Plan B

03.6.2008 | 6:09 pm

I think this post is going to ramble a bit. Sorry about that. I’ve got a few things on my mind.

First, tomorrow (Friday) night I’m finally going to be getting home from Houston. Then, Saturday morning I go into a packing frenzy. Saturday afternoon, we pack the kids into the van and drive partway to Disneyland. Which means that I don’t know whether or how often I’ll be posting next week. I suspect, actually, that I’ll post something on Monday, because that’s the day I find out I didn’t win a bloggie. After that, I’ll probably post a few pictures each day of the family from Disneyland.

Second, a lot of you have been wondering how Susan’s doing. Well, she’s impressing the heck out of me. She never uses two crutches anymore. Often, she gets around with just a cane. And she’s taken some little steps with no assistance whatsoever. It’s a pleasure to see her make progress like this.

That said, I’m pretty worried about whether the Disneyland trip is overdoing it for her. She has a hard time sitting for a long time, and a trip to the grocery store tires her out. One of my jobs is going to be watching her to see whether she’s tired, because she doesn’t like to admit she is.

Susan’s hair has been growing back, and while it’s short, she still had it dyed red last week — her hair was red when I met her, and I’ve always liked her that way. She looks great. No hats or bandanas necessary for being out in public any more

Right after we get back from Disneyland, Susan starts chemo up again. To tell the truth, we don’t talk about that much. Having a big vacation to look forward to instead has been a great thing.

But sometimes I think about her having to start chemo again and I feel a little ill — a sympathy pang, of sorts. I think I’ve seemed distracted, and I have a harder time trying to be funny for this blog, and I think that’s why. I just dread the chemo experience — our third time, starting in just a few days.

Third, knowing that my wrist is messed up (can anyone legitimately claim they were right in diagnosing me, by the way? I’ve got a shirt for you if so) has made me think about this season. I expect I’m going to have to have surgery and some healing time before I can ride mountain bikes again.

I have to accept the likelihood that I won’t be able to get into great shape by Leadville.

Strangely, I feel very happy about that possibility, because it allows a whole new slew of possibilities.

  • I’ll spend this summer riding more with my kids, instead of training.
  • I’ll do all of Travis Ott’s list of things I have to do in order to earn the use of a Superfly for three months, even though when push came to shove I couldn’t make myself wait and I went ahead and bought one.
  • I’ll ride Leadville on a single speed at a fun pace, instead of killing myself trying to finish under nine hours (which, let’s face it, I would fail at anyway).
  • When I say I’m going riding with friends, I’ll really ride with friends…instead of just racing them.
  • I’ll try to eat well, but put my bathroom scale in a closet.

With the possibility of being a serious racer fading away, the possibility of having a lot of fun looms large. That sounds pretty great to me.

And in 2009, I’ll think about racing seriously again.

I have to say, plan B sounds pretty great to me.


  1. Comment by Emily | 03.6.2008 | 6:24 pm

    I think you have the right attitude on Leadville all things considered. Don’t stress yourself out unnecessarily, just have fun with it. You can join me at the back of the pack!
    And I don’t know if I get the tshirt or not– scurvy may be the underlying reason your cartlidge is breaking off and your tendons are all messed up. Did the doctor _do_ a scurvy test???

  2. Comment by Michael | 03.6.2008 | 6:36 pm

    I’ll keep Susan, you and the family in my prayers as she goes through all that again.
    Fix the wrist and enjoy racing next season, fun riding this year sounds good to me.

  3. Comment by Caloi-Rider | 03.6.2008 | 7:06 pm

    Brilliant strategy. It sounds like 2008 is going to be an awesome year for you.

    I, for one, can’t wait to read about it.

  4. Comment by KanyonKris | 03.6.2008 | 7:23 pm

    You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em. Wise words from Sensai Rogers.

    Have fun in Dizzyland!

  5. Comment by Nick | 03.6.2008 | 7:27 pm

    Take care of Susan. My thoughts are with her. She sounds like she’s in good spirits and could use a few days with Mickey and the gang. One good thing about Disney – they do manage to blow a lot of sunshine up your ass and won’t allow you to be sad.

    As for your wrist… I hope you’re seeing someone who’s a sports medicine doc who is also a ortho/hands doc and have had that puppy MRI’d (I don’t remember). Surgery is going to make you one unhappy bastard for a bit, and rehab is going to make you miserable. Without actually seeing the film, me and my doctor pals can’t guess at what’s wrong. And you know what, while the wrist heals – look at it as a time to sit and relax and keep the wife happy.

  6. Comment by Born4Lycra | 03.6.2008 | 7:28 pm

    Firstly always great to hear encouraging news regards Susan. Secondly hope you all have a great family holiday and I’m really looking forward to seeing the happy snaps. Thirdly on the bike scene I’m really impressed with Plan B it sounds like a whole lot of fun for all involved (FC, FC’s family and FC’s friends) classic evidence that you can always find an upside to most situations. I would not be prepared to bet that your different approach will not give you a sub 9 at Leadville. I agree it’s not likely but you just never know.

  7. Comment by Lori | 03.6.2008 | 7:36 pm

    I think I speak for a lot of your readers here – You married one impressive woman! Stay strong and know that your family is in our thoughts!

  8. Comment by Wild Dingo | 03.6.2008 | 9:02 pm

    Oh, that’s so great about Susan. I don’t even know you guys, but the story touches me and so does your support for her.

    Ok, what was the wrist diagnosis? I’m dying to know? tendon or ligament detach from the bone? what? i must have missed the post but thought i kept checking for it.

  9. Comment by Dobovedo | 03.6.2008 | 9:19 pm

    Riding should be FUN before it is anything else. Plan B keeps that in perspective. Especially the other bits about spending the quality family time. Your priorities are truly in order…

    even if you do have bike issues.

  10. Comment by Co | 03.6.2008 | 10:01 pm

    Amen to all of the above. Life is about great family and friends, not doing Leadville sub-nine. You have at least 99 more chances at a sub-nine at Leadville, why does it need to be this year, eh? ;-)

  11. Comment by aussie kev | 03.7.2008 | 1:29 am

    you and your family have an awesome time in disney – dont worry about posting to us – have some “you time”

    have a fun time on hol’s


  12. Comment by Mikey E | 03.7.2008 | 1:43 am

    Nice one Fatty!

    This post really struck a chord with me. My mother had cancer and when her hair started to grow back she did the same thing with the dye, after going through the bandana stage! I think Disneyland is going to do your family and yourself a lot of good. Kids will be so busy their minds will be taken of the home situation, and even if Susan isn’t up to much theres so many places to rest and have a break whilst the kids play. Guess what i’m trying to say in a long winded way is Susan will enjoy being there with you all even if she gets a bit tierd.

    Take it easy Mr Fat man, plan b sounds extremly good and is giving me some ideas too!

    P.S. Just got my fatty t-shirt from twin six and its superb. Took a month but thats to be expected since i’m in england!

  13. Comment by Bluenoser | 03.7.2008 | 1:53 am

    That sounds a lot better to me fatty. Have a fun season.


  14. Comment by Mike Roadie | 03.7.2008 | 4:17 am

    You may THINK it’s Plan “B”, but you will get a ton of enjoyment out of it……and how much fun is there in our busy lives anyway??

    I’m sure you thought of this already, but get a wheelchair for The Boss at Disney……gets the family to the head of the lines!!!!

    Love to Susan, and please do send pics……enjoy the time off. I wonder how much money we can raise for the LAF while you’re gone?


  15. Comment by Lowrydr | 03.7.2008 | 5:29 am

    Glad to hear that you and the family are ready for Disney. Hope Susan fairs well being pushed around in the crowd. And by all means take advantage of any and all rest areas. Enjoy the vacation Susan, you are always in our thoughts.

    Plan B is probably better than I will manage to do this year. Can’t seem to get myself motivated toward the bike as often as I would like. Have to work on that.

    Dang I didn’t get all the guess right on the wrist. Only had the seperated cartilage part down and half a shirt just wouldn’t look right.

    Have fun all !!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Comment by bradk | 03.7.2008 | 5:57 am

    you can ride leadville with me and g. brown on our singles. imagine that, a leadville group ride, working the hills and flats and racing the downhills. maybe a nap or two. i like the sound of it a lot.

  17. Comment by buckythedonkey | 03.7.2008 | 6:27 am

    Sounds like a recipe or a great year. Be careful, it may be habit-forming.

    So, are you going to run a time-share on your spare Superfly or what? How many people have a “spare Superfly” anyway?

  18. Comment by Rob L | 03.7.2008 | 6:36 am

    Plan B sounds awesome and they often seem to work better than a rushed plan A.

  19. Comment by Boz | 03.7.2008 | 6:50 am

    Family first, health (wrist) next, racing when time permits. But putting away the scale may lead to drowning in deNile. Have fun at WallyWorld. We did the family thing to the Orlando one last year, and it was one great week.

  20. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 03.7.2008 | 7:45 am

    It wasn’t the racing it was the taunting. And the mooning.

    “oh no, i haven’t been at the top for long; i’ve only had time to eat a honey stinger bar…well three bars, and 5 packets of shot blocks, and an old chicken sandwich I found in my camelback from KTR last year.”

  21. Comment by chtrich | 03.7.2008 | 8:02 am

    Pan B sounds like a great plan!

    Have a great time at D-Land. This is the best time of year to go as the lines aren’t horrible.

    I think I correctly diagnosed your injury. I was the first to say pulled tendon. Let me know if that counts.
    “Comment by chtrich | 02.26.2008 | 10:27 am
    You pulled a tendon.”

  22. Comment by daddystyle | 03.7.2008 | 8:26 am

    Enjoy the trip, you and the family deserve it. We continue to think off you.

    There is more to riding than training. I stopped racing 2 years ago after mt son was hit by a car while on a training ride. Dr’s still wont let him race . Kind of a blessing, I’ve have a chance to ride with my young daughters and try some new things like horse riding. My son still loves the bike but as for olimpic aspiration’s, he and Daddy’s dreams are dashed. He has tried several other sports and actually has a social life now. We used to worry he was to focused on cycling and was missing out on some of the other good things life has to offer.
    Ride on and ride fun.

  23. Comment by Eufemiano Fuentes | 03.7.2008 | 9:57 am


    same excuse ullrich would use when he wanted to pack it in.

  24. Comment by Clydesteve | 03.7.2008 | 10:09 am

    But did ulrich pack it in? NO! HE went to Dr. Fuentes and got medicated! Have you considered that, Mr. FC??? Hmmm?

    Seriously – good plan, Fatty. Have a great time at Disneyland with the fam. Susan is still in my prayers.

    My fundraising for the June 29 Portland LiveStrong Challenge is up over $8000 so far. ~$12,000 to reach my goal. Now listen you people – You really need to get some $$ into MikeRoadies fund account. He is the official FC Livestrong fund raiser this season, and my donors are kicking his butt!

    Go to and donate. NOW!!

  25. Comment by Bob | 03.7.2008 | 10:16 am

    You should resume training after Disneyland and try to do Leadville on a singlespeed. Make your goal to finish in under 12 hours.

  26. Comment by LanterneRouge | 03.7.2008 | 10:28 am

    Plan B? Heck, I moved on to Plan C after my 3rd piece of pumpkin pie last Thanksgiving.

  27. Comment by KT | 03.7.2008 | 10:34 am

    Fatty, you and the family should concentrate on doing whatever makes y’all happy.

    Have fun in Disneyland. Susan, Disneyland can be tiring when you’re healty, so pay attention to your body and when you get tired, say so! Find a shady comfy area to hang out in, order up a slushy and a snack, and people watch. Send the kids out to find the cool rides.

    Fatty, remember: if you’re not having fun, then why are you doing it??? Plan B sounds like a great plan A. Riding a bike is SUPPOSED to be FUN.

    Good luck on the wrist and the chemo…. and have fun for the rest of us who are stuck at work while you guys are visiting Mickey and Co!

  28. Comment by bikemike | 03.7.2008 | 10:44 am

    plan B is almost always, always better’n plan A. plan A’s are usually unrealistic and way too stressful. that being said i’m a plan C ro D man myself. just goes back to the days of multiple choice test. it’s always C or D. of course that would ’splain alot about my grades and such.

    God bless the Nelsons and their mickey vacation. oh and be prepared to pay $57.00(U.S.) for a Coke and burger at funland.

  29. Comment by | 03.7.2008 | 11:16 am

    plan B is sweet. Your PMA is uplifting to life’s shirkers (like me). Disney ALWAYS ends up more fun than you think it’s going to. I think they use drugs. That’s why the soft drinks are so expensive maybe????

  30. Comment by Don ( | 03.7.2008 | 11:42 am

    As far as the diagnosis: I think a handful of people pegged it, and that you should send 4″ pieces of fabric to them.
    Plan B: I agree, plan b sounds like wicked fun! (er, phun). I’m not even tring to be a serious racer myself.
    Bloggie: You SO got it bro!

  31. Comment by mark | 03.7.2008 | 12:08 pm

    What’s the difference between a physical therapist and your pinky? Your pinky has feelings.

    What’s the difference between a physical therapist and a terrorist? You can negotiate with a terrorist.

    A couple of silly PT jokes I learned over the winter while suffering at the hands of my PT. Which is to say, pick a good one, as the PT process is as important as the surgery itself. Good luck with the operation–sounds like you’ve got an enjoyable season ahead of you.

  32. Comment by flossy | 03.7.2008 | 1:27 pm

    Hey Fatty, have a super fun time at Disneyland with the family. Plan B sounds great to me. I tried racing once, not my cup of tea. Looking forward to seeing pics of happy family with Mickey.

  33. Comment by Fritz | 03.7.2008 | 2:05 pm

    Have a good trip, Fattie; prayers for Susan.

  34. Comment by David (vivid) | 03.7.2008 | 5:14 pm

    Good luck on your trip, I’m thinking good thoughts about Susan.

    Take away the Susan factor, and just leave you, kids, a long road trip, and Disneyland.

    Good Luck! Sucker! ARGGH!

  35. Comment by axel | 03.7.2008 | 5:43 pm

    why don’t you add
    ‘learn to unicycle’ to your plan b
    it is the only way to ride without putting strain on your wrist since there is no handle bar.
    really. learning to unicycle doesn’t mean you will fall a lot, just the unicycle falls a lot.

  36. Comment by joliver3 | 03.7.2008 | 6:54 pm

    Enjoy the family time and the trip, and when you get back on the bike, enjoy that too. As others have said, that’s what it’s supposed to be all about.

    And you’d better step it up with this whole bike humor gig. It looks like Mara Abbott, 2nd-yr pro w/High Road, is encroaching on your turf:

  37. Comment by KeepYerBag | 03.8.2008 | 9:19 am

    Be our Guest!
    Be our Guest!
    Put our magic to the test!
    Bring a briefcase full of money
    And let Disney do the rest…

    Be safe and have fun, everyone.

  38. Comment by Born 4Lycra 43 11 N 2 32 W | 03.8.2008 | 5:13 pm

    KT got it right in retrospect – your plan B is plan A. The Lantern and Bikemike’s ideas of a backup plan C and or D make sense also. Happy Holidays.

  39. Comment by Bob | 03.8.2008 | 5:46 pm

    I’ll be at disney too Mon-Thurs… i thought about renting a bike but I guess I’ll just run.. sunny and 75 every day!!

  40. Comment by Rocky | 03.9.2008 | 1:06 pm

    The wife and kiddos will undoubtedly remember this as the best year ever with hubby/dad.

    Lucky them, and lucky you.

    I hope didnehlayund is all the fantasmagorical fun that you all can stand. I know Susan loves the place, and it will, therefore, be a good spirits booster before her next round.

  41. Comment by sorelegs | 03.9.2008 | 8:07 pm

    Plan B sounds really really nice to me. Leadville and the 9 hour mark will always be there. You have been working waaaay to hard. Stop smell the flowers play with the kids. Stay up late chatting with Susan. Have a great time at dizzy land. I just promised my kids that we’d go there when I am symptom free. Seems like the thing to do.

  42. Comment by Wonderdyke | 03.11.2008 | 2:56 am

    Hey FC – hopefully, the added prestige of winning a bloggie ON TOP of being the world’s foremost cycling blogger will allow you to zip through those Disney lines. I recommend outfitting the clan completely in FC gear for the full effect.


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