Hanging Out with Justin

12.17.2010 | 10:38 am

Today is the office Christmas party, wherein we eat, drink, and try not to act like the huge nerds you pretty much have to be in order to work at the company where I work (for those of you who don’t know, I now work at Gartner, which acquired Burton Group at the beginning of this year).

Every year, as part of this party, we have a white elephant gift exchange. In previous years, the gifts I have given have been:

  • A variety box of Spam, which is to say, one can of every kind of Spam I could find at the grocery store (it turns out there are quite a few)
  • Two marshmallow guns and a couple bags of marshmallow shooters
  • A variety pack of weird things, including 50 Chinese finger traps, 25 Silly Putty Eggs, 250 super balls, 50 miniature yo-yos, 25 whoopee cushions, 50 assorted plastic animals that, when squeezed, bug their eyes out, and 1 tube of vegemite

This year, though, I pulled out all the stops and got something that every single person at an IT research company would want to have:

A (more than?) life-size cardboard cut-out of Justin Bieber.


This is not going to be easy to wrap (especially since I don’t plan to fold it back up before I wrap it), but I think I’m up to the challenge. I have experience with wrapping up large presents.

Alternate Universe Cycling-Related White Elephant Exchange

To be honest, though, it’s not easy for me to come up with great White Elephant gifts for normal people. If, however, I were to somehow magically be transported to a place where all of us did a white elephant exchange, I think I’d be awesome. And also, I wouldn’t have to go out and buy something.

I know, in fact, exactly what I’d wrap up: a 1-gallon can of apple-flavored Cytomax (those of you who remember apple-flavored Cytomax just gave an involuntary shudder).

What — if you were restricted to cycling-related stuff and had to use something you already have on-hand — would you bring?


  1. Comment by MikeL | 12.17.2010 | 10:44 am

    The Slut socks that have been passed back and forth for several years at our cycling club Christmas party.

  2. Comment by JAT in Seattle | 12.17.2010 | 10:45 am

    a 51 tooth 130 BCD chainring I ordered from a French website right before compact double road cranksets became affordable.

  3. Comment by Jenn | 12.17.2010 | 10:47 am

    Easy. A perfect likeness of (my interpretation of) Dr. Lammler, made from old tubes that for some reason I don’t throw away. Strategic knot placement to keep them inflated would allow for one hell of a balloon sculpture, given my active imagination and sick sense of humor.

  4. Comment by SYJ | 12.17.2010 | 10:48 am

    Pedros milk cages – great feel good concept, horrible execution (impossible to pull bottles out, prone to breakage).

    Huchinson Python New Generation Airlight Tire (one). Amazingly lightweight, but the sidewall will spontaneously rip the second it senses that a sharp rock is within 20′ (hence, only one).

    Various old chains that I keep around “just in case”

    A blue anodized Mavic Reflex clincher rim (28*), kept “just in case” I can find a match (the other fell victim to a rock whilst navigating the [dark] tunnel in Provo Canyon).

    Some black 14g unbutted spokes in a length that will only fit a Shimano hub laced 2x to a Mavic CXP 23 rim. I have no clue why I still have these.

    I could keep going…


  5. Comment by Team Coffee Nook | 12.17.2010 | 10:49 am

    Used chain brush, gunk included.

  6. Comment by muskyhunter | 12.17.2010 | 11:10 am

    one pair of slightly used (just under 25,000 miles) Time shoes and pedals size 43 1/2

  7. Comment by Nic Grillo | 12.17.2010 | 11:10 am

    A large collection of Hammer gels that I have been given at various century rides. Those things are gross!

  8. Comment by AllisonH | 12.17.2010 | 11:13 am


    and I’m still laughing!

  9. Comment by Brandy | 12.17.2010 | 11:15 am

    I think I just found my new background image for my laptop. haha

  10. Comment by Ray | 12.17.2010 | 11:22 am

    Shudder?? I almost got sick thinking about Apple flavored citomax… ugh!

    I’d probably go with an assortment of cheap cowbells from cx races, a bottle of Elite (probably good stuff, but Infinit does it all), and a single serving bottle of Stans (gotta give them something worth using).

  11. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 12.17.2010 | 11:25 am

    Y’know I was going to bring a Life Size cardboard ‘Fatty’ to Levis Gran Fondo next year. (who wouldn’t want a picture) But now I can provide fans the opportunity to have their picture taken with Fatty an the Bieb. Levis Gran Fondo registration January 17, 9am PST. The goal is to have a Fatty tent, with brats and pie…and the cardboard Fatty and Bieb. Registration Link:http://www.levisgranfondo.com/

  12. Comment by AC | 12.17.2010 | 11:25 am

    Am I the only one that liked apple cytomax?


  13. Comment by Emily | 12.17.2010 | 11:27 am

    my circa 1995 Richey Logic single-sided road pedals without their corresponding cleats….

  14. Comment by RANTWICK | 12.17.2010 | 11:31 am

    MEC cycling shoe covers. Worn only twice before I figured out they allow snow up the sides from underneath. Not really their fault, mine for riding in snow. Useless to me though.

  15. Comment by mediumtriguy | 12.17.2010 | 11:35 am

    I have an old set of aero bars that lost an arm pad.

  16. Comment by Bryan (not that one) | 12.17.2010 | 11:35 am

    I think it’s the opposite… that REALLY is Justin Bieber with a life-size cardboard cut-out of Fatty! Look at Fatty’s shirt… You can see the lines where his cut-out folds up! Justin’s probably a Fatty fan and e-mailed him the picture.

  17. Comment by MattC | 12.17.2010 | 11:44 am

    Hmmm….I have a very lightly used set of the AWESOME Bio-Pace chaingrings…(53/39), and also a super awesome Manitou Sport (elastomer) suspension fork. Oh…and a beautiful Rock Shock Mag-21 fork (prob won’t give that away tho…it cost a pretty penny). Or how about a set of bar-top Shimano DX mtb shifters?

  18. Comment by CRSonic | 12.17.2010 | 11:51 am

    My mismatched pair of commuting SPD pedals. One isn’t adjustable and is really really tight and the other is quite loose. I always forget which one is which…

  19. Comment by Mark B | 12.17.2010 | 11:54 am

    Personally I don’t see any problem with having five helmets, but I suppose I could let one of them go…

  20. Comment by Eric L | 12.17.2010 | 12:05 pm

    Definitely my 27 inch Super-Champion wheels from my 70’s vintage Holdsworth touring bike. Still true after 30 years. Impossible to get good tires for anymore.

    …or maybe the over-padded saddle with the built-in LED lights that came on my wife’s Bianchi.

  21. Comment by matt | 12.17.2010 | 12:06 pm

    Several 1 1/8″ threaded rigid mountain bike forks. I keep them around because, “hey, you never know…”

    About three gross of old, mismatched spoke nipples, various sizes and levels of being rounded off.

  22. Comment by KitC | 12.17.2010 | 12:12 pm

    I have a 31.6 Race Face “Ride” seatpost with zero offset. Only been on 1 ride! I just couldn’t get my saddle into a comfortable position to save my life…

  23. Comment by Chris | 12.17.2010 | 12:22 pm

    Seriously, the elephant in the elephant gift room would be a steak from spain! Maybe with a clever name like ‘SpanClen Beef’

  24. Comment by MaineMTB | 12.17.2010 | 12:41 pm

    My Mag 21 Ti Rock Shox: competition ready (presuming you’re racing in 1990)


  25. Comment by Scott | 12.17.2010 | 1:13 pm

    Full 2006 Phonak kit complete with cap.

  26. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 12.17.2010 | 1:19 pm

    I have a really nice full fingered cycling glove for cooler weather, only used a few times and in really good shape. Its mate went missing in one of the moves, but the one I have still has a lot of miles left in it.

  27. Comment by Paula Webb | 12.17.2010 | 1:20 pm

    A set of clip-on aero bars, and one of my husband’s pre-team XL beer jerseys.

  28. Comment by Nicole | 12.17.2010 | 1:26 pm


  29. Comment by Jeff | 12.17.2010 | 1:28 pm

    The Bieber cutout is the mother of all white elephant gifts! I tip my hat to you.

    For a cycling-related gift, I would find a set of Greg Lemond (circa 1989) style aerobars.

  30. Comment by Karen S | 12.17.2010 | 1:54 pm

    My unread copy of POSITIVELY FALSE–The Real Story of How I Won the Tour De France, By Floyd Landis!

  31. Comment by Dave | 12.17.2010 | 1:59 pm

    Four pairs of worn out ASSOS gloves (its the only thing ASSOS I can afford and the old pair of Pearl Izumi Calientoes (med/lg) that I found under the work bench after I bought new ones.

  32. Comment by Tim D | 12.17.2010 | 2:01 pm

    Cannondale velcro bottle cage. Sorry no bottle, it fell off when I ran over a pea.

  33. Comment by MattC | 12.17.2010 | 2:05 pm

    @ MaineMTB..your Ti Mag 21 trumps my plain-jane Mag 21 any day…and I thought MINE was expenisve! They were beauties in their day though…I still have that little cheesy plastic hypodermic pump for it (that used a footall-type air needle). Ahhh…the good ol’ days.

  34. Comment by Ben | 12.17.2010 | 2:06 pm

    All the old bike tires that adorned the walls of my garage when I bought the place three years ago. I felt they provided good fung shui, and that my bikes wouldn’t be lonely out there. However, I think it’s time for them to haunt someone else’s garage.

  35. Comment by Kyle | 12.17.2010 | 2:24 pm

    A massively taco’d generic mtb rear wheel. The bend is literally 90 degrees. It’ll true right up.

  36. Comment by Fat Cathy | 12.17.2010 | 3:02 pm

    all of the completely useless wheels hanging in my garage that haven’t been on a bike in 10 years (my occasionally not useless husband hordes them). And maybe the cycling rain jacket that has a row of extra sewing holes in the shoulder that leak.

  37. Comment by mark | 12.17.2010 | 3:24 pm

    Fat Cathy, if any of those are tubular road wheels, we should talk.

    I would offer up a Truvativ seatpost, 27.2mm, cut to about 250mm long, and a couple sets of used cyclocross brake pads. And any other parts that are worth so little I will never bother to eBay them.

  38. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 12.17.2010 | 3:28 pm

    Hmmm, I think it would have to be a variety pack of Gu. Love your Justin – he looks so real!

  39. Comment by Yahoo!Rob | 12.17.2010 | 3:37 pm

    I would offer my current set of SPD pedals – the left one squeaks at the bottom apex, so it’s perfect for helping me keep the count of how many revolutions I’ve put into the hill that I’m climbing.

  40. Comment by Dave T | 12.17.2010 | 3:41 pm

    Something from my vintage collection of 80’s suntour parts or my broken Cramp and Go Slow crank arm.

  41. Comment by Mike Roadie | 12.17.2010 | 3:50 pm

    Perfect! In my garage, I already have the following:

    1 case of two year old Power Bar Gels (Strawberry)
    1 case of year and a half old Power Bar Chews (Cola)
    6 Washington Mutual coffee mugs (now JPM Chase)
    4 Accelerade water bottles
    1 opened and halfway used jar of Sun Tea flavored Power Bar sports drink
    Approximately 450 LiveStrong neck kerchiefs (yellow-ish)

    Where’s the party????

  42. Comment by Sarah | 12.17.2010 | 4:06 pm

    I’d have to go with the frame pump that I ran over with my car. Twice. Under precisely identical circumstances (remove pump from frame to attach bike to car rack; put pump on top of car; leave it there while I drive away; pump falls off as I execute a three point turn in front of my house, running over the pump in the process).

    Hey, it still works!

  43. Comment by SYJ | 12.17.2010 | 4:32 pm

    Dear MaineMTB,
    If you’re interested in just *giving* that fork away, I’d gladly pay for shipping and handling!


  44. Comment by damien | 12.17.2010 | 4:35 pm

    a tube of vegemite isn’t weird :)

  45. Comment by stuckinmypedals | 12.17.2010 | 5:53 pm

    I’d box up all the stock bike seats that came with various bikes. Ouch!

  46. Comment by Philly Jen | 12.17.2010 | 6:02 pm

    A set of Biopace chainrings that are older than Justin Bieber.

  47. Comment by Triflefat | 12.17.2010 | 6:53 pm

    What @damien said. 20 million Aussies can’t all be wrong.

  48. Comment by km | 12.17.2010 | 7:23 pm

    Damn! Philly Jen already had my gift of Biopace chainrings……..so I’ll go with a set of original white Look 166 pedals (at least that’s what I think they were numbered way back in the late 80’s early 90’s) and a set of 525 Shimano pedals that I’m still riding I’ve had em since 1995 or was it 1994??!

  49. Comment by roan | 12.17.2010 | 7:29 pm

    Nice stand up photo, both of you. Between working too much & cycling I don’t know who Justin Bieber is, probably haven’t missed much. Fatty, you gave away a tube of vegemite, tsk, tsk, tsk.
    My white elephant gift from the Karen S. theme above.
    I have the dust cover only of Positively False, took it off the book so I could read it on the bus. Don’t know where the book is & don’t want to look.
    So the dust cover of Positively False on “The Offical Goverment Nuclear Survivors’ Manual” all pages are blank…oops I gave that last Christmas. OK how about “Everyone’s Guide to Home Composting”. All 3 books net value ZERO, just the dust cover…priceless.

  50. Comment by Mark | 12.18.2010 | 11:59 am

    My vintage 1979 Schwinn Super Le Tour bike frame. Purchased new, stolen and retrieved a few times, ridden a million miles or so, the last ten feet of which were into a wall. The wrinkles add a nice touch, though.

  51. Comment by Scott in MN | 12.18.2010 | 2:29 pm

    Hey Fatty, stepped on the scale this morning — I’ve lost 10.5 pounds. Thank you for the motivation!!!

    Beginning weight: 129
    Weight today: 118.5
    Total Weight Loss: 10.5 POUNDS!!!!!!

  52. Comment by Chris F. | 12.18.2010 | 3:24 pm

    A never used Gel Bot bottle . . .

  53. Comment by Kari | 12.18.2010 | 3:57 pm

    The old bike my Grandpa keePstrying to pass off to me now that someone told him I restore old bikes (I’ve only done one and that was because I couldnt afford a cruiser but wanted one anyway)

  54. Comment by Jenni | 12.18.2010 | 11:12 pm

    I can do you guys one better.

    My copy of Positively False was signed by Floyd AND I’ll throw in the corresponding t-shirt i made in cafepress that says, “I support Floyd”.

  55. Comment by Niall in Brisbane | 12.18.2010 | 11:41 pm

    A book called, “Hijacking Fatty’s Blogs by Skippy McCarthy (aka skippydetour)”. Ooops…hope he doesn’t read this and get an idea for a book…

  56. Comment by Triflefat | 12.19.2010 | 3:14 am

    I love your work Niall

  57. Comment by Anne | 12.19.2010 | 4:44 am

    1. One pair of used DMT shoes size 37
    2. I think I have some power bars somewhere

  58. Comment by dr. brett | 12.19.2010 | 8:41 am

    A set of “power straps” I used before going clipless back in the mid-to-late nineties.

  59. Comment by rjb | 12.19.2010 | 11:54 am

    pedals and toeclips from my circa 1990 Diamondback Apex

  60. Comment by rjb | 12.19.2010 | 11:56 am

    …or a bunch of worn-out brake pads strung together into a necklace.

  61. Comment by cyclo83stu | 12.19.2010 | 4:56 pm

    How about a ThudBuster seatpost?

  62. Comment by eric "The Swede" | 12.19.2010 | 6:05 pm

    The owners manual (still in plastic) Panasonic Sport 1000 my first road bike- bike long gone- ps I just put a BioPace 52-40 on my road bike so there…

  63. Comment by eric "The Swede" | 12.19.2010 | 6:09 pm

    pss…Ive got a couple dozen inch by inch square sandpapers in my tool box. You know… just in case.

  64. Comment by girl | 12.19.2010 | 7:17 pm

    I have some tubes that have been patched a lot. Plus, some t-shirts that go well with short skirts to wear while wrapping them.

  65. Comment by Obstinate Roadie | 12.20.2010 | 8:53 am

    I’m glad I don’t know who Justin Beiber is, but a life size cut out of anyone is always funny. I suppose I would give someone the old Campagnolo bottom bracket axle sitting on my desk. It has the Campy insignia stamped on it.

  66. Comment by johnny | 12.20.2010 | 9:22 am

    A full 1991 neon pink accessory kit. Toe clips/ straps, cages, Vetta computer, grips, gloves…. maybe some shades to match

  67. Comment by Lori Scheel | 12.22.2010 | 10:26 am

    My Gel-Bot. If you don’t know what it is…that is something to be thankful for this holidy season!

  68. Comment by DavidV | 12.28.2010 | 10:08 am

    New in box set of Onza clipless mountain bike pedals.
    Grab On bar covers
    and one barely used Sheepskin Seat Cover.


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