All’s Awesome That Ends Awesome (And This Does In Fact End Awesome)

09.11.2014 | 10:40 am

A Note from Fatty: If you already know what this is about and how it works and now just want the link to donate, just click here to go to the fundraising page.

Things were not looking good. Not good at all. But now they’re looking good. For me, and for the GranFondo. And — most especially — for you.

To catch you up, things started getting ugly early this week when I said that I won’t be able to go to Levi’s GranFondo this year. The BikeMonkey guys — in a typical mega-company aggressive move — reacted by telling me that if I’m not coming to their party, I needed to reimburse them for certain…former indiscretions.

The conversation continued in Twitter, where I tried to come to reasonable terms.

The Bike Monkey bureaucrats would not budge.

Always trying to collaborate and drive to consensus, I tried again:

They continued to not budge.

I admit, I became desperate and made a suggestion I am not proud of.

Even that would not sway them.

Last-Ditch Appeal

I could tell I wasn’t getting anywhere with Bike Monkey, nor was I likely to. So I sent a message to Levi Leipheimer, hoping he could make them see reason.

It took a little back and forth, but eventually he relented.

To which I replied:

Because I did, in fact, have a plan. A very good plan.

A plan I think you’re going to like.

A Conversation With Levi

I called Levi. (Yes, I have his phone number, which he is none too happy about. But that’s beside the point.) The conversation went like this.

Me: So the Bike Monkey guys are invoicing me for around $34,000.

Levi: Yeah.

Me: That’s a lot of money.

Levi: Yeah.

Me: You know that I don’t have that kind of money, right? Not even close?

Levi: Yeah.

Me: Those guys at Bike Monkey have hearts of stone.

Levi: Yeah.

Me: And I’m pretty sure you do, too.

Levi: Yeah.

Screenshot 2014 09 11 09 28 30

Me: But your wife, Odessa, on the other hand, seems like a genuinely good person. Someone who volunteers a ton of her time for a really amazing charity: Forget Me Not Farm. Where they bring together both kids and animals that have been abused, and help them heal each other?

Levi: Yeah.

Me: That’s pretty incredible. In fact, that’s amazing. I’d love to be a part of a program like that. 

Levi: Yeah.

Me: I can hear “Judge Judy” on in the background. You’re not even listening, are you?

Levi: Yeah.

Me: So I could pretty much propose anything and you’d agree to it right now, right?

Levi: Yeah.

Me: How about this, then. Instead of me paying back Bike Monkey, how about we do a fundraiser for Forget Me Not Farm, instead?

Levi: Yeah.

Me: I’m recording this you know; you won’t be able to get out of this once you commit. So you’re in?

Levi: Yeah.

Me: OK. So here’s what I’m thinking we do. We have people donate multiples of $5 to my GranFondo fundraising page, with each $5 getting them a chance at the prize. The more you donate, the better your chance at winning.

Yeah: Levi.

Me: The prize is going to need to be awesome, though. Something crazily cool. Something that knocks people off their feet. Something that ropes you and Bike Monkey into doing most of the work, leaving my readers and me to just donating some money and then winning a cool prize. One that Bike Monkey provides at their expense, not mine.

Levi: Yeah.

Me: Hey, it’s been great talking with you. I’m going to get off the phone now and tell my readers what the prize will be, OK? 

Levi: Yeah.

And then we hung up. Or at least, I hung up. 

Levi may still be on the phone.

Race, Ride and Road Trip With Fatty and Levi

Boggs is not just a bike race. It’s three bike races: A hill climb. An Eight-Hour Race. And a Super D. And it’s in a spectacular location.

Screenshot 2014 09 11 10 02 01

I’ve wanted to do it ever since I’ve known it exists. And now I’m going to get to. 

And so — if you win — are you. 

But that leaves us with a problem: who will be the third member on our team when we do the eight-hour race?

Levi Leipheimer, that’s who.


That’s right. The winner of this contest will be flown to Oakland or San Francisco, California, where you’ll be driven to Santa Rosa. We’ll hang out. Then you, me, and Levi will load up into an RV, and we’ll go road-tripping to Boggs.

You’ll be entered in all three events, though the only one I care about is that you will race with Levi and me in the eight-hour event.

And here’s the cool thing: I guarantee that we will win our category…because we will be racing in our own category. 

That’s right. I’m guaranteeing you a podium spot in an eight-hour relay race. No matter how fast you are. Or how slow. Honestly, neither Levi nor I really care. We’re just looking forward to having fun.

Let’s Get Specific

So, to be clear, here’s what the prize of the “Race with Levi and Fatty” contest looks like:

  • Round-trip travel for one to and from SFO or OAK from any destination in the contiguous 48 states
  • Transfers to and from SFO or OAK to Santa Rosa lodging
  • RV rental, camp fees, and gas from Friday, May 1 to Sunday May 3
  • Race entry to all three events (Hill Climb, 8-Hour Race, Super D)
  • 8-Hour event on a team with Levi and Fatty
  • Groceries at Boggs (3 days food and drink)
  • Event t-shirt
  • Medal, poster, rider meal
  • Big delicious beers
  • Bike Rental
  • Pie — lots and lots of pie

Seriously, this might be the coolest — and is certainly the most unique — prize I have ever put together. 

But What If You Don’t Mountain Bike AT ALL?

Like I said, neither Levi nor I are really out for blood (though I reserve the right to change my attitude when the heat of the battle is upon me) in this race. We don’t care if you’re a near-pro or a novice. We’re here for the fun of it. 

But if you just don’t want to do an MTB event at all, you should still enter this contest. Because you can swap this prize out for a 2015 trip to Levi’s GranFondo, instead, with equivalent level of luxury. Like, they’ll fly you out, put you up in a hotel, set you up with the whole VIP experience. 

So, roadies, you have no excuse. Whatever way you go, we’ve got you covered.

Donate NOW

So. Go donate. You’ll be helping an amazing cause (the GranFondo supports a number of great causes, but in this case we’re specifically raisin money for Forget Me Not Farms). 

And good luck. I’m looking forward to racing with you.

And Levi will look forward to it too I’m sure, as soon as he finds out that he is.




  1. Comment by MikeL | 09.11.2014 | 10:47 am

    If you do not come up with $34,000 in donations will you be liable for the difference?

    I will be in later when I get to a different computer.

  2. Comment by Sam Dalton | 09.11.2014 | 10:47 am

    Donation number 1 (other than Fatty himself) from me. A great cause, sadly I am in the UK so no prizes for me, but hey I like to support good things!

  3. Comment by Liz M. | 09.11.2014 | 11:05 am

    Alright, I’m in. Although I’m not sure what category you would be thinking of, Fatty — pro-am-embarrassing?

  4. Comment by UpTheGrade, SR, CA | 09.11.2014 | 11:08 am

    Awesome prize – riding with a former top Pro and Fatty in the fabulous Bogg’s MTB event. Fatty, your creativity in shirking your responsibilities is only topped by the Bike Monkey guys generosity in setting Levi up for this!

    And its all for an excellent and deserving cause – Forget-me-not Farms. And there’s pie :-)

    I’m drooling already, …and donating.

    Thank you! – FC

  5. Comment by UpTheGrade, SR, CA | 09.11.2014 | 11:14 am

    Hey, wouldn’t it be super cool if Specialized or someone kicked in a bike to ride/keep for this prize. Just sayin….@iamspecialized

    I’d call the “ride” part highly probable. the “to keep” part…well, it never hurts to ask. – FC

  6. Comment by DavidV | 09.11.2014 | 11:31 am

    Fatty, great prize. The last few days of posts just felt like the WWE to me, the theatrics didn’t do it for me. I’m happy to donate, and would love to “race” with the two of you, but maybe less ‘conflict’ next time you announce a cool contest.

  7. Comment by Corrine | 09.11.2014 | 11:33 am

    I’m in. Not that I ever win anything but it looks like a lot of fun. Even if we don’t get on the podium!

  8. Comment by DavidV | 09.11.2014 | 11:34 am

    Sorry, forgot to ask, is this open to Canadians assuming I can get to a US city to fly?

  9. Comment by Susie H | 09.11.2014 | 11:35 am

    hmmm, I have actually ridden in this area, so I guess I’d know what I was getting into? Who am I kidding, I would of course give this to my husband, should I win…;-)

  10. Comment by Susie H | 09.11.2014 | 11:39 am

    but to be clear? i’d definitely be in for the ‘big delicious beers!’

  11. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 09.11.2014 | 11:58 am

    As always you don’t disappoint. Though we may have to form some FoF Teams to ‘race’ against you.

    I’m already thinking of asking The Hammer to captain a competitor. DaveT, ChrisD,

    YannB are you ready? Boggs is an very fun place to ride and race. Scooting past the shooting range puts little extra ‘kick’s your climb, but rest assured Lycra is not in season in May.

    This year Boggs, can Downieville be far away?

  12. Comment by Steven Nichols | 09.11.2014 | 12:22 pm

    I’m in. And since I am a fat cyclist too, I am a perfect team mate….


  13. Comment by Doug (Way Upstate NY) | 09.11.2014 | 12:37 pm

    @david, if I had to guess, Boggs is the same weekend as the Boston Marathon. (Am I finally making the connection on your clue Fatty?)

    That’s the connection! But Lisa and I got our wires crossed; we thought that because Boston and Boggs were the same weekend this year, we thought they’d be the same weekend next year. So now she’s deciding whether she wants to race the St. George marathon that weekend, or come to Boggs. Personally, I don’t see how it’s even a choice. – FC

  14. Comment by yannb | 09.11.2014 | 12:56 pm

    @davidh, I would have to dust off my mountain bike. hmmm

  15. Comment by Maggi | 09.11.2014 | 1:02 pm

    @Doug (Way Upstate NY): Boston Marathon is in April. Boggs appears to be in early May.

  16. Comment by Andy@wdw | 09.11.2014 | 1:30 pm

    I don’t mountain bike. Nothing against it really. But here in Florida I would have to drive hundreds of miles to find a climb greater than 200 feet! No, really.

    But should I win, I’m totally picking the Boggs trip! How could I ever pass up the chance to use, for the rest of my life, the phrase “my former teammate, Levi Leipheimer.”

    I can just see myself, 50 years from now, sitting in a rocking chair in the old folks home, saying (several times a day, probably) “Did I ever tell you about that time Fatty, Levi, and I just crushed our category at Boggs?l

  17. Comment by AKChick | 09.11.2014 | 1:33 pm

    Boo Hoo. Alaskans are out for prizes. :( I’ll still probably donate because it’s such an awesome cause. What is the deadline to donate? Is the Fondo this weekend? I’m way behind on the blog – darn work and personal life stuff.

  18. Comment by Ken G | 09.11.2014 | 1:33 pm

    I liked when Yeah said “Levi”…

  19. Comment by warren g | 09.11.2014 | 1:43 pm

    Ill donate as soon as i find a cc thats not maxed out. donation to forget me not farms and subsequent entry in contest= 5 bucks, driving from reno to boggs =100 bucks, being able to talk about the time you put the hammer down to win the 8 hr endurance race even though your team mates levi leipheimer , and the multiaward winning blogger fatty, didnt really have it that year= priceless

  20. Comment by RodNeeds2Ride | 09.11.2014 | 2:10 pm

    That is SO like Bike Monkey! And Levi! And Fatty!
    Sheesh, better go donate…

    I’ll bring the donuts.

  21. Comment by ClydeinKS | 09.11.2014 | 2:16 pm

    I will be in and looking forward to renting a MTB to allow some possible air time that I haven’t since since building ramps for my salvaged and pieced together BMX bike as a child. Granted, my road bike has seen some air but the results were never as good as I see this being! You’ve outdone yourself again Fatty, incredible event and prize! And definitely it wouldn’t hurt to ask on the keep aspect of that ride!

  22. Comment by Derek | 09.11.2014 | 2:16 pm

    You had me at “our own category”.


  23. Comment by Fat Cathy | 09.11.2014 | 2:20 pm

    This is your best contest yet!

  24. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 09.11.2014 | 2:41 pm

    Now that The Hammer has things worked out, maybe we can get TWO CONTESTS!
    (make a challenge of the challenge)

    The Hammer, The Queen of Pain, and you (lucky prize winner)
    against those pesky brothers:


  25. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 09.11.2014 | 2:42 pm

    (I’m sure he can fix that) sorry.

  26. Comment by rohit | 09.11.2014 | 2:58 pm

    donation made! time to start crossing fingers and rubbing rabbit feet.

  27. Comment by BostonCarlos (Formerly NYC) | 09.11.2014 | 3:55 pm

    dude! sick prize. Will donate shortly… I like Odessa’s charity. Super awesome stuff. I hope I win, but I may try to come out anyways :)

  28. Comment by Corrine | 09.11.2014 | 4:08 pm

    @AKChick I figure I’m donating because I’ll use mileage to get to Seattle then the rest would be paid for from there. Right, Fatty?

  29. Comment by J | 09.11.2014 | 8:07 pm


    On a side note, you had, at one time, thought of sacrificing your wife’s bikes in leu of $34k, failing to realize that your wife could KILL YOU??!? Sounds desperate. Go apologies to your wife with chocolates, flowers, and a better spot for her bike in the stable.

  30. Comment by J | 09.11.2014 | 8:08 pm

    *sigh, autocorrect got me.

  31. Comment by Tom in Albany | 09.12.2014 | 5:12 am

    This one’s too good to pass up!!! I even have enough time to get out of shape and train up again!!

  32. Comment by Doug (Way Upstate NY) | 09.12.2014 | 6:30 am

    I’m in. @davidh is pestering me to come out west to ride, so I need to win this.

  33. Comment by Doug (Way Upstate NY) | 09.12.2014 | 6:32 am

    BTW. I think the QOP, Hammer team idea is genius. Genius! But I think it should be boys vs girls. :)

  34. Comment by Christina | 09.12.2014 | 7:53 am

    Dear Fatty,

    If I win, how should I decide which one of you has to slap his respective butt to inspire me to go faster?


  35. Comment by peter | 09.12.2014 | 8:07 am

    Fatty, Can us Canadians enter? If upon winning, we take care of getting to SFO?

    Yep, if you’ll get to the US, we’ll take care of the rest. – FC

  36. Comment by Chad | 09.12.2014 | 9:10 am

    Best. Prize. Ever.

  37. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 09.12.2014 | 10:38 am

    @Doug(should we call you Sparticus?)
    I do hope you win, We’d loe to show you around.

    As for the Pro Women’s Team I ‘dope slapped’ myself last night when realized that team should be Lisa, Odessa Gunn, and the women’s prize winner. Spouse on spouse battle! I see a TV Series in the making.

    Handicapping: In the interest of fairness I further suggest that Levi and Fatty have to ride with a basket on their bike with one of Levis small dogs within. That will force Fatty to consider the dilemma of ‘Winning at all Costs” vs answering Levi and Odessa when they ask “where’s my dog?”

  38. Comment by New Zealand Ev | 09.12.2014 | 12:56 pm

    I’m in. I haven’t been back to the states for quite a while, so if I win it would be a great excuse for a trip back to visit family and friends that I have not seen in many years. I could even sell that to my partner. So donation done and fingers crossed cause if I win I will be going. It would be awesome to have the chance to ride with Fatty and Levi. What a fantastic opportunity!!

  39. Comment by AKChick | 09.12.2014 | 4:57 pm

    Donation made. I love the cause and I love that Levi and Odessa have adopted it so we can help contribute to the mission. I’m going to follow Corinne’s advice, if I should win (HUGE if there), I would use mileage to get to Seattle and then have the airfare from there picked up. I am not a mountain biker, but I would much rather have one on one time with Fatty and Levi (PLEASE SAY THE HAMMER WILL COME TOO!)even though I’m slower than molasses in spring. I’ll just tie a rope around both your waists and you can pull me. :) I’d love to participate in the Gran Fondo but to sit around with a beer or glass of wine and hear the battle stories – priceless. :)

  40. Comment by Fellowfattychris | 09.12.2014 | 5:05 pm

    Fatty, great cause! Can’t wait to win this one. Hope to see you at the race tomorrow.

  41. Comment by Doug (way upstate NY) | 09.12.2014 | 7:36 pm

    @davidh, If Lisa and the QOP were on a different team it would VERY much be a race, not a ride.

  42. Comment by Corrine | 09.12.2014 | 11:35 pm

    Hey, the local paper did a write up about my upcoming 100 MoN that I’m doing tomorrow! Check it out! Write up by me to follow after I finish. . . if I finish. Of course, now that everybody in Fairbanks knows about it, I HAVE to finish.

  43. Comment by bykjunkie | 09.12.2014 | 11:35 pm

    All I saw was BEER and PIE! I’m in!

  44. Comment by Liz M. | 09.15.2014 | 9:49 am

    @ Corrine — great writeup! How did your race go?

  45. Comment by Marshmallow | 09.15.2014 | 8:34 pm

    I am in! You had me at “no matter how slow you are.” I can’t resist such a great prize–um, charity. I mean that I care much more about the charity than I do my desire to meet and ride alongside Fatty and Levi. (Okay, I’m selfish. But it’s a really great prize!)

  46. Comment by Cyclist Kabir | 09.16.2014 | 5:15 am

    Pretty system,I wanna to denote here. How about if I give you? Let me clear I really want to hear from you.

    Cyclist Kabir

  47. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Guest Post: Hiking with Heidi, Winner of the Gooseberry Yurt Vacation Contest | 09.25.2014 | 9:00 am

    [...] a great chance to remind you that I’ve got a new contest going on right now — a chance to come race on a team with Levi Leipheimer and me. This contest — which benefits Forget Me Not Farm — ends a week from today, so you better go [...]

  48. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » An Open Letter to the Eventual Winner of the “Race on the Fatty/Levi Team” at Boggs | 09.29.2014 | 1:09 pm

    [...] off, I should probably remind you: you have only a few more days to enter the contest to win a trip to Northern California. The one that is benefitting the Forget Me Not Farm. The contest ends Thursday at 11:55pm PT, [...]


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