A Letter from Odessa Gunn

09.18.2011 | 10:31 pm

An (Astounded) Note from Fatty: I really thought that all the Levi Leipheimer drama was behind us. You know, the drama that started with a letter I wrote to Levi, then continued with Levi’s attorney’s response, and — I had hoped — concluded with the GranFondo folks acting as the voice of reason.

The upshot of all this was fairly awesome. In exchange for supporting the charities associated with Levi’s GranFondo, a Friend of Fatty and a guest will get to come to — and get the full VIP treatment at — Levi’s GranFondo. Further, a couple people will win totally deluxe GranFondo kits: helmets, jerseys, shorts, armwarmers, hats, socks. The works.

That contest is still open, so click here to donate, or click here for more details.

Anyway, yesterday, I was astonished to get the following letter from Odessa Gunn, Levi Leipheimer’s wife, asking me to please post it on my blog.

Of course, I was more than happy to oblige.

A Letter from Odessa Gunn

Dear Fatty,

It has come to my attention that you and the rest of Team Fatty are working together to raise money for the charities associated with Levi’s GranFondo. I think that’s wonderful, and I would like to provide an additional prize for your contest.

But first, a little background.

Here’s Levi’s Tour de Suisse yellow jersey.


As you can see, he’s signed it and everything, which is a little weird, because he’s totally planning on keeping it for himself.

Levi’s pretty proud of earning this jersey, and rightly so. I mean, it’s kind of a big deal to win the Tour de Suisse.

The thing is, though, that jersey is starting to get on my nerves.

Why? Because — and I swear I am not exaggerating at all here — he wears it all the time. And I’m not even talking about wearing on his bike, either.

Let me show you what I mean.

In the past few days alone, I have seen him wearing this jersey while:

1. Watering the plants, dusting, vacuuming, doing other chores.

I know, I shouldn’t complain about what Levi wears when he helps around the house. But wearing that jersey while cleaning the toilet? Really?

2. Working on bikes.

Not a lot of people know this, but Levi is a pretty good mechanic. Neighbors are always coming to him with their bike questions, and he hopes that someday, when he retires as a pro cyclist, he’ll be able to get a job at one of the local bike shops.

But why, I have to ask, does he have to wear that jersey while working on bikes? Grease is so obvious when it gets smeared on that yellow.

3. Taking a nap

I know, I know. It looks like Levi’s fallen asleep here after getting back from a ride. But he hasn’t. He’s just fallen asleep while watching TV. He hasn’t been on his bike all day. Honestly, he hasn’t ridden in weeks.

Yesterday, I snapped.

“For crying out loud, Levi,” I said. “Could you please wear something else?”

“I really like this jersey,” Levi mumbled back, not looking me in the eye.

So I decided to take matters into my own hands. Which is where you and your readers come in.

Today, Levi and I had a conversation. “Why don’t you give that Tour de Suisse yellow jersey away as a prize in that Team Fatty contest? You don’t really need that jersey, and the Forget Me Not Farm and other causes in the Fondo could use the money it’ll help raise.”

“No,” said Levi, petulantly.

“Oh, come on. You’ve got plenty of other jerseys. You’ve got a closet full of jerseys. It wouldn’t be a big deal for you to give this one away.”

“But this jersey is my favorite,” Levi complained.

I could see this line of reasoning was going nowhere, so I switched to a different tactic.


Before long, he saw reason.


So, Fatty, you can see that making this jersey part of the prize list for your contest is really doing me a big favor.

Someday, Levi will thank me. Maybe.

And I promise, I’ll have that jersey washed and pressed before sending it to the winner. Trust me, it needs it.

Your friend,

Odessa Gunn

A “How to Win” Note From Fatty

OK, folks, you heard the lady and saw the jersey. Now in addition to the other prizes — such as a trip for two to Levi’s GranFondo, or a full GranFondo kit — you can also win Levi’s very own, signed, favorite-thing-to-wear-all-the-time yellow jersey from this year’s Tour de Suisse.

How do you get a chance at winning it — along with the other prizes? By going to the Team Fatty Donation page over at the GranFondo site, and donating any multiple of $5.00.

For every $5.00 you donate, you get a chance at each of the prizes, which now include:

  • Levi’s Yellow Jersey from the Tour de Suisse. I believe you have all the information you need about this jersey at this point.
  • A VIP Trip to Levi’s GranFondo for two, which includes airfare, lodging, dinner at the Festa del Fondo, the invite-only group ride with Levi and a small group of people, and tickets to ride at the GranFondo itself. This is, in fact, a seriously impressive prize.
  • One of two GranFondo kits, including a Capo jersey, shorts, armwarmers, a hat, and socks, and a Giro Aeon helmet.

So. Donate now. Or Odessa will pin Levi’s arm behind him again.


  1. Comment by SydneySS | 09.18.2011 | 11:10 pm

    seeing as I’m a fat cyclist that jersey probably wouldn’t be big enough. might use it as a bandana though.

  2. Comment by Cookster | 09.19.2011 | 6:01 am

    Yes SydneySS that is a problem for most i feel, but one could leave it hanging over the bike at work and pretend you wore it on the ride in. Hang/display it on the washing line in clear sight of your cycling neighbours so as to rub it their noses.

    Or maybe you know a little “Bucky” in your circles that would be inspired by having it.

  3. Comment by Cookster | 09.19.2011 | 6:03 am

    ps you are not making a good arguement to donate as i want to see Odessa pin Levi’s arm behind him again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again………

  4. Comment by Slowstdy | 09.19.2011 | 6:22 am

    Any chance you could twist Livi’s arm into donating that hat he is wearing assembling the bike?

  5. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 09.19.2011 | 6:34 am

    Now we know why Levi has the anger management issues :)

  6. Comment by Trailer Park Cyclist | 09.19.2011 | 7:03 am

    He can keep the jersey. For some reason I have an undeniable urge to donate all my worldly possessions to PETA.

  7. Comment by Animal Lover | 09.19.2011 | 7:15 am

    I’m with Trailer Park boy… now if it was Odessa’s jersey we had a chance to win then that would be a different kettle of fish altogether!

  8. Comment by RandoBoy | 09.19.2011 | 7:24 am

    Yeah, I’m with Trailer Park Cyclist and Animal Lover. I got three thoughts out of this post:

    1. Levi’s wife is smokin’ hot.
    2. If I win that jersey, I’ll want to wash it and get the chihuahua hair off it.
    3. Levi’s wife is smokin’ hot.

  9. Comment by fg | 09.19.2011 | 7:34 am

    Levi to Saxo-Bank in 2012!

  10. Comment by Crusty | 09.19.2011 | 7:52 am

    I see she’s a Person who Eats Tasty Animals too. Good on her. Pass the ketchup.

  11. Comment by Bob | 09.19.2011 | 7:54 am

    So, if Levi is the peleton’s resident bad ass and his wife can twist him up like a pretzel…


  12. Comment by Liz | 09.19.2011 | 8:53 am

    Sounds like my college boyfriend’s attachment to his high school football jersey.

    What is the deadline for donating? That event is coming up quickly.

    The 25th. – FC

  13. Comment by Scott R | 09.19.2011 | 9:14 am

    This post is… FREAKING AWESOME!

    This is just great content. That it has actual substance behind it is just a nice bonus :-)

    I hope Fatty and Levi (and Levi’s apparently awesome wife, dogs, and legal team) keep this going strong.

  14. Comment by Dave | 09.19.2011 | 9:20 am

    Love this post. Always been a Levi fan, even without the “fireworks” on the course. Don’t need to be explosive to win.

  15. Comment by Wife#1 | 09.19.2011 | 10:19 am

    Excellent post, though I am especially struck by two things.

    1. My rabbits are bigger than Levi’s dogs. Can someone please get Levi a real dog?
    2. Nope that’s all I got, can’t get past the chihuahuas.

  16. Comment by Haven-KT | 09.19.2011 | 10:22 am

    Ha! Ha! I see it all so clearly now– Levi’s passing on the arm-twisting and noogies he gets at home on to the pro peleton.

    My dog would eat their dogs for a snack and then wonder if he ate anything– man, those chihuahuas are TINY.

    Glad I donated…. hope I win something! :)

    Ps: Odessa, you’re funny!! Great post! And I’m not just saying that because you could break my arm (seriously, be careful with Levi, he’s so tiny you could break him accidentally).

  17. Comment by LauraS | 09.19.2011 | 11:09 am

    I’m thinking that jersey would look great on the wall of my office! What are my odds of winning something after I already won the big one? Probably not great, but I’m in already.

  18. Comment by Lynda | 09.19.2011 | 11:11 am

    What a terrific story line; the pictures are priceless, and besides that, it’s fun to see your kitchen! I have really been enjoying these exchanges between Fatty and the Leipheimers; you are all good people. Now, off to donate.

  19. Comment by jodie_a | 09.19.2011 | 11:54 am

    So would it be fair to call Odessa the “Arm Twister?” I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to fight her, but maybe The Hammer could hold her own. I think we all better donate before she decides to come ask for the money in person. She looks pretty persuasive.

  20. Comment by Weiland | 09.19.2011 | 2:07 pm

    I feel your pain Levi, but you how to show your wife who’s boss and that you will not sit ideally by while she donates your prized jersey. You see I too had a beloved shirt. It was my lucky shirt, I wore it under my hockey gear from the time I was 13. It brought me good luck playing through high school and later in Europe. Teammates would remark how transparent it was becoming though and once I got married my new bride started to threaten to throw it out. Finally I had had enough of this crazy talk and told her under no condition could she throw out my lucky shirt, yes that’s right I showed her who wears the pants in our relationship. A little while later after our heart to heart talk I noticed that I couldn’t find my lucky shirt and when I confronted my wife she said she had washed it but it must have finally given out, she handed me a ball of lint and said this was all that is left of my lucky shirt. Now I have lucky pocket lint I can take with me everywhere.

  21. Comment by Clydesteve | 09.19.2011 | 3:18 pm

    I am still thinking Odessa’s PETA tee shirt would make a great prize!

  22. Comment by Wife#1 | 09.19.2011 | 4:06 pm

    Ahahaha! I just noticed “Levi Leipheimer” on the list of donors name on the fundraising page. Is he trying to win his jersey back for himself? ROTFLMAO!

    Hilarious, even if it’s a prank.

  23. Comment by BobC | 09.19.2011 | 5:14 pm

    Damn, being jobless sucks. This is the kind of fun charity fundraising I normally love to support.

    I hope those of you who can will dig a little bit deeper to help make up for those of us who can’t.

    And no pity for me please: Unlike millions of others, I was well-prepared for this downturn, and the only surprise is the duration of it. I get to see the silver lining every day: Between the few job interviews, I have unlimited time for training and volunteering!

    Just no cash to support great causes. Only some words.

  24. Comment by Days | 09.19.2011 | 5:53 pm

    The most impressive piece of the whole article has slipped by everyone.

    Observe the “Working on bikes” picture.

    How does he balance that little bike on his head?
    Would you call it a hat or a fascinator?

  25. Comment by Days | 09.19.2011 | 5:55 pm

    Ah, no. slowstdy beat me to it.

  26. Comment by Stephen G | 09.19.2011 | 6:15 pm

    If I win I’ll sell the jersey back to Levi and donate the money to charity.

  27. Comment by JCM | 09.19.2011 | 8:03 pm

    Speaking of jerseys, I just got my new Fatty jersey in the mail today. Flippin’ sweet! I think these should be auctioned off. (but not mine!)
    P.S. I concur with the secret message in the pocket!
    Thanks Fatty!

  28. Comment by Jeff | 09.19.2011 | 9:55 pm

    As seeing how Levi and I are the same size I believe it’s only logical that I should get the jersey. Ok, ok, so maybe I’m a few pounds heavier, but who wants to be that thin anyway? I mean geesh, they guy turns sideways and he disappears! Eat a sandwich!! So instead of all the others who could only put the jersey on their wall, I would have a chance to wear it. Plus, I live in Santa Rosa. Levi could see me wearing it on one of my rides and be really jealous! I’m just sayin…

  29. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 09.19.2011 | 10:16 pm

    Should Wife#1 or I win the jersey we could only accept it if countersigned by Fatty and Odessa. Now that would make it complete.
    201102151240.jpgI may be mistaken but
    Levi’s ‘Hat’ looks to be the work o Sebastapol local Patrick Amiot. Those Fatties who would like to see more check the following linkhttp:

    He probably gave this dog to Levi originally but alas it intimidated the dogs already in the household. It probably intimidated Levi as well:5307645519_7d57401dd7_z.jpg

  30. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 09.19.2011 | 10:25 pm

    Wife#1 has pointed out my error on the Patrick Amiot link. Let’s try again:



    There, that should give our Fatty friends an interesting view of Northern California

  31. Comment by eww | 09.20.2011 | 5:14 am

    Is he going to wash it first?

    OK, be honest. You didn’t read the whole letter, did you? – FC

  32. Comment by Stephen G | 09.20.2011 | 6:51 am

    “Is he going to wash it first?”

    “And I promise, I’ll have that jersey washed and pressed before sending it to the winner. Trust me, it needs it.”

    I assume by Levi as his arm is cranked behind his back.

  33. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 09.20.2011 | 8:21 am

    I was wondering… You know how small dog people are….. dressing up their dogs ….. who wants to see Levi’s dogs in little yellow jerseys????? I’m confident the picture exists. That would be worth another donation. Sadly.

  34. Comment by skippy | 09.21.2011 | 8:43 am

    Has anyone noticed how similar the features of “LL ” in repose are to Horny ? Wonder what sort of dog Chris has ? No doubt the Autograph that appears in all the photos will be renewed after the wash & iron has been applied ? Most of the Maillots that i donate go in between two sheets of perspex so that both sides can be seen . The perspex sheets are held together by four chainset screws , effective as a room / cubicle separation .


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