Meet Heidi from Montana, the Gooseberry Yurt Vacation Winner

05.12.2014 | 9:49 am

I love doing posts like this. Posts where I get to introduce you to contest winners. Because, for some reason, pretty much every Fat Cyclist contest winner winds up being an awesome human being.

Maybe it’s cuz the kind of person who is willing to donate money to a great cause is just unlikely to not be a great person.

Hey, I’m not going to overanalyze it. I’m just going to be grateful. 

And I’m going to introduce you to Heidi from Montana, the winner of The Hammer’s Weekend at the Gooseberry Yurt fundraiser for World Bicycle Relief.

Heidi with her niece, on top of Mount Sentinel.

I’m really excited for Heidi to be the winner of this contest, for a bunch of reasons, including (but not limited to):

  • She’s donated in every single WBR fundraiser I’ve done. It’s really fun to be able to reward that kind of consistency, generosity, and kindness.
  • She’s a hiker. Heidi doesn’t ride — doesn’t even have a bike. She loves hiking. And — in a stroke of pure luck — she’s won the first contest we’ve ever done that doesn’t have a bike as a prize, or a trip to a bike-style event…but instead has a trip to a place that’s every bit as perfect for someone who loves hiking as biking. Even more perfectly, both The Hammer and I love hiking too, and are absolutely positively stoked to show off some of the amazing hiking trails at Zion National Park, as well as around Gooseberry Mesa.
  • She’s super-duper nice. I haven’t met Heidi in real life, but I’ve been watching over The Hammer’s shoulder as the two of them have traded email. I’m going to use some of that email exchange to introduce you to Heidi, but basically: she’s a kind, easygoing, and interesting person. 

So here’s a little bit about Heidi, in her own words:

Okay, now that I’ve recovered somewhat from the lovely surprise, I should thank you profusely and introduce myself.  

I’m Heidi, a yarn dyer living in Missoula Montana.  I first became acquainted with Elden’s blog quite some time back when one of his posts was listed as a favorite on Schmutzie’s Five Star Fridays, where readers could post outstanding blog entries they’d read that week.  Elden was caring for Susan, and his writing was so very eloquent.  

I’ve been a fan ever since, even though–dare I admit it?–I don’t even own a bike.  There, I said it. 

I do hike, though! I logged 118 hikes last year. The photo above was taken a few weeks ago when my “Montana Niece” took me to the top of Mount Sentinel.  (The area I usually hike is in the middle left expanse.)  Yes, I definitely felt my thighs the next day.

WBR is one of my favorite groups to donate to. This is a program that brings such obvious, positive change to people’s lives, and my hat goes off to the people who have worked so hard to make it happen. Writing a check to a big organization is one thing, but seeing the photos of people with their new bikes, well, that makes it real.  I’m in!  And hey,  just think–because of it I get to meet Fatty and the Hammer!  Life just gets better and better.

For our part, The Hammer and I are both really excited to show Heidi views like this:


And this:


A big thanks goes out to everyone who donated in The Hammer’s first big fundraiser — thanks to you, she raised enough to buy 132 bikes for kids and caregivers in Zambia!


  1. Comment by Slo Joe | 05.12.2014 | 9:55 am

    Congratulations Heidi. Enjoy the trip!!!

  2. Comment by Derek | 05.12.2014 | 9:56 am

    Congrats Heidi!

  3. Comment by RodNeeds2Ride | 05.12.2014 | 10:13 am

    Awesome! Heidi, you are going to have a BLAST with Elden and Lisa – 2 of the best people I’ve ever met.

  4. Comment by New Zealand Ev | 05.12.2014 | 10:18 am

    Congratulations Heidi!! Have a fantastic trip!!

  5. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 05.12.2014 | 12:59 pm

    Good on you Heidi! Enjoy the trip and the time with Fatty and The Hammer.

    You have some pretty wonderful country yourself up around Missoula – most of my mental images come from A River Runs Through It – and I envy you the chance to be in that part of the country. That said, you’re going to love the areas that Lisa and Elden are going to show you, and what could better than spending time with the two of them at Kenny’s yurt?

    Enjoy yourself and take good notes. We want the full story, and pictures – lots of pictures.

  6. Comment by GenghisKhan | 05.12.2014 | 1:16 pm

    Congrats Heidi!

  7. Comment by Anonymous | 05.12.2014 | 1:38 pm

    Congratulations, Heidi! It sounds like you deserve it. Have a great time and we expect a write up on your experience!

  8. Comment by KevinM_Indiana(soon to be Virginia) | 05.12.2014 | 2:00 pm

    Congrats Heidi …. Well deserved and enjoy the trip.

  9. Comment by Doug (Way Upstate NY) | 05.12.2014 | 2:39 pm

    I love it when a plan comes together! Yeah Heidi, congrats…..

  10. Comment by Clydesteve | 05.12.2014 | 3:17 pm

    Congrats, Heidi. I hope you have a great time. I can attest to you that Elden and Lisa are every bit as nice in person as they seem online. I would love to hike with them, and I am sure you will too.

    Ever notice how most people say: “Congrats!” instead of spelling it out? I wonder if their reason for doing so is the same as mine. I am too lazy to look up the spelling, and I know I can’t spell it correctly off-the-cuff.

  11. Comment by leroy | 05.12.2014 | 4:40 pm

    Congratulations Heidi!

  12. Comment by Heidi | 05.12.2014 | 6:16 pm

    Thanks, everybody! I feel so lucky to have this fantastic trip to look forward to, as well as having the opportunity to meet Lisa and Elden. Zion, here I come!

  13. Comment by Heidi | 05.12.2014 | 6:19 pm

    Oh, and cyclingjimbo, I feel very fortunate to live in Montana. I love, love it here.

  14. Comment by ScottR | 05.12.2014 | 10:14 pm

    Wow, those are some amazing views – enjoy them Heidi!

  15. Comment by advice | 05.12.2014 | 10:59 pm

    hi!,I like your writing so a lot! share we keep in touch more about your article on AOL?

    I require a specialist on this area to solve my problem.

    Maybe that’s you! Having a look forward to peer you.

  16. Comment by Tom in Albany | 05.13.2014 | 6:26 am

    Congrats, Heidi! You should ask to be taken to Angel’s Landing and The Narrows in Zion – or wherever else Elden and Lisa want to show you. But, Angel’s Landing is spectacular…

  17. Comment by Anne | 05.13.2014 | 10:19 am

    Congratulations Heidi! I also have not met Heidi in person, but I know she’s a great person! I am addicted to her yarn, it is really beautiful and soft, and have corresponded with her for over 2 years via Ravelry and e-mail. She deserves this much needed break! She dyes yarn for all of us who use knitting and crocheting as our stress relief. Have a wonderful trip Heidi!

  18. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 05.13.2014 | 10:26 am

    Heidi: You should get ahold of a Mountain Tandem and have Elden take you around. I think that would have enormous story potential…for both of you!645358d1318182265-official-cannondale-thread-tandem4.jpg

  19. Comment by Jeremy | 05.13.2014 | 11:50 am

    Mtn Tandem????
    Wow. No single track for you!

  20. Comment by Dave T | 05.13.2014 | 11:57 am

    Congratulations Heidi southern Utah is a spectacular place to go hiking and with Elden and Lisa as hosts I’m sure the trip will be fantastic.

  21. Comment by Wife#1 | 05.13.2014 | 12:55 pm

    I am SO excited for you Heidi! This is fantastic all around, and thrilled that one of the peeps to contribute to Rune’s travel journal won a prize!

    BTW – we will be able to unveil that soon! It’s back at Rune’s school and I will just say this….

    It made every other kid’s look pretty bad in comparison! And who made the fabric “book cover” for it? Nancy? That is just fabulous!!!

  22. Comment by Erin | 05.13.2014 | 3:37 pm

    Congrats, Heidi!

  23. Comment by | 05.14.2014 | 1:15 am

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    What might you suggest about your publish that you just made a few days ago?
    Any sure?

  24. Comment by bykjunkie | 05.14.2014 | 5:34 am

    Congratulations Heidi!!

  25. Comment by Tom in Albany | 05.14.2014 | 6:21 am

    Ummm, Elden. Check out the comment from anycitysportsfan… I just flashed back to your post about solicitations for your website…

  26. Comment by Heidi | 05.14.2014 | 8:57 am

    Ha! davidh-marin,ca, I don’t think I’ll be hiring you as my travel adviser any time soon…

  27. Comment by MattC | 05.14.2014 | 3:42 pm

    Heidi…good one on Davidh! (you have me chuckling out loud). Fantastic that you won, and I will be waiting with baited breath for your story out of this great trip! I’m from Montana (Helena, but I’ve been to Missoula many times…I swam AAU(swimmed?) and H.S Swim team all thru high school…we’d have meets there fairly often and would use the Grizzly’s pool). I LOVE Missoula..I could very easily live there…well, except for the job thing.

  28. Comment by Heidi | 05.15.2014 | 9:26 am

    MattC, the world gets smaller and smaller!

    I’m still grinning about Lisa raising enough for the purchase of 132 bikes, and the people who will benefit…


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