Wherein I Get Downright Aggressive About Selling Out

11.8.2007 | 10:06 am

A Note from Fatty: It occurs to me that I am not accused of selling out very often enough. This is clearly an indicator that I need to step up my efforts, or I’m never going to be able to sell this blog for millions of dollars, or even hire some lackey (Dug, probably) to write my entries for me while I spend more time in with my true passion and life’s work: mashed potatoes.

To rectify this problem, I have written the following letter to Travis Ott, Brand Manager of Fisher and Lemond Bikes. I will be interested in his response, which — with his permission — I will publish.

If you can think of other companies and people I should send letters to, please let me know in the comments section.

Another Note from Fatty: Don’t forget to sign up for next week’s weight-loss competition.

Dear Mr. Ott,

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Elden Nelson, better known by my very famous and important blog, The Fat Cyclist (www.fatcyclist.com). It would be inaccurate of me to say that millions of people come to my site each day, but it would also be inaccurate to say that mere hundreds visit my site each day. Let us then agree upon “thousands upon thousands” as the number of people who visit my site each day, and speak of it no more.

Unless you want to see charts and stuff. Oh yes, I have charts.

I am also a big fan — and owner — of the very bike brands you represent. I have owned a Paragon (the old 26″ kind) and a Sugar, and currently own a Paragon 29er, a Rig, and a Fillmore.

It’s almost like we were made for each other, Travis.

But this letter is not simply an introduction and pronouncement of loyalty and love, Travis (I hope it’s OK for me to call you Travis). Oh no. It is so much more than that. It is also, to be precise, a proposal.

Wait. Don’t walk away. I am not asking for sponsorship, nor for something as crass as advertising. For one thing, I’m far too slow to be sponsored, and I am far too proud a man to beg for advertising.

No, what I propose, Travis, is a partnership. An equitable trade where no money is exchanged, but where we both benefit. Hopefully in a non-traceable manner, so I don’t have to report it on my income tax returns.

But I digress.

I propose the following terms for our partnership:

What I Will Do For You

  • Editorial Mentions Galore: I will find an absurd number of reasons to talk about your bikes. I will praise them in an intelligent, yet slavish manner.
  • Your Ad Here: I will place an ad of your choice in a prominent spot on my blog. Your sales will go through the roof and you will be praised as a genius.
  • Enforcement: Any time I pass a cyclist not on a Gary Fisher bike when I pass, I will scoff at and otherwise belittle that rider. If the rider I pass is both male andsmaller than I am, I will then push him over.
  • Photography: I will post lots of pictures of my very sexy bikes. Furthermore, I will post these pictures with my good-looking friends by them, so as to not sour the experience for my readers.

What You Will Do For Me

  • SuperflyThe Obvious: I desperately want a Gary Fisher Superfly. I promise you that your web traffic to your Superfly page has surged dramatically, by my mere mention of the bike. Imagine — if you can — the crazy amounts of attention I will slather on this bike once I own one. Give me a Superfly and I’m yours forever.
  • Something for My Readers: In addition to being a famous and important blogger (some would say the most famous and most important, but I prefer to not quibble), I am also generous. I would like you to provide an assortment of hats, helmets, parts, and other bicycle-related goodness to give to my readers as contest giveaways. You should also consider giving away a bike, because that would make people’s eyes bug out at what a great company you are. But don’t give my readers as nice of a bike as you’re giving me.
  • Punch Brent Hulme Hard on the Arm: The next time you see Brent Hulme (the Fisher / Lemond rep for this region), you will punch him hard on the arm and say, “That’s from Fatty.” I include this item, incidentally, for you to negotiate away, so you can feel like you came out the winner in this exchange.
  • An Interview with Gary: I want to have a Q&A session with Gary Fisher, for publication in this blog. Or, if you like, it can be with another person, but he has to at least pretend to be Gary.

I think I have made a compelling case, Travis. I look forward to our partnership, as I’m sure you do as well.

Kind Regards,

The Fat Cyclist


  1. Comment by Philly Jen | 11.8.2007 | 10:17 am

    Cake. Gary Fisher people: Bring Cake. Lots of Cake.

  2. Comment by cyclingphun.blogspot.com | 11.8.2007 | 10:18 am

    Has anyone called you a dork lately? I was just curious, I don’t mean anything by it. Witty I must say…

  3. Comment by cyclingphun.blogspot.com | 11.8.2007 | 10:19 am

    …Oh! and mashed potatoes… mmmmm

  4. Comment by monkeywebb | 11.8.2007 | 10:19 am

    Since we’re talking famous, let’s head to the top. I’m sure Lance, Floyd, and Levi have tales of weight loss to tell. I’d also be interested in hearing from anybody from Slipstream-Chipotle on how they incorporate burritos into their daily training regimine. Do they simply use them as dumbells to build strength or are they allowed to eat them once in a while?

  5. Comment by cheapie | 11.8.2007 | 10:20 am

    now that’s funny stuff. how could he resist? but shouldn’t he be worried about the fact that you just got a beautiful waltworks and that the GF might not shine as much in comparison to that custom beauty?

  6. Comment by Rick S. | 11.8.2007 | 10:23 am

    could you make that two SuperFly bikes? One for me? I promise to set a sub 9 pace at Leadville next year (at least for the first 40 miles) and let you draft off me until i blow up.

  7. Comment by botchedexperiment | 11.8.2007 | 10:43 am

    Holy MSRP!

    If you get that bike, I’m going to steal it out of your truck while you’re at work and paint it black so you won’t recognize it.

  8. Comment by botchedexperiment | 11.8.2007 | 10:45 am

    How ’bout the obvious: Assos!

  9. Comment by mark | 11.8.2007 | 10:50 am

    I didn’t know about the SuperFly–or want a new bike–until today. Thanks Fatty. No really, I mean it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And from the bottom of my bank account, which is soon to be empty.

  10. Comment by fatty | 11.8.2007 | 10:53 am

    botched – assos, excellent idea.

    monkeywebb – ooh, i really like the idea of bringing chipotle on. i could eat their burritos 3x/daily (they just built one 2 blocks from where i work)

    philly jen – really, the Cake would be the correct bike to give away on this blog, wouldn’t it? the winner could claim it’s the best cake in the world.

    cheapie – i love all my bikes the same. good riders don’t pick favorites.

  11. Comment by barry1021 | 11.8.2007 | 10:54 am

    Saying you don’t sell out often enough is like accusing Paris Hilton of shunning publicity. Have you considered corporate tatoos??


  12. Comment by swtkaroline | 11.8.2007 | 11:07 am

    /agree with botched….a $3000+ bike? jeepers! you could buy a lot of mashed potatoes and reeces with that kind of cash.

    my two bikes (+ my boyfriend’s bike) COMBINED didn’t cost that much, so if he comes through, I think you know where to lay the generosity.

    As far as whom to hit up next? I’d vote for DeFeet or Smartwool. Who doesn’t need (or at least love) new socks?

  13. Comment by fatty | 11.8.2007 | 11:12 am

    barry1021 – i admit to being intrigued. so what do you think i should ask for in return for a tattoo? that’s a lifetime of advertising, so it would have to be good.

    mark – you’re welcome. i hope you cc’d that response to travis.

  14. Comment by mark | 11.8.2007 | 11:14 am

    How about Giro helmets. You can demonstrate how to properly position them on your head.

  15. Comment by Caloi-Rider | 11.8.2007 | 11:15 am

    Allow me to humbly opine: this bike has the coolest bike NAME ever. I actually recall thinking, prior to knowing about the GF Superfly that ‘Superfly’ would be a cool name for just about anything bike related.

    Then I discovered that the name was already taken.

    My one consolation: at least it was taken by a hardtail mountain bike.

  16. Comment by TIMK | 11.8.2007 | 11:18 am

    My cousin lives near Gary Fisher – she’s actually sold girl scout cookies to him in the past. I’ve sent an email to her pretty much requesting that she pretend to deliver girl scout cookies, enter the house, tie up Mr. Fisher and contact you immediately.
    Only of course if your smoothness and notoriety doesn’t gain you access.

  17. Pingback by RocBike.com | The RocBike Review » Links Of The Day: 8 November 2007 | 11.8.2007 | 11:50 am

    [...] Wherein I Get Downright Aggressive About Selling Out [...]

  18. Comment by WIllie Nelson | 11.8.2007 | 11:55 am

    You should propose a deal to Pat McQuaid at UCI or Dick Pound at WADA. He gives you full command of his institution for 48 hours (you or someone else can fix what’s broken and return it better than found). You will give them Botched Experiment (I hear he’s a decent scientist with big ideas) as an employee for a couple weeks.

  19. Comment by bikemike | 11.8.2007 | 12:06 pm

    are you kidding me? go for broke, go all in, take a flying leap, call the Reeses Peanut Butter Cup people. sheesh, do we gots to think of everything for you?

    pretty sure Little Debbie could use some fresh ideas. howse about a little fatty cake?

  20. Comment by Steph | 11.8.2007 | 12:26 pm

    You’ve got at least one thing going for you… Mr Fisher LOVES to talk! If you get the interview, do you have the space to devote to his responses.
    I saw him talk in St. Louis last spring….in a purple leatherette suit! And talk, and talk, and talk, and talk, and talk,and talk, and talk, and talk, and talk,and talk, and talk, and talk, and talk,and talk, and talk, and talk, and talk……

  21. Comment by cyclingphun.blogspot.com | 11.8.2007 | 12:34 pm

    See Im still holding out for sponsorship from Qdoba and Cholula! Dang, Id NEVER lose weight.

  22. Comment by Mike Roadie | 11.8.2007 | 12:54 pm


    Must……have……..halloween……..leftovers……..can’t………wait………until……..November 19th

  23. Comment by Bitter (formerly known as Lissee) | 11.8.2007 | 1:02 pm

    As the proud owner of a Gary Fischer Nirvana, I whole-heartedly support your proposal. :)

    And as for the Chipotle deal, Yes, YES, bring it on!!!!!!! :)

  24. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 11.8.2007 | 2:17 pm

    It occurs to me that if TimK’s cousin does go and sell Mr Fisher Cookies while dressed as a girl scout and then ties him up you could possibly be on a big winner. I’m talking bikes for everyone.
    As someone else often says I’m not saying … I’m just saying.
    PS no slur on TimK’s cousin intended here.

  25. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 11.8.2007 | 2:21 pm

    OOps me again. As an update on the Tim Tam info from yesterday for the UK readers they are just smaller versions of penguin biscuits. At least they were when I left the UK over 35 years ago. Nowadays the Tim Tam has been desecrated with allsorts of new fillings and flavours. The only decent improvement has simply been the addition of extra chocolate imho.

  26. Comment by PC Clydesdale | 11.8.2007 | 2:24 pm

    As I currently have my eye on the new G2 geometry HiFi 29er, I can agree that you are totally headed in the right direction with this. The new G2 geometry on the 29ers feel more relaxed and naturally agile than my current 26.

  27. Comment by JET(not a nickname) | 11.8.2007 | 2:38 pm

    Hammer Nutrition, or any other the other companies that do the whole energy supplement bit. They are rather inexpensive purchases by themselves, but when added up throughout a whole season, that get’s kind of expensive. Although the whole Reese’s PB cups and other candy companies in general may be a better way to go.

  28. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 11.8.2007 | 2:48 pm

    I clicked the Gary Fisher Superfly link. I hope it helped. I doubt it though. I suspect that you have to be super fly to ride a Superfly. And I further suspect that your begging letter has just shifted your dork to fly ratio a couple to many points in the wrong direction. You may be able to dig your credibility out of the hole with a P.S. though. As in:

    P.S. My wife and both my other groupies think I’m superfly.

  29. Comment by DNAtsol | 11.8.2007 | 3:06 pm

    Speaking of open letters to ASSOS, I came across a very unintentionally humourous political speech on cycling (of all things!). I thought FC could really have a lot of fun with it, but it was before the ‘test post (which I’m gunning to win BTW :) ) so I couldn’t hold off. I had to post my own take on this crazy NC representative.

    Sorry FC, I don’t know if you were prepping anything and certainly don’t want to steal your thunder here but this is truely priceless


  30. Comment by Dudley | 11.8.2007 | 3:15 pm

    Hey wait a minute Fatty!

    What about all the pics of the New bike…wasn’t that just a few weeks ago?

    Unless you are REALLY LIVING IN ANOTHER DIMENSION I don’t think there is a “bike of the month” club out there.

    However, I applaud your founding membership in BOTMC (Free)!

    Let me know where to sign up!

  31. Comment by Andrew | 11.8.2007 | 3:33 pm

    1.) Why dont you also offer to get Gary Fishers face tattoo on your ass, ya know to show them that youre really dedicated to this partnership.
    2.) What happens when someone not on a Gary Fisher bike pass you while say climbing up the Alpine Loop, without shaved legs, a beer gut, and is rocking an ugly cycling jersey? Will you still have any right to scoff or belittle this rider?

  32. Comment by fatty | 11.8.2007 | 3:40 pm

    dudley – i can see how you might be confused, but these are drastically different bikes. sure both are hardtail 29ers, but the ww is steel, the superfly (which i plan to name “the pequod”) is carbon. the ww is fully rigid; the superfly has front suspension. the ww is a ss, the superfly is geared to the 9s. i’m glad i could clear that up for you.

    dnatsol – i saw that video but am extremely careful to stay away from politics, even when the politician is being silly. i’ve seen what al can be like when he starts getting into politics, and it can be messy. and by “messy,” i mean “bloody.”

  33. Comment by fatty | 11.8.2007 | 3:53 pm

    andrew – 1. that is pure genius.
    2. i’m afraid that only the passer gets to scoff and belittle. the passee must bow his head in shame and take it.

  34. Comment by randomhigh | 11.8.2007 | 4:55 pm

    I agree with Andrew there about the butt tattoo… and the best way to show it off is by streaking in a bike race ontop of your new Superfly, just make sure to slow down in front of the cameras so they can get a good shot for the evening news and hopefully, national news…

    try hitting up ben and jerrys next… ice cream, buddy, ice cream!! demand they name some new flavor after you… Rabid wolverine sounds good (hey they have chunky monkey… but wait, that rhymes…. what rhymes with wolverine?)

  35. Comment by BDBG | 11.8.2007 | 6:32 pm

    Let me get this straight — Big Shot Bike Company Honcho’s FACE tattooed on your ASS not his ASS tattooed on your FACE… Dang, no wonder Fatty is the grand champion of being famous and important and cute girls just point at me and giggle.

  36. Comment by DNAtsol | 11.8.2007 | 6:37 pm

    Probably a wise move. I just don’t the wisdom, patience or the frontal lobes to know what’s good for me :D.

  37. Comment by Jeremy | 11.8.2007 | 7:16 pm

    I think you should send one to the “Vanilla” people. Anything might help you in that god awful back log.

  38. Comment by a different mark | 11.8.2007 | 8:40 pm

    Do you speak Dutch, or maybe Chinese? ‘Cuz you’re an international blogging superstar, you know, and some of those overseas commuter-bike manufacturers could get a solid toe-hold on the budding US market by getting their name mentioned and/or product placed here.

    A Flying Pigeon giveaway would be SWEET.

  39. Comment by KatieA | 11.9.2007 | 2:16 am

    Born 4 Lycra – the white chocolate ones are the best, but they only make them once a year for Christmas (well, they’re supposed to).

    Fatty – it’s not just Vegemite – and I didn’t send a bottle (it could have broken and contaminated the other tastiness inside said box).

    I clicked on the link too.

    Also, for a tattoo, I reckon it’s their updated bike, every year for the rest of your life – even if you’re 100 years old and can’t walk, your kid’s could still use them. :)

  40. Comment by Lowrydr | 11.9.2007 | 5:46 am

    Don’t forget that your going to need a Helmet sponsor also. The one you have now isn’t going to fit that big head your getting, what with all this other sponsorship your driving for.

    And then of course the doorways in your house are going to need to be wider. So you could bring a housing contractor on board as another sponsor. It’s just an endless circle of advantage for you, what a boon.

    Genius absolute genius……….and there you go again with another sponsor, Absolute Vodka. Unless your against booze coverage that is. Then just send that one my way, I aint scared.

  41. Comment by sans auto | 11.9.2007 | 6:40 am

    All these great sarcastic comments and i want to be serious. planet Bike. They do lights and from my interaction with them it seems to be a handful of guys who love cycling. I have a Planet bike taillight that has slid across the pavement a couple of times and been run over by a minivan once and she still works great. Anyway, I would like to see you promote their products.

  42. Comment by TIMK | 11.9.2007 | 9:46 am

    OK – here’s the reply from my Californian cousin:

    “I printed up a few pages of Fatty’s ….is it blogging or begging?…and will drop it off in Gary’s mailbox today with a note, anonymously. Don’t wanna burn any bridges, ya know.”

    If this scores you an interview I want a T-shirt! (I’m a sell out too, ya know).

  43. Comment by KT | 11.9.2007 | 10:54 am

    Planet Bike is a good suggestion…. here’s another one:

    IllumiNite. Those guys ROCK. Nothing like wearing full reflective gear while riding home from work; I light up like a Holiday Tree For The Holiday Of Your Choice when those headlights come my way. Plus I look snazzy, which is always important.

  44. Comment by Pammap | 11.9.2007 | 11:35 am

    randomhigh…Tangerine Wolverine? It rhymes but I don’t think I’d eat it.

  45. Comment by Clydesteve | 11.9.2007 | 12:24 pm

    I dunno, Fatty. I am not so sure Travis is going to take you seriously.

    We still expect you to come up with the Paragon for the contest you explicitly promised, even if this letter is not given the response it deserves, ya know.

    NiteRider or Dinotte spons… err ..fleecei… ummm, partnerships. They have such a wide variety of high powered LED / Li-Ion lights, I should think a dual 5-watt system with blinding tail light would not be out of the question. Oh, and self-contained alkaline-powered helmet light for the corners. Umm, and some more alkalines for backup of the wired lights. Yeah.

  46. Comment by anonymous | 11.9.2007 | 1:56 pm

    I have always been a fan of carbon fiber. . .

  47. Comment by nickc | 11.11.2007 | 2:47 pm

    That’s a really really ugly bike. Give it a few months, and it’ll be sooo discounted down at the bike Store, they’ll let you have one for volunteering to wash the bathroom…probably.

  48. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Travis Ott, Fisher / Lemond Brand Manager, Responds to Me | 11.14.2007 | 7:05 am

    [...] A Note from Fatty: Last week, I published an open letter to Travis Ott, Brand Manager for Fisher / Lemond. I did not really expect a reply. [...]

  49. Pingback by Handlebar Sandwich » Blog Archive » Makin it Big and Takin’ it Back | 11.16.2007 | 10:38 pm

    [...] You may remember a few weeks ago that I wrote about bloggers making ‘the big time’ in my post entitled Fatty has officially got my vote for coolest free shit due to blogging.  If you follow fatcyclist.com at all, you probably saw his post a few weeks back where he wrote a letter to Travis Ott requesting a “Gary Fisher Superfly”:http://www.fisherbikes.com/bike/model/superfly.  Although I cannot say that a 29er geared bike would have been my first choice, I still commend him for going straight for the jugular (mmm, carbon. . . ).  Well, lo and behold, that sonofabitch got a reply.  Not just a reply, but a new list of equally strange terms (with some really good ones thrown in, like taking local kids for a mountain bike ride). Bottom line: the guy got a bike.  Not just a bike, but a beautiful carbon fiber piece of work.  I tip my beer tonight to fatty, because not only does he write a mean blog, but he scored big (even if for just 3 months) because of it.  Good on ya. I guess on the bright side for me, even if I’m not that entertaining, I’ve got a nice long track record. I think I’ve posted the link before, but if you want to see some full-on, old-school blogging, just check out where it all started.  My email address has a @3dmobility.com at the end of it because that was my original location on this great “series of tubes”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Series_of_tubes.  So, without further adieu, here is the original 3dmobility.com from the The whole thing was hand coded by yours truly.  I made all the graphics myself (check out the sweet logo in the upper-left), and programmed everything from the updates at the bottom (note the first one was 12/2001) to the blog (nathan’s journal) to the message board, gear reviews and photo gallery.  I was a php/mysql madman. Wow, I think that little trip back in time just made me ill.  College days for some involved late night drinking.  College nights at RPI? Late night coding. Explains a lot, doesn’t it? On a website related note, you may have noticed I messed with the links in the sidebar.  I decided that I’m not making any money off this thing, so I’m not super keen on giving any particular companies any particular plugs for free.  I’d rather plug my fellow bloggers.  That list is directly from my google reader list, so those are the guys that I read every time they post.  Enjoy. Oh yeah, there’s also a theme switcher near the bottom of the sidebar. Now you can see handlebarsandwich.com in various shades of ugly while I try to decide on how I want to redesign the site (in case you’re wondering how to get back to the normal one, it’s called equix v1.1 and you should be able to make it back from all the different themes).  I’m leaning towards a variation on agreyscale right now, but that also requires me to get my ass in gear and do some coding.  We shall see. . . . And on that note, I’m off to bed in preparation for a day of hard drinking and even harder eating tomorrow.  Peace out. [...]

  50. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » New Year’s Resolutions, Musings, and Addle-Brained Notions | 01.3.2008 | 11:36 am

    [...] Goal: Do the stuff I told Travis Ott I would do in order to get that Superfly: A while back, I asked Fisher Bikes brand manager Travis Ott to give me a Fisher Superfly. He said he would, but gave me his own set of conditions. Most of those conditions are going to have to wait until Spring, but I still plan to do them. [...]

  51. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » I Do Not Have a Problem | 02.27.2008 | 10:35 am

    [...] Fine, fine, let’s go back to the bike I just bought. I know, to you it seems crazy that I would buy a bike that I was virtually guaranteed I could have as a free loaner. [...]

  52. Comment by tattooideas | 09.5.2008 | 12:30 pm

    Very interesting article but besides you need a tattoo design, right? Do you need a ton of ideas on how to design your own tattoo? Then look them here: http://www.tattoobody.org

  53. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Fight Cancer, Win a Superfly Singlespeed | 01.14.2009 | 9:49 am

    [...] and gentlemen, please put your hands together for Gary Fisher Bikes, and for Travis Ott, who is not just a great brand manager but also a really great [...]

  54. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Fear Me, Gary Fisher | 09.9.2009 | 10:49 am

    [...] I badgered Travis Ott pretty much constantly, telling him that I demanded they make this bike available to the public, I [...]

  55. Pingback by Fear Me, Gary Fisher | Dyna Fat Loss | 09.9.2009 | 7:02 pm

    [...] I badgered Travis Ott pretty much constantly, telling him that I demanded they make this bike available to the public, I [...]


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