We Thank You

12.21.2012 | 8:18 am

Specialized Santa

UPDATE: Super-duper extra thanks go to Specialized, which — in addition to donating two of the grand prizes for this fundraiser (an S-Works Roubaix SL4 and a S-Works Stumpjumper FSR Carbon 29) — just donated $13,000.00 to the fundraiser as a “congrats on hitting your goal” gift.

This catapulted us right into the $140,000+ range, and makes me wonder: what if we raised $150,000 by the end of this fundraiser, which — after matching — would bring us to $300,000? That would be unbelievable in the very best way.

To everyone at Specialized who worked on promoting and donating to this project: thank you for your generosity and passion to make this ambitious fundraising project succeed. I was already a fan of your bikes; now I’m a fan of your company.

This is it: the last day before the end of the contest that I’ll be posting about Grand Slam 2 for Zambia (although you can continue to donate right up through midnight on Christmas eve to be eligible for any of the prizes in the contest).

For this post, I really just want to say thank you.

And I’m not the only one who wants to thank you, either.

The Hammer, my 1617-year-old son, and I made a slide show of our trip to Zambia last night as a reminder of what we’ve seen and the good you have done (and continue to do!) by helping us with this Bicycle Relief project.

I recommend watching it all the way through (by the way, it looks best if you watch it nice and big over on Vimeo) — the last minute is a video of a really fantastic speech made by one of the students at the Nanswisa Basic School, expressing gratitude for these bikes.

Note that the beautiful singing in the soundtrack for this video also came from the children at the Nanswisa Basic School during the bike distribution ceremony.

A Thank You Poem 

For those of you who were wondering whether there would ever be another “Free Verse Friday,” well, today there is. But this isn’t the normal self-consciously horribly bad poem in the style I write. 


This is a poem that was written by the children of Nanswisa Basic School and performed by them during the bike distribution ceremony, and is titled “Bicycle Relief, We Thank You.”

Never believe that a few caring people
Cannot change the world
For indeed
They are the only who ever have

We thank you

The real measure of our wealth
Is how much we would be worth
If we get educated
Through this educational offer 

Bicycle Relief
Bicycle Relief
We thank you

We are never given a wish
Without also being given the power
To make it come true
We indeed wished for better education
And we have been empowered
Through the education materials
These white horses

Bicycle Relief
We thank you

Gratitude unlocks the fulness of life
It turns what we have
Into enough and more

Oh we thank you!

Help is like snow
The softer it falls
The longer it dwells
And the deeper it sinks into our mind!

We will now write
Our long sufferings of long distance
And less educational materials
On the sand
And write you good will
Of making our education simple
On a piece of marble

Bicycle Relief
Bicycle Relief
We thank you 

Less Eloquent Thanks

I want to thank you, as well. First, thanks for donating. We have reached and surpassed We’re down to the last $1000 before we hit our $125,000 goal, which means — thanks to a generous matching promise — our money will double to $250,000. A quarter million dollars. 

UPDATE: Even though we’ve crossed the goal, additional donations continue to get matched, dollar-for-dollar, through the end of the contest! Also, donations continue to count toward the contest right through December 24.

The generosity of you people is astonishing. And shows of generosity like this — more than a thousand people coming together to improve thousands of strangers’ lives in permanent, powerful ways — are especially wonderful to see in times like these, where the news is often too ugly to contemplate.

So thank you. 

I also want to thank the incredible people and companies who have made this the most extraordinarily prize-ladened fundraising contest I could ever imagine. Specialized. Levi Leipheimer and Levi’s Gran Fondo. Patrick Dempsey and Tom Danielson. Rebecca Rusch. Twin Six. Miir. Chris Horner. Honey Stinger. Ted King. Greg Herbold and Western Spirit Cycling Adventures.

Your generosity has gone so far beyond what I would expect of anyone. So, although it’s beginning to sound like I’m a broken record, I’m going to say it again:

Thank you. Thank you so much.


  1. Comment by Dave T | 12.21.2012 | 8:23 am

    We are over the mark now my gift to Amy for xmas this year a few bikes. Thank you Elden for continuing to do good things, looking forward to doing more next year happy holidays. Dave

  2. Comment by Mike L | 12.21.2012 | 8:40 am

    Congratulation on making & surpassing the goal. What a totally awesome accomplishment. Even if I don’t win anything, I’m so glad to have played a small part in this. The way you’ve mobilized people in the cycling community around this has been incredible. The cycling press should stop it’s endless (to a bit of an outsider) angst over the doping and celebrate what you have done here.

    Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas & all that stuff to you and your family. You are certainly making a positive difference in this world!

  3. Comment by Barton | 12.21.2012 | 8:41 am

    gosh, I wonder if we push a little more over the weekend if we couldn’t end up with $300k for GS2fN – what w/ matching gifts and all?

    I cannot wait to hear how many actual bikes will be presented next year, and how many actual mechanics will be benefited! (yes, quantifying this way isn’t strictly necessary, but it is so fascinating to see what tangible items result from the $$s).

  4. Comment by Barton | 12.21.2012 | 8:46 am

    Hey – just noticed that on average, the donors gave nearly $100 each ($97.93)! That is a pretty awesome average!

  5. Comment by Jenni | 12.21.2012 | 9:27 am

    Could not be more proud of you Elden and family!!!

  6. Comment by Heidi | 12.21.2012 | 9:57 am

    Hot damn!

  7. Comment by Bro. Pete | 12.21.2012 | 10:40 am

    Elden, I belong to a church that believes very strongly in missions. For a long time we have sent people to far off places hoping to make a spiritual difference in other’s lives. Your video is one of the best presentations of people making a difference that I’ve even seen.

    I am proud of you and your family. I am proud of what all contributors have done to provide a different life for these people. They will experience an educational, financial, and social transformation that will reap benefits for generations.

    I noticed how engaged Brice was. Good for him! That kind of involvement changes us much as the bicycle recipients.

    That your girl wrote and delivered a better speech than I would have expected in any school in America. Elden, you have done a good thing. Thank you for showing us how.

  8. Pingback by We Thank You | Bicycle News Gator | 12.21.2012 | 10:41 am

    [...] the rest here: We Thank You This entry was posted in FatCyclist.com and tagged bicycle, generosity, levi, long, nanswisa, [...]

  9. Comment by Roger Whitney | 12.21.2012 | 11:24 am


  10. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 12.21.2012 | 11:57 am

    Elden, All the thanks goes to you! For making us better, more caring individuals, willing to give like grownups and to do something good!

    Merry Christmas to the Nelson’s and the entire Fatty Family from all of here out West.


  11. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 12.21.2012 | 12:22 pm

    Congratulations, Fatty, and everyone who is a part of this great effort.

    What wonderful thoguhts to leave us with:

    Gratitude unlocks the fulness of life
    It turns what we have
    Into enough and more

    Oh we thank you!

    Help is like snow
    The softer it falls
    The longer it dwells
    And the deeper it sinks into our mind!

  12. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 12.21.2012 | 12:27 pm

    Congratulations, Fatty, and everyone who is a part of this great effort. I think I am going to be in this for a few more bikes before all is said and done.

    What wonderful thoughts from the children of Nanswisa to leave with us at this special time of the year:


    Gratitude unlocks the fulness of life
    It turns what we have
    Into enough and more

    Oh we thank you!

    Help is like snow
    The softer it falls
    The longer it dwells
    And the deeper it sinks into our mind!

    Happy holidays to all, best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year – and good luck to everyone in Fatty’s drawing!

  13. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 12.21.2012 | 12:34 pm


    Just saw saw that Specialized has chipped in on the front side. I think they’re trying to ‘win’ their bikes back. If Noodle has a new bike at Levi’s we’ll know.

  14. Comment by Carl | 12.21.2012 | 12:35 pm

    This was great… Team Fatty is the best.

  15. Comment by eclecticdeb | 12.21.2012 | 2:59 pm

    Wow, just wow. The deep and heartfelt appreciation these folks express for the small gift of a bicycle makes me realize just how much I take for granted all the blessings I have in my life.

    Thank you for making it easy for me to to help by donating a bike. You rock.

  16. Comment by T.J Olaussen | 12.21.2012 | 3:50 pm

    Fantastic achivement.
    Team Fatty rules!
    Go Team Fatty!!
    In fact.. Everybody who donated rules!!!
    Go everybody!!!!

    Merry X-mas

  17. Comment by TAD | 12.21.2012 | 4:07 pm

    Thanks Fatty, not only do I feel good about myself for donating, I have enjoyed quite a few weeks of daydreaming about winning one of your fabulous prizes. Actually winning one is kind of irrelevant.

  18. Comment by VA Biker | 12.21.2012 | 7:03 pm

    Okay, the slideshow video was the kicker. I’ve been delaying for weeks. I’m in. I apologize for waiting so long to help make difference.

  19. Comment by NYCCarlos | 12.21.2012 | 9:57 pm

    Merry Christmas Everyone!

  20. Comment by BamaJim | 12.22.2012 | 9:00 am

    Congratulations! Bike traffic in Zambia about to spike.

    Merry Christmas to all!

  21. Comment by Clydesteve | 12.23.2012 | 10:04 am

    Thanks for helping us help, Elden & family – Have a great Christmas!

    I love the part in the poem where they write of their sufferings of long distance in the sand, and write their gratitude in granite. That is actually poetry.

  22. Comment by Clydesteve | 12.23.2012 | 10:05 am

    OK marble, not granite, but at least granite is a hard rock.

  23. Comment by The Cyclist | 12.24.2012 | 9:59 am

    I am a troll, and I want attention.

    [Original comment edited for clarity and honesty. - FC]

  24. Comment by Paul Guyot | 12.24.2012 | 5:03 pm

    You have guilted me into giving again. Or maybe it’s the holidays. Or maybe it’s I really, really want to win a prize…

    Hey, does anyone teach any type of bike maintenance to the lovely folks there? And what about flats, etc? I assume you have covered this plenty and my obtuseness has kept me from seeing it.

    I love this fundraiser!

  25. Comment by Michelle | 12.24.2012 | 6:11 pm

    Shoot, I saw the note about tax-deductibility too late. Is there a way for me to withdraw myself from the contest entries?

  26. Comment by AKChick55 | 12.24.2012 | 8:46 pm

    There always has to be at least negative comment in the mix (re The Cyclist). Not sure where The Cyclist has been but I seem to remember quite a few cycling blog posts in the mix this year. I’ve enjoyed the mix of fundraising and cycling bloggery this year. I don’t think you need to change the name of the blog at all…well, except you’re not fat. Not even chubby. :)

    Awesome job on raising SO much to provide bikes for a very worthy organization!

    Mele Kalikimaka and Happy New Year from the balmy northern climes of Alaska (we are qt 17 deg – a much welcome temp climb from the subzero and single digit temps we’ve had for several weeks).

  27. Comment by Leroy | 12.25.2012 | 12:58 pm

    FC – happy holidays and thanks for making it easy to do good.

  28. Comment by Jenni | 12.25.2012 | 1:43 pm

    The Cyclist- rude.

  29. Comment by Mark | 12.25.2012 | 5:08 pm

    What a Merry Christmas for everyone! I got 38 chances for my gift, and WBR got a bike plus! Win-win-(win?) Great job Fatty and the people and companies who provided this. Just awesome!

  30. Comment by ClydeinKS | 12.25.2012 | 8:25 pm

    Merry Christmas to all, hope you got what you were asking for and that my name is drawn before yours :)
    Major props to Fatty and all who contributed toward CRUSHING the goal of $125k, best Christmas I can remember and is attirbuted to the feeling after helping the Zambia community!

  31. Comment by RodNeeds2Ride | 12.26.2012 | 12:45 pm

    Well done everyone, well done Fatty!

  32. Comment by Al Pastor | 12.27.2012 | 11:57 am

    My 14 year old daughter just gave me some of her xmas money to donate. Isn’t that cool? I wonder what I’ll spend it on? (joking)

    Fatty, I remember talking to you at one of the rides this year about how in the summer you have lots of stuff to write about but no time to do it. And, in the winter, lots of time, but nothing to write about? How about writing about some of the stuff that happened last summer that you didn’t have time for then?

  33. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » What Happened, What Happens Next | 12.27.2012 | 1:29 pm

    [...] « We Thank You [...]


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