05.7.2012 | 10:33 am

Today’s story shall be told mostly in pictures.

Here are Kenny and I last year, after racing the Tour de Donut.

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Apart from the magnificently appropriate backdrop of the line of portapotties, my favorite thing about this photo is . . . me.

I look fantastic.

Yes, in spite of the fact that I had just eaten ten donuts, I look great. Leadville was just a month away and — while I didn’t know it for sure — I was light (about 156 pounds, if I remember correctly) and fit enough that a sub-9 was looking entirely possible.

And a few weeks later, I’d cross the Leadville finish line in 8:18:01, looking like this:


Ecstatic, for sure. Salty, certainly. And my teeth were just a little bit on the grimy side:

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Importantly, though, in an unposed picture — one where I did not have time to suck my gut in — my stomach looked like this:

00469-02-4330 - Version 2.jpg

To be sure, there are people who look a lot skinnier (and better) in bike jerseys, but for me, this is about as good as it gets.

So. Let’s fast-forward to the present, shall we?

Here’s a photo The IT Guy took during the first few miles of the 2012 RAWROD:


OK, now let’s zoom in on me a little closer.


Yeah. That’s . . . um . . . not good (and I’m not talking about the fact that at the moment I was in possession of The Daisy).

How did this happen? In a couple of ways.

The Tragedy of Self-Delusion

The Hammer and I both came off of last year so fast and fit that we somehow thought that we’d be that way forever (so far, she has retained and built on that strength and fitness; you can see that I have not). So we set ourselves the most challenging race season ever:

  • The Crusher in the Tushar: 69 miles, a ridiculous amount of climbing, big parts of the ride on road, big parts of it on dirt.
  • The Leadville 100: I think I’ve talked enough about this race for one lifetime.
  • The Breck Epic: The main event of the season. Six freaking days of mountain bike racing on high-altitude singletrack. This will start the day after the Leadville 100, so that’s a nice long recovery period.

So you’d think I’d start getting myself in shape and stuff. Which leads to the second, most important reason I’ve managed to let myself go to fat like this.


I am currently the very picture of a physical state that may be impossible for any sport but cycling:

I am Fit-Fat.

Which is to say, thanks to a nice dry winter, I kept on riding. My legs and lungs are actually really great right now (see picture above). I was able to ride the White Rim in one day, on a singlespeed, without particular difficulty, and I felt good enough that I went riding again the next day.

That’s the “Fit” part of Fit-Fat.

The “Fat” part is because I am part bear. Which is to say, when it’s winter, I eat a lot. And I have to fight a near-constant urge to climb into a cave and sleep for a couple months.

The danger of being Fit-Fat is that it kinda sneaks up on you. Winter comes and goes, but you’re still wearing the larger, loose-fitting jerseys, which you used to tell yourself you needed to wear because you had a base layer underneath. But deep down, you know that you’re wearing them because the so-called “base layer” is just a big ol’ gut.

And you find reasons to not get on the scale.

But because you’re strong and have a good aerobic base, you can — in general — still hang with everyone one during the group rides. Sure, you work harder on the climbs, but you’ve got the legs to make it work.

And then full-blown Spring arrives, with Summer hot on its heels. And there is no hiding. If everyone else is Fit, being Fit-Fat isn’t enough.

I’ve got to lose some major weight, pronto. Or I’m going to be writing stories about how The Hammer had to wait for me at the aid stations at the Breck Epic.

That prospect does not delight me.


  1. Comment by Facial hair | 05.7.2012 | 10:51 am

    Hey Fatty, no offense, but Kenny looks like a killer with the “Soul Patch” above his lower lip. In fact, I think Kenny needs a nick name. Can we call him The Killer?

    When your name’s Kenny, you don’t need a nickname. – FC

  2. Comment by Facial hair | 05.7.2012 | 10:52 am

    that would be soul patch “below” his lower lip…hahahaha

  3. Comment by SaddleAmericana | 05.7.2012 | 10:59 am

    Ahhh donuts…I was too distracted to notice anything else in this post.

  4. Comment by Tommysmo | 05.7.2012 | 11:05 am

    Do I hear another weight-loss contest in the works???

  5. Comment by ClydeinKS | 05.7.2012 | 11:09 am

    What were the final results in the last weight-loss challenge?

  6. Comment by centurion | 05.7.2012 | 11:18 am

    I have done extensive research and testing on the beneficial effects of the “airo-belly”. We are more airo(rhymes with OREO)-dinamic then those skinny guys. You see the airo-belly works like a fairing that lets air slide around the abdomen. Instead of getting trapped and acting like a parachute on the skinny guys. So we are ahead of the curve, and have an advantage with the wind.

  7. Comment by TK | 05.7.2012 | 11:21 am

    Who/what ate Kenny’s left arm?

  8. Comment by TMZ | 05.7.2012 | 11:21 am

    I really want to drive over and do the Tour de Donut. They even said that if I tow my kids in a trailer, they can eat donuts too. I imagine my wife and I would have to be in our own division (the kids towed in trailer division), but it would be awesome to see if me and the older two could beat her and the younger two. T’would be awesome.

  9. Comment by Cornbread | 05.7.2012 | 11:39 am

    Hate to disappoint you Fatty, but The Hammer will probably have to wait on you at the aid stations anyway. They don’t call her “The Hammer” for nothing.

  10. Comment by Christina | 05.7.2012 | 11:43 am

    We saw this coming when you did the Endless Pool trial. We were all too polite to mention anything. Well, some of us.

    Can I have your legs? Even when you’re “fat” they look awesome. I have no such luck. When I’m fat, my whole body participates.

  11. Comment by Clydesteve | 05.7.2012 | 11:44 am

    because the so-called “base layer” is just a big ol’ gut.

    This could be the subtitle name of your next book. Great phrase!

  12. Comment by Christina | 05.7.2012 | 11:50 am

    P.S. At least you didn’t have explosive diarrhea?

  13. Comment by Darien | 05.7.2012 | 12:13 pm

    Maybe you should just wear black jerseys for a while.

  14. Comment by SLL | 05.7.2012 | 12:23 pm

    Any update on the donation webpage for 100MoN?

    Also, any chance we can get a t-shirt made proclaiming how Fit-Fat we are? I am pretty sure that describes many of us…

  15. Comment by Brendan | 05.7.2012 | 12:23 pm

    I love that this comes two posts after the “how to cook brats” post. Such is the dilemma we fat cyclists face.

  16. Comment by Comedy-Tragedy | 05.7.2012 | 12:27 pm

    Fit-fat huh – finally there’s a name for my usual riding condition. LOTOJA draw results are announced tomorrow, so then I know if I need to get into real shape or if fit-fat is enough for my 56th year.

  17. Comment by Jim | 05.7.2012 | 12:38 pm

    So you’re still wearing your loose jerseys, eh Fatty? You musta left those pictures out.

    BTW, TK, nobody “ate” Kenny’s left arm. He has it cut off each year for race season and stored in cryo-freeze. Do you have any idea how much faster he can climb after losing 15 pounds overnight? Heck, the only reason I keep my left arm on over the summer is I get wicked itchy heat rash, and I need that left arm for scratchin’ and pickin’ purposes, in keeping with Musselman traditions.

  18. Comment by roan | 05.7.2012 | 12:59 pm

    Sad state of affairs, sad indeed…or lack of a deed…like cycling or the endless pool.
    No good deed left undone, cycling is always a good deed.

  19. Comment by roadrash | 05.7.2012 | 1:12 pm

    I like to kid myself that I’m Fit-Fat. But in reality I’m getting to be Old-Fat…

  20. Comment by coco | 05.7.2012 | 1:21 pm

    Think I can see a new idea for a Twin Six shirt : “Fit-Fat”…it’s got possibilities.

  21. Comment by Ferd Berfle | 05.7.2012 | 1:26 pm

    Speaking of The Hammer, she looked fit and chipper at mile 23 of the Provo City Marathon last Saturday.

  22. Comment by Obstinate Roadie | 05.7.2012 | 1:41 pm

    Nothing offends my roadie pride more than being beat up hills by “fit-fat” riders.

  23. Comment by Turn The Damn Cranks | 05.7.2012 | 1:43 pm

    You teased us Friday with “not racing” info about The Hammer’s plans to go fast last weekend. What result?

  24. Comment by Matt C (not that MattC) | 05.7.2012 | 3:05 pm

    I think this is the opposite of an equally prevalent, but maybe even more problematic, issue: being “Skinny Fat.” I am currently at about the lowest weight I’ve carried since I grew 7 inches as a junior in high school (I’m now 30 years old and weight a shade under 165). But I have been off the bike for about three weeks (work and other issues), and I feel about as unfit as I possibly could. Yesterday, I completely bonked on a 30 mile road ride that I have done probably ten times in the last year. There has to be a happy medium, right? I guess maybe that would just be called “fitness.”

  25. Comment by Andrew | 05.7.2012 | 3:12 pm

    I am fairly certain you have an eating disorder.

    Me too. – FC

  26. Comment by Rich | 05.7.2012 | 3:22 pm

    I’m right there with you fitty…or is that fatty?
    Anyway, I’m heavier than ever, but the nice weather didn’t start till last week so I’ve got plenty of time right?…..right?

  27. Comment by BrewCityChris | 05.7.2012 | 5:43 pm

    I see a lot of Egg Whites and Avocados in your future Fatty!

  28. Comment by barefoot | 05.7.2012 | 6:14 pm

    I live in a perpetual state of fit-fat.

    Not as fit as Fatty, but fit enough to get a lot of breaks waiting for my MTB buddies to catch up on the trails, or to be able to drop a road century without preparation.

    A big problem with fit-fat – indeed, a catastrophic positive feedback mechanism – is that being fit makes it more difficult to lose the fat. Riding bikes becomes too easy, and doesn’t burn off the donuts and brats (and beers) as effectively as if I were unfit.

    The only palatable cure for the “fat” side of fit-fat is to put in many, many hours and miles on the bike. And those are extra hours that I don’t have at my disposal.

    I fear the less palatable cure would be to take up another form of exercise, for which I’m not specifically fit… nor anatomically suited.



    I’ve got as far as buying some shoes. I just haven’t been able to make myself use them.

    Did you know they still make shoes that don’t have cleats on the bottom? I had no idea.

  29. Comment by George McNally | 05.7.2012 | 6:22 pm

    Too be honest……you’re not that fat.

  30. Comment by Poobah | 05.7.2012 | 6:52 pm

    I like to refer to that middle-section of my anatomy as my “downhill muscle”.

  31. Comment by cece | 05.7.2012 | 7:35 pm

    Yes….I am fit-fat too. I am trying to drop a few more pounds before my time trial on Saturday! There is a hill that kills me and I figure if I can get rid of 5 pounds (The equivalent of a bag of sugar) I will not have to carry that uphill with me.

  32. Comment by Jess @ THIR | 05.7.2012 | 8:51 pm

    Oh I know how you feel.
    I’m a fit-fat swimmer and cyclist… I can definitely tell the difference when I try to run though.

    Working on it however. Start of winter here and I already want to hibernate, it’s not good.
    Thank goodness today is sunny!

  33. Comment by Rory | 05.7.2012 | 8:55 pm


    U mean that cheesy pseudo beardy thingy under your chin in the daisy pic???!!!

  34. Comment by MattC (yes, that one) | 05.7.2012 | 9:18 pm

    I guess I’m in the Unfit-Unfat category. The only thing I need to lose is the Unfit part. Funny how you (and by ‘you’ I mean ‘me’) can be not an ounce overweight but still totally unfit (or at least as unfit as I’ve been in the last 2 years). And how very quickly it went from fit to unfit.

    But thinking about it, MAYBE it hasn’t been all that quick after all…seems it’s been creeping up on me the last 2 years. Last year I was just _nfit. Thought for sure that there was only one way I could go from there…but it turns out there was an option ‘B’ that I hadn’t considered.

    When we get to Davis, ya’ll go on ahead, I’ll be riding sweep.

  35. Comment by stuckinmypedals | 05.7.2012 | 9:51 pm

    Fatty, the Daisy post NEVER gets old. Makes me laugh so hard I cry every time.

  36. Comment by davidh,marin | 05.7.2012 | 10:46 pm

    Fit-Fat, I like it! Two ceturies a week apart and I still gained 3 lbs! That, and a substatial amount of downhill ‘muscle’, means I have not yet ordered a ride picture.

  37. Comment by Jenn | 05.8.2012 | 2:24 am

    Getting back to blog basics…weight loss via humiliation. Well done, Fatty!

  38. Comment by Tommysmo | 05.8.2012 | 6:36 am

    Hey Fatty? Which Schwinn is your buddy Kenny riding? Old school or something newish?

    How do you like your Orbea?

  39. Comment by Miles Archer | 05.8.2012 | 7:25 am

    Swimmers can be fit/fat. For cold water open water types it might actually be an advantage. So I tell myself.

  40. Comment by leroy | 05.8.2012 | 9:01 am

    I knew there was a reason I was
    avoiding my white Fat Cyclist jersey. I’ve managed to put back on most of what I lost in your weight loss challenge. Either that or the Earth’s gravity is a little out of whack.

  41. Comment by GenghisKhan | 05.8.2012 | 9:48 am

    Regarding Kenny’s missing left arm, I think It’s a subtle/subliminal insult to Fatty, as in, “I can beat you with one arm behind my back.” and, just ‘cuz it’s true doesn’t mean he has to say/show it… ;o)

  42. Comment by Darrell | 05.8.2012 | 10:12 am

    First off in your “skinny” pictures you were not wearing a base layer under your jersey. Second black is more slimming because it is difficult for the eye to detect any slight bluges with black as compared to white. Third, the skinny pictures were taken after some long hard rides where you had lots of water loss. The fat picture showed you during a leisurely ride where you did not stress yourself especially after eating about 8 pounds of brats mere hours before. The solution is simple, dont wear underlayers, wear black jerseys and limit yourself to 2 brats (but they have to be on hardrolls not bread). Problem solved, now go ride more :-)

  43. Comment by patty | 05.8.2012 | 10:14 am

    I feel your pain! At least you are fit-fat, I am somewhat unfit-fat! I did lose about 20 pounds when I had major surgery last November and had a 5 pound begine tumor removed from my abdomen (I thought I was just fat!), but that did not solve the entire fat problem! A picture is worth a thousand words so lets hang our fat pics on the fridge and see if that is a deterrent – yeah, right, I must be smoking something!

  44. Comment by AKChick55 | 05.8.2012 | 10:59 am

    @MattC (yes, that one) I consider myself “chubby” and hope to lose about 10-15 lbs before Davis. We’ll see. However, I’m quite slow so I think that I’ll be riding sweep alongside you. I commuted to work for the first time this year and thought I was doing pretty well until some guy blew past me. Actually, I had people fly past me on mountain bikes (WTH?!?). Sigh. I am very short and my bike is very small, but my tires are the same size as big road bike tires. Oh well. I digress.

    Who else is doing the 100 Miles of Nowhere and what state are you in?

    I’m in Alaska and participating with a coworker on an out and back course (mainly flat, but there could be headwinds in one direction). We are parking cars on either end so we can have real food and don’t have to carry all of our supplies. Hoping to use it as a fundraiser for Davis. :)

  45. Comment by N1LUL | 05.8.2012 | 11:07 am

    Another great Fit – Fat sport is Indoor Rowing. You only have move your fat back and forth, and there is not a lot of climbing in rowing.

    I was top 10% age group for the 2000 meter event, but every bit as chunky as Fatty.

    That said riding a bike outside beats rowing indoors almost every time.

  46. Comment by JT | 05.8.2012 | 12:43 pm

    Your still better off than this 195lb Clydesdale…..;)

  47. Comment by Vito | 05.8.2012 | 2:28 pm

    Black tends to make one look a bit thinner;)

  48. Comment by Sunny | 05.8.2012 | 6:30 pm

    there’s not a vain bone in your body….you always make me laugh! Thanks

  49. Comment by andy | 05.8.2012 | 10:12 pm

    Perhaps a 2-week kayak trip to Baja would help… I just returned and have reduced the curves quite a bit!

  50. Comment by Dan O | 05.9.2012 | 12:08 am

    I can see it now…. Team Fit-Fat jerseys.

    We’ve all been there. Except after this winter, I’m a touch fat (for me) and not fit at all.

    The riding begins. The cycle continues…

  51. Comment by Scott | 05.10.2012 | 4:23 pm

    Get your Thyroid checked. Seriously.


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