A Note for Impatient People from Fatty: If you’d like to skip my sales pitch (or have already read it) and want to get straight to the page where you donate for a chance to win the bike / helmet / schwag, click here.
As anyone who has ever met me knows, truth and integrity in journalism are two of the values to which I affix great…um…value. I believe that is why, over the years, this blog has gained an audience, both from cycling fans and professional athletes.
Take Levi Leipheimer, for example. Back in 2006 when I photoshopped a toupe onto him, he was totally OK with that. Because he knew that hard-hitting journalists (like myself) sometimes have to photoshop toupes onto people.
Or later that same year, when I wrote a “fake” news piece about how excited Levi was with Ivan Basso being brought into Team Discovery. Levi was fine with that, I’m sure.
Oh, and then there was the time I wrote the piece about Contador hypnotizing Levi to cluck like a chicken. And the piece where he caused problems for Astana because he didn’t (couldn’t) provide a hair sample upon demand.
And there’s the one where I gave him some very helpful advice on how to handle himself during a mountain bike race.
What I Know About Levi
So here’s the thing: I poke fun at a lot of cyclists. But no pro cyclist has ever actually written back — until Levi did. And furthermore, Levi invited me to his King Ridge GranFondo this weekend.
And since then, Levi’s taken the time to email me, personally offering to help out with any fundraising I would do to help out the causes he supports. Not just a single email, either. Levi’s replied — promptly — every time I’ve emailed him. In fact, he’s a lot more prompt with his email than I am.
In short, Levi is a grounded guy with a sense of humor, and he loves using his success to do good things.
So yeah, I’m a fan. And so I’m excited to join him at the GranFondo this weekend, and to give you a chance to win some extremely cool stuff.
So let’s talk about the cool stuff and how you can win it.
Grand Prize: Win Levi’s Trek Top Fuel — Autographed!
Here’s Levi, catching some air on his 15.5″ Trek Top Fuel — tricked out with SRAM XX components, RockShox XX Fork, and Bontrager Race X Lite wheels.
It would be wacky understatement to say that this is not a shabby bike. It is, in fact, the same kind of bike Levi used to win the Leadville 100 — in record time — a few weeks ago.
If new, this bike would retail for more than $5000. Since, however, it is Levi’s bike — which he will autograph for you — it’s a totally unique collector’s item.
Which means that the winner’s gonna have to decide whether to ride it or frame it. It’s your call.
First Prize: Win a Custom-Painted Giro Ionos Helmet
In addition to the bike, you could also win this:
No, not the guy making the scary face. You could win the GranFondo custom-painted Giro Ionos road helmet. It’s got (count ‘em) 21 vents and an in-mold composite sub-frame. It’s super light. It’s super cool. This is the same kind of helmet worn by Levi. And with graphics you won’t see anywhere else. A straight-up-plain version of the Ionos retails for more than $200. With the custom graphics, it is — once again — a collector’s item. Wear it, or put it under glass. Your call.
Second Prizes: Win Cool Schwag
In addition to the grand prize and the helmet, some lucky people will win one of the following:
- GranFondo musette bag, cotton, roughly 10×10, gray, printed with two colors, sponsor logo soup on the back, OSFA (one size fits all)
- GranFondo socks from Capo, mesh upper, elastic arch band, reinforced heel and toe, Meryl SkinlifE® fabric, 6cm and 12cm cuff length, no logos, S-XL
- GranFondo t-shirt, Tultex cotton, S-XL, printed for us by hand locally
- GranFondo trainer jacket from Capo, brush finish polyester, 12cm ribbed collar to keep the chill out, welt zipper pockets, embroidered logos, S-XL
- GranFondo cycling cap from Capo, 3-panel, 1000% cotton, OSFA
- GranFondo jersey from Capo, super corsa cut, micro quattro polyester, full length hidden zipper, 3 back pockets, silicone gel waist gripper, 2XS – 6XL
And while I don’t have a guarantee that I can get all of this stuff autographed, I’m pretty persuasive in person.
Plus, I weigh about 80 pounds more than Levi and have a pretty good “crazed fan” stare I can use when necessary.
In other words, I believe I can get him to sign stuff.
[UPDATE: Levi has confirmed that he will sign all items, just so long as I promise to never photoshop him again. A fair trade.]
How You Can Win
You want to win the bike? You want to win the helmet? You want the schwag? Darn straight you do. And it’s easy to enter. Just go to my GranFondo fundraising page and donate there. For every $5 you donate, you get a row on my spreadsheet. That DOES NOT mean that if you want to donate $50, you’ve got to do ten $5.00 donations. I’m awesome at Excel and will be able to give you the correct number of chances automatically, based on how much you donate. So click here to donate now.
The contest ends Saturday, October 9, whenever Levi crosses the finish line at the GranFondo At that point I will choose winners at random from my spreadsheet, using random.org to pick the lucky winners.
I’ll notify winners by email, so make sure that when you donate you use an email address you actually check!
Why You Should Donate
I know you’ve probably donated a thousand times this year. I know I keep asking for money. I am going to leave you and your wallet in peace, soon. Seriously. But these are great prizes, and the causes Levi supports are fantastic, including:
- LiveStrong: You already know why I support LiveStrong, and I’m glad Levi is too.
- Keep the Tour encourages Santa Rosa’s identity as a burgeoning cycling destination and promotes one of the US’s biggest cycling events while providing a vital bump to the local economy.
- Forget Me Not helps at-risk kids and shelters abandoned animals, all at once.
- The VeloStreet Community Initiatives are new this year and represent a concrete investment in local (and beyond) bike improvements to make Sonoma County a cycling destination and a great place to live and ride.
Thanks again for donating; whether you win or not, you’re doing a lot of good.