A Meditation On A New Bike While Waiting for the UPS Guy to Arrive

06.8.2010 | 8:56 am

201006080741.jpg It’s just a bike. I know that. And I know that, eventually, I will put it in the garage with the other bikes. I will ride it without a second thought, without even considering how it looks. Eventually, I will let it get dirtier and dirtier, until I have to clean it more out of necessity — i.e., the wheels no longer turn and the bike is carrying an extra seven pounds of dirt — than out of a need to make it look new.

Eventually, it will be just another bike to me, one of several I love.

But not today.

Today, this is my new bike. Or, more accurately, today this will be my new bike. As soon as the UPS guy gets here. Which should be any time now.

You know what would be really awesome, UPS? If your trucks had GPS tracking and that information was tied to both my package tracking number and a maps application, so I could see exactly how close my new frame is to being delivered.

There you go: awesome new feature using inexpensive, readily-available technologies, that would differentiate you in a big way from the competition. No charge.

201006080750.jpg One moment while I reload the Tracking Information page again. Even though I know there will be no more information on it until my frame is actually delivered.

Still out for delivery.

Which I of course already knew.

New Bike Love

Obviously, I’m all atwitter for my new FattyFly SingleSpeed (my custom-painted Gary Fisher Superfly SS). But this isn’t the first time I’ve had that “can’t wait, can’t think about anything else” feeling when getting a new bike.

I had it when I got my first real mountain bike (Specialized Stumpjumper M2, for those of you who remember when Metal Matrix — aluminum mixed with pottery — was going to be the next big thing in bike material). I had it for months when I waited for my Ibis Bow Ti. I had it when I got my Orbea Orca with Shimano Di2 (note to self: post an extended review of what I think about this bike in the very near future).

OK, I’ve had this feeling every single time I’ve gotten a new bike. And I’ll bet that you have too. It’s the feeling of possibility. Of the expectation of having something you love be — somehow — just that much better.

It’s like Christmas on steroids. But without the unfortunate positive result the next time you have an out-of-competition blood test.

When The Frame Arrives

So here’s what I’m going to do when the frame arrives. Which will be, I’m certain, very very soon.

  1. I will unbox it, lick it, and take a picture of me with it.
  2. I will email the picture to The Runner.
  3. I will post the picture here.
  4. I will drive down to Racer’s, where I will beg him to drop everything he’s doing and build me a bike.
  5. I will go back to work, even though I really really really want to sit and watch Racer build my bike. As it turns out, I currently have a lot of work to do at my day job.
  6. I will text Racer every 30 minutes or so, asking him, “How’s it coming along?” I am sure that this will not be annoying at all, and will not slow him down.
  7. I will go and pick up my bike, photograph it, and post it here.
  8. I will stare at it for a while.
  9. I will ride it.

The Build

Let’s take just a moment and consider my plans for the FFSS build. Why? Because it makes me giddy, that’s why.

So, um, it’s going to be a pretty nice bike.

If the UPS guy ever gets here.

UPDATE: The UPS guy came by! . . . and dropped off a completely unrelated box. So now I’m waiting / hoping / praying for the afternoon delivery. Sigh. . . .

UPDATE 2: The frame has arrived!


Off to Racer’s…


  1. Comment by Mike P | 06.8.2010 | 9:14 am

    I thought the EXACT same thing about UPS trucks and GPS tracking (ironically while I was waiting for UPS to deliver my new GPS unit). Though, I’m not a world famous, respected, award-winning blogger – so you will get the credit. That’s fine, as long as they do it!

    I’m tired of running to the front window and pressing my nose up against it in excited anticipation, looking out to see if the magical big brown truck has appeared – only to be let down by the garbage truck, a school bus, or that guy down the street with the really big diesel pickup truck.

  2. Comment by Jack M. | 06.8.2010 | 9:15 am

    The Opera web browser has an auto refresh feature (right-click on the page => Refresh Every 1 Minute). Whenever I have a delivery coming I pop Opera open and set it to refresh the tracking page. It allows me to be obsessive about new bike parts AND still get work done.

  3. Comment by DC | 06.8.2010 | 9:17 am

    I feel your pain in the wait….

    As a former parcel delivery driver, That’s what we want, an easy way for everbody to track the truck down so they can be second if not first to get their package!

    Some ideas should not come to fruition!

  4. Comment by Megan (Best of Fates) | 06.8.2010 | 9:26 am

    How exciting! Though I would probably never feel that way towards a bike, I can completely empathize about being crazy excited about something arriving in the mail, to the point where you’re crazily checking the tracking number online!

  5. Comment by bykjunkie | 06.8.2010 | 9:30 am

    Five months down, two months to go until we return home to the family AND THE NEW BIKE! Still not purchased yet but I have it whittled down between two completely different bikes. OH the horror of the choices!!!!!

  6. Comment by Zatch | 06.8.2010 | 9:42 am

    I remember that feeling. For me it was waiting for my Titus el Guapo to show up last summer. Almost exactly a year ago now. I actually IM’d my boss as soon as the tracking number showed delivered and told him I was going to run home quick to put it in the garage. (at which time I unboxed it, put it in my stand, took pictures, and started at it for a while only to return to work an hour later…. oops)

    It’s a great feeling. Enjoy the bike, be sure to post pics of the build.

  7. Comment by Di | 06.8.2010 | 9:43 am

    Funny – I felt excited *for you* looking at your tracking log. It’s like Christmas!

    I think my next bike will be a custom-build 29er, but it will be a little while. :-D

  8. Comment by Ginger-Schminger | 06.8.2010 | 9:50 am

    Honey, there is no such thing as “just a bike”. I figured out this very important piece of information when I got my very first road bike, which just so happens to be one year ago this Thursday, my 33rd birthday. I still get excited when I walk into my garage and see it sitting there, just waiting for me!

  9. Comment by Aaron | 06.8.2010 | 9:52 am

    Nice build. Except you need an ORANGE headset.

  10. Comment by T Foster | 06.8.2010 | 10:14 am

    Sometime in the near future:

    UPS: Hello, customer service how may I help you?
    Customer: WTx? The UPS truck is parked at the Wendy’s; I can see the GPS tracking on-line. It hasn’t moved in thirty minutes.
    UPS: Sorry, sir/ma’am, our drivers do need to eat.
    Customer: Not before he/she delivers my bike!

  11. Comment by MB Moehl | 06.8.2010 | 10:26 am

    Hey Fatty,

    My bike is a five year old GF Tass and i still sit and stare at it after a good cleaning.

  12. Comment by Paul Guyot | 06.8.2010 | 10:33 am

    How are you going to NOT ride this beautiful, one-of-a-kind rocket ship at Leadville?

    But what about the great gears debate? What about your desire to forever be known as SubFatty?

    How can you not ride this? Hmm, but we did shake.

    I saved your spittle in a tiny jar I keep duct taped to my head tube.

    The one on my bike. I tried duct taping it to the other one, but it chafed.

  13. Comment by Dan in Sac | 06.8.2010 | 10:38 am

    The UPS tracker says the package is 15 lbs. Hmm, the packaging and box has to be 3-4 lbs at the most. Maybe this frame is coming in a little heavier than expected….

    Hahaha, j/k. Enjoy the new toy!

  14. Comment by FatPedro | 06.8.2010 | 10:42 am

    UPS webmasters are probably wondering why the status of this obscure package is being tracked obsessively from hundreds of IP addresses scattered around the world!

  15. Comment by Greg | 06.8.2010 | 10:43 am

    Love the choice in wheels but I need to know, are you using spacers on the cassette hub for SS? Or did Bonty hook you up somehow with a SS XXX Lite TLR. Or did you unlace a standard rear and relace with a SS hub?

    Spacers on the cassette hub. – FC

  16. Comment by BamaJim | 06.8.2010 | 10:58 am

    Let’s see, yesterday you were gushing about what a great guy Racer is, and today you want him to drop everything and build your bike. Coincidence? I doubt it, but I do understand.

    I’m always thinking ahead, I am. – FC

  17. Comment by bikemike | 06.8.2010 | 10:59 am

    What would be the equivalent of Krispy Kreme on steroids? That would be like Christmas on EPO.

  18. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 06.8.2010 | 11:02 am

    I’ve only bought bikes in person – never through shipping. But I’ve waited like you, refreshing the tracking page every 8 seconds, for something awesome to be shipped to me. I can only imagine how much more obsessive I’d be if it was a new bike. And a new bike as cool as the FFSS. Congratulations, Fatty!

  19. Comment by D. | 06.8.2010 | 11:09 am

    Um, the Niner forks in indeed sick, but not so optimum for GF G2 Geo, methinks.

    Why give up CK rear engagement too? Trek whore you must be to tolerate spacing a cassette hub.

    Enjoy the new ride in good health!

  20. Comment by Jarrod | 06.8.2010 | 11:34 am

    Waiting (impatiently) for the delivery guy is never fun. It’s even less fun when you start to hope and pray that he doesn’t accidentally deliver the box to the wrong door.

    Speaking of, the UPS guy just left my place of business. I was expecting some new monitors and instead got a box marked “One of a kind Fat Cyclist Gary Fisher frame of pure awesome.” How strange that monitors would come in a box marked that way.


  21. Comment by I rob UPS trucks for a living | 06.8.2010 | 11:41 am

    Great idea, Fatty! It will make my job so much easier!

  22. Comment by Double U | 06.8.2010 | 11:56 am

    Fatty are you pulling parts from the original Superfly?

    175mm or 180mm cranks?

  23. Comment by centurion | 06.8.2010 | 12:06 pm

    Why can’t a famous world renowned bicycling blogger build hs own bike?

    If this were a blog about astronomy, would you expect me to build my own telescope? – FC

  24. Comment by VA Biker | 06.8.2010 | 12:48 pm

    I cannot afford the bikes you buy or get otherwise, but I certainly do appreciate a nice bicycle.

    I am vicariously participating in your new bike arrival and build. Very cool. Thanks for sharing, and I hope it turns out as well as you expect.

  25. Comment by Brandy | 06.8.2010 | 12:49 pm

    Couple Questions: First will the pic you post be of you licking the frame? Second, what will the Fatty Lick test determine? Frame quality? Flavor? Awesomness?

    Have fun!

  26. Comment by Robert | 06.8.2010 | 1:19 pm

    If the UPS guy had GPS, he would drive by your house a few times in the morning and then deliver it at 4:59 PM just to screw with you.

  27. Comment by AngieG | 06.8.2010 | 1:20 pm

    I am so jealous I cant stand it! I wish I could be like Fatty. Showered with great tidbits of cycling engineering genius.

    You are such a lucky world famous, awesomely amazing, award winning cycling mega super star blogger.

    If only (sigh)

    I am still so very happy for you though. Which totally ruins the whole jealous thing.:-)

  28. Comment by GenghisKhan | 06.8.2010 | 1:21 pm

    Trucks, shmucks. Track the package–RFID! I mean, if they can do it with kangaroo meat, why not a bike frame?

  29. Comment by GenghisKhan | 06.8.2010 | 1:22 pm

    Yeah, that was cruel–mention kangaroo meat and not even provide a link. Here ya go: http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/view/7627/

  30. Comment by UPS | 06.8.2010 | 1:34 pm

    How mad will you be when you see the FedEx truck drive by?

  31. Comment by MOCougFan | 06.8.2010 | 1:51 pm

    Your last update cracked me up.

    I couldn’t wait when my new Cross bike came a year ago. Good times.

  32. Comment by Haven (KT) | 06.8.2010 | 1:59 pm

    Shoulda had it delivered directly to Racer, that way you could still get work done.

    Or, have it delivered to your work. They’ll understand, really! Tell them it will increase your productivity!

    Srsly, though, congrats and I hope it shows up soon.

  33. Comment by kenny | 06.8.2010 | 2:30 pm

    Don’t forget to DIB it first thing out of the box.

  34. Comment by kenny | 06.8.2010 | 2:34 pm

    G Brown might beat you to it.

  35. Comment by jm | 06.8.2010 | 2:59 pm

    I actually work at ups and if you had the frame delivered to anywhere up in Suncrest I would have handled your FFSS before you would have. Because I would have put it on the truck that goes to your house.

    What you should have done is called UPS and had them pull it off the truck so you could pick it up at 8am this morning at their facility in Orem.

  36. Comment by Neil | 06.8.2010 | 3:25 pm

    Oh yeah, the Ibis Bow Ti. Back then I wanted one so bad it made me sick. With Sweet Wing cranks. Like a love struck school boy I was.

  37. Comment by MattF | 06.8.2010 | 3:31 pm

    It’s Heeeeeere

  38. Comment by Greg @ Greg Rides Trails | 06.8.2010 | 3:32 pm

    It will come eventually! I just got a new bike last Friday, and I felt the EXACT same way! I was giddy all day at work, just waiting to get home and tear into that bike box.

    So sweet!airbornezeppelinelite.jpg

  39. Comment by randy | 06.8.2010 | 3:36 pm

    Delivered at 3:08 – Alright! You must be at the bike shop now handing it off to Racer.

  40. Comment by fancydirt | 06.8.2010 | 3:42 pm

    UPS changed their route in my area so they don’t deliver to me until after 6PM which takes some of the fun out of delivery day since I know it won’t even be waiting for me when I get home from work.

    Can’t wait to see the photos of your new ride all built up!

    Grats on yours too, Greg!

  41. Comment by Mark Kunnecke | 06.8.2010 | 4:51 pm

    You,re not building it yourself, tsk tsk. Back when i still pretend to race I remember the day the team directory calling and telling me are brand knew Giant cyclocross frames had arrived. I imediatatly blew off work and went over to his house. We spent the whole afternoon building up about 7 or 8 frames for the team to ride at the next day race. When you build your bike it just increases your love for the bike.

  42. Comment by Mark Kunnecke | 06.8.2010 | 4:54 pm

    Oops sorry ’bout the spelling. Comment sent from a pub typing on my Ipad.

  43. Comment by roan | 06.8.2010 | 5:08 pm

    I’ve had a couple of bikes delivered via UPS never any problem except no delivery time just a date. It’s only a bike as some would say, not important enough to take a day off work.
    Then I had a nos bike from eBay…shipped USPS…you guessed it I checked the tracking number…”delivered”…GREAT. I get home and NO BIKE ! PO closed.
    Next day PO claims the box was put on my back porch…I don’t have one !
    Two days later one of the offroaders at the end of the road came by to tell me my bike was at their place. Such enough there it was…unpacked…the frame was too light to make a deer hauler.
    Funny the only thing I’ve ever had delivered that “required” my being home was a washing machine…time of delivery…sometime during the day. I need a new custom bike !

  44. Comment by Bryan (not that one) | 06.8.2010 | 5:09 pm

    @Mark — wish I was commenting from a pub.

    Nice frame, Fatty!

  45. Comment by Betsy | 06.8.2010 | 5:44 pm

    Sweet!!! Have you licked it yet?

  46. Comment by bobbles | 06.8.2010 | 7:52 pm

    Nice yard!

  47. Comment by jkillgore | 06.8.2010 | 8:10 pm

    what height and inseem is fatty?what size is the frame?
    i have no intentions of stealing yours but have also been lusting after a superfly and my LBS does not have anything other than a 19 inch frame. I am 5′7″ and can’t decide between a 15 or 17.5. much appreciated and congrats on the new addition to your fleet. i hope to travel in your tracks soon.

  48. Comment by Greg @ Greg Rides Trails | 06.8.2010 | 8:27 pm

    You got it! That is one sweet looking frame Fatty!

    @fancydirt, thanks man!

  49. Comment by NYCCarlos | 06.8.2010 | 8:42 pm

    still no pics of the fully built whip!? I”M DYING HERE!!!! I NEED BIKE PR0N!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  50. Comment by ricky | 06.8.2010 | 9:29 pm

    gorgeous. and the frame’s not bad either.

  51. Comment by Dan O | 06.8.2010 | 9:47 pm

    Sweet bike – super nice.

    Ah, the Ibis Bow Ti. I almost, almost bought one at the time. Should have. I attended Interbike in ‘95 and still remember Scot Nicol and John Castellano showing me the frame and describing how it worked. Castellano even carried a small model of it in his pocket. Damn cool stuff.

    In the end, no Bow Ti landed in the garage. No problem though, I still ride my ‘97 Hakkalugi to this day, as well as my newer Silk Carbon. I also owned an ’80s era Ibis Trials Comp as well.

  52. Comment by Beav | 06.8.2010 | 10:16 pm

    You’re not wearing capri pants in that picture! This new bike has really gone of your head. You’re changing Fatty. Changing, indeed!

    Pretty cool bike…you know if you’re into ride on that “dirt” stuff.

  53. Comment by buckythedonkey | 06.9.2010 | 12:48 am

    Gorgeous! Not sure about that nude carbon fork on such a beautifully painted frame…a little more UPS action to follow maybe. ;-)

  54. Comment by Mike Roadie | 06.9.2010 | 5:00 am

    Surely there is no feeling like the feeling you get when anticipating the love you will be feeling……..

    I too have wondered why UPS/FedEx do not provide more relevant tracking data on day of arrival.

    Wheel side down!

  55. Comment by jonw9 | 06.9.2010 | 8:46 am

    I had to wait from Mid-Jan. to the end of March for my SFSS, it was terrible!

    Report on the Niner fork and the SF G2 geometry. I was considering this, but didn’t want to mess things up!

    I agree with the Mango headset.

  56. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 06.9.2010 | 9:01 am

    Rockin frame!

  57. Comment by jm | 06.9.2010 | 9:08 am

    The color of the headset wont matter as it is internal.

  58. Comment by Your Friendly Home Owner's Association Rep | 06.9.2010 | 10:15 am

    Your lawn is 2.1 mm too long per HOA Rule 126.45a as evidenced in the photo above. Please remit $200 fine.

  59. Comment by Kamala | 06.9.2010 | 10:25 am

    Give us the precious!!! (And I don’t even ride MTB!)

  60. Comment by Elisabethvi | 06.9.2010 | 10:47 am

    How is progress at Racer’s? I can’t wait to see the finished bike!

  61. Comment by Donna | 06.9.2010 | 11:02 am

    Hahahahaha, I can just imagine the comments to the Racer:
    Fatty: yeah , hi, uhm, is it done yet?
    Racer: no
    Fatty: yeah, is it done now?
    Racer: no
    Fatty: yeah, ok, so how about now, NOW?, uhm, NOW?
    Racer: click…………………….
    Skip outta work and sneak a drive to see your new Baby being put together…go on , you know you want to…….. congrats Fatty…..happy trails..keep the rubber side down…..

  62. Comment by Mary | 06.9.2010 | 11:41 am

    I hate to break it to you Fatty – but you are too late, the newer UPS trucks already have GPS tracking in them (My husband is a UPS driver). However, it’s used to keep track of the drivers and I doubt it will be released to the public for security reasons. Nice thought though – Congrats on the bike!

  63. Comment by The Lawnmower | 06.9.2010 | 12:22 pm

    Nice lawn!

  64. Comment by SactoDave | 06.9.2010 | 1:20 pm

    Your Mom: Eldon, stop licking that bike frame this minute! You don’t know where it’s been!


    I hope you wiped down the lick marks with Clorox before the handoff to Racer!

    Keep up the good yardwork!

  65. Comment by Clydesteve | 06.9.2010 | 1:57 pm

    I drooled over the links for all of the components, Fatty. Nice stuff. But seriously, a carbon rail saddle? Wow! I think this says you intend to never ever again deserve to be called Fatty.

    I’d break that sucker in the 1st 50 miles.

    Not that there is anything wrong with that.

  66. Comment by Coach Ian | 06.9.2010 | 2:11 pm

    I am so jealous!!! What a gorgeous bike!!!! I have been begging my wife for a new Cervelo bike, but to no avail!

    I guess i will live thru you guys!!


  67. Comment by Ratadog | 06.9.2010 | 3:10 pm

    “You,re not building it yourself, tsk tsk.” +1

    I know you like to support your LBS but there is a definite extra level of glee in building the frame up yourself. Don’t know how long it lasts but currently 5 frames in and counting.

  68. Comment by Gomez | 06.9.2010 | 3:43 pm

    > If this were a blog about astronomy, would you expect me to build my own telescope? – FC

    yes, of course: http://www.telescopemaking.org/

  69. Comment by Altaholic | 06.9.2010 | 4:20 pm

    I can’t help but think that your post about Racer was a preemptive attempt at softening him up. Usually repairs are scheduled days out at my LBS, getting them to put in the time to build a bike on short notice would be like pulling teeth. You thought, “The frame will be here soon, how to do I get Racer to build it for me while not pissing him off? I know I’ll publicly praise him in advance while sending him as much business as I can. That’ll do it! Fatty, You’re not only a famous, handsome, superstar, megablogger, you’re also a genius!” Devious, but likely effective. Of course, I haven’t seen a photo posted of the complete bike yet, so maybe Racer’s more principled than I gave him credit for.

  70. Comment by Dave | 06.9.2010 | 8:26 pm

    I usually choose the method where one purposefully ignores all mention of tracking numbers. Keeps my fretting down. But you know, fatty, you could reduce a lot of the other waiting steps by building the bike yourself. I certainly couldn’t wait on another builder. It’s more fun to drool while you work. Enjoy your new bike.

  71. Comment by Marla Gnarla | 06.9.2010 | 10:18 pm


    I love your new frame! Fisher should make a run of those for your readers;)

    I also had a Metal Matrix M2! Still have a polaroid of it. I think it was my second “real” mountain bike.

    Look forward to the build!

    Oh, saw a guy in Townsend, TN riding in a Fat Cyclist jersey today coming back from Cades Cove in GSMNP!

  72. Comment by Spiff | 06.10.2010 | 5:18 am

    Fatty, you went with the nude Niner fork? You should have gotten it raw and had it custom painted to match the frame!

  73. Comment by NoTrail | 06.10.2010 | 7:04 am

    Very exciting. Makes me want to finish my latest bike build which is currently residing on my work bench in the garage. Rather difficult to ride it there. Only 10 more days until LIVESTRONG Seattle! Just a bit more excitement that I can handle right now. Wheee!! Looking forward to meeting the rest of the team when I roll (aka fly) into town. Cheers.

    (I appologize for my ADD-ness today)

  74. Comment by Clancy | 06.10.2010 | 7:14 am

    Fatty, I know you are a world famous celebrity blogger and all that, and you have lots to do (including scratching up your new bike) – but you have to think of us, your readers, and POST SOME BIKE PRON!!! We need more pictures!!!!

  75. Comment by Golden | 06.10.2010 | 7:56 am

    Clancy is right on the money! You were so excited about your new toy you forgot about your beloved (rabid) fans who are desperately in need of an update!! Maybe someday when I am world famous I will use my powers of influence to stroke your ego to get a Blog when ever I want one. ‘Till then I guess I will just setup an appointment and wait. (Like everybody else does with their LBS)

  76. Comment by subleft | 06.10.2010 | 3:30 pm

    Oh man, that is purdy!

  77. Comment by Luke | 06.10.2010 | 10:22 pm

    Although Ive never had a high dollar bike like that, (I am still riding my first bike that I bought in 2006) I remember visiting the store several times while I saved for it. I also remember the anticipation of going to get it and the lack of remorse when I left with it. GOOD TIMES!!! -LT fatlete.blogspot.com

  78. Comment by DavidV | 06.18.2010 | 10:51 am

    If I got such a nice bike for such a great price with a custom paint job and all, I think I would have gone out of my way to spec Bonty parts on it — not Niner, PRO, Salsa and Selle.

    But I’m sure they didn’t set you up that way to promote their brand – they just wanted you to have a nice frame on which to hang other companies products.

  79. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » My 2010 Leadville Plan | 08.3.2010 | 8:23 am

    [...] briefly considered riding a geared bike at Leadville this year, but once my FattyFly frame arrived, that pretty much ended the [...]


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