How To Use “The Secret” in Cycling

02.4.2010 | 11:40 am

A Marathon Chronicles-Related Note from Fatty: Thanks, everyone, for your feedback yesterday regarding whether we ought to go to Death Valley and run the alternate course, or go to St. George and pre-run the Ironman course, or make something up. We’re going to go to Death Valley as originally planned. The points about an event being different than a solo run, the scenery being worth seeing, and a road trip being worth taking put us over the edge. Plus, there were a few hard cases who asserted that the bet stipulated the Death Valley marathon, and I don’t want to lose a bet by default.

You should be able to read the race writeup on Monday. Provided, of course, that I write it by then.

201002040622.jpgLike most everyone else in the world, I have heard of The Secret, the book that promises untold wealth, health, and perfectly-styled hair on a daily basis…as long as you buy the book. Like most everyone else, I was curious what secret The Secret contains.

And like most everyone else, I looked on Wikipedia to find out, where I learned that the secret of The Secret is that if you think about something in the right way — whether it be an event or an object or the removal of the letters “C” from the English language — the universe attaches other similar thoughts and forces to your thought, your thought gathers force like a giant thought-snowball, and then the thing you thought about will happen.

Which is really awesome. Because I hate redundant letters.

However, since — to my dismay — I did not master the secrets of The Secret by reading the Wikipedia article, I went ahead and downloaded the Kindle version of the book to my phone, and read it as quickly as possible, provided “as possible” means “whenever I was in line at the grocery store, or whenever I needed to use the bathroom for an extended period of time.”

And you know what? You can probably do just fine with reading the Wikipedia article.

Which is not to say, however, that The Secret does not work. It does! For example, I am going to, right now, think about eating the Twix Bar I have here.

And now I am eating it.

Freaky, isn’t it?

But The Secret has a dark underbelly. Yes it does. And that dark underbelly is that if you don’t formulate your thoughts correctly, you may get the opposite — or worse, a strange tangent — of what you were hoping for!

I call this “The Universe as a Trickster Genie” theory.

Specifically, The Secret tells us that the universe is a little bit stupid, in that it doesn’t get negatives. And I don’t mean that it doesn’t get double-negatives, which would be understandable, because who doesn’t have trouble with those from time to time?

I mean that it actually doesn’t hear negatives at all.

So, for example, if I were to think to myself, “I am not going to eat another Twix bar,” the universe just picks up on the “eat” and “Twix bar” part. And — get this — right now I am eating another Twix bar.

Oh, it is so delicious.

Thanks, universe, for making me eat another Twix bar even when I thought I shouldn’t.

And also, now I guess I understand why I’m seeing more of the letter “C” than I used to.

The Secret and Cycling

Now that you are — as I am — convinced of the power of The Secret, you are almost certainly asking yourself, “How can I use The Secret to become an extremely awesome cyclist? And how can I be certain to formulate my thoughts correctly, so the universe doesn’t go pulling some wacky prank on me?”

It’s a natural question, and I will now teach you the things you must think — along with the things you must not — in order to leverage The Secret in your riding.

To Win a Race:

  • Do: Imagine yourself going very fast, crossing a finish line. And be sure to also imagine nobody else in front of you, and lots of people behind you. And be sure to imagine yourself crossing the correct finish line, or you might wind up winning a completely different race. And you might also want to imagine a calendar nearby with the current date on it, or you might win the race, but as the sole participant in the Octogenerian category, 55 years from now.
  • Do NOT: Imagine the problems you might have that might obstruct your win. For example, do not imagine yourself with a mechanical. Do not imagine yourself with a showtune running endlessly through your head. Do not imagine yourself being passed by me. Except now I have already made you imagine all of those things, and I am going to totally beat you when we race.

To Avoid a Crash

  • Do: Think of yourself riding upright, in every possible terrain. Think of the road being empty. But do not think in terms of “devoid of crazy drivers,” because then you’re still thinking about — and therefore attracting — crazy drivers. Just think of a nice empty road. And go ahead and imagine ice chests on the side of that empty road, spaced every 100 feet or so and filled with the beverage of your choice. Oh, and imagine ice, too, because the universe needs you to be specific.
  • Do NOT: Think of the word “crash.” Ever. It doesn’t even matter if you think of the word “Don’t” before you think the word “crash.” You still thought of crashing. Also, you should probably not stop wearing a helmet. Because there may be someone out there who is thinking of you having a crash, and maybe that someone is better at The Secret than you.

To Handle a Crash in the Event That You’re Having One Even Though You Thought You Had Done a Pretty Good Job of Imagining Not Having a Crash

  • Do: As you fly through the air toward the tree, boulder, road, or cinderblock wall, imagine pillows. Lots and lots and lots of fluffy pillows. And it may not be a bad idea to imagine an ambulance on its way, just in case the pillows don’t arrive on time.
  • Do NOT: Imagine yourself hovering in the air, magically defying the laws of gravity. The universe is totally not cool with people spiting its laws, and will slap you down even harder. Don’t go upsetting the universe, people. Also, do not imagine yourself lying in a broken, crumpled heap, because that’s counterproductive. Besides, you’ll have time for that later.

To Get a New Bike

  • Do: Imagine yourself with a new bike. Be really specific about the bike though — know the brand, the model, the year, the size. Everything. Also, imagine that you obtained it legally, because otherwise the trickster universe might just plop one in your hands, but it’s stolen, and some of your local authorities may not really understand The Secret as well as they should. Also, imagine that it’s yours, and not that you’re just washing it for a friend or something.
  • Do NOT: Imagine what your significant other is going to say when s/he sees you coming home with yet another new bike. In fact, you may want to do some pre-emptive counter-imagining around that scenario.

To Lose Weight

  • Do: Imagine yourself thin and ripped. Imagine yourself buying all new cycling clothes. Imagine yourself a blur of motion as you climb your favorite killer hill.
  • Do NOT: Imagine yourself not eating. Because the universe will ignore the “not” part and will make you eat. But also, don’t imagine yourself eating, because — of course — that’s where the problem began in the first place, isn’t it? But remember, you should not stop eating altogether, because that brings problems of its own. Like starvation, for example. Wow, this Secret thing is turning out to be pretty darned tricky.

To Get Awesome Quads

  • Do: Imagine yourself with my quads.
  • Do NOT: Imagine me wearing a big floppy sombrero, because that would be a mean trick to play, especially since I’m letting you have my quads and stuff.

Really, I’m just gettng started here. I also have very useful tips I can give you on what to think (and what to not think) on how to spin circles, how to ride a clean line, how to keep your chain lubed, and how to avoid broken glass. And much, much more.

But to get that, you’re going to need to buy my upcoming book, The Secret and Cycling, which I am write now imagining getting a big fat publishing contract for.

And I’m imagining it already being written, too.

PS: Whoever it was that imagined me wearing fake elephant ears, an orange tutu, and these clown shoes, cut it out.


  1. Comment by VT_Rob | 02.4.2010 | 11:52 am

    If you think the book is tedious….try the movie!

    And I agree about redundant letter….except “C” is correct, necessary and proper. It’s “K” that’s the problem!

  2. Comment by Bill | 02.4.2010 | 11:54 am

    Hey buddy,

    I don’t want your quads. I want your Twix bar. I have been doing real good this week about not having candy bars and I read your blog for educational and entertainment purposes and now I am craving Twix bars!

    Thanks a lot Fatty!

    Think if I have a Twix bar and then run suicides with the church b-ball team I coach and then ride my bike afterwards (since I am a real biker) I will be alright?

  3. Comment by bikemike | 02.4.2010 | 12:01 pm

    I’m guessing “The Secret” works, i’ve imagined not reading the book and so far i haven’t…huh, go figure.

  4. Comment by protoceratops | 02.4.2010 | 12:07 pm

    Hey Fatty

    Thanks a lot…not only does the secret – THE SECRET – work, as evidenced by all the Twix bars that havemagically appeared at the store down the street just in time for me to eat them all (I can just FEEL them waiting there), but – and this seems a little creepy what with me living at the top of a hill and all – there is an actual SEA of Twix bars out side, lapping at the door. I mean, a literal ocean of the things, all cute and scrumptious in their gleaming wrappers. The Twix sea has risen about two inche in the time it took me to write this, and I hope the sandbags hold. I am planning to make a break for it when the tide recedes.

    See, I was thinking about words that start with “C”, and then I kind of drifted and though about words that start with “sea”…apparently the universe isn’t very good with homonyms, either. You know, words that sound alike. The universe seems to have a slight spelling problem…

  5. Comment by hubcityrob | 02.4.2010 | 12:12 pm

    Why is it when I am reading all of the things to think and NOT to think, all I can think of is the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man riding a bike?

  6. Comment by brian | 02.4.2010 | 12:13 pm

    Really, I’m just gettng started here

    Quick, fix it and delete this comment and almost no one will ever know.

    Even better just imagine it changing and it will change itself. Nice spoof!

  7. Comment by KanyonKris | 02.4.2010 | 12:23 pm

    VT Rob – Shhh, I was going to drop the DVD off at Elden’s house today.

    bikemike – You are a Secret master!

    The only secret I learned is: you’ll make a lot of money if you can come up with a cool way to market and sell info most people already know.

  8. Comment by skippy | 02.4.2010 | 12:27 pm

    Back from a trip on the “skins” up the “Kaltenback piste except took a side trail too early and added a lot of slogging through new powder, as it was flatish and so it was a grind.
    Turned on the hot chocolate and laptop when I arrived home and out jumped the entertainment!
    Fact is “positive thought” will defeat “negatives”, set out today for 3hrs ski touring but finished with 5 hrs. the body would wish to stop but the mind kept kidding it that we would get there quicker by slogging on! Parts of the piste were so steep that the mind would not work and the skins would not grip so had to side step those sections and more energy was needed than I felt like putting out. Quitting part of the way through without reaching the goal was sidelined by the thought that I would have to come back and do it again next time.
    Getting out of bed each day is the easy part , completing the course set is a little harder, going home defeated the hardest!
    The secret to good cycling/ski trips is set a plan, Conceive, Believe , Achieve! Success breeds Success!

  9. Comment by AK | 02.4.2010 | 12:28 pm

    bikemike, I think you just disproved the Secret – in the article we see that the universe does not understand negatives, so by thinking about not reading the Secret, you should have been induced to read it by now

  10. Comment by mercator | 02.4.2010 | 12:47 pm

    You nailed it Fatty. I guess we can expect to see you on Oprah in the near future.

  11. Comment by Tina Z | 02.4.2010 | 12:59 pm

    Damn, I really want a Twix bar now. Thanks Fatty.

  12. Comment by Bob | 02.4.2010 | 1:13 pm

    I think I get it:

    1) Imagine what you want.
    2) Something will happen.
    3) If it’s what you want, it worked!
    4) If it’s not what you want, it worked (wrongly)!
    5) Where is my Twix? Why did I get a banana?
    6) Why is the third letter of the alphabet missing from my post?

  13. Comment by graisseux | 02.4.2010 | 1:16 pm

    But without out “C” how could we have the “ch” sound? Oh never mind…”tsh”. I guess “C” is redundant.

    And don’t even get me started on Q. – FC

  14. Comment by Ian | 02.4.2010 | 1:31 pm

    So if I imagine myself not having a crash and someone imagines away the letter C will that also keep me from getting a rash? Because that would be great if I could not keep getting this rash. It’s bright red and located right under my… wait… I’ve said too much haven’t I?

  15. Comment by Kristina | 02.4.2010 | 1:54 pm

    @ protoceratops: nah, you can’t get rid of K. it’s got to be c. they’re completely interchangeable except in one context:


    OC just doesn’t work. And while I suppose in theory we could just revert to ‘okay’ (ocay?), everyone knows humanity is not going to revert to four letters when they can just use two.

  16. Comment by Decker | 02.4.2010 | 1:57 pm

    Yoda says “Do or Do Not. There is no try.”
    No need to read this silly book, just watch Star Wars!

  17. Comment by MattC | 02.4.2010 | 1:59 pm

    So there I was, at the Burger King…paying for my lunch. Open my wallet, and lo and behold…nothing but _ash. So I then try to pull out a _redit _ard. No deal! _rap! Whats going on here? Then I read todays post… now I know. Fatty, you need to STOP removing letters! Mess around with French or Spanish or something, will ya? So now I _an’t have my _ake and eat it too. STOP IT! _rimeny!

    (and hey…..I must have had a ‘not’ in there somewhere…becasue they were REAL elephant ears that I was thinking of on you. The tutu and _lown shoes were just an afterthought).

  18. Comment by dug | 02.4.2010 | 2:00 pm

    i’m imagining skippy only using 50 words per comment.

  19. Comment by I do not know the Secret | 02.4.2010 | 2:05 pm

    I’m thinking about not reading this post.


  20. Comment by km | 02.4.2010 | 2:07 pm

    Shhh, it was supposed to be a secret… where’s my Twix?

  21. Comment by Darren | 02.4.2010 | 2:12 pm

    Sorry about the ears I couldn’t resist.

  22. Comment by don | 02.4.2010 | 2:18 pm

    don’t think about the Death Valley weather fore_ast this weekend. Please.

  23. Comment by VT_Rob | 02.4.2010 | 2:30 pm

    Sorry, KanyonKris. Drop it off any way.

    But in all seriousness…if you think about all the times you use negatives (don’t crash, don’t get sick, don’t whatever) it’s pretty shocking. At least it was to me. And then think about how you could rephrase that same idea. Some are easy, some are not. My wife is great at it. Me….not so much.

    With all respect to Mr. Nelson, the best Secret spoof is SNL. “I changed the universe with my MIND!”

  24. Comment by Shuffles | 02.4.2010 | 2:37 pm

    “Do NOT: Think of the word “crash.” Ever.”

    I’m having a really hard time with this lately. The older I get, the more real the visualization in my mind. Had a crash in November and the thought of that spot on the railroad tracks constantly comes back and makes me lose my concentration, even when walking!

    I guess I need to visualize getting all the way across the tracks, not what actually happened!

  25. Comment by Eric Benjamin | 02.4.2010 | 2:44 pm

    Now I can tell my mom I finally read The Secret. Thanks Fatty! I can’t wait to see you on Oprah!

  26. Comment by Bicycle Bill | 02.4.2010 | 3:00 pm

    I have to agree with VT Rob. We need the letter “c” — how else would we be able to spell “bicycle” or “Fat Cyclist” without it?

    And if we lose the “q” then we absolutely gotta keep the “k”.


  27. Comment by Rob Churchill | 02.4.2010 | 3:20 pm

    Fat Syklist. Hmm.

    Interesting konsept.

  28. Comment by bikemike | 02.4.2010 | 3:25 pm

    everbody uses text messaging anyway, apparently we don’t need half the letters we already use.

  29. Comment by Weaky6 | 02.4.2010 | 3:34 pm

    @dug: yes, skippy can get his own blog for goodness sakes. Now, the wife has this sitting on stand next to the kouch. I keep asking what it is. She says it is a Sekret.

  30. Comment by rokrider | 02.4.2010 | 3:35 pm

    And don’t even get me started on Q. – FC

    So I guess that means you’ve started on the Q’s, right?

  31. Comment by Joel P. | 02.4.2010 | 3:50 pm

    Thanks for the laugh, up ’till now I had a pretty -rappy day.
    Joel P.

  32. Comment by rexinsea | 02.4.2010 | 5:20 pm

    You know what’s awesome? Now I don’t have to read the Wikipedia site (I’m sure it’s too long) or the book. This posting is all I need.

    Great service you have here Fatty. Thanks!

  33. Comment by Frankenhip | 02.4.2010 | 5:39 pm

    It appears there is another book called “The Secret to Teen Power.” Yikes.

  34. Comment by Kristine | 02.4.2010 | 5:57 pm

    You make jest but know that this is how I got my totally awesome Cannondale Synapse last year. I cut out a picture of that bike, put it on my fridge where I could see it every day. Then I formulated how much $ would need to come from where to pay the $3K + that it cost me.
    Three months later, half of the money fell in my lap, another 25% my mother gave me, and the rest came from savings. It really does work…

  35. Comment by Frank | 02.4.2010 | 6:18 pm

    qu’est ce qu’on va faire sans c ou q?

  36. Comment by GJ Jackie | 02.4.2010 | 6:32 pm

    So glad to hear you’re off to Death Valley. Run, Fatty, Run! Running in a rainy 65 degrees still beats a rainy/snowy 39 degrees in Salt Lake or a rainy 52 in Saint George.

  37. Comment by PortableDave | 02.4.2010 | 7:43 pm

    A TV show in Aus put The Secret to the road test, funny stuff:

  38. Comment by Born 4Lycra | 02.4.2010 | 8:23 pm

    Now that I have got your quads does that mean the death valley marathon bets are off because you are going to have some difficulty walking/running etc.

    I don’t want to know who won the Rasmoosen Bottle anymore

  39. Comment by DrBryce | 02.4.2010 | 9:32 pm

    Amen on the Synapse comment ^^^. Spent 8 months driving and deciding on the perfect Durango to buy and wanted to pay cash for it. Color, leather, 3rd row, rear A/C, small motor for mileage, etc. Just couldn’t find what we wanted unless it was in the 12-15,000 range and we only wanted to pay cash. Had a pow-wow with my wife about it and decided on an early December morn to wait for tax-refund time to up the ante and pay 12 cash rather than the 8 that we had. 10PM that night we drove by the ideal car and it had $7800 across the windshield. Paid cash for it at 10:30PM that night, retail book value was $13,000! Exact car we had dreamt up, fantastic price.

    Design what you want, in exact detail and let it be. Like me getting into Leadville on Feb 8, 2010!

  40. Comment by Zed | 02.4.2010 | 9:54 pm

    Someone gave me a copy of the Secret DVD a few years ago. I held on to it for a few weeks and then very subtly gave it to someone else who was actually interested in watching it. (No seriously, such people DO exist.)

    Thanks to your post, Fatty, I feel much less guilty about that decision.

  41. Comment by teamfubar | 02.4.2010 | 9:54 pm

    This could be a clever post, but the dumb douche bag that wrote the book “The Secret” was indicted today on murder/manslaughter charges for killing people in a sweatlodge in Arizona…I guess that was his secret. He’s a homicidal maniac.

  42. Comment by SecretUser | 02.4.2010 | 9:55 pm

    Kristine and DrBryce both couldn’t be more right.

    Like Kristine, there was this thing I wanted, but couldn’t afford. So, over the course of some time, I thought about it and collected some money. Next thing I knew, I had enough money, so I bought it.

    Like DrBryce, there was this other thing I wanted but couldn’t find. After waiting for some time, I found it.

    The Secret really does work!

  43. Comment by Heidi | 02.4.2010 | 10:54 pm

    Teamfubar, The Secret was written by Rhonda Byrne.

  44. Comment by Dobovedo | 02.4.2010 | 10:54 pm

    Mmmmmmmmm…. Twiiiiiiiiiix! nom nom nom

  45. Comment by megsrides824 | 02.5.2010 | 2:23 am

    didn’t anyone else notice that the word “cycling” begins with C?

  46. Comment by Jenn | 02.5.2010 | 3:42 am

    Huh. Turns out, I look a little weird with men’s quads. They don’t match my butt. Or my calves. Kalves? Alves?? I’m so onfused.

  47. Comment by Douglas | 02.5.2010 | 8:30 am


    On the C thing….there is a girl at my gym “Chan”, but it’s pronounced “Shawn”…go figure.

  48. Comment by Doug | 02.5.2010 | 8:48 am

    Shouldn’t that book be titled “The Sekret to Sykling”?

  49. Comment by jilrubia | 02.5.2010 | 10:21 am

    I think all that running has jostled your brain. You are even goofier than before.

    I’m “secretly” sending you energy, ease and, uh, twix bars? Screw with THAT, Universe. Run, Forrest, run.

  50. Comment by Paul H | 02.5.2010 | 11:12 am

    ??? ?? ????? ?????? ??? C ??? Q?

    Wat sal ons doen sonder die c of q?

    Wat zullen we doen zonder c of q?

    Ano ang gagawin namin ang walang c o q?


    ????? ????? ??? ???? ??? C ????? ??

  51. Comment by Soulfull Commuter | 02.5.2010 | 11:55 am

    I am imagining the 10-20 MPH wind always behind me tomorrow for my first 200K brevet. If that doesn’t work, I will blame the Fat Syklist.

    Note that the banned letter does not appear in this post.

  52. Comment by Larry | 02.5.2010 | 12:43 pm

    But it does in your name


  53. Comment by JB | 02.5.2010 | 1:58 pm

    Teen Power?!??!
    That could be a slogan on the side of the Scooby-do van.

  54. Comment by MattC | 02.5.2010 | 2:02 pm

    Actually, turns out we don’t really need the letter _ …and a bunch of others also. We just need to learn Hawaiian (they only use 12 letters). It’s a rather small adjustment….will need to learn to say words like Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (hope I spelled that right…did it from sounding it out).

  55. Comment by pam | 02.5.2010 | 2:56 pm

    ~i can’t get no satisfaction~(double negative extraordinaire) don’t even get me started on prepositions…

    fatty you make me giggle – lots – thank you!


  56. Comment by Jeb | 02.5.2010 | 3:16 pm

    All this time I simply needed to imagine myself winning stuff, playing in the NBA, or making oodles of money and it would simply be so? Wow! I am such an idiot. I never even thought of it that way. Thanks Fatty, and author of the “The Secret.” My life is a-changin’! Lance has no chance in the Tour-day-France! See! It works! I have ALWAYS wanted to be a world class poet.

    “The Secret” seems like a slightly less sophisticated version of the hit-like movie “Bedazzled,” or perhaps even “Jumanji.” Stupid book.

  57. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 02.5.2010 | 4:17 pm

    Do I get some strange universe points for living my life this way without being aware of (ok, call me clueless) of this book?

  58. Comment by Anonymous | 02.5.2010 | 6:07 pm

    Fatty — Without the letter ‘C’ how would you say “cherish.” ??

  59. Comment by stevarino | 02.5.2010 | 9:01 pm


  60. Comment by BionicCyclist | 02.6.2010 | 12:57 am

    The first half or so of the Secret is pretty good, but also pretty much a big “DUH!” as it discusses the positive effects of positive thinking. It`s when it brings alternative realities and alternative universes into the picture it lost me, or I lost it. In any case something was lost.
    It is by the way one of the few book/movie combos I know of where the movie was made first!

    Good luck on the weekend Fatty!

  61. Comment by Rolf | 02.6.2010 | 2:02 am

    It sure works! Last fall I was thinking a lot about getting a road bike. And I was very specific as well, it should be a Trek Madone, and it should be red and black, it should have Ultegra. And what happened? Now there is a Trek Madone standing in my living room, red, black and white, with Ultegra. It is not that I didn’t look at other bikes, I considered several, but magically it was the Madone that magically found it’s way to my appartement (and loads of money found it’s way the other direction, I guess I forgot to include money in my imagined vision…)

  62. Comment by Razor | 02.7.2010 | 7:50 am

    I can ride like Jens Voight.

    Nope. . . still not working.

  63. Comment by kalli@fitandfortysomething | 02.8.2010 | 5:22 pm

    I really enjoyed this! Funny stuff…..

  64. Comment by Razor | 02.9.2010 | 3:27 am

    Still hasn’t worked. . .

  65. Comment by Darryl | 02.10.2010 | 9:15 pm

    Hey man, funny stuff. I’ve seen The Secret DVD and have read most of the book, but it never dawned on me to use it for my cycling. Cycling is everywhere and is everything and good job on reminding me of that.
    You’ve done some great things for the sport and as one of your brothers in the cycling community, I’d like to say Thank You for that. Keep up the great work, Fatty.

    Okay Universe….I imagine my blog site being as big as Fatty’s and I having as many fans as he does. Bring it on.

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