11.21.2007 | 9:31 am

Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving in the US. It’s a good day to enumerate and express what you’re grateful for. So, in no particular order, I am grateful for…

  • Mountain bikes. For about twelve years now, I’ve had one hobby. Or obsession. Whatever. I think about mountain biking every single day. When I am happy, mountain biking makes me happier. When I am sad, mountain biking helps me work out my problem. When I am angry, mountain biking gives me perspective. Mountain biking makes me strong. Mountain biking has taught me that I am not entirely without athletic ability. Mountain biking has taken me places that are less than ten miles away from where I live, but may as well be thousands.
  • Road bikes. I like road bikes, but not as much as mountain bikes. Except for when I’m on a road bike, at which point I like road bikes better. How is this possible? I do not know. It is quite a mystery. I intend to investigate further.
  • Hydraulic disc brakes. Using only two fingers’ worth of effort — and not even hard effort at that — I can completely negate the combined forces of gravity, my weight, and my momentum. How is this even possible? Is it dark magic?
  • 29″ wheels. I don’t crash nearly as often as I used to. Those big wheels like to roll over stuff, instead of getting stuck in it.
  • The core team. I’ve got a big group of friends. They’re very lucky to have me.
  • People who read what I write. Some people write for themselves. I am not one of those people. I don’t write anything unless I expect somebody’s going to read it and tell me they like it. Call me vain, call me an attention whore. This blog is an extremely important part of my life, but it wouldn’t be if you didn’t take the time to read it. Thanks.
  • Mashed Potatoes and Banana Cream Parfait. Thanksgiving gives me permission to make the two most comfortable comfort foods in the whole comfort universe: my mashed potatoes and banana cream parfait. You should make them too, and then you’ll be thankful that I gave you these recipes.
  • A good job. I’ve got a good, interesting job. I work with smart, kind-hearted people. My boss is exacting, yet understanding and appreciative. I’m in the catbird seat, employment-wise.
  • Family. Susan’s family and my family have really stepped up to the plate to help us out while we fight Susan’s cancer. They’ve reworked their schedules as necessary and have pitched in as if it were no inconvenience at all.
  • Neighbors. We live in a small — five houses — cul de sac. The people in this little neighborhood have taken over our carpool responsibilities, given Susan rides to countless doctor appointments, taken care of our kids, and been great friends to us.
  • A Cycling Industry That’s Ridiculously Easy to Make Fun of. Thanks WADA and UCI. Thanks, professional cyclists. Thanks, crazy guy who proposed the Tour of America.
  • Twin Six. A year ago, I had never heard of them, nor they of me. Now — while I still have never met them in person — they have designed and produced two incredible jerseys (one of which appeared on the cover of Bicycling Magazine), a t-shirt, and two different socks for me. Together, we have raised enough money that Susan’s medical expenses aren’t a burden on my family, and have donated thousands of dollars to the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
  • Lance Armstrong Foundation. I don’t care much anymore about Lance’s cycling accomplishments, and I for sure don’t care about his personal life. His foundation does a tremendous amount of good for a tremendous number of people. He turned a near-fatal disease into a life’s mission, and has succeeded wildly. He is a true hero for that.
  • Singlespeeds. I love singlespeed mountain biking for all the reasons I love mountain biking, and then some. I especially love my WaltWorks. Thanks, Walt.
  • The Mary Bar. Since I’ve started riding with this bar, the numbness I get in my right hand during a long ride has practically vanished. It’s a wacky-looking bar, but I’m going to put it on every MTB I own from now on.
  • The iPod Shuffle. For $80, you can have a clip-on music player that will hold more music and play longer than pretty much any ride requires.
  • 4 really great kids. All four of my kids are healthy, smart, funny, and kind. I’m a lucky dad.
  • Alpine, Utah. There might be better places in the world to be a mountain and road cyclist, but I doubt it.
  • Sleep. I had a good night’s sleep last night. First one in about five days. At this moment, I’m very thankful for sleep.
  • Steel-Cut Oats. I’ve always liked oatmeal, but I’ve only recently discovered steel-cut oats. Somehow — even though they’re the same thing, just processed differently — they’re twice as good. Chewy instead of pasty. I only wish they didn’t take so long to prepare.
  • The means and expertise to fight cancer. I’ve griped a lot about doctors recently, but apart from one particular instance, we really have had great medical care. I’m thankful science has advanced far enough that we can at least fight back cancer for now, and am very thankful for the people who are doing everything they can to find a cure in the future.
  • Tibble Fork. I really love that trail. Really, really love it.
  • Susan. Susan and I married 3.5 months after we met. We’ve now been married 19 years. I stumbled into a great marriage, and I’m very, very thankful for that.

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Comment by wes walker | 11.21.2007 | 9:40 am

    You can soak the steel cut oats overnight and they’ll cook up as quick as instant!

  2. Comment by good life | 11.21.2007 | 9:47 am

    Definitely some great things to be thankful for.
    I’m thankful for your write up of your first Leadville 100 experience.
    It was intoxicating. When I read it 3 years ago it sparked a new found passion which continues to burn even stronger today.

  3. Comment by dug | 11.21.2007 | 9:48 am

    what is it with Alpine? everyone who lives there thinks they live in god’s green pastures where the sun always shines

  4. Comment by Bitter (formerly known as Lissee) | 11.21.2007 | 9:55 am

    I like the last little bit you wrote. . . oh, and that part of about your readers. Those were the best parts.

    I’m thankful for you writing. I can’t tell you how many hundreds of times I’ve clicked through to your blog to read your stuff over the past couple of years. You’ve made me laugh when I’ve felt sad, and chuckle so often at work that my friends now know when I’m reading your stuff.

  5. Comment by Less Fat Mike | 11.21.2007 | 9:56 am

    Someone needs to come up with words to adapt the Napolean Dynamite song “I love technology. Not as much as you you see, but I still love technology.” To the mountain bike / road bike paradox.

    If Alpine is God’s green pasture, does that make Lehi the manure pile down the hill? or maybe Orem.

  6. Comment by fatty | 11.21.2007 | 10:04 am

    dug – You live exactly four miles away from me and ride the exact same trails I do. When I talk about Alpine, I’m also talking about Suncrest. You big baby.

  7. Comment by FliesOnly | 11.21.2007 | 10:04 am

    Well said.

    I especially like the part about “stumbling into a great marriage”. I met the women who is now my wife while I was assisting a Grad Student studying toad sex. Yep…I was helping a guy watch (and video tape!) toads “doin it”. And yet, she still fell in love with me (and I with her).

  8. Comment by Craig | 11.21.2007 | 10:04 am

    I like it. A nice subtle compliment of the boss with bonus season coming up.

  9. Comment by Lucas | 11.21.2007 | 10:18 am

    So well put that I am just going to post a link on my site! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your’s Fatty! Can’t wait to see the results of the contest especially since I have now put all weight back on….an Epic weekend of riding and racing only makes you hungrier! All hail the banana parfait!

  10. Comment by Gillian | 11.21.2007 | 10:30 am

    I’m thankful for:

    – lists of what people are thankful for that are very funny as well as sincere
    – short work weeks
    – turkey
    – the Fat Cyclist, whose blog I check every day! I’m here to tell you, I read it, and I like it, even if you are a vain attention whore. You’re a funny one, and that makes it all ok.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Fatty and Family.

  11. Comment by Pregnant-and-soon-to-be-fat Cathy | 11.21.2007 | 10:31 am

    You do have alot to be thankful for. Most of us do and don’t step back to appreciate what we have enough.

    Steel cut oats – also try pan toasting them in a little butter before cooking. Just brown them until you get a nice, nutty aroma then cook as usual. Very yummy.

    As an aside, I wonder if you are going to gain more in your traditional winter food orgy than I am while I’m pregnant?

  12. Comment by cheapie | 11.21.2007 | 10:38 am

    I’m thankful that you introduced me to T6, Trailblaze bars, and the waterproof backpack from Banjo Bros. Good stuff. And for the funny stuff. And for letting us share in the pain and the triumphs you’re going through with Susan.

  13. Comment by | 11.21.2007 | 10:48 am

    Touching, yet oh so funny! I have to say Fatty. I am thankful I have a place to come and be cheered up when I am at work and just want to smash my head into my desk… which is very often lately. Thanks for doing what YOU do so we have your words to enjoy!
    God Bless you and the family this holiday!

  14. Comment by jill | 11.21.2007 | 10:57 am

    Beautiful list. Happy Thanksgiving!

  15. Comment by TIMK | 11.21.2007 | 11:05 am

    So you’re taking your massive quads for granted now?

  16. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 11.21.2007 | 11:12 am

    What the hell are steel cut oats?

  17. Comment by bradk | 11.21.2007 | 11:20 am

    i’m comin over friday for leftovers and a bike ride

  18. Comment by Philly jen | 11.21.2007 | 11:21 am

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, all your many wild, wacky, and wonderful family members, and everyone who’s a part of Team Fatty.

    (Oh, and I’m thankful that you use good spelling and punctuation. Even when you’re text messaging. KTHXBAI!)

  19. Comment by harlan | 11.21.2007 | 11:32 am

    I wish I had a core team. Or a hobby.

  20. Comment by paul johnson | 11.21.2007 | 11:38 am

    Thanksgiving; it goes against human nature.

    I often work with rural communities struggling to deal with economic or social downturns.

    I can go into the local coffee shop or post office and learn all the many things that are “wrong” with a place in about a half hour. I can’t last the whole “two cups” vesion, it’s just too depressing. It’s human nature.

    It takes much longer to hear what people think is good about their place, what they are thankful for, especially in hard times. But, once you get that ball rolling it is pretty amazing to hear what people like or are thankful about their places. Almost always, (usually early in the conversation) the sense of community, the qualities of the people that make up the community, are valued very highly.

    I’m sure in Alpine you are listed among the ‘good’ people and I am also sure that your assessment that Alpie is a great place is also right on.

    I think we ought to consider making Thanksgiving mandatory about quartely. Oh, we could dispense with the gorging, and the rubbing up against the relatives bristles, but just being expected to enumerate the things we are thankful for a little more frequently would certainly be a good thing. Like I always tell the coffee shop crowd, it could be worse.

    Thanks for your list of thanks.

    Yr Pal DrCodfish

  21. Comment by Weean | 11.21.2007 | 11:47 am

    “mashed potatoes and banana cream parfit”?!! That’s just sick!

    Oh, I get it now.

  22. Comment by | 11.21.2007 | 12:11 pm

    Botched: Steel cut oats are the 2nd best thing on earth next to Sprokets Muesli. …And theyre exactly what they sound like. Instead of rolling the oat, they cut it and it rolls into this cute little nugget thing. Imagine eating oatmeal at a consistency just a bit more oatty than cream-o-wheat, but not as clumpy as oatmeal… mmmmm

  23. Comment by Bryan (not that one) | 11.21.2007 | 12:21 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving, Fatty and family. Thank you for giving us entertainment and encouragement through your writings.

  24. Comment by siobhandee | 11.21.2007 | 12:21 pm

    I’m a long time reader and a first time poster. And recently I was a first time visitor to the great state of Utah. I’ve never seen such a beautiful place. You’re all very lucky and should be thankful to see that view every day! I loved it!

  25. Comment by BikingBarb | 11.21.2007 | 12:28 pm

    Fatty, you gotta try the Arrowhead Mills quick cooking steel oats. I used to eat the quick cooking McCann’s mush and now I’m totally hooked. You have to mess around with the power settings on your micro to get it right, but I cook mine on 50% power in a shallow bowl for 4 1/2 minutes and they are chewy-goodness with a heaping side of intestinal-scrubbing-bubble-yumm. See

    I get them at Whole Paycheck, but suspect they are available at any solid natural foods joynt.
    Healthy and happy to you all!

  26. Comment by Kris | 11.21.2007 | 12:40 pm

    Less Fat Mike said: “If Alpine is God’s green pasture, does that make Lehi the manure pile down the hill? or maybe Orem.”

    Hey, don’t be baggin’ on my Orem! I’ve got miles of single-track 10 minutes from my house by bike. Lambert Park is tough to beat, but I like the trails around the mouth of Provo Canyon – they’re good enough for Kenny to break a hip for! ;-)

  27. Comment by T1mm0 | 11.21.2007 | 12:41 pm

    Well I just had to go look up “Catbird Seat“… Can’t say that it’s an oft used idiom down this way.

  28. Comment by alee | 11.21.2007 | 1:38 pm

    As the person who lost the Mary Bar to Fatty, I am grateful that it is working out. Hope everybody enjoys the holidays and those who live in Utah can get out and enjoy this unexpectedly long riding season.

  29. Comment by Not quite DFL | 11.21.2007 | 1:48 pm

    Will there be another run of the jerseys? They’re the only one I can get authorization from my wife to buy

  30. Comment by KT | 11.21.2007 | 1:48 pm

    I’m thankful to be part of Fatty’s Army. I’m thankful that I found this blog from, and that you’ve kept up writing.

    I’m thankful for the chance to help out a friend, even though I’ve never met you or Susan or your family. I’m thankful that the Fight Against Cancer has shown me a face and personality that I’m fighting for.

    And most of all, I’m thankful for all of you who comment here on this blog– I’ve never ridden trails, I’ve never gone mountain biking, but you all keep me on the road and turning the cranks. And you keep me laughing, which is something that I really, really need some days.

    I hope all of you (even if you don’t celebrate it in your particular country) have a great Thanksgiving.

  31. Comment by Lifesgreat | 11.21.2007 | 1:55 pm

    Amen Kris! I live in Orem too. I may have to dust off my (only) mountain bike-1990 Bridgestone-and try the nearby hills!

    Thankful for: Husband, My Bike, Kids, Health, Home, Life, Cheetos Puffs and Pizza.

    Thanks for sharing your list Fatty, and Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  32. Comment by Less Fat Mike | 11.21.2007 | 2:21 pm

    I apologize for the orem, lehi crack. I’m a Salt Lake Valley west sider and shouldn’t be putting on airs anyway. Just Ute fever spilling over in to the comments.

  33. Comment by yukirin boy | 11.21.2007 | 2:46 pm

    I’m right with KT.
    Thankful we readers and lurkers can help you and Susan in whatever ways we can.
    Its a pickup to know there are such kind, generous and funny people out there.
    Thankful too, for the chance to get to know you through your wonderful blog.

    Happy Thanksgiving to Fatty, Susan and all Fatty readers

  34. Comment by Les | 11.21.2007 | 2:59 pm

    Truly a great post. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. No commercializm (compared to other holidays that is). Giving thanks to family, friends and food. Whats not to love?

  35. Comment by Kris | 11.21.2007 | 3:40 pm

    Less Fat Mike: No worries, I know you were just joking – your comment was funny! Gave me an excuse to comment.

    Ah, yes, the “Big Game” is coming. The Ute / BYU rivalry is a good one – well, except for the FANatics who’s zeal overrides common sense and good sportsmanship – win or loose. Watching a good game can be thrilling, but I’d rather be out on my bike most days.

  36. Comment by walter | 11.21.2007 | 5:57 pm

    Thanks Elden, for making us all laugh, and for reminding us of the many things we have to be thankful for. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! Oh, and remember: pie = not so good for the diet; turkey = very lean.

    P.S.: Have you ever tried rolled oats? Cook a lot faster than steel cut, but are still significantly more satisfying than regular. Might be worth a shot.

  37. Comment by Canadian Roadie | 11.21.2007 | 7:58 pm

    Thanks for another great post! It put a smile on my face that was missing for the rest of this poopy day. Mmm, turkey, mmm, pie. Happy Thanksgiving to all you Americans who get to gorge yourselves on wonderful feasts! I have a month’s head start on getting lean in preparation for Christmas face stuffing. Enjoy!

  38. Pingback by | The RocBike Review » Links Of The Day: 21 November 2007 | 11.21.2007 | 7:59 pm

    [...] Fat Cyclist: Gratitude [...]

  39. Pingback by | The RocBike Review » Thankfully insane | 11.21.2007 | 8:15 pm

    [...] Many cyclists, including Fritz and Fatty, are writing about things they’re thankful for on this Thanksgiving weekend. [...]

  40. Comment by Jodi | 11.21.2007 | 8:43 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving Elden!

  41. Comment by Kent Peterson | 11.21.2007 | 9:38 pm

    Hey Fatty,

    Somebody pointed me to this years ago and it works. You cook the steel-cut oats in a Thermos. The whole story is here:

    Even a lazy guy like me can do it.


  42. Comment by TWIN SIX | 11.21.2007 | 11:04 pm

    Susan and Elden, thanks for inspiring us.

  43. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 11.22.2007 | 1:50 am

    Seems to me that Team FC and Twin6 should meet.

  44. Comment by TheLurker | 11.22.2007 | 4:08 am

    Just to get one thing absolutely straight, Mashed Potatoes and Banana Cream Parfait. That’s _two_ recipes, yes? :)

  45. Comment by Jake | 11.22.2007 | 6:12 am

    Happy Thanksgiving Eldon and Susan. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Holiday Season. Cheers!

  46. Comment by Mike Roadie | 11.22.2007 | 6:34 am

    We are thankful for having “met” you and your family, for your wit and wisdon (which keeps a lot of us falling asleep on our jobs), for having a community here in which to gather, and for giving us some kind of meaning by reaching out o help people we don’t really even know.

    This year, over 250 people helped me to raise over $20,000 for the LAF and the Leukemia Society…..most of whom I don’t know, but all of whom are thankful and willing to make a difference. See their names and messages at:

    Happy Thanksgiving to ALL of you out there…….and, as always, the very best wishes to Elden, Susan and family.


  47. Comment by Mike Roadie | 11.22.2007 | 6:56 am

    That’s “from falling asleep”…..DUH, sorry!

  48. Comment by El Animal | 11.22.2007 | 7:29 am

    I am so thankful for having found your blog and thanks to that I started riding more often, so often that I changed my life. Now, I can’t sleep because of the pain in my shoulder. The one I almost broke in a MTB crash in September and or because of my elbow that hurts because of the stitches after a road bike crash. Thanks fatty you just keep me going… the hospital.

    Happy thanksgiving for everybody!

  49. Comment by Mark | 11.22.2007 | 9:04 am

    Well said!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Susan & family.

  50. Comment by Kris | 11.22.2007 | 9:16 am

    fatty said: dug – You live exactly four miles away from me and ride the exact same trails I do. When I talk about Alpine, I’m also talking about Suncrest. You big baby.

    It’s true both communities share many of the same trails, but there’s one reason I wouldn’t live in Suncrest – wind. Wind annoys me. Dug, I guess wind doesn’t bother you, or maybe you’re in some sweet spot that isn’t so windy. Otherwise it looks like a nice place to live. And being above the inversions and valley smog would be nice.

  51. Comment by Little1 | 11.22.2007 | 10:18 am

    uh? i guess happy thanks-giving to those of you on that side of the pond who are all celebrating.

    me i just give thanks every morning when i get on my bike and get to play for a bit before the rest of the world wakes up.

    thanks fatty for getting me back to what helps me make sense of the madness (riding makes it all make sense).
    thanks also for this amazing community on the web who have realised it’s about the little ways in which we can all help.

    Still sending out good vibes for Susan and all the fatty clan.

  52. Comment by lowrydr | 11.22.2007 | 12:52 pm

    Thanks Fatty for being there to take the boredom out of most days at work. I’m thankful for finding this site, my wife, children and grandchildren too. Oh yea and my bikes.
    Best wishes to you and yours on the start of the mutiple holiday season. May good Karma continue to come your way.

    Less Fat Mike: start by changing technology to bikeology and move on from there.

  53. Comment by Anonymous | 11.22.2007 | 3:48 pm

    i am very thankful for the fact that the only guy who could drop me on our turkey day ride today is a 20 year old triathlete for the U.S. Army tri-team at West Point (i’m 50).

    kneel before Zod!

    i am also greatful for humility, my 11 year old boy proves to me that i am, indeed, not smarter than a 5th grader.

    i’m thankful that a lot of very nice people get together on this blog and talk smack without be evil and nasty. just friends having fun with each other.

    God bless you all.

  54. Comment by bikemike | 11.22.2007 | 3:50 pm

    that was me on the last post, anonymous. crap, i have to type my name in now.
    dangit, that’s jus to much work.

  55. Comment by Lee | 11.22.2007 | 5:07 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Fatty, and Susan and the family. God bless and be well.

  56. Comment by buckythedonkey | 11.23.2007 | 1:01 am

    What Thanksgiving means to me: productivity.

    I’m a Brit working for a US company and this morning my inbox is 100% clean of the pointless detritus that usually clogs up my mornings. I look forward to this, and other US public holidays, eagerly every year.

    Thank you! :-D

    Other ithings to be thankful for, in no particular order:

    - Mud tyres.
    - Curry and lager.
    - My girls.
    - That, for the most part, all is well with humanity – a theory supported daily by this very blog. WIN!

  57. Comment by SpikeBlue | 11.23.2007 | 2:16 am

    What a great thanksgiving day post!

    Just coming out of brain surgery Nov. 12th, and making it through with so few complications – it is hard not be be thankful for every little thing that happens to me every day. We get bogged down in our day to day trials of our messy lives, trying to live up to expectations of ourselves and others. I wish it didn’t take a life threatening illness to make me stop and realize how many things in my life I am thankful for.

    I’m thankful for:
    Husbands and sisters to hold my hands, wipe my tears, and bring me chapstick at 2 am when I am sick.
    My adorable children who surprise me with grace every day.
    Parents who are willing to come half way across the world to watch two small grandchildren for two weeks.
    Relatives who stop by the hospital to cheer me up, and to bring the most outrageous crabcakes the U of MD Neuro ICU has ever seen.
    Nurses and doctors who took the extra time, effort and energy to make sure I would be whole again someday.
    Good food – especially a homemade turkey with all the trimmings. And of course pie for desert!

    And of course, I am thankful for this blog. I can guarantee I will smile every time I log in, and that is worth more than I can say.

    I start physical therapy tomorrow, and my PT is a mountain biker! Perhaps he will win me over to the mountain side. I expect to send a lot of this winter in spin classes and at the gym getting ready for the spring. In the meantime, happy trails!

    Happy Thanksgiving all!

  58. Comment by Pammap | 11.23.2007 | 5:04 am

    Awesome post Fatty and Commenters. I too am thankful for my family. I love my husband and he loves me. I have four wonderful children, three son/daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren that ROCK my world! I’ll leave it at that because I could write all day about each of them.

    I’m thankful for cycling. It is amazing how I can get on my bike after a long day at work feeling tired and worn out and, after my ride where I’ve pushed myself farther than I imagined I could go, I feel refreshed and renewed. You all understand, I’m sure. I have exchanged mental exhaustion for physical exertion and it is the best.

    Happy (belated) Thanksgiving.

  59. Comment by Adam | 11.23.2007 | 6:06 pm

    Thanks for this. Good luck with the fight. Ride on, and if your ever looking to ride in New England, please look us up.

  60. Comment by dug | 11.24.2007 | 1:55 pm

    Fatty sez: When I talk about Alpine, I’m also talking about Suncrest. You big baby.

    I see you share the generous spirit that is so common in Alpine, that of letting others bask in your reflected light. You coulda lived in Suncrest, but you didn’t. why? why?

    and Kris, the wind serves a purpose: it keeps out the less hardy souls. We who endure the wind year round know deep in our hearts that we are superior. but humble at the same time.

  61. Comment by regina | 11.27.2007 | 7:22 am

    thankful for a blog like fatcyclist. It makes me feel good everytime I come out into cyberspace and have a read.
    Steel-cut oats can also be done in a rice cooker so they are just sitting there waiting for you when you wake up in the morning. this of course assumes as a given that your rice cooker is programmable.

  62. Comment by John Dwyer | 11.28.2007 | 1:31 pm

    Steel Cut Oats.
    Soak them overnight and they take much less time to cook in the morning.

  63. Comment by eliel | 11.29.2007 | 1:07 am

    Fatty, this may seem kinda late but I too have to express my thanks to you for this blog. I have been away from work for awhile and I’m doing catch up on your posts. The upside of this is getting to read more fatty stuff than usual :-)

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