Give a Smile, Win an Incredible Cycling Weekend Full of Smiles

04.7.2014 | 9:49 pm

Last week I stumbled upon my pictures of my trip to Africa.

Two years ago, Elden and our two teenage children — Melisa and Brice — were given the opportunity to visit Zambia and see firsthand the efforts of World Bicycle Relief. As I scanned over the pictures on the computer I was reminded of their smiles.


The Zambian people have amazing smiles.


The pictures instantly brought a smile to my face. “What an amazing people,” I thought. “These people that have very little worldly possessions have the most authentic smiles I’ve ever seen.”

It’s easy to forget how truly blessed we are to live in a country that provides so much for us. Meanwhile, the people of rural Zambia consider themselves fortunate when they have clean water to drink, a clean hole in the ground for a bathroom, a roof over their heads, and a school to attend (even if its more than a three mile walk each way just to attend it).

The very real and pressing concerns they have to think about don’t even register on our conciousness. In our world, all these necessities are taken care of and taken for granted — so we can worry about more important things like fancy cars, fancy bikes and fancy places to live. 

Making a Difference

The “Power of Bicycles” is WBR’s slogan. WBR provides bikes to young Zambian girls and caregivers in rural Zambia. By providing bicycles for these young girls, we are providing them with a future.


Before receiving their bikes, they sign a contract promising to use their bike for transportation to and from school. These will enable them to spend the time it takes to walk to and from school, to spend on their studies.

Having a form of transportation allows them to be more productive in their chores around the village and lessens some of the burden placed upon them in collecting water from the well and making the trek into the market.

I also love the fact that WBR provides bikes to the caregivers of the village. As a nurse I can sympathize with the plight of these good people who are trying to care for the people in the area.


These caregivers could end up walking for hours each day and only be able to see a few people. The bicycle enables them to move between patients much quicker.

Leaving My Comfort Zone

A few months ago, Elden came to me with the idea of becoming an athlete ambassador for World Bicycle Relief. My immediate response was NO WAY! I’m a very shy, introverted person. I don’t like to be the center of attention — I’d rather fade into the background.

But the more I thought about it, the more I remembered the smiles of the people of Zambia, and I started to change my mind.

How could I pass this opportunity by? That would be the selfish thing to do. If I could possibly help bring one of those smiles I love so much to some young person’s face in Zambia, how could I pass up the opportunity? I needed to come out of my comfort zone and help!

So here I am, asking you to help me bring a smile to some young people in Zambia. Lets come out of all of our comfort zones and bring a smile to at least 120 Zambian kids by providing bicycles to them.

Smiles for Them, Smiles for You

I would like to bring a smile to one of your faces, too. Specifically, I want to take you mountain biking and/or hiking in beautiful southern Utah.

And one lucky person who donates at my fundraising page between now and the end of April is going to win an amazing weekend riding (or hiking, or running, or just enjoying the beauty of the place) at Gooseberry Mesa, staying and hanging out with Fatty and me, as we give you the full on Best-Friends-of-Fatty-and-The-Hammer treatment. 

Here’s what we’re gonna do. 

First of all, we’ll find a weekend (or possibly some weekdays — we’ll find something) that works for all of us. Probably this Autumn or next Spring, when it’s not miserably hot in Southern Utah.

Next, I will fly you out to Utah and we will spend the weekend at and around the Gooseberry Yurt. Last week, Elden and I had the opportunity to spend the weekend in the Gooseberry Yurt. Elden spent a considerable amount of time bragging it up. And I would have to agree with everything he said! What an awesome place to spend a few days.

I have to admit, though, that mountain biking on Gooseberry Mesa is NOT my favorite type of riding. I prefer to keep the skin on my arms and legs intact…not left in small quantities all over the rocks on the mesa.

But I cannot say enough about the beauty of the place. You don’t need to be a biker to enjoy it.

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I actually went on a trail run. I loved enjoying the views from the mesa as I ran along the edge.

So if you’re wondering: no…you don’t have to be an absolute technical hardcore virtuoso to enjoy a weekend at the Gooseberry Yurt.

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All you have to do is love being outside and going on walks, or hikes, or reading a good book in a beautiful, secluded, private place. 

Or If you are more my style of mountain biker and actually enjoy a climb on your bike — followed by a swooping fun descent — the gooseberry yurt is only a mere 20 minute drive to the famous Hurricane Rim Trail/Gem trailhead, Where you can enjoy a beautiful moderately technical mountain bike ride.

And we are less than an hour away from the entrance of Zion National Park, where the hiking and spectacular views cannot be oversold.

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The view from Angel’s Landing. A scary hike, but we’ll take you there if you want!

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The hike to Observation Point is unimaginably beautiful. Even Fatty couldn’t take a bad picture here.

Or if you’re like Fatty and Kenny and love riding on technical sandstone, they’ll take good care of you. I might even come along and ride too…for a little while.

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When you try tricky moves, sometimes it’s helpful to get a spot…just in case.

And we’re going to take care of food for you, too: I’ll get Fatty to boil and grill you his famous bratwurst. I’ll make a kick-butt quiche. We’ll have burgers, done right. Or if you’ve got a more vegetarian bent, we’ll have Heather cook for you.

If you need a bike, we’ll set you up with a very nice one to borrow for the trip — you won’t need to break down and ship your own. 

Basically, we’re going to take very, very good care of you and give you an incredibly fun, relaxing weekend at one of the most beautiful places you could ever imagine.

But you can’t win unless you go to my donation page and donate. And for every $5.00 you donate between now and the end of this month (April), you’ll get a chance at this prize.

So, you’re giving a Zambian girl a great opportunity — and lots of smiles — and you’re getting a shot at a weekend I promise you’re going to love.

That should put a big fat grin on your face, right?

One Last Thing

Oh, just in case you need one more reason to donate: My birthday is this week and I would love nothing more than a simple $5 donation to WBR

That would make me smile!

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  1. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 04.7.2014 | 10:19 pm

    I hope we can get the “shy and introverted” to out-fundraise the FatMan himself! How cool would that be.
    The blog entries from that would be a multi part, Bilbosian tale that would probably take us well into summer.

  2. Comment by AKChick | 04.7.2014 | 10:30 pm

    I have NEVER wanted to win a contest like I want to win this one. Sure a sweet bike would be nice, but I would much rather have this trip. Donation made and crossing all my fingers, toes and eyes that I’m the lucky winner. :)

  3. Comment by AKChick | 04.7.2014 | 10:31 pm

    Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Hammer!!!

  4. Comment by gogogo | 04.7.2014 | 10:42 pm

    yeah for introverts! would love to go running with you!
    ( i might be too scared on a mountain bike..)

  5. Comment by slo joe | 04.8.2014 | 7:15 am

    My birthday too this week, which makes me older than dirt and running water. Better than the alternative, eh? :o)

    Will be an honor to donate to WBR and winning the trip would be icing on me birthday cake!!

  6. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 04.8.2014 | 8:21 am

    I’m in. April birthdays are the BEST!

  7. Comment by Dean | 04.8.2014 | 9:01 am

    Happy Birthday! I’m more than happy to donate to the cause! You and Eldon do so much for others that I’m inspired every year during Lent to give to this cause!

  8. Comment by esteefatty | 04.8.2014 | 9:27 am

    Happy Birthday Lisa. Thanks for the work you are doing for WBR and so much more.

  9. Comment by Cheryl | 04.8.2014 | 9:53 am

    I love what you are doing for wbr.

  10. Comment by The Hammer/Lisa | 04.8.2014 | 12:12 pm

    You guys are FREAKIN’ awesome! Thanks so much for your support! Fatty’s readers are the BEST!!!

  11. Comment by spaceyace | 04.8.2014 | 1:16 pm

    Happy birthday! Donating now.

    An all-expenses-paid trip to hang with The Hammer and Fatty in a yurt and on bikes amongst such breathtaking scenery… and a vegetarian cook too? It’s almost too good to be true, but it must be fate.

  12. Comment by ScottR | 04.8.2014 | 2:10 pm

    Happy Birthday! I can’t donate much at this time, but such a perfect birthday request cannot be ignored :-)

  13. Comment by BostonCarlos (formerly NYC) | 04.9.2014 | 7:40 am

    In! $134 from me and Squish!

  14. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 04.9.2014 | 8:39 am

    @AKChick We here in Marin hope you win. We’re confident we’d hear the YIPEEEE! all the way down here.

  15. Comment by Tanner Lovelace | 04.9.2014 | 8:44 am

    For someone who considers themselves shy and introverted you’re pretty eloquent. Ok, donation done. :-) Happy birthday!

  16. Comment by T.J. Olaussen | 04.9.2014 | 9:36 am

    1 bike donated. Let’s see that smile..

  17. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 04.9.2014 | 12:45 pm

    OK, I am in, and dreaming of what we might think about doing if we are lucky enough to win this great trip. My mountain biking days are pretty much behind me (not that they ever that much with me), but the thought of getting some of those great pictures is very appealing.

    Thanks for putting together another chance for the Friends of Fatty and The Hammer ro dream big.

    Bring on the brats!

  18. Comment by Meredith | 04.9.2014 | 3:53 pm

    So, I know the point isn’t the prize. Getting into details, though, hypothetically if the winner is a wife who wanted her husband to tag along, is that possible? I assume the airfare is just for 1.

    Yep, if you’ll cover airfare for a friend / spouse / whatever, you’re welcome to bring him / her / whatever along. – FC

  19. Comment by Erin | 04.9.2014 | 5:24 pm

    I literally dreamt about winning this contest last night.

    It was not a good dream.

    I broke a cabinet door in your kitchen. I’m really, really sorry about that. I donated a bike in penance.

  20. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Guest Post from The Hammer: Caregivers and WBR | 04.28.2014 | 11:00 am

    [...] taking a break for a couple days because we’re down to the last couple days of The Hammer’s Gooseberry Yurt WBR fundraiser, and she has a more important story to tell. (And if you’re ready to donate, by the way, click [...]

  21. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » 6 Hours in Frog Hollow, Part 4: Shaking the Unshakeable | 04.30.2014 | 7:56 am

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  22. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Meet Heidi from Montana, the Gooseberry Yurt Vacation Winner | 05.12.2014 | 9:49 am

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