My Plan for the Austin LiveStrong Challenge

10.22.2009 | 7:37 am

I will be riding the Austin LiveStrong Challenge and Ride for the Roses this weekend. I talked a little bit about what we’ve accomplished in terms of fundraising yesterday, but I have not yet talked about a very, very important fact about this event:

My sister Kellene will be coming to Austin with me, as my guest.

Yes, the very same Kellene who:

  • Has fallen off a cliff while mountain biking, but who still loves mountain biking.
  • Has perfectly illustrated the difference between how men and women approach mountain biking road trips.
  • Has put her own life on hold I don’t even know how many times to come to my house and take care of me and my family.
  • Is able to persuade me to do anything. Including her famous “jump for the cameraposes. Note that she has the same expression in both these photos: 200910220725.jpg 200910220726.jpg

Kellene, I should add, is a professional photographer for her day job. So photos from the trip are probably going to be a step or twelve above the ones you usually get from me. And also, they’re less likely to be taken with my phone.

I should also point out that of all five of the Nelson kids, Kellene is tied for most outgoing. (I believe I am in fourth place.)

So don’t be too surprised if I bring back a “jump for the camera” photo of Lance and me.

The Ride

My ride plan for the LiveStrong Challenge is really very simple: GO HARD. Yes, I am going to treat it like a Charity Race. If I can bridge up to the Armstrong Group, I will. And I will hang with them until I cannot, after which I will finish the ride as fast as I can.

If you are a fast Team Fatty member, please work with me. Help me get to that front group and hang with them as long as possible.

Then, once I finish the ride, I plan to stick around at the finish line and thank / hang out with Team Fatty members who finish after me (as well as anyone who finishes before I do and is willing to stick around).

I promise I will be very sweaty and stinky.

And grateful.


  1. Comment by Marla Gnarla | 10.22.2009 | 7:41 am

    A Team Fatty/Lance jump photo!!

  2. Comment by nonplussed cyclist | 10.22.2009 | 7:43 am

    Will you be utilizing the new(ish) Orbea? It’d be a great color scheme for Austin.

  3. Comment by OldManUtah | 10.22.2009 | 7:46 am

    Have a great weekend in Austin Fatty! Cheering on Team Fatty!


  4. Comment by Kerry | 10.22.2009 | 7:58 am

    Good luck! Ride hard!

    Kerry in Austin

  5. Comment by Zed | 10.22.2009 | 7:58 am

    SWEET! a Fatty vs. Lance rematch. He’s just lucky you crashed at Leadville.

  6. Comment by Lowrydr | 10.22.2009 | 8:02 am

    Ride it like you stole it, don’t miss the first corner and have a fun safe trip. Can’t wait to see the pictures from your jumpy Sister.

  7. Comment by cece | 10.22.2009 | 8:07 am

    Go Fatty ! Go! Your sissy sounds like a blast! Buckle your seat belt for amped up hilarity!

  8. Comment by Jim B | 10.22.2009 | 8:17 am

    Until yesterday, the weather prediction for Austin on Sunday was for sun. Then it changed to 20% chance of rain. Now it is at 30%. I don’t like the trend.

  9. Comment by Weiland | 10.22.2009 | 8:21 am

    I’d be down for being a Fatty domestique but alas my son has his first race on Sunday so I’ll be in Austin cheering him on.

  10. Comment by Jessica @ How Sweet It Is | 10.22.2009 | 8:22 am

    Good luck!!!!!!!

  11. Comment by Woody H. | 10.22.2009 | 8:23 am

    White men CAN jump–nice air on that first pic!

    Cool plan for Austin, too–catch the Lance, hang with the Lance and jump with the Lance!

  12. Comment by Rob | 10.22.2009 | 8:33 am

    All the best dude!!!!

    Rob – UK

  13. Comment by steventoby | 10.22.2009 | 8:36 am

    Sure wish I could come and ride, but my schedule will not permit it! Have fun, and burn a few muscle fibres for me! Grab Juan Pelota’s wheel and dare him to shake you off!

  14. Comment by Rose | 10.22.2009 | 8:47 am

    I want to be Kellene’s best friend. She rocks!

  15. Comment by MisterBuba | 10.22.2009 | 8:51 am

    Sweet! I look forward to those photos! Have a great ride Fatty and ALL of Team Fatty! Tell Lance I sure could use that $10 he owes me.
    Be well, Live Strong, WIN…

  16. Comment by GrannyGear | 10.22.2009 | 8:57 am

    Wait a minute! Kudos to Sis and her jumping, but you have left out something. Photo #2; it seems we are being flashed by the cyclist (also jumping) behind you. What’s up with that? And are the others boycotting Sis’s jump? Did she, or you, offend in some way? There is much more going on in this picture than the Nelson family hobby.
    Just sayin…

  17. Comment by TC | 10.22.2009 | 9:03 am

    Can’t wait! I’ll be heading down to Austin tomorrow and staying with a friend (and fellow Fatty). I’ll be doing my best to help you bridge up, Elden… But mostly so that I’m in the pointy end of things when we turn onto River Rd in Wimberly. Could be exciting trying to ride that road with 3500 of my closest friends! :-)

  18. Comment by cdags | 10.22.2009 | 9:05 am

    I hope you and Kellene enjoy every minute of it, Fatty. Austin is a great town and shall be honored to have you guys as guests.

    Great ups in that first pic! My wife is also especially fond of jumping pics. So much so that they’ve taken a serious toll on my knees…rough landings.

  19. Comment by sandiegopj | 10.22.2009 | 9:06 am

    Ride hard, Ride strong!

    Have fun and enjoy the visit with your sis.

  20. Comment by Ryan at T6 | 10.22.2009 | 9:17 am

    Looking forward to racing this ride with you.

  21. Comment by Road Divit | 10.22.2009 | 9:28 am

    The wifey refuses to take anymore jumping photos -
    Last time she did she landed on a rock, rolled her foot and broke the outside bone. Go figure – I still jump.
    Who’s first across the line – you or your sis?

  22. Comment by Heather | 10.22.2009 | 9:33 am

    Ride Hard!! Have Fun!! And JUMP…lol! Love the pics…your sister looks like she is a blast to be around. Go Team Fatty! Good luck!

  23. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 10.22.2009 | 9:36 am

    Ride hard huh? How is that any different from the (P)hilly ride?

  24. Comment by John | 10.22.2009 | 9:37 am

    I hope you’ll still be there when I (finally) finish because I’d really like to say hello.

  25. Comment by Marge g | 10.22.2009 | 9:44 am

    I might add that Kelleen is an awesome friend. I rode the Ride the Rockies and White Rim Trail with her this summer. She was always ahead, a strong and fast rider, but she never failed to wait for me and give me encouragement. She’s a joy to be around. Good luck to you both on your ride.

  26. Comment by Charisa | 10.22.2009 | 9:47 am

    You realize you’ve now set yourself up and MUST deliver jumping pictures with Lance right?! Ride hard, have fun!!

  27. Comment by Mike | 10.22.2009 | 10:13 am

    Weather forecast is supposed to be absolutely beautiful. Have a great ride! Agree with Charissa, get a jumping photo of Lance!

  28. Comment by Eric | 10.22.2009 | 10:27 am

    I’m head down tomorrow and would love to help you bridge the gap. We rode together a little in Philly.

  29. Comment by Swami Wheelo | 10.22.2009 | 11:00 am

    Eldon, I’m always struck by how close you are to your family and Susan’s. You are a lucky man to have such strong bonds with your kin. Have a great time in Austin and enjoy the limelight.

  30. Comment by TimRides | 10.22.2009 | 11:21 am

    Wow, we get two Nelsons in Austin! Looking forward to watching you both speed away from me.

    Let’s ride!


  31. Comment by Twinville | 10.22.2009 | 12:20 pm

    Sounds like you are doing really great and life is treating you good. How are the kids doing? I hope they are getting the support and care they need. My Mother died when I was 8 yrs old and my Father basically dumped me on all my relatives….just when I needed him the most.
    As an adult I’ve still not gotten over that and because of my Father’s selfishness, we aren’t close at all.
    The death of a parent is devastating for anyone, but it affects the kids more than they are capable of expressing.

    Give them an extra hug today…and tell them you love them all the time. It matters.


  32. Comment by Michael Rhodus | 10.22.2009 | 2:05 pm

    Just got my Bicycling magazine from the mailbox and was surprised with a great article about you and your family! Bless you friend, and keep hammering, not just the bike but every aspect of life!

  33. Comment by Clydesteve | 10.22.2009 | 3:05 pm

    I have heard this race plan before!

  34. Comment by Bob | 10.22.2009 | 3:26 pm

    Sitting at work, reading the new issue of Bicycling, and there on page 17, NICE! I forgot to enclose a note in the sticker tube, but enjoy TX!, and thanks for what you do.

  35. Comment by Dave | 10.22.2009 | 3:39 pm

    Obviously you’ve chosen top go over to Kellene’s approach mountain biking as you still have no pictures of her riding. But instead have pictures of you posing…

  36. Comment by VeloLoser | 10.22.2009 | 3:46 pm

    I like the plan. Wish I could be there. Have fun!

  37. Comment by BikecopVT | 10.22.2009 | 4:38 pm

    Now that is a plan.

    Fight Like Susan!

  38. Comment by eandjmum | 10.22.2009 | 5:19 pm

    Go Fatty! And Go Kellene!!! Ride hard and ride safe!!!

  39. Comment by LidsB2 | 10.22.2009 | 6:25 pm

    Those massive quads are good for more than just pedaling–your vertical leap is impressive! I’m bummed that scheduling won’t allow me to join you this weekend, especially since I’m currently just down the road in San Antonio. I’m looking forward to seeing the post-ride pics. Giddyup!

  40. Comment by Nick | 10.22.2009 | 6:26 pm

    Sounds like it’ll be an awesome weekend. I really wish I could be there. Next year. . .

  41. Comment by bo | 10.22.2009 | 7:06 pm

    Fatty, TC and I will do our best to help you bridge. I’ll surely eat a good breakfast Sunday. If you are looking for me, I’ll be the guy with the silly grin connecting my ears. Tell TC to go sleeveless!

  42. Comment by Sramtaro | 10.22.2009 | 7:23 pm

    Have a great time in Austin. It’s the Portland of Texas.
    I thought the recent piece on you in Bicycling magazine was quite nice, but I hope that doesn’t exempt them from you making fun of their ridiculous fashion section.

  43. Comment by bubba seadog | 10.22.2009 | 7:38 pm

    give em hell in texas you know what davy crockett said, yall can go to hell as for me im goin to texas and he did he came to fight for our independence your coming to fight cancer so give em hell and lets beat cancer you and k and team fatty fight like susan

  44. Comment by Marilyn | 10.22.2009 | 8:05 pm

    Nice article on you and your family in the bicycling magazine. Have fun in Austin. Did phila this year and hope to do phila and Austin next year.

  45. Comment by Lana | 10.22.2009 | 8:12 pm

    I am so bummed I can’t make it to Austin, (I did Philly, which was an awesome even)t. Also – I just got done watching the Ride Across The Sky Leadville 100 movie and it was awesome to see a few Fat Cyclist jerseys during the film. I can say that that race looks harder than anything I have ever done and you all are crazy, but in a good way.

    Have fun in Austin and I am glad you will have a photographer out there for all of us who are stuck at home to see it afterwords.


  46. Comment by Aunt B. | 10.22.2009 | 8:15 pm

    Kellene: Just jump on three and I’ll snap your picture.

    Lance: You want me to do what?

    I wish I could be a fly on a helmut.

  47. Comment by El_Animal | 10.22.2009 | 8:46 pm

    Looking forward to ride with you, I’ll be your leadout man.

  48. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 10.22.2009 | 9:03 pm

    You guys are going to have a totally amazing weekend…I imagine it will be like the San Jose ride – times 100! And I LOVED the San Jose ride!

  49. Comment by Mike Roadie | 10.23.2009 | 4:00 am

    I plan on going e-a-s-y……

    And no jumping!

    See you there!


  50. Comment by Philly Jen | 10.23.2009 | 6:21 am

    I promise to be stinky and sweaty. And grateful.

    And slow!

  51. Comment by Lori | 10.23.2009 | 6:52 am

    I’m pretty sure I’m more outgoing than Kellene. I’m just really quiet about it.

    Have fun you two.

    I’m proud of youse guys.

  52. Comment by Pedalpink | 10.23.2009 | 7:03 am

    Elden, we’ll do our best to help you ride fast and strong Sunday … we’ll be on the red S&S coupled Co-Motion tandem wearing our Team Fatty Jerseys. Use the draft behind our super domestique tandem when you need a brief rest before kicking it again.

    We still haven’t found a way other than riding to get from downtown out to the high school Sunday morning. We’ll be pedaling easy the 26 miles as a warmup to the 90 mile route. Anyone else riding to the start? Please join us (see post on forum blog).

    Go HARD and end STINKY!

  53. Comment by Frank | 10.23.2009 | 9:50 am

    Elden, I think it’s time to apply some air freshener to your blog. These comments turn out to be rather smelly.

  54. Comment by Dan O | 10.23.2009 | 2:55 pm

    Nice article about you and the family in Bicycling magazine. I’m sure your kids need you now, more then ever.

    I wanna see you guys pull off the Lance jump photo…..

  55. Comment by Jim B | 10.23.2009 | 3:32 pm

    Pedalpink –

    Maybe I’m just a dolt, but what “forum blog” are you talking about? I live much closer to the venue than 26 miles, plus my car has a tandem carrier and can give you a ride there. contact me at

  56. Comment by Kronda | 10.23.2009 | 5:58 pm

    Oh can’t wait for that jump pic. I have read this blog for a long while and not done much else. But I get my procrastination gene honestly, from my mom, who I lost to colon cancer in ‘07. So I’m finally (better late than never?), doing my little part, even though I can’t make the ride. Thanks for everything you do. Have fun and go hard.

  57. Comment by windows live | 10.24.2009 | 8:14 am

    looking forward to ride with you. Give me the date ,day ,for us to ride are bikes .Lets do mountain biking,lets do hiking.

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