Three More Things Fatty Loves

01.30.2012 | 11:55 am

A “Hey, Come Run the Boston Marathon With the Hammer and Me” Note from Fatty: Hey, guess what? The Hammer and I are going to run The Boston Marathon this April. Yikes, I know. The cool thing is, I have a few (literally: 3) LiveStrong slots that have been made available to me. So if you want to run it with us, you can. But you’ve got to do three things, and you’ve got to do them now:

  1. Decide you’re going to do this run. No, you don’t have to have qualified for it. I didn’t. But you’ve got to decide you’re going to do the marathon, which is a big deal.
  2. You’ve got to decide today.
  3. You’ve got to email me at today, saying “I want in” in the subject line.
  4. You’ve got to raise $4000 for LiveStrong. That’s the price of admission for people who didn’t qualify (like me).

Email me right now if you’re interested. Not tomorrow. Today.

Last Thursday, I talked about a number of bike-related things I love. The thing is, though, by the time I had worked about halfway through the list I had on my Very Organized Post-It of Things to Write About (VOPITWA), I had a hunch.

“This post is getting long,” I thought to myself. “If I keep writing, it will take longer than the average toilet visit to read this post, and nobody will ever get to the end. At least half of the things I wanted to talk about will get short shrift. That wouldn’t be fair.”

So instead, I’m going to finish that list today.

ActionWipes single_pack_web_grande.png

Full disclosure: ActionWipes sent me a big box of ActionWipes for free. Once those are gone though, I’ll be restocking with my own money.

I’ve written about ActionWipes before, briefly. Specifically, I mentioned them in my “How I Got the Daisy” post, where The Hammer offered me her ActionWipe as ad-hoc toilet paper.

This was, frankly, a grave disservice to ActionWipes (and besides, one ActionWipe wouldn’t have sufficed for the scale of emergency I was experiencing at the moment). See, ActionWipes shouldn’t be thought of as foil-wrapped toilet paper.


ActionWipes should be thought of as a foil-wrapped shower.

The first thing you notice when you open an ActionWipe is that the wipe is pretty much the exact size of a washcloth.

The next thing you notice is that it smells good. Clean. Not like a baby wipe.

The third thing you notice is that the material is strong — like full-on cloth strong. One of these will pretty much take care of cleaning up the parts of you that really need cleaning up, post-ride.

Specifically, one of them will clean your face, legs, arms, pits and butt.

Yes, butt. In fact, especially butt. If you’re not going to get a shower really soon after a ride, cleaning up your butt with an ActionWipe (and then, if you’re going to be smart about it, with some antibacterial stuff everyone’s always rubbing on their hands) is a great way to keep yourself from getting saddle sores.

Back when I worked in an office setting (as opposed to my basement, where it’s totally cool for me to stink all the time), I kept some in a drawer (luckily I had an office with a locking door, so nobody got a surprise that would force them to blind themselves in an effort to drive the image out of their minds.

Now I keep a bunch in the BikeMobile, where they’re useful for cleaning up after a longish ride that’s going to require a longish drive before a shower. Seriously, these things are great.

201201301002.jpgBontrager Windproof Bib Tights

Full disclosure: I got no special deal on these tights.

Are these the very best windfront bib tights in the whole universe? I do not have any idea. The truth is, this is the only pair of windfront tights I’ve ever had, and since they’re doing such a good job for me, I don’t have any special need to replace them.

Basically, I’ve found that these tights keep my legs and chest remarkably warm, even on really cold, windy days. Last Saturday, for example, a bunch of us went out on a 100-mile road ride. The temperature never got above freezing. Thanks — at least in part — to these tights, I never got cold.

OK, my toes and fingers got cold, but it’s not like the tights can be held responsible for that.

Now, on last Saturday’s ride I wore a pair of bibshorts under these tights, because for that long of a ride I wanted a chamois. For three hour or less rides, though, I don’t wear additional shorts under these tights, and I still don’t get cold (and for that short of a ride, a chamois isn’t really necessary, in my very expert opinion).

Plus, that zippered chest on those tights keeps my winter layer of blubber from sloshing around, like ManSpanx.

Or something.

ride_cover.jpgRide: Short Fiction About Bicycles

Full disclosure: I got no special deal on this book, but I am friends with Paul Guyot and Kent Peterson, two of the authors in this book.

Before I ever read anything in Ride, I liked the idea of it: a book of short stories, all of which have cycling as part of the story.

When I found out that a couple of my friends — Paul Guyot, who has guest-posted here, and Kent Peterson, who took extraordinary care of my bikes back when I lived in Washington — were two of the authors in this book, I had to get a copy.

And the fact that the book is really inexpensive — just $3.99 for the Kindle version — made it an easy sale.

That said, even on its own I would have enjoyed this book. Not every story in this book, mind you, but that’s kind of the great thing about a book full of short stories by different people — you don’t expect that every story will suit your tastes. You go in, hoping that you’ll find something you’ll like.

And in the case of Ride, I personally found several stories that made the book worth the price of admission, several times over. Here are a few I liked:

  • I’m Bob Deerman” (by Paul Guyot): I’m already a fan of both Paul and Paul’s writing, so this was the least surprising thing for me to like. What was surprising, though, was how much I squirmed while reading this story, maybe because I could so easily see myself in the place of the rider — a guy who poaches a ride and then gets greedy.
  • The History of the Bi-Cycle” (by David A.V. Elver): As I read this one, I thought to myself, several times, “This is the guy I’d write like, if I were a better writer.” This story is pure absurd silliness, and made me laugh out loud several times.
  • Bob’s Bike Shop” (by Kent Peterson): I think it may be helpful, sometimes, to know the author when you’re reading something — I figure that’s why those of you who have been here for a while keep coming back; you know me. It kind of works the same way with “Bob’s Bike Shop,” which, because I know Kent, I couldn’t help but read with Kent’s voice in my head. Also, Kent’s personality — an uber-mechanic, as well as a really kind, friendly, super-knowledgable lover of bikes — shines through the story. Even if you don’t know Kent, though, his love of people, bikes, and bike shops shines through here.
  • “Night Ride” (by Keith Snyder): This is the most complex story of the bunch, as well as the most ominous, the saddest, and at one point most terrifying. I got completely immersed in this story; it feels like there’s a lot of “real” in here. Knowledge of the movie Breaking Away is prerequisite to really get what’s going on.

Those are my four favorites from the stories — chances are your favorites will overlap, but not perfectly, with mine. In any case, I imagine most cyclists will find something here they love. Click here for info on getting Ride in print, Nook, Kindle, and iBook formats.


  1. Comment by Onomastic | 01.30.2012 | 12:18 pm

    Read Ride and enjoyed it. As you observed, not every story will resonate with every reader, but several likely will. If I could write gooder, I would submit something for Ride II. I can’t, though, so I’ll just read that one, too.

  2. Comment by Keith | 01.30.2012 | 1:01 pm

    I’m probably the only editor of a fiction anthology ever to be TOTALLY AMPED to see it mentioned in the same breath as ActionWipes and Bontrager Bib Tights.

    (And for further unpaid endorsement: There’s a pack of ActionWipes in my Carradice bag as we speak.)

  3. Comment by Keith | 01.30.2012 | 1:14 pm

    (And somehow I left out “Thanks for the review.” Thank you, sir. You’ve made a bunch of authors’ Mondays much more enjoyable.)

  4. Comment by Paul Guyot | 01.30.2012 | 1:18 pm

    We interrupt this talk of wiping and fiction (Lord knows folks have wiped unmentionable areas with my writing many a time), to send a comment/message to @jenni from the previous post’s backblog, as well as everyone else:

    HOLY HAULER, BATMAN!! I just purchased a Thule T2 bike rack and… How Did I Ever Live Without This Thing???

    The Thule T2 is to bike racks what the Specialized Purist is to water bottles – sure, you could get by with something else, but why would you when the quality of your cycling life could be improved so much.

    As to RIDE… thank you for the kind words. That story was sort of born out of a real life experience, only without all the torture and death.

  5. Comment by LidsB2 | 01.30.2012 | 1:21 pm

    Riding, at all, without a chamois makes me feel, um, vulnerable. Like I’m in imminent danger of catastrophe. Or at least scorching irritations in the nether regions. Even though I realize it’s irrational on short rides. Am I paranoid?

    I think you might be paranoid. Really, I don’t think a chamois does any good for rides under 3 hours long. – FC

  6. Comment by Stinky Cyclist | 01.30.2012 | 1:30 pm

    I see no need for Action Wipes.

  7. Comment by Mark in Ottawa | 01.30.2012 | 1:54 pm

    I totally agree about a good pair of warm tights…cycling is hard enough without freezing to death while you’re doing it!

    I’m lucky enough to have a shower at work for the odd occasion when I get a chance to ride in, but I can totally see those action wipes being useful in all sorts of situations (e.g. backpacking, etc).

    Mark (in Ottawa, Canada)

  8. Comment by George B | 01.30.2012 | 1:57 pm

    I’d love to know if the Action Wipes will remove embro from our legs, but can’t find anything on their website. Ever tried ‘em on it?

    I’ve never tried embrocation, so I’m not a good person to ask that one. I thought you need to use like a spatula to get that stuff off. – FC

  9. Comment by centurion | 01.30.2012 | 2:00 pm

    I have got to try bib tights. Bibs feel so free, and tights just feel so snugly(to keep it family friendly), the combination of the two must be just….

  10. Comment by roan | 01.30.2012 | 2:03 pm

    The basement…truly your domain or do your share it with the dog ?

    The dog spends a few hours per day down here with me. She’s generally quite mellow, except when I am on phone conferences. – FC

    My hand usually get too hot with winter cycling gloves, fleece ski gloves work fine.
    My feet usually got down right chilled, numbing cold…until I got a pair one Defrosters (Specialized) one size larger, still only 1 pair of wool socks, works best below 20F. Never notice my feet at all now.

    Good recommendation; I’ll look into the Defrosters. – FC

  11. Comment by Doug | 01.30.2012 | 2:35 pm

    You, sir, just sold a Nook version of Ride. Well done.

    I wonder what my commission will be. – FC

  12. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 01.30.2012 | 2:35 pm

    Good luck in Boston!!!

  13. Comment by KanyonKris | 01.30.2012 | 2:37 pm

    I just placed an order for Action Wipes.

    IMHO, you neglected to mention the most important feature: individually packaged. I’ve tried baby wipes but when I need them most they’re dried out (storing them in my car doesn’t help).

    They should give you a coupon code for your readers.

  14. Comment by Slow Runner | 01.30.2012 | 2:42 pm

    I think I’d rather put in the hard word to run a qualifying time and EARN my way into the Boston Marathon, rather than coughing up (or begging for) $4000 to be given to an organization of ‘very dubious’ reputation (at best) at this point in time.

    What’s the qualifying time for a troll? – FC

  15. Comment by Anonymous | 01.30.2012 | 2:52 pm

    “Specifically, one of them will clean your face, legs, arms, pits and butt.” Preferably in that order. Don’t start with Butt and move to face on same wipe. Bad idea.

    Truly. – FC

  16. Comment by Bikemike | 01.30.2012 | 2:59 pm

    Action Wipes…wasn’t that one of the X-Men?

  17. Comment by Sara | 01.30.2012 | 3:16 pm

    Aren’t you pissed, though, that Paul, Kent, et al. stole the movie title you suggested to Lance? ;)

  18. Comment by GenghisKhan | 01.30.2012 | 3:24 pm

    “What’s the qualifying time for a troll? – FC”


  19. Comment by Keith | 01.30.2012 | 3:29 pm

    Sara, actually, I probably stole it from Jim Sallis (author of DRIVE)…

  20. Comment by Susan Moury | 01.30.2012 | 3:57 pm

    Thanks for the Actionwipes review. I had a dream of regularly working out at the office, which doesn’t have shower facilities, but does have a small gym. I’ve found that powder and reapplied deoderant just don’t give one the security one needs to face management types in the afternoon.

    Actionwipes go on the list.

  21. Comment by AngieG | 01.30.2012 | 4:18 pm

    @Susan, that’s the best way to limit the time spent by said Management types. You’re now free to get so much more done. :-)

  22. Comment by Marco | 01.30.2012 | 5:11 pm

    I’m planning on being in Boston to cheer on a friend who’s running in the marathon, but there’s no way I’m going to do it. I’ll keep an eye out for you, Fatty. Good luck!

  23. Comment by Charlie | 01.30.2012 | 5:12 pm

    On a side note and also one of my favorite things in cycling…RAGBRAI XL announced the route for 2012. Looks like a good one and Fatty, how could you pass up a ride called XL?

  24. Comment by RodNeeds2Ride | 01.30.2012 | 6:02 pm

    Love the AW packaging. “1 BIG WIPE”. ’nuff said.

  25. Comment by Jenni | 01.30.2012 | 6:20 pm

    RIGHT?! I have that reaction every time I put my bike on and off the car. So incredibly fast and easy, no parts touching with the second bike either. I’m glad you took the plunge!
    Don’t leave it on in the winter like I did- apparently metal reacts with road salt, who knew. (:o)

  26. Comment by Liz('s son) | 01.30.2012 | 8:56 pm

    My name is Andrew and I am an 11-year-old fan of a) your blog b) your book and c) your recipe for banana cream pudding. I recently had my mom (also a fan) ask me whether I wanted to go to a mountain biking camp over the summer. And I asked if it would be a Fatty introduction. She didn’t actually get the reference to your attempt to pass the torch of cycling on to a friend. Moral: My Easy Ride is Your Impossibly Difficult Torture Challenge.

    P.S. What about a Comedian Mastermind jersey with “Take that, Dr. Lammler” on the back?

  27. Comment by davidh-marin, ca | 01.30.2012 | 10:14 pm

    Liz(’s son) is one smart cookie! I would definitely purchase a Comedian Mastermind Jersey with such an inscription.

    Now Fatty I feel compelled to take you to task:

    How can you continue to support and promote Paul Guyot? We have been waiting sometime for your appearance on Leverage. Paul has teased us, and alluded to scenarios for Fatty (bike messenger role) in the past, but to date no script has been presented, nay even a ‘5 minute pitch’ has been offered from Mr Guyot. I’m beginning to prep my 8 year old son to challenge Mr G’s son to a smackdown at the Tour D’Donut. Should ‘Bucky’ prevail I’ll be even that more motivated to execute my ‘Breaking Away’ scene on Mr Guyot. Can you say ‘frame pump’?

    You have given Paul plenty of ’space’, it’s time for him top step up.

  28. Comment by Tammy | 01.30.2012 | 10:46 pm

    when you look up “Ride” in the Kindle store, the top hit is Ride: Studs in Spurs. Now I have TWO new books!

  29. Comment by Kent Peterson | 01.31.2012 | 7:09 am


    There is no truth to the rumor that Ride: Studs in SPDs was one of the titles Keith was considering for this collection of stories. I have no idea how those rumors get started.

  30. Comment by Kent Peterson | 01.31.2012 | 7:12 am

    BTW Fatty,

    Thanks so much for the kind words. We’re riding the Fatty bump in terms of sales now. I will use my share of the royalties to buy donuts that I will build into a little shrine that I will dedicate to you.

  31. Comment by Angie | 01.31.2012 | 9:49 am

    I’m going to get a copy of Ride. I love that sort of thing… Thanks.

  32. Comment by Keith | 01.31.2012 | 11:09 am

    @Kent: Oh, THAT’S what your suggestion was? I read it wrong. Thought you’d said “Ride: Spuds with STDs.”

    Sorry—but that should explain my saying titillating tater titles don’t sell.

    Guess I made a hash of that one.

  33. Comment by RodNeeds2Ride | 01.31.2012 | 12:09 pm

    OK, so it looks like Bucky is going to have his hands full at the Utah Tour de Donut! I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of you out in Davis – then hosting you at the UTdD a couple weeks later – check back for site updates in the next week or so! July 7th, 2012 Yeah Baby!

  34. Comment by Johan Mokhtar | 02.12.2012 | 4:08 am

    Some may question the wisdom of taking winter clothing advice from a Comedian Mastermind.

    However I ignored the potential for scorn and bought a pair of Bontrager RL Windproof Bib Tights on your say so.

    Yesterday the bike paths and roads were clear enough of packed snow and ice for me ride my bike. It was 26F and a tad windy. The tights performed as you described. I never got cold.

    I’l have to pay more attention to you now!

  35. Comment by @seanjwilk | 02.21.2012 | 7:01 pm

    @seanjwilk. The book is great. David Elver is hysterical.


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