01.27.2008 | 10:39 pm

To look at me, you may not guess that I am roughly 41.59 years old. For, even in my middle age, I remain ruggedly handsome. My shoulders are not especially hunched, I keep my ear hair neatly trimmed, my goiter is hardly noticeable, and I have no receding hairline (which is to say, I have no hairline whatsoever).

It will no doubt surprise you, therefore, that I am beginning to feel the effects of age.

The most obvious of these effects is my eyesight. I have become nearsighted, and I am becoming nearer-sighted. It makes me think that maybe I should look into lasiks. This seems like a sound investment, because I have noticed, multiple times, that all else being equal it is preferable to be able to see where you are riding your bike.

But if I upgrade my eyes, it seems a tragedy to just correct them back to how they were in the first place. That would be like replacing the broken derailleur on your bike with the exact same kind of derailleur.

Which, I think can safely be said, has never happened in the history of the world.

So, if / when I get my eyes operated on, I’m going to ask to have the following optional features added. You know, as long as they’re under the hood.

  • Eagle Eyes: I don’t want to have merely have 20/20 vision. I want to have 20/10,000 vision. Which is to say, I want to be able to see approximately two miles off into the distance.
  • Transition + Polarization Eyes : I don’t want to have to wear sunglasses. When it’s bright outside, I want my irises to turn dark. Also, having polarized eyes will cut down on glare, which should be helpful, although it could make looking at certain gadgets with LCD screens problematic. I can live with that.
  • Laser Eyes: I want to be able to cast a laser dot onto whatever I’m looking at, at will. This will be helpful not just when I’m giving business presentations, but when I’m discussing a technical move with my mountain biking buddies. "Go over that rock," I would say, beaming a laser dot at the rock in question, "then thread between those two tree roots" (indicating tree roots with my eyeball-mounted laser), and then avoid that loose spot. I would also like the laser to be powerful enough to melt rubber if I so choose, because I can imagine instances when that would be handy, especially in races.

Other Upgrades

But why stop with my eyes? I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t make additional upgrades to my body to enhance my cycling experience. Here’s what I’m considering:

  • Second Heart, Third Lung: In many ways, cycling is a contest between your lungs, heart, and legs. Can your lungs breathe fast enough to get a good steady supply of oxygen to your bloodstream? Can your heart beat fast enough to keep that fresh supply of oxygen in your legs? Can your legs go fast enough that demand equals supply? In my case, my heart and lungs seem to always reach their limit first. So I’m going to get an extra one of each. I may have to make some other changes to accommodate — a larger ribcage is the most obvious — but I think they’ll be well worth the effort.
  • Second Adrenal Gland: There’s nothing like a rush of adrenaline to give you a boost in a sprint. Sadly, my supply of adrenaline seems to be limited. So I’m getting a second adrenal gland. I’m also considering having it wired so I can punch a button to trigger it. Which, incidentally, I plan to do three or four times per minute.
  • Third Testicle: I admit to having mixed feelings about this one. There’s no doubt that the extra testosterone would be welcome when I am trying to build the resolve to try tricky, potentially life-threatening, moves my head knows are completely insane. And I like the idea of being able to say — accurately and honestly — that I have a lot of balls. But then I think about the issue of comfort, and I begin to question the wisdom of this upgrade. Plus, I’d probably always be getting into barfights.
  • Fat Head: I am going to have all the fat moved from my stomach to under my scalp, creating a natural helmet. My head will unfortunately look like a giant fleshlike mushroom, but hey, I’m already married. It’s not like I need to attract the ladies anymore.
  • Kevlar Contact Points: I suppose my natural skin does an OK job of making calluses for where my body touches the bike — hands, feet, and butt — but any time I go on a really long ride, I wind up with blisters on all three spots. These hurt. Which is why I’m going to have the skin on my palms, my butt, and the bottoms of my feet replaced with kevlar. I have not yet decided whether I want to spring for the "skin-colored" or "carbon fiber-colored" option. Both sound pretty cool.

These are, of course, just a few of the personal upgrades a serious cyclist might consider, but I don’t want to go overboard. Hey, I want to keep it real.

PS: Fight Cancer, Win a Bike

This weekend is the "Frozen Hog" bike race close to where I live. I’m really pleased that, in honor of my wife’s fight against breast cancer, the organizers are raffling off two Marin Hamilton 29er townie / mountain bikes. One will be for locals, with the proceeds going to the Huntsman Cancer Institute (which took incredible care of my wife during her recent hip replacement surgery) and one for Fat Cyclist readers, with proceeds going to the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

It’s very easy to get a raffle ticket. Just donate to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, then forward the email confirmation to me.

A bunch of you have already sent in your raffle entries, which I hugely appreciate.

If you haven’t donated yet, though, you still have time. You’ll be doing something good and important, and you’ll have a much better chance at winning a bike than you would in most raffles. Click here for more information, OK?


  1. Comment by buckythedonkey | 01.28.2008 | 12:37 am

    Post-upgrade you may end up looking like The Mekon (http://www.dandare.org.uk/).

    There was a lovely quote in one of William Gibson’s early trilogy (Neuromancer, etc) where a guy tells a girl that she has beautiful eyes. She considers this for a while before replying:

    “Yeah, Zeiss”.

    Can’t wait for the jersey – 2XL please! :-D

  2. Comment by Weean | 01.28.2008 | 1:04 am

    I hope those laser eyes come with an on/off switch- I don’t always want everyone to know where I’m looking. Especially my wife when we’re at the beach…

  3. Comment by DOM | 01.28.2008 | 2:24 am

    I demand to see the jersey. There, can we get on with it now?

  4. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 01.28.2008 | 3:28 am

    I’m jealous of your planned upgrades. The eyes are a great idea, but make sure of the quality… beware the cheap transition set up because as you rocket down the mountainside and swoop in under the tree canopy no amount of eagle eyes is going to overcome those 4.7 seconds while your eyes are blacked over.

    As for the extra heart, lung and adrenal gland; I’d suggest an entire extra torso in some sort of modular arrangement (possibly mounted similar to a camelbak). You’ll need extra digestive and metabolising capacity to fuel the extra heart and lung so the entire gizzard is essential.

    The third testicle goes without saying. Your riding skills will improve by at least an order of magnitude. Odd numbers are good for cycling (verification available in Lance Armstrong’s boxers and palmares).

    Fat head??? I thought this was about future upgrades. (please be laughing, I don’t want an unexpected visit from the lazer sight)

    If you can’t afford the Kevlar upgrade, you could always become a trackie. We’re rarely on the bike long enough to raise a sweat, let alone a blister or callous.

  5. Comment by Orbea Girl | 01.28.2008 | 3:51 am

    I do like Big Mike in Oz’s suggestion that the extra heart and lungs be available in a camelback version. Obviously, I won’t be needing any additional balls as it’s a well known fact that women have more than men
    - as amply demonstrated by Susan.

  6. Comment by Mike Roadie | 01.28.2008 | 4:31 am

    I’d also love to get my eyes fixed (can’t read without glasses) but I’d be afraid that then I’d see everything else that needs to be fixed!!!
    My wife is currently in Optometry School, so when the time comes and she graduates, maybe we can do a Friends of Fatty deal!

    Good luck with the Bloggies, Best to Susan!

  7. Comment by cheapie | 01.28.2008 | 5:58 am

    i had lasik done almost 2 years ago. other than i think my eyes are dryer now than they used to be, and some initial problems seeing in the dark, i am very happy with it. i love not having to worry about gunk getting in my eyes while i’m riding or snowboarding. it’s such a relief not to have to carry around a set of glasses or extra contacts “just in case”. i’d highly recommend it. and if your company offers a FSA, be sure to use it!

  8. Comment by mocougfan | 01.28.2008 | 6:04 am

    What no 6-Pack? I thought you’d go for the obvious first. Definately need calf implants as well.

  9. Comment by lasereyes | 01.28.2008 | 6:33 am

    Something to consider…what happens when your eyesight changes after the surgery, as it is wont to do? You’ll end up back in glasses again, I’ll bet. So I wouldn’t do the lasik, but all the other stuff sounds great! Well, maybe not all of them…

  10. Comment by Fuzzy Legs | 01.28.2008 | 6:49 am

    A third testicle? You’ll still be three shy of Chuck Norris.

  11. Comment by cyclostu | 01.28.2008 | 6:55 am

    With the addition of the third testicle, you may not be considering the additional time it will take to get ready to go for a ride. The new addition will add quite a bit of surface area with which to spalm. And you may be coming at this testicle thing from the wrong angle. Consider that Lance didn’t get really fast until he had one removed, not added. I’m just sayin’.

  12. Comment by KanyonKris | 01.28.2008 | 7:27 am

    I don’t like you’re jersey marketing plan. Nobody likes a tease so just reveal it already.

    Can you bump the power up on your laser pointer upgrade to reach laser beams of death levels?

    3 testicles sounds like trouble. Your 2 testicles got you into the Gold Bar steps endo, featured in your banner image. What trouble would 3 get you into?

    Go for additional Kevlar patches on the elbows, knees, shins and all the other places that tend to rash in a crash – so you won’t have to wear armor. This upgrade is offered as a package deal with the 3rd testicle. :-)

  13. Comment by demonic1 | 01.28.2008 | 8:38 am

    I’m also nearsighted. I looked into lasik but was turned of by dry eyes, which is a problem for me already- and what happens when my vision changes later? I’d have to do it again. At $4k for both eyes that was more than I wanted to spend.

    So I decided to try corneal refractive therapy. You wear special hard contacts at night that reshape your eyes so you see 20/20 or better during the day.
    I’ve had mine over a month and love it. Don’t need to worry about loosing a lens because you sleep with them in. It’s been great- and I see 20/20 all day w/ no problem.
    If you stop wearing them, your eyes go back to their pre-treatment shape. And if your prescription changes you get new lenses for about $300 a pair.

    This is the company my optomitrist- and riding buddy set me up with: http://www.paragoncrt.com/
    It set me back $1000, but at the rate I trash glasses it’s worth it and the lenses are good for two years.

    Sorry if I sound like a salesman, but this system works great for me.

  14. Comment by Scoops | 01.28.2008 | 8:45 am

    The grand plan needs more thought. Ever wondered where the “extra testosterone ” gland would sit. You would need more than a full suspension, perhaps something line a gel seat. Just remember the pain, imobilization when one of them got hit…. Not sayin, just intimating there might be an issue here.

  15. Comment by sans auto | 01.28.2008 | 8:51 am

    The only reason noone in the history of the world has ever replaced a derailer with the exact same derailer that broke is because by the time mine breaks I can no long find one like the old one. My bike still shifts funny because I’ve got 8 speed Chorus ergo shifters and a 9/10 speed rear derailer. What was wrong with 8-speed?

  16. Comment by bikemike | 01.28.2008 | 9:09 am

    the fat-head upgrade was a setup, right?

  17. Comment by Badder | 01.28.2008 | 9:57 am

    You’re in luck Fatty! The Office of Scientific Intelligence is having a special on their “Sub-9 Hour Bionic Legs” package.

  18. Comment by Boz | 01.28.2008 | 10:10 am

    I’m waiting for the pancreas upgrade w/ beta cell injector so I can get off the insulin. The rest of me is pretty good, but maybe a pesonality module flash update to take care of some of my quirks like cynicism and general disregard of other feelings. But, those are gifts I can share w/ others, so maybe not.

  19. Comment by Big Bird | 01.28.2008 | 10:45 am

    Remember what Ned Flanders learned the hard way (you do watch “The Simpsons,” don’t you?) and beware of Lasik. Everything is great at first, but 15 years later your eyes suddenly fall out of their sockets. They wouldn’t put it on TV if it weren’t true.

    Bad eyes are better than no eyes.

  20. Comment by KeepYerBag | 01.28.2008 | 11:19 am

    With a third testicle, those barfights may well be you fighting against yourself (unless you get the testicle of a whimp, which will make you 33% less manly than you are now).

    I’m as much a technophile as anyone, but nobody is going to zap my cornea with a laser beam. With my luck, I’d end up looking like Norman Bates’ mother.

  21. Comment by leroy | 01.28.2008 | 11:29 am

    On the lasik — go to someone who can map the outside and inside of your cornea to determine if the procedure is appropriate.

    While it’s good to have a thick cornea on the outside, it is not good to have thick bulges inside. You shouldn’t have the procedure if that is the case.

  22. Comment by Walt Roscello | 01.28.2008 | 11:30 am

    I’m just chuckling over the thought of Fatty tilting his head like a dog to read his digital clocks, after the polarized sight upgrade.

  23. Comment by Don (cyclingphun.blogspot.com) | 01.28.2008 | 11:36 am

    Chuck Norris has six testicles. Heh heh heh…
    The transitional/polarized thing is a ridiculous and cool idea. I want one too!

  24. Comment by axel | 01.28.2008 | 11:52 am

    you forgot to upgrade your shoulder first – get an ultegra model or better.
    Plus, the contact points you describe are not the ones that hurt the most – you may want to re-read your ‘how to crash’ post for the worst involuntary points of contact…

  25. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 01.28.2008 | 12:10 pm

    You definitely need to carefully consider your upgrades.

    laser pointer eyes? It’s already been covered – make SURE it has an on/off switch. Even if you don’t mean to look, sometimes your eyes auto-lock on things they shoudln’t.

    Third testicle? Given your crash history trying things you really shouldn’t try, methinks getting a “Lance” is a much better idea.

    Mushroom head? Yeah, you may no longer need to impress the ladies but you really don’t want to scare off children do you?

  26. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.28.2008 | 12:19 pm


    I hate to say it, but at only 41, you are just starting to wear out. Well, except for the hairline, that is legitimately worn out. I would pay for an upgrade to get the body I had at 41. But given the chance for the laser-eyes option, I would clearly do that one. You see, as your brain gets older, you keep forgetting what to call things. Being able to point at / incinerate them without actually having to name them would be a distinct advantage in explaining things to people. On 2nd thought with the incinerate option, there would be no point in an explaination, would there?

    And, reguarding the 3rd rock – Make sure you have a good cycling stowage plan in mind prior to going ahead with this upgrade.


    Steve, 53+

  27. Comment by TIMK | 01.28.2008 | 1:11 pm

    If you had 3 balls your cycling friends would always be saying “ET Phone HOME!”

    And you would probably be inclined to follow trails of Reese’s Pieces.

  28. Comment by LowPhat (aka RiderX) | 01.28.2008 | 1:39 pm


    I think you want vision that is 10,000/20. Ie you see at 10000 feet what others can only see at 20 feet.

    Having vision that is somewhere between 20/200 and 20/2,000,000, the difference is noticeable.

    As for upgrades, I can think of two that would be helpful…

    1) Implanted cleats. Never have to worry if you remembered to bring your cycling shoes along.

    2) Boost engine powered by “the best cake in the world”.

  29. Comment by Barbara | 01.28.2008 | 2:36 pm

    Aren’t you supposed to get FARsighted after 40?

  30. Comment by Rocky | 01.28.2008 | 3:07 pm

    Um, if you were me you could get a second adrenal gland. Since you are you, and you want more, you would get three, since you already have a first, and a second. Unless, of course, you are short a kidney.

    The rest of the add-ons sound like a good idea. Especially a centered third, erm, gonad. You might make some extra moves due to the added T-factor. however, the addition sounds like a prescription for a lot of nausea, extra purple spots, and an added unsightly bulge.

  31. Comment by Miguel | 01.28.2008 | 3:34 pm


    20/10,000 means you are blinder than the most blindest blind person ever. Seriously. Look up how the numerator/denomenator thing works… what you are trying to say is 20/0.0001. The whole thing works like this:

    you see at 20 ft
    What people see at this number

    So 20/20 is you see at 20 what most people see at 20.

    20/10 is you see at 20 what most people see at 10…

    20/80 is you see at 20 what most see at 80.


    Eagle vision is definitely for you… just not at 20/10,000. Good luck with Laser Vision though! I know many people who would swear it is one of the best things you can do for $4,000.

    Good luck to Susan,

  32. Comment by Frank | 01.28.2008 | 5:59 pm

    Gold fatty, pure gold!!!!

  33. Comment by Pioneer Woman | 01.28.2008 | 7:48 pm

    If you don’t win the Bloggie I’m going to crack some serious skulls. I love this website, and I love the new design, Fatty. It’s so slick.

    Love from the ranch,

    P.S. You’re older than me.

  34. Comment by eliel | 01.29.2008 | 1:08 am

    Fatty, you had me confused. i followed your advice from your previous post to be lighter and thus had my tonsils, appendix, pinky toes and earlobes removed.

    now, with this new advice, i am planning to add an extra heart, lung, adrenal gland and testicle because you are handsome and you know best and because i am your most loyal subject.

    what else should i be removing to compensate for the weight gain caused by these extra organs?

  35. Comment by Hamish Moffatt | 01.29.2008 | 1:31 am

    If you got an extra heart and lungs, would it still hurt? That is the point, after all :)

  36. Comment by cyclostu | 01.29.2008 | 5:01 am

    I can’t believe that the good Dr. Eufemio Fuentes hasn’t commented yet. You would think that he would have some great suggestions!

  37. Comment by Joanna | 01.29.2008 | 6:02 am

    this is a rabid reader demanding to see the new jersey. did you get women’s sizes also????

  38. Comment by DougG | 01.29.2008 | 5:59 pm

    Great blog..laughed my ass off!

  39. Comment by Around the Funny Farm | 01.30.2008 | 8:16 pm

    I just found you via Pioneer Woman’s website.

    This is a Great site! I’m voting for you too!
    Wonderful blog! I’ll be back to read some more…

    Now, I’m off to bed…
    See you in the bloggie world.

    :-) Beth

    P.S. I sure hope you win!

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  41. Comment by Corey | 07.10.2008 | 12:56 pm

    Ummm, my irises are a rally cool shade of blue, and they even do change color slightly under different lighting conditions, but it doesn’t do me a bit of good optically. Maybe the transitional effects should go into the cornea, might work better!

    Great blog, keep up the good work, and bummer about your crash last night.

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