I Hereby Challenge Levi Leipheimer to a Bike Race

09.18.2012 | 1:38 pm

A Note from Fatty: Just to make sure you don’t lose interest and fall asleep before you get to the end of this post, you should note that toward the bottom of this you’ll find a cool way to win a trip to the 2013 Levi’s Gran Fondo. So if you want to just get straight to the donating and potential winning, here are the links you need:


Sometimes, I really think I should just abandon social media altogether. I just don’t have a knack for it. I mean, I finally have time to catch up on the latest big stage races — Tour of Utah, Tour of Colorado (or, as it’s correctly titled, “The Super Duper Pro Wacka Wacka American Tour Challenge of Bravery and Stuff”) — and I notice that in spite of his advancing years (Fact: Levi Leipheimer is the first person in the world to concurrently hold a pro cyclist license and an AARP membership), Levi did pretty darned well.

So, being the kind of person I am, I decided to tweet a sincere and heartfelt congratulations to him, figuring that the person he has on staff who knows what the Internet is would read it to him, and then Levi might mail me a card and a $5.00 bill on my birthday.

But instead, the following happened. Read on, and find yourself as shocked and dismayed as I am:






















You see what I mean? I go and try to be kind to a senior citizen, and suddenly I’m roped into racing him.

This puts me in an awkward position, because his AARP status notwithstanding, Levi is in fact a professional cyclist, while I am merely a hobbyist cyclist / beloved and award-winning blogger / highly-regarded IT analyst / reigning singlespeed champion of the Leadville 100 MTB race / father or stepfather to more kids than in the Brady Bunch.

Obviously, in order for the race to be fair, there needs to be a balancing effect applied to the rules.

Hence, I am pleased to announce the following:

Fatty VS Levi: The Race

On Friday, September 28 (the day before Levi’s GranFondo), at 2:00pm at the Finley Center in Santa Rosa, CA (corner of College Ave and Stony Point Road), Levi Leipheimer and I will engage in a three-lap race. Or it might possibly be five laps. Could be seven laps, too, I suppose. But four is right out.

Just Levi Leipheimer and me. Mano-a-mano, as it were.

In order to ensure that the bike race is fair to me, the race will have an eating component in it. Specifically, the race will — much like the Utah Tour de Donut — be a three-lap race, with an opportunity after the first and second lap for each participant to eat as many donuts as the participant chooses.

For each donut eaten, the participant will have a certain amount of time — to be determined on race day by BikeMonkey, and proportionate to the course distance — deducted from his total race time.

The person who finishes with the final adjusted course time wins.

[Note: In order for this race to be fair to Levi Leipheimer, racers may choose to substitute one of Dr. Lim's rice cakes for a donut. Or a bottle of Ensure. ]

What Is At Stake

If I win this race, Levi must do the following:

  • Wear a propeller beanie for the rest of the Gran Fondo, including during the ride.
  • During the live panel for The Levi Effect — which will be broadcast hither and yon for the whole world to see — say something along the lines of, “You’ll have to excuse me, I’m a little winded. I just got my ass handed to me in a bike race with Fatty of the awesome fatcyclist.com blog.”
  • Consent to a live interview on the Fat Cyclist blog sometime during the year of 2013, discussing a topic of my choosing.

If — as remote as the possibility seems — Levi wins the race, I will do the following:

  • Wear a jersey of Levi’s choosing during the Gran Fondo
  • Submit to a painful and humiliating headlock and noogie
  • Provide a commentary audio track for “The Levi Effect” video when it comes out

How You Can Get In On the Action

I suspect that practically everyone will agree that it is a foregone conclusion that I will win this race. Certainly, I am of that opinion myself.

However, I can imagine that some people might — whether it be because of naivete or simple foolishness — disagree.

People will therefore have the opportunity to put their money where their collective mouths are.

Two donation pages be set up at the Gran Fondo site:

For every $5.00 donated, each donor will win a chance at fabulous prizes, to be provided by BikeMonkey.

The Grand Prize shall be an all-expense paid trip for two to the 2013 (not the 2012, obviously, because it will be too late for that) Levi’s Gran Fondo, including registration in the ride, airfare, hotel, attendance at the VIP dinner, and the small-group ride with Levi. This prize will be given to a person drawn at random from the pool of people who donated to the winning racer.

The First Prize shall be two entries into the 2013 Gran Fondo, along with participation in the small-group ride with Levi. This prize will be given to a person drawn at random from the pool of people who donated to the winning racer.

Runner Up Prizes shall be drawn from both the pool of people who donated to the winning and losing racers, so that everyone will have a chance to win something, even if you did make the mistake of voting for Levi. Ha.

The prizes will include the following:GF Kit-3 (3)_9_1.jpeg

  • A complete Gran Fondo kit
  • Another complete Gran Fondo kit
  • A Gran Fondo jersey, signed by Levi Leipheimer
  • Yet another Gran Fondo jersey, also signed by Levi
  • A Gran Fondo Specialized Propero II helmet
  • Yep, another one of those Gran Fondo helmets just like the other one
  • A Gran Fondo messenger bag
  • Ditto on that previous one.

Where Does the Money Go?

100% of the money raised by your donations will be split between the following really great foundations:

  • Forget Me Not Farms – Local farm for at-risk youth to connect with animals and nature in a therapeutic and healing way.
  • VeloStreet – Dedicated to improving cycling resources in Sonoma County and throughout California
  • Livestrong – Working to connect those living with cancer with medical, community and financial resources.

What If You Want To Watch The Race?

Frankly, this race is going to be a bit of a blowout. I really just don’t see how there’s any possible way Levi could beat me. But you know, it might be interesting to watch, just so you can see me absolutely and completely dominate this event.

So, if you’re gonna be in Santa Rosa on the 28th — like, if you’re going to be doing the Gran Fondo or you just happen to really like Santa Rosa because it’s a great town — you can come watch the race.

Where: Finley Center in Santa Rosa, CA (corner of College Ave and Stony Point Road)

When: Friday, September 28 (the day before Levi’s GranFondo), at 2:00pm

Admission: Free

There will be schwag tossed out, there will be prizes (like maybe an opportunity to go to the premiere of The Levi Effect later that day), and there will be some very interesting opportunities for people who think they deserve a chance at this race. But you’ll need to bring your checkbook if you want to race. (All money will go to the charities listed above).

There will also be some very cool — and fast — surprise guests. I’ll say no more, for the time being.

Even though I want to, really bad.

And for those of you who can’t be there, I’ve asked the BikeMonkey folks to bring some video cameras to the race. We’ll put it on the blog sometime soon after. So you’ll get to see it.

As many times as you want.

PS: You should totally donate on my page, because I’m going to win, and you definitely want to be on the winning team.


  1. Comment by Clancy | 09.18.2012 | 1:49 pm

    O.M.G.!!! Fatty!! Never, EVER pull on superman’s cape. It’s going to take months for that noggie burn mark to go away..

  2. Comment by Jamieson | 09.18.2012 | 1:53 pm

    Surprised there are no Brats in the contest… This will be a hard fought battle.

  3. Comment by Jesse | 09.18.2012 | 1:57 pm

    What kind of donuts? This information is crucial. Levi could probably eat lots of air-donuts but if they’re cake I’m totally supporting you, Fatty. Tough decision here.

  4. Comment by RodNeeds2Ride | 09.18.2012 | 2:03 pm

    I’m going with cake donuts – just a hunch.

  5. Comment by Tom | 09.18.2012 | 2:06 pm

    Is it Friday or the 29th? The 29th Saturday? Are you trying to mess with Levi already so that he shows up on the wrong day? Pretty sly tactic Fatty.

    You know how much trouble I have with calendars. It’s Friday the 28th. Thanks for the catch (now fixed in my blog post). – FC

  6. Comment by Jared | 09.18.2012 | 2:08 pm

    Fatty is going to pull out some mind-blowing strategery and walk away with the win!

    Or, he’s going to be crushed.

    Either way, it’ll be an awesome event!

  7. Comment by TK | 09.18.2012 | 2:11 pm

    The donuts for the race should be maple bars with two strips of bacon on top. In fact, ALL donuts should be maple bars with two strips of bacon on tops. Once you try one, you will never crave anything else.

    You are welcome.

  8. Comment by blair | 09.18.2012 | 2:13 pm

    entertaining choice of equalizers


    have you never seen a pro cyclist eat?

    Have you ever seen ME eat? – FC

  9. Comment by Justin L | 09.18.2012 | 2:16 pm

    Crap, last year i got hurt and couldn’t ride. This year i registered, but now my work wont give me the time off. Thats two years in a row, i spent the money and got nothing, not even a tshirt, i am so bummed. Now i am going to miss the greatest race in the history of racing, the frigging humanity. WTF

  10. Comment by Mike C | 09.18.2012 | 2:32 pm

    I really need to NOT read your blog while in a training class at work. I almost laughed out loud for the “four is right out” bit. But, I did have a stifled laugh/grunt for the Ensure part. I got some strange looks for that one.

    Looking forward to the race! I hope to be there to watch it live.

    I’m always so happy when people catch my Monty Python references. Thanks! – FC

  11. Comment by davidh-marinca | 09.18.2012 | 2:35 pm

    Fatty I’ll get up there this week and look for ways to cut the course. You can thank me later.

  12. Comment by owen | 09.18.2012 | 2:42 pm

    I think you’ve got this Fatty! how about an Odessa vs the Hammer showdown as a undercard?

  13. Comment by Obstinate Roadie | 09.18.2012 | 2:44 pm

    I have to admit that this may be the most highly anticipated race of the year for me.

  14. Comment by owen | 09.18.2012 | 2:50 pm

    You have this easy Fatty! How about a Hammer vs Odessa undercard matchup?

  15. Comment by SR | 09.18.2012 | 2:52 pm

    FYI – blog post still mentions “Friday, September 29″, under the “What If You Want To Watch The Race?” section

    I need an editor. Desperately. Fixed now. Thanks! – FC

  16. Comment by owen | 09.18.2012 | 2:53 pm

    I want to see a tandem race..Fatty and The Hammer vs Levi and Odessa.

  17. Comment by Gabi | 09.18.2012 | 2:58 pm

    I am so happy I chose to ride the Gran Fondo because I will be in Santa Rosa to witness this. Now I just have to decide who to cheer for.

  18. Comment by Doug (way upstate NY) | 09.18.2012 | 2:58 pm

    All kidding aside (sorry) you guys are everything good about biking. Great idea……

  19. Comment by Lori P. | 09.18.2012 | 3:02 pm

    Trying to find a way to be there because this is gonna be classic.
    I’m betting on Fatty, but….umm…yeah.


    PS-love the idea of Hammer vs Odessa!

  20. Comment by davidh-marinca | 09.18.2012 | 3:09 pm

    I’ve got the tandem Fatty! How ’bout Fatty and Levi riding their respective tandems while the stoker consumes donuts on the back.

  21. Comment by BIKING JIM | 09.18.2012 | 3:11 pm

    Fatty, very funny “HOBBYIST CYCLIST” I love it, I commute by bicycle year round, ride on weekends, and do fundraiser centurys can only dream of the amount and quality of riding you do- biking jim
    ps my $$$ is on Fatty!

  22. Comment by Carl | 09.18.2012 | 3:16 pm

    Crap… I wish I didn’t live so far away. I am betting on you Fatty and I can’t wait to see the video to see you taunt Levi a 2nd time!

  23. Comment by Saso | 09.18.2012 | 3:17 pm

    Setting the time bonus for a donut will be the key. If you get that right, you will win.

  24. Pingback by Cyclelicious » The Levi Effect | 09.18.2012 | 3:18 pm

    [...] and by the way: Levi’s Gran Fondo happens real soon now but the main event will be a donut eating contest between Levi Leipheimer and the Fat Cyclist. Which I think sounds way more fun than 103 miles of [...]

  25. Comment by davidh-marinca | 09.18.2012 | 3:25 pm

    Elden. Interesting Friends of Fatty you have including core Team Fatty members, putting money on both side of the ledger. (apparently it’s all about the schwag)

    I would call out one ‘Mr St Louis’ but he had the confidence in you to ante up an extra dollar on your victory.

    We’ll have to see where Ms. Gibson comes in and follow her handicapping of this event

  26. Comment by Jan | 09.18.2012 | 3:56 pm

    There should be a coding component. Maybe the coding component could be to make a program to measure the watts per donut or something?

  27. Comment by MukRider | 09.18.2012 | 4:02 pm

    I’m putting my money on you Fatty!! I’m sure you have far more experience in the donut eating/riding category, hands down… although just to hedge my bet, I’ll put some money on Levi too. Someone told me he may be fast

  28. Comment by ScottR | 09.18.2012 | 4:15 pm

    I hope the ‘equating a Lim rice cake to a donut’ is in jest, lest the Fatty advantage be squandered.

    And, as a fellow lover of Python – four shalt thou not count, but five is the number that is ‘right out’.

  29. Comment by Tom M | 09.18.2012 | 5:11 pm

    You should get time bonuses if you eat a full donut without licking your lips too ;-)

  30. Comment by Jeff Bike | 09.18.2012 | 5:29 pm

    Donuts be afarid! if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth.

  31. Pingback by Fat Cyclist challenges Levi Leipheimer to a Bike Race « cyclegraph | 09.18.2012 | 5:36 pm

    [...] Fat Cyclist challenges Levi Leipheimer to a Bike Race Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. [...]

  32. Comment by Maggi | 09.18.2012 | 5:43 pm

    This was possibly one of my favorite Twitter exchanges, especially as a couple Levi fans, not catching on to the banter, got all hot and bothered on Levi’s behalf.

    This will be yet another epic Team Fatty win. Levi doesn’t know what’s coming at him. Does he know about all the PIES?

  33. Pingback by I Hereby Challenge Levi Leipheimer to a Bike Race | Bicycle News Gator | 09.18.2012 | 5:54 pm

    [...] link: I Hereby Challenge Levi Leipheimer to a Bike Race This entry was posted in FatCyclist.com and tagged donated, leipheimer, prize, race, racer, [...]

  34. Comment by barton | 09.18.2012 | 6:52 pm

    As others have pointed out, you SHOULD have listened to the lyrics of the Jim Croce song. You don’t mess around with Jim, or Levi, as the case may be.

    But, as you so wonderfully referenced the Best. British. Comedy. Ever. I assune you have either The Holy Hand- Grenade of God, or a trebuchet that flings la vache. Or perhaps a killer rabbit is on your side? I mean, you DON’T pull the mask on the old Lone Ranger….. And something about pissing.

  35. Comment by Geophlarson | 09.18.2012 | 8:36 pm

    Fatty you should lone Levi the bike you and the hammer road in this years Utah tour de dounut. There will be no way Levi can win with that bike

  36. Comment by Kimbro | 09.18.2012 | 9:30 pm

    Fatty – you must be doing something right when nyvelocity honors you with a snarky twit stream slag, along with his fellow goons.

    Keep on doing what you do best Fatty, you’re a positive force.

  37. Pingback by The Levi Effect | Bicycle News | 09.18.2012 | 11:11 pm

    [...] and by the way: Levi’s Gran Fondo happens real soon now but the main event will be a donut eating contest between Levi Leipheimer and the Fat Cyclist. Which I think sounds way more fun than 103 miles of [...]

  38. Comment by Greg | 09.18.2012 | 11:22 pm

    Good one Kimbro.

  39. Comment by Tominalbany | 09.19.2012 | 6:05 am

    Dude, I’m covering both sides of the race. I want to maximize my chances of winning!!!

  40. Comment by Darren | 09.19.2012 | 8:13 am

    I realize this isn’t a horse race, although there will be at least one Clydesdale in the event. However, I see that many people are betting against themselves by putting money down on both Fatty (aka The Winner) and Levi (aka Not The Winner). Pick a side people!!!

  41. Comment by davidh-marinca | 09.19.2012 | 9:02 am

    I’m following The Hammer! Watch to see who she backs.

  42. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 09.19.2012 | 10:04 am

    The race will be epic, stuff of legend and fireside tales for generations to come! Almost makes me wish I still live in the Bay Area.

    Levi is a great sport to be a part of this, and, sadly for you Fatty, I think my money will be on him. He has the bike part down for sure, and given the calories pro cyclists take in every day, I think he’ll give you a run for the money at the donut table as well.

    I’ll be waiting for the race report and the video!

  43. Comment by MattC | 09.19.2012 | 10:09 am

    Fatty, you slay me! Wish Santa Rosa wasn’t so far away…good luck! I know you can do it!

  44. Comment by Kukui | 09.19.2012 | 10:20 am

    I’m putting my money on… oh man, I don’t know! I want Fatty to win, but I REALLY want to see Levi put Fatty in a headlock!

    I think Levi might have the upper hand here, too. G’luck, Fatty! =)

  45. Comment by GregC | 09.19.2012 | 10:30 am

    I’m looking to see who AngieG puts her money on- but I”m not above hedging my bets either. One other twist is to have both of you riding beach cruisers with baskets and tassels and bells- its the whole package!

  46. Comment by Kanyon Kris | 09.19.2012 | 11:32 am

    I’m with CLancy, and you better hope Levi doesn’t use a Mr Clean Magic Eraser.

  47. Comment by Levi | 09.19.2012 | 2:36 pm

    Wow, this is a tuff one. Who to choose…local hero or my pro cycling namesake? I think i’ll have to cover both bases.


    PS Please leave Zabriskie out of this one…I don’t think you want to see him “loosing” his donuts on the course like in Tour of Colorado. Awesome!

  48. Comment by bikemike | 09.19.2012 | 3:11 pm

    I think the eating part of this, uhhh, challenge, should be fondue. You know, the Gran Fondo and Fondue Challenge du Fromage.

  49. Comment by slowRider | 09.19.2012 | 5:26 pm

    Please, please, PLEASE have this recorded and post it on the blog for those of us who are too poor (or lazy) to mosey over to Cali. Bike duels are totally wicked! As are donuts! It’ll be like the knife fight scene from West Side Story… you know… except with donuts instead of knives… and cyclists instead of gang members… and riding instead of dancing… Other than that, EXACTLY the same.

  50. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 09.19.2012 | 7:52 pm

    I’m struggling to see the angle that leads to “Fatty wins.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I have enormous respect for all things Fatty, including his many superpowers of which eating ranks high. As others have pointed out, though, pro cyclists, even aged ones, have a bit of experience putting away calories.

    And as Levi has demonstrated (sorry, I don’t want to give a spoiler, even one several years old), he’s no stranger to mountain biking, so choice of bike/course doesn’t appear promising either. Certainly, the Shiv won’t do it.

    Perhaps Levi is gluten-intolerant?

  51. Comment by buckythedonkey | 09.20.2012 | 12:58 am

    I’m resisting the temptation to Google for “propeller beanie”. I’m rather hoping that it is some sort of codpiece.

  52. Comment by pedalpink | 09.20.2012 | 4:22 am

    EPIC! Another vote for The Hammer vs Odessa.

    Glad to see the tandem suggestion made above, too. It’s not too early to be thinking about going for the tandem race record at Leadville 2013. We’ll lend you our full suspension (it even has gears!) Ventana El Conquistador if you want to get off the half bikes next year.

  53. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 09.20.2012 | 5:51 am

    One more thought–I’m not sure the “you can only win the contest if you donate to the race winner” idea is a good one. Sure, the odds are slim already, so what’s the harm in dividing them by two? But, not knowing the race rules has me on the fence about donating at all.

  54. Comment by wharton_crew | 09.20.2012 | 8:42 am

    Fatty, in order to make a fully informed bet, I need some more information (fellow FOFs please feel free to add to the list). I’m taking this as seriously as any Kentucky Derby bet!

    1) what’s the course route and elevation profile.
    2) you’ve been biking a lot – what is the current circumference of your quads (flexed and unflexed please)
    3) will you or Levi be carrying any coconuts and if yes, how do you plan to grip it by the husk while riding
    4) is there any chance that Levi will make you ride topless – or worse in one of the team Footon-Servietto jerseys from 2011?
    5) how much wider will your mouth hang open during the ride if you have to breath around the last-second donut that you cram in?

  55. Pingback by Pistols and Popcorn » Levi Leipheimer: Internet Bully | 09.20.2012 | 10:54 am

    [...] now…these two are going to ride their bikes at each other.  I suggest you click here to find out the particulars, and I suggest that you get in on the action – there are some great causes involved. And [...]

  56. Comment by ClydeinKS | 09.20.2012 | 11:31 am

    Seeing other racers joining in now, will there be wagers/bets/donations available for all participants?
    When is final day to submit and be prize eligible?

    So wishing I could be there for this one, any way to get a live video?

  57. Comment by Kelly Sue | 09.20.2012 | 11:47 am

    Im going with Fatty as it appears that Levi has never eaten a donut in his life

  58. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Levi VS Fatty: Now with PATRICK DEMPSEY and REBECCA RUSCH | 09.20.2012 | 1:23 pm

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  59. Pingback by Levi VS Fatty: Now with PATRICK DEMPSEY and REBECCA RUSCH | Bicycle News Gator | 09.20.2012 | 3:03 pm

    [...] you may know, Levi Leipheimer and I will be having a race / grudge match a week from tomorrow: Friday, September 28 (at 2:00pm at the Finley Center in Santa [...]

  60. Comment by Toby | 09.21.2012 | 3:43 am

    I love Levi Leipheimer! He is a legend. I have been reading lots of articles and news features about him. He is my favorite bicycle rider and he is a great inspiration for a bike newbie just like me. Because of him I wanted to tried biking and I even got myself a Polygon Helios road bike from http://www.bicyclesonline.com.au .

  61. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » This Donut Race Has Gotten Completely Out of Control | 09.24.2012 | 3:28 pm

    [...] Because you could win some very cool schwag, or even a trip to Levi’s Gran Fondo next year. Read the details here. [...]

  62. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Why the GranDonut Race Matters | 09.27.2012 | 7:24 am

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  65. Pingback by I’m a WINNER! | JdFinley.com | 11.17.2012 | 5:58 am

    [...] Leipheimer to a bicycle race at Levi’s Gran Fondo.   You gotta read the details over on Eldon’s site here. In short, [...]


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