Come Ride in France with Andy Freaking Hampsten and Me

02.24.2011 | 5:23 pm

A Note from Fatty: The good folks at the Leadville Trail 100 have asked me to spread the word that if you’re following them on Facebook, the best page to connect up with them is here. And, just out of curiosity, I’m wondering: how many Fat Cyclist readers have sent in applications? And should we organize a meetup in Leadville this year? Cuz I kinda think we should.

Back in December, I did a contest where we raised money to help Andreas Knickman in his fight against bone cancer. The prize on offer was incredible: an entry in one of the tours Andy Hampsten is organizing in France and Italy this year.

We raised a ton of money, and helped Andreas out, both financially and with an incredible show of moral support to him and his family.

And then I never announced who the winner is.

Sure, I had my reasons. Which I will explain shortly. But first, I’d like to gloat just a little bit.

201102241537.jpg Gloat

Last night, The Runner and I were invited up to Ogden, to join Chuck Ibis and ANDY FREAKING HAMPSTEN for dinner.

The thing is, we didn’t go to a restaurant. Nope.

Instead, Andy and his wife Elaine cooked. A delicious Italian meal. And they gave us a really incredible gift: a five-liter tin of olive oil from their Extra Virgin Olive Oil Co.

And then we talked about biking. And food. And more biking.

And I, being who I am, just would not shut up.

Yes, that’s right: I’m sitting across the table from ANDY FREAKING HAMPSTEN and I’m monopolizing the conversation, talking about riding the Kokopelli Trail and riding the Leadville 100, and riding the trail network in American Fork Canyon.

All good rides, sure, but you’d think that maybe — just this once, seeing as how I was sitting across the table from the only American to ever win the Giro d’Italia — I’d have asked him about his stories.

Nope. I went on and on. Because I was having a hard time grasping the fact that I was in the presence of a couple of cycling legends and I was about to swoon.

And cuz I’m a dope.

However, in one moment of lucidity, I did produce some Fat Cyclist-related merchandise for Andy, and even got him to put on one particular item:


I’m pretty sure that Andy is — with the exception of Dr. Lammler, of course — the only person who has ever worn this t-shirt who knows the exact extent to which this statement is true.

Oh, by the way, if you’d like to have one of these shirts for your very own, Twin Six still has some. Men’s here, women’s here.

Meet the Winner

So now I’d like you to meet the winner of the trip for the bike tour with Andy: Laura, from the San Francisco Bay area:


Here’s what Laura had to say about winning:

I’m 40 yrs old, an orthopaedic surgeon, and I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area. Been riding bikes forever (never been fast but I keep trucking).

My husband and I have been doing self-guided bike trips with friends the last couple years. Last year, we rented a villa between Radda in Chianti and Castellina, and rode out and backs each day for a week.

I’ve been following Fatty’s blog for quite some time since I have a very prominent family history of breast cancer; his stories of Susan hit close to home. When I saw he had a fund raiser on for a kid with osteosarcoma, I had to donate. Really didn’t think I’d win!

OK, so now the reason I haven’t mentioned the winner of the Andreas Knickman contest until now. It’s because The Runner and I have been trying to figure out whether it’s possible for us to join that winner on the tour she selected.

Well, we’ve figured out the timing, my Mom has agreed to watch the kids, we’ve pulled together the money, and we are doing it.

So, we’ll be joining Laura for the Alps & Gorges trip in France August 27 – September 4.

Oh, and there’s a good chance Chuck will join us, too.

So yeah: we’ll be riding L’Halpe d’Huez with ANDY FREAKING HAMPSTEN this Summer.

Or at least, in the same general vicinity.

So, Why Don’t You Come Join Us?

Last night, I asked Andy if that tour’s full yet. It’s not. In fact, there are 10 slots still open. So, if you’ve got the time and money and think it might be fun to come ride with ANDY FREAKING HAMPSTEN and Chuck Ibis and Laura and her husband (sorry guys) and The Runner and me, well, I can’t imagine a more awesome thing in the world than having Team Fatty totally own this tour.

(Full Disclosure: I’m saying this ‘cuz I want to. I have no financial interest whatsoever in this or any other Cinghiale tour).

There’ll be tough rides — amazingly tough, actually — but I can vouch for the people. Seriously, this is going to be about the dreamiest dream vacation ever.

And Andy’s a darn good cook.


  1. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 02.24.2011 | 5:47 pm

    All I can say is WOW! And Lucky Dog you.
    Now if I can only convince my wife to watch the kids, oh, and get the money I’d be there too.

    Congrats to Laura, I hope she will be joining us in Davis.

  2. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 02.24.2011 | 6:00 pm

    What a fabulous idea! Can’t wait to read all about it. Sadly for me that’s what I’ll be doing – reading. Can’t leave town that one week. Perhaps it will become an annual outing.

  3. Comment by Dan O | 02.24.2011 | 7:07 pm

    Damn – cool vacation.

    Outta my time commitment and price range. I’ll weep silently.

    Have fun.

  4. Comment by Karen | 02.24.2011 | 7:16 pm

    A four pigger – out of my talent level but man, does it sound like fun!

  5. Comment by andy | 02.24.2011 | 7:21 pm

    I wish! (Drifts off into a dream sequence.)

  6. Comment by KK | 02.24.2011 | 7:39 pm

    Getting dropped by Andy Hampsten on L’Halpe d’Huez: Best. Vacation. Ever. — Have a great time! And strap on the helmet cam.

  7. Comment by daddyo | 02.24.2011 | 7:56 pm


    did you ever ride cheyenne canon (pronounced canyon). it’s near chris carmichael’s house. maybe an opportunity for a time trial fund raiser.

  8. Comment by Squirrelhead | 02.24.2011 | 8:07 pm

    Fatty you are a lucky lucky man! If I win the lotto soon I can go on the trip. As far as Leadville 100 goes I have it in my sites for next year. Ever since I saw that belt buckle……..I WANT IT!

  9. Comment by Cannonball | 02.25.2011 | 12:09 am

    Congratulations to Laura, a very deserving winner!

  10. Comment by D n S | 02.25.2011 | 12:10 am

    I applied for the LT100. Heres to hoping I get in, and receive a shiny new bike as a wedding present.

  11. Comment by buckythedonkey | 02.25.2011 | 2:17 am

    Delighted that you’re finally going to acquire a passport! ;-) The Haute Vercors is one of the most beautiful parts of France, but it is relatively unknown so you’ll be joining a select bunch who get to see it’s lush, hidden plateau. Great regional pasta, like tiny ravioli. Jackpot!

  12. Comment by Jenn | 02.25.2011 | 3:14 am

    Do yourself a favor and eat lots of brownies. I don’t know what the French put in their brownies, but they’re almost obscene. I bought one at a gas station…yes, a GAS STATION…that we still talk about. France is often referred to in our house in relation to Gas Station Brownies. Those people can bake! Bon appetit! Oh, and enjoy the cycling, of course!

  13. Comment by Jenn | 02.25.2011 | 3:17 am

    Hm. I don’t suppose your tour operator would be open to our crashing one of the rides? Just for a day? We couldn’t afford (time or money) the whole tour, but I kind of like the idea of riding with the lot of you for a day, which might be do-able.

  14. Comment by Lord Adamantine Sedgepig | 02.25.2011 | 5:46 am

    Why? Because I don’t have $3,850 plus air fare to Lyons. Well I do but the roof of the main hall needs replacing.

  15. Comment by Patrick | 02.25.2011 | 6:25 am

    Congratulations Laura! Fatty, I live in England, so if I can get to Alpe d’Huez the day you ride it, can I gatecrash? I’m not a bad cook either.

  16. Comment by Laura S | 02.25.2011 | 8:30 am

    Yeah Fatty! So glad you and the runner can make it. I’m really looking forward to meeting you both. I’ve been going around telling everyone I know that I’m riding with ANDY FREAKING HAMPSTEN in France this summer. I expect to be the lanterne rouge but it will be excellent. Upping the hill climbing now (well maybe next week – its really coming down here right now).

    Davidh – not sure about Davis I have meant to check out the timing. Sounds excellent.

  17. Comment by Microchip | 02.25.2011 | 8:31 am

    What a beautiful tour!!! Fantastic! Congratulations to the winner too.

  18. Comment by NYCCarlos | 02.25.2011 | 9:19 am

    so. freaking. jealous.

  19. Comment by a chris | 02.25.2011 | 9:39 am

    This is not my year for revisiting Alpe d’Huez but it sounds fantastic. Fatty, see if you can beat my 7km/h average. Ell Oh Ell. I have excuses but you don’t want to hear me whine.

    For those who have their bike computers set to Imperial units, Google says that’s 11692 furlongs/fortnight.

  20. Comment by Franky | 02.25.2011 | 10:12 am

    Congratulations Laura!!!!

    Fatty, my girlfriend and I will be in the south of Germany around that time so there is a possibility we come down and join you for a day.

  21. Comment by Lumberking | 02.25.2011 | 10:25 am

    I totally got permission from the wife to go…but our baby is due the 22nd of August…I might need to pass.

  22. Comment by Miles Archer | 02.25.2011 | 10:27 am

    Any update on knickman?

  23. Comment by Scott R | 02.25.2011 | 11:23 am

    I doubt I can hack the ride, and since I would have a 2 month old child at the time, I don’t see it working out – but awesome writeup, great pics, and I hope everyone involved has an awesome time.

  24. Comment by Haven (KT) | 02.25.2011 | 11:56 am

    That’s awesome. I can’t make the ride this year, besides you guys don’t want to wait for me to make it up the hills. Trust me. If you did, you’ll want to pack a full meal from appetizers to desserts plus delicious beverages for each course. Because it’ll take me a LOOOOOONG time to get up the hills. Because I’m slow.

    But still. It sounds like a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to see the pictures and read the stories. And, congrats, Laura!

    Fatty: Can’t believe you didn’t ask about the Giro. Was Andy just overwhelmed to have THE Fat Cyclist in da house? :)

  25. Comment by Clydesteve | 02.25.2011 | 1:42 pm

    Fatty – We brought home a 5-liter tin of my brother’s hand-picked & custom pressed X-Virgin (how is that actually possible?) olive oil. It is unreal-good. Use it instead of butter on fresh-baked home made bread.

  26. Comment by Al | 02.25.2011 | 4:33 pm

    wow Fatty – I’m just back from a business trip to Lyon – it is a fantastic city. Mmm. And I’m free and can get there from here (Edinburgh) for around $200. Mmmmm. Not sure about the fitness – BUT if I get the new job I’ve applied for (which would give me a 100 mile a week commute), I might just be up for it. WIll go and empty ome jars of pennies and rootle around in old pockets for unused notes.

  27. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 02.26.2011 | 11:00 am

    Fatty…just a thought…outloud. If you were to invite a bunch of ‘friends’ to Alpine, would they come? YOU BETCHA!!!

    Time to put your awesome managerial skills to work and set up the first Fatty Picnic ‘n Ride in your own hometown. I’m confident there is some open space or campground near… out past the dump… we’d really be no bother.

    And easier for those of us who do not speak French.

    And Dr. Laura (that must elicit some questions), I’m sure we’d need a Team Orthopaedist in Davis

  28. Comment by Matt | 02.26.2011 | 11:11 am

    Cool prize, Fatty!!

  29. Comment by Arnaud Bachelard | 02.27.2011 | 7:15 am

    And I guess I will be there to guide you through all those roads… and all those wines !
    If you want an overview of the spirit, check here :

    Vive le vélo et les amis !

  30. Comment by Davide | 02.27.2011 | 8:25 am

    I’ll see you there! This will be my fifth trip with Andy & Elaine, and they just get better and better. I am not the fastest rider, but I have a great time.

  31. Comment by BonzaiBuckerooo | 02.27.2011 | 10:20 am

    As a famous Roman once said: Vidi, Vini, Vici. I would love to join the party but now that I finally have the time and money to do this, alas I do not have the talent.

  32. Comment by Laura S | 02.27.2011 | 2:24 pm

    davidh – Dr. Laura – Hah! I do try to avoid that name, but I’m happy to take one for the team. Davis is in July and I won’t have my on call dates for the second half of the year until July 1 – but I’ll sign up anyway. Probably I’ll get to make it. Sounds like fun!

    Davide – don’t worry, I’m not the fastest rider either! It will be a blast.

  33. Comment by eclecticdeb | 02.27.2011 | 9:10 pm

    Oh if ONLY I could…unfortunately it was the hands of another ortho surgeon (in the Bay Area) that is keeping me at home. (Shoulder surgery). Bummer bummer bummer.

  34. Comment by Brian | 02.28.2011 | 12:03 pm

    My brother and I went to Austin to see the bikes at NAHBS. Sunday afternoon we had to share a cab to the airport with a couple staying at our motel and it turned out to be….ANDY FREAKING HAMPSTEN and his lovely wife. I went into my best Fatty imitation and blathered like a schoolgirl. but what did we end up talking about? Yes, you. You may start blushing now.

    Trying to figure out if my wife would notice if I left for a week in August…


  35. Comment by Mike Roadie | 02.28.2011 | 12:07 pm

    Oh….I thought I was still in the running for that prize!!!????

  36. Comment by Kristy | 03.1.2011 | 3:33 am

    You are seriously going to be riding in our back yard! Any chance we can join you all for just a day?

  37. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 03.4.2011 | 11:56 am

    Andy Freaking Hampsten sporting his FatCyclist gear on Bike Snob’s blog:

  38. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Who Let THAT Guy in Here? | 08.28.2011 | 11:43 pm

    [...] Greetings all. It is I, the real Fat Cyclist. Okay, actually it’s just me, a fat cyclist. Fatty’s letting me housesit for him while he’s in France riding with Andy FREAKING Hampsten. [...]

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