymous fitness center in Austin, TX (and no, this is not Fake News):

“The other bit of a challenge I want to do is a bit crazy. It’s a mountain bike race in August held in Colorado called the Leadville 100. It’s about an 8 to 9 hour mountain bike race, mostly on single track that very few people do and even fewer finish.”

Upon reading this, I of course had a complex series of thoughts, including:

  1. “Oh boy! I’m going to meet Lance Armstrong!”
  2. “I’d better make sure I’m wearing a LiveStrong band in Leadville that week.”
  3. “I wonder if the race organizers will make him submit an application and wait for the lottery results, just like everyone else. Wouldn’t that be wild if he didn’t get in?”
  4. “If he really trained for it, I wonder what kind of time he’d finish with? Five hours?”
  5. “I wonder who told him it’s mostly single track? There’s no single track whatsoever in the Leadville 100. In fact, there’s hardly any double track. It’s almost all jeep roads.”

Then, suddenly, this pleasant train of thoughts was derailed by the following question:

“What if he’s read everything I’ve written about him?”

Ooh. That could be, um, problematic. Here is the conversation I imagine occurring, as Lance and I meet at the starting line.

Fatty (Fighting through the crowd): Mr. Armstrong! Mr. Armstrong! Would you mind signing my jersey?

Lance (Bored): Sure. What’s your name?

Fatty (Ecstatic): Most people just call me ‘Fatty.’

Lance (Raising one eyebrow): Really? I’m sorry to hear that.

Fatty: Oh, it’s meant affectionately, really. By most people, anyway. You see, I have this blog called Fat Cyclist. (Points at self, wearing the freshly-minted “Fat Cyclist” jersey I have — in this fantasy, anyway — designed and created).

Lance: So you’re proud of your weight problem?

Fatty: No, but it makes for good comedy.

Lance (Recognition dawning): “Hey. Wait a second. You’re the dork who’s always attacking me with fake news pieces on your stupid jokey blog, aren’t you?

Fatty (Worried): Um, I’m not sure what you mean. I’m a really big fan!

Lance: So you’re not the guy who wrote that fake press release about Phil Liggett getting fired because he let a full minute elapse without mentioning my name?

Fatty (Astounded): You mean you saw that piece?

Lance (Eyes glowing red): So you admit you are that guy. And yes, I saw it. Around 400 people forwarded it to me, usually with one of those stupid “I thought you’d get a chuckle out of this” messages, and a smiley face afterward, as if to say it was just a joke. Well, I’ll have you know that Phil wasn’t fired. We just gave him an appropriately stern warning and docked his pay.

Fatty (Sweating profusely): Heh heh. Well, um, ha ha. Well, you know, I was just kidding around. I didn’t really mean it.

Lance: Right. And that’s why you followed up with that “Lance Armstrong Drinking Game = Certain Death” story.

Fatty (Grasping at straws): Well, for what it’s worth, I actually fudged the math in your favor. I divided the 162 mentions of your name over the course of the full three hours of coverage, instead of subtracting out the commercials. If I’d have divided the 162 mentions by the 132 minutes of actual coverage time, it turns out that OLN actually mentioned your name every 48 seconds. You’ve got to admit, that’s pretty darn often. And besides, it’s not like I never do anything but slam you. Remember that fake news conference I wrote saying you had decided to race the rest of the 2005 TdF with one hand tied behind your back?

Lance: Yeah, I remember it, but that’s not exactly so much singing my praises as dismissing the validity of my competition, is it?

Fatty (Scanning for likely escape routes): I was hoping you wouldn’t bring up that particular point.

Lance: I’ll bet. And I’ll bet you were hoping I wouldn’t bring up the thing you wrote about Sheryl and me breaking up. Or about me being a bored househusband who’s forced out of retirement because my family and neighbors are tired of seeing me around. Or your suggestions for what ought to happen in my movie.

Fatty (Dumbfounded): You knew about all of those?

Lance: I’m Lance Armstrong. I know everything.

Fatty (Hesitant): So, um, are you going to sign my jersey? Please?

Lance (Rolling eyes): Yes,  I’ll sign your jersey. But only because you’re wearing what looks like 100 “LiveStrong” bands. You shameless suckup.

Fatty: Gee! Thanks, mister! Can I ask you a couple of questions for my blog?

Lance: Do you promise to not make stuff up about me anymore?

Fatty: Absolutely.

Lance: OK, go ahead.

Fatty: Do you realize that every contender in this race today is hoping and praying that you’re just here to goof off, so they can finish ahead of you and tell their friends, children, and every other person they meet for the rest of their lives about the day they beat Lance Armstrong?

Lance: Yes. Tell your friend Kenny I wish him the best of luck.

Fatty: Thank you. I will. Next question: Was it your idea to rename this race the “Lanceville 100?”

Lance: No comment.

Fatty: OK, next question. Do you have the ability — as is widely rumored — to shoot laser beams out of your eyes, flattening the tires of competitors?

Lance: No comment.

Fatty: Sheesh. Care to comment on the speculation that you are able to increase  or decrease gravity in highly localized areas?

Lance: How’d you find out about th…I mean, no comment.

Fatty: OK, I see how it is. Last question, then. Do you really think it was necessary to bring Bob Roll and Al Trautwig along to commentate this race?

Lance: It’s in their contract.

Fatty: Sorry, I couldn’t hear you very clearly over the PA system. Al seems to be saying “Lance Armstrong” over and over. Is that how he warms up his voice?

Lance: No, that’s his whole job.

Fatty: Thanks very much for your time, Lance.

Lance: You’re welcome. Now go to the back of the pack. I’m through with you.


  1. Comment by barry1021 | 11.27.2006 | 10:41 am

    I think by the time the next Leadville comes up, you will be more famous than him(infamous????).

  2. Comment by dug | 11.27.2006 | 11:07 am

    i’m also a little confused about his contention that “very few people do the leadville 100, and even fewer finish.” don’t about 500 or 600 people do the leadville every year, and usually, about 400 finish?

    i guess maybe that’s very few compared to the boston marathon. but not really compared to, say, the tour de france.

  3. Comment by Boz | 11.27.2006 | 11:31 am

    Lucky for you that you haven’t been lampooning Chuck Norris. Very lucky.
    And dug, you realize the entry numbers were made up by the French. Only Lance knows the rear numbers. Oh, and Floyd.

  4. Comment by mark | 11.27.2006 | 11:34 am

    4:7 that Kenny beats him on the single speed. Any takers?

  5. Comment by FliesOnly | 11.27.2006 | 11:35 am

    And again I am reminded as to why I kept visiting your blog and why I will continue to peruse this website. Man…nobody does it better. Nobody even come close. Great stuff.

  6. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 11.27.2006 | 11:47 am

    Except for the finish times, Lance seems to be confusing the LT100 for the E100.

    Personally, I’d love to see Lance crashed out on the side of the trail, shivering in one of those freak August snow storms. . . You know, just for fun.

  7. Comment by Boz | 11.27.2006 | 12:03 pm

    Fatty, check out Cycling News today for more juicy Lance stuff. May shed some light on your today’s post.

  8. Comment by Stephanie | 11.27.2006 | 12:31 pm

    I ran in the NYC marathon, and i totally did wear my yellow live stron bracelet, and searched around for him… I even brought a long a camera for the ENTIRE race, just hoping to at least get a shot… but nothing. Granted, there were over 40,000 other people there, and at least a 1/2 of them were probably doing the same thing i was… so, hopefully you have a better chance of running into him then i did!

  9. Comment by Jay | 11.27.2006 | 1:17 pm

    It’s funny but the first thing I thought of when i saw that Armstrong was going to ride the Leadville 100……..was you. First off it immediately gives the race prestige it never had before. You get the chance to compete against a legend. If he had been reading your stuff….he’d have hacked your computer by now(I actually thought that stuff that Besty Andreu said was written by you). Armstrong riding Leadville can only be a good thing….as long as he’s not doing EPO.

  10. Comment by UltraRob | 11.27.2006 | 1:30 pm

    My first job out of college, I worked with a girl that thought Lance was the greatest. That was before he had cancer and I always told her how arrogant he was and do I didn’t care that he could ride fast. She was dating Carmichael and probably could have figured out a way for me to meet him. She was to one of his birthday parties. Now she and Carmichael are married.

    The only time I was close enough to talk to him I nearly made a complete fool of myself. It was in 1999 and I was finishing warming up for the Tipperary Creek MTB race near Winter Park. There was this guy in full postal kit riding slow near the start finish area and messing with his shoes. He was in my why and wasn’t exactly riding a straight line. I just about said, “why don’t you poser stay out of the way while you adjust your shoes.” Instead I just rode around him. Just after that I realized who he was.

    There’s a pretty good creek crossing that is barely ridable when the water isn’t too high. That year the water was high. I think even if the creek bed had been smooth the current would have pushed anybody over that tried riding. My wife was standing there when Lance came through and he tried riding it. His bike got swept out from under him and he and the bike started going downstream. My wife had a camera but she wasn’t fast enough to get a picture. I was very disappointed that she didn’t. If I recall correctly, he finished 2nd in that race. I know he didn’t win.

    He was training for the Mercury Tour the following weekend near Steamboat Springs. I’ve ridden the trails where the race was held. They are single track and a bit rocky but not what I’d call really technical. He crashed a couple times and dropped out.

  11. Comment by Born4Lycra | 11.27.2006 | 1:47 pm

    Love him or hate him I agree with Jay. Lance Armstrong at Leadville can only be good for the day and I can’t wait for the epic ride story. The combination of Lance, the open challenge to Dug on a single speed and FC’s obvious slightly askew slant on things will make for a great literary event. Either that or a couple of photos of FC, Lance and 500 other riders and maybe FC’s Mum – it will be worth the wait.

  12. Comment by Miguel | 11.27.2006 | 1:54 pm

    Hello Fat Cyclist! This is an opportunity of a lifetime! You could actually beat Lance Armstrong in this race. OK, just kidding. It was a fun thought but definitely it is not going to happen. At all. No, maybe it could happen, it is a long time until August, and maybe Lance will get fat over the holidays. Maybe as the race gets closer you could add a post about projected Lance Leadville 100 possibilities- Like a Choose You Own Adventure set in Colorado!

    The race aside, I have to admit that your posts are absolutely hilarious. I love reading them. Congrats on another winner.

  13. Comment by Sophia | 11.27.2006 | 1:55 pm

    Hey FC, how cool is it that Lance Armstrong has decided to ride in your favorite race? He thinks it’s “crazy” and you’ve already done it ten times!

    This is so exciting, it makes me want to try it too. Just a couple of problems. I’m perpetually injured, I don’t have a mountain bike, and I’ve ridden 100 miles exactly once…on a road bike.

  14. Comment by fatty | 11.27.2006 | 1:57 pm

    oh, i guarantee that i will carry a camera and magic marker around with me constantly while in leadville, hoping to get a picture and an autograph. i will be embarassingly shameless. i will be fawning. i will, if at all possible, give him a fat cyclist jersey and get him to wear it.

    i can hardly wait.

  15. Comment by Terri | 11.27.2006 | 2:13 pm

    Hi FC
    Good stuff! I haven’t laughed this hard since your Lance Comes out of Retirement piece. Just thinking about the possibilities of your encounter with Lance makes me giggle.

  16. Comment by Lance | 11.27.2006 | 2:59 pm

    Prepare to be dominated at Leadville! You better wear 300 livestrong bracelets! :)

  17. Comment by Uncadan8 | 11.27.2006 | 3:09 pm

    Uh-oh. The gauntlet has been thrown down!

  18. Comment by FCKA | 11.27.2006 | 4:52 pm

    Part of Lances descision to do LeadVille was likely to meet the FC

    Only thinking aloud

    Fat Cylist Kiss Ass

  19. Comment by Tom Stormcrowe | 11.27.2006 | 5:16 pm

    Love the article, Elden! As usual, great hyperbole!

  20. Comment by Ol' fat hairy smelly Mike | 11.27.2006 | 7:10 pm

    Fatty please quit your job and write about Lance all day long. This stuff brings tears to my eyes you big galoot, and keeps me coming back.

  21. Comment by Caloi-Rider | 11.27.2006 | 9:27 pm

    I think anyone who reads your blog thought of you immediately after reading the announcement, Fatty. I could also see him responding to your blog the same way he responded to the computer hacker thing on Cyclingnews:
    “Oh boy … just when I thought I had heard it all …”
    One thing’s for sure: the guy sure knows how to do retirement correctly, eh?

  22. Comment by regina | 11.28.2006 | 3:46 am

    Lance at livestrong says prepare to be dominated, Fatty, someone appears to be a regular reader. This is really affecting my decision to try the leadville 100 next year, or can I just be part of your support team, next year is your dad right, I could open the soup.

  23. Comment by Tayfuryagci | 11.28.2006 | 6:27 am

    Fatty, if you REALLY want to kick Lance down that 300ft cliff you can. Just don’t forget to take photos. :D

    I just hate professional athletes man.

    BTW, this article was wet your pants fun!

  24. Comment by John | 11.28.2006 | 10:08 am

    My girlfriend, who has no trouble with famous people, as she was completely wowed by FC’s Mom at Leadville, when told of Lance’s possible trip to Leadville:
    “What a f’ing circus. He will ruin it.”
    Perhaps FC’s website could be the official home of the LA webcam.

  25. Comment by Al Maviva | 11.28.2006 | 8:01 pm

    The only way Lance is getting beat at Leadville, is if he hosts a one man crashfest, or if Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski decides, hey, what the hell, I don’t care about winning world cup events, I’m going to go crush retired road greats in a senseless off-road bash.”

    Hey, more and more people will beat Lance as time goes on. As they brag about it, they’ll look dumber and dumber. Fact is, the only wins against Lance that count were at Worlds, Tourmalet, Alpe d’Huez or Ventoux, and in some time trials and maybe that time he placed at Paris Roubaix. Those are all in the long distant past, you’ll notice. Might as well brag about beating fat old Eddie Mercx on his cruiser as he returns home from the pub… stupid.

    Besides, even two years retired and pretty fat, Lance can probably kick almost everybody’s butts. Badly.

  26. Comment by Tim D | 11.29.2006 | 12:42 am

    Al, I had a friend go to a training camp in Majorca a few years ago. Eddie Merckx was helping run it. On one day they all went out to do a hilly session. On the first big hill, Merckx broke away and when they got to the top he was sat on a wall, smoking a cigar.

    FC, watch what you say about Lance. With his newly reveiled hacking skills, you new site is vulnerable.


  27. Comment by Lisa | 12.2.2006 | 1:03 pm

    As with all your posts, this entry reminds me uncannily of myself. This summer I rode RAGBRAI. Sometime before the ride, I had several friends email me copies of articles saying that Lance would be there too. I had the exact same thoughts initially, saving the one about single track, of course. But, being that there are quite a few more riders on RAGBRAI and the fact that I’m incredibly slow, I didn’t think I’d ever see him.

  28. Comment by Lisa | 12.2.2006 | 1:11 pm

    oops! hit submit on accident Anyway . . .
    The first day he rode, that’s all my buddy and I talked about. . . . . how he was probably already finished riding across the whole state and coming back to lap us, etc. Then we heard a buzzing noise like a swarm of bees and this huge group of cyclists pass us, led by two people in live strong jerseys. I laughed in amusement at all the people who thought they were following Lance. I even said to my friend, ” Look at those posers! That guy was way too fat to be Lance.” That was probably the stupidest thing I ever said. . . a minute or two later the camera crew came by. I could have jumped in the pace line and drafted off of Lance, but NO! I had to be the skeptic. Don’t be like me, fatty, it sucked.
    I did redeem myself the next day when I saw him coming through a town where we had just stopped for lunch. Lance stopped in at a beer garden and I took my golden opportunity to jump on my bike and pass Lance Armstrong!!!! The best part is that there was a picture of him in the paper that evening throwing back a long neck – it must have been taken when I was passing him. This occcupies a place of honor in my scrapbook.

  29. Comment by Mad Munkey | 12.3.2006 | 8:55 am

    Why the hell would you want to ruin a new jersey by having Lance sign it. *shakes head in wonder*

  30. Comment by Floyd | 12.22.2006 | 8:40 am

    You haven’t said anything about me. That might make me angry. You don’t want to make me angry.


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