Love Letters, Part I: Fatty Loves Shot Bloks

01.25.2008 | 6:14 am

A Note of Explanation from Fatty: A few weeks ago, I was forwarded one of the best email messages I’ve ever read. It was so angry. It was so confidently outraged. It was so full of righteous indignation. It was a full-on textual one-two punch, followed with a kick to the groin and a blackjack to the frontal lobe.

After reading this email, I was overtaken with the urge to write similarly angry letters. I wanted to knock some heads together. Hurt some feelings. Kick some butt, burned bridges be damned.

Furthermore, I wanted to post these letters on my blog.

Here’s the thing, though: I just couldn’t do it.

When push came to shove, I couldn’t force myself to engage in a frontal attack. I’m too much of a pansy nice of a guy.

So instead, I decided to do the opposite of open hate mail. I’m going to write some love letters. Not just letters of appreciation, but gushing, heartfelt, downright embarrassing proclamations of my undying devotion.

By way of rules, I am keeping it simple for myself.

  • I will write love letters only to companies and people who make / do something I really like.
  • I will feel free to exaggerate my devotion to whatever degree I feel necessary in order to make my point.
  • If an exclamation point can possibly be used as the sentence-ending punctuation, I will.

I will then send these letters to the organization or person the letter is intended for 48 hours before I post it to my blog. If I get a response worth publishing, I will include it along with my letter.

And if I get an offer for sponsorship or advertising, I will do a little dance.

With that, let’s begin.

Black CherryDear Clif Bar Representative,

I love you with all my heart. Well, not you as a person, though I am sure you have many excellent qualities. What I love are your Clif Shot Bloks.

They are the best endurance cycling food in the whole world! And if there is intelligent life on other planets, I hereby challenge them to bring forth the best endurance cycling food they have to offer and see how it compares. For I do not believe it will be as good as Clif Shot Bloks.

Yes, that’s right. I’m so confident in the quality and deliciousness of Shot Bloks that I’m ready, right this instant, to go toe-to-toe with alien beings to defend your honor! I’m that committed.

I’m sorry, I’m already getting a little bit off-track. I did not mean for this letter to be about interplanetary sports food competitions. I meant it simply to be a letter telling you that I love Shot Bloks, and I’m willing to shout it from the rooftops!

Clif Bar Representative (Oh, how I wish I knew your name!), I love riding bikes. Road bikes, mountain bikes — it doesn’t matter to me, as long as I can get out and be in the saddle for three hours or more (sometimes much, much more: I frequently do 100-mile or longer mountain bike races!). And when I’m riding, I need fuel.

StrawberryFor more than ten years, I searched for a perfect cycling fuel (to be perfectly honest, though, my search has not been nonstop; I have taken several breaks and have at times lost interest in the search altogether). I wanted Something that was easy on the stomach! Something that I could eat hour after hour (after hour after hour), without being repulsed by the flavor or texture (this requirement, by the way, eliminates most every energy gel out there)! Something that’s easy to carry, doesn’t require ten minutes of chewing for every bite! Something that goes down fast.

Shot Bloks are that something. I can eat a packet of them, every 40 minutes, indefinitely — or at least for 20 hours, which is what I did when racing the Kokopelli Trail last year. That’s 200 calories every 40 minutes: a nice, constant flow of calories going to my legs.

But I do not wish to make it seem as if I love Shot Bloks only because they are an easily-consumed source of on-the-bike calories! Far from it! I also like how easily I can open the package. I can tear open a package of Shot Bloks using nothing but one hand and my teeth, meaning I hardly have to slow down to eat them. Although — I must confess — I’ve accidentally torn the top of the package completely off a few times and lost it to the wind, which has, truth be known, made me feel guilty. I don’t want to be a litterbug!

Pina ColadaHere’s a thought, Clif Bar Representative: Maybe you could look into a kind of packaging that opens with one hand, without tearing, and leaves the packaging in one piece, so racing cyclists would be able to take maximum advantage of your brilliant, delicious energy food without adversely affecting the environment.

Really, that’s my only complaint.

I hope you don’t mind my asking a question, Clif Bar Representative. That question is, "How did you do it?!" It would never have occurred to me to make a gummy-bear-like energy food. It just wouldn’t have ever entered in my brain, and I think about stuff like this all the time.

For example, I just spent twenty minutes trying to think of another energy food substance that would work just as well as Shot Bloks. But I got nothin’.

I guess that’s why you’re the ones with the successful energy food company, and I’m the one buying stuff from you, right?!

Still, I’d love to know what the origin is of Shot Bloks. Please tell me.

MargaritaOh, I actually have another suggestion, based on an experience I had last year while racing the Leadville 100. I was eating your Margarita Shot Bloks (the ones with extra extra extra sodium) pretty much constantly, figuring that with all the sweating I was doing, the extra sodium would do me good.

But then I had a problem.

I ate eaten so many Margarita Shot Bloks that the inside of my mouth started to feel like it was pickled leather — you know, the way the inside of your mouth feels when you gargle saltwater or accidentally get a mouthful of ocean water? And my stomach rebelled; I actually had a gag reflex any time I tried to eat another Margarita Shot Blok, and had to throw the remainder of the open package away, in order to avoid barfing outright!

I hope I’m not grossing you out or hurting your feelings or anything.

Cran RazzLong story short, I switched over to the Cran Razz flavor (my favorite flavor, by the way) and was just fine from that point forward, though I cannot to this day look at the Margarita Shot Blok package without getting a little twinge.

I’m just thinking maybe you might want to put a suggestion on the back of the Margarita flavor saying, "Don’t eat these as your only food source; mix them up with another flavor!"

Or something like that.

Although, now that I think about it, I’m probably the only person who’s ever been goofy enough to eat those Margarita Bloks as his only fuel source for several consecutive hours during a race, aren’t I?

I’m such an idiot sometimes.

Anyway, back to why I love Shot Bloks. I’ll bet I’m not the first person to tell you that these things are delicious just as a snack! Yes, it’s true. More than once I’ve gone to the cupboard to get something to eat, thought about what I want, and the answer is, "Shot Bloks!"

I tell you what: that has never been the case with a Power Bar. Probably for anyone. Ever.

Because, let’s face it, Power Bars taste like Kellogg’s Frosted Cardboard.

ColaBut I don’t want to start trashing your competitors. I’m guessing you guys are above that kind of thing anyway. Hey, when you’re at the top you can afford to take the high road, right?!

Anyway, I keep several packets of Shot Bloks in my car’s glove compartment, as a snack for when I am on a long drive, or for when I arrive back to my car — ravenously hungry — from a long mountain bike ride.

By the way, once Shot Bloks get really cold — like below 40 degrees (F), they become really hard to chew. I don’t think they’d be the ideal food for an Arctic expedition.

Luckily for me, I have no plans whatsoever to head to the Arctic!

I’ve kind of rambled on a bit, but I appreciate your taking the time to read my letter. Let me conclude by reiterating my main point. Shot Bloks are the greatest. Thanks for making them!

Kind Regards,

Elden (The Fat Cyclist)

Emily, a representative of Clif Bar & Company, responds
Emily, a customer service rep at Clif Bar & Company, responded to my email within 36 hours, with what is clearly not a form letter.

Hi Elden,

Thank you so much for your great email.  I am so glad to hear that you are such a fan of our Shot Bloks.  Though, I’m sorry to hear that your experience with the Margarita flavor was as unpleasant as it sounded.  We certainly understand that not all of our flavors are for everyone.

Having many avid athletes around the office and in the kitchen definitely helps us to understand what active people need and want as far as sports nutrition is concerned.

We certainly love hearing from our consumers and are so grateful you took the time to let us know your thoughts about the Clif Shot Bloks.  I have logged all of your suggestions and can assure you they will be shared with everyone.

Your suggestion for environmentally sound packaging is a great one and we are consistently challenging our suppliers to come up with the safest way to store our preservative-free energy food without adversely affecting our planet.

I would love to send you a few Bloks (not Margarita :)) as a thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

If you’d like just reply to this email with your preferred mailing address and I’ll send those your way.

Again, thank you so much for sharing your feedback.

Be well!


Final Thoughts from Fatty
I have, of course, sent Emily my address. When I get the Shot Bloks, I will make them part of a giveaway.

Having completed this experiment, I have a number of questions (and that number is 5):

  1. Was my idea of writing a no-holds-barred, gushing, raving fan letter worth trying (and publishing)? Or did I just come across as a butt-kissing lunatic?
  2. Would you like to see additional love letters to cycling-related companies and / or people? And if so, who?
  3. What do you think the odds are that I can convert this into a full-on Clif sponsorship?
  4. Do you suppose Emily showed my letter around the office, asking, "Is this guy for real?"
  5. On a scale of 1-11, using only prime numbers, how shameless am I?


  1. Comment by Sean | 01.25.2008 | 6:26 am

    1. butt-kissing lunatic
    2. yes, as long as it’s not Primal Wear, they need no extra encouragement and should have packed it in long ago
    3. using only prime numbers, 23:1
    4. yes
    5. 7

  2. Comment by Dave | 01.25.2008 | 6:36 am

    1) It was worth publishing *because* you came across as a butt-kissing lunatic.

    2) When someone invents a remote-control cab immobilization device, write to them.

    3) If only you hadn’t dissed the Margarita…

    4) I’m guessing it’s on the Clif noticeboard right now.

    5) 13

  3. Comment by rick | 01.25.2008 | 6:48 am

    plenty six shamless is my guess

  4. Comment by Bluenoser | 01.25.2008 | 6:50 am

    Fatty, when I clicked on my little encyclopedia/dictionary widget and looked up butt-kissing lunatic your picture appeared.

    Please send me my letter at least 60 hours in advance because I’m a slow reader.

    And my widget is now frozen on your picture.


  5. Comment by Jouni | 01.25.2008 | 7:12 am

    1. Complete and utter lunatic of the butt-kissing variety. You are now my consumer ombudsman.
    2. Please continue – I like the idea of the recipient squirming and having a few sleepless nights.
    3. You may have turned the Margarita diss into a positive: “How about Banana Daiquiri instead?! I would love you forever if you did that!!!” You’d already be swimming in Shot Bloks by now.
    4. Definitely. And I bet she looks over her shoulder when she heads to the bike rack at the end of the work day.
    5. 11. You definitely go to 11. But, good on ya.

  6. Comment by Dan K | 01.25.2008 | 7:13 am

    1) Absolutely worth trying, and raving of lunacy. Rock on.
    2) Absolutely. Ventana comes to mind, but I know you don’t own one. Perhaps you should work on that?
    3) 43%
    4) Without a doubt.
    5) 7

  7. Comment by cheapie | 01.25.2008 | 7:13 am

    it was great. a good mix of genuine praise and over the top swooning. i also wonder if she has figured out that her otherwise humble life has been touched by the international superstar that is the fat one.

    next? T6’s t-shirts? they are the softest, most comfortable shirts i’ve ever worn.

    your e-motion rollers? i’ve read nothing but good stuff about them. in fact, i’m on the waiting list for a set.

    egg-beater pedals?

  8. Comment by sans auto | 01.25.2008 | 7:40 am

    1. Butt kissing lunatic… but you got free stuff out of the deal. And you’re going to give the free stuff away to the mere peasant folk that follow you around asking for handouts. i say it’s worth it.
    2. Yes, I want to see more butt kissing… well, not literally. How about Ibis or a company that only sells high dollar things, but I’m not saying that because I’m one of the mere peasant folk that follow you around asking for handouts. Oh, how about a letter to the county or BLM or whoever it is that protects and maintains the trails you use or the city (or county) after a particularly good street sweeping job.
    3. With your writing skills I forsee them paying you to quit your job and ride your bike and write full time.
    4. I think Emily has also shown the letter to friends and family.
    5. 11

  9. Comment by TIMK | 01.25.2008 | 7:44 am

    Your new Spanish racing name is Gordo Sin Vergüenza.
    Kind of reminded me of the Letters from a Nut books, which is a good thing.

    The only company I ever bothered to write was a mop company to tell them how crappy the plastic they used was – they sent me a new mop with improved plastic (I still have it!)

    Clif would probably hook you up even more if they knew the audience you commanded – and that you put this letter up for all – they might even given you Clif for life! I’m a huge fan of their Mojo bars! (maybe I should write them a letter myself?)

    I think that they should make a miniature Shot Blok catapult that you can mount on your handlebars. You could fire it with your thumb and catch the Blok in your mouth.

  10. Comment by leroy | 01.25.2008 | 7:47 am

    You pose question 1 as if “worth trying” and “appearing to be a butt kissing lunatic” were mutually exclusive.

    But if Emily or her colleagues are reading this….

    Thanks to Elden, I’ll try shot bloks this Spring.

    My kids are tired of me swiping their gummy bears and making motorcycle noises with my mouth while chewing.

  11. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 01.25.2008 | 7:49 am

    Definitely butt-kissing lunatic, but in a good way, which I would never have thought possible before now!

    Keep ‘em coming!
    Whoever makes those kooky glasses you wear.
    Or that saddle you can’t seem to part with?
    Or….. Assos?!?!?!?

  12. Comment by pantaloonfan | 01.25.2008 | 7:52 am

    1) I’d say this is dancing on the edge a bit between raving fan and raving lunatic, from my own perspective, but I think it stays on the right side of the line.

    2) If only to see what else someone might get for free from doing this… I think generally the larger the company the more readily they will open up the schwag gates of heaven and shower you with freebies. On some levels I think raving about the most unexciting of products (stems/seatposts, anyone? Thomson? Thomson?), however well made it is still a dull non-engaging element of the experience, would be the most entertaining.

    3) My guess is 25:1 against on a full sponsorship, but if you tie in to this page they may either come and take back the free shot bloks, or chip in with some of kind of deal. I don’t see a whole lot of middleground.

    4) Maybe more along the lines of “you have GOT to take a look at this!”

    5)I give it an elegant “5″, to match the question. I’ve known people who wrote in to companies with absurd complaints based on claimed annoyances and nuisances that never transpired. All of the letters seemed to get something for nothing… so at least you are killing them with kindness instead of fraud :)

  13. Comment by regina | 01.25.2008 | 8:19 am

    1. Thank goodness you’re a butt-kissing lunatic, it is really entertaining and you do great give aways with some of the stuff.

    2. absolutely and I don’t know.

    3. they would be crazy if they did not full-on sponsor you, I think they should use in their print adds too. Professional models do not convince me.

    4. Emily absolutely showed your letter to everyone but I am not sure about the is this guy for real thing, after all there was a fat cyclist jersey on a magazine cover. surely she immediately knew who she was being emailed from.

    5. definitely 11

    I think they should break up the margarita packs, you know in the lemon/lime package or something just put in two or something, and call that pack margarita charged or something. Though lemon lime is not my favortie, I am with you on the cran/raisin or any other red ones.

  14. Comment by Paul | 01.25.2008 | 8:31 am

    Great post!

    1. I like the idea of praising what you like and not being a jerk about what you don’t like.

    2. Yeah, this is a good idea, and if it means more competition for STUFF, that’s good too.

    3. You’ve convinced me to try them, although some of their stuff has Flax seeds in them which make me go into a full on esophageal block/anaphylactic attack, (I’ll have to check that first) so you are already successfully advertising them.

    4. Definitely, she was excited to get the letter.

    5. I’m thinking smart, like a fox.

  15. Comment by Al Maviva | 01.25.2008 | 8:35 am

    Was that creepy? Naah.

    But if a marshall comes around this afternoon with some official looking paperwork, I highly recommend that you do not accept it. Ultimately, you want to have the defense available of “judge, I had no idea that Clif, Inc., took out a restraining order on me. And honestly, my obsession with Clif Shots is perfectly innocent. I only had all those pictures of Shot Blocks on my computer because I was… um… researching new flavors to use at Leadville. Yeah, that’s it.”

  16. Comment by Canadian Roadie | 01.25.2008 | 8:42 am

    Hmm, I’ve never tried Shot Bloks before but will definitely start now. Keep up the letters no matter how raving!

  17. Comment by KanyonKris | 01.25.2008 | 8:48 am

    You gushed right to the edge. Any more and you would have triggered MY gag reflex. I think you walked the thin line here pretty well and I was entertained so sally forth!

    Not sure you can bridge up from raving fan to sponsored blogger, but it’s worth a try since you’re shameless. All they can do is say no (and get a restraining order).

  18. Comment by Bill Martin | 01.25.2008 | 8:49 am

    1. Yes and some butts are sweet to the taste!
    2. Yes, it is interesting to see who is responsive to their consumers.
    3. Not bad because all i want to do now is go try some cliff shots, but, it is -3 outside. maybe this summer!
    4. Definitely, and definitely to the lunatic part.
    5. 11

    How about an assorted flavor pack! I think this blog and its comments are valuable to Cliff Bar!

  19. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.25.2008 | 8:55 am

    1. yes & yes, but in a nice way

    2. yes, this is a fun idea. How about Polar insulated bike bottles?

    3. Ummm, I think they might sponser you with, say enough Cliff Shots to complete Leadville, or something.

    4. Yes, but I know the effect a flattering letter or report has on a product you are involved in developing. I assure you, they liked it, even if it was over the top.

    5. 13, the point being? I was under the impression that you were working to enhance your already legendary popularity by playing to the crowd, as opposed to avoiding shame.

    Elden, you really are on a roll.

  20. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.25.2008 | 8:57 am

    Ooooh, ooooh! How about replying to Emily with a suggestion for a special Fat Cyclist branded and labeled Clif Shots assorted flavors pack?

  21. Comment by swtkaroline | 01.25.2008 | 9:03 am

    yes, oh yes. To all questions, with the following qualifiers:

    well, yes!
    hell yes. I’m still holding out for socks.
    60% cos I don’t know how the whole ratio thing works
    no question about it. probably posted to her blog, too

  22. Comment by Gillian | 01.25.2008 | 9:04 am

    I’m just impressed she wrote you back a personal (not form) letter, and is sending you free stuff. Lunatic butt-kissing or no, I’m sure she gets 1 of these complimentary letters for every 100 complaints. I’m sure it was a welcome message! And it made her laugh, whether at you or with you – we can’t be sure.

    Was your angry email from Lew Racing?

  23. Comment by bikemike | 01.25.2008 | 9:04 am

    after i have some caffine, i’ll return.

    somehow i kept seeing it as SNOT bloks.
    also, i’m pretty sure i can’t answer any of those questions unless they have multiple choices.

    sorry, because it was freaky funny.

  24. Comment by KanyonKris | 01.25.2008 | 9:09 am

    And kudos for full disclosure by commenting on your Leadville experience with the Margarita Shot Bloks. You know we would have called you on it if you didn’t include it in the letter. Unless what you posted was not the real letter you sent to Cliff, but I wouldn’t expect that kind of duplicity from you.

  25. Comment by scoops | 01.25.2008 | 9:10 am

    I can not fault your thinking on the Margarita Shot blocks. I had tried a few as analternative to the cardboard alternatives on regulat outings, and was impressed, just like a handfull of skittles, but good for you.

  26. Comment by scoops | 01.25.2008 | 9:13 am

    short post, fat fingers.

    On a 4 hour ride the oportunity to fill up on the margaritas seemed like an excelent idea especially with the salt to add balance. Result the same, 2 packets was the maximum limit. Allong with an urge to very very carefully examine future purcaces to ensure that a errant margarita flayour has not been picked up.

    ride on

  27. Comment by Bonzai Buckaroo | 01.25.2008 | 9:20 am

    I love their Black Cherry Shot Bloks. They taste great, give me an energy boost and are not messy (especially in summer). During winter, I prefer GU’s “Expresso Love.” It tastes like having a cup of very rich coffee. Both products have 2x caffine.

    WRT your questions: I agree with “clydesteve”.

  28. Comment by Yeagermeister | 01.25.2008 | 9:23 am

    I’m in the process of designing and patenting the BlokPod, a Pez-like dispenser for all your on-the-bike Blok-dispensing needs. No stealin’ my ideas!!!

    Here’s a 3D sketch of the prototype. The “C” is spring-loaded and snags a new Blok when you push it down.

    Pre-orders are being taken!

  29. Comment by eunicesara | 01.25.2008 | 9:24 am

    1. Raving fan letter, with just enough touch of the amateur to keep it from looking like a professionally contrived “gimme” letter.

    2. yes

    3. Sponsorship for what? Your frequent, generous, outpouring of devotion to your loyal readers by wanton acts of giving? Or sponsorship for your “ride with fatty” US tour? Or, since it’s nearly the season, shotblocks to toss from your own gold gilt parade float at Mardi Gras?

    4. Emily is probably already an adoring fan and she’s checking for your latest post to see if she gets a mention. Then she scrapbooked your letter and now there is no room for anything else on her desk.

    5. 11

  30. Comment by Grump | 01.25.2008 | 9:24 am

    After all this time, I’ve realized that I read the package wrong. Silly me, I read the printing on the package as “SNOT BLOCKS”. I’ve been shoving them up my nose to prevent unsightly snot drainage on my team jersey. I’ve always wondered why my “friends” would cringe when I offered them some.
    Well, now I know better.

  31. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 01.25.2008 | 9:28 am

    1. At this point in your blogging career trying not to come across as a lunatic, butt kissing or otherwise, is a bell than can not be un-rung. Further, this is the best thing you’ve ever written (the preceding sentence being my all-time favorite comment of dug’s). Therefore, it is self evident that it was worth writing.

    2. Absolutely.
    Gary Fisher (two letters, one to Gary personally and one to the company).
    Stan’s no tubes for their puncture-busting juice (include the picture of their product being sprayed onto Moab sandstone).
    Twin six (duh).
    The guy at shimmano (I don’t know what company actually pioneered these) who thought of making a totally sealed bottom bracket with cartridge bearings and the guy who made splined bottom bracket spindles and the corresponding crank arms.

    3. You’re thinking way too low.

    4. No. She showed it around the office and said, “listen to this wacko.”

    5. 3. To move up the scale, show up in person wearing every thing they’ve produced with their logo on it and read them your letter.

  32. Comment by fatty | 01.25.2008 | 9:46 am

    yeagermeister – oh, i SO want one of those. send me a prototype when you’ve got one, ok?

  33. Comment by spinner | 01.25.2008 | 9:46 am

    Dear Eldon,

    Been reading your site for about a year, it’s funny, poignant and always interesting.

    Please wrote a paean of praise to Ibis for the Silk Road. I just bought a ‘07 frame and it’s a revelation. It rides so smoothly yet it’s stiff. It was comfortable from the first ride and also very light, 15.3 pounds with pedals. Until I read your Century on a windtrainer blog I didn’t realize you had one. The only comparable experience I’ve had was when I switched from a steel frame to my Litespeed.

    Fellow riders say, “never heard of it” I say you should abandon your Colnago or Pinny and get one of these.

  34. Comment by chtrich | 01.25.2008 | 10:08 am

    1. Very worth trying (and very amusing)
    2. The more the merrier. To anyone.
    3. 20%
    4. She showed it for sure.
    5. Crank it to 11

    And I have to be the voice of reason here…….I find Shot Blocks horribly hard to eat while riding. I tried them once and almost gaged. I couldn’t finish the two I was eating. They might be fine as a snack although I would prefer one of Clif’s delicious bars. Those are seriously good.

  35. Comment by cyclostu | 01.25.2008 | 10:09 am

    1) Yes and Yes.
    2) Why not? You certainly seemed to enjoy it, even if no one else did.
    3) Not good.
    4) She probably blushed and finally felt truly loved for the first time in her life.
    5) Very

    I also commend your use/over use of the exclamation point. The exclamation point has to be the most abused form of punctuation.

  36. Comment by Don ( | 01.25.2008 | 10:29 am

    1. Bbutt-kissing lunatic
    2. Yup, Dr L, Assos, Honda! Hey, new Element?!
    3. Vegas called, its 13:1
    4. I’d bet a LOT on it she did.
    5. 2

  37. Comment by Fan of Susan | 01.25.2008 | 10:36 am

    1) I’m with Leroy and Al – a) not mutually exclusive, b) kinda creepy.

    2) Absolutely, if for no other reason than I’m curious to see where the line is between receiving free products vs. a cease and desist order.

    3) Hmmm. Have to confess even as a non-athlete, I am now wanting to try them, so….

    4) Oh, she showed it around. But your quote is a very diluted version of what she was saying at the time.

    5) 7 – I’m pretty sure you have not yet maxed out your shamelessness.

  38. Comment by Susan (another one) | 01.25.2008 | 10:44 am

    Am I the only one who finds the consistency of Shot Bloks kinda, er, um gross?

    Ask ‘em why I can no longer find Lemon Poppyseed Clifbars in the stores. Dem ny favorites.

  39. Comment by Boz | 01.25.2008 | 10:49 am

    yeagermeister – a thought just came to mind – how about yeagermeister Clif Bloks for apres ride partying? Plenty of energy and a good buzz,too!!

  40. Comment by Mike Roadie | 01.25.2008 | 10:51 am


    Shot Bloks cannot be matched for their deliciosity–I can’t believe you didn’t use that phrase! And they don’t stick all over the wrappers like PowerBars do!!!

  41. Comment by Anon Ymous | 01.25.2008 | 10:54 am

    Am I the only one that wants to read the angry email that started all of this? Can we get a link/posting of “one of the best email messages” FC has ever read? I don’t want to be one to perpetuate/endorse angry textual outbursts but if it really was written well enough to inspire this post I would like to read it.

  42. Comment by Judi | 01.25.2008 | 10:55 am

    Ok Fatty I am using Shot Bloks this year instead of my sports beans.

  43. Comment by Yeagermeister | 01.25.2008 | 10:57 am

    I dunno about Jagermeister Bloks. But then, Jagermeister tastes horrible, IMO. You may be able to make Jagerbomb Jello-shooters, though.


  44. Comment by Al Maviva | 01.25.2008 | 11:01 am

    The real subtext here, is as everybody knows, Fatty doesn’t drink. No wonder he had a problem – he was doing the equivalent of drinking a mixer without properly diluting, er, um, fortifying it.

    You want to pound Margarita Shot Blocs all day and not get tired of them? No problem. Just get yourself a metal Surly flask, fill it with Tequila, and every time you take a Shot Bloc, drink a shot, swirling it around in your mouth before swallowing. Makes perfect sense, and the Bloc reconstitutes itself into a fine, fine Margarita inside your mouth, complete with bits of salt encrusted artfully on your lips, extra salt on heavy day. The taste is sublime. The only problem is if you are racing endurance events, after an hour or five of this regime, you’ll probably start a fistfight with anybody who tries to pass you, and it’s possible you may start singing. Nobody wants that.

    For frozen margaritas, simply use the Shot Blocs in the same manner, while mountain biking in rough areas during the winter.

  45. Comment by KT | 01.25.2008 | 11:07 am

    Your question #4 is not needed. Of course she showed it around the office; she probably went around reading it out loud to everyone, AND posted it on the company bulletin board… and I wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up in the company newsletter.

    But, here’s my answers to the other 4 questions:
    1– yes; and yes, but in a good way.
    2– yes; Schwinn, but for their unicycles.
    3– 31:1; sorry, man, I don’t think they’ll go for it. And continued letters to them in this vein may creep them out.
    4– see first paragraph
    5– Plentysix shameless. Splorp!

    Now I gotta try me some Shot Blocks. I’m Block-curious!

  46. Comment by fatty | 01.25.2008 | 11:10 am

    Anon Ymous – sorry, the angry letter was private; it’s not mine to publish.

  47. Comment by Anon Ymous | 01.25.2008 | 11:23 am

    Understood. I will look for it when the memoirs are published.

  48. Comment by Chip Seal | 01.25.2008 | 11:32 am

    What a great letter! I am a wimpy…er, such a nice guy I shy away from angry letters. Alas, I am an uninspired writer compared to you! (Que the rising sound of applause) Your letter was the perfect balance of panache and praise with just the right dash of humor! A standing ovation to you, sir!

  49. Comment by Mbonkers | 01.25.2008 | 11:43 am

    Is plentysix a prime number??

  50. Comment by DNAtsol | 01.25.2008 | 12:00 pm

    I’ve been a little erratic lately keeping up with the blog (Damn the beginning of Spring term!) and typically just had time to skim the posts every other day…

    This one I read from top to bottom. HI lar e ous! I think you’re getting the freebies as payment for the smile you put on everyone’s face at Clif not the letter content itself. No one could read that letter and not crack. Even if you are/were a raving lunatic, this was worthy of sharing!

    RE: other fan letters. I’ve been sampling different baselayers and have fallen in love with Nalini! It’s a little man girdle. My tummy paunch magically disappears and all of a sudden it looks like I’m cut! One day I couldn’t get out the door because Fan of Susan wouldn’t let me go.. wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more….

    In fact, if you look at the model in this link it is hard to believe he is actually 400lbs! I didn’t believe myself but it’s true!

    A great first try but I’m certain there is better sycophancy in you yet. Let it percolate some.

  51. Comment by je | 01.25.2008 | 12:09 pm

    You lunatic!

    Next item for an email — the Twin Six baseball caps. The elastic band inside them sucks dog. I like a fitted cap, but not one that pinches my head into a migraine.

    Plus, the elastic part shrinks to fit my dome, but the rest of the hat looks too big for the elastic part after it’s shrunk.

    Just give me the normal cap with a little velcrow or tabbed adjustment strap in back.

  52. Comment by cheapie | 01.25.2008 | 12:19 pm

    why has nobody mentioned the fact that if you are parched and you try to down a blok w/o first taking a drink, you will immediately have a mouthful of goo with the consistency of concrete? which very rapidly leads to a panic attack and you have to spew out the whole thing in order to restore your oxygen supply.

  53. Comment by chtrich | 01.25.2008 | 12:30 pm

    PS: is a great food blog. Vote for it!

  54. Comment by DrCodfish | 01.25.2008 | 12:31 pm

    I live in the rainy pacific northwest (By the way the weather only changed slightly after you left) and as as is characteristic of us natives, I have not gotten out much.

    My wife is from the south. She’s helped introduce me to the rest of the world, parts anyway. It’s been a little frightening but I’m handling it, so long as I can get back to the gloomy, cloudy, rainy, low-light pacific northwest for 8 or 10 months out of the year.

    In our travels she introduced me to a new kind of “love letter” I was totally unfamiliar with. This one is indiginous to the south and is given to some one whom you especially revile. It goes like this:

    “Why, bless your heart!”

    PS: I learned that this is NOT another form of kiss up such as you have displayed above, use this love letter sparingly.

    Yr Pal, Dr C

  55. Comment by Sprocketboy | 01.25.2008 | 12:56 pm

    1. Butt-kissing lunatic, no question. But non-threatening, just gushy.

    2. I am not so sure that I want to see similar letters go to companies whose products I personally use and like: Crank Brothers; Gore-Tex; Fizik; Cinelli (for the tape). But then again, if you are going to give away the prizes: OK! I would like some Assos bibs–what could be a better choice for butt-kissing obsequiousness?

    3. Not much chance of a sponsorship; Clif gets deluged with requests by truly fanatic people, ie. ones who recycle Clif Bar wrappers as clothing.

    4. Of course she ran around the office showing it to everyone, and even strangers in the street. She probably mentioned that you missed using an exclamation mark in five paragraphs so are not worthy of sponsorship. Maybe not–I can imagine that Emily is adorable, with cornflower-blonde hair, perfect teeth and a totally-Clif lifestyle (sking, playing Ultimate Frisbee with her Golden Retriever, doing the Ironman).

    5. 7 but another letter to them like this will earn a restraining order.

    An interesting read is the Clif story, “Raising the Bar,” by Gary Erickson. I have a feeling that they get more letters like Fatty’s than you can imagine. Everyone associated with the company seems irremedialy nice. Whereas PowerBars–what kind of big corporation would unleash such evil?

  56. Comment by Michael P. | 01.25.2008 | 12:57 pm

    I have to say, I love clif blocks almost as much as you. You do seem to love them more as you went as far as to write them, something I haven’t done (yet.)

    A funny story: I stocked up on clif blocks in preparation for a century with one of my favorite bike shops, panther city bicycles ( I purchased 5 packs of the clif blocks and 4 clif gels. I was so excited about the clif blocks that I ate one package on the way home.

    Fast forward a couple of hours. I come home from dinner out with the wife and I find that my little 30 lbs. beagle dachshund mix has pulled that bag of endurance goodies off of the kitchen table and eaten them. ALL OF THEM. Blocks, gels, everything. Probably a little packaging as well. About 1000 calories worth. He looked like a python that had just swallowed a grown rabbit. Belly seriously bloated, he was not having a good time.

    Well, we make sure he has plenty of water to pass all this stuff and are keeping a general eye on him. Everything seems fine except for a few puppy farts. That is until we wake up to the most horrible sound you will ever hear. The sound of explosive doggy diarrhea. I will just say thank jeebus for hardwoods. We did end up throwing away out our new down comforter, but considering the dog is still healthy, it turned out ok.

    Needless to say, I didn’t participate in the century. I haven’t purchased a bag of the blocks since.

  57. Comment by Sprocketboy | 01.25.2008 | 1:06 pm

    Actually, the unleashing of PowerBars was by the much-lauded and missed late Brian Maxwell. It is merely now owned by an evil giant faceless food corporation.

  58. Comment by Denise | 01.25.2008 | 1:08 pm

    1. I got a kick out of all that butt kissing.

    2. I look forward to future endeavors….but am much too much of a novice to presume to make suggestions to the great and mighty fat one.

    3. eh, don’t hold your breath

    4. Please….how could she NOT have shown your letter to EVERYONE?

    5. I guess plentysix could be prime if we wanted it to be.

  59. Comment by | 01.25.2008 | 2:41 pm

    it’s like your selling out to the majors man (as Garth said to Wayne in WW2 – that’s Waynes World not World War). We don’t have them here in Liverpool so I don’t know if they’re worth selling out for.
    But I was totally with you on the ass kissin for the Gary Fisher Superfly so I guess it’s me that’s morally challenged……

  60. Comment by scrooge | 01.25.2008 | 3:38 pm

    I’d love to hear how Walt (of Waltworks) would reply to a gushing love letter…

  61. Comment by Donald | 01.25.2008 | 3:53 pm

    Your first pisture off the top had me… Black Cherry is my favorite flavor and I’m still chewing strong. I agree on the packaging part… I take my bloks out and put them in a small zip-lock.
    1. Great Gushing… Perfect for Publishing
    2. A Chamois Cream company for saving Fatty’s Ass
    3. Better odds than Lance racing another Tour
    4. Yes
    5. 12

  62. Comment by KeepYerBag | 01.25.2008 | 4:30 pm

    You must be watching all those Jane Austen TV movies on PBS right now.

  63. Comment by wheelmanRI | 01.25.2008 | 4:56 pm

    1. Yes and yes.
    2. Yes. Lew Racing of course because you might get some free wheels, or at least a poster, and you can sell both on ebay to get money for food. Perhaps the producers of 24 as well.
    3. 65 percent.
    4. Yes.
    5. 2 because 1 is not a prime number by definition (I think?!?) and there’s no shame in free food.

  64. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 01.25.2008 | 5:35 pm

    I think TimK (possibly others) raised a good point. Is it possible that Emily does not know of THE Fat Cyclist and just thought you might be any old fat cyclist like the rest of us. Is there a subtle way to let your objects of affection know that all your gushing is going up on a universally read blog – website and is giving them limitless (read plentysix) free publicity and good karma.
    Anyhow to your questions
    1.great idea absolutely marvelous exhibts classic traits of higher order thinking (does that make me a butt kissing lunatic?)
    2.most definitely yes.
    3. I think I have answered this above if they are aware of the tremendous world wide audience pulling power you have ( dear Clif/Emily I am in Adelaide Sth Aust) you have every chance of full on sponsorship.
    4. She might have done and if she was not aware of who THE Fat Cyclist is someone else in the office could have been or not.
    5. I see shameless as a good thing in this context especially as you are entertaining, providing free publicity and giving the proceeds away so I say 11.

    Having reviewed my answers I have answered my own question Yes I am a butt kissing lunatic.

    TDU has been brilliant so far and the racers have been very prominent publicly. They have presented a very good clean cut image, been very accessible amenable and really played their part in what has been a great weeks entertainment with the finale still to come.

  65. Comment by Bitter (formerly known as Lissee) | 01.25.2008 | 6:02 pm

    I’ve never laughed so much in a long while. :) When I saw who you were writing to, I wondered how long it would be until you brought up those Margarita flavored bloks. lol I had a bad experience with Fruit Punch (the drink) once. It took me years to not feel nauseous when even thinking of or smelling it.

    My favorite two parts:
    I’m just thinking maybe you might want to put a suggestion on the back of the Margarita flavor saying, “Don’t eat these as your only food source; mix them up with another flavor!”

    By the way, once Shot Bloks get really cold — like below 40 degrees (F), they become really hard to chew. I don’t think they’d be the ideal food for an Arctic expedition.

    Fatty, you’re the best! :)

    1)Yes, and Yes, oh and we love you anyway!
    2)Yes, and I don’t know.
    3)It depends on if they are as cool as Gary Fisher, I’m thinking they might be.
    4)Absolutely. You know office gossip, your letter got around, and provided much amusement. :)

  66. Comment by Bitter (formerly known as Lissee) | 01.25.2008 | 6:03 pm

    “Ooooh, ooooh! How about replying to Emily with a suggestion for a special Fat Cyclist branded and labeled Clif Shots assorted flavors pack?”

    Not a bad idea Clydesteve! (please note the exclamation mark).

  67. Comment by Harp | 01.25.2008 | 6:17 pm

    1) If they read your blog they know it’s just a fan letter if not they think your a butt kissing lunatic
    2)I think more letters are in order but it should be your choice. Your the one with the extreme love for the company’s products
    3)50-50 odds for a sponsorship again your chances are better if they read the blog
    4)She is showing it to everyone and they are shaking their heads and saying “you got to be kidding me”
    5) I give you a 5 just the right amount of shamelessness

  68. Comment by Alasdair | 01.25.2008 | 6:22 pm

    1. I absolutely loved it! It was the bestest thing EVER! Keep ‘em coming! I am sure that those customer service guys/girls love the change of pace.
    2. Yes. The next one should be one that you really don’t see any admirable qualities in – just to make it more interesting.
    3. They ARE sending you some freebies – that’s kind of a sponsership…
    4. It is, without a doubt, on their Intranet page.
    5. π

  69. Comment by formertdfan | 01.25.2008 | 6:32 pm

    fatty, great post as always.

    Micheal P. — your post had me completely cracking up! My cousins have a dog that is NOTORIOUS

  70. Comment by ShedBiker | 01.25.2008 | 6:44 pm

    1. It was great.
    2. yes, egg beaters, Cane Creek ThudBuster seatpost, REI Headwind Cycling Pants, IRC Trailbear Tires
    3. 25/75
    4. yes
    5. 11

    Fatty – I’ve TRIED to vote for you (and a few others) but it keeps telling me to “Revise my selections and re-submit” (or something like that). Any thoughts?

  71. Comment by Sylvia | 01.25.2008 | 6:47 pm

    Have you ever read the Lazlo Toth letters? They are hysterical. They are written by Don Novello. I remember that there were some about food. If you’ve never seen them, I recommend that you pick up a copy. If you send me a shipping address, I will buy a copy for you.

  72. Comment by KatieA | 01.26.2008 | 4:41 am

    1) Yes it was worth trying, yes you can off as a raving lunatic, but you got free Shot Bloks, so everyone is happy.

    2) More love letters would rock – how about the drug testing companies?? :) I challenge you to write a gushing letter to those idiots.

    3) Very good, especially if you do what you’ve done previously and tell them how many millions of people read your blog.

    4) I guarantee your letter is framed on a wall in someone’s office.

    5) 11 – and a half.

    I once sent a letter to a company telling them how much I loved their new range of soups (they are a juice company, and started making other stuff) and got a manic email response telling me how much they loved my letter (and it wasn’t even as gushing as yours) cause they never get love letters, only complaint letters at times.

    I didn’t get any freebies though, so now I feel ripped off.

  73. Comment by Rob L | 01.26.2008 | 6:05 am

    1 – Sorry, you only make Partial Raving Lunatic, if you were a true one you would have ridden to their offices and hand delivered it, demanding a tour of their facilities.
    2 – More is better yes? As for products, lots of good suggestions above, though I’m now VERY Partial to the Clif Bar Chocolate or Peanut Protein Bars for post ride protein/snack. Try one if you haven’t yet.
    3 – Sure. Hmmm percentage, 15% chance in the future, but you need to pimp other products, not just the bloc’s.
    4 – Yah, it also went to their corporate security officer in reference to #1.
    5 – 42…It’s the answer to everything and this letter rocked, I loved the included pictures. I also must try the cran-ras flavor.

  74. Comment by | 01.26.2008 | 8:10 am

    CRAP! Really?! They make cola Shot Box?! ?!?!!!!?!!!
    Why didn’t I get that memo. I need to get out more often, or just order online vs getting them at the local stores.

  75. Comment by vw Dave | 01.26.2008 | 11:52 am


    You will find it exceedingly interesting to know that my very first Shot Blok sucked my dental crown right off and cost me 60 dollars to have it glued back on. The gummy substance formed itself around my dental work creating the perfect vacuum! If you’re in need of having any of your dental work pulled, this is indeed your product.

    Thanks for given them hell, in a nice sorta way, for me.

  76. Comment by LoPhat | 01.26.2008 | 1:15 pm

    Butt-kissing lunatic?

    No, I don’t think you are a butt-kisser.

  77. Comment by axel | 01.26.2008 | 5:58 pm

    I think you could have a role in product development – mashed potatoes that make you weep shot bloks anyone? the seven perfect foods shot bloks?
    actually i prefer the clif bars – they have substance, fiber, something for the stomach to work on and they work in the arctic i think.
    I have to admit that I don’t own a cycling product that I love – just a few things that I don’t hate.

  78. Comment by pantaloonfan | 01.28.2008 | 11:07 am

    Clif Bars just remind me way too much of poo. It’s something I can’t stop thinking about whenever I see them…

  79. Comment by Warren T | 01.28.2008 | 1:14 pm

    The letter sounds like something right out of Ted Nancy’s “Letters from a nut.” Loved it and am surprised they replied the way they did.

  80. Comment by Craig | 01.28.2008 | 2:33 pm

    Hmmm… may they could make something like a carbon fiber pez dispenser for the shot blocs?

  81. Comment by Bitter (formerly known as Lissee) | 01.29.2008 | 2:55 pm

    Clif bars remind me of no-bake cookies. Mmmmm

  82. Comment by Lana | 02.1.2008 | 4:11 pm

    LOVED the letter.

    The first time I tried Shot Blocks was the Margarita ones and I had a similar experience to yours, only I hadn’t eaten as many. I eventually tried other flavors and agree that the Razz ones are the best.

    I think you should definitely keep on writing these letters, if only because I love to read them.

  83. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Register Now for the 3rd Annual 100 Miles of Nowhere | 03.22.2010 | 11:55 am

    [...] Clif Bar, a package of Shot Bloks, and a package of Shot Roks: My love of Shot Bloks (except the Margarita ones) is well known. What I have not mentioned, however, is that I think the new White Chocolate [...]


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