Crying is for Climbing

05.4.2008 | 10:54 pm

I went to bed Friday night expecting to go on a long singlespeed road ride on Saturday morning. I woke up on Saturday, though, thinking that I needed something that occupied my mind a little more completely.

Singlespeed mountain bike sounded about right.

I rode up the South side of Hog Hollow, a climb that takes half an hour, when I’m in great shape. I didn’t have a bike computer or watch on this ride, though. I wasn’t riding for time. I’m not going to be riding for time at all this season. I’m just riding for me for a while.

As I rode the mile of pavement from my house to the trailhead, I came across Lee Johnson, heading the opposite direction, clearly finishing the ride I was about to begin. He turned around and rode with me for a few minutes, asking — innocently — how my wife was doing.

I told him, answering as honestly and directly as I could, because I know I’m going to have to get used to answering that question. I was relieved that I had managed to keep it together, by and large, through the conversation.

He, like literally hundreds of others in the past couple of days, offered his support and prayers before he turned around and headed home, leaving me at the trailhead to my climb.

And that’s when I totally lost it.

I cried the whole climb up to the saddle of the Hog. Just bawled.

Weirdly, I thought as I climbed and cried that crying makes it harder to breathe and was robbing me of climbing power. And I thought that if anyone saw me right now, I was glad that they wouldn’t see my eyes (though the streaked face, running nose and mottled skin might have been sufficient clues for the astute).

Then I kept on climbing up Jacob’s Ladder, and kept crying the whole way up. I thought about how Susan and at least one of the kids had remarked on Friday that they had never seen me cry before then, and now I was well into a 45-minute jag.

Finally at the top of Jacob’s Ladder, I began the singletrack descent. It starts out tricky, with granite jutting out of the trail, and lots of sandy gravel that makes it easy to slide out. There are lots of different lines, and half the fun of the trail is picking which you’re going to take.

By the time I got to Ghost Falls, I realized something wonderful. I wasn’t crying.

In fact, I wasn’t thinking at all.

The intensity of the ride had fully occupied my mind. For the first time since Susan and I had been to see the oncologist and learned we were out of options, I felt…not happy, but at least not all knotted up. Clear.

Right now, clear is good enough.

So I dropped down Ghost Falls, attacking it a little more aggressively than usual. Using the brakes a little less often than usual. Chasing another moment of peace.

And I got it, too.

Then, as I climbed back up Clark’s in order to drop back down the South side of the Hog to get to Alpine, I felt selfish. I had added at least 3/4 an hour onto my ride time just to help me feel better. That’s 3/4 an hour that I was away from Susan when I could have been with her.

I know. I know. If someone else were telling me they felt guilty for taking an extra 3/4 an hour for himself under similar circumstances, I would tell him to go easy on himself; that he needs to take care of himself or he won’t be able to take care of his wife or family.

But that kind of rings hollow when your time with your wife has been cut short like this.

I won’t be taking any really long rides for a while. But I am grateful for close rides that give me a little time to get away from my head.


  1. Comment by KL | 05.4.2008 | 11:07 pm

    Fatty, I’m praying.

  2. Comment by Alex from ZA | 05.4.2008 | 11:21 pm

    My heart bleeds.
    Take the moments. They’ll keep you sane.
    So much love to you and your family.

  3. Comment by william | 05.4.2008 | 11:47 pm

    Anything that can help you to clear your head is a good thing and will help you keep your strength up at home, mentally and physically. I can’t pretend to know what you’re going through, but my thoughts are with you and i am extra glad that I wore my pink fatty jersey for my 12 hour race in Denmark at the weekend. Be strong

  4. Comment by Karl McCracken | 05.4.2008 | 11:55 pm

    Just caught up with your news. Tell Susan from me that a stiff-upper-lipped, tight-a$$ Brit that she’s never met, and never even heard of now has a keyboard that’s splashed with tears.

    Take the moments when you can get ‘em – both alone to keep you sane, and together to cram some more into the time you’ve got left.

  5. Comment by Ant | 05.5.2008 | 12:18 am

    Ditto to what Karl said.

    Tough times ahead, but time out to clear your head is going to be the best thing for Susan, the kids, and yourself.

    Don’t beat yourself up over this, and if you need an extra 45 min to get your head straight, well then take the 45 minutes.

  6. Comment by Swedoz | 05.5.2008 | 12:59 am

    Cycling as meditation, use it when you need it.

    Take care.

  7. Comment by aussie kev | 05.5.2008 | 1:35 am

    ride your rollers!! , it will make short rides seem like long rides, and you get to spend time with susan as well, take care k

  8. Comment by Orbea Girl | 05.5.2008 | 1:36 am

    Just caught up with your news after 4 days away. You’re spot on, I have absolutely no idea of what you and your family are going through right now. However, I will be praying that Susan’s radiation therapy gives you and your family more precious time together.

  9. Comment by Jenni | 05.5.2008 | 2:10 am

    When my sister’s brain tumor returned I did the same thing- I rode until. Just until. Until I had beaten my thoughts into submission, until I couldn’t cry anymore. Until I was too tired to think about anything. It’s a magical thing to be able to physically work out your thoughts. I’m so there with you Fatty.

  10. Comment by Aaron | 05.5.2008 | 2:43 am

    It’s a fine balance. keeping your head together vs spending time with Susan both are dearly needed.

  11. Comment by sk8ermom3 | 05.5.2008 | 3:13 am

    Grief is like dirty laundry, no one else is going to do it for you, and it builds up. Recognize you need to clear your head and go do it. It will recharge you and help you reach deep for the mental energy you need.

  12. Comment by Philly Jen | 05.5.2008 | 3:27 am

    Real men climb. Real men shave their legs. Real men cry.

    Sweat the climbs, don’t sweat the 3/4 of an hour. If it allows you to be more fully present with Susan and your family when you’re away from the bike, rather than caught up in your head, then it’s time well invested.

    Do what you’ve gotta do — and keep climbing.

    Love and healing wishes from another member of Team Susan. (Did you get the memo? Team Fatty is now Team Susan. Nobody gets to have more hair than Susan on the elite squad. So you and Levi are out front, once he gets over his arm-crossing thing.)

  13. Comment by Pammap | 05.5.2008 | 3:29 am

    Tons of love and prayers for you, Fatty and Susan.

    BTW: sk8ermom3 has it right.

  14. Comment by Hamish A | 05.5.2008 | 3:33 am

    When looking after others Elden, it’s important to look after yourself. By taking a little extra time on that ride you’ve put yourself in a better mental position to help Susan and the Children and that’s not a bad thing at all.

    I hope Susan got another good nights sleep and that you’re also managing to get rest.

    You’re all in my thoughts.

  15. Comment by Ms. Moon | 05.5.2008 | 4:10 am

    Another stranger out here, offering out a virtual hand.
    No advice, just…well, as all the rest say… your family is in my heart, my thoughts.

  16. Comment by Flahute | 05.5.2008 | 4:19 am

    Is T6 going to bring back the jerseys? Time to start raising the profile and cash again.

  17. Comment by joel | 05.5.2008 | 4:33 am

    Others have said it, but it bears repeating – the more you are able to clear your head the stronger you will be for Susan and the kids.

    Hope and good wishes.

  18. Comment by Melissa P | 05.5.2008 | 4:37 am

    Fatty, I am so sorry. I’m a long time reader and my prayers go out to your family. Susan sounds like one hell of a great woman, please pass along our support for her.

  19. Comment by Big Boned | 05.5.2008 | 5:12 am

    Friends of Fatty: It came to me this morning as I was riding in to work…I’ve seen so many of you saying that you are going to pray for Fatty and his family…I want to propose an idea I’m stealing from the International Christian Cycling Club. In the club we have a set time everyday to pray. As we have members all around the world, we pray and our prayers are heard at different times due to the different time zones.
    Fatty also has friends around the world. I’m going to suggest that those of you who are open to praying, try to pray for Fatty’s family at 2:01pm daily in your timezone. 201 pounds being the weight that designates the Clydesdale class that so many of us belong to. Set an alarm on your watch to help you remember, it can take only a minute, but it can be so powerful.

    Fatty: Good to hear about your ride. Keep turning them over!

  20. Comment by Buzz | 05.5.2008 | 5:20 am

    Elden, been reading almost form the beginning, and am at a loss for words, as words are hollow at this point. But know that so many of us are thinking good thoughts for you, Susan and your family. Your strength and humor through all of this has shown what it means to be human. I will be turning the pedals for you and Susan and thinking of you each time I ride.

  21. Comment by SyracuseStu | 05.5.2008 | 5:21 am

    I, and I assume many others as well, am crying for you, too. I do not say this metaphorically. I am deeply, deeply saddened by what your family has to bear and have been reduced to tears for you in the last few days. What makes it so much worse, is that your openness and humor really touch many of us…it seems so unfair that you, and the one you love must fight simply for time together. I am sorry for you.

    One of my problems is that I feel compelled to offer advice…and I will offer it in the hopes that it makes even a little bit of help. It is ok to take time for yourself. If I can discern anything from you and your relationship to your family, you WILL put them first. You WILL put time with Susan first. It seems to be your nature. But do not allow yourself to feel guilty for your actions. Every moment you are away from your wife is because you desperately need that time to recover. To work through your own feelings. So that the time you are there, you can be there fully. Not tired, not worn out, not working through your emotions (or worse, not allowing yourself to work through you emotions)…but really, really THERE.

    If you refuse yourself even the little bit of time you need personally, or feel guilty about taking that time, you only make yourself less able to handle what needs to be done while you are home. I am sure your family needs you 100%…and sometimes that means you need a few minutes to take care of yourself.

    Time spent together should be measured by it’s quality, not it’s quantity. Admittedly, you have one HELL of a balancing act ahead of you given that the luxury of “quantity” has been taken from you. But it is still a balancing act, so steal away the bare minimum of time you need to stay strong…and don’t allow guilt to come into that.

    If you are true to both yourself and your family, I am sure you will be satisfied with your actions.

    I honestly wish I could do more for you.

  22. Comment by Lori | 05.5.2008 | 5:23 am

    I am glad you were able to clear your mind, if only for a while. You are in my prayers.

  23. Comment by Southsiderpgh | 05.5.2008 | 5:26 am

    Elden, I’m so glad that you were able to get some comfort and release on your bike ride. Without meaning to come across as flippant, I’d like to offer up that I have found certain movies can offer unexpected solace, in particular I find most of Peter Sellers’ Pink Panther movies as well as the Mr. Bean series can provide a bit of a respite. I’m hoping that you’ll be able to throw together some of your famous foods and cocoon with your family a bit, creating wonderful memories and getting more shots of Susan’s beautiful smile. You folks have touched so many people around the world and I’m sure you’ve helped more people than you’ll ever know–who knows what the “butterfly effect(s)” of all you’ve done will be…

    Thank you.

  24. Comment by Lori | 05.5.2008 | 5:27 am

    I’m in for the 2:01pm prayer. I only wish I could do more.

  25. Comment by Earl | 05.5.2008 | 5:28 am

    You do what you need to do, so that you will be there, functional when you need to. Everyone here is praying for you and Susan, and your family. Do what you have to do to be able to do what you have to do…

  26. Comment by drKim | 05.5.2008 | 5:30 am

    Your sharing of this story touches us all…I wish you the best, and I hope and pray for a miracle. Your cycling is a gift…use it to clear your head, and don’t feel guilty about it. It is probably your best therapy. I cry on the bike sometimes…and work so hard there are no more tears. My reasons seem trivial compared to what you are going through…but it’s therapeutic just the same.


  27. Comment by SurlyCommuter | 05.5.2008 | 5:35 am

    WIN Susan. WIN Fatty. 2:01pm is on my calendar.

    You have to ride. Your family needs you – and without a few moments of respite you won’t be good for anyone. Do it in the calm cool of the morning before anyone is awake.

  28. Comment by Petite Chèvre | 05.5.2008 | 5:40 am

    We’ll help you climb that hill.

    It’s 2:01 somewhere.

  29. Comment by JEB | 05.5.2008 | 5:44 am

    I’m in for 2:01. And may be 2:01 in a couple of other time zones, too.

  30. Comment by Emily | 05.5.2008 | 5:51 am

    There is nothing like a good solo MTB ride for clearing the mind… except maybe a good steep tele run. A ride like that IS taking care of yourself and your family– they need you to have some time to clear the mind! Thinking of you guys.

  31. Comment by Paul | 05.5.2008 | 5:52 am

    While I’m awake, every X:01am/pm I’ll be joining with you in prayer.

    My heart is filled with grief…and hope.

  32. Comment by TeleGirl | 05.5.2008 | 5:57 am

    I wish I had something eloquent to say. Something meaningful, a tad funny, perhaps, but definitely touching. I don’t know what you are going through, and won’t pretend by offering up wisdom I don’t have. I’m sad, I’m angry, I hurt for all of you. I hate that your family was chosen in this horrific lottery. And I hate that others can truly relate to you in this situation, being chosen as well.

    I am so sorry. And that is so inadequate.

  33. Comment by System6 | 05.5.2008 | 6:03 am

    To you and your family, what can really be said? It’s not fair, and it’s not good in any way. But none of you are alone. There’s a big circle of people giving you their thoughts and wishes and prayers. If there’s anything more we can do, please just say so.

  34. Comment by sans auto | 05.5.2008 | 6:04 am

    May I suggest interval ‘training’. I had some struggles in life (although quite different than yours) and I found that intervals were perfect. You ride hard for a couple of minutes (seems like days) until you feel like you’re going to tip over and never get up. Then you rest until your thoughts return, then you go again as hard and long as you can. It’s a shot of a very potent stimulant without a prescription and it effectively clears your mind for a bit. We’re praying for you.

    I’m in at 2:01

  35. Comment by Uphill Battle | 05.5.2008 | 6:12 am

    Storming heaven daily at 2:01pm on the east coast.
    Love and prayers to Susan, Fatty, and the family.

  36. Comment by monty | 05.5.2008 | 6:14 am

    our hearts go out to you and your family!

  37. Comment by Dutch Girlie On a Bike | 05.5.2008 | 6:15 am

    Elden, Susan, and family, I hope you can feel the virtual hugs you are receiving! We are one with you, wishing we could say the perfect words and even though we know we can’t, we try anyway. In the coming times there will be moments, hours, days, when you think you just can’t bear it anymore. That is when you will be amazed at what the human body and soul can do. Hang in there. Be good to yourself and your family. I think you need to make that chocolate cake recipe you shared with us awhile ago……….

    Suzanne, The Netherlands

  38. Comment by DrCodfish | 05.5.2008 | 6:20 am

    You, healthy, strong, and clear will be great support to the rest of your family. Strong for your falmily is a big part of your responsibility now. Anything that takes your mind away ocasionally, (hard and or techincial effforts fit the bill) that’s my preceription for the time being. I’ll be praying for y’all … at 2:01.

    Yr Pal, DrCodfish

  39. Comment by Robb | 05.5.2008 | 6:21 am

    it’s not selfish at all Elden. The clarity you were able to find while riding, will translate into you being more able to bring happiness and peace to Susan while you’re with her.

    lots of love and prayers!

  40. Comment by Sarah G | 05.5.2008 | 6:25 am

    The day before I checked in on your blog and found out the turn things have taken, I ran a half-marathon in Brooklyn and wore the pink jersey. I told the woman I was running with your story (not knowing the latest developments). I told her how much I admire you and Susan and how amazing it is that you have been able to connect to so many people and share your love of Susan and your family–and cycling–in such a deeply moving way, always with humor.

    Then, on Saturday night, I read the news.

    I have been thinking of your family ever since. And praying for you. I put your names on the prayer list at my church yesterday, because I felt I needed to do something. I’m going to be praying and thinking about you a lot in the months ahead. And I’m going to wear that pink jersey every time I race.



  41. Comment by Wild Dingo | 05.5.2008 | 6:26 am

    My heart is broken. I just read all your recent Susan stories. I’m so sorry. I feel sick about this and I’m left with so few words that probably cannot console you. Susan is so brave and you and she have beautiful children.

    When you wrote “the intensity of the ride occupied my mind” the thought crossed my mind that you were meditating. Meditation is one of the few stress management tools in this world that helps us cope with grief and suffering. Many times, it takes a “moving” meditation to get us to quiet our minds and meditate. Meditation, for as long as you can, will help clear your mind, and keep your heart open (which it is), and keep your physical body healthy. The meditation does as much for your physical health (lowering stress and ongoing stress hormonal response) as does the riding/exercising itself. So if it takes riding a bike or climbing a tree to meditate, do it. From what I read about Susan, she would want you to take care of yourself. And she’ll need you to be healthy and strong in the coming months.

    I don’t know Susan, but I’m crying. She seems to be an amazingly strong, open-hearted woman. Please send her my heartfelt sorrows. This sucks so much.

  42. Comment by JimD | 05.5.2008 | 6:29 am

    Setting my watch for 2:01 pm in Central. Fatty/Susan/family – you are loved.

  43. Comment by Little1 | 05.5.2008 | 6:39 am

    2:01. Done.

    sometimes the simple things of normalcy can keep us all on an even going for a ride can very well keep a level of normalcy for those around you. if you suddenly stopped, the impact would be more than i think any of us could ever imagine. Susan by her comments to the social worker knows what works for you and by that she knows what will work for her and your family. Susan has set a standard for all of us, of grace and positive spirit that will fill all our parayers for you at 2:01.

  44. Comment by Pammap | 05.5.2008 | 6:40 am

    I’m in for the 2:01 p.m. prayer – Centra Time USA.

  45. Comment by Jodi | 05.5.2008 | 6:44 am

    Crying is for Running.

    Thanks for the headphones. Today’s run was all about you.

  46. Comment by Richard | 05.5.2008 | 6:54 am

    We are all there for you. xx:01 all day. Just let us know if there is anything else we can do. I did a long Pink Jersey ride this weekend. That may be the only jersey I wear all year.

  47. Comment by chtrich | 05.5.2008 | 6:56 am

    I’m less than 10 minutes from your house. If you ever want someone to ride with let me know.

  48. Comment by john umland | 05.5.2008 | 6:59 am

    I’m so sorry Elden. I wonder if you have considered some versions of tandem bikes to bring your wife out for share therapy. This site dedicated to the blind has tons of great pics of alternative bikes.
    Not all tandems fit a stereotype.
    God is good

  49. Comment by Dave | 05.5.2008 | 7:08 am

    I’m a doctor and unforunately have to look after alot of families. I tell all of them that looking after yourself is critical: if you are exhausted, irritable and miserable you are doing Susan no good at all. If an hour or two on the bike puts you back on an even keel, then you are doing the both of you a world of good. This is a marathon not a sprint!! Keep going but please look after yourself. We are all thinking of you, Susan and your family. Dave

  50. Comment by mamafitz | 05.5.2008 | 7:10 am

    Climbing is also prayer. I’m glad you’ve found it; may it sustain you.

    God bless you all . . .

  51. Comment by Al Maviva | 05.5.2008 | 7:14 am

    Fatty, if you lost some weight, you would probably cry less when you climb your single speed MTB up hills. I have the *exact* same problem.

    In the alternative, you might consider taking up a form of cycling where people aren’t hyper critical, where you won’t feel on edge all the time, and where your weight won’t matter as much, like roadracing.

    I hope this helps.


  52. Comment by Roadent | 05.5.2008 | 7:26 am

    Riding and crying works (but no one should really ever to prove it…)

  53. Comment by tohm | 05.5.2008 | 7:33 am

    Fatty, just caught up on the last couple of blog posts and first want to say how sorry I am for the terrible news and the realities accompanying it. But I also envy what a healthy approach you have to dealing with a trauma like this and your head seems to be in the right place.
    I have full confidence your family will survive this. There’s a community of readers that wont forget you and your family and of course the wonderful space, energy and motions of cycling.
    I envy the wonderful family and life you are enjoying together I hope to have such a supportive unit one day of my own precicely for tough times like this.
    Cherish it all.

  54. Comment by gr@sshopper | 05.5.2008 | 7:35 am

    Just don’t descend with tears in your eyes, big guy.

  55. Comment by isi | 05.5.2008 | 7:45 am

    Like many we will be riding with you in mind. Wishes from British Columbia for you and your family. Make sure to keep taking those local rides — taking care of the caregiver is essential for everyone.

  56. Comment by Pedaldork | 05.5.2008 | 7:45 am

    Man if prayers were money, you would be a millionaire. As with all the others, my thoughts and prayers are with Susan, you, and the family. Don’t feel selfish when on the bike. I’m sure Susan understands. It’s truly the way to refocus and regain some strength. God Bless

  57. Comment by mark | 05.5.2008 | 7:49 am

    It would be nice if miracles were like a draw four wild in Uno, and if you had one, you could play that card judiciously throughout your life.

    All I know is that the dealer is merciful, and though we neither know nor understand how the game will turn out, it will, and it will be OK.

  58. Comment by Rob | 05.5.2008 | 7:57 am

    My buddy (Big Boned) was just telling me your story. I caught him reading your blog at work – BUSTED! I sat down at his computer and just wanted to let you know that I’ll be one more praying at 2:01pm. Hang in there.

  59. Comment by RoadRage | 05.5.2008 | 8:06 am

    Apparently crying is for typing too…

    Add another 2:01 to the prayers. Great idea BB.

  60. Comment by phaty | 05.5.2008 | 8:13 am

    The internet has so many downsides and stupid faces, but here we are all together, all over the world crying for and with someone we never met.
    I honestly can’t say how much longer I can stand to read the blog. Most likely I will stick with it because it feels like we all should walk this way together.
    I just wanted to encourage you to keep your feelings open in public, I think if nothing else it will make a lot of us out there realize how good life is and how useless some fights and worries are!

    “Nothing is worth more than this day. You cannot relive yesterday. Tomorrow is still beyond your reach” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

    phaty – the German one that is …

  61. Comment by db | 05.5.2008 | 8:16 am

    Wow, I leave for a week, and … wow. After reading the last few posts, I’m tearing up. And I need to go hug my wife. Hang in there.

  62. Comment by Di | 05.5.2008 | 8:19 am

    “In fact, I wasn’t thinking at all.”

    This is what I find remarkable about mountain biking. The harder I ride, the crazier the terrain I seek out, the more blank my mind gets, and I like that feeling. It is truly meditation in the sense that meditation is for clearing your mind. I can’t achieve that when I’m not mountain biking.

    I just read your last post and it was nice seeing a picture of Susan smiling (I’ve never seen her picture – don’t know if you’ve posted it before – new reader). Strangely, I met some cancer patients who were more at peace than their families. I’m not sure what Susan is thinking, and I’ve never, ever been in her place, but I think about my mortality a lot, and I’m scared for her.

    I hope the medical community can bring her comfort over the coming months. Reading the post about her radiation treatment and your coping made me cry, not because of her cancer, but because of the love her family has for her. It is incredible. She is very fortunate to have you *and* your singlespeed.

    Best wishes and prayers for peace.

  63. Comment by Mauricio | 05.5.2008 | 8:24 am

    keep riding, it helps
    best of wishes for you and her

  64. Comment by Denise | 05.5.2008 | 8:24 am

    I am setting the alarm on my phone for 2:01pm….. for as many days as it will allow! The power of prayer is amazing and with this dedicated bunch forming the chain there will be prayers too numerous to count being said for Susan, you and the kids!

  65. Comment by bikemike | 05.5.2008 | 8:25 am

    2:01 it is.

  66. Comment by kawika | 05.5.2008 | 8:47 am

    it’s hard to know what to say, i remember my mom’s passing, and all of the patients whom i have worked with, particularly their families at times like this . . . there is nothing right to say, other than prayers, and to take care of yourself and your family at the same time that you take care of susan, and that the miracle is every day that you are able to spend together, no matter how difficult.

  67. Comment by Greg Longson | 05.5.2008 | 8:49 am

    From a fellow fatty cyclist! I was recently turned on to your web site and thought I would write. I love to ride although my time on my bike these days has greatly diminished and my weight increased due to similar circumstances as yours. Two years ago my wife was diagnosed with a brain tumor following the birth of our second son. She was an incredible athelete, wife and mother and fought a valiant battle against this disease. She passed away on November 19th leaving me with two young boys to raise. I too find solace on my bike although with my boys being only 2 & 4 my time is limited. It is vital to remember to take the time to take care of yourself both mentally and phyiscally. If you ever want to talk or ride or both please let me know? We are just in Park City! Our thoughts and prayers are with you! Greg

  68. Comment by KanyonKris | 05.5.2008 | 8:54 am

    Bicycle therapy. I rode Corner Canyon Friday after work (and after reading your post) – I had some angst going. I rode more aggressively and the required focus helped clear my mind. Use as needed to relieve symptoms.

    In my opinion, please don’t worry about selling stuff to raising money for Italy or whatever. I’d rather just give you money and save you the hassle of selling stuff so you can spend more time with your family.

  69. Comment by VA Biker | 05.5.2008 | 9:17 am


    About traveling to Italy. If you think it could be in the cards for you and Susan, just let us know. I’m sure there are a ton of people who would be more than willing to make a monetary donation for your trip.

    I’ll bet this group of blog fans could have you well-situated for a trip in no time.

    (When I ordered my original orange FC jersey and it arrived, I thought I should send the postage money back to you for your trip. That’s the LEAST I could do.)

  70. Comment by Minx | 05.5.2008 | 9:24 am

    2.01pm Greenwich Mean Time. All set.

  71. Comment by KT | 05.5.2008 | 9:27 am

    Fatty, I can’t say it any better than everyone else already has here…. but wanted to join in and tell you that we’re here for you and Susan.

    Setting an alarm for 2:01pm Pacific…

    PS. PhillyJen, you said exactly what I was thinking. Bravo.

  72. Comment by Sam | 05.5.2008 | 9:44 am

    Speechless. Praying.

  73. Comment by Tina C | 05.5.2008 | 9:54 am

    It sounds like you did just what you needed to do. You have kept it together to be strong for Susan and your kiddos, but even you need to allow yourself to grieve. I’m glad you had that time for yourself.

  74. Comment by Lorachristine | 05.5.2008 | 9:56 am

    Yes crying does make breathing harder — wayyyyy much harder! Riding my bike helped me so much mentally when my Mom was fighting for her life with brain cancer. I’m so glad to hear that you’re not holding back with your emotions especially when you’re by yourself. That is healthy.

  75. Comment by rachel | 05.5.2008 | 9:57 am

    You know, if you can think of anything in the world you or Susan need or want (that we can give you), all you have to do is say the word. We’d all love to do something for your family.

  76. Comment by Caloi Rider | 05.5.2008 | 9:59 am

    I remember reading the story about you finishing the last 25 miles of race with a busted-off seat and thinking you were superhuman, Elden.

    Now I know it.

    My best and my prayers to you and Susan.

  77. Comment by Clydesteve | 05.5.2008 | 10:28 am

    Big Boned: Great idea! 2:01pm US PDT it is. (Well, 14:01, military style time on my watch, actually.)

    Prayer. For Susan, For Elden. And for their family. For strength. For inner peace. For healing.

    Steve, Brownsville, OR

  78. Comment by eunicesara | 05.5.2008 | 10:33 am

    2:01 EDT

  79. Comment by BamaJim | 05.5.2008 | 10:43 am

    Another praying at 2:01 CDT (along with other times). Programmed into the watch already.


  80. Comment by Mark W | 05.5.2008 | 11:04 am

    I have no words for you Elden, just prayers.

    2:01 pacific time + any time I see a dandelion.

    Mark W in Vancouver BC

  81. Comment by XCTiger | 05.5.2008 | 11:07 am

    I’ve been away from the computer for a few days, and the last entry I read was Friday morning. Your words of “I’m scared” have hung with me all weekend. When I read your latest entries this morning and saw that dreaded prognosis spelled out in black and white, it simply took my breath away. It brought back the memories that I still carry of hearing similar words when my mother-in-law was at the end of her fight 30 years ago, and 10 years ago when my Dad reached the same point.

    All of us will be praying for a miracle to visit your family. Unfortunately sometimes that miracle isn’t the cure that we’d all like. Sometimes the miracle is the peace that comes with the acceptance. The months that followed my Fathers acknowledgement of his limited time have some of the best memories that my wife, kids, and I have of him. By no means is it something I look forward to going through again, but it was an experience I would not have missed for the world.

    I don’t know you or Susan except through this blog. What I can gather from your stories, is that Susan is a remarkable individual, a incredible mother, and an awesome wife. I think that over the coming time she will be teaching you and your children some extraodinary life lessons. I know that you and she are teaching all of us a lesson to not take anything for granted, for nothing can be as fleeting as Love and Life.

    I hope and pray that your family can find peace and be visited by a miracle. May your familty have the strength to face the future, the understanding to to help each other over the rough times, and the Love to carry on in the coming months.

    As my Mother still says, “Take it one day at a time, and when it really gets tough take minute by minute.”

    My Love and Prayers to you all.

  82. Comment by Mark Colburn | 05.5.2008 | 11:23 am

    I’m so sorry to hear what you are going through. I will keep you in my prayers. I wish you all the courage and strength that can be found for you, Susan, and your children.

    While I can’t imagine what you are going through, I do know that you won’t go through it alone.


  83. Comment by Ken | 05.5.2008 | 11:28 am

    You are never alone…we’re all here with you!

  84. Comment by Thud | 05.5.2008 | 11:39 am

    2:01 works for me.

    Fatty, in the depths of the struggle, please remember that you’re not alone. Do what you need to do; we’ll pray, support, and wait…

    Al Malevolent- Dude! You probably shouldn’t drink and post blog commentary at the same time.

  85. Comment by rexinsea | 05.5.2008 | 12:12 pm

    I’m still thinking and praying for you, Susan and the family.

    Your experience is excatly why I enjoy a good mtn bike ride. You just have the be in the moment to get down the single track. Keep doing what you need to do to stay in the moment for Susan and you. We’ll keep praying for you.
    Good luck!

  86. Comment by Gordo | 05.5.2008 | 12:20 pm

    Thoughts and hearts are with you… keep pedaling…

  87. Comment by FLatsMan | 05.5.2008 | 12:24 pm

    I am not a doctor but I am around the medical profession and nurses all the time.

    I am sure your physicians are very good however, have you and Susan explored EVERY possible medical avenue ? The internet offers much advice on patient clinical trial sites and also treatment centers. Just stay away from quacks.

    It ain’t over ’till it’s over keep trying for possible treatments until none remain.

    While there’s life there’s hope.

    Here’s hoping.

  88. Comment by Andy | 05.5.2008 | 12:35 pm

    Fatty, Take the time you need to clear your mind so you can do what is needed with your Family. Be strong and never give up! I will be Praying for you

  89. Comment by notsofasteddie | 05.5.2008 | 12:38 pm

    FC. It’s taken me two days to post a comment.When I realised where your blog was going.I couldn’t read anymore but I had to get back to you.To not do so would have unforgivable.I lost my younger Sister last year,and it’s true.It always happens to the wrong ones!
    Everybody else here has expressed it more eloquently than I probably could.I do know “Sorry” just doesn’t cut it.
    I don’t pray but that sure doesn’t mean that I don’t feel.
    I’m thinking about you and your family Elden..Take care mate

  90. Comment by Sylvan | 05.5.2008 | 1:02 pm

    2:01 Alaska time covered

  91. Comment by Sean | 05.5.2008 | 1:03 pm

    Hi Fatty, I’m new to your blog – and have been following your updates closely…this was a beautiful posting – you are quite brave…keep clearing the energy and riding when you can – I’m sending good thoughts your way, especially when I’m riding…Take care…Sean

  92. Comment by elf040180 | 05.5.2008 | 1:17 pm

    2:01 EST I’m with KanyonKris and VA Biker…

  93. Comment by Noose and Goose | 05.5.2008 | 1:18 pm

    I have come by your blog via a Mad Cow Rmable Blog. My heart goes out to you. I am a 20 year ovarian cancer survivor and my husband always felt guilty leaving me. You might see if someone could come and spend time with your wife. Give her a different face/voice to talk/read/pray with her. You have to take time for yourself – you will do no good to her or your family. I read an earlier blog about 201 prayer time – works for me. Also lit a candle after mass this morning for your family. Miracles do happen. I am one of them.

  94. Comment by Epic Adam | 05.5.2008 | 1:29 pm

    You are being very open and honest with the public. I admire that. Your courage is contagious, and you are not alone in your plight.

    Keep pedaling. Keep pedaling.

  95. Comment by Bonnie | 05.5.2008 | 1:36 pm

    At some point empathy has outweighed my need to be a lurker. You and Susan have been in our family prayers for a long time. Lately you have been in our prayers and a constant in my daily thoughts. I think the world of your whole family. We are constantly petitioning God in your behalf.

  96. Comment by This simple life | 05.5.2008 | 1:50 pm

    I am not a cyclist but I read your blog because… well just because.

    You have had me crying for two days. 2:01 it is everyday. You ride as long and hard as you need to.

  97. Comment by Kingfisher412 | 05.5.2008 | 1:52 pm

    i agree with what everyone is saying about how essential it is for you to get out and ride to keep yourself sane and better able to take care of susan and the kids…i also got to thinking that maybe susan needs a little time to herself too, to work things out in her own mind…maybe i’m way off base but i think that’s what i would want…
    2:01 edt – praying for a miracle

  98. Comment by jenni | 05.5.2008 | 2:35 pm

    I am totally in for 2:01. Fantastic idea.

  99. Comment by Lisa | 05.5.2008 | 3:33 pm

    Fatty, I have been reading your blog for quite some time now and have always been waiting eagerly for updates on your wife. When I read the latest the other day I was very sadened and became quite upset for you and your family.

    I am glad you are able to ride to get a bit of space because you need to do this still and I think your wife would also want you to continue riding.

    Like Jill said the other day in her blog, I don’t “know” you but your blog has had quite an impact on me and I am thinking of you and your family.


  100. Comment by Elizabeth | 05.5.2008 | 3:35 pm

    I do not usually comment on blogs but I have been reading yours faithfully for quite some time now. I am totally floored by this weekend’s developments for Susan and you and I can only say that, well, I really don’t know what to say. I’m so sorry. I couldn’t imagine facing something like that with my own partner.

    I will continue to read your blog regardless of the subject matter. It’s yours and you should write whatever you want or need to write in it…even if that means you don’t write anything for a while.

    Stay strong. You’ll be on my heart.

  101. Comment by Jill | 05.5.2008 | 3:48 pm

    Elden and Susan,

    Still thinking about you. Remember we’re with you on the big climbs ahead.

  102. Comment by bikesgonewild | 05.5.2008 | 4:36 pm

    …dunno if you even wanna bother reading this far down the list but thats not the point…

    …saturday was my 59th birthday & rather than get caught up in my own little world, i went out on the cross bike & carried thoughts of you & susan along w/ my friend spencer/sorelegs & his wife, sarah (think yer familiar w/ spencer’s case)…

    …every time i started to hurt (frequently) or feel the self-whine come on, i told myself i didn’t need the luxury of that & i dug deeper within to send love & healing energy to all you folks…

    …i only wish all the collective spirit displayed at this site could create a miracle but i know none of us will stop trying or believing…

  103. Comment by Fan of Susan | 05.5.2008 | 4:40 pm

    Elden – Months ago I was lured from my lurking by one of your posts about Susan. I was awed by her strength and so latched onto “Fan of Susan” as my commenting name. Seeing her amazing smile while you took her picture on such an incredibly difficult, dark day leaves me even more awed. I am unspeakably sorry to hear what she, you and your children are going through. I missed 2:01 today but am all in tomorrow. I think all of us who read this blog would do anything we could to try to create a miracle for Susan.

  104. Comment by El Animal | 05.5.2008 | 4:58 pm

    I’m in at 2:01.

  105. Comment by Wayne | 05.5.2008 | 5:27 pm


  106. Comment by AZ XC | 05.5.2008 | 6:03 pm

    My husband is a fan of your blog, and told me about it…I am hooked. We will pray for a miracle. May you and your children feel peace and comfort along with your sweet wife Susan.

  107. Comment by Don | 05.5.2008 | 6:30 pm

    I’m going to have to go back and read these here, and apologize if I duplicate any priors. Odds are pretty good I will. My humble opinion is that you need some time to get out and break your butt riding. You need to get the sadness, aggression, whatever it is you are feeling, and get it out. If you let it build up the quality of the time you spend with Susan could be harmed. I would have to guess, based on what you’ve said in the past, that Susan is going to be the first person to understand that you need to clear out the old head and get it back on straight.
    Continuous Love and Prayers coming your way from Cleveland!

  108. Comment by Don | 05.5.2008 | 6:33 pm

    OH! By the way… 2:01 And every night!

  109. Comment by Dobovedo | 05.5.2008 | 8:13 pm

    Another vote for keeping that extra ride time in perspective.

    You said you felt… clear, and clear is good enough right now. The ride helped you deal with your emotions and gave you an outlet, to get a release. If that allows you to spend better QUALITY time with Susan, then it’s a GOOD thing.

  110. Comment by aBridge | 05.5.2008 | 9:12 pm

    Eldon, your time on your wheels buys you the emotional support you need for Susan and your kids. You have hard decisions coming now that will become less pleasant and more frequent. Take the best path you can. Talk to your kids. Listen to everyone.

    Know we care, desperately, can only watch, but we can pray for all of you.

  111. Comment by sk8ermom3 | 05.6.2008 | 3:37 am

    2:01pm Northern New York covered, every day.

  112. Comment by Big Boned | 05.6.2008 | 4:48 am

    I’m encouraged at the number of you that are setting alarms for 2:01pm! Miracles do happen. Keep praying! I thought Clydesteve above was spot on:
    “Prayer. For Susan, For Elden. And for their family. For strength. For inner peace. For healing.”

  113. Comment by Nobby | 05.6.2008 | 11:43 am

    Heard about your blog on here in the UK.

    I can only echo what has been said by many others but would also like to say that you an your family are an inspiration and my thoughts are with you.

  114. Comment by Mary | 05.6.2008 | 12:38 pm

    Love certainly impelled me to write an invitation to contact a Christian Science practitioner, together, right away. This conversation could be the most important one you could have. 617-450-2000 (M-F 8-5 Eastern) Thinking of you with all the love a heart can hold…

  115. Comment by Bernadette | 05.6.2008 | 5:39 pm

    You don’t know me — I’ve followed your blog for about a year now. And I am so, so sorry for Susan, and for you, and your family. I’m praying for you all. God bless you all and give you strength.


  116. Comment by Dre | 05.7.2008 | 3:54 am

    Words can’t explain how I feel for you both. We’ve never met but I am a young married man with children of my own and struggle with my regular life. YOU ARE AN AMAZINGLY STRONG INDIVIDUAL and an inspiration to normal young men like me. I am in awe of you and will continue to pray for the best for your entire family. God bless you and keep you all safe. Your distant mentee.

  117. Comment by JenCozz | 05.7.2008 | 6:38 am

    Thinking of you and your family. Take care.

  118. Comment by Makita | 05.7.2008 | 7:15 am

    Keep pedaling. Keep climbing. Build strength.

  119. Comment by Badder | 05.7.2008 | 8:12 am

    I’ve been travelling and just caught up with the news about Susan.

    My prayers are with you both and ofcourse your children. You’re the anchor your family will need to get them through this and you need to take make sure you are in the best mental shape possible. Make the most of the moments you have on your bike.

    god bless


  120. Comment by kathy | 05.10.2008 | 5:52 am

    I have read all of these posts… so it’s all been said for me… I too have been where you are….. what I know is that you will prevail even when you don’t want to… so let people help when you need them, and stay quiet when you need to… your greatest assest is those who love you and yours, let them love you now.


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