The Voice of Reason Prevails, Gives You a Chance to Win a VIP Trip to Levi’s GranFondo

09.13.2011 | 2:18 pm

Here is the story so far, as it developed yesterday:

  1. Giddy and jet-lagged, I said some things about Levi Leipheimer’s (well-documented) propensity to throw his weight around that some might call outrageous and libelous, if they were all cranky and were spoiling for a fight, I mean.
  2. Levi hired a lawyer that seems perfectly happy to use decidedly unsavory tactics to quiet me.
  3. We found ourselves at an impasse, staring at each other. Giving each other the stink-eye. Wondering who would blink first.

What would happen? Who would prevail? Neither party seemed willing to budge in this epic battle of wills.

The tension was simply too much to bear.

Luckily, a third party has stepped in, acting as a calming influence. A voice of reason. Specifically, the good folks in the staff at Bike Monkey / Levi’s GranFondo sent this letter:



And for those of you who don’t like reading the text in jpegs from scanned letters, here’s the text of what they said.

13 September 2011

Mr. Fat Cyclist, Mr. Levi Leipheimer:

Alright, everyone just take a deep breath.


And out.

Again, in.

And out. Big exhale this time.

That’s better.

There’s a lot of mud being slung here; one side thick with allegations of extortion and abject thuggery; the other piled with thinly veiled threats and intimidating innuendos. This little dance has gone from zero to crazy at a speed that’s no good for anyone. We here at Levi’s GranFondo are butting in before something happens that someone’s going to regret.

Fatty, you’ve stuck your neck out. You felt compelled to expose something you thought was a danger to the sport of cycling and the health of anyone within arm’s (or leg’s) reach of Levi. It was a bold move but, considering what you alleged, you’re kind of nuts. If you’re wrong, you’d have bad-mouthed one of the best riders in the saddle today. If you’re right, then, by your own definition, you’d be in traction, dining via a straw, and blinking one for yes, two for no. You set yourself up for a loss, so you had to see this coming.

Patron, we get it. You’ve inspired a certain…discretion amongst your colleagues and team members. You’ve been very clear about how you’d like things handled, especially when describing the consequences of failure in precise detail. We here at your GranFondo appreciate that clarity and prefer not to ask questions. After all, you said it best yourself just a couple of weeks ago: “Just don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.” You then turned a pale green, grunted a bit, and won the US Pro Cycling Challenge.

We just hate to see two guys go after each other like this in such a brazen display. It seems counter productive and someone could get their knees cheekbones teeth feelings hurt. So we’re going to turn this around in the fairest way we see fit.

Fatty, you’re going to be our honored guest at Levi’s GranFondo again. Bring the Hammer. Relax, drink the wine, enjoy the mid-autumn sunshine. Come to our Festa fundraising dinner. Eat. Be merry. Do not lick the auction items, as we agreed last year. Ride your bike at the GranFondo, exalt, smile a lot, etc.

But remember, you’ve abused our trust with your painful allegations. We need to know that you’re still a vested member of the GranFondo community and the best way to do that, of course, is to help us with the primary goal of the GranFondo: fundraising for our charities. We know the kids (and the animals) at Forget Me Not Farm would appreciate it. We’re positive that LIVESTRONG could do some good with any money you could raise. The schools, fire departments, and other programs we support for the communities along the GranFondo route would certainly appreciate it as well.

On our side, because our main man might have given somewhat questionable direction to his legal representation, resulting in a letter that could’ve been construed as maybe a little hostile, we’ll throw in some help for your fundraising push. Let’s say a few GranFondo jerseys by Capo? Shoot, maybe even a couple of full GranFondo kits, from Giro helmets to socks and everything in between? While we’re at it, why not a full ride for two: airfare, lodging, a couple of seats at the Festa dinner, a pre-GranFondo spin with Levi, and two spots in the sold-out GranFondo itself? You’d know what to do with something like this, yes?

There. That’s better. Doesn’t this seem fair? After all, everyone gets something great out of it. Especially you Fatty, since you get to keep your ribs intact.

Win win!


Your pals at Bike Monkey/Levi’s GranFondo

What This Means

So let me get this straight. If I be what passes for nice in these parts, as well as help fundraise for some really great charities, The Hammer and I get to come to the GranFondo? And bring a couple folks from Team Fatty along? And give away some awesome second prizes?

OK, I’m in. Let’s do this.

What You Can Win

The prizes for this contest are pretty simple to explain, really. There’s one first prize (for two people) and two second prizes.

First Place: A VIP Trip for Two to Levi’s GranFondo

You and a guest (Sorry, US Only) get to enjoy all of the following:

  • Airfare to the GranFondo
  • Lodging
  • Tickets to the Festa del Fondo gala and auction (Sept 29)
  • Ride with Levi and a small group the day before the GranFondo (Sept 30)
  • Tickets to ride in the impossible-to-obtain, sold-out GranFondo itself

Second Place:

Two second-place winners will get the super-swank full 2011 GranFondo kit. That’s about a $475 prize, and is guaranteed to make you look exactly like this:


Specifically, you get all of the following:

  • The 2011 GranFondo / Giro Aeon Helmet (below image is the top-of-the-line, $250 Aeon helmet, but doesn’t reflect custom GranFondo design):
  • The 2011 GranFondo Jersey (made by Capo):
  • The 2011 GranFondo Shorts / Bibshorts (made by Capo):
  • The 2011 GranFondo Arm Warmers (made by Capo):
  • The 2011 GranFondo Cycling Cap (made by Capo):
  • 2011 GranFondo Socks (made by Capo):

How To Enter

Want a chance at winning a trip to ride in the GranFondo? I thought so. It’s easy. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the Team Fatty Fundraising Page for the GranFondo.
  2. Donate any amount, in increments of $5.00.
  3. For every $5.00 you donate, you get a chance at winning either the first or a second prize.
  4. The contest begins now, and ends Midnight (PT) Sunday, September 25. I’ll notify winners on Monday.

Sorry, but all prizes are available in the US only. What with customs and the logistical issues of trying to fly someone here from Lithuania in time. You understand, right?

Why You Should Enter

There are a couple of really good reasons for you to enter this contest. The first, of course, is the possibility that you’ll win a trip to Levi’s GranFondo. Which is an amazing experience, with fancy food, and an incredible ride. With breathtaking scenery.

Apart from that, though, is the fact that Levi’s GranFondo does a lot of good for a lot of people, and when you donate, you’re doing a lot of good too. Your donation goes to benefit all of the following:

  • LiveStrong: What could I say about LiveStrong that I haven’t said ten thousand times before?I’ve seen firsthand the good that it does, and I’m really pleased that Levi’s GranFondo is supporting it too.
  • Forget Me Not Farm: Forget Me Not Farm helps thousands of at-risk children and youth break the cycle of abuse.
  • Local help: The GranFondo helps local schools, cycling programs, emergency services and community services.

So, whether you win or not, you’re doing something good for someone who needs it. That’s awesome.

So please, donate. Maybe you’ll win something awesome, and for sure you’ll be doing something good.

And you’ll probably help me avoid having Levi punch me in the throat (again).

PS: Tomorrow I start up with the France trip storytelling. Honest.  


  1. Comment by 100poundsago | 09.13.2011 | 2:42 pm

    This has been nearly my only source of laughter for the last few days.

  2. Comment by LauraS | 09.13.2011 | 2:45 pm

    I knew you folks were cooking up something good. Going to donate now, but I’m already signed up for the Fondo.

  3. Comment by Nic Grillo | 09.13.2011 | 2:47 pm

    I already have a spot in the Fondo, but I am always up for helping Team Fatty! Donating now…

  4. Comment by slowrider | 09.13.2011 | 2:49 pm

    You better hope I win so that I can be there to cover your back!

    By the way, the helmet cam cooking show is genius, but your guacamole recipe is straight from the Trailer Trash cookbook. It figures you’re from Utah. Why not just open a can of bean dip and a jar of queso? Get some technique – after all, you’ve been to France.

  5. Comment by D | 09.13.2011 | 2:49 pm

    Welcome back, f(ivedollar)!

  6. Comment by JodieA | 09.13.2011 | 3:25 pm

    A crummy commercial? Really funny last few days of blogs, Fatty. I think you almost won everyone back from Paul!

    (If you didn’t get the reference, the first line was from A Christmas Story–not an insult to either evil Levi or Fatty because I’m pretty sure either of them could finish me off).

  7. Comment by Jeff Bike | 09.13.2011 | 3:58 pm

    We are so glad you and Levi can listen to a calming voice. I was so worried you would end up in worse condition than IT guy. By the way how is he? Tell him I asked about him. That will make him feel better.
    It is MHO that you should note to self, that you must be more generous with the pro-riders. They are a really high strung bunch. They are like a race horses; if they aren’t skittish and high strung they aren’t fast. Since Levi has demonstrated that he is really fast he logically must be a horse high strung. Shall we all chalk it up to having a little fun?

  8. Comment by Chris from Down Under | 09.13.2011 | 4:19 pm

    Any chance the prizes of the kit can be open to international readers?

  9. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 09.13.2011 | 4:33 pm

    Yeah!!!, another chance to win(not) a prize. The only way we’re going to get some Chris Horner socks is to send all our donations directly to him.

    I posted yesterday I was bringing a case of Avocados and chips to the Gran Fondo. Hoping you can come out of the VIP tent long enough to give us all a little demonstration and technique. I might throw in some brownies as well.

    Dilemma Do I really want to look like this?

    I’m 6-3, I like being tall.

  10. Comment by Robg | 09.13.2011 | 5:02 pm

    Would settle for his transplanted leg muscles and his percentage of body fat!

  11. Comment by Wife#1 | 09.13.2011 | 5:50 pm

    @DavidinMarin you are 6′4″ and as your wife, I can assure you that every inch counts. Also, the thought of you squeezing into one of Levi’s wee kits scares me. Are they offering an Andy Schleck one instead? Or maybe one from FabulousThighs Cancellara? ;-)

    I’m already composing my letter to Chris Horner. I think I’ll just ask him to name his {charitable donation} price and favorite organization in exchange for a pair of signed socks. This is getting ridiculous. Fatty is just teasing us now – hell we still have not seen the list of winners for the Grand Slam for Zambia. This is starting to seem like a Ponzi scheme, you know, kinda like social security.

    Then again, maybe you’ll win this one honey, since we live less than an hour away. If you do win, you’ll just have to eat an airfare’s worth of hor d’oevres (and maybe you can sneak some to Fatty as it sounds like they will be keeping a close eye on him).

    Bon chance to all entrants. Lemme go pull out my much abused credit card. Damn you Fatty…. you pitched woo quite well.

  12. Comment by Wife#1 | 09.13.2011 | 5:55 pm

    No American Express accepted? Oh for pete’s sake….. *grumble, grumble*

  13. Comment by Thank you | 09.13.2011 | 6:39 pm

    That setup was easily worth a few bucks. Nicely done.

  14. Comment by RodNeeds2Ride | 09.13.2011 | 7:19 pm

    Aright, aright, aright I’m in! I’ll just make sure to wear a neck brace around Levi if(when) I win this thing!

  15. Comment by Erik | 09.13.2011 | 7:48 pm

    So if I win, I get a Bear Belly, like Levi?

  16. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 09.13.2011 | 8:20 pm

    Wife#1 said she had a comment for me. Alas, all our conversations now take place through this backblog.

    As for hor d’oevres and sneaking them out to Fatty,that would be a waste. Fatty only eats items with ‘Fry Sauce’ (I assume he’s bringing some this year) and he doesn’t eat things he doesn’t recognize:5061185689_317aca6521_m.jpg

    @Erik: If you cross a Beer Belly with a Bear Belly…..

  17. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 09.13.2011 | 8:36 pm

    Is that a rabid Chihuahua on the back of the jersey?


  18. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 09.13.2011 | 8:50 pm

    Last Thought. While everyone loves to ‘bet’ on a dogfight… or in this case a mini-dogfight, let’s not forget who kept all of us entertained these last two weeks. Please pry a little more from the wallet, follow the link below to Paul’s page and say THANK YOU;

    Maybe we can get Bucky to give Fatty and Levi a noogie. Now there’s a ‘prize’ I could donate for.

  19. Comment by Annon | 09.13.2011 | 8:59 pm

    Please publish the prize list winners for Grand Slam for Zambia, just dying to tell someone how lucky I was.

  20. Comment by Mark Kynaston | 09.14.2011 | 3:25 am

    Live over the pond in the UK but donated anyway as the last few days entertainment has been well worth a measly $10.00 of my money. Sorry it can’t be more but I have a lacrosse and cycling habit to feed(not to mention a wife and two kids) and I am relatively penniless at the moment. If I win anything either re- raffle it and raise some more money or pass on my prize to a deserving person or persons of your choice.

    I am sure you and the Hammer will enjoy the Grand Fondo, just as long as Levi’s legal team aren’t participating!

  21. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 09.14.2011 | 6:36 am

    Hey so what happened with the Grand Slam for Zambia contest?

  22. Comment by Dave | 09.14.2011 | 6:57 am

    I wouldn’t be able to make it if I win, but I received plenty of entertainment with these shenanigans. It’s only right peole who need it benefit from it so I donated.

  23. Comment by Mitch | 09.14.2011 | 8:47 am

    Pretty new to Team Fatty, so I’m not sure how the donating works. Can I choose which charity my money goes to? Or does it go to Levi’s Granfondo and they distribute the money to the charities they support?

  24. Comment by Slowstdy | 09.14.2011 | 9:34 am

    France? Donated.

  25. Comment by RandoBoy | 09.14.2011 | 10:31 am

    Good to know that your ire can be mollified, and merely for the cost of a weekend getaway. I would be ashamed for you … except I just donated, too. I really, really hope that I win (giggling like a giddy little girl here).

  26. Comment by Haven-KT | 09.14.2011 | 2:39 pm

    $25 donated. Winning would be cool, but if not, oh well.

    I’d like to have Levi’s legs and physical fitness. Is that ok with him?

    I’m afraid that if I win the trip, he’ll have to ride so slow that he’ll fall over or get bored waiting for me. Is the ride with Levi about 10 miles, mostly flat? That would be great.

  27. Comment by Stephen G | 09.18.2011 | 8:43 am

    I’m in for $50.

  28. Comment by anon | 09.19.2011 | 5:25 am

    yes, do publish the grand slam for zambia list soon, I too am dying to tell people that I won and why I chose my prize….!

  29. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Fatty Goes to France, Part V: A Conversation With Andy Hampsten | 09.22.2011 | 5:02 am

    [...] GranFondo is Awesome. Someone’s going to win a VIP trip for two to Levi’s GranFondo: airfare, lodging, the Festa del Fondo, the group ride with Levi, and the GranFondo itself. The [...]


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