Fight Cancer, Win a Dream Bike or Dream Trip: Unexpectedly Serious Edition

06.15.2012 | 11:24 am

A Note from Fatty: I apologize that I must suspend Free Verse Friday today. What I want to say just isn’t that poetic. I promise Free Verse Friday will be back next week. Unless it’s not.

Hey, guess what? Today marks the beginning of my last week of my LiveStrong fundraiser. The one where you could win a dream Ibis bike — a Silk SL, a Mojo SL, a Tranny, or a Hakkalugi (your choice) — outfitted with top-of-the-line Shimano components.

Oh, and you’ll pick that bike up here in Utah, where the good folks at SLC Bicycle Company will do a professional, custom fitting for you.

And then we’ll go and do some riding on your favorite kind of ride, on your brand new kick-butt bike. Road or mountain, I’ll show you the good stuff.

As a person who has put together a few contests to raise money for good causes, I think this is one has the potential to be the most fun of any I have ever done.

So if you’d like to be a part of it, you should probably go read the details about the bike and the trip, then go donate .

A Little Serious Talk

Really, I had hoped to spend this post talking about interesting bike / ride combinations the winner of this contest might want to consider. But that’s going to have to wait ’til next Monday, because right now I want to talk about where I stand regarding the USADA allegations against Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel.

First, I’ll say this: I think of both of them as friends. More importantly, I think of both of them as good people who make a difference for good in the world.

For Lance in particular, I’ll go further and say that the thing he cares most about in the world is making a difference. For furthering the fight against cancer. It’s quite literally what he’s dedicated his life to.

Of course, Johan has a day job, so he has to squeeze his good cause work — World Bicycle Relief — into his schedule. And he does. He finds a way to raise money to improve the lives of people in Zambia with World Bicycle Relief.

Remember, The Grand Slam for Zambia — where we raised enough money to change the lives of 1152 kids — was not my idea. That was Johan. I just jumped on the bandwagon and helped, like many of you.

I think there’s secular merit to the the statement in Matthew 7:16: By their fruits you will know them. Specifically, you can tell what kind of person someone is by what they choose to do with their time and lives. The kind of people who either dedicate their lives or their spare time to making the world a better place — by fighting cancer or giving kids in distant lands a chance at a better life — are the kind of people I am proud to support, and proud to call friends.

What I Don’t Know (And You Don’t Either)

It is impossible for people like you and me to have a productive, enlightening conversation about whether Lance doped.

It really is.

For one thing, if you’ve got an opinion on the matter, by now that concrete has set. Thoroughly. It’s had plenty of time to harden, and no amount of stirring is going to soften it up.

More importantly, for every argument, there’s a counterargument. All of the arguments have been made. All of the counterarguments have been given. Even the very expensive lawyers who will now start arguing this matter will simply be clanging swords. And at the end of the process (if there ever is an end to the process), both sides will claim they are right. And depending on where things end up, you’ll either feel like justice was served, or that it was not.

But — and I think this is the most important point — either way, you (and I) don’t truly know. Just this morning, I talked with someone with an extraordinary amount of inside access to pro cycling when Lance was racing, and he said that if there was doping, he never saw it. He believes Lance is innocent, and — because of what I’ve seen and believe — I agree.

But of course, I don’t know. I can’t.

Similarly, however, those who assert — no matter how loudly, passionately, or often — that Armstrong doped don’t know, either. They can’t. They will of course argue otherwise, but remember: there are counterarguments for every argument out there.

So, when you can’t know something, and no amount of debate will get to the bottom of the matter, what can you do?

What I Do Know

I know a few things about LiveStrong. I know that it’s staffed by people who have a very personal connection to cancer, and thus a strong hatred of it, and an incredibly strong desire to help those who are battling it succeed.

I know that they do very specific things to help in the fight against cancer, and that they’re always looking for ways to do more.

I know that when I’ve made suggestions, they’ve taken these suggestions very seriously. And they don’t do this because I have a little soapbox to stand on (and I don’t fool myself into thinking that my soapbox is anything but small). If you reach out to them, I guarantee you they’ll reply, in person, and listen to what you have to say. I have never heard of an instance where someone has called or emailed LiveStrong in earnest and not received a personal reply.

I know that LiveStrong has helped me personally during Susan’s fight with cancer, and they’ve helped friends of mine.

I know, in short, that LiveStrong is a good organization, staffed by good people, doing really good things. I am proud to support them, and I’m grateful to Lance Armstrong for — instead of just going forward with his life when he had survived cancer — making the fight against cancer the central focus of his life.

(I know a few things about World Bicycle Relief, too, and I’ll be posting pretty much nonstop about it later this summer, when I’m focusing on Grand Slam 2: This Time It’s Personal.)

So if you think you can trust me, maybe you should help me raise money to help LiveStrong keep up its good work.

And you may even win a dream bike and biking trip by doing so.

Skin In The Game

I don’t raise money for LiveStrong because it’s easy or fun or for personal gain. With this contest in particular, I’ve made a point of being the person who is providing one of the major prizes. That’s going to cost me. And I don’t mind that cost at all, because I believe in what I’m doing.

That’s not the only cost I’ll incur, however.

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a thick-skinned person. I’m easy to attack and insult, because I take things personally (I’ve actually asked both Lance Armstrong and Bike Snob NYC how to not let things get to me; both have essentially said the same thing: “toughten up.”).

But I’m pretty sure that a pretty vocal group of people will insult me because of what I’m writing here. I won’t respond, because it’ll just result in more and escalated insults. Plus, I’m not good at the insult comic thing. But the insults still hurt, which is a win for them I guess. (That said, at least in my comments section, insults from and to anyone will be replaced by lyrics from the “musical” “artist” of my choosing.)

I don’t like it (duh), but I’m willing to deal with it because I believe in what I’m doing and in whom I’m supporting.

Do Something Good, Still

Back in January, I wrote a post called “Do Something Good.” That’s the plea I’m going to continue to make now.

If you feel like you can donate to LiveStrong, awesome.

If you don’t feel like you can donate to LiveStrong, give your time and / or money to a cause you can get behind. Like World Bicycle Relief. Or Young Survival Coalition. Or your local library.

As for me, I’m excited to see Team Fatty at the LiveStrong Challenge in Davis next weekend, where I believe we will once again demonstrate that a bunch of friends who don’t know each other can accomplish a lot of good in the world.


  1. Comment by wharton_crew | 06.15.2012 | 11:37 am

    Excellent post – Fatty. I don’t really have an opinion on Lance as far as doping goes. He knows whether he did or didn’t, and he has to live with that, although if he’s innocent….man what a witch hunt!

    I do support his philanthropy, though! I know he could spend his time and money on whatever he wants, and I appreciate that he’s willing to reach out and help those who suffer from cancer.

    I’m hoping that I’ll be in a position to provide a high level of support in your future initiatives!


  2. Comment by ClydeinKS | 06.15.2012 | 11:56 am

    Most. Excellent. Post.
    I have nothing more to say to that other than ditto, but I’d quote and reference you of course! Very well said Fatty!
    Allez LiveSTRONG!
    Allez Lance!
    Allez Johan!
    Allez Fatty!!

  3. Comment by ABQKenny | 06.15.2012 | 11:59 am

    I really wanted to post some negative and hurtful comments just to see the lyrics you would pick, but I won’t, because that was an awesome post.

    Congrats on your relay win, that story was great!

  4. Comment by Dan O | 06.15.2012 | 12:01 pm

    Don’t care of Lance did or didn’t. LiveStrong has raised awareness for all cancer, not just specific one’s, for that it’s a WIN!

    From a survivor.

    Life is good


  5. Comment by steve | 06.15.2012 | 12:02 pm

    Technically, if he came out and said he doped we would know the truth.

  6. Comment by zeeeter | 06.15.2012 | 12:10 pm

    Fatty, thanks for that – puts into words exactly what I think about the situation. I admit I will feel pretty sickened if it gets proven that LA doped, or JB provided the tools, however my support of LIVESTRONG is not conditional on the deeds of one or two. For now, their individual lifetime Kharmic balance is way on the positive side as far as I’m concerned!

    As for the doubters, in the infamous words spoken by a better man than me, that only a few actually heard . . “F*** ‘em all”!

    See you next week! Bring pie.

  7. Comment by Jeff Bike | 06.15.2012 | 12:14 pm

    We live in America; as such the law of the land is innocent until proven guilty.
    Lance Armstrong should be considered innocent unless someone can PROVE he is guilty. Show us hard evidence! There is 29 U.S. tests and over 500 international anti-doping tests with no conclusive positive for drugs. The federal prosecutors spent millions trying to convict him and failed to find enough hard evidence. Everyone and his cousin had tried to pin a doping charge on him and nobody has made one stick. Rumor, innuendo and accusation is not proof. Testimony from admitted cheats, liars and those with personal grudges should be considered for the source it comes from.
    In interest of full disclosure, I have donated small amounts to Livestrong and World Bicycle Relief.
    IMHO he should file a defamation law suit. File it against everyone who has brought these charges over and over again. Find the person or persons who is behind these attacks and drag them into court to answer why the continual hounding and repeated attacks.

  8. Comment by MtlDan | 06.15.2012 | 12:14 pm

    Excellent post. Made me aware that my opinions are more set in stone than I had thought. I never liked Lance the cyclist. I always favored Ulrich. How could you not pull for a guy who put on too much weight in the winter, then worked like hell all spring to get in shape, then always finished second? But who you rooted for at the Tour years ago doesn’t make a difference now. Livestrong does good stuff for people who need help. I’m happy to contribute to them.

  9. Comment by roan | 06.15.2012 | 12:14 pm

    Great post Fatty, pro cyclist or even the more benign bicyclist, recreational, or weekend rider all wear a target. “you on drugs?” or just a few years ago “get off the road LANCE” were shouted at me from, you guessed it…people in cars. AND that was minor to some assaults.
    As a citizen I would like ALL elected officials drug tested at random. Seems that some of those officials want to invade the private citizens’ life & home. As an example are the questionnaires related to the recent census. ‘How much food do you have on hand ?’, ‘Do you have a flush toilet in your house ?’ and ‘Do you have fruit trees (to be listed down to 1/10 acre) ?’. DANG ! my moment on the soap box is getting out of hand.
    Hope everyone has a nice relaxing weekend that includes some bike riding.

  10. Comment by steve | 06.15.2012 | 12:18 pm

    I think you have some facts incorrect. The federal investigation related to the use of funds, not whether or not doping occurred. I think the math outlined in this article is interesting to think about, no matter which “side” of this one is on.

  11. Comment by Rich | 06.15.2012 | 12:27 pm

    Well said Fatty….
    I don’t really have an opinion on whether he did or didn’t and to be honest, I don’t care. It was a long time ago, lets move on already. What gain is there in spending ridiculous money bringing this up again? The lawyers are the only winners in this.

    Livestrong does good things…I support them…

  12. Comment by Eric L | 06.15.2012 | 12:39 pm

    Nice post Fatty. See you in Davis.

  13. Comment by Ken | 06.15.2012 | 12:45 pm

    The lesson I learn from Lance is that if I am willing to reach beyond my circumstance, my life can accomplish something that is bigger than I am whatever my flaws. Lance inspired me on the bike. He inspired me even more with his fight against cancer. I have to confess that I wish the accusations against him would go away. But what is most important is that cancer goes away–reason enough to support Livestrong. I’m with you Fatty.

  14. Comment by Jim | 06.15.2012 | 1:00 pm

    Elden, nice discussion of the situation. I’m on the other side of the fence on the doping question. You look at all the top racers in the late 90’s through 2007 or so, and it’s dopers. Go down the list of the podiums at the TdF’s Lance won, and tell me how far down the list the yellow jersey will have to go in order to land on somebody who is “clean,” and by “clean” I mean “not yet caught red handed or implicated in doping by credible witnesses. You’ll wind up with some mediocre support riders wearing the jersey – and you won’t be confident they deserve it, you’ll only be able to know simply that they weren’t caught, for whatever reason. This era of bike racing was perhaps dirtier than some others. On the one hand, that makes it bad. Doping is cheating. On the other hand, it means that at least at the top, there was something approaching a level playing field. Did clean riders get screwed over and was that wrong, immoral, and at times illegal? Yep. Is that horrible? Indeed. But was that the (at the time) inescapable culture in pro cycling? Absolutely. Would I have been in Lance’s shoes, and proved myself a legal and moral superhero, broken out of the doping culture and taken it on myself to work publicly to fix things? Probably not. I’m pretty solid but I don’t have super powers. How can I expect Lance to?

    Against that background, and pondering how far down into the G.C. all of Lance’s palmares have to sink to land on a presumptively clean rider, it’s clear to me: there is a divide between what went on in the ProTour, and the stuff outside of it.

    What went on outside of it, is that Lance led a cultural change that came to cause society to view cancer as something that we have to all work together to beat, a common enemy of mankind. The outreach work and the work of hooking up patients with specialized information about their particular cancer, finding the best place to treat it, and the support – that stuff is priceless. It far outweighs the bike racing… bike racing is just a game, a pasttime, a sport. We love it, we let it matter to us, but it doesn’t really matter in the end.

    Lance can’t be put into one simple bucket or another. Like all of us he is a complex man; as an athlete on the very top rung of sport, his excesses will seem out of proportion, and as a charitable leader his good works will also get overblown. He’s just a human like the rest of us though; we shouldn’t expect complete purity. We are not the Sanhedrin…

    So as his Tour victories recede into the past, I’m left with history, and the present. The sporting history is pretty clear. Maybe those TdF wins get asterisked out of the record book – “he cheated, but we think everybody down to 27th this year was cheating too.” Maybe he keeps the TdF wins. So in some ways, that career is a wash. On the other hand, his anti-cancer work in the past and now is a huge net positive. It is an immense act of charity and mercy to do what Lance has done. Helping people in this way is doing something in real life. It far outweighs anything Lance did or didn’t do in bike racing. It matters – a lot.

    It takes a while for me to even sort out that complex situation, to do the math. In the end, even if I believe he doped, I’m left with thinking Lance is ultimately much more of a good person than a bad person. There’s no win or loss column to play with here because we’re not talking about a sporting event, it’s about a man’s life, the sport he played and the good works he did (and continues to do).

    Whether he’s exonerated or held liable for doping, won’t change my opinion much in either way. On the balance, he’s had a very positive influence and I admire that about him. There is not much more that I can say.

    Very well put. – FC

  15. Comment by nh_joe | 06.15.2012 | 1:14 pm

    My opinion is that he doped. It is also my opinion that I don’t really care.

    Lance and Johan have obviously had a positive influence on your life and the lives of many others. I completely support them in those endeavors. Pro cycling really has nothing to do with that.

    No matter how desperately they try, the USADA can’t change history. Giving the jersey to 2nd place is silly because one can’t just pretend that the actual winner wasn’t present and that the races would not have unfolded differently.

    It’s time to let it go. Livestrong does great things and our support for Livestrong and cancer patients has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not Lance used PEDs.

  16. Comment by Angie G | 06.15.2012 | 1:26 pm

    Whether or not Lance doped is immaterial to me. I’m not the one, who regardless of that fact, spent hours on the bike training and performing.

    I do know that LiveStrong is an AWESOME organization that I share some very fundemental values with. With that: I will continue to wear yellow, even though with my skin coloring it makes me look green. I will contine to raise money and donate to the LiveStrong cause. I will continue to gift LiveStrong Guidebooks when I encounter someone in the battle against cancer. Whether Lance doped or not, I will always hate cancer and I will always support LiveStrong.

    Thank you for your eloquent post…Now bring on the Freaking PIE!!!

  17. Comment by AnneJuliet | 06.15.2012 | 1:28 pm


  18. Comment by Sarah | 06.15.2012 | 1:29 pm

    Totally agreed! And the fact remains: whether he was doping or not, the things he was doing on a bike were incredible regardless… Those ‘things’ set the stage for one of the largest nonprofits in the world in the battle against cancer. As the mother of a child battling cancer for his FOURTH year straight and a cyclist, I’m thankful for him…


  19. Comment by Andy_T | 06.15.2012 | 1:36 pm

    Hear Hear. Excellently put. What’s done is done and it’s what he is doing now that’s important. These charges may have grounds or they may not but relentlessly reliving them long after the man has retired is not good for cycling and its not good for any of the philanthropic causes that help thousands of people navigate the mess that cancer makes of your life. As someone who has only recently discovered cycling in my rapidly approaching middle years (both as a personal activity and as a sport to be followed) I get horribly discouraged by the barrage of negative news. Was/is the sport dirty? Yes, probably. Can it be cleaned up? Partially. How? Spend resources improving current standards and safeguards, not hiring lawyers to dredge through the annals of the sport to strip the titles of heroes. Mostly, I’m just amazed that people still have enough energy to pay attention.

  20. Comment by Superstantial | 06.15.2012 | 1:42 pm

    Thanks for writing this today.

    There are a lot of people out there who are conflicted about Armstrong and even about LiveStrong. Adding your voice to the discussion is really helpful. I’ve never met Armstrong and I have no idea whether he cheated. If he’s innocent, he did himself no favors by adopting a really spiky public persona; if he’s cheated, then the authorities have let this become too much of a Javert-like drama to be credible to many. No winners here, regardless of the outcome.

    That being said, what you’ve written is really helpful because of your emphasis on the humanity of all involved. There’s a lot of good in that.

    However, you’ve piqued my interest by including BOTH “musical” and “artist” in seperate scare quotes. I have to know what you mean. Toward that end, unless I see something being moderated, my next post will have to be insulting, just so I can see what you do. I’m sorry. (although I do think that kind of stunt fits the theme of this blog, where you’re always able to find the humor in things people take so seriously).

  21. Comment by Superstantial | 06.15.2012 | 1:43 pm

    Oh, that’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
    I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
    That’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
    I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
    That’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
    I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
    That’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
    I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
    When you take me by the hand,
    Tell me I’m your loving man,
    When you give me all your love,
    And do it the very best you can,
    Oh, that’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
    I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
    That’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
    I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
    That’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
    I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
    That’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
    I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
    When I get to be in your arms,
    When we’re all all alone,
    When you whisper sweet in my ear,
    When you turn, turn me on,
    Oh, that’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
    I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
    That’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
    I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
    That’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
    I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
    That’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
    I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.

    Don’t make me do this again. – FC

  22. Comment by Rollo | 06.15.2012 | 1:45 pm

    I think most people have accusers and supporters — it’s not restricted to people in the public eye, they just get more of each.

    The supporters look at the fruit of a persons life and the accusers accentuate the faults. Some people’s balance sheet are filled with accusers and rightly so, they are likely not so great people.

    However, that is not the case here. Lance and Johan have touched many lives for the better. The races are long over, but good works have an impact every day. I hope officials end the witch hunt, and that the other racers can put it behind them and get on with living.

  23. Comment by Mikeonhisbike | 06.15.2012 | 1:55 pm

    I had no intentions of insulting you but when you mentioned lyrics I thought I’d just add some of my own. This song constantly runs through my mind when I’m on a long ride. Can you guess the band?

    It’s a test of ultimate will
    The heartbreak climb uphill
    Got to pick up the pace
    If you want to stay in the race
    More than blind ambition
    More than simple greed
    More than a finish line
    Must feed this burning need
    In the long run…

    From first to last
    The peak is never passed
    Something always fires the light that gets in your eyes
    One moment’s high, and glory rolls on by
    Like a streak of lightning
    That flashes and fades in the summer sky

  24. Comment by Dartanyon | 06.15.2012 | 2:07 pm

    What I know.

    Elden Nelson is a generous, caring, sometimes selfless, always well mening, often self deprecating, knight for modern times.

  25. Comment by Raph | 06.15.2012 | 2:10 pm

    Too bad was really looking forward to seeing Lance race Kona.
    But what a witch hunt, scary methods.

  26. Comment by Obstinate Roadie | 06.15.2012 | 2:12 pm

    I’ve read all the way down to here just to see some bad music lyrics. I’m so disappointed.

    The only trouble with opinions is that many people mistake them for indisputable facts — especially on the internet.

  27. Comment by Tes | 06.15.2012 | 2:15 pm

    Somehow you managed to put into text, exactly my thoughts and feelings. Well done. I wish I had your talent.

  28. Comment by centurion | 06.15.2012 | 2:18 pm

    I no longer care if LA did or didn’t. Also, I don’t care about anybody else’s opinion if he did or didn’t. But what I do care about is the hit that Livestrong will take because of all this crap. That will harm many more people than proving or, disproving if he did or didn’t. And that is a MF’n shame.
    “Do Something Good” needs to be a worldwide campaign of helping each other. If that is all that comes of your efforts Fatty, you have succeeded.

  29. Comment by Adam Hegedus | 06.15.2012 | 2:20 pm

    Well put, Fatty. Well, put.

  30. Comment by Lizbon | 06.15.2012 | 2:25 pm

    FWIW, I’m consciously & intentionally ignoring the entire “controversy.” Because it makes not one iota of difference to me whether he did or didn’t. I know he’s done a lot of good work, and I know he’s an incredible racer, w/ or w/out drugs. And I don’t care about anything else. The sport has a long history of performance drugs, and it will continue to, regardless of the “scandals” about it.

    I think you’ve done a nice job of focusing attention on the things that matter more. And as a culture we should all get off our high horses already. Most of us accomplish jack-all with our lives.

  31. Comment by Dr. Brett | 06.15.2012 | 2:29 pm

    I like Jim’s post and add to his comments in that Lance Armstrong did wonders for the cycling industry in the well. So even if he is stripped of his TdF wins, that good won’t be undone either. We are a huge market here in the States. Many a job has been indirectly funded by the cycling growth fueled by Lance. He is to cycling what Tiger Woods is to golf. He is a superhuman athlete, doping or not.

    I think sometimes the average bear thinks, “If I doped, I would be awesome, too…” No you wouldn’t. If I doped to the gills, and maxed my training and equipment potential—I might, MIGHT break into cat 3.

  32. Comment by Ginger-Schminger | 06.15.2012 | 2:29 pm

    My 15 year-old son (who thinks LA hung the moon and stars) came to me the day the story broke with a worried and perplexed expression on his face and HAD to talk it through. In a nutshell, I told him the same thing that Jim (above) said. I finished the conversation with a quote that we throw about quite a bit in my house – “Do Epic S*#t”. That’s what Livestrong does.

  33. Comment by MikeRoadie | 06.15.2012 | 2:31 pm

    Hear, hear!

  34. Comment by MikeRoadie | 06.15.2012 | 2:31 pm

    Or is that Here, here? I never know. Well put, Elden.

  35. Comment by regina | 06.15.2012 | 2:34 pm

    well said.

  36. Comment by Paul f. | 06.15.2012 | 2:37 pm

    @Mikeonhisbike Rush! (Marathon?) Totally agree as music to ride/run to.

  37. Comment by Dan in Sac | 06.15.2012 | 2:42 pm

    It’s scary what these prosecutors with personal vendettas can do under the authority of the monolithic US gov. Whether it’s the FDA dude or this dude with the USADA, using the authority to prosecute to gain notoriety, further career ambitions and exact personal grudges is wrong and apparently unchecked.

    USADA, go back to your inconsequential corner and protect the integrity of curling, archery and water polo (see USADA web site). Because this is the first I have heard of you among all the scandals of the last dozen years.

    Dan, I know you’re saying this in support of me, but I don’t really want anyone — whether they agree or disagree with me — stuff like that. I deleted your PS. I’m sure you understand. – FC

  38. Comment by Mikeonhisbike | 06.15.2012 | 2:43 pm

    @Paulf Nailed it.

  39. Comment by Dingbat | 06.15.2012 | 2:44 pm

    Fatty, I know (to scientific certainty–that is, it’s by far the best theory that explains all the evidence) that you’re a staggeringly trustworthy, hardworking, generous person. I know similarly that LA is a staggeringly talented, hardworking, ambitious person. The fact that you trust him and vouch for his work is the single reason I support LAF/Livestrong.

  40. Comment by jt | 06.15.2012 | 2:50 pm

    I’d like to thank @Superstantial for taking one for the team and being a jerk so FatMan would show us the lyrics he warned about.

    I’d also like to thank Fatty for today’s post. It was money.


  41. Comment by steve | 06.15.2012 | 2:54 pm

    Dan in Sac,
    Check me on this, but I believe the first personal insult to appear in this thread is the following quote

    “But fun it is to read the spewings of those self-righteous know-it-alls who are so firm in their ignorance.”

    Am I wrong?

    I mostly don’t think you’re wrong. Nobody likes to be called those things. I don’t think the insult was personal, but it was directed at people who don’t agree w/ Dan, making it more of a general insult. Which I still don’t like, and which I’m still about to head over and yank. – FC

  42. Comment by Kevin | 06.15.2012 | 3:01 pm

    My favorite commercial is the one where LA is talking and he says “Everyone wants to know what I’m on. You know what I’m on? My bike, training my ass off for six hours a day. What are you on?”. At this point, I really don’t give two s^*ts if he did or not. LiveStrong in general, and Lance’s fight with cancer in particular, were a fundamental and driving force behind my wife’s fight with cancer in 2004. I started watching the TdF in 1999 mainly because of the Lance Armstrong story. I watched when he gave Jan Ullrich “the look”. I watched when he blazed up Alpe d’Huez, passing riders up the hill on the way to another win. He has done more for the sport of cycling in the US than anyone, including you Greg LeMond. And now he’s doing the same thing for IronMan. Last year I sat in front of my laptop for 8 hours watching the Kona IronMan. This year I was looking forward to actually seeing it on tv. Why? Because of Lance. He brings that exposure to anything he does. And I will forever consider him one of the greatest athletes of my time. And if I have to concede that Barry Bonds is the reigning HR champion, then I’m damn sure going to consider Lance a 7-time TdF winner.

  43. Comment by Dan in Sac | 06.15.2012 | 3:08 pm

    Thanks Steve, glad you are here.

  44. Comment by rtinsea | 06.15.2012 | 3:14 pm

    Fatty- Your post today actually tipped me over the edge to participate in your fund raising efforts. We will never know about performance enhancing drug use; but your post finally helped push me into the” I don’t care anymore” camp. Livestong and WIN!! Best of luck to the team in Davis.

  45. Comment by Mark J. in Dallas | 06.15.2012 | 3:14 pm

    Fatty, keep doing what you’re doing. We don’t lump you into all the crapstorm surrounding Lance and it’s a real shame LIVESTRONG will likely suffere as a result of this latest round.

    I have to admit I think twice before wearing any LIVESTRONG gear in public – and I’ve noticed considerably less and less of it being worn around these days – because I don’t want to be provoked into reacting by some smart-ass comments. And that’s a shame because I do think they are a great organization doing good work.

    Keep up the good work Fatty.

    Mark, I pulled the first part of your comment, because name calling / insults sucks, no matter who says them. If the conversation’s going to stay civil, it means EVERYONE has to stay civil. – FC

  46. Comment by Jennifer Sage | 06.15.2012 | 3:14 pm

    What Jim said. Finally, someone who put into words what’s been floating around in my head!

    And Ginger-Schminger – your son rocks! Do Epic Sh*t! What a great family motto!

  47. Comment by Scott | 06.15.2012 | 3:16 pm

    I never dreamed I’d have a hero named Fatty. But I do.

  48. Comment by steve | 06.15.2012 | 3:19 pm

    Fatty was right, that personal insult did actually hurt my feelings. Kind of surprisingly actually.

    And I apologize that you got insulted here. Seriously. – FC

  49. Comment by The Hamer | 06.15.2012 | 3:32 pm

    Fatty you should feel cool that Jennifer Sage reads your blog and made a post. Keep it Real baby! …And I share Jim’s thoughts too.

  50. Comment by BamaJim | 06.15.2012 | 3:36 pm

    Thoughtful and well put, and only one set of comments need replacing so far – you win!

  51. Comment by Paul Guyot | 06.15.2012 | 3:42 pm

    You know, 99% of these comments have been cool and worthy of Fatty’s world. Let’s not lower ourselves (all of us) to the point where this becomes yet another place for negative ramblings.

    Fatty, I was wrong. Remember back when I commented “best post ever” re: one of your posts?

    I was wrong. It’s this one.

    Best. Post. Ever.

    (yes, BETTER than the open letter to Assos)

  52. Comment by Jennifer Sage | 06.15.2012 | 3:51 pm

    I’ll even go so far as to say, Jim, your post should be on some significant online journals and in the media, not as a “comment” but as an article! It’s that good. Well thought out and articulate.

  53. Comment by Miles Archer | 06.15.2012 | 4:00 pm

    tempted to post lyrics here because I’m an ass.

    I think your take on Lance is right on.

    See you in Davis.

  54. Comment by Heather Harper | 06.15.2012 | 4:19 pm

    Love your comments and shared them on facebook. You met my husband in Austin at the summit, tried to help him win a spot in a weight loss competition and I have to say, YOU seem like a totally cool guy. Thank you for all you do for Cancer. You not only honor Susan but my mom, my friend, and all kinds of people you don’t even know!

  55. Comment by Doug (way upstate NY) | 06.15.2012 | 4:23 pm

    Well said.

    I’m going to ride with my wife now. And I’m going to race my bike this weekend…….

  56. Comment by zeeeter | 06.15.2012 | 4:37 pm

    Wonder which former disgraced cyclist is promoting a book this time . . . . ?

  57. Comment by Lori P. | 06.15.2012 | 4:41 pm

    Your post in January relating to this subject was what got me to sign up for the Davis Challenge. This post makes me wish it was happening tomorrow.
    I. Can. Not. Wait.

  58. Comment by Steve | 06.15.2012 | 5:08 pm

    Thanks Fatty. You (and I am sure Lance as well) are a fine and good hearted person. From all accounts Livestrong does good things for people. I just want to know the truth, even though I likely never will.

  59. Comment by MattC | 06.15.2012 | 5:59 pm

    To Jim @ 1pm (and everybody else who has already condemned Lance to the gallows)…I’d like to offer this (take it for what it’s worth, which is exactly what you paid for it…ZERO!).

    Every now and then, someone comes along in every walk of life who is just flat-out better than EVERYBODY else out there doing that thing (whether with the brain or body, same sort of thing). I don’t care if this is playing a musical instrument (think of a 12 year old violin virtuosso), math (Stephen Hawkings), and yes, sports…every now and then THAT person steps up and BAM…everybody else is wondering where they came from and suddenly fighting for 2nd place.

    In golf…think back to when Tiger Woods comes along and for quite a number of years, he was playing a whole diff level than the rest of the field. Or a Michael Jordan in Basketball for all those NBA championships. Walter Payton in football (to name just ONE of SO MANY fine examples). Boxing…Muhammad Ali. There are just SO many examples of this if you think about it. To use the argument that everybody around him was cheating so he must be too…THAT is somehow proof?

    So I say WHAT IF! WHAT IF Lance IS that kind of person, where his game was just that much better than everybody else…and they had to cheat to even remotely level the playing-field? HOW can anybody say for SURE that this isn’t the case?

    He’s been a top athlete all his life! As a teenager, he was whipping-up on adult triathletes…was he doing then? On the bike, he was wearing the world champion rainbow-road jersey way before he ever won a TDF or became even remotely rich and famous.

    Maybe..just maybe, he is (was) that good. Coming back from cancer he was a different athlete…trimmed down into a GC-riders body, the upper bulk of the sprinter was gone. And he had a new attitude. Not many of us can claim to know what it’s like to survive what was supposed to kill you.

    There are very few people on the planet that TRULY know if he did the doping…and WE the people (and I’d have to say ALL of those pressing charges) are in the other category, ie: making a GUESS based on what I don’t know. I’m not saying I believe this, nor that I don’t. I’m just saying that he deserves to be Innocent until PROVEN guilty. By EVERYBODY. You’d want (demand!) that for yourself or your family if you were ever faced with serious legal matters.

    And I’ll add this (from the other little guy on my shoulder): It’s already been argued that everybody around him was cheating (many convicted, some retired to avoid prosecution)…IF lance was also doing it, then wasn’t it STILL a level playing field? If so, then why such a ruckus to take him down? Who do you give the titles to if they are stripped? I’d say about the only guy I’d trust would be the Lanterne Rouge. But maybe HE was doping just to FINISH!

    OK…I’m done. Happy Friday in Fattyland!

    NICE POST Fatty..summs it all up QUITE WELL! See you and the REST OF Team Fatty Davis NEXT WEEKEND! (Fri evening at the cycling Hall of Fame! BE THERE! Woo-HOO!)

    Pie AND Brats! And Bikes! And Friends! And a GOOD CAUSE! Can’t get much better than that!

  60. Comment by MattC | 06.15.2012 | 6:03 pm

    Uhm, sorry Fatty….looking up, that got kind’a out of hand. (That’s what you get when you give us a 2″ x 5″ comment box! GRIN!)

  61. Comment by Jason | 06.15.2012 | 6:12 pm

    NO problem, MattC. ALL in good FUN.

  62. Comment by Cycle4fun in TX | 06.15.2012 | 6:29 pm

    Thanks Fatty! Mathew 7:16 could and should guide us all in our lives. Thank you for the reminder. Do something good and be EPIC! Good luck in Davis.

  63. Comment by AKChick55 | 06.15.2012 | 6:40 pm

    I am so thankful you wrote this. Thank you! I love that MOST commenters are calm and rational, no matter their opinion of the situation. Sure there are a couple folks who get a little heated, but for the most part, I don’t think Fatty had to delete or edit many posts. Which is totally cool. I’m so honored to be a part of this bunch.

    I don’t want to believe Lance doped. The man is an training animal. His physiology is amazing. I can’t think of any athlete who outworks him when he sets his sight on an athletic goal. I had a little mini twitter debate about this and a conversation with a coworker that produced the following:

    Regardless of flaws or inconsistencies within the legal system, America is a country where the judicial system is based upon two key factors.

    1)Innocent until proven guilty.
    2)‘Ei incumbit probation, qui dicit, non qui negat; cum per rerum naturam factum negantis probation null sit…The proof lies upon him who affirms, not up on him who denies; sinc, by the nature of things, he who denies a fact cannot produce any proof’ – Blacks Law Dictionary 516 (6th ed 1990). Basically you must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this action did not occur.

    So to take your murder conviction, let’s look at what is available. The Federal investigation was dropped after two years, meaning that they could not meet the requirements of a legal trial. They could not prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that this act had occurred.

    If this was a murder trial, you would be trying to convict someone when there was a) no body b) no murder weapon c) the DNA that you found at the scene doesn’t match your suspect d) your suspect has an alibi. There’s a reason this would never make the light of day.

    Instead the USADA has “eye-witnesses” of acts that took place years ago, and 500+ drug tests that show no indication of wrong doing. So now, simply by launching an investigation, they are preventing someone from furthering their career or sport – simply because there is that “feeling” that wrongdoing took place, and that others who have been accused of cheating/lying have said “well, I saw Lance do it”.

    If there was hard evidence of any kind; email, tweet, recorded phone conversation – we would have seen it. If even one test had come back positive – we would have seen it.

    So until someone comes up with some hard scientific proof, throw my hat into the “He didn’t” ring.

    I like what Jim said – very well put, even though I disagree about the doping aspect. I also like what MattC said (can’t wait to meet you next week!). I love the Fatty family. It’s one of the most awesome things I’ve ever been a part of athletically. As much as Fatty inspires me and makes me laugh, so to do many of the regular posters and not so regular posters. Thank you!

    PS Sorry for the long post!

  64. Comment by Christina | 06.15.2012 | 6:44 pm

    Well said. I’ll be riding 100 miles tomorrow in support of an organization I believe in, no matter what the USADA says about the athlete associated with it.

    When cancer is gone, we can worry about these things.

  65. Comment by Cookster | 06.15.2012 | 6:51 pm

    So many points of view, pro and con, but only one answer the probably only two or three know.

    On a happy note I have my Fat Cyclist kit clean and pressed ready for my trip to State-side to ride with one seriously warm hearty, generous, funny and honest bloke.

    Cookster for Oz

  66. Comment by Tom | 06.15.2012 | 7:06 pm


    We can not know. We can think/believe/convince/cajole. Only a certain few will know who’s lying and telling the truth.

    If you believe in God, he’ll sort it out.

    Either way, cancer sucks. Lance knows that as well as anyone could.

    Fatty, I’m glad you addressed this. I did wonder what you though and now I know.

  67. Comment by Pat in Littleton | 06.15.2012 | 7:15 pm

    Damn fine post. Can’t agree more. Now let us get on with the present and the fight with cancer.

    R.I.P Paul Mattson 1936-93 (lymphoma)

  68. Comment by gumoore | 06.15.2012 | 7:19 pm

    I wish I could be as eloquent as you. Thank you for this post and for “Do Something Good”.

    You said what I believe.

  69. Comment by jd | 06.15.2012 | 7:48 pm

    I think it is possible to have an intelligent discussion about doping in cycling – including about the possibility of LA doping. In fact, I think people who love the sport have an obligation to not bury their heads in the sand.

    I am a big fan of Lance, especially his work with Livestrong. I am pissed that he has been suspended from competing in triathlons – I was having a blast following his progress. I also think that if I am objective, it’s actually pretty obvious that he used PED’s. The evidence leads me to believe most of the top guys were using during that time.

    Doesn’t make him a bad guy and does not diminish the great work he continues to do – but I think it’s time to come clean and tell the truth.

  70. Comment by al | 06.15.2012 | 8:04 pm

    Awesome! No doubt the best post of yours that I have read and I’ve read a bunch of them.

  71. Comment by Liz | 06.15.2012 | 8:05 pm

    Oh, Elden, I know this was hard for you to write. Keep doing something good and don’t worry about the rest. Go Team Fatty in Davis! With you in spirit.

  72. Comment by Jeremy | 06.15.2012 | 8:28 pm

    I am modestly conflicted about Lance as a person, but not because of doping. I will say, meeting you, Elden, last year in Davis inspired far more awe for me than Lance. Lance is an untouchable (but not in the Indian sense) as he is a supreme athlete and celebrity. You are just another one of us schmucks trying to do right by your family and support the people you love. To me, Lance gave cancer a global face, but you made cancer personal in ways Lance never could.

    I am more than a little excited to get to Davis in a week because I’ll actually be there for the Hall of Fame get together and I think I might (big might) be able to make it more than 35 miles with you guys this year.

    It’s going to be a great weekend. I’m Looking forward to seeing you / eating with you / riding with you! – FC

  73. Comment by zeeeter | 06.15.2012 | 9:09 pm

    Davis, CA 10 day forecast (for what it’s worth!)
    Sunday, 24
    97 | 54 °F


  74. Comment by Nurse Betsy | 06.15.2012 | 10:35 pm

    Cancer Sucks! I see it everyday, and my Mother passed in 1998 from it! I also love Africa, been to Senegal and it’s in my heart. I feel free and powerful on my bike. All of your fundraisers fit what feeds my soul. That is all that matters to me.

  75. Comment by Susie H | 06.15.2012 | 10:39 pm

    I. am. so. excited. Can’t wait for Friday and all the memories that will be made and kept. Thank you for your honesty and ability to cut right through to the quick of the matter. The big picture is not always easy to filter out, but you have done an admirable job of it.

    Did I mention that I. am. so. excited??? =) See you Friday evening…

  76. Comment by Wife#1 | 06.15.2012 | 10:55 pm

    Nothing that happens now or in the future will ever change or lessen the moments of indescribable elation and awe I experienced watching Lance year after year during some of those epic rides.

    No other athlete has ever raised the hair on my arms, given me goosebumps, made me cheer myself horse in front of a TV, like watching Lance ride, especially in the TDFs.

    Even if he had not led the charge with the truly transformational work accomplished by Livestrong, he would still be a cycling hero and legend to me.

    We can talk details all day and night, if he did, if he didn’t, whether or not it matters if everyone else was too…. blah blah blah….

    He is and shall remain one of my personal heroes.

    Livestrong is just icing on the cake as far as I am concerned. Icing I am happy to continue to fund by the way.

    Otherwise, I sure would love to see him compete at Kona (Dustin, you doing a repeat performance?), so I would love for this to be over and done with.

    In short (ha, too late), this has been going on too damn long, wish they would just move on to all the other sports with athletes doping right and left CURRENTLY, and let these two amazing philanthropists get back to helping to make the world a better place.

    Johan + Lance = Do Good

  77. Comment by davidh-marin, ca | 06.15.2012 | 11:03 pm

    Wow! This morning when I looked there was ‘nothing new’.

    Imagine my surprise to look tonight and find as PaulG so succinctly describes as “…best post ever.” I will now spend the balance of the evening digesting ALL these comments and rereading Fatty’s original thought. After that I will probably come back to Fatty’s most pertinent statement above:

    By their fruits you will know them.

    Amazing how such a simple line says so much…both then and now.

    thank you

  78. Comment by Claudia | 06.15.2012 | 11:19 pm

    I raised money for LiveStrong when participating in the AustinTri in 2009, and also in the LiveStrong ride later that year,and was struck by the professionalism and gratitude that the people who work there showed for all of us participants. I have known some awesome people who work there. I was also blown away by the LiveStrong ride and pre-ride race in Austin, and all of the faces who wore names of loved ones so proudly on their jerseys. I put on my LiveStrong bracelet again last month and don’t plan to take it off for a while.

    As an avid cycling fan and cyclist, I couldn’t give two craps about what the USADA is doing. To me, when the Feds abandoned their investigation, that was enough. This new action serves nothing and no one, and is a waste of time and taxpayer money. It also will have the effect of seriously hurting a wonderful organization, LiveStrong, to no great benefit for anyone. How is this a good thing when it will affect the ability to help cancer battlers, survivors and their families?

    I just don’t care about the issue of Lance Armstrong’s possible TdF doping. It’s so immaterial to our lives, when so much money and energy could be put into the cancer fight, and into so many other wonderful causes. It is not where I want my taxes to go. I think that others who feel this way should speak up.

    Living here in Austin, you will always find people who say, “Lance is a jerk,” and then others who sing his praises. I ride every so often with some Austin old timers who can remember riding in races with Lance back in the day and who still marvel at his talent. I’m sorry we won’t see Lance at Kona – that would have been something.

    Thanks for your post.

  79. Comment by EdieM | 06.16.2012 | 4:37 am

    These types of PR antics by the USADA are simply showcases for the worst meaning of the word, “bureaucracy.”
    I’m with rtinsea on this one. Whether Lance did or didn’t dope, I don’t care but since the USADA and CBS, with their incessant rehashing of 60 Minutes’ interview footage want me to care, I side with LiveSTRONG and WBR. You’ll have my entry into the contest by the end of the day – I gotta go ride my bike, read Jennifer Sage’s blog and eat brats first.

  80. Comment by K | 06.16.2012 | 5:55 am

    One of the saddest things I heard about this trial was a news/sports reporter who said that if Lance was convicted Livestrong would fold. Although Livestrong and Lance are obviously linked in many ways, the goodness of his charity work has nothing to do with this court/legal battle. I would say that he probably redeemed himself 1000 times over even if he did take drugs just by the good works he’s done. It would be a real shame for Livestrong to fold in the face of a conviction should that happen.

  81. Comment by Chris | 06.16.2012 | 5:59 am

    Good Job Fatty.

  82. Comment by Dave T | 06.16.2012 | 9:14 am

    Elden well said. I couldn’t agree more I strongly believe in the work that Livestrong and world bicycle relieve do and will continue to support both of them. Looking forward to seen you and all the rest of the Fattys in Davis next weekend.

  83. Comment by Tom F | 06.16.2012 | 12:01 pm


    You have always meant well and still do, but you were sucked in when you got useful help from Livestrong while you were caring for Susan.

    Unfortunately, you are now being used by Lance and Bruyneel.

    Your support is one of many outlets they are using to present a positive image and generate goodwill to fight the negative publicity that keeps coming out.

    You can’t separate the individuals from the LAF, as the foundation is being used to support Lance’s travel expenses and lifestyle.

    I’m not knocking you or being negative, merely pointing out that there is agenda behind the access and giveaways you have received.

    Good luck and keep on writing.


  84. Comment by Bicycle Bill | 06.16.2012 | 2:14 pm

    Agree with AKChick55 and her legal definitions.

    Unfortunately, a quasi-gov’t group like the USADA is not held to such high standards.  In fact, most of the initial articles that I read when this first broke earlier in the week specifically pointed that out.

    500-plus tests over 15 or more years of cycling and he never failed one?  For that reason alone you can count me as a card-carrying member of the “Lance Is Clean” club.  And let me add one more indicator that I feel proves that Lance did not dope …

    *IF* (huge if) he had been doping but not getting caught at it, it would be reasonable to assume that he had somehow come up with some way to mask the dope so that it would not be detected by the testing protocols — and many people are in fact saying just that.  But you expect me to believe that in something like ten years of competition since Lance’s rise from the deathbed, plus the time since he has retired, that absolutely nobody else — not the other teams, not the other doctors, not any other research organization, NOT EVEN HIS OWN TEAMMATES — knew then, or have since been able to discover, this miraculous secret??  Sorry; I’d have to believe in the supposedly imminent zombie apocalypse before I could swallow something like that.

    I’ve also got an interesting theory of my own.  Up to now, each of these allegations have been answered and vigorously fought by Lance….and each new accusation must also be defended against or else the next outcry will be “See — he’s not fighting it any more so it must be true!”  And of course each one of these battles takes time and energy, and no doubt is a disruption to Lance’s other activities and endeavors such as his connections with Trek, Team RadioShack, and LiveStrong.  So who stands to gain if any of these things, and I’m thinking of LiveStrong specifically, goes down?


  85. Comment by a chris | 06.16.2012 | 2:49 pm

    Fatty, you repeatedly win respect from me. This blog and the comments are almost always interesting without negativity (leaving aside the fact that, unlike most blogs, it coordinates real worthwhile activities). I don’t read BSNYC because it (especially the comments) gave me uncomfortable blood pressure spikes (no, I don’t have an underlying BP issue). It’s selfish (and I apologize), but I find it comforting that it’s possible to be successful in internet-land without being hardened to insults and trolling.

    I won’t bother weighing in with my opinions on thingy and stuff. I mostly didn’t read the comments here, though I admit I was compelled to scroll around looking for songs.

  86. Comment by Anonymous | 06.16.2012 | 6:33 pm

    Bop ’til you drop
    In the hot city
    Keep on workin’ day and night
    Don’t stop ’til you get what you want
    Bop ’til you drop
    ‘Til you’re sick with it
    Burn the candle burn it bright
    Love won’t
    Love won’t wait

    You wake up wired
    And draw on your make-up
    And the city breathes
    And the city comes to life
    Lately it seems
    Your time is all used up
    Chasin’ dreams
    Of money and the good life

    But there is somethin’
    You’re thinkin’ of
    Lately you’re feelin’
    The power of love
    Ev’rybody says it’s
    So hard to hold
    The alarm rings
    You gotta get up
    You gotta get up

  87. Comment by BrewCityChris | 06.16.2012 | 9:46 pm

    One of the most frustrating parts of this for me is the fact that once again one of our government agencies feels the need to stick thier nose into professional sports. Here is a description of the USADA from thier own website.

    The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is the national anti-doping organization for the Olympic movement in the United States. The U.S. Congress recognized USADA as “the official anti-doping agency for Olympic, Pan American and Paralympic sport in the United States.”

    No where in that description do I see “Professional Sports”

    Professional sports organizations have systems to test thier athletes be it the NFL, MLB or Pro Cycling. In my opinion Taxpayer dollars should not be spent trying to police this. Let the organizations handle the tests they have the most to lose if their athletes are perceived as dirty.

    I don’t know Lance personally, and I certainly don’t know all of the facts of the case. I do however know what Cancer does. I lost my Aunt to lung cancer last year. But my Mom has survived Melenoma, My Dad is living with Prostate Cancer. Countless Friends and Family members have survived Breast Cancer. I believe that what Lance has done since his cancer has helped greatly in creating these success stories. It helped bring the strength of many to band together to fight against this disease.

    I agree completely with Fatty’s statement “you can tell what kind of person someone is by what they choose to do with their time and lives.” Because of that I will continue to wear my yellow band proudly because it has nothing to do with Lance on a bike, and everything to do with beating cancer.


  88. Comment by Bodhi | 06.16.2012 | 10:41 pm

    Innocent. Keep crushing it LA!!!

  89. Comment by Kari | 06.16.2012 | 11:52 pm

    As a survivor viewing this circus (of the doping accusations, not anything here) I do have a few thoughts but the main one being that anyone and everyone who has been through the kind of treatments required for any and every kind of cancer out there will avoid anything remotely similar like the plague. Many of the chemical compounds used in chemotherapy are similar, if not the same to certain classes of doping “medications,” and that includes similar side effects. I know plenty will argue with me to say that it is not exactly the same as chemo and they would be right; that is only because when doping, an athlete would be taking only that single or few doping agents for the single purpose. The main differences most people feel who have done both are because of the additional things required in cancer treatments. Even with that thought in mind, that the doping agents are only similar to one part of chemotherapy, not an entire regimen as a whole, I cannot imagine anyone would willingly put themselves through anything that would be even the slightest bit reminiscent of chemotherapy after having gone through a round or several of cancer treatments.

    Regardless of if anyone agrees or disagrees with the accusations leveled against Lance, I feel whole heartedly that whether he is innocent or guilty does not matter even a fraction as much as what he has done with the respect, money and fame he has earned in the course of cycling. If he was just some recreational cyclist, I doubt he could have done half as much as he has with the leverage his celebrity status affords him.

    On a personal level, a great man I knew used to serve as a mentor to people like myself that as children struggled with truly understanding and coping with being a childhood cancer patient. His name was Allen Goldman, although I knew him by his nickname: Popeye. Popeye earned this name because he had an extremely rare form of cancer in the 80s as a young child that attacked the muscle fibers and attachments. He and his family were told he would never walk again, never run, do sports in school or anything else on his own. He not only proved them wrong but by the time I met him when he was in his early 20s he was a body builder and endurance athlete. He was one of the strongest men I knew and remained that way up until his passing of a secondary cancer. The last few years of his life he worked for the Livestrong Foundation after he found out that his time was limited in an effort to try and expand the understanding of long term effects and after effects of chemo and radiation therapy, especially in survivors of childhood cancers. He always talked about what an understanding, kind and truly generous guy Lance was whenever they got the opportunity to be in contact in the course of the research project. Lance was still racing at that time and of course was still being accused of doping (as was almost everyone else at one point or another) but I remember thinking all those years ago “If he is good enough for Popeye to trust, then I trust him too.” I still wear a Livestrong bracelet in honor of Popeye and everyone else I have known and lost to cancer. No amount of doping accusations or people arguing about what he may or may not have done will change what Livestrong is, what it represents or the incredible number of lives touched by the helping hand that is Livestrong and without Lance we would have none of that.

    Allez Lance!

  90. Comment by AKChick55 | 06.17.2012 | 1:10 am

    Tom – you’re wrong. Johan and Lance aren’t using Elden. That’s just not true. That’s ridiculous. Also, Lance has his own money, he doesn’t need to be funded by his foundation for trips and such. Nonprofits have a high standard to adhere to and I do believe the LIVESTRONG has a very good ranking as they keep their overhead and admin expenses low and use the majority of the money they receive to deliver their programs. I guess you’re firmly in the guilty until proven innocent camp.

    Kari – thank you for sharing your story and backing up what I’ve always thought. Why would someone who has been through chemo and radiation put stuff into their body that they don’t know what it will do to them years after use? It doesn’t make sense. Lance’s physiology is different – it’s been scientifically proven that his heart is larger and pumps more oxygen rich blood and that he processes lactic acid way more efficiently than normal athletes. He also outworks any athlete I’ve ever know. I’ve traveled some of his training grounds on the Big Island by car – it’s no joke. He is willing to put in the hard work to achieve his goals. I also love the story about Popeye. What a really inspiring guy. I would have to say given your description of him that he sure sounds like someone who has a good judge of character. Lance has it in spades. He shows it by doing, not just by saying. He isn’t out there for the photo op, he’s out there cause he’s been there, done that, and he doesn’t want anyone else to feel like he did. He’s walking the walk. I say this as a Lance admirer, but my favorite pro of all time isn’t Lance so I’m not blindly defending him.

    Also, forgot to add that on my long post, that my legal definition came from a chat with a wicked smart coworker who put my thoughts into words and was in response to another friend who thinks all pro racing is fake, all pro cyclist dope and said that murderers have been convicted with far less evidence. My initial response was WTF, really? So that’s why it’s compared to a criminal case.

  91. Comment by Scott R | 06.17.2012 | 12:40 pm

    Fatty –

    I continue to have great respect for your motivations and efforts. Whatever questions/concerns I have about Livestrong, etc, your personal story – their role in your life, and in Susan’s fight – means a lot. I continue to be glad that you’ve shared it (and look forward to continuing to read as you do so).

  92. Comment by cece | 06.17.2012 | 12:52 pm

    Whether or not Lance did or did not is of no concern to me. I am looking at all the wonderful things he has done for himself and others…what Livestrong has done and continues to do. Those are the important things that continue to make me a supporter and contributor to Livestrong!

  93. Comment by ClydeinKS | 06.17.2012 | 1:20 pm

    I’m not going to post the lyrics here, but encourage you(supporters) to download Wideawake’s “Maybe Tonight, Maybe Tomorrow.” It helps push me along on every ride whether it is playing through my Ipod or running through my mind, since first hearing it post-ride at LiveSTRONG Austin in ‘06.

  94. Comment by mwmike | 06.17.2012 | 2:34 pm

    When you can’t know for sure, you can be positive or be negative. Being negative is a lot like cancer. It eats you up, consumes you. Keep fighting the good fight and live strong.

  95. Comment by Irnldy | 06.17.2012 | 3:19 pm

    I’ve been watching over time, the specials with Tyler and with Floyd on 60 minutes, the investigations, the court cases, the lawsuits. I’ve watched as perfectly reputable sports reporters resign themselves to the fact that they now believe Lance had to be doping. As you said Elden, we can never be sure, unless we are him and we ‘know’. But I hate that there is such a taint on him now. And to be honest about my own feelings, I have had to separate Lance Armstrong from Livestrong in order to continue supporting it. While I admire all the things you do for World Bicycle Relief and for Livestrong, and I can’t say at this point that I admire any personal relationships you have with some admitted dopers, and some that I just can’t believe. Your journey is much more resonant with me now than theirs, and I think I will keep it that way. I’m glad you found and got on board with supporting Camp Keshem this year, and that’s the reason I am supporting your efforts, but not because I believe in Lance or in Johann. I am simply too jaded at this point to believe another word coming from either of them. I know most people will point to what Floyd and Tyler did prior to admitting the truth, particularly the public fundraising of over a million dollars to defend their ‘innocence’ before admitting the truth and throwing others under the bus with them. I tend to prefer the riders that admit it, own it, take their punishment, and if they choose, return to the sport when they are allowed. I know people will point to the profits coming off of tell all books. I was able to wave Floyd off, but my heart broke watching the Tyler Hamilton 60 minutes special. And no, I don’t ”know”. Yet somehow, you are right, in my gut I feel I know, and there is no argument anyone could come up with at this point to dispel me of this notion.
    Respectfully, I disagree with your stance on the two men, and agree with your stance on doing good.

    That is in fact the most respectful disagreement I could imagine. Thanks for taking the time to express yourself so thoughtfully. – FC

  96. Comment by NYCCarlos | 06.17.2012 | 4:12 pm

    maybe he doped. I don’t understand why people care.

  97. Comment by C Grade Cyclist | 06.17.2012 | 7:40 pm

    Very well said Fatty.

    Whilst I’m not sure how I feel re: the doping allegations – what I can comfortably do is consider the ’sporting’ side and the ‘doing good’ side as two seperate things. They can co-exist, and are not mutually exclusive.

    I’ve struggled with how to reconcile this at times, so thanks for putting that all down in words in a much better way than I could possibly hope to.

    Cheers mate.

  98. Comment by aussie kev | 06.17.2012 | 8:27 pm

    well said Irnlady – couldnt agree more

    Allez Cadel

  99. Comment by Rob M | 06.17.2012 | 10:51 pm

    In addition to all the good that Lance and Johan are known for, I would add a personal note that they inspired me to start cycling which led to losing some weight and getting a lot healthier. A whole lot healthier. I then followed pro cycling. I learned about and started reading this blog during the Tour of California because of the Bob Roll hair cutting fundraiser and have donated to that and many other of Fatty’s fundraisers for LiveSTRONG and WBR. Thank you Lance, Johan, and Fatty.

    I have heard people claim that Lance has cheated but I don’t see substantiation with positive drug testing. I am uncomfortable that after all these years the USADA seems intent to give Lance’s wins to others who haven’t been equally drug tested and who may not be deserving of those wins.

    A witch hunt can cause harm far beyond the intended target. I hope the USADA has the integrity to use their power responsibly.

  100. Comment by Skippy | 06.17.2012 | 11:48 pm

    My 100MON was on L’Alpe d’Huez , once again ,with the Dutch Cancer Fundraiser ! This year on both the Wednesday & Thursday and i exceeded my own expectations simply because i was inspired and motivated by a GREAT CYCLIST !
    I was there in 2005 when Lance won the race , even caused the ” Clown ” that pushed him to be detained by the Gendarmerie ! Lance chose not to press charges .
    Even more to the point , whilst Fatty rode as a guest with Lance and the Team , i on so many occasions over the years , have ridden uninvited , alongside Lance . Never once did he complain and in fact deflected team mates who would have acted on his behalf . Always found him gracious towards others when time allowed BUT time management was one of his secrets !

    Meticulous in the extreme , he was known as ” Mr Millimetre ” since he was always looking for improvements in every aspect of his Equipment , Training and Team ! One hard task Master that would not accept a lower standard than 110% !
    Little wonder that there are those that fell by the way side since they were unable to keep pace . We all think we are better than we are , some take it badly , others recognise their short comings .

    Tall Poppy syndrome is alive and well throughout the world BUT particularly in SPORT ! Nobody likes to come in second and there are so many out there that feel ” Short Cuts ” are the way to go !WRONG !

    Currently “The Fox ” guarding the ” Hen House ” seems to be that ALL SPORT suffers from and until there is a ” Moratorium ” when ALL past and present Athletes can come out of the closet we will continue to see ” finger pointing ” !

    Lance has returned to Triathlon and has succeeded through effort and training in gaining the top step of the Podium , being not the best runner in the world , he has trained hard for his success >

    To those doubting him ” SHAME ON YOU ” , to those in the Government Agencies ” WHAT DO YOU DO TO MAKE THIS A BETTER WORLD “?

    To those racing against him ” WHAT IS YOUR TRAINING REGIME “? Try harder and believe in your selves !

    As regards Lance’s Past , who gives a fig , as regards his work with LiveSTRONG , do not let the naysayers interrupt the GOOD WORKS there !

    LiveSTRONG works will be remembered long after the ” Le Tour ” fades into obscurity !

    Fatty as usual you post from the heart and the road you have chosen will not sit well with those that i call ” Mushrooms “!

  101. Comment by sincehinault | 06.18.2012 | 12:22 am

    How quickly we forget. I remember a time when the “C word” was a stigma. A certain death sentence to be resigned to privately, shamefully. Lance not only helped us say the word “cancer” out loud (and did so as a young man with testicular cancer–talk about having balls!), but shift to look at cancer as something that could be beaten (spectacularly!), and thus should be fought! I believe he influenced not only patients, by publicly sharing his story, but many in the medical and research fields, from which we will all benefit. For this I am grateful. That he found a higher podium from which to reach, I am grateful. And that he chose to use that podium to this end, I am grateful.
    For my Dad who died of nasopharyngeal carcinoma last summer, happy Father’s Day, and thank you.

  102. Comment by Henrik Wist | 06.18.2012 | 1:34 am

    thanks for this post. You hit the ball out of the park with this one, and (could I write at all) I couldn’t have said it better.
    Made me go back and donate some more.
    Lance and Johan, if you happen to read comments on Fatty’s blog, keep up your work!

  103. Comment by James | 06.18.2012 | 6:14 am

    Nice work Fatty! I am with you 100% I fear that we all to often enjoy the perceived short comings of others. We have no way of knowing one way or the other and it is a sad dismal world to live in if you choose to always assume the worst in everyone. Clearly your world is happier than many as you choose to see the best in people. That my friend is a wonderfully rare talent. You inspire me yet again. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I love you Fatty! You’re AWESOME!

  104. Comment by chtrich | 06.18.2012 | 8:49 am

    Happy Birthday!!!

  105. Comment by Demonic1 | 06.18.2012 | 10:07 am

    My wife says that I have a big case of hero worship regarding Lance, which is probably true. That being said, I think his legacy is his Livestrong foundation, not his wins.

    What’s the point in going after retired athletes?

  106. Comment by GrannyGear | 06.18.2012 | 10:59 am

    Excellent post today.
    Had not planned on contributing to your Dream Trip/Bike, mostly because I was afraid of winning and then, being a true Clydesdale, having to ride with you at my blistering 12MPH pace (descending). But, this post was inspiring. Your total contribution just went up.
    Kuddos Elden.

  107. Comment by Superstantial | 06.18.2012 | 11:32 am

    Wow, those lyrics you chose should have been a good deterrent to anyone.

    Thanks for humoring me (hah! puns!)

  108. Comment by wishiwasmerckx | 06.18.2012 | 11:32 am

    Whether he doped or not, Lance is a freak of nature genetically gifted with a heart size, VO2 max and lactate threshold that mere mortals can only dream of.

    The USADA alleges a conspiracy that involved multiple teams over a decade and a half. Over the years, that would mean dozens upon dozens of rostered riders. Query, how many riders were targeted by the USADA investigation?

    The answer is one. The question is why?

  109. Comment by Sara | 06.18.2012 | 12:53 pm

    Nobody can possibly benefit from this lawsuit. Although the USADA gets only partial funding from the government, I still find it embarrassing that government funds are involved in this at all. What a waste of money. I signed the petition on asking that they stop this investigation.

  110. Comment by Mike C. | 06.18.2012 | 2:35 pm

    Hi Elden. Thanks for the great post. I admire the good that you, Lance and LiveStrong do. It adds motivation to me to keep on doing good in my life, too.

    See you in Davis!

  111. Comment by Terry | 06.19.2012 | 6:46 am

    Part of me doesn’t want to care whether or not they did it. Life isn’t fair, right? Some large percentage of the field probably did it anyway, right? So what’s the point of a witch hunt?

    Here’s the “but”…my kids are young, and they understand that cheating is wrong. I tell them that cheating is wrong even if you don’t get caught. It is wrong even if you raise lots of money for a good cause. I don’t want them to think I don’t care when people are being fundamentally unfair. They are going to learn soon enough that life isn’t fair, but I still want them to think that fairness is worth fighting for.

    If people cheat, they deserve to face the consequences. I don’t think the investigation should carry on indefinitely or at any expense, though. When they ask about this particular issue, I tell my kids that there is a lot of evidence that implicates these people did not follow the rules, but it hasn’t been proven and we are fortunate to live in a place where you are assumed innocent until proven otherwise.

    Also, when my kids do bad things, I tell them that everyone makes bad choices sometimes, but that doesn’t make them bad people. I believe this is true for everybody…my kids and TdF riders alike.

  112. Comment by Trent | 06.20.2012 | 2:55 am

    Fatty, I don’t agree on your view of Lance and Johan’s predicament. But, I like the way you put it out there.

  113. Comment by Robert | 06.20.2012 | 12:27 pm

    I’m right with you about Lance, I hope the media doesn’t demonize him too much.

  114. Comment by bikesgonewild | 07.13.2012 | 4:59 pm

    …no matter what stance you take on the ‘lance issue’, fatty (& despite my opinions, i’m not gonna comment here one way or the other out of respect for you), it’s pretty obvious that you are an extremely straight up guy with a big heart…

    …now, once again, about snob’s ‘the enlightened cyclist’, i find that blah, blah, blah……(recedes into background)…


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