Let’s Make a Bet (Announcing the B7: Banjo Brothers’ Big Bad Bulky Biker Bodyfat Challenge)

12.21.2006 | 2:35 pm

This morning, I observed two important things:

  1. It’s cold outside. It was 4 degrees Fahrenheit (-15.5 Celsius) outside when I woke up this morning. That’s so cold that when I went out to my garage to ride the rollers (currently watching 24, Season 3), I immediately scurried back in to change into a long sleeve jersey and tights. Yes, I had to wear a long sleeve jersey and tights while riding in the garage. That’s cold.
  2. I’m fat. After my workout and shower, I got dressed for work. I noticed that my jeans, which have been feeling increasingly tightish the past few weeks, are now downright uncomfortable. I’d validate the obviousness of my winter weight gain with a scale, but I’m afraid of what I’ll find.

It would be easy to just tell myself that the cold weather, the buttload of work-related travel I’ve been doing, and the inexhaustible supply of chocolate laying around this time of year is just doing its annual thing and that I’ll get back down to a more reasonable weight after the holidays are over.

But this year, that’s not good enough. Now that both Lance and Floyd want to ride the Leadville 100 with me (sheesh, guys, will you please quit fighting over me?), I need to get myself in better shape than I ever have been before. And a bet with everyone who’s willing to take me up on it is just the motivation I need.

So I’m pleased to announce the …

Banjo Brothers’ Big Bad Bulky Biker Bodyfat (B7) Challenge

Last year, Al Maviva and a few other people had a contest where they — over the course of the season — tracked their weight loss and improvement on the bike. Then, earlier this week, In the comments section here, Al proposed expanding this contest out to anyone who wants to participate.

I like the idea, but I think I can make it a little more interesting. Here’s how.

Cool Prizes For Sure, Even Cooler Prizes Possible
I believe that last year Al gave away some moldy cheese as First Prize. We can do better. I checked with the Banjo Brothers, and they agreed to be the title sponsor for the contest. Here’s what I asked for:

  • First Prize: A Banjo Brothers Backpack or Messenger bag
  • Second Prize: A Banjo Brothers Seatpack
  • Third Prize: A Banjo Brothers Pocket Messenger bag

Mike, the Banjo Brother I can always rely on to cough up the free stuff, also hinted that he may be able to sweeten the pot beyond that. And I haven’t even started talking with other Ads-for-Schwag partners. By the time this contest ends, the prizes could be huge.

More Prizes: Our Personal Bet
The thing is, I want this contest to feel a little more, well, personal. So I’d like to make a wager — apart from the prizes that will be given away — with everyone. Here’s how it goes:

  1. If you do better than me, I will give you a Fat Cyclist jersey (yes, there will be a Fat Cyclist jersey). This offer is good anywhere in the world. Including Turkey, Tayfur. Yes, I’m telling you that if you do better than I do, I’ll give you a ~$70 jersey. And it will be a very, very cool jersey. Cooler than I originally expected it to be, for reasons I cannot yet make public. Trust me.
  2. If I do better than you, you’ve got to give me something cool. You’ve got to think of what that will be and post it in the new-specially created Banjo Brothers’ Big Bad Bulky Biker Bodyfat (B7) Challenge. I will reply to your topic, telling you whether I accept or decline your bet. I am not necessarily looking for something expensive. Just something that catches my interest. Though I’m not opposed to cool and expensive
  3. If you do better than Al Maviva, I will give you a 50% discount on whatever the cost of the Fat Cyclist jersey winds up being. Cuz I’d like to see as many people beat Al Maviva as humanly possible.

How to Enter
Entering the Banjo Brothers’ Big Bad Bulky Biker Bodyfat Challenge is easy. Here’s what you do:

  1. Go to the Banjo Brothers’ Big Bad Bulky Biker Bodyfat (B7) Challenge forum and create a new topic for yourself. Give the topic a clever and unique subject. Something that will encourage others to take a look at your personal challenge.
  2. List your current weight, your goal weight for August 1, and what you’re willing to give me if I do better at this contest than you do.
  3. Check back often for my reply. I’ll either accept or decline with comment. If I don’t like what you have to offer as a wager or think your goal is puny, I’ll say so and you’ll have to try again.
  4. Once you’re in, you’re in. If you give up, you owe me whatever we agree upon. How’s that for incentive?
  5. At the beginning of each month, you’ll need to post your current weight and how you did at a three-mile time trial (solo ride) on a course you’ll determine for yourself. Your ranking will be determined as a percentage of progress against your goal and improvement on your time trial course. (I hereby assign Al Maviva to post the details of the rules in the forum.) BotchedExperiment will compile all the numbers and use a complex (but fair) algorithm to determine rankings. 
  6. The final check-in will be August 1. That one’s mandatory. If you miss that check-in, you lose. Can’t win the race if you don’t cross the finish line.

You have until January 5 to enter, but I suggest you do it right now, or you’ll forget.

Please join in. It will be fun.

And I look forward to beating all of you.

PS: Earlier, I mistakenly posted that the time trial was a three-minute deal. Caloi caught my error, and it’s been fixed. It’s three miles. I regret any confusion I may have caused, but I don’t regret it very much.


  1. Comment by Born4Lycra | 12.21.2006 | 3:17 pm

    Well that’s all well and good but a bit hard for us already in supreme condition athletes working to a different seasonal clock. I wish this challenge had come along 6 months ago. I would have kicked serious butt. Still good on you for the challenge and taking the Fat Cyclist to new heights. I’ll just have to pay the full whack for my FC top – can’t wait – is it ready yet?

  2. Comment by dug | 12.21.2006 | 3:35 pm

    if it was that cold in your garage, imagine how cold it was at the car at base of mt superior at 5:45 am yesterday. or worse at the summit of flagstaff peak at 7:30.

    and yet. totally worth it.

    i hate lance armstrong and floyd landis. do you realize the chances of getting into leadville just went from almost certain to less than 50/50. what? do all you people think you’re going to hang out with lance and floyd? you will see them for 5 seconds at the start. seriously. that’s it. get over it.

  3. Comment by Alister | 12.21.2006 | 3:37 pm

    Hey Fatty, what about something for us skinnies?

    Maybe the biggest increase in VO2 wattage or something!

    And you reckon it’s cold? Well, it’s damn hot here in Melbourne AUS.
    31 degrees C at 0624 this morning.

    Merry Christmas to All,


  4. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 12.21.2006 | 4:46 pm

    (English Accent): Well, Suh, you are a cad, and I accept your challenge.

  5. Comment by squeakycyclist | 12.21.2006 | 5:10 pm

    Hey, I already lost 70 pounds a couple years ago, my oncologist keeps asking me pointed questions!

    Good luck with your contest!

    El Squeak-o

  6. Comment by Caloi-Rider | 12.21.2006 | 5:23 pm

    Pssst, Fatty, I think you mean a 3-mile time trial, don’tya? Or did you guys really switch it to three-minute?
    P.S. This comment will self-destruct in five seconds, so feel free to delete it after you get the message.

  7. Comment by Derek | 12.21.2006 | 7:24 pm

    Gee, I’d really like to join now, but that’d require getting onto a scale before Christmas (and starting off in the wrong direction). Expect my entry on Tuesday morning!!

  8. Comment by clydesdale | 12.21.2006 | 7:29 pm

    Allright, Thanks again to “Big Al”. I’m in!

    Big Mike in OZ I expect a nice friendly round of Commonwealth smack again this year.

    Cathy, you are my inspiration and personal idol. I will make you proud.

    Fatty, I just gave up Gingerbread Houses ;)

  9. Comment by Uncadan8 | 12.21.2006 | 8:55 pm

    Oh yeah, I am in. Do I get to count the twenty pounds that have already lost? No? That’s alright. I will still get a jersey.

  10. Comment by Henrik | 12.21.2006 | 10:52 pm

    I’m stating my training for trip to Tibet (see http://www.uniquetrails.com) and this would be an excellent incentive.

  11. Comment by barry1021 | 12.22.2006 | 3:04 am

    Geez, check the board. If Fatty beats everyone, he will have cycling clothes (and some cheese) through 2020. Course he will look like Nicioe Ritchie’s boyfriend at 148 lb.

  12. Comment by barry1021 | 12.22.2006 | 5:04 am

    supposed to be “Nicole”, obviously

  13. Comment by nathanv | 12.22.2006 | 6:17 am

    Did you get my email? Let me know.


  14. Comment by Al Maviva | 12.22.2006 | 6:18 am

    I can only repeat the words of the late, great Chris Farley as Tommy Boy: Holy Schnikeys!

    You mean, I actually have to lose some weight now? Dangit.

    I’ll dig out the rules from last year and get them posted up in the forum soon.

  15. Comment by Floyd | 12.22.2006 | 9:08 am

    Am I eligable for this?

  16. Comment by bikemike | 12.22.2006 | 10:00 am

    you people are headed in the wronnngg direction. fat is where it’s at. did you not read the title of the blog?

  17. Comment by MTB W | 12.22.2006 | 10:52 am

    What about us semi-skinny people? I’ve got a bit of a belly but can’t lose 30 pounds. I weigh 169 (which will increase by 2-3 pounds before holidays are over) on my scale, although its a cheap scale – I weighed myself on a vet’s scale (yeah, I know) and it said 183. My scale is typically 10-15 pounds lighter than those anywhere else. Come to think of it, I like my scale! Anyway, I was 185 last year and by the end of summer had gotten down to 165 and have worked on keeping it off but I want to get down to about 155 by summer. Can this be done by body fat? If so, any ideas on where to get that measured?

  18. Comment by Al Maviva | 12.22.2006 | 12:44 pm

    Floyd, yes, you can compete, but you’re going to have to FedEx a urine sample to Botched at least once a month, more often if Botched decides he likes that kind of thing. And don’t try anything funny with the sample, Botched is wayyy more edumacated than the average lab rat technician. What’s more, Fatty used to work at Microsfoot, so don’t try hacking Botched’s computer either, because Fatty will be bringing the Software Security Heat on this, Redmond-style like, ai’ight? You down?

    MTB W – it’s not a straight up pounds lost competition. Rather, you set a reasonable weight loss goal (like 15 pounds in your case, 165 to 150) and then you get scored based on percentage of goal reached plus percentage of improvement on the time trial. So a 10 pound loss would give a 66 for weight loss, improving from 10:00 to 9:00 on the 3 mile TT would give up a 10% improvement, or a score of 10.

    Guess I better get some stuff posted in the forum.

    “Dear Forum. I am a Fat Cyclist at a major midwestern university, and I used to think the stories I read here could never happen to somebody like me…”

  19. Comment by clydesdale | 12.22.2006 | 3:58 pm

    O.K. I’m in.

    Looks like Big Mike in Oz is too scared after the beat down he took last year.

    I received an awesome prize for coming in 2nd, or 3rd was it Al, but was promoted to co-winner. It was a Bikopeli ornament worthy of fatty himself, an MTB’er going over the bars. Anyhow, with the approval of Al and Fatty I would like to have it mounted as a trophy and they can then present it yearly to the winner of the challenge. I think it’s only fair to give back to one of the main inspirations of my Yo Yo dieting.

  20. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 12.23.2006 | 12:51 am

    I love the smell of free stuff in the morning.

  21. Comment by barry1021 | 12.23.2006 | 7:16 am

    Knowing this crowd, EVERYONE should have to send a urine sample to Botched, AL…….BTW, anyone want to make a side bet under the same rules, I am listening. THe contest came along at the perfect time, and I am going to be hard to beat, very very hard to beat. Practically unbeatable, actually. Bwa ha ha ha!!

  22. Comment by LM | 12.23.2006 | 2:03 pm

    I’m sorry folks, but I don’t think fatty’s beatable. My money’s on him because:

    a. He now has a personal trainer. (and Mr. Lofgrans seems to be pretty good.)

    b. He has a major bet with dug in which a really nice bike is at stake.

    and c. He’ll naturally want to totally impress Lance and Floyd at Leadville.

    Having said that, this competition looks to be a lot of fun. Especially since I am thin already and won’t be one of those trying to beat el gordo primo. Where’s my popcorn…I am going to enjoy this.

  23. Comment by Born4Lycra | 12.24.2006 | 6:02 pm

    Not sure If I’ll get an answer on this but in view of the B7 challenge (of which I am stiill trying to think of a way to enter) does it mean seeing as how the FC top is a major drawcard we won’t actually be able to buy one until August?

    Anyhow its Christmas Morning here in Oz so Happy Christmas to every one and your families – hope FC’s dad is still recovering well and everybody have a brilliant day.

  24. Comment by Rocky | 12.25.2006 | 12:19 pm

    I insist that there be a Fatcyclist Jersey or two be tossed in a schwag. I insist.

  25. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » What Did You Give? What Did You Get? | 12.25.2006 | 1:10 pm

    [...] Fat Cyclist It’s like reality TV. Except it’s real. And there’s no TV. « Let’s Make a Bet (Announcing the B7: Banjo Brothers’ Big Bad Bulky Biker Bodyfat Challenge) [...]

  26. Comment by Lofgrans | 12.26.2006 | 1:04 pm

    I’m glad I’m not a cyclist otherwise I might feel I need to enter this challenge as I weigh only marginally less than my cyclist husband. Which isn’t all that bad, but I could do better.
    Mmmmm, that oreo shake was delicious!

  27. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Yeah, I Guess You Could Say I Have a Little Incentive to Lose Those Extra Pounds | 01.24.2007 | 2:04 pm

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