Four dollars worth of chocolatey mess

03.11.2008 | 5:44 pm

Four dollars worth of chocolatey mess

Originally uploaded by Fat Cyclist.

And of course a brotherly pair of horns.


Thank You! Thankyouthankyouthankyou.

03.11.2008 | 8:04 am

I’m not going to pretend that it’s not a big deal to me to have won one of the 2008 Bloggies. I campaigned relentlessly for it, including negative ads and misleading press releases.

And now I’d like to say “Thanks.” And I’d like to say it in such a way that you know I mean it.

So how’s this: I’m going to (practically) give away 100 Fat Cyclist T-Shirts and 100 Fat Cyclist Water Bottles. Starting right now.

Seriously, I am.

Have a T-Shirt or Bottle, On Me
OK, here’s how it works. Starting right this moment, the next 100 Fat Cyclist T-shirts (any size, either gender), cost a penny (because Twin Six’s shopping cart doesn’t know how to do free), plus shipping.

Same thing goes for bottles. One penny, plus shipping.

Don’t Be Greedy
I’m not doing this with the idea of giving 100 T-shirts or bottles to one person, though. So: one per customer. You can order one bottle and one T-shirt at this price. If you order more than that, you’ll still just get one.

And don’t go doing multiple orders, each with one T-shirt in the order. In short, be cool.

As Long as You’re at the Site
My friends at Twin Six will be packing and shipping these orders, and they won’t be making a penny doing it. So, as long as you’re picking up a free T-shirt and/or bottle, why don’t you check out the cool jerseys and shirts they have on their site and buy yourself something in the same order.

Where to Order
Here are the links to the T-shirts and bottles:

And again, thanks for voting me the best sports blog for 2008.

UPDATE: It turns out that people like free stuff. Who’d have guessed? All 100 shirts and bottles are already spoken for. Thanks again for reading!

News Flash: Fat Cyclist Declares Self Winner of 2008 Bloggies Awards

03.9.2008 | 11:02 pm

Anaheim, CA (Fat Cyclist Fake News Service) – Today, in a private ceremony held within his room at the Portofino Inn and Suites near Disneyland, Elden “Fatty” Nelson — aka “The Fat Cyclist” — declared himself the winner of the Sports Category in the 2008 Weblogs Awards.

This was remarkable primarily because the winner of the award had not yet been announced. It was further remarkable because it was doubtful that Nelson would be the winner, once a winner was announced.

“Fah! I am not interested in votes and voting!” said a visibly agitated Nelson. “I am the winner of this award because I say I am the winner! Is there any who dares to challenge me? If so, come, I dare you! Just try to wrest this award from my hands!”

Nelson was, in fact, holding a shoe aloft at the moment, shaking it vigorously above his head. He seemed to fervently believe that the shoe was a trophy.

“I have written, tirelessly, for years! Years! I deserve some recognition! I deserve some respect! I deserve a freaking Bloggie!” yelled Nelson, his mouth foaming, his eyes rolling wildly, his fingers pointing accusingly at a nonexistent audience.

“Who deserves it more than I do?” demanded Nelson from a group of reporters that existed solely in his inflamed brain. “Who? Who?! Certainly not that Gawker blog — if you can call a cookie-cutter sweatshop like that a blog at all. And what fermented, demented, pimento-mented mind would come up with a blog about sports gossip? That’s just gross.”

“And Homer’s already got enough recognition,” sobbed Nelson, still to himself. “Nobody’s ever offered me a blog on freaking NPR.”

Nelson’s family, meanwhile, cowered together in a corner of the hotel room, fearing for their lives.

More Awards Given
The Sports Category Bloggie was not the only award Nelson gave himself today.

“I hereby declare myself the winner of the 2006 and 2007 Tour de France!” said Nelson. “My claim is as good as anybody’s, and I shall Photoshop myself onto the podium forthwith!”

“I furthermore declare myself the winner of that one local race I thought I won last year,” ranted Nelson, his voice hoarse, his words slurred, “only to find out much later that I had been sandbagged out of my victory. I hereby disqualify that sandbagger and declare myself the true and honest winner!”

“And lastly,” said Nelson, careening wildly around the room, pummeling himself with the shoe he had previously regarded as a trophy, “I declare myself the winner of the Humorous Interpretation competition at the 1983 Colorado State Speech Tournament!”

“I was robbed,” said Nelson, collapsing in a heap. “Robbed, I tell you.”

PS: Congratulations to whoever winds up winning, especially if it’s Jill. As for myself, I’ll use my iPhone to check sometime during the day to see who wins, as I wander Disneyland with Susan and the kids. Huzzah!

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.


03.5.2008 | 8:19 pm

I started this year with pretty humble intentions: just ride the Leadville 100, like I always do. Maybe try to ride it at a good fast pace, maybe not.

But then a whole bunch of really interesting rides came along, each of them compelling.

  • RAWROD: Kenny’s annual Ride Around White Rim in One Day is widely acknowledged as the most fun 100-mile MTB group ride in the world. For one thing, it’s a beautiful ride. For another thing, it’s a bunch of friends, riding together, all day. For a third thing, Kenny’s parents-in-law always drive a sag wagon around the course, and they’re just great to be around. That’s in April. In the group email Kenny sent out, he indicated that I would be giving out prizes, would do the entire ride with no food and only one bottle of water, and would ride the course on a single-speed recumbent. Most of these statements are not accurate. (Not-very-interesting trivia: a very poor showing on this annual ride about three years ago is what originally made me think about starting this blog.)
  • A Casual Ride, Either by Myself or With a Few Friends with No Set Destination or Path: You know, on May 16th I think I may head out to Moab or somewhere. A few friends are going to come along. We’ll probably get on our bikes and go for a ride. Just in case the mood strikes me to turn that into a longish ride, I’ll probably bring my Ergon backpack, a lot of food, lights, and maybe even a water filter. I’ll encourage my friends to do the same, because it’s a good idea to be prepared. Who knows where I (or we) will end up, but I’ll probably bring a cell phone just in case it’s a long way away from where we started — like Colorado, or Japan. Those are just examples.
  • STP: In June, Bob and I are going to ride the STP this year. I’m going to ride the singlespeed road bike. I can’t think of a double century that could be more perfectly suited to a singlespeed. What I love about this ride is how utterly unprepared you can be for it. Just show up with your bike, a bottle, and $50, and you can eat nonstop to the finish line. Which is, incidentally, my intention.
  • Leadville 100: This will be #12 in a row of this ride for me. Susan’s coming with me, crewing for me again. The day afterward, we celebrate our 20 year wedding anniversary. That’s very cool. You know, I find it very odd to think I’ve been married for nearly 20 years.
  • American Mountain Classic: The four-day MTB stage race I got all excited about a few posts ago has been scaled back, so it’s nowhere near as freaky as it was originally advertised. There are only three days of serious offroad riding now, and none of the days have more than 60 miles in them. In other words, I can think about not just riding it, but racing it. I was, incidentally the first person in Men’s 40+ Sport class to sign up.

The Problem
In answer to your question: yes, Susan knows and approves of my doing all these rides. That’s not the problem.

In answer to your next question: yes, every one of these events is conditional on Susan doing well during her next series of chemo rounds. If she’s not feeling reasonable, I won’t even ask her. I’ll just stay home. You think we’re still married after 20 years just because Susan’s so nice?

Here’s the problem, then: my left wrist.

Yesterday, I posted that I had gotten a message from the doctor’s office, briefly describing the damage to my left wrist. Well, there was more. When I called back today for details, I learned that:

  • A ligament on the thumb side of my wrist has a tear.
  • A tendon on the pinkie side of my wrist has a partial tear.
  • My wrist also has cartilage damage.

Knowing all this, I swell with pride knowing that I finished the ride after taking this injury. (Though I do not swell with pride at the fact that I sustained this injury by falling down for no good reason.)

My inclination is to just tough it out through the season and then get my wrist fixed at the end of the riding season. The thing is, though, I’m not going to have much of a riding season with my wrist the way it is. When I did the Frozen Hog, I had to slow way down by the end of the second lap because I could no longer pull up on the handlebars, my wrist hurt so bad. That’s just after 90 minutes on the bike. Even on the road bike, I have a hard time standing and climbing.

I can generally tolerate pain pretty well. I’ve lived and ridden with my right shoulder being messed up for years and years. But I don’t think I can do the rides I’ve got in this list with my wrist this way. Because it’s more than a pain issue; after a while, my wrist simply gives out.

Anyway, I have a consultation with a hand surgeon on March 17, the same day Susan starts chemo up again. And when I think about Susan having to start chemo, my inclination is to just shut up and not complain, because my pain is comparatively trivial (not to mention self-inflicted). I’m under express orders from Susan, though, to stop saying things like, “Oh, I shouldn’t even mention how hard my day was, because yours was so much harder.” She says she’s sick of having nobody talk about their problems because hers dwarf theirs. It’s not a contest, she says.

Fair point.

So I’m complaining my heart out. I’ve got a great season planned, with a great list of really exciting rides — all the kind I love to do — with most of the core team heavily involved.

I really really really really don’t want to sit on the sidelines this season. In fact, I — no hyperbole here — get a little sick just thinking about watching the summer go by with my wrist bandaged up.

Someone, please tell me that the kind of surgery I’m most likely looking at heals nice and fast.

Please. I’m begging here.

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