Fatty’s Book Club 1.0: Fat Tire Flyer

01.8.2015 | 9:57 pm

NewImageYou can tell when someone is in love. And I’m not talking about first-blush, first-kiss, first-sight love here. I’m talking about a long term relationship. One that has stood the test of time.

You can tell when someone has been in love long enough to have history, kids and grandkids, and a lot of stories. 

You have to respect that kind of love.

And that is the kind of love that shines through in Charlie Kelly’s Fat Tire Flyer: Repack and the Birth of Mountain Biking.

This is the history of the first days of mountain biking, told by Charlie Kelly, one of the guys who was right there for it from day one. 

And Fat Tire Flyer will be the first book we read and discuss in the new, monthly “Fatty’s Book Club.”

There’s no membership dues or anything like that. You just need to get, read, and talk about the cycling book I’m going to choose each month or so.

Getting the Book

This idea of an online cycling book club is something I’ve been tossing around for a long time. With the huge number of really great cycling books that have come out recently, I’ve decided to make it happen. 

First of all, you’re going to need the book. I talked with VeloPress, the publisher of Fat Tire Flyer, and asked them to give us a deal on this book. They’ve generously offered to give you 25% off if you buy Fat Tire Flyer together with Rusch To Glory from the VeloPress site, using the REPACKFATTY discount code (this code good only from now ’til January 19).

[As an aside, I highly recommend Rusch to Glory, and have already done a chat with the author about it, which you can watch here.]

Reading the Book

Once you’ve got the book, you ought to read it. And maybe read it with an eye toward talking about it. 

And plan on doing your reading at home (or wherever you keep books), because this is a hefty, hardbound book. It’s the size of a coffee-table book, really, and maybe even looks a little bit intimidating, with how big and heavy it is (3.6 pounds, according to my bathroom scale).

But don’t be intimidated by it. It’s got a lot of pictures—definitely one of the things I’m enjoying about it—and it reads very easily. Plus, about 20% of the book’s 260+ pages is appendix and index. 

So you’ll get through it.

Talking About the Book

On Tuesday, February 10, at 11:00am PT / 2:00pm ET, we’re going to get together online and talk about this book, just like in a real-world book club.

And I’m really pleased to announce that the author, Charlie Kelly, will be joining us for this conversation. I’ll have questions for him, and I’ll hope you will too. 

I’ll have details in the near-ish future about how to register and participate. I will be limiting the number of people who will be able to join in live, so you’ll definitely want to get on board early.

If, however, you’re unable to join the call, you won’t be out of luck. I’ll be recording a video of the conversation, which I’ll post on Vimeo. I’ll also be making an audio-only version available as a podcast.

I’m really looking forward to trying this cycling book club idea out. I hope you’ll help me make it a success.

PS: Bonus Homework: Watch Klunkerz, and read my review of it (along with Charlie’s rebuttal to my review) from back in 2009.


  1. Comment by hkeylin | 01.8.2015 | 10:08 pm

    REPACKFATTY…Isn’t that what happens every fall?

    Alas, yes. – FC

  2. Comment by Mal | 01.9.2015 | 4:43 am

    Love the concept Fatty but not working for those of us not in the US. Be good if books could be shipped Down Under as well …

    Dave at VeloPress replies below, but I’ll also add that you might be able to find Fat Tire Flyer at your country’s version of Amazon (or whatever online bookseller you use). -FC

  3. Comment by KenKoz | 01.9.2015 | 6:50 am

    Sounds like a great book with great reviews so far. Picked it up at Amazon with my Prime subscription (http://goo.gl/IGYWeZ)

    Yep, if you’re just buying the one book and have a Prime subscription, that’s definitely the affordable way to go. Good call. – FC

  4. Comment by Miles Archer | 01.9.2015 | 8:16 am

    Is there a Kindle or other electronic version available? I looked and didn’t see one on Amazon.

    Dave replied below, but this is much more of a big ol’ coffee table book with a cool layout and a ton of pictures built into the layout of the thing. I’m personally a big fan of the Kindle, but this is one book where it wouldn’t really work. – FC

  5. Comment by Fat Bike Racer | 01.9.2015 | 9:52 am

    Great idea. Bad start. This is like a book book and I’d have to actually pick it up, carry it, wait for it to ship! I will send a copy of this comment via fax.

  6. Comment by Dave Trendler | 01.9.2015 | 10:22 am

    Fat Tire Flyer has a ton of photos and a large trim, so I’m not sure we’ll convert it to the e-book format since most e-book readers would have trouble displaying the book properly.

    Rusch to Glory is available as an e-book in 40 countries.

    Both books should be available from our Australian distributor BA Gear and from our UK distributor Cordee.

    Dave Trendler

  7. Comment by davidh-Marin,ca | 01.9.2015 | 10:49 am

    Would still like to see you ‘race’ Charlie and Mr Fisher on Repack come May.

    We could set you up with a single speed to climb Repack as well, ’cause that’s your ’style’!

    They would crush me on the descent. I think I could hang on the climb. – FC

  8. Comment by Dave Trendler | 01.9.2015 | 10:55 am

    Today might be the best day ever to race Gary Fisher.

    Seen this?


    Dave Trendler

  9. Comment by Mefly | 01.9.2015 | 11:05 am

    Enjoyed Rusch to Glory. Fat tire flyer looks good too but if it’s not an ebook no thanks.

  10. Comment by Bart the Clydesdale | 01.9.2015 | 1:39 pm

    Chalk up another Amazon Prime customer, I wonder if ‘Fat Tire Flyer’ will be climbing the charts at Amazon as a result of being chosen for the book club? Fatty may have created a bike culture book club effect, a niche Oprah book club effect as it were.

  11. Comment by Brian | 01.9.2015 | 3:35 pm

    This book is at my local library. Maybe it will be at other libraries also.

  12. Comment by Tom | 01.12.2015 | 5:44 pm

    This comment is unrelated to the book club (which sounds cool*). Have you found that your trainer setup has motivated you to ride your trainer more in the off season? If so, do you think it has more to do with the fact that the trainer is setup and ready to ride or with the training plan you’re using?

    *It would be cooler if my three year old and seven month old gave me more time to read, but that’s a problem of my own making.

  13. Comment by Bacmapei | 01.16.2015 | 6:02 pm

    Just a comment for Canadian Friends of Fatty. Ordered this book on Tuesday from Amazon.ca and I picked it up from the post office this afternoon(Friday). Regular free shipping – didn’t use Prime. It is a massive piece of literature-size and weight of a college textbook!

  14. Comment by Shugg McGraw | 01.20.2015 | 7:05 am

    Oof, it’s too expensive. And about mountain biking. I bought Maglia Rosa instead.

  15. Comment by Ruby | 01.25.2015 | 12:40 am

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  16. Comment by Cactus Fantastic | 02.17.2015 | 3:25 pm

    Any word on the rescheduled date of book club? I put off reading my Many Book Club assignment to get this one done first.


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