What I’m Going to Say in Austin

10.19.2009 | 7:31 am

A Note from Fatty: Believe it or not, tomorrow is the last day you have in the “Win An Ibis, Take it Anywhere You Want, and Ride it With Andy Hampsten, Chuck Ibis, and Fatty” Contest. If you haven’t entered yet, read the contest details here, then click here to go enter. Don’t delay! Operators are standing by (except they’re not really).

And now, Part III of “The Great Bike and Trail Pairing” miniseries, written and photographed by Chuck Ibis himself.

The Southwest is for Mojos

So far we’ve had a pair of pairings of idea bike and ride locations, mere suggestions for the winner of our contest. Maybe our winner can do us one better?

Today I’m thinking about a much broader geographical area, that of the great Southwest…


…and the Ibis Mojo.


Think about Moab, Zion, Fruita, Thunder Mountain and more.


This one is about as obvious a pair as salt and pepper. Give the Mojo what you want as far as trail obstacles…rocks, ledges, jumps, lions tigers and bears…and oh my it will take what you can dish out.


It’s almost too wonderful to take in. Yeah, I mean both the view and the bike.

But here’s the thing. If you don’t enter, you won’t win. You won’t win the Ibis of your choice, with a ride in a place of your choosing, along with Andy Hampsten, Fatty and me, unless you go and donate to the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Do it here. Do it now.

(And now, back to the scheduled post of the day)

What I’m Going to Say In Austin

This week, I’m going to be in Austin for the LiveStrong Challenge and Ride for the Roses. And at some point, the Lance Armstrong Foundation is going to reward everyone who’s worked so hard to raise so much money in this fight against cancer by…having me stand up and talk to them.

That hardly seems fair, does it? I mean, after all these people have done, you’d think the LAF would instead hire a troupe of singing monkeys or interpretive dancers to entertain these good folk.

But having a blogger talk to them? Ew.

But the thing is, I do have something that’s been on my mind. It’s short, but it’s what I’ve been thinking.

Here it is. Or at least, here’s how much I’ve gotten so far.

Fatty’s Austin LiveStrong Speech

Lance Armstrong and I have some very interesting similarities. For example:

  • We both like bicycles, and have been known to ride them from time to time.
  • We both like the Tour de France, and have been known to participate in it from time to time (I consider viewing an important form of participation).
  • We both like the Leadville 100, and have each completed it a dozen times. What? He’s only done it twice? Well, at least we both do it on rigid singlespeeds. What? He races on a full-suspension bike? With gears? Well, where’s the challenge in that?
  • We both have earned a measure of Internet celebrity by writing about Lance Armstrong.
  • We are both within 3 years of turning 40. ‘Course, My three years is in the opposite direction, but still.

There are some much more serious similarities between Lance and me, though. We’ve both been hit hard and personally by cancer. Lance fought it himself; I fought it alongside my wife. And it changed and focused both Lance and me.

I think Lance would agree that during your own battle, you are — rightly — focused on yourself and your own treatment. When you’re fighting cancer, you’ve got to marshal all your energy — and the energy of anyone who is willing to stand with you — and engage the battle.

Eventually, one way or another, everyone’s personal battle with cancer ends. Lance’s ended with a cure and restoration to health.

Susan’s and my battle ended with her passing away last Summer.

And this brings up another important way Lance and I are similar. Somewhere along the way, we’ve each realized that the fight against cancer is far too ugly, far too awful, and far too painful to treat as simply personal.

At some point, we’ve each decided that we’ve got to do something to help other people in the fight.

Now, there are a couple of other interesting ways Lance and I are similar. We’re each the dad of four kids. Two boys, and two girls.

That’s perhaps not so very unusual, but this part is: my girls are twins, and are just about three weeks older than Lance’s girls, who are also twins.

And when I think about breast cancer and what it did to my wife, and the way it did the same thing to a grandmother I never knew, and how cancer has affected an almost ridiculous number of people in my family — my wife, my grandmother, my father, my sister, my stepmother, my stepfather — and then I think about my girls.

We’ve got to find more and better ways of treating this. Of detecting. Of someday curing it or better yet preventing it.

Because that’s another way Lance and I — and most everyone else — is the same. We’ve almost all been affected by cancer. And the horrible thing is, we’re all probably going to be affected by it again, sometime in our lifetimes.

So we’ve got to do something. For those close to us now, and for those who we don’t even know right now.

Which is And that’s why I’m proud to help raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. I’ve seen, firsthand, the sense of purpose — of mission — in the people here. From Lance to Doug Ulman to Colleen O’Farrell to AnneMarie Rickes to Ron Kolenic to Chris Brewer to many, many others.

These are people who care about this fight as much as I do. And I’ve seen them care about it on a personal level and on a global scale.

I think the fight against cancer always starts as a personal battle. But for me — and for Team Fatty and for Lance and for the Lance Armstrong Foundation — it’s grown way, way beyond that. The fight doesn’t end with your own battle against cancer. It doesn’t end at all. It just gets bigger.

And it never stops being personal.


  1. Comment by tom | 10.19.2009 | 12:26 pm

    nice one fatty. Have fun in Austin

  2. Comment by getinlost | 10.19.2009 | 12:37 pm

    Don’t forget to breathe.


  3. Comment by Dan O | 10.19.2009 | 12:38 pm

    great post

    Sonoma on a Hakalugi or Silk SL would be incredible for sure.

    See you in Austin!

    life is good

  4. Comment by Jessica @ How Sweet It Is | 10.19.2009 | 12:43 pm

    This gave me chills! Great.

  5. Comment by OldManUtah | 10.19.2009 | 12:45 pm


    Rock the house in Austin!

    My mom passed away two years ago from cancer and I cannot think of a better way to support the fight then to cheer you and everyone else at the Austin event on to a great finish for the year.

    FLS and WIN!
    Go Team Fatty!

  6. Comment by Bruce Bebow | 10.19.2009 | 12:46 pm

    I can’t wait to ride with you in Austin, Fatty.

  7. Comment by El_Animal | 10.19.2009 | 12:48 pm

    See you on Sunday! Do you want to do some Mountain Bike? Let me know, I have saturday available, i’ll take you to the best trails Texas has to offer!

  8. Comment by The Incredible Woody | 10.19.2009 | 12:53 pm

    Thank you for sharing that! I am so disappointed that I won’t be able to go to Austin. But it is a little difficult to ride with a cast on your leg. But I will definitely be there in spirit!! Go, Team Fatty!!

  9. Comment by Nancy P | 10.19.2009 | 1:01 pm


  10. Comment by cece | 10.19.2009 | 1:05 pm

    Your passion is my passion Fatty! I will see you in Austin in 2010 as a Team Fatty member!

  11. Comment by Weiland | 10.19.2009 | 1:07 pm

    When I win you’ll have to come back to Austin and ride with me: http://www.weiland.net/post.cfm/ride-with-fatty-chuck-ibis-and-andy-hampsten

    and the Silk SL will be built for my sons

  12. Comment by GenghisKhan | 10.19.2009 | 1:17 pm

    Chapeau, mon pote, chapeau!

  13. Comment by Lizzylou | 10.19.2009 | 1:20 pm

    Don’t forget the similarity in your hairstyles.

    Sounds like an excellent outline. I will look forward to seeing the video which I’m sure will appear online eventually.

    I actually calculated it… I find that I am affected by cancer every 2.5 years. That is how frequently friends and family members are diagnosed. Every 2.5 years (on average) somebody I know is diagnosed with cancer. Sometimes it’s a close family member, a student that I teach, or a friend. No matter who it is, it sucks.

  14. Comment by MattC | 10.19.2009 | 1:21 pm

    Nice speech Fatty…you will bring down the house for sure. Plus I’m guessing you will have a rather large and racous group of Fatty supporters! (I WILL be there to cheer you on…woo-HOO!)

    I’m actually torn as to which bike I should pick WHEN I win…quite honestly it’s a huge dilemma! And then what location to pick (that will depend mostly upon the bike chosen)..and finally, what to wear upon meeting (and riding WITH) Andy Hampsten! Thankfully I don’t shave my legs either, so we will have SOMETHING in common. I don’t know about Chuck…you might find yourself (and your girlishly smooth shaved legs) alone in that category…of course I say that in jest, knowing full well that you (and your girlishly smooth shaved legs) will be able to crush me at will in Austin. (and to be fair, so will MANY MANY ladies with THEIR girlishly smooth shaved legs).

  15. Comment by Charlie | 10.19.2009 | 1:42 pm

    “Knock ‘em dead…” (figuratively, of course!)

  16. Comment by Kathy McElhaney | 10.19.2009 | 1:48 pm

    Excellent post – I choked up when you wrote about your girls. I have twin nieces who lost their grandmother (my mom) when they were 11 and I don’t want them to ever lose another family member to cancer.

  17. Comment by Clydesteve | 10.19.2009 | 1:54 pm

    Good angle, Elden, but I think you should work the hair similarity in. (Oh, sorry, that’s Bob Roll.)

    Can’t wait for Austin. See you there Fatty & Team Fatty!

    P.S. Is Bob R going to come?

  18. Comment by NoTrail | 10.19.2009 | 1:58 pm

    I’m looking forward to meeting you (and all of Team Fatty) in Austin in a few days. Hope you have a safe trip out there.

  19. Comment by devin mccune | 10.19.2009 | 2:00 pm


    Bummed not to be able to attend Austin. In January when I signed up for the team it seemed the great way to end a season of riding. Alas, life gets in the way and I cancelled the flight today.

    Glad to have been part of your team and helped raised some money for LAF this year. Have a great ride.

  20. Comment by bubba seadog | 10.19.2009 | 2:12 pm

    hope you get a big texas welcome and a ten gallon hat say hello to lance for us and keep fighting like susan

  21. Comment by FNEditor | 10.19.2009 | 2:39 pm

    I just did the math and to reach your $1MM mark by the end of the year you have to raise $3,644.58 every day.

    I’ve been emailing your posts around to try to get people to come donate. I really hope you can do it.

    How much have we raised as the daily average so far? – FC

  22. Comment by sue | 10.19.2009 | 2:44 pm

    Very nice article. I am very sorry about your wife. Do any of your kids ride? Just found your blog and I’ll be back!

    P.S. Cancer is a Douchebag…plain and simple.

  23. Comment by Jeff | 10.19.2009 | 2:53 pm

    Rock it, Fatty. #beatcancer. I’ll see you there.

  24. Comment by Mike Roadie | 10.19.2009 | 3:13 pm

    You guys also both know Mike Roadie…..although neither one does, really!

    You can also say, “Congrats to Mike Roadie for winning our last contest of the season and riding off on the Ibis of his choice. Wonder where he’ll want to ride it?”. Has a nice ring to it!!

    See you Friday!


  25. Comment by Heather | 10.19.2009 | 3:26 pm

    Inspiring and amusing…as always. Beat Cancer! And thanks for clueing me in that viewing the Tour de France is an important part of participating. I’ll be sure to remember that for future use in conversation…and my own blog… :) Have a GREAT week!!

  26. Comment by Born 4Lycra | 10.19.2009 | 4:30 pm

    That is so Just Right. Best Wishes to Team Fatty in Austin – have a great time and bring the house down during fatty’s speech. Celebrate for all of us that can’t be there. All of you enjoy the spotlight you all deserve it.


  27. Comment by Jeff L. | 10.19.2009 | 4:31 pm

    Outstanding speech. I’m pumped.

    This is me, giving you a standing ovation….why are my co-workers looking at me funny? Like they’ve never seen a man applauding his computer screen….wait….it’s catching on. Everyone is applauding their computer screens! If only they knew why.

  28. Comment by Scott Joy | 10.19.2009 | 4:45 pm

    Looking forward to hearing your speech in person on Friday night. See you in Austin!

  29. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 10.19.2009 | 5:28 pm

    See you in Austin everyone!

  30. Comment by Metric Jason | 10.19.2009 | 5:31 pm

    Great speech Fatty, you’re going to rock Austin! Can’t wait to read all the firsthand reports from you and the rest of Team Fatty.

  31. Comment by AngieG | 10.19.2009 | 5:58 pm


  32. Comment by Pedalpink | 10.19.2009 | 6:32 pm

    It is personal … and your speech nails it. And the fights just becomes bigger.

    I’ve almost reached that ambitious goal you set earlier this year … to be one of 1,000 people each raising $1,000 to contribute $1 MILLION to LIVESTRONG in 2009.

    My captain and I hope to have a long line of Team Fatty members drafting behind our tandem in Austin on Sunday! We are so looking forward to meeting some of our 998 other team members.

  33. Comment by Maureen | 10.19.2009 | 6:48 pm

    Beautiful. Go get ‘em!

  34. Comment by Peter | 10.19.2009 | 8:06 pm

    Awesome Fatty, simple, beautiful, awesome. I hope I make the last $400 so I get to attend Saturday’s dinner and watch it in person. See you on the patio on Saturday, pre-race margarita in hand.

  35. Comment by WheelDancer | 10.19.2009 | 8:14 pm

    It’s a shame I won’t be there in Austin but I have sent a fair amount of cash to the cause and even more good wishes. Enjoy Austin & thanks for putting Team Fatty together, it has been quite inspiring to watch it develop.

  36. Comment by Lori | 10.19.2009 | 8:29 pm

    Yes, yes, but what will you wear?

  37. Comment by jilrubia | 10.19.2009 | 8:41 pm

    Your speech is great and powerful. Thank you for all–3/4 of a million+ bucks kind of “all”–you have done to fight this battle. I hopped on board with donations over the past year because of your sincerity and love for Susan. Today I learned my father-in-law has leukemia. Today it is personal.

  38. Comment by miss & stewOZ | 10.19.2009 | 9:00 pm

    Well said, Fatty.

    We can hear you all the way here in Australia.


  39. Comment by Joel P. | 10.19.2009 | 9:20 pm

    Perfect speech for Austin. You will rock the house for sure. Good luck to all of Team Fatty this coming weekend.
    Joel P.

  40. Comment by ChefJT | 10.19.2009 | 9:33 pm

    You’ve also both passed me on the road at LiveStrong Philly. You this year as you yelled “allez Fatty” as we all did to each other on the team. Lance was already on the return in 2007 when I saw him on the road and yelled “Holy S—!”

    Cool as all get-out to have been on the road with each of you! You’ll rock Austin, I have no doubt. God bless you and the children. God bless Susan.

    Fight Like Susan.

  41. Comment by Sean | 10.19.2009 | 11:18 pm

    That my friend (i know we’ve never met, but I like to be really over familiar…..just ask my local cops) iswhat a speach should be

    Funny, touching, personal and with a point to it all

  42. Comment by Dan O | 10.19.2009 | 11:23 pm

    Well written post.

    I’m officially in as of today – not a lot of dough, but what I can spare at the moment. Of course I love to win – I’d be loopy to win. Even without winning, the money is well spent.

    I also found out today, a cool ex coworker of mine, just diagnosed again with cancer – 2nd time. Same story with my sister-in-law, round two of chemo, after thinking everything was over.

    Seeing people get wacked with this makes you appreciate being healthy – as well as knowing it could hit yourself or anyone at anytime.

    Cancer sucks.

  43. Comment by Orbea Girl | 10.20.2009 | 12:52 am

    Spot on! See you in Austin.

  44. Comment by Mark Kynaston | 10.20.2009 | 2:16 am


    That speech is spot on. Written in your usual humourous, understated and moving way. If the rest of it is up to this standard you will not only be raising more money than any other person/team but giving the best and most inspiring speech also. Way to go Fatty

  45. Comment by TimK | 10.20.2009 | 4:47 am

    You forgot to compare your quads to Lance’s. Great speech, but we expect nothing less from you. FLS.

  46. Comment by brokeMBA | 10.20.2009 | 5:54 am

    Yeah Elden…go with that speech. Perfect…

  47. Comment by Peg | 10.20.2009 | 6:34 am


  48. Comment by VeloLoser | 10.20.2009 | 7:21 am

    Well done, sir.

  49. Comment by Robert | 10.20.2009 | 7:30 am

    excellent message. it made me tear-up. i often think of those with cancer and it makes me want to help even more. so far my family has been cancer free, but in no way has that detered us from supporting the fight for the future.

  50. Comment by sandy | 10.20.2009 | 9:30 am

    Add professional speechwriter along with entertaining and profound blogger to your resume. Well done! Wish I could write like that.

  51. Comment by Sonja O'Brien | 10.20.2009 | 9:45 am

    I’ve never calculated the amount of times cancer has touched the people around me…..but it is way too many times. Cancer Sucks! Thanks for all the inspiration you give to those whose worlds you touch! Have fun in Texas.

  52. Comment by MisterBuba | 10.20.2009 | 9:57 am

    Hear, Hear Fatty!
    I too have been beaten up by cancer. Lost 2 uncles and a good friend to lung cancer, lost an aunt to leukemia and spent the last 3 years fighting my lymphoma. Cancer Sucks and that’s why together we are gonna kick cancer’s ass!
    Ride on Fatty and LiveSTRONG Brothers and Sisters!

  53. Comment by fwcpc | 10.20.2009 | 11:30 am

    Beautiful, beautiful speech. You should make time for some Tex-Mex while there. I’ve been to Utah – gorgeous state, but despite what you may think there is no Mexican food in Utah.

  54. Comment by Cameron | 10.20.2009 | 2:56 pm

    Great speech Fatty. I wish I could be in Austin to hear you deliver it in person.

  55. Comment by Janneke | 10.21.2009 | 3:05 am

    Excellent speech Fatty. Go for it. Enjoy Austin. If only it weren’t on the other side of the pond, I’d be there to chear you on and help bring the house down!!

  56. Comment by Andrew P | 10.21.2009 | 9:42 pm

    Very nice speech.

    I look forward to hearing it in person on Saturday night.

    We all wish you and your family the best.

    Make sure to wave to us if you see my daughter and me on the pedicabs in the 5K portion of the Austin LiveStrong Challenge.

    Trust me you won’t miss Princess Sara if you see the pedicabs. :-)


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