Do Something Good, Win Levi Leipheimer’s Bike

10.5.2010 | 11:05 am

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.

201010051000.jpg 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:

  • 201010051047.jpg 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 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.


  1. Comment by Charlie | 10.5.2010 | 11:24 am

    Will be checking at about the time the 24 Hours of Moab starts off… hopefully I’m not left in the cloud of dust at the Le Mans start…

  2. Comment by Roger Whitney | 10.5.2010 | 11:30 am


    God Bless you Fatty

  3. Comment by Leigh Anne | 10.5.2010 | 12:13 pm

    just so you won’t think fatty is slacking off this ride here is an excerpt from fondo newsletter and yes I expect fatty to be off the front the whole time

    “Tell us that some 4000’ of the overall climbing occurs inside a single 20 mile stretch; that 5 miles of it feels like climbing stairs; that the average-grade profile on the route map fails to convey the 15-18% pitches; that twisting descents with metal grates and bridges aren’t conducive to making up time; that, ultimately, we will all likely require a full 20% more time than our ‘normal’ century pace; and – after all that – that whatever we think our time will be, take it and add at least another 10%, because we’ll still be wrong!”

  4. Comment by Jim | 10.5.2010 | 12:29 pm

    Fatty, I hope Levi kicks your @55 at his Gran Fondo… because I know that’s exactly how you’d like it.

    Have a good time.

  5. Comment by Nic Grillo | 10.5.2010 | 12:35 pm

    Another awesome way to donate to an awesome cause! Thanks Fatty and Levi!!

  6. Comment by oheckler | 10.5.2010 | 12:46 pm

    Great job Fatty! Go Levi!
    I hope you get a chance to ride Annadel while you are here.

  7. Comment by Sean | 10.5.2010 | 12:47 pm

    excellent fattstuff – keep up the great work

  8. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 10.5.2010 | 1:01 pm

    Sweet swag! Almost as cool as Fat Cyclist gear. *wink*

  9. Comment by jgrooms | 10.5.2010 | 1:09 pm

    That 1000% cotton cycling cap must be super soft! All those extra cotton balls might get in the way under that Ionos…

  10. Comment by NYCCarlos | 10.5.2010 | 1:16 pm

    Are we entered for this contest with our own livestrong page donations like we have been for the last couple of contests, or do we have to donate to YOUR page to be eligible?

    This is a drawing benefiting the charities for Levi’s GranFondo, not a regular Team Fatty drawing. So you’ve got to donate here for your donation to count. – FC

  11. Comment by gregc | 10.5.2010 | 1:28 pm

    Glad your going to be able join me and 6000 of my closest friends in Santa Rosa Saturday- I’ve heard that the Gran Fondo is pretty flat anyway (at least for a world famous blogger- celebrity, and compared to Leadville). See you there!

  12. Comment by Squirrelhead | 10.5.2010 | 1:33 pm

    Donation sent! Good luck Fatty!

  13. Comment by Jake | 10.5.2010 | 2:10 pm

    Woah! That picture of Levi, which someone like Carlos Perez (yes, that Carlos) took, with MY camera, which was subsequently photoshopped on MY government issue PC (color saturation only, I promise) is now live & in living color on The Fatty!? I knew I’d have my 15 minutes of fame someday.

    And it’s a nice photo, too! Thanks for the camera and photoshoppery. – FC

  14. Comment by TF | 10.5.2010 | 2:17 pm

    That’s the fastest child-sized bike I’ve ever seen!

  15. Comment by Allison | 10.5.2010 | 2:38 pm

    Not sure about this “charlitable” donation (see paypal item description – LOL).

    Hubby says a prize should be Levi wearing the toupee for a special photo op! He is looking forward to trying to spot Fatty and Levi in person on Saturday.

    Good luck to all on the drawing (especially me cause then hubby Christmas shopping is done!).

    Have fun Fatty – as a native of the Bay Area, I know you’ll have a great time here this weekend!

  16. Comment by Rant | 10.5.2010 | 2:53 pm

    I made my donation just now, Mr. Fatty. My only remaining question is how I can get some pins stuck through my ticket numbers so one of my tickets will be selected for the bike drawing.

    Oh, and if it’s not too much to ask, could Levi personally deliver the bike?


  17. Comment by bo | 10.5.2010 | 7:13 pm

    Fatty, that cycling cap is awesome! 1000% cotton? Whoa!

    Seriously, that is like saying 400%less than…

  18. Comment by AK_Chick | 10.5.2010 | 11:18 pm

    Done! :) Can’t wait for photos, helmet cam, and the blogs about the GranFondo. I’ve read lots of great things about it and it’s a ride I’d love to participate in someday. For now, I’ll live vicariously (sp) through you. Have fun!!!

  19. Comment by skippy | 10.6.2010 | 7:31 am

    having trouble understanding WHY “Debit Cards” are not a way orf donating to your causes?

  20. Comment by rich | 10.6.2010 | 7:36 am

    Done! Have fun!….hope you get to ride some of our local trails while you’re here.

  21. Comment by Tommy F | 10.6.2010 | 7:49 am

    I must win that bike…I must win that bike. Why? Because it’s my size!

  22. Pingback by It’s Time To Race « A Rose By Any Other Name Blog | 10.6.2010 | 10:09 am

    [...] laziness) took over. Sure, I’m tempted because who doesn’t love the Snog tees? Or a bike from Fatty that I’d have to regift out of guilt for how much it’s worth? (I donated [...]

  23. Comment by MaineMTB | 10.6.2010 | 11:29 am

    Donated. Wish Levi was taller.

  24. Comment by AngieG | 10.6.2010 | 11:39 am

    For those wondering how Fatty is doing his total to date is $4530.
    Sitting in a cool 3rd place behind Matt with $4939 and Jim with $5585. Way to go FOF’s!!!

    The GranFondo is a truly epic ride for a series of wonderful causes. If you aren’t riding but want to particpate, there is a great festival on Saturday as well as opportunities to volunteer. Check out the Fondo website for details.

    If your riding, when you come through registration make sure you say Hi. I’ll be staffing the “You’ve been dropped line”

  25. Comment by Philly Jen | 10.6.2010 | 12:17 pm

    Ai, chihuahua! Some of us still ride something smaller than a 15.5″ frame. I laughed, I cried…

    Have a wonderful time, and everybody be sure to stop by and say “Hi” to Her Awesomeness, AngieG!

  26. Comment by Bamm Bamm | 10.6.2010 | 1:42 pm

    So if I use the techniques I learned in “the secret” then I am the winner of the bike?

  27. Comment by philip cooper | 10.6.2010 | 5:03 pm

    Can. I enter the competition if I’m from the uk?

  28. Comment by Heidi | 10.6.2010 | 7:55 pm

    I’m in! Even though I’m 5′ 1 1/2″… Tell you what, if I win, I’ll donate it back for another round.

    Hey, did you know the description on PayPal is “GranFondo Charlitable Donation for 2010 on behalf of Elden Nelson”? Charlitabale… Who knew?

  29. Comment by Steve | 10.7.2010 | 7:44 am

    Unrelated…is it just me, or does the guy in this header image look like you?

  30. Comment by TomE | 10.7.2010 | 8:31 am

    Yo Fatty…tell Levi I said “hi”. Remember where I was cheering you on at Leadville – the last grunt climb? Well, I was there for Levi as well. As he rolled up, he asked if we had any water and I GAVE him my Camelback Podium water bottle….never got it back.

  31. Comment by Jennie | 10.7.2010 | 10:34 am

    I had been thinking I may need to look into getting a mountain bike but I wonder with only 2 inches of height on Levi whether his would fit me… :D not like I’d win anyway but it’s a good cause

  32. Comment by Abby | 10.7.2010 | 8:08 pm

    Am I the only one who is both intrigued & worried about this line in Fatty’s post….??

    “I know I keep asking for money. I am going to leave you and your wallet in peace, soon. Seriously.”


  33. Comment by Jennie | 10.8.2010 | 8:21 am

    Abby: I think we all just assumed it was a lie and didn’t think much about it…

  34. Comment by Tom Flanagan | 10.8.2010 | 10:56 am

    A few of us bald guys here at citizen pictures could you use your help.

  35. Comment by Marty | 10.8.2010 | 3:24 pm

    Tultex t-shirts are awesome, good choice

  36. Comment by Mike G | 10.8.2010 | 3:33 pm

    Tell me more about the t shirts. Didn’t Team Halmark Channel where Tultex apparel?

  37. Trackback by Saddle Session Blog | 11.19.2010 | 8:19 am

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