Story Time

02.19.2007 | 1:34 pm

Wow, you people really like your barf stories, don’t you?

You’re so gross.

And that’s why I love you.

In a platonic, punch-each-other-on-the-shoulder way, that is.

Congratulations (I guess) to each of the following people, who sicked me out most of all:

  • John: I empathize with the twin thing. And the barfing-child-in-the-store thing. But mostly I just love the image of mango pudding projectile vomit.
  • Caloi-Rider: For being genuinely disturbing.
  • KeepYerBag: For barfing on your brother and causing permanent psychological damage.
  • dad2bjm: The McDonald’s story is priceless. A priceless full-on nightmare, that is.
  • flatlander: For catching the brunt of a barf full-on in the face. Man, I get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about that.
  • Rick Sunderlage (not his real name): Dude, what’s with you, mountain biking, and goats?
  • Bob: I will never, ever, ever get tired of the Barfing Mormon Missionary image. For some reason, I always want to interject, “But it’s just a wafer-thin mint!” when you tell this one.

You seven people, email me with what you want your email name to be, and I’ll set you up.

Epic Ride Story Overload
Have you ever noticed that your biggest and best cycling memories are tied up in big ol’ fat epic rides with your friends? We’re not talking about two- or three-hour jaunts, mind you, but bike trips that take a truly monumental effort to complete.Then you talk about the ride for days. Weeks. Maybe forever. An effort this large, this intense, this extraordinary, doesn’t fade like most memories. You want to keep talking about the effort, reliving it. And after the pain wears off, you want to do another ride just like it.

Well, at long last I’ve put together the “Epic Ride Stories” area of Fat Cyclist. For one thing, I want a place to hold all the stories where I brag about the epic rides I’ve been on.

More than that, though, I want to read about your epic rides. If you’ve been on a ride you would consider epic, email it to me. If I agree it’s epic (don’t worry; I’m an easy sell), I’ll headline it in my blog for the day, then add it to the library.

Then, everyone who reads your story will stand in awe of what a kick-butt rider you are.

You can always get to the list of Epic Ride Stories from the link in the logo area of my blog. You’ll also notice a list of stories in the navigation / ad sidebar, though I won’t necessarily always keep the list quite so high (hey, gotta make space for the ads, since they — theoretically — pay the bills).

Here are the Epic Ride Stories I’ve collected so far. I think every one of them is worth reading.

  • 12 Hours of Brian Head: Wherein I try my best to make it sound like riding a five mile loop as many times as possible in a twelve-hour period is somehow admirable, instead of just stupid. 
  • 24 Hours of Moab: Dug writes about his his 24 Hours of Moab experiences, including a Just-Before-the-Crash photo of him that is simply not to be missed.
  • 24 Hours of Moab ‘99: Racing Duo Pro Expert: Once, Brad and I rode in the “Duo Pro Expert” class for the 24 Hours of Moab. It hurt. A lot. I love this story. Brad doesn’t like it as much. 
  • Challenge de Hesbaye: Ever wonder what it would feel like to race in a European Peloton? Robert Lofgran (of Lofgran Coaching) 
  • Cream Puff 100: Mark Weaver talks about his experience with one of the most brutal 100-mile MTB races around: the Cascade Cream Puff 100.
  • Fatty’s First Leadville 100: I describe, in breathless detail, practically every pedal stroke of my first 100-mile MTB race. 
  • Forest Hill Backcountry Death March: Mark Weaver gives his wife very good grounds for divorce.
  • Laramie Range Enduro: Peter Thorsness describes the first running of a now legendary — and still greatly missed — 100Km MTB race in Laramie, Wyoming
  • Leadville ‘98: 100 Miles, 3 Guys, 1 Big Finish: Bob, Dug and Fatty talk about the time they raced the LT100 together. You may want to bring a sandwich for this one.   
  • Moab for Beginners: Dug, Bob and Tracy think they know their way around Moab. Turns out they don’t.
  • RAWROD Part 1: Fat Loser Nerd, Alone in a Hotel Room: In 2005, I rode the Ride Around White Rim in One Day, heavier than I’ve ever been. After this ride, I thought, “Hey, you know, I should start a blog called Fat Cyclist.”  
  • RAWROD Part 2: Treachery and the Hogback: The RAWROD saga continues. 
  • RAWROD Part 3: Despair, Elation, and a Good Conversation: At long last, the RAWROD saga concludes. 
  • South Australia’s Sea to Vines (C2V): Born4Lycra tells of his progress from fat to fit cyclist. With photos! Sexy!
  • Swiss Alps: Erik Kratzer describes an awesome adventure in — you guessed it — the Swiss Alps. I am so jealous.
  • The Alpine Gauntlet: If you want a full day of climbing and happen to live in Utah County, you can’t do much better than the Alpine Gauntlet. Which I named, by the way. 
  • The Triple By-pass By-pass: Jim Woodruff describes a mountain bike variation of Colorado’s famed Triple By-Pass race.
  • Tibble Fork: The Best Place in the World: If I could ride only one mountain bike trail for the rest of my life, Tibble Fork would without a question be it. 
  • Timpanogos: Dug talks about circumnavigating the Alpine loop on mountain bikes. A true hometown epic.
  • Touring in Spain: Bob describes how he got Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. You’ll wonder why Bob let his hair grow so long. 
  • Tucson: Not every epic is about the bike. Sometimes your life is plenty epic as-is.  
  • White Rim: Bob describes – melodramatically — riding with Dug around the White Rim on Summer Solstice. Idiots. 
  • Yanacocha Loop: Cajamarca, Peru: Until I read this story, I never particularly wanted to ride in Peru. Now I do. 

PS: I don’t know today’s weight — today’s a vacation day and so I’m not following the regular routine. I forgot to weigh myself.



02.16.2007 | 10:12 am

I’m going to be a little off-message today. That’s because my brain is hardly functioning at all right now, and so the three different ideas I had for writing about today (apprehension over whether to sign up for a race, the results of my VO2 Max / Body Composition test, and finally knowing what’s wrong with my right shoulder and how / when / whether I’ll fix it) just require too much effort.

I’m asking for a pass today, folks.

Here’s why.

The Joys of Parenthood
About 5pm yesterday, one of my twin five-year-olds started barfing. She barfed about every twenty minutes or so until 8pm, at which point she was so exhausted she went to sleep, waking up every couple hours to barf (really just dry heaves) again.

The other twin, on the other hand, was happy and not at all sick as she went to bed.

That changed around 11:30pm, when she woke up, barfing.

The cleanup was not easy.

She did not go back to sleep until 3am.

So I’m not functioning at peak capacity today.

That’s Not Even Remotely My Best Barf Story
The thing is, the twins don’t throw up often. My oldest boy, on the other hand, used to have a barf trigger that was known far and wide for how little it took to make him throw up.

Back when he was a little kid, my wife and I cleaned up barf so often, our efficiency and capability at this task actually became a source of pride. We could strip the sheets, clean the carpet, swap out new pillows and blankets and get everything hosed down and cleaned up in five minutes or less.

Except once.

I was feeling particularly pleased with myself because I had heard the noise coming from his bedroom — the gagging noise that means I had two seconds to get into his bedroom and try to catch the barf in a bowl. I had sprinted across the hall, grabbed the bowl we always kept by his bed, and managed to catch the entire stinky mess. No cleanup tonight!

And then, as I carried the bowl o’ barf out of his room to the bathroom, I tripped.

The bowl fell, staying — magically — upright, landing flat on the floor.

Those of you who have studied physics and know things about equal and opposite reactions and the way a dish shaped object can distribute matter know what this means.

For the rest of you, let me simply say this: The room was painted in barf.

And so was I.

I do not believe I have ever been so angry, embarrassed, and grossed out before. Or since, for that matter.

It would be months before we stopped finding dried-out barf chunklets in the room, and I don’t think the smell ever went away entirely.

Your Turn
OK, what’s your best barf story? If you can make it bike-related, that’s awesome. It’d be nice if someone stayed on topic today.

How About a Prize?
Oh, you want a prize? How about this for a slightly unusual prize (I honestly don’t know if this is something anyone would want or not): I’ll give a email account to the person with the best barf story. Yep, either a full-on POP account or an email forwarding account — you’ll be able to say, “just email me at”

PS: Today’s weight: 165.6

PPS: Next week, I promise: not a single post about food or the regurgitation thereof.

Wherein I Mix Soylent White With Peanut Butter

02.15.2007 | 11:54 am

I’ve mentioned my sister Kellene before. She’s the one who had a mountain bike wreck so bad I get queasy just thinking about it.

Well, a couple of days ago, she called up with an interesting suggestion.

“You know how you like peanut butter so much?” she said.

Yeah, I remember. I dream about it nightly.

“Well, you know I like it, too.” And in fact, that’s an understatement. Kellene and I have very similar tastes. She, however, doesn’t seem to ever put on weight. Which is not very endearing or empathetic of her.

Anyway, she continued. “I just found a way for you to be able to eat peanut butter while you’re dieting.”

OK, now she had my attention. “Seriously? How?”

“You mix it with tofu!”

OK, now she had lost my attention. But she kept talking anyway. “I know it sounds weird to mix tofu with peanut butter, but it actually works great!”

“No,” I said, “it’s weird to mix tofu with anything. Tofu is nothing but Soylent White. You know what that’s made out of?”

“Just try this,” she said. “You’ll thank me when you do.”

So she told me the recipe, which I’m also posting in Fatty’s Food Forum:

Peanut Butter-Soylent White -Tofu Spread

  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 1 c. soft tofu
  • 1 Tbsp honey

Blend everything. Serve on bread in the same amounts you would normally serve regular peanut butter. Refrigerate unused portion for later use.

The idea behind this, of course, is by cutting 1 part peanut butter with 2 parts tofu, you’re getting all the protein you normally would with peanut butter, but with a third the fat and a lot fewer calories.

I Am Astounded
Here’s the thing: Kellene was right. Tofu has no flavor of its own, and peanut butter is a strong enough flavor that when you cut it with tofu, it still tastes just like peanut butter. The texture isn’t peanut-buttery anymore, but this still tastes good enough that I’m adding it to Fatty’s Frequent Foods list.

So, thanks Kellene.

I Do Not Expect You To Try This At Home
If anyone but a trusted relative had told me to mix peanut butter with tofu, I would not have done it. So I don’t really expect you to try this out.

But if you do, you’ll thank me later.

PS: Today’s weight: 165.2

PPS: I promise, I am not turning this into a recipe/food blog. But this whole “lose weight without doing a diet I’ll never be able to stick to long-term” thing is what’s on my mind right now, so that’s what winds up on the blog.

PPPS: If you’ve got other tricks / recipes tricking yourself into eating healthy, why don’t you post them in the food section of Fatty’s Forum?

14 Pounds in 40 Days

02.14.2007 | 12:27 pm

Back in December, I announced the Banjo Brothers Big Bad Bulky Biker Bodyfat Challenge (B7). The idea is simple: whoever improves most against their weight loss and fitness goals wins cool stuff from the fabulous Banjo Brothers. And anyone who did better than me would get what is now heralded as the most awesomely cool jersey ever made.

A lot of people entered the race, and a few weeks ago I listed some of the stuff they were betting. Pretty impressive, really.

By last week, everyone was supposed to check in with their results so far. As a cool surprise, I planned to bug the Banjo Brothers and see if they’d give a prize to the winner of this first check-in.

But then, when the results came in, I didn’t bother calling the Banjo Brothers.

Why not?

Because — as I detail in the forum — I am currently kicking every single contestant’s butt [update: monkeywebb is actually beating me, which kinda lets the wind out of my sails]. And I didn’t feel right about calling the Banjo Brothers to ask them to award a prize to the leader when that leader happens to be me.

What? You think I’m going to make $4000 bet and not crow about it a little bit if I’m the leader right out of the gate?

What’s Working
The thing is, I’m losing weight (14 pounds since the beginning of the year)and becoming much faster on my bike (3 minute improvement on my uphill time trial) through a combination of techniques I have never used before, and I’m pretty excited about how well things are working.

Here’s why things are working for me:

  • I am not dieting. SansAuto — who knows about these things — has got me doing what he calls “Intuitive Eating.” When I’m hungry, I eat something — enough so that I’m not hungry, but not enough to make me full. I eat a reasonable amount, and I wait for 15 minutes before I consider getting seconds.
  • I am continuing my love affair with the crockpot. About a month ago, I talked about how much I like cooking with the crockpot, and a bunch of you commented with awesome recipes. I have tried out several of these recipes (usually with brown rice), keeping the fat down to a minimum. I feel like I’m eating more delicious food than I ever used to, and so I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself at all. I’m eating great food that is just a lot more healthy. And it’s easy, too.
  • Thanks to SprocketBoy, I now have a new favorite breakfast / snack. A while ago, SprocketBoy posted a Muesli recipe that sounded interesting. I made up a batch and fell in love with the stuff. I now eat it for breakfast every day and usually as a snack sometime during the day. It’s delicious, it feels substantial, and it’s easy to make. (Note: Don’t make more than you can eat in about three days. After the third day, it gets pasty and starts to separate).
  • Coach Lofgran is kicking my butt. Lofgran Coaching has got increasingly intense workouts set up for me six days a week. So even through the dead of winter, I’ve been riding with not just an overarching purpose — finish the Leadville 100 in under nine hours — but with a daily objective.
  • My wife is helping. I am convinced that — provided you’re married — the single most important determining factor in any major fitness/weight loss program is whether your spouse is onboard. I have sabotaged my wife’s efforts before, not out of malice, but because I just didn’t care. She’s done the same to me. But she doesn’t want me to lose this bet any more than I do, so this time, we’re working together and seeing similar success. In fact, if she were doing the B7 challenge, she might be winning it right now.
  • I eat a grapefruit every night. Because grapefruit, as I’ve made clear before, are magical. I.e., if I’m eating a grapefruit before bed, I’m not eating a bowl of Reese’s Puffs.

PS: Today’s weight: 166.0

PPS: The Fat Cyclist jerseys have been selling really, really well. A lot better than I expected them to, in fact. They’ve sold so well that I increased the order size from 250 to 350. Even so, I’m down to fewer than 50 I can sell. I’ve still got jerseys in every size, but that won’t be true for long. What I’m trying to say is, if you want to be sure to get a Fat Cyclist jersey, you should pre-order one now.

PPPS: To everyone who has ordered a jersey: thank you. I went way out on a limb ordering this many jerseys, and am still astounded so many of you have bought them so quickly.

PPPPS: I also realize nowhere near as many of you would have bought a jersey if I didn’t have killer design. And for that, I owe a massive debt of gratitude to Twin Six, which has the most awesome jersey designs on the planet.

I Will Never Be a Famous Director

02.13.2007 | 11:57 am

As those of you who keep track might remember, I got a couple of camcorders for Christmas:

  • My wife gave me a nice small camcorder that fits in a jersey pocket and records to SD cards. This camcorder also works as a good camera — all the pictures in yesterday’s post came from this camcorder/camera.
  • I got myself a very inexpensive (less than $100) camcorder meant to be used as either a helmet cam or a handlebar-mounted cam.

I took both of these with me to Gooseberry / Little Creek last weekend, hoping to try them out and see what I came up with.

Camcorder + Adobe Premiere + YouTube = Decent Video
So last night I cracked the seal on my copy of Adobe Premiere and loaded up the video from my good camcorder. It was easy, because all that video was already individual MPEG files on an SD card — so no importing or converting process necessary (my home computer even has an SD slot, so it was really easy to move the video over).

I bungled around for about half an hour before I figured out how to do anything at all (I used to write software documentation for a living, which has given me a healthy disdain for documentation of any kind), but after that I had a ball. As you can see in the YouTube video below, I got a little carried away with the transitions and the replays.


Yeah, it’s pretty clearly my first attempt at doing this kind of thing, but I liked it. The song, by the way, is “Fat and Proud,” By Steriogram, from their album Schmack (I highly recommend listening to their song, Walkie Talkie Man).

ATC-2000 + Handlebars + Rigid Bike = Unwatchable Mess
I never expected my little ATC-2000 camera to take truly beautiful video, which is a good thing, because it clearly does not. It takes jerky, washed out video. You’ll notice — if you’re brave enough to actually watch the clip below — I clearly have the camera pointing too far down. And mounting it on the handlebars was a big error (especially on a rigid bike). And the microphone is genuinely useless (it picks up nothing put wheel and wind noise).

I could go on, but instead I’ll just post one of the clips. I’m warning you, it’s not for the squeamish:


So, did anyone at all make it through a full minute of that?

I’m not, however, ready to give up on the ATC-2000. This was a first experiment, and I’ve learned what to do for the second experiment:

  1. Mount it on a helmet, using my head as a nice, steady, suspended tripod (finally, my head’s good for something!).
  2. Don’t point the camera down. My head will be tilted forward somewhat anyway; if I want the camera to catch anything besides the trail five feet ahead of me, I need to have the camera pointing up.
  3. Discard the audio portion of the recording and put some kind of soundtrack there in its place.

PS: Today’s weight: 167.8

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