If you’re like me — and for your sake, I hope you are, because it’s really awesome being me — you wear a t-shirt every day. Which is fantastic, because when you wake up in the morning, the ancient question of “What to Wear Today” is quickly solved.
The internal dialogue goes like this:
Me: “Hmm. I wonder what I ought to wear today.”
Other Me: “How about a t-shirt?”
Me: “That’s a fantastic idea. Thanks! But what should I wear for the bottom?”
Other Me: “I recommend wearing the same jeans you wore yesterday, because they’re nice and stretched out now, and will fit more comfortably than a freshly-washed pair of jeans.”
Me: “You’re exactly right. Thanks, voice inside my head!”
Other Me: “You’re welcome.”
Sadly, however, the choice to wear a t-shirt every day does come with a minor downside: laundry. Due to the absolute certainty that you will at some point spill food or wipe chain grease on your shirt (plus cumulative body odor and general grossness), you need to wear a clean shirt every day.
I am here to help. Specifically, I’m here to help you stave off doing laundry by one more day by presenting the new, 2011, Fat Cyclist T-Shirt Collection.
Check it out:
This shirt is now available now (yes NOW!) at Twin Six, in both men’s and women’s cuts.
Just in case you’re wondering where the “No, you go on” quote comes from, by the way, it’s from “How to Be Last,” and it’s a very good quote to have top-of-mind, as well as front-of-chest.
“But wait a moment, Fatty,” I hear you say. “What did you mean by ‘2011 Fat Cyclist T-Shirt Collection?’ Doesn’t a ‘collection’ generally mean that there is more than one thing to collect?”
To that I admiringly reply, “You are so astute.” Here’s the other new Fat Cyclist 2011 T-shirt:
This quote, of course, comes from The Wit and Wisdom of Dr. Michael Lämmler, and this shirt is available now in men’s and women’s cuts.
These shirts have many fine qualities, including:
- They’re 100% cotton. Except the tags. I’m pretty sure the tags aren’t cotton.
- They’re super-soft. We had considered going with merely “soft,” but then I pounded my fist on the table and yelled, “Soft won’t do! These are my readers! They demand and deserve super-soft!” And the Twin Six guys totally caved. Pushovers.
- Made in the USA. And you can bet that’s got China pretty upset.
- Black, so you can wipe chain grease on them with total impunity
- Guaranteed to push laundry day forward another day. Or two, if you buy both shirts.
- Both shirt designs have a blank back, like this:
I daresay if you order these shirts immediately you’ll get them before Christmas. But you’d better order two (of each), because otherwise, you’ll get them and love them so much that you will keep them for yourself instead of giving them as gifts, as you originally intended. And then someone’s feelings are going to be hurt on Christmas.
And that would be very sad indeed.
Fat Cyclist Hoodies and Trainers 30% Off Today Only
Today is the last day of Twin Six’s awesome “6 Days of Christmas” promotion, and today they’re taking 30% off the price of all bags, wool trainers, wool jerseys, long-sleeve t-shirts, thermals, and hoodies.
And that, my friends, includes Fat Cyclist gear. So may I recommend that today is the absolute best day for you to pick yourself up a Fat Cyclist Wool Trainer:
I love mine — it’s a comfortable, classy-looking trainer, feels like a really nice, warm, totally non-itchy sweater. I’m wearing it right now. They usually cost $190, but today they’re much more affordable at $133. Click here to get yourself one. And then you — like The Runner and I — can look like Buddy Holly and do the Trainer Dance.
Or, if you’re looking for something more casual, maybe you should get yourself a Fat Cyclist Hoodie:
And here’s the back:
These things are so comfortable they border on the indecent; I wear mine (over a Fat Cyclist T-Shirt, of course) about three days a week.
The hoodies are already a screaming deal at their normal price of $40, but today they’re $28, which is approaching ridiculously inexpensive. My guess is these will sell out quickly today, so if you’re going to get one (for you or for someone else or both), you might want to do it now.
The hoodies come in men’s-specific and women’s-specific fits. The Runner tells me that the women’s -specific ones fit a little small, so you may want to go up a size.
And, in closing, may I recommend you check out the rest of the Fat Cyclist gear as you do your Christmas shopping, not to mention all the other awesome goodness Twin Six has on sale today.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this (that’s not true; I realize I’ve mentioned it endlessly), but this blog is not my job. You see, I have a regular ol’ full-time job. One that pays the bills and allows me to send my kids to college and stuff.
And I’m at the end of quarter right now, with a big project that needs to be done. Soon. As in, I’m going to be working both early and late on it for a while.
So I’m going to be posting kinda short stuff, and maybe kinda infrequently for the next week or two. Or three.
That said, there are a few things I wanted to (quickly) mention:
Update on the “Help Andreas Knickman Fight Bone Cancer, Tour Italy with Andy-Freaking-Hampsten” Contest
Yesterday I launched a new contest where, by helping out a teenage boy with bone cancerdon’t need to do that name thing, you can win a tour of Italy with Andy Hampsten, for crying out loud.
So far, more than eighty of you have donated, and you’ve raised around $2000. That’s a good start. But you know, considering this is a contest to tour Italy by bike with a cycling legend as your tour guide, it’s not really what I expected.
So today, I’d like to ask those of you who are participating in the “Let’s Lose Ten Pounds by Christmas” challenge to consider donating $10 to the Andreas Knickman fund, as a sort of optional entry fee. And yes, that $10 definitely is eligible for the big prize — touring with Andy Hampsten (and probably The Runner and me, unless you really don’t want us to come).
Click here to go to Paypal and donate:
Note: Yesterday I asked you, when you donated, to indicate it’s for Andreas Knickman. Several of you commented that you had forgotten to do this, which is totally understandable. Don’t worry about it. All donations to this foundation during the contest period will go toward the contest and will be eligible for the prizes. And The confirmation message you receive will indicate you paid a “Firefighters Fund”. That’s the one! Roy Knickman is a firefighter in Santa Maria, and his unit is behind his kid all the way. Cool?
I’ve Stalled Out
I weighed myself today, and — much to my non-surprise — I have gained a pound since last week, bringing me to 169.4 pounds.
Why have I gained a pound? Well, part of it is that it’s just not easy to lose weight during the Winter, seeing as how my favorite way to lose weight is to go on long bike rides, and it has been a cold, rainy, sleety Fall so far.
The other part of it is that, in order to escape aforementioned cold, rainy, sleety Fall last weekend, The Runner and I got out of town. We went to St. George, UT, where we were able to ride in beautiful, sunny, warm desert country in our brand-spanking-new Fat Cyclist gear for a couple of days. Check me out:
Now check us out:
Please stop noticing how hard I’m sucking in my gut in that picture for a moment, and get a good look at the incredible job Brent and Ryan at Twin Six did in designing everything this year. I swear, it is the best-looking, best-fitting Team Fatty collection there has ever been. In particular, both The Runner and I have been loving the long-sleeve jersey (in women’s too) — it’s a breathable, fleeced fabric I’m wearing pretty much every time I ride right now. I also love the socks: tall and merino wool. I bought six pair and wear them all the time, including when I’m not on my bike.
And, ahem, all Team Fatty gear is for sale and would make delightful Christmas presents.
But anyway, back to my weight. Why would I weigh more after a weekend of riding? Well, it has something to do, I think, with the fact that after I ride, I’m hungry. And when I’m not at home, the only place to eat would be at restaurants.
You see where I’m going with this, right?
But no more excuses. I’ve got six pounds to lose in less than nine days. It won’t be easy, but I swear: I will do it.
And now it’s turn for those of you participating in the Lose Ten Pounds By Christmas challenge to weigh in. Like before, give the following:
1. Your starting weight
2. Your current weight
3. Total amount lost
And then, after you enter your weight, please do something good for a kid who’s fighting hard against bone cancer and donate $10. Here’s the link again:
PS: For those of you wondering about Team Fatty and what we’re going to be doing next year, stay tuned; I’ll be detailing my plans very soon — late this week or early next week, just depending on when I can get time to think it through and write it down.
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).
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 random.org 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.
One of the best things about language is that it is constantly adapting, evolving. As new words become necessary, they are invented or otherwise created, then — slowly but surely — incorporated into everyday use.
Generally, this happens when an idea for a thing (or modifier of a thing) or action exists, but there is no existing term corresponding to that idea.
Having been dieting for 10 days, I find myself having coined a word:
fiberrhea [fie-buh-ree-uh] (noun). An intestinal disorder brought about by the sudden and dramatic increase of intake of raw fruits and vegetables, especially of those very, very high in fiber.
I am not sure why this word has taken so long to be invented, but I’m happy to have created it. I guess.
When you’re mountain biking, there are many, many things to be afraid of. For example, you can — and should! — be afraid that you’re not going to clean the ledge you’re dropping.
Or that you’re not going to clean the ledge you’re climbing.
Or that you’re going to get sucked into a rut and endo.
Or that you’re going to lose traction, slide out, and collect a whole bunch of gravel in the bloody place where your knee used to be.
I could go on.
The thing with road bikes is, it has nowhere near as many obstacles to worry yourself about. Sure, there’s the biggy: cars. And if you ride in groups, there are other riders to worry about. And of course, there can be something that makes you lose traction with the road. Gravel. Water. Oil.
Other than that, there’s just the road.
Except, there’s another kind of obstacle. An easy one to forget, until you suddenly are right there and it’s too late and your doom is certain.
This has happened to me.
Which is Stronger: Pain or Humiliation?
It was 1990. I was 24 years old. I lived nine miles away from WordPerfect Corporation, where I worked as a technical writer, writing documentation about programming with macros.
Most days, I rollerbladed the nine miles to work and back. But a couple of friends I had met at work had convinced me I should buy a bike and start riding it to work.
One of those friends was Bob Bringhurst.
As a person who is highly susceptible to peer pressure, I went a little crazy and spent a ton of money on that first bike — a Bridgestone MB-5. It cost $350.
I rode to work a couple of times before I ever took the bike offroad. I didn’t have any problems.
And then, one day, as I rode the final blocks in to work, I heard another bike coming up behind me (bikes were noisy back then). I looked over my left shoulder and saw my friend Bob on his own bike, catching up.
So I sped up a bit.
I looked back again maybe thirty seconds later, and Bob was continuing to gain on me.
I didn’t have a lot more speeding up I could do, but I gave it what I got.
Five seconds later, I looked back again, to see if I was now holding Bob off.
I was not. He was seconds from catching me.
Disappointed, I turned to face forward again and accept my defeat with grace.
And then, suddenly, I was sliding in the street on my chest and face.
For I had not known the incredible danger the seam between the asphalt and the concrete curb can pose.
While I was looking left over my shoulder, I had evidently been drifting right (this is remarkably common, and I promise you it is a very scary thing indeed when your driving-permitted child does this while checking to see if it’s OK to change lanes). My wheel had dropped into the little gap, and that was it. Down I went.
I got up. Bloody. Shaking. Clearly hurting. And embarrassed as I had ever been.
“I’m just fine,” I lied, hoping Bob might perhaps just ride by.
Bob came to a stop.
“Why did you fall?”
“I was moving over so you’d have room to pass and hit the curb,” I said, now lying just because I was hoping that eventually I’d hit on a storyline more interesting than mundane truth: that I had just been KO’d by a very narrow crack in the road.
“Uh, see you at work,” Bob said.
And then I got back on my bike, vowing that I would go back to rollerblading the very next day, and would never ride a bike again.
Older and Wiser
Of course, back then I didn’t know exactly how scary a tiny crack in the road can be. It’s extraordinary: if I drop my road bike’s front wheel into the most insignificant hairline crack, it suddenly feels as if my whole wheel has been swallowed and the handlebars are being wrenched from my grip.
Even worse, that little crack on the road is completely invisible to pedestrians, people in cars, and other cyclists. To them, it looks like you’ve just decided — on a whim — to nearly (if you’re lucky) crash your bike.
Now, of course, I know.
And every time I cross a crack — a tiny little crack, especially one patched with that gooey tar stuff — lining up with my front wheel, my stomach jumps into my throat, and I hope that my wheel won’t get sucked in.
Or that at least nobody’s watching.
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