09.2.2007 | 3:07 pm

I love putting on contests. I don’t know why, but I always get excited when I can get ahold of a prize and give something away. Maybe part of it’s that I personally have never won anything at all in a contest, so I’m trying to get the thrill of winning vicariously.

Part of it’s that I have a gift: I’m not afraid to ask for stuff. Long before blogging even existed, I asked Rock Shox for a Judy SL, promising I’d feature it prominently in an educational video I was helping with. Amazingly, they gave us three (I got one, Dug got one, and the guy who was actually doing most of the work on the video got one). Now, of course, I mostly ask for stuff on others’ behalf, although I usually wind up with something for myself, too.

And part of it’s that when I do a contest, I get lots of comments without having to do much work myself. Bloggers live for comments, and I read every single one — usually a couple of times.

Eventually, though, the contest ends. And that’s where the grand irony of contests begins.

Catching Up
See, when I run the contest, I don’t have to do much work at all. I just get the thing I’m going to give away (that’s easy) come up with the idea of how someone can win it (that’s easy), and write a post (I can do that in my sleep…I’m sleeping right now, in fact).

But then I have to choose a winner. And then I often have to exchange a bunch of email finding what size the winner wants and what her/his address is.

And then, worst of all (for me), I have to mail the thing.

And I am terrible at getting to the post office.

Which is why I am only just now getting caught up on sending out bunches and bunches of stuff to the people who have won them.

Ergon BD1 Backpack
There were about 120 entries for the Ergon BD1 backpack. I can understand why. It’s a sweet pack that practically any cyclist could make good use of. And they’re not easy to get ahold of yet. So, once again: Thanks, Jeff Kerkove and Ergon, for letting me give one of these away (and thanks even more for giving me one to keep myself!).

That said, this equated out to about 40 pages of reading for me. And there were some mighty fine entries in there. However, finding a winner was not as difficult as you might have thought. I eliminated all the “I’ll use this to commute and hold all my books and my computer” entries — this is not the right pack for that; this pack is too narrow to hold a computer or most big textbooks. For that kind of carrying, what you want is the Banjo Brothers Commuter Backpack, which is designed for carrying all your carry-to-work-and-school gear.

No, the BD1 isn’t a go-to-work pack. Or a trail maintenance bag. Or a substitute for a diaper bag. The BD1 is a pack for serious endurance racing.

And that’s what Stumper wants to use it for. He says:

Right now, my sites and goals are set on one ride/race……La Ruta. I and a couple friends have signed up for the most punishing mountain bike race on the planet. 200 miles, 32,000 (yes thats 3 zeros) feet elevation gain, in 4 days, coast to coast in Costa Rica. This will be the most epic ride I will ever do.

I need any and all help I can get to survive this death ride. This backpack will be filled with everything I could possibly need to survive the rain, mud, asphalt, jungle, python, spider monkey, and pain that I am sure to encounter on this epic of all epic rides.

Of course there will be plenty of pictures to take to share with others of how absolutly crazy I am to attempt such a feat.

La Ruta will be a chance of a lifetime…or the end of my lifetime, not sure which at this point.

Stumper, email me your name and address and I’ll hook you up with Jeff Kerkove, who will send you the pack. And you’d better hold up your end of the bargain: I want a story and pictures, exclusive to this blog.

Messenger BagGuess My Time
OK, let’s move on to the next prize I get to give away. I’m afraid I’m tardy on this one, mostly because I was so bummed out about my Leadville finishing time that it took a while for me to be able to force myself to find the best guess as to when I’d finish the race.

It turns out that “Dopey” — one of the first ten people to guess, so s/he wasn’t just playing the numbers game — guessed 9:10, only four minutes off my actual finishing time. Dopey, email me your name and address, and I’ll send you a supersized Banjo Brothers Messenger Bag, embroidered with the Fat Cyclist logo.

See, here at Fat Cyclist, I’m happy to reward those who correctly guess that I’ll fail at things that are important to me.

Rack Top Pannier BagB7 Awards!
A few days ago — okay, it was an entire month — fabled Banjo Brothers Big Bad Bulky Biker Bodyfat (B7) challenge ended.

More than 60 people entered, betting all kinds of different things against a Fat Cyclist jersey. As expected, quite a few people quietly dropped out (Nikared showed a triple helping of class by paying up his side of the bet when he realized he just wasn’t going to be able to continue on).

A big congratulations goes to everyone who lost any weight and gained any fitness through this bet. And an especially big congratulations goes to the following people, each of which beat me at the contest and therefore has a Fat Cyclist jersey on its way to them:

  • Allan8147
  • Teebone 
  • Sprocketboy
  • Chris R.
  • Bob W.
  • Lisa B.
  • Phillip S.
  • Scott R.
  • Monkeywebb (sorry I missed you earlier, Monkeywebb!)

And an extra helping of congratulations goes to the top three contestants in the race, each of which wins an awesome Banjo Brothers messenger bag or commuter backpack:

  • Allan8147
  • Chris R
  • SprocketBoy

Impressive work, folks, and a big thank-you goes out to the Banjo Brothers, who have been supporting my site since long before anyone else had even heard of it.

I should also mention that several people have sent me prizes for beating them, each of which I appreciate since it’s not like we had a binding contract or anything. One person sent me a prize even though he had beat me. Another sent me a bonus prize — an autographed copy of Floyd Landis’ Positively False, inscribed “To the Fat Cyclist.” And in general, a lot of people are being incredibly cool about this contest. I’m glad we did it.


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