Excerpts from the Journal of Dr. Preston Prescott: Part I – Lost Isle Discovered

09.8.2008 | 12:02 pm

24 April 7114

For the thousandth time today, I must ask myself whether this is truly happening to me. Is it really possible that I — an anthropologist on vacation to the Southern Isles — would be blown off course and to an island that has, somehow, been hidden from the world for more than five thousand years?

It cannot be so! And yet, here I am.

Scarcely upon my awakening on the beach — can it be called a beach? It seems harder than most beaches, as if the sand had somehow been petrified into a flat, hard surface — I was met by the natives of this strange isle.

I call them “natives,” for I know not what else to call them. Certainly, “people” does not fit, for while they bear some resemblance to humans, their differences exceed their similarities in many striking ways.

The first thing one notes when seeing these individuals is the size of their heads. Their skulls are enormous, easily exceeding the ordinary girth of a modern human head by 40%. Further, their heads are somewhat pliant, as if made of a porous material intended to cushion and protect.

Of course, these odd skull sizes are even more evident when you consider that these natives are entirely without hair (and this is not merely the case on their heads, but also their legs and arms!).

The lack of extra thickness of the natives’ necks argues for the likelihood that this extra bulk surrounding the brain is quite light. I did not make this connection immediately, however, for the natives — every single one of them — hunches continuously. At first, I thought this was due to the weight of their heads. Instead, their spines are uniformly bent.

But why?

The natives’ odd characteristics are in no way limited to their heads and spines, however. They have no toes at all, but seem to have grown an odd, bony structure, protruding down from the ball of each foot. Their legs are muscular, but I have seen no native ever bend a leg at more than 40-degree angle, and they walk gingerly, tentatively, and without grace.

Their upper bodies are wasted away, with arms that are barely more than vestigial. And yet, they have almost comically large ribcages, as if they each had an extra set of lungs.

They all appear dangerously thin. Perhaps I have happened upon them during a famine?

Of course, I was terrified when confronted by these natives, but I needn’t have been. Not only are they mostly friendly, but they speak a dialect of English. A representative asked me if I needed food. I allowed that I was in fact hungry. He handed me a rectangular, hard piece of breadlike substance (lending credence to my famine theory), a bottle of water, and — along with the others of his tribe — turned and walked awkwardly behind a hut.

Thinking that I would have no trouble whatsoever catching up to such a slow folk, I took my time standing up while trying to eat this bland bar of foodlike substance (eventually, I discarded it). But by the time I got to the hut, the natives were gone.

Who are these strange folk, and what strange environmental pressures have forced these horrible changes upon their bodies?

So many mysteries. I hope to learn more tomorrow.


  1. Comment by dug | 09.8.2008 | 12:10 pm

    you shave your arms?

  2. Comment by BellaCroix | 09.8.2008 | 12:12 pm

    Reminds me of my favorite Sociology study from college, the Nacirema people.

    I can’t wait to read about the historical civil wars your tribe has had with other races with different technologies (and gear ratios).

    Keep it up…

  3. Comment by Jeff | 09.8.2008 | 12:12 pm

    I feel the same way about Power Bars.

  4. Comment by Chad | 09.8.2008 | 12:16 pm

    My attempt to take a break from studying archaeological anthropology by reading a cycling blog has just gone horribly awry.

    Also, podium.

  5. Comment by Don | 09.8.2008 | 12:24 pm

    Between Cyclone Cross going all political on me and now this?! What is the world of cycling blogs coming to, man?! I need a break from my taking a break…

  6. Comment by Lizzylou | 09.8.2008 | 12:25 pm

    dug’s comment was the icing on the cake

  7. Comment by Mike Roadie | 09.8.2008 | 12:26 pm

    What a mystery! And can it be called a mystery??

    PowerBars suck in any civilization!

  8. Comment by getinlost | 09.8.2008 | 12:38 pm

    Are the Nacirema related in any way to the Comeonbacks or Weuns?

    And Doctor, These “people” you describe do they also decorate their naked porous skulls in garish colors?

  9. Comment by KanyonKris | 09.8.2008 | 12:52 pm

    Dr. Preston,

    Your colleagues back in the homeland are most fascinated by your latest communique. We are relieved at your survival, but concerned for your well being among this strange people you have discovered. We have pursued the library, but have found no mention of any similar race, and as such can offer you no guidance. Let the scientific method be your guide.

    We are preparing a ship loaded with instruments and supplies to be launched to your aid as soon as possible, but must admit it may take days to find you. Until then we wish you well and success in your investigation.


    James Jameson, et al
    The Society

  10. Pingback by Excerpts from the Journal of Dr. Preston Prescott: Part I - Lost Isle Discovered | Randomblog blog | 09.8.2008 | 1:00 pm

    [...] Excerpts from the Journal of Dr. Preston Prescott: Part I – Lost Isle Discovered Posted by admin on September 08, 2008 random 24 April 7114 [...]

  11. Comment by Name | 09.8.2008 | 1:01 pm

    What? Science Fiction bike blogging? ???

  12. Comment by graisseux | 09.8.2008 | 1:02 pm

    In other news…


  13. Comment by bikemike | 09.8.2008 | 1:13 pm

    in the words (sounds?) of scoobie doo… hhhuuuhhh?

  14. Comment by one of you | 09.8.2008 | 1:14 pm

    sweet. LANCE!!!

  15. Comment by Uphill Battle | 09.8.2008 | 1:19 pm

    Yes, Dr. Prescott..you have stumbled upon an ancient tribe of cyclists, from which today’s cyclists have devolved. (?) The strange heads you speak of provide protection against impact when crashing. The strange growth from the ball of the foot are cleats, allowing this creature to be fastened to his cycle. As for the upper body, that is atrophy, as even at this early time it was known that the upper body strengthened beyond a certain point would add more weight than was beneficial. And yes, the diet, this is the diet common amongst cyclists from the beginning of time. Not much has changed in that regard.

  16. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 09.8.2008 | 1:26 pm

    I’m on drugs and confused.

  17. Comment by Paul Gutman | 09.8.2008 | 1:39 pm

    As though PowerBars wouldn’t survive the (or three) Apocalypse(s).

  18. Comment by Woody | 09.8.2008 | 1:39 pm

    Dangerously thin??? Did I mis-read the title of this blog???

  19. Comment by Ethan | 09.8.2008 | 1:42 pm

    Alright, Fatty. You’ve listened to too much Rush. Next you’ll have Dr. Prescott being chased around by a Red Barchetta.

  20. Comment by Clydesteve | 09.8.2008 | 1:42 pm

    Fatty, Dug asked a question.

  21. Comment by Boz | 09.8.2008 | 1:43 pm

    Botched – I think both you and Fatty are on the pipe today. I’d join you but I’m too far away.

  22. Comment by KanyonKris | 09.8.2008 | 1:45 pm

    Botched – Get off the drugs. It won’t make this post less confusing, but you’ll feel better about yourself.

  23. Comment by Clydesteve | 09.8.2008 | 1:53 pm

    Obviously cyclists use drugs in copious amounts in 7114. Do they still do the TDF? IS Dick Pound still around?

  24. Comment by KeepYerBag | 09.8.2008 | 2:17 pm

    To the volcano, Dr. Prescott, the volcano! They fear the volcano…run for your life!!!

  25. Comment by Hamish A | 09.8.2008 | 2:27 pm

    And this is a perfect example of why you really do need to write a book :-)

  26. Comment by Di | 09.8.2008 | 2:48 pm

    Mom? Dad? Could this be my home?

    Haha. Ok, I am definitely not dangerously thin and I wear an XS helmet. I am, however, a clutz while walking. Grace is reserved only for the bike.

  27. Comment by Flyin' Ute | 09.8.2008 | 2:51 pm

    Everyone heard Lance Armstrong is racing in the Tour de France next year. If not then now you do.

  28. Comment by stephen | 09.8.2008 | 3:31 pm

    Lance to Astana doesn’t feel right… Lance to Rock Racing! Now that’s the ticket! Although Lance isn’t/wasn’t washed up like some of the pros who are on Rock, it would make the spectacle even more ridiculous. And think! Rock could raise the prices on their discount clothing when all the Lance fan-boys want to ride like Lance.

  29. Comment by Lance A. | 09.8.2008 | 4:14 pm

    I’m doing it so Fatty will have something to write about, because he has obviously reached his peak with this piece.

  30. Comment by Carrie | 09.8.2008 | 4:21 pm

    Look what I just read on MSN.com…I thought it was interesting and so I thought I would share it with you in case you had not read it. Who knows what the truth is??

    He’s back?
    According to a report in VeloNews, Lance Armstrong will come out of retirement next year and will compete in the Tour de France.
    Citing sources close familiar with the situation, the magazine claimed the seven-time yellow jersey winner would join the Astana racing team and compete in five road races, including the Tour de France.
    Armstrong, who turns 37 later this month, would also compete in the Amgen Tour of California, Paris-Nice, the Tour de Georgia and the Dauphine-Libere.
    The sources, who asked to remain anonymous, also said Armstrong would not race for salary or bonuses.
    Armstrong’s manager, Mark Higgins, did not respond to questions.
    If Armstrong does in fact join up with Astana, it would reunite him with former team manager Johan Bruyneel, who helped guide Armstrong’s Motorola and U.S. Postal Service teams to seven consecutive Tour de France wins.
    According to sources, Armstrong would post results for all of his internally tested blood work online in an attempt to prove that he is competing clean.

  31. Comment by MTB W | 09.8.2008 | 4:39 pm

    FC, excellent post! If I wasn’t my own boss, I would fire me for laughing so hard and loudly at work. I wonder – are those hard, breadlike substances from the 21st century? Probably too hard to tell since Powerbars taste the same no matter how long they have been sitting there – nasty!

    On the Lance issue – I bet that after he saw you at the Leadville 100, it fired him up to get back in the game.

  32. Comment by Travis | 09.8.2008 | 5:19 pm

    an excerpt from your book your writing, one presumes… or that you’ve managed to take the tops off Susans child proof medicine containers and had a handfull of the red ones!

  33. Comment by Bjorn 4Lycra | 09.8.2008 | 5:55 pm

    Um …………… ?
    Kanyonkris did you guys catch the library?

  34. Comment by Lizzylou | 09.8.2008 | 6:08 pm

    Just for all of the Lance posts… Astana spokespeople have already denied the rumor.


  35. Comment by Dave | 09.8.2008 | 6:33 pm

    ATTN: Dr. Preston!
    Urgent! If you are given anything called or resembling Assos cream, run away. Run far away!

  36. Comment by sk8ermom3 | 09.8.2008 | 6:40 pm

    Is this from Susan’s book? I looked all over the site for clues to a spoof post, so either I’m TOTALLY out of the loop ( didn’t get all the Lance refs either) and have no idea what you are alluding to or it’s a cool piece of Sci Fi. I vote for Susan’s book. If so sign me up for a copy.


  37. Comment by sk8ermom3 | 09.8.2008 | 7:06 pm

    never mind, I get it

  38. Comment by KanyonKris | 09.8.2008 | 7:34 pm

    Double Dave’s warning for any DZ products!

  39. Comment by Anonymous | 09.8.2008 | 8:23 pm

    does anyone recall an asimov short story about the olympic athletes of the future, with 8 foot tall basketball players and 3 foot tall gymnasts?

  40. Comment by Debamundo | 09.8.2008 | 9:03 pm

    On the arm shaving thing, my husband does it. It makes the application of sunscreen much much easier, and as a pale redhead he needs a lot. Also, his arms match his legs better, except for being nearly vestigial.

  41. Comment by ann | 09.8.2008 | 9:07 pm

    Certainly this too is metaphorical.

  42. Comment by Anonymous | 09.8.2008 | 11:26 pm

    No, wait, is this the beginning of a religious scar story?

  43. Comment by Aaron | 09.9.2008 | 5:15 am

    Comment by Mike Roadie | 09.8.2008 | 12:26 pm
    “PowerBars suck in any civilization!”

    Yes, but somehow, someway, people must keep buying them. I still see them on the store shelves.

  44. Comment by buckythedonkey | 09.9.2008 | 5:17 am

    Debamundo, sorry but shaving because “it makes the application of sunscreen much much easier” is the most fantsatically lame excuse to date! :-D

    Re: the Lance Article by Neil Rogers. I wondered if “Neil Rogers” was some new Fatty Fake News non de plume until I realised that it is an anagram of “large snore”. So that’s that mysteruy solved then.


  45. Comment by Timrey | 09.9.2008 | 6:50 am

    @buckythedonkey, you’ve apparently not seen someone with extremely hairy arms. e.g.
    Of course, the hair itself should act as sunscreen in these cases.

  46. Comment by TigerMouth | 09.9.2008 | 6:54 am

    Comment by graisseux:
    Lance Armstrong coming back – http://velonews.com/article/82892/sources-lance-armstrong-coming-back

    Astana denies Armstrong return – http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2008/sep08/sep09news2

    Also Rock Racing in the news:
    National Title for Hamilton – http://www.usacyclingchampionships.com/tyler-hamilton-wins-in-photo-finish.html

  47. Comment by sansauto | 09.9.2008 | 7:23 am

    Have you ever heard of a health food that tastes good? That’s why powerbars will endure the eternities. They taste so bad that they must be extremely good for you.

  48. Comment by BikeCopVT | 09.9.2008 | 9:57 am

    I’ve noticed some very important questions have been ignored lately. “you shave your arms?” – Dug. But more importantly I know I’m not the only one waiting to hear the what gives withthe Mayo packets at Leadville and did they survive the crash?

    What gives? look another question you can feel free to ignore. Just tell us about the mayo already…

  49. Comment by Ian Hopper | 09.9.2008 | 10:16 am

    @ethan Alright, no Rush bashing… 2112 didn’t have any cyclists in it (the protagonist found a GUITAR, remember?) otherwise it would have been the greatest song of all time, instead of the 2nd greatest song of all time (Neil Peart had been reading Ayn Rand’s “Anthem”) Hey, A Red Barchetta couldn’t chase the good doctor anyway: there’s no regular unleaded amongst this tribe b/c they all ride bikes, DUH! ;)

    I think Fatty ripped off a Hugo award winning novella or short story from the 1970’s that he thought no one would remember…. I just can’t quite remember who wrote it… DOH!

    Hey, I never thought that shaving my arms could be the answer I was looking for on the sunscreen application problem: my forearms are hairy like in Timrey’s photo and sunscreen is just a nightmare to apply… the spray on kind is the only easy way for me and it’s always expensive! Now where did I put that razor?…

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  53. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » What I Did During My Winter Vacation, by Johan Bruyneel | 01.3.2011 | 1:45 pm

    [...] I get notes from the future. For example, a couple years ago, I received several excerpts from Dr. Preston Prescott’s journal, which was (will be?) written in 7114. And about a year ago, I received a letter from near future, [...]

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