Thankful, 2013 Edition

11.27.2013 | 9:29 am

A Note from Fatty: If you came to my blog today to find my mashed potatoes recipe, click here. If you came for the banana cream parfait, the recipe is here. And if you came to buy a t-shirt, you’re too late.

Every year since 2007, I’ve had a day-before-Thanksgiving tradition: to write a “thankful” post  (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012). This year, I have a few things in particular I want to mention. 

Thankful for the Off-Season

2013 was an amazing riding year for The Hammer and me. We did a half-Ironman. We did the Rockwell Relay. Leadville. Crusher in the Tushar. Salt to Saint. 24 Hours in Old Pueblo. 25 Hours in Frog Hollow. The LiveStrong Challenge. Africa in Moab. Levi’s GranFondo. The 100 Miles of Nowhere. And more. 

Neither of us have ever been so fit or fast. Neither of us have ever raced so much, and The Hammer has made the podium her home. 

Now, the final race of the year is behind us. And we haven’t really started thinking about our 2014 schedule yet.

And it feels wonderful to not have a race to be thinking about. To not have something to train for. 

You know what happened yesterday? I’ll tell you. It’s going to blow your mind.

I was busy working on my book and daylight kind of got away from me, so an outside ride was out of the question. It was very cold outside, so I didn’t The Hammer said, “Well, you can go set up the rollers and do a Sufferfest video or watch something on Netflix if you want.” 

And I said, “Nope. I’m just not going to work out today.”

That’s right. I just didn’t ride. It wasn’t a rest day. It wasn’t a taper. I just took the day off

And it was exquisite.

Now, I don’t intend to stop riding altogether. After all, this was the first day in about a week I hadn’t bundled up and gotten out on a ride, and I’ve been having fun on these rides. But when you’ve been riding on a very strict and focused schedule for about nine months, to be able to just shrug your shoulders and say, “To hell with it, I’m not riding today,” feels incredibly luxurious and indulgent.

And that is why, at least partially, I haven’t gotten into cyclocross. I’ve been racing and racing and racing. I am all raced out. The thought of getting up early on weekend mornings, gathering my stuff together, feeling the race anxiety build in my gut, flogging myself on a muddy course, then spending the rest of the day cleaning my bike and gear…well, it doesn’t appeal to me. At least it doesn’t appeal to me as much as going out and mellowly riding random trails at Lambert Park.

I am currently loving riding or not riding, as the mood strikes me.

I am thankful for, in short, the off-season.

Thankful for Now

I spend a lot of time thinking about this one: I’m really thankful that I live when I do. I start thinking about what a person like me would do fifty years ago. Before there was social media and personal publishing. Before there were incredible bikes available at reasonable prices. Before the world was, in short, a technology wonderland.

I’ve raised millions of dollars (around three million at this point) for charitable causes I care deeply about. I couldn’t have done that before easy electronic payments were possible. Or before blogging. Or social networking. 

I’ve written one book, published two, and am working on a third. Until a few years ago, my publishing options were incredibly limiting. Now they’re wide-open. 

Until a few years ago, the likelihood of me finding the few thousand like-minded people in the world and then haphazardly establishing a friendship with all these people would have been none. The odds against me meeting the guys at Twin Six and putting together a great partnership and friendship — now in its sixth year — would have been huge.

The fact is, the stuff I love doing wasn’t possible even a few years ago. I’m thankful to be living in what is, essentially, a science fiction paradise.

The Honey Stinger Dark Chocolate Mocha Cherry Protein Bar 

I know, expressing gratitude for a protein bar may seem kind of weird. Until you try this particular protein bar


The Hammer. My kids. The Core Team. My readers. I have somehow wound up in a life with an incredible group of people around me, both physically and virtually.

For whatever part you have had in my life, thank you. 


  1. Comment by Steven Nichols | 11.27.2013 | 11:10 am

    And we’re thankful that you share it all with us.

    Happy Holidays!

  2. Comment by blair | 11.27.2013 | 11:19 am

    I’m thankful this isn’t

  3. Comment by Mike Z | 11.27.2013 | 11:23 am

    What’s going to be the crazy diet this year? I’m thinking about getting some eggs and avocados.

  4. Comment by Wife#.7 | 11.27.2013 | 11:39 am

    Oh you just reminded me that today I was going to write my “50 Reasons I Am Deeply Grateful That I Weigh 100+ Pounds Less This Year” blog post. Shoot – I really need to make time for that today. Anyhoo….

    I will let the big guy aka Husband #1 1/2 speak for himself, but for lesser-ole-me, I am grateful that we have all the Team Fatty peeps as part of our own extended family. And I mean all of you that come here daily/weekly to interact and engage just as much as Fatty and the Hammer. Formerly-Fatty may be the gravitational pull that keeps us together, but what an astounding collection of bright, funny, eclectic and deeply generous people you all are! It’s just fantastic and I am so glad we have been able to become part of the gang.

    And lastly… Nancy! Monkey Lights are on sale!!! Sharing the promo code information they emailed me below for anyone that may want to get up to a little monkey business on their bikes. They are so cool!

    ***** Holiday Sale *****

    20% lower regular prices PLUS two promotion codes with additional savings:

    Promotion Code MONKEY79 will get you an additional 10% off any Monkey Light.
    Promotion Code MONKEY81 will get you 2 of our M232 lights for $99. That’s an extra $20 savings.

    Promotion codes are good through DECEMBER 6. 20% reduced retail prices are compared to July 2013 and earlier.

    How to buy:
    Find us on Amazon:
    Use Promotion Code: MONKEY79 or MONKEY81 when you check out (enter it on the bottom of the ‘Select Payment Method’ screen).

  5. Comment by KevinM_IN | 11.27.2013 | 11:40 am

    Thank you Fatty for sharing and best wishes going forward.

  6. Comment by leroy | 11.27.2013 | 11:53 am

    I am thankful I nipped in the bud my dog’s plan to attend the National Dog Show in Philadelphia tomorrow to photobomb the best in class pictures.

    Thankful for a lot of other stuff too.

    Happy Thanksgiving all!

  7. Comment by Christina | 11.27.2013 | 11:54 am

    Thanks, Fatty. Since finding you I’ve lost weight and ridden four centuries, three of which are 100 MoN. I learned that struggles are struggles, no matter who you are and that I should always be grateful for what I have.

    Also, I learned to say, “That sucks,” rather than filling in other info. You’ve made me a nicer person.

  8. Comment by Sunny | 11.27.2013 | 11:55 am

    And I’m grateful for you – for putting smiles and laughter in my life and on some days when I didn’t feel like smiling and laughing. Even better. Thanks.

  9. Comment by Mark in Bremerton | 11.27.2013 | 11:55 am

    I’m thankful I found this blog. I’m thankful for the entertainment, inspiration, and motivation it provides. Thank you, and keep on doing what you’re doing. People all over the world are thankful for that.

  10. Comment by MikeL | 11.27.2013 | 12:01 pm

    Sometimes you just have to chill. I don’t race. I ride for fitness and exercise. I am in the same mood right now. Sometimes you just need to do nothing in order to go ahead.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all in the FatCyclist universe.

  11. Comment by Doug (way upstate NY) | 11.27.2013 | 12:04 pm

    Fatty, thank you ans Lisa for helping to make my Leadville experience special. It was great having lunch with you both and chatting it up before the race. 2013 was exciting for me. I am thankful that I can DO stuff like that….. Doug

  12. Comment by ClydeinKS | 11.27.2013 | 12:33 pm

    Thanks to this site and the opportunity to be a Friend of Fatty, the platform to do great things and inspiration to go beyond that. Thanks to all here and the interactions had and pending.

  13. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 11.27.2013 | 12:42 pm

    Like all FoF’s I too am thankful for this blog, this group, and this experience.

    I’m thankful to have a partner like Wife#.7, kids like Favorite Son and #1 Daughter who have indulged me on my bicycle journeys,and done their own 100 mile rides(LiveSTRONG Davis-oh where will be next year)

    People like MattC who has the most exquisite taste in beer. Old Peculiar a most apt beer for a person like me. AKChick who is the most bubbly commentator on this site( and not afraid to chide those who become too rude-in the nicest way) The Noodle, Doug Bohl(entered Leadville Lottery today), SteveB, Zeeter, and so many more who make me a better person, and more determined to be a better rider.

    I am thankful to have been able to help: LiveSTRONG, Pedal in Pink, WBR, Camp Kesum, and anyone else Fatty has asked us to look at.

    I hope next year there are many opportunities for us to meet.

    Lastly. I’m thankful to Lisa, The Hammer, for so generously allowing us to share your husband. I’ll leave it at that.

    H A P P Y T H A N K S G I V I N G E V E R Y O N E


  14. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 11.27.2013 | 1:00 pm

    What goes around comes around, Fatty, and we have you to thank for all the wonderful things you do to make life better for so many. Without your advocacy many of us would never know about World Bicycle Relief or Camp Kesum, or many other causes that you take on as your own and pay before us.

    You are good people, and we are thankful that we have a chance to know something about you. As so many have already noted, because of you and this blog, there is a great community of bright and engaged people who are happy to step up and make a mark in the world.

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

  15. Comment by berry | 11.27.2013 | 1:03 pm

    I’m thankful for my Twin Six ‘I’m Thankful For’ shirt that I wore to my office’s annual turkey fry today. Wouldn’t have heard of them without you.

  16. Comment by Brian in VA | 11.27.2013 | 1:35 pm

    I’m thankful I discovered this blog a few years ago when I started biking for exercise and fun. All of you, FoFs and Fatty and The Hammer, have inspired me to be a better person than I was before. I’ve discovered the joys of suffering on a bike, riding centuries for charity and the sheer joy of riding with friends and strangers, too. I’ve raised about $10K for a Diabetes cure and a couple of grand for cancer, too. I’ve bought several bikes for Africa and let others know about it.

    Thanks for waking me up to all of this!

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  17. Comment by Daniel Weise | 11.27.2013 | 2:18 pm

    Thank you Fatty and friends. As so many others have already stated this community makes me want to be a better person and helps me to move in that direction. I think it is truly wonderful all of the good we have accomplished and will continue to accomplish through Fatty’s leadership.

    Without Fatty I never would have started riding again a few years ago and while I’m nowhere near where I need to be I know positive changes have occurred in my life and I look forward to sharing more with the rest of the FoF.

    Happy Thanksgiving all!!

  18. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 11.27.2013 | 2:47 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving, Fatty. Happy Thanksgiving, all.

  19. Comment by Jeff Bike | 11.27.2013 | 3:30 pm

    I notice everyone is most thankful for the people and experiences.

  20. Comment by Marsupial MattC | 11.27.2013 | 3:36 pm

    Awwww David…you bring a tiny tear to my eye! I’m thankful for SO much…my lovely wife (even though she doesn’t ride bikes)…my family, and then my other family (the one here I mean). That we can ‘chat’ w/ our crazy (in a good way) extended family across the globe on a daily basis right-here just blows my mind. What Fatty has done, starting out with a simple blog about him being fat and riding his bike(s)…it has morphed into something big…huge…BEYOND huge. What a world we live in. Have a safe Thanksgiving everybody! Turkey-UP!

  21. Comment by Doug (way upstate NY) | 11.27.2013 | 3:39 pm

    Go davidh! I hope you beat the lottery odds! Fatty, who can we call or write to to guarantee he gets in? MwaHaHaHa!

  22. Comment by EdwinH | 11.27.2013 | 4:00 pm

    I’m thankful you decided to continue with this blog! And those *Caffeinated* honey stinger bars should go down really well with a few cans of Red Bull…

  23. Comment by AKChick | 11.27.2013 | 4:01 pm

    I’m thankful to have found this incredible online family, some of whom have become friends.

    Fatty, three words to help you keep riding in the off season and have ridiculous amounts of fun: Fat Tire Bike.

    I rode last weekend with friends and rode a lot of singletrack. This was my first experience on singletrack on any bike. I had an amazing time and also, when I fell, I had soft snow to cushion the fall. Heaven.

  24. Comment by AKChick | 11.27.2013 | 4:01 pm

    Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  25. Comment by Randy | 11.27.2013 | 5:12 pm

    Thank YOU for such a wonderful and entertaining blog. I’ve learned so much, and have been wildly entertained. I really appreciate all that you do.

  26. Comment by Carl | 11.27.2013 | 5:28 pm

    Thank you for allowing us into your life and this blog and to be a small part of raising 3 million dollars. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  27. Comment by Harmon | 11.27.2013 | 7:11 pm

    Living in the future rocks. Happy Thanksgivng!

  28. Comment by Nancy_in_MN | 11.27.2013 | 8:19 pm

    Hmmm. Difficult to top all this love and gratitude, but I want to say that reading Elden’s posts and then digging into the comment sections is just one of those treats for which I am very grateful. This blog truly is a variety show that keeps me coming back!

    I first found this blog right after my husband was diagnosed with a bad cancer 2 1/2 years ago. It started with visiting the website of my local fave, Twin Six. “What is this Fat Cyclist thing?” I asked myself. Then, when exploring the FatCyclist archives, I stumbled onto the story of Susan, and became a lifeline to understanding what it might be like to lose my husband. No one in my little world knew where I was with this fear and grief, but I found comfort here. For that I am eternally grateful.

  29. Comment by Anonymous | 11.27.2013 | 8:36 pm

    You are the greatest ever not!

    I had to read this comment a couple of times to make sense of it. I’m afraid that it’s one of those times where punctuation truly is important. You could have made yourself more clearly understood by writing it this way:

    You are the greatest ever! Not.

    Or, if you wanted to use something a little more internetty, you could have gone with:

    You are the greatest ever.

    Still, thanks for taking the time to write. And keep practicing.

    - Fatty

  30. Comment by Al Pastor | 11.27.2013 | 10:56 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    I’m looking forward to a turkey trot followed by too much turkey, pie, friends and football. I will be wearing my new fatty long sleeve jersey to run in.

    Thanks for everything. I hope to see you next year.

  31. Comment by Jase | 11.28.2013 | 4:39 am

    THREE MILLION???!!!??


    We don’t have thanksgiving in Australia per se but I too am very thankful for the internet.

    $3 million? $3,000,000?? amazeballs.

  32. Comment by Mike from Melbourne | 11.28.2013 | 5:07 am

    I’m thankful for your blog Fatty, it has kept me entertained, inspired and encouraged by your kindness for several years now.

    Even though i am in Australia I will be going to my American friends this weekend as we have done for several years now to eat huge amounts of Turkey, candy corn, pecan pie etc. We will also drink a few beers and watch some college football. I’m all for embracing other countries customs when there is food involved. Happy Thanksgiving !

  33. Comment by Slo Joe | 11.28.2013 | 12:24 pm

    I’m thankful I have many reasons to be thankful….and finding this blog long ago be definitely amongst them.

    May you and your family continue to ride long and prosper.

  34. Comment by Sylva | 11.28.2013 | 3:28 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful to live. I am thankful for the wind on my face. I am thankful for the people in my life.

  35. Comment by Saso | 11.29.2013 | 3:35 pm

    Great summary and also gave me a different perspective on certain things in life. I am thankful for your blog.


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.