Prepare. Now.

02.4.2014 | 12:35 pm

Greetings from the future. I send you this message back through time (WordPress started having the feature of being able to post backward in time beginning in build 5.2.1c) as guidance, and as a warning.

The Zombie Apocalypse is coming. You have seven months to prepare. Yeah, I know. Some of you are saying, “Hey, seven months isn’t exactly a lot of time to prepare. As long as you’re sending blog posts into the past, why didn’t you send it back ten years? Or at least five?”

To that, I respond: I wasn’t even blogging ten years ago, so that’s stupid. And if I had sent this post back five years, you would have had plenty of time to rationalize why it was just a silly joke—a fabrication—and you would have let your preparations lapse.

Most of you will do that anyway. (I say this both as a person with knowledge of what you consider the future, and as a person who understands the personality profile of my blog readership.)

But for those few of you who choose to take this seriously, I have some life-saving tips.


First and foremost, start riding your bike more. Ride every day. Ride as if your life depended on it.

Because it does.

See, as it turns out, cars won’t do you a lot of good once the Zombie Apocalypse begins. Sure, they’ll be great for getting away while you’ve got gas in your tank. But before long you’re going to run out. And the lines at gas stations are going to be long. Which, by the way, the zombies figure out pretty quickly. (Also, they figure out how to break windows.)

And then the gas supply dries up. And the roads get clotted with cars, making it pretty much impossible to get anywhere in a car. 

But a road jammed with cars still has plenty of room for bikes to get around (ask any big-city cyclist; they’ll tell you. Endlessly.).

So start getting in shape. Get used to riding. Toughen up your butt. And—this is very important—don’t forget to do intervals. It’s impossible to overstress the value of the ability to accelerate and hold a sprint for about 200 yards. This will distance you from all but the fastest zombies (the exception being Usain Bolt [yes, he’s now a zombie], but if he chases you, you at least have the consolation of knowing you were captured, killed, and eaten by an Olympic superstar). By the time you’re that far away, the Zombie will have forgotten you (Zombies have notoriously short attention spans, and nobody has really taken it upon themselves to find out if Ritalin helps).

Also, you should work on skills drills. Practice hard stops and sharp turns. Yes, partially to give you the know-how to avoid zombies that surprise you by jumping out from behind large objects (cars, mostly). But also because in the future, auto drivers (the smug bastards who hoarded gasoline) totally ignore the three-foot foot rule.

Keep Your Bikes In Good Repair

If you are a professional bike mechanic, you are in a peculiar position: you are set to become either the most powerful people in your general geographic location, or you are about to become captive to one of the most powerful people in your geographic location.

My recommendation: learn kung-fu.

For the rest of you, now is a good time—a really, really good time to learn how to maintain a bike. And it’s a not half-bad time to consider getting a singlespeed. Chain suck always sucks, but you’d be hard pressed to find a more sucky time to get chain suck than when you’re being pursued by a zombie. 

(Word to the wise: in an emergency, a quick release skewer can be used to skewer more than a wheel. Provided you’re quick enough with that quick release.)


As it became clear to the world that the Zombie Apocalypse was nigh, people began to hoard. Sadly, however, many people hoarded very stupid things.

Specifically, people thought that hoarding cigarettes would be a good thing to hoard, with the expectation that cigarettes would make an excellent portable, high-value fungible.

This was, as I mentioned, stupid. Really stupid.

First of all, smokers—thanks to their hacking coughs, strong odor (zombies have a heightened sense of smell), and reduced lung capacity, smokers make easy pickings for zombies. And as the number of smokers decreased—and the number of surviving smokers who suddenly decided to quit sharply increased—cigarettes were definitely a buyers’ market…and nobody wanted to buy.

You know what is in strong demand in this post-apocalyptic hellscape, however? Stan’s Tire Sealant. With broken glass (from cars, see above) pretty much everywhere, the ability of your tire to survive a puncture is pretty much synonymous with your ability to survive, period. 

It’s not a bad idea to stock up on tires, while you’re at it. And lube. And flat pedals (clipless pedals are currently not in fashion, for reasons I think might are probably pretty obvious.

Oh, and buy a good helmet. Not as protection from crashes necessarily, but as a way to avoid being bitten on the head. Zombies like to go straight for the brain, and a layer of styrofoam between your noggin and the ravenous undead can be downright helpful.

Get Fit-Fat

If you’ve put on a few pounds this past winter, allow me to recommend you do everything you can to keep that weight on. Having a few extra pounds on you might be the difference between surviving for the first three weeks of the Zombie Apocalypse…and not.

Hey, why do you think I’m the one writing this blogpost of warning, while other much thinner cycling writer types aren’t? It’s because with their they all died of hunger, about twenty minutes after the last batch of kale was looted from the local Whole Foods market.

So, eat up (to a point).

[Full Disclosure: In fairness, I should point out that I have a somewhat selfish motive in recommending you gain a few pounds. Specifically, those of you who take my advice to heart a little too literally will be slower than me. Which means zombies will catch you first. Plus overweight zombies are easier for me to outsprint.]

Final Warning

Finally, one last word of advice: get a good lock and chain. Your bike is more valuable than you could ever have known. 

And be of good cheer. As a cyclist, your chances of survival in this Zombie-infested nightmare are better than just about anyone else’s.

They’re not as helpful against the sentient humanoid killer robots, but that’s a matter for a different post.


  1. Comment by Scott | 02.4.2014 | 12:42 pm

    Whew, I should have just enough fat to survive the first wave. Thanks for looking out for us.

  2. Comment by Carl | 02.4.2014 | 12:50 pm

    Brilliant… I will share this with my 13 year old son, who has thought about everything zombie related… except using our bikes!

  3. Comment by Carl | 02.4.2014 | 12:51 pm

    and I totally have the gained weight over the winter part down.

  4. Comment by SteveB | 02.4.2014 | 12:56 pm

    My wife already has this all figured out – we’ll just surround the house with treadmills… they’ll never get to us.

  5. Comment by bikemike | 02.4.2014 | 1:04 pm

    Do not lose the key or forget the combo to your bike lock.

  6. Comment by Travis | 02.4.2014 | 1:20 pm

    Wicked awesome post!

  7. Comment by Rob L | 02.4.2014 | 1:25 pm

    Bacon shall become the gold of tomorrow. Especially smoked/salt cured. :)

  8. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 02.4.2014 | 1:34 pm

    When we get only one post a week thank you for making it count!

    For East Coast Fatties proud to be the owner of a new Ripley…?????…. you might want to join DougB and test your conditioning. See if you are ready:

    Other Fatties might just want to show that Ripley how fast THEY are!

  9. Comment by Anonymous | 02.4.2014 | 1:49 pm

    YES!!! I knew my Zombie Survival Cycling Training would come in handy!

    I’ll show those who laughed at me (endlessly… in fact I think they’re still laughing) for learning to ride with a jousting pole.

    They surely won’t be laughing seven months from now. ;)

  10. Comment by old guy who likes to ride | 02.4.2014 | 2:04 pm

    Zombieland Rule #1: Cardio

  11. Comment by MikeL | 02.4.2014 | 2:11 pm

    I think Fatty must have been watching “The Walking Dead” re-runs while training for the 100 MoN.

  12. Comment by TominAlbany | 02.4.2014 | 2:16 pm

    What about the ROUS?

  13. Comment by Kukui | 02.4.2014 | 2:19 pm

    Rodents of Unusual Size? I don’t think they exist.

  14. Comment by GenghisKhan | 02.4.2014 | 2:30 pm

  15. Comment by Lisa | 02.4.2014 | 2:57 pm

    TominAlbany and Kukui….stop rhyming and I mean it…(btw…those are two of my favorite comments ever).

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  17. Comment by UpTheGrade, SR, CA | 02.4.2014 | 3:32 pm

    Fatty, while you’re out there in the future, would you mind looking up the numbers I used to win this week’s Powerball lottery and let me know. Thanks a bunch.

  18. Comment by Dave T | 02.4.2014 | 3:52 pm

    one minor flaw in this what about Zombies that were once pro cyclist?

  19. Comment by zeeeter | 02.4.2014 | 3:59 pm

    Well that was an inconceivably random post!

    You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. – FC

  20. Comment by NancyJBS | 02.4.2014 | 4:33 pm

    @Zeeter – Random yes. Consider, however, the removed state of mind one must enter to conceive such a thing… removed from the present world all around. This was achieved either by being in the future, as Fatty assumes, or by being in a whole ‘nuther place, like the place one goes when riding in the middle of the night alone. For hours. In darkness. Alone.

    It is my belief that this post was composed in the latter place. I would need more empirical proof in order to accept that this is the product of time traveling blogging.

  21. Comment by UpTheGrade, SR, CA | 02.4.2014 | 4:34 pm


  22. Comment by Libby | 02.4.2014 | 5:14 pm

    As you wish…

  23. Comment by LidsB2 | 02.4.2014 | 5:22 pm

    That, I believe, is the most unusual post Fatty has ever…ummm…posted. But I like it.

  24. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 02.4.2014 | 5:23 pm

    @FC Remember, Zeeter is English. It probably means something completely different over there….like colour.

  25. Comment by Jerry Pringle | 02.4.2014 | 5:29 pm

    Does it matter that I am, in fact, left-handed? Also, how did everyone’s Tour of Sufferlandria come out? I had a blast!

  26. Comment by Rusty Red | 02.4.2014 | 5:30 pm

    But what if I want to be a bike-riding zombie? (oops, too late)

  27. Comment by Clydesteve | 02.4.2014 | 5:42 pm

    I can see right now that will need to conceal my 6th finger.

  28. Comment by bloodpuddle | 02.4.2014 | 5:57 pm

    Pure gold!

  29. Comment by Bill Webster | 02.4.2014 | 7:25 pm

    Foreshadowing a big event in August perhaps? Up north perchance?

  30. Comment by Bill Webster | 02.4.2014 | 7:26 pm

    Foreshadowing an upcoming event perhaps? Up north perchance?

  31. Comment by Julie B | 02.4.2014 | 8:42 pm

    SteveB’s wife here. Long time Fatty follower. I always knew Fatty was the type that would be prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse. Now SteveB can make sure he is prepared if it happens on a bike ride and can’t make it back to the safety of our home.

  32. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 02.5.2014 | 12:18 am

    @anonymous 1:49pm

    With that talent no one is getting you in the first three weeks!


  33. Comment by bart | 02.5.2014 | 5:17 am

    haha brilliant post.
    please elaborate on the type of bike(s?!) most usefull in the apocalyps.

  34. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 02.5.2014 | 9:52 am

    As davidh said going to ride ORAMM ( this year. Any other FoF in? Registration is open right now, but filling fast. They had over 300 people (out of 500 spots) sign up on the first day.

    Who wants to represent? (or just survive :) )

    The mad skills needed should be helpful in the coming zombie apocalypse!

  35. Comment by TominAlbany | 02.5.2014 | 10:26 am

    You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you.

  36. Comment by Jeff Bike | 02.5.2014 | 10:26 am

    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. and join the Zombies.

  37. Comment by zeeeter | 02.5.2014 | 10:28 am


    “My name is Zeeeter Elliott. You killed my Welsh Ancestry. Prepare to die.” :)

    “@FC Remember, Zeeter is English.” Ahem Welsh actually.

    Well OK, technically American now so I’ll let you off!

  38. Comment by Davidh-Marin,ca | 02.5.2014 | 10:46 am

    Sorry Zeeter. But welsh, that explains everything. I’m sure inconceivably means something completely different in Welsh. After all, look what they do to a poor bunny.

  39. Comment by TominAlbany | 02.5.2014 | 11:08 am

    Actually, “inconceivably” could NEVER be a Welsh word. There are vowels in it.

  40. Comment by Eric L | 02.5.2014 | 11:21 am

    The real question in my mind is whether K-Edge makes a handlebar mount for my lobotomizer?

    As for zombie pro-cyclists…I don’t think there’s any reason to worry. Their upper torsos are so spindly and arms so thin they’ll pull their arms off pretty quickly. So unless it’s zombie Peter Sagan riding a wheelie, I don’t see them as long term threats.

  41. Comment by Barefoot Rose | 02.5.2014 | 2:13 pm

    You mean, you’ll put down your rock and I’ll put down my sword and we’ll try to kill each other like civilized people?

  42. Comment by UpTheGrade, SR, CA | 02.5.2014 | 2:29 pm

    Well, I was putting off getting a dedicated gravel bike, but with this heads up it is no longer a choice. Does anyone know if there is a handlebar mount for a zombie-cutter crossbow out there?

  43. Comment by SteveB | 02.5.2014 | 4:13 pm

    I think I’m going to carry a holy hand-grenade in my seat pack. Now if I can just remember how to count to 3.

  44. Comment by zeeeter | 02.5.2014 | 4:18 pm

    DavidH – I’m assuming you mean Rarebit? That’s NOT Welsh spelling for Rabbit nor bunny (incidentally bunny would probably be spelt Bwni in Welsh!)

    If not, I’m confused by the Bunny/Welsh link! :)

    Anyway, we’re getting off track here. Back to Zombies.

  45. Comment by MC | 02.5.2014 | 4:56 pm

    Actually, since zombies are already dead they feel no pain. Thus, assuming they have ANY semblance of balance, could conceivably destroy most of us in a zombie-mortal-cycling-chase scenario. I’ve heard there are some zombies racing cat-1. I’ve also heard they are hard to beat. They simply rip the arm off any unsuspecting racer bold enough to pass and eat it as they ride (they also don’t carry water bottles, thus ride lighter than the rest of us).

    I’m never sure on my rides if I should be carrying a large wooden stake, a pistol/rifle with silver bullets, a large clove of garlic, or now zombie-destroying implements…or all of the above.

    My tool bag is gonna be quite heavy now, thanks Fatty!

  46. Comment by Eric L | 02.5.2014 | 4:58 pm

    UpTheGrade writes: Does anyone know if there is a handlebar mount for a zombie-cutter crossbow out there?

    I’m pretty sure there’s a model of Surly that’s built to hold one on a swivel and includes a quick-release quiver.

  47. Comment by Sara | 02.5.2014 | 5:37 pm

    @Kukui: Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

    @SteveB, see if this helps: Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three.

  48. Comment by spaceyace | 02.5.2014 | 6:49 pm

    UpTheGrade writes: Does anyone know if there is a handlebar mount for a zombie-cutter crossbow out there?

    See, here’s the problem. I don’t think I could ever be a good enough aim, on a moving bike, with life-or-death-situation adrenaline running through my veins, to get a decent head shot. You might. I’m going to just carry a hatchet bungied to my handlebars. Never runs out of ammo either.

  49. Comment by babble on | 02.5.2014 | 6:55 pm

    Er… what do you MEAN endlessly? We speak dork is all. :)

    Hey! I had noticed a leeeetle extra round this very middle the other day, and as I did I thought of YOU and your online wager last year. (You were so right about the need for sleep- thank you:)

    If I am going to put any weight on, it would be far preferable if it were rather north of my middle, but as THAT particular kind of development isn’t exactly natural at this age and stage of life, I was hoping to drop the extra weight entirely, and YOU were going to be my inspiration.

    Now I just don’t know what to think… Zombie apocalypse indeed!

  50. Comment by UpTheGrade, SR, CA | 02.5.2014 | 9:52 pm

    Found the perfect bike, clears a path through the zombies and also drives the wheels to outrun the Wiggins-like zombie cyclists.

  51. Comment by the Putti | 02.6.2014 | 9:02 am

    I just want you to feel you’re doing well. I hate for people to die embarrassed.

  52. Comment by Nadine | 02.6.2014 | 10:09 am

    Hey, this is quite a smart blog post, it’s witty and has a good point!

    Now let me rant a little about how unseriously we take our lives. Okay, I won’t do that, but I’d much rather want to be in a good shape before any sort of apocalypse is announced. But oh well, if this is what it takes for us to get off our behinds, then so be it.

    Thank you for the warning, my fellow. I do plan on putting on lots of weight in time for the zombie apocalypse. But it will be muscle weight! :)

  53. Comment by MC | 02.6.2014 | 11:03 am

    @upTheGrade, NOW you’re cooking with GAS! LOVE THAT BIKE!! It’s the perfect zombie-apocolypse bike! (well, except for the seat…that would have to go). And it’s front wheel drive too! Much better in slippery situations such as zombie-blood/goo/ick all over the road). I’m kind’a unsure as to what the black bars and such up above the saw is allabout tho..there appears to be more to this chain-cycle than meets the eye. Though I’d think a mod to turn the blade 90 degrees (so that it’s horizontal)…that way you could weave back and forth and the long blade would be cutting a swath thru the leigon of zombies.

  54. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 02.6.2014 | 11:53 am


    Those are Aero Bars need for speed.

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  56. Comment by Chris Jordan | 02.16.2014 | 10:59 pm

    Alright, not overly worried about Zombies but in the vein of being prepared…I’m a new Fat Cyclist (200lb), which the weight doesn’t bother me ’cause there ain’t no hills in Ohio, but since I’m new to the road. Any advice on emergency repair kit (other than always riding next to the water so I can see bubbles from the hole in my tube)?


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