Christmas Present

12.21.2009 | 8:21 am

A Riding With the Shack Note from Fatty: The fourth and final episode from my weekend with Team RadioShack has been posted. Check it out here:

It’s the feel-good movie of the Winter!

I should (and am about to) point out that I still have footage from the helmetcam and footage from the Flip camera to go through; I plan to make a homemade video of my own this week.

With rock and roll in the background even! (I am taking soundtrack suggestions now.)

It occurs to me that there might be someone who might want to watch this series together, in order. Here are the links to the episodes, for your convenience.

Again, thank you to everyone who donated and participated in this crazy adventure.

I Am Excellent At Wrapping Presents Up

Ordinarily, I love everything about Christmas except for one thing: wrapping presents. I can’t cut straight lines in the wrapping paper. I can’t seem to get the paper to be the right size for the present and usually wind up patching the bare spots on the box with extra pieces of paper — usually of a different color and pattern. Whenever I tear off a piece of tape it immediately sticks to itself: sticky side to sticky side, a bond so powerful it takes lasers to separate them.

I give myself paper cuts.

That all said, I’m quite pleased with the way I wrapped up the gift I’m giving The Runner (click image for stunning, beautifully larger image detailing my exquisite wrapping and taping technique).


She’s never gonna guess what’s inside.

PS: No, it’s not the Madone.


  1. Comment by JimD in IL | 12.21.2009 | 8:25 am

    Great videos! Can we add any movie awards to your long list of blogging awards?

  2. Comment by Road Divit | 12.21.2009 | 8:26 am

    What the hell is The Runner going to do with her own submarine in Utah?

  3. Comment by hubcityrob | 12.21.2009 | 8:44 am

    This is why I ONLY wrap using patterned paper – patterns with lines. (Plaid is really great – lines going both ways!!) It is the only way I can cut straight lines and lets me measure how much I need. Now if I could only master tape…

    I guess this may also answer the question I had to when The Runner was going to do an Artist formerly known as Prince transformation into “The Biker formerly known as The Runner.”

  4. Comment by Onyx97 | 12.21.2009 | 8:44 am

    You have been taking wrapping lessons from Peyton Manning!!

  5. Comment by Jeremy | 12.21.2009 | 8:46 am

    Cool!!! A Jet Ski!

  6. Comment by Salski61 | 12.21.2009 | 8:47 am

    This is why I use wrapping bags whenever I can. The bigger, the better.

    And what is The Runner going to do with a mobility scooter anyway?

  7. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 12.21.2009 | 8:51 am

    That is awesome! Is that the Madone?!

    Whatever it is…wow!

    No, it’s definitely not the Madone. – FC

  8. Comment by Big Shorty | 12.21.2009 | 8:57 am

    It looks like a Snapper lawnmower with a bagger attachment.

  9. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 12.21.2009 | 9:01 am

    PS – Thanks for giving us a chance to do something good. Really. Thanks to you, Fatty.

  10. Comment by John | 12.21.2009 | 9:04 am

    It’s Snuffleupagus!

  11. Comment by Jeff | 12.21.2009 | 9:07 am

    Judging by its size, relative to your sofa, I’m going to go guess snowmobile.

  12. Comment by Turt99 | 12.21.2009 | 9:26 am

    Its really a shame that in order to use whatever wonderful item lies within, the masterpiece will need to be destroyed.

    If I had to guess, I’m thinking it might be a dinosaur skull.

  13. Comment by Ken | 12.21.2009 | 9:26 am

    “Judging by its size, relative to your sofa, I’m going to guess”: a Yugo with antlers”

  14. Comment by Hawkeye | 12.21.2009 | 9:32 am

    Snowmobile was my guess too. Looks like it has handlebars.

    Solution to cutting with scissors… use a pocket knife. Put the paper down on carpet, and cut with a sharp knife (not too deep, don’t want to cut the carpet.) Works for me every time. As for sizing, patching, and “faulty tape” … I still have not figured a way around that myself. I have my own conspiracy theories on the tape problem.

  15. Comment by Sara | 12.21.2009 | 9:32 am

    You built the contraption that your daughter drew a few months ago? Awesome!!

  16. Comment by Barry | 12.21.2009 | 9:38 am

    Wow indeed this wrapping is interesting but i don’t think she will care when she see’s what inside, i’d be praying for a lovely lapierre bike personally.

  17. Comment by Dr. Lammler | 12.21.2009 | 9:41 am

    Good one, Sara

  18. Comment by Anonymous | 12.21.2009 | 9:43 am

    Statue of David, on his back? What do I win?

  19. Comment by Rica | 12.21.2009 | 9:58 am

    Well, it looks a bit too inanimate to be Lance’s calf… did she ever get a good lick… er look… no, lick in? ;)

  20. Comment by Rob M. | 12.21.2009 | 10:04 am

    First, I want to congratulate the film makers for the great job they did with the photography and the editing.

    Johan waiting at the finish was like Elden waiting for us at the Philly finish. A lot of class.

    It appears that Lance looks a little nervous, like he’s a bit afraid his place on the team might be given to Fatty. Put the knife down, Lance, and step away from the table.

  21. Comment by Eunan | 12.21.2009 | 10:04 am

    Do you feel like Peyton Manning in that mastercard commerical???? You’ll never guess what it is?

    Great job on the vids and of course on the ride…

    Love your work


  22. Trackback by Serving Humanity Since 1966 | 12.21.2009 | 10:07 am

    Fat Cyclist Goes To Camp, Continued…

    Another installment of the Elden Nelson Goes To Team Radio Shack’s Winter Training Camp, reality show, is out now.In this video installment, Johan explains to the team how Fatty came to be there, and two very large checks are presented……

  23. Comment by Rich Wielgosz | 12.21.2009 | 10:07 am

    Awesome awesome!!!

    And who is this “The Runner”?? They’re like a ghost. :-)

  24. Comment by Boomer | 12.21.2009 | 10:13 am

    peyton manning gave me a football

  25. Comment by Casey | 12.21.2009 | 10:15 am

    Is it a riding lawn-mower?

  26. Comment by Erik | 12.21.2009 | 10:16 am

    For Episode 3, I suggest “Stairway to Heaven”

  27. Comment by KanyonKris | 12.21.2009 | 10:23 am

    Clever move, Elden. Fight fire with fire. You’ll make a cyclist out of The Runner.

  28. Comment by David Alison | 12.21.2009 | 10:23 am

    Great, great series Fatty. You getting to experience this couldn’t happen to a better person. Well done man, well done.

  29. Comment by kimbrolio | 12.21.2009 | 10:25 am

    You guys are WAY off. That’s clearly a personal-sized Zamboni.

  30. Comment by Rick B | 12.21.2009 | 10:29 am

    “No it’s not the Madone”…phew…I was REAL nervous before I saw that P.S. Have really enjoyed the video series of your weekend. Keep up the great job!

  31. Comment by Sasha | 12.21.2009 | 10:31 am

    Did you get The Runner her very own spaceship? :) Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to see your video! Merry Christmas to you and the kids! Hope you have a nice one. FLS!

  32. Comment by Miles Archer | 12.21.2009 | 10:42 am

    It’s like when Homer gave Marge a Bowling Ball.

  33. Comment by Ricknotquick | 12.21.2009 | 10:51 am

    My son & I have no idea what that thing is…. but now he’s expecting something big for Christmas too! I absolutely loved the video series… it’s great for forwarding to friend’s for Christmas to promote the cause…

  34. Comment by damon | 12.21.2009 | 10:56 am

    Whoa! You got The Runner a ROM 4-Minute CrossTrainer? Sweet! Did you sell the Madone to help pay for it?

  35. Comment by Sam Pellegrino | 12.21.2009 | 10:58 am

    It’s a VERRRY BIG running shoe, with Barbie Bow-Biters to secure the laces. The other shoe is in the garage.

    Now do I win the Madone? I just love these contests!

  36. Comment by Lo-phat | 12.21.2009 | 10:58 am

    Your wrapping looks great, except for the obvious problem with bow color – the center set of bows go red-red-white, which is clearly killing the sublime symmetry of the piece.

    For wrapping paper, the higher-end papers have a 1″ grid printed on the back, which makes it easier to cut straight lines. 3M also came out with the paper cutter that you push through the paper the way you’d push a spatula through a dish of lasagna to pick up a piece (trying to find something you’ll related to…), and that helps a bunch. Doesn’t work quite as well with cheap paper, however.

  37. Comment by Susan | 12.21.2009 | 11:01 am

    Wonderful wrap up! :P

    Music suggestions:

    Luca Bloom -Acoustic Motorbike

    and a whole bunch more bike themed:

    that will surely be the hardest thing-picking music to narrate your experience…looking forward to the final product!

  38. Comment by Lori | 12.21.2009 | 11:04 am

    I am guessing, my brother, that it is NOT one of my handcrafted totes that is for sale?


    I am also guessing that The Runner would prefer a tote over whatever that is.

    I seriously need four of those. One for The Runner, one for The Runner’s daughter, and 2 for the twins. Can I pick them up next week? – FC

    PS: Em’s a great model.

  39. Comment by Kathy McElhaney | 12.21.2009 | 11:09 am

    Loved the entire series.

    I want to say this today since we’ll be traveling the rest of the week. Praying you and yours have a wonderful Christmas. Don’t worry about the silent moments, you’ll all need them for a little remembering, but hold on to your wonderful memories and hug your kids a little tighter.

    Merry Christmas and looking forward to Fighting on in 2010!

  40. Comment by Anonymous | 12.21.2009 | 11:11 am

    Geez, some guys will do anything to get out of running. :-)

    Requesting a post with more info about “The Runner” when you can. Would make it easier to guess the color of ner new bike.

    Merry Christmas.

    I’ll post more about The Runner as she allows. She’s not all that keen on being a blog topic. I can’t understand why. – FC

  41. Comment by Haven (KT) | 12.21.2009 | 11:14 am

    Hmm…. I’m guessing a Vespa. In baby-blanket pink, not the Nuclear Pink my niece chose to paint on the walls of her bedroom.

    Awesome video series, can’t wait to see your version of the events!!

    Oh, and Happy Chrismakwanzakuhstice!

  42. Comment by Heidi | 12.21.2009 | 11:17 am

    Whatever could it POSSIBLY be? That Runner lady, she’s one lucky woman…

    You mean she’s lucky because she gets to enjoy the company of a beloved, multiple-award-winning cycling blog mega-celebrity such as myself, right? – FC

  43. Comment by skippy | 12.21.2009 | 11:21 am

    shaped like a bike so i guess it is your old bike!
    in the photo with Lance is that Eki behind his right shoulder?
    met him first in sydney2000 before he won the goldTT, since then he has done incredibly, bet he gave you a few tips.

    need your permission to use some of the photos on blog get back to me on your website says you are slow on email and i already proved that correct.

    once again “FATTY IS A STAR” i want him on my team!

    Permission granted! But don’t go making me go sign into Twitter, man. It’s not just email I’m behind on, it’s communication in general. – FC

  44. Comment by jenni | 12.21.2009 | 11:26 am

    Constitution-class starship?

  45. Comment by Stacey | 12.21.2009 | 11:33 am

    Hm, judging from what I think the gift is, The Runner seems to be a VERY good friend… or maybe just a bit MORE than a friend? Just a guess. :) Either way, she’s a lucky gal!

    Yes, I tell her that constantly. And I will print your comment to underscore the point. Thank you. – FC

  46. Comment by Lizzylou | 12.21.2009 | 11:39 am

    That periscope sticking up on top gives away the submarine right away.

  47. Comment by JT | 12.21.2009 | 12:04 pm

    A cyclist doesn’t give a bike to just any girl. Fatty’s getting serious.

    I wouldn’t characterize myself as “serious.” I think “stern” is a better description. – FC

  48. Comment by Yvette | 12.21.2009 | 12:06 pm

    If I be your girlfriend, can I have a bike?

    Oh, I don’t give bikes to ALL my girlfriends. As a remarkably handsome — not to mention beloved and award-winning — blogger, I have to be very judicious about which of my many, many girlfriends receive bicycles for Christmas. – FC

  49. Comment by NYCCarlos | 12.21.2009 | 1:00 pm

    Do you have the day off today? You’ve replied to more posts than I have EVER seen you reply to! :-P

    Just feeling kinda hyper today. I think I may need to adjust my meds. – FC

  50. Comment by bikemike | 12.21.2009 | 1:01 pm

    is it a red rider BB gun with a compass in the stock and a thing that tells time?

  51. Comment by Lana | 12.21.2009 | 1:10 pm

    Wonderful wrapping job, I just hope you don’t have to move it… cause that looks pretty darn impossible to do without mauling the wrapping job….

  52. Comment by MattC | 12.21.2009 | 1:19 pm

    It’s OBVIOUSLY a 1/8th scale locomotive! Gosh you are all such BAD guessers (GRIN!) Tho what on earth the Runner needs a locomotive for is beyond me. I just guess the gifts, not the purpose. My job here is done…Back to work.

  53. Comment by Kathleen Lisson | 12.21.2009 | 1:23 pm

    Good choice of present! Cycling is a great form of cross training for runners. Now the runner will be able to beat you at TWO sports, not just one.

    You mean at “an additional sport,” since the number of sports she can beat me at is already > 2. – FC

  54. Comment by Jackson Griffin | 12.21.2009 | 1:44 pm

    Dear Fatty,
    Do I sense a bit of a relationship between you and the Runner?

    Merry Christmas,
    Jackson Griffin

  55. Comment by Todd | 12.21.2009 | 1:49 pm

    Looks like you’re a great gift-giver Fatty. I hope The Runner enjoys it as much as you hope she does (assuming it’s 10-inch wheel folding freak bike). Merry Christmas!

  56. Comment by MattC | 12.21.2009 | 2:17 pm

    Oh…and if for any reason the Runner doesn’t actually WANT a new 1/8th scale locomotive, then I’d be happy to do you both the HUGE favor, and take it off her hands…cuz I myself can surely use a new locomotive! (I’m just sayin)

  57. Comment by Joel P. | 12.21.2009 | 2:28 pm

    I always wanted my own bumper car. I hope The Runner appreciates it.
    Joel P.

  58. Comment by Dan in Sac | 12.21.2009 | 2:37 pm

    That has to be Lance all wrapped up for The Runner!

  59. Comment by Jeff L. | 12.21.2009 | 2:43 pm

    How did you get Lance to sit still for so long??? Tazer? He’s going to be pissed when he wakes up!

  60. Comment by yellowJersey | 12.21.2009 | 3:05 pm

    Great post. I’m so excited that you got to have that experience. Johan seems like a great guy.

    Music suggestions:
    “Cool the Engines” – Boston
    “Smokin’” – Boston
    “Shine” – Collective Soul

  61. Comment by Paulscarlett | 12.21.2009 | 3:29 pm

    You guys are way off, it is obviously an etch-a-sketch!!
    Happy Festivus every one. keep the rubber side down
    p.s. I love Christmas in Australia – nice and warm

  62. Comment by Clydesteve | 12.21.2009 | 3:30 pm

    I am thinking that if The Runner does not want to be a blog topic, you need some advice, Fatty:

    1. Calling a person with a conventional name “The Runner” arouses curiosity and makes said person a blog topic.
    2. Making wise cracks about said person’s alleged lewd designs on LA’s calves makes said person a blog topic.
    3. Identifying said person in a picture containing her image sitting next to you in a video where you had to travel to get there… (you know)

    But you knew all that, right?

  63. Comment by NoTrail | 12.21.2009 | 3:45 pm

    My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Fatty purchasing a sculpture of Lance’s calf. I can only hope it was for The Runner and not part of his new office decor.

  64. Comment by kentucky joe | 12.21.2009 | 3:58 pm

    the bows are a nice touch

  65. Comment by AngieG | 12.21.2009 | 4:14 pm

    Why worry about the wrapping paper job when everyone just destroys it trying to get to the gift anyway. When I really wanna mess with someone I will wrap the gift multiple times sometimes using duct tape. MUAAGGHH!!! Evil yes but makes the opening so much more fun.
    The Runner is a lucky lady! And I can’t say I blame her for her desire to not be the “hot” topic of your blog. However, unfortunately the paparrazzi are already hot on your trail. That’s what comes with hanging with an award winning, mega star, cycling blogger and newest member of Team FattyShack! Sorry Runner your anonymous days are numbered. Have a wonderful Holiday!

  66. Comment by MattC | 12.21.2009 | 4:22 pm

    Music suggestion: Second chance by Shinedown…

    Seems to fit the occasion.

  67. Comment by Russell | 12.21.2009 | 5:12 pm

    It is clearly a dentist chair with a built in espresso maker. I’ve got two of my own. It is the perfect gift for those who have everything.

    Thanks again Fatty. I am proud to be a part of something so great.

  68. Comment by Terri | 12.21.2009 | 6:22 pm

    It could be a Zhu Zhu Hamster Funhouse with add on Ramp and Slide (sold separately). Whatever it is, don’t make her wait until Christmas to open it. We can’t wait that long.

  69. Comment by Hilslug | 12.21.2009 | 6:31 pm

    Like the wrapping job, Fatty. There is some mystery, for the most part. I think it looks like one of those Everglades boats I would see on the Flipper TV shows.

    Reminded me how my family wraps gifts in foil. The kids gave their dad a hammer one year, wrapped in foil. Being a very smart man, it didn’t take long for him to figure it out. . .

  70. Comment by not a cyclist......ok, maybe just a little | 12.21.2009 | 6:45 pm

    Ok, being a female, I have the uncanny ability to recall anything a man says or writes, whether I personally know him or not. Upon reading the above-post I immediately thought of an amusing blog of yours from back on October 16th that I suspect is about the same “runner”. She basically kicked your butt running up a mountain and left you in great pain and agony for many, many days. You also responded to an inquiry from a reader regarding her “hotness”, to which you stated, “yeah, she’s hot”. So, Fatty has a girlfriend, Fatty has a girlfriend!!!

  71. Comment by Betsy | 12.21.2009 | 7:02 pm

    I like all the bows, they look like stars. I use tissue paper, or the comics for wrapping presents.

    Hey are there any Team Fatty’s in Seattle?
    Happy Solstice!

  72. Comment by bobble | 12.21.2009 | 7:19 pm

    @jenni: Yes the saucer section is wrapped separately to make it *look* like twice as many presents!

  73. Comment by Heidi | 12.21.2009 | 8:29 pm

    Heidi wrote: Whatever could it POSSIBLY be? That Runner lady, she’s one lucky woman…

    FC responded: You mean she’s lucky because she gets to enjoy the company of a beloved, multiple-award-winning cycling blog mega-celebrity such as myself, right? – FC

    Heidi: Absolutely! Wishing you every happiness, Elden!

  74. Comment by GJ Jackie | 12.21.2009 | 8:31 pm

    When on earth are we going to find out who “the Runner” really is? You’re already way too public/famous/award-winning/celebrity to keep this one a secret.

  75. Comment by GJ Jackie | 12.21.2009 | 8:49 pm

    Oh, and as for music suggestions: Queen – bicycle ride. Classic.

  76. Comment by GJ Jackie | 12.21.2009 | 8:50 pm

    OK, I can’t type. Queen – Bicycle Race!

  77. Comment by Jim B | 12.21.2009 | 8:51 pm

    C’mon everybody, the cat is already out of the bag. Or, the runner is already out of the shoe, or something.

    and I presume here too:


  78. Comment by Mehera | 12.21.2009 | 9:25 pm

    OK Ms. Runner, Fatty has been dropping hints for some time now, up to and including your picture. Time to get out ahead of this thing and manage your image, as all the celebs do. Can’t let blog speculation run amok! ;-)

  79. Comment by dan | 12.21.2009 | 9:31 pm

    Its a recumbent…

  80. Comment by Razor | 12.21.2009 | 9:32 pm

    Giftwrapping – Mrs Razor or the PA depending on security requirements.

    How do you get the dog to sit that long, all wrapped up?

  81. Comment by Sasha | 12.21.2009 | 9:57 pm

    Hmmm, I think that we should all respect The Runners desire to remain anonymous and not be too nosy. :) Whatever the relationship is, it is what it is and I hope that we can all be polite adults about it. Though good-natured teasing is okay. :)

  82. Comment by bmarie | 12.21.2009 | 10:07 pm

    As a runner, married to a cyclist who has me addicted to your blog, and that does not like to run – so What I as a runner would love for my husband to give me as a gift and I’m thinking maybe you’ve decided to placate “the runner” by giving her a gift for yourself…..

    So I think the gift is Running Shoes for you…but with training wheels attached.

    Merry Christmas!

  83. Comment by Leslie | 12.21.2009 | 10:28 pm

    Glad you are having such a great December!

  84. Comment by Gordon In Melb, Australia | 12.21.2009 | 10:49 pm

    The whole “Letter to Johan” is, in my opinion, the story of the year ….but….now there is more, The Mystery Runner. I sense a Hollywood block-buster pretty soon. First there was tragedy, then triumph of raising an absurd amount of money(and showing Lance who is the boss on Mt Lemmon) and now romance. I think it will be called “Four Bikes and a Wedding” or “An un-named runner Fatty desires” or my last one “2010: A Runner Odyssey”. Then again Runners daughter needs a bag so perhaps a Brady Bunch kind of series.

  85. Comment by Tex | 12.21.2009 | 10:54 pm

    What Sasha said +1

    Merry Christmas Fatty! How did you get the Imu to sit still while you wrapped it?

  86. Comment by tibiker | 12.22.2009 | 12:12 am

    29er with Mary bar.
    Probably a Gary Fisher SuperFly if I was a bettin’ man. (Fat Cyclist edition of course)
    What do I win if I’m right?

  87. Comment by Niall @ Brisvegas | 12.22.2009 | 3:13 am

    So…now you have a Madone you are giving away the beachcruiser with the basket? Don’t forget to include the tassels, bread sticks and the cute puppy. I’m sure The Runner will appreciate it. Especially with the extras included.

  88. Comment by Robbo | 12.22.2009 | 4:13 am

    Mate, what a great story. First time reader, and I’m now a fan for life. The Big C touched our mob, too, but we’ve been lucky. It certainly has shown us the other side of the path; the side that makes it easier for others. Love ya work, mate – my jersey order’s on its way. Cheers!

  89. Comment by skippy | 12.22.2009 | 4:56 am

    reviewing your bike photos for the umpteenth time i spotted “craig the kiwi mechanic” in the background, one of the alltime favourite mechanics. he worked his heart out for bjarne riis before joining astana.

    craig find me on and see the item in

    sitting here between workouts as i wait for the snow to come down to 570m in austria i keep putting off my “celebrities blog entry and drift back to Fatty’s narrative as it reminds me how lucky i have been playing in the same sandpit as the stars.

    Fatty still awaiting your permission to lift some of your material to

    anyone wanting to make a difference to “physically challenged sport “and join us in the sandpit get in touch

    happy christmas to all and i hope your travels are not the nightmares i am seeing on cnn.
    " alt="a>" />

  90. Comment by Moose | 12.22.2009 | 1:05 pm

    Wow – this is so cool! Awesome job, Eldon! Looks like you had a blast.


    –PS: By the way it’s wrapped… is it a Vespa? o.o

  91. Pingback by You Never Know Who’s Reading « The Adams Group Blog | 12.22.2009 | 1:15 pm

    [...] Madone bike, a custom Fat Cyclist Gary Fisher bike and the Tour de France weekend. Here’s his video recap  of the [...]

  92. Comment by Berre | 12.23.2009 | 1:20 am

    I’m guessing Pink Fattyfly.

    Merry christmas Fatty!

  93. Comment by Mike Roadie | 12.23.2009 | 7:42 am

    Its a football!

  94. Comment by Jennie | 12.23.2009 | 11:35 am

    I think* I’m actually getting my cyclist a light for his bike… you can never be too visible and blinking lights are all happy and festive! :)

    Have a Merry Christmas!

    *of course, this assumes they’re still in stock when I make it out to the bike shop tonight- otherwise tubes it is…

  95. Comment by Jen | 12.23.2009 | 12:29 pm

    I am guessing it’s a tri bike for her new adventure!

  96. Comment by tim | 12.24.2009 | 9:04 pm

    It is a recumbent, or a 60’s/70’s schwinn with chrome gorilla bars and a sissy bar in back.

  97. Comment by Christophe | 01.6.2010 | 3:10 pm

    Great story with Team Radio Shack I just watched!

    But, we still do not know what’s the present to The Runner!!!! O.O


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.