Thankful, 2014 Edition

11.25.2014 | 2:06 pm

A Recap Note from Fatty: In social media and the comments, a few people have asked whether my book pre-order still has the contest component going on, so I thought it might be a good idea to do a quick re-cap of the highlights and logistics of my The Great Fatsby: The Best of Volume 2 pre-order:

  • What: The pre-order is a chance for you to pre-order my new book (regular, signed, inscribed, or Kindle), as well as a very cool tecno-merino wool jersey and t-shirt, (or a discounted bundle) with delivery by Christmas (as long as you live in the US).
  • The Contest Part: Depending on what you buy (the description for each item lists how many chances that item includes), you automatically are entered to win your choice of any Ibis bike, which will be equipped with top-of-the-line SRAM components.
  • The Charitable Giving Part: 25% of all profits will go to World Bicycle Relief. And that 25% gets anonymously matched, so WBR winds up getting 50%. Which is kind of mindboggling.
  • When: The Pre-order goes through December 3.
  • Where: Click here for the complete list of items. And thank you.

Thankful, 2014 Edition

2014 has been an exceptional year for me. 

That is not, by the way, how I wrote the introductory sentence on the first or second time. Originally, I said “hard year” and then tried “challenging year.” 

But I like “exceptional year” better, and I’m thankful for a lot of it.

I am thankful for patience. There have been a lot of things that have kept me up at night this year—some of them blog-related (yes, sometimes I fret about this blog), some of them family-related, some of them career-related.

Ten years ago, any one of those things would have had me worried sick for days. I guess I’ve seen enough now, though, that I’m able to keep focused and keep moving forward, affecting what I can, accepting what I can’t. 

I don’t know if I can claim much in the way of wisdom; I’ve never gone out of my way to seek wisdom out. But I think I’ve become a little more patient—both with people and events—and I think that’s a pretty fair substitute for wisdom.

I am thankful for health and strength. I am 48.5 years old now, and I predict that I will, sometime within the next two years, turn 50. I think that ought to freak me out, but it doesn’t (this may change without notice of course). 

Why? Because at 48.5, I’m faster, stronger, tougher, and healthier than I was at 28.5. 

I get sick very rarely, and when I do, it’s never been anything serious (I don’t think I’ve ever even had the flu).

The bicycle—and my love for the bicycle—has given me this gift of health, and as someone who has seen what true illness is, I am thankful for my health.

I am thankful for my friends. I’m at the age where everyone’s busy, all the time, and it’s easy to not do much with your friends. I missed the Core Team’s Fall Moab trip this year because I needed to work on The Best of Volume 2, and I’m still disappointed. That said, I feel like some of us reconnected this year, and I’m very thankful for that.

I’m thankful for the generosity of Team Fatty. I do very little projects, and for some reason all of you magnify them into things that are very big. You’ve changed thousands of lives; I love being a part of this.

I’m thankful for my kids. And by “my kids,” I mean both kids and stepkids. I didn’t realize that it would take a while before we all found a place in the family, and I won’t claim that everything feels seamless yet, but I feel really fortunate to have any part at all in all seven of these fantastic people’s lives.

I’m thankful for Lisa. Sure, on the blog I usually call her “The Hammer,” but in real life she’s Lisa, and I count myself very fortunate to be married to someone who loves the people and activities I love too.

I hope you’ve had an exceptional year too, and I hope you have plenty to be thankful for. I’d love to read about what’s on your mind.


  1. Comment by Brian in VA | 11.25.2014 | 2:38 pm

    I’m thankful for all of those things, too, Fatty. I’m also thankful I found this blog a few years ago! It makes me smile often and that’s something for which to be thankful.

    BTW, 50 will be easy for you; you’ll be starting from a place of good health caused by a health lifestyle. I managed to get to 57.5 by changing to that, incorporating cycling and it was a slog. But I’m here, I’m better than ever!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you all of team Fatty!

  2. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 11.25.2014 | 2:47 pm

    … and Team Fatty is an exceptional community.

    Happy Thanksgiving all!

  3. Comment by spaceyace | 11.25.2014 | 3:11 pm

    All good things to be thankful for. I am thankful for:

    Good health: although not too long ago I b!#ched in the comments about a sprained ankle, I am in general good health. My ankle is healing faster than it “should” and I have decent health insurance that will get me good PT at a reasonable cost. Which leads to my other thanks…

    Resources: More and more I realize how incredibly lucky I am to have the financial resources I have: compared with the world at large of course, but even in the US I am relatively well-off. My student loan debt may at times feel crippling, and it’s hard to be the sole breadwinner while my husband is back in school, but I have a nice apartment, car, several bikes, and various other “toys.” I even have a little discretionary income for things like coffee and eating out and giving to great causes on this site. I am cognizant that this did not come from my hard work alone. I am very fortunate.

  4. Comment by NZ Ev | 11.25.2014 | 3:28 pm

    I am thankful to have found this blog and for Fatty bringing a smile to my face each day.

    I am thankful for the bike and and for each and every ride I get to enjoy on the bikes I have.

    Thanks to all the FOFs out there and Happy Thanksgiving to you all. We don’t have Thanksgiving down here in NZ so best wishes to all of you for a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

    Thanks so much to all of you and to Fatty for giving me the opportunity to amke a difference by riding and enjoying the bike!!!

  5. Comment by MLB | 11.25.2014 | 3:30 pm

    Depending on the perspective from which we look at our lives. The fact that we have the ability to be involved with cycling, and write, read, or participate in a blog like this in my mind means we should all have a LOT to be thankful for. Hopefully the things we are thankful for outweigh the difficulties in life we all have.

    I’m very thankful for this wonderful family of people with which we all share wonderful stories and experiences, even though I have never met a single one of you.

    I’m thankful for the opportunities to contribute to a few worthy causes.

    I’m thankful my family puts up with my time away while on the bike.

  6. Comment by BostonCarlos (formerly NYC) | 11.25.2014 | 3:41 pm

    I’m thankful for my Ibis and all of the amazing friends – both virtual and in-person – that I’ve met through this blog. I’m thankful for WBR and the great work that they do, and the great opportunities they’ve given me to give back. I’m super thankful that you’ve brought all of those things into my life, Elden! Thanks for being you!

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

  7. Comment by UpTheGrade, SR, CA | 11.25.2014 | 4:14 pm

    I am thankful I live in a time and place where I have the health and flexibility to get out on my bike often and ride like the wind. What a rush. And how lucky to have an entertaining, enlightening, enthusiastic, e-community of Friends-Of-Fatty to share this seriously fantastic passtime with. I live like a King from just a few generations ago.

    Happy Thanksgiving Fatty, Lisa and friends.

  8. Comment by ScottyCycles62 | 11.25.2014 | 6:42 pm

    I’m thankful that even with the #BackOfAnger that i have ai can still take KOM’s away from my friends! But I am most thankful for my girlfriend CinelliGirl being there in mind body and spirit making my life a life.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Comment by Mark in Bremerton | 11.25.2014 | 6:56 pm

    Substitute 63 for 48.5, Ann Marie for Lisa, kids for kids, and that about sums it up for me, too. Plus, of course, I’m thankful for your blog; with the humor, insight, and giving it has brought to my life. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

  10. Comment by Kukui | 11.25.2014 | 8:07 pm

    I’m so thankful for my family. Never has there been a more crazy, loud, rowdy bunch of folks who understand and put up with me than them.

    I’m particularly thankful for my daddy who is turning fifty tomorrow. He lives and breathes for his family and we adore him for it.

    I’m thankful for my bike. Fatty got me thinking about what life was like before it and what life would be without it, and I would much prefer to keep riding my bikes, thank you. =)

    I’m thankful for this blog and the community that comes with it. This blog helped me sort out that it’s okay to be fat (or not), and it’s okay to ride a bike (yep), and it’s okay to ride a bike while fat (or not). I’m thankful that this is an avenue to do some good that I can wholeheartedly trust in.

    And I’m thankful for Fatty’s mashed potato recipe… And the banana cream parfait recipe. (My daddy’s a pastry chef and he’s trying the banana parfait recipe as a Thanksgiving challenge.)

    Happy Thanksgiving, all! =)

  11. Comment by AUChefDave | 11.26.2014 | 7:32 am

    I’m thankful for another day! Each one has it’s own life of ups and downs. After not having a job and struggling for the last few years, between the bike and this blog, my wife was getting tired of seeing me. I hope to be able to be more active in your charities this coming year as I am a former writer for you.
    Again thanks for all that you do!

  12. Comment by MattC | 11.26.2014 | 8:08 am

    Yep…always a joy to read your Thanksgiving post Fatty. Gosh how time flies…the years are slipping by quicker and quicker.

    I’m very thankful for my wonderful wife and family…as they all put up with me despite my flaws (ok…I’m just being humble there…actually I’m perfect). I’m thankful that I can still ride a bike, and I’m also REALLY thankful that I wasn’t bit by the double-century bug that my brother Greg was…how many is that this year now Greg?

    I’m also quite thankful for our huge Friends of Fatty family…seems no matter where you go, there WE are…and I really love that!

    I truly look forward to meeting MORE of you in the years to come. We (and by We I mean YOU Fatty) really need to come up with some kind of FoF group-ride to replace the LIVESTRONG century that we used to do…that was always the highlight of my cycling year, as so many of us FoF’s showed up year after year. I’d think something associated with WBR would be awesome, as it seems to be OUR new cause.

    Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

  13. Comment by Bart the Clydesdale | 11.26.2014 | 10:06 am

    I will keep this to cycling centered gratitude.
    I am thankful for the clarity and peace that riding brings.
    I am thankful for a wife who encourages me to ride, evidently she can see the joy it brings to me.
    I am thankful for the cycling community. For a sport that is so individualistic in nature I sure have meet a great group of people through riding. What a great unexpected blessing.
    I am thankful for this blog it shows me that I am not alone in letting cycling form such a large part of who I am.
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and may this coming year bring even more reasons for gratitude to each of you.

  14. Comment by Shugg McGraw | 11.26.2014 | 10:39 am

    Sounds like wisdom to me. Thanks Fatty.

  15. Comment by Lin | 11.26.2014 | 11:00 am

    Eldon, at some point could you give us an update on your son’s condition (the one with depression)? My 18-year-old son has recently been diagnosed with depression, and while we’re all doing well (as well as can be expected, and even great at times), it’s kind of crippling us. I fear things are going to get much worse before they get better, and in my darkest moments I fear they won’t get better.
    I draw comfort hearing from others families how they’ve made it through to “the other side” or just how they’re coping with things as they are.
    Thanks, and best wishes to all of you!
    Lin in Wyoming

  16. Comment by warren g | 11.26.2014 | 11:19 am

    I am grateful for being able to let go. Let me explain, back track to a previous blog post, and then dovetail.

    Bikes are fun, but snowboarding has been my favorite endorphin releasing endeavor for the last 20 years. Last year snowboarding was more difficult related to a minor health issue so I rode my bike more in the winter. Then I rode the bike more during the summer. I will ride it more this winter too.

    As long as our hobbies are myriad and diverse, we don’t have to hold onto them too tightly. If bicycling and snowboarding become too challenging, golf is a great waste of a day. I hear shuffleboard even has a world league forming thus bringing the formal level of competitive organization shuffleboard deserves. Ok maybe that’s not the best example. BASE jumping, I have heard, can become an all-encompassing passion.

    Back to the point, I am grateful that my family and friends enjoy bicycling and spending time together too. If that no longer becomes the case, i’ll get my kids hooked on shuffleboard.

    Finally I am grateful that there are people, like WBR, helping people. I am also grateful there are people, like Eldon and Lisa, who help people help people. To show my appreciation, while making donations in my family members names to WBR, I am also going to make a donation in Lisa’s name, because I know the writer of this blog would like that.

  17. Comment by Byron | 11.26.2014 | 3:09 pm

    I’m also grateful for all that you mention, although I must admit that cycling does not (yet!) play as large a role in my life. And for the (almost!) daily smile your blog brings me here…at work… Gotta go now!

  18. Comment by David | 11.26.2014 | 10:35 pm

    Wisdom is overrated when you have prophecy.
    Fatty, you foreshadow. Well at least you cast a very large shadow.

    The experiences you have help me look at the future with hope and joy. For this I am thankful.

    Cancer continues to rage, but your vision of life is fighting back. Thanks

  19. Comment by John | 11.29.2014 | 4:11 am

    Fatty, I am most thankful for my wonderful family and my great crew. I am also thankful for this blog. It is a little mind-vacation as I sit out here in the Persian Gulf dreaming about riding a real bike again. Happy Thanksgiving! – John

  20. Comment by David | 11.29.2014 | 11:07 pm

    Thank you John for your service. Your sacrifice provides me and my family with the safety and security to enjoy the ride.


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