Thankful, 2009 Edition

11.25.2009 | 9:15 am

I am thankful for my kids. They are, in spite of what they have gone through for the past five-plus years, pretty much normal. The boys are both taller and smarter than I am, and help me out in very practical ways. The girls are happy, creative, and are beginning to show some real personality differences, while still maintaining their “twinness.”

I am thankful for the people who took care of my family and me. If it weren’t for my family, the core team, and my neighbors, I would not have come through this last year as intact and sane as I (think I) have.

I am thankful for Team Fatty and LiveStrong and readers of this blog. You gave me a sense of purpose during what would have otherwise been an aimless and purely painful time. Together, we turned something horrible into something big and noble. Thank you.

I am thankful for bicycles. I sometimes ask myself how a machine so inherently simple could have such a permanent grip on my mind and soul? But I never ask myself that question when I’m on a bike, because when I’m riding the answer’s perfectly obvious.

I am thankful for singletrack, and for pavement with wide shoulders. And also for doubletrack and jeep roads and pavement even without shoulders. But especially for singletrack and wide-shouldered pavement. And doubly especially for really smooth pavement.

I am thankful for the letter “L.” Without L, it would be impossible to have a wonderful life. Instead, you’d have a wonderfu ife. Which would not only not be wonderful, it would be downright ridiculous.

Finally, I am thankful for bacon. And avocados. And nonstick cooking surfaces. And apples. And eggs. And worcestershire sauce. And bratwurst. And onions. And peanut butter. And Oreos. And cheese. And steel-cut oats. And bananas. And potatoes. And butter. And sour cream. And salsa. And Cholula. And white bread. And Nutella. And Diet Coke with Lime. And black angus beef. And charcoal briquets. And Ben and Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk. And Kenny’s homemade bread. And rotisserie chicken. And Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. And Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard. And mayonaise. And gnocchi. And pumpkin bread. And Mexican food in general, with a special mention going out to tortillas.

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Comment by DC | 11.25.2009 | 9:30 am

    At number 11 or 12 I am thankful that I found your website. On a daily basis you remind me that I am one of the lucky ones who have beaten (so far) cancer. So Thank you!

  2. Comment by FliesOnly | 11.25.2009 | 9:34 am

    And a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well.

    I will add only that I am thankful I found your blog many many years ago. It is one of the primary reasons I actually went over to the “dark side” and started riding mountain bikes (in addition to road).

    So, thank you Eldon, for all you have done to help us understand what life can potentially throw at us…and how we can indeed deal with it and make it through. The last couple of years have been a journey that I, for one, am glad you brought us all along on.

  3. Comment by Jessica | 11.25.2009 | 9:40 am

    I am so thankful for your blog!

  4. Comment by jilrubia | 11.25.2009 | 9:41 am

    I am thankful for people who share their lives to inspire and motivate others to greatness or even just pretty goodness. Over the past several months whenever I thought something was too hard or too annoying to be dealt with, I remind myself to “Shut Up Already!” and move ahead with Focus, Creativity and Outrageous Endurance. This thing called life is amazing.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. Comment by Lisa | 11.25.2009 | 9:49 am

    Dear Elden,

    Your blog has been a source of hope and inspiration for me since I discovered it earlier this year as I started and went through a friends’ cancer journey as well as faced some of my own challenges.

    Every morning after I check my email, I click on the Fat Cyclist bookmark to start my day and am never disappointed. It makes me smile, it encourages me and informs me but most importantly, no matter the topic, it connects me to your great attitude and all of the great people surrounding you.

    The world would be a better place if there were more people like you, your family and friends. You are making a great difference and setting a great example.

    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  6. Comment by Heather | 11.25.2009 | 9:59 am

    May you and yours have a very Happy Thanksgiving! Know that there are many people thankful for you, your blog and the inspiration and humor you bring to our lives! Be well!

  7. Comment by Rose | 11.25.2009 | 10:10 am

    Corn tortillas = yum.

    Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for all the inspiration and all the laughs over the past year.

  8. Comment by Karen | 11.25.2009 | 10:10 am

    Without L, Cholula would be Choua, and would need all sorts of apostrophes and such, and would sound like a made up alien race on Stargate. So yeah, I’m thankful for L also.

    I’m thankful that you’ve set an example for people, showing how to take individual pain and trouble and make it work for the greater good.

  9. Comment by chtrich | 11.25.2009 | 10:13 am

    Gobble, gobble, gobble…….

  10. Comment by Kent | 11.25.2009 | 10:13 am

    I am thankful for the love of my kids and my family.

    I am thankful I found your blog and your readers who can always brighten any day and remind me we all have our different struggles in life.

    Happy Thanksgiving from Gainesville GA

    PS. And definitely any Mexican food, with salsa!

  11. Comment by Mikeonhisbike | 11.25.2009 | 10:19 am

    I’m also thankful for your mashed potato recipe. Anytime you add cheese to mashed potatoes it’s a good thing. It’s now part of our Thanksgiving Feast. The only things it’s missing is the bacon.

  12. Comment by sandy | 11.25.2009 | 10:20 am

    Thank you for making us laugh and cry and be a part of the journey! All the best to you and your family.

  13. Comment by Boodabikes | 11.25.2009 | 10:24 am


  14. Comment by Powerful Pete | 11.25.2009 | 10:25 am

    I finally caught on that this is in reference to Thanksgiving. So to all of you out there… Happy Thanksgiving (obviously not a major holiday in my part of the world)!

    Fatty, I always thought you were cool. But you added Nutella to your thanks list. So now I know it’s not just your internet persona. You are a bona fide cool guy.

    Of course, adding pasta and red wine to the list would make you super-stylin’…

  15. Comment by Wes | 11.25.2009 | 10:25 am

    I also share you thankfulness for the bicycle. It’s such a wonderful machine that has the power to change one’s life for the better.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  16. Comment by Weiland | 11.25.2009 | 10:26 am

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

  17. Comment by Dan O | 11.25.2009 | 10:34 am

    Happy Thanksgiving

    I’m changing my annual thanksgiving day ride to include towing my daughter in the trailer. At 14 months olds she loves riding in it. I’m thankful I am lucky enough to have her and my wife in my life.

  18. Comment by Jenny-Jenny | 11.25.2009 | 10:57 am

    I’m thankful for you writing about eggs etc. recently. It inspired my man to make dinner for the family and I got to just enjoy it.

    I’m thankful for your blog. It brought some important meaning and purpose into our world this past year. Thanks for sharing a difficult time with all of us. We are more grateful and driven to serve than ever before.

  19. Comment by Jeff | 11.25.2009 | 11:17 am

    Chapeau, Fatty! Chapeau.

  20. Comment by Uphillbattle | 11.25.2009 | 11:19 am

    Happy Thanksgiving and continued blessings on Fatty, and all the members of Fatty’s internet blog family! We have had quite a year, coming together we made a difference in the fight against cancer. Is it time to eat yet?

  21. Comment by bikemike | 11.25.2009 | 11:25 am

    again, is there anything that bacon can’t do?

    actually a plate full of bacon would be waaaay better than the same amount of turkey.

  22. Comment by Dan O | 11.25.2009 | 11:33 am

    I laughed out loud on that last paragraph. I too am thankful for good food. And good beer. And dark coffee.

    I’m thankful for your clever, sarcastic wit. It makes me laugh, keeps me sane, and makes me want to ride more.

    Happy thanksgiving, Fatty. I hope you enjoy stuffing your face. I know I will.

    You’re going to stuff my face? – FC

  23. Comment by Erik | 11.25.2009 | 11:54 am

    I’m thankful for Eldon, Susan, my Dad and my LIVESTRONG family. I’m thankful in advance for my Team Fatty 2010 family.

  24. Comment by Philly Jen | 11.25.2009 | 12:29 pm

    What?!?! No shout-out to chocolate?

    That moustache is clearly diverting critical nutrients from your brain, Chief…

    I’m thankful for all the great Fatties I got to meet this year. You’re awesome!

    Hope you’re ready for Super Duper Tuesday (December 1st) — Team Fatty 2010 will be open for bidness.

    And in Philly, we will have fudge…

  25. Comment by Philly Jen | 11.25.2009 | 12:32 pm

    P.S. 24-hour sale at Twin Six. Now. Go! Go!

  26. Comment by Heidi | 11.25.2009 | 1:00 pm

    Wishing the Fatty Family a lovely holiday.

  27. Comment by Doug | 11.25.2009 | 1:32 pm

    We are thankful for you and your family who inspire us all. LiveStrong while you can and if you have to FLS.

  28. Comment by Road Divit | 11.25.2009 | 1:38 pm

    I am thankful for minds that wheel the alphabet into a life of its own and twist a simple point of view to make us think in other ways. A closed mind is such a waste of effort.
    My garden that I plant every year is more than a garden. My wifes point of view is the delicious tomato she is eating. My point of view, my garden is a tool I use to teach my children how to learn patience and caring. They weed and care, take the time to sit and see what they’ve created. They haven’t realized they are going to school.
    Have you viewed your garden differently now?

  29. Comment by Alex S | 11.25.2009 | 1:47 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving Fatty!

  30. Comment by Aaron | 11.25.2009 | 2:31 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving Elden.

  31. Comment by justrun | 11.25.2009 | 3:27 pm

    Ah, the mention of your love of Mexican food is what first made me a reader and commenter of this blog. It’s powerful, especially the tortillas.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  32. Comment by kentucky joe | 11.25.2009 | 3:34 pm

    FC and FC Nation,

    I am thankful to have stumbled on this blog and being part of this online community you have going. It has been inspiring on the global humanity scale and that is impressive. I am glad to be able to contribute some $ and some comments on occasion. I couldn’t help but comment on being thankful for bikes. I was just thinking that last evening after an hour spent on the rollers and although that does not compare to being on the road, I still was beaming when I was done and commented to my daughter along those same lines as to how amazing it is to me (surprising even) that riding a bike can be so much fun.
    As always,great post, thought provoking with a side of humor.

  33. Comment by Joel P. | 11.25.2009 | 6:26 pm

    I am also thankfull for stumbling onto your blog this past summer (wish I found it sooner). You and your minion of commenters (FC Nation) have made me laugh (usually), made me cry (sometimes), inspired me to ride a little farther, ride a little harder, maybe even try a little mountain biking, but mostly gave me another avenue (Team Fatty) to fight against cancer. Thanks again Fatty and Happy Thanksgiving to all.
    Joel P.
    P.S. I hope your final paragraph is not your menu for dinner tomorrow. Although all of the items listed are good by themselves or in certain combinations, all together may be a bit much.

  34. Comment by Grizzly Adam | 11.25.2009 | 6:27 pm

    Don’t you mean wonderfu and ridicuous?

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    I’m thankful for the White Rim. And for pine trees. And snow. My wife and kids are not bad either. Life is good.

  35. Comment by Carla | 11.25.2009 | 6:35 pm

    I am thankful that you shared your family with others. I don’t think my husband could have done that if I had not survived my cancer.

    Bike are simple machines (but then so are people – simple) but yet they bring such joy to your life.

    Peace to you and your family

  36. Comment by Rob M. | 11.25.2009 | 6:37 pm

    I’m thankful for family and friends. And for living with freedoms like religion and speech. Sadly, many in the world do not.

    I’m thankful for having completed the 100 Miles to Nowhere and for riding with Fatty, Philly Jen, and Team Fatty in Philly.

    I’m also thankful for the letter “L” because, without it, this blog would have E den, Dr. amm er and ouis Baker. And this blog would, somehow, be diminished.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  37. Comment by Stephanie | 11.25.2009 | 7:14 pm

    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Fatty. There really is MUCH to be thankful for!

  38. Comment by MVSC | 11.25.2009 | 7:40 pm

    Thanks for being Fatty!

  39. Comment by Marc P Jones | 11.25.2009 | 7:46 pm

    Thank you for being you, sharing you life as you have. Beating cancer for me, so far,seems easy compared to the road that you have traveled. And yes, Mexican food, here in central NC we have a large number of the authentic folks around, and the vendors that travel to work sites in the food wagons, they are the best!

  40. Comment by misterbuba | 11.25.2009 | 8:35 pm

    I will read this after I write my response….

    mostly because of the first line.
    I am a 2-time lymphoma survivor in the last 2 years with a 5-byear old son…the only child I will ever father and he means more to me than life itself.
    THANK YOU for starting this entry like a DAD.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and the kids.h

  41. Comment by Kelly Martinson | 11.25.2009 | 9:51 pm

    Me too!

  42. Comment by Sheri J | 11.25.2009 | 11:12 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving Fatty and fam!

  43. Comment by Garmon | 11.25.2009 | 11:41 pm

    I’m thankful for Susan. For her example, for her life. Thanks for sharing.

  44. Comment by djw | 11.26.2009 | 12:24 am


    I’m thankful you freely share your thoughts and life with complete strangers like me. In fact, I think it’s downright cool.

    While I’m not The Fatcyclist, I’m a fat cyclist and those simple little contraptions called bikes have helped me lose 45 lbs (and counting). I ordered both fatcyclists jerseys and will be able to fit into them by this spring; I’ll wear them with pride, especially the one with pink trim.

  45. Comment by Carl | 11.26.2009 | 1:04 am

    I am thankful for all sorts of things, but meeting Fatty, Philly Jen and everyone in Philly is right up there at the top of the list.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  46. Comment by jenjen | 11.26.2009 | 1:10 am

    Happy Thanksgiving Elden. I hope you guys have a good day tomorrow.


  47. Comment by Patty Guinta | 11.26.2009 | 1:32 am

    I am thankful I found your blog and that you helped propel me back on my bike. This past Sunday I raced in the Mellow Classic and saw plenty of Team Fatty jerseys. The race was one of the best experiences of my life. Thanks for the motovation!

  48. Comment by buckythedonkey | 11.26.2009 | 1:36 am

    Thanks, Fatty


  49. Comment by Uni-Tom | 11.26.2009 | 1:51 am

    Bikes are great and all that, although I don’t own one. I’m thankful to you Elden, for inspiring me to my life’s biggest athletic achievement: 100 Miles of Nowhere on a unicycle. Vehement suckage, but also the most epic day of the year.

    I’m also thankful that through this blog and the Nelson story, my awareness and support of LAF has gone way up. And will stay way up.

    Blessings to you and your family.


  50. Comment by Jen | 11.26.2009 | 4:47 am

    Downright ridicuous even!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  51. Comment by Mike Roadie | 11.26.2009 | 8:09 am

    I am thankful for those who respond to emails!

    Happy Turkey to all!

    Thanks to Team Fatty!

    P.S. Looks like we might be coming out to Cycle Utah in July!


  52. Comment by Marilyn | 11.26.2009 | 8:23 am

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! Now with my new Team Fatty jersey and vest in hand I am planning the first annual “Dying to Ride” ride to raise money for the livestrong rides next year. I did the Philly ride it really just made me a more humble person and I want to do Austin along with Philly next year.

    Being on your team makes me want to be a better person and know why I now ride. Just need 372 miles to hit 8000 miles for the year and the weather is not helping me reach that goal.

  53. Comment by Tom Fury | 11.26.2009 | 8:40 am

    I’m thankful for Fatty, for giving me a new way to think.

  54. Comment by D.J | 11.26.2009 | 8:46 am

    Hola yo stoy dando graisas para = hello I’m thanful for .
    Hello I’m thankful for everything in the
    hole wide world.

  55. Comment by jacked | 11.26.2009 | 10:54 am

    I am thankful for my family, especially my new Wife Amy and the way she and the whole crazy thing works so well.
    And being able to feel like part of Fatty’s extended family and all that that means.
    And of having a picture with Fatty and I, which my wife likes more than the one of Lance and I!!
    I am also thankful for the ability to grow a MO. I am so looking forward to shaving it off in a few days.

    Happy Thanks Giving,


  56. Comment by Kathy McElhaney | 11.26.2009 | 12:05 pm

    Thankful for many things this year! Without the letter L we wouldn’t know to Livestrong and Fight Like Susan!

    Shout out to PlanetUltra – Christmas Club Century in So Cal next Saturday, December 5th. Registration fee – either a minimum $20 donation to Challenged Athletes Foundation or $20 donation Breast Cancer Network of Strength. My husband will have to ride it twice and give to both!!

  57. Comment by Clydesteve | 11.26.2009 | 1:31 pm

    I am thankful for all of God’s good gifts, especially His Son, for my wife, my kids, for people I love, like my brother who continue to survive cancer, for people I admire who fought cancer well, like Susan & Elden, for great outlets to fight cancer, like LiveStrong Challenge & Team Fatty, for family dinners together, great food, and cyclocross tires that fit one of my road bikes when it is wet and muddy and yucky outside.

    Best of grateful Thanksgivings to you, Elden, and to all of my virtual Team Fatty friends.

  58. Comment by Russell | 11.26.2009 | 1:50 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving to Fatty and all of my Fatty friends who are about to get more fatty!

  59. Comment by Susie | 11.26.2009 | 3:27 pm

    …and we are all so very thankful for you!

  60. Comment by PennyPue | 11.26.2009 | 6:17 pm

    hApPY tHAnkSgIViNg!!!!!

  61. Comment by BamaJim | 11.26.2009 | 9:35 pm

    I commend your maturity at being thankful while dealing with the challenges you’ve been facing.

    Indeed, so much to be thankful for. God is good. But your food list left off deep fried turkey, which we were thankful for today.

  62. Comment by leroy | 11.27.2009 | 3:30 am

    Philly Jen makes a good point.

    No shout out to choclate?

    And what about leftovers?

    Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

  63. Comment by GJ Jackie | 11.27.2009 | 11:55 am

    Yeah! Fat Cyclist jerseys went on sale on TwinSix website this morning.

  64. Comment by Der Klumpen | 11.27.2009 | 2:09 pm

    I’m thankful that my Fat Cyclist Kit arrived Wednesday and fits and looks great.

  65. Comment by Andy | 11.27.2009 | 7:42 pm

    And, I’m thankful for your inspiration and reminding all of us we’re all in this together.

    Happy Thanksgiving Leftover Day!

  66. Comment by olej | 11.28.2009 | 6:10 pm

    This is to let you know that firstly, your ramblings are being read in Poland (not “Holland” but out there in Europe) ;-)
    Secondly, we do not have thanksgiving over here but I am thankful LA twitted about your blog this year and I was able to discover Fatcyclist, you and your family and the Fatty team.
    Keep rockin

    PS:Aid you think what “all” would look like if there was no “l”? ….. I know! ;-)


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