$37,500?! Fat Cyclist Readers Are The BEST

06.23.2008 | 11:41 am

I’ve got tons to talk about today — the Triathalon and the Raffle — and a surprisingly small amount of time to write. Susan and I are going to be busy with doctors today. I’ll explain tomorrow, when I know more.

For right now, let’s talk about the results of the raffle. Because it’s pretty incredibly exciting stuff.

Just over a week ago, I announced that Ibis, in partnership with Shimano, was donating a dream bike: An Ibis Silk SL, complete with Dura-Ace components and Dura-Ace SL wheels. Like this, but with Dura-Ace Wheels:

Oh, mercy. That is one sexy bike.

Anyway, we raffled the Silk SL off at $5.00 a ticket, with all proceeds going directly to the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

And Fat Cyclist readers showed me exactly what generosity looks like.

In the course of nine days, here’s what happened. 1234 different people donated money, from $5.00 all the way up to $500. And the raffle earned $37,500. Yes, you raised $37,500 toward fighting cancer.

That’s about three times as much as I predicted we’d raise when I asked Ibis to donate this bike.

I Can’t Believe that I Of All People Wound Up Winning the Bike
Like many of you, I put some money into the raffle. Of course, I never expected to win, since I rarely win anything, and have never before won a major prize in a raffle that I myself put on.

Until now, of course.

Imagine my surprise to find that I drew my own number when I did the raffle. “Well, that’s unexpected,” I said to myself. But I was sure my readers would understand and believe that I was being totally honest about the drawing and that it just kind of worked out that way.

I kid, I kid. I didn’t win the bike. I wonder what I would have done if I had drawn my number, though.

OK, let’s talk about who really won the Silk SL.

Meet Matt
Last Friday afternoon, Matt of Seattle, Washington, donated $100 in the raffle. He says, “I never expected to win anything, I just had some extra laying around and figured LAF could find a good way to use it. I know they do good things across the board.”

A good attitude, to be sure. And since donating at that time got him tickets 7223 – 7242, his good attitude paid off in a huge way: the winning ticket number was #7232, smack dab in the middle of his set of tickets.

Here’s a little from Matt’s email, when he found out he had won.

Wow seriously? I really won the Ibis dream bike? Wow, super damn cool.

I live in Seattle and been a proud Fat Cyclist for the last 2 years (6′ 2, 185); I proudly wear ‘07 and ‘08 pink lemonade jerseys and have a good, but ever decreasing number of pink socks, the dryer eats them.

I rode the Tour de Blast (Mt. St. Helens) this weekend in my pink jersey, on the same day as your “Triathalon.” A picture at the top with St Helens would have been included, but the camera is missing in the post camping mess. Here is one from this summer.


The Ibis will be an excellent weapon of choice for the Death Ride and RAMROD this year.

Every time I pull my fatcyclist jersey on for a group ride I get comments, be it a ‘go fatty’ often a ‘win susan’ one of my favorites being ‘f___ cancer.’ When I get these I have a friend I didn’t know before. In a weird way you have introduced me to some really good people. Thank you.


Matt seems like a great guy; I’m excited he’s getting this bike.

Thank You
I’m the kind of person who starts feeling anxious if I’m not accomplishing something, and so cancer is an especially demoralizing disease, because a lot of the time there’s simply nothing I can do to help Susan.

So, apart from the good this money will do for those either are fighting or will have to fight cancer, working with Ibis and Shimano and BikeMike and all of you to raise some money to fight cancer has been very good for me.

Thank you.

PS: Matt has a blog of his own and talks about winning the Ibis here.

PPS: Chuck Ibis has a post about the raffle in his not-a-blog here.

PPPS: Tomorrow I will talk about the Triathalon, but let me whet your appetite with this series of photos of BotchedExperiment and his six-year-old daughter, as they take the plunge at the sliding rock (photos courtesy of Sue Richardson Photography):







Look at Botched’s glasses. Yeah, those are gone forever.

I just hope that little girl escaped from that scary man.


I Suppose I Should Probably Post Details on the Triathalon Before the Event Actually Occurs

06.19.2008 | 12:59 pm

Here’s a little secret you may have figured out about me by now: I am terrible at organizing events. Really, I mean it, with no hyperbole at all: I am awful at putting together parties.

And so, as you’d expect, every time somebody asks me about how planning and preparing for the "Triathalon" is coming, I change the subject as quickly as possible.

See, my problem is that I don’t understand what there is to prepare for. It’s just a ride with friends — more friends than usual, sure — followed by some sliding down the Sliding Rock, and then everyone comes over to my house for brats.

The only thing I have to plan for, as far as I can tell, is making sure there are plenty of brats. And since it’s no more difficult to make 50 brats than it is to make 5, I don’t see the problem.

When I tell people this, it sounds perfectly reasonable to me. But then the people I explain it to shake their head and slowly walk away.

There. I think I’ve lowered your expectations sufficiently. So now let’s get started with the details of where we’re going to meet, when, and what we’re going to do.

First, I Need To Know That You’re Coming
My greatest fear with the Triathalon is that many, many more people are going to show up than I expect. My second greatest fear is that many, many fewer people are going to show up than I expect. So, if you’re coming — even if we’re best friends in the world and there’s no way I don’t know that you’re coming, or even if you sent me an email a couple of months ago saying you’re coming — please send me an email with Triathalon as the subject line, and tell me how many people are coming in your crew.

A few of you have asked whether it’s OK if your kids come. Well, we have a really great swingset and a reasonably safe trampoline in the backyard, so sure. Bring the kids. But they remain your responsibility even when they’re at my house, OK?

Where and When
OK, first off, the easy part: When. We’re meeting June 21 (Summer Solstice!), 10:30 AM.

The "where" is not quite as simple. Have I mentioned before that my house is in a very small cul-de-sac? It is. And there’s not a bunch of parking available at my house. So you’re not going to park there.

Instead, you’re going to park here:

View Larger Map

That’s 890 N Main St, Alpine UT 84004. It’s a church, on the right side of the road.

What We’re Going to Do
And now, the order of festivities, according to the Very Rigorous Timeline which I am going to make up right this instant.

  • Before you arrive: Complete all necessary Triathalon Body Markings you may care to give yourself. For example, on one calf you may wish to give yourself a race number. I recommend choosing your favorite number as your race number. On the other calf you may wish to write your first name. This will make it very easy for us all to call each other by each other’s names, since all you’ll have to do to learn someone’s name is walk around behind that person and look at his or her calf. This is very inconspicuous.
  • 10:30: Arrive at church parking lot, ready to ride. Chances are the church will be locked, so don’t count on getting water or having a place to change. In other words, arrive ready to ride.
  • 10:35: We’ll separate into different riding groups, depending on how much riding you want to do. There will be four categories:
    • The "I Don’t Like Mountain Biking" Category: This group will ride on the road — with a short stretch of dirt road and gravel — straight to the sliding rock. Ride time should be about half an hour or less.
    • The "I’m Up For a Good Ride, But Let’s Not Be Ridiculous" Group: This group will ride up the South Hogg’s Hollow climb, then down the chute over to the sliding rock. The chute is technical and steep in parts, so don’t be a fool: walk it when you should. Ride time will be about an hour to 90 minutes.
    • The Extra Crispy Group: If you’re up for some extra climbing in order to do a really fun descent, this group will climb the South Hogg and then go up and down Jacob’s Ladder — a tricky and treacherous descent that I love very very much — before circling back round and coming down the chute and over to the sliding rock. Ride time should be about 90 minutes to 2 hours.
    • The Everything and a Bag of Chips Group: This group will also do the Hogg climb, followed by the Jacob’s Ladder climb / descent, but then it will go down Ghost Falls, climb back up Clark’s, then down the chute to the sliding rock. Ride time should be about 2 – 2.5 hours. I admit to wanting to be the person who leads this group.
  • 11 – Whenever: Sliding Rock! Dug’s wife and Rick Sunderlage’s wife (not his real wife) will be the judges. Their decisions are final and not subject to appeal. Dug has promised to demonstrate his famous head-first sliding rock technique, which I have never been brave enough to try.
  • After Sliding Rock: After you’ve had enough of the Sliding Rock (most people find that doing it two or three times is sufficient), you’ll ride your bike back down to the church parking lot, where you’ll change into something less wet and stinky. Then you’ll ride your bike over to my house. To get to my house, just head South on main street for .2 miles, turn left onto Pioneer Road, go on Pioneer Road for a couple blocks ’til it comes to a T at Grove, turn left, go a couple blocks, and then turn left into Quincy Court. My house is the second one on the right.
  • Brats: Really, the ride is just an excuse to get us all together and eat some brats.

More About Food
As you’ve no doubt noticed by now, I’m keeping this simple. That’s because it’s not really a sporting event. It’s a group ride with free food afterward, centered around a big fundraiser for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

So, here’s what’s going to be on the menu:

  • Brats: Fish, the guy who made brats for everyone last year at Leadville, is going to be in charge of making the brats at the Triathalon. You people do not know how lucky you are.
  • Bread: Kenny’s bringing homemade bread to go with the brats. If you’re a vegetarian, you’ll still be happy you came, just because Kenny’s bread is so good.
  • Potato Salad: Just in case anyone wants to get salmonella poisoning.
  • Fruit / Vegetable Plate: Whatever’s cheap. I recently got a killer deal on a bunch of tomatoes, for example. Kind of a black market deal. Not sure why the price was so good.
  • Water: Alpine’s one of those places where you can drink right out of the tap. But I’ll also have bottled water on hand for you snobby types.
  • Diet Coke with Lime: Personally, I never drink anything else.

And that’s pretty much it.

Stuff to Bring
What should you bring? Well, not much, really. But you might like to have some of the following:

  • A campchair to sit on if you don’t like sitting on grass (though I personally plan to sit on the grass).
  • Something to drink if you don’t like water or Diet Coke with Lime. But no alcoholic beverages. The Fatty Household is an alcohol-free establishment (except for the beer I’m boiling the brats in).

There aren’t many, but I’m ferociously serious about the ones I’ve got:

  • Don’t make a mess: We’re all friends, right? Please don’t leave my backyard trashed when you go.
  • Be responsible. If you get hurt, it’s your fault and nobody else’s.
  • Take care of each other. If somebody else gets hurt, drop whatever you’re doing and help.
  • Keep it light. For a bunch of you, this is going to be either your first time meeting Susan or your first time seeing her in quite a while. Don’t make her answer how she’s doing a mazillion times, especially since we really don’t know right now. We’ll find out Monday. So don’t start talking about cancer treatment or the person you know who got over cancer by smelling limburger cheese thrice daily. I recommend talking to her about making jewelry, about the Lord of the Rings, and about anything that Joss Whedon has ever done. And about what a wonderful husband I must be. That’s a really good topic, too.

The Drawing
I’ll be giving a few things away while we’re eating brats, but the drawing for the Ibis Silk SL (and the other cool prizes) will happen Saturday at Midnight (MDT). You can continue buying tickets right until then. I will notify the winner via email, and once I’ve heard back, will announce the winner on my blog.

This is going to be fun.

I hope.

3 Good Things

06.17.2008 | 8:33 am

A few really good things have happened in the past few days. I’ve been sitting at my keyboard for five minutes (the absolute maximum amount of time I ever spend thinking about what I’m going to say here) trying to find a common thread between them.

But there isn’t a common thread. So I’m just going to throw them out there.

Is This Some Kind of Bike-Friendly Alternate Universe?
Suppose you’ve been on your road bike for about an hour, climbing. And climbing. And climbing. Riding up American Fork Canyon.

Finally, you reach the summit. You’ve earned the descent. And in the case of American Fork Canyon, it’s quite a descent you’ve earned. Because, as I have learned, American Fork Canyon has been specially designed to be exactly curvy and steep enough to be thrilling, yet open and straight enough to require only infrequent braking.

And once you get past Pine Hollow, no more braking is required for the rest of the ride. You’ve got a what I consider to be the ultimate working downhill in front of you. [Note: a "working downhill" is a downhill that is gradual enough that you can still pedal.]

This is really my favorite road descent in the world. It’s perfect.

Anyway, almost as soon as you begin the descent, you find yourself behind a slow truck, pulling a trailer. You groan in frustration, because this road is narrow and curvy enough that passing opportunities are rare. Your joyful flight has been converted into a slow and loud session of downhill brake-riding.

Except…it hasn’t.

The guy in the truck notices you in the rear-view mirror, and — perhaps because he rides? — immediately pulls over so you can get by.

You zoom by and wave. Your faith in humanity is bolstered.

Two minutes later, however, it gets worse. You’ve caught up behind another truck, and this one is already behind a minivan. Your shoulders droop, because you know that it’s practically impossible to pass two vehicles like this.

Except…it isn’t.

Magically, the minivan and truck pull over to the side of the road together, as if they’ve agreed that on a day like this, a road cyclist clearly cannot be denied.

And then you catch a motorcycle. It occurs to you that on this road, in this direction, nothing is as fast as a road bike.

The motorcycle edges over to the right side of the road, the rider nodding as you ride by.

And then the road’s clear the rest of the way down.

With a tailwind.

Next Steps for Susan
Susan’s done with radiation now, which, according to our old oncologist, was pretty much the end of the road for her, treatment-wise.

So yesterday, Susan and I spent a long, emotionally draining day at a new oncologist, one who will take our calls and keep looking for ways for us to fight.

The upshot is that for the rest of the week Susan’s going to be taking tests, and then next week the oncologist will recommend a course of action for fighting this cancer.

We don’t know what that course of action will be yet, but we do have a firm assurance that there will be a course of action.

We don’t expect things to be easy. But I much prefer a difficult course of action to no course of action at all.

Sometimes a hard day can also be a good day, relatively speaking.

More Raffle Goodness
Just in case you haven’t noticed, Ibis Cycles and I have partnered to raffle off an incredible dream bike: The Ibis Silk SL. You can read the details in my Friday post, but take a gander at what you’ll be riding:


I’ve gotta say, though, that I’m becoming increasingly partial to the British Racing Green frame color:


The color choice is up to you.

There’s something you might’ve missed, however. If you haven’t gone back and read the changes I made to the post on Friday afternoon, you won’t have caught the exciting update: The Silk SL will be outfitted with the Dura-Ace group, and Dura-Ace SL wheels.


I tell you what: If I ever meet Mr. Shimano, I am going to give him a hug.

Same goes for Chuck Ibis.

And you know what? That bike isn’t the only thing we’re giving away in this Triathalon-related raffle this Saturday. You’re also automatically entered to win:

  • A Gary Fisher Rig. It’s a size Large, lovingly used, 2007 model. Donated privately and anonymously by a really good guy. I rode a Rig most of all last season, and I loved it.
  • Several Boomerangs. Yeah, I’m totally serious. A Fat Cyclist reader owns a boomerang company. A few of the boomerangs have even had “WIN Susan” airbrushed on to them. I may keep one of these for myself.
  • Twin Six Hotness. My good friends at Twin Six are donating several jerseys, t-thirts, bottles, and other awesomeness.
  • Gary Fisher Apparel. In spite of the fact that I have not yet performed any of the tasks he has assigned me, Travis Ott is sending over several t-shirts and jerseys to be given away.
  • Used copies of The Flying Dutchman and Breaking Away. Yeah, I saved the best for last. Ha.

So, if you haven’t yet signed up for the raffle, you’d better get moving. You can’t win unless you enter. Although Dug’s been trying to convince me otherwise.

And even if you don’t win, you’re still donating to a great cause.

Click here for details and to donate.

Fight Cancer, Win a Dream Bike

06.12.2008 | 11:11 pm

UPDATE: New information below about the components for this bike. Hint: You are going to drool all over your keyboard.

I’ve been busting at the seams for about two days, wanting to talk about this, but didn’t want to mention it until it was locked down, because — well, it’s just too awesome to be true.

But it is true. Chuck himself told me it’s true. So let me say it right here, in bold and italics:

Ibis has donated a brand-spanking new SilkSL as the grand prize for the Fatty’s Triathalon Raffle.

Yeah, seriously. A brand-new carbon dream bike, made by the original bad-boy manufacturers of top-end bikes.



And let me be clear on this. I’m not saying this is a dream bike because Ibis is donating it. I’m saying it’s a dream bike because I know firsthand. Yes, last year I sold a perfectly nice top-end road bike so I could get a bike very much like this one (except yours will be cooler, because it’s newer and stiffer and lighter and has an awesome paint job), because I wanted an Ibis more. Much, much more.

And now you can win one, at the same time you fight cancer. I’d call it win-win, but that’s not adequate for how awesome this is. It’s more like WIN-WIN, cubed.

UPDATE: Dura-Ace Heaven
As if this bike weren’t already sexy enough, we’ve just heard back from the good folks at Shimano, and you are going to drop your jaw. This bike’s going to be sporting a Dura-Ace group, as well as Dura-Ace wheels.

This bike’s going to weigh in at a maximum of around 15.0lbs. Quite probably less. And it would retail for about $5000. Or more.

We aren’t just kidding about this thing being a dream bike, kiddies.

In fact, screw all of you. I’m keeping this bike for myself

OK, not really, but the temptation’s definitely there, you know?

Anyway, this is no longer a dream bike. It’s what dream bikes dream about growing up to be.

How You Can Make Everyone You Know Insanely Jealous Forever
Picture this for a moment. You’re riding your sexy new red SilkSL for the first time at the local group ride. Everyone wants to know how much you paid for it. “Well, technically, I got it for free,” you confess. “Although I did also donate some money to the Lance Armstrong Foundation to fight cancer.”

“How,” everyone asks, even as they fight to control their envy, “Did this person become simultaneously so lucky and philanthropic?”

But they will never find out, because you have ridden off the front on a solo attack that nobody dares challenge. Not when you’re on this bike.

How to Enter
OK, here’s how you can get a shot at winning the SilkSL: Just click here to donate some money to Mike’s LiveStrong Challenge effort (http://bayarea08.livestrong.org/mike). For every $5.00 you donate, we record your name on our very fancy Virtual Raffle Ticket Spreadsheet.

Seriously, that’s all there is to it. Just make a donation here in any multiple of $5.00 (such as $5.00, $25.00, $50.00, or $100), and you get a raffle ticket for each $5.00 you donate.

You’re fighting cancer and getting a shot at an exquisite bike. The only way it could be better would be if it were personally delivered by Mr. Chuck Ibis himself.

Which he has declined to do. Sorry, you can’t have everything.

When’s the Drawing?
We do the drawing for the SilkSL the evening of Saturday, June 21, after the Triathalon festivities have concluded. I’ll email the winner and announce it on my blog. Ibis will ship the bike.

Can I Win If I’m Not In the US?
As long as it’s not illegal in your country for you to do this kind of thing and you’re willing to cover customs charges yourself, sure. We’ll even suck it up and pay the extra shipping. Because we’re like that.

Do I Have to Be Present to Win?
Heck, no.

More Details About Fatty’s Triathalon
Of course, the raffle is just one part of Fatty’s Triathalon, to be held Saturday, June 21. I’ll be talking more about it this week, but here are some details:

  • Time: Saturday, June 21, 10:00am ’til  3:00pm.
  • Where: Alpine UT. We’ll start at my house or somewhere else, depending on what the parking situation looks like.
  • Events: Unlike an ordinary, awful triathlon, Fatty’s Triathalon will consist of a mountain biking leg, a watersliding leg, and a bratwurst-eating leg. For those of you who don’t know what a “watersliding leg” could possibly mean, I have asked my neighbor Gary to demonstrate:

    I predict this will be the best Triathalon ever.

  • Prizes: The SilkSL isn’t the only thing your ticket might win you. There will be another bike — a used Gary Fisher Rig, size Large, several boomerangs, at least 20 Fat Cyclist T-Shirts, and more, more, more. Winning one of these smaller prizes doesn’t remove you from the pot for the big prize, though. Because that sucks when that happens.
  • Rock Band: No, we won’t have a live band. But I may fire up the Playstation and we can play Rock Band. My rendition of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” is going to Blow. Your. Mind.

I need to start getting a hard count of how many people are going to be at the Triathalon. Send me an email with the subject “Triathalon” and tell me how many of you are coming.

Go Donate Now
On a more serious note, I’m not just getting behind the Lance Armstrong Foundation because Lance is a cyclist. I’m getting behind the LAF because this foundation has done my wife and me a lot of good while she’s battling cancer. They’re providing practical, meaningful help for thousands of people every day, and that means a lot to me. And to Chuck Ibis.

Now go win yerself a bike.

PS: Those of you who bought raffle tickets before the bike was part of the deal, you’re automatically entered in the raffle for the bike. Way to be early adopters.


06.12.2008 | 11:11 am


Originally uploaded by Fat Cyclist.

I was planning to spend my lunch hour writing about some exciying
developments and details for next weekend’s Triathalon.

But my computer is dead.

So for now please hold a vigorous debate amongst yourselves which is
the very best kind of pie.

I’ll post about the Triathalon tonight. You won’t want to miss it.

This concludes the longest thing I have ever written on my iPhone. My
thumbs are exhausted.

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