Fatty’s Inferno, Part I: Prologue

03.28.2011 | 4:40 pm

I woke in a fever, breathing hard. Terror in my heart, an eternity of horrors burning so bright in my mind that it took a full minute before I realized I was safe.

In bed. Alive.

Eventually, the shaking and the sweating stopped, and I went about my day. But — even as I went through the motions — I could not take my mind off this dream. For, unlike most dreams that are remembered only vaguely and recede even in the first telling, this dream remained at the forefront of my thoughts.

And to begin thinking about it was to begin — once again — reliving the torment.

It was too much.

So now, in an effort to control the wild terror in my heart by describing it, I take pen to paper and recount (in plain prose, so that I can be plainly understood):

The Dream Begins

The dream begins at the junction of seven roads in a deep and dark valley. Is it dusk or overcast? I cannot tell. I can only see that the roads are all paved and go in different directions. There are signs labeling each road, but I cannot read them; it is too dark, and what characters I can see are not in any alphabet that I recognize.

I stand alone, wobbling slightly on my feet. I look down and see why I am unable to stand steadily: I am wearing bike shoes, with Speedplay cleats mounted.

What is this place? Why am I here? Why is my jersey so uncomfortable? Why can’t I find something to clean my glasses with? I have so many questions.

And then a Man — a man I had not seen before but I am now quite sure was there all along — speaks.

“Your bike is laying drivetrain-side down.”

I gasp, now seeing my beloved road bike in the dirt. It is, as the Man said, resting on its rear derailleur, the frame, and the bar tape. I grimace, wondering how it came to rest like this, knowing that I would never knowingly do such a thing myself.

“In this place,” the Man said, “All bikes lay on their drivetrain sides.”

Rolling my eyes, I pick up my bike and show the man what nonsense he speaks by laying the bike down correctly.

“Behold,” the man says, pointing.

Not wanting to but unable to stop myself, I look down.

My bike is laying on its derailleur again.

“Who are you?” I wonder aloud?

“I am The Cyclist,” he says, and I notice now that he is wearing full kit, all black, with a black helmet and black shoes and black glasses. His bike is similarly black. And in short, The Cyclist seems to have a thing for black.

“And what is this place?” I groan, as I attempt, unsuccessfully, trying repeatedly to put my bike down in such a way that it doesn’t scratch, bend, or otherwise screw up my drivetrain.

The Cyclist looks at me — through his sunglasses I see eyes of pure fire — and says what I know he will say.

“You are in hell.”

[To be continued in Fatty's Inferno, Part II]


  1. Comment by Greg | 03.28.2011 | 5:14 pm

    This is WAY better than Dante’s divine comedy! Maybe I can get my prof to substitute this version on the next test?

  2. Comment by Clydesteve | 03.28.2011 | 5:38 pm

    See, this is why I always have a deraileur hanger straightener tool in my seat bag. I was just there last week.

    It was raining.

  3. Comment by Nic Grillo | 03.28.2011 | 7:37 pm

    There is a tool for that?

  4. Comment by Handz98 | 03.28.2011 | 8:05 pm

    I’ll bet the roads are paved with chipseal…

  5. Comment by aussie kev | 03.28.2011 | 8:09 pm

    in bicycle heaven bikes would just stand up by themselves !!!!

  6. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 03.28.2011 | 8:30 pm

    Forget the bike, that’s a red herring. It’s the seven roads that gives this dream away. They lead to the seven brides, and hence the ’sweat’. Someone better tell the Runner. “…..we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

  7. Comment by ScottedOut | 03.28.2011 | 8:32 pm

    Does “The Cyclist” happen to give you some ‘roids or maybe offer to help you blood dope?! I can’t wait for tomorrow to come and find out!!! Oh goodie!

  8. Comment by Badbeard | 03.29.2011 | 12:35 am

    Hold on, you guys still use derailleurs? ;-)

  9. Comment by Stephen | 03.29.2011 | 5:05 am

    So, Fatty is in hell. Either God rides a ‘bent, or He’s a triathlete.

  10. Comment by MattC | 03.29.2011 | 7:47 am

    I always thought cycling ‘hell’ was a constant headwind no matter which direction you ride…(kind of like what I have here come to think of it)…hmmmmm…I’ll keep my eyes open for the ’seven roads junction’ and ‘the cyclist’. Tho I bet even HE hates headwinds.

  11. Comment by zach in a cubicle | 03.29.2011 | 8:12 am

    David! win.

  12. Comment by Squirrelhead | 03.29.2011 | 8:21 am

    I like this a lot Fatty! I am wondering if these seven roads lead back to the same crossroad. Maybe only six do and there is one road that leads somewhere new. Then the question becomes, is the new place better or worse? The anticipation is high, post soon.

  13. Comment by roan | 03.29.2011 | 9:46 am

    OHHH MY, I’ve had a similar dream. Headwinds on every road in any direction. Yes, I was in Kansas. Only my ‘cyclist’ was a Black funnel spinning crazily towards me. I road into the ditch and lay there holding onto my bike, derailleur down, yelling “go buy your own”. As he passed I swear I heard the spokes and cables sing “the devil went down to Georgia”.

  14. Comment by Class Cyclist | 03.29.2011 | 11:03 am

    “Fatty’s Inferno?” that sounds like a great barbeque restaraunt…and being from KC I know barbeque!

  15. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Fatty’s Inferno, Part II: Limbo | 03.29.2011 | 1:13 pm

    [...] « Fatty’s Inferno, Part I: Prologue [...]

  16. Comment by Chrisl905 | 03.29.2011 | 4:03 pm

    “you are in hell”….Fatty when were you in Winnipeg?

  17. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Fatty’s Inferno, Part III: Sloth, Etc. | 03.30.2011 | 10:20 am

    [...] This is Part III of Fatty’s Inferno. Read Part I: Prologue here. Read Part II: Limbo [...]

  18. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Fatty’s Inferno, Part IV: Third and Fourth Circles | 03.31.2011 | 1:12 pm

    [...] Part I: Prologue [...]

  19. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Fatty’s Inferno, Part V: True Cyclists’ Hell…and Heaven | 04.1.2011 | 10:45 am

    [...] Part I: Prologue [...]

  20. Comment by cheyanne | 04.1.2011 | 12:05 pm

    this is not cool not jk

  21. Comment by cheyanne | 04.1.2011 | 12:06 pm

    this is ssoooooooo stupid wheres the pics

  22. Comment by cheyanne | 04.1.2011 | 12:07 pm

    this needs 2 go 2 hell

  23. Pingback by Thoughts on Stuff « Bikezilla | 04.2.2011 | 9:49 pm

    [...] Part I [...]

  24. Pingback by March Review | 04.5.2011 | 8:06 am

    [...] Fatty’s Inferno . Read all 5 parts, the payoff is brilliant. [...]


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