An Open Letter to Lew Racing

01.18.2008 | 10:14 am

Dear Mr. Lew,

I very nearly did not write this letter. I thought to myself, “Hey, this is not some big megacorp; this is a wheelbuilding dude named Paul, who probably thought it was a good idea to take a photo of a model in a black dress along with his bike in the lobby of a Marriott and use that as an ad in VeloNews.”


“I should just leave him be,” I thought. “He’s just a wheelbuilder chasing his dream. Why give him grief?”

And then I took a look at your website, Mr. Lew, where you sell wheelsets for up to $17,000 or so (the custom boron option alone is $7500), and now I don’t feel quite so bad, because clearly I am not the only one with a sense of humor about what you’re doing.

What Is This Ad About?
When I first looked at your ad, Mr. Lew, I saw the text “Perfectly Fit,” noticed that the model in the dress is in fact very fit, and then I took a look at the bike.


“Oh, cool,” I thought. “Parlee’s running full-page ads in VeloNews, advertising the fact that they custom-build their bikes so that they’re a perfect fit for you. Good for them!”

It wasn’t until the next issue of VeloNews that I took a look at the mouseprint of the ad (enlarged by 3000% here, so you don’t have to get out a magnifying glass to read it):


“Wha?” I said to myself. “Is this a joint ad between Parlee and Lew?” No. As it turns out, in spite of the fact that Parlee’s logo is an order of magnitude more prevalent than the Lew logo all over the bike, this is in fact an ad just by Lew Racing. And if you pay extra-close attention, you can even tell that it’s an ad for wheels.

Your Model Barely Tolerates You
But let’s put aside your ad’s efforts to sell Parlees instead of your wheels, as well as your considerable prowess in hiding your the name of your company and product in your ad.

Let’s talk instead about the centerpiece of your ad: the model holding up the bike. For your convenience, I have below called out the main problems with the photo (image pops to larger version).


Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?

  • Models Can Lift Our Bikes! I think your intention is to show that even a waif of a model can lift a bike equipped with your wheels with just a couple of fingers. The thing is, though, any road cyclist knows that every manufacturer can build a bike that weighs less than fifteen pounds, so that’s not exactly a great claim to exclusivity, is it?
  • MUSCLEBOUND Models Can Lift Our Bikes! You go and hurt your case even further by finding one of the most buff-looking models I have ever seen, and then take a photo of her straining away at holding the bike aloft, as if it were a full-suspension downhill mountain bike instead of a featherweight road machine. I mean, seriously. It’s taking her two fingers to hold the bike in the air (it really should take just one), her forearms are bulging out, her neck is straining, and she’s supporting her back with her other hand, as if otherwise the weight of your wheelset is going to topple her over.
  • Keep this thing away from me: Weight issues aside, your model would clearly prefer to be somewhere else. The look in her eyes and grimace on her face as she looks at your wheels are almost exactly the same as when I discover I have stepped, barefoot, in cat barf (happens more often than you might think). And she’s holding the bike good and far away from her — not so much the way you carry an object of fine craftsmanship, but more like the way you take out the trash.

A Feel For the Surreal
After looking at all this, though, what really strikes me about your ad, Mr. Lew, is the strangeness of it. Apart from in a poorly-conceived ad, I’m trying to figure out, how would an event like the one pictured happen? I admit, I would be startled and amazed if I were to walk into a Marriott lobby (I’m not dead certain she’s actually in a Marriott; it could be a DoubleTree) and see a woman in a black dress, hefting a road bike and looking at the back wheel with scorn.

I would walk up to the woman, I imagine, because I need to know more. “Why are you holding that bike in the air? I would ask.

“I am holding the bike in the air because I need to exercise my muscular upper body,” she would reply.

“Seriously? How much does the bike weigh?” I would ask.

“82 pounds and change,” she would reply. “I had the frame built out of solid Kryptonite, because Superman is my arch-enemy.”

“That makes sense, I guess,” would be my reply. “But why are you so angry at the back wheel?” I would ask.

“I have been asked,” she would reply, “to hold this bike until someone can clean the cat barf off the back wheel.”

I suppose, Mr. Lew, there are other possible explanations why this photograph might be taken, but none come to mind.

Here’s a thought in closing, though: next time you want to run an ad in a bike magazine, consider taking a shot of a cyclist — maybe a cyclist on a punishing climb. You may even want to position the camera so at least one of your wheels is prominently featured in the photograph.

I know it’s a crazy idea, but I think it just may work.

Kind Regards,

The Fat Cyclist


How to be Popular, Part II: How to Behave

01.16.2008 | 9:56 pm

If you were to meet me in person on a road or trail, a number of things would immediately occur to you:

  1. I am extremely good-looking, and above average in height (provided we define “average” as 5′6″). I believe I have made this clear in yesterday’s post, so will not belabor the point, but I thought it was worth bringing up so as to prepare you. Otherwise, you’re likely to stare.
  2. I am constantly surrounded by people. Many of these people are celebrities, some are press. A few are friends. And one is my faithful Sherpa. Every single one of these people adores me.
  3. I always know the right thing to say, and the right thing to do. It’s eerie, really, how well-suited I am for the cycling experience.

It’s this third item — knowing how to behave while on a bike, that I intend to address today. I recommend you read, memorize, print, laminate, and always carry this with you.

Catching Up
It is a sad fact of life that not everybody on a bike ride is going to go at the same speed. Someone’s going to have to wait up, and someone’s going to have to catch up.

  • If you’re the person who is waiting up, it is your responsibility to not look like you have been waiting around for very long when the group arrives. They all know you’re faster than they are. Don’t rub it in. Please be aware that if you glance at your watch, ask questions like “Fixing a flat?” or are straddling your top tube, resting your forearms on your handlebars as people arrive, they have the legal right — nay, obligation — to punch you in the throat.
  • If you’re last person to arrive, you need to understand that you owe nobody an explanation. If you feel you must give an explanation, it had better be interesting. You should know, by the way, that any explanation that sounds like an excuse is an excuse, and is automatically not interesting. So, if you’re last to arrive, simply say, “Thanks for waiting up,” immediately followed by a comment on what a great road / trail this is. In short, nobody minds a slow guy. Everybody minds a sad-sack, hang-dog whiner.

Oh yes, I should also say one last thing on this matter: I am assured it is impolite to turn around, ride back to the group, and then ride back with them. This message has been conveyed to me through the medium of a punch in the throat.

Sometimes bikes break, which is why I always have my full-time pro mechanic ride with me. You, on the other hand, probably do not have mechanic on staff, so must fix your own bike. How sad for you.

As you repair your bike, you should first offer to take care of the problem on your own. “Go on ahead, I’ll catch up when I can” is the proper phrasing. If your riding group has any ethics at all, they will decline. If they take you up on that offer, that’s either a statement about you or the group, and it’s not my job to figure out which. I can’t do everything for you. Sheesh.

As you work on your bike, you should be careful to accept offers of help, but only if the offers of help come from competent people. Which is to say, not everyone who says they know how to true a wheel has the same technique in mind. I.e., one person may get out a spoke wrench, the other may get out a very large rock.

As you repair your bike, stay focused. Don’t be chatty; it’s not the time. If you start talking up a storm, your co-riders are permitted to observe that you may want to spend more time fixing and less time talking.

On the other hand, anyone standing around while a mechanical issue is permitted and encouraged to offer observations and advice. This advice does not need to be practical, helpful, nor even relevant to the situation. I, for example, like to offer the following observation when others are fixing their bikes: “This wouldn’t have happened if you had been riding with a song in your heart.”

If the person repairing the bike complains that they in fact did have a song in their heart, I like to first offer the advice that it’s clearly time to choose a new song, and then observe that they might get done fixing the bike a lot sooner if they’d focus on fixing their bike and not on whether or not they had a song in their heart.

Occasionally, you will fall off your bike and get hurt. There’s no getting around that fact. So the question is, when you fall and sustain a compound fracture to your femur, will you scream like an idiot, or will you be prepared with a witty, self-deprecating phrase that will diffuse the tenseness of the situation?

Of course, you want to be able to say something funny and interesting when you’re injured, but the fact is it’s not easy to come up with clever witticisms when you’re writhing in agony.

The solution? Think of what you’ll say when injured ahead of time. For example:

  • If you’re suffering waves of nausea due to blunt force trauma: “Hey, I think I’m going to barf. Can I borrow your helmet to catch it in?”
  • If you’ve sustained a large puncture wound due to a large-diameter impaling object: “Cool, I’ve been core-sampled! Now I’ll always know how old I am!” [Note: Use this line only if your co-riders are intelligent enough to intuit the connection between the large hole in you and the fact that a tree's age can be determined by being core sampled and having its rings counted.]
  • If you’ve sustained a concussion: “Darn! Now I can’t seem to remember where I’ve buried all the treasure!”
  • If you’ve sustained a compound fracture: “Before you ask, yes, that’s my femur poking out of my shorts, although I am also happy to see you.”

This is just a sample. There are lots of other injuries you can and will sustain as a cyclist, and I can assure you there is a clever quip that can be made for every single one of them, if you’re willing to apply yourself.

Wear a clean jersey and shorts, for pity’s sake. And for my sake. I’m begging you.

The Route
Of course you have a great idea of where the group ought to ride today. But sometimes the group will want to ride somewhere else. When this happens, you should pout and make observations at every opportunity about how you’d all be having a better time if you had gone on the ride you had in mind. Example: “We wouldn’t be riding into this headwind if we were riding the Wasatch Boulevard loop.” Your friends will love you for that.

You should be aware, however, that your friends may choose to express their newfound love of you through the medium of avoiding you and never inviting you on another ride.

There are many kinds of love, after all.

Giving Advice
When you ride with others, bear in mind this simple axiom:

“Every rider is allowed to give three pieces of unasked-for advice per lifetime.”

So make them count.

I, of course, am the obvious exception to that axiom.

How to be Popular, Part I: What To Carry

01.15.2008 | 4:01 pm

As you are no doubt aware, I am — in addition to being almost ridiculously handsome and athletic — quite popular. It may be safe to say, indeed, that I have the second most popular blog in the (fiercely competitive and rapidly expanding) “Cycling Lifestyle & Satire” niche of the blogosphere. (I am currently 2.1% less popular than Bike Snob NYC, in large part due to the negative TV spot about me he ran last week in Iowa and New Hampshire.)

What will no doubt astound you, however, is that my extraordinary popularity in the world of blogging is only half the story. For, you see, I am popular in the real world, too. People will often call, email, text, or instant-message me, asking if I would like to go on a bike ride with them.

If I am not otherwise engaged and am reasonably confident they will not ambush me with demands for yet another autograph or requests for money, I’ll sometimes have my assistant arrange a riding appointment.

The Secrets of My Success
I know, I know: you are confounded by — and not just a little jealous of –my extraordinary popularity. And — inevitably, I suppose — you no doubt are no wondering, “Fatty, is it possible for me to be popular, too?”

The simple answer is, “No, you will never be as popular as I am. Stop trying; you’re only setting yourself up for failure.”

But that does not mean you cannot be popular. At least somewhat popular, anyway.

Today I will share with you my secrets.

Be Prepared
As you likely know, the Boy Scout Motto is, “Try to set everything on fire.”

Oh, I’m sorry, that’s the secret motto — the one you’re not supposed to know about, but by which Boy Scouts really live. The other motto — the one they want you to know about – is “Be prepared.”

Luckily, the bicycle is a lightweight, relatively simple machine. You only need to bring a few things with you on a ride to be adequately prepared to take care of your nutritional, health, and mechanical needs. Specifically:

  • Water
  • Energy bar
  • Water filter
  • Chlorine tablets to treat microbial agents or make a pond safe to swim in.
  • Sterile dressing
  • Latex gloves to keep blood and gore from other people’s gross injuries off you. Or to keep the grease from their chains off your clean hands. Or for many other purposes which will become evident as they arise.
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Burn ointment (in case you come across a Boy Scout)
  • Adhesive Bandages
  • Duct tape
  • Thermometer
  • Cell phone
  • Tweezers
  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Any other painkillers you can dig up
  • Antacid
  • Laxative (in case you need to pull an emergency practical joke)
  • Chain Lube
  • Anti-seize compound
  • Hex wrench set
  • CO2 cartridges (10)
  • CO2 valve
  • 26″ and 29″ tubes — two of each
  • Bottom bracket tool
  • Bike cleaning brush set
  • Crank pullers (both square spindle and spline types)
  • Cable cutter
  • Assos Chamois Creme (When only the very best will do for your spalming needs)
  • Chain tool
  • Cheese (aerosol)
  • Digital scale, to resolve heated discussions about which bike is lightest
  • Spoke tool
  • Freewheel remover
  • Extra spokes
  • Extra derailleur
  • Matches
  • Gasoline (1 qt)
  • Portable welding torch and goggles
  • headset wrench
  • Bearing cup press
  • Pliers
  • Lasagna
  • Pedal wrench
  • Hacksaw
  • Cyanide tablets
  • Tire levers
  • Utility knife
  • Batarang
  • More duct tape, because one roll might not be enough
  • $20 to buy a ride home

I may have left a few things out, but you get the idea.

As important as it is to have these things for your own use is the inclination to also loan it out, without complaint or condition. Even if it leaves you without. Once, for example, I gave Kenny a trailside bone marrow transplant, because his bones had become dangerously brittle that afternoon. I did not ask him to return the marrow. Rather, I offhandedly said, “Forget it. There’s more where that came from.”

Kenny has since mentioned that if some of his other friends were as generous as I, maybe he wouldn’t have broken his hip.

Bring Snacks
Most cyclists bring something to eat and drink for the ride. But energy bars and Accelerade are not what I’d call sumptuous fare.

They are, on the other hand, what I would call “nasty-tasting.”

Imagine the surge in your popularity when you, at a stop in the ride, bring a small red-and-white checked tablecloth out of your Camelbak, followed by napkins and salt and pepper shakers.

I guarantee, your riding buddies’ surprise will be matched only by their delight.

But you’re just getting started.

Next, remove a roasted chicken (or, if you really want to be fancy, a pheasant) and a ziploc bag full of salad. One of your water bottles will now be revealed to contain ranch dressing.

Tip: Ranch dressing goes bad in just a couple hours, so be sure you brought those first aid supplies I mentioned earlier in that list.

Of course, your friends will think this is extraordinary, but you’ve only just begun. Next, you will reveal that your Camelbak bladder is actually full of a delicious malt beverage, which you will be happy to distribute.

After which, perhaps you break out the mashed potatoes. Don’t worry about gravy, though. That’s going too far.

After the main course, your guests will certain be expecting dessert. I recommend pie, because everyone likes pie.

I leave it to you to figure out how to carry the pie, but I will give you this hint: a few inexpensive bungie cords combined with the holes in your helmet give you carrying capacity well beyond what most people would expect.

Now, I know a few of you are thinking, “Fatty, that sounds like an awful lot of work.”

To which I say, “That’s fine. Some people aren’t really cut out to be popular. Enjoy your solitude.”

Bring a Good Camera
What cyclist doesn’t want to be filmed and / or photographed? Unfortunately, few of us ever bring anything but a simple point-and-shoot camera with us.

You can — and should! — go the extra mile by bringing a high quality SLR camera, an assortment of lenses, a good flash, a couple of reflecting umbrellas, and a tripod.

And since cycling is, after all, an active activity, be sure to bring a good hi-def camera with you. And not one of those cheesy camcorders, either — your filmwork will look hopelessly shaky and unprofessional unless you use a good shoulder-mounted camera.

And for the love of all that’s good in the world, don’t forget to bring enough batteries.

Is That All?
Right now I can picture you, flush with excitement. “Now I know how to be a popular cyclist!” you say, your voice welling with joy.

No, you don’t.

So far, you only know the first part of how to be a popular cyclist — the things you should carry. Tomorrow, I will give you guidance on how to behave if you want to be a popular cyclist.

“And then will I be a popular cyclist?” you ask, your voice trembling with hope and dread.

Yes. Yes, you will be popular.

But not as popular as I am.

Two Months

01.14.2008 | 11:07 pm

A Note from Fatty: I started three different "funny" posts today, but was unable to pull them off. So instead you get to read along as I work through the results of today’s visit to the oncologist. My check for therapy is in the mail.

Here’s an interesting hypothetical question for you. Suppose your doctor told you that in two months, you were going to need to start taking a kind of medicine that would make you sick a lot of the time, and tired pretty much all of the time, for the foreseeable future.

What would you do during those two months?

As those of you who’ve been following the blog for a while have probably guessed, today we found out that for Susan, this isn’t a hypothetical question.

Essentially, Susan’s got another two months to recover from her hip replacement surgery, and then she needs to start up on chemo again for another six months.

During the Next Two Months
During this upcoming two months, here are some of the big things we plan to do:

  • She’ll start physical therapy and work toward getting so she can walk again.
  • We’ll badger our kids every night to get their homework done.
  • We’ll spend some time being angry that she doesn’t get long enough of a break for us to travel to Italy.
  • I will harangue Susan as mercilessly as necessary for her to finish writing her novel (she’s about 80% done, but left off when the pain in her hip started occupying all her mental cycles). I encourage you to leave comments demanding she finish, as well.

So, what else? Well, if Susan is up to it, we’re going to take the kids to Disneyland like we’ve promised for…um…ever.

Otherwise, we’ll pretty much keep living the same as we were anyway. And to tell the truth, it makes me pretty happy to realize that when confronted with a big life event like chemo, we like our lives enough that we plan to keep chugging along like we were.

That said, we’re happy to hear suggestions.

Once Chemo Has Started Again
And how about once Susan has started with chemo again in a couple months? Well, here’s what’s on tap:

  • Leadville 100: Susan’s coming with me to crew at Leadville 100 again. I seriously believe, however, that she’ll be feeling better and getting around better than she did last year. Unfortunately, I have no plans to train anywhere near as hard this year as I did last year, so she’ll be crewing for a very slow racer.
  • Lots of Reading: Susan reads about three books per week. I expect this will continue. On this subject, I’d like to take a moment to gloat that I used my ability to choose excellent gifts to unparalleled effect this Christmas: I bought Susan an Amazon Kindle. It’s a gadget you can use to buy — wirelessly — books, and then read them. No hooking up to the computer, WiFi, or Internet connection necessary. It’s like magic. The gadget press has pretty soundly trashed the Kindle in their reviews, but the reality is that if you buy it because you love to read (i.e., not because you’re a huge nerd who thinks social networking is an important part of your reading experience), it’s an awesome little device.
  • We’ll badger our kids every night to get their homework done.
  • There will be a new "Fighting for Susan" jersey. It will be like the Original Fat Cyclist jersey, but with a new design. My prediction: you will want one. I do. More on this soon.

And otherwise, we’ll pretty much keep living the same as we were anyway.

Pay Up, Suckas: Report on Fatty’s “100 Miles of Going Nowhere” Epic

01.12.2008 | 3:15 pm

About forty miles into riding my rollers (for those of you lucky enough to not know what "rollers" are, they’re a contraption that lets you ride your regular bike inside, without going anywhere), I had an epiphany, sharp and bright:

"I," I thought to myself, "am a complete idiot."

It’s an incontrovertible point, so don’t bother to try arguing. Not that you were going to anyway.

Apart from the obvious and ongoing reasons for which I am an idiot, though, why did it suddenly occur to me that I am an idiot while I was riding my bike, going nowhere, for 100 miles?

The answer is simple: I am an idiot because I had chosen to ride my bike, going nowhere, for 100 miles.

Here’s what the road looks like when you’re riding inside for 100 miles:


Oddly enough, the road looks very much like a pair of office chair mats, placed there to keep the quarts and quarts and quarts of sweat from landing in the carpet.

And here’s the view:


And now I’m going to tell you what it was like.

Pay Up, Suckas
Before I get into the nitty-gritty details, though, I’m happy to say that I did in fact complete the 100 miles…and a little bit more, just to show I wasn’t beaten. Here are the stats:

  • Total Distance: 101.66 miles
  • Total Time: 6:34:31 (including stopped time when I was eating, refilling water bottles, changing DVDs and so forth)
  • Average Speed: 15.55 mph (again, in my defense, this averages in when I was not riding at all)
  • Total Calories:  7095 (according to my Garmin workout software — this seems outrageously high to me)
  • Average Heart Rate: 143 bpm
  • Max Heart Rate: 167 bpm
  • Average Cadence: 75 rpm

I’d like to ask those of you who, last week, bet me that I could not do this to pay up. You can do this by making the donation amount you promised to the Lance Armstrong Foundation — around $1200 in donations, altogether, so I guess doing this wasn’t entirely idiotic. Anyway, Click here to get started with making your donation. Most of you who bet against me noted that you hoped I would win, since you were more than happy to help with  the important work this foundation is doing, so thank you very much.

The Route
Both during the ride and afterward, I thought several times how strange it was to be riding this many miles, for this many hours, without ever leaving my house.

Apparently, my Garmin 305 — a GPS as well as odometer, speedometer, heart rate monitor and cadence-ometer — thought it was strange, too, because here’s what it shows as my route:


Oddly enough, this is exactly what it would look like if I were to carry a GPS on an average weekday morning as I look for my keys.

To eliminate this confusion, I charted my 100 mile route using Google Maps:


Yes, that’s really my house, though this satellite photo’s at least half a year old. for one thing, there are three more houses that would appear in this image if the photo were recent, and everything would be buried under about two feet of snow.

By the way, the houses on either side of mine are for sale right now if you want to be my neighbor. Although the fact that the houses on either side of me are for sale might tell you what kind of neighbor I am.

The Math
When I’m riding outside, I’m generally not especially interested in quantifying my experience. I know whether it felt like a long ride. I know whether my heart felt like it was going to explode out my chest during the climbs. I know when I’ve bonked and have had to pretend I have a flat tire to disguise the fact that I simply can’t turn the cranks anymore.

When I’m riding inside, though, the math matters. I need something to prove that I wasn’t actually just sitting in that room watching TV. Or at least that, while I was sitting in that room watching TV I was also riding my bike.

Which, unfortunately for you, means I’m about to show you a bunch of charts. Here’s a graph of my speed:


This chart demonstrates, nice and visual-like, my very most common error when riding: I take it out too fast. I intended, before I began, to try to hold a nice, steady 19mph for the entire ride.

And yet, as you can see, for the first forty miles I tended to ride between 20 and 23 mph.

Even as I was churning along, too fast at too high a gear, I was thinking to myself: "I’m going too fast, at too high a gear."

And yet I did not slow down, saving something for the second half of the ride.

And the results speak pretty clearly for themselves: right about mile 40, I slowed waaaaaaay down. Not because I wanted to. Because I had to.

Although, to be fair to myself, from miles 40-60 was also when I was watching episodes 21-22 of Season 6 of 24. Man, those episodes sucked. It’s really a miracle that I was able to stay on my bike at all. Several times I would look down at my speedometer, notice it had dropped to 15, and think to myself, "This is not my fault."

[Side Note: I just had a brilliant idea. For action movies and TV shows, the studio should test the quality of the film by having athletes exercise to them. If the athletes are able to stay in zone 4 throughout the film, it's a winner. If not, keep adding car chases, fistfights, explosions and gunfire until the movie does its job (i.e., keep the adrenaline flowing).]

And now, here’s my cadence (number of times per minute I was able to turn the cranks):


I’m actually pretty pleased with this graph. It shows that for the duration of the ride, I was able to keep my cadence at a nice, even rate: right around 80-85 rotations per minute. So, even though I lost power, I was able to downshift and keep my pedals going at about the same rate.

Of course, 90 rpm would have been better. I just wanted to point out that I already realize this, or somebody in the comments most certainly would have. And probably still will.

All those little dips represent how every few minutes I would shift into a high gear and stand up to pedal (not something you can do on most rollers, but very easy to do on the E-Motion Rollers), so as to keep my nether regions from falling asleep and eventually atrophying and falling off.

That would be bad.

And gross.

The big dips in cadence — the ones that drop all the way to 0 — are for when I got of the bike to refill my water bottles, go get something to eat, change the DVD, or — for episodes 21-22 of 24 — skip forward a couple of scenes to avert the catastrophic consequences of falling asleep on the rollers.

Miscellaneous Thoughts on Riding 100 Miles Without Going Anywhere
When you ride your bike outside for 100 miles — whether on the road or on the dirt — with a group of riding buddies you bring home big memories: memories of the road and the scenery, memories of hanging out with your friends, and memories of the standout features of the ride: a big climb, a twisty descent.

When you ride inside for 100 miles, your overarching memory of the event is of the stuff you used to distract you from the ride itself: I mostly remember watching the last few episodes of 24 (uggghhh) and the first few episodes of Deadwood (great show so far, but it’s a good thing I listen over headphones, because I do not want my kids hearing that language).

All that said, I do have a few observations to make.

  • My left achilles tendon got sore: In fourteen years of cycling, my achilles tendons have never gotten sore before. Now I have a hard time walking up the stairs. Due to this, today I considered, for the first time, riding up the stairs on Susan’s stairlift. In the end I walked the stairs, but the day is still young.
  • Eating was awesome: When riding 100 miles on the open road, your food options are limited to what you can carry in your jersey pocket without it melting or giving you salmonella. When riding 100 miles in  your house, your food options are limited to what’s in the kitchen. During this ride, I ate several slices of pizza, a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich, half a burrito, and drank a whole bunch of Pepsi Max (it’s like regular Diet Pepsi, but with more caffeine! Huzzah!). Many of you would have gotten sick eating the way I did, but I was fine. Eating while exercising is my superpower. It is why I am The Fat Cyclist, and you are not.
  • A long ride before bed was a great idea: After riding 100 miles, I’m always cooked and need to sleep for a while. By starting this ride at 8:30pm — right after I got the twins to bed — I finished around 3:00am. So sure I was cooked and needed to sleep afterwards. Serendipitously, it was definitely time for bed. 
  • Two fans was a good idea: I had one fan on the windowsill with the window open, blowing cold air at my front in from outside. Another fan sat on the floor, blowing air at my side. I still sweated (I think "swat" should be past tense of "sweat," but that’s just me) gallon upon gallon, but I never felt especially uncomfortable.
  • I do not need chamois cream: I’m increasingly confident that chamois cream is just for people who either haven’t yet hardened their butts up or have an especially bad chamois. I never use it, and I don’t need it.
  • There are no downhill sections on the rollers: One thing that makes riding 100 miles on the rollers hard is that there are no coasting sections. You’ve got to keep pedaling, all the time.
  • A two minute rest does a lot of good: Every time I got off the bike for a couple minutes to refill water bottles or change the DVD, I felt so much stronger when I got back on my bike. I need to remember to take short breaks during long rides and races; I think that will make me faster overall.
  • My neck is sore: I am now paying the price for riding for 6.5 hours with my neck craned up enough to see the TV. I need to find a lower stand for the TV.

Would I Do It Again?
So, was this a one-time stunt, or will I ever ride 100 miles on the rollers again? I don’t know. After doing this, I can’t help but wonder: how far could I ride my rollers in 24 hours? Or what if a bunch of us — located wherever we each happen to live — had a 100-miles-on-rollers ride/race, with entry fees, divisions, awards, t-shirts, and everything? With proceeds going toward fighting cancer, natch.

I have to admit, I like the idea of "Fatty’s First Annual Cyber Century."

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