Humanity’s Going to Be Just Fine

10.12.2007 | 5:50 am

Loooong ago I needed a job for the summer, so I went to work at WordPerfect (a few of you will fondly remember WordPerfect) as a customer support operator.

There, one person at a time, I learned to dislike the human race. It was inevitable, really. When all you do all day is talk to people who are in crisis and need someone as a target for their frustration and anger (and, frequently, as a mask for their embarrassment at their ineptitude), your view of humanity starts to get a little skewed.

Well, it’s taken a long time, but I’m starting to revise that worldview. I’ve got three reasons why from just this week.

Reason 1. I Recognize that Jersey
Earlier this week, when I described my first ride on my new Fillmore,  I left out a few parts.

First of all, I left out that I was wearing shorts and a short-sleeved jersey (the original — and highly collectible — black and orange Fat Cyclist Jersey).

Second, I left out that any time I was not in direct sunlight, it was pretty darned cold. Cold enough, in fact, that there was snow still on the ground left over from Saturday’s snow.

And not just in one or two little isolated patches, either:

My question is, how did this happen? I swear, it was too hot to ride outside just a couple of days ago. And now there’s snow?

I’d like to file a complaint. I need a much, much longer period in between the too-hot-to-ride season and the snowshoeing season, please.

Let’s start a petition. Those are usually effective.

OK, back to the story.

Anyway, as I got to the summit — totally winded from the climb — I saw someone wearing a Pink Fat Cyclist jersey.

“Hey!” I yelled out.

He looked up, recognizing my jersey.

Everyone, meet Justin, a guy I have never met before, but who was wearing the Pink Lemonade Fat Cyclist jersey. He was out there in patchy snow, getting in a MTB ride before winter takes over completely.

I know there are more than 500 people like Justin out there, wearing the Pink Lemonade jersey to support Susan and fight cancer. People I’ve never met, but are doing something nice for Susan and me just because that’s the kind of people they are.

Reason 2. I Need a Lift
After I talked with Justin for a few minutes, I turned around and headed downhill toward home.

And that’s when I started getting cold. Really, really cold. The long shadows cast by the mountain in the afternoon, compounded with wind, compounded with a sweaty jersey, compounded with a nice little breeze, had me shaking with cold.

And then I got a flat.

I should now back up for a moment and reveal that before the beginning of this ride, I put together a new seat pack for my new bike, so I’d always have everything I need to change a tire, should I get a flat. However, as I did this, I realized I didn’t have a spare tube or a spare CO2 cartridge in my garage to put in this new pack.

I could have easily just moved the seat pack I keep on my other road bike over to the bike I was riding, but I made a decision: “Nah. It’s a brand new tire. It won’t get a flat.” And I also decided to not bother bringing my phone, since I don’t get a signal when I’m in American Fork Canyon.

It’s like I’m jinxing myself on purpose.

So there I was: halfway down the narrow mountain road, with a flat. No way to fix it.

Six miles to home. Time to start walking.

A truck with a trailer zoomed by, honking at me. I assume they were angry at me for choosing to take my bike on a walk on this narrow road, and miffed that they would now have to move their hand two inches and tap their brake slightly in order to avoid me.

This did not improve my mood.

Ten seconds later, though, a car slowed as it went by me. The guy in the passenger seat shouted out, “You OK?”

I shook my head, no. And in fact, I wasn’t OK. I was shivering cold.

They pulled over, popped the trunk, and directed traffic around them while I took the wheels off my bike (luckily, I did have my Jethro Tool with me). They were both coming back from doing some rock climbing, and said they’d be happy to give me a ride home.

To be clear, they made that offer before they knew that I lived relatively close and was pretty much on their way.

All the way home, we talked about how incredible Utah in general — and American Fork Canyon in particular — is if you love the outdoors, whether you’re a rock climber, a cyclist, a kayaker, or whatever.

In short: I waited for less than two minutes after getting a flat before getting a friendly, genuine offer of assistance. I know that kind of help wouldn’t always come that fast, but I say that it’s pretty darned cool that it comes at all.

Reason 3. Family, Friends, and Fat Cyclist Readers
Wednesday night, after a particularly bad day for Susan and me, I posted a scared, stressed-out message on my blog.

Yesterday, I heard from everyone in my family — my Mom dropped everything and came over, Kellene’s coming over to help for the weekend, Lori texted me from wherever she’s camping, Christy called, and Jodi commented on the blog and wore her Fat Cyclist jersey when she went running (where she was evidently seen by Bike Snob NYC on his way to work — small world).

Friends have called, emailed, and instant messaged me.

And more than 110 of you have left incredibly thoughtful messages of support. I have read every one of them, and Susan has, too.

Of course, this blog has always been — and will always be — primarily a goofy place for me to say whatever wrongheaded cycling-tangented idea that’s popped into my skull. But it’s incredibly reassuring to know that when I need to be serious, Fat Cyclist readers are more than happy to help me out.



  1. Comment by DocB | 10.12.2007 | 8:36 am

    I just read the last two posts and wanted to tell you and Susan what an inspiration you are to all your friends in the Fattysphere. I started reading about a year ago (I don’t comment very often). In that time you have made me laugh, cry and feel just about every other emotion that can be felt. Despite having never met you, it does indeed feel like I know you better than I know some of my “real world” friends. I hope you got the picture I emailed of me proudly sporting my Pink Lemonade at last weekends local MS charity ride. Just one more of the 500 plus random people around the planet that are constantly sending postive vibes yours and Susan’s way. Keep fighting, keep writing. We are all there to lend a hand in whatever small way possible. Oh, and as everyone else has already said, if you need to raise more money later for Italy (or anything else) put out another jersey; we’ll all buy at least one.

  2. Comment by DocB | 10.12.2007 | 8:36 am

    I just read the last two posts and wanted to tell you and Susan what an inspiration you are to all your friends in the Fattysphere. I started reading about a year ago (I don’t comment very often). In that time you have made me laugh, cry and feel just about every other emotion that can be felt. Despite having never met you, it does indeed feel like I know you better than I know some of my “real world” friends. I hope you got the picture I emailed of me proudly sporting my Pink Lemonade at last weekends local MS charity ride. Just one more of the 500 plus random people around the planet that are constantly sending postive vibes yours and Susan’s way. Keep fighting, keep writing. We are all there to lend a hand in whatever small way possible. Oh, and as everyone else has already said, if you need to raise more money later for Italy (or anything else) put out another jersey; we’ll all buy at least one.

  3. Comment by Rick S. | 10.12.2007 | 8:44 am

    One of my favorite quotes from your blog, is “Let us be thankful for the wind, for it makes us stronger”. It’s hard to be thankful for the trials, but you and Susan are going to be tough as nails for having gone through this.

    It’s cool to see someone like Justin (who is like 7 ft tall) wearing the pink.

  4. Comment by cheapie | 10.12.2007 | 8:54 am

    what is justin doing with his left hand?

  5. Comment by chtrich | 10.12.2007 | 9:06 am

    Good follow up to yesterday. Keep up the spirits and Keep on Keeping on!

  6. Comment by | 10.12.2007 | 9:20 am

    Can I just say:
    It’s people like you that make me wish I lived in Utah. You, your family and your extended family (the bloggers, if you will) are all amazing people. Keep up the good work Elden!

  7. Comment by Pammap | 10.12.2007 | 9:22 am

    FC, great entry. Thanks for bringing us into your cyber circle of trust. I am looking forward to Christmas. Santa is bringing me one of the soon to be released, 2nd edition Pink Lemonade jerseys. I can’t wait to be one of the proud and few that can wear my support for Susan for all to see.

    (Cheapie, look again; Justin is holding his sunglasses with his left hand.)

  8. Comment by bikemike | 10.12.2007 | 9:32 am

    for those about to rock, we salute you. (susan!)

  9. Comment by Big Boned | 10.12.2007 | 9:35 am

    Though I’ve never met you, I believe that you are the kind of person that if I was alongside the road, you’d stop.
    Having retired from the military I have friends all over the country. I don’t get to see them nearly as often as I’d like. The other day my wife asked me who my best friend is, when I told her, she was surprised that it’s someone I get to see twice a year if I’m lucky. I explained to her that he was my best friend because we’ve been through so much together and both of us know that if/when we were ever out of hope the other would be there at the drop of a hat. I can trust him with anything.
    In some small way this blog is the same way. You and Susan have friends/supporters that you’ve never met and most likely never will meet. You reap what you sow. Whatever hope and reassurance we are for you, you are for us as well.

  10. Comment by Trapper Dan | 10.12.2007 | 9:42 am


    Come to North Florida. It snows here like never. The last time was 1990. It gets cold (I know thats a relative term) here around January and is warming back up by mid-March.

    Its good to hear that there are still good folks out there that’ll give a stranded rider a lift. Around here you’d get a bottle thrown at ya.

    I wore my new pink jersey on our rail trail ride this past Wednesday. I got a few funny looks from the folks in the office as I was leaving work. My daughter wants to know when I’m going order one for her. When is this much written about soon to be released 2nd edition Pink Lemonade jersey going on sale?

    Jax, FL

  11. Comment by Velofreak | 10.12.2007 | 9:49 am

    I hear what you say about people stopping to help. Yesterday I was riding up Memory Grove/ City Creek Canyon, when my cleat started to feel loose. I stopped to tighten the screws, when this car that had passed me seconds before, spun around and asked if everything was ok. As cyclists, we (most) will not hesitate to help. It feels good getting it back. Keep up the fight!

  12. Comment by ming | 10.12.2007 | 10:02 am

    when you cant walk you crawl, when you cant crawl you find someone to carry you. youre going to start fights with everyone willing to carry you fatty.

  13. Comment by Bob | 10.12.2007 | 10:04 am

    Don’t go too crazy with your little “People Are Good” view on life. I for one am ignoring you.

  14. Comment by KeepYerBag | 10.12.2007 | 10:13 am

    Tough day at the call center, Bob?

  15. Comment by Lee | 10.12.2007 | 10:13 am

    Cheapie- he’s holding a pair of glasses, use the magnifier, Luke!!!

  16. Comment by Philly Jen | 10.12.2007 | 10:19 am


    (Thank heavens Bob remains his usual acerbic self — that’s how we truly know that the world is okay. If he had a tender moment, I’d have to invoke the “Imminent Doom” countdown feature on my wristwatch.)

  17. Comment by Lowrydr | 10.12.2007 | 10:19 am

    OK, I’ve got to say it: Nice “Azspritzen” there DocB.

    As for the help stopping by, that’s something I always try to do just to pass it on. Like helping the 3 young guys touring thru Iowa from NY State. They were wondering where to stay so I made a call (actually my wife called) to my Sister-in Law. Got them hooked up with a place in the next town over that they were headed to. And on they went to Canada from there.

    As for not putting a new tube on that sweet new bike, come on you know better than that FC.

    This will make you snicker though, I’m waiting on my next new one now. It’s a trunk bike, you know one of those Folders to throw in the trunk of the car. That way if I’m some where and want to hit a trail that I’ve come across I can. Just to check it out anyway and know what to expect when I come back with a real bike. And I will have some tools and a tube with me.

    Great follow-up to yesterday, and hope Susan is feeling more better today.

  18. Comment by Michelle | 10.12.2007 | 10:21 am

    I got my Pink Lemonade a few weeks ago. Best of luck to you and Susan.

  19. Comment by William | 10.12.2007 | 10:27 am

    Hey, you provide us with some entertainment and for me some motivation to get out the door and cycle (I think what you actually do is point out to me that having a job and a family is no excuse for not riding enough).
    Anyway, it’s good to hear that the sun is shining for you again.
    keep up the fight!

  20. Comment by Clydesteve | 10.12.2007 | 10:27 am

    I like the synchronicity of your fixie wrench, the Jethro Tool vs. Jethro Tull, when you also consider my favorite Jethro Tull album, Heavy Horses vs. the logo on my orange/black FC jersey, Heavyweight Horsepower.

    If that doesn’t cheer you up…….

  21. Comment by System6 | 10.12.2007 | 10:34 am

    Super blog. I had a similar “world isn’t so bad a place” experience last weekend finishing a century with a couple of friends.

    We were probably a bit too gung ho early on, keeping a paceline going hour after hour and pushing up towards 30 mph in some sections (see part below about TAILWIND).

    As the day went on, the winds picked up. For the first two thirds of the ride, they usually came as annoying cross winds, but for about 10 blessed miles we had a very pleasant tailwind. God, did we look fast.

    Then it was time to turn for home.

    By then, flags flew nearly sheet-flat and the wind blew seemingly eminated directly from my house, 35 miles away. [A sure sign that my mother in law had dropped by.]

    Oh, and did I mention the 90+ degree temps thing? That same day the unusually warm weather caused all that trouble at the Chicago marathon 250 miles to our north, where it’s COOLER.

    The entire ride back our paceline of three became a draft line of hot, slow, tired, sorry looking mules who lacked the energy even to complain about how sorry we were.

    Without speaking a word between us, each had the same thoughts focused on two humbling questions:

    - should I call my wife and arrange a pickup at some interim spot, and end this torture?

    - If I don’t do that, how will I ever get up THAT hill?

    See, about 10 miles from home there’s one particular hill less than a half mile long but double digit grade all the way up.

    I knew I didn’t have the legs left for it. I’d been fighting random charlie horses the previous 10 miles, and it was a complete certainty I was going to have my pride for lunch as I walked up.

    I skipped the call home, and walked up the hill even as my two mates managed to find the juice to pedal up. Utter disgrace, absolutely the worst.

    Few cars passed as I made the hike, but the second one that did had a dad and a son who had been out doing sports, and they slowed to my pathetic pace and asked if I needed help or a ride up.

    I didn’t, but was grateful they’d asked. In my book, that erased certain less gracious thoughts I’ve had about other cars (and you know who you are) that go by and honk, yell, or otherwise express how we’re not appreciated on the road.

    Keep up the good writing and the good karma, and best wishes to Susan.

  22. Comment by sorelegs | 10.12.2007 | 11:26 am

    Imagine a world where people always stop to check and see if the guy on the side of the road is OK. Imagine a world where people from all over care about and support their fellow man in distant places. Imagine a world where people do things because they are the “right” thing to do. The fat cyclist world. Making the world better one post at a time. Thanks for everything. Thanks for keeping me coming back.

  23. Pingback by | The RocBike Review » Links Of The Day: 12 October 2007 | 10.12.2007 | 12:10 pm

    [...] Humanity’s Going to Be Just Fine [...]

  24. Comment by vic | 10.12.2007 | 12:50 pm

    If people are going to share friendly world v bike stories, I guess I can chime in:

    One winter, I was riding on the Chicago lake front bike path (which, by the way, is best ridden in winter as only about 30 fools in the entire city are willing to do it, so there is plenty of room to pedal) and I got three flats. I had two tubes and no patch kit, so I was done.

    My last flat was on my way north around the aquarium and my destination was Lincoln Park about 8-10 miles away. The section of bike path nearest me parallels Lake Shore Drive where it is illegal for a cab to pick up a fair. I tried anyway and failed to hail.

    Suddenly, a car pulled to the side and the drive opened the hood. The driver pretended to peer at his motor, turned his head and said, “I’ll give you a ride.”

    I paused and reflected on this opportunity as it seemed more complicated than it might. This is where my shame starts…

    The driver met in his race, automotive and apparel choices all of the requisites for a Hollywood crack slinging gangster. I in turn met all of the race and apparel choices for a white bread, Starbuck slurping, overpriced bike owner who hits the cars power locks when a person of color walks by. To my own massive disappointment, I was not sure I wanted the ride, I was metaphorically reaching for the power locks.

    I had to ask myself if I really believed what I claimed to believe about stereotypes, class, race and human relations. It is very easy to stand on a soapbox at a party, it is another thing to hop in a car with Tupac.

    I fought back my idiotic racism, choked on my disappointment with myself and tossed my bike into his trunk. I got a toasty warm ride home with a generous man, had a great conversation and was saved a lot of shivering and some worn out cleats.

    I hope I learned something, and I hope in the future my thoughts don’t betray me as they did that day. I suppose that if I want to like the human race, I have to start by being likable.

    BTW, there is no better way to see the lights of downtown Chicago than a winter night ride on the lake shore bike path. It is best right after a snow when the path is freshly plowed. It should go without saying that you will want to wear some layers.

  25. Comment by Miguel | 10.12.2007 | 1:19 pm

    Hey there,
    I am relatively new to the cycling world as I received my first road bike back in February before riding the 2007 Texas 4000 for Cancer this summer. I had been a mountain biker for several years prior, however, and have always loved riding any kind of bike. Anyway, this summer had a profound impact on me and though I originally signed up for the cycling aspect of the trip, hearing so many stories both encouraging and heart-breaking gave the charity aspect of our ride so much more meaning to me as we pedaled to Alaska. I have recently been an avid reader of BikeSnobNYC’s blog, and found your blog through his not too long ago. After reading about the hard times you and your wife are going through, I wish to send you my best wishes in your fight and cannot even imagine what it must be like. Though, I am so glad to see that you have such strong support from all your readers. It is truly awesome the camaraderie among cyclists and the power of support.

    To make a long story short, I just wanted to throw in my two cents and support you as best I can in your struggle. I will definitely be purchasing a pink jersey in support. I can’t say I’ve seen any of those around Austin, so it may be a first.

    Best of luck, and keep on writing/riding!

  26. Comment by aloof | 10.12.2007 | 2:03 pm

    I’m old and rather out of shape, brand new to cycling, having just purchased a road bike during the latter part of July, and in the midst of beginner clipless pedal Hell. Having read this blog for a very short period of time and recognizing the company of cyclists I’m in and the strength and character of you and Susan, I don’t yet qualify for comments. But, tomorrow the exquisitely beautiful Pink Lemonade jersey and I will ride in the Trek Breast Cancer Awareness ride. This is my first ever group ride and it’s a very short ride but there’s probably better than 50/50 odds I’ll fall over again in the freaking pedals in the company of many experienced cyclists, and franky, I’m not worthy of wearing the jersey, which I pray doesn’t get damaged in any way. Regardless, tomorrow I’m a Susan riding for Susan. And you have no idea how proudly some of us wear that jersey. You really don’t know what an honor it will be for me.

  27. Comment by JimB | 10.12.2007 | 2:06 pm

    Where can we go to tell the world: if you see somebody walking along the road with a bike you should ask them if they need a ride. People need to rejoin the human race and have some compassion for somebody else on this planet besides themself.
    Thinking of Susan and your family Fatty, Good Luck!

  28. Comment by JimB | 10.12.2007 | 2:14 pm

    There you go Fatty, what aloof said. That is the kind of stuff you and Susan have inspired out here in the world with all of us and that should make you feel GOOD.

  29. Comment by dug | 10.12.2007 | 3:02 pm

    by the way, the justin you ran across up in the snow is the justin of broken collarbone fame from my write up of last year’s lotoja. i don’t know how to link to that in your new-fangled site here, but he is like 7ft tall, goes over 200lbs, and climbs like a demon. never seen anything like it.

  30. Comment by Argentius | 10.12.2007 | 3:13 pm

    Shoot, fatty. The commets section on your weblog has gotten so big I can’t even read it all! And not just because Al Maviva types 3409823 WPM.

    I don’t get on the computer as much as some, since I don’t work at a desk, but I’m pretty happy that I was able to read this post BEFORE the last one.


    I wish I could EMPATHIZE with Susan’s plight even a hair as much as I SYMPATHIZE, you know? I think of how magical it makes me feel to be able to ride, to go up hills that I once could not, to be fit when I was once a couch potato.

    But, potatoes indeed, these ones are small compared with what she’s facing. Somehow the “stairs” bit hit home a little more.

    Thoughts are with you, and more — I wish I had the money to buy 1,000 Pink Lemonades…

  31. Comment by System6 | 10.12.2007 | 5:37 pm



    As cyclists, we’ve had almost as tough a run lately as your neighborhood mortgage banker or your favorite post-teen Hollywood starlette. Seems we just can get no respect.

    More troubling, is that we often don’t exactly give it, either. A short and vastly incomplete list of Some Things We Don’t Like would include –

    - Drivers who pass too closely or yell or throw stuff at us (and we’ve got some grounds for being disgruntled here)
    - Cyclists who give the sport a bad name, for example by riding in flagrant violation to local ordinances
    - Cities that won’t put in bike lanes, and others of us actually don’t like bike lanes
    - When our communities widen and repave roads without providing a safe place for us upon them
    - Our city and its drivers, which we tend to think are above-average in disliking us
    - Cyclists who dope
    - News people who think only cyclists dope — we think other sports deserve a turn “at bat” (hint, hint) airing who else uses EPO and testosterone
    - What’s happening to Floyd, but we’re willing to continue stirring on this conversation topic seemingly FOR-FREAKING-EVER
    - WADA or Dick Pound. We don’t like the UCI, either
    - Bad service at the LBS; we all could dredge up a shortcoming or two about this, couldn’t we?

    We’ve all got stories of bad things that happened to us while out riding, and we tell them to “outsiders.” This, folks, this is called Bad Karma. Bad Karma is negativity you throw out, that comes back to you.

    If we’re to really enjoy the utopian experience of cycling, which we’ve all managed to find at times and is why we keep heading out on our two-wheeled ponies, then we need to ditch the Bad Karma and refocus on the good. This is about banishing the negativity and allowing only the positive to flow in and out. This is bigger than any of us. This is about NOTHING LESS THAN UNIVERSAL HAPPINESS, and it starts with us – because we touch the true source, we like to think, of nirvana.

    So I’m sending out this invitation for responses, asking you to post some Good Karma for all of us to enjoy. It can be about anything you feel demonstrates Good Karma, such as –

    - A really good experience you had with your LBS, or one you stumbled upon
    - Someone you met while riding who made a lasting positive impression on your life
    - A great group you ride with
    - Someone who went out of their way to make your ride better or safer
    - A great event you raced in
    - Someone who taught you something valuable about cycling, or, through cycling, about life
    - Any other great experience you had because you get on a bike and ride

    He or she who posts the best story, gets our undying appreciation (and I’ll talk to the Editor about maybe some swag, but don’t hold me to it). He or she who makes us laugh or cry in happiness gets some immediate gifts of positive Karma, and a clearer (but not sooner, promise) path to heaven.

    The gun has fired, and I hand you the pen…

  32. Comment by boots | 10.12.2007 | 7:06 pm

    Don’t worry too much about falling Aloof, those of us who have been riding for awhile all have funny marks around the knees. I vividly recall a car full of girls & a recalcitrant toe strap! What is important is focusing (& getting up) on the positive
    & what you can do to achieve it-just as you are doing. Fatty I don’t know you and Susan & probably never will in person, but I think about what you are going thru
    frequently. You are fortunate to have each other & such a supportive family and group of friends. NEVER GIVE UP. You owe it to yourselves. There is so much that
    you have accomplished as a team-and so much more to do after this hurdle. I am
    sending you all the positive Karma & my heartfelt best wishes. PS: I was diagnosed
    w Parkinson’s 10 yrs ago-I now have an excuse for falling over but still ride.

  33. Comment by Harp | 10.12.2007 | 9:08 pm

    T6 will have to put out some more of the pink jerseys so both my wife and I can get one.

  34. Comment by Uncle Bob | 10.12.2007 | 9:34 pm

    Long ago and far away I was a motor-cyclist. One day I was riding back from a rally near the CSIRO observatory at Parkes (way out west beyond the Blue Mountains). It was a baking hot day, and I was running low on drinking water, so I bought a bottle at a petrol station. It wasn’t a brand I’d heard of, but the tap outside by the bowsers was labelled “Not For Drinking” in red paint, so I made the best of it. Big Mistake® The bottled water was contaminated, and as I rode on, I got sicker and sicker. Before I reached the outskirts of Sydney, I was stopping about every quarter-hour to hop off the old BMW, wrench open my helmet and puke my rings out.

    Somewhere about Windsor, I was on my hands and knees by the side of the road, dry heaving as the river of cars flowed serenely past. Suddenly I was surrounded by the glare of headlights and the roar of mighty engines:

    ” You crook, mate?” ”
    ” ‘Kin oath… *cough* *heave* ”

    The good Samaritans were a bunch of the sort of bikers you’d cross the street to avoid. Lots of tattoos, scars and facial hair. Gang and chapter insignia. Guns. My first thought was: Are they going to kill me and steal my bike, or just steal my bike? In fact they were kindness itself. Helped me up… Dug out a thermos of the strongest, sweetest coffee I’ve ever tasted, which made me feel a lot better… Rode with me into the city, waiting while I stopped for a couple more prayers to the twin deities Hughie and Rolf. As we parted, their leader casually mentioned their destination for the night, and I was amazed to find they’d come some 100km round-trip out of their way to see me home.

    I certainly learned to not judge a book by its cover; these blokes looked like they’d cut your throat for ninepence (and I wouldn’t like your chances if you were a competitor in their business), but they earned some good karma that night. Thank you Bill, Sean, Baz, Daz, Pikey and the two other guys whose names I’ve forgotten, wherever you are.

  35. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 10.13.2007 | 5:50 am

    First of all your welcome and its a pleasure for us out here to be of some help. Secondly are there any of the Aussie arm of Team FC riding in the Around the Bay in Melbourne next Sunday. There are over 15,500 riders doing various components of the ride and I will be there spreading the word in the Pink top. I’m going anticlockwise in the 210 and I hope to see some other members of Team FC in the colours as well.
    Thirdly Aloof you are exactly what this riding lark is all about. We all started somewhere and we are all worthy of riding in the Pink. We’ve all fallen over and hurt ourselves at times (and I still do) except maybe Al M who probably talked someone into diving under him too cushion the fall but the point is he still fell over. Welcome to the team and have fun.
    Sue when FC puts the lift in make sure it’s orange. Orange lifts go faster. Feel the Love.

  36. Pingback by It’s about Tim » Blog Archive » Why I read the FC | 10.13.2007 | 8:41 am

    [...] Why I read the FC [...]

  37. Comment by Fan of Susan | 10.13.2007 | 9:59 am

    I think all of us who read your blog are in agreement about what a wonderful inspiration you and and Susan are as you battle her cancer together. However, I have to let you know about an inspirational effect you’ve had on a much, more humble level. Motivated by reading your blog, my husband (the true definition of a fat, although I prefer chubby, non-cyclist) began riding in mid-August. As an incentive I dangled the lure of a fat cyclist jersey as a one-month reward to keep him going. He did so, said jersey was purchased, and then his gears died (probably not the technical term). Still motivated, he took his bike to the local cycling shop where he found out about a beginner’s group ride on Saturdays. It required several more weeks of riding and fat cyclist reading to work up his nerve but today he went for the first time. Being somewhat uninformed about this particular ride, he was surprised when it turned out to be a mix of road and mountain biking (fortunately, he has a hybrid, but he was expecting road/paved paths). Needless to say, it was his first experience on a single track. What happened? He freakin’ loved it. And, he fell down. Multiple times. Which he described happily to me as his first “blooding”. In short, he came home sweaty, stinky, banged up and as excited as a 5 year old on Christmas morning. He was also tickled that the group leader (a woman) was riding a single speed and that he knew what that was. So – thanks!

  38. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 10.13.2007 | 1:06 pm

    Uncle Bob

    When I was on my 400 miles in 4 days solo odyssey I had a similar bikie experience.

    It was on day 4 of the journey and it felt like I was in a permanent hunger flat at about the 45 mile mark of a planned 100 mile day when I was passed by a Harley. And another. And another. After a dozen or so had gone by I decided to count them… I got to around 75 before I gave up.

    10 miles further up the road was a petrol station. My life line to renewed blood sugar levels. As I got closer I saw that there were some choppers there. When I arrived I realised they were ALL there. I climbed off the bike and leaned it against a palm tree and walked tentatively into the lions den wearing lycra. I was in Del Fuego central.

    I was also wondering if there would be enough of me left for a funeral. Then the waters (bikers) parted. The ushered me straight to the counter to be served with pats on the shoulder and a few enthusiastic questions about my bike. It seems they were more Wild Hogs than Del Fuegos.

  39. Comment by Uncle Bob | 10.13.2007 | 2:40 pm

    Sorry Born4Lycra, I’m doing the City of Sydney Spring Cycle that day. I’m a bit windy of events like this (I get claustrophobic in a bunch, especially one containing thousands of wobbly once-a-year riders), but I suppose I’ll be glad I did it once.

  40. Comment by Errorista | 10.13.2007 | 4:24 pm

    oh man i totally feel like a hotshot….Bike Snob NYC saw me and blogged me. This pink jersey/running combo is really paying off!! Seriously, it had to be me as I did run the Brooklyn Bridge that morning, in the commuting hour – I am constantly looking for a fellow pink jersey person to give five to…maybe one day I’ll give five to the snob.

    Small big world. I’m glad it loves you so much, brother!

  41. Comment by leroy | 10.13.2007 | 5:53 pm

    I’ll have to keep an eye out for pink jerseys to wave to as I cross the Brooklyn Bridge in the morning. And I’ll have to keep an eye out for Bike Snob.

    Some mornings, I don’t really wake up until I start climbing the Bridge. Thank God, I’ve perfected the art of getting dressed while half asleep.

    Could be embarrassing otherwise.

  42. Comment by | 10.13.2007 | 6:41 pm

    One Word: Misanthrope

  43. Comment by Orangefury008 | 10.14.2007 | 11:16 am

    Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race. –H.G. Wells

    Felt like this was some what approprate.

    Prayers and Good wishes for you and Susan.


  44. Comment by buckythedonkey | 10.14.2007 | 11:56 pm

    I await my first meeting with another FC jersey wearer. The nearest I have come to one was riding laps of Richmond Park the week before last when a white transit van drew alongside and closed in on me as the driver wound down the passenger window (quite a stretch). I was wondering what I had done to deserve the inevitable stream of invective but it never came. Instead I got:

    “Nice jersey mate! Brilliant!”

    So, if said van driver reads this blog, hello to you! You nearly bloody killed me, you daft bugger, but hello to you all the same.

    Oh, and on the topic of the FC Italian Jersey (and if you think you detect a tone of presumption there, you’d be right) from where I’m sitting you appear to have three choices my friend:

    - Team: azzurro blue (
    - Leader/Winner: pink (
    - Champion: red, white and green (

    I can’t see any inappropriate option there. For the sake of a change of colour maybe blue for the masses and a single tricolore for the girl herself.


  45. Comment by buckythedonkey | 10.15.2007 | 1:20 am

    On second thoughts – maybe the Susan Nelson Campione dell’Italia *replica* jersey should be tricolore after all… :-)

  46. Comment by Kali | 10.15.2007 | 5:55 am

    As a fellow misanthrope-who-wishes-not-to-be, I have to admit that this entry choked me up a bit. I began reading Fat Cyclist a year or two ago purely because it was funny. At the time, I never would have expected that it would also sometimes touch me and make me think. My thanks to you, Elden. You’re doing a good thing.

    Dammit, somebody tell a joke now, would’ya?

  47. Comment by Rachel | 10.15.2007 | 7:15 am

    Fatty, you should move to Boise if you want to avoid the snow just a little longer, and you can avoid it on the roads nearly all year. But the skiing isn’t as good (though it’s fine for me, since I’m not an expert).

    On another note (Susan’s), I can’t help but be filled with hope and love and concern and prayers for you and all your family, along with the rest of this group. I’m always looking for updates and hoping for good news, and most of all hoping that the two of you have peace and joy mixed in with the pain. Best wishes.

  48. Comment by Morgan | 10.15.2007 | 8:11 am

    This is like one BIG Fatty Family Hug!

  49. Comment by AMG in Texas | 10.15.2007 | 9:14 am

    You are running in the right circles. I have stopped for cyclists on the side of the road and have yet to find one that will take the offer of kindness. Probably because they are always well prepared to fix their flats or have a chum close by to help them out.

    One day as I finished my ride I call the “Parmer 8 mile” (hilly north/south ride that always has a headwind) and was on my way home in my truck (from my house you cant ride to this spot w/o risking your life on narrow 2 lane roads full of crazy texans which is why I put my bike in the truck to get there) and I see a lady off her bike on the opposite side of the road all alone. I pulled a u-turn and stopped to help her out. I get out of the truck (dressed in my cyclist tops and bottoms and clips) and saw a tangled chain. She was on her cell phone and I asked if she wanted me to fix her bike. This is what she said: “NO my friends are coming to pick me up”. She as at the top of the biggest hill already… everything from that point was downhill. I retreated to my truck and went home. I guess she was cooked already and had the PERFECT excuse for not finishing the ride.

    One of the nicest things somebody yelled out to me while on my bike was from this blond girl in the passenger seat of a Mustang. She yelled “GO LANCE!!”. Wow, here I am, fat middle aged guy on a hybrid averaging 13mph!!! She made my day :-)

    Whatever happened to Kenny??? Is he ok?? Those last pictures of him were brutal. I havent seen him post on the blog since then.

    What is Al Maviva up to??? He has lost his snarkyness recently.

    We continue to support you and Susan. Best wishes.

    P.S. Miguel what parts of Austin you ride at??? I ride Parmer/2244 to 1431.

  50. Comment by Northeast Sue | 10.15.2007 | 9:34 am

    I finally got caught up! Had an extremely busy work schedule last winter/spring and fell behind. I hate when work gets in the way of the really important stuff. Being OCD, I had to read every entry and every comment (Al M made my head hurt a few times) in order. I found out about Susan’s cancer returning from James in August right before the Pan Mass Challenge, so I have been sending out positive thoughts and hugs since. I had stopped riding years ago after my daughter was born, but you have inspired me to start up again. I was lucky enough to get one of the pink lemonade jerseys and would not hesitate to add my support again. Hugs and thanks for bringing this “family” together.

  51. Comment by Clydesteve | 10.15.2007 | 9:42 am

    On seeing FC jerseys – I saw one among the 100-milers at the Portland LIVESTRONG Challenge ride on Septempber 30th. I hollered:
    HEY! FAT CYCLIST! NICE JERSEY! I think I knd of embarrased him, but he nodded back.

    I saw him later on the ride, when he came up behind me and said Hey, Fat Cyclist! He was on his way past me, and we either passed again a a rest stop where he stopped ot I didn’t, or he stayed ahead for the duration. He was from the twin cities. I did not catch whether he followed this blog.

    If so, – Hey guy – nice ridin’, sorry if I was I might too enthusiastic for you!


  52. Comment by Beast Mom | 10.15.2007 | 10:03 am

    Hey FC,
    Yeah, there are still some good people out there. Glad someone noticed and helped you out.

    I really hope Susan is doing better. Less pain hopefully? Sorry it’s been such a tough week.


  53. Comment by Blue | 10.15.2007 | 11:03 am

    I’m a volunteer in one of our Local Boy Scout Troops. We were biking from Antelope Island, Salt Lake UT to Syracuse. Just a 15 Miler, but a ride that they all remember. At the same time, there was a century going on, with the half way point on the island. And there were my Scouts, biking along with a steady stream of roadies. It was cool to see everybody encourage them as they passed safely by. They all kept talking about it on the way home. One Scout in particular was pretty tired at the end of the ride and was sitting by a drinking fountain. He was fine, he just didn’t look like he was okay. Anyway, everyone there asked how he was, multiple energy gels were offered to him. There are a lot of good people out there. Good examples, good experiences.

    All the Best to you and Susan. May all the good memories lift you up, may your smile be the joy of hope and victory!

  54. Comment by mark | 10.15.2007 | 11:29 am

    Dug, I was wondering if it was the same Justin–thanks for clearing that up.

  55. Comment by Pioneer Woman | 10.15.2007 | 12:04 pm

    Fatty and Susan,
    Hi from the ranch.
    Well wishes from the ranch.
    Prayers from the ranch.
    Love from the ranch.
    I’m really sorry it’s been a hard week.
    Pain, leave Susan alone. And that’s an order.

  56. Comment by lmouse | 10.15.2007 | 12:46 pm

    Thank you, Bob. I mean it. Thank you.

  57. Comment by Rocky | 10.15.2007 | 7:23 pm

    Susan and Fatty – whatever brand of courage you all are using is the best brand. Ever. You are in our thoughts and in our prayers always. If somehow we could take some of your burden for us…

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