A Note from Fatty:I have many small items of interest before I get to the meat of today’s (guest) post.
About the Fat Cyclist 2010 Clothing Pre-Orderama:Tomorrow’s the last day you can pre-order jerseys, shorts, vests, socks, armwarmers, hats, bottles, and t-shirts. We’re not going to order big quantities of anything above the pre-order amount: just enough to make sure that we’re cool for size exchanges, defects, lost shipments, and so forth. So if you want to fly the Fatty Flag (so to speak, since there isn’t actually a Fatty Flag…yet), you should probablyorder now.
I Wish I Were Doing this Race:Today (Monday) is the last day you can register for thePark City Point 2 Pointmountain bike race. This is going to be an incredibly epic race, and I’d be doing it if I weren’t afraid.
If you’re local, you’re hardcore, and you’re not chicken, you should go sign up. Kenny and Brad have, and I’m looking forward to their writeups. And I’m looking forward to doing this race next year, when I will presumably be less chicken.
I Am Newsworthy: The Deseret News, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based newspaper, ran a really kind article about me yesterday. Many thanks to journalist (andobsessive twitterer)Jared Ebornfor not mentioning my horrible body odor in the piece.Read the article here.
And Finally, A Note About Today’s Post:One of the frequent commenters on this site is someone who goes by the handle “BikeCopVT.” Like — I expect — many of you, I’ve often wondered if this guy is really a cop, on a bike, in Vermont. And I’ve wondered what such a job would be like. Dream job? Or nightmare?
Well, I met BikeCopVT in Philadelphia last weekend, and he is in fact a cop. On a bike. In Vermont. So I asked him to write up a guest post describing what his job is like. Upon reading it, I find that I like bikes more, I like cops more, and I like humanity more. BikeCopVT is definitely one of the good guys.
A Day In the Life of a Bike Cop
I recently rode in the Philadelphia LIVESTRONG Challenge. If you were there you might remember me as this guy.
You know the one with the crazy mustache, “BikeCopVT.”
One of the highlights of my trip was having the opportunity to meet someone I would consider a friend. A friend, that until this trip I had yet to meet. After talking to Elden for a minute or two I got the question I often get from people I meet. “Are you really a bike cop?” The answer is, “yes I am.” I have been a bike cop for the last nine years.
After riding the Challenge, Elden asked if I would write about what it’s like to be a Bike Cop. He wanted to know, and thought other people might be interested as well. I figured the best way to give everyone a realistic view of what it’s like to be a bike cop is to write about one 8 hour shift.
I started my shift at 3:00pm in Patrol Uniform. You see, not everybody is a fan of cops on bikes (even other police officers). So for the first two hours of my shift I was this guy:
I answered a few calls for service including going to look for a male suspect a neighboring town wanted arrested. No luck.
At 5:00pm I was able to change into my Bike Patrol Uniform:
Given the choice — be honest — which would you prefer? I pick the bike every time.
Just a few things I’ll point out:
Yes, I am wearing a bullet resistant vest.
Yes, it gets very hot under said vest. Thankfully during this shift it was nice and cool outside. I have an external carrier for the vest I can use when it is really hot which allows me to take it off when I’m in the office.
Take a look at my duty belt. I weighed it once: 28 pounds.
Yep, before you think about the weight of the bike and everything in the pannier, I have already added nearly 30 pounds to what I have to pedal around. The bike is essentially an off the rack bike with Police stickers. One big difference though is the wheels. They are a bit more beefy than the average so I can do the following, without breaking anything:
After going out and taking all these pictures it was time to work. When I am on the bike I am treated like any other patrol unit. I just have a harder time transporting prisoners.
One thing the cars can’t do, though, is go here:
On the bike, though, I can. And believe me, I do — with pleasure. Hey, somebody has to check the trails!
So, from 5:30 to about 6:15 I was out on the trails. But, it’s not all trails. A lot of it is more like this:
By the way, note the socks. Yep, even on patrol, I’m a “Fat Cyclist.”
While we were taking these pictures, a mom and her two year old daughter asked if they could talk to me for a minute. The little girl wanted to let me know she was happy I was being safe and wearing my helmet.
6:30pm and I am checking one of the City’s many parks. As I ride by, a man walking with his daughter asks me to stop for a minute. Do you think a cop in a cruiser with the radio blaring, windows up and A/C on would have heard him? You see a big part of bicycle patrol is (I’m going to use a catch phrase here) Community Policing. I spent the next ten minutes talking with Annika and her dad. Annika is 3 years old. She was on her way to get ice cream. She didn’t like my sunglasses, but was happy I was being safe and wearing my helmet. (It is good to see that children are getting the message that wearing a helmet is important) She told me what every letter was on my bike and recited her ABC’s. As I rode away she said bye at least five times. I think it was only to see if I would keep looking back and waving every time she said it (I did).
6:45pm and I am on another street riding right behind a woman on a commuter bike wearing no helmet. She rode right through a stop sign, never looked, and just kept on going. I caught up to her and, as politely as I could, I reminded her that bicycles are treated the same as cars in Vermont. She is required to stop at the stop signs or risk a $209 ticket and 2 points on her driver’s license. She said thanks and well…we’ll see if she stops next time.
7:00pm, remember that guy I went looking for earlier in the day while in the patrol car? Well, we got another tip about him walking in the area. This time I’m on my bike. I beat the patrol cars to the area and rode right up to him before he ever noticed I was a police officer. He just turned around put his head down and put his hands behind his back. What is the point in running from a guy on a bike, really?
7:30pm and we get a report of possible domestic violence involving a couple on foot. Once again, due to the heavy traffic, I beat the patrol cars and locate the couple on a side street.
8:00pm dinner, hey everybody has to eat sometimes. On bike patrol you have to be a lot more aware of needing that energy and water. I always carry some food and lots of water, because in my job you just never know if you’ll get to sit down and eat.
8:30pm time for some more Community Policing. The downtown district in my city has 6 bars so I always make an effort to stop by a few. People love to (especially when drunk) talk to the bike cop and try and get their friends arrested.
9:31pm one of the Patrol Units asks me to assist him in locating a wanted person. The plan is for me to arrive first and cover the back of the building. The car arrives after me to see if the wanted person runs. No running tonight. As we walked the wanted person to the patrol car he makes note of the bike. “You guys have bikes now?” He also commented about going out a window and running, but what is the point? Here is one of my favorite police one liners: “He’ll just go to jail tired.”
10:33pm neighbor dispute. Talked to one half, he lost his cat. The other half was having great fun meowing, just to get the first guy going.
10:45pm in to the office. You see, everything I have done tonight requires documentation. I will now spend a good deal of time writing reports about all of it. My shift was supposed to end at 11:00pm, but my relief is 30 minutes late and I can’t leave until he gets here. Oh well, more time to get paperwork done I guess.
My total mileage for the night was 16.63. Not bad for a city that is just over one square mile.
A Note About the“Fight Like Susan” T-Shirt: The stock of the “Fight Like Susan” T-shirt sold out very quickly, so the Twin Six guys have made it a pre-order item, just like everything else in the 2010 Fat Cyclist pre-order shindig.
I’ve kept myself busy in the three weeks since Susan died. The funeral. The race. Giving away a bike. Getting the kids ready and off to school. A trip to Philly. A speech. A big ride. New jerseys.
And several bike rides, in spite of a big ol’ swollen knee.
Being that busy was hardly an accident. I am a busy person by nature, so busy feels normal. And normal feels good.
I can tell I’m giving people an answer they don’t expect or want when they stop by my house and ask, “How are you doing?” and I answer, “Pretty well.”
Some of them, in fact, demand a recount: “No, tell me how you’re really doing.” And for those people, I say, “You know, I am hanging in there.” But I don’t go deeper. I can’t. I don’t have the time for it. And I’m resistant to the idea of getting emotional on demand.
And the truth is, often I really am really good. Especially when I’m around my kids. I feel like we’ve pulled a little tighter since Susan died. They don’t tease as often, and they tend to stay around me and each other.
And I’m finding that I have the capacity to take up some of the slack left by Susan: I’m consciously a little more patient, knowing that if I’m “bad cop,” there’s no “good cop” for afterward. Knowing that one of the things all the kids loved doing best with Susan was reading aloud, I am deep into the first Harry Potter book with the girls, and equally deep into Watership Down with the boys.
And I find that I look forward to the kids getting home from school more than I ever have before.
When It’s Bad
I did a lot of grieving in the month before Susan died. More than I talked about here, it was clear she was slipping away. She was sleeping almost always, and only rarely did she remember what had happened the last time she had been awake.
It was genuinely more painful to have her present, but be in terrible pain and not lucid, than it is to finally have her be released from what cancer did to her.
But there are definitely times when things get bad for me. Like going into the now-half-empty closet. Or when phone solicitors call, asking for Susan.
Those kinds of things I expected.
What has caught me off-guard, though, is that a lot of the time it’s when something funny or good or interesting happens that I get spun around. Something interesting will happen and my twenty-plus-year-old habit of thinking, “I need to remember to tell Susan about that” will fire, immediately followed by the thought, “I can’t tell Susan about that.”
And that hurts. Bad.
Worst, though, is when I accidentally start thinking about the future. Not the near future; I have an idea what that will be like: school, work, bike rides.
It’s the distant future that gives me what feels like a panic attack. The future was something I thought I had figured out, at least generally, and I was really happy with that future. Now, though, I have no idea what the future looks like.
It’s like when I’ve written something I’m happy with, and then I lose the document without saving.
But those moments are just that: moments. And then they pass and I’ve got plenty to do, and a lot of really great friends, family, and readers to help me get through this.
I want to start today’s post by saying that I had nothing to do with how well-cared-for and organized Team Fatty was for this event. That is all thanks to Team Fatty-Philly’s fearless co-captain, Jen. She put hundreds of hours into making it easy and fun for us all to get together, get to the start line, and hang out.
So let me echo what I have heard many, many members of Team Fatty-Philly say: Jen, you are awesome. Thank you so much.
And now, here’s my report of the day.
The Ride to the Ride
Team Fatty-Philly met at a hotel near the venue, to make parking and getting to the start line a little bit easier. I wanted a chance to hang out with team members, so I came down a little bit early.
Which all went fine, until about three minutes before it was time to go. Then my “pre-race purge reflex” kicked in, which I do not want to detail too thoroughly. Suffice it to say that just before any major ride or race, my body instinctively knows that it ought to get rid of anything it doesn’t need to carry.
And in short, by the time I got back down from my room to the parking lot, everyone was waiting for me. They gave me an ovation, which — considering what I had been doing and the fact that I was currently holding up 100+ people — was probably not deserved.
So we rode the five miles together, following our very own pace car.
Even as we did this mellow-paced, low-to-no-effort ride, I thought to myself, “I am not going to want to have to tack this on to my ride at the end of the day.”
We got to the gate with plenty of time to spare, so we had time to just mill around and talk before we could take our rightful spot at the front of the line.
Fool that I am, I stood up on top of a boulder and began to give a speech. Sadly for me, I had nothing to say. So I mostly just said, over and over, “Thanks everyone for coming out. It means a lot to me.”
Which everyone already knew, but it’s what I was thinking.
Oh, and I also stuck my arms out and waved my hands for applause a lot. This was surprisingly effective.
Oh, check out my right leg; the knee is still pretty swollen. It wasn’t hurting badly, though. Just a little bit stiff whenever I walked on it.
The Starting Line
I have to say, I loved having the biggest team at the LiveStrong Challenge. And I loved that everyone knew who we are and were excited for us. And I really, really loved that we got to be the team at the start of the line, with 6000 people behind us.
(Click here for a large version of the above picture)
The start time was delayed a bit, which gave me a chance to get a photo with Ethan Zohn, the winner of Survivor Africa. He was doing a shorter run since he’s currently in chemo treatment, but he says next year we should count him in to be in Team Fatty.
Then I talked with a reporter from the local NBC affiliate. We talked for about five minutes, from which they used a sentence fragment. Yes, not even a full sentence, where I explained what “Fighting like Susan” means, just the part where I mention she passed away recently.
I’m not happy about that, but that’s the way it goes. You can find the segment here.
As we were waiting for the start, I told the team my ride plan for the day. Go out fast for a little while, just to see if I can stay with the police escort for a while. Then I’d hang out at the first rest stop for a while and just cruise the rest of the day, riding and talking with anyone who would put up with me.
Then we counted down the seconds and off we went.
And something happened to me. Namely, I felt an incredible rush of adrenaline and a strong aversion to giving up Team Fatty’s lead position.
So, along with about five other Team Fatty riders, I rode out of my skull, off the front and pulling anyone who could follow. My knee was sore at first…and then, magically, it wasn’t.
Almost before I knew it, there was the first rest stop. The one I said I was going to stop at and hang out for a while.
But I hadn’t been counting on being not just near the front, but at the front.
I just couldn’t make myself get off that train.
So I kept going, riding with the fast guys, and feeling nigh indestructible. I passed the place where you have to decide whether to ride 70 or 100 miles. My leg felt great. I was at the front of the lead pack. Of course I was going 100 miles.
And then, about thirty miles in, I faded. Hard. It was remarkable, really, how fast I dropped back. There I was, actually taking my turn at pulling the group, then I dropped back, and suddenly I couldn’t hang anymore.
I looked back, seeing if there was another group I could glom onto.
There was nobody.
So I pulled over to the side of the road and had a snack until someone else from Team Fatty rode up, and we rode together to the next aid station.
I should say that my expectations for the Philly ride and route couldn’t have been more wrong. Specifically, I had expected that the weather would be miserable, based on the fact that the weather for the two days prior had been rainy and miserable.
Instead, the day was warm — but not unbearably hot — with declining humidity and a nice afternoon breeze.
Also, I expected that the route would be through an urban jungle. Instead, it was through the countryside, alongside beautiful old farms and 17th-century cemeteries, and through countless tunnels of dense trees.
And, most importantly, I thought the ride would be relatively flat. But it was not. No sir, it was most definitely not flat. Hills never lasted long — a few hundred feet — but they were steep and frequent. And since my whole climbing technique revolves around finding a climbing groove, these hills punished me. Punished me hard.
On one of them, I saw the devil. I rode by him, putting out a fist for a fist bump, and he acted like he was going to give me one … and then pulled away at the last moment, cackling evilly.
It was one of the most awesome moments of the whole ride.
Later, at the finish line, I got a photo with him.
You can see that in this photo I haven’t quite forgiven him, yet.
What was really great about this ride — this whole event — was the people. Team Fatty was just incredible. I don’t know how many times I heard “Go Team Fatty” yelled out from the side of the road.
Or how many signs.
Others were incredible too. I’m sure that people who have done this kind of event a lot get used to it, but to me the whole unity of purpose combined with the celebration of having done something good really made the whole day feel important and special.
I rode a good chunk of the day alongside Chris Carmichael, who attends many of these LiveStrong Challenge rides. I think that having the honcho of CTS and a blogger called Fatty might have caused a tear in the fabric of time and space, but he was still a good guy to ride and talk with.
As the 100-mile course merged back with the 70 and 45 mile courses, I started coming across more Team Fatty members. As they passed me or I passed them, the greeting was always the same: “TEAM FATTY!”
I never ever ever got tired of that.
And then my 100 miles was up. I don’t believe I have ever felt so good at the end of a century, nor has a century ever flown by so quickly.
And for the first time ever, I wished for more.
After the ride, I hung around the finish line, wanting to thank and congratulate Team Fatty members who finished after me. It was all I could do to not give them all a big hug, I was so excited to see so many of us finishing the ride, having accomplished so much.
And I got lots and lots and lots of photos with Team Fatty riders, all of them looking pretty much like this:
After a while, though, my effort started to catch up to me, plus I was still in an increasingly icky-feeling pair of bike shorts. I bolted back to the hotel, got something to eat, changed into clean clothes, and got back to the finish line.
I’m sure I missed seeing quite a few Team Fatty members cross the finish line, but I kinda had to, or I’d have fallen over. And probably gotten a weird fungus on my butt.
Wrapping up, LiveStrong Philly was an incredible celebration of having done something good — raising a lot of money to fight cancer.
Count me in for 2010.
PS: Jason Crane has a great list of other people’s photos and stories from the event. I’ve gone and read every one of them. Check out his list here. (And thanks, Jason!)
PPS: Almost all of the photos you see in this post come from Kevin, who spent his whole day photographing Team Fatty, from the start line to the road to the aid stations to the finish line. Thanks, Kevin! (Check out all his photos from the day here)
PPPS: Thanks to everyone at the LAF, not just for the day-to-day work they do in the fight against cancer, but for putting on a really uplifting event. Special thanks go to Colleen and AnneMarie, who helped me in too many ways to even start mentioning, because they’d get all bigheaded and demand raises and stuff.
I’m going to need to break up my report on the Philadelphia LiveStrong event into two posts, because there’s just too much here for one day. Mainly, I’ve got a 27 minute video of Philly Jen’s and my speeches, which is probably asking more of your day than I ought to anyway.
Today, let’s talk about the day before the big ride.
A Speech So Nice, I Wrote it Twice
Friday morning, I went on a nice ride by myself, and was happy to note that my right leg wasn’t bothering me too badly. While I definitely had some pain at the top of the stroke, I could use my left leg to carry my right leg up and over.
I had my doubts about riding 100 or even 70 miles, but I figured I’d be able to do the 40-mile version by the time the weekend arrived. Not bad, considering I had thrown myself down a rocky embankment less than a week ago.
As I rode, I put the outline of a speech together in my head. I was feeling giddy about being able to ride again, so it was a fairly lighthearted speech. I had a nagging feeling that it didn’t strike the right tone, though. I didn’t worry about it too much, though.
I got home, wrote the outline down, packed, and got to the airport.
Then, sitting down in the airport with a delayed flight giving me 90 minutes of time to think, I reconsidered my speech. So I wrote a new one, this time writing down what I thought was important. I felt a little silly, crying as I typed there in the airport, but I no longer had any reservations about the right tone.
When I finished, I deleted the first speech. I knew the second one was the one I would give.
Colleen and Sandy of LiveStrong picked me up at the airport around midnight and gave me a ride to the hotel, at which point I discovered that I had forgotten my Ambien. Remarkably, I wound up not needing it; I crashed fast and slept well. Which is kind of a rare thing for me right now.
The photo (taken by our Team Photographer, Kevin, who took incredible shots for us through the whole weekend — see photos of the whole event here) doesn’t really convey the sheer enormity of this cake, and it for sure doesn’t convey the deliciousness of this cake. Huge thanks goes out to Team Fatty member “RayRay the Baker” Molnar of Cramer Bakery. I only regret that I didn’t take a big chunk of that cake up to my room for midnight snacking.
For an hour or so, we all just hung out, eating cake and getting to know each other.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt quite so at-home with a group of people I’ve never met before in my entire life.
The Fundraising Appreciation Dinner, as I believe it was called, had great food, great speakers, and was totally dominated by Team Fatty, especially since most of us — not me, I wore something a little more serious since I would be giving a serious talk — wore Fat Cyclist jerseys there.
And our tables were right at the front row, as close to the podium as possible, which ensured I’d be looking at friendly faces.
But still, I was incredibly nervous. I ate, but I don’t remember the food. I talked with people and took my picture with lots of Team Fatty members, but all the while I was thinking about the time when I got up in front of a group of people to speak, then suddenly heard my pulse pounding in my ears so loudly I could hear nothing else and kept from falling down only by gripping the podium.
And in short, I was feeling a little woozy.
But John “College” Korioth — a good friend of Lance and one of the original members of the Lance Armstrong Foundation — gave a great speech. Good enough, in fact, that I got lost in it and stopped worrying about my own speech.
And then it was my turn. And here it is.
I admit, I have not watched the whole thing. It is simply too difficult for me to watch and listen to myself.
But everyone was incredibly kind afterward, giving me a terrific ovation, and giving Team Fatty the props it deserved.
Jen’s “Fat” dance was an especially big hit. I admit to being so dumbfounded that I forgot to join in the dance. At least, that’s my assertion, and I challenge anyone to bring forth evidence to the contrary.
And then: back to the hotel for a few hours of sleep and a big ride the next day. But how long of a ride I was up for, I had no idea.
A Note from Fatty: The Philadelphia LiveStrong Challenge was almost too cool for words. Luckily, within the next day or two I should be getting pictures and video back so I can tell the story properly.
Okay, enough with the teasing already. I know you’re just going to go look at the images anyway so I may as well just be typing blah blah blah here. Which would save me quite a bit of time, to be honest. Though I don’t think it would do much for my ego if I did that for a couple weeks and nobody noticed.
Look at me: rambling again. Let’s take a look at the jerseys!
The 2010 Fat Cyclist Jersey
Wow, it is so weird to type “2010.” Every time I do, I expect a giant obelisk to come crashing through the roof, accompanied by dramatic music.
That may just be my problem. Let’s move on.
It is and will always be debatable whether a black jersey is really hotter to ride in than a white one, but now you’ll be able to decide for yourself.
Here’s the front:
…and here’s the back:
There are a few things worth noting on this jersey, which comes in both men’s and women’s versions:
It’s got a full-length zipper. Which means that now you’ll be able, on hot days, to unzip your jersey entirely and let it flap in the wind behind you, like a cape. This, admittedly, looks better on some people than on others. You will have to decide if you are one of the people it looks good on, or whether you are one of the people who would get arrested for doing this. Hint: If you are a woman, you are one of the people who will get arrested. In spite of the apparent appreciation of passers-by.
The fit and material are excellent: Those of you who bought 2009 Fat Cyclist jerseys know that the material and fit are really great. The 2010 jerseys continue that tradition.
Specially formulated for sexiness: I know that you are already a very sexy person, but most jerseys suppress that sexiness, instead making you look like someone who likes Super Grover, or are perhaps a big fan of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Which is a fine album, but not an appropriate on-bike message. This 2010 jersey will make you look as sexy as possible, while still proclaiming that you are a Friend of Fatty. I know, that seems like a contradiction in terms, but trust me: it’s not. I hope.
As you may have noticed, Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting Like Susan has had a pretty successful first year. As in, we’ve broken pretty much every LiveStrong fundraising record there is, and have been the top fundraiser in each of the first three LiveStrong Challenge event cities.
I think we should start planning on doing it again next year. And here’s the jersey we’re going to do it in. Here’s the front:
And here’s the back:
What needs to be said about this jersey? How about this?
Full-length zipper: You know, I never really got the point of having a full-length zipper on a jersey…until I had a jersey with a full-length zipper. Oh, and also they’re much easier to remove if, by chance, you’ve separated your shoulder so many times in your life that you no longer have any range of motion to speak of. Not that I would know anything about that.
Has the WIN logo on the right sleeve. And it always will.
Fight Like Susan: Where the Fat Cyclist jersey says “Heavyweight Horsepower” in the circle that goes around the clydesdale, this jersey has our motto: Fight Like Susan. People will ask you what this means, and the answer is simple: We will find ways to fight cancer doing what we love. We will fight cancer with focus, creativity, and outrageous endurance.
$25 from each Team Fatty jersey sold will go to LiveStrong. Specifically, it’ll go to Mike Roadie’s LiveStrong Challenge, because he’s the one who suggested to me that we should have a Team Fatty, and because he’s the one who bugged me and bugged me and bugged me about doing a white jersey. Which turned out to be a great idea.
Whether you’re riding with the Fat Cyclist or Team Fatty jersey, you now have the option of looking as fully-kitted and Euro as you want. And maybe even more.
This year, bib shorts will be available in both the Fat Cyclist (orange) version and the Team Fatty (pink) version, in both men’s and women’s cuts.
8 Panel Construction
8 oz Micro Denier Knit Poly/Lycra
Super-soft, completely seamless and fully perforated men’s chamois
Fat Cyclist Bottles: Now Using Camelbak Podium Bottles!
I can’t help it: the thing I’m second-most-excited about this year is that the Fat Cyclist bottles will now be screened onto the Camelbak Podium bottles.
I love these bottles. I never use any other kind now. No more increasingly-leaky pull-out valves.
And we’re doing the big size: 24oz. These are easier to squeeze, and hold enough drink that you only need one bottle for a short ride, and two bottles will take care of you for a pretty darned good-sized long ride.
I recommend you use them not just on the bike, but any time you need a drink. Including when fancy company comes over for dinner. Which means you’d better order twenty or so.
A Vest for Your Chest
This year I’ve got a full-on line of apparel to go with your jersey. Which means, when I’m feeling less fancy, that in addition to jerseys, we now have Fat Cyclist jerseys, I now have socks, caps, armwarmers, and vests.
Check out the vest, first of all.
Available in both orange and pink versions, there’s nothing quite as useful as a good vest on a ride that starts out cold, but you know is going to end up warm. Or vice versa, I suppose. Yes, now that I think about it, definitely vice versa, as well.
And this, I assure you, is a good vest. $60.00, whether you get it in orange or pink.
If there’s anything more useful than a vest for a ride that’s going to change temperatures — and while I know I just said there isn’t, I am willing to reconsider and you should be too — it is armwarmers.
I never do an early-morning ride without them. Even in the summer. And yet, as useful as they are, they’re still only $30.00. Available in both orange and pink versions. Buy a bunch, because you know you’re going to lose them. Like socks.
For about two years now, I have not worn anything but Fat Cyclist socks. Which is not to say that I go everywhere completely nude with exception of Fat Cyclist socks.
No, that’s not what I mean at all.
What I mean is that I have found that Fat Cyclist socks are comfortable and awesome-looking enough to be worn both on and off the bike. To work. To church. Swimming. Okay, maybe not swimming.
Oh, and I bet they make awesome puppets, too. Try it and get back to me with your results. $12.00 for both the orange and pink versions.
If you aren’t going to put sunscreen on your head — and I’m not just talking to those of you without hair here — you should wear a cycling cap under your helmet. Besides, you’ll look all cool and Euro and stuff when you wear one off the bike, too.
This year, we’re making them cotton so they fit a little easier under your helmet, and also so they’re a little more affordable, and also so you’ll want to wear it everywhere and all the time. $20.00, and available in both orange and pink versions.
You know, so you can decorate your car, your notebook, your computer, your neighbor’s mailbox, and so forth:
These are sticky vinyl, not paper. Weather-proof and fade resistant. $8.00 for the set of 6 stickers.
I’ll bet your kitchen would look awesome just totally covered with these.
The Fat Cyclist T-Shirt
I don’t even know what to say about this T-shirt except that I got all choked up when I saw the design. Here’s the front:
And the back:
This is available now — not as a pre-order — for $22.00 in both men’s and women’s sizes.
[UPDATE:Most women's sizes are sold out for the time being. More in all sizes have been ordered, however, and I'll post when they become available. - FC]
About the Pre-Order And When Your Stuff Will Arrive
Everything here is on pre-order, meaning you order and pay for it now, and you’ll get it in mid-November. By doing this as a pre-order, you’re guaranteed to get what you ordered. As many of you know, if you wait until the stuff actually comes in, you’re likely to miss out — I don’t order a lot of extras of anything, so we sell out — especially of jerseys — right away every year.
The pre-order period goes from now until next Tuesday, September 1, at 5:00PM CDT. [Note: Sorry about the confusion when I originally typed September 5 -- that was a typo caused by the fact that I wrote this at 2:30 in the morning.]
You can find all of the stuff I’ve listed here in convenient catalog form over at the Twin Six site in my handy Fat Cyclist Stuff page.
And thanks for wearing Fat Cyclist stuff — I always love it when I see another rider wearing a Fat Cyclist / Team Fatty jersey. It’s like we’re members of a very strange, self-deprecating club. That wears a lot of stretchy clothes.