The Funeral, and What’s Next

08.11.2009 | 10:25 am

Yesterday was Susan’s funeral.

Leading up to it — the night before, and the morning of — I had the same symptoms I have before a big race. Nausea, inability to focus, aimless wandering, constant checking and rechecking to make sure I have everything I need.

But during the funeral, I was OK. By “OK” of course I mean that I cried pretty much through the whole thing, including during when I spoke (I had myself go first, so I wouldn’t be nervous and unable to pay attention to others through the whole thing). But since that was expected, I was OK with it.

Kenny made and printed a 5×8 photo collage to go with each program:


The service itself was really good. It seemed every speaker knew and loved the same things about Susan: her creativity, her self-effacement, her love of family, and her courage and strength.

The funeral was hard on my kids, but they were brave and they made me proud.


And since I asked the core team to be the pallbearers, I got a once-in-a-lifetime photo: the core team, all wearing ties:


What Now?

Since Wednesday, I’ve been focusing on the funeral during most of my waking hours. Having tasks and a deadline has been helpful.

So now that it’s over, I’m giving myself some new tasks, some of which are definitely more task-like than others.

  1. Race the Leadville 100. I no longer have any reason to not race the Leadville 100. Furthermore, I feel like I have incentive to attack it like never before. Tomorrow I’ll detail my race plan, but for now: I’m going to ride it, and I’m going to race it hard.
  2. Ride the Philly LiveStrong Challenge. The weekend after Leadville, I’m going to Philadelphia to participate in the LiveStrong Challenge. I’m very, very excited to finally meet some more members of Team Fatty, although I must say that I’m a little bit afraid of my co-captain, Philly Jen. Since she has more energy than an unmodified human could possibly have, I suspect that she is either doping, or is a warrior robot from outer space. Either way, I’m concerned.
  3. Get the kids’ school year started. They’re really excited about this, I can tell you.
  4. Figure out and pay all the medical bills. I’m really excited about this, I can tell you.
  5. Work on a book proposal. I think it’s time I write a book.
  6. Write something funny for this blog. Some of you may recall that once upon a time I had a sense of humor. I’d like to find out if I still do.


This week — no, I guess it hasn’t even been a week, actually — has been the longest of my life. I appreciate the thousands of comments and email messages you all have left. Your support has made an awful time much easier to cope with.

PS: I got this email from Riley, a friend of mine who’s also racing the Leadville 100 this weekend:


I’m in Leadville, and decided to take a pre-ride up Columbine. Of course I was wearing my “Win” jersey. It happened to attract the attention of the guy in attached picture. He asked me how you were holding up; and I told him that you were fighting even more. He sent his regards and condolences.

Thanks for sending that in, Riley. That’s very cool of both you and Lance.


  1. Comment by rexinsea | 08.11.2009 | 10:34 am

    Elden – You, your family, your friends, your community is indeed something special. Good luck these next few weeks. I wish you and your family peace (and special to you, a really fast time at Leadville!)

  2. Comment by Dana P | 08.11.2009 | 10:35 am

    Great blessings to your family, Fatty.

  3. Comment by VA Biker | 08.11.2009 | 10:35 am

    Elden, I don’t know how you do it. I cried simply reading this post from a far-flung location. With the friends you have and the support network you’ve built, you and your family will get through. You all are still in my thoughts and prayers. Stay strong and may peace be with you all. Fight Like Susan.

  4. Comment by chtrich | 08.11.2009 | 10:35 am

    Stay Strong now more than ever!

  5. Comment by Flying Ute | 08.11.2009 | 10:36 am

    Man, thanks for sharing this with us. I think we all care how you and your family are doing.

    I’m glad you are going to Leadville. I love your post ride summaries. They help make the event more epic.

    Keep Living Strong!!!

    See you in Leadville.

  6. Comment by Danielle | 08.11.2009 | 10:37 am

    Much love and light to you and your family, Elden.

  7. Comment by Pat in Oak Ridge | 08.11.2009 | 10:38 am

    I wish I lived nearby so I could help you out with the kids, but I live in Tennessee. But you are all in my prayers. The picture of your girls in front of Susan’s coffin is so beautiful, thank you for including it. Thanks for sharing your life and Susan’s life and death with us. It has touched thousands of people. It IS time you wrote a book. Hang in there.

  8. Comment by lyndap | 08.11.2009 | 10:38 am

    Fatty, my thoughts are with you and your family. Hammer into those pedals on Sat.

  9. Comment by Big Boned | 08.11.2009 | 10:38 am

    This post is the best thing I’ve read in a VERY long time. Rock Leadville. Rip your legs off there so that the next weekend when you are in Philly I can hang out in your draft (wear deoderant please). After all this time, I might actually meet you?
    Big Boned

  10. Comment by Big Boned | 08.11.2009 | 10:39 am

    P.S. You are right – Philly Jen is a monster!

  11. Comment by Rupert | 08.11.2009 | 10:39 am

    I am glad to hear you’re doing Leadville. I had been thinking about it and hoping you would. Live Strong to you and your family!

  12. Comment by TomE | 08.11.2009 | 10:41 am

    Kick Leadville’s ARSE Fatty!!!! We will be rooting you on!

  13. Comment by Derek | 08.11.2009 | 10:43 am

    I’m glad to hear you’re doing Leadville too. I thought about that on my ride the other day (Elden should do Leadville, that’d be the best thing for him). Kill it for Susan, I’m sure she’ll be watching.

  14. Comment by bikemike | 08.11.2009 | 10:45 am

    You are the man and by that i mean, “The Man”.

  15. Comment by Rick S. | 08.11.2009 | 10:46 am

    The funeral was beautiful. I lost a few pounds in tears and snot.

    I look forward to chasing your wheel at Leadville this week. This could be the year. Columbine and Pipeline might be just what you need to clear your head a little.

  16. Comment by Liberty on Bikes!/bob | 08.11.2009 | 10:46 am

    & publish susan’s book.
    Humor never leaves,
    it just gets pushed to the side
    when life gets serious.
    There should be enough stupidity
    between Leadville & Philly
    to kickstart the humor.
    I’ll bring some extra stupidity
    just in case.

  17. Comment by gian | 08.11.2009 | 10:48 am

    All I have are tears for you. Tear the legs off ‘em!

    oh, and ill take 10 preorder copies of your book.

  18. Comment by Hammer Houston TeamMBA | 08.11.2009 | 10:49 am

    Thanks for helping me get through this with mine, who is in final hospice.

    Hope to see you in Philly. You and your family are in our prayers. Keep all the memories warm and happy.

  19. Comment by Tracy | 08.11.2009 | 10:49 am

    You will find your sense of humour again, and your sense of silly will be there too. You will giggle again and laugh so hard your cheeks ache. Trust me. It is there.

    Now, go ride Leadville this weekend and have fun.

  20. Comment by Caroline | 08.11.2009 | 10:50 am

    I don’t know you BUT you have touched me so.. Can’t wait for the book.. Loved the pic from Riley
    Much love to you,your family and all your many wonderful friends!

  21. Comment by Matt Boulanger | 08.11.2009 | 10:51 am

    Tear it up at Leadville, Fatty. I’ll be thinking of you.

  22. Comment by NW | 08.11.2009 | 10:51 am

    Go get ‘em in Leadville!

  23. Comment by Dana | 08.11.2009 | 10:51 am

    i don’t think “WIN” has meant more to me than it does now.

  24. Comment by MrsEAM | 08.11.2009 | 10:52 am

    Very excited to hear that you will be riding in Leadville. Not under the circumstances, of course, but my hope is that you will find peace during those 100 miles and “Win” for Susan on Saturday. We’ll all be thinking about you!

  25. Comment by Aaron Pailthorp | 08.11.2009 | 10:52 am

    Humor is the salve that can get us through so much. That you can write now, in spite of it all, is ample proof that your humor hasn’t left. Thank you for sharing.

  26. Comment by Philly Jen | 08.11.2009 | 10:52 am

    Love to all your family.

    People are so excited that you’re coming to Philly — you have no idea. Since Lance will be in Ireland, you’ll be the rock star of Livestrong Philly. Be sure to wear those sunglasses you have that make you look like an alien, otherwise you’ll be crushed by adoring crowds.

    Seriously, we are all really looking forward to seeing you. It means a great deal to a lot of people. Me included.

    Allez, Philly!


    Come see me ride another 100 Miles of Nowhere and learn about the work of the LIVESTRONG™ Survivorship Center of Excellence at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

    Donations and cold carbohydrates cheerfully accepted.

    Friday, August 14th, 9am – 5pm
    36th and Walnut Streets, Philadelphia
    in front of the Penn Bookstore

  27. Comment by Matt | 08.11.2009 | 10:53 am

    Leadville will be the greatest healing experience of your life, for all the right reasons. Enjoy the experience, and you have done a tremendous job.

  28. Comment by Sarah | 08.11.2009 | 10:54 am

    I know I should say something supportive here (and truly, you have a beautiful family and a beautiful spirit) but really, after reading this post, one of my primary thoughts was “Fatty looks really strange with hair.”

  29. Comment by Dan O | 08.11.2009 | 10:55 am

    Best wishes to you and your family. I hope to be able to meet you at the livestrong in Austin this year.
    Keep fighting like Susan!

  30. Comment by Chris | 08.11.2009 | 10:56 am

    You and your kids are so inspirational and so… awesome. I’m sure Susan’s fingerprints are all over the bunch of you! You’re all doing amazing. We’re still praying. Moved, Chris [and Family]

  31. Comment by Boz | 08.11.2009 | 10:56 am

    Looks like the start of something big ! Riding for Susan and Livestrong is the most noble thing I can think of doing, and you’ve taken the lead.


  32. Comment by Myrnie | 08.11.2009 | 10:56 am

    Go get ‘em!

  33. Comment by Alan | 08.11.2009 | 10:57 am

    You, your family and your friends are a great inspiration. Stay Strong!

    Alan-Broomfield, CO

  34. Comment by LT | 08.11.2009 | 10:57 am

    You are going to KILL Leadville. Thanks for your inspiration you definitely inspire us all to be a little better!

  35. Comment by Angie G | 08.11.2009 | 10:59 am

    Fatty-I am glad you have decided to go to Leadville. Take those awesome quads for a spin, you deserve it. One of my friends will be coming from NorCal. He has been training like a mad man possessed for months now.

    The next chapter is now beginning and will be just as amazing as the previous chapters just in different ways. Things will be great, just remember to breathe. :-)

    By the way, you have written some very funny things recently, so don’t be so hard on yourself.

  36. Comment by Pete | 08.11.2009 | 11:00 am

    Don’t worry about the sense of humor bud it’ll be fine. Kick some serious arse at Leadville. Stay strong, keep two eyes on those kids they need you now.

  37. Comment by dug | 08.11.2009 | 11:00 am

    beyond learning from all this hell to “fight like susan”, i’ve also learned that i need to Love like Susan, Serve like Sue (and friends), and Livestrong like Elden.

    you and your family are a beacon of hope. you are carrying the fire.

  38. Comment by Andrea | 08.11.2009 | 11:00 am

    I wish all the best for you and your family Fatty. Susan’s service looked beautiful.

  39. Comment by Julie | 08.11.2009 | 11:01 am

    Don’t worry about #6, Fatty. We’re all going to stick around.

    Jen is the BEST Captain of all of the Captains. She’s awesome! I can’t wait to meet her and you in Philly!

  40. Comment by Julie | 08.11.2009 | 11:06 am

    I have no doubt the humor is still there…can’t wait to hear about Leadville and Philly!!

  41. Comment by kestrel | 08.11.2009 | 11:06 am

    Allez, Fatty! I applaud your spirit! I applaud your goal setting and getting out there in the stream of life when part of you would probably rather dig a hole and hide in it for a bit. You’re strong, the family is strong, and what you’re doing honors you all, and honors life. Even going to Leadville is a win, Elden! Fight :) Hope to see you up there…

  42. Comment by Nina in Ohio | 08.11.2009 | 11:06 am

    Susan is pain-free and looking down at her beautiful & loving family – such a lovely picture of your girls. Hang tough Elden and tackle Leadville with a hard-earned joy.

  43. Comment by monkeywebb | 08.11.2009 | 11:06 am

    I’m excited for you (and all the autograph seekers in Leadville & Philly).

    Are you the shortest member of the core team? I don’t remember ever hearing you use that as an excuse, er, reason. I definitely would.

  44. Comment by Cat | 08.11.2009 | 11:06 am

    Elden, leave it all on the road in Leadville man. All of it. You’ll rock it for Susan.

    My best wishes and healing thoughts to you and your family.

  45. Comment by Mehera | 08.11.2009 | 11:07 am

    Fatty living his life with purpose and gusto; dusting off his sense of humor. Raising still more money. Raising four kids with the character of their mother and father. Could there be any better way to give cancer a kick in the teeth? I’m starting to understand this “Live Strong” thing!

  46. Comment by Micheal Green | 08.11.2009 | 11:09 am

    Ride On Fatty!

  47. Comment by RachelGio | 08.11.2009 | 11:11 am

    Hey Fatty…I hope you’ll consider coming to LiveStrong in Austin too. I know your plate is full now and your heart is heavy. But it would be cool! While I’m not on the Fatty Team for Austin, I’m on Team Colleen and we are riding for our friend and teammate Colleen Whealdon-Haught.

    My heart is with you and your family. I lost my mom when I was 22 so I can empathize a little with what your kids are going through. Tell them it will be okay.

  48. Comment by Mike | 08.11.2009 | 11:12 am


  49. Comment by Juls | 08.11.2009 | 11:13 am

    Fatty, I am glad you made it through yesterday.
    Thank you so much for sharing the experience for those of us who could not attend in person. I have been following you for years – your update of the funeral plans, the funeral, the eulogy, and the picture gave me some closure. Thank you.

    So, you are riding Leadville and Philly.
    I think you should strap on the helmet cam for a video to be posted later.

  50. Comment by Julian | 08.11.2009 | 11:15 am

    Fatty you remain an inspiration. It was a great service and I definitely would have come if I was able to be out in Utah. My condolences and best thoughts and wishes as you embark on this time of recovery, and I know you will ride strong for Susan this weekend man.

  51. Comment by BGT | 08.11.2009 | 11:15 am

    Touched again by your writing – please write that book!

    Beautiful photo of your girls. Never met any of you but I see Susan in both their precious faces. I hope you find joy and comfort in that every day.

    You’re going to rock in Leadville!

  52. Comment by Mtbnomore | 08.11.2009 | 11:15 am

    You did it again. Now I have to go back to work after lunch with red eyes and a nose full of snot.

    I look forward to reading your race reports.

  53. Comment by Kaley | 08.11.2009 | 11:16 am

    Yay Fatty! Glad to hear you are doing Leadville and have things on your horizon to get excited about! You deserve some peace and happiness, along with your kids. I look forward to reading your insights here in the blog and can’t wait for the book-it will be great, I know that already.

    Ride on and keep Winning!

  54. Comment by Charlie Brown | 08.11.2009 | 11:18 am

    Good job, man! Now it’s time to get on with life doing what you do best – fighting cancer in Susan’s memory, inspiring us to do the same, and raising those kids to be heros like their parents.

    See you in Leadville,


  55. Comment by dieselmike | 08.11.2009 | 11:24 am

    I can not believe someone I have never met has had such an affect on me. Your story has inspired me to get more involved. I am so sorry for your loss but Susan will live on and do much good. I look forward to riding in Austin and doing whatever other crazy ideas you come up with.

  56. Comment by Pink | 08.11.2009 | 11:28 am

    Am so glad that you’re fine right now.

    The only thing is to remember what some writer said to you about not falling down a mountain. You are now the soul (not a typo) mentor to four (4) kids. You must take care.

    I adore the picture of you with Susan. Such love and vitality.

  57. Comment by Jennifer | 08.11.2009 | 11:29 am

    Your wife had a beautiful and engaging smile.

    Keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

  58. Comment by Andrew | 08.11.2009 | 11:29 am

    I just wanted to tell you I started to read your blog about a month ago. You and your family have been an inspration to me and my wife since I started reading. I just wanted to send you good vibes and good thoughts. I live in Denver and will be heading up to Leadville on Saturday to watch. I will be the one screaming “GO FATTY!!!” no matter how much people give me odd looks. Good luck.

  59. Comment by Missy Litzinger | 08.11.2009 | 11:32 am

    I stumbled across your blog from TPW. I lost my mother to BC in 1996 after a 12 year struggle. GOD BLESS YOU and your FAMILY. I’m sure I will be reading more of this blog, (even though I know nothing about Bike racing or sports in general).
    I’m glad you are doing the races that you love but also give yourself time to grieve and spend lots of extra time with your kids. LIVESTRONG

  60. Comment by Danny | 08.11.2009 | 11:32 am

    Look out Leadville, Fatty’s coming!

  61. Comment by Canadian Roadie | 08.11.2009 | 11:35 am

    The service looked beautiful. I am humbled by your strength.
    I’m so happy to hear that you’re going to Leadville & Philly. They’re lucky to have you :)

  62. Comment by UltraRob | 08.11.2009 | 11:41 am

    I’m glad you’re doing Leadville and going to Philly. They’ll give you something to focus on. I keep thinking about your kids. My oldest is 6. It was hard enough on her last year when we lost my brother-in-law to cancer.

    Hopefully I’ll see you in Leadville. I’ll be doing another back of the pack appearance this year. I’m a true “Fatty”. I’m 40 pounds heavier than when I was fast and top 20 at Leadville.

  63. Comment by James | 08.11.2009 | 11:45 am

    Yo Elden- the picture of the twins breaks my heart. I am glad they, and you, have so many loving people around them.

    Tear up the trail in Leadville. I’ll be suffering up Mt. Washington.

  64. Comment by JT | 08.11.2009 | 11:46 am

    Man you spring back!! blogging tweeting, riding Leadville and being an inspiring parent. The book is a great idea… humor and resilience better be a big part it. I know how hard it was as an only child planning and speaking at my Dad’s funeral.. I can only imagine what it took to get through this week. The next few months are key to let people help and stay focused! Take care, thinking of you and your family from north of the border!

  65. Comment by Wild Dingo | 08.11.2009 | 11:46 am

    Its so amazing to read that you are planning such great things. (except for the bills part.) can’t wait to read your book and susans! Sending warmest wishes for your family’s health and happiness.

  66. Comment by Greg | 08.11.2009 | 11:49 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Stay strong and good luck in Leadville!

  67. Comment by Erin | 08.11.2009 | 11:50 am

    I just started reading your blog this week. I found you through The Pioneer Woman. I just wanted to say I’m so sorry for your loss. May God be with you and you and your family during this tragic time in your lives.

    Erin T.

  68. Comment by P. Hinton | 08.11.2009 | 11:51 am

    Life can be brutal but look at what joy it produces. Susan’s and your girls are absolutely beautiful and will grow even more so. Good luck in Leadville and better luck with the kids. Susan and you are in our prayers. Ride on Fatty.

  69. Comment by Jen | 08.11.2009 | 11:52 am

    So glad to hear that you decided to race Leadville! I do believe you and your family will come out of this tragedy okay. Many thousand hugs to all of you!

  70. Comment by Haven (used to be Kt) | 08.11.2009 | 11:53 am

    Dug said it well, and it bears repeating:

    “beyond learning from all this hell to “fight like susan”, i’ve also learned that i need to Love like Susan, Serve like Sue (and friends), and Livestrong like Elden.

    you and your family are a beacon of hope. you are carrying the fire”

    Good luck at Leadville, you will tear it up and spit it out and totally rock!!

    (You still have a sense of humor, I just saw it right there in #4.)


  71. Comment by Adam | 08.11.2009 | 11:54 am

    Fatty -
    Go out and beat the guy in the photo that is wearing a black and yellow helmet, is from Texas, and name rhymes with France, where he may or may not have won their bike race a few times.

  72. Comment by Mike | 08.11.2009 | 11:56 am

    It was fantastic to see the Fatty jerseys at the ULCER this last weekend. You are a fantastic example of what one person can do when they commit to something larger than they are. You are ‘da man pal.

  73. Comment by Kati | 08.11.2009 | 12:01 pm

    I’ve wanted to leave a comment for days now but I just haven’t been able to muster the eloquent words I want to express to you my deep condolences to you and your family. Having recently gone through a funeral for a close family member I know that making a “to do” list after the funeral is a great way to get moving in life and I think its great that you are doing Leadville. Good luck with that.

    Susan was a fighter and I’m so glad I got to know her through your posts. The two of you have inspired me and shown me what it means to truly win. Please write the book, I know it will be amazing. My prayers are with you and your family.
    Ride on.

  74. Comment by Emily | 08.11.2009 | 12:03 pm

    thanks for sharing with everyone.
    I expect to see you ride past me somewhere during the race Saturday, and hope I have my wits about me enough to yell WIN at you. (I wish I could race in my FC jersey, but I think my team would be mad)

  75. Comment by JoDee | 08.11.2009 | 12:06 pm

    You are an amazing person! I am so sorry for your loss. All the best wishes for you and your kids.

  76. Comment by Mark in Boise | 08.11.2009 | 12:12 pm

    Not much I can add, I have been trying hard not to blubber while reading you post. Being at work, people would think I’ve gone bonkers or something. I just wanted to wish you best of luck in Leadville. I cant wait for the post race report.

  77. Comment by Rebecca | 08.11.2009 | 12:13 pm

    Elden, I so want to meet you in Philly!! I’m not on your team, but wear my Win! jersey all the time (it’s the only one that fits right now). Enjoy the trip.

  78. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 08.11.2009 | 12:22 pm

    That photo at the center of the collage that Kenny made is just precious. What a smile, what a woman!

    I am tickled pink that you’re doing Leadville! Cannot wait to read all about it.

    Love the photo of Riley and Lance…it’s a small and mostly beautiful world.

    Hugs. Lots of hugs. Share them with your kids.

    p.s. Philly Jenn Rocks!!

  79. Comment by Skinny Minny | 08.11.2009 | 12:23 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  80. Comment by The GPC | 08.11.2009 | 12:26 pm

    You GO and your ride Leadville for Susan. Smash that course like you have something to prove! See you in Philly in a couple of weeks. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and the kids.



  81. Comment by skippy | 08.11.2009 | 12:29 pm

    I’ll be volunteering at some intersection on the 100 course, so when you see a scrawny little guy sreaming his head off at you it will most likely be me. I raced last year but did not get in this year. Hold your head up and release all your frustrations as you turn those pedals in anger!

    God bless you and your family!

  82. Comment by Stacy | 08.11.2009 | 12:30 pm

    Fatty and family,

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. You and Susan created a lovely family. I pray for peace and comfort for you all.


  83. Comment by Big Mark | 08.11.2009 | 12:33 pm

    Thoughts & prayers for you and your family.

    Best of luck in Leadville!!! Looking forward to the post-race recap and the next installment of the LiveStrong weekends.


  84. Comment by Liz A. | 08.11.2009 | 12:35 pm

    Fight Hard. Live Strong. Hug your family. Win.

  85. Comment by Laurie | 08.11.2009 | 12:41 pm

    I am so glad that you are going to do the Leadville race. Keep up the good work for LAF and take good care of your kids (which also means taking care of you so you can be the best parent possible for them). And thank you for sharing all that you have shared with us.

  86. Comment by tcrdave | 08.11.2009 | 12:47 pm

    I hate crying at work. I’m already the weirdo who wears lycra and rides a bike to work.

    This may sound strange but I’m excited for you racing Leadville this weekend. You are a great man. Go kill that 9hr mark. On a single speed.

  87. Comment by BikecopVT | 08.11.2009 | 12:48 pm

    Pour you anger into Leadville, ride fast, keep the rubber side down, and remember.

    See you in Philly…

    Fight like Susan!!!!

  88. Comment by Rob M. | 08.11.2009 | 12:49 pm

    There are great comments above, and I echo them. Especially, Dana’s.

    Regarding Philly Jen being a warrior robot from outer space, I want to assure that I have corresponded with Philly Jen a few times and she is warm, funny, talented, and helpful.

    Of course, that’s how warrior robots from outer space behave. At first.

    Now I’m concerned.

  89. Comment by sharon | 08.11.2009 | 12:49 pm

    A little different take on things – a “shiva” (means seven) is a Jewish custom of sitting 7 days to mourn after a death of someone close. I am not religious but I think it’s a smart thing – to have someone make you stop and really cope with your feelings. I know this was coming for a long time, but I still think it’s aloud to be human and slow down for a while, otherwise things have a way of appearing later down the road, when you’re least expecting. I also know everyone deals with pain differently and if pushing on is what you need to do right now, I admire and support you for that as well.
    wishing you all the best and goodluck at Leadville,

  90. Comment by BikecopVT | 08.11.2009 | 12:50 pm

    PS. I think you right about Philly Jen. But if she see this, or you tell her I wrote it, I’ll deny every word and say someone hijacked my computer.

  91. Comment by josh | 08.11.2009 | 12:52 pm

    It sounds like a wonderful service I wish I could have been there.

    Tear it up in Leadville, I know for me my bike is the best way to release frustration.


  92. Comment by Susan | 08.11.2009 | 12:54 pm

    I’m so glad you’re riding at Leadville. I even looked it up the other night to see when it was for sure and have been hoping to hear you decided to go. Have the ride of your life.

    Awesome post today, as always. Can’t wait for the book. Hugs and prayers to you and your kids – they’re beautiful like Susan.

  93. Comment by Jaime O. | 08.11.2009 | 12:55 pm

    My mouse will really be thankful that I can stop pressing refresh every ten seconds “just in case” Fatty posts something and responding would help him or the kids. About the aftermath of saying goodbye…it’s like a headache from crying that won’t quit. Hollow. Empty. Painful. Thinking of the person and smiling or laughing only to start crying again. Like your brain can’t separate happy and sad anymore. Not thinking about it for two seconds and then feeling guilty that you might be “forgetting” …even when it’s only been two days since they left. Consuming a lot of cake dropped off by people who know such things are needed after a good cry or during it or before it. I think I’ll make a cake shake in your honor.

    Thinking of you all constantly…wishing there was more to do, something to fix.

  94. Comment by Frank & Mer | 08.11.2009 | 12:59 pm

    Kick butt in Leadville! I’m looking forward to meeting you in Philly :) Go Team Fatty!!!

  95. Comment by Annie | 08.11.2009 | 1:05 pm


    I, too, am thrilled you’re racing Leadville. Good call.

    But what I want to know is: what can we do for you now? Namely, I’m wondering if you have the resources to cover the medical bills that I’m sure are piling up. If not, will you tell us? You know we want to help. And not just in the fight against cancer, but you and your family personally.

  96. Comment by lisa | 08.11.2009 | 1:08 pm

    You.Rock. Enough said. And your children are lucky to have you and I’m glad you are going to race. Now that’s enough said. Be.Well.

  97. Comment by Big Shorty | 08.11.2009 | 1:08 pm

    I know the secret for Leadville!!! TWO packets of mayo taped to your helmet. PLUS…your going to wear the helmet-cam!

    Turn those thoughts into pedal power my friend. I shaved 40 minutes (yeah I’m not awesome) off last years time over a 32 mile race due to thinking about Susan.

    Have a great time, good thoughts to you and your family from the flat corn fields of Illinois.


  98. Comment by ows | 08.11.2009 | 1:09 pm


    You’re an inspiration. I have no idea how you have it in you to write such a warm and funny blog update.

    Good luck with all your endeavours, go enjoy life – it’s both short and very precious.

    Warmest wishes from sunny Wales,

  99. Comment by Kitty | 08.11.2009 | 1:32 pm


    I just cried again reading your post. Glad you have something to focus on that also honors your Susan. I wish you the best in these next races. And I pray you and your children sense God’s peace.


  100. Comment by Joe L. | 08.11.2009 | 1:44 pm

    Hi Fatty –
    I know you will do everything you can for your kids, but I will reiterate that getting them to school, or if possible, getting them with and around their friends ASAP (even before school starts) might be the most important thing possible for them.

    My mother died of colon cancer in 1996, when I was 16 and my brother was 15. We all went to bed on a Wednesday evening, and my dad said that the way things are going, they weren’t sure Mom would make it until morning (my parents were divorced for over 14 years at that point, but he was very important to all of us in the whole process). Sure enough, she died early Thursday morning, before my brother and I woke. My dad woke us with the news.

    We spend that Thursday morning at the house, with family, church people, coroners, etc coming and going. Nobody really knew what to say to each other, and nobody knew how to talk to me or my brother. By 11:30AM, I said to my bro – “want to go to school?” He said “yep”, so I drove to school and found my friends (my “core group”) during lunch, and was able to hang out the rest of the day with our friends. Most people were amazed to see us there, understandably, since our mother had died hours earlier. But….. what else were we supposed to do? We had been hanging out with family and grandparents for weeks now and had had enough of that. We didn’t need to sit around watching people cry all day. Going to school, and being with our friends was the best thing in the world for us to do.

    Make sure your kids don’t retreat from school, family or friends, and make sure they each have someone special they can talk to. If it’s not you (and likely it won’t, or maybe shouldn’t be) hopefully they have some close, mature friends, or some other adults they look up to and trust.

    Best of luck,

  101. Comment by Harald | 08.11.2009 | 1:47 pm

    Once again you made me smile and cry. We wish you and your family all the best. Enjoy Leadville. I hope that our paths (but not wheels) cross during Philly Livestrong.

  102. Comment by DeborahB | 08.11.2009 | 1:53 pm

    Great collage. I loved it. Kick @ss at Leadville. Have a great ride. Continued prayers for you and your family.

  103. Comment by Kelli | 08.11.2009 | 1:58 pm

    Sitting here eating a bowl of cereal with a huge spooon (yeah we run out too) and was so saddened to read of your wife’s passing. I read your blog from time to time and really enjoy the way you are able to meld all the facets of your life together in words. I am not into cycling at all (sorry) and those posts are mostly over my head but reading about your wife and family and how you have dealt with her illness is truly inspiring. I send my sincere condolences and know that Susan’s fight was not in vain, she has and will continue to inspire others.

  104. Comment by ThadS | 08.11.2009 | 1:59 pm

    My extreme condolences. I can’t imagine how hard it must be. I will continue to pray for you and yours. I hope to see you at the Philly livestrong. My mother just finished radiation for breast cancer. I am doing the Philly century for all of the people much stronger than I, who have had to deal with such a terrible disease. I hope to see you there. God bless.

  105. Comment by RyanT | 08.11.2009 | 2:03 pm

    Susan’s funeral was perfect. My wife and I both left with a resolve to be better parents and people in general.

  106. Comment by Kevin B. | 08.11.2009 | 2:03 pm

    Your strength through all of this simply amazes me.

  107. Comment by Janneke | 08.11.2009 | 2:04 pm

    Hi Elden, I’m so stoked to hear you’ll be doing Leadville ánd the Philly event. Good for you go kick some ass!! Oh, and don’t worry about the humor part, that’s still working fine! Hugs from Holland.


  108. Comment by andy | 08.11.2009 | 2:10 pm

    may you feel the strength of all of us in every pedal stroke at Leadville.

  109. Comment by kiwi | 08.11.2009 | 2:14 pm

    Thank you,for letting us know you and the kids are okay!
    I would buy the book!Have the best time racing this weekend(GIVE IT HEAPS). Watch out for “The iPod guy” this year!@!

    Thinking of you and your Family!

    Kiwi AKA Angela

    “Fight like Susan”

  110. Comment by Carla | 08.11.2009 | 2:14 pm

    I am glad you are riding the next 2 weekends. I think it will mean a lot to the people who follow you and will also be there. You never lost your humor, I think it the worst of times, you were able to find something to write that made us all smile (I am still laughing over you cutting Susan’s shirts up the back – don’t know why it struck me funny except I could see you with scissors doing it).

    Please do write you book – finish Susan’s and go around doing book signings – especially in the Dayton, Ohio area :)

  111. Comment by Janneke | 08.11.2009 | 2:20 pm

    I forgot!!


  112. Comment by bikerchick | 08.11.2009 | 2:26 pm

    Elden, we’ll all be lifting you up in Leadville this weekend. Thanks once again for sharing this most excrutiating and intimate time with your family. You will all emerge stronger in due time. Sending virtual hugs to you and your gorgeous kids.

  113. Comment by Fattier | 08.11.2009 | 2:49 pm

    Fatty, you have powered through this week like a long hard climb at the end of long hard ride. Watching you do so has been utterly inspiring. Thank you for sharing it with us…you are really a beacon of hope in the darkness that cancer sheds on the world!

  114. Comment by Onan the Barbarian | 08.11.2009 | 2:56 pm

    Rock Leadville, Fatty. You deserve it.

    Fight. Win. Ride.

  115. Comment by Michael Maddox | 08.11.2009 | 2:56 pm

    Elden, I don’t know how you do it, to keep writing through everything, thick and thin. It’s more than just inspirational, it’s awe-inspiring. You made me hug my wife and kids a little bit tighter today. Keep pedaling, my friend, and may the wind always be at your back.

  116. Comment by Sal | 08.11.2009 | 3:08 pm

    Elden, Take it day by day. Ride hard and ride fast in Leadville with Susan in your heart. We’ll all ride for you and Susan in Philly. If you need anything, just ask… we’re here for you.

  117. Comment by Claire | 08.11.2009 | 3:10 pm

    Ditto what Dug said. Couldn’t say it any better. You have your sense of humor still! I will read your book, it’ll be great. Susan is inspiring people now and will continue to do so thru you and your children. Thanks so much.

  118. Comment by Mike | 08.11.2009 | 3:10 pm

    Best of luck with all of the above-named tasks, Elden.

    I must say, I think this is a good weekend to ride 100 miles in less than nine hours, don’t you?

    No pressure.

  119. Comment by Aaron | 08.11.2009 | 3:12 pm

    Glad you get to do Leadville. You will rock it, I’m sure. I hope to be cheering you on from Twin Lakes.

  120. Comment by Linda | 08.11.2009 | 3:26 pm

    Love and hugs, Elden. Just love and hugs.

  121. Comment by Penny | 08.11.2009 | 3:32 pm

    My sincere condolences on your and your family’s loss. I know you will take solace in knowing you will be with Susan again someday.
    Is there someplace we can donate to help you with medical bills?

  122. Comment by Katie Bee | 08.11.2009 | 3:37 pm

    Time to begin your new normal… they say, no time like the present. Blessings and good luck to you in Leadville and to your children as they begin a new school year.

  123. Comment by aussie kev | 08.11.2009 | 3:38 pm

    its the beauty of cycling – no matter what we are facing in life – we go for a ride – its about finding your own little world by just turning those pedals – and doug beat you in the kick the for top – it doesnt matter who wins the sprint we are all winners just for riding.

    take care fat man

  124. Comment by Dan | 08.11.2009 | 3:45 pm

    Leadville…WOW! Snap some wrists!

  125. Comment by Sasha | 08.11.2009 | 3:45 pm


    You haven’t lost your sense of humor, trust me. I’m not sure how you do it, but you are quite simply one of the most amazing people I haven’t met. I will be anxiously awaiting your first and hopefully not last book. I can’t wait to follow yours and your childrens upcoming adventures. I too am interested in donating to a medical bill fund. If you or one of your friends sets something up for you, please blog about it. I know there are others out there that want to help you directly in addition to donating to fight cancer in Susan’s honor. I tried to locate a Fat Cyclist jersey for my upcoming MS150 ride without luck but have my calendar marked for August 24 when your 2010 stuff will be available at TwinSix becomes available. Maybe I’ll send the jersey to you so you and your family can autograph it for me for good luck as I intend to do more fundraising bike rides in the future. I might even try to meet up with a Fatty group down in the lower-48 or try to form a team up here. Keep on moving. I suspect cycling is going to be a critical part of your healing process. Susan must SO incredibly proud of you and your kids. You all ROCK! Take care and best wishes! God Bless! ~Sasha

  126. Comment by Tex | 08.11.2009 | 3:46 pm


    Condolences to you and the whole family. Everybody else has pretty much said it all already, so I will just say “what they said” and leave you with a prediction… At some point during Leadville, you will be hurting…and suffering…and feel like you can’t or don’t want to keep pushing and fighting to keep rocking along. Suddenly you will think of Susan…and it will suddenly feel effortless and you will know she is there with you.

    Good luck in Leadville and Philly and thanks to you, Susan, and the whole family for being such an inspiration!

  127. Comment by Susie | 08.11.2009 | 3:46 pm

    You are hanging in there, friend…that’s the name of the game…winning still!

  128. Comment by mateo | 08.11.2009 | 4:01 pm

    You are a fine man Fatty. I can’t wait to read about your Leadville experience and what it’s like to have your very own angel be your stoker, make her proud.

  129. Comment by marishka | 08.11.2009 | 4:09 pm

    Oh, your girls are beautiful. They look just like Susan.

    Take care. Im looking forward to reading about your adventure at Leadville.

  130. Comment by Phil | 08.11.2009 | 4:13 pm

    Nothing new I can say, I just hope you can do well in Leadville and Philly. Win Nelsons, Win Susan, Win Fatty!

    Stay strong.

  131. Comment by Kyle | 08.11.2009 | 4:25 pm

    Kick some butt at Leadville! Stay strong for your kids. We’re all still thinking of you and yours.


  132. Comment by Alan | 08.11.2009 | 4:26 pm

    I predict a personal best for you in Leadville. Have fun, and remember to take time for yourself.

  133. Comment by donbiker | 08.11.2009 | 4:44 pm

    One thing I would add to all that is said so well above. Our President is fighting an enormous uphill battle so that no American will be faced with the kind of medical financial problems you now have. He needs a lot of support if he is to achieve that worthy goal.

    You only asked for help for your children. You are a noble as a person gets.


  134. Comment by Mandy From KS | 08.11.2009 | 4:45 pm

    Good luck in Leadville. I am glad you are setting some goals for yourself. You are strong and I’m thinking of you during these trying times.

  135. Comment by KatieA978 | 08.11.2009 | 5:03 pm

    You’re going to smash the Leadville Elden – PB time!!

    And Lance Armstrong keeps going up in my estimation – he just seems like such a genuinely caring person, as opposed to someone who doesn’t care about the real stories and people involved in the charity they spearhead.

  136. Comment by Sprite's Keeper | 08.11.2009 | 5:05 pm

    It looks like it was a beautiful service. Lots of luck in Leadville and Fight For Susan!

  137. Comment by Erine | 08.11.2009 | 5:11 pm

    What a touching, beautiful service it must have been. You and yours continue to amaze me. My thoughts and prayers are with you- Fight like Susan, and whup up on Leadville!

  138. Comment by KR | 08.11.2009 | 5:23 pm

    Glad to hear you are going to do a book proposal. Not about a wise-cracking monkey that fights crime, I trust. That is my idea!!

    Maybe I’ll see you in Leadville, go go go!

  139. Comment by Jenn | 08.11.2009 | 5:36 pm

    So stoked to hear you are doing Leadville!!

    I suspect the next few weeks, months, and years will be tough as you deal with your loss and life seems to go back to “normal” for other folks. Know that your story, and Susan’s, has touched me and I will think of you and your kids often. You really are, as someone else said, the most amazing person I’ve never met.

  140. Comment by bklyn74 | 08.11.2009 | 5:42 pm

    Fatty, you’re awesome. Go rock Leadville!

  141. Comment by cattio | 08.11.2009 | 5:46 pm


    Wow.. Just look at these comments and the ones on your previous posts over the past few weeks – and especially the past week. You have touched the lives of so many people by writing this blog. Such raw, unflinching stuff. Very personal. Takes a lot of strength to be public about such heart-wrenching stuff. I am happy to hear that you’re considering a book – you absolutely should. Your voice is great and it’s a story both worthy of the telling and the reading.

    I just got myself into cycling recently and am a true fatty (newbie bought this here boys’ size mountain bike last summer to shed many unwanted pounds) – that said, I won’t be riding the Philly LS Challenge lest I get poked fun at for my ride – but to help contribute to the cause I will be volunteering my time to take care of awesome riders like you. If I manage to see and recognize you, I’ll definitely say hi.

    Kick some ass at Leadville and kick some more ass in Philly! I know you’ll be doing it for Susan, your kids, your friends and family and yourself.. and we’ll be right there with you in spirit.

    Peace be with you and yours. Take care*

  142. Comment by Brian Sherry | 08.11.2009 | 5:55 pm

    Fatty – holy cow – you are a truly solid individual. The fact that I will get to meet you in Philadelphia is an added bonus. I am sure the coming events will be cathartic – I hope you find strength from all of those that have been finding their inspiration from you. Tear it up in Leadville – see you on Philly. Ride on

  143. Comment by justrun | 08.11.2009 | 5:59 pm

    I so admire you, your family, and friends, Elden. Though it may only be a snapshot of your thoughts and emotions here, I thank you for taking the time to share it. You’re in my thoughts and prayers daily, and I’ll be cheering for you this weekend.

  144. Comment by Vivienne | 08.11.2009 | 6:02 pm

    I don’t know you or your family personally. I have a little blog/email connection to two of Susan’s friends. I can tell you that you all were very much on my mind yesterday and I am praying for your strength and peace in your hearts.

  145. Comment by SkiMoab | 08.11.2009 | 6:03 pm

    Hey Fatty, I didn’t read any other comments because I wanted mine to be mine.

    God bless you and your family. Your strength has motivated me in multiple factors in my life this year.

    I’ve been mtn biking for years, just picked up road this year. I love the local scene and you all motivate me more even though we’ve never actually ridden together.
    - Your motivation pushed me to start commuting to work over the Alpine Loop.
    - Your Tibble video (along with a push from Rick) made me commit to climbing Tibble at some point this season. I was on vacation this week when I heard of your loss. I felt an immediate need to conquer something hard in the name of Susan. We ended up coming home early and instead of sitting around I took off and climbed Tibble. There was no longer a reason to wait for later in the season, I had to push myself right then and am a stronger rider now because of it.

    Thank you again for sharing your experience with us and allowing us all to grow with you.


  146. Comment by Melody | 08.11.2009 | 6:03 pm

    I was floored to see in the photo of your girls how very much they look like Susan!! They are absolutely beautiful, and I am sure they carry all the best of her qualities with them.

    Still praying for your precious family. ((hugs))

  147. Comment by Evie | 08.11.2009 | 6:06 pm

    I’m sure Susan is beaming above watching over her wonderful family… Beautiful photo for the programs…beautiful, beautiful picture of your sweet little ones….great pics of you and the guys! And you’re short!!! Hope that made ya snicker! Just to help get ya back on the road to your wonderful sense of humor! And sooooooo COOL that you’re gonna make it to Leadville & Philly! Maybe that was Susan & the Lord above’s plan all along! You’ve done so much…now it’s your time to SOAR!!! And don’t know if you’ve got the chance to meet Lance in person….with the photo your bud sent…hope that happens too!
    So best wishes for a great school year for the Kiddos…lots of great rides for you….keep LIVING STRONG & LOVING your FAMILY!

  148. Comment by mc | 08.11.2009 | 6:06 pm

    I am totally stoked to meet you in Philly! Kick ass and wipe your legs out at Leadville so that perhaps those of us less fit than you might be able to hang a bit at the beginning of the ride :-)

  149. Comment by maggie | 08.11.2009 | 6:15 pm

    couldn’t be prouder to have you racing in Colorado this weekend. your bicycling community will help pull you up the climbs and i’m positive you’ll feel Susan as the wind to your back. WIN

  150. Comment by TimRides | 08.11.2009 | 6:16 pm

    Leadville – Good!

    Philly – Good!

    Austin – Would be Even Better! And bring the family. I’ll bet we could all help with that, including making sure they are well taken care of while you ride and schmooze.

    And #6 proves that you never lost it (or was I the only one who laughed at that??)


  151. Comment by Accident Prone | 08.11.2009 | 6:20 pm

    Thank you for continuing to share Susan with us. You and your family remain in my thoughts and prayers. I hope that Leadville and Philly will help with healing.

    Go Fatty Go! Yea for the Core Team!

  152. Comment by Sharon Sanchez | 08.11.2009 | 6:49 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I cannot express to you the effect you have had on my family. One of whom is a bicyclist and follows you religiously. It is he who turned us on to your site. He has dealt with lymphoma and continues the battle. You sharing has helped more than you will ever know. Thank you for being the example you are. Your family is very blessed!

  153. Comment by Will Scott | 08.11.2009 | 7:02 pm


    Just wanted to let you know Monday August 10 was my first read of your blog….as my wife and I are both riders and were sealed in the Medford Oregon Temple you hit the nerve on more than one chord…this is powerful stuff and very real….obviously…you are in our prayers and thoughts……we will keep pedaling…you do the same….we’ll keep watching…thank you for this gift of not letting us forget

    Will Scott

  154. Comment by Powerful Pete | 08.11.2009 | 7:05 pm

    Fatty, again, condolences to you and the family.

    Ride Leadville. Ride like heck. It will help.

    All the best.

  155. Comment by Khirsten | 08.11.2009 | 7:07 pm

    Thinking of you and praying for you and the kids.

  156. Comment by Gibbles T. Chimp | 08.11.2009 | 7:14 pm

    Ride hard and have fun Fatty!

    It may seem silly, but your blog has really helped to reignite my love of cycling, and along with it a love for life.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Utmost respect,

  157. Comment by gregc | 08.11.2009 | 7:15 pm

    thanks for checking in. You have more strength and focus than any unmodified person should have to be so up. I think Philly Jen has some competition. In the words of a very wise man, “Live Long and Prosper”

  158. Comment by Julia | 08.11.2009 | 7:18 pm


    You and your family are in my prayers. My husband lost his daughter to cancer almost 10 years ago – I have been too close to the type of pain you are experiencing and wish there was something I could offer more than words and kind thoughts.

    Find a project to pour your energy into, raise your children, and when the going gets tough, lean on your friends and loved ones.

    We are all honored to have the opportunity to get to know you and Susan through your stories.


  159. Comment by chefjt | 08.11.2009 | 7:24 pm

    We’re happy to hear you’ll be at Philly, but of course sad about why you can make it. You’re an amazing individual and look forward to meeting you there.

    God bless you and your children.
    God bless Susan

  160. Comment by Karilyn | 08.11.2009 | 7:26 pm

    Your blog has brought me to tears so many times, but it’s also very life-affirming. You have been a total rock for Susan and for your children. I’m so proud of you for racing Leadville next weekend – Fight like Susan, brother.

  161. Comment by Kelly Walker | 08.11.2009 | 7:34 pm

    In those moments when all the craziness wears off and things start to slow down, we will still be praying for you because that’s when you will need it the most. I am so thankful that you know your family will be together forever. This is not the end.

    I have been a runner for the last 5 years. I recently decided to “retire” because I have asthma and it is very difficult for me. You and Susan have inspired me to keep going. It’s because it’s hard that it’s worth it.

    Fight like Susan!

  162. Comment by Claire | 08.11.2009 | 7:34 pm

    I am so glad that you checked in, I kept looking back here to see an update, we all care about you and your family so very much. Keep on fighting like Susan and kick Leadville’s arse!!

    Ps. I love the wedding photo, how beautiful you both look.

  163. Comment by Ken Durbin | 08.11.2009 | 7:45 pm

    You and your family have been on my mind all this week. I have been dedicating my rides lately to you and your family. Can’t wait to see you in Philly. Look for me I will be the fattiest guy riding 45 miles!

  164. Comment by John | 08.11.2009 | 7:45 pm

    Your daughters are absolutely beautiful and there is no doubt that they are loved and they know they are loved by Susan by looking at that picture. You have a lot to be proud of. May God bless and keep Susan and watch over you and your children always.

  165. Comment by IronGirlTrixie | 08.11.2009 | 7:51 pm

    Glad to hear you’re headed to Leadville. I think it will be a wonderful event. Sadly, I won’t make it to see Livestrong Philly event (but I’m sure it’ll be awesome and inspiring!) I’ll be at the Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon and wearing my Fatty jersey with pride.

  166. Comment by Karin | 08.11.2009 | 7:56 pm

    Beautiful collage. Beautiful family. Your girls have their mama’s eyes.

    I would so buy your book. ENJOY yourself this weekend.

  167. Comment by FB | 08.11.2009 | 7:59 pm

    Wishing you well and rooting for you this weekend. Give Lance and the CTS locals a run for their money!

  168. Comment by gbrown | 08.11.2009 | 8:01 pm

    You were incredibly composed at the funeral and especially when you took your turn at the podium. Don’t know how you did it. Your words and thoughts about Susan were really moving and will stick with me.

  169. Comment by Aramil | 08.11.2009 | 8:06 pm

    Allez Fatty…
    All of us here are rooting for you.

  170. Comment by Linda | 08.11.2009 | 8:15 pm

    what a beautiful family…you are truly blessed

  171. Comment by Beth | 08.11.2009 | 8:34 pm

    I cried again reading your heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing the photos of Susan and your family. Your daughters look so much like their mama! They are so beautiful! Kick butt in Leadville! Go Fatty!

  172. Comment by Janice | 08.11.2009 | 8:42 pm

    Your words, and the beautiful, graceful way Susan lived her life, have touched so many people. You both have made the world better by inspiring us to fight harder, push further – whether on a bike or in a doctor’s office. Thank you for being so candid and willing to risk sharing so much of yourselves with the world.

    May you and your children find peace during this time of grief. May you also see Susan in their eyes, their talents, and their lives as they grow. God bless you, Elden.

  173. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 08.11.2009 | 8:42 pm

    That picture of the girls is almost too much. The stunning adorableness of them and their little white socks with the fact of where they are- wow.

    Much love.

  174. Comment by Marla | 08.11.2009 | 8:52 pm

    Peace and love to you and yours.

  175. Comment by Clydesteve | 08.11.2009 | 8:52 pm

    Your suspicions about Philly Jen are not parinoidic. I believe she has Matt & I scheduled for a color change in a beauty salon in Austin.

    Watch out, Elden, I am tellin’ you, watch out!

    Hi Jen!

  176. Comment by co | 08.11.2009 | 9:01 pm

    Allez Fatty. Allez Susan. Same diff. Go For It in Leadville!!!!!

  177. Comment by bobbieh | 08.11.2009 | 9:24 pm

    Tears, again. But smiles too… The girls are adorable, and you are to be much admired.

    I’m VERY glad to know you’re going to do Leadville ~ I know Susan will be right their with you all the way ~ and know I’ll be rooting for you like crazy!!

    Know I’m still holding you and the family in love & light ~~~

  178. Comment by Paula Kirsch | 08.11.2009 | 9:33 pm

    Good to give yourself goals, write that book (it may help with expenses) Your kids will be there for you in ways you never imagined, let them. Finally keep talking to us, to all of us who thought of you yesterday, who have been thinking of you and Susan all these years. We may be faceless internet presences, but we are here for you in the strongest sense of the word. Talk to us when you need to, we are listening.

    Love, Paula

  179. Comment by dr_robert | 08.11.2009 | 9:49 pm

    Eldon, I’ll buy a bood from you on any subject the week that it’s published. Susan’s too, for that matter. So get to work! ;)

  180. Comment by Jamieson | 08.11.2009 | 9:50 pm

    Really happy to hear that you are going to race Leadville and will make the trip east to Philly. Are you going to spend any time with Jodi and Lori?

  181. Comment by dr_robert | 08.11.2009 | 9:50 pm

    Umm… that should have read BOOK. Stupid fat fingers. :)

  182. Comment by bobbieh | 08.11.2009 | 10:37 pm

    PS ~ please sign me up for an advance, autographed copy of that book, wouldja?!?!?! I’ll buy it in a heartbeat!

  183. Comment by MattC | 08.11.2009 | 10:39 pm

    Fatty….so very happy you will make very sad on why you will make Leadville. And a BOOK!THAT is great news..I’ve always thought you are truly a natural and gifted writer (and I’m not just saying that buttering you up hoping for some leg-up on the orbea…seriously. But WERE I trying to do that, would it work?? You know…hypothetically speaking??) Good luck in the ride…I think you will rock it…total focus…something I don’t think you’ve had for a while now…put the hammer down my friend! Let it ALL out on the trail! And then Philly…wow…what an amazing time you ahve coming up…I think you will be MORE famous in Philly (and Austin) than Lance himself! At least to SOME of us…(and we know who we are!)

    Be safe out there!

  184. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 08.11.2009 | 10:42 pm

    Oi Leadville! Brace Yourself – Here comes Fatty and he’s got Susan with him. Talk about a super power.
    Kenny great work on the collage. The twins look gorgeous and the core group well they look better on bikes. Put me down for a book and book signing could be one hell of a party.
    Gora Fatty – Fight like Susan – Livestrong

  185. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 08.11.2009 | 10:46 pm

    I just signed my wife into Hospice care today. It’s comforting to “know” someone of like mind and age that is in the same situation (albeit slightly ahead of me) and has the eloquence to write out all of his thoughts. Mine just rattle around in my head for the most part.

    Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us.

  186. Comment by Jill | 08.11.2009 | 10:50 pm

    Your courage to move forward with your and your family’s lives is inspirational. I hate to be selfish about it, but thanks for giving me the kick I needed.

    Good luck in Leadville!

  187. Comment by Nick | 08.11.2009 | 10:53 pm

    It’s good to hear that you and the family are holding up. Like several others have said, kick ass in Leadville and we’ll see you in Philly.

  188. Comment by Penina | 08.11.2009 | 11:08 pm

    Elden, my husband and I signed up for the Philly 5K. Hoping to be able to give you a hug in person.
    In the meantime, I would love for Philly Jen to contact me if she could…

  189. Comment by Cindy | 08.11.2009 | 11:08 pm

    Those girls are their mother….. my gosh!!! What stands out to me most with your program photos is that lovely shot of you & Susan in your early years. The way you love her is so precious. Just wanted to tell you how special that picture is and your kids will cherish it always. A true love story that will live on.

    Ride like a demon in Leadville!!

  190. Comment by Penina | 08.11.2009 | 11:12 pm

    Whoops, that was

  191. Comment by MVSC | 08.11.2009 | 11:19 pm

    Channel Susan, Beat Lance.
    GO, Fatty, GO!

  192. Comment by Anonymous | 08.11.2009 | 11:39 pm

    That collage is beautiful…she is beautiful.
    And your daughters, so lovely, so precious.

    And then this: “Since she has more energy than an unmodified human could possibly have, I suspect that she is either doping, or is a warrior robot from outer space. Either way, I’m concerned.” Oh, your sense of humor is still intact. In the midst of tears I chuckled. I hope that’s alright.
    I can’t wait to read about your races.

  193. Comment by wildme | 08.12.2009 | 12:33 am

    Awesome! That’s the only word for it all. You are awesome, the core team are awesome, your kids are awesome and Susan will always be super awesome! Leadville is going to be….well…awesome!

  194. Comment by Candice Flores | 08.12.2009 | 1:19 am

    Well, Anonymous a couple of posts up stole my comment re your post of today…about 6), just read 4). You’re covered.

    And as far as my other comment, you stole it. Have been reading the archives and thinking there’s the genesis of a book here. Almost wrote to say as much, but figured this wasn’t the time. But guess it was/is. Excited to hear more about your plans for it.

  195. Comment by Candice Flores | 08.12.2009 | 1:21 am

    OK, I shouldn’t touch type numbers, which I never bothered to learn. My comment as rendered above is slightly bizarre. That’s re 6, see 2. Although 4 is not completely without wry humor either.

  196. Comment by Claire | 08.12.2009 | 2:48 am

    To copy your list-style post, two things:

    1) Leadville and Philly – allez Fatty!
    2) Thank you for sharing those photos with us. The photo of your daughters is lovely. The black and white photo of you and Susan is even lovelier.

  197. Comment by Saso | 08.12.2009 | 3:06 am

    Signing up for the book. Good to see you planning new things again. Have a great Leadville race!

  198. Comment by Joe | 08.12.2009 | 3:19 am

    Allez Fatty! Win in Leadville. You’re an inspiration to all of us.

  199. Comment by Kat in Germany | 08.12.2009 | 3:32 am

    I just came across your blog yesterday via Pioneer Woman’s blog. I sat glued to your blog for a good 2 to 3 hours as I couldn’t tear myself away. I imagine I’ll do that again today (in between work of course).

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your wife and the mother of your children. As the mother to two little ones myself it breaks my heart to see any child grow up without a mother, but they are blessed to have such a wonderful, funny and caring father in you.

    Keep biking, keep racing and keep blogging. You’ve got a new fan of your writing.

  200. Comment by Michelle | 08.12.2009 | 3:35 am

    Fatty you are an inspiration. Your girls looked lovely and I can see the sun shone for you all.
    Go kick some butt in Leadville xx

  201. Comment by Maggie | 08.12.2009 | 3:40 am

    Go for it Eldon! Ride like the fury!

    Live Strong, Stay Strong & Fight Like Susan.
    For Susan, for your four beautiful children & for yourself.

    Your blogs are inspirational – amazing.
    The photos are beautiful & Susan will always be with you all, in your hearts wherever you may be.

    You & your family have really reached out & touched me – (I’m in Yorkshire, England & only recently came to your blogs via a certain Mr Amstrong’s twitter)- & thousands of others all over the world.

    Write your book, publish it & Susan’s too – they’ll be runaway successes.

    Oh, & don’t worry about the sense of humour – it’s most certainly still there.

    Livestrong! Alez, allez, allez!

  202. Comment by bikesgonewild | 08.12.2009 | 3:53 am

    …leadville oughta be cathartic for ya, fatty & may be that way for a lotta years…

    …take all that pain & love & just ride as free & clear as you can…

    …& let yer kids know that all of those crazy cycling friends of yours, whether you’ve met us or not, are sending a lotta good thoughts & love their way…

    …bravo kids, elden…just like mom n’ dad…

  203. Comment by Darshan | 08.12.2009 | 4:13 am

    This story indicates that we must Live Strong, Stay Strong & Fight Like Susan.


    Cash Online Get Easy cash at your door step

  204. Comment by Mark Kynaston | 08.12.2009 | 4:22 am


    I don’t know how you remain so strong in the circumstances. Your family and the core team clearly are a vast source of support but all the same, bugger me, I just don’t know how you do it. Your unfailing sense of humour (it is still most definitely there)and determination to fight cancer are truly inspiring – you certainly help to put my minor problems and concerns into perspective. Keep fighting like Susan.

    Based here in the UK I cannot take part in any of the Livestong challenges – perhaps you could suggest to Lance when you meet him at Leadville that Livestrong organise events oustide the US as part of his current stategy of raising awareness worldwide I am sure they would be well supported, I would ride for one – but I will find a way to raise some money in Susan’s name for Team Fatty before this year is out and add it to your fund raising page.

    Have a great time at Leadville and in Philly. I wish you all the very best for both events.

    Lastly, give your kids a big hug from me and mine.

    Livestrong and Allez Fatty

  205. Comment by Mike Roadie | 08.12.2009 | 4:28 am

    Please write the book. I’d like my copy personally signed, please.


  206. Comment by John | 08.12.2009 | 4:57 am

    Your ideal has motivated me to ride the Austin LiveStrong Challenge in Oct. I’ll be wearing my Fat Cyclist jersey, of course. Win!

  207. Comment by Yukirin Boy | 08.12.2009 | 4:58 am

    Go have a great Leadville!

  208. Comment by buckythedonkey | 08.12.2009 | 4:59 am

    7. Ride the Etape du Tour…? Allez Fatty!

    You remain an inspiration, as does Susan.


  209. Comment by Julia | 08.12.2009 | 6:07 am

    I lost my Mom when I was ten years old. I remember the funeral being really difficult but I was really “happy” to be there for the closure. I still remember every minute…

    Good luck at the race!

  210. Comment by Sue | 08.12.2009 | 6:11 am

    Right, Ride and Write On, Fatty!

  211. Comment by bcpedaler | 08.12.2009 | 6:21 am

    Rock it at Leadville this weekend fatty! The WIN jerseys will be flying at this weekends WORS series mountian bike race in Wisconsin as well.

  212. Comment by Neil | 08.12.2009 | 6:25 am

    One of the bravest people I know.. and I don’t even really know you… Have fun at Leadville.

  213. Comment by Jonathan | 08.12.2009 | 7:06 am

    Rip it up Fatty!

  214. Comment by Philly Jen | 08.12.2009 | 7:09 am

    Readers, please consider kicking in a donation to Team Fatty Philly’s own Riley (who can be seen in the photo above with some other cycling dude).

    Riley will match the first $500 in donations if he fails to cross the finish line in less than nine hours at Leadville.

    (If he does manage to bring in a sub-9 finish time, the all the crates of bananas we use to bribe the spoke-jamming helper monkeys will be for naught.)

  215. Comment by PedalDiva | 08.12.2009 | 7:26 am

    Thank you for sharing the tears and the humor with us. I wish you and your family the best as you begin this new stage of your lives. The humor will return, and I’m so happy that you’ll be writing a book. Your life with Susan is a love story and a story of triumph which should be shared with others facing similar challenges. Kick some butt at Leadville!

  216. Comment by Drew | 08.12.2009 | 7:57 am

    Kill it at Leadville, Fatty.

  217. Comment by Jill | 08.12.2009 | 8:08 am

    While my husband raced, our daughter (4 at the time) would always say “don’t pedal like a girl with training wheels”. Have a great ride at Leadville. Go get ‘em!

  218. Comment by crazy commuting cyclist | 08.12.2009 | 8:48 am

    Thanks for sharing your story and I am sure it will help many others going through or will be going through the same ordeal. Rip it up in Leadville.

  219. Comment by Adam Martin | 08.12.2009 | 8:58 am

    Allez Fatty! Allez Nelson clan!

  220. Comment by Jamie | 08.12.2009 | 9:02 am

    Not sure what to say… I am deeply sorry for the lose of your wife, but the courage, support, and love you have shown with your wife and children is truly inspiring.
    I can’t wait to read about your Leadville PR!


  221. Comment by Becky | 08.12.2009 | 9:07 am

    Knock ‘em over in Leadville!! Chin Up!

  222. Comment by Demonic1 | 08.12.2009 | 9:22 am

    My sister’s funeral in May was hard on me (she was 25). And I really understand what you’re going for. I decided to train for my first full triathlon this summer (for the last 7 years I’ve done the bike legs). And it’s challenged me more than anything in a long time. I got out and lost my fears, and regrets focusing on something new on learning how to run and swim- still a lot of work to do there…but it’s easier now that I’m 20 pounds lighter.

    But the point is to live. I decided that I don’t want to be the person that says- oh yeah, I was in the best shape of my life 10- 20 years ago. I want to be in the best shape of my life every day.

    I don’t want to say on my deathbed that I wish I would have spent more time with my wife, child, parents, friends, riding my bike, etc. I want to be able to go to bed every night saying that I did the best I could today. And if I didn’t I’ll change it tomorrow.

    For me, my sister’s death was a wakeup call, a pretty brutal one, that I needed to make my life the best one I can. It looks like you have a good plan and are on the right track.

    My support, sympathy and hope for you and your family.
    Good journeys,
    P.S. I’m so jealous that you got a personal message from Lance- that ROCKS!

  223. Comment by Sharon | 08.12.2009 | 9:23 am

    Hey Fatty,

    For when you’re ready–I’m a freelance book editor and might be able to help as you put your thoughts together for a book proposal. In the meantime, kick butt in Leadville!


  224. Comment by Jim G | 08.12.2009 | 9:36 am

    Pedal on Fatty – for Susan, for your kids, for your self and for those who cannot. Thanks for pulling us all.
    Allez & FLS

  225. Comment by Si | 08.12.2009 | 9:54 am


  226. Comment by Charisa | 08.12.2009 | 9:55 am

    Life is crazy hard sometimes. I’m excited you will still do Leadville. And Philly Livestrong – that’s going to be pretty amazing as well.

  227. Comment by Mark | 08.12.2009 | 10:13 am

    Besides being with your kids, the best place for you right now is on your bike…enjoy Leadville and Philly!

  228. Comment by Chris B | 08.12.2009 | 10:19 am

    Fatty, you and your family are an inspiration me. I’m so glad you’ve going ahead with these plans, and you’re continuing to Win for Susan.


  229. Comment by El Animal | 08.12.2009 | 10:20 am

    Hats off my friend, you are really teaching us a great lesson. Good luck at Leadville.

  230. Comment by Patty | 08.12.2009 | 10:26 am

    You seem to really have your sh*t together. It must be so hard. Take care.

  231. Comment by Lowrydr | 08.12.2009 | 10:30 am

    Don’t forget the Chicken Soup for Leadville!!

    Always in our thoughts here in Iowa.

    “Fight Like Susan”

  232. Comment by Damon S. | 08.12.2009 | 11:59 am

    All of sudden reading your blog make be feel like a huge wimp. I can only wish to have the stength, determination, ambition and endless positivity you and your family have demonstrated.

  233. Comment by Heidi | 08.12.2009 | 12:26 pm

    I love reading your comment section because your readers are the nicest, most generous, most supportive people anyone could ever hope to be surrounded by. It’s a direct reflection on your and your writing.

  234. Comment by Alyson | 08.12.2009 | 12:27 pm

    Elden, you rock! Write the book, it will be an inspiration to us all. Having walked a few feet in your shoes, I can tell you it does seem overwhelming at times, and despite all your friends, lonely….but there will come a time when life will feel ok again.
    Write the book!

  235. Comment by Janet | 08.12.2009 | 1:01 pm

    My heart and my thoughts are full of love for you and your family – and I haven’t even commented once yet. So if you’re overwhelmed by the love in the comments, just think of how many hearts are carrying you and your family and Susan, and haven’t piped up yet! You are treasured and beloved and appreciated. Now go ride it like you stole it.

  236. Comment by OMJB | 08.12.2009 | 2:21 pm

    I find your Blog to be inspirational and heart touching. I have never been a financial “supporter” of the cance fight in the past but have since changed my stance after reading your blog and reflecting on the lives of those that i know without your gift to convey feelings. Best of luck to you and your family, i hope that knowing that thousands of people are cheering for you guys help even a little.

  237. Comment by Lisa | 08.12.2009 | 2:46 pm

    I have the feeling that if you suddenly turned into a grade A jerk and stayed that way till the end of your life, you’d still get into heaven with points to spare! But seriously, you’re the kind of person we all hope to have in our corner when the proverbial sh*t hits the fan. Both you and Susan are/were tenacious fighters. Susan left a fine roadmap showing how to fight, but you also have left a roadmap showing how the “support staff” should be. You did it all, and then some. And, on top of that, while most of us would have whined, “I wish I could do something about this!” and then slunk off to the kitchen looking for a bag of chips, you actually did something about it. It proves that one person can really make a difference. Ride well at Leadville and the Philly LiveStrong Challenge.

  238. Comment by BJG | 08.12.2009 | 3:04 pm

    Have a great ride at Leadville. Maybe Dr. Lammler will feel compelled to visit your blog once again and help provide a bit more material for you to comment on. I do miss his piercing insight.

    Strength to you and your family!

  239. Comment by Pink | 08.12.2009 | 3:57 pm

    Oh, Fatty, I’ve been crying for months for what you and your family are enduring. You have gone through so much.

    The picture of Susan in her prime and you in total love is so wonderful. It highlights everything.

    Do watch those high mountain trails. Really, but have a good time.

    I’m so glad you have a core team. Most people don’t have five good friends in a lifetime. Susan is fine. You have miles to go.

  240. Comment by roadrash | 08.12.2009 | 5:02 pm

    Amazing picture of your twins – you can really see how Susan lives on in their smiles. I’m looking forward to reading your book.

    God’s peace. Fight like Susan at Leadville.

  241. Comment by Random Ray | 08.12.2009 | 5:18 pm

    I am really sorry that it had to end this way . My condolences to you , your family ,and everyone who loved Susan .

  242. Comment by Lloyd | 08.12.2009 | 6:44 pm

    You and your family were in our thoughts on Monday. Thanks for sharing this report of the day.

    I was very happy to see that you’re going to Leadville. I was actually out making a delivery this morning and thought to myself that there was no reason you shouldn’t go. Allez Fatty.

  243. Comment by Carla | 08.12.2009 | 6:57 pm

    What happened to your hair?

  244. Comment by kentucky joe | 08.12.2009 | 7:27 pm

    wow, nice photos, and thankfully the girls look like Susan….I’m just sayin’

    Better days to your family, we are all pulling for you.


  245. Comment by Spruce Hill | 08.12.2009 | 7:50 pm

    What a beautiful picture collage. I have been keeping you and your family in my prayers. Stay strong! Your girls are so beautiful :)

    The picture of Lance is really cool.
    My day to day life kicking cancer’s butt!

  246. Comment by Sarah | 08.12.2009 | 7:59 pm

    Stay strong… you are amazing. I am praying for you and think of you constantly.

  247. Comment by George | 08.12.2009 | 8:40 pm

    A piece of my heart for you and your children.

  248. Comment by Angela | 08.12.2009 | 8:57 pm

    I was holding in there until the email.

    My thoughts and condolences to you and your family.

  249. Comment by Greg | 08.12.2009 | 9:29 pm

    Please know that your writing, both the happy and the sad, makes me want to throw a leg over the wire donkey and pedal till the legs fall off. Thank you for sharing…all of it.

  250. Comment by Renata | 08.12.2009 | 9:55 pm

    I loved the program picture of you and your wife.
    She looks so young, healthy and beautiful and you look so smitten with her.
    Your humor is showing thru and you have handled a difficult situation so gracefully. I hope you do well in the race. Allez Fatty…

  251. Comment by Jennifer | 08.12.2009 | 10:16 pm

    Love to all of you. Now, RIDE!

  252. Comment by GJ Jackie | 08.12.2009 | 10:25 pm

    My god, you always make me cry and laugh too. There’s no loss of your sense of humor in you, Fatty. Keep on riding, even if it’s as slow as my 4 year old with training wheels (an exercise in track stands for me!).

  253. Comment by Jen | 08.12.2009 | 10:59 pm

    I only hope you’re not kidding about the book!

  254. Comment by sarah | 08.13.2009 | 5:12 am

    The girls are beautiful. They are (physically, at least, in that photo) mini-Susans! What a wonderful legacy.

  255. Pingback by i’ll try to make room for you « turnings | 08.13.2009 | 7:06 am

    [...] tried really hard to get past the passing of Susan last week. I’ve never met her, I only passed a couple of emails to Elden here and there. But the ride [...]

  256. Comment by Wayne | 08.13.2009 | 7:48 am

    I don’t know you. You don’t know me. In any case I find your stories and courage uplifting. So much so that I printed a page from your blog the other day and put it in my wallet as a reminder that, when I think I am suffering, I am not. I am fortunate to have not been personally connected to someone who faced a battle with cancer like you and your wonderful wife have. I pray I can always say that but know the odds will likely catch up to me. My only hope is that when and if I do stare this awful disease in the face, I am able to cope, love and fight on like you. Best of luck to you at Leadville! Allez!! And of course, LIVESTRONG ALWAYS!!!

  257. Comment by Lizzy | 08.13.2009 | 9:19 am

    I’m proud of you, Fatty. After losing our son it was hard for me to be around people. I felt there was no way anyone could understand the gut wrenching pain I was going through- and I was bitter about it.
    My friends forced me to start running again and eventually, I found my sense of humor which gave me the strength to get up in the morning.
    Your ability to find your smile shows how strong and innately cool you are. Your quads ain’t so bad, either.

    Fight like Susan!

  258. Comment by MiSzA | 08.13.2009 | 10:22 am

    No probs with no. 6 on your list! Ride hard – and be sure to be honest – can’t wait for the pictures and reports form the event. Good luck!

    Great to see you holding up so nicely.

  259. Comment by chad | 08.13.2009 | 1:16 pm

    you and your family are in my thoughts every day. sending you much love.

  260. Comment by Erin | 08.13.2009 | 1:37 pm

    I love that picture of you two.

    Thanks for letting us be part of your journey, from the first card shower to the last hurrah. Thank you Susan.

  261. Comment by Merry | 08.13.2009 | 4:27 pm

    Write the book!

    My husband is a faithful reader of yours and he is 74 years old. He has religiously followed your blog and was the one who told me your wife passed. My daughter is an Oncologist, so our whole family have been on your journey. You are NOT alone with the grief.

  262. Comment by Stu | 08.14.2009 | 7:31 am

    Been following your blog for a while but then lost it in a computer glitch, re-discovered today and am so sorry to hear of the loss of Susan. You are an inspiration to your readers, and your children must be very proud of you!

  263. Comment by Karin | 08.14.2009 | 11:19 am

    Just a drop in the bucket here, but wanted to send my regards. I’m so sorry Susan is no longer here. It’s clear she is already leaving quite a legacy, through your family, and through the amazing fundraising efforts on her behalf. Best wishes to you and your family, and have fun in Leadville!

  264. Comment by Tony K | 08.14.2009 | 2:38 pm


    I am a new reader and have been very moved by your posts and wanted to share my heartfelt sympathies and wish peace to you and your family with the passing of Susan. Keep going, Fatty and pedal hard!

  265. Comment by PaddyH | 08.16.2009 | 12:22 pm

    we’re so sorry for your loss…continue to fight the good fight!


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.