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.


  1. Comment by jenjen | 01.21.2009 | 12:53 am

    I love your helmet cam thing. Although it makes me slightly nauseous, it lets me experience biking and burn vicarious calories while I sit on my couch and eat Cheese Its. What a wonderful invention!


  2. Comment by matt (ming) | 01.21.2009 | 1:28 am

    very cool, is the audio to cover up the huffing and puffing (all the money weighing you down) on the way up?

    its kinda scary to see cars come up from behind like that, even if theyre givng you room.

    you definately need some 7900 on the road bike; i ever found a great reason for you to justify the purchase, those annoying clothes lines in the forward shots!

    this a new nightly posting schedule?

  3. Comment by Mike D | 01.21.2009 | 2:10 am

    I think the “” ad I get at the end of this is particularly appropriate.

  4. Comment by Swedoz | 01.21.2009 | 3:36 am

    At least you didn´t slip over on the ice outside your house, this time.

  5. Comment by Captain Lou | 01.21.2009 | 5:27 am

    Well this settles it. I’m definitely moving to Utah.

  6. Comment by Pamela | 01.21.2009 | 6:22 am

    Wow, my first thoughts were you were on the wrong side of the road, then remembered it is right for you. Then I thought, how on earth do you ride with snow!! Just a slight chill and I don’t set foot outside the door. I am so impressed with everyone that can ride in those temps!

    I love the camera though!

  7. Comment by Linda | 01.21.2009 | 6:53 am

    That was VERY cool! I know it was because I kept saying it as I was watching it. And Mike D., my ad was “Get There Quicker on Greyhound” which one might be able to do, but Greyhound is not as unselfish as Fatty who reluctantly relented to having a helmetcam and frankly, it just wouldn’t be as cool.

  8. Comment by colin | 01.21.2009 | 7:14 am

    The potential for cameras on bikes is huge. You gotta do a race with it facing backwards, seeing the video of all those suckers chasing you is awesome, and you don’t see how many wheels you lost.

    Here are the highlights from my cyclocross seat cam season:

  9. Comment by mgr | 01.21.2009 | 7:17 am

    You ride much faster than I ever will. And BRRR!

  10. Comment by Lizzylou | 01.21.2009 | 7:18 am

    So the purpose of this statue is what? To frighten away small children? Provide shade for your house on a sunny day?

  11. Comment by Nina in Ohio | 01.21.2009 | 7:30 am

    Cool! I can see why you enjoy the bike ride through that beautiful country.

  12. Comment by Jacked | 01.21.2009 | 8:04 am

    I am so envious of your little hills. Nothing quite like those in central Michigan. I can only image how they would accent my level of “out of shapeness”. Oh well, at least I can go snow shoeing today and maybe, with a little luck, even go iceboating this weekend.


  13. Comment by FLATSMAN | 01.21.2009 | 8:05 am

    Awesome (for a beginner videographer)

    I ride a Campagnolo FSA equipped Ibis in South Florida so I have questions:

    What is that funny looking white stuff ?

    Are those cables sticking out the front, what do they do ?

    Is that a climb or a camera angle ?

    How did you get the band on the bike ?

    How many layers do you need ?

    It was sooo cold here this AM (41deg.) I had to wear tights, on the windtrauma.

  14. Comment by Sara | 01.21.2009 | 8:28 am

    The video was cool but also made me a little nauseous.

    Being a wimp, I only bike to work in warm months so it’s cool to see snow from a cyclists perspective.

  15. Comment by Jim D | 01.21.2009 | 8:34 am

    Was I the only one that really enjoyed the music selection?

    … sonic boom boy …


  16. Comment by SaraSpin | 01.21.2009 | 8:58 am

    How cool! Yes, now I must go to Utah. So beautiful! The song had me tapping my foot; gotta love the 80’s.

  17. Comment by Jodi | 01.21.2009 | 8:59 am

    So how fast do you think you’re going on that downhill? Looks fast. I’m feeling like I should tell on you, for your own good.

    I’m emailing mom.

  18. Comment by Jouni | 01.21.2009 | 9:01 am

    You rich bloggers get ALL the cool toys.

  19. Comment by Jaime O. | 01.21.2009 | 9:02 am

    Fatty, you seem to have some guilt. Thou dost explain too long-ly. smiles. looks like a scream.

  20. Comment by Gillian | 01.21.2009 | 9:06 am

    Pardon me while I take deep breaths for a minute and put my head between my knees. OK. Much better.

    No, it’s not the camera work that is making me nauseous – it is the SPEED with which you fly down that hill. Holy Jeezum, cyclists are so much more fearless than me!

    Also, how on earth can you still be a “fat” cyclist if you can climb that hill? I think you’re bluffing.

  21. Comment by Jaime O. | 01.21.2009 | 9:06 am

    omg, I just thought of something! Now you can document all the yellers, honkers, throwers and general buttheads on the road. WOO HOOO. Oh, this is like the dream gadget! I’m excited now.

  22. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 01.21.2009 | 9:11 am

    Thanks for taking the hit for us.

    You should very slightly speed up the playback so it looks like you’re flying up suncrest.

  23. Comment by Jeff (another Jeff) | 01.21.2009 | 9:11 am

    That downhill looked fun! That’s why we climb hills right? To come back down…

  24. Comment by MOCougFan | 01.21.2009 | 9:27 am

    Can’t wait to see further applications of this very important device. Very Cool.

  25. Comment by TomE | 01.21.2009 | 9:28 am

    I saw that white truck from a distance (while you were going downhill) and found myself rooting you on to go faster and beat him to the bottom….i was chanting…Faster Fatty Faster!!

  26. Comment by woogie | 01.21.2009 | 9:33 am

    Now you just need to do a Picture in Picture with your cyclometer!!

  27. Comment by rich | 01.21.2009 | 9:51 am

    Very cool – I’ve been lusting after one of those for our mt bike rides.
    Does it come with editing software?

  28. Comment by KanyonKris | 01.21.2009 | 9:51 am

    The tilted camera view gives this landmark cycling film an edgy, contemporary look. Shooting flat is so Film 101.

    I’m crushed the truck passed you. Your hero status has been revoked – no statue for you! And don’t give me any excuses about ice and windchill.

    “I personally would be perfectly happy to never purchase another gadget in my life”. I feel exactly the same way. (My wife will read this and get a good laugh.) “I’m a goofy gadget geek who has impulse control issues” – that’s the real me.

  29. Comment by bikemike | 01.21.2009 | 10:18 am

    Blair Witch Project III…The Descent

  30. Comment by Kathleen | 01.21.2009 | 10:28 am

    Excellent footage! We’re super lucky you’re such a generous and beneficent blog ruler. Bowing down to the fine choice of tunes.

  31. Comment by FliesOnly | 01.21.2009 | 10:29 am


    I will admit, however, that on the descent, I spent most of my viewing time looking at the mountains in the background and not really paying too much attention the the actual riding.

  32. Comment by chtrich | 01.21.2009 | 10:48 am

    I can’t believe you let the truck pass you on the down hill.
    You even have all that extra weight to increase your speed going down.

  33. Comment by leroy | 01.21.2009 | 10:58 am

    No traffic, no traffic lights, no taxis, no Access-A-Ride vans, no addled pedestrians stepping in front of you, no tourists blocking a bridge path to take photos, no black ice, no worrying that an anonymous local blogger might make fun of the ironic streamers attached to your bar ends?

    Honestly, where’s the challenge?

    I’d hook up a camera for a Brooklyn-Manhattan ride, but I’m not sure my battery can handle the power requirements of a photographer’s strobe light and a portable heater.

  34. Comment by Don | 01.21.2009 | 11:00 am

    Wow… that’s all I have to say. Westworld, seriously?! I mean, I think you would’ve been better with TNT, but who am I to say. Ahhh, the joys of random 80’s (& 90’s) knowledge.
    The camera looks sweet, man! Cant wait to see Tibble.

  35. Comment by VA Biker | 01.21.2009 | 11:14 am

    This is WAY easier to look at than the digital video camera you rolled out a couple of years ago. I’d like to see video from this new one while mounted on the mountain bike for a true apples-to-apples comparison.

  36. Comment by Fat Guy | 01.21.2009 | 11:20 am

    Why are the roads in Utah pitched so wildly to one side? Does it help the drainage? Prevent drifting snow? Do one side of you tires wear faster than the other?

  37. Comment by Matt | 01.21.2009 | 11:42 am

    Ahhhh…watching your video makes me even HAPPIER to live where I do here in the Calif central coast. We did a road-ride last night after work (lights req’d for the last half of course). No tights, short-sleeves, half-finger gloves, and no toe-warmers even. Super-Light traffic, views of the coast, 30 miles, 2400′ climbing…ahhhhh…we SO have it MADE out here! (Oh wait…I meant to say it’s HORRIBLE here, and nobody in their right mind would ever want to live out here! ICK! YUCK! What a NASTY place to live!! Yeah..thats what I really meant!)

    Anyway, the video looks pretty sweet..what resolution are you shooting at? And I liked your music choice too..very appropriate!

  38. Comment by Louie | 01.21.2009 | 12:19 pm

    fatty what kind of road bike do you have? we have seen millions of posts about your mountain endeavors but nearly nada about the road ride

  39. Comment by Remdog | 01.21.2009 | 12:30 pm


    Thanks for making so many sacrifices for the sake of the blog. Obviously it’s an essential business expense. How can those fascist tax people not realize how important a contribution to the blog this would make. Without your blog is just….well a blog. Now it’s entertainment. Your unselfishness should be remembered. Thanks for the sacrifice.

    PS. Here I thought that eating 1 year old Shotbloks were for nutritional value.

  40. Comment by km | 01.21.2009 | 1:12 pm

    Now that I’ve stopped cursing your good fortune, wealth and obvious disregard for us poor starving cyclists who still ride STI 8sp….DON’T JUDGE ME! A quick comment, after your previous post bragging about your Geddy Lee impersonation I’m suprised you didn’t have “Working Man” as your soundtrack. From all the heavy breathing going on I thought that would fit the moment. Keep pedaling!

  41. Comment by nickc | 01.21.2009 | 2:10 pm

    So, mostly then; apart from this one (nice vid by the way) we’ll get pictures of the camera on it’s side and a voice off camera going “owwwwwwww feckity feckity….”

  42. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.21.2009 | 2:12 pm

    I missed the downhill. Need to take a Dramamine so I can watch the rerun and avoid nausea during the stand and climb sequence.

    What are you riding? The rear tire looks fat. CX?

  43. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.21.2009 | 2:16 pm

    BTW, Elden, I have high goals for my LiveSTRONG Challenge fundraising on Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan this year.

    Seeing as how you are so flush and all, you did get my fundraising letter, right? (link to fundraising page is embedded in my webpenname, above) Right, you knew that.

  44. Comment by David | 01.21.2009 | 2:22 pm

    we’ve been using the exact same camera for a few weeks now. Great gizmo. Been taking MTB videos with it.

  45. Comment by DanKMTB | 01.21.2009 | 2:52 pm


    I’m not sure if that particular cam comes with editing software, but Windows Movie Maker is really easy-to-use video editing software that allows all the basics. Cutting sections, pasting sections, fades, text, overlays, music, etc. Unless you’re getting really crazy I think it’ll do all you need, and if you’re getting really crazy you probably wouldn’t be using the camera’s editing software anyway. Well, it’ll give you all you need unless you recently converted to Linux, like me. Then you’ll be stuck. Fortunately I’ve still got a Windows PC I can use to edit video.

    Fatty: Way cool toy man. I’d like to run some vid on my rides, but I’d just show how much I lack riding skills. Instead I run video off my RC planes, and show what a poor RC pilot I am. Somehow that annoys me less, probably because I care more about my riding than I do about my flying.

  46. Comment by Pinky | 01.21.2009 | 2:53 pm

    I think the device’s name gives away where you’re supposed to mount it…. it’s a HELMETcam, not a HANDLEBARcam, nor even a SEATPOSTcam… (although, being the incredibly, disgustingly rich mega-blogger that you are, you can probably also afford to purchase these items separately…)!
    Love it – once again, keep up the good work!

  47. Comment by Goose | 01.21.2009 | 4:01 pm

    Maybe it was the whiring scenery but you rear wheel looks a bit out of true. Overall the riding looks good for a January day.

  48. Comment by Rokrider | 01.21.2009 | 4:07 pm

    Oh hell! There just went my income tax refund. I guess I’ll just have to think of it as my own economic stimulus plan. Way Cool!

  49. Comment by Steve, Penzance | 01.21.2009 | 4:10 pm

    Great use of Westworld for the soundtrack. Any chance of “Silvermac” on a future blog (maybe the promised – and eagerly awaited – shoulder separation footage)?

  50. Comment by Charisa | 01.21.2009 | 4:51 pm

    Your soundtrack was especially enjoyable. I hope we get to experience more helmetcam blogs!!

  51. Comment by indoorrollypolly | 01.21.2009 | 5:11 pm

    I have this camera and other then the standard mounts I love it!
    Check out for posting video.

    my winter riding so far

  52. Comment by geckonia | 01.21.2009 | 5:54 pm

    YAY! That’s so cool… Hope you don’t catch yourself wiping out like I did. I second the vimeo recommendation.

  53. Comment by Hamish A | 01.21.2009 | 7:44 pm

    3rd vote for Vimeo. So much better than The Tube.

    What a great 1st video! You do know when you put the camera on your bars that we can see what gear you’re in, right? ;-)

    I appreciate the sacrifices you’re making for us with the purchase of these gadgets. This one has already served to make me insanely jealous of the snow & the mountains you have. I can’t wait to see Tribble, Leadville & RAWROD!

    Just one question – have you played back the video on a TV yet, and if so how does it look?

  54. Comment by Corey | 01.21.2009 | 9:01 pm

    It’s not a real cycling video until we see you crash…

    Seriously though, if yo uhave enough bandwidth, you can host videos yourself instead of youtube.
    You’ll need the flash-video-player plugin for wordpress and ffmpeg to encode the flv file.

    Here’s a couple of examples:

    I have nothing against youtube, I guess I just like having total control of my content.

  55. Comment by Anonymous | 01.21.2009 | 9:15 pm

    I like the line “always wanted to see what was behind me”…no one is the answer.:)

  56. Comment by Chris | 01.21.2009 | 9:19 pm

    Holy crap it looks cold.. thanks for the reminder of why I moved to California… Team Fatty – San Jose

  57. Comment by PrimalOdyssey | 01.21.2009 | 11:28 pm

    Hi Fatty.
    Now the video I like, with all the funds rolling in (as a fellow blogger.. I do understand the cash flow issue you face) I have a suggestion to this issue, and yes it’s a way to spend some more of the mountain of cash as it rolls in. You need to upgrade to the latest Shimano groupset, or even Campag (my preference) which would remove the brake cable from view you are getting in the Video. This would allow us… the viewers a better perspective with a clear view, to truly appreciate the pure power and skill you have.

    Good to read you site again, It’s been a few month on my part. Here’s another plug. I was at a Crit meeting last night (Brisbane, Australia that is) and there was a fatcyclist kit in the mix. Nice!

    Well I’m off to the Tour Down Under tomorrow. Chasing Lance.. maybe. I’ll post all about it.

    Regards – Primal

  58. Comment by buckythedonkey | 01.22.2009 | 12:28 am

    Maybe you could film a re-enactment your most famous wheel-and-face-bending stunt with your new camera. I’m sure it’d be an instant (if short) classic.

    Thanks for yesterday’s post, lovely to hear that you had a well deserved dose of normal for a change…

    …WIN SUSAN!!

  59. Comment by Bluenoser | 01.22.2009 | 4:52 am

    Kenny says, why waste the time filming what’s behind you? There’s usually nothing.

    Just Kidding fatty. That was a great first film and wow, I love those mountains. Just stare at the ocean for 52 years and you’ll understand.


  60. Comment by HBMabry | 01.22.2009 | 7:11 am

    Hey. I think a couple of people have mentioned this. Go with a piece of foam (between the camera and the helmet) and some zip ties to secure it. I think you got about 10,000 zip ties for xmas so no need for a trip to Home Depot there…LOL.

    It allows you to look into turns and the viewer goes with you. Its a really good way to work MTB as well because the jarring is muted somewhat. Just put the recorder portion in a zip lock and jam it in your back pocket (securely).

    I did love the rear wheel look. At leadville, you need to re-mount the camera like that for the descent…LOL Talk about making someone feel icky…rattle rattle…

  61. Comment by Mike Roadie | 01.22.2009 | 7:50 am

    Please do NOT use the helmetcam when you make bathroom stops.

    Thank you.

  62. Comment by DogDen | 01.22.2009 | 8:55 am

    I like video second only to eating, very cool. I’d post to Vimeo though there are a few less copyright sharks swimming around. On YouTube you may find your soundtrack suddenly silent one day.

    Now test that thing out on a trail.

  63. Comment by Kyddryn | 01.22.2009 | 9:31 am

    Hey, Fatty – that was dizzying. Good grief, you were really flying! The helmet thingy is cool – I’m thinking that when I win the lottery, I’ll put one on my kid just to see what he gets up to when I’m not around.

    Meanwhile, I dig your blog and the contributions you make to Blogopolis, so I gave you an award over at my blog – come and get it!

    Shade and Sweetwater,

  64. Comment by Penny | 01.22.2009 | 10:14 am

    Sonic BOOM Boy….AWWWWWWW!!

    I waaannt one!!!

  65. Comment by SurlyCommuter | 01.22.2009 | 11:24 am

    Sweet vid Fatty – keep up the good work.

    Win Susan!

  66. Comment by Julie | 01.22.2009 | 11:50 am

    Very cool although I have to admit a bit of motion sickness. Or maybe it’s just the taco bell I had for lunch.

  67. Comment by cyclingeurope | 01.22.2009 | 12:43 pm

    Love the song, very fun. I found it on iTunes – it will be fun in my Spin classes! I’m a relic of the 80’s, how come I never heard that one?

  68. Comment by Philthy in Oz | 01.22.2009 | 4:16 pm

    Very interesting. But why are you riding on the wrong side of the road? ;-)

  69. Comment by John H. | 01.22.2009 | 4:35 pm

    I’m very disappointed that you let a 4 wheeled motor powered chamber of death pass you on the downhill. If you were TRULY a FAT cyclist, inertia would have let us seen the fiery trail you left behind you on re-entry. Time for some Brats “fatty”!

    Very cool, I want one!

  70. Comment by Dobovedo | 01.22.2009 | 7:42 pm

    “Please do NOT use the helmetcam when you make bathroom stops.”

    Are you kidding?!? Can you imagine how hilarious a video of Fatty’s nurse “incident” would have been?

  71. Comment by sdcadbiker | 01.22.2009 | 9:08 pm

    Cool vid Elden! Particularly for a first attempt… Can’t wait for the trail vids.

    BTW, I wonder how many of your co-workers choked on their coffee this morning? Unless you really _do_ pick up the lunch tab, of course! ;-)


  72. Comment by montanapat | 01.23.2009 | 9:58 am

    FC wool jersey’s are in and shipping according to the fella’s at T6!!!

  73. Comment by Brian | 01.24.2009 | 6:04 am

    Fatty – you live in a beautiful part of the world. Good first video – another must have gadget.

  74. Comment by gus | 01.24.2009 | 11:59 am

    Here’s to camera riding. I have been planning on one of these for awhile. The one I want has a wrist strap, great for roller coaster vids!! Keep up the good work, and if you need to unload some cash, my son can spruce up your site. I’m thinking scrolling dragons or pirates beheading ninjas, oh wait, that is his site. Never mind!!


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