BOBKE GETS SHAVED! + Tour of California LiveBlog: Stage 5, Visalia – Paso Robles

02.19.2009 | 4:37 pm

Yeah, I know I said I wasn’t going to Liveblog today’s stage, but I’m fickle.

2:43 I’m just catching up with the part of the stage I’ve got recorded — and there’s Bobke getting shaved on Versus! Please please please someone tell me they’ve got that moved over to YouTube. And then get me a URL.

Watch the Video!

2:45 For those of you who can’t watch it on YouTube, here’s what goes on.

Hummer (voice over) Speaking of LiveStrong, Bob Roll put out the call to his fans, his people that follow his every beck and call. He said if you can get five thousand donated to LiveStrong, I will shave my head.

And believe it or not, this morning at the Astana bus, that’s what happened.


Bob Roll: Earlier in the week an issue was challenged that if we could raise 5K, that I would have my head shaved.

Bob Roll: I didn’t say who, but wanted to find the steadiest hands in the peloton…

Lance: Have you ever been bald before?

Bob: No, never.

Johan Bruyneel: It’s about to happen.

Bob: Yeah, we’ve raised the money, so it’s about to happen right now. Johan Bruyneel will do the honors. And I have a very good witness also [looks at Lance]. Go ahead, I’m ready!

And then the shaving commences…




Armstrong (concerned): Ahhhhh.

Bob (now half bald): And good luck on today’s stage. What do anticipate?

Armstrong: I can’t talk to you today. Maybe tomorrow! (Laughs and walks away)

Hummer (voiceover): Lance had to put the sunglasses on to protect his eyes of Bob Roll. You can go to to make your donation — maybe it’s just to buy Bobke a hat, so we don’t have to look at that ever again. But a great cause indeed and Bob Roll’s always up for a good cause himself.

Yay, awesome! I’m going to put pics up in just a minute, and I’ll get a YouTube of it up as soon as someone can let me know it’s available.

3:07 I’ll get back to the LiveBlogging once I get the photos up and otherwise continue talking about this.


On TV you can’t really tell, but there is a massive crowd gathered around to watch (following two pictures taken from Astana site):



4:13: OK, I’m having a hard time getting caught up today, because I keep seeing stuff like this:


Evidently, Johan missed a spot!

Or, really, a stripe.

4:20 You know, I shouldn’t even call this a liveblog of the stage. I’m just liveblogging my excitement about how a bunch of us got together, raised a bunch of money to fight cancer, and got one of the coolest, funniest, nicest guys in cycling journalism to shave his head on TV.

And also, it’s very cool to have Scot sending me a picture of a woman at the Tour wearing a Team Fatty jersey. That’s Rosemary — a Friend of Fatty — heading off to get a signature on a jersey, to auction/raffle to raise money for her own Team Fatty LiveStrong Challenge, by the way. Go Ro!


Hey, that looks like a Banjo Brothers messenger bag, too. Awesome!

4:31 And now a nice head-and-shoulders shot of Bob, with his new hair:


Once he gets it cleaned up, it’s going to look just fine. It’s a good look for him.

Seriously, it is.

4:38 Ok, I totally failed to Liveblog this. Can you blame me?

4:39 Cavendish in a two-fer. Good for him!

4:47 Bobke asks Leipheimer what he thinks of his new look. Leipheimer replies (accurately), “It’s a little rough; I’ll give you some tips.” Ha!

Scot sends this photo:


PS: In an interview with Frankie Andreau on the remarkably sophisticated Amgen Tour of California Tracker site, Bob referred to my blog as “fatty cycles dot com.” OK. Fine. just happened to be available, and now it points…here.


  1. Comment by Don | 02.19.2009 | 2:42 pm

    Woo hoo! First. That reminds me… I need to go donate to the cause!
    What was that link again?
    *heh heh

  2. Comment by G | 02.19.2009 | 2:45 pm

    From Twitter:

    johanbruyneel: I shaved Bob Roll’s head this morning. He’s a man of his word!

  3. Comment by Stephen | 02.19.2009 | 2:46 pm


    somebody register it quick.

  4. Comment by Tallboy | 02.19.2009 | 2:46 pm

    Bob’s explaining the shave to the guys on and he called you “”.

  5. Comment by Andrew | 02.19.2009 | 2:46 pm

    Bob Roll is on right now talking about his shaved head!

    Unfortunately he credited … ?

  6. Comment by Lauren Dunn | 02.19.2009 | 2:46 pm

    Woohoo! Bob’s bald head is on the live stream! Nice work!

  7. Comment by AJ | 02.19.2009 | 2:46 pm

    Bob Roll is on the live tracker talking about shaving his head!

  8. Comment by Anonymous | 02.19.2009 | 2:46 pm

    According to Johan’s and Astana Team’s twitter reports – it is a done deed. Sounds like Johan made it happen.

  9. Comment by G | 02.19.2009 | 2:47 pm

    Fatty – on your Tivo can you not suck the recording out ?
    Theres an app for Windows on the net that strips off the silly authentication header so you can convert into YouTube footage etc.

  10. Comment by Jayson | 02.19.2009 | 2:47 pm

    Amgen tour tracker interviewing Bob Roll about his shaved head. Bob made sure to send people to

    the money raised was the equivalent of $1k per hair (Bob’s words.

  11. Comment by Jeff | 02.19.2009 | 2:48 pm

    Someone needs to get “bobke” the real web address before it goes to air on VS.

  12. Comment by DaBigKahuna | 02.19.2009 | 2:48 pm

    He Did it!!! Cool!! He’s on Amgen Tour Tracker… oh Tall boy beat me!

  13. Comment by murchball | 02.19.2009 | 2:50 pm

    I can transfer the stage to youtube via mythtv once it’s done recording

  14. Comment by AnneMarie | 02.19.2009 | 2:51 pm

    Via Twitter about 35 minutes ago:
    “johanbruyneel I shaved Bob Roll’s head this morning. He’s a man of his word!”

  15. Comment by G | 02.19.2009 | 2:51 pm

  16. Comment by Julie | 02.19.2009 | 2:55 pm

    I recorded Bobke on Tour Tracker, just by holding up my digital camera to the screen. I don’t know how it will come out, but I’ll let you know when I get it up.

  17. Comment by Gareth | 02.19.2009 | 3:00 pm

    Amgen tracker Play by Play just did a write up on the entire challenge. See 3:53:45 and 3:58:37 comments. Well done all.

  18. Comment by sdcadbiker | 02.19.2009 | 3:01 pm

    Amgen Tour Tracker Just printed the correct fatty website and named Elden as the instigator.


  19. Comment by Ian | 02.19.2009 | 3:04 pm

    From the Play-by-Play:

    Here’s more info on Roll’s selfless act:Like most people, Scot “Chuck Ibis” Nicol of Ibis Cycles and Elden “Fatty” Nelson of have been touched by cancer (Nelson’s wife is currently in the final part of her battle against metastasized breast cancer). In a fit of strange genius, they issued Bob Roll a challenge: If they could raise $5000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation during the Amgen Tour of California, Roll would shave his head. Amazingly, Roll Bob agreed. Even more amazingly, Nicol and Fatty hit the $5000 goal in a single day. They’re raised over $6000. Nicol is hard at work finding some top-grade, hard-to-find bike swag as cool giveaways for a few random, lucky people who donate to the Bobke’s “Shave My Head for LIVESTRONG” fund. Go to to donate, and someday you’ll be able to tell your grandchildren that because of you, Bob Roll (finally) got rid of that unsightly fin of hair on top of his head. Plus, you may be a lucky winner. And you’ll for sure be doing something good to help someone in need.

  20. Comment by Eric P | 02.19.2009 | 3:04 pm

    Here is the text crawl from the ToC Feed:
    Here’s more info on Roll’s selfless act: Like most people, Scot “Chuck Ibis” Nicol of Ibis Cycles and Elden “Fatty” Nelson of have been touched by cancer (Nelson’s wife is currently in the final part of her battle against metastasized breast cancer). In a fit of strange genius, they issued Bob Roll a challenge: If they could raise $5000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation during the Amgen Tour of California, Roll would shave his head. Amazingly, Roll Bob agreed. Even more amazingly, Nicol and Fatty hit the $5000 goal in a single day. They’re raised over $6000. Nicol is hard at work finding some top-grade, hard-to-find bike swag as cool giveaways for a few random, lucky people who donate to the Bobke’s “Shave My Head for LIVESTRONG” fund. Go to to donate, and someday you’ll be able to tell your grandchildren that because of you, Bob Roll (finally) got rid of that unsightly fin of hair on top of his head. Plus, you may be a lucky winner. And you’ll for sure be doing something good to help someone in need.

    The gap is at 6 minutes.

    The gap is at 6 minutes.

    Prior to the start of today’s stage, Astana team director Johan Bruyneel shaved the head of Bob Roll after over $6,000 was raised for Lance Armstrong’s LIVESTRONG foundation. Armstrong watched as Bobke’s hair was buzzed off.


  21. Comment by allison | 02.19.2009 | 3:07 pm

    I got a computer screen capture, but that’s as fancy and electronic as I get!

  22. Comment by WheelDancer | 02.19.2009 | 3:12 pm

    Not having access to Versus seems just fine with the feed on This is what I have dual screens for!

  23. Comment by Susie | 02.19.2009 | 3:12 pm

    The Bob Roll donation site is now over $7K.

  24. Comment by Ian | 02.19.2009 | 3:14 pm


    Ya really gotta get back with Nicol, see what Bobke would do for $10k, maybe even $15k?

  25. Comment by Jamieson | 02.19.2009 | 3:23 pm

    That’s great – I’ll hope to see it on the DVR when I get home from work tonight.

  26. Comment by sdm | 02.19.2009 | 3:30 pm

    YAY…shave time

  27. Comment by Bill | 02.19.2009 | 3:30 pm


  28. Comment by Bill | 02.19.2009 | 3:31 pm


    “Lance had to put the glasses on to deflect the bouncing grey hairs”.

  29. Comment by Cinda | 02.19.2009 | 3:32 pm

    Got it! I have Bobke on tape, getting his head shaved. Will try to upload to YouTube next….

  30. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 02.19.2009 | 3:35 pm

    How much for Lance to shave his head I wonder…

  31. Comment by Big Boned | 02.19.2009 | 3:37 pm

    Saw the vs coverage of the shave, but no credit to Fatty, I guess we have to be comforted by the truth of the saying “There is no limit to what can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit”.
    That is SO true.

  32. Comment by DOM | 02.19.2009 | 3:37 pm

    I was looking forward to Al liveblogging today. I think we would have seen hourly postings, not minute by minute as Al is quite a word smith. They might have been less frequent, but I know they would have killed.

  33. Comment by Cinda | 02.19.2009 | 3:41 pm

    @ Big Boned:

    I caught that too…as well as the web address on the bottom of the screen that tracked to the LAF. Am in the process of converting the video for upload right now, so can’t rewind to catch it right now. Bummer…but good work nonetheless!

  34. Comment by MOCougFan | 02.19.2009 | 3:43 pm

    Wish they would have mentioned our fearless leader. Strong work anyways FC.

  35. Comment by Pat | 02.19.2009 | 3:50 pm

    Fatty, I’ll grad for you if you want, just ask.

  36. Comment by Kali Durga | 02.19.2009 | 4:12 pm

    Aw, man, I missed the shaving?! I need to have a talk with my boss about expecting me to actually do work when there’s a bike race going on.

    Thank you to whoever’s going to get it onto YouTube.

  37. Comment by Julie | 02.19.2009 | 4:16 pm

    Bobke on TourTracker up on youtube:

  38. Comment by Don | 02.19.2009 | 4:33 pm

    AGGGHHH!!! I missed it! There is SO much going on right now I won’t even begin to explain, but I got caught up in it and missed Balding Bobke!

  39. Comment by El Animal | 02.19.2009 | 4:50 pm

    Fatcycles? who cares! Fatty you’re a celebrity. Lance, Johan, Bobke. I can see you in the MTB hall of fame, first mountain bike blogger!

  40. Pingback by » Blog Archive » AToC part 2 | 02.19.2009 | 4:57 pm

    [...] far they’ve interviewed Bobke who had his head shaved this morning by Johan Bruneel. The shave was the result of raising over $5000 for LAF through [...]

  41. Comment by Julie | 02.19.2009 | 5:00 pm

    I annotated the TourTracker video, to correct the website. Sorry about the camera work, it completely caught me off guard, I just happened to have my camera out! Thanks for giving me something to do during this sleepy stage Fatty! Saul Raisin just on TourTracker, sweet.

  42. Comment by Steve | 02.19.2009 | 5:07 pm

    Haha–did you just hear Frankie and Joe talking about him shaving his beard if you raised $10k (forgot to turn off their mikes again)? Awesome.

  43. Comment by wing-nut | 02.19.2009 | 5:09 pm

    at 1708 central time the online commentary thought they were off air but I heard

    “for 10,000?

    “yeah Bob did it for 5″

    “thank Scott”

    “Now I just have my wife to answer to”

  44. Comment by Ian | 02.19.2009 | 5:14 pm

    I feel priviledged to have helped out in getting this event to happen. :)

  45. Comment by wing-nut | 02.19.2009 | 5:17 pm

    I wonder how much it would take for Lance to do the deed?

  46. Comment by LidsB2 | 02.19.2009 | 5:23 pm


  47. Comment by Kt | 02.19.2009 | 5:34 pm

    Awesome!! :) I plan to burn through the second thru current stages tonight while on the trainer– you’re right, it doesn’t take near as long to watch it on fast forward!

    Looking forward to more live-blogging or TiVo-blogging! :)

    WIN, Susan!!

  48. Comment by Cinda | 02.19.2009 | 5:36 pm

    Okay…am into editing the clip of Bob being shaved, but realized there’s a copyright issue to contend with. Fatty, any change you’d like to ask Versus for permission to post this online? Not sure I’m entirely confy crossing the line since copyrights are something I deal with professionally.

  49. Comment by fatty | 02.19.2009 | 5:44 pm

    Cinda – Please keep working on that YouTube clip and email me at I’ll start work on getting the OK from Versus.

  50. Comment by Susie | 02.19.2009 | 5:45 pm

    I’m liking Bobke’s new look and think he should keep the head shaved, but think it might be a bit better with his old goatee back.

  51. Comment by Clericeric | 02.19.2009 | 5:51 pm

    Bob is interviewing podium spot winners winners while the commentators continue to spout senseless stuff. Is there a producer for this show?

    But really, a great job streaming it on the web. Much better than the Vs stuff. I’m really impressed that they are pulling it off well.

  52. Comment by Bitter (formerly known as Lissee) | 02.19.2009 | 6:06 pm

    Cool. :)

  53. Comment by kentucky joe | 02.19.2009 | 6:12 pm

    awesome…..the TOC has become a sure sign that spring rides are a few weeks away here in KY….Bobke looks great and what a great sport too….great job FC community!

  54. Comment by MJ | 02.19.2009 | 6:20 pm

    One question Fatty – WHO’S NEXT???

    May want to limit it to one person per major race (imagine how much you could collect in a 3 week grand tour), and spread it out over the whole season.

    I bet you could get good money for on-camera shaving of some of these folks (for different reasons….g>):

    Craig Hummer
    Johan Bruyneel
    Alberto Contador
    Fabian Cancellara
    Tom Boonen
    Dave Zabriskie
    Vladimir Karpets/Tyler Hamilton (they really need it)
    Frankie Andreu
    Robbie Ventura
    Christian Vande Velde

    You might even be able to do a contest – get 2 people to agree to it, and whoever raises the least money gets his head shaved (or most, depending on how they feel about it).

    Whaddya think?

  55. Comment by bobbieh | 02.19.2009 | 6:20 pm

    I was LMAO when they showed the shave!! Lance’s response was perfect!
    However ~ I’ve heard a nasty rumor that Vs was going to be the one carrying the TdF… Please say it ain’t so!!!!!!!!!! :-(((

  56. Comment by Ian | 02.19.2009 | 6:26 pm

    Vs(OLN) has been carrying TdF for years, don’t see them wanting to give it up anytime soon.

  57. Comment by Kali Durga | 02.19.2009 | 6:30 pm

    Too late for Zabriskie, he already shaved his head:

  58. Comment by Erine | 02.19.2009 | 6:40 pm

    Man, I suck. I’m still so in love with Bobke- even with his happy shiny bald head. Fatty, you rock! Sadly I missed the shearing, but hope to find it on Youtube eventually…

  59. Comment by justrun | 02.19.2009 | 6:48 pm

    So, so awesome! Way to go!

  60. Comment by Julie | 02.19.2009 | 6:58 pm

    I’m sure there will be a better version soon, but if you’re desperate to see the shaving, here’s my clip – taken again from my camera held up to the TV.

  61. Comment by Julie | 02.19.2009 | 7:11 pm

    Thanks for posting the clip Julie! I’m glad I finally got to see it happen!!

  62. Comment by Kali Durga | 02.19.2009 | 7:11 pm

    That. is. priceless.

  63. Comment by Dana | 02.19.2009 | 7:21 pm

    We just uploaded this video:

  64. Comment by Aaron | 02.19.2009 | 7:25 pm

    He looks better shaved! Much younger.

  65. Comment by Kali Durga | 02.19.2009 | 7:34 pm

    “Earlier this week, an issue was challenged…” Wonder if poor Bob was a little shook up at losing his fin.

  66. Comment by Julie | 02.19.2009 | 7:58 pm

    LOL, the first two videos posted are by us ladies in Maine – we had a nasty snow/slush storm today, can you tell we have nothing better to do? Dana – we should ride sometime! :-)

  67. Comment by Dana | 02.19.2009 | 8:01 pm

    Julie, Definitely!!! Let’s do it! What are the odds two cycling gals from Maine would connect through Fatty’s blog in Utah!

  68. Comment by jobob | 02.19.2009 | 8:05 pm

    Most eggg-cellent! :^)

  69. Comment by Zack | 02.19.2009 | 9:23 pm

    What’s Bobke gonna do for the Tour day France?

  70. Comment by Carl | 02.19.2009 | 10:40 pm

    I have a feeling that Fatty is getting close to getting a personal call from Lance to recognize all he has done for Livestrong in Susan’s honor.

  71. Comment by Co | 02.20.2009 | 12:39 am

    Amen to grabbing!!! Go Pher It!

    Also kudos to Bobke for being a Good Guy. (My town issues “Good Guy” awards for local good behavior.)

  72. Comment by buckythedonkey | 02.20.2009 | 4:31 am

    Looking forward to the Fatty Cycles jersey from Twinkie Sixers.

  73. Comment by Kali Durga | 02.20.2009 | 5:30 am

    “the remarkably sophisticated Amgen Tour of California Tracker site”

    Man, no kidding. Aside from it freezing up my computer once or twice, I love that coverage format. Gotta wonder if anyone will come up with something similar for the TdF (*fingers crossed*).

  74. Comment by Mike Roadie | 02.20.2009 | 6:39 am

    Love the new website, Fatty!

    I second that, Kali Durga!


  75. Comment by Jeff | 02.20.2009 | 7:00 am

    That is simply fantastic!

  76. Comment by rich | 02.20.2009 | 8:12 am

    That is FANTASTIC!!!

    So, let’s get the next one going….Lance should do this and set a huge goal to have it hit before San Diego

  77. Comment by db | 02.20.2009 | 8:58 am

    The Amgen tour site has a short story:


  78. Comment by Mike | 02.20.2009 | 9:17 am

    That is just too cool.

  79. Comment by Cinda | 02.20.2009 | 9:59 am

    Glad someone was able to get the video up-—that copyright thing was too big to ignore given what I consult on for a living (includes copyright violation issues). Big thanks to Dana for picking up the torch on that one!

  80. Comment by Brandy | 02.20.2009 | 10:11 am

    Lance needs to roll in that FatCyclist jersey Roadie Mike gave him. Heck get Bald Bobke rolling in a Fatcyclist kit! Bald Bobke in pink…priceless. Kudos Elden & kudos to everyone who donated!
    Ride Safe,

  81. Comment by sllym | 02.20.2009 | 11:17 am

    This totally rocks. So frickin’ cool.

  82. Comment by NW | 02.20.2009 | 11:56 am

    Love it.

  83. Comment by Canadian Roadie (posing as a mtn biker) | 02.20.2009 | 12:08 pm

    So now that Bob Roll’s page has raised OVER $7800!!! what are the grand totals for fundraising so far?

  84. Comment by fatty | 02.20.2009 | 12:22 pm

    canadian roadie – $121,106 so far. once twin six’s haul from their big day a few weeks ago gets deposited, we should be right at $130,000

  85. Comment by Lana K | 02.20.2009 | 12:29 pm

    I am sorry to say it actually took me seeing the video to donate, but I was so inspired, I immediately went over to Bob’s site and threw in a few bucks. Thanks for getting famous people to do fun tricks Fatty!

  86. Comment by Clydesteve | 02.20.2009 | 1:32 pm

    If you go to velonews and look at the stage 5 recap, Bobke appears near the end. He is wearing a beanie!

  87. Comment by Charisa | 02.20.2009 | 2:45 pm

    LOVED watching them shave his head – awesome, awesome!!

  88. Comment by Anonymous | 02.20.2009 | 3:30 pm

    Watching the time trial. except half the time they show commercials. it’s almost as annoying as that chick trying to do comedy. hummer is way more funny even if he isn’t trying.

  89. Comment by Phil | 02.20.2009 | 6:47 pm

    Fatty gone mainstream.
    Best thing I’ve watched in a long while, keep it up!

  90. Pingback by Chuck Ibis :: Chuck Spew :: » It’s the Final Stage | 02.22.2009 | 3:41 pm

    [...] have not been a lot of spare moments. We did manage to raise nearly $9,000 to fight cancer and got Bob Roll to shave his head on air. That was pretty cool. The Amgen Tour of California is an amazing event. We have 1000 staff (with [...]

  91. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Fight Cancer, Meet Bike Snob NYC | 04.15.2009 | 12:11 am

    [...] knowing that getting people to do stuff they don’t want to do is my very most formidable superpower, BSNYC [...]

  92. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Predictions of the Weekend: Tour de France Edition | 06.26.2009 | 11:11 am

    [...] Bob Roll will have grown back his hair. To the degree it’s possible for him to have grown back his hair, that is. Seriously, man, either keep it buzz-cut or shave it entirely. [...]


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