Pat — one of Team Fatty-Philly’s finest — has been shuttling me around the city today. Showing me around, helping me pick up a bike, and just making the day in general great.
I tell you what: it is so great to have a local who’s worked as a bike messenger in the city show you around. Now a chemistry teacher, Pat is also a history buff and told me all about the city as he showed me all around town, weaving through traffic comfortably and effortlessly.
Pat is a great guy.
After picking up my bike, we swung by Philly Jen’s — co-captain for Team Fatty-Philly — house to pick her up.
Until I met her in person, all I had to go on to figure out Jen’s personality was her email. And from that, I had figured that in person she’d be a ball of energy.
Boy, was I wrong.
As it turns out, “ball of energy” is far too mild a term. Jen is more like a supernova of energetic happiness. Check out the photos I took and see if you can notice a pattern.
Here’s Jen in front of her house as Pat and I picked her up:
And here’s Jen doing the Rocky pose at the art museum:
And here’s Jen, Pat and me, not doing the Rocky pose at the art museum:
Yeah, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s something … consistent about Jen’s expression.
Teasing aside, Jen deserves huge props for the incredible amount of work she’s done to get Team Fatty Philly together and organized, as well as for the remarkable fundraising job she’s spearheaded.
One More Thing
I saw this in the hotel parking lot:
Whoever did that, thanks.
Team Fatty is so awesome.
This is Mike Roadie.
Mike is a Friend of Fatty.
Mike is co-captain of Team Fatty-Austin.
Mike is nice.
We like Mike.
Mike is hot!
Mike is sad!
Why is Mike sad?
Mike is sad because Mike is hot.
Why is Mike sad and hot?
Maybe Mike is hot because he lives here:
This is Florida.
Florida is a place.
The sun feels hot in Florida.
Very very hot.
The sun feels hot in other places too.
Does it get hot where you live?
I bet it does!
Does it get hotter than hell? I hope not!
But look! What is this?
Mike is crying!
Mike is begging!
Mike is begging and crying!
Why are you crying and begging, Mike?
“I am crying because I am hot,” says Mike.
“I am crying because my jersey is black,” says Mike.
“I am begging because I want a jersey that is not black.”
Poor, poor Mike.
Mike is so sad.
What will happen to Mike?
Will Mike get what he wants?
Will Mike stop begging?
Will Mike be happy?
On Monday, we will find out.
Poor, poor Mike.
PS: I fly to Philly today. Expect me to go into phone-based, frequent mini-post mode throughout the weekend.
A Note from Fatty: This Monday, I’ll be unveiling the 2010 Fat Cyclist jerseys, and a whole bunch more. They’ll be available for pre-order right away, and will arrive well before Thanksgiving. Here are a few sneak previews into what you’ll be seeing:
- The orange/black/white color scheme will make a triumphant return
- The Team Fatty (pink/black/white) version will be available at the same time as the standard version
- Fat Cyclist water bottles will now be using the Camelbak Podium bottles that I love so much
More info and maybe even a sneak peek into the design coming soon.
Ideas for My Philadelphia Speech
Tomorrow afternoon I fly out to Philadelphia to participate in my first-ever LiveStrong Challenge. I have to say, I’m a little bit nervous. See, thanks to the incredible generosity of FatCyclist.com readers and the amazing focus of the members of Team Fatty, we’re in a pretty unusual situation:
We have won all of the awards. Every single one of them.
Which means I have to get up in front of a bunch of people the night before the ride and say something.
Something approximately 10 – 15 minutes long.
And while I originally promised the LiveStrong folks that I would give them an outline three days ago, I’m afraid it’s not quite finished yet. Also, it’s not quite started yet. But that’s what long plane flights are for, right?
Anyways, I thought I’d use today’s post to just kind of bounce some ideas off you and get your feedback on what you think.
Idea 1: Harangue
This will be a large audience of people who are very focused on fighting cancer, and have each done a lot of terrific work toward the cause. So maybe I’ll make them feel bad by telling them, for fifteen minutes, that they could have done more. Perhaps I’ll go around the room and get specific.
Idea 2: Blind Panic
My earliest childhood memory is of being put in front of a roomful of extended family and being told to sing a song I had been rehearsing for days and knew by heart. At that moment, however, I no longer remembered any of the song. Nor did I remember how to sing. Or what language was. However, my “fight or flight” instinct was working just fine. And since everyone in the room was much bigger, flight seemed like the best choice.
Maybe it’s time for me to reprise that act. Except this time, not everyone will be bigger than me. Which means the “fight or flight” choice becomes much more interesting.
Idea 3: Recite an Excerpt from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Back when I was in high school, I skipped the whole sports thing and instead focused on the most surefire way I could imagine to get my head frequently stuck in a toilet: speech team. I gained notoriety for the “humor interpretation” event, where one voice-acted an excerpt from a published work. And my Hitchhiker’s Guide excerpt just killed. (I did the part where the Heart of Gold arrives at Magrathea, for those of you who, like me, have memorized the book.)
Considering that most people, following a heavy pasta dinner, are already going to be fighting the urge to sleep, maybe some good ol’ fashioned humor interp (as we in the biz called it) will be just what they need.
Idea 4: Sell Amway
I’ve got this large, captive audience, consisting entirely of self-motivated people who are not afraid to ask their friends and family for money. Maybe this is the perfect moment for me to get into multilevel marketing.
Just imagine my downstream!
Idea 5: Free Verse + Interpretive Dance
What many of you may not know about me is that I am a very capable poet, and am an especially competent composer of free verse. I like free verse because I don’t have to worry about meter. Or rhymes. Basically, if I understand correctly, free verse is like regular writing, except you press the Return key more often. For example:
if I understand correctly
free verse is like regular writing
except you press the Return key
See? Same sentence, infinitely greater depth. Of course, to make free verse really come to life, one must read it aloud as if one were considering and weighing each word, after having taken a Valium. You know, the way they talk on NPR.
Oh, and of course I’d need to hire a mime to physically interpret my poem as I read it aloud.
Idea 6: Give ‘Em What They Want
Suppose you were seated and ready to hear a speech. And then, suddenly, instead of a speech, the nominal speaker passed out really delicious pie. Wouldn’t you be pleasantly surprised? Wouldn’t you say to yourself, “I cannot think of a speech I would enjoy even half as much as I am enjoying this pie.”
Yes, that’s exactly what you would say.
Especially if the pie had a really nice scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
Idea 7: Ramble
The most awesome thing about my blog is that I have a backspace key. This makes it possible for me to write whatever comes into my head, then erase the parts I wish wouldn’t have come into my head.
Unfortunately, when I talk I have no backspace key. This is not to say that I say lots of things that I wish I wouldn’t have. Rather, I tend to take a long time to get to the point I want to make. I find myself wishing for verbal parentheses and em-dashes to bracket off the tangential remarks I keep seeming to make.
And in conclusion, it often takes me a long time to get to the point.
But what if I got on stage and just gave free rein to the pinballesque thoughts that bump through my head, which would be factorially amped by the adrenaline caused by standing in front of people?
And then, after ten minutes, I could sit down, having not quite yet gotten completely to the first of three points I really wanted to get to.
Yeah, I think I’d better get back to work on writing this thing.
Let’s see…I can either write a blog post or finish last minute registration stuff, buy supplies, and go meet the teachers.
Now that the dust has settled on the 2009 Leadville 100, I’ve had time to gather my thoughts, as well as some additional interesting photos. I present them now for your consideration.
Cause of Crash Comes to Light
In my description of my crash, I didn’t give anywhere near enough credit to John, the race volunteer who came and got me. In addition to picking me up, hauling my bike to the medic tent, letting me burn through about half his yearly minute allotment on his phone, letting me wear his coat, and staying with me even after I was in the medic tent, John — at my request, because even through the pain and shock I knew I’d want a photo of this for my blog — took a picture of where I crashed, and then emailed it to me:
The skid mark in the wet gravel on the shoulder gives you a pretty good idea of the last thing I saw before I started ragdolling down the hill: trees and rocks.
What is even cooler about John, though — and I didn’t expect this of him — is that he later went back to take some more pictures and to look for my glasses.
This, folks, is the view back to the road from where I landed:
This really helps explain why I’m so black and blue all over right now, but for the longest time I couldn’t help but wonder: why did I crash? It just didn’t make any sense. I’ve made it down that road just fine literally a dozen times.
And then I got this photo in the mail from someone who just happened to be going by — and coincidentally photographing — the site of my crash a mere instant before I wrecked (click for larger view):
Now it all makes sense. Louis Baker was at it again! I knew this wreck couldn’t be due to my own clumsiness.
Oh, Louis, why do you hate me so? Why?
How My Equipment Fared
Many people expressed concern over my well-being when I crashed. Others, however, expressed concern over my bike’s well-being. Which means my crash was a useful device for separating the hardcore cyclists from the rest of us.
Basically, I do not yet know how my bike fared. Apart from a torn-up saddle and torn-up grips, the bike looks fine. But I’m having Racer take a good hard look at the frame, and will get back to you.
I can tell you about how some of my other stuff did, though.
- Gloves: My beloved Specialized BG Ridge Gloves took the fall without taking a lot of damage — just a few tiny rips in the back of the gloves. The fact that I have only superficial cuts (albeit lots of them) on the backs of my hands tells me they did as good a job of protecting my hands as a mesh backing can.
- Bib shorts: My current favorite pair of bibs is a pair of Descente Stratas. In fact, I’m a big fan of Descente shorts in general — maybe enough to write them a love letter at some point. These bibs now have several small rips in them, each of which corresponds to a bruise and cut on my body.
- Camelbak Podium Bottle: The only kind of bottle I use anymore are the Camelbak Podium bottles. These things are so great. But apparently, they’re not designed for high-speed crashes:
Yep, the bottle actually tore nearly completely apart at the lid. How about that?
Despite multiple attempts, Lance has still never successfully managed to meet me. He keeps calling and calling, and frankly the email just doesn’t stop. I keep agreeing to meet him, and then I totally bail, usually with some kind of lame excuse. Kind of mean of me, really.
However, I’m extra-super-happy to announce that my brother-in-law Rocky, after rescuing my Oakley Jawbones last Saturday, actually rode with Lance as he finished the St. Kevins climb.
I understand Rocky was giving Lance some tips on how to ride Leadville one-handed. Wearing jeans. On a forty pound bike.
Regrets and Thanks
Only the day after the race did I find out what laid in store for me if I had managed to stay on my bike. Namely, other riders told me about the huge outpouring of support they got when people saw their Fat Cyclist jerseys. And there were signs. And cowbells galore.
I suspect that if I had ridden the whole race, I’d have been so choked up the whole time that I would have finished with a terrible time.
To those of you who took the effort to come out and support me, only to have me crash out before I could even get to the first aid station, thank you. My clumsiness doesn’t negate your awesomeness.
And to my friends and family (both the family who came to support me and the family who stayed behind to take care of my kids): double thanks. You made my Leadville weekend feel downright normal and fun, which is exactly what I needed.
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