Free Verse Friday: Soulmates

07.27.2012 | 12:38 pm

201207271130.jpgA Note from Fatty: It’s interesting how you wind up making new friends. For example, back in my “I Have Created a Monster” post, I mentioned that The Hammer couldn’t quite surpass Erica Tingey’s QOM on Clark’s Trail (she has since rectified that issue, by the way).

And then a commenter pointed out that Erica Tingey was recovering from a serious bike crash. So I linked to her site and wished her a speedy recovery. After which she posted a nice blog post of her own, wishing The Hammer success in her riding.

And now we’re friends. Cool!

So a few days ago, Erica (now recovered) emailed me, saying she was putting on a mountain bike skills clinic, and she’d love to have The Hammer attend (and also, could I give the clinic a plug on my website?).

Now, you should know this about The Hammer: she’s blazing fast on the flats and climbs, but a little timid on the descents. So she was in fact stoked to have the opportunity to attend this class.

And the cool thing is, Erica’s going to give a free entry to this clinic to another of my readers. ‘Cuz in addition to being a wicked-fast pro MTB-er, she’s also really nice.

Erica will be putting on two clinics: a women’s-only clinic (that’s the one The Hammer will be attending) on August 6 at 5:30pm, and a Co-ed clinic August 22nd at 5:30pm.

For each of these clinics, you’ll get a two-hour skills camp, and then a home-cooked Paleo meal, courtesy of

So how do you either register for the clinics or for a shot at attending one of these clinics for free? Easy: head on over to

  • To register for the clinic, Click on the “Clinics” tab from the home page, or just click here to go to the registration page.
  • To register for the drawing for the free clinic, just register for her newsletter (the signup is right on her home page). Make sure you sign up before the end of Monday (July 30) to be eligible for the drawing, OK?

I’m looking forward to finding out what The Hammer learns, although I’m a little uneasy at the prospect of her cleaning my clock on the descents.

And now, let’s get on with Free Verse Friday, shall we?


I believe
With all my heart
And head
That for each person in the world
Somewhere there is someone
Who fits you perfectly
Your soulmate

Am I a romantic?
A fool for love?
Perhaps, perhaps
But I have found that someone
So who’s the fool now?
Huh? Who’s the fool now, tough guy?

I am so sorry
I am emotional
I get this way
When I talk about my soulmate
Which is, of course The
Carbon 29

Oh how I love
Even saying her name

At seventeen pounds
She compensates
For my largeness
I climb
With alacrity
In spite of myself

But lightness
Is only one of
Her many virtues
For she is beautiful

She has everything she needs
And nothing she does not
She is the paragon of sufficiency
XTR brakes and cranks
A Niner carbon fork
Hubs by Chris King
Rims by Stan’s
A red Salsa chainring
(a surprise from Racer when he built her)
If this does not sound like poetry to you
You have no heart

And when we are together
This bike fits me like no other
When I sit I am at ease
When I stand I can fly
Together we descend
Faster than you
Might expect

I have bikes not a few
And I love them one and all
But this is the bike I choose
More than any other
I make no excuse
I love this bike
I love this bike
I love her

And when we are together
I am happy
This bike feels right
To me
It is so simple
As that

I have wondered
What bike I should ride
in the Leadville 100
This year

How could I wonder?
Am I not fit?
Have I not finished sub-nine With gears?
Have I not one last challenge to face?
A sub-nine on a singlespeed
Could there be a better bike for this
Than her?

No, of course not.
Singlespeed it is
On this bike
With this gearing:
34 x 19
There I’ve said it

I know that others
Will read this poem
And find lust in their hearts
For who would not envy her?

But that’s too bad
Because this Stumpy SS
Is super-limited in production
And there’s no way
You’re getting one
Talk to Specialized;
They should make thousands of these

Instead you must find
Your own soulmate bicycle
It is out there
And you cannot
Have mine.

Thank you.



  1. Comment by Susie H | 07.27.2012 | 12:42 pm


    Thank you.

  2. Comment by mykill | 07.27.2012 | 1:08 pm

    i told my soul mate
    we would be sole mates
    for the foreseeable future
    i wonder if he knows
    while he waits for me
    faithfully in the garage
    i am upstairs on craigslist
    looking for another

    he must know, surely
    maybe that’s why he threw me
    on the ground last week
    in front of the firehouse
    i heard him chortle as i landed

    or maybe that was my knee.

    thank you

  3. Comment by ScottR | 07.27.2012 | 2:04 pm

    Very nice – I’m wondering how great that pic would look in a nice ol-timey sepia…

  4. Comment by Brian in VA | 07.27.2012 | 2:11 pm

    My first love.

    My Giant CFR 3
    Circa 1996
    Lovely purple carbon frame
    Lugged joints
    Cobbled together Shimano 7 speed.

    She is a thing of beauty
    My first road bike in over 35 years
    So far back, we used to call them
    10 speeds.

    She is fast and stable and
    She’s given me my first taste
    Of accelerating while climbing
    A small hill.
    Wow! I’m still an athlete.

    Found her on Craigs list
    The price dropping as the owner
    Needed some quick cash.
    When she hit $200, it was all over.

    And I keep looking for her replacement.
    Except that anything lighter than
    She, costs about $200 per pound.
    I can’t justify it, as I also
    can’t let her go as partial payment.

    She will remain, my first
    Road Bike Love.

    Thank You.

  5. Comment by GenghisKhan | 07.27.2012 | 2:12 pm

    But really
    One must wonder
    What PSI
    does one rock
    (if indeed a PSI is rocked)
    on such a lovely
    work of art?

    Thank you. – FC

  6. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 07.27.2012 | 2:22 pm

    Soulmatedness, so it seems,
    Is a fleeting virtue
    So aptly declared by by @mykill

    Cyclists are a fickle breed -
    We jump from soulmate to soulmate
    As quickly as new technology and pocketbook allow,
    Leaving previous soulmates to pine in the garage.

    But we love them all, really.
    We just love the newer ones
    A little more,
    And we ride them a little more often.

    But as for myself and my kind of riding,
    I have but one true soulmate -
    A Ti frame, 15 year old machine,
    Far from decked out, adequate for my needs.
    It gets me where I need or want to go,
    And i almost never leave it to pine while
    I take another oout for a spin.
    My garage is nearly bare.
    But I accessorize, oh, how I accessorize
    And gadgetize.

    Thankyew, thankyew, very much

  7. Comment by wharton_crew | 07.27.2012 | 2:31 pm

    Hold the phone -
    That’s not the s-works stumpjumper 29er
    That you rode last year!
    Nor is it the Gary Fischer superfly!
    which decision made you want to cry.

    So this must be yet another steed.
    You’re causing my poor heart to bleed.
    I wish I could be a bit discreter
    But you’re acting like a bike love cheater!!

    (totally joshing you)

    Thank you.

    Both are amazing, fantastic bikes, and I will ride both of them during the Breck Epic the following week. But I REALLY WANT to get a sub-9 on a SS, and I think this might be my year. – FC

  8. Comment by ClydesdalePilot | 07.27.2012 | 2:33 pm

    My soulmate
    This was temporary.

    She knows that I look.
    And I talk.
    And I hope.
    All for another.

    When we first came together
    after I got my tax return
    last year
    She knew it wouldn’t last.

    And yet!
    She has stayed with me.
    She has protected me.

    And yet!
    She knows its not meant to be.

    For my heart belongs
    to another.

    Not aluminum!
    Not steel!
    Not carbon!

    But Ti.

    My heart belongs
    To one called Moots.
    And when I
    have saved up enough
    to bring her into my life

    I will look at my blue bike
    Now feeling blue as well as looking it
    and say,

    “You knew what this was.”

    thank you.

  9. Comment by Heidi | 07.27.2012 | 2:40 pm

    I’m surprised
    someone with the name
    is a female…
    No wuss, she.

    Thank you.

  10. Comment by Jesse | 07.27.2012 | 3:26 pm

    I am cracking up at that photo.

  11. Comment by Lorraine | 07.27.2012 | 6:24 pm

    Red and black and fast
    And light enough to carry
    Up four flights of stairs.


  12. Comment by JohnBoy | 07.27.2012 | 11:23 pm

    Perhaps your best
    Free verse rendering yet
    It was full of passion
    An expression of true love

    Although it made me sad
    Just a bit
    I’m stuck in a place
    That I wish to forget

    But only one week
    And homeward bound I will be
    Six months of separation
    Is far too long to experience

    Now I look forward
    Not back
    And find joy in knowing
    I too will be feeling such feelings

    My trusty aluminum steed
    Has faithfully waited
    Our reunion will be grant
    My longing finally satiated

  13. Comment by owen | 07.28.2012 | 7:43 am

    That gearing makes my 32×20 set up for Leadville look …well wimpy – oh well I am in it for the smaller buckle and the experience. How about The Hammer SS or going for sub 9 geared?

  14. Comment by Paul Guyot | 07.28.2012 | 11:51 am

    That made me weepy… so weepy, in fact, that I won’t tell you about the dream I had where you flatted four times during Leadville. Nope, I won’t mention it, cuz I know that would be bad. But it was just a dream anyway, doesn’t mean anything in the literal sense. Just means that my subconscious was thinking of you in terms of doing all these massive projects that you take on (mostly fundraising type stuff like WBR and maybe some of those huge races you do ((I guess kinda like Leadville)), and maybe when you’re cooking brats for four hundred people and stuff), and these projects cause you great strain and effort and you often encounter unexpected issues during these projects which make them tougher and tougher to pull off, but you still manage to do it. But you know, I was just dreaming metaphorically, I’m sure. So good luck with that SS project.

    In other news, Erica seems like a quality human being!

  15. Comment by bob | 07.28.2012 | 11:14 pm

    A fool for love?

    No, Whitesnake!

  16. Comment by Dave T | 07.29.2012 | 11:37 am

    a yes bike love

  17. Comment by SpecialK | 07.29.2012 | 5:08 pm

    Fatty, down here in Oz the 29er craze has only really gathered pace in the last 12 months – and I’m about to jump on board. I think you and I are approximately the same height so I was wondering what size your love interest is?

  18. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 07.30.2012 | 8:45 am

    My road bike became very very jealous when the mountain bike came home….They seem to have made peace since as they live next to each other in the bike rack. But its truly hard to keep them both happy. I can only imagine the problems you have.

  19. Comment by Clydesteve | 07.30.2012 | 11:41 am

    does the Hammer know?

  20. Comment by JL | 07.30.2012 | 1:44 pm

    You ought to do a run up and back Hogge’s Hollow to compare your current bike/fitness with the results of last year’s face off between the hardtail and full suspension. Benchmarking.

  21. Comment by Erica Tingey | 08.2.2012 | 10:16 pm

    Your reader “Marathon Mom” (Melanie) was the one that won the spot to my clinic! Thank you for helping me get spread the word! You have some great readers that I’ve since been in contact with.


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