Help Andreas Knickman Fight Bone Cancer, Tour Italy with Andy-Freaking-Hampsten

12.13.2010 | 11:11 am

A Note from Fatty: Due to me wanting to get this contest off the ground, this week’s weigh-in will be postponed ’til tomorrow. K? Thanks!

I’d like you to adopt a contemplative mood for a moment.

You there? No? OK, I’ll give you another second.

Ready now? Good.

And what I’d like you to contemplate is the following: If you could choose a country to ride your bike in for a week, and then choose one person to guide you on that tour, where would you ride? And who would be your guide?

I humbly submit to you that your first choice should be Benjamin Franklin, on a tour of France (as opposed to the Tour de France, for which he would be totally unqualified).

I understand that Ben really knew Paris in particular, and could tell you stories — both about France and the US founding fathers — that would make your jaw drop.

Plus, it’d be awesome to get photos of Ben Franklin and you riding bikes together, and then try to convince your friends that it wasn’t a Photoshop.

However, if I were to ask you to restrict your choice of person to someone who is living, you could not do much better than having Andy Hampsten — yeah, the winner of the 1988 Giro d’Italia and founder of Cinghiale Cycling Tours — take you on a tour across Italy.

And guess what? By helping Andreas Knickman in his fight against cancer, you may get exactly such a tour (the one with Andy, not with Ben).

201012130914.jpg Andreas’ Story

Here’s a little bit about Andreas. which I am stealing from his CaringBridge site:

At the end of April, 2009, Andreas began complaining of pain in his left leg above the knee. He had been skiing and cycling alot, and we thought this was an orthopedic issue. After participating in a local bike tour, we took Andreas to the orthopedic surgeon for x-rays. Nothing was found, so 4 weeks of physical therapy, ice, and ibuprofin were prescribed; then an MRI if pain hadn’t dissipated.   

Andreas participated in a backpacking trip, and pain had decreased, so we thought p.t. was helping… in fact, a tumor had broken out of the bone, which can relieve pain. Three weeks after seeing the orthopedist, at a routine visit to the pediatrician, Andreas was advised to get the MRI as soon as possible. The MRI was scheduled, and in the meantime Andreas went on another backpacking trip, and participated in a computer tech camp, walking miles every day at UCLA.   

On July 6th, the day the MRI was approved, the scan revealed a mass in his left distal femur; within 2 hours he was admitted to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. At the age of thirteen, on July 8, 2009, Andreas was diagnosed with metastatic osteosarcoma (bone cancer).   

A single, marble-sized tumor was also found, and removed, from his left lung. Andreas completed 18 chemotherapy treatments, and surgery to remove the tumor on his leg on October 2, 2009. The femur was replaced with a Compress prosthesis and artifical knee. Pathology on the tumor returned at 75% necrosis; clear margins. MAP chemo treatment was completed Feb. 28, 2010, with no evidence of disease.

Andreas is obviously engaged in a tough battle, and Andy Hampsten wants to help. I think his reason why is very inspiring. Here’s what Andy told me:

I meet Roy Knickman when he was a junior racer, he joined my Levi’s/Raleigh team when we were amateurs through our pro debuts on the Levi’s team and then with the La Vie Claire team in 1986. Later we raced together for the 7-Eleven team.

A better friend or teammate does not exist.

Roy is married to Deb and they have two sons, Andreas and Bo. They live in Thousand Oaks, California, where Roy works for the Paso Robles fire department as a fireman.

Recently Roy had exhausted his allotment of days off from his work to be with Andreas during his second round of chemo. Roy went to the firehouse to tell his boss he would need to leave work to continue caring for his son, and regretted leaving such a great workplace behind. His boss told him to sit tight for a while and came back 45 minutes later to tell him his coworkers had pooled their vacation and sick days to Roy’s credit, and he now had 265 consecutive days off to take care of his son.

Since my own coworkers did something very similar for me when I was taking care of Susan, you can imagine that this really resonates with me — I love the way people get creative and find ways of helping each other during what would otherwise be impossibly difficult times.

And now Andy wants to help his friend and his friend’s son out by lending some much-needed financial support.

What You Can Win

Honestly, this story is compelling enough on its own merits. I mean, think about it: A former pro cyclist now puts his life at risk regularly in order to help other people. And now his son has cancer, and they need help. Then a legendary Grand Tour winner asks you to help him help his friend, for a cause you already care deeply about.

Well of course we’re going to help.

But then Andy sweetens the deal, by offering up an unimaginably cool prize: some lucky donor will get to join him on one of his Cinghiale bike tours of Italy (or France, depending on the tour the winner chooses).

Andy Hampsten started Cinghiale Cycling Tours 1998 two years after he retired from professional bike racing. Andy lived in a small country house in the Tuscan hills, fell in love with the local culture of making food and wine and enjoying it with family and like-minded friends.

Andy and his wife Elaine welcome cyclists and food/fun/wine-driven guests for 5 trips a year to their favorite corners of Europe. Oddly enough bikes, wine and great food seem to come from the same places.

The winner will get to select any of the following three trips:

All the trips are are 8 nights and 9 days long, and include all costs other than your airfare, personal bar bill, a rental bike if you decide to rent one, and 1 dinner and one or two lunch meals during the week. Cinghiale includes wine with meals, as well as food and drinks during the rides. There really aren’t any other costs once they pick you up from the airport and drop you off 9 days later.

By the way, if you win but none of the 2011 dates work for you, Andy will let you choose a trip in 2012 instead. That should give you plenty of time to plan ahead, I think.

And I should point out that while The Runner and I are not eligible to win, we are going to make a serious effort at joining you on your tour anyway, as regular ol’ paying customers. Because this seems like too amazing of a trip to miss. I’m not sure whether that counts as an incentive or disincentive, but there you have it.

How To Enter

Helping Andreas and getting a chance at an incredible riding and eating tour with a cycling legend is easy. Just click on this PayPal button and donate any multiple of $5.00.

Note that the “purpose” on the PayPal donation page will say “Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride.” That’s OK; that’s the foundation we’re piggybacking on for this fundraiser. Be sure, when you donate, to indicate it’s for Andreas Knickman in the comments section.

[Update: You don't need to indicate it's for Andreas Knickman; all donations during the contest period will be going to Andreas. -- Fatty]

For every $5.00 you donate, you get a chance at winning. Then, on December 23, I’ll run a report of all donations, do my Excel spreadsheet magic to extrapolate how many chances your donation gets you, and then use to select a winner.

It’s as easy as that. So please donate now.

When to Enter

This contest starts right now, and ends December 23. That’s only ten days, so don’t put it off.

This is an incredible trip, in an incredible place, with an incredible guide, for an incredible cause. Heck, I’m going to pitch in $25, and I can’t even win.

Questions, Thank You, and Good Luck

If you have questions, please post them in the comments field below. I’ll either answer them inline in the comments field, or if it seems like a question a lot of people might have, I’ll update this post to include an answer.

I’ll also ask Andy to check out this post and try to find time to answer questions directed to him.

Thank you for helping a family in their fight against cancer, and good luck in winning this total dream vacation.


  1. Comment by Darren | 12.13.2010 | 11:22 am

    Sounds like a great cause. Here is my weight updates; Staring weight 276 weigh in 1: 273.2 weigh in 2: 273.6. Going the wrong way a bit but still have time to make it up. It was that extra scoop of Heavenly Hash ice cream last night..I know it was.

  2. Comment by AllisonH | 12.13.2010 | 11:25 am

    Done! I would have donated anyway in the spirit, but what an amazing prize that would be.

    Are we weighing in today also? I am down 11 pounds now. That would be more impressive if it was not such a small percentage of my overall weight.

    Still – the Girl Scout cookies are untouched. That’s the real win. ;-)

  3. Comment by rich | 12.13.2010 | 11:26 am

    Sad story, but I love hearing about how his co-workers combined their vacation for him.

    People coming together to help others is always a good thing….I’m in….

  4. Comment by Paul Guyot | 12.13.2010 | 11:31 am


    And once again, we see what truly is all about.

    Starting weight – 203.3

    Today’s weight – 201.0

    Net loss – 2.3 pounds.

    WooHoo! I’m sure I won’t get to 10lbs, but thanks for the motivation to lose a little.

  5. Comment by AllisonH | 12.13.2010 | 11:32 am

    Doh! I missed the PS to weigh in tomorrow instead. Too caught up in the Knickman story.

  6. Comment by drKim | 12.13.2010 | 11:33 am

    Donation is already in. Thanks for doing so much to help amazing people. Your efforts are most appreciated.

  7. Comment by Geo | 12.13.2010 | 11:37 am

    Great cause. I guess I can wait to tomorrow to weigh in but for the record starting was 241 and today was 233.4 for down 7.6.

    It’s amazing that the “eat right and exercise” thing really works.

  8. Comment by Bill B | 12.13.2010 | 11:40 am

    Great story I am in for sure,

    weigh for the day

    start 171.2

    today 167.0

    down 4.2, Mcdonalds was just too tempting this week, but I am not giving up, double cardio this week

  9. Comment by Jenni | 12.13.2010 | 11:46 am

    Great cause, great story, I am IN IN IN!!

  10. Comment by Allie | 12.13.2010 | 11:47 am

    I’m In! Missed the part about adding a comment that it’s for Andreas. Hopefully it gets to the right place. For some reason my brain seems to skim over italics rather than focusing in on them.

  11. Comment by TJR | 12.13.2010 | 11:51 am

    Great post,

    weigh in –

    start 220

    today 212

    down 8 – but I had to starve myself this weekend to do it. I am not sure there is another pound to lose by the deadline. We will see.

  12. Comment by Randoboy | 12.13.2010 | 11:53 am

    I’m in. Starting a tour of the Alps the day after finishing Paris-Brest-Paris would be dumb, but since I would already be on the right continent …

  13. Comment by Jack | 12.13.2010 | 12:09 pm

    When asked “what famous person would you like to have dinner with?” I always answer Ben Franklin, but skip dinner. I just want to travel from wherever we are to the nearest airport and talk about what we see on the way.

    But, cycling in Italy with Andy seems a great choice too. I am in even though I see this could cost me a pretty penny: 2nd reservation for my bride, airfare, new tandem. Still well worth it.

  14. Comment by Skippy | 12.13.2010 | 1:15 pm

    Again a misdiagnosis has led to complications and life threatening consequences. Not all medical matters are easily solved but we all have only one life regardless of how well we live it. Seeing a CNN report that your new “Health Bill is Unconstitutional” makes me glad that i don’t live in the”Greatest Country on Earth”!
    Had this prize been during the Giro d’Italia in May i would have offered the winner the op. to ride with me the stages during a week of the event, meeting some of the Greats,Motta ,Fondriest ,Bettini, Moser Etc perhaps even riding with them as i do each year. Any of Rick’s co workers that wish can take me up on this as i think what they have done is above and beyond normal friendship, WELL DONE YOU GUYS!

    Whilst i have been posting i have tried 3 times to get the “Donate” button to send me through but each time i get 4 posts of fatcyclist, I will be using Visa Debit which was not acceptable on previous occasions as i have mentioned in previous blogs. Fatty you have my email so lets get “Visa DebiT” installed, i don’t need to win the prize but there must be others like me who choose this payment method.

    Best wishes to Andreas and his family.

  15. Comment by gintertcinakr | 12.13.2010 | 1:27 pm

    Weighing in

    Start: 135
    Last week: 132
    Today: 132

    Errr, it was really cold here. Needed to maintain insulation and all…

  16. Comment by Lulea | 12.13.2010 | 1:40 pm

    Start: 146 lbs
    Last week: 144.75 lbs
    Today: 145.25 lbs

    0.5 lbs gained this week. Grrrr

  17. Comment by Peter | 12.13.2010 | 2:04 pm

    Great cause fatty. I hope through your story, the amount raised is everything they need.



  18. Comment by AngieG | 12.13.2010 | 2:46 pm

    I’m in!! Go Andreas!!!

  19. Comment by FliesOnly | 12.13.2010 | 2:51 pm

    Start was 170
    Last Week was 171
    Weighed in at 165 today.

    Down 5 pounds thus far.

    Things are looking a bt better.

  20. Comment by aussie kev | 12.13.2010 | 3:13 pm

    I put $5 in, i am out of the weigh in contest.


    weight loss ZERO .

    Allez Andreas

  21. Comment by Beth B | 12.13.2010 | 3:16 pm

    I’m in and I am not even a biker. :-)

  22. Comment by Anne | 12.13.2010 | 3:27 pm

    Awesome contest, but think I will pass this time. I am helping my good friend Jack in his cancer battle and raise funds for the hospitals that is treating him.

  23. Comment by Cllydesteve | 12.13.2010 | 3:29 pm

    But, But, I AM in Italy! Intend to ride the Appian Way tomorrow! ciao.

  24. Comment by Jennie | 12.13.2010 | 3:37 pm

    Start: 158
    Last week: 155
    Today: 153.6

    not sure about making the 10 lbs …so far am down 4.4 lbs

  25. Comment by DeanS | 12.13.2010 | 3:47 pm

    a great cause… I’ll donate $5 for ea. lb. I lose in the contest, so far down 4.8 lbs.

  26. Comment by Todd | 12.13.2010 | 3:56 pm

    In my haste to donate, I forgot to indicate that it was for Andreas Knickman in the comments section! What should I do about this?

  27. Comment by Arienna | 12.13.2010 | 4:05 pm

    I did the same Todd :) Clearly we’ll just have to donate again.

  28. Comment by wishiwasmerckx | 12.13.2010 | 4:06 pm

    I am an old-school guy who owns and still occasionally rides a Team 7-11 Eddy Merckx bike. I had not heard the name Roy Knickman in many, many years. Those pioneers paved the way for today’s crop of Americans in the European peloton. I wish him and his son good luck in his fight against cancer.

  29. Comment by Kate | 12.13.2010 | 4:15 pm

    Never having done this before… how do you get in touch with the winner? I don’t remember having to give contact info…

  30. Comment by Tracy | 12.13.2010 | 4:17 pm

    I, too, missed the part about indicating that it was for Andreas Knickman…

  31. Comment by Meredith S | 12.13.2010 | 5:04 pm

    Your starting weight: 150.8
    Weight as of 12/06: 146.4
    Today’s weight: 147.4
    How much you’ve lost: 3.4

    Boo :(

  32. Comment by Russ | 12.13.2010 | 5:43 pm

    Starting weight 199
    Todays weight 196 need to step it up

  33. Comment by mygalsal | 12.13.2010 | 6:01 pm

    Thanks for the link to the Knickman fund. Dean and I gave.

    Weighing in:
    Start 168
    Today 164
    Loss 4 lbs.

  34. Comment by dpcowboy | 12.13.2010 | 6:07 pm

    Sal and I tried the link, but as others said, it may not have worked in the way that we wanted…I think that might need to be checked out….

  35. Comment by George Chester | 12.13.2010 | 8:00 pm

    Fatty, you rock. Got to meet with Andy at the Andreas benefit and he will take good care of whoever wins. The Knickman’s are such great people and Andreas just doesn’t deserve this, but no one ever does. Thanks for pitching in once again. I’ve sent the message to all our club members and my fellow racers. I’m 148lbs and not worthy. Thanks

  36. Comment by Joe P | 12.13.2010 | 8:29 pm

    Start 171
    Now 166
    Lost 5

  37. Comment by RJ | 12.13.2010 | 8:38 pm

    Great cause. In for sure.

    And, less important, my fat status:
    Starting: 183
    Today: 180
    Lost: 4 so far…ugh.

  38. Comment by MN40 | 12.13.2010 | 10:09 pm

    Okay, Thanks for the link.

    Starting weight: 230.2
    12/6: 228.4
    Todays weight 12/13: 226.0

    Loss: 4.2 lbs.

    If only I could stay home from work. This time on year there is food everywhere in the office. So far this challenge is helping me avoid over eatting.

  39. Comment by Davo | 12.13.2010 | 11:07 pm

    195.4 today. It has been a long time since I’ve been here. I started at 203, so I’ve only a couple left. Funny how your motivation gets you going when you are succeeding instead of when you need it most. I’m stoked..

    PS. Still bugged about my blog showing up as a phishing thing..

  40. Comment by Tom | 12.13.2010 | 11:45 pm

    Starting weight 287.1
    Week 1 weight 273.7
    week 2 weight 275.5
    Total weight loss 11.6

    Up 1.8 this week, darn office party. It is hard to watch what you eat after the Jagermeister starts flowing.

  41. Comment by AK_Chick | 12.13.2010 | 11:46 pm

    Dang it! I didn’t read all the way through, just hit the donation button and didn’t get Andreas name in the comment section. Argh. My donation isn’t big and I’m not doing it to win schwag. I’d donate whether there was a contest or not. I donated $10 – wish it could have been more, but we just bought all our Christmas gifts so we are on the tight side right now. I teared up when I read about the generosity of all those firefighters and all the leave they donated. That is just awesomesauce. Hopefully, my donation will find its way to the right spot…I’m such an airhead sometimes.

  42. Comment by Kirk M | 12.14.2010 | 12:01 am

    Weight update:
    Starting: 237
    Week 1: 234
    Week 2: 231
    Here’s hoping that the rush of holiday parties doesn’t stop the trend. Although digging out of the 20+ inches of snow here in MN does help the workout regimen…

  43. Comment by Florian | 12.14.2010 | 1:14 am

    start 196.2
    current 190.4
    loss 6.2

  44. Comment by Marco | 12.14.2010 | 6:10 am

    weight update
    starting 74.5kg 164.2
    current 69kg 152.1
    total loss 5.5kg 12.1
    ……hummm dreaming a portion of lasagne..i cant i cant

  45. Comment by Tom | 12.14.2010 | 6:15 am

    Love Fat Cyclist – Keep Overcoming!

    Donation in and hope and pray for Andreas Knickman’s full recovery.

  46. Comment by Pete | 12.14.2010 | 6:25 am

    Start: 146
    Current: 141
    Loss: 5

  47. Comment by BryanX | 12.14.2010 | 8:39 am

    Start: 195.5
    Dec. 13: 193.0
    Loss: -2.5 lbs.

  48. Comment by Carl | 12.14.2010 | 9:05 am

    I just added $25 bucks also. I have several photos I took of Roy when he raced in Pittsburgh, PA about 20 years ago!

    Starting weight – 233.5
    First week – 233.0
    Second week – 231.5

  49. Comment by Carl | 12.14.2010 | 9:09 am

    P.S. CRAP!!! I didn’t see the special instruction box to put Andreas’ name in. Hopefully it will still go to the right place!

  50. Comment by patty | 12.14.2010 | 9:30 am

    I forgot to type Andreas’ name too. I hope it goes to the right place too!
    Starting 190
    first week 185
    second week 184
    One pound is better than nothing! Is it lunchtime yet?

  51. Comment by A Bunting | 12.14.2010 | 12:08 pm

    What a GREAT cause! I’m totally in!

    Now for some other serious business…

    The contest:

    Start: 161.2
    Week One: 161.2
    Week Two: 159.2

    Down 2 pounds total! I’m considering it a win!

  52. Comment by Roses | 12.14.2010 | 3:09 pm

    I told myself that I’d make a donation to Fatty at the end of the 10 lb. challenge. For every pound I lose I’ll covert it from $5 to $1. If I lose none it will be $50. If I lose 10 it will be $10. Right now, I’ll be paying $60 to Andreas. I’ll pay up on 12/22.

  53. Comment by MrVPF | 12.14.2010 | 5:24 pm

    I weighed in yesterday, but it must have been a fluke, I recorded a 1 pound loss. I weighed again this morning and I’m down 2.5 pounds…I weighed my self three times just to make sure. Made me feel better about my week of exercise. So, since the weigh in is really today and not yesterday, my new totals are:

    12/6 (my start day): 216
    12/14: 213.5
    Total loss: 2.5

  54. Comment by Scottie Too Hottie | 12.15.2010 | 7:47 am

    A little late for the weight update, I did weigh on Monday.

    Start 214.3

    Mondays weight 210.7

    loss 3.6

    Better than last weeks gain.

  55. Comment by Miles Archer | 12.15.2010 | 10:13 am

    Can you get the Donate button or other Donate link to show up in the RSS feed? I couldn’t find it until I switched to the regular page.

  56. Comment by Doug | 12.15.2010 | 9:19 pm


  57. Comment by Greg | 12.16.2010 | 1:08 pm

    Good cause, Fatty. I’m in.

    And now for the walk of shame:
    Start 194.2
    Week One 190.6 for a loss of 3.6 (yes this is good)
    Week Two 191.6 for a loss of -1 and an overall loss of 2.6

    I find that posting a negative loss is much easier to do that posting a weight gain….and I haven’t had that – it’s a negative loss. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  58. Comment by CJ | 12.17.2010 | 11:47 am

    Start weight 246.5 lbs
    Today’s weight 241.0 lbs
    Total loss 5.5 lbs

  59. Comment by Papa Bear | 12.20.2010 | 2:16 pm

    My weight loss:

    11/29: 263
    12/6: 259.1
    12/13: 252.8
    12/20: 250.0

    Yep, down 13 whole pounds!!! I think I need a twinkie… ;)

  60. Comment by Jdeboer | 12.21.2010 | 9:23 am

    Starting weight:188.5
    Today 181.6
    Weight loss 7 pounds

    I will lose weight by calling in sick tomorrow so I won’t be tempted by the work pot-luck lunch.

  61. Comment by FredP | 12.21.2010 | 11:37 am

    Start 210

    12/20 204

    I believe it down to eating ice and shaving my butt to make it.

  62. Comment by Mark Goerlich | 12.23.2010 | 1:21 pm

    Hey there. I donated $ yesterday for the Knickman fund/drawing and wanted to make sure that it went to the appropriate fund.

    I noticed people commenting about not indicating it was for Andreas on the donation (which I failed to do as well)… If you could confirm, it would be greatly appreciated.


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.