What Happened, What Happens Next

12.27.2012 | 1:29 pm

NewImageA month and a half ago, I set an ambitious goal: raise $125,000 for World Bicycle Relief (WBR) by December 24. That money, thanks to a dollar-for-dollar matching commitment secured by WBR, would then be doubled to a quarter-million dollars. 

I then set about telling the story of my trip to Zambia with WBR last summer. And I started rolling out the prizes. 

It became the focus of my blog, to the extent that some people correctly complained that I never talked about anything else anymore.

What I didn’t reply was that I kind of agreed with them, and that it would be a lot easier for me to write fake news and semi-real observations and about bike rides.

Because — believe it or not — writing fundraiser contest posts are absolutely positively the most difficult and taxing kind of posts there are for me to write. 

But they’re worth doing.

And they’re especially worth doing when the results are stunning. As in, as of this moment we’ve raised about $168,500. Which, when matched, will come out to $337,000. And by the time some more corporate matching gifts get factored in, the total matched amount Grand Slam for Zambia 2 will have raised should be at — or very close to — $350,000. That’s $100,000 more than our goal.


In a recent post, I thanked the folks who donated prizes, as well as everyone who made donations. Now, I want to especially want to thank Patrick Dempsey, who did both. Not only did he — along with Tom Danielson — donate a slot in their ultra-deluxe winter training camp, but he also donated $5000 of his own money.

Pretty remarkable, especially considering that all I’ve ever done for him is give him a donut

What Does This Mean?

$350,000 sounds like a lot of money. Because it is. What’s amazing, though, is what that money will buy:

  • 2500 bikes ($134 * 2500 = $335,000)
  • 50 mechanics (1 mechanic for every 50 bikes) trained ($250 * 50 = $12,500)
  • 50 (1 for each mechanic trained) toolkits ($50 * 50 = $2500)
Bear in mind, too, that each bike benefits more than one person. So what does this mean? It means that your generosity has made a difference for thousands and thousands of people.

I feel pretty good about that.

What’s Next for Grand Slam for Zambia?

My job is done in this project, more or less. Now it’s up to Katie over at WBR to generate the random numbers and start sending out email. Within the next few days, some of you will be hearing from her, asking you to select which of the prizes you want to select. 

There are so many amazing prizes here that I honestly do not know which of them I would select out of this batch. I do not envy those of you who will have to make this choice.

No, that’s a total lie. I do envy you. A lot. 

What’s Next for FatCyclist.com?

So with this project out of the way, what am I doing next? That’s a fine question, and I’m glad I asked it of myself. Here’s my reply to me, in the form of a bullet list. 

  • I’m taking a vacation. I’ll be back at this blog starting January 7. 
  • I’m thinking about what I want to do next in terms of fundraising. I plan to continue to fundraise for the two causes I’ve chosen: fighting cancer and fighting poverty. How much, how often, when, how, and for whom are questions I’m currently considering.
  • I’m thinking about what kind of blog writing I want to do. When I started this blog, I was in my very-late-30’s. Now I’m in my mid-late-40’s. This almost-eight-year period has seen a lot of change for me. An unbelievable amount of change, really. It’s ridiculous for me to think in terms of writing the same kinds of things I wrote the first few years of this blog; I’m no longer that guy. But I do still want to write, and I still want to write about biking. Do I have any idea of the direction or extent of changes this blog will take next year? No. But I do know that I’m not going to try to make this blog be the same thing it was in 2006. Or even 2010. 
  • I’m thinking about how long I want to write this blog. I’m closing in on eight years that I’ve been doing this. For the last year or two, I’ve been thinking that ten years is the maximum shelf life for any blog. But now I don’t know. Maybe ten years is too much. Or too little. 
  • I’m thinking about other projects I want to do. I want to publish Susan’s unfinished novel. I want to write the Caregiver’s Companion. I want to write Fight Like Susan. I want to compile and edit Volume 2 in The Best of FatCyclist.com. I know for sure I can’t do all of those this year, but I think I can do at least two of them. Which two is the question.

If you’ve got an opinion on any of these things, I’d love to hear from you.

Until 7 January 2013, thanks for reading, commenting, and — as often as I’ve asked — donating. Have a great holiday, and make some time to get on your bike — even if it has to be indoors — and ride.


  1. Comment by Jamieson | 12.27.2012 | 1:34 pm

    Congrats Elden on beating this goal by such a huge amount. Have a nice break from the blog!

  2. Comment by Heidi | 12.27.2012 | 1:39 pm

    Stunningly awesome. Rest, relax, turn the brain in that shiny noggin off for a bit…

  3. Comment by michael | 12.27.2012 | 1:40 pm

    i’m new to the blog as of this year….and i know that you’ve made a difference in the way i think about cycling and the world….and i’m way older then you….so whatever you choose i’m in…..

  4. Comment by Steve | 12.27.2012 | 1:46 pm

    The shelf life of a blog should be measured by only one metric. Is it still well written and relevant? As long as that’s true and you want to do it. Keep going.

  5. Comment by zeeeter | 12.27.2012 | 1:52 pm

    Well done on surpassing the total, awesome job Fatty!

    Hopefully with all the potential / imminent changes, we’ll still see you in Davis next year?!

  6. Comment by Skippy | 12.27.2012 | 2:02 pm

    Agree 1000% with Steve:
    “Is it still well written and relevant? As long as that’s true and you want to do it. Keep going.”

    Looking at my poor efforts , have to say , beaten by a country mile !

    Wishing you & your family , a Healthy and Worthwhile New Year whatever you decide !

    Happy New Year to the Fatty Team .

  7. Comment by ClydeinKS | 12.27.2012 | 2:07 pm

    AWESOME job in this fundraiser, absolutely no issue with it being in a bicycling blog. You were raising money for bikes, bike mechanics, and bike tools – seems like the appropriate place to me! That being said the news stories, race reports, product reviews, and instructional pieces (how to change a flat 2 parter was CLASSIC) are hard to accept as possibly coming to an end some day. For the books, I can’t wait, but don’t push and spread yourself too thin. There’s time and we all understand. Maybe more guest posts could help free you up more?
    Hope you had an excellent Christmas and 2013 brings as much, or more, awesomeness as we saw in 2012!
    Enjoy the break.
    I’m on the edge of my seat, Katie…

  8. Comment by Elizabeth | 12.27.2012 | 2:08 pm

    Your blog has changed my life, my activity level, my outlook and my giving. Please don’t stop writing. And I really appreciate the encouragement you’ve sent my way.
    Happy New Year!

  9. Comment by Jenni | 12.27.2012 | 2:15 pm

    You may not stop writing this blog. Thanks for asking. We will consider the subject closed.

  10. Comment by Jeff | 12.27.2012 | 2:17 pm

    Congratulations to you for spearheading the fundraising for WBR and to your readers for being so generous. Truly remarkable!!!

    In terms of the blog… PLEASE continue to write it. I think it does more good for more people than even you realize. And it reaches many people who otherwise wouldn’t even know Fatty and WBR exist. Your blog, even though written by a middle aged, Stanley Tucci impersonating, incredibly humble and gifted writer, bike riding pioneer, and fundraiser extraordinaire, is a pleasure to read and share with others. Please keep up the great work!!!

  11. Comment by @terrysrunning | 12.27.2012 | 2:39 pm

    What Jenni said.

  12. Comment by @terrysrunning | 12.27.2012 | 2:43 pm

    By which, I mean (and assume she does also); we all love the blog and it’s the most accessible way to get the great variety of wonderful stuff you put out there; inspiration, information, comedy, and fun and valuable ways to help others. Keep up the good work!

  13. Comment by T.J Olaussen | 12.27.2012 | 3:11 pm

    Amazing job with the Grand Slam.
    Enjoy your vacation. You’ve earned it.
    As for the blog.. I truly understand that keeping it up the way you have for so long takes quite an effort and that things change. Life changes and there is a time for everything. I think that a blog is relevant as long as the blogger has something to say and not just writes to keep the numbers up. And to me it seems you still have something to say. The causes you raise money for and the changes you make in peoples lives.. It’s something not many people can do.
    I really love reading your blog. It got me back on the bike after years of not riding. So I hope you will go on forever (or at least until I die)
    Happy new year to you and your family.

  14. Comment by Al Pastor | 12.27.2012 | 3:25 pm

    I started road riding partially because of this blog. I’ll miss the humor along with the important work you’re doing here.

    I wish I could ride today, but it’s a little chilly for this California boy. Hoping to ride New Years Day.

  15. Comment by Susie H | 12.27.2012 | 3:29 pm

    Fat bottomed girls, you make the rockin world go round! And isn’t that what it’s all about? Get on your bikes and RIDE!

  16. Comment by Saso | 12.27.2012 | 3:35 pm

    I have been following your blog for seven of those eight years. You have made my life better. Thanks.

    I wish you would continue. Whatever you decide, I keep my fingers crossed for you.

    Have a great 2013.

  17. Comment by Barb | 12.27.2012 | 3:41 pm

    What Saso said. Hope you keep on writing, making me laugh and making me think beyond my own sphere

  18. Comment by AKChick55 | 12.27.2012 | 3:44 pm

    Please do not stop blogging. Maybe you could blog less, like 1x per week unless you felt like blogging more. The hole in my life without your blog would be massive and very sad (because, it’s all about me dontcha know? ;-).

    Congratulations to all the Friends and Fans of Fatty and WBR who donated of their time, money, and prizes! There are NO losers in this contest whether you get one of the fabulous prizes or not. We have made a REAL difference in the world. Not just handed out money and forgot about it. That makes me incredibly proud. Good job everyone! I hope that if Fatty doesn’t go again, that WBR will have a guest post with photos, video, etc. on the bike distribution. It would be fun to have a spotlight on a mechanic or two and what this has meant/means to them.

    I like the current mix of cycling, fun stuff, random stuff, and charitable stuff. Then again, I’d read anything you wrote so maybe I’m a little biased.

    If I had to choose two books for you to concentrate on, it would be Caregivers Companion and Fight Like Susan. However, do you have the funds needed for both? If not, then Caregivers Companion and Best of Fatcylist.com Vol 2.

    Also, love that you’re taking a break and taking a vacation!!! Good job! You need more breaks I think. Writing every week, 3x a week is a lot.

    Happy New Year Mr. Fatty and Family! I hope 2013 brings you as much joy and fun on and off the bike as 2012. I tip my hat to you and raise a glass!


    PS Have to say that I’m putting in a lot of miles on the spin bike – it’s been too cold to ride the fat tire bike (for me) and I’ve been working too much so it’s always dark when I get home, and then there’s the dogs so…the fun thing about the spin bike is it’s hooked to Google Maps so I’ve been mapping out road rides on the Big Island. :) Can’t wait to actually do some of them.

  19. Comment by DrBryce | 12.27.2012 | 4:29 pm

    Thank you Fatty, for all of your benefit to us! I know I appreciate what you write.

  20. Comment by Santi M. | 12.27.2012 | 4:31 pm

    Happy holidays Fatty and family! Thanks for another year’s worth of laughs and great causes.

  21. Comment by Mark | 12.27.2012 | 4:32 pm

    Blogs are personal writing, that you choose to share. That should be guidance enough. Your take on things we all experience is what makes it so good. Even the fundraising posts are entertaining. Just keep doing what you’re doing; let it go wherever it takes you. I know I’ll let my boat float along with you. Thanks!

  22. Comment by Louutah | 12.27.2012 | 4:46 pm

    Dear Fat One,
    Do not stop blogging….if you do, I will have to find another, well meaning, kind, over-achiever to occasionally crack back on in a meaningless post in response to something or other that you have written.

    Please stop thinking of yourself and think of the minions like me….

    Thanking you in advance.

    P.S. Great job on the fundraising by the way.

  23. Comment by Brian in Va | 12.27.2012 | 4:51 pm

    Congrats to Fatty and all of Fattyworld for not just bypassing but totally obliterating the goal for this cause! I hope everyone feels as good about it as me.

    Writing this blog has to be hard work. I only blog every couple of weeks and its tough. I can’t imagine how hard it is to be this witty and charming, not to mention beloved, multiple times per week. Whatever you decide, I’m good with it.

    Just the same, I’d miss my FC fix.

    Happy New Year to all of the FC family!

  24. Comment by Rumpled/Jim | 12.27.2012 | 5:34 pm

    My votes for the books.
    #1 Caregiver’s Companion – this will impact soo many people and help them. I could envision it would need regular updates and could become its’ own website world. Or, that could be (is?) what groups like Livestrong offer.

    #2 Finish Susan’s novel. Soon would be good while it all fresher and more in your memories.

    Give best of Fatcyclist another year or two or so. You can’t have a greatest hits album every year.

    Fight Like Susan would then slot at #3 in 2014.

    Just my two cents.

  25. Comment by Clydesteve | 12.27.2012 | 5:54 pm

    Have a blast on your blogcation, Fatty!

    I have always enjoyed your blog, and the people attracted to it who comment.

    Prolly if you should decide to keep blogging, I would keep reading. And, whether you choose to believe it or not, I can count the number of blogs I can say that about on one hand.

    Best to you, Lisa & the family,


  26. Comment by Justin L | 12.27.2012 | 6:04 pm

    I agree case closed you will continue with this blog. It’s my motivation to get out and ride. I obsessively check it a bunch of times a day just in case you post something. The only web page I do that, weird. The blog will also be great advertising for your future books!!

  27. Comment by jon (a clyde from Chi-town) | 12.27.2012 | 6:33 pm


    Would be a great tragedy – Greek Mythology scale – for you to deviate far from the prosaic brilliance of 2012. In fact, I think you misread the side of the Twinkie, I mean the freshness stamp on the side of your computer… It clearly states the blog should stop when it reaches 51% suckage… You are not even close.

    I would be personally hurt and offended if you quit… As a point of reference, success-wise, I have NEVER, EVER contributed to another blog charity. And, to be fair, no one has ever even come close to persuading me to loosen the purse strings.

    I guess, to be fair, if YOU tire from the effort, or are AFRAID to try to top last years effort, well, I guess we would understand… I mean after all, it’s a scary ASSOS wearing world out there, right Doc?

  28. Comment by Carl | 12.27.2012 | 6:53 pm

    Wow… I never really thought you would ever stop the blog. But I don’t know, maybe a twitter/facebook combo and a permanent part of Bicycling Magazine or a Team Fatty magazine would work… in addition to the books you are preparing to write or finish.

  29. Comment by Carl | 12.27.2012 | 6:55 pm

    P.S. But whatever you decide, I’m sure it will be great and we will all proud to say we know you. Happy New Year!

  30. Comment by Davidh-Marin,ca | 12.27.2012 | 7:20 pm

    I’m with Jenni! Case closed. ( wife#1, I mean that figuratively)

    If this blog were to end I would be forced to sell the house and move to a little cul de sac in Utah, Alpine specifically, to watch the comings and goings of the neighbor with a ridiculous number of jerseys……and that might seem creepy.

    Like ClydeinKS suggests, more guest posts. You have an amazing circle of followers; reports from ‘wayupstateNY’, StLouis/Tuscon, Alaska, and around the world. I almost forgot; our favorite ‘rocket man’ from Santa Maria, his brother, and their sister from a different mother. Let the inner editor loose, and have fun.

    Lastly, a thanks to Mr Dreamy, I think. First Specialized kicks in trying to win their bikes back, now an attempt to win the training camp. I believe Patrick was getting a little frightened of what a FoF would really expect if they selected the resort package prize. Few of us could hold TommyD’s, or Mr Dempsey’s wheel, but they might try and hold something else.

    Enjoy the time off Fatty……we look forward to hearing about it.

  31. Comment by EdwinH | 12.27.2012 | 7:42 pm

    As already said much better above: please keep blogging.

    13 months ago I fell of my road bike and spent 5 weeks on my back on the couch – that’s when I discovered your blog. Your humor and frankness made me smile. Though not an off-road cyclist I rode and sometimes suffered with you on your beautiful Utah trails. Your (also archived) entries about Susan and the stories of many of your guest bloggers helped me keep my small problems in perspective, and donating to all your excellent causes made me feel good.

    Looking at my Chrome bookmark folders, one is simply labelled “Me”; it has stuff about family, health and cycling. Its first entry is “Fat Cyclist”. I check it every day.
    One day I hope to meet the Hammer, the IT guy, the Swimmer and you, just to say thanks in person. For now this will have to do.

    You’ve made a positive difference in my life. Please keep blogging!

  32. Comment by Sylvia | 12.27.2012 | 8:37 pm

    Whatever you decide to do I’m sure you will still make a difference in this world. I’ve enjoyed your blog and I’ve liked being part of Team Fatty. Do whatever makes you happy.

  33. Comment by Rachel | 12.28.2012 | 4:10 am

    Your blog is awesome and inspiring.
    If you want to focus on your books and don’t have as much time and new thoughts for the blog, please go for it. But you don’t have to close down the blog to do so. I’m sure many readers will still be interested if you stop by now and again when you have something to say, or want to update how your book is going, or have another cause to promote.
    You have a solid base, and I think many are sufficiently invested to stay interested if it’s just a new post to the feed once in a while.
    I know I’d much rather see that than for the blog to just close up shop. I won’t encourage anyone to keep blogging once they’ve run out of things to say (I agree, those blogs get bad), but we’d be fine with things said only as often as you have something to say.

  34. Comment by PaulW | 12.28.2012 | 5:58 am

    Fatty, your blog is simply inspirational. It is the only blog I have ever followed and I always look forward to seeing a new post from you. You have brightened a difficult year for me in which I lost my father to cancer. Thank you.

    I look forward to reading more about you, the Hammer, the Swimmer and the IT guy in 2013!

  35. Comment by mwmike | 12.28.2012 | 9:00 am

    “other projects I want to do.” None of them involve riding a bike! Get off your ass!

    I should have titled it, “Other Writing Projects I Want to Do.” I’m actually midway through another post detailing my racing plans for 2013. Though I definitely need to get off my butt, or those plans will include being off the back in every single one of those races. – FC

  36. Comment by AUChefDave | 12.28.2012 | 9:28 am

    Listen, I totally understand the emotional drain that the last few months have been. Heading up such huge fund raising event as you did is no small feet! Then to write about it just adds to your “GREATNESS”. I have never told the reason I started riding publicly to any one and the to have you put my story on your blog was one of the best days of my life. It has kept me on my bike when the pain wanted me to stop. I hope you keep going, but I realize that there are more important things in life and they need to have priority. Ask us to help again and we will!

  37. Comment by Daddy style | 12.28.2012 | 10:54 am

    Loved this blog since Seattle, alot of change in 10 years. That’s what challenges and building mental toughness does. My familiy/circumstance have changed as well. We all have Drama for lack of a better word. More important is how you deal with it.

    My experience has been 10-15 years and your burnt out, Race, VFD, Soceer/bike coach, club founder/past pres were all wonderful expeiences and I still keep my hand in some of them but the when they became a chore it was time to back out. Best thing I did, Like to think I have found a balance.

    Fatty and friend’s, stand proud, you done good.

    Sheldon, continue to live a meaningful life.

    Peace, health and happiness in 2013 my friend, may the wind always be at your back


  38. Comment by Dripslobber | 12.28.2012 | 11:31 am

    Fatty you’ve done it again! I couldn’t have been happier to hear how well the Grand Slam II went and then you drop the bomb. I’ve read this blog since I can’t remember when, supported various events (as best as I could) and yes I’ve even purchased Fatty gear! I’ve noticed how the blog has changed over a period of time and it reminds me that I too am changing. I can’t imagine how hard this blog is to fit into one’s life without a negative impact on your family. On the other hand I’ve been able to meet various members of your family and see how caring and giving they are too. Whatever you decide……I wish you peace.

  39. Comment by Cali_Lady | 12.28.2012 | 5:23 pm

    Dear Elden/Fatty: Thank you for all you do through this blog. This is a special place, and I think you couldn’t do as much good, if you just wrote for a magazine, or relied on Facebook/Twitter. Your blog, and the readers comments(!), put smiles on people’s faces, and at times even make us laugh out loud hysterically! This means a great deal – as we all need a good laugh to help us get through tough times.

    You’ve made a positive difference in my life, and so many other people’s lives as well. Your blog does tremendous GOOD for the community who reads your stories in cyber land.

    The ‘Caregivers Companion’ will be a wonderful help for so many people, so I hope that is high on your list. I bought your ‘Comedian Mastermind’ book, and will continue to support your endeavors through this blog. (But I’m not one to subscribe to magazines.)

    From a practical standpoint, this blog is a great tool to promote fundraising activities, sell FatCyclist.com gear, and also promote/sell your book(s)… so it seems like these are good reasons to keep on going for a long time! And yes, we LOVE any & all Guest Posts, so if that helps make things a bit easier, it is very much welcomed!

    It is natural that you grow and evolve over time. People who expect you to have the same type of blog you had years ago, are not being realistic. Fortunately, you are in complete control over this blog… it is yours to do whatever you wish to do with it. We can and will adapt. We are true “Friends of Fatty”.

    I hope you keep blogging for a very long time, but ultimately, do what makes sense for you, and makes you most happy. May the new year bring fulfillment and peace to you and your family!

  40. Comment by Doug (way upstate NY) | 12.28.2012 | 6:16 pm

    Fatty, oh no, you’ve angered Jenni. Tread lightly!

  41. Comment by Yukirin Boy | 12.28.2012 | 8:51 pm

    Congratulations Fatty and everyone for reaching and exceeding the target. Absolutely fantastic! Team Fatty IS changing the world

  42. Comment by Jeremy | 12.28.2012 | 11:55 pm

    Follow your heart, Fatty. If it says it’s time to stop, it’s time to stop. This has been an amazing vehicle for hope and finding ways to do something good. I am a better person for having read, participated in, and met members of this little living room you invited us into. It’s always hard to say enough is enough when you feel as though others are looking to you to lead us onward, but you have some unfinished business in the world outside these digital walls, too. Just make sure your series finale is as good as Leverage’s.

  43. Comment by Jennifer H. | 12.29.2012 | 8:57 am

    Fatty, I’ve been reading your blog for going on five years, though I’ve only commented a couple of times. Thanks to your (and The Hammer’s) inspiration, I’m now a daily runner and do cycle classes three days a week. Someday I may work my way up to road biking! But I truly love your writing, whether funny, serious, personal, fundraising – whatever. You are genuine and that’s a rare quality in the blogosphere. Thanks for all your hard work and for putting yourself out there for us. Have a great, well deserved vacation!

  44. Comment by FujiPixie13 / Beci | 12.29.2012 | 9:25 am

    Thank you, Fatty, for everything you have done: the posts, the fund-raisers, and the laughs. We, the FoF coalition, will be with you, whatever you decide, we will follow. Not out of blind loyalty, but because of all the good you do. I am really looking forward to the books. I hope you will offer them in an eBook form. There are plenty of self-publishing sites that you can epublish your books without much cost at all, compared to regular publishing companies. It might be worth looking into, if you haven’t already (and I might look stoopid to be suggesting something you have probably certainly looked into). I will buy them, whether in paper form or eBook.
    I wish I had been able to donate more to the WBR fundraiser. I’m very happy that it was so successful and I have loved the posts about it.
    Most especially, thank you for the post regarding what to do and say to survivors & families after tragedy and loss. I will refer back to that often. You are amazing.
    As I began, so too will I close:

    Thank You, Fatty, for everything.

  45. Comment by Bo-bewan | 12.29.2012 | 10:52 am

    Everyone might find this article interesting, as it points to the need for bicycles in South Africa. Thanks Eldon for all you do; for cycling,for fighting/coping with ‘Cockamamie’ (my ‘C’ word, as it means useless, meaningless), those in need and keeping us all laughing while working toward meaningful, fulfilling goals. God Bless You. All the best in 2013.


  46. Comment by Davidh-Marin,ca | 12.29.2012 | 11:44 pm

    Elden. Stay on your butt! If you are “off the back” in next year’s races the rest of might have a chance to boast….. We Beat the Fat Man!

    Enjoy your vacation, we hope to hear more from you.

  47. Comment by Sunny in Oregon | 12.30.2012 | 12:49 pm

    Fatty, you must stop writing this blog immediately. Here’s why:

    1. I read it obsessively every day, which takes time out of my busy schedule of cleaning litter boxes and watching Castle re-runs.

    2. I’m almost 59 years old and 100 pounds overweight, and you’ve made me want a mountain bike. This has caused a significant reduction–in fact a near collapse–of my long-standing relationship with McDonald’s and Jack in the Box, which in turn has caused them significant damage to their finances and delayed the recovery of the US economy.

    All joking aside, congrats on the fundraiser! WBR is one of my favorite organizations, so it was doubly fun to donate through your blog.

    Enjoy your break!

  48. Comment by LidsB2 | 12.30.2012 | 4:31 pm

    Noooooo! FC, your Core Team has all but abandoned their blogs. I have no other blogs that I follow, and the reading the news is generally just depressing. I look forward to your posts, much like so many of the previous commenters. Plus, as so many have so eloquently pointed out, you are more than jokey bike stuff. you have a profound impact on people in multiple ways. That said, when you lose the enthusiasm for writing it will show in the quality thereof. Then it will be time. You’re not there yet!

    As for the projects, the Caregiver’s Companion will have such an impact on others, it’s easily number one. Susan’s novel is a close second. Do it for Susan, for yourself, and for those who will love reading it.

    For both topics, go with your gut…which comes naturally to you!

  49. Comment by The Cyclist | 12.30.2012 | 4:53 pm

    I am a troll, and I want attention.

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

  50. Comment by Heidi | 12.30.2012 | 7:57 pm

    Looking forward to hearing from Katie that I’ve won!

  51. Comment by NYCCarlos | 12.30.2012 | 8:52 pm

    @The Cyclist – no one is forcing you to read it. I really don’t think Elden would mind if you stopped. But I don’t understand why you’d go out of your way to post something negative unless it was something you wanted to keep reading, so why not be more constructive?

    @Fatty – I, for one, would be sad to see the blog go, but I would completely understand if you had to leave us. I hope we could still keep in touch if you stop! Either way, I’d better see you in Davis!

  52. Comment by Jenni | 12.30.2012 | 9:44 pm

    The Cyclist, it’s enough already.

  53. Comment by neca | 12.31.2012 | 8:12 am

    I’ve been reading since the old msn days when you wrote about Jan Ullrich’s hair as an indicator of who would win the Tour. The blog (and you) have changed, and so have your readers.

    I think your blog (including funny stories) are an integral part of your fund raising. I don’t enter for a prize I’m unlikely to win – I enter because the causes are important and as a way to say ‘thanks’ for the entertainment, smiles, information, and community your blog provides.

    Do what you need to do to find the right family/ work/ hobby/ blog balance, but to your readers, I think the blog, the causes, and the books are really just various aspects of the “Fatty experience” we’ve come to love.

    happy holidays.

  54. Comment by mykill | 12.31.2012 | 11:29 am

    I have stuck with this blog over the other cycling blogs because there is a real sense of community here that i haven’t found anywhere else online. Hopefully the Team Fatty Family will still exist in some form with the inevitable changes.

    Also, i didn’t see the word Davis in that list of things-to-do. Hopefully it is covered under the general “fundraising” plans for the year. I have spent the last half of this year acquiring a FC kit, a road bike(!), and a pie recipe just for the occasion!

  55. Comment by esteefatty | 12.31.2012 | 12:39 pm

    The FC blog and community conversations are ranked tops in my quality of life tower, right up there with pie. Everyone else has talked about what we get from being part of Elden’s Fatty World and I totally agree. We all benefit so much. You are a part of our lives. We appreciate all that you do. We salute you and wish you health and happiness, and lots of great rides too.

    I hope you will find a path in the new year that suits you and your family. If you write it we will read it. Publish it, and we will buy it. As a cancer survivor I know how much the Caregiver’s Companion is needed. Continuing that project definitely gets my vote.

    You haven’t gotten me back out on a bike yet, but I think about it…so thanks for that too.

  56. Comment by Bill H-D | 12.31.2012 | 4:43 pm

    Happy New Year Fatty! I’ll just add this: writing is a funny thing. Sometimes what makes the writing happen is more writing (and, for that matter, reading). And sometimes it isn’t. Using the blog to prime the pump, or lube the derailleur – as it were – might just be the ticket. :)

  57. Comment by VA Biker | 01.1.2013 | 7:25 pm

    Eldon, I’ve been reading your blog since you first had guest articles on Bill Mitchell’s version of cyclingnews.com (2005?)…

    At this point, whatever you choose is okay. I’m an advocate for your simply doing what your heart tells you to do. You have a blended family that needs attention still. The near-daily blog has to be a heck of a chore at times.

    If you’re looking for some input (which I don’t think you really need), I’d vote for finishing Susan’s novel and the Caregiver’s Companion. Sorting that priority and maintaining contact with your blog readers (your audience for these works) is an issue. Maybe you can write once a week blog entries to keep things going? I dunno. No great answers in these options…

    Regardless of what you choose, please know that I’ve enjoyed the gamut of your writing, no matter what the subject. Talented writers have that capability. I’ve also loved the civility among those leaving comments. In 2012 (& hopefully 2013), it’s something to behold that I have not seen replicated anywhere else on the Internet (save maybe Pistols & Popcorn).

    Best to you and your family in the New Year!

  58. Comment by terry | 01.1.2013 | 7:29 pm

    congrats dude on an awesome job. kill 3 birds with one stone, take a vacation for 9 weeks cycling across the country, raise money to fight poverty and hang with 100 other people doing the same thing!

  59. Comment by Richard P. Kelly | 01.1.2013 | 11:33 pm

    While you may have perfectly valid reasons for cutting back on or ending your blog, an arbitrary “shelf life” is not one of them. Take away all the good you’ve done and the community you’ve created and your blog still stands far and above most others on the merit of your writing alone. You’ve never even come close to jumping the shark, Elden.

  60. Comment by Paul Guyot | 01.2.2013 | 10:02 am

    Forget the blog.

    Well, mostly.

    As much as I love this blog, I cannot sit here and tell you to keep doing it just because that’s what I want. You have given and given and given to so many for so long. For me to tell you to keep writing because it’s what I want is egregious to say the least. According to Wordpress, the average life of a blog is three years. You have nearly tripled that.

    Write those books and publish them. They are important. To you and to others. People NEED them.

    Use the blog as needed for fundraising and ride reports — but forget the pressure of having to deliver pithy posts every day or week. Use the blog when you feel the urge to write a Fatcyclist worthy story. Or to fund raise. Or to tell us how awesome an event was.

    But let it go, man. The daily grind of it. I would be very sad not have my fatcyclist addiction fed almost daily, but if you’ve taught all of us one thing — it’s to get off our collective butts and do something.

    Write and publish THE CAREGIVER’S COMPANION and FIGHT LIKE SUSAN. Do it now. Put together another “Best of” whenever you have a spare moment, but your focus should be those two books.

    And publish Susan’s novel… which, by the way, I have now decided you should publish as is — without a finished ending or any editing other than spellcheck/typos. Publish it the way she left it. There is so much more meaning in that.

    You have given us all so much. It is now time we give back to you by letting you go.

  61. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.2.2013 | 5:52 pm

    While the good me agrees with Mr Guyot, the bad me wants to give his address to @ Jenni 12.27.12 2:15. Talk about the horns of a dilemma.

  62. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.2.2013 | 5:54 pm

    Just noticed that Fatty is posting his weight at the top of the blog. I think I will NOT follow suit. (I assume it’s this year?)

  63. Comment by ClydeinKS | 01.2.2013 | 6:52 pm

    @davidh – it is this year, Fatty is currently in a twitter challenge attempting to win a pair of Assos bibs.
    Not sure how it will turn out, alot of calories could be burned penning new posts. What kind of vacation involves the desire to lose weight??

    Good Luck Fatty!! A new pair of Assos would SURELY match at least one of those jerseys that are hopefully not still lying in the driveway.

  64. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.2.2013 | 7:59 pm

    Elden Nelson Luxury Body???? Now that’s an oxymoron.

  65. Comment by Heidi | 01.2.2013 | 8:03 pm

    I sense… Egg whites? Yes, the presence of egg whites in Eldon’s kitchen. But wait, there’s something else – avocado? Yes, I do believe I see an abundance of egg whites and avocados. I can see it, the man is slimming down.

  66. Comment by Heidi | 01.2.2013 | 8:36 pm

    Dagnabbit, apparently my fingers don’t sense how to spell “Elden” correctly…

  67. Comment by Spiff | 01.2.2013 | 10:04 pm

    Some times you need to ride without specifically “training” before you know what your next race goal is. Is blogging like that? Perhaps blogging without fundraising or accomplishing a big goal keeps the “legs” freaks so the mind can settle on what comes next.

    Enjoyed the blog for 3 years now. Motivating and humerours. The big and the small. Love it. Happy new year.

  68. Comment by zeeeter | 01.3.2013 | 1:46 pm

    Anyone heard from Katie over at WBR as yet? :)

    The first 2 grand prizes have been claimed. Word has it that Davidh’s wife (ie Wife #1) is going to be riding a brand new Stumpy FSR! – FC

  69. Comment by Wife#1 | 01.3.2013 | 7:22 pm

    I can confirm I was the second person to be contacted by Katie. I am sorry I did not post earlier today, I was unable to get my jaw off the floor until just now! I curse you all. I was torn horribly between the desire to mull each and every prize option, weighing all the pros and cons (and tax ramifications) but I knew the longer I waited to pick, the longer it would be until the next person got their email. Whoever the first pick was, s/he partook of the McDreamy > McDanielson spa sandwich.

    I remain stunned. More later when I recover my wits. Oh wait…. forgot those were lost years ago!

    On a final note. If my marriage ends, it’s Fatty’s fault. Or maybe Katie’s. I had to choose between my own selfish desires for an awesome bike and my husband’s love of biking adventures (ala Moab or Idaho). He lost. I feel terrible.

    Or I will when the euphoria fades. Maybe.

  70. Comment by TominAlbany | 01.3.2013 | 8:20 pm

    Great job, Fatty!

    I suggest you write Caregivers and Fight this year. I think they will work well together as to what will go through your mind. Save Best of Fatty 2 for ‘14 or ‘15.

    Happy New Year to you. Enjoy…

  71. Comment by Cycling Dad | 01.4.2013 | 11:42 am

    Dear Elden,

    We love the dedication that you are putting into your work, and take a lot of inspiration from it. You are truly making a difference for Cycling as a sport and for the recipients of the donations.
    Keep it up!

    Sending our best regards from Austria,

    The Cycling Parents

  72. Comment by eclecticdeb | 01.4.2013 | 1:27 pm

    Congrats to Wife #1 and the winner if the “spa sandwich”. There’s still plenty of other awesome prizes — I can’t wait to get my email from Katie.

    Note to self: stop checking email every 2 minutes, it really reduces your work productivity.

    Elden, you’re awesome. (Just in case you haven’t hear it lately).

  73. Comment by VeloMan | 01.4.2013 | 8:40 pm


    It is cleat to me that your next cycling related venture will be to promote velomobiles with your multi award winning blog.

    Since velomobiles are still rare, this will provide a large, long-term task, something you appreciate and need.


  74. Comment by Wife#1 | 01.5.2013 | 12:57 pm

    Dearest Fatty,

    Now that my “holy $#*^! I won a bike!” high is somewhat under control, I did want to take a few minutes to post a response to your question about how we think you should spend the next year and/or the future of this blog.

    I’m going to take a different stand than some others, though it’s based on some suppositions on my part that may be incorrect.

    I hear lots of wonderful people telling you to focus on working on the book(s) that make the biggest difference to others. And I understand that, because you do have the power to transform, and like all superpowers, it should not be taken for granted.

    But here’s the thing, you have been making a huge difference in peoples’ lives for years now. You have been the freaking alpe d’huez of doing good.
    But that is hard work. Really hard. What I don’t think is hard for you, is being funny, loving cycling and other sports, and writing about those things.

    I think you should take this year to do writing that is the most FUN for you. Writing that makes you laugh and is easy. I have no doubt that you experience great satisfaction and even joy at writing the cancer stuff, but I have to believe that it’s harder, that it takes more out of you, as does a lot of the work you do that is focused on helping others.

    So that’s where some of my guesswork came in, and hey, I could be (often am) wrong. But if it was me, The Caregivers Companion and Fight Like Susan would be much harder to write. Harder because they would feel more important to me and because the subject matter is both intensely personal and meant to guide others through the darkness. That’s hard work.

    Personally, I think you deserve a bit of a break, but I don’t think that means you should stop writing, I think it means you should focus on the writing that is the most fun and “easy” for awhile.

    I also think, even if you do it less, you should keep this blog going. You have built a very dedicated following here, people really love you, and the marketeer in me thinks you’d be nuts to risk losing some or much of it for future endeavors.

    So I think you should continue the blog, even if you do it less, but keep it focused on the stuff that flows the most naturally from you.

    I think you should then choose ONE, not two books to tackle this year. Why would you try to do two? If you want to suffer, throw on some bibs and go climb a mountain. Even full-time authors rarely say, “hey, I’m going to write 2 life changing books this year!”

    Of the one book you tackle, I think it should be the one you think will be the most F.U.N. I would think that would be Volume II of The Fat Cyclist, but maybe not.

    Whatever you choose to do in the end, thank you. I can still remember the first time I read your blog. The post was A Chance to Talk. I sobbed and started reading backwards. I don’t think I got much done that day.

    But the many posts such as Purple Snipe and Dave Z’s Nuts also impaired my ability to work, because I was laughing so damn hard. Not to mention all the “Open Letters” and so much more. You are truly hilarious sir.

    Both are gifts to your readers and both are important things you do.

    This year, take a year to write what is easy and fun. Bike harder, love harder, but write easier.

    But you do need to keep writing. A few quotes to end this tome with….

    “Keep a small can of WD-40 on your desk—away from any open flames—to remind yourself that if you don’t write daily, you will get rusty.” —George Singleton

    “I try to leave out the parts that people skip.” —Elmore Leonard

    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.” — Oscar Wilde

    Most important of all though…

    “Beware of advice—even this.” —Carl Sandburg

    Happy New Year Fatty!

    Thanks. That’s really good advice. And you are right; the serious stuff and the charity stuff requires a lot more from me — not just in the writing, but in the logistics. I think you’ll see that at least in the short term, I’m going take that advice and focus on writing the fun, silly stuff. – FC

  75. Comment by eclecticdeb | 01.6.2013 | 5:40 pm

    What Wife #1 ^^ said.

    Except for the ““holy $#*^! I won a bike!” part… hopefully that will come shortly.

    I’ve been a LONG TIME reader — and it’s a little freaky how I think I actually KNOW you, and that if we ran into each other you’d smile and call ME by name.

    You do a lotta good for the world, take some time to recharge and do something fun.

  76. Comment by ColoradoXJ13 | 01.7.2013 | 3:37 pm

    Well, I am winner #4…I never win these kinds of things, I am in shock. The specialized bikes and the training camp have been chosen already (I was hoping for one of those specialized’s….looking a gift horse in the mouth huh). I have a tough choice to make here…

  77. Comment by Wife#1 | 01.7.2013 | 8:23 pm

    So who the heck was winner #1 and #3 (who obviously took the other bike) and why have they not come forward? Congrats ColodadoXJ13! I never win either and FYI, the shock lasts quite a while!

    Dammit though, this is not good news for eclecticdeb getting a bike. Sorry Deb!

  78. Comment by Anon | 01.9.2013 | 1:34 am

    Dude! You must keep blogging. Everything changes over time and this is no exception. You must find a way to inspire yourself to continue to write informative, funny, and inspriring content. Don’t give up!

  79. Comment by Flavio | 01.15.2013 | 6:13 am

    That is very sad. You are like an alcoholic, you will probably struggle your entire life with this. being unable to eat just enough for your body needs. And living in the USA makes so much harder because you are surrounded by the excess of everything.

  80. Comment by mwmike | 01.19.2013 | 11:06 am

    What else are you going to do? Work in an office or a factory? Without exception, we are ALL jealous of your job and your talents. Keep blogging.


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