An Open Letter…From the Future

12.9.2009 | 9:45 am

First off, I want to reiterate (as in, copy and paste) my thank-you I wrote last night when we crossed the outrageous goal of raising $100,000 — in less than three days (I started Sunday at noon, we hit $100,000 on Tuesday at 8:10 PM).

A HUGE “thank you” goes out to Johan for putting together an outrageous challenge — one so insane I just couldn’t say no.

An even HUGER “thank you” goes out to Team Fatty — by which I mean anyone who donated — for proving, once again, how incredibly generous people can be.

Also, big thanks to Trek for providing the Madone, to Gary Fisher Bikes for providing the FattyFly, to Nick Howe for providing the cool bonus-prize jerseys, and to Trek Travel for providing the Tour de France trip.

This has been the nuttiest contest I’ve ever done, and all the more awesome because it totally fell from the sky.

And now I get to spend the weekend in Arizona, riding with Team RadioShack. And — even more exciting — I get to give away two incredible bikes and the trip of a lifetime.

Sometimes, it’s good to be Fatty.

I understand that sometime today, Johan Bruyneel is going to post a video “thank you” of his own to Team Fatty. When he does, I’ll either embed (if I can) it here, or link to it.

I have to say, I am really, really looking forward to meeting Johan. In addition his being an accomplished person, he’s clearly got a sense of humor and a big heart. And an enormous cleft in his chin.

On the other hand, I am also a little bit concerned.

You see, this morning when I woke up, there was a very disconcerting email message in my inbox. It was marked with the “triple high priority” designation — three exclamation points — which I had not even known exists.

After reading this email, I am no longer at all certain I should even go to Tucson. I just don’t know.

I hereby submit this email for your consideration.

From: Lance Armstrong ([redacted]@[redacted].[redacted])
Sent: Tuesday, December 15, 2009
To: fatty@fatcyclist.com  

SUBJECT: DO NOT COME TO TUCSON. PLEASE. I AM BEGGING YOU.

Dear Fat Cyclist,

As you receive this, I know you are excited to come to Tucson and ride with Team RadioShack. You have earned this right, and if there were any other option at all, I would not contact you with this request.

But I have no other choice.

You may wonder, Fatty, how this message is arriving to you from the future. Well, without giving away too much, it’s not as hard to send email to the past as you might think, and I did it by rigging a Pomegranate Raspberry Michelob Ultra to a USB cable (between you and me, the only thing it is actually good for), uploading the email in question to a memory stick, connecting that stick to one end of the USB cable, and then connecting the other end to the input port of any programmable RadioShack radio-controlled device (a car works best), and then propelling that device backward at maximum speed.

Also, nineteen inches of duct tape is involved. I’ll say no more.

Anyway, I — along with most of the rest of the team — have just returned from the hospital and am composing this message to you in the hopes you will do the honorable thing and, for the love of all that’s good in the world, STAY HOME.

I will explain.

Your weekend at the training camp started off well enough. You were clearly nervous when you met all of us, and you might have made a better (ie, less awkward) first impression if you had not tried to hug each and every single rider.

There was a bit of a scuffle when you got to Levi Leipheimer and Viatcheslav Ekimov, though. I guess neither of them have forgotten or forgiven the post you wrote a couple years ago where you made fun of Ekimov’s Mullet and gave Levi a new hairstyle (shown below, just to remind you).

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As you went to give Levi a hug, Levi instead spun you around into a full Nelson, which seemed fitting. Eki then began punching you repeatedly in the stomach. This might have been a more successful plan if Eki had any mass at all in his arms, and if Levi weighed more than 84 pounds.

To Levi’s surprise, you dropped to a crouch, bringing him with you, and then sprung backward, flying nine feet through the air (your quads are impressive, by the way), and landing with your (considerable) full weight and momentum on Levi. Which — naturally — crushed him, leaving few if any bones unbroken.

Levi hopes to walk again about the time the Tour of California starts. Nice work, Fatty.

Dinner hardly went any better. Unaware of your super power, the chef did not lock the door to the kitchen. So, imagine our surprise when we arrived at the dining room and found an empty table. You had evidently arrived first, and had brought an appetite.

All that was left were some brussel sprouts (which remained uneaten, because nobody in the world likes brussel sprouts) and the team chef, who was cowering in the corner of his kitchen, weeping.

Two days later, he remains unable to speak, and screams in his sleep. What kind of monster are you, Fatty?

We should have paid attention, should have seen these events for what they were: harbingers of the horror to follow the next day.

We began the ride, and everyone on the team quickly realized you are a danger to yourself and all those around you. As you swiveled your head around this way and that — trying to get lots of good shots with your helmetcam I suppose — you were simultaneously reaching into your jersey for the next picture. Meanwhile you’d be going on and on about how much you’d like a ham sandwich right about now, and would anyone else like a sandwich, and would we all perhaps be interested in turning around and stopping for just a few minutes at the Quizno’s we just passed?

You, Fatty, are a chatterbox. A gluttonous, non-line-holding, erratic pedaling chatterbox.

But we expected that.

What we did not expect, Fatty, was when — while we were still riding — you pulled out an extra-fat Sharpie pen. I remember rolling my eyes, thinking, “Oh, great, he wants another autograph.” But I was wrong. You didn’t want an autograph, you wanted to make some on-the-fly edits to the new Team RadioShack jersey. “This will only take a sec,” you said, trying your best to modify the RadioShack logo to look like your Clydesdale logo. “And it will be a huge improvement.”

And that’s when all hell broke loose.

Having had enough, I surged forward, intending to drop you fast and hard. To my surprise, your reflexes were surprisingly quick, and you flung an arm out, hoping, I suppose, to grab my jersey or something.

Instead, you tossed your Sharpie, which — through some anti-miracle of physics — landed right between two spokes in my front wheel.

I flew like an angel. Briefly.

I landed in a crumpled heap just ahead of you, putting me in perfect postion for me to cushion your fall as you braked hard, got sideways, and high-sided right onto the top of me. Glad I could be of service, Fatty.

After that, the domino effect went into high gear.

Zubeldia crashed into the tangled mess that was us. Rubiera landed on the quickly-growing pile, and then Popovych endoed onto the top, earning him ten “king of the mountain” points.

Kloden skidded sharply and avoided us, but shot into a ravine. Leipheimer — riding despite being in a full body cast — followed his wheel and landed on Kloden, which did not injure Kloden at all.

From there, the pileup just grew and grew. Eventually, emergency vehicles were called, and — I believe this was a first — the Jaws of Life were employed to extricate us.

I am not certain, but I believe this is the first time an entire cycling team has been sidelined before the team jerseys were even finalized.

So again, Fatty, let me ask you. No, let me beg you. Please, stay home. For your sake. For the team’s sake. For my sake.

Regards,

Lance Armstrong

PS: Chris Horner also crashed at the same time, but it was apparently unrelated to this incident.

Of course, this is all ridiculous. None of this sounds anything at all like me. I’m sure everything will go perfect this weekend.

PS: I was interviewed on Bicycle Radio last night. If you want to listen to it, go to this page and listen to the 12-08-09 edition of “Escape the Peloton.” My interview begins about 43 minutes into the program.

 

This Contest Is Now Completely, Ridiculously Awesome (Yes, Now It Includes a Trip to the Tour de France)

12.8.2009 | 8:41 am

A Holy-Cow-Did-We-Really-Do-This-It-Seems-Unreal Note from Fatty: Around 8:10pm on Tuesday, we crossed the finish line: More than $50,000 donated to both the LiveStrong and World Bicycle Relief pages.

A HUGE “thank you” goes out to Johan for putting together an outrageous challenge. An even HUGER “thank you” goes out to Team Fatty — by which I mean anyone who donated — for proving, once again, how incredibly generous people can be.

Also, big thanks to Trek for providing the Madone, to Gary Fisher Bikes for providing the FattyFly, to Nick Howe for providing the cool bonus-prize jerseys, and to Trek Travel for providing the Tour de France trip.

This has been the nuttiest contest I’ve ever done, and all the more awesome because it totally fell from the sky.

And now I get to spend the weekend in Arizona, riding with Team RadioShack. And — even more exciting — I get to give away two incredible bikes and the trip of a lifetime.

Sometimes, it’s good to be Fatty.

A Frequently-Updating Note from Fatty: For those of you who like to check up on the running contest totals (or if you want to go donate), click here for the LiveStrong Page, and click here for the World Bicycle Relief page. And to make things easy for those of you interested but too lazy to do the math yourself, I’ll update the amount-raised totals here from time to time.

  • Tuesday, 10:00 AM: $79,482
  • Tuesday, 11:20 AM: $83,088
  • Tuesday, 3:00 PM: $91,902
  • Tuesday, 4:20 PM: $94,052
  • Tuesday, 8:30 PM: $101,662
  • Wednesday, 6:00 AM: $104,447

Our Story So Far

For those of you who haven’t been following — and for those of us with short attention spans –here’s what’s happened so far.

  1. Last Thursday I wrote a blog post in the form of a resume cover letter to Johan Bruyneel, Director of the newly-formed Team RadioShack.
  2. On Friday, Johan replied, saying I could be on the team for a day if we raised $20,000: $10K for LiveStrong, and $10K for the World Bicycle Relief Fund. If we raised $50K — $25K for each cause — he’d also give me a Trek Madone.
  3. I started scrambling, figuring out how I could possibly raise that much money in under a week.
  4. On Sunday, I posted my response: a contest where you can win the Madone, signed by Team RadioShack, by donating to the World Bicycle Relief Fund; or where you can win a custom-painted Fat Cyclist Gary Fisher Superfly by donating to LiveStrong.
  5. Yesterday — within 24 hours of when I posted my contest — we hit not only the $20K mark, but the $50K mark as well. In other words, in less than one day after the contest began, you hit the stretch goal Johan set for us for the week.
  6. Johan began scrambling, looking for a new stretch goal.
  7. Last night (Monday), Johan posted a new goal, with a new prize, on his blog.

That new goal is to double the original stretch goal: raise $100,000 for these two causes by this Friday at noon.

And if we do? In addition to the prizes that will already be given away — the signed Trek Madone and the personalized, custom-painted Superfly — Trek Travel will donate one 2010 Paris Finishing Package (along with airfare) to witness the finale of the Tour de France.

Let me reiterate that point, using bold, italics, and underline for emphasis: If we can raise $100,000, someone’s going to win a trip to the Tour de France.

That is not a trivial prize. Nosirree. This is what you might call a grand prize.

And the thing is, at the time I’m writing this — 7:00 AM on Tuesday morning — we’re already 2/3 of the way there. So I believe we can do this.

So How Do You Enter?

The contest remains the same, basically (yesterday’s post has the details).

And regardless of which you donate to, you are also entered in the contest for the Tour de France trip. So when you donate at either page, you qualify for a chance the bike you selected AND the trip.

Of course, that trip is only awarded if we get to $50K for each of the causes by Friday at noon, MST.

What Are We Doing Here?

I know I’m asking for a lot of money here. Which makes this a good time for me to remind you — and me — that the reason Johan’s doing this, the reason these companies are donating their products, and the reason I’m writing this is simple and singular: to fight cancer and help kids have a better life. The prizes are cool, yes, but they’re gravy.

In short, by donating you’re doing a good thing, in a fun way. So thanks for joining me in this ridiculously awesome contest.

Oh, and also this is a good chance to make those end-of-year charitable contributions for tax purposes. Or so I’m told. Frankly, I don’t even know what that means.

Now Let’s See that FattyFly

Yesterday, I promised that as soon as Jesse Lalonde sent me mockups for the personalized and Fatty-Edition-Customized Gary Fisher Superfly — The FattyFly, as it’s now officially known — I’d post pictures.

What I didn’t count on was that Jesse would do two versions of the customization: one with orange accents (click the image to see it larger)…

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…and one with pink (click image to see larger version):

200912080728.jpg

Myself, I really would love to have the orange one. The winner is the one who gets to choose, though. What an awesome decision to have to make.

The Clydesdale icon is on the headtube and seatube. The cursive FatCyclist.com” appears on the underside of the downtube by the bottom bracket. “FattyFly” is a detail on the inside of the seatstay. “201” and “WIN” are on the insides of the chainstays. And as promised, the winner’s name goes on the toptube.

Here’s what the production art looks like, for those of you (like me) who love to obsess over these things (again, click the image for a larger version):

200912080733.jpg

How do you get this one-of-a-kind FattyFly? There’s only one possible way: by donating to this LiveStrong page before Friday at noon.

Final Word

I’m obsessively checking our fundraising status, in part because I’m amazed at how generous FatCyclist readers are, and in part because I really, really, really want to see someone win that trip to the Tour de France, in addition to the other incredible prizes loaded up in this contest.

I wonder what Johan will propose next, when we hit $100K sometime today or tomorrow.

Fight Cancer, Help Kids In Africa, and Win a Custom Fat Cyclist-Edition Superfly or Madone Signed by Team RadioShack

12.6.2009 | 11:47 am

[UPDATE: This contest now includes a Trip to see the Tour de France. Click here for info.]

A Note from Fatty: If you already know the score and just came here to get to the links to donate, here’s what you need:

And now, on with the story.

First, a little background. Last Thursday, I wrote and posted a letter to Johan Bruyneel, the gag behind the letter being that I was applying for a job as a professional cyclist in the exact same way I’d apply for a job in the business world — by listing my business experience, talking about my ability to use PowerPoint, and so forth.

I did not expect Johan Bruyneel — the head honcho of Team RadioShack (the team Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Chris Horner, and Andreas Kloden are all on for 2010) to reply in his own blog the following day.

You should read his post for yourself, but basically, he said that he’d be happy to have me be a pro cyclist — for a day, at the team training camp in Tucson, Arizona this Sunday. But first I’d have to prove myself, by doing the following:

Wow. That’s a lot of money, in a short period of time. But then Johan (yeah, I’m referring to him by first name) takes it a step further. If I raise $25,000 for each of these causes by Friday, they’d give me a Trek Madone 6 Series bike powered by SRAM Red.

[Update: we have passed the first milestone: we've raised more than $10,000 for each of these causes. We're now focused on the big stretch goal: $25,000 for each!]

Wow. That’s a serious challenge.

And I am more than happy to accept. And with your help I think I can knock this challenge out of the park. Cuz if you help, you might win some prizes that are going to make your head spin.

Let’s talk about those prizes now.

What You Can Win

I really, really, really want to go to Tucson and ride with Team RadioShack. Really really.

But a business week is not a lot of time to raise $20,000. And it’s definitely not a lot of time to raise $50,000. So I pulled out all the stops, and am giving away two bikes as part of this fundraising contest.

First, I’m giving away a 2010 Gary Fisher Superfly — geared, hardtail version:

200912060928.jpg

This bike retails for $4200, and is my absolute bike of choice when I’m riding with gears (Yes, I own the 2009 version of this bike, purchased retail at my LBS with my own money, so I’m not just saying this because I’m friendly with the Gary Fisher folks).

These bikes are hard to come by, so on its own merits this is an incredible prize. But here’s the thing that has had me walking around in a daze since Travis Ott — Brand Manager Extraordinaire — told me:

This bike will be custom painted with the Fat Cyclist colors and logo, as well as the winner’s name.

Jesse Lalonde is doing the custom paint design, and I love his work. As soon as he has a mockup of the design, I’ll post it here.

So, to recap: the first bike you could win is a personalized, one-of-a-kind Fat Cyclist edition of the Gary Fisher Superfly, an ultra-high-end carbon 29″ high-end mountain bike, worth $4,200.

That does not suck at all, and ordinarily would be plenty of prize for a fundraiser. But like I said, I’m on a tight schedule here, so I’m going to ramp things up a bit.

Win a Madone 6-Series Road Bike, Signed By Team RadioShack

To tell the truth, I felt a little bit funny about me getting a bike when I’m asking you to donate money (don’t worry, I’m donating too).

So I asked Johan’s rep if — assuming we hit that $50,000 mark — I could offer the Madone as a prize to someone who donates.

He loved that idea, and took it one step further: “If you give the bike to a donor, I’ll get the team to sign that bike.

So yes, you can win a bike like this — but with different colors, SRAM Red components, and signatures by Lance, Levi, Andreas, Chris and others on it:

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That, my friends, is a collector’s item and an extraordinary prize on its own merits. And it is not easy for me to give away. But — provided we raise $25,000 for LiveStrong and another $25,000 for World Bicycle Relief — one (very very) lucky donor will get this $6.6K+ collector’s item.

One big challenge, two great causes, two incredible bikes.

How to Enter

Entering this contest is easy. And here are the rules.

  • The contest began last Friday (December 4) and goes through Friday, December 11, 12:00 noon, Mountain Standard Time. That’s less than a week, so don’t wait.
  • To win the Madone: For every $5.00 you donate at this World Bicycle Relief Page, you get a chance at winning the Team RadioShack-signed Madone 6-series bike. Just click here to donate, make your donation in multiples of $5.00, and you’re automatically entered.
  • To win the Superfly: For every $5.00 you donate at this LiveStrong Page, you get a chance at winning the Fat Cyclist Edition Gary Fisher Superfly. Just click here to donate, make your donation in multiples of $5.00, and you’re automatically entered.
  • If you donated at either of these pages before I announced these prizes, then yes, you are still entered to win these prizes.
  • If you win the Superfly, you’ll get it in February or March, 2010.
  • If you win the Madone, you’ll get it as soon as the team can sign it, and you’ll need to understand that their schedules can be busy. In other words, you’ll get it in a reasonable period of time, but you’ll need to be patient.
  • Customs and taxes for the bike are your own problem.
  • Winners will be contacted by email and phone.

Note that the Madone will only be given away as a prize IF a minimum of $25,000 is raised on both the LiveStrong and World Bicycle Relief pages. If this does not occur, then donations for the Madone contest will be entered into the Superfly contest. So you can enter the Madone contest without worrying that you may not have any chance at all of winning anything.

Win-Win-Win-Win

I want to take a moment and give a shout-out to Johan Bruyneel for his awesomeness. He took a jokey post I wrote and replied with humor and the chance to do something really amazing. Consider the effects of his reply to my post:

  • I’m going to have a chance to ride with the pros, which will be completely insane, because I am a babbling fool when I am around famous people.
  • We’re going to raise money to fight cancer.
  • We’re going raise money to help secondary-aged students in Zambia who face extraordinarily long commutes to and from school (typically 8-12km per way) that often restricts their ability to complete basic education.
  • We’re going to give away some prizes that are just unimaginably cool.

That, folks, is class.

Now go donate (here for the LiveStrong / Superfly contest, or here for the World Bicycle Relief / Madone contest)!

PS: Bonus Prizes of Awesomeness

Nick Howe, Road and Triathlon Brand Manager at Trek, read my letter and Johan’s reply and has jumped into the fray with an some career guidance for me. And as part of his post, he has offered up some very cool bonus prizes I can give away to people who donate.

First, a jersey, signed by Lance:

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And second, a never-for-sale long-sleeved edition of the Astana jersey from the team most of the RadioShack guys were on last year.

I’ll give both of these away to random donors.

PPS: As of Monday, 6:45 AM (MST), we’ve raised $30,462!

As of Monday 8:50 AM (MST), we’ve raised $45,371. Holy smokes. You people are a whole new kind of generous. Thank you.

As of Monday 1:27 PM (MST), we’ve raised $55,753!

An Open Cover Letter to Johan Bruyneel

12.3.2009 | 9:48 am

As a middle-aged man, I cannot help but wonder whether I have made good choices in my life. Am I doing all I can with my life? Have I chosen the correct path? Or is there something more I could — and should — be doing?

These are the kinds of questions that keep a man up late at night. Pondering. Wondering.

It was during just such a session of personal introspection that I decided: I need a career change. And the career I have chosen is: Professional Cyclist.

As a man of action, I immediately set to work, updating my resume and finding out the top-tier teams I would most like to join.

After considerable research, I decided that I want to join Team Radio Shack. It’s a new team, so I feel I could really put my stamp on it; make it my own. Plus, I really like walkie talkies and pens that are also lasers.

I am highly confident that I will soon be a Professional Cyclist. So confident, in fact, that I am going to take you on my journey toward professional cyclist-dom even as it happens.

It all begins with sending my resume and cover letter to the manager of the team, As shown below.

Dear Mr. Bruyneel,

Please find attached my resume and press clip portfolio. I think they’ll go a long way toward showing you that I am an experienced and capable professional with both focus and drive.

I’d like to take a moment of your time to briefly summarize why I am applying for the position of Professional Cyclist at Team Radio Shack.

First of all, I am a team player. In my current job — Product Manager at an IT research and analysis firm — I have been in the position of both managing and participating in large teams, initiating large initiatives and driving them to completion. I feel this would be a valuable skill in a professional cyclist. While I cannot guarantee that I would be first across the finish line in every race, I can promise you that I would be able to work with other team members to ensure that they knew their own responsibilities as well as my own status at any given point in time.

Next, I have excellent communication skills. I am highly proficient at every Microsoft Office product, with particular emphasis in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and have given literally hundreds of presentations in the course of my career. If, at some point during a training ride or race, you or anyone else came up with an idea that needed to be presented before the team, I am your guy.

I am a fast learner. While it is true that at this point I have never won a professional-level bicycle race (to be candid, I have never won a sport-class local race, either), I learn quickly by observing others in the workplace. I have no doubt that after watching how other professional cyclists win races, I would be able to emulate their behavior and win races as well.

I take my job seriously. As I begin to accumulate “palmares” (you’ll note that I am already beginning to learn terms specific to the cycling world!), I would always acknowledge those who made it possible, including you. Further, I would never showboat across the finish line, throwing my hands in the air as if the victory belonged to me alone. Frankly I find that behavior unnecessarily self-focused and not conducive to a productive environment in the workplace.

I am willing to travel, within reason. I completely understand that this job requires some travel, and you have my assurance that this will not be a problem for me, as long as I am able to keep my “away” days to a maximum of three days per month, with the understanding that I need to be home with my kids on the weekends.

I am experienced. I have noticed that — with one notable exception — most of your riders are in their late twenties and early thirties. I believe that I can help fill the “experience gap” you have almost certainly observed in your team. As a 43-year-old man, I have twenty years in the professional world and can act as a mentoring figure to other team members who are still just getting started with their careers.

I have contacts in the industry. I don’t want to brag, but I have exchanged email with people at a number of bike-related companies, including Gary Fisher, Ibis, and Masi. I also have an in with the guys at Pro Bar, and might be able to help you get a discount. In these uncertain economic times, I think this could really help. And I am personally acquainted with a couple of really excellent jersey designers; I think I could get them to bump you up in their design queue.

I interview well, and have a sizable vocabulary, plus I am an excellent speller. I don’t want to seem boastful, but I was an alternate for my junior high school in the annual county spelling bee thirty years ago.

I am an Eagle Scout. I think that speaks for itself.

I’m a big fan of Radio Shack. I am a bit of an electronics DIY guy, and a few years ago, one of my sons and I actually built a robot from scratch, following instructions in a book and using parts primarily found at Radio Shack. How many of your (other) team members can say that?

Finally — and I think this is an important point — I really enjoy riding bikes. I think that will really shine through when cameras inevitable hone in on me.

I look forward to hearing back from you and to joining your team. Thank you for your time.

Kind Regards,

The Fat Cyclist

I am, as you might expect, very excited to receive his reply. I will keep you updated as events warrant.

2010 Team Fatty LiveStrong Challenge Registration Starts Today!

12.1.2009 | 1:40 am

Those of you who have read my blog know that I’m not an especially serious person by nature. In fact, I may well be the antonym of serious. But 5+ years of living with this evil disease as it killed my wife a little bit at a time has made me serious about this.

I hate cancer, and I’m never going to stop fighting it.

And the ugly fact is, either you already have seen cancer close up, or you will sometime in your life. It’s that common. And you’re going to hate it too. It’s that evil.

So let’s fight it together. And have fun and win stuff and meet an incredible group of people and break some records while we do it.

In 2009, Team Fatty raised more than $800,000 for the LiveStrong Challenge — an amount that took all previous records, smashed them, crushed them, tore them into small pieces, and broke them down into their constituent atoms.

We came close to hitting our goal of $1,000,000 — but didn’t quite get there. So that’s our goal again this year: $1,000,000.00.

Registration for Team Fatty for the 2010 LiveStrong Challenge is now open! As in 2009, we’ll be in all four cities. And as in 2009, we’re looking to build the largest team, raising the most money for this critical fight.

To sign up with Team Fatty, just click the city you’d like to join (if you don’t plan to actually attend the event — you just want to help Team Fatty raise money — it doesn’t matter which city you join), noting the event dates. That will take you to the Team Fatty page for that city. From there, click the “Join Our Team” link and follow the instructions from there.

And now, for a few frequently-asked questions (as in “questions I’ve been asked once or twice, or questions I think I ought to be asked”) about Team Fatty.

Q: Is there anything special I need to do to be part of Team Fatty?
A: All you need to do is register as part of Team Fatty in any of the four LiveStrong Challenge teams linked above. And then you need to start working on raising money. You need to raise at least $100 to be counted as part of the team, and $250 to attend the event. But really, if we’re going to seriously raise a million dollars, basically a thousand of us needs to raise a thousand dollars each. That’s a lot of people raising a lot of money. But I believe we can do it.

Q: I want to join Team Fatty and raise money in the fight against cancer, but I know I won’t be able to attend any of the events. Do I still have to pay the $35 registration fee?
A: No, you sure don’t. When you register, choose “Virtual Challenge” and you don’t have to pay anything at all. But I still expect you to do your part in the fundraising, OK?
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Q: How do I get a Team Fatty jersey?
A: Most sizes of the Team Fatty (pink) version of the Fat Cyclist jersey are available right now at Twin Six. Click here for Men’s, or click here for Women’s. You’ll also find t-shirts, stickers, bottles, vests, shorts, arm warmers and caps by clicking here.

Once these run out, we’ll gauge whether we need to do an extra pre-order of Team Fatty jerseys. If we do, we’ll make sure we do it in plenty of time for you to get your jersey before any of the LiveStrong Challenge events.

And you should know that the profit from these jerseys goes right back to the LiveStrong Challenge, and that the Twin Six guys helped us raise more than $50,000 last year between jersey sales, supporting the 100 Miles of Nowhere, and sale days where all their profit went to LiveStrong. So when you’re picking up your Team Fatty gear, maybe consider buying a couple other jerseys and t-shirts as well. Support a small business that is not only designing the most awesome bike clothes out there, but is spending a ton of their money and time doing the right thing.

Q: Do I have to buy a Team Fatty Jersey?
A: Absolutely not. But my bar-none favorite thing to do at the LiveStrong Challenge events is to hang out at the finish line and high-five Team Fatty members as they cross the line. And since the team’s big, if you don’t have a team jersey on, it’s unlikely all recognize you for the awesome person you are.

Q: Are there going to be fundraising contests, like last year?
A: There sure are, and being a fundraising member of Team Fatty improves your chances of winning, since all funds donated to your LiveStrong Challenge page are counted toward your chances of winning.

Of course, hope of winning a prize isn’t the reason we do any of this. But it is a nice little bonus.

Q: Is there any special reason I should join now?
A: Yes there is. Right now — and through this month — registration costs $35. After the end of this month, that cost will go up to $45. So if you join now, you’ll save a little money. Also, you’ll be all set to tell friends and family that if they have been wondering what to get you for Christmas, that joining you in the fight against cancer and making a donation on your page would be a fantastic, meaningful gift.

PS: Got any more questions? Ask them in the comments section and I’ll do my best to answer them either directly below your comment, or I’ll add it to this list.

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