Winners of the “Design Kenny’s Tattoo” Photoshop Contest

08.26.2008 | 8:26 am

Last week’s “Design Kenny’s Tattoo” Photoshop contest turned out great. Of course, the original intent — to help Kenny find a tattoo that he’d really like to have — went almost entirely ignored, but what do you expect when you ask for peoples’ opinions on a overweight cycling comedy blog?

So, here are some of my favorites.

Tyler: Helmet Tattoo
The award for best Photoshopping using MSPaint goes to Tyler, as does the award for most amazingly ridiculous idea. Tyler gets a tube of DZNuts as thanks for this inspired silliness.


Spiff: Cleat Tattoo
Spiff either didn’t have a photo editing program or just couldn’t be bothered, but he still had a terrific idea:

How ’bout Kenny gets the bottom of his feet tattooed with the image of eggbeater/candy cleats?

This tattoo’s great, because hardly anyone would ever see it. Which, now that I think of it, kind of defeats the whole purpose of getting a tattoo. I’m still gonna give Spiff a tube of DZNuts for his idea.

Kanyon Kris: Permanent Dog Tag
Kanyon Kris gets the award for most practical and useful idea, as well as for the nerdiest. Why not tattoo on your contact information, allergies, and other important medical info? ‘Course, you’ve got to go get some new work done anytime you change your address or phone number, but that shouldn’t be a problem. Kris, swing by my house and pick up your free box of Jelly Belly Sports Beans anytime (see how I just cleverly avoided having to pay postage on the heaviest prize in the list? I’m clever, aren’t I?).

200808260625.jpg 200808260625.jpg

Bitter (formerly known as Lissee): Saggy Baggy Kenny With a Chainring
Bitter gets the prize for taking me very literally. I posited that it would be funny to have a Photoshop of Kenny as an overweight old guy, and Bitter delivered, tossing in the now-ovalized chainring tattoo as a bonus.

I think there’s an important lesson to be learned here by any tattoo-getters: remember to account for droopage.

Bitter gets a DZNuts “Lube ‘em Or Lose ‘Em” t-shirt as his prize. You know, to cover up with.


NCCyclist4Fun: This Space for Rent
I think the idea of using your tattoos as a billboard is pure genius, and I hereby offer $100 to the first person who actually gets the Fat Cyclist Clydesdale logo as a tattoo. Feel free to use the original orange, or I’ll throw in an extra $50 if you go with pink.

Kudos to NCCyclist4Fun for thinking like a capitalist. You get a tube of DZNuts as your reward.


KeepYerBag: The Recumbent
As the undisputed winner of the “No way would Kenny ever actually get this tattoo, even at gunpoint” award, KeepYerBag gets the Men’s White Stitch Flexit Cap. I only wish I had a bag I could offer him.


Clay: General Brilliance
So there we all were, happily trying to Photoshop rudimentary tattoos onto Kenny, and then Clay swaggered in and mopped the place up with us.

I hardly ever actually laugh out loud when I’m sitting at the computer. But I did when I saw Clay’s “Bikini Sunburn Kenny” Photoshop work.


The whale tail is priceless.


And then, showing a flare for in-jokes, Clay gave Kenny a nice new pair of bibshorts and a Rock Racing tattoo.


Clay gets both a tube of DZNuts and a Lube ‘em or Lose ‘Em t-shirt. I don’t think anyone’s going to dispute that he deserves them.

Winners: email me with your address, and I’ll send your prizes out.

The Grand Prize: Unclaimed
Of course, Kenny was looking for a tattoo he would actually want, so nobody won the grand prize of $25 in photo processing and an autographed 8 x 10 glossy of Kenny sporting his tattoo.

I, however, came pretty darned close. I believe my entry was one of very few semi-serious ones entered.


Kenny likes my idea of a tire tread tattoo, but is thinking of it going up the back of both arms. He submits the following mockup:

my tat.jpg

Kenny says that if someone wants to come up with a more “tribal” tire tread (the pattern Kenny and I used in our images is from a scan of an old Continental Pro 1) pattern he likes, the grand prize offer still stands.

Congrats to the winners, and a big thanks to DZNuts and Jelly Belly Sports Beans for providing the prizes!


Hairpins are Magic

08.25.2008 | 7:12 am

A Note from Fatty:Thanks to everyone who entered the “Design Kenny’s Tattoo” Photoshop contest. Kenny and I will spend some time today reading the 160+ entries and comments and will post awards tonight or tomorrow morning.

A little more than a week ago, Stage 4 of the Tour of Utah was rolling through my neighborhood — almost literally. This is — in my opinion — the most important stage of the tour, because it’s such a big day in the mountains, and rolls through all my backyard climbs.

I packed up the kids, we parked at the top of Suncrest (the second — and easiest — summit of the day), and cheered for each rider as he went by.

It was pretty fun.

A day or so later, Dug sent me a link to Rock Racing’s photo gallery from the day, which included this awesome action sequence of Tyler Hamilton. (Click any of the photos for a larger version on the Rock Racing site.)

First, here’s Tyler as he first goes wide of the hairpin. I love this picture. Tyler’s clearly got his brakes fully locked. It’s too late for those brakes, though; the gravel’s flying. He’s got a foot out, hoping to do a Fred Flintstone stop. Above all, though, I love his “Just Another Crash at the Office” expression.

And here’s Tyler, 0.00001 seconds before touchdown. I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’d be happy to have a crash like this photographed of me if it meant I could have calves that look like that. Those calves look like they were drawn by the guy who draws Spider-man. Also, notice that Tyler’s expression remains unchanged. “Ho hum, another day, another high-speed descending crash.”

Annnnnd…he’s down. On the bright side, at least he’s not still clipped in and thrashing like an upended turtle. That would be embarrassing. Or at least, I think it would be embarrassing, although I have never personally found myself in that kind of situation after crashing. Does anyone else, by the way, think it looks like Tyler’s taking the fall on his elbows and knees on purpose? I wonder if Michael Ball instructed them earlier in the day: “Look, no matter what you do, do not damage the shorts and jerseys. They’re priceless.

No serious harm done. Look at the expression on his face, though. Those are the eyes of a man who has just had a near-death experience.

Bob’s Bane
I like any photo action sequence, but I really like this one. Why? Easy. Because as soon as I saw the first photo, I knew — without any doubt whatsoever — where that crash happened.

It’s an extremely tight, steep, hairpin switchback we call Bob’s Bane, named because Bob similarly turfed it in that hairpin.

But really, pretty much everyone who rides down the American Fork side of the Alpine Loop eventually has a close encounter with that switchback. You’ve just started the descent after miles and miles of climbing. You’ve gone a mile, and the curves have been gentle. The descent has been moderate. You’re just beginning to relax into the speed: in the high 30’s or low 40’s, probably.

And then you come out of a gradual right to see a 170-degree left, steep and unbanked, with a million-zillion skidmarks and a gravel shoulder. The turn whips you around so hard and suddenly that even with hard braking, the centrifugal effect throws you to the outside edge of the turn like you’re the salad in a salad shooter. (Oooh. “Salad shooter.” That’s a not-bad name for a hairpin turn. I’ll have to remember that one.)

Hey, it’s all part of the magic — some good, some dark — of riding a hairpin turn on a bike.

Hairpin Turns on Road Climbs
As freaky and scary (and roadrash-y) as an unexpected downhill hairpin can be, there’s an exquisite counterbalancing magic to encountering a hairpin turn on a road climb.

Tell me if I’m the only one who’s experienced this: You’re on a steep climb, barely turning the cranks. Then you come upon a switchback that looks even steeper than the straightaways it joins up. And yet, somehow, you find yourself accelerating through that turn. Somehow, it’s easier to pedal through it than it should be. It’s like you’re being pulled through the corner. Like the corner has a built-in tailwind.

You’ve felt it too, right?

Many times I’ve wondered why a climbing road hairpin feels like this. Is it the centrifugal effect? If so, I’d like to ride up banked corkscrew climbs from now, please.

Is it just psychological?

Is it something else?

I don’t know. If you know, explain it to me. But there’s something there: the sense of being swung around the switchback, like you’re a bucket on a string.

Hairpins on the Mountain
While a hairpin on a road descent can be terrifying and a hairpin during a road climb can somehow be a respite, a tight hairpin on a mountain bike — a turn with a radius less than the length of your wheelbase — is…complex.

First, you’ve got to shed all your speed. And then you start the turn. Slowly. Smooth if you can, but more likely herky-jerky. If you’re me.

And then there’s the point you hit the apex of the turn. It’s a magic moment. You’re briefly stalled out, and either about to squeak out of the corner and roll out triumphant, or find that your front wheel is at too sharp an angle to the rest of your bike, and fall over on your side (unless you’re lucky enough to clip out in time, in which case I would argue that you weren’t fully committed to the attempt).

Will the magic be light or dark? You won’t know until you know.

When you make it, though — when you slide around a hairpin that you’ve never cleaned, or even one you only clean half the time — you get that wild moment of elation, a moment that can only be described as “magic.”

And that goes double if the guy behind you falls over.

Photoshop Contest: Design Kenny’s Tattoo, Win Cool Stuff

08.21.2008 | 9:17 am

Kenny’s wanted a tattoo for a long time. Like, since he was seven. And now he’s finally worn down his wife; she’s given him the go-ahead.

But important questions remain. What should the tattoo be of? And where should it go?

And that, dear reader, is where you come in.

The First-Ever Fat Cyclist Photoshop Contest
Kenny knows for sure he wants a cycling-related tattoo — what a surprise! — but he honestly doesn’t know what it ought to be, or where it ought to go.

Which seems like a perfect opportunity to do a Photoshop contest.

Here’s how it works. I’ve taken several photos of Kenny, below. Click any of them to go to the high-res original. Then, take it into Photoshop and give Kenny the tattoo you think he ought to have.

Then, after you’ve uploaded your work of art to your online photo-hosting site of choice (not a huge image, please), embed the image in the comments section to this post. The tag should look like this:

[img]url for your image goes here[/img]

Easy, no?

OK, so here are the photos you have to work with. First, the front view:


I’m not entirely certain, but I believe that may have been Kenny’s “Blue Steel” look.

And here’s one if you think he ought to have something on his back:


I’m guessing his legs will be a popular choice:


Or maybe you’ll want to go with a full-body tattoo. In which case, here’s your canvas:


Now, before we get to the part about what you can win, I have a few observations I’d like to make.

  1. The photo shoot was awkward. As I was getting out my camera and Kenny was removing his jersey, a riding buddy — Riley — rolled up. Neither Kenny nor I could imagine ourselves satisfactorily explaining what was going on, so we didn’t. Riley, now you know.
  2. I expect a lot of traffic from this post. It’s always interesting to see what posts generate a lot of traffic. (Last week, for example, was my second-highest week ever, traffic-wise.) I think this post is going to generate a lot of traffic and a lot of downloads and a lot of linkbacks. And I think very little of that traffic is going to have to do with my sparkling prose.
  3. I don’t think Kenny’s wife is going to like this post very much. Sorry, Natalie.

OK. On with the prizes!

Tell ‘Em What They Can Win, Johnny
IMG_1261.JPGI like the prizes I’m giving away almost as much as I like the contest itself. Remember how, a couple weeks ago, I did a review of DZNuts? Well, I was a little worried that I’d get an angry letter back from them.

Well, I got a letter back, all right. The scientist who formulated DZNuts emailed me, saying that he got a good laugh out of the post, told me that Masterwort is the real deal (and sent some complex studies to back him up), and asked if I’d like to give away some tubes of DZNuts, along with some t-shirts, to my readers.

Well, of course I would. So, here’s what they sent me, all of which I’ll be giving away as prizes for great entries in the “Tattoo Kenny” Photoshop contest:

But That’s Not All!
IMG_1263.JPGBack in July, I talked about how much I like Jelly Belly Sports Beans — they’re like eating candy while you’re riding.

OK, let’s be honest — they are eating candy while you ride. But it’s hard to argue with the results: I ate Sports Beans throughout the entirety of the Leadville 100 a couple weeks ago, and had good power the whole day.

Anyway, Jelly Belly sent me a bunch of Sport Beans, most of which I have eaten myself. Sorry, I lack willpower.

However, I have held one box of Sport Beans — containing 24 packets of the Fruit Punch flavor beans. Pink of course: I really like the way Jelly Belly is donating some of the proceeds from this flavor to fight cancer.

So that’s another $24 (retail value) prize. For a total of $182 worth of prizes, so far. I tell you what: they don’t give away prizes like this when you win a Fark Photoshop contest.

Wait! There’s More!
I will for sure give away all of the prizes mentioned above, mainly by inventing categories on the spot for entries I really like — such as a “Best Photoshop of how Kenny will look with his tattoo when he’s 75 years old and has gained 180 pounds” — but there’s one prize that will only be given away under a certain condition.

If you come up with a tattoo Kenny likes enough that he actually decides to get that tattoo (or a tattoo based on your idea), Kenny’s going to give you the following:

  1. $25 of free processing at Kenny’s Photo
  2. A glossy 8 x 10 image of himself, showing off his new tattoo. Autographed.

Kenny isn’t aware that I added that second item to the grand prize, but I figure he’ll go along. What choice does he have?

By the way, I am not excluding myself from this contest, because I think I have a winner of an idea for his tattoo. However, I am excluding myself from any of the prizes.

What If You Don’t Have Photoshop Skillz?
Don’t have or use Photoshop? Use MS Paint. I’m more interested in the idea than the execution. Though I also plan to give away prizes when I see a really well-executed Photoshop.

And if you just don’t want to edit an image but have a great tattoo idea, go ahead and describe it with text in the comments section. You can still win that way, too.

How Long Do You Have?
This contest will run through Monday, at which point the judging begins.

I gotta say, I’m really looking forward to your entries. Get Photoshopping!

My Jealousy Is Now Complete

08.20.2008 | 7:53 am

Some of you will remember Matt, who won the dream bike that Ibis Cycles donated to help raise money for LiveStrong. Well, the bike has arrived, and it’s everything Matt had hoped for and more. Check it out:


Here’s what Matt has to say:

Wow, this is an amazing bike, seriously amazing. I did 330 miles in 3 days with 27,000 feet of climbing. i have nothing but praise for every part of the bike, it fits so well together.

Depending who you asked I finished either 8th or 16th in the Crater Lake Century.

Read more about Matt’s first impressions of the Ibis Silk SL here, and Matt’s first big epic with his Ibis here. I’ve got to say, it really feels like this bike went to the right guy.

Again, a big thanks to Ibis for donating this awesome Silk SL. And an equally big thanks to all of you who bought raffle tickets. You helped out in a big way.

Oh, and as a very cool side-effect of your raising so much money with this raffle: MikeRoadie was one of the very top fundraisers for his LiveStrong Challenge, which means he got to get up on stage and get his photo with Lance.


Yup, that’s a Fat Cyclist T-shirt he’s got on under that blazer.

That yellow dot they’re holding is the “WIN Susan” sign Mike kept on his helmet (and had photographed with many other people) throughout the event. You can see it better here:


Congrats to Mike and Matt, and thanks to everyone for the work you’re doing to fight cancer.

This matters.

Late Christmas Comes Early

08.19.2008 | 11:58 am

One of the really great side effects of having been married for 20 years is that you get to know each other pretty well. You learn what’s important to each other, and what isn’t.

For example, I know that Susan really likes it when I can come up with a Christmas present that surprises her — something she never would have even considered, but turns out she really likes. Like the Kindle.

Susan, on the other hand, knows that I do not care about being surprised with a gift at all. In fact, I love the anticipation of a gift even more if I know what’s in store for me.

And so, last week, when I stumbled across something I immediately realized I desperately wanted — something I knew I must have no matter what — Susan said, "Well, it looks like you’ve figured out what your Christmas present is going to be."

So, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present my Christmas present:


Yes, this is a Gary Fisher Superfly. But take a closer look.

It’s a singlespeed.

That’s right. I’ve got a Superfly SS frameset on order. A carbon fiber 29" singlespeed frameset.

It’s as sexy as it is hard to get. From what I understand, these are not being sold to the public. So how did I get one? Well, frankly, I begged. And now the order’s in (and from what I understand, they’re not doing any more orders. Tick tock, game’s locked). I should get the frameset in January.

It’s enough to make a 29" SS geek swoon, I tell you.

My plan is to make this a light, sexy racing bike, and — by next season — be worthy to ride it. Which is to say, by the time I have this bike built, I am going to be much lighter and faster.

When you’ve got a bike like this, you don’t want to have a paunch resting on your thighs at the starting line. It kind of spoils the effect.

The Other Great Part About This Present
So I know what I’m getting for Christmas very early…but I won’t get it ’til late.

That’s OK, though, because that gives me months and months and months to figure out how I’m going to build this bike up.

I’ve already made some decisions:

  • Wheels: I’m having Mike Curiak build me a set of wheels. All black, but with pink Chris King hubs. It is my hope that some of his endurance mojo and philosophy will osmotically (unsure whether I just made up that word) transfer to me via these wheels. The process of describing to Mike what I want from a wheelset, getting his recommendation, making tweaks, and then finalizing the plan with him has been a pleasure. I hear great things about Mike Curiak’s wheels; I admit I’m nearly as excited to get these as I am for the frame itself.
  • Handlebars: I’m putting on On-One Mary bars. Naturally.
  • Fork: The frameset comes with a Fox G2 RLC 29 suspension fork, but I’ve got an On-One Carbon Fork I’m planning on using, at least whenever my shoulder permits. Yeah, this bike is gonna be kinda light. Excuse me, I seem to be giggling.
  • Saddle: Selle Italia SLR — the saddle that I put on all of my bikes.

But I’ve still got lots of decisions to make. Brakes? Seatpost? Cranks? Pedals? I have months to decide, and I have to say, I love it.

There’s nothing as great as riding a new bike. But waiting for one and planning out how you’re going to build it comes pretty close.

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