“Scheduling Conflict” Theories

01.8.2007 | 1:12 pm

I, like most Leadville 100 junkies, was looking forward to racing with Lance Armstrong this August. In fact, I had spent a great deal of time and had gone to considerable expense to figure out my strategy for beating Lance Armstrong at the Leadville 100. I feel confident I am not revealing too much when I say that these plans involved the procurement of:

  1. 18 specially-trained sheepdogs
  2. A goat
  3. A pair of pliers
  4. A very, very powerful magnet
  5. An oscilloscope disguised to look like a giraffe
  6. 50 gallons of vinegar
  7. One cubic foot of baking soda
  8. A tangerine, impregnated with iron filings
  9. All the strawberry jam I could find

I don’t think that I need to point out that acquiring these items was not easy, nor was it inexpensive, nor did it raise my standing in the community to have 18 sheepdogs in the backyard.

I did not let the naysayers, the detractors, nor the tut-tutters distract me, though, because I knew my plan was foolproof: using these items (among others which I shall not here name) in a certain combination, at a certain place, at a certain time, virtually guaranteed that I would beat Lance Armstrong in Leadville this year.

And now, of course, he has backed out of the race.

I am so angry.

Speculation on Scheduling Conflicts
The vexingly-brief announcement Mark Higgins — Lance Armstrong’s manager — made to cancel Armstrong’s participation in this race is, well, both brief and vexing: “Lance had a scheduling conflict come up and he regrettably cannot participate in the event.”

“Scheduling conflict?”

“Scheduling conflict?!”

Is there anyone in the world who does not agree that “scheduling conflict” is an excuse you use to get out of doing one thing, so you can do something else you’d rather be doing?


OK, so the real question is: why isn’t Lance racing the Leadville 100? I, fortunately, have some helpful theories to address this question. I’m sure one of them is correct.

  • Possible Real Reason #1: The Landis factor. Sure, most bloggers think that Armstrong isn’t racing the Leadville 100 anymore because Landis might be, and Armstrong doesn’t want to have to train for this race like it’s the Tour de France. To this, I answer, “Lance, you don’t need to worry about Floyd. What do you think the magnet and tangerine are for?”
  • Possible Real Reason #2: Lance now weighs 317lbs. Since ending his cycling career, Lance has been eating nonstop. Anytime you see him on video, that’s actually CGI animation. Including the NY marathon. But it’s a well-known fact that CGI animation doesn’t work above 10,000 feet, so Lance would have to actually lose half his weight by August. The prospect of having a bunch of 50-year-old guys shouting condescending encouragement to him was simply too humiliating to face.
  • Possible Real Reason #3: Studio time is hard to reschedule. It turns out that Lance will be recording a cover of Sheryl Crow’s song, “Are You Strong Enough to be My Man,” with Matthew McConaughey. This is Dug’s theory. Frankly, I have no idea what this means or who Matthew McConaughey is. Oh, wait a second…
  • Possible Real Reason #4: Doing some stupid cancer fundraising thing. Oh, brother. Pulling the ol’ “I’m raising bazillions of dollars and improving and saving thousands of people’s lives” card again, eh, Lance? If you don’t want to do the race, just say so.
  • Possible Real Reason #5: Found out that this “mostly singletrack” race is in fact “no singletrack whatsoever.” Nowadays, Lance is all about the singletrack. He’s a soul rider.
  • Possible Real Reason #6: Lance is afraid of me. Sure, I did everything I could to keep my plans secret, but you can’t by eighteen sheepdogs without attracting a little bit of attention. I’m guessing that when I put the vinegar on the credit card all kinds of red flags went up. Armstrong’s probably being told by the authorities not to race, for his own safety.

PS: Do something for me would you? You know, I’d love to say I’m the “Award-Winning Blogger Known as the Fat Cyclist” instead of just “Fatty.” In order to do that, though, I need to win an award. So why don’t you do me a favor and go nominate me for something in the 2007 Bloggies. Most Humorous? Best-Kept Secret? Best Sports? All three?

Please. I’m begging you.


  1. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 01.8.2007 | 1:52 pm

    So why can’t I just give you an award and then you can say “award winning?” I mean it’s not like that guy has any ‘offical award designating certification’ that makes his awards more legitimate than mine.

    I mean what do they have that I don’t? A website? So what, you can make a website for me and my awards in like 20 minutes. How ’bout “Botched’s Bitchinest Blog Awards”. They can be nicknamed “The Bitchies”.

    “. . . and the bitchie for “best blog about cycling written by a guy who can gain 8 pounds in 15 minutes” goes to. . .”

  2. Comment by bld | 01.8.2007 | 2:02 pm

    I think the landis factor isn’t so much that he is worried he might get dropped but that he simply doesn’t want to be seen anywhere near landis with the whole doping thing still going on.

  3. Comment by Scott | 01.8.2007 | 2:07 pm

    I nominated you for Best GLBT Weblog, thinking it meant Got Leadville Based Training. Then I read the description. My bad.

  4. Comment by monkeywebb | 01.8.2007 | 2:59 pm

    And I nominated you for best food weblog.

    If it helps you accept my B7 wager faster, I’ll gladly offer up a box of my childhood trophies rather the door to door lobster service currently on the table. There’s even a Best Entry plaque for the “Fat Folks Mountain Bike Club” from the 1988 Shasta Damboree Parade. Seriously.

    Since they’re awards and you would have ‘won’ them you’d have no problem stating that you and your website “have won many awards.”

  5. Comment by Lofgrans | 01.8.2007 | 3:59 pm

    monkeywebb, I like your proposal.

    I think its mostly that Lance was entering Leadville to be cool. To show that he’s not above the little fat people. But when Landis entered it took some of the show away. Its like Landis was trying to steal a little thunder and instead of race for fun with an old teammate Lance decided it wasn’t cool anymore. I mean, if just any ‘ol high profile professional cyclist can show up at any time, where’s the wow factor in that? He was doing this as a publicity stunt (sorry FC, I don’t think you were the selling point) and he doesn’t want to share publicity…or worse, become second fiddle to Landis’ doping accusations. Lance in second, I don’t think so.

    I can’t believe they don’t have a long winded award, you’d be a shoo-in!

  6. Comment by DOM | 01.8.2007 | 4:05 pm

    Since we’re all training tirelessly, night and day, every waking moment, in order to beat you, you can’t really expect help from any of the B7 competitors. (OK, except for the time we set aside to be enlightened by FC.com.) I suggest you give yourself an award. “Recognized by the Institute of Adipose Endowed Cyclists for his cutting edge wit and social commentary and countless contributions to the blogosphere.” We’ve all seen products endorsed by the “Society of People Who Make This Very Product.” They all sound like pseudonyms for The Marketing Department.

  7. Comment by Stephanie | 01.8.2007 | 4:52 pm

    I think he’s not racing because Nike hasn’t come up with another wacked out gizmo that sync’s your ipod nano to your bike to track mileage & etc. Until then, Nike is holding him accountable to his outlandish endorsement contract and forcing him to run.

  8. Comment by DP Cowboy | 01.8.2007 | 5:55 pm

    I voted. Geesh. Feeling self-flagellated and guilty, even though I did what you asked. Geesh. Without tiramisu, I think I need counselling.

  9. Comment by KatieA | 01.8.2007 | 6:17 pm

    I’d be careful Fatty – I think Lance/Landis might read your blog and be aware of your devious master plan – you might have to swap the jam for peanut butter (and I thought you Americans called it jelly?) and increase the baking soda.

    I still think, even if Lance HAD ridden, he would have had a entourage of about 10 bodyguards around him at all times to ensure none of the “peasants” touched him. You can only be in the prescence of greatness – apparently you’re not allowed to touch it. :)

    BTW – My before photos for the B7 are now on my blog, as is a picture of my lovely bike. Urgh. I hate photos. My bike looks very pretty, I do not.

  10. Comment by Al Maviva | 01.8.2007 | 6:59 pm

    I have it on good authority from Lance’s attorneys that he bailed because Lance’s performance team discovered that Lance was going to be riding around several people who are not above eating other human beings and comparing the recipe, taste, texture, and attitude of the eaten person, should the going get tough, their nipples start bleeding, and the Gu stocks run low. Moreover, GrannyGear Productions is likely to be involved in promoting the race, and he “doesn’t want to bust [his] [expletive deleted] for nine hours, only to have the race winners determined by an impromptu game of hopscotch.”

    Lance’s attorneys added that he doesn’t mind his leg flesh being eaten by fat, bike-borne cannibals; it’s that he is likely to be compared unfavorably to a huge bowl of mashed potatoes, or “maybe Moon Pies… lots of Moon Pies,” and that was something he just wasn’t going to put up with.

  11. Comment by wonderdyke | 01.8.2007 | 7:30 pm

    Thanks, Scott – I thought I was running unopposed in the GLBT category. Fatty – I think had you gone with 17 sheepdogs and BALSAMIC vinegar, we’d have still had a race.

  12. Comment by Born4Lycra | 01.9.2007 | 3:07 am

    I did my best FC but the site demands at least 3 weblogs and I only read yours!

  13. Comment by Uncadan8 | 01.9.2007 | 7:19 am

    KatieA – I call the semi-clear jello-like stuff “jelly.” It is the saucier, goopy stuff that I call “jam.” Most of us aren’t that discriminating, though, and just stuff it down our gullets at any opportunity along with peanut butter on muffins, biscuits, rolls, or any other kind of bread. Hmmm…this may be revealing my food issues and hence, the need for this B7 challenge. Sigh.


  14. Comment by barry1021 | 01.9.2007 | 7:22 am

    I will nominate you, but only if you promise to eat a box of moon pies every week now through August 1….


  15. Comment by Lissee | 01.9.2007 | 8:17 am

    I had to nominate Big Mike in OZ for an award too since I couldn’t think of a third blog to vote for… Hope you win Mike. :)

    Oh, and you too Fatty. Under the name, I filled in the name Fatty, instead of Eldon. If everyone else did the same, guess you’ll forever more be known as Fatty… sorry about that… kindof. lol

    Good luck!

  16. Comment by BIKEMIKE | 01.9.2007 | 11:03 am

    mmmmmm…..moon pies! gotta go, it’s snacky time.

  17. Comment by LMouse | 01.9.2007 | 1:12 pm

    Oh, Fatty, thank you; I really needed this today. Another tour de force! I can’t stop laughing. I forbid you to ever stop writing for us. Absolutely forbid it.

  18. Comment by KatieA978 | 01.9.2007 | 2:13 pm

    Uncadan – Oooohhhh……

    And you have raised another question I’ve always had – what is a biscuit? Over here a biscuit is what you guys call a cookie. Is a biscuit like a scone??

    I too am in need of de-jamming during the B7…

  19. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 01.9.2007 | 2:36 pm

    A biscuit is more like a dinner role than a scone. Jelly is gelatenous fruit or berry juice. Jam is jelly with pieces of the fruit or berry in it, but people often refer to both things as jelly.

  20. Comment by fritz | 01.9.2007 | 4:34 pm

    Okay, I voted. Can I pick multiple categories?

  21. Comment by MTB W | 01.9.2007 | 4:51 pm

    FC, another hilarious post! Yeah, I think Lance backed out when he found out about your “plan” and the B7. Landis is one thing, but he isn’t ready to handle you too.

    I will try to enter your blog but I have to find 2 other blogs to enter since I don’t spend time reading any other blogs. Yours is enough to keep me laughing (and motivated to stick to my new year resolutions).

  22. Comment by Uncadan8 | 01.9.2007 | 5:52 pm

    KatieA – The biscuits I have are light and fluffy and especially delicious with butter and jam or jelly or honey or…AARGH! There I go again! And you had to mention cookies too, didn’t you?

  23. Comment by fatty | 01.9.2007 | 9:38 pm

    you know what would be tasty right now? A scone, with honey butter.

    i make delicious scones.

  24. Comment by Swedeguy | 01.10.2007 | 1:43 am

    He’s of course running for president at the time… that’s why he cant do that whimpy ride.
    Threesome with Bush, Hillary and Lance in the Oval room any day now…

  25. Comment by KatieA | 01.10.2007 | 2:17 am

    Fatty – I love scones. Date ones rock. Baker’s Delight (bakery franchise here in Oz) make some new weird ones – spinach & fetta, for example – that’s a bit TOO weird for me.

    Hot scones with whipped cream and jam. *drooling on keyboard*

    Working for you Uncadan? :)

    How about if I mentioned white chocolate and macadamia cookies? Pavlova with cream & strawberries? Anzac biscuits? (Do you guys even know what they are?!)

  26. Comment by DOM | 01.10.2007 | 4:47 am

    LA is a man with foresight (and a huge ego.) Imagine the scene: Floyd wins, Lance comes in second. Post race press conference goes something like this: “Of course he won, his butt looks like a pin cushion.” “My butt, when we raced together…” An ugly exchange ensues that leaves both men with no ability to continue their public defense of their cleanliness. As a man with foresight (and a huge ego), LA would never put himself in this position.

  27. Comment by Saso | 01.10.2007 | 5:07 am


    I am a long-time reader, first-time responder. I could not resist your plea for nomination, so I nominated you for Best sports and Blog of the Year. To show you how much I love your blog, I bothered to find two other random blogs in order to fill in the voting ballot correctly (I dont follow other blogs except from yours).

    BTW, why do you want to be nominated in a contest where there are categories such as “Best GLBT Weblog” and which requires me to fill at least three blogs?

    Regarding Armstrong scheduling conflict: I think he read your “Dream Date with Armstrong” entry. The guy is avoiding you.

  28. Comment by Uncadan8 | 01.10.2007 | 8:22 am

    Stop, KatieA, stop! I can’t take it anymore! And all I have to look forward to is my salad, broccoli, and beef patty for lunch. White chocolate and macadamia…(swooning)…My favorite! I think the cafeteria sells these. Must…resist…urge is getting…stronger….I hate diets!

  29. Comment by axel | 01.10.2007 | 9:15 am

    I would have voted for you but I have a scheduling conflict.

  30. Comment by LMouse | 01.10.2007 | 10:33 am

    As an expert on bisquits and jam, I feel I must elaborate on Botched’s brief explanation. If, like me, you have spent any part of your life in a double-wide in Southern Utah, you know that bisquits (pronounced beeeskits) are meant to be served under fried baloney, eggs and goopy gravy made from leftover bacon drippings. Oh, for yummy! Of course, the goal is to eat the whole batch in one sitting because there’s nothing worse than old bisquits, so you encourage the family to also eat them with jam. (I don’t recall anybody making jelly, because it’s considered wasteful not to use the entire fruit. But you have to run the jam through the blender before you cook it so there aren’t any chunks. Kids won’t eat chunks.)

    These days, I buy delicious scones at Peet’s and thank goodness I’m now livin’ in the great state of California.

  31. Comment by Lissee | 01.10.2007 | 11:36 am

    Citi Bank has a great mountain bike commercial out advertising a rewards card. Click on the link, to see it :) (I don’t know how long they will have it here, I could only find it on a Golden Globe Bloopers page…)



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