You’re Going to Want to Check Your Email This Sunday

01.30.2009 | 11:31 am

A Note From Fatty: The response to Susan’s jewelry has been as overwhelming as it has been gratifying. More than 80 of you have ordered bracelets. Having raised $8600 in just a couple days, Susan herself is currently the top fundraising individual in Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan.

I think that’s pretty fitting, don’t you?

Wisely, Susan is now requesting that no more orders for bracelets be made until she takes care of this first batch. You can bet I’ll post again when she’s ready to do more.

Time’s Almost Up

Tomorrow (Saturday, January 31) is the last day you can enter the raffle for the Gary Fisher Superfly Singlespeed. I’ll do the drawing and notify the winners on Sunday, and hope to announce the winners this Monday.

This bike is one of the most coveted mountain bikes in the world: a carbon-fiber frameset designed to be built up as an incredibly fast, light singlespeed.

And they’re not for sale. Anywhere. As far as I know, if you haven’t already got one on order, this raffle is the only way you can get one.

Check it out:

(Build in photo for illustration purposes only. Components will be different on actual bike)

200901300936.jpgAnd you’re not going to just get the frameset, either. SLC Bicycle Company will provide the build for the bike and ship it to you. Massive kudos to Brent Hulme (owner and operator of SLC Bikes) for volunteering to take this on. Building up a bike like this so that the components are as nice as the frame is certainly not an inexpensive project.

But — just in case you forgot — this raffle isn’t just for a bike. You could also win a signed and framed poster of Lance Armstrong:


Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for Gary Fisher Bikes, Brent Hulme (SLC Bikes), Travis Ott (Gary Fisher Brand Manager), and Eric “Hootie” Bjorlin (Trek Pavement Brand Manager). Thanks to them, I’m able to offer you some incredible prizes to help make our fight against cancer a lot more fun.

How to Donate to Win

How can you enter to win? Well, you can donate money at my LiveStrong Challenge page, or, if you’re a member of Team Fatty, you can collect donations at your own LiveStrong Challenge page. Either way, every $5 gets you another virtual raffle ticket for the drawings I do this Sunday.

And remember, every donation helps, and any amount can make you a winner. Think about this for a second: Last year, Matt Ming put in an extra shift at the restaurant where he works so he could donate $100, on the last day of the raffle for the Ibis. And now he’s the owner of the road bike of his dreams.

You Ought to Join Team Fatty

Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan (Team Fatty for short) has an ambitious goal for 2009: to raise $1,000,000 to help the Lance Armstrong Foundation fight cancer. We’ve got a good start, but we need more help. Why don’t you join Team Fatty today, then get some of your friends to donate at your LiveStrong Challenge page? You’ll feel good about what you’ve done, and you just might win an incredibly cool bike.

To join, here’s what you’ve got to do:

First, you’ve got to decide which event you want to be part of: Austin, San Jose, Seattle, or Philadelphia. If you’re just planning on fundraising — not attending an event — then pick whichever city you most closely identify with. Then, just follow these steps:

  1. Click one of the below links to go to the Team Fatty page for that city:

  2. Click the “Join Our Team” link.
  3. Fill out the form. Note that the $50 registration fee is the same, whether you do one of the rides, the run/walk, or join the virtual challenge.

And here’s something to think about: The next big contest is going to be open to members of Team Fatty only. And believe me, you will not want to miss out on it.

A Little Bit of Chest Thumping

To those of you who are members of Team Fatty, thanks for all you’ve done so far. Here are some bragging rights we’ve earned together:

  • As of today, we have raised $102,000. Yes, that’s right. We’re officially in the six-figure zone!
  • There are 342 members of Team Fatty. Originally, I had hoped we could get 1000 members, but maybe 500 members is more realistic. Here’s what I’d like Team Fatty members to do: ask a friend to join. There is strength in numbers, and we are working for a cause that requires a lot of strength.
  • We are the top fundraising team in all four event cities.
  • Team Fatty is responsible for about a quarter (24%) of all LiveStrong Challenge funds raised so far this year.
  • Team Fatty has raised more than half of all LiveStrong Challenge funds for the Seattle event

In short, we are kicking butt and making a difference. Thank you.


Cooler Than Yellow Wristbands

01.27.2009 | 6:18 pm

image I’d like to kick today’s post off by saying that I am incredibly proud of Fat Cyclist readers. Together, we have — in under two months — raised $88,000 $89,000 $90,000 $91,000 $92,000 $94,000 $95,000 $97,000 $99,000 to help the Lance Armstrong Foundation fight cancer.

We’re going to be crossing into six-figure territory very, very soon now.

And I’d like to make it clear that the current big raffle — for a rare, high-end, not-for-sale-anywhere carbon fiber Gary Fisher Superfly Singlespeed mountain bike — is still underway. Click here for details on how, and then go here to donate for your raffle tickets. All proceeds go directly to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which I have can vouch for, firsthand.

The raffle for this bike ends this Saturday, so if you’re going to donate, you need to do it now.

How — And What — Susan’s Doing
I know perfectly well that a lot of you check in on my blog mostly to find out how Susan’s doing. (For those of you visiting for the first time, Susan has been fighting metastatic breast cancer for about two years. As of last October we’ve moved to hospice care.) And I haven’t said much about her in the past couple of weeks

The truth is, I haven’t talked about how Susan’s doing very often because it’s kind of a mixed bag, and because some days it’s a lot easier for me to write a jokey post than to go into details of our life.

Pain and Panic
A lot of the time, Susan does hurt. And while she doesn’t complain anywhere near as often as she ought to, she’s hurting worse, and in more places. And she’s weaker — I now do a lot more of the lifting than I used to when she moves from her bed to a chair.

What’s awful for me about this is the fact that I can’t do anything to fix the problem. The only thing I can do, really, is to offer Susan more pain medication. And so I do that.


If Susan took pain medication every time I offered it to her, she’d be comatose.

Sometimes — usually at night, after everyone else has gone to sleep and I have time to think — I start thinking about how much Susan’s going through, and how little I can do to help her, and I get this weird mix of panic and helplessness. I get terrified that there’s got to be something I could do for her, but I just don’t know what it is, and I’m failing her.

I’m not like that every night. Not even very often. And I’ve got Ambien for when I am.

You know, sometimes this blog isn’t very funny.

New Normal
What’s startling is how quickly the kids — especially the younger ones — adapt. A couple of weeks ago, for example, one of the twins came in, distraught. I asked her what was wrong. “One of my friends says she’s not allowed into our house because mom’s sick,” she said.

I started to explain that was probably because the friend’s mom wanted to keep things nice and quiet for Susan, that she didn’t know Susan prefers to have the house noisy and full of kids having fun.”

“I know that,” said my little girl. “But I didn’t know mom is sick!”

Which is to say, she no longer thinks of bedridden with an oxygen tube hooked up as anything but normal for her mom.

And the boys — well, at ages 15 and 13, they’ve learned some skills that are going to be handy when they go to college, or start families of their own. Which is to say, they now know how to cook a few meals for the family, know how to do the dishes, know how to do laundry, and even know how to take care of twins. I rely on them to pick up my slack, and they help out gladly. In fact, they volunteer.

Let me point out again: these are 15- and 13-year-old boys doing all this.

New Skill
And meanwhile I have picked up a lot of new skills. The one I think I am most pleased with, though, is my new ability to style the girls’ hair. Behold:


Yes, I cheated, by getting short haircuts for the girls that even I can fix to look nice.

So now I don’t have to send the girls to the neighbor to have their hair done every morning before school (although I will be forever grateful to the neighbor who volunteered to do just that).

It’s almost as if I’m becoming competent or something.

4000% More Awesome Than a Yellow Latex Wristband
The piece of good news we had a couple weeks ago — Susan’s neuropathy has backed off, so her hands work again — has held beautifully. I can’t really describe how glad I am to see Susan happy and busy, for hours at a time, making jewelry.

She enjoys it so much, in fact, that many times she forgets her pain until it gets pretty severe. Ask anyone who’s dealt with cancer in the bones how often they forget their pain and you’ll get a pretty good sense of how absorbed Susan gets in her jewelry.

Here are a few she’s made, incorporating bike chain links into her designs:




Want One?
What’s really cool is that Susan wants to use these bike chain bracelets to raise money for the fight against cancer. Kind of like you might wear one of those yellow bracelets, but a little more personal. And a lot more awesome.

Every one of these is handmade (I do the grunt work of degreasing and disassembling the bike chains), and every one of them is different. You won’t know what pattern Susan chose for you until you get the bracelet. And I think that’s part of what makes this idea great.

If you would like a Susan Nelson original, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to my Philadelphia LiveStrong Challenge page:
  2. Donate $100. If you donate in multiples of $100, I’ll assume you want multiple bracelets.
  3. If you have special instructions — like you want it shipped to a different address than the one you fill out in the form, or you have an extra-large or extra-small wrist, or if you want a men’s bracelet instead of a women’s (men’s bracelets will not have the beads), forward a copy of the donation receipt to me with your request. I’ll get back to you with any followup questions I have.
  4. Please be patient. The one thing I do not want to do is start making Susan think she needs to tire herself out doing this.

[UPDATE: More than 80 (!!!) of you have donated $100 to get a bracelet -- that's incredibly exciting, and remarkably generous. Susan has now asked me to say that she doesn't want to take any more on until she finishes making the ones already in place. That makes good sense to me. I'll let you know when Susan's ready to do more. I'm guessing that'll be at least a month away, though.]
Meanwhile, I would like to make an observation: Susan rules.

PS: Some of you may be curious as to whether a donation to get a bracelet doubles as a donation toward raffle tickets. The answer is: Yes. When you donate to get a bracelet, you automatically also get entered in the raffle to get the awesome Gary Fisher Superfly Singlespeed.

So You Want to Be a Cyclist? Part II: Lifestyle Changes

01.27.2009 | 12:09 am

Welcome back, prospective cyclist! Yesterday you learned what you need to own in order to be a cyclist. Today, you will learn how you need to behave. For, as you will soon find out, in order to be a true cyclist, you cannot simply ride your bike.


To be a real cyclist, you must make it your entire life. Here’s how.

Step 1: Decide Why You Ride.

As someone new to cycling, perhaps you think that the reason you might want to ride a bike is to get outdoors, see the sites, and get some exercise all at once. And this would be a fine reason to ride a bike, if it weren’t completely wrongheaded.

To be a cyclist, you don’t ride your bike because it’s fun. That kind of riding is what we call “junk miles” (I’m not making that up.) and is frowned upon by real cyclists.

Let me be perfectly clear: Riding a bike to enjoy yourself is not an acceptable reason to get on your bike.

You need to train. And that means having a goal. For your convenience, I have several acceptable cycling goals listed below. Feel free to adopt two or more as your own:

  • Race Across America (RAAM): An exercise in pain and sleep deprivation
  • 24 Hours of Moab, solo. This means you ride your mountain bike in a 12-mile sandy loop as many times as you can in 24 hours. That sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
  • The Iditarod: A 350-mile (or more, if that seems too easy) race across the Alaska tundra in the middle of Winter. The person who survived this race says it’s awesome.
  • The Tour de France: Don’t just slum it, like most of the riders. Make a point of winning a stage.

Step 2: Ride With a Purpose.

Once you’ve made your decision to make a race you life’s primary ambition, you’re all set to start training. Of course, many of you are new to this sport, so I’ll define this unfamiliar term:

Train (verb): To exercise according to a set schedule, with the dual objectives of becoming more proficient at that sport, and learning to hate the sport you are working so hard to become good at.

Oh, and there’s a side benefit, too. If you’re training, you’re guaranteed to be slated to do a set of road hill intervals the day all your friends want to go on a group ride. Or you’ll be having an enforced rest day all your friends want to ride an epic stretch of singletrack.

But all this training will pay off, and one day you will be the fastest and strongest rider of all the people who used to be your riding buddies back before you started training.

Of course, all this training is going to hurt. A lot. As a cyclist, you need to pretend to enjoy this kind of pain. You need to talk about “putting your head down and suffering up a mountain” in reverential tones. You need to act like being in self-inflicted, entirely recreational pain has taught you wisdom and has given you a certain self-sufficiency and quiet confidence.

And not that it in fact makes you seem kind of creepy.

Step 3: Eat Like a Cyclist

It’s not a well-known fact, but cyclists do not eat food. Instead, they consume synthetically-manufactured foodlike substances, engineered to deliver fuel to blood cells as efficiently as possible, without the inconvenience of being enjoyable to eat.

All cycling food substitutes are required by law to be — or at least taste like — one or more of the following:

  • An insoluble powder that tastes somewhat — but not quite — like Kool Aid with too much sugar mixed in. A handful of Cream o’ Wheat is usually mixed in as well, with the intent of settling to the bottom of the bottle, which is in turn required to taste like a pool filtration system (i.e., delicious!).
  • Glucose from an IV bag. But thicker. Much, much thicker. With raspberry flavoring.
  • Carob-Coated Rawhide

Step 4: Look Like a Cyclist

Like many tight-knit communities, cyclists want to identify with each other by looking exactly alike. This entails, first and foremost, shaving your legs. While others will claim there are other reasons for shaving their legs, cyclists know deep within their hearts it’s simply due to peer pressure.

Next, get a goofy tan. The tops of your legs and forearms should be dark as can be. The tan, however, should not extend to the back of your legs, nor beyond the jersey line.

And above all, you should have the reverse raccoon look, where all of your face except your eyes — where the glasses go — is deeply tanned.

Step 5: Prioritize Like a Cyclist

Here’s an interesting fact about cycling: once you get your legs into decent shape, you can go for hours and hours and hours without your legs really tiring out. That’s not true of most other sports.

So guess what? In order to get a challenging workout, you’re going to need about four hours per day. Except weekends, when you’re going to need about six hours.

This, of course, is something you’ll need to inform your significant other of, at some point.

Luckily for your family, it’s lots of fun to spend family vacation time traveling to a bike race and then sit on the side of the road for 2.7 hours until you whiz by, focusing on the road and nothing else.

It’s common courtesy, by the way, to pretend that you heard and saw your family as you rode by them during the race.

Step 6: Think and Talk Like a Cyclist

It’s all well and good to have chosen to be a cyclist, but it’s not enough. You have to talk the talk. Use the following guidelines when conversing with other cyclists:

  • Cars: You’re against them, especially when they do something that nearly (or actually) gets you injured. Never ever ever consider the possibility that you might sometimes be at fault.
  • Cars, Part II: You’re not against cars when you’re driving one to the trailhead.Furthermore, your bike rack is something you should have thought about as obsessively as the bike itself.
  • Other cycling disciplines: If you’re a road cyclist, regard mountain bikes as clumsy, inelegant toys. If you’re a mountain biker, shake your head in wonder at the fact that anyone would choose to mix it up with cars all the time. If you’re a trackie, try to puzzle out why nobody else you know wants to join you for a couple of hours of riding around and around and around on a banked oval. If you’re a recumbent rider, be sure to keep your beard well-trimmed, and please try to not be so angry all the time.
  • Other sports: Be unaware of them.
  • Doping: Despise it, unless you actually do it. In which case, act like you despise it.

There is, of course, more. And I’d gladly reveal it to you, but the fact is my trainer told me to keep my typing rate down to 35wpm today and to not spend more than an 85 minutes on the keyboard.

PS: Bloggies voting is still going on. My sister Jodi at Pistols and Popcorn (Best-Kept Secret category), my friend The Pioneer Woman (lots of categories), and I (Sports category) would all love your votes. Thanks!

So You Want to Be a Cyclist? Part I: Choosing Your Equipment

01.26.2009 | 8:01 am


A Note from Fatty: Congrats to my friends at Twin Six for having their clothing — jersey, shorts, and socks! — featured on the cover of this month’s Bicycling magazine. Click the image to see a larger view.

Another Note from Fatty: It’s Bloggies voting week, and I’m a finalist in the Sports category. Even more awesomely, my sister’s Pistols and Popcorn blog is a finalist in the Best-Kept Secret category.

It’s important that you go now vote for both of us, because if only one of us wins, it will spawn a terrible, terrible sibling rivalry. And nobody wants that. And hey, while you’re at it, why don’t you also vote for The Pioneer Woman — a Friend of Fatty — in all the categories she’s nominated (i.e., pretty much all of them).

Click here to vote now.

So You Want to Be a Cyclist?

It’s always such a pleasure when I get linked to by some non-cycling site like The Bloggies. I assume — quite rightly, I am certain — that you are here because you are very interested in becoming a cyclist, and would like me to tell you everything you need to know about what you need to do to join the ranks of this fast-growing sport.

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

As a well-known and much-beloved ambassador of cycling culture, it will be my honor to give you a whirlwind tour of the different kinds of cycling, the equipment you will need to purchase, and what you will need to do to get maximum enjoyment from your new hobby.

Let’s begin, shall we?

A Few Necessary Things

One of the really great things about cycling is how inexpensive it is. However, there are a few things you’ll find absolutely essential to enjoying the sport.

A Bike
Obviously, you’ll need a bike. This almost goes without saying, right? You can’t be a cyclist without a bicycle. And you can get a reasonably good bicycle for around $500. This is, in fact, an excellent amount of money to plan on spending on your bicycle…if you want to draw the scorn and derision of every other cyclist you ever meet.

That would be just awful.

And the fact is, if you spend just $500 on that bike, you’re going to find that you want to trade it in on a much nicer bike within a few months anyway.

So, you’d better plan on budgeting around $2500 for that bike.

Also, I was kind of misleading you a little bit when I talked about your “bike” in the singular sense. You can’t have just one bike; that would severely limit the grand experience that cycling has to offer. You’ve got to have your main road bike (I know I said $2500 earlier, but $3500 will get you one you really like), your rain bike ($750), your fixie ($1666), your cross-country mountain bike ($2750), your freeride / downhill bike ($3800 each if you’re going to do it right), your cyclocross bike ($1500), your singlespeed ($1200), and your recumbent ($1900, plus $75 for a good-quality beard trimmer).

That’s about $18,966, because I was just kidding about the recumbent.

A Helmet
The bike’s just the beginning of the story, though. You’ll also need a helmet, because — even though as a cyclist you are otherwise completely unprotected — safety has got to be your first concern.

Now, some people will tell you that a helmet is a good place to save money, since even the cheapest helmets must pass the same tests before they go on the market. But those people haven’t told you about the “Do you look like a brain surgery patient on the way back to the hockey rink” test.

No, if you want to be a real cyclist, you need to get yourself a nice-looking helmet. There’s an easy pair of criteria to help you discern whether a helmet looks nice:

  1. The helmet has at least 20 vents. More is better. Ideally, in fact, there should be enough vents that you have a difficult time believing that the helmet will actually protect you at all in a crash.
  2. The helmet costs at least $100.

If you are a man, you likely have never spent more than $75 on shoes before. Those days are over, my friend. To be a real cyclist, you need cycling-specific shoes. This may seem odd, since — unlike in most sports, where your shoes actually touch the ground — your shoes do nothing but get between your feet and the pedal.

You’ll be pleased to know, then, that cycling shoes are in fact the most special-purpose footwear you will ever own. These shoes, combined with special pedals, actually lock you to your bike, making it so you theoretically can pull up on the pedals as well as push down on them.

In reality, of course, their main purpose is to entertain your fellow cyclists when you fall down at a stoplight, hopelessly tangled with and pinned down by your bicycle.


Cycling shoes have stiff, inflexible soles, giving you extra power when you pedal, as well as — when combined with the hardware that locks you to your pedals — making you look ridiculous when you walk.

Important safety tip: Do not walk on concrete, asphalt, or tile when wearing cycling shoes, because you are likely to slip and fall. Do not walk on grass or dirt, because you are likely to jam up the inner workings of your cleats. Do not walk on hardwood floors, because you are likely to be killed by your significant other.

And how much do these very useful shoes cost? Anywhere from $150 – $500. A bargain!

Oh, and you’re going to want different sets for your road and mountain bikes.


You might assume that you should be able to wear any clothes when riding a bike, and you would be right! However, you would also notice that your normal natural fiber clothes start to chafe a bit after you’ve ridden for an hour or so.

And they start to get soaked with sweat.

And they billow in the wind something awful.

Which is why you need to buy extremely bright, form-fitting polyester and lycra clothing, including:

  • Bike jerseys: Bike jerseys are designed to fit you very comfortably, as long as you are a professional cyclist with arms in an advanced stage of attrition. Otherwise, you might find them a bit snug. And, after wearing them a couple times, you might find them a bit stinky. Don’t try to get that stink out. It’s your street cred. Also, try to get a jersey that advertises your favorite consumer product. And finally, since bike jersey pockets are otherwise impossible to get to — they’re in the back of the jersey — you may want to have your elbow hinges replaced with ball joints.
  • Bike shorts: Bike shorts have the distinction of being both the world’s most and world’s least comfortable clothing, depending on what you are doing at the moment. If you are on a bike, the big diaper-y thing between your nether regions and the saddle clearly falls into the “boon” category, and the lycra wicks sweat away as it stretches to accommodate the motion of your legs and your — let’s face it — unnatural sitting position. Once you’re off the bike, however, the diaper becomes dank and cold and starts breeding bacteria so fast you can actually hear the cells divide. Plus, thanks to muscle memory from when you were a toddler, you will be unable to prevent yourself from walking with a distinct waddle. The shoes will augment this motion.
  • Layers upon layers: You never know when the weather might change. It could become wetter. Or drier. Or colder, or warmer, or windier. Non-cyclists might simply live with these kinds of changes up to a point and then — if the weather got bad enough — go home. Cyclists, however, are prepared for any shifts in the weather. Hence, you are going to need to not only own, but carry with you at all times, each of the following:

    • Arm warmers
    • Knee warmers
    • Extra gloves
    • Vest
    • Wind jacket
    • Rainproof jacket
    • Shoe covers

And how much should these clothes cost? That’s easy: simply take the cost of an ordinary, comparable article of clothing, then imagine that article of clothing encrusted in diamonds. But still washer-safe.

Emergency Repair Gear
Once you’ve got your bike and clothing, you’re almost ready to ride! But not quite. Because while Cyclists celebrate the simplicity and efficiency of their machines (more on this tomorrow), the reality is that bicycles are required by law to break down every nine miles.

So as to avoid being stranded, you need to make sure you always have the following with you when riding your bike:

  • Patch kit
  • Tire levers
  • Extra tube of glue for the patch kit because the first tube of glue has certainly dried out
  • Extra tube for when the patch still doesn’t hold (true fact: in the history of cycling, only four field-applied patches have ever held)
  • Spare tire
  • CO2 tire inflator system
  • Mini-pump for when the CO2 system doesn’t work
  • Frame pump for when the mini-pump doesn’t work
  • Cell phone for when the frame pump doesn’t work
  • Set of allen wrenches (metric and the other kind…non-metric?)
  • Spoke wrench
  • Duct tape (3 rolls)
  • Extra rear derailleur (better safe than sorry)
  • Road flare
  • First Aid kit
  • Change of clothing
  • Pillow
  • Road atlas of the world
  • Pistol and ammo, just in case you find that you need to live off the land for a while
  • 5-gallon jug of water
  • Acetylene torch and welder’s goggles
  • $500 in cash in case you need to buy a cheap used car to get yourself home
  • Something to read
  • Russian phrasebook in case you get very, very lost
  • Extra Powerbar

These are, of course, merely the bare essentials. If you’re going to be out for more than a couple of hours, bring everything else you can imagine possibly needing on the road.

Depending on the size of your jersey pockets, you may want to invest in a pannier setup.

Almost Set
With these simple and inexpensive purchases made, you’re ready to ride.

No, I was just kidding. You’re not even remotely ready to start riding your bike. Before you dare embark on the simple, carefree cyclist lifestyle, you must first understand cycling culture, etiquette, training techniques, nutrition, and a few other simple, intuitive cycling fundamentals.

I will cover these tomorrow. I know you’re excited.

This Is, Quite Clearly, a Reasonable and Legitimate Business Expense

01.21.2009 | 12:45 am

As an Award-Winning blogger (2008 Bloggie: Very Best and Most Incredibly Handsome Sports Blogger Who Has Ever Lived), I make a lot of money with my blog. For example, I just bought a the house next door, using nothing but what happened to be in my wallet. I plan to tear it (the house, not my wallet) down and in its place erect a large statue of myself, standing in a heroic pose and gazing with steely resolve into the future.

As another example, when I go to lunch with coworkers, I often pay, even though it’s not my turn.

As a third example, I paid for Rock Racing’s UCI license last week. I did it anonymously, though, because I don’t need any more public adulation than I already routinely receive.

To recap: I make a lot of money with my blog.

Since my blog is such a big cash cow, I have begun to think about tax implications. While there is practically no way I could ever spend as much money as I make, I know — as a financially savvy and almost ridiculously successful blogger — that I need to at least try to spend some of the money — a trifling amount, really — I earn on bike- and blog-related items.

You know, for tax reasons.

And that is one of the primary reasons I just acquired (we very wealthy bloggers don’t “buy.” We “acquire.”) a V.I.O. POV.1 Digital helmetcam.

200901202323.jpgAlso, I Needed It For Very Unselfish Reasons

In addition to my legitimate — and, let’s face it, quite essential — tax reasons for purchasing this helmetcam, I needed to purchase this because I feel I have an obligation to you, the reader, to provide high-quality entertainment in as many different media as possible.

I know that my readers are both discerning and demanding, and want — no, make that demand — to have video supplementing my text and photos.

So while I personally would be perfectly happy to never purchase another gadget in my life, I felt like I had to buy this helmetcam in order to satisfy the demands of a crowded and competitive market.

Also, I did not want to let you — the reader — down. Because I am very unselfish.

As For Myself, I am Indifferent

The one thing I will say about this helmetcam is that I’m not at all giddy and goofy about the possibilities it’s going to bring to my rides this year. For example, none of the following thoughts have given me a moment’s pleasure:

  • I’ll be able to get good clean video of Leadville 100 highlights
  • I’ll record the entirety of riding a Super Tibble loop to show everyone what the best trail in the world looks like
  • I’ll most likely be able to document at least one instance of me separating my shoulder
  • I’ll be able to record the half-dirt / half-road awesomeness that is my commute, thereby making you outrageously jealous

So — against my own wishes, frankly — yesterday I put the camera on my road bike, mounted on the handlebars for the ride up, then facing back from the seatpost for the downhill.

Here’s the highlight reel of my first outing with the camera:

I can see that I’ve got a lot to learn: where to best mount the camera for a good shot, what happens when I set the camera up so that my leg hits the lens every turn of the crank, why it’s a bad idea to spit when you’re filming, the proper resolutions to film and convert and upload.

Things like that.

Which, I would like to point out, I am only learning because I am a very unselfish (albeit wealthy) blogger. And not because I’m a goofy gadget geek who has impulse control issues.

« Previous Entries     Next Page »