A Note from Fatty: I have a few items of business to bring up before I get to the main topic of today’s post.
I Am Tardy
To those of you I owe t-shirts and socks to, from contests reaching all the way back into October — I’m sorry, but I’ve decided to not send them to you.
Actually, I finally sent them today. Yes, even the one to Australia. Thank you all for your patience with my procrastinating self.
Return of the Biker Babes
Susan got an awesome card in the mail Saturday from my sister Kellene and all her riding friends, the self-named “Biker Babes.” Check this out (click photo for larger version):
I admit to being slightly disappointed that Kellene didn’t persuade them all to do a jumping version of this photo. Mostly, though, I’m just really touched by this incredible show of support for my wife — a solidarity a huge number of people have shown.
Several of you have asked what the new Fat Cyclist bottles look like. They look like this:
What a dramatic shot!
It took me nine hours to get them stacked like that. Time well spent, if you ask me.
Now I need to figure out a good way to give some of these away. Anyone got a good idea for a contest?
OK, now on to the main subject of today’s post: how Susan’s doing.
Recovering from six months of chemotherapy is not easy. Recovering from a hip replacement is not easy. Getting a hip replacement literally one week after six months of chemotherapy is ridiculous, frankly.
But Susan’s handling it really well. She gets around well on her crutches, and — briefly — walked a little using just a cane today. She no longer rides the stairlift; she prefers going up and down the stairs using her crutches (anyone wanna buy a barely-used stairlift?).
The nicest thing about all this, though, is that Susan has — for the first time since the cancer recurred — a whole month without a single doctor appointment.
That said, there’s a lot of frustration for her. The first sentence Susan ever spoke was, “I can do it myself,” so as you might expect, Susan hates having to ask me for help on stuff you don’t even think about: putting on pants, putting on socks and shoes. It doesn’t bother me at all to help with things like that, but it drives Susan nuts to have to ask.
It’s not easy for her to get comfortable. Ask yourself: “If I had a clear-to-the-bone 16″-long incision on my left buttcheek, would I be able to sit in a chair?”
Hint: the answer is, “No.”
So Susan doesn’t get around much right now. And, unfortunately, she wouldn’t let me post a picture of the incision or rather extraordinary bruise she’s got. Pfff.
I’m trying something new this Christmas: I’m not going to work. Today’s the last day, in fact, that I’m working this year. And then I’m going to hang out with my family for two solid weeks.
I’m also going to do some snowshoeing. I’ll post when, and anyone local is welcome to join in. I’ll bake some Matisse & Jacks energy bars for the occasion, even.
Anyway, since this is my last day of work for the year, I can’t exactly afford to use my lunch hour for writing, like usual. Instead, I’d like to call your attention to a few cycling-related blogs I really like, some of which you may not have heard of.
Up in Alaska
I admit, I fantasize about the life Jill Homer leads. She’s a journalist, living in Alaska. She fears nothing, evidently. And she’s an excellent photographer.
As of late, though, I have grown to fear Jill, for she is doing what I would never dare do: racing the Iditarod. See, I’ve flirted with the idea — I like the notion of a monster, multi-day ride in the wilderness — but any time I actually go do a snow ride, I realize an important truth: I am a fair-weather cyclist. And as such, I have no business even thinking about something like the Iditarod.
Jill, on the other hand, seems really excited about the idea of self-sufficiently riding/pushing her Pugsley for multiple days across the Alaskan wilderness.
That’s not merely interesting, that’s freakin’ compelling.
The thing is, Jill’s not crazily rich, and this race is expensive. So if you have a few bucks, I recommend that when you go to Up In Alaska, you click the “Make a Donation” link to help Jill defray some of her race costs.
Bob’s Web Log
Bob (a member of the core team) is what you might call a Serial Blogger. For a while he wrote a blog as if he were President Bush’s (the current one, not the first one) gardener (
sadly, I cannot find the URL right now). Then he wrote Bob’s Top 5. He was a contributor in the ill-fated Random Reviewer project. And now he writes Bob’s Web Log, which is sometimes about biking, and sometimes not.
Bob and I both like writing absurd, self-aware comedy. The key difference between us (apart from our hair — he has lots of red hair, I have no hair whatsoever) is that he can write in other ways, too.
That said, my blog is much more popular than Bob’s blog.
Brad Keyes (a member of the core team) is an incredibly interesting guy. He’s recently bought a bunch of land on Gooseberry Mesa, and he’s going to build and rent yurts out there soon. It’ll be the most awesome cycling destination in the world, and Brad promises me he’ll let me give away some free visits there, maybe even guided by him. I guarantee this will be the most awesome giveaway ever.
Brad has also developed his own energy drink for cyclists. It is the best energy drink I have ever used. Soon he’s going to start selling it, and I think you might want to try it.
Brad makes his own beer. Everyone tells me it’s great. He’s just a full-on I’ll-try-anything kind of guy.
And now Brad’s got a blog. I would never have guessed that Brad would be a good writer, but it turns out he is. (Except those weird pop-out ad links he’s got all over the place are incredibly annoying.)
Rick Sunderlage (Not His Real Name)
Rick (a member of the core team) is the person I most want to stay ahead of in any given race. He is also the only member of DNA Cycling who still talks to me, since I trashed their ugly jerseys on my blog.
Right now, if Rick and I were to race in a velodrome, he could lap me by the third lap.
I’ve never met Jim — the Unholy Roleur — in person, and for that I’m grateful, because I get the sense that he could (and probably would) crush me like a bug. He’s got this crazy, stream-of-cycling consciousness thing going on that cracks me up.
So Very Alone
OK, so this one doesn’t have anything to do with bikes. But I can’t help reading poor Harlan’s blog. I think if he rode a bike, his life might improve immeasurably.
A reader recently sent in pictures of their dining room makeover. Let’s begin by looking at this rather conventional dining room:
And now, let’s take a look at the same dining room, after its recent makeover:
Let’s take a closer look at a few of those jerseys, shall we?
Yes, that is a real Lance race-worn ‘05 Tour jersey and one of Landisâ€™ podium tunics.
The Extra-Awesome Part
This dining room would be awesome under any circumstance, but — at least to me — what makes it doubly-extra-awesome is that the driving force behind this makeover was the female half of the marriage.
Says Bent022, “I told my husband he can never ever complain about how I decorate the house. Not many women would want their dining room to look like a sports bar.”
The Conversion of Bent022
The only thing that made me sad about this whole thing was that Bent022 — as you might have figured from her commenting handle — is a recumbent rider.
Well, she was a recumbent rider….She just bought Carlos Sastre’s 2007 Team CSC Cervelo. Which she intends to ride.
All hail Bent022, queen of pro cycling memorabilia collectors!
A Note from Fatty: A nudge, wink, and acknowledgement of inspiration to Gwadzilla — which I read regularly and you should too — for today’s post.
You are as orange
As you are spherical
By far and away
The most accessible
Of all fruit
For the banana
Do not lose heart, Clementine
For while — true — the banana
Is marginally easier to peel
It is in no other way your superior
You are juicier!
You are easily segmented!
You peel almost without effort!
You do not bruise nearly as easily!
My hands smell wonderful after I peel you
Your brilliant orange color
Shatters the dull grey of the winter sky
The banana cannot do that
As you well know
So let us not speak of the banana
It is as nothing compared to you
You are so delicious
You are my favorite Wintertime fruit
When I browse the produce section
Of my local supermarket
My heart yearns
And I confess: I salivate copiously
Clementine, please do not think me a glutton
For purchasing a box of you nigh unto each day
And eat, and eat, and eat
As if I were a starving orangutan
I know you will not be here for long
So I get my fill of you now
You, the most exquisite of all fruit
In a season full of chocolate and cookies
And miscellaneous baked goods
You are the one thing I eat without remorse
And in truth I sometimes eat you
Not as penance but perhaps as an offsetting
for culinary sins earlier in the day
Know now, Clementine
You are more to me
Than a diet food
Clementine, I love thee.
And I shall buy another box of thee
As I return from work
More than two weeks ago, I had a crash while mountain biking. No, let me clarify that: I had a painful crash. More specifically, I had a painful crash that has hurt my left wrist to the extent that even two weeks later, it hurts to type. Or to lift anything. Or to punch through a cinder block.
I am speculating about the punching-through-the-cinder-block part.
I shall now tell you the story of how this crash happened. However, I will not make it easy on you; you must guess, for each event leading up to the crash, which of the statements is correct.
Oh, I know. You’re wondering, “How can I tell which is correct, since I wasn’t even there?”
To which I answer, “Oh, I think you’ll manage.”
1. Which of the following did Fatty do this ride with?
a. Several members of the core team — people he has ridden with hundreds of times — who already know about his proclivity to fall painfully and clumsily, and therefore would not be particularly fazed by this event.
b. Nobody. Fatty rode by himself, so when he fell, nobody saw and nobody was the wiser. Until now, of course.
c. With a neighbor he had never ridden with. A neighbor who was, for some unknown reason, under the impression that Fatty is an expert mountain biker.
2. What did Fatty and this neighbor talk about as they rode, prior to the accident?
a. They talked about politics, greenhouse gasses, and the alarming rate of decay of the moral fibre of today’s youth. Incidentally, they came up with an elegant solution to two dilemmas quantum physicists have been struggling with for the past decade, which will be published in the January issue of The Quarterly Journal of Pompous Physicists.
b. They didn’t talk about anything. Fatty is so outrageously fast on the climbs that the neighbor couldn’t even remotely keep up, and whenever Fatty took pity and waited for the neighbor to catch up, the neighbor was far too out of breath to talk about anything at all.
c. Fatty talked endlessly about how riding a rigid singlespeed is so great, how he doesn’t miss or need suspension, and how he’s actually a better technical rider now without any suspension.
3. What was the trail like when Fatty had his crash?
a. Rooted, twisting, shale-covered technical singletrack. Approximately 39% uphill grade.
b. Fast downhill fire road, off-camber, riddled with blind corners and tall ledges. Oh, and snakes. Lots of angry, poisonous snakes attacking without warning.
c. Mild, straight, gently sloping uphill doubletrack. Not technical. At all.
4. What caused Fatty’s crash?
a. The neighbor punched Fatty in the kidney, then elbowed him in the throat. All because he wanted to steal one of Fatty’s awesome new water bottles.
b. Fatty was demonstrating how he has recently learned to do a nose-wheelie, pivot his rear wheel around and ride in the other direction — all no-handed, and without the use of brakes.
c. His front tire blew when he hit 70mph.
d. Fatty, while riding 5mph up a gentle slope, hit a small embedded rock, and Fatty fell over sideways as if he had never quite learned to ride a bike.
5. What did Fatty do after the crash?
a. Yell in pain, in what unfortunately must be described as a high-pitched wail.
b. Try to explain to his neighbor why he just fell down on — what looked to the neighbor like — a featureless trail.
c. Get back on the bike and try to ride, then get back off the bike when he realized the pain was sufficient to cause a wave of nausea and that he’d better sit back down for a minute.
d. All of the above, in that order.
So, in short, I — with a neighbor who somehow mistook me for a good rider — fell over sideways on my mountain bike for no good reason whatsoever, and caught all my weight on my left wrist as I crashed to the ground.
I am such a doofus.
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