LiveStrong Challenge Austin 2009: Meeting Team Fatty

10.28.2009 | 7:39 am

After two days of hanging out, schmoozing, and generally doing my absolute best to counteract all the work I’ve done to become fit these past few months, it was finally time for the LiveStrong Challenge ride.

As befits an award-winning, beloved internet cycling superstar celebrity blogger, I arrived at the start line with just moments to spare, and pushed through self-importantly.

Then I acted like I had been there for hours.


Luckily, I was not the last guy to arrive. Lance arrived and got to the start line a few minutes after I did.


That’s Chris Brewer in the green shirt in the background, by the way. An incredibly terrific guy and survivor who’s made the fight against cancer his life’s mission.

Plans, Changed

I had made no secret of my plans for the LiveStrong Challenge ride. Using the front position Team Fatty had earned to maximum advantage, I’d go out hard, doing my absolute best to hang with the fast guys for as long as possible. Then, once they dropped me (and I knew they would drop me), I’d try to finish as fast as I could and get to the finish line. After that, I’d greet and thank Team Fatty as they crossed the line.

Well, that plan changed before the ride ever started.

Lance’s group of fast guys were positioned ahead of us. And then, to my surprise, they took off, while officials stopped us from going.

I guess Lance needed some “alone” time.

We didn’t get to leave the starting gate until about six minutes after Lance’s group did. And it seemed, um, unlikely that I would be able to make up six minutes on Lance and his group of fast friends.

So I decided that I’d make the second part of my plan the only part of my plan: Finish the ride quickly and hang out with Team Fatty.

Toward that end, I figured there was no special reason for me to ride the 90-mile course. I’d finish the 65-mile course sooner and see more people (Yeah, I could have applied that logic to its extreme and only done the 20-mile course, but I wanted to get a bigger ride in than that.)

The Ride

Once the ride did start, I did my absolute best to get to the finish line fast. MattC — Team Fatty San Jose Co-Captain — did an incredible job being my leadout guy. He completely demolished himself bridging me to a group of eight guys who were riding a very fast pace, after which he said, “That’s it for me,” and settled in to enjoy the rest of the ride.

So for the next few miles, I buried myself, trying to hang with this group.

The group quickly shrunk. Before long, it was down to just three of us, with the same guy pulling the whole time. I wouldn’t be surprised if that guy managed to bridge.

As for me, I just couldn’t stick at that pace, and finally dropped off.

And then, for the next ten miles or so, I time trialed. While there were lots of people out on the course — many people start the ride on their own, without bothering about an official start — I’m pretty sure that for about the first several miles, I was the third-placed person who actually started when the gun went off (i.e., not with Lance’s group, and not with the self-starters.)

Then a group wearing Mellow Johnnies jerseys caught and passed me, letting me know my seatbag was dangling. I stopped and fixed it, at which point TC and MattC caught me and we rode together for a while.

But I was on a mission, so before long I gapped them and continued on.

65 miles can go by pretty fast when you’re going hard, and there aren’t many hills (in the 65-mile course, only one sticks out in my mind as being even remotely significant). Two bottles of water and three packets of Shot Bloks were all I needed for this kind of distance, so I didn’t stop at any of the aid stations. I just blew through and kept working toward the finish line.

Kellene, meanwhile, was cruising the same course, taking pictures with people and having fun. Here she is with Delvis:


Yes, she is a little creeped out.

The Finish Line

I finished my ride in three-ish hours. I think. I retrieved my bag, changed into comfortable clothes, went and grabbed some food and drinks, did a couple interviews (yes, really), and then got back to the finish line, just in time to see Lance finish the 90 mile course.

At that point, I made myself a fixture, looking for anyone in a Fat Cyclist jersey crossing the line, and congratulating them and thanking them for what they’ve done.

Kellene wasn’t far at all behind me, in spite of the fact that she had done the ride the way it’s meant to be ridden: as a big ol’ party.


And after that, I just hung out an enjoyed myself, loving the fact that I have the biggest, most fundraisingest, friendliest, and generally awesomest team that has ever kicked butt in all four LiveStrong challenges.

And that’s not subjective. That’s quantifiable.

Here are a few of the photos. There’s many more (post them in comments, Team Fatty!) that others took:







I stayed right to the end — tired, but not wanting to miss a single Team Fatty member who had stuck it out to the finish.

Eventually, the last rider came through. Those of us who remained made an aisle of people and tossed yellow rose petals all over him as he came through.


The poor guy — not a Team Fatty member — was totally cooked, though, and I don’t think he enjoyed the attention right then.

Then, with the finish line to ourselves, Kellene and I tried getting in a jump pose.


Not a single one of them worked.

I went back to the Ride for the Roses staging area to pick up my stuff and head back to the hotel, where I said bye to Bill — who met me at the airport and was practically everywhere during the event: an incredible volunteer! — and Fred, who took flawless care of hundreds of bikes and loaned me his very nice Cervelo road bike for the Challenge ride itself.


Seriously, the LAF staff, volunteers, and Team Fatty are some of the best, friendliest, hardworkingest people I have ever met. And they made this an extraordinary weekend.

I’ll be back in 2010. And I have a feeling Team Fatty will be bigger and more awesome than ever.


  1. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 10.28.2009 | 7:55 am

    Awesome photos! Great team! Ride report gave me chills. Could it be Lance was just a wee bit afraid of Team Fatty giving him a run at the start?

  2. Comment by Josh | 10.28.2009 | 7:59 am

    Lance was afraid you’d make him look bad. Great job Team Fatty.

  3. Comment by SarahinNE | 10.28.2009 | 8:07 am

    My husband and I talked about being there this year….we WILL be a part of Team Fatty in 2010. Thank you for all that you do. Great job TEAM FATTY!

  4. Comment by Carl | 10.28.2009 | 8:12 am

    Beautiful… I am sure Susan is smiling right now and so very proud of you.

  5. Comment by Frank | 10.28.2009 | 8:21 am

    Lance was intimidated by your quads and just panicked … let’s give that poor guy a break!

    Well done everyone!

  6. Comment by hoon | 10.28.2009 | 8:21 am


  7. Comment by MattC | 10.28.2009 | 8:25 am

    Ahhh…just re-lived the entire weekend…very nice writeup Fatty! Funny…I don’t recall saying “That’s it for me” after your leadout…in my oxygen deprived state I vaguely recall splurting something like “uurrrggghhhhh” and you correctly intrepreted it as “Thats it for me”. You are a STRONG man Fatty…if only we had been a bit closer, I think you would have made it to the Armstrong group…we surely flew by dozens of his VIP’s in that mad dash. He must have known you were gunning for him and taken an earlier start than normal (rumour has it that he’s afraid of you…that was the scuttlebutt down at Mellow Johnny’s on Saturday anyway). Knowing that you can change a flat and he can’t had him taking any advantage he could get :) (you busted his chops pretty good Sat night…PRICELESS!)

  8. Comment by geraldatwork | 10.28.2009 | 8:46 am

    Congrats. Great ride. Great story. Great cause.

  9. Comment by AngieG | 10.28.2009 | 8:55 am

    We had a blast and a huge factor in that is you, our award-winning, MOST beloved internet cycling superstar celebrity blogger. (You forgot the word “Most”)

    MattC was an amazing domestique. He dropped me to lead you out. Which is the only factor that allowed his bike to make it safely back to California. Otherwise I think I would have raffled it off in some podunk town in Arizona to get a head start on my 2010 fundraising. :-)

    GregC, Matt’s brother, caught me at the first rest stop and we rode together the rest of the way. Greg would have been up there with Matt, however he experienced a “wardrobe malfunction” just prior to the race start and ended up starting at the end of the 90 mile pack.

    The course was beautiful!! Greg was a great ride partner and we ended up picking up Kevin from Denver and made our own little Team Fatty group. Which was perfect when we hit the winds. Yep it did get a little windy on the course.

    But the scenery was gorgeous, the people were amazing, it was totally worth the drive. However, the best part was crossing the finish line and seeing you there waiting for us.
    Forget getting a picture with Lance! Lance Smance, I got a picture with The Fat Cyclist!!!!!!!!!

  10. Comment by Mike | 10.28.2009 | 9:02 am

    Love it! What a great end to a roller coaster year! I agree with everyone else that Susan is smiling down on you right now, probably with big’ ol watery “that’s my husband” kind of eyes! I wish I could have gotten a fight like Susan jersey or shirt but was not quick enough before they were sold out. Again, sad but happy that there was so much love and support for Team Fatty! If anyone has an extra jersey I would be more than happy to sport it proudly around NE Ohio and beyond! :) I look forward to seeing what 2010 has in store for Team Fatty! I’m sure nothing but bigger and better things! :)

  11. Comment by dpcowboy | 10.28.2009 | 9:32 am

    Thanks for the recap…good stuff and photos!
    Your efforts and Team Fatty’s efforts are way cool.

    But as I read your recap, I realized that LA kinda roostered this one up. He holds this incredible event (Ride for the Roses) and lots and lots of cyclists show up from ALL OVER THE COUNTRY to get to ride with him, as the focal point of their three or four day trip. He raises a buncha money (through the efforts of others, but leadership is leadership, right?).
    This is the part this sticks in my craw (that’s Ranchspeak for “buggin”). Lance is ushered to the start line and has a group of his pals ready to go. They start with Lance six minutes before the field (for a freakin’ charity ride!) and hammer away, leaving everyone behind. Ride marshals PREVENT the other riders from leaving.
    So, um, what’s the deal with Lance? Does he NOT realize that these people came to Austin to ride WITH him? I know there were probably other events during the weekend, but it might have been more appropriate to mingle with the paisans (yes, those fund-raising schlubs who are the ones actually donating time and lots of $$$ to the Livestrong foundation.

    I guess I must’ve missed something.

  12. Comment by Orbea Girl | 10.28.2009 | 9:48 am

    In response to dpcowboy’s comment, I came to ride with Team Fatty,the Fat Cyclist, and all the other participants, not Lance!

    Before I left France to travel to Austin, a number of people asked me if I would get to meet Lance. My response: “No idea,I’m going to meet the Fat Cyclist”.

  13. Comment by Math. | 10.28.2009 | 10:00 am

    Wow! Glad you enjoyed yourself, amazing week-end report and amazing photos. You definitely have the most amazing, supporting team out there and I hardly see how anyone could ever doubt that.

    Thanks alot for what you did this year, and I think it’s specialy meaningfull knowing what you went through and still found time, energy and will to keep on blogging, riding and invest yourself in the whole Livestrong thing.

    I’ll try and make my way to one of these events next year.

    Anyway thanks again for the brilliant report and the amazing inspiration.


    PS: You totaly OWNED that sunset!!!!

  14. Comment by Bill | 10.28.2009 | 10:10 am


    You rock and Susan is looking down on you with a huge smile right now!

    Thanks for the awesome live through – I don’t know who I live more vicariously though – you or Jill but either are a fine choice and 2nd is not far behind!

    Can you please tell me about your SuperFly so I get jealous again?


  15. Comment by mo - team fatty s.j. | 10.28.2009 | 10:12 am

    Fatty – wish I could have made it to Austin this year. I got to ride in Austin last year with USA Cycling it was amazing! We were running late due to road construction, and got the ok to jump on to Lance’s group at the Valero station, up the road from the start. Let me tell you that was the fastest scariest 5-6 minutes of my life (down hill off camber turns over cattle grates at 30+ mph etc. – didn’t want to die in Texas) so I dropped off and had a very enjoyable ride and met some awesome people along the way.
    To MattC: I think we could have probably bridged Fatty to Lances group if I was there ;-) See you in San Jose next year.

  16. Comment by MattC | 10.28.2009 | 10:15 am

    Orbea hit the nail on the head! Had I been able to ride with Lance (even momentarily), well..that would have been pretty cool. But I DID get to ride with Fatty! Don’t want you to get a big head or anything Mr. MOST beloved internet cycling superstar celebrity blogger, but THAT was the highlight of my trip.

    And to all of you out there in Fattydom, I’ll now share something I learned on this trip (somehow was unaware, but it really hit home in Austin as I saw it firsthand): IF you raise over $15,000 (for ANY city), you will not only get to ride in that city, but the LAF will now PAY your way to Austin, PUT YOU UP in the fancy schmancy hotel (the Hyatt) in the heart of LiveStrong-ville, bus you wherever you need to be, and generally take care of you in awesome fashion (and I believe they also even PAID for your bikes airline shipping fee? IS that right?) SO…yeah, yeah..believe me, that sounds like a totally incredible sum of $$. But consider just need ONE thing of substance..start working on it. I have ideas now…not sure if I can pull it off, but you know what? I’ve got TIME to work on it. AND now is the time to start hitting up corporations and such for next year..before they have committed their max donations for the year (found that out this year). Think about it..make a plan.. and give it a shot. AND if you earn over $10,000 you don’t get all your stuff paid for, but you do still get invited to Austin AND get to ride with Lance on Saturday in the Ride for the Roses.

    OK…I’ll shut up now..been rather a chatty-matty lately. Allez Fatty…Allez!

  17. Comment by bobbie | 10.28.2009 | 10:15 am

    Congrats to ALL the Team Fatty gang ~ good work!

  18. Comment by MisterBuba | 10.28.2009 | 10:23 am

    I cannot wait to ride as a member of Team Fatty next year!

  19. Comment by Charisa | 10.28.2009 | 10:26 am

    I’m still laughing at the Delvis outfit! Team Fatty rocks!!!

  20. Comment by Clydesteve | 10.28.2009 | 10:52 am

    MattC is totally correct that $15,000 funds raised is where the really interesting incentives kick in. And most of his details are correct.

    To get the scoop (and to choose your fundraising goal) go to the livestrong challenge page, and click the FAQs pulldown. Then click Ride For the Roses Weekend. Read that stuff, then click the embedded Ride For the Roses Incentives Page link.

    MattC is correct about bike transport: Green, Polka-dot or Gold jersey levels ($15000, $20000, $30000) not only get airfare & hotel stay, but they get the $100 each way bike airfare wiaved.


  21. Comment by Orbea Girl | 10.28.2009 | 11:10 am

    $100 airfare for the bike??? Mine travelled for free all the way from France and back.

  22. Comment by Pat in Oak Ridge | 10.28.2009 | 11:11 am

    I wanted to see a pic of you and Lance. The least he could do is meet you and take some pics. You know, you have raised a lot of money for cancer, and he should be riding beside you congratulating you instead of getting ahead. I’m not really impressed with him anymore. But Congrats to you Fatty. You ROCK.

  23. Comment by Tom F | 10.28.2009 | 11:12 am

    Wow, LA and team calculated they needed a 6 minute head start to avoid the masses? I cannot imagine him needing more than a few minutes.
    Other than the fact he does not need to be an a massive group start of possibly squirrelly riders, I don’t understand the decision. He could have eased up a bit after the main group strung out a little.
    Thanks FATTY! You have inspired me in many ways. I am making plans for 2010!

  24. Comment by Clydesteve | 10.28.2009 | 11:27 am

    Orbea Girl – Yep, most of the domestic carriers charge ~$100 each way for oversize luggage.

    Not apparent from the RFTR Incentives page: Your 3-night hotel stay includes your guest, no extra charge, at the green, polka dot & gold levels. So, for green & polka dot, all you need to come up with is airfare and non-covered meals.

  25. Comment by Mike in Houston | 10.28.2009 | 11:28 am

    FATTY, meeting you was one of the biggest highlights of my weekend. You are the MOST beloved internet cycling superstar celebrity blogger, in my book. Congrats to all of Team Fatty and LAF. That was one big punch to the gut of cancer. I’ll keep riding until we can deliver the knock out punch.

    PS – I can’t figure out how to post the picture of us.

  26. Comment by Clydesteve | 10.28.2009 | 11:33 am

    TomF & others: Re: Lance taking off early – I am sure that the liability of taking off with inexperienced riders is a part of the reason, but in addition, they generally schedule a speech for him that comes pretty quickly, and he sometimes has to jet off afterwards.

    I would not be too quick to judge.

    Fatty did get to ride alongside of Lance & chat for a few minutes (with me on the other side at the same time!) on a special Gold jersey Saturday ride.

    And, really, I felt far more torn between riding with Fatty or my son, brother & Tim than I did about any chances of riding hard with Lance.

  27. Comment by Jim B | 10.28.2009 | 11:47 am

    This was my first livestrong challenge ride and had a nice time. I’m glad the rain waited until Monday to come down.

    It was great to be with the fat cyclists, but I have to admit to feeling like an impostor, as I didn’t have a FC jersey. I’ll have to fix that next year.

    Eldon, one thing you missed by taking the 65 mile route was there was a great rocking/blues trio at the Blanco stop (~52 miles into the “90″ mile course).

    And you are right, this course has no large hills, just a lot of rollers. There are a number of famous challenging hills around Austin that are between 15% and 20% grade. Come back in a couple weeks for Tour Das Hugel:

    This is a supported yet free ride linking together all the toughest hills of Austin, a total of 100+ miles and 14,000+ feet of climbing.

  28. Comment by Rob M. | 10.28.2009 | 11:53 am

    I’m not a spokesman for Lance, but I do know that there are some riders in any group who would want to catch up to him, at all cost, and try to pass him, even if it was reckless and dangerous. Lance is, rightly, very concerned about injury and it’s effect on his livelihood and his career. It may be disappointing to all those who raise so much money but it makes sense to me that the safest place for him to ride, with non-professional cyclists, is way out in front.

    Do I need to remind anyone of Fatty’s fall at the start of Leadville 2008? Just my two cents.

    It’s a shame that a compromise can’t be reached, but then, how often and how close do we get to other professional athletes? Be grateful that a most beloved, and twice award winning, internet blogger waited for everyone at the finish line.

    I really enjoyed reading about Austin. I look forward to riding again with Team Fatty at(P)hilly. It was awesome.

  29. Comment by kellene | 10.28.2009 | 11:54 am

    A most amazing weekend spent with my beloved, superstar brother and Team Fatty. I loved how we were all instantly connected. All fighting and committed to the same cause.
    Thanks to all of you for the constant, kind words of support and care towards our family.
    It was great spending time with you and hope to reconnect with you next year. Continue your fight and press forward with even greater conviction towards the cancer fight.

  30. Comment by buckythedonkey | 10.28.2009 | 12:03 pm

    Congratulations one more time.


  31. Comment by James Todd | 10.28.2009 | 12:32 pm

    Bummer to miss the happy hour. I flew in on Saturday night.

    It was good to meet you at the finish line.

    Thanks for all you do and see you next year.


  32. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 10.28.2009 | 12:42 pm

    I rode RAGBRAI the year that Lance did it and I can tell you from first hand experience when he was riding where other people could ride with him, it became a very dangerous situation. Just think about it- tons of people all trying get near him (with cameras out, yes really), trying desperately to be on his wheel or jockeying to be with his group at speeds they may not normally ride, even if he wasn’t hauling.

    I managed to ride with him for a little while when he was incognito, but when people knew it was Lance, I wouldn’t dare go near him, too large a chance of some major major pile ups. I saw many idiots risking major injury just to ride with him.

    His decision was a good one.

  33. Comment by sllym | 10.28.2009 | 12:53 pm

    Lance has been riding with large groups of riders all year. He tweets his location and whoever shows up gets to ride with him so I don’t think being around inexperienced riders has anything to do with it. This is LAF’s premier event. He probably had obligations at meet & greets with major sponsors. It is too bad that he couldn’t mingle with the crowd? Sure, but that’s how things work. Say what you want about Lance, but he’s not dumb and has one of the best PR teams surrounding him. He had to be aware of the image that him riding ahead would send. There had to be a reason for it. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt until there is proof that he finished the ride and went back to the ranch to watch football.

  34. Comment by DC | 10.28.2009 | 12:59 pm

    Thanks for the pictures and recap- It looked like great time

  35. Comment by hubcityrob | 10.28.2009 | 1:02 pm

    I began my journey to Austin with a great excitement about getting to meet – or at least be in the same ride with – one of the athletes I admire a great deal. I have to admit that prior to this weekend, I would have held Lance’s 6 minute head start with a sense of disdain.

    Having had the chance to hear the stories of survivors and those who have been touched first hand by cancer, I have come to a realization that I got to visit with the best people there. I realize Lance is a survivor, but those people who had to give all of their effort to cycle a mile, not to mention 90 – those people were cool! If Lance is a no show for 2010 (read the 2010 FAQ, btw), I still feel like any time I spend at the Challenge is time well spent. It has changed lives – mine especially.

  36. Comment by Surlyrider | 10.28.2009 | 1:26 pm

    I like how Fatty is rolling all of this stuff out. It is nice to bite off just a bit at a time. He has a great recap of the weekend here, and I wish I could do the whole ride on three water bottles and some gels, but as the first picture demonstrates, there is a slight diff. between Elden and I.
    NOT A PLUG…I am slowly rolling out the weekend from Sub Team East Coast on my blog as well.

  37. Comment by ProvSAO | 10.28.2009 | 1:32 pm

    Did anyone else think that “letting me know my seatbag was dangling” was a BikeSnob-style insult at first?

  38. Comment by Mike from Melbourne | 10.28.2009 | 2:06 pm

    Great stuff! I wish I could have been there.

  39. Comment by Bo | 10.28.2009 | 2:50 pm

    Fatty, I’ve already started recruiting for next year. I suspect your team will be even bigger and more successful.

  40. Comment by axel in texas | 10.28.2009 | 3:29 pm

    …in the 65-mile course, only one (hill) sticks out in my mind as being even remotely significant…

    don’t let Fatty fool you, the Texas Hill Country is full of hills – lots of small ones to wear you down, unless you have quads like Lance or Fatty…

  41. Comment by MattC | 10.28.2009 | 4:27 pm

    My polar computer shows that I had 4100′ of cumulative climbing on the 90 mile course…and yes, none are very long. HOWEVER, you are almost NEVER flat…either up or down, all the time it seemed. Little tiny windsprints that never end. I actually liked it once I finally got my legs back…but I must admit that I’m partial to big long climbs where you can get in your groove. But hey…it’s always good to ride a mile on someone elses turf…expand my horizons and such.

  42. Comment by Jamieson | 10.28.2009 | 4:32 pm

    Great write up there of the ride day. Saw Kellene a couple of times on the ride. It was really nice to sit with her and have a bite to eat after the ride and just chat.

    Oh, and nice picture of me and Jenni here on the blog today.

  43. Comment by Carla | 10.28.2009 | 6:10 pm

    I am so jealous! As a cancer survivor I would love to do one of these rides! Please hope for 2010!!!!

  44. Comment by Parker H | 10.28.2009 | 8:26 pm

    Great report – already excited about 2010. Can’t wait!

  45. Comment by Grizzly Adam | 10.28.2009 | 8:56 pm

    Kinda amazing what a simple blog can accomplish. Or rather, what a simple blog can facilitate a bunch of great people accomplishing.

    Well done.

  46. Comment by Miles Archer | 10.28.2009 | 9:16 pm

    I enjoyed the San Jose ride (except for Metcalf Rd) and will do it again next year.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  47. Comment by Lissee (formerly known as Bitter) | 10.28.2009 | 11:12 pm

    Well said Orbea Girl! :)

    Glad you had a fun time Fatty.

  48. Comment by El_Animal | 10.29.2009 | 7:28 am

    I have 4000′ of climbing on the 90 mile course too. No so flat for texans, what we call climbs here are not even hills in Utah.

  49. Comment by Philly Jen | 10.29.2009 | 10:46 am

    BTW, to all the Fatties who rolled out with the group start: yes, that WAS me standing at the side of the road cheering you on.

    I was on a rental bike this weekend and it took a while for me to locate where it was in all the starting-line hubbub. By the time I got fitted and dialed in, the last of the 10-mile riders were pulling away.

    “You’re riding today? Well then hurry up and get in front of the F150 [truck],” one of the course volunteers said. I was literally THE last person out of the chute, barely squeezing past volunteers as they pulled the orange metal gates together to close the starting hatch. Otherwise, I would have caught up with Armstrong & Co., I swear.

    The “crabon fibre” rental bike, complete with relief-inducing compact double crank, was fantastic — thank you, Bicycle Sport Shop of Austin. (Just don’t tell my road bike at home, okay?)

    And now I know one more road call to add to the usual cries of “car up,” “car back,” and so on: “Cattle guard!!!”

  50. Comment by nosferaustin | 10.29.2009 | 2:53 pm

    Being from the Austin area but never having ridden there (didn’t get hooked until moving to SLC!) I was extremely excited to for the chance to ride with the Fatty group back on my home turf. I ended up opting at the last minute for the 65 mile route as well (too many nights out until too late prior to the event…what can I say, partying in Austin is like partying no where else!) There was one really steep hill after that 65 mile cutoff, I figured they were punishing us for cutting it short. My Garmin told me afterward that I’d climbed a little over 3700 feet, so not a bad day out.

    One of the benefits to changing my mind was that I was at the rest stop where everyone came back together right when Lance and his group came zooming by. It was exciting, until I realized that they’d done about 70 miles in the time I’d done 40…)

    By far the highlight of the ride, though was feeling the love of the Fatties at the start…just hanging out waiting to begin. It was absolutely great. And then having the man himself greet me at the finish was more than I’d hoped for.

    This was by far the best feeling I’ve ever gotten from something so innately simple as pedaling my bike. The event was wonderful. The team was beyond wonderful. I cannot wait for my 2010 jersey to show up and to start planning for next year’s trip!

  51. Comment by Linda | 10.29.2009 | 9:28 pm

    Great Job Fatty! Kudos to all of you who are fighting the good fight.

  52. Comment by Steve | 10.31.2009 | 1:54 am

    Hey, Eldon!

    I was that guy who finished dead last. You were right, I was indeed totally cooked. However, I was not trying to be anti-social. I just don’t have any experience with finish-line adulation or celebrity protocol. I simply thought that just like in the Tour de Frog you rode past everyone at the finish line and then your team support staff runs over and gathers you up quickly and ushers you into the post race cool-down trailers for clean-up and any last minute blood testing. So I rode through the shower of rose petals (which was awesome!) and then looked around for my team support personnel and then realized that I had come all the way from Seattle alone–and that I didn’t even have a team! It is a good thing that the LIVESTRONG organization thought to provide some very nice people that were there to offer me water and a towel a place to collapse if I had needed one. Two of the sag wagon volunteers even gave me a ride back to my motel in Dripping Springs.

    I not only rode the entire 90 mile route in record time (longest-ever elapsed time is also a record, right?), but I already had 3 miles in by the time I got to the starting line that morning by riding there from my motel.

    It was a great experience, and though I was not an official Team Fatty member, I did donate to Team Fatty’s during your Philadelphia fund raising. For Austin I dedicated my fundraising and my ride to my cousin Mary Medved who passed away from ovarian cancer on July 5th of this year.

    I hope to have the chance to meet you in person sometime. Maybe Seattle 2010?

  53. Comment by Andrew | 11.3.2009 | 8:31 am

    Here’s fixed links for the pics…

  54. Comment by Powerful Pete | 11.5.2009 | 8:17 am

    I just love the picture with Delvis…


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