Fight Cancer, and Look Good While You’re Doing It

02.6.2009 | 11:05 am

Today is the big LiveStrong Fundraiser over at Twin Six: half of everything they sell today will go toward the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

And, evidently, you people are taking advantage of the opportunity to get some great clothes while you fight cancer: so far today, they’ve sold $4800 $7700 $12,246 $16,530 worth of clothing, meaning $2400 $3850 $6123 $7500 $8,265 (!!!) goes to the Lance Armstrong Foundation.


Love Is In The Air200902060914.jpg

I’d like to highlight a few things you might want to look into over at Twin Six. First up, be sure to check out their “T-Shirt of the month.”

Look at that: the wheels make a heart. Adorable!

Available in both women’s and men’s sizes, the Wheel Love T would make a splendid Valentine’s gift. Or you could buy one for yourself to make people think someone else bought you a Valentine’s gift.

Hey, you do what you gotta do.

Like all Twin Six T-Shirt’s of the Month, the Wheel Love T is trictly limited to 100. They won’t last through today. If you want one (or more), go order now.

Cool Stuff You Should Wear

Far be it from me to tell you what to wear on — or off — your bike, but Twin Six has got some pretty darn cool designs. Here’s just a sampling.

Now, go browse Twin Six and buy whatever suits you. And think about the fact that half of whatever you spend is going toward the fight against cancer. Click any of the images below to go to that catalog page on the Twin Six site.



For200902060921.jpg All You People Who Wondered When You Could Get a Fat Cyclist Jersey, The Answer Is NOW.

A couple times per day, I get email from folks asking when they can get a Fat Cyclist jersey. Well, the answer is: right this second. While doing inventory, Twin Six found one box of Men’s Fat Cyclist jerseys. There aren’t many, though, so I promise you these will not last through the day.

If you want one, better go get one. [UPDATE: Medium is sold out]

[UPDATE 2: Large is sold out.]

Also, there are a few Fat Cyclist jerseys in Women’s Medium size. These won’t last long, either. [UPDATE: These are sold out.]

And by the way, I love the fact that half of your Fat Cyclist jersey purchase will go toward Team Fatty’s fight against cancer.

Everyone Loves the Fat Cyclist Wooly

200902060723.jpgWant to know a little secret? When I took the photos of Susan’s new jewelry, I used my new Fat Cyclist Long-Sleeved Wool jersey as the backdrop.

That’s an unusual use case, but still.

The thing is, I love this jersey. It is the nicest-looking, best-feeling long-sleeve jersey I have ever owned. And judging from some of the unsolicited comments from yesterday’s post, I’m not the only one who thinks this thing is a comfortable work of art.

Here’s the thing, though. There were — as of this morning — only 25 of them. As of right now, you can still get one in most sizes , but I kind of doubt that will be the case for the whole day.

Sure, they’re expensive — $150. But consider this: for your $150 you’re getting a really excellent jersey, and making a $75 donation toward fighting cancer. That kicks butt.

G200902060939.jpget A Fatty Misprinted T for Cheap…If You’re The Right Size

A few 2008 Fat Cyclist T-shirts were printed with the cursive “Cyclist” in orange-with-white-shadow instead of the correct white-with-orange-shadow. There are only a few, and they’re only in Men’s Medium and XXXL.

I guess it’s a good thing that the Twin Six guys — not me — do what they do, because I am pretty certain I would never have noticed the problem. Trust me folks, you don’t want me doing quality control.

Someday, these will be worth thousands, but for right now, you can get one for $16.


Twin Six Has Completely Lost Its Mind. In a Really Good Way.

02.5.2009 | 12:18 pm

image I was at the grocery store / neighborhood pharmacy last night, picking up dozens of cartons of Sugar-Free Jell-o (more on why another time), when I got a call from Brent at Twin Six.

“Ryan (the other half of Twin Six) and I were thinking,” said Brent, “about what more we could do in the fight against cancer.”

Usually, I love getting calls like this, but this one caught me off-guard. Twin Six has already donated $6600 of their profits on their own Team Fatty LiveStrong Challenge page — considerably more than I’d expect from a small business.

image So I turned the question back on him. “What do you have in mind?”

“We were thinking that this Friday, we’d donate half of all our sales to the Lance Armstrong Challenge.”

“Half your net, you mean,” I corrected.

“No,” said Brent. “Half our sales. At the end of the Friday, we donate half our gross for the day to our Team Fatty page.”

“Um, you guys know it’s OK for you to keep a little of what you earn for yourselves, right? You don’t have to give everything away,” I said.

“Don’t worry about us. We’re fine. Let’s just raise a lot of money to fight cancer this Friday.”

So that’s what we’re going to do.

image Let’s Give Twin Six Their Biggest Day Ever

So, to be perfectly clear: tomorrow, Friday, February 6, for every dollar you spend at the Twin Six site, 50 cents goes to the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

This includes everything — all jerseys, t-shirts, socks, wool jerseys (including the Fat Cyclist Wool Jersey, 25 of which will be available tomorrow), cycling caps. Everything.

image And yes, this definitely includes all Fat Cyclist merchandise: t-shirts, socks, wool jerseys, shorts, bibshorts, cycling caps and bottles (on a personal note: I originally hesitated to promote the Fat Cyclist bibshorts, because I wanted to make sure I like them myself before telling you you should buy them. Well, I now have two pair, and they are the shorts I wear most often. Tomorrow, I’m going to pick up a couple more pair, in fact.)

So, maybe it’s time you think ahead and stock up for your Spring cycling wardrobe.

image Stuff That Was Out Of Stock…Is Back In Stock

Twin Six is going to be making available all their most popular designs, including some that have not been available for some time. In other words, if there’s something you’ve wanted from Twin Six that hasn’t been available, check back tomorrow. There’s a good chance you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Twin Six has always had my favorite designs — that’s why I begged them to design my jerseys. And now — with half of what you spend tomorrow going to the fight against cancer, you’ve got the perfect reason to make yourself the best-dressed cyclist around.

I Am Still Working On My Entry in the “Win the Eddy Merckx Experience” Contest

02.3.2009 | 11:54 pm

I’m reluctant to post this entry, because I don’t want to tip my hand. But the fact is I’m at an impasse and figure that the likelihood of somebody winning this thing because they stole my idea(s) is worth the risk, because I need some advice.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about the contest in the current issue of Bicycling Magazine, of course:


Now, I have to say that I found the headline distracting:


The “Eddy Merckx Experience?” This makes me think that the PR firm that wrote the ad copy for this contest has Eddy confused with Jimmy Hendrix. Which is perfectly understandable, unless you know even a tiny little bit about either of them.

Still. Win an Eddy Merckx bike? I’m all over that. So what do I have to do? Well, the ad copy says I need to do this:


I don’t mind telling you that I panicked a little when I saw that I only have 50 words to describe “how riding a bike bearing Eddy’s name and inspired by his legend will empower [me] to channel ‘The Cannibal’s’ greatness and achieve [my] most ambitious cycling goals.” I mean, they’re only giving me 50 words to write an essay that has a subject matter of 27 words.


Being an ambitious-yet-thorough sort, I didn’t want to merely use the ad copy as my guide for my entry. Instead, I chose to be certain I completely understood what I was being asked to do, by carefully reading the rules.

My panic increased.

It turns out that a complete reading of the rules gives an even more daunting picture of what I need to do in those 50 words:

The essay should tell us, in 50 words or less, what cycling-specific ambitions or goals riding an Eddy Merckx brand bicycle will help empower the entrant to achieve and how the entrant will benefit from the signature features and technology of an Eddy Merckx brand bicycle. The winner will be judged by the following criteria: (1) detailed and creative description of an entrant?s cycling goal, (2) description of specific features and technologies offered in an Eddy Merckx brand bicycle that will enable an entrant to make the most of his/her physical talent, (3) description of how Eddy Merckx?s personal success as a professional bicycle racer will inspire or motivate entrant to achieve their goals when they ride a bicycle bearing Eddy Merckx?s name, (4) organization and development of the ideas expressed, with clean and appropriate examples to support them, and (5) consistency in the use of language, variety in sentence structure and range of vocabulary, use of proper grammar, spelling and punctuation.

That’s 162 words, telling me that in my 50 words I need to do each of the following:

  • Talk about my cycling ambitions and goals.
  • Talk about how the bike will help me achieve those goals.
  • Be detailed (!!!) and creative in my description of these ambitions, goals and my accelerated achievement of said goals on aforementioned bike.
  • Describe the features / technologies of the bike that will assist in the bike’s facilitation of my achievement of my ambitions and goals.
  • Discuss, presumably in some detail, how the legend of Eddy Merckx ties into all this.
  • Develop all of the above fully, and with good organization.
  • No naughty jokes.
  • Don’t stray off-topic in my 50-word essay.
  • Be clever and original in my use of language.
  • Demonstrate that I own a thesaurus.
  • Use commas, periods, nouns and verbs where they’re supposed to be used.
  • Run the whole thing through the spell-checker before I fire it off.

I’ve got to say that upon completing my review of this to-do-in-50-words list I briefly blacked out. Then woke up sobbing.

Eventually, though — my jaw set, my visage grim, my nostrils flared — I got to work. I am not happy with my work — yet — but here are my attempts thus far.

The Checklist Approach

My first attempts at writing this essay centered around simply trying to satisfy the requirements set forth in the rules. A representative sample of my 50-word essay using this technique follows:

My cycling ambitions and goals are many-fold (not “manifold,” which is a completely different word with a distinctly different meaning, and would severely alter the meaning of this sentence). First, I would like to win a bike race in my lifetime. Any bike race. I’m not particular about which race, or even about having to sandbag down to a slower category (if there is one) to do it. I just want to be able to say, “I have won a race.” An Eddy Merckx bike would help me achieve this goal by intimidating my competition, hopefully to the extent that they would soil themselves and hence be unable to queue up at the start line. And then I would win.

My second — and more pressing — ambition is to look sassy on a bike. I have purchased several jerseys and bib shorts and a special very aerodynamic-looking helmet that all go very well with the color scheme of the Eddy Merckx bike featured in this contest. If I win the contest, I intend to take this course to its natural conclusion and buy socks and shoes that go with the bike. And then I will look sassy indeed.

My third ambition is to figure out why anybody would ever eat bleu cheese. It smells terrible, looks awful, and tastes nasty. What is it other people find appealing about this nasty substance? I must know. I confess, however, that I do not know how an Eddy Merckx bicycle would help me solve this riddle.

The Eddy Merckx bike is really crucial to my achieving my objectives, because — unlike other bikes — it is a lightweight carbon fiber road bike with racing geometry and high end components. This is totally unique in the world of cycling.

To conclude, I would like to describe how once, Eddy Merckx appeared to me in a dream. He told me that if I ever wanted to win a race, I must be certain that as few people as humanly possible start that race. He told me that I must have confidence. He told me I must look sassy. He told me his bike was exactly what I needed to do all these things. In my dream, Eddy was eating bleu cheese.

Curse you, bleu cheese, for spoiling what was otherwise a very awesome and topical dream!

This is, of course, a perfectly wonderful essay and would almost certainly win, except it’s 392 words long. I tried the trick of hyphenating every word in each sentence, but I knew that the judges would see through this ruse.

Disappointed, I tried another approach.

Appeal to Authority

As many of you know, Eddy Merckx isn’t actively involved in Eddy Merckx bicycles. However, I’m sure his opinion still holds considerable sway with whoever judges this contest.

So I contemplated how I could use these two facts to my advantage. And that’s when it came to me: I’d do a photographic essay, showing how Eddy has already endorsed me as the winner. Behold:


Really, no additional text is necessary, as far as I was concerned. The judges would see that Eddy is my close personal friend and that he has already selected me as the winner. Really, there’s nothing left to do but collect my bike.

And then the rules went and spoiled my party.

Entry Material/Entry cannot contain the image or likeness of or reference in any identifiable way (for example, by first and last name, or by any part of a name that is identifiable) any person other than the entrant, including, but not limited to, any depictions of celebrities, unless a signed release from such person(s) is submitted to Sponsors along with the Entry Material/Entry.

Man, those guys thought of everything.

So I’ve got an email out to Eddy asking for his OK on using this photo, but he hasn’t replied yet. I’m sure he’ll be cool with me using it, but as a plan B I got to working on a fallback plan.

Just Lie

I’m probably the only person this has occurred to, but while the rules are really explicit about what the essay must contain, it doesn’t say (and believe me, I have checked) that the contents of the essay have to be true. So here’s my next attempt.

I am a committed Cat 2 cyclist with dreams of moving into Cat 1 this year. I win more often than not, and when I train, it is always watching an Eddy Merckx video — I am the only person I know who rates “A Sunday in Hell” as his favorite movie of all time.

I want an Eddy Merckx bike because my current bike is a piece of crap. It weighs 24 pounds, which causes me all kinds of difficulty in climbing stages. Eddy Merckx bikes, on the other hand, are the pinnacle of beauty, reliability, and power.

Even more importantly, though, would be the fact that as I ride my Eddy Merckx bike, I will feel like The Cannibal is urging me on, reminding me with every turn of the cranks of what he has accomplished…and what I can accomplish, if I will not break.

I want an Eddy Merckx bike so I can make him proud, if only in my own mind.

This is, of course, pure hogwash. Plus, it’s more than three times as long as is allowed, which gives you an idea of how impossibly brief my actual entry is going to have to be.

You see why I’m discouraged? You see why I’m asking for your advice? This essay contest is difficult. Perhaps it’s even impossible.

But I won’t give up.

Because I know, in my heart of hearts, that The Cannibal wouldn’t.

Occasionally, A Single Image Tells The Whole Story

02.2.2009 | 11:44 pm

Apparently, my letter to Bryan Smith had an unintended — but very welcome — consequence.


Evidently Mr. Smith was unaware that I am happy to sell out for much, much less than this.

Winners Announced, I Inflict Pain on the Core Team, and One Last Plea for Votes

02.2.2009 | 12:24 am

One of the unexpected pleasures of running Team Fatty is that I get to write “Congratulations” letters from time to time. They really are fun to write, too. Or, more specifically, it’s fun to think carefully about the language of the email so it doesn’t wind up in the Junk folder. It’s fun to be able to write an email that is pure good news.

And it’s fun to think about that email sitting in someone’s inbox, waiting to turn someone’s normal day into an outrageously good day.

I got to write two of those email messages today.

The Signed, Framed Lance Armstrong Poster Winner: Jacqueline, California

Jackie’s actually new to this blog; she came over after The Pioneer Woman linked over with a story and recipe about Susan and my Grandma’s Cheez Eggs last week.

Being a very cool person, Jackie made a donation to the Lance Armstrong Foundation. And within ten minutes of my having sent her a “congrats” email, she replied with:

I don’t ride but my husband does and he is currently deployed in Iraq. I thought it would be so awesome if I either won the bike or the poster for him.

I was chatting with him online and was telling him bye when I got an email alert and saw the subject “You get the Lance Armstrong Poster.” I told him to hold on as I went to read your email and went back to tell him the great news. He was so excited and stated he was jumping out of his seat.

Again, big congrats to Jackie and her husband — and a giant thanks to Hootie over at Trek for giving up this awesome prize.

The Gary Fisher Superfly Singlespeed Winner: Daniel, New Jerseydaniel.jpg

Here’s how excited I was about giving away this bike: I couldn’t sleep last night. The idea of giving away a bike exactly like the one I want for myself is pretty compelling.

And a lot of you must have thought this bike is pretty compelling, too. Team Fatty has now raised more than $106,000, $46,000 of which was raised during this raffle.

That is a lot of money.

Now, I know that nobody really thought they had a great chance of winning — you all donated because it’s the right thing to do. The prize is just a cool reason to get off the fence and maybe say to yourself, “Well, what if?”

And after all, someone has to win, right?

And in this case, that someone is Daniel of New Jersey. Here’s what Daniel had to say about himself and winning:

I am a 37 year old energy efficiency consultant who fell in mountain biking in college in central PA, moved to NYC after graduation, and transitioned to a road bike (which I also love) out of necessity. I married my college sweetheart 12 years ago, we are blessed with an almost-three year old daughter, and we are expecting the birth of our son any day now. We moved to NJ 18 months ago and I am so very excited to explore the local trails with this new bike!

I’d say Daniel’s timing is just about right — about the time the Spring riding season begins, the newborn should be sleeping just enough that it won’t be completely impossible to get out on a ride.

And a huge thanks goes to Gary Fisher Bicycles for putting up the frameset, to Brand Manger Travis Ott for making it happen, and to SLC Bikes for committing to supply the components. In these scarce times, companies and people that still step up and join in like this are to be admired even more than usual.

I Would Be an Awesome Rock Star As Long As Everyone in the Audience Heard the Inside of My Head

Last weekend, Susan and I had the Core Team + spouses over for dinner and an evening of Rock Band. I made chili — one of the four main dishes I feel I can make pretty darned well (Brats, Burgers, and Quiche are the others).

It was a splendid evening, and only later would I experience pains of regret for giving myself over so completely to the game. I’m afraid that when I take the mike I belt out the songs pretty loud. And while I sound just right in my own head, the way my guests tend to look for the nearest exit when I sing might indicate some disparity between the sound in my head and the sound in the room.

Still, I maintain: you can’t play Rock Band halfway.

I did redeem myself, however, when I brought out a fun little game called “Lightning Reaction Extreme.” The idea of the game is simple. All four players take a metallic grip with a button in one hand and then watch a light that blinks red. When the light turns green, press the button.

The last person to press the button (or the first person to jump the gun) gets a painful electric shock.

Or — as we played it — the three slowest players get shocked. Only the fastest gets away unscathed.

Can you see who’s not getting shocked in this photo?


Yes, that’s Kenny, Rick Sunderlage (not his real name), and Dug, all discovering their reaction time is slower than mine. I did not get shocked even once, on any turn. Susan is looking on, in pride.

I should point out, however, that when I play this game with my 15-year-old, I lose every single time. I have never won. Even once. Ever.

Sometimes I suspect that teenage boys have faster reflexes than their middle-aged fathers.

OK, This Is The Last Time I Ask (This Year). I Promise.

Today’s the last day for voting for the Bloggies. I am not exactly sure why it matters to me that I win, but it does. So, please, go vote for me in the Sports category, vote for my sister Jodi (Pistols and Popcorn) in the Best-Kept-Secret category, and vote for Pioneer Woman in pretty much all the other categories. OK?

And next year, we go after “Best Food Blog” with a vengeance.

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