03.18.2015 | 11:53 am


A “Don’t Forget to Buy a Jersey” Note from Fatty: The 2015 Fat Cyclist gear pre-order is in full swing. But this isn’t just a pre-order. No indeed. This is a full-on awesome way for you to make a huge difference in people’s lives, because 50% of the proceeds of everything in this pre-order is going to World Bicycle Relief.

Yes, that’s right, you’re simultaneously getting some outrageously nice, Italian-made cycling clothes and you’re making it possible for a child in Africa to get to school, get water, and improve her job opportunities.

That’s pretty darned cool.

Click here for details on all the gear, or click here to go right to my gear catalog.


Like I do about thirty thousand times per day, I was checking my phone, deleting email that I had no intention of reading.

This email consists mostly of press releases about Kickstarters for revolutionary bike products, inquiries about advertising on the site, and pitches for “guest posts.” 

Almost none of this email, sadly, is offers to give me bicycles for free.

“Almost” being an important key word in the above sentence.

So this email caught my eye: 


Like many people, I had in fact entered a contest sponsored by RideBiker Alliance and Cannondale a few weeks ago. But I don’t win drawings. No. I’m the guy who tells other people they win.

So this had to be clever spam. Or some other kind of scam. Right?

Still, there was a phone number, and — after checking to make sure the area code wasn’t to some kind of offshore number where I’d be billed $17.95 per hour — I called, acutely aware for the first time that probably every single person who gets a “you won” email and phone number from me must go through the same set of suspicions.

But it was real. The guy on the other end of the line — who sounded as excited as I always feel when winners call me to find out if this is real — assured me that I had in fact been selected at random to win my choice of a Cannondale Scalpel or FS-I. 

I got off the phone and walked into the kitchen, stunned. 

“I’m pretty sure,” I said, “that I’ve just won a bike.”

And then I spent the night trying to decide which of these two bikes — the Scalpel 29 Carbon 3 and the F-SI Carbon 2 — I wanted more.

And to be honest, I am still not absolutely positively certain. I’ve given a tentative response, but have another day or two to change my mind. I welcome your suggestions in the comments.


I confess to harboring doubts. Even after the phone call, I thought it was possible that I had been fooled. That I had been tricked into revealing personal information I shouldn’t have and now was about to have my bank account drained. (Our family’s just a little sensitive on this issue because we actually were victims of identity theft on a pretty serious scale just a few months ago.)

But then, yesterday afternoon, friends started forwarding this email to me, along with the note “DID YOU SERIOUSLY JUST WIN A BIKE?” 

Screenshot 2015 03 17 16 53 15

So yes, it’s officially official. The guy who gives away bikes (I no longer have any idea how many bikes I’ve given away in the lifetime of this blog, but would guess the number is close to 25 or 30) in drawings for good causes…just won a bike, in a drawing, for a good cause.

Karma is awesome.

I’m Keeping It

As you no doubt know, I’m an athlete ambassador for World Bicycle Relief for 2015, and so right now I’m putting pretty much everything I think of through the “how can I use this to help WBR?” filter.

For example, WBR athlete ambassadors get — as a very awesome perk — to pick out a bike to keep. But I’ll be giving that bike away as part of a contest (more about that soon).

So, as you can imagine, upon finding that I was about to get a brand new Cannondale Scalpel or F-SI, I asked myself, “Should I give this away, make it part of a contest?”

And then I remembered: several times, people who have won bikes from me have suggested that they were going to re-contest their prize bikes. And each time, I’ve asked them to please not do that. That when a bike manufacturer gives me a bike to give away, the thing they hopefully get out of that is great publicity from a happy winner.

So — winner’s guilt out of the way — I’m very happy to say that this bike will not be part of a contest. It’s mine. I’m keeping it.

And I’m incredibly stoked to get it and ride it.

One Down, Four to Go


The RideBiker Alliance is a pretty amazing program: get people and companies to work together to support bike clubs across the US. And Cannondale is being very awesome about supporting RideBiker by giving away five bikes with them (mine was just the first!). In fact, they’re giving one away in conjunction with the next four US Cup Pro XC races.

So allow me to recommend you take a moment to learn more about RideBiker, and to enter the contest:  Click here

PS: I seriously am still considering how amazingly surreal this is.


  1. Comment by Tom in Albany | 03.18.2015 | 12:10 pm

    This couldn’t have happened to a more deserving individual. Well, maybe, possibly, Mother Theresa would have been more deserving. And, perhaps, there are others of her ilk. Yet, still, this IS fitting.


    Good luck with your selection. My Mtn Bike is like 14 or 15 years old so, I’m no help!

  2. Comment by NZ Ev | 03.18.2015 | 12:17 pm

    Congratulations!!!!! That is fantastic news. Enjoy the new ride!!!!

  3. Comment by MattC | 03.18.2015 | 12:17 pm

    A friend had emailed me the link showing YOU were the winner of the first bike just this morning (I commented on yesterday’s post about it)…how very cool for you Fatty! An WHAT A BIKE! As with ALL the bike giveaways (usually yours), I’m GREEN with ENVY! (Cannondale Green that is), Jealous jealous jealous! but happy for you. And jealous. But mostly happy. Mostly.

  4. Comment by BostonCarlos (formerly NYC) | 03.18.2015 | 12:18 pm

    Congrats! Isn’t it just the coolest feeling finding out that you won? I had a similar reaction when you told me. Thought for sure you were joking or your account had been hacked or something. Super stoked for you bud. You should celebrate by coming to the bay area this weekend and riding with me and the Bay area FoF contingent!

  5. Comment by Heidi | 03.18.2015 | 12:47 pm

    Fantastic! You are SO deserving of this, and the bike gods will be delighted that you chose to keep it.

  6. Comment by Bart the Clydesdale | 03.18.2015 | 12:47 pm

    Congratulations! As a proud owner of a Cannondale hardtail I recommend the Fsi. My opinion is tainted by living where in a land so flat that full suspension is not really needed, but the Fsi is one sweet riding machine.

  7. Comment by darrin | 03.18.2015 | 12:49 pm

    Congrats! I’d go with the FS-I. XO1>X7/X9 build. And you know you do very well on hardtails.

  8. Comment by CVR | 03.18.2015 | 1:02 pm

    hardtail – also get a Cannondale Green oval ring from Absolute Black to go with it

  9. Comment by BostonCarlos (formerly NYC) | 03.18.2015 | 1:35 pm

    YES. I Second CVR’s comment. I just got one on my ripley. Looks super sweet, and feels really good to pedal on.

  10. Comment by Brian in VA | 03.18.2015 | 1:40 pm

    Congrats Fatty! You deserve some out of nowhere happy, too!

  11. Comment by Corrine | 03.18.2015 | 2:07 pm

    Congrats, Fatty! Definitely good karma coming back to you.

  12. Comment by Scott | 03.18.2015 | 2:18 pm

    Congrats Fatty!

  13. Comment by Ed | 03.18.2015 | 3:14 pm


    Congratulations!! Because of you and your blog I too know how awesome it is to receive this sort of email – although I almost lost out because your email went to my spam folder back then.

    Enjoy the bike!

    ‘12 Mojo Winner

  14. Comment by Mark in Bremerton | 03.18.2015 | 3:17 pm

    Congrats! (In an envious, “wish it were me” kind of way). But you’re right about karma – you earned it.

    So what are you going to do with your sleeping partner Cannondale loaner?

    I’ll have to give the Scalpel loaner back in a few weeks…though I’ve been trying to convince Cannondale that they ought to consider loaning me an FS-I for comparison’s sake. – FC

  15. Comment by Nick | 03.18.2015 | 3:37 pm

    I was just thinking about asking if you had ever ridden one of the Absolute Black oval rings as you are a champion singlespeeder. I’m looking to order one for my bike (will probably go cannondale green too for a little bike bling).

  16. Comment by NancyJBS | 03.18.2015 | 4:11 pm

    So happy for you, FC! I know that wonderful, pinch me, feeling as well, having won (through one of your Grand Slam for Zambia campaigns) the InGamba Tours week of incomparable riding in the Chianti region of Italy. On a Pinarello Dogma. In Italy. With wine.

    SUPER happy that you decided to keep this one for yourself! And I’m betting Cannondale is over the moon that YOUR name was drawn because so many will know of their generosity and general awesomeness.

    Yes, I hope Cannondale gives you the opportunity to test an FS-I, because I see a good blog post in it.

  17. Comment by Kukui | 03.18.2015 | 5:17 pm

    Congratulations, Fatty!!! =)

  18. Comment by davidh-Marin,ca | 03.18.2015 | 6:26 pm

    Still think that other guy named Eldon (sic) Nelson is pretty bummed right now, but I do agree with everyone else, you deserve it.

    Like Yann, Carlos, Nancy, myself, and many others, you’ve given us a opportunity to help others, and ‘Good Karma’ has made itself at home in the world of Team Fatty!

    Go have some pie.

  19. Comment by Shugg McGraw | 03.19.2015 | 5:59 am

    Congratulations. Having seen the picture of your garage that you posted recently it’s clear that what you really need is a new Cannondale. But seriously, I don’t think there are many things that would make readers of your blog happier than the news that they had won a new bike – and news that you have won a new bike is almost as good.

  20. Comment by Frank | 03.19.2015 | 7:48 am

    Congratulations Elden. It is nice that you are at the receiving end for a once.

  21. Comment by Fellowfattychris | 03.19.2015 | 10:57 am

    Congrats Fatty! I’d go with the F-SI, better specs and just looks faster! And I’ve always been a hardtail kind of guy. When it was time to start looking for a replacement for my old hardtail I spent a couple years of demoing lots of new FS bikes thinking that was what I wanted, but none of them ever felt right. I ended up buying another hardtail last year.

  22. Comment by DavidV | 03.20.2015 | 12:04 pm

    Nice job! I don’t know the joy of getting an email like this. I’m hoping you’ll remember my sad plight next time you’re sending out similar emails. :-)

    I’m more of a roadie, so I can’t give you an opinion on which bike to get. How many will this be?

  23. Comment by BIKELEPTIC | 03.21.2015 | 2:45 pm

    Of course you win a bike! It’s def karma for being such an awesome person.

    And I of all people know that suspicion of getting weird emails from dudes with unbelievable claims of dreams coming true and all that jazz.

    You’re a rockstar.

  24. Comment by Libby | 03.21.2015 | 3:32 pm

    Congrats to a very deserving guy…karma came your way & left a bike. Unfortunately i have no idea what these bikes are so no suggestions. Like the idea of a ring being Cannondale green though. My hubs has a Cannondale Synapse & absolutely loves it.

  25. Comment by Cycling Fan | 03.24.2015 | 6:34 am

    That’s just brilliant. I believe in Karma :-) Congrats!


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