A “This Would Be A Nice Selection of Fat Cyclist Stuff” Note from Fatty: Did you know that the Fat Cyclist Gear pre-order ends tomorrow? No? Well, it does. And you still haven’t ordered anything (unless you have). I suspect that this is because you are overwhelmed by the shear number of cool things there are to order.
So I’m going to help you, by telling you the three things you should get, even if you don’t get anything else. Because you will be very glad you did (yes, of course you can get other things too; I will not hold that against you).
Jersey(Women’s sizing available too): This is perhaps the classiest jersey you will ever own. Even the fact that it has my logo across the front and back can’t stop its sheer awesome classiness.
Bibs(Women’s sizing available too): These bibs will go great with all your jerseys, not just your Fat Cyclist jersey. And they say “Team Fatty” on your butt, exactly where it should be
Socks: These socks are my favorite. I wear them all the time (I’ve run two marathons in them), not just for riding. They’re very lightweight wool, very comfortable, and make excellent puppets, in a pinch. Seriously, they’re good for both cool and warm weather.
Bottle: I’m moving to a new style of bottle — Specialized Purist Watergate — this year because it’s genuinely the best bottle I’ve ever used. And I’m offering it at the cheapest price you will find it. And with the most awesome design. Seriously, you should get a bunch of these; you will not want to use any other bottle once you try these.
A “Hey, I’m Totally Photogenic” Note from Fatty: My post today is of course about the Tour de Donut, but a local paper — the Daily Herald — also covered the race, including a couple ofphotos of Kenny and me. Here’s my favorite:
Friday night. Me. Staring at the ceiling. Unable to sleep. I had a race the next morning — the first (and let’s face it, probably only) race I was to be the title sponsor of: The FatCyclist.com Tour de Donut.
I had a serious dilemma, and that dilemma came in the form of a vivid recollection from the previous year when I had done this race.
I didn’t want to feel that sick again. But I also didn’t want to turn in a sub-par performance at the race.
Eventually, I drifted off to sleep. Still undecided on my strategy for the race.
Before the Race
The Hammer and I woke up at 5:15am, as usual. But not just to do this race. See, The Hammer also has a good memory, and did not want to force down a bunch of donuts again. Instead, she planned to take it easy around the course, riding with the twins.
Which meant The Hammer needed a workout prior to the race.
This has nothing to do with the race, by the way. I’m just kind of in the mood to brag about having done a longish run before doing a bike race.
Wait, I probably should have put “bike race” in quotes.
Anyway, The Hammer and I got back, gathered the twins and their new mountain bikes, and headed out.
Here, I was told I needed to say a few words to the crowd:
That’s Race Director Rod Martin to the right. Clearly, he is riveted by my speech.
I think I mostly talked about how the proceeds from this event are going to some really great causes, including a new blanket warmer for the Huntsman Cancer Institutue Center in the local hospital — a simple, practical thing that would give some comfort to people as they got chemo treatments.
Then we lined up.
Left to right in the Team Fatty kit: Kenny, me, The IT Guy, Heather.
I don’t think Heather and the IT Guy are taking this race very seriously.
Further back in the line, The Hammer got a shot of the twins in their first race starting line.
The twins don’t look particularly concerned.
Then, moments before the race began, I finally settled on my race strategy.
I looked over at Kenny and said, “Let’s go hard.”
When Non-Serious People Take a Non-Serious Race Seriously
The gun went off and Kenny and I took off. Since we were about five rows back, it took a little bit of snaking around people before we got close to the front.
And then I saw the guy I was sure was going to pull us the rest of the race: a guy with calves as big as my quads.
“Let’s tuck in behind this guy,” I said to Kenny.
We — along with a couple of other guys near the front — settled in as the Sir Calves-a-Lot pulled with the strength of ten men.
Then, maybe 200 yards later, Sir Calves-a-Lot stopped pedaling, pulled over to the left, and just coasted.
Evidently, he was done.
I shrugged and swerved around the other two guys who were drafting behind the man who I just renamed “He With the Ineffectually Large Calves.”
And just like that, a third into the first lap of the race, Kenny and I were in front of everyone.
“Let’s work together,” I said. And we set about being the fastest guys there were in a race nobody cares about going fast in.
We took short, intense pulls, building a larger and larger gap.
Moment of Terror
And then, partway into that first lap, I almost died.
Kenny and I were hauling. I was pulling. We were coming to a left-hand turn in a four-way intersection.
I was very nearly into the turn when I saw it: a minivan coming from our left side, going through and not slowing down. As far as it was concerned, it had no reason to; it had the right of way, we had the stop sign.
Kenny yelled. I grabbed two handsful of brake. I saw the terrified face of the driver of the van as he went by, missing me by a foot or so.
“I thought you were dead,” said Kenny.
“Me too,” I said, and Kenny took his next turn pulling.
The Donut Strategy
Kenny and I pulled into the donut eating station. Since we were first, we had our pick of where to stop. We pulled all the way forward and dug in.
I did not know how many donuts I wanted to eat. Last year, I had eaten eight the first go-round. I knew I didn’t want to eat that many this time.
Kenny kept a close eye on me, matching me, donut for donut.
After four — yes, just four! — Kenny said, “Let’s roll.”
I knew I could have easily eaten another two donuts without any discomfort whatsoever, but I was having a ball tearing up the course with Kenny and didn’t want to give that up just to beat him by eating more donuts.
So off we went. We had a couple of people to re-catch who had eaten either very few or no donuts at all.
We had high confidence we would be able to do so.
Elsewhere on Team Fatty
If a race is supposed to be silly, the most ridiculous thing you can do is take it seriously. Which means, I think, that Kenny and I were the most ridiculous people on the course.
Luckily, not every rider on Team Fatty was being as foolish as Kenny and I.
Take, for example, KanyonKris and his wife Jolene. They had borrowed my tandem for the day, decorated innertubes as donuts, and were riding in seriously awesome style:
They then made valiant attempts at eating donuts:
Honestly, though, look at them. People must see them wearing FatCyclist jerseys and get so confused.
Meanwhile, The IT Guy and Heather rode — and ate — together, reprising their highly effective working-together strategy from the Rockwell Relay.
You’re not going to win if you aren’t shoving donuts into your face at top speed, you know.
I dunno. It doesn’t really look like he’s enjoying eating that to me.
The Hammer noted that after eating seven donuts, “Heather looked totally green.”
And what about the twins? They were having a great time riding with The Hammer.
Riding bikes and eating all the donuts they wanted — could there be a better day?
Of course, the twins also learned a valuable lesson: donuts are great…until they’re not.
eating four? Maybe not such a good idea.
And Now, Back to Kenny’s and My Race
Kenny and I hammered through the second lap, quickly reclaiming our position near the front of the field.
We ate four donuts again. Rod — the race director — stopped by as we did and rolled his eyes. “You’re not even trying” he exclaimed.
So we ate another, bringing our total to nine. Meanwhile, The Hammer came by (she and the twins did a shortened version of the race) and told me, “Don’t you expect a single moment of sympathy if you make yourself sick on donuts today!”
Very well. Nine seemed like a good place to stop.
Kenny and I got back into our rhythm, taking short turns pulling on our third — and final — lap.
We powered up to the finish line, me in front, ready to claim my first place position — at least for time; I expected that I had not eaten enough donuts to claim the overall victory.
I put my head down, giving it all I had, ready to sprint.
But there, blocking my line to the finish line, was a monster SUV.
I sat up and slowed down ’til I could get by. Kenny did too, and we crossed together. A guy we had passed a couple minutes ago, however, snaked by, claiming first-to-finish honors.
Dude had only eaten two donuts, though.
Heather’s 7-donut binge paid off: she took second in the women’s division:
They had me stand in the podium picture for all the awards. Which may in fact have been the most ridiculous part of a thoroughly ridiculous day.
Kenny and I got up on the podium for our age group (35-54), thinking we had taken 2nd and 3rd place, with a finishing time of 56:29 and an adjusted time of 29:29.
There’s an injustice, here, though. Shane Morris got overlooked somehow — he was the real 2nd place winner. So Kenny and I claim co-third place, since our times were identical (I’m the one who kept the trophy, though).
You know what’s sad, though? It’s the “If only” factor. If Kenny and I had eaten just one more donut each, that would have dropped our time by enough to place us in co-first place (assuming we each ate that hypothetical donut in less than 21 seconds, which we hypothetically for sure would have done).
That’s the way the Tour de Donut goes, though — you walk a fine line between how many you can eat and how many you should eat.
And since I felt fine the rest of the day, I’m claiming victory.
A Note from Fatty: This is Michael Harper.He wants to lose a bunch of weight, and he needs our help. He wants to be selected in Kansas City Fitness Magazine’s Weight loss challenge, but he needs to get a whole boatload of Facebook “Likes” in order to do it. So here’s what you need to do.
Please bear in mind that this was before I was experienced at this race. This time, I’m going to totally own this thing.
How the Race Works
So, fast guy, I don’t want you to go making excuses about not being prepared because you didn’t know how this race works, so I’m going to explain the rules (you can get a more thorough explanation here).
You will ride three laps around a seven-mile course. After the first and second laps, you will eat as many donuts as you think you can handle. And — this part’s important, so pay attention — for each donut you eat, three minutes will be subtracted off your total time.
That’s right, fast guy. Three whole minutes. Per donut. So it’s possible — in fact, it’s been done — to finish the race with a negative amount of time racing.
So, fast guy, you’ve got to ask yourselves some very serious, hard questions:
How fast can you ride 21 miles?
How many donuts do you think I can eat?
Do you honestly think you can ride faster than I can eat? I mean, honestly?
Why I’m The Title Sponsor of This Race
There are two very good reasons why I am sponsoring this race.
The first one is that the sponsorship money I have agreed to put up (which I am going to have to raise, so expect news of a unique contest I am developing very soon) goes toward a very simple, meaningful objective: to buy a blanket warmer for the Huntsman Cancer Institute Cancer Center in American Fork, UT. Those of you who have had cancer know that a little bit of comfort during treatment can make a big difference. This is where Susan went for chemo, and I like the idea of making others who go there for treatment a little more comfortable.
The second one is because I can think of no better-suited race for me to sponsor than the Utah Tour de Donut.
Come Race With Me
So, fast guy — why don’t you register for the race? You’ll be doing something good. And you’ll get a lot of donuts out of it. And you’ll get to say that you raced against — and let’s face it, probably lost against — me.
Here. Just to give you an incentive, I’m going to give you a code for 15% off the registration cost. When you register, use the promo code fatcyclistdonuts2011.
Come on, fast guy. Come race me at the FatCyclist.com Tour de Donut.
If you’re not afraid.
The Fat Cyclist
PS: Live too far to race, but want to donate or buy a Tour de Donut jersey? You can do that. Just click here.
I wear the 2011 version all the time. Awesome for MTB riding, not to mention running. And trampoline-jumping. And carousing. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this is the most ideal carousing-oriented Tech-T you could ever possibly buy. So do.
You know what the most important difference between events and races is? Easy: I can sleep before events.
Which means that the morning of the ride, I slept right through the night and into the morning, ’til the alarm went off. Soundly and happily.
You know what? I like events.
Then The Hammer and I got up, went down to the lobby, had a leisurely breakfast with other Team Fatty members who were also getting ready. Thanks to some good advice in picking out a hotel, we had just a few minutes bike ride to get to the starting line.
At which point, thanks to who we are and what we’d done, we could go straight to the front of the line. Where we had a date with a photographer.
We continued getting ready and a comfortable, leisurely pace. Until I had the bright idea of looking at the time. We needed to be at the starting line in five minutes. Oops.
A quick scramble got us there, and I rolled my bike up to the front, where the photographer had already begun taking pictures.
“Hi there,” I said. “The Award-Winning Beloved Internet Celebrity Blogger is here. You may begin photographing in earnest now.”
And he got some good shots. Here’s Team Fatty looking happy:
And here we are, flexing our massive muscles:
We Shall Not Be Out-Chanted
After the photo session, we had half an hour to stand around before the start. During this time, an outrage occurred: A bunch of kids got in front of our place in the line. As if they were somehow more important than we.
OK, actually they were the kids from Texas 4000 — a group of college kids working their way from Texas to Alaska, spreading cancer awareness and raising money along the way. So I’m going to give them a pass on being in front of us, I suppose.
But then they had gumption — those wacky kids — to huddle up and do some kind of raucous cheer, leaving Team Fatty looking rather quiet and . . . ummm . . . cheerless.
Panicked, I looked back and saw Mike Levin (shown here with Stanley Tucci at the awards dinner the night before), the very first Team Fatty member in the history of the universe (yes, even before me). “We need a cheer!” I yelled at him. “Now!“
Without a moment’s hesitation, he yelled, with the emphasis and gusto that can come only with utter conviction,
Immediately — and with the zeal of true believers — we all took up the chant. All 50+ of us. That’s a lot of people affirming their love of pie. When we finished, the announcer observed, “I’m pretty sure Team Fatty would like some pie.”
Well put, announcer guy.
The Most Wisest Wisdom I Shall Every Give You
Just before 7:30, Lance got up and said a few words, in which he publicly acknowledged Team Fatty, not to mention how awesome it would be if there were no more cancer and LiveStrong headquarters could be converted into a pie shop (yes, really).
Team Fatty superstar Zeeeter caught it on video. Watch it:
Then Lance took off with his riding buddies — I don’t think I’ll ever understand or like the way he goes ahead of everyone like that — after which we took off, right behind the Texas 4000 college kids.
Evidently, the college kids did not expect us to attack them right out of the gate.
Within a mile, fifteen or more of us had formed The Big Orange Train. Within two miles, we passed the fastest of the Texas 4000 kids.
“So long, teenagers!” I yelled as we went by.
Team Fatty was in front, as was proper.
Except there was a flaw in our plan: We let the Chapek brothers conduct the train.
The thing you need to know about Matt and Greg Chapek is that they’re both strong riders. And they both love to take long pulls at the front.
The other thing you need to know about them is that if you let them lead you, they will totally take you off course.
Which is why about thirty or so of us took the first exit — instead of the second one — out of a roundabout.
Which, in turn, is why I got a chance to yell, “So long, teenagers!” to the Texas 4000 kids a second time a couple miles later.
The Orange Train (aka “The Miracle of Flight”)
As we entered the countryside, an amazing thing happened: a group of about fifteen Team Fatty riders — including a tandem! — just sort of naturally wound up in the same spot:
At which point we organized ourselves into a paceline powerhouse.
Here’s another shot of the Orange Train, which I’m putting in mostly because of the rather expertly-executed photobomb by the mysterious rider in the Team RadioShack kit:
Thanks to a flat course, a cool morning, and no wind, we motored along at an amazing pace — never dropping below 20mph. The Chapek brothers seemed to be making it a point of pride to have one or the other of them doing the pulling about 80% of the time. Which worked just fine for me, and The Hammer constantly effused about how nice it was to just get sucked along, soft-pedaling, at 22mph.
At least for those doing the 105-mile course, this was not just a flat ride. About 35 miles-ish in, the climbing began.
Some people called the climb “Cardiac Hill.” Which, frankly, is a little bit melodramatic. What it actually is is a beautiful mountain pass with a moderate grade.
Steep enough, though, that our train broke up and we were left to our own devices. For myself, I was happy to have a chance to get off the saddle — I’m not used to that much in-the-seat pedaling all at once.
We hit the first turnaround point at 44 miles and then got to do the climb through the mountain, this time in the other direction. I wasn’t complaining, but I could see that the “2400 feet of elevation gain” in the official ride profile was going to be wrrrrroooonng. By about 50%.
Oh, and just as an aside, has anyone else ever noticed that when you do an out-and-back over mountain passes, the elevation profile always winds up looking like a demon? Like this:
The Hammer and I felt like we were having just an exceptional day, right up ’til about mile 60 or so. And then came an intersection that was not clearly marked. We made our best guess — that we should continue straight and start riding the 70-milers’ course, but before long we were second-guessing ourselves
And it’s amazing the way self-doubt saps your strength, your motivation.
We slowed way down, looking ahead and behind. No riders in sight. We became increasingly confident we had gone the wrong way.
And then Brent — a Team Fatty rider, naturally — motored up behind us, told us with confidence that we were on the right course, and then rode and gave us a big ol’ mighty pull.
Just what we needed. I tell you, Team Fatty are the best people there is (are?).
Let’s Finish This
At the 70 mile aid station, The Hammer and I found we weren’t too far behind — or in front of — a lot of the original Orange Train riders. We regrouped just in time for a quick uphill and then 30 miles of mostly flat, which we dispatched at about 20mph.
Riding in a paceline is awesome.
As we rode, our paceline grew. Like a bike-based Katamari ball or something. Mostly folks would just absorb right in and become good citizens on the train.
There was one guy, though, who I think had never been in a paceline. Or perhaps he was a slow learner. In any case, he would ride in the back of the train most of the time, resting. Fine, he wasn’t the only one doing that; we didn’t mind passengers.
What was weird, though, was that every once in a while, he would attack. Just pull out of line and ride his lungs out, ’til he popped and had to slouch to the back of the train again.
Maybe he thought that one of those times his solo breakaway would succeed and he’d reach escape velocity? I dunno.
Meanwhile, the train chugged along. Matt C was no longer part of the ride — he had discombobulated and was riding a slower pace to the end — but his brother Greg still did about 50% of the pulling. Dude’s a total workhorse.
And then, just a couple miles before the finish line, we caught up with Angie.
The very same Angie who had organized the Team Fatty get-together at the Hall of Fame on Friday night.
The very same Angie who had taken upon herself the task of bringing The Hammer’s and my borrowed bikes from Santa Rosa.
The very same Angie who is, quite possibly, the nicest person in the world.
So you can imagine my shock when, when she saw us, instead of riding in together as a big Orange Train of Solidarity, she attacked. Hard.
I tell you, people have entirely different personalities on the bike than they do the rest of the time.
And Now for the Part You’ve All Been Waiting For
In the prior three LiveStrong Challenges I’ve done, I’ve always hung out at the finish line, congratulating Team Fatty folks as they finished. This time, though, I changed the tradition, and for good reason: David had brought pie. Like, 20 of them. All sitting there in the tent.
Furthermore, Roger W’s son Spencer had brought over a couple ice chests full of drinks. And some chips.
Therefore, I did the smart thing and changed clothes, went to the tent, and ate pie while talking with Team Fatty for the rest of the afternoon.
What did we talk about? Everything. Nothing. We were all over the place. Just a bunch of people who hardly knew each other at the beginning of the weekend, but are all really good friends now.
Unfortunately, Yann didn’t quite make it to the post-ride pie-fest. He had something more fun to do:
Dehydration and exhaustion had caught up with him at the very end of the ride. Sadly, by the time he had gotten out of the hospital, the pie was all gone. Sorry, Yann.
But really, what would you expect from a group of people called ‘Team Fatty?’
As I get older (I’m 45 as of last month, thanks for asking), I find myself trying to be more refined. Classier. I think of what the high road might be in a given situation, and then I try to take that road.
Sadly, in all ways, I have failed at this endeavor.
No, wait. All ways except one. For this year, the Fat Cyclist jersey is — by a leap, a bound, and then a click-of-the-heels — the classiest jersey one could possibly own without removing the “FATCYCLIST” part.
Which, by the way, is something the Twin Six guys proposed. “Hey,” they said, “We think your jersey would be more awesome if we put pretty much any text other than ‘FATCYCLIST’ across the front.”
Which, as you might expect, made me start to cry.
By the way, I just made up that whole part about Twin Six proposing removing “FATCYCLIST” from the Fat Cyclist jersey. And the part about making me cry.
Oh, am I rambling? Sorry about that. This is no time to ramble; this is a time to reveal and pitch the . . . 2012 Fat Cyclist Collection!
The Fat Cyclist jersey — available in both Men’s Cut and Women’s Cut — is what all other items in the Fat Cyclist Collection (for some odd reason, I suddenly find myself calling this a “collection” instead of “gear.” Weird.) are designed around. They’re what everything else matches, goes with, complements, and basically emulates. And stuff. So let’s take a look at the cornerstone (capstone? touchstone? I don’t know) of the 2012 Fat Cyclist line. First, the mens’ front:
And now, back:
This year, I didn’t want people to have to choose between the orange and pink designs, and I didn’t want gender to make that choice for them. I just wanted the Fat Cyclist jersey to look snazzy, and I wanted the FIGHT LIKE SUSAN collar to be pink, and the WIN text to be pink as well as visible to everyone.
Of course, the cut itself is different for men’s and women’s jerseys. See if you can spot the difference in the women’s cut, front view:
Am I the only one who gets just a little bit turned on by the shape of women’s-cut jerseys? Please tell me I’m not the only one.
For those of you who care and were about to ask, the zipper (both men’s and women’s cuts) is 3/4 this year, and for very good reason: zippers can be full-length, or they can be hidden. In order to not have a zipper visibly bisecting the design and text on the front of the jersey, the zipper’s gotta be 3/4-length. Make sense? Of course it does.
You do wear bibs on all your rides, don’t you? Of course you do. And if you don’t, now’s a good time to start. And here’s the thing: these shorts have got the orange and white stripes to go perfectly with your jersey, but they’re also primarily black, so they’ll go with your other jerseys (if, for some sad, sad reason, you happen to have jerseys that are not Fat Cyclist jerseys).
Plus, they put the words “Team Fatty” right on your butt. Which other people might find hilarious, until you tear their legs off in the climbs.
The design is the same for Women’s and Men’s; but of course — wisely — the cut is not. Choose your gender, then pre-order your bib shorts from Twin Six:
Oh sure, it’s a 92 degrees at 3:00am right now, but just you wait. Soon the kids will be going back to school (thank goodness!) and the mornings will be getting cooler (thank even more goodness!). And then, before you know it, it won’t be just the mornings that are cool. It will be the whole day.
It’ll be Autumn, the best season of the year for riding . . . provided you’ve got yourself a nice, warm, thermal long-sleeve jersey.
And whaddaya know, there’s a jersey that fills that bill right here, in both men’s and women’s sizes. Here’s the front:
And here’s the back:
I have the 2011 version of this jersey and love it. I use it not just for riding on cold days, but for running on cold days, too. And, for really cold days, with a wool base layer underneath for hiking or snowshoeing.
This sucka’s versatile. Not to mention all soft and fleecy and cozy.
And, as I may have mentioned before, it comes in men’s and women’s cuts. Pre-order now from Twin Six here:
Does this make a great running shirt? Yes it does. Is that all it’s good for? Heck no. I use my 2011 Tech T for mountain biking, too. And to fancy dinners. It’s comfortable, it’s technical, it looks awesome. Check it out from the front:
And the back:
Yes, it costs more than the tech-t’s you get for free when you do a running event. But they’re nicer too. I love my 2011 Tech T enough that I bought another, so I’m more likely to have one clean and ready to use.
What if it’s windy outside? You don’t want to put a garbage bag over your head when you’re riding, do you?
No. No you do not. Because that makes you look like a rolling bag of trash, that’s why. Plus, there’s that danger of asphyxiation. And there are few more embarrassing ways to die than of asphyxiation by trash bag. We shall not enumerate these ways here.
Instead, avoid the whole “I look like a trash bag” thing by wearing this lightweight water-resistant windshell. It’s windproof, water resistant, and very durable. It’s got a dual directional full zipper and vented side panels. No back pockets, and the sizing skews more toward men’s, so women: be sure to calculate accordingly.
So you’re riding along and — as you knew it would — the weather turns semi-ugly. Or maybe you’ve reached the top of the big climb and now it’s time for the 10-mile descent into the morning mountain air.
The vest you oh-so-cleverly purchased and now have rolled up in your jersey pocket is going to make you feel prepared. And comfortable. And you’re still (because in the scenario I’m imagining, you’re also wearing a Fat Cyclist jersey) going to be flying the Team Fatty colors.
You’re so awesome.
Check it out (front and side view side-by-side, just to mix things up a little):
For the past couple years, I’ve gone with Cambelbak for my bottles. Then, a few months ago, Twin Six sent me a couple of the new Specialized Purist WaterGate bottles to try out.
You know what? They’re better. In fact, these new bottles are the best.
First and foremost, you don’t have to squeeze / suck so hard to get water (or whatever) out. That’s because the plastic’s low density. Next, the nozzle is simpler, doesn’t leak, and is easier to keep clean.
These are nice, big bottles, too — the 26oz size.
And no plasticky taste. At all. These are, simply, the best bottles out there. For more details of why, read CyclingNews’ review of the Purist WaterGate. Or check out the Purist site for more info on this bottle. Specialized has done a really good thing here.
Oh, and we’re selling these at a screamingly good price, too. Indeed, I’m pretty sure you won’t find a 26oz Purist bottle with the WaterGate cap for $8 anywhere else. That’s nice, isn’t it?
They’re soft, thin merino wool. They are comfortable. They look beautiful and will go with everything you own. Wear them in the Summer. Wear them in the Winter. And don’t just wear them when you’re riding. Wear them to work. To church. To the mall. To bed. Hey, why not?
I recommend you order fourteen pair and throw out all your other socks. No more sock-matching problems!
You aren’t always wearing a Fat Cyclist jersey, right? Because nobody does that. Except me, and I figure I’m a special case. But for the rest of you, when you’re wearing people clothes, why don’t you also wear a Fat Cyclist track jacket? It’s comfy. It’s cozy. It’s California fleece.
I understand that Californians grow the very best fleece.
By the way, you can wear this at places other than at the track. I just wanted to be clear on that point.
Last Winter, I wore my Fat Cyclist hoodie pretty much every day of the week. That may have been at least partially due to the fact that I work in the basement of my house and not much heat makes it down here. But part of it was that it’s a very comfortable hoodie, and looks good too. And it’s very important to look your best when you’re working in the basement of your house. Check out the front:
And now check out the back:
The colors are the same for men’s and women’s hoodies: black, with white and orange art. The only thing that differentiates the men’s and women’s hoodies is the cut. Yeah, I didn’t know there was such a thing as gender-specific hoodie cuts either. Turns out there is.
To pre-order a hoodie, select one (or both — I’m not fussy) of the following:
Did you know that when you buy a Fat Cyclist jersey, 50% of the profit goes toward the fight against cancer? Yeah, it does. And really, that’s what Team Fatty is all about. Just by wearing the clothes, you’re doing something good.
And that’s pretty darned awesome.
(Oh, and also you’re keeping Twin Six in business, and helping me send my oldest son to college.)
Questions and Answers
Got questions? Of course you do. And I’m going to be checking the blog a lot today, and so will the Twin Six guys. Post your questions in the comment section; we’ll do our best to answer them really really quick-like.
Meanwhile, here are some questions I expect you might have. And I’ll update this list as necessary.
How long does the pre-order last? From now (Tuesday, July 12) ’til 5:00pm July 19 (Central time).
When will my stuff arrive? Late September.
Can I order if I live outside the U.S.? Heck yeah.
Will there be a super-secret and very meaningful quote behind the back middle pocket? Yes there will. You’ll have to wait to see what it is, though.
Where’s the T-Shirt? The Fat Cyclist T-Shirt will be rolled out and made available for order in time for the 2011 holidays.
What if I don’t order now? Well, we always order a few extra of everything, but there’s a pretty good chance that if you don’t order this week, you’ll miss out. I like to do the money-making part of the blog in one big push.
Thanks, once again, for supporting the fight against cancer. And for supporting my good friends at Twin Six. And for supporting me (and the son I need to send to college).
You’re gonna love your Fat Cyclist gear. But by now, you probably already knew that.
PS: Got questions about the 2012 Fat Cyclist Gear? Ryan — one of the honchos of Twin Six — will be monitoring the comments posted today and answering them inline. So ask away! And also, if you love T6 stuff (and who doesn’t?), maybe also give them the kudos they deserve.
A “Hey, I’m Somebody Now” Note from Fatty: The Davis Enterprise did a piece on the LiveStrong Challenge, and guess who got interviewed and even photographed? No, you’re completely wrong, it was not Stanley Tucci. It was me!Check it out here.
A “Hey, I’m Evidently Somebody In Two Different Cities” Note from Fatty: The Daily Herald (a Utah paper) also did a story on me, whichyou can read here. The tie-in is the fact that I’m sponsoring The American Fork Tour de Donut, or — as I like to call it –The FatCyclist.com Tour de Donutthis weekend. And believe it or not, they also did a cool little video interview with me, which you can watch below, for your embedded viewing pleasure:
Awesome video trivia: all shots of me riding my bike took place while I rode around in circles in my cul de sac.
And now, on with the report of the LiveStrong Challenge!
Team Fatty Owns Davis
From a practical standpoint, events like Davis LiveStrong Challenge make no sense. I certainly don’t need to travel all the way to California to ride my bike for 100 miles. I could donate more money, instead of spending it on traveling.
But sometimes, being practical isn’t the priority. Sometimes, being with friends and celebrating your success is important.
And Team Fatty definitely has some things to celebrate. For the Davis LiveStrong Challenge, we were not just a leading team. We were the leading team, by every possible metric. We raised the most money, individually ($35K!), as a team ($118K!), and in the strange and obscure Team Time Trial category.
We had the most donors. We were the largest team. For last weekend, at least, Davis, California was all about Team Fatty.
The Cycling Hall of Fame
Festivities — yes, festivities, because we were all feeling downright festive – began on Friday night at the Bicycling Hall of Fame. 25 or so of us hung out there, putting names (and commenter handles) to faces.
There you go. A subset of Team Fatty Davis, including some of the most prolific commenters on the blog. But you know what? I’m not going to say who’s who. I’ll let you guess.
Joe — the honcho at the Hall of Fame — gave us a tour of the incredible history of cycling:
Oh, and of course there was cake.
I had two pieces, which you would probably expect of me. That, however, was a teeny-tiny amount compared to Co-captain MattC’s cake consumption. Five pieces. Honestly. “It’s part of my super power,” Matt explained. “I once went on a cruise, and ate non-stop. I got home, and hadn’t gained an ounce.”
At which point, the rest of us stabbed Matt to death using plastic forks.
A Major Award! A Major Award! A Major Award! A Major Award!
The next day — Saturday — was one of those rare and wonderful days that come all too rarely: we had no responsibilities and hardly any agenda. The Hammer and I went on a short run — hey, we’ve got a marathon coming up in just five months after all — and then had a leisurely breakfast. And then we went to get our packets. We figured that would take a couple minutes.
It wound up taking up most of the afternoon.
This was partially due to the fact that there was a farmer’s market going on and we found ourselves looking longingly at the bread, pastries, and other food. And then we stopped looking longingly and just started buying the food.
I can tell I am in for a rude shock when I check my weight when I get home.
Then I came across the Honey Stinger booth. I felt compelled to vault the table and get my photo with these guys.
“You Honey Stinger guys are the best,” I effused. “You’ve done the impossible — turned energy food into an awesome snack.”
They thanked me and asked me to please go away. I refused, and instead gave them each a manly hug. They asked if I would go away if they gave me a box of Honey Stinger waffles.
I complied. I am not an unreasonable man.
Before long, we ran into several Team Fatty members. At which point the greatest thing ever happened: a bunch of people who didn’t know each other very well at all discovered that we are already really good friends. Seriously, it was more like a family reunion than most family reunions.
Your family reunions may be different than mine, however.
To show their Team Fatty loyalty, Matt and Angie had gotten face paint:
Please do as I did and try to overlook the fact that they look more like velociraptors than clydesdales. It’s the thought that counts. And the paint, and glitter.
Next, Dinner. The big event, where Team Fatty — 45 of us — got to pretty much dominate the evening, seeing as how every award given was going to us. We had three full tables and parts of several more. Check us out:
I’m not going to go into great detail of the whole night, but I will give you what was a pretty awesome quotable moment. Lance Armstrong just suddenly appeared (he can do that, you know) behind me and we had the following conversation:
Lance: “So, you decided just to win everything, huh? Not let anyone else have any awards?”
Me: “Hey, I learned from the best.”
Lance: “Yeah, f— ‘em all.”
Me: “Damn straight.”
NYC Carlos: (Dies laughing over the course of the rest of the evening)
Toward the end of the evening, I was presented an award:
And I got a chance to say a few words. Luckily, I had come prepared, having asked folks in the team to send me short stories of why the fight against cancer is important to them. Here is what I read to the people at the awards dinner:
Like everyone I know, I’ve lost loved ones to cancer—in my case, my mother, uncle, and aunt. That’s reason enough to fight cancer with Team Fatty. But I’m also a cancer researcher—and one of the things I hear when I ask people with cancer what they miss most is “I really wish I could ride my bike—I miss the independence.” Thanks to Fatty, I’m able to ride to help those who can’t.
–Shelley Adler, PhD
As a tongue and uterus cancer survivor who is about to turn 50 and am acutely aware that every day is a gift not a guarantee. I am riding to reinforce this for myself, challenge myself to better health (lost 120 pounds and have 60+more to go), support those whose fight with cancer is harder than my own, and to stay OUT of my comfort zone – where every moment is lived to its fullest.
Too many people I care about have faced down cancer. I used to wear their names on the back of my jersey; they don’t fit anymore.
Fighting cancer is a priority for me because of my mother. A single mother who worked multiple jobs to support 3 kids, and battled 3 cancers over 24 years before passing in 2008.
This past year we lost my stepfather, Steve Jones, to bladder cancer. Like all cancer fighters, he was brave, strong, and courageous. For nearly my whole life, he was a thoughtful and incredibly caring part of my family. More than anything, I miss how much he loved me.
Because I dislike it when bad things happen to good people…
Because I’ve watched cancer affect the lives of my family, friends and others and I cannot stand idly by. I truly believe that we will beat this disease, and I am proud to be a part of the fight!
I ride for best friend and sister Susie never got to graduate from UC Davis; she passed away after fighting for two years against Hodgkin’s Disease, 16 years ago. I ride for my dad who passed away two years ago after a brief two week battle with pancreatic cancer. And lastly, I ride for my mom who is a six year survivor of breast cancer, when I grow up I want to be like her. She is my hero.
I lost a friend last year to cancer, a relative is fighting stage 4 melanoma, my wife’s friend is fighting stomach cancer, my work colleague’s husband is facing repeated challenges from bladder cancer, and my father in law is successfully fighting prostate cancer. That’s a lot of cancer. Second, I read the stories and blogs online, of the spouses, individuals and especially the children, and every time I read about their passing it breaks my heart – I have to do something to help, however small and insignificant as an individual in the hope that lots like me will make a difference.
I ride in memory of my grandmother who lived with courage, humor, and zeal for life. Even cancer couldn’t take that away. Riding my bike allows me to fight cancer with courage, humor and zeal-just like my grandmother did.
I became interested in “The Cancer Fight” after losing my mom to kidney cancer, and then later on I lost other friends and family members. Seventeen years ago I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, and in 2009 I experienced a recurrence. Now I’m a healthy cyclist who loves the battle cry: “Fight Like Susan.”
We are biking to help Rob walk again. The Livestrong Challenge allows us to do a beginning ride with Rob, not many rides have that flexibility. Raising monies for Livestrong reminds us of a picture bigger than just our family, everyone faces challenges and needs support. It’s good to be part of a team working for a common cause.
–Amy, Dave, Rob Thompson
I see the effects of cancer on the lives of people I know virtually every day. I see their strength, pain, determination and spirit. Team Fatty is a vehicle to show support to those battling cancer and to show them how much others care for them. How they are not alone.
Our daughter Natalie was diagnosed with cancer at age 4 on 7/5/07 and we ride for her. She is now healthy, happy, and energetic and we are thankful for all those like you that have raised so much money for cancer research and we ride to help those coming after us. Also, this is my wife’s first organized ride and we are looking forward to finishing together.
I fight because it’s important to me to take the chaotic destruction that is cancer and turn it into something good. I fight because this fight is Susan’s legacy. I fight because Team Fatty inspires me to continue to fight.
I think this doesn’t merely reflect just Team Fatty’s reasons for the fight. I think it reflect’s everyone’s.
PS: In Wednesday’s post, I’ll go into the ride itself, hopefully with a video.