Annual Christmas Letter

12.20.2007 | 1:39 pm

A Note from Fatty: For weeks, I have promised Susan that I would write a Christmas letter to send out to our friends and family. But while I — for some unknown reason — have no problem writing something each day for this blog, I have an incredibly difficult time sitting down and writing a letter recapitulating the year.

(Brief aside: could someone please explain why “recapitulate” means “to summarize briefly” when “capitulate” means “to surrender?” Thank you.)

Anyway, I figure that by now enough of you know me well enough that I ought to be sending you the Christmas letter anyway, so today’s post will do double duty.

And to those of you who hate Christmas letters: I apologize.

Dear Friends and Family,

2007 sucked. A lot.

Really, “sucked” is too weak of a word. “2007 sucked to the power of three” is more accurate. In the interest of brevity, let’s go with, “2007 sucked, cubed.”

This is not to say that nothing good happened this year. A lot of good things happened, and I’ll summarize them in just a minute. But the big thing that happened this year sucked (cubed), and I’m not going to pretend it didn’t.

Anyway, let’s get started with what happened to whom. I’ll lead with the lousy stuff, so we can finish on a positive note.

IMG_0731 copy Susan
Most of you know that Susan battled cancer back in 2004. We thought we were done.

We aren’t.

Early this year, Susan found out that her breast cancer had come back and had metastasized. Susan has done radiation, followed by six months of chemotherapy.

Meanwhile, one of the tumors in Susan had ruined her left hip so badly that it became difficult for Susan to walk. She started using a cane, then went to crutches. By October, Susan wasn’t able to get comfortable anywhere. We found an excellent surgeon — one who specializes in bone tumors — who did a partial hip replacement for Susan just a few weeks ago.

People mention — often — how tough and brave Susan is, and they’re absolutely right. Susan tells me, though, she would gladly turn in some of the bravery for less pain and the ability to walk without crutches.

The silver lining with all this is that we’re finding out exactly how good people can be. Our neighbors, family, and friends have taken us under their collective wing and picked up the slack left when a mom can’t get around. Meals, rides for the kids, people staying with us when we need some full time assistance — we’ve now been helped so much that we don’t even concern ourselves about ever paying it back. We just try to be thankful that there are so many good folks who are willing to make us their project.

Which leads us to Elden. Um, me.

I’ve been keeping a blog for almost three years, called “Fat Cyclist” ( It started as a place where I could tell jokes and embarrass myself into keeping my weight down.

When Susan’s cancer came back, I had to decide between no longer writing the blog (I seriously considered this), continue writing the blog as if nothing had happened (not really possible; I’m not very good at faking a good mood), or telling my readers what was going on.

I chose to tell my readers what was going on, which may have been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Fat Cyclist readers sent in hundreds of cards and gifts. Twin Six — a bicycle jersey design company — created a special “Fighting for Susan” edition of the Fat Cyclist jersey, splitting the proceeds between Susan’s expenses and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

People bought more than 600 of these jerseys — all of them we made. It even — amazingly — wound up on the cover of the most popular bicycling magazine in the country. Thanks to these people, when we needed to buy a stairlift — not cheap — we were able to do so with cash, and we’ve got money in the bank for when Susan’s well enough to go on a trip to Italy.

Every day, now, people reading my blog ask about Susan, letting us know that they’re sending prayers and good thoughts her way. It counts for a lot.

Oh yeah, I also rode my bike a lot and did some races.

And I have a really, really, really good job, with a boss that actively encourages me to keep my priorities straight — take care of my wife above all.

IMG_0401 Nigel
Nigel is fourteen now. He is as tall as I am, with a high likelihood of being taller than me by sometime next week. He has an outrageous sense of humor, coupled with an intuitive grasp of math and logic, all wrapped up in a heart of gold. And he can crush rocks with his bare hands.

I may have made up that last bit.

Nigel loves programming in Flash, creating increasingly interesting and fun games and animation. He’s capable of keeping a non-finite number of instant message sessions going with his friends, who are spread across the globe. This means Nigel likes to both get up early and stay up late, so he’s able to chat with and collaborate with his friends in Australia, Canada, and the fourth moon of Jupiter.

Also, Nigel’s kicking butt in school. But not literally.

IMG_0397 Brice
Brice, now 12, is incredibly smart, and — thanks to his love of reading — is his mom’s best friend. The two of them remind me of each other, the way they each have stacks of books piling up everywhere. They often read out loud to each other, and the rest of us find ourselves gathering around to listen.

Brice is in a gifted program at school. The technical term for this program is “My Child Thinks Your Child’s Honor Roll Program is Adorable” (MCTYCHRPIA). Brice finds the curriculum amusing, but not challenging.

Also, Brice will eat whatever we give him — the only child in the whole lot who doesn’t have some freakish “I hate any food that is not on my arbitrarily-chosen list of five strange-and-often-gross list.”

Brice has recently started playing the guitar, and is doing well at it. I, for one, am just glad he didn’t go for the flute (those of you who know me know I have a doglike sensitivity to high, piercing sounds).

I should also mention: Brice can move objects using nothing but his mind. He mostly uses this gift to tease the cat.

IMG_0420 The Twins
The twins — Katie and Carrie — are doomed to always be lumped together, at least in these letters. That’s only fair, though; they’re inseparable. No, wait. That makes it sound like they’re conjoined. They’re not conjoined. They just do everything together.

Including the way they lose teeth.

I don’t know if all identical twins work this way, but our girls lost their front teeth within a couple days of each other. In the same order as each other. Wild.

The girls love to draw. They are as talented as they are prolific. Every day, they wake up, go downstairs, and work through about half a ream of paper.

They are not, alas, tidy. With the volume of paper they leave about, our house is probably a fire hazard. Please, extinguish your smoking material before entering the Nelson house. Or we’ll all die.

The girls have also fallen in love with mountain biking, which makes my heart sing. Carrie has proclaimed she wants to be a mountain biker when she grows up. Katie draws pictures for me saying she wants to go mountain biking again soon.

If only they would eat something besides soup, yogurt, and peanut butter sandwiches, they would be perfect.

Oh yes, they’ll eat ice cream, too.

We’re looking forward to 2008. As soon as Susan can walk around the cul de sac using just a cane, we’re yanking the kids outta school and going to Disneyland. The kids have been great during this sucky (cubed) year; they deserve a vacation.

Hey, don’t we all.

Thanks very much to everyone for your continued friendship and familyship. Chances are, if we know you, we’ve been leaning on you.


Elden, Susan, Nigel, Brice, Katie and Carrie Nelson


PS: This will be my last post ’til after Christmas. Merry Christmas, and thanks for reading!


  1. Comment by Nick | 12.20.2007 | 1:52 pm

    Merry Christmas, and when Susan’s all better come talk to Uncle Nick about trips to Italy. I can help out.

  2. Comment by Dave Nice | 12.20.2007 | 2:00 pm

    All the best to you fam! May ‘08 be a mellow year for you all!

    Still on my mind and in my prayers!

  3. Comment by TIMK | 12.20.2007 | 2:02 pm

    We will miss you for the rest of the year. I have enjoyed being an avid reader, and occasional commenter this past year.

    Hope that the holidays are full of love and fun and all good things. You have an incredible family and you wear your gratitude on your sleeve.

    To all the other readers – hope that you all have a wonderful holiday season as well.

  4. Comment by Caloi Rider | 12.20.2007 | 2:05 pm

    Okay, capitulate vs recapitulate, here’s what I can gather from the Dictionary app on my Mac:
    Both originate from the Latin word for head, caput, and then through capitulum, the diminutive version (small head must not have been an insult back then). Capitulare came to mean (via medieval Latin) “to draw up terms under a heading” or to surrender—hence capitulate. Meanwhile, late 16th Century Latin used recapitulat as “gone through heading by heading” or to review.

  5. Comment by uncadan8 | 12.20.2007 | 2:08 pm

    Merry Christmas, Elden, Susan, Nigel, Brice, and Katie and Carrie! May this time be extra special for you all.

  6. Comment by JET(not a nickname) | 12.20.2007 | 2:18 pm

    Merry Christmas Fatty and family! My family is also going through kind of a rough patch as of late, and I thank you for continuing bringing a little laughter into this world. I hope you know it is appreciated.

  7. Comment by Renato | 12.20.2007 | 2:24 pm

    I wish you and your beautiful family Merry Christmas. And I hope 08 could be better than this year.

    All the best to Fat Cyclist readers.


  8. Comment by Lifesgreat | 12.20.2007 | 2:25 pm

    Thank you for sharing your Christmas letter with your cyberkindafamily. Have a Merry Christmas. I will keep you all in my prayers.

    PS: I hear you on the IM thing. That is how my child learned to type a bizillion misspelled words a minute.

  9. Comment by Less Fat Mike | 12.20.2007 | 2:27 pm

    Merry Christmas to All, and to all the fortitiude to not recapitulate. Sorry, I read too much when I was twelve.

  10. Comment by woogie | 12.20.2007 | 2:29 pm

    Sucked cubed is always trumped by family to the power of six.

  11. Comment by TomE | 12.20.2007 | 2:32 pm

    Thanks for sharing Fatty!!! What in the world are we going to do without this blog for the next week…..UGH!!! Well – I’m off to St. George to visit my wifes parents….and yes…mtn bikes are going!!!

    Hmm…nope I’m not rubbing it in, I’m just rubbing it in.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  12. Comment by Caloi Rider | 12.20.2007 | 2:34 pm

    p.s. Merry Christmas to you and yours too, Elden.

  13. Comment by nibo | 12.20.2007 | 2:35 pm

    Merry Christmas and good luck for a Fantastic(cubed) 2008

  14. Comment by Lucas Crawford | 12.20.2007 | 2:36 pm

    Merry Christmas! If and when you guys make it to wife and I could lead you guys on the ultimate Disneyland tour!

  15. Comment by Philly Jen | 12.20.2007 | 2:41 pm

    A very Merry Christmas to you all! (Buon Natale, as they say in that place where you will soon be downing gelato by the kilo.) Thank you for letting us help carry your burdens in some small way; it makes your blessings so much sweeter. Best wishes for 2008 to the whole extended clan.

  16. Comment by allan | 12.20.2007 | 2:42 pm

    Merry Christmas to you and the family Elden.Hope 2008 rocks for you.

  17. Comment by TomE | 12.20.2007 | 2:44 pm

    Just a note here…this blog has been “live” for just about two hours and you already have 17 responses. Shheeesh….you would think that we all had better things to do than hit refresh on our browser a million times since this morning. – jonesing for our daily dose of Fatty!!!

  18. Comment by Mrs. Coach | 12.20.2007 | 2:58 pm

    Well, I guess I can’t complain about no post for the next few days since you’ve been so good the past few days.
    It was really great to read your letter. I usually do one every year but since we’ve found out I’m pregnant I didn’t really feel like the extra project, so good job.

  19. Comment by Marrock | 12.20.2007 | 2:59 pm

    That’s a fine looking family… but who is that in the background that looks like a really cool Bond villain?

  20. Comment by Jennifer | 12.20.2007 | 3:02 pm

    Merry X-mas! (It includes all holidays.) Thank you for sharing your letter–you’ve helped successfully convince an aloof 20-something the importance of spending time with the family during those rare holidays when everyone can get together in person–quite an accomplishment, if you ask my mother!

  21. Comment by David | 12.20.2007 | 3:02 pm

    Thanks for making the choice to make us all part of your extended family. All the members here of the Rockland Bicycling Club wish you and Susan and your family the best in 2008, and we can’t wait to hear about your Disneyland trip and your trip to Italy. You really do deserve it.

    While you’re skipping out on posting, we’ll be out in the cold wearing your pink FC jerseys and sporting your pink water bottles.

    The best to you all.

  22. Comment by DocB | 12.20.2007 | 3:03 pm

    Thanks for the Christmas letter! I share your dread about writing them but I do really like reading them. Especially when they make me smile, laugh out loud and cry all in the same letter.

    Merry Christmas to your amazing family! May the Man in the Red Suit bring you all just what you want this year.

    Wishing you a fabulous to the plentysix power 2008!

  23. Comment by chtrich | 12.20.2007 | 3:12 pm

    Sucked (cubed) sounds better than Sucked (plenty-six) so I guess there were some good points to the year.

    Merry Chistmas everyone!!

  24. Comment by fatty | 12.20.2007 | 3:23 pm

    mrs coach – that is incredibly exciting news. congratulations to you and robert!

  25. Comment by mark | 12.20.2007 | 3:27 pm

    Merry Christmas, fatty. And thank you for being the highlight of many of my workdays the last couple of years. I’m a day behind reading your posts, so your Christmas letter was nice enough to keep me from making fun of yesterday’s post about your minivan with a truck bed.

    I agree with you that trucks are the ideal bikemobiles. I really like my Dakine pickup pad for hauling mtn bikes–I can get five at a time with the front wheel hanging over my tailgate.

  26. Comment by velofreak | 12.20.2007 | 3:31 pm

    Elden, A Merry Christmas and hopefully a happier and less sucky(cubed) year to you and your famliy for 2008.

  27. Comment by randomhigh | 12.20.2007 | 4:24 pm

    Merry Christmas to the entire Nelson clan!! here’s to wishing you the very best in the new year!!!

  28. Comment by David | 12.20.2007 | 4:29 pm

    Merry Christmas, I’ll read you next year.


  29. Comment by LindaLoo | 12.20.2007 | 4:35 pm

    Merry Christmas Fatty Family, Thank you for including us in your holiday letter. dang if I don’t feel as if I am part of the family! What a great Dad to admire your kids out loud to the world. May your days be filled with Peace and your holiday Wishes answered.

  30. Comment by bikemike | 12.20.2007 | 4:37 pm

    SIX (as in plenty-six) people in the Nelson family? interesting.

    Merry New Year!

  31. Comment by MonsieurM | 12.20.2007 | 4:50 pm

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. And a happy 2008 year! Take care, and enjoy the Christmas food.

  32. Comment by Bluenoser | 12.20.2007 | 4:52 pm


    Having just come to the site as of late and not up to speed it was good to see your letter today. It saves me from having to go back to find out just what is happening. Only because I’m short on time these days and not that I don’t want to.

    You have a nice family and I can see from the replies to your posts that your honest and honestly funny way of expressing yourself has quite a following, myself now included. If you or yours ever find yourself in Nova Scotia please touch base.

    For now you and yours have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the power of three.


  33. Comment by Mike from Melbourne | 12.20.2007 | 4:53 pm

    Have a great Christmas and Happy New Year guys. Thanks for the blog this year Elden, you have provided us with hours of funny/tragic/informative/inspiring reading, some great photos and terrific cartoons (courtesy of your talented son).
    Merry Christmas also to all the other readers.

    bikemike – six people and twins (as in twin six). Very interesting :-)

  34. Comment by Barb | 12.20.2007 | 5:01 pm

    Fatty, Mrs. Fatty, and all the Fatlets:

    I think I can speak for your cyber community when I say that while we may not know you, we love you. Have a joyful Christmas and a Healthy New Year!

  35. Comment by Uphill Battle | 12.20.2007 | 5:06 pm

    To Fatty and Family,
    A joyous Christmas and may 2008 be your happiest and healthiest year yet!

  36. Comment by neilro51 | 12.20.2007 | 5:08 pm

    Eldon, Merry Christmas to you and your family, blessings for the new year. From the land of RAGBRAI.

  37. Comment by | 12.20.2007 | 6:05 pm

    Dang it Fatty! Im such a sap, why’d you have to pull the heart strings? Here’s hoping that you, Susan, Nigel, Brice, Katie and Carrie have a wonderful (to the four-thousandth power) Christmas, and 2008! Prayers continue for you guys, and all of those who support you. You are truly an inspiration!
    Huzzah! and Merry Christmas!

  38. Comment by cheapie | 12.20.2007 | 6:29 pm

    merry christmas fatty! beautiful family. but why did you let the scary hitchhiker be in the shot while you took the picture?

    i’m not sayin’…i’m just sayin’….;-)

  39. Comment by Walt Roscello | 12.20.2007 | 6:37 pm

    Elden, just, Wow! Everyone knows that Susan is tough, but let your kids know that they are not being overshadowed by this ordeal. It sounds as if they are mature, smart, and self-confident – all great accomplishments already. Either that or they aren’t any of those things, but they have a doting, proud father, and that is important too. :-)

    My older is only 9, so I just tried to get him started programming using Scratch ( It will be cool if he’s doing his own apps by 14. Looks like Nigel is the sort of person I’d love to have as an intern in 7 years.

    TomE – Actually, Elden has 170 million readers, so you see, only .00001% of them had commented in the first two hours.

    p.s. No tasteless jokes about the intern bit above – I work on missile control, so we love scientific literate types who can program.

  40. Comment by Philthy in Oz | 12.20.2007 | 7:17 pm

    Caloi Rider got it in one. Capitulate is from the latin for Title or Chapter or to group into chapters and the modern usage refers to the surrender with defined (chaptered) terms. Recapitulate therefore is to “Chapter the chapters” i.e. to summarise further.
    Merry Xmas and Happy new year.

  41. Comment by barry1021 | 12.20.2007 | 7:20 pm

    Here’s to a healthy healthy healthy healthy 2008 for you and yours Fatty and all your readers.


    PS You have one more thing to be thankful for–your kids look like Susan. I’m just sayin’. I needed one more zinger to hit my 2007 quota.

  42. Comment by je | 12.20.2007 | 7:26 pm

    I want to hire you to write my family letters. My life is comparably easy and yet yours sounds like much more fun and much less trouble.

    Have a great 2008

  43. Comment by Yukirin Boy | 12.20.2007 | 7:36 pm

    Merry Christmas, Susan, Elden, Nigel, Brice, and Katie and Carrie

    Best wishes for the new year and here’s hoping you go Disneyland and Italy too in the near future.

  44. Comment by Jodi | 12.20.2007 | 7:46 pm

    Give us a little notice and we’ll go to Disneyland with you…..the twins are old enough to babysit now, yeh?

    Nice letter – beautiful pics. Dang but we’re a good-looking family.

  45. Comment by Craigaroonie | 12.20.2007 | 7:50 pm

    You rock, Not-So-Fatty.
    Baldy, sure, not so fatty.

    Have you had your chin tattooed?
    I thought that was a Maori thing. Are you a Kiwi!!!!!

    That would explain a lot, especially your stoicism, but I suspect that you get some of that from the rest of your family. If you’re not a Kiwi that is.

    Best Wishes one and all.


  46. Comment by formertdfan | 12.20.2007 | 7:50 pm

    I love the pictures — you have a great family. Merry Christmas, and my prayers for a better new year!!!!

  47. Comment by Doug | 12.20.2007 | 7:55 pm

    Hey Eldon
    Merry Christmas to you and your family.
    Hopefully you have a much better 2008.
    Doug (not Dug)

  48. Comment by Ch1cken1egs | 12.20.2007 | 8:25 pm

    Fatty and Family;

    New to your blog in the past few weeks, and have found Susan’s saga very moving. As a cancer nurse (for kids, though) you have provided me a bit of insight about how “the other half” lives. I only see my patients in the hospital, and I am always stricken when I get a bit of insight into their lives outside. This letter was especially moving. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    May the new year be filled with health and joy for you and your family.


  49. Comment by Alister | 12.20.2007 | 8:29 pm

    Fatty and Fam,

    Thank you for your insights and humour this year. While we send our prayers to you and Susan, you also give a lot of yourselves.

    Best wishes for the year ahead,


  50. Comment by Lins - Aust | 12.20.2007 | 8:53 pm

    Thank you for yet another year’s reading. I came across FatCyclist via the website back in 2005 (about May, I think).

    Wishing you and all of your family the best for the festive season. Be safe and well.

  51. Comment by Undomestic | 12.20.2007 | 8:58 pm

    My brother directed me to this site when I was just diagnosed with breast cancer. So I’ve been reading for a few months now. I’m not a biker…somewhat of a runner…but I still enjoy all your posts. It was great to read about your family. They are adorable! Hang in there! Prayers for an awesome 2008 for you and your family!

  52. Comment by Jouni | 12.20.2007 | 9:01 pm

    Dude, I love you. Best of the holidays, and here’s knowing that ‘08 will not suck^3.

  53. Comment by Harp | 12.20.2007 | 9:49 pm

    Looks like you got a great family there. Enjoy your time off with them. Have a good christmas.

  54. Comment by Kris | 12.20.2007 | 9:54 pm

    Time to be reverse bulimic: You purged yourself of 2007 through your letter, now it’s time to binge on the sweetness of the holidays. Soak in the hot tub of kindness. PlayDo with the kids. Take a disc brake from the world.

    - Kris, Master of Really Bad Metaphors

  55. Comment by Joi Gem | 12.20.2007 | 10:25 pm

    Dear Fatty,

    I give much thanks to you for your blog. I’ve loved reading it these past few months since I found it and look forward to reading it next year as well.
    You have a wonderful family and I’m so glad to hear Susan is on the mend.
    Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!
    (And a GREAT vacation with your family!)

  56. Comment by Little1 | 12.20.2007 | 10:53 pm

    Plentysix blessings for a peacful Christmas
    Plentysix wishes for a joyous New Year
    Plentysix prayers for health and wellness
    Plentysix positive thoughts for walking around the cul-de-sac without crutches!
    Plentysix thanks for inspiring me to go back to my bike and sanity!
    Plentysix times is not even close!

    To the entire Nelson Family “sterkte vir die striet vat voor le” (strength for the road ahead) May the Christmas period bring you the peace you all deserve and the New year a clear path out of the “sucky” times.

  57. Comment by Born4Lycra | 12.20.2007 | 11:19 pm

    Woogie I wish I had thought of that. It is just so good.
    FC thanks for including us it just helps to confirm the whole Team FC family thing. Hope your family has a great xmas and so does everyone in your cyber family. Looking forward to two things to start off 2008 1. pics of Susan doing her triumphant Tour de Cul de Sac and 2. the 2008 FC Top.
    Enjoy the Break everybody.

    OOps nearly forgot – I know some of you are not totally enamored with the whole pro bike rider scene but the TDU is next month with the catchy (well I reckon it is) slogan “Adelaide Australia – Now the first stop in World cycling”. Keep an eye out for us on the telly. Cheers All.

  58. Comment by Will | 12.21.2007 | 12:10 am

    Congratulations on your beautiful family. It’s great to see such a proud father.
    Here’s hoping 2008 is better than 2007.

    Wanting to cycle in the mountains … your daughter sounds very wise.

    Merry Christmas

  59. Comment by Orbea Girl | 12.21.2007 | 2:06 am

    Wishing you all every happiness for 2008, and well beyond.

  60. Comment by swiss | 12.21.2007 | 2:18 am

    if i read a better christmas missive this year i’l be surprised. it’s been a bad one right enough but i’m so happy for you all that you’ve found such support around you.
    all the best for you and yours for the festives, 2008 and onwards

  61. Comment by Andrea | 12.21.2007 | 4:04 am

    As I relative neophyte to the word of blogs, I was happy to see your Christmas letter. You see, every once in a while I feel a little lost since I didn’t start at the beginning. So it was nice to read about you and your family. However, I am a little confused. The photos of you and your family and great photos, but it leaves me wondering about the term “fat cyclist.” Is it meant to be facetious? As a fat cyclist myself, I’m a little concerned by this.

    Hopefully you and your family have a great holiday season and enjoy it. It looks like you deserve it. I look forward to more entertaining reading in the next year.

  62. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 12.21.2007 | 4:23 am

    I’m doing a bit of catching up and after reading about the big fancy bikemobile I came next to this post and the thing that initially struck me was that after you spent all that money on a motor vehicle you could only afford to have photos taken in a barn on a black and white camera. You should have put an extra $5 on the jerseys.

    My FC Twinsix bidons and an armload of other gear arrived today. I’ll win the best matched kit award on Sundays club Christmas ride for sure.

    Merry Christmas to the whole half dozen of you and I hope the Jolly Fat Man leaves a big deposit in your sock.

    Big Mike in [sunny] Oz

  63. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 12.21.2007 | 4:23 am

    I’m doing a bit of catching up and after reading about the big fancy bikemobile I came next to this post and the thing that initially struck me was that after you spent all that money on a motor vehicle you could only afford to have photos taken in a barn on a black and white camera. You should have put an extra $5 on the jerseys.

    My FC Twinsix bidons and an armload of other gear arrived today. I’ll win the best matched kit award on Sundays club Christmas ride for sure.

    Merry Christmas to the whole half dozen of you and I hope the Jolly Fat Man leaves a big deposit in your sock.

    Big Mike in [sunny] Oz

  64. Comment by Welsh James | 12.21.2007 | 4:40 am

    Dear Fatty,

    Thanks for all the inspiration and laughter that your blog has given me! I send you all the very best for Christmas and hope that 2008 will bring you a much less sucky year!
    Nadoleg Llawen (Welsh for Happy Christmas!)

  65. Comment by Compare Mountain Bikes | 12.21.2007 | 4:50 am

    Merry Christmas! Good luck with 2008!

  66. Comment by Rob | 12.21.2007 | 5:19 am

    Merry chistma-kawanzi-channu-whatever-whatever-mas! :) Best wishes to you guys!

    And skip the 2nd’s on the christmas goose, fatty!

    Cheers, Rob

  67. Comment by Pammap | 12.21.2007 | 5:25 am

    Fatty, Susan, Nigel, Brice, Katy, and Carrie: Merry Christmas! Here’s a prayer for 2008 to be uber-awesome (cubed).

    Friends of Fatty: Happy Holidays to you all and Happy New Year!

  68. Comment by Lowrydr | 12.21.2007 | 5:43 am

    Still another huge Holiday wish for the Nelson clan. And what a great looking one it is too. May the next year be smooth and level for a change.
    Except for the ride chosen by you Fatty, then it should have a great mix of ups and downs with some waterholes thrown in just for fun. Expecially when your new riding partner (Katie) goes out to play with you.
    Susan, here’s to a continued great recovery rate. And take that 1st victory lap easy. You wouldn’t want to show off to much.
    And for the rest of the clan: remember to hug each other once a day. You are so lucky to have each other & take after your mother in the looks department. (sorry Fatty).
    Peace of the season to you all from Iowa.

  69. Comment by Lowrydr | 12.21.2007 | 5:45 am

    Oh yea, nice Azspritzen there BigMike in Oz.

  70. Comment by Taocat (Tim O'Hara) | 12.21.2007 | 6:10 am

    My wife and I had a similar feeling regarding 2006. After losing my wife’s father, my grandfather, our cat of 14 years, and worst of all, a baby girl. Our motto was “f@#% you 2006″! But 07 has been kind as I type this while holding my 4 month old daughter. I wish you the same turn around in 08!


  71. Comment by KaliDurga | 12.21.2007 | 6:32 am

    There is really nothing I can say that hasn’t been said multiples times in the comments above. So I’ll just add my thanks, best wishes, and good vibes to you and yours, Fatty. Here’s to looking forward to a new year!

  72. Comment by Boz | 12.21.2007 | 6:46 am

    I’m sure you’ll have one of the best Christmas’s ever. Happiness and health all around.

  73. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 12.21.2007 | 7:10 am

    I think I speak for everyone here in Northwest Arkansas (speak up if you disagree!) when I say Happy Merry Feliz Navi-blah-blah to you and your gang!

    Here’s to 2008 being plentysix times less suck-filled!

  74. Comment by Eufemiano Fuentes | 12.21.2007 | 7:11 am

    Merry Christmas FC & Fam!

    Please lose the soul patch in the new year!

  75. Comment by S_H | 12.21.2007 | 7:25 am

    Nice letter; beautiful family! Except the bald guy with that thing on his chin. WTF’s up with that? :)

  76. Comment by Beth | 12.21.2007 | 7:38 am


    What a beautiful family and a wonderful reminder of how people can, and should, love one another through caring concern and helping hands. May God send his blessings upon you and your family, especially Susan, during the Christmas season, and my prayers are with you for a healthy and happy 2008.

  77. Comment by Gillian | 12.21.2007 | 8:04 am

    To Susan, Mr. Susan, and the little Susans -

    :) Have a wonderful holiday. Here’s hoping 2007 gives you enough relief in the last two weeks of the year to enjoy the Christmas season. Despite the suckiness cubed of last year – look at those ridiculous smiles. A beautiful family. Be well.

    Gillian (and Mr. Gillian and the Fetal Gillian)

  78. Comment by swtkaroline | 12.21.2007 | 8:05 am

    Fatty, as ever, thank you for accepting and respecting us enough to share this kind of thing. I stand by my belief that, despite your claims that we’ve helped you, you have made us all better by allowing us to be a part of your family–and all that comes with it.

    Have a wonderful holiday, and a fantastic new year!

  79. Comment by Judi | 12.21.2007 | 8:28 am

    Happy Holidays Fatty, Susan and the kids….

  80. Comment by Miles Archer | 12.21.2007 | 8:44 am

    Thank you for inspiring me to start riding again. This year I rode 913 miles, which is a pitiful amount for you and most of your readers. Next year’s goal is 1200 many of which will be while wearing the pink FC jersey.

    Wishing you and your family a better 2008.

  81. Comment by Bryan (not that one) | 12.21.2007 | 9:35 am

    “And to those of you who hate Christmas letters: I apologize.”

    Why apologize? No one forced them to read it. Or maybe I’m making an assumption…

    Merry Christmas Fatty, Susan, and family! I hope 2008 is a wonderful year for you all.

  82. Comment by KT | 12.21.2007 | 9:44 am

    Elden, Susan and the kids: thanks for sharing your family with us. Thanks for letting us share your saga, and thanks for giving us some perspective on life.

    As we come down to the wee nub of the year, I’m glad of the opportunity to sit back and reflect on the year gone by, and look forward to the year to come.

    Here’s hoping you have a great Solstice (“well-lit”, as it were), and good Yule (“god jul” as they say), or Merry whatever your light-returning/sacrifical king reborn winter holiday is, and a happy new year.

  83. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 12.21.2007 | 9:55 am

    HO HO HO & etc.

    Why are your kids so much better looking than you?

    Here’s to a better ‘08!

  84. Comment by Denise | 12.21.2007 | 10:27 am

    May this holiday season be filled with all the joy, love and laughter you can stand and that every moment becomes a memory you treasure for a lifetime! This is what I wish for you and your family Eldon……. and everyone else who reads/posts here.

    Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to ALL!!!

  85. Comment by Denise | 12.21.2007 | 10:28 am

    yeah yeah I can’t even spell your name right, lol

  86. Comment by Clydesteve | 12.21.2007 | 11:14 am

    Fatty & Family,

    May God richly bless you this Christmas season and the coming year. Continuing prayers and best wishes for Susan, you and your family. Thanks for including us Fatty’s Army grunts in your Christmas letter list. And, BTW, good letter.

  87. Comment by Clydesteve | 12.21.2007 | 11:16 am

    oh, and Merry Christmas, all Fat Cyclist blog readers, FC gear buyers and suppliers, one and all!


  88. Comment by Philip Barrett | 12.21.2007 | 11:25 am

    …but you’re not fat, not any of you. I demand truth is Blogging – “Slender Guy With Cute Family Cyclist.”

  89. Comment by monkeywebb | 12.21.2007 | 12:18 pm

    Thanks so much for writing. Merry Christmas to the whole clan.

  90. Comment by Tim D | 12.21.2007 | 12:33 pm

    Happy Christmas Fat Clan. I hope 2008 has fewer of the sucky bits and more of the good bits.

  91. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 12.21.2007 | 1:05 pm

    OOh yeah well done Clydesteve – Merry Xmas and hopefully a fantastically succesful 2008 to the guys at Twin6 you guys have been magic.

  92. Comment by rexinsea | 12.21.2007 | 1:26 pm

    Merry Chritmas Nelson Family! Enjoy the time off.
    Merry Christmas Fat Cyclist community. I look forward to another year of pulling for Fatty, gaining and losing weight and good natured debate of which energy bars are best.
    Cheers, Rex

  93. Comment by JimB | 12.21.2007 | 1:59 pm

    Fatty, Thank you for sharing your family this Christmas season, and your life all year long. All the best to you and your family. Anybody out there who thinks the world is going to hell, just look at kids like Nigel and Brice….get involved with kids somehow, (I coach high school basketball) coaching, biking, sports, music, scouting, whatever, you will realize that the world is going to be OK with kids like Fatty’s taking over.
    Merry Christmas All!!

  94. Comment by flossy | 12.21.2007 | 2:09 pm

    Merry Christmas Elden, Susan and Family

    Here’s looking forward to a great 2008 for everyone. Have a fab Christmas break and we’ll look forward to more great reading next year.

  95. Comment by Den | 12.21.2007 | 2:10 pm


    My wish for you is a very peaceful Christmas…

    And may God Bless us all, every one!

    Merry Christmas

  96. Comment by lyne | 12.21.2007 | 3:13 pm

    Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year to your family.

    This site always reminds me that there is good in the world, that strangers are willing to help each other out, and that humor always makes life just a bit easier.

    thank you all.

  97. Comment by Kris | 12.21.2007 | 4:05 pm

    Botched said: Why are your kids so much better looking than you?

    That’s a big reason to have kids, so you can lay claim to their youthful beauty/handsomeness. “Yep, my genes made that.” This leads the observer to the inevitable conclusion that, as the father, I must have been a looker in my youth.

    Fatty, I’m snowshoeing with the Utah Velo Club up AF Canyon tomorrow at 7 am starting from the Pine Hollow trail head. Come up for the fun!

  98. Comment by leroy | 12.21.2007 | 8:42 pm

    Merry Christmas and here’s to a happy, healthy 2008!

    For your twins: I’m a twin too. People always ask if it is hard to tell us apart. I used to say that I never had any trouble. I’m too old to use jokes like that, but if your daughters use that line, it’ll crack folks up.

  99. Comment by Travis | 12.22.2007 | 3:15 am

    Wishing you all, a very merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

  100. Comment by Flahute | 12.22.2007 | 10:51 am

    Happy Christmas; and a happier New Year …

  101. Comment by MOM | 12.22.2007 | 3:08 pm

    May I just send your letter out in lieu of doing one?

  102. Comment by Mike Roadie | 12.22.2007 | 4:22 pm

    What an excellent letter… I am glad to be a part of your readership/team. You are blessed wit a lovely family, and I hope only the best of things happen for you in 2008.
    I love you guys,
    Happy Holidays,

  103. Comment by Kris | 12.22.2007 | 5:48 pm

    If anyone went up for snowshoeing this morning at Pine Hollow and didn’t find the Utah Velo Club group, I apologize. They met at the Tibble Fork dam.

  104. Comment by joliver3 | 12.22.2007 | 7:58 pm

    Happy Holidays everyone, and best wishes for a happy 2008, especially for the FC clan. I don’t post here much, but I enjoy the daily ramblings by Fatty and comments by the community. Thanks for including us in everything, the good and the bad. I think it helps us all keep some things in perspective.

    Here’s to lots of good riding in 2008, as well as some crutch-free walking and maybe an overseas trip for some!

  105. Comment by JC | 12.22.2007 | 8:15 pm

    When the Bicycling October issue hit my mail box with that rare pink jersey on the cover I thought Fatty has hit the big time. Gosh it is so rewarding to see how the bike community has responded to your story. You know that if those cancer cells would go away by all of us showing up on a bike the world would pedal its way to your door.

    Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family may 2008 bring happiness and HEALTH!

  106. Comment by TWIN SIX | 12.23.2007 | 9:28 pm

    Hope your holidays and filled with good food, great friends, close family and cycling-inspired merchandise. Best in 2008. Talk to you soon. We’ve got some new jersey designs to send over…


  107. Comment by Ian Hopper | 12.23.2007 | 11:27 pm

    Fatty, you have a beautiful family, and I am so happy that Susan is getting better. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make her pain go away, but Santa forgot to bring me that magic wand last year. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

  108. Comment by Saso | 12.24.2007 | 1:20 am


    during this year, you have provided for a lot of happy moments for me when I logged on and read your blog. I sincerely and selfishly hope you will continue to do that in the next year as well.

    I wish all the best to you and your family and hopefully 2008 will be a “fantastic cubed” year for all of you.

  109. Comment by Donald | 12.24.2007 | 6:42 am

    Great post. You have an awesome family… truly blessed.
    Look forward to ‘08 and Expect The Best… especially for Susan!
    Merry Christmas

  110. Comment by Chris_N | 12.26.2007 | 9:06 am

    My wife, Caroline, and I wish you all our best for a wonderful, much less sucky (cubed) 2008. Keep your collective chins up and thanks for a great read…..Chris

  111. Comment by Alex from ZA | 12.27.2007 | 8:29 am

    Belated merry Christmas. Hope it was awesome

  112. Comment by Beast Mom | 12.27.2007 | 10:36 am

    That is the best Christmas letter I’ve read all month. It sounds REAL.
    And that family photo is GREAT. Thanks so much for sharing honestly about your life – good and bad.

    I hope you all had a very good Christmas together.


  113. Comment by regina | 12.28.2007 | 7:45 am

    sorry to post so late, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  114. Comment by Jay | 01.4.2008 | 8:43 am

    God bless you all. I hope my family will turn out to be as cool as yours.

  115. Pingback by Blogs Like His « Around the Funny Farm! | 05.10.2008 | 11:42 am

    [...] go to this website and read this man’s story.  Go find the Christmas Letter post of his and study the photographs.  Donate to the cause.  Read this post about [...]

  116. Trackback by Uprima clinical trials. | 07.14.2008 | 6:16 am


    Availability of uprima banned in usa.

  117. Trackback by Hytrin. | 07.15.2008 | 5:39 pm


    Normal prostate reading hytrin. Hytrin. Interactions between proscar and hytrin. Hytrin terazosin.

  118. Comment by Rishi | 11.14.2008 | 6:38 am

    Its Chirstmas! Come and celebrate with us on the auspicious Occasion of Chirstmas .

    Send these Happy Chirstmas Greeting Cards to your friends and relatives and wish

    them all delightful and wonderful Chirstmas . Send Free Online Invitation and

    Greeting Cards to your friends & loved ones. ALL cards are absolutely. FREE!!!
    Happy Chirstmas

  119. Comment by Chad Johnson | 01.4.2011 | 5:57 pm

    Bugs are nice
    They are cute
    I like Bugs
    And so do you
    Be nice to bugs
    They’ll be your friend
    Be kind to bugs
    They’ll love you no end…

    Sup buddy! I’m getting the band back together!!/photo.php?fbid=1815707271951&set=a.1813222169825.105486.1218157100

  120. Comment by Mike Canada | 01.10.2011 | 12:40 pm

    Hey Elden,

    Mike Fallis hear (now Canada). Don’t ask, it’s a long story.

    Chad posted a picture of our band Dert from the old high school days. What a trip.

    First, I am so sorry to hear of your wife’s continuing battle. I lost my mother-in-law to the same and I constantly worry about my wife Carrie and whether it will happen to her or not. The strain can be unbearable at times. She as well as the rest of your family are in our prayers.

    As for me I have my lovely wife Carrie and together we have three children – Jack (8), Kahlia (6) and Gabrielle (3). All smart and all a huge hand full.

    I’m a tax attorney / UAV light pilot working for Boeing. I currently deploy to all the best places to help counter the GEE-HAD! Of course this means frequent trips to Afghanistan, Iraq and other wonderful destinations deploying with NAVSPECWARFARE Group. Think of it as extreme camping.

    Anyway, just thought I’d say hi – like the blog.

    God bless

    Mike and Family


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.