Pat McQuaid Sent Me a Very Strange Letter

01.31.2012 | 12:49 pm

I got the strangest letter in the mail a few days ago. At first, I was confused. Then I was perplexed. Then I was dismayed. Then I assumed that someone had sent me a prank letter and set it aside.

Then, a few days later, I read this article in Bloomberg news:


Suddenly, it all made sense. When Pat McQuaid said they had “spoken to people of means” about investing in Global Cycling Promotion S.A. (the for-profit, race-promoting part of the non-profit UCI, which governs races and there is no conflict of interest here and please move along, there’s nothing to see here), he meant — among other people, I’m sure — me.

Thus reassured, I am now investigating becoming one of the benefactors of Global Cycling Promotion S.A. (GCPSA).

Although, to be honest, I still have reservations, and could use some advice on this matter. Please do me the favor of reading the letter I received, below, and letting me know whether you think this would be a good idea.

From the Desk of Patrick McQuaid

Dear The Fat Cyclist Nelson,

As you no doubt are aware, cycling is becoming an increasingly popular pastime throughout the world. With the recent economic difficulties throughout the world as well as increased interest in living a “green” lifestyle, more and more people are buying and riding bikes.

As a natural extension of this, bike racing is becoming more and more popular, especially races like The Tour de France.

Without question, there has never been a time quite like the present to become a part of the growing cycling community.

Well, what would you say, Mr. Cyclist Nelson, if I were to tell you that I represent both the world’s foremost cycling governing body and an up-and-coming cycling promotion organization, and can give you unprecedented access to both?!

Don’t answer yet!

Three Levels to Choose From!

What I’m offering you, Mr. Cyclist Nelson, is the opportunity to really be on the inside of the cycling world. In return for your investment in GCPSA, you’ll get instant and measurable return:

Silver-Level Investment

If you invest a minimum of USD$100,000.00 (payable in cash only, please), you’ll receive all of the following!

  • A Rule Named After You: Sometime during the next year, the UCI will create a rule that is guaranteed to get attention in the press. We will name that rule after you. Imagine the excitement when, each time the rule is mentioned in the cycling press, your name is included! Your Google juice will flow like never before!
  • An “I Put the “U” in “UCI” T-Shirt: Let people know that you are the driving force and (and partial owner) behind cycling’s governing body and premier race promotion agency (and trust me, once we make rules that effectively outlaw all other race promoters, we will be the premier race promotion agency)
  • One 4oz Indulgence For One Rider’s Bike, for One Stage of Any Race: You have a favorite cyclist, right? And you’d like to see that cyclist win, right? Well, we can’t guarantee anything (at least, not at this level), but for one stage of one race, a cyclist of your choosing will be allowed to race with a bike 4oz lighter than the UCI lower limit. Is that enough to make the difference between first and second place? It seems to us like it just might be.
  • An 8″ Bust of Me (Pat McQuaid), made of Pure Toblerone Chocolate. The real dilemma here is, should you eat it, or proudly display it on the mantle? (I recommend the latter!)

Gold-Level Investment

How strong is your commitment to cycling, Fat (I hope you don’t mind me calling you “Fat,” for I feel we are kindred spirits)? If it’s truly strong and you are able to show this strength in the form of a minimum investment of $500,000, you will receive everything in the Silver-Level Investment list, plus all of the following:

  • A Yellow Jersey
  • A laminated card that fits easily inside a jersey pocket, with the following text: “This card gives the bearer the right to wear a yellow jersey at any ride or race, at any time, regardless of the bearer’s actual position in the race, according to UCI Statute 3-UCI-18930.9b. Further, the bearer of this card shall not be given any crap whatsoever by smarthmouthed riders, lest they bring upon them the full wrath of the UCI. Signed, [Pat McQuaid Signature]
  • A signed, 8×10 glossy photo of Pat McQuaid (me), suitable for framing.
  • Three 4oz Indulgences, to be Used In Any Combination You Choose. Would you like to give a cyclist the right to ride an extra-light bike on three consecutive stages? Or give three riders on a team the right to each ride with an extra-light bike on one stage? Or let one rider ride one stage with a bike that is 12oz lighter than anyone else’s? It’s your call.
  • Your Name on one GCPSA Event: We’ll add “brought to you by” and your name as part of the event of your choosing. Many of our events are watched by literally hundreds of people, so this is quite likely worthe the investment all by itself!
  • Elimination of an Annoying Rule: Have you ever wondered why the UCI has so many ridiculous rules? Well, wonder no more! We created these rules to make you look brilliant and powerful when one of those rules is discarded! When you join the Gold-Level Investment club, we will release a statement saying that, due to your persuasive, level-headed thinking, we have reconsidered the wisdom of [whichever rule you don't care for], and have eliminated it, effective immediately. You will be a cycling hero!

Platinum-Level Investment

If cycling is more than a fleeting interest for you, Fat, you might want to consider the highest level of investment in the UCI / GCPSA: Platinum. Certainly, $1,000,000.00 is no trifling amount, but I think you’ll agree it’s well worth it. Because, in addition to all of the rewards in both the Silver- and Gold-Level Investments (see above), you’ll also receive the following:

  • One Season-Long 4oz Indulgence: Pick a rider. Any rider. That rider now gets to ride a bike that is four ounces lighter than the UCI limit, for the whole season. Now I’m not a betting man (as far as you know), but if I were, I might start making some wagers on that racer.
  • Create a Rule: Is there something that irks you about the world of cycling? Tell us what it is. We’ll create a rule that fixes the problem. (Not to give too much away, but do you think that we really felt last year that race radios needed to be eliminated?)
  • One Scale Malfunction: You know, technology doesn’t always work the way it ought. Sometimes, just for example, a scale might register a bike as being inordinately heavy. Or perhaps it might find a bike unusually light. Isn’t technology frustrating?

BFF-Level Investment

To learn about the BFF Investment Level, please contact us directly, using an unmarked envelope, sent from a location other than your house. We will be in touch after vetting you thoroughly and ensuring that you have no entanglements we might find inconvenient.

We cannot disclose here the amount required from you as a BFF-Level Investor, nor do we find it wise to disclose the perks. But we can assure you they are both quite substantial.

Intrigued? There’s More!

Is all of this interesting, but you still want more? Well, reply today and you’ll also — at no obligation to you — receive the following!

  • 2011 Tour of Beijing T-Shirt (one of each size)
  • 2011 Tour of Beijing Water Bottles
  • 2011 Tour of Beijing air filtration mask
  • 2011 Tour of Beijing Balloons (500)
  • 2011 Tour of Beijing snack packs (note: for display only; snack packs have expired)
  • 2011 Tour of Beijing Pens (as many as will fit in the box)
  • 2011 Tour of Beijing Leaders Jersey
  • 2011 Tour of Beijing notepads
  • 2011 Tour of Beijing Superballs (9; do not touch, may contain lead)
  • 2011 Tour of Beijing Yo-yo
  • More Surprises! Quite possibly from the 2011 Tour of Beijing!

Mr. Cyclist Nelson, I’m sure a man of business such as yourself you can see the value in investing in GCPSA. Please support the next evolution in cycling promotion / regulation by becoming an investor. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Best Regards,


Pat McQuaid
President, UCI / Global Cycling Promotion S.A.


  1. Comment by Thomas | 01.31.2012 | 1:01 pm

    Awesome. I got the same letter, but it was addressed to “Mr. X-Men, The”

  2. Comment by Bob | 01.31.2012 | 1:08 pm

    How on earth could you possibly pass up such an offer?!? Likely to be a one-time deal as well, as I am sure most recipients of this solicitation will be jumping at this opportunity! And if you go in (and you must!), go in big. You should be Pat’s BFF!

    And, if you have anything left after investing in GCPSA, I have a bridge I’d love to show you. It’s a lovely bridge. It’ll look great in your front, side, back, and neighbors’ yards. Call me!

  3. Comment by roan | 01.31.2012 | 1:35 pm

    OhMyGosh…Tour d’Donut going UCI/Global Cycling Promotion S.A.
    BBF level, should I send my ‘cash only’ donation now ? What is the recognized UCI currency ?
    One Rule named after You…oops ‘Donut’ takes care of that Rule.
    Standard size donuts required, new UCI rule.
    8″ Bust(my chops) of McQuaid AWESOME ! AND what’s with only “4 oz of Indulgence”
    Dang ! even lowest level buys a Lot-O-Donuts. Most will go directly to waist.

  4. Comment by davidh-marin, ca | 01.31.2012 | 1:37 pm

    Fatty, if we are going big, and I mean BFF, then we at least deserve a TEAM FATTY guarantee in one of these races.

    After all our team leader (you) has ridden with Team Radio Shack alongside Chris Horner (swoon AKChick) and Levi (headlock) Leipheimer, He’s also done the Alpe D’huez with Andy (freaking) Hampsten,and many a Leadville 100 with a sub 9 hour ride just like Lance, Levi, and Todd Wells.

    I’m confident that Mr. McQuaid took all these things into consideration when he reached out to you. I can’t wait to see the Ride to Nowhere as a UCI Sponsored production (time to bring some rules to this event)

  5. Comment by davidh-marin, ca | 01.31.2012 | 1:41 pm

    And excuuuuuuse meeeee! We’re reading Bloomberg News? Haven’t we become quite the Fat Cat-1.

  6. Comment by owen | 01.31.2012 | 2:12 pm

    Mr. Cyclist Nelson you were in rare form on this one! nice work!

  7. Comment by Christina | 01.31.2012 | 2:18 pm

    HA! I love the thought of the Tour de France becoming Tour de Donut. The thought of them trying to muster one more donut down before they hop back on the bike. I hazard that’s enough to bring Jan Ullrich out of retirement. Heck, have you seen Miguel Indurain lately?! There’s a guy who could use an avocado and egg white regimen.

    Can you sponsor at BFF level? Because then you could raffle off, for LiveStrong (of course), being pulled in a Burley up Alpe d’Huez by LANCE ARMSTRONG. I’d totally pay $5 a shot for that. Where’s the donate link?

  8. Comment by Anonymous | 01.31.2012 | 4:12 pm

    Too long. Didn’t read.

  9. Comment by Rollo | 01.31.2012 | 4:24 pm

    I do think it’s funny that he thinks your first name is “The Fat”.

    That said, the letter reads like a Nigerian financial scam letter. I would use caution and not send your funds directly to the organization. If you insist on becoming a GCPSA member, then make a check out to me for the BFF level. I will cash the check and assure personal delivery of the funds in said envelope. This will be much more secure. After the transaction is complete I will provide verification of the delivery from my boat in the Caribbean.

  10. Comment by KanyonKris | 01.31.2012 | 4:25 pm

    Forget cancer, form a Fat Cyclist SuperPAC now to get at least gold level.

  11. Comment by Marc | 01.31.2012 | 4:47 pm

    I was half expecting one of those “Donate” buttons to be at the bottom of the page.

  12. Comment by Anonymous | 01.31.2012 | 5:02 pm

    Rollo, I think you’re misreading it. It’s legit.

  13. Comment by Ian | 01.31.2012 | 5:14 pm

    If I were offered such a fabulous opportunity (which I haven’t*), my rule would be… you must wear your nicks and jersey backwards for one whole stage.

    * At least not yet.

    Did he just call you fat? Lucky you’re not sensitive! (I assume)

  14. Comment by Ian | 01.31.2012 | 5:17 pm

    oh, another rule. You must ride one stage on a fixie. And for some events, the rule may be expanded to include hipster pants.

    There’s irony in that there “Fat Cyclist” rule.

  15. Comment by Ken | 01.31.2012 | 6:16 pm

    I laughed…then I cried.

  16. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.31.2012 | 6:20 pm

    QUICK! Call Dick Pound!

  17. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.31.2012 | 6:20 pm

    or, was that supposed to read.. Pound Dick, QUICK!

  18. Comment by Cali_Lady | 01.31.2012 | 7:14 pm

    Hahaha! Ok, thanks a LOT Mr.Fat Nelson! Thanks to you, my gut ACHES from extreme laughter from this post! It’s so funny that it hurts!

    “Comedian Mastermind” is a perfect title for you!

  19. Comment by davidh-marin, ca | 01.31.2012 | 9:00 pm

    On a side note:

    MattC is galavanting around English Pubs (he says he’s there to work). Check out his blog: and give him a shout out. Maybe he’ll bring us some beer (coasters) for Davis.

  20. Comment by Jim B | 01.31.2012 | 9:29 pm

    Don’t you hate it when you are wasting time, grazing the internet, thinking to yourself, “I have some gas and I really should go to the bathroom,” but you put it off and keep following links, then you read something funny, like this article, and, well, by the end of the article equilibrium has already been restored, so there so no longer any need to get up?

    No, me neither.

  21. Comment by Skippy | 02.1.2012 | 1:55 am

    Just the sort of letter Pat ( Oaf of Aigle )would write ! Rely on him to expect the brown paper bags that he claims to have received from Lance in the past !
    Kimmage is currently getting Pat’s wrath for telling the truth and now that he sees you as a revenue stream expect him to sue you for $US1( could be CHF1) for further ruining his tarnished reputation .
    That he calls you ” fat ” considering his TRIM waistline says a lot for his sense of humour .
    Perhaps he will demand all ” Fatty teamwear ” will require ” UCI logos ” and vetting in future should you reject his appeal for assistance ?

    In Tourdafarce.blogspot , my post ” Oaf of Aigle” & “Oh dear Pat etc ” i related a few other ” Pat scams “!

  22. Comment by Laura Laker | 02.1.2012 | 6:42 am

    All told, I’m sure those Tour of Beijing Superballs (do not touch, may contain lead) will come in useful for your training, even if the rest of the above is guff.


  23. Comment by Christopher | 02.1.2012 | 12:25 pm

    Another Gem! This is why I love this blog. Fighting cancer and flaunting your comedic mastermind. Thanks again.

  24. Comment by Drew | 02.1.2012 | 12:33 pm

    How I know I’m in the midst of dropping weight for road season: I thought, “I could really go for a big bite of Pat McQuaid’s chocolate nose right about now.”

  25. Comment by fult23 | 02.1.2012 | 12:54 pm

    It is funny to me that you posted this yestreday. It felt so familiar, but also different. I did not know why until I got home last night and realized that I was reading the post about Donald Trump buying the TdF in the Comedian Mastermind. In light of these new developments and now that Trump isn’t running for political office (maybe?), I am sure that he is going to shoot for the BFF contribution. Maybe his rule will be that a rider has to say, “You’re FIRED” to every other rider they pass.

  26. Comment by chris | 02.1.2012 | 1:33 pm

    LOL “I put the U in UCI”.

    Please, please make these.

  27. Comment by Anonymous | 02.1.2012 | 1:38 pm

    Skippy, I had trouble getting past your unusual punctuation, but I think you’re dead-on. Though I’m not entirely sure what you wrote.

  28. Comment by leroy | 02.1.2012 | 9:26 pm

    Mr. McQuaid must have confused you with Mr. Singing Cyclist Nelson: Nelson Eddy Merckx.

  29. Comment by VA Biker | 02.1.2012 | 9:44 pm

    I know my opinion doesn’t count, but that was awesome! Great work, Elden.

    (How long did it take you craft that? For folks who say think post is too long… Pfffttt. Stick with it, it will give back to you!)

  30. Comment by Randy | 02.2.2012 | 12:17 pm

    Wow! News of Buy-ins offered from UCI and a new Spring Football League, in the same day?

  31. Comment by Shep | 02.2.2012 | 12:19 pm

    On a completely unrelated topic, for which I apologize for upfront, I’d like to ask the congregation a question. First though, I’d like to preface this by saying that I’ve been a biker (motorcycle) for my entire life (I’m now 47). My question is this: Why do some people on road bikes stick their noses in the air when I say hi to them from the saddle of my hybrid? There is somewhat of a correlation in motorcycles, most of my friends on Harleys or big cruisers won’t wave to the kids on the crotch rockets (presumably because they feel that they’re just not the same, that the kids aren’t real “bikers” like they are. Me, I wave to everyone. But it seems like the road bike guys and gals have the same mentality, that their difference in posture while riding coupled with the fact that they’re wearing all the official riding gear somehow makes them different than a guy like me who rides 40-50 miles a day on a hybrid. Have you all experienced this? I live in Florida, so even now we’re riding in 80 degree weather every day (sorry snow people, I know, you hate me), so it’s not like they can blame their attitudes on bad weather. We’re all riding the same trail (Pinellas Trail, which by the way is an awesome trail), and I’m not out joyriding, I average 15 mph on a steel framed Diamondback hybrid for 50 miles. I guess I’m asking because I’m about to buy my first road bike so that I can finally accomplish one of my short term goals of doing my first century ride, and I want to know if I’m going to have to ride with my chin higher in the air so as not to be corrupted by anyone riding a different bike than me. Thanks for your replies, and for crying out loud, HAVE FUN when you ride!

  32. Comment by Simple | 02.2.2012 | 12:36 pm

    The majority of the people on hybrids don’t wave or don’t wave back. So, you learn pretty quickly not to wave if it’s not reciprocated. When I see someone on a hybrid (which is pretty much all the time, also). I don’t “put my chin up in the air”, I just don’t pay much attention, because they’re not paying much attention to me.

  33. Comment by Seb | 02.2.2012 | 1:35 pm

    Brilliant! LOL


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.