Free Verse Friday: Suspended!

10.26.2012 | 10:22 am

A Note From Fatty: Readers, I am sorry to inform you that Free Verse Friday has been suspended today, due to non-compliance with the strict no-rhymes policy enforced throughout this blog.

Specifically, the 05 October 2012 edition of Free Verse Friday rhymed the words “sated” and “unabated,” a clear violation of Free Verse as defined by the administrators of

Since this unfortunate circumstance has only been recently brought to our attention, we are still collating and tabulating data, searching our hearts, and otherwise trying to decide what to do. We shall formulate an opinion once we know which way the wind blows and and render our verdict in an extraordinary meeting at a time to either be announced shortly or some other time.

Thank you.

UPDATE: It has come to our attention that the 05 October 2012 edition of Free Verse Friday, as currently published in this blog, is not in fact the Free Verse poem as originally published. By using high-tech Internet archiving software, we have uncovered that the original stanza in question read as follows:


This stands in glaring contrast to the verse as it is now published:


It is quite clear that the word “unabated” was added to the Free Verse after the poem had been published and subsequently forgotten.

By whom? And for what reason? We do not know yet why anyone would want to sabotage something as beautiful and innocent as Free Verse Friday.

But we intend to find out.

Stay tuned for further updates.

UPDATE 2: As management reviews past editions of Free Verse Friday, it becomes apparent that the Fat Cyclist (hereafter referred to as “The Defendant”) is not the only person who has clearly and substantially violated the regulations clearly stated for Free Verse Friday.

Indeed, a close review of poetry written for any given issue of Free Verse Friday between the months of whenever it started (management of is currently not all that interested in figuring that out) and now, clearly demonstrates that a majority of the poems rhyme.

Clearly, this problem is more widespread than originally understood, and many important questions come to mind:

  • Were commenters who rhymed in their poetry coerced to do so by The Defendant?
  • Why did some commenters rhyme in some poems, but not in others?
  • Why is almost all of the poetry so excruciatingly bad?
  • Is there any poetry that’s good?
  • Does anybody really know what time it is?
  • Does anybody really care?

The management of recognizes that these revelations are rocking both the world of poets and the fans of famous, award-winning cycling bloggers. Unfortunately, they (i.e., we) don’t care very much, because it’s lunchtime.

Stay tuned for even more updates. There may or may not be any updates coming, but go ahead and stay tuned for them anyway.


  1. Comment by Jim D in IL | 10.26.2012 | 10:30 am

    Say it ain’t so, Joe! Say it ain’t so!

  2. Comment by AKChick55 | 10.26.2012 | 10:31 am

    Hahaha! I almost snorted latte through my nose reading that. :) You. Are. Awesome. Taste the rainbow!

  3. Comment by Christopher Cudworth | 10.26.2012 | 10:35 am

    I stumbled on this through Twitter, where I follow you. And also read your blog thanks to a friend named Monte Wehrkamp who loves your work. We’re now blogging together at thanks in part to your inspiration. We have a little in common, you and I, in that I have a spouse who has been battling ovarian cancer for many years. Keep up the great work, the good humor and enforcement of the Free Verse rules.

  4. Comment by Richard | 10.26.2012 | 10:39 am

    If rhymes are outlawed only outlaws will have rhymes.

  5. Comment by TK | 10.26.2012 | 10:45 am

    Col. Jessep: We follow orders, son. We follow orders or people die. It’s that simple. Are we clear?
    Kaffee: Yes sir.
    Col. Jessep: Are we clear?
    Kaffee: Crystal.

    Thank you

  6. Comment by RodNeeds2Ride | 10.26.2012 | 10:48 am

    Well this just sucks.
    I want Free Verse back,
    Even if it costs a million bucks!
    Thank you.

  7. Comment by George | 10.26.2012 | 10:53 am

    Keep a clean nose
    Watch the plain clothes
    You don’t need a weatherman
    To know which way the wind blows

    oh crap, busted!

  8. Comment by Paul Guyot | 10.26.2012 | 10:57 am

    I heard there is a mountain of evidence about to be published re: FVF.

    Rumor has it that several other poetry blog postings have testified.

    They say FVF could be stripped of all its prior Friday wins.

    Where will the madness end?

  9. Comment by klowe8828 | 10.26.2012 | 11:02 am

    i will write a check, within an hour, at the buffet of your choice, for 5 dollars, if you bring free verse Friday back by the end of day, 10/26/12

  10. Comment by AKChick55 | 10.26.2012 | 11:03 am

    Were doughnuts involved? I do believe writing while under the influence of doughnuts is strictly prohibited on free verse fridays.

  11. Comment by MukRider | 10.26.2012 | 11:04 am

    I think it’s clear that the rhyme was present in the original version, but after donation of a $100,000 rhyme testing machine, the historical evidence was then changed to produce the apparent clean verse. Only persons at the highest levels of FCF management could have managed this coverup.

  12. Comment by MukRider | 10.26.2012 | 11:06 am

    That should have read “FVF management” FCF would likely be Free Cycling Friday, which is where we should all be right now…

  13. Comment by the Putti | 10.26.2012 | 11:17 am

    Being a cynic is a curse
    All I can think:
    Devoid of an idea to ink,
    Fatty fuspended his verse

    Thank you

  14. Comment by the Putti | 10.26.2012 | 11:19 am

    or more correctly “suspended”… ugh.. I need spellcheck 100% of the time.

  15. Comment by DAC | 10.26.2012 | 11:21 am

    The truth is out
    Free Verse Friday busted
    Now loyal readers don’t know
    Who can be trusted!

    Sorry; couldn’t resist…

  16. Comment by MattC | 10.26.2012 | 11:29 am

    Will this be going to Arbitration, or is going to accept the verdict without contest? I believe the management needs to promptly resign, having this travesty occur under it’s watch.

    Gosh…how can we EVER be sure a post is clean again? We’ll always be in doubt… damn damn damn! I will never again be able to read here without huge emotional conflict.

    Thank you.

  17. Comment by Mark | 10.26.2012 | 11:44 am

    Inspired by events related
    The blogger shows through
    Humor unabated
    It can’t be true

    Thank You

  18. Comment by David | 10.26.2012 | 11:47 am

    Look, this is all meaningless until we have the results from the “B” sample anyway. This is just another example of the FC.C playing fast a loose with their policies and practices, not allowing the process to play out fully before issuing judgement by press release.

    This hurts the poets, and professional poetry – and ultimately everyone who loves words.

  19. Comment by Paul Guyot | 10.26.2012 | 12:03 pm

    This just in: apparently DUG has a sample of a FVF from several years back, that he’s kept sealed in a mason jar in the basement of a Lutheran church on the outskirts of Evanston, Wyoming.

    Sources claim there are no less than six rhymes in said sample.

  20. Comment by centurion | 10.26.2012 | 12:08 pm

    Thank you for freely admitting, or being forced to admit, your self made or somebody else’s’ rules. You are either a hero saint for saving the true intent of FVF, or your a scumbag with no place in poetry for destroying FVF. You chose. In accordance with said rules, or not, you will be suspended from FVF for a period of no less than 2 years, but since you admitted the violation of your own accord, or not, you suspension shall not exceed 6 months, beginning 01/01/2011. Any further actions taken against you are not within the purview of this committee, if we have a committee, we’ll think about it. Further more all of you entries of FVF from St Swithens Day 1904 to Arbor Day, 1937 shall be stricken from the record, and no replacement shall be awarded.
    However we all agree that this era of non-rhyming FVF is over and behind us, and we are a better world because of it. And we have betterer methods of testing for and detecting rhymes. So the young FVF poets don’t have to make the same sorrid, no-win choice that had to be made by poets in the Fatty era.
    May ‘The Hammer’ have mercy on our soles.

  21. Comment by bikemike | 10.26.2012 | 12:11 pm

    Free Verse is not free, people. There are rules.

  22. Comment by Anonymouse | 10.26.2012 | 12:21 pm

    Not bad, Fatty. Not bad at all. But get on with the Breck epic! Your loyal fans want to know the rest of the story.

  23. Comment by AKChick55 | 10.26.2012 | 12:43 pm

    Will there be affadavits from The Hammer, the IT Guy, the Swimmer? Will the World Federation on Free Verse Friday Poetry (WFFVFP)sanction the rhyming poets? How will the sanctions be doled out? Will there be amnesty for those who rhymed under pseudonyms?

  24. Comment by Jeff Bike | 10.26.2012 | 12:55 pm

    OMG “I’m so confused” LOL

  25. Comment by The Banter | 10.26.2012 | 1:08 pm

    And so close to the elections. I can’t believe the scandal. What will happen to the Defendant now in the polls?

  26. Comment by Phloyd | 10.26.2012 | 1:20 pm

    I think this should be investigated by WARA (World Anti Rhyming League). Fatty investigating himself is like asking him to guard the chocolate chip cookies.

  27. Comment by Edie | 10.26.2012 | 1:46 pm

    It should also be brought to the attention of the FVF Committee that the long “A” sound is prominently displayed within lines 3 – 5: racing/training/sated, thus creating an unsettling internal rhyme.
    It’s this kind of subtle transgression that leads to the use of the more blatant perfect rhymes.
    As the internal rhyme was there before the nefarious, “unabated,” word so unabashedly crashed the party and not one person at the FVFC even took note of it until now, I feel that there is a conspiracy afoot.
    Should there be tolerance for those whose offending rhymes made less of an impact in the overall quality of the verse? I don’t know. It just seems so tedious to go back and review every single line… uh… line by line.
    I can’t remember what I had for dinner last Friday so it’s of no concern to me what may or may not have rhymed 17 Fridays ago.
    We’ve all grown wiser since FVF began. Let’s just start with a fresh text file and move on.

  28. Comment by Thomas Clerihew Buntley | 10.26.2012 | 1:51 pm

    Elden Nelson, a.k.a. “Fatty”
    Though he took care where he sat — He
    mistook for his favorite recliner
    the (now) crushed remains of Levi Leipheimer

  29. Comment by Cornbread | 10.26.2012 | 1:56 pm

    I propose a lifetime band on FVF.

  30. Comment by Clydesteve | 10.26.2012 | 2:06 pm

    First, lets get one thing straight. It is a clear violation of the spirit of the rules to NOT have donuts involved whilst participating in FVF.

    If I am not longer allowed to participate in FVF under the usual understanding I am afraid I shall have to divert my efforts to an entirely different pursuit, like entering as a contestant on America’s Got Fried Sallots or NASCAR.

    If the management gets away with just ignoring all of the cheaters for so long, and then cracks down on the participants instead of stepping down, it is simply unacceptable.

    Nice today, but cold;
    well 40 and foggy;
    So I rode.

    (It is so hard to break an ingrained habit!)

  31. Comment by Math. | 10.26.2012 | 2:09 pm


    For following a long time now I’ve been
    As to never such hard laugh have I

    Except maybe for metaphor once
    Of the midget with a hammer
    Your shin hitting of an unclipped pedal
    Spun backward


    PS: for anyone asking, I usually think of my style of poetry as a cross Yoda/Middle age minstrel prose

  32. Comment by Mateo | 10.26.2012 | 2:17 pm

    Only one test proves the evidence of true rhyme: the defendant must Onomonopia in a container that will be sealed by a bibliognost and interpreted by a cataloger in a strict environment that has no Suessian influence.

  33. Comment by roger W | 10.26.2012 | 2:36 pm

    Still staying tuned as instructed….work is over….May I go home sir?

  34. Comment by Anonymous | 10.26.2012 | 2:51 pm

    Your key board was probably contaminated by tainted beef…

  35. Comment by jon (a clyde from Chi-town) | 10.26.2012 | 3:05 pm

    Just wait for the October surprise – it is rumored that the authors of FVF were consuming PEDs during the course of creating their masterpieces.

    Quelle horreur!!! (And, I am not even French!)

    (FC, tell the truth, you were feeling more prosaic than poetic!)

  36. Comment by ScottR | 10.26.2012 | 3:09 pm

    At this rate I think you’ll be posting the final Breck ride recap in the midst of your next Breck. :-)

    “So tired. Can brly typ. Lst stage of 2012 Breck vry hrd. “

  37. Comment by mykill | 10.26.2012 | 3:12 pm

    If you ban rhymes, we cat-5 linguists will start dipping further into alliteration… and the slightly harder-to-detect consonance. Our verse is too free for your rules, man.

    Further, i will not contest the charges that i am guilty of the use of rhyme-enhancing substances. And that coffee is the substance which may or may not have enhanced my rhymes.

  38. Comment by ClydeinKS | 10.26.2012 | 3:26 pm

    If I confess to rhyming on an occasional FVF, can my ban be reduced to 6 days?
    Let’s not have any lifetime bans, this is clearly something that has been going on across the board, none of us saw this as being rule breaking.
    If we all confess and get the rduced 6 day ban, we’re back on again next week!

  39. Comment by Sue | 10.26.2012 | 4:28 pm

    Tried to explain to my coworker why I kept cracking up – but there is WAY to much back story. Thanks Elden! I needed that!

  40. Comment by Doug (way upstate NY) | 10.26.2012 | 5:02 pm

    I believe the problem lies in the international governing body of free verses (Union of Verse International). Clearly they have ignored these violations, even though there have been signs. I am outraged, and planning to write a letter!

  41. Comment by roan | 10.26.2012 | 5:08 pm

    Sorry (NOT) any comments
    Were only doping
    WAAA you ask
    Free Verse Fridays
    Not so free.

    No Thank You

  42. Comment by MtlDan | 10.26.2012 | 5:25 pm

    There’s so much good cycling to do
    reading doping news just makes me blue
    and so I can’t imagine why
    we’ve all got time enough to cry.

  43. Comment by Lorraine | 10.26.2012 | 5:29 pm

    Presidential deadlock
    Levi’s got Fatty in another E-mail exchange
    Lance still living in his home on the streets of Austin,
    But the sponsors flee like cattle in a stampede.
    Still, all that cancer-fighting charity is surely a good instinct.
    So many were helped through Livestrong, their lives inextricably bound together,
    Just like birds of a certain genetic likeness.
    Before I end this verse, I will own up,
    My poems never rhyme,
    Even when I have the minutes to jot one down.

    (and thankfully for you, I will end this one here.)

  44. Comment by Margi | 10.26.2012 | 6:09 pm

    Hmmmm, perhaps there aren’t enough of us “older” cyclists to recognize a Chicago tune when we hear one. How does stealing lyrics add to the free verse scandal?

  45. Comment by Brian | 10.26.2012 | 6:47 pm

    But Fatty, free verse can rhyme! Free verse avoids strict patterns of meter, but rhymes are fine. That doesn’t excuse the scalawags who maliciously tinkered with your poems, but they’re still free verse, rhymes and all.

  46. Comment by Spiff | 10.26.2012 | 8:00 pm

    If a verse can never rhyme … ever, can it truly be free?

  47. Comment by James | 10.26.2012 | 8:02 pm

    Good lord, make with the Brepic updates already. You’re milking this story like a multi-award-winning-blogger. Which is slightly more than a professional journalist.

  48. Comment by leroy | 10.26.2012 | 8:50 pm

    I would like to announce that I am offering to donate $5.99 to the chairty of FC’s choice if he will post his H.S. transcripts by October 31 so the American people can judge for themselves if he’s capable of rhyming verse free.

  49. Comment by Lorraine | 10.27.2012 | 4:45 pm

    And in unrelated news, I finally put up my 100 MON race report (Which I only rode 2 weeks ago, so it’s not as late as it seems) if you’re interested.

  50. Comment by Davidh-Marin,ca | 10.27.2012 | 5:02 pm

    With all this talk of “ban” and “suspensions”, we fail to address the influence of one ms. Merriweather (7th grade English teacher…..somewhere) who as we speak is affecting the rhyming styles of an unknown number of future riders, or award winning bloggers. This ability to rhyme is the direct influence of parents, teachers, and Dr. Seuss.

    I suggest that Fatty send his girls to live with wolves so they do not grow up as…..whinning rhymers. (Damn!, I can’t help myself).

  51. Comment by Jimbo | 10.27.2012 | 6:17 pm

    There is nothing. I repeat again: Fatty has never used rhyming. Never, never, never. I say this not because I am a friend of his, because that is not true. I say it because I’m sure.

  52. Comment by ac | 10.28.2012 | 7:37 pm

    I don’t recall where I first read this but I think it fits here;
    Haikus are easy
    But sometimes they make no sense


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