Very Useful, Important, and Marketable Facts Learned from the FatCyclist.Com Reader Survey

04.2.2013 | 11:44 am

It was Sunday evening. The day before April Fool’s day. The twins were putting food coloring in the milk and rigging tripwires to spill confetti in every bedroom in the house (yes, really, in both cases).

Meanwhile, I had just one fairly weak idea: I was going to do a “Note from Fatty” prefacing a post saying that in order to monetize my blog, I was going to need to step up the number of ads — and then put dozens and dozens of ads scraped from other sites right in the middle of the post. One after every couple lines. All of them just leading to Bike Snob NYC’s oft-used Just Kidding image.

And then, late in the evening, I got an invoice in the email from SurveyMonkey, which I had subscribed to in order to help the twins collect data for their science experiment a couple of months ago, then neglected to unsubscribe from.

A light went on. “I’ll conduct a marketing survey for my readers,” I thought, “and just ask whatever pops into my head.”

It never even occurred to me that the results of that survey might actually be interesting

And yet, they are. With just under 1,000 responses (the limit above which I would have had to begin paying $0.15 per additional response), I have a distressingly accurate picture of who you people are now, and the manner in which you are likely to answer very strange questions.

For your edification, I would like to present the highlights of this data.

Who You Are

First of all, almost exactly a quarter of you self-identify as female.


The rest of you are something else, though I have yet to distill all that data into anything meaningful. A sample of responses, however, include:

  • 1 single-cell amoeba
  • 2 hermaphrodites
  • 1 person clarifying “After a vasectomy and too much time in the saddle I’m only 50% male”
  • 7 claiming to be various Star Trek species (Klingon, Vulcan, Romulan)
  • 1 who reproduces “via binary fission”
Your age, however, was not as complicated a topic as your gender. Here’s how the age breaks down:

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Which means, to my delight, that I (age 46.75) am older than the majority of you. Also, I like the fact that 51 of you skipped this question. 

To my delight, readers of seem to be a very prosperous group:


I’m really pleased at the fact that more than 75% of you make more than $100,000 per year. If I were an advertiser, I would totally pay attention to this metric and start advertising to this very prosperous readership right away, and I also wouldn’t look too closely at the options presented in this question.

Wanting to get a sense of the things my readers would spend a large amount of money on, I asked, “What would you do if you had a million dollars?” 

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Of course, this is a reference from the Barenaked Ladies song, “If I Had a Million Dollars.” But I was surprised at some of the results, shown here sorted by their popularity. Specifically, more of you would buy a monkey than art. Your least-likely purchase is John Merrick’s remains. To which I must respond: How do you think that makes John Merrick’s remains feel?

Bicycle-Oriented Spending Habits

One question on your mind is surely, “Do readers ride their bikes a lot?” Sadly, I never got around to asking that question.

However, I did ask how many bicycles you’re likely to own.


So, if you’re being honest — and on April Fool’s Day, why wouldn’t you be? — more than half of you own between 3 and 9 bikes. Which makes me really happy, because that means I own more bikes than most of you.

What’s startling in that breakdown is what kind of bikes you’re likely to own: 


Mongoose edged out Huffy, though Huffy started the day with a lead. I suspect that this is due to the fact that Huffy riders have an earlier bedtime.

Bikes, of course, are only a small portion of the things readers spend money on, as the below graph clearly demonstrates.


This indicates a number of very important things:

  • A lot of you are very likely to buy tubes, pastries, and post-ride beverages. Especially pastries and beverages.
  • Quite a few of us buy jerseys that fit too tight.
  • Charts can be super-duper confusing if you want them to be. 

Also, this question was a deal-breaker for a lot of readers. Roughly 25% of you said to yourselves, “OK, I get the joke, time to move on,” and bailed out at this question, rather than continue slogging on.Which is too bad, because this is where the survey started getting good. 

No, just kidding. It just kept getting more ridiculous. 

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You may wonder why I included the question, “How many days in a typical week do you wear false eyelashes or extensions.” The answer is simple: I put this in because it was a sample question in the survey software, and I found it intriguing.

And now that I asked, I’m caught between interested and surprised; I find it kind of weird that so many of you — like, more than half of you — are pretty much always wearing false eyelashes. 

And I didn’t even know there were such things as eyelash extensions.

From there, naturally, we clearly needed to find out more about your makeup-wearing tendencies. Specifically, I was interested in how cyclists’ likelihood to get tattoos relates to the rapidly-expanding tattoo-obscuring makeup market:


The market for tattoo-covering makeup market is evidently enormous amongst my readers, which raises the question of why you’re all getting tattoos in the first place, and probably infers that you frequently make poor decisions after a night on the town.

Digging deeper, I asked you, “Considering that makeup companies, tattoo artists, tattoo removal companies, and attorneys all advertise heavily on the internet, please describe your favorite place to ride a bike.” Some of your common responses included the following:

  • Inner city roads near tattoo parlors
  • To my attorney’s office after getting a tattoo
  • Places where M-dot tattoos are made. Those guys ride slow and are easily dropped
  • Through a makeup factory on the way to getting a tattoo
  • Outside
  • On the Internet

I was amazed at how often “outside” appeared, though I probably shouldn’t have been. And I was really amazed at how often “on the internet” appeared, because that makes no sense whatsoever.

Your Ideal Bike

The single largest revelation in the survey results was that there is complete unanimity on how much money should be spent on a bike, and what color it should be. Observe: 

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Survey participants were also allowed to enter a color of their own choosing, so long as the length of the color was three characters or less. To my surprise and delight, almost all readers selected red. Though quite a few managed to type “blue,” which means the survey-taking tool wasn’t paying very close attention.

Cycling Lifestyle Blog Reading Habits

As a blogger who is aware that other bike blogs exist, I was interested in your perception of other “popular” cycling blogs. The responses were startling:


Wow. If I were these guys, I’d be concerned.

Why, then, is my own blog so popular and successful and award-winning? Your answers were as kind as they were accurate:

  • Bribery
  • Pity
  • Shameless begging / self-promotion
  • None of the rest of them need the reassurance awards bring
  • Easy access to fat, balding, shirtless men

Innovative Food Consumption Habits

How do FatCyclist.Com readers eat? Pretty much how you’d expect:


Honestly, I’m a little bit disappointed that there wasn’t more blue in the above chart. But I’m even more disappointed in the reactions I got to the question “Why do you suppose so few people have discovered that peanut butter on a slice of cheddar is DELICIOUS?”


Clearly, prior to taking this survey, a large majority of you had never tried this most delicate of delicacies, while comments on this question were a mix of encouraging and extremely discouraging.

  • My life has just changed
  • Its weird how much we have in common
  • Ugh, because it is gross
  • Because it is bizarre

Sad. But not as sad as the way I felt at seeing this: 


I’m sorry, but the correct answer is okra. By a lot

Final Questions

To gauge the wisdom of my readers, I asked a few questions that required deep thinking. 

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What does it mean that 85% of the respondents choose “True?” I don’t know. But I choose to interpret it as a good thing.

Next, I assessed the endurance of my readership, asking them how many more questions they thought were coming down the pike, versus how many they could tolerate. The results were telling:

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And finally, I assessed my readers assessment of the survey itself, within the survey. 


As a followup, I asked for suggestions for better joke ideas for next year. Responses included:

  • Sagan pinching a koala (and many other variations of Peter Sagan either pinching or getting pinched)
  • A survey with actual funny questions
  • Anything (This was the second-most-common suggestion, which means that according to many people, I somehow managed to pick the very least funny of all possible jokes to play, which is an accomplishment of its own, I suppose)
  • Potty humor
  • Something with ferrets (This reminds me of one of the funniest, best-written things I’ve ever read)
  • A fork in the eye
  • The weight loss video, backwards. (I almost did this, but didn’t want to go to the effort of changing the dates on all the pictures)

Of all replies to the question, “What would be a funnier joke,” however, one was by far and away the most common. And that was: “Your face.”

Which means, I believe, that a lot of my readers are in the fourth grade. 

Still, 364 days early, I’m happy to oblige:


You’re welcome.


  1. Comment by Curtis | 04.2.2013 | 11:49 am

    Fatty – How many bikes do you own?

  2. Comment by Elizabeth | 04.2.2013 | 12:10 pm

    Fatty–as usual, you’re right. The King of the Ferret Leggers – the classic tale of the sportsmen who put carnivores down their pants, is one of the funniest things ever. Thanks for the link.

  3. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 04.2.2013 | 12:20 pm

    @ Curtis: Fatty does not own bikes, they OWN him. (a common misconception) It’s kinda like pets.

    @Fatty: I can only say I now understand the work you do and what a valuable resource you are for your company. I also like the fact you provided much of the data in the form of PIE charts. Very Fatty!

    Alas, my ‘take away’ from this survey is that I’m in one of those <10% bars when it comes to age…and it's not the one on the left.

  4. Comment by Paul f. | 04.2.2013 | 1:01 pm

    I know it was a “deep” question, the response leaves even more pondering. How can there be 85% True and 25% False. (I guess we should always be giving 110%, right.)

  5. Comment by Wife#1 | 04.2.2013 | 1:13 pm

    I just snorted so loudly I scared the dog!

  6. Comment by TK | 04.2.2013 | 1:18 pm

    WE WANT PIE (charts)!

  7. Comment by Bob Jonese, Esq | 04.2.2013 | 1:24 pm

    You’re wrong on Okra! It’s great fried (but what isn’t…) But the best way I’ve found is to take okra & marinate it in olive oil, salt & pepper (not salt ‘n pepa – push it!). Then throw it on the grill for anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes (it’s really just until the hair singes, or to taste). To quote Tony the Tiger, “It’s grreeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaat!” Plus, you can make a mix of the okra & cherry tomatoes & grill them. The tomatoes are like flavorful balls of lava exploding in your mouth!

  8. Comment by graisseux | 04.2.2013 | 2:10 pm

    As a market researcher by trade, I see absolutely nothing wrong with your survey and subsequent analysis.

  9. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 04.2.2013 | 2:11 pm

    Fatty, it is obvious you have never had fried okra (not to mention its value to gumbo), and I am really interested in trying out the recipes from bob Jonese, Esq above. I see an okra plant in my garden this summer.

  10. Comment by Papa Bear | 04.2.2013 | 2:21 pm

    The sheer brilliance of your brilliance is… brilliant!

  11. Comment by Bryan (not that one) | 04.2.2013 | 2:31 pm

    You’ve obviously never tasted my wife’s fried okra fresh from our garden. I could eat a popcorn bag of them!

  12. Comment by Kaylen | 04.2.2013 | 3:06 pm

    Okra is delicious!

    It’s too bad that surveymonkey doesn’t let you know on which question people quit. I realized it was a joke just after the income $100k question.

  13. Comment by Nogocyclist | 04.2.2013 | 4:43 pm

    Gumbo is great. The best gumbo uses okra. As a matter of fact, the name for the soup is likely to have come from the word for okra in one of the African languages.

    There is no way I will ever give up okra, for that would mean I would never be able to eat a great gumbo again.

  14. Comment by roan | 04.2.2013 | 4:47 pm

    I checked your site too late to see the survey. But I thought for an April 1st post…darn near perfect. Then today I had a chance to see what I couldn’t yesterday…the survey. This makes yesterday’s post above perfect…sorta like the % in the True or False question…about 110%.

    Free verse…pending as always.
    Thank You

  15. Comment by Kristina | 04.2.2013 | 5:10 pm

    I said ‘vegemite’ and now have to confess that I don’t even know what vegemite is. But it sounds horrific.

  16. Comment by Chase | 04.2.2013 | 5:49 pm

    @Paul f.: the true/false question allowed survey-takers to answer with both true and false for those of us that truly enjoy logical fallacies.

  17. Comment by Skye | 04.2.2013 | 6:36 pm

    I met a man last summer on a bike ride and I knew he was definitely worth keeping around when a month later, at a snack-fest picnic, he handed me a cheesy peanut butter sandwich WITH HONEY. I think its surprising that I’ve only added 10 pounds since then….

  18. Comment by roan | 04.2.2013 | 8:07 pm

    Having read today’s post earlier, something kept gnawing. Like your dislike of okra !!! I’m pleased to see that other readers agree with me. I’ll bet I could whip up a mean egg whites, avocado, okra breakfast.
    Cheddar cheese and peanut butter, I discovered…humm maybe 50 years ago.
    And next year’s April 1st ploy (if we can’t have another one sometime this year) A double headlock on you with The Hammer & Rebbeca Rusch, while they dangle a donut in front of you.
    As far as your face being funny…huh ? downright scary.

  19. Comment by Clydesteve | 04.2.2013 | 8:21 pm

    SO glad I checked your site today. After tantalizing bits of survey analysis on FB last evening, I was really really anxious to see the full data set, amazingly condensed into easily digestible pies.

    And, HEY! when did the comments section get a spell checker? Please do not tell me last year – I try not to always look at my fingers when typing.

  20. Comment by Fred | 04.2.2013 | 8:47 pm

    Re: Ferret legging

    One of my absolute favorite books is Rick Reilly’s “Sports From Hell.”

    Ferret Legging is only one of the thirteen (I think) chapters. (Other favorites – World Sauna Championships (now defunct due to death of a competitor a few years ago), World Jarts Championship, Rock Paper Scissors Championship)

    I HIGHLY recommend this book. Reilly is a genius.
    Several of these events from this book are now on my bucket list. Ferret legging is not on my Bucket List.

  21. Comment by kat | 04.3.2013 | 3:12 am

    Oh Fatty we do like your humor.

  22. Comment by Tom in Albany | 04.3.2013 | 6:54 am

    Fatty has brown eyes. The full-of-$hit meter was off the charts on this one!

    And shame on you all for getting on Fatty about his dislike of okra. Just accept that if he liked okra, there would be none left for the rest of us!

    When’s the announcement for 100MON coming out? Should be soon!

  23. Comment by Mamatriathlete | 04.3.2013 | 7:35 am

    When are you going to publish the results of the weight contest that we all endured since January?

  24. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 04.3.2013 | 7:44 am

    So, OK, Fatty has a point about boiled okra – sorta like eating a vegetarian oyster, with seeds. But all other means of preparation that I have tried are great!

  25. Comment by Noemi | 04.3.2013 | 9:38 am

    HA HA! Great post there! I was really late for this, knowing that April’s fools had already passed but still I find this funny and it actually makes a lot of sense! HA HA. I suggest that you prepare a survey which would contain jokes or whatever, or a story which is funny, or whatever you want. You can still make it a good joke, though. :)

  26. Comment by RANTWICK | 04.3.2013 | 11:02 am

    Nice Face.

  27. Comment by Tina | 04.3.2013 | 11:35 am

    So I’m quite amused by the fact that 20%+ would buy a monkey if they had a million dollars!

  28. Comment by Herb | 04.3.2013 | 11:42 am

    Okra rocks!

  29. Comment by centurion | 04.3.2013 | 11:54 am

    This was a joke?!?

  30. Comment by MikeL | 04.3.2013 | 3:44 pm

    You need to take this survey and apply for a federal grant to analyze it.

  31. Comment by GenghisKhan | 04.3.2013 | 4:40 pm

    @ Curtis: re. your question to Fatty about the number of bikes he owns, I believe the correct answer is: plenty-six, plus or minus pi (charts).

  32. Comment by The Banter | 04.4.2013 | 5:42 am

    Where is the chart for question #19?

    It seems to me that you could glean a lot of useful information around that question.

  33. Comment by Misty | 04.4.2013 | 8:36 am

    Good to see that out of every eight people who are also reading this blog that at least 1 of you is a woman as well!

    Why not more though? Very odd.

  34. Comment by Barton | 04.4.2013 | 12:26 pm

    Just to point out, the right answer WAS Vegemite! Okra has to remain in our diets, b/c otherwise how could you have a proper Jambalaya!?!?!

  35. Comment by GJ Jackie | 04.5.2013 | 2:09 am

    I think the women were smart enough to figure out immediately that your survey was a Joke. That’s why your demographic shows a much higher percentage of male readers.

  36. Comment by Marie | 04.5.2013 | 8:16 am

    Haha love it. I’ll admit I was one of the people who skipped the age question. You must not ask a woman her age lol.

  37. Comment by Gian | 04.5.2013 | 10:22 am

    That picture was worth to combined expense of taking a fake survey and reading the results from a fake survey. Well played, fatty, well played indeed.

  38. Comment by Jeff Bike | 04.5.2013 | 10:28 am

    You need a shave!

  39. Comment by Hautacam | 04.5.2013 | 1:35 pm

    The heck with Peter Sagan — I want to see a picture of CARL Sagan pinching a Koala.

  40. Comment by Jo | 04.8.2013 | 6:26 am

    Well played Fatty, well played.

  41. Comment by Loren B. | 04.9.2013 | 6:34 am

    I’m sorry I missed this before April 1st! hahaha! Great stuff, but I think most women realized it was a joke. Skewed the results? Maybe, but still hilarious!

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