A Demand for an Apology from Lance Armstrong

03.24.2009 | 2:34 pm

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

Until recently, I was truly one of your biggest fans. I was the president of the Alpine, Utah chapter of the Lance Armstrong Fan Club. I have now resigned.

I have — and used to wear daily — a yellow jersey, which I signed myself in what my friends call a stunningly accurate replica of your own signature. I have even asked my coworkers and family to call me “Mellow Johnnie,” although they have not yet complied.

And so, as you can no doubt imagine, I was distressed to find yesterday that your collarbone has been broken. I even observed some of the events leading up to it.

Here’s what happened. I got to my spot to watch the race nice and early. Three days early, in fact. And after a while, I got a little bored. So I decided to have a little fun. Specifically, I started giving “Lance Armstrong Fan Club” musette bags full of candy to every little kid I could find, and told them to make sure to stand either at the side of or in the middle of the road and wave the musette bags wildly as you rode by.

Next, I encountered that dork who threatened you with the hypodermic pitchfork in the Tour of California. I told him that his pitchfork was very dangerous and quite possibly a hazard if it were to be jabbed into a cyclist’s spokes. Believe me, he paid strict attention to my warning, in particular the part where I explained how while it could do serious damage regardless of the wheel it was stuck into, the front wheel would be much, much worse.

I’m confident I set him straight.

Finally, in a burst of creativity, I sprayed your name onto the road with Pam cooking spray, knowing that I could then cover the entire area of that road with yellow watercolor paints and that the paint would not stick to the Pam. This left a very cool “GO LANCE” on the road, where the “GO LANCE” part was where I had sprayed the non-stick cooking spray.


Pretty awesome-looking, isn’t it? That Pam is terrific stuff.

Anyway, by the time I finished each of these projects, I still had a couple of hours before you came by, so I took a brief nap.

Imagine my surprise and alarm when I awoke to the sounds and sights of a massive bike pileup!

“How could this have happened?” I asked myself, shrugging off my sleepiness. But clearly, this was no time for questions. This was the time for men of action — like me, for example — to take charge!

I cast my eyes about, looking to see how I may be of most service.

Which is, naturally, when I saw you.

Now, I don’t mean to be telling tales out of school, but frankly you didn’t look all that hurt. In fact, you were scrabbling to your feet, and quite clearly had the use of both arms.

However, I did notice you fell back down a couple of times, probably because of those hard-soled biking shoes you wear — so I grabbed you under your arms and hauled you to your feet.

As I did so, I heard a distinct “popping” sound. You must have heard it too, because you whirled around to face me, your face a mask of anger.

“Hold still!” I yelled, all business. “I’ll attend to you as soon as I remove this broomstick from your front wheel and disentangle these nylon straps from your cranks and handlebars!”

I wheeled your now-freed bike to you — falling down a couple of times myself; what a slippery road! — and placed the bike in front of you. As you started to remount, I yelled, “Hold on a second, mister! I heard that popping sound a moment ago! Your spine is out of alignment!”

Reaching around your shoulders from behind you and grasping your neck in much the way I recall my chiropractor doing, I pulled and twisted, expecting the “pop” that tells me your back is straight and true.

Oddly, I heard a different sound — more of a crrracck than a pop. “How peculiar,” I said, and then prepared to try again.

Which is when, of course, you started screaming. As if you were in pain or something.

Reassuringly, I said, “Seriously, stop squirming. Hey, your other shoulder looks a bit tweaked. Let me take a look . . . hey! Where are you going? I’ve got my acupuncture kit with me.”

And then you — completely unreasonably — were demanding that people restrain me and not let me anywhere near you.

I confess to feeling disappointment in the way you treated me.

Later that day, I read that you had been injured while riding, and while I am certainly curious as to how and when it happened, I simply cannot muster up the same concern I would otherwise feel for you. After all, if you’re going to treat me — one of your biggest fans — so rudely, why should I bother with how you managed to get yourself injured?

I know you’re hurt, Lance, and so I am not asking for an apology in person. Simply reply with a phone call or email explaining your actions and we’ll let bygones be bygones.



The Fat Cyclist


  1. Comment by bikemike | 03.24.2009 | 2:43 pm

    i’m going to start using pam in my bibs instead of that zabriskie stuff…i suggest everyone else do likewise.
    i will also use it on my tires for less rolling resistance.

  2. Comment by dug | 03.24.2009 | 2:46 pm

    you’re like Zelig. except more dangerous. dangerouser.

    that’s right. i AM dangerous. – FC

  3. Comment by Michelle | 03.24.2009 | 2:52 pm

    hehehehe – too funny
    You should demand an apology from Matt Lauer too!

    that guy totally owes me money. – FC

  4. Comment by mark | 03.24.2009 | 3:11 pm

    I can’t possibly be the only person who doesn’t care that Lance has chosen to come back and grace us with a few mid-to-back-of-the-pack finishes. This broken collarbone gives him a nice out on what would otherwise have been a challenging season. Challenging in that he would have to explain the lack of results. Could it be a lack of EPO (assuming there actually is one) or just age? Hmmm.

  5. Comment by mark | 03.24.2009 | 3:12 pm

    BTW, I liked the guy with the hypodermic needle pitchfork.

  6. Comment by zeph | 03.24.2009 | 3:13 pm

    versus is pretty peeved that your little Pam stunt just cost them household viewership in May and maybe even July.

    Craig Hummer is likely gonna be paying you a visit.

    bikemike – hmmm…pam on the chamois. that’s like buttering the bun for your hot dog

  7. Comment by BikeLemming | 03.24.2009 | 3:13 pm

    The cooking oil was a nice touch, I never would have believed the paint wouldn’t stick to it.

  8. Comment by KanyonKris | 03.24.2009 | 3:25 pm

    Mark, Mark, your venomous incredulity toward our hero Lance does not befit you (a man who got in 3 BC ski runs this morning). Johnny must really harsh your mellow.

    Fatty, I’m sure your apology is forthcoming. Lance is still America’s great cycling hope and he won’t let you down.

    OK, I can’t continue this false hero worship any longer. But I am bummed Lance got hurt. You gotta admit he brings some excitement, an X factor, to the game. And each race he attends raises cancer awareness.

  9. Comment by LittleChainring | 03.24.2009 | 3:33 pm

    Using PAM was indeed a stroke of inspiration. I’ve been using it on my brake pads for years.

  10. Comment by Janel | 03.24.2009 | 4:11 pm

    Elden, that was hilarious!! I hope Lance reads this!!

  11. Comment by Boz | 03.24.2009 | 4:18 pm

    are you sure this wasn’t Kathy Bates channeling thru you. Or maybe that wak-job on the cable series bones.

    Poor Lance…..

  12. Comment by Charisa | 03.24.2009 | 4:26 pm

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, so it was you fatty!? Hmmmmmm.

  13. Comment by Phil | 03.24.2009 | 5:01 pm

    That is far and away, the best letter I have ever read.
    Most excellent.

  14. Comment by WheelDancer | 03.24.2009 | 5:25 pm

    Wow, such fan dedication is rarely seen. Crying shame he wasn’t more appreciative but you might only get a tweet for your apology, I understand he’s into that sort of thing.

  15. Comment by Todd Olson | 03.24.2009 | 5:44 pm

    You know, I had a theory. That is as far as I got. Your explanation is much better. You Bastard!

  16. Comment by Di | 03.24.2009 | 7:14 pm

    LMAO! That’s awesome!

    YOU actually showed up on my Facebook “people I may know” list, the other day. That’s too funny considering I only “friend” people I really know. So, I am guessing that you are Facebook friends with someone I know. Small world.

    BTW – take it easy on Lance. ;-)

  17. Comment by bubbaseadog | 03.24.2009 | 7:14 pm

    i bought tickets already , its my birthday i gotta tell ya. dont trip him up any more.

  18. Comment by MOCougFan | 03.24.2009 | 7:36 pm

    I just got a twitter message from Lance. He said the fans in spain are CRAZY!!!!

  19. Comment by hp | 03.24.2009 | 8:09 pm

    He just tweeted that he’s sending you flowers tomorrow. You are so thoughful for helping him out.

  20. Comment by Kathleen | 03.24.2009 | 8:20 pm

    Excellent tale!! Pam indeed.

  21. Comment by Wheels | 03.24.2009 | 8:55 pm

    My favorite part of the letter is the y in your signature. Thanks for that.

  22. Comment by krissyb | 03.24.2009 | 9:51 pm

    Good letter. I remember talking with a old friend who said she met Lance Armstrong and said he was stuck-up and rude. The way he acted does not surprise me one bit. I bet it is kindof a bummer when someone you admire and look up to turns out to be a jerk.

  23. Comment by Bjorn 4Lycra | 03.25.2009 | 6:15 am

    Krissyb I guess it all depends on the day. Lance here in South Australia was an excellent ambassador for the sport, the fight against cancer and for himself. He won a whole pile more fans than he had when he arrived.

    Excellent letter FC altho it is sad that two great riders went arse up within a short space of time. Our own Stewie also has a fight on his hands to be ready for the TDF but I bet he and Lance make it in time and make significant contributions to the show.

    Wheels I got Fatty to sign my first FC Top and I never got a y with that much pizzazz.

  24. Comment by Mike Roadie | 03.25.2009 | 6:16 am

    You are so funny. But I don’t believe for one second that you actually put candy in those musette bags!


  25. Comment by cy | 03.25.2009 | 10:37 am

    what is this sensationalist crap..

    Hi, Dr. Lammler! how’ve ya been? – FC

  26. Comment by Clydesteve | 03.25.2009 | 10:40 am

    Mike Roadie – It was actually mayonaisse packets. Fattyyyy just thinks of them as candy.

  27. Comment by isela | 03.25.2009 | 10:42 am

    hilarious! No more being naughty. keep the Pam for the eggs and Velveeta.

  28. Comment by The D | 03.25.2009 | 11:52 am

    Excellent idea, Fatty. I’m upgrading my Madone with stay-mounted Pam dispensers. That’ll up my breakaway success rate. I just hope the UCI never starts testing for cooking oils.

  29. Comment by KanyonKris | 03.25.2009 | 11:57 am

    Elden, how was the first ride on the SS Superfly? After the exciting live blogging of the build, I’m interested to hear how the new bike rode.

  30. Comment by TimMom | 03.25.2009 | 3:39 pm

    Plate and 12 screws. When those are removed, do you suppose someone can make jewelry from them?

  31. Comment by donbiker | 03.25.2009 | 5:20 pm

    Jeez! I wish I had an operation. My collarbone is an inch across at one point and looks like it was fixed by a drunken welder.

  32. Comment by Kevin | 03.26.2009 | 3:32 am

    Hey Krissyb,
    Stop being all jealous of how GREAT Lance is. Who cares what your friend thought? I remember now…NO ONE! Lance Armstrong has more guts and determination in one finger than all of us put together. He’s the greatest cyclist and one of the world’s best athletes of ALL time. He can’t be friends and chummy with everyone he meets. Good letter Fatty, you kill me!

  33. Comment by BikingViking | 03.28.2009 | 4:26 pm

    LOL I can’t say I wasn’t bummed out when I had heard Lance took a tumble. But just knowing that Fatty had a hand in it (even in jest) eases the pain a bit. One of your best yet Fatty. We should ride together sometime, we can argue over who rides sweep.

  34. Comment by Marcus Gee | 04.14.2009 | 3:17 pm

    Maybe Lance can post your apology here – at Apology Center : )
    Apology Center

  35. Comment by Hammstah; Long Live Il Pirata | 04.15.2009 | 6:58 am

    Brilliant!!!!!!!! Lance owes you BIG TIME!!!!

  36. Comment by Floyd Landis's Taint | 05.29.2010 | 9:41 am

    I’m just biding my time, MTFs…


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