“Ride With an MTB Icon” Prize Announcement: LIVE, Wednesday, 11:00am PDT

07.21.2015 | 2:24 pm

UPDATE: From the hints I gave, several people figured out that the person I’ll be interviewing is none other than Gary Fisher. Be sure to register for and join the webinar as he and I talk about details of what the prize is.

Oh, you just don’t know how excited I am about this prize. It is all I can do right now to not give away what it is. 

Wednesday, July 22, however, I can finally reveal what the latest grand prize in the Grand Slam for Kenya will be.

And I will have a very special guest with me to announce the prize.

Very, very special.

And I’ll get to reveal it live, from the the comfort of your computer, at 11:00am PDT. At least, a lucky 100 people will get to join in live (for the rest of you, I’ll put up a recording here shortly after the live event).

But here’s the deal: you’ve got to register to attend. And then, you need to sign in on time. Because while I can accept up to 1000 registrations, only 100 people can attend.

I can’t help myself. I’ve got to give a few hints. Here you go:

  • You will meet a beloved cycling icon, known to practically everyone in mountain biking
  • There will be a trip involved
  • The trip will not be outside the United States (but you can still win if you live outside the US; you just will have to cover the airfare necessary to get you into the US).
  • The location of the trip is significant
  • This cycling icon will go on an awesome ride with you
  • Also, he (yes, he) will give you a tour of some place. 
  • To get a tour of this place by this person is not something most people would ever expect, but which I would pretty much kill for. OK, I wouldn’t kill for it. But I would definitely beg.
  • I will also join you — for the ride and for the tour — because there is no possible way I am missing out on this prize

Curious? I’ll bet you are. Want to win? I know you do. So: register for the big announcement. And then go donate in the Grand Slam for Kenya (want details of what this is? Click here. Want the rules? Click here. so you have a chance of winning this prize, not to mention the bikes and the trip to Italy.

Click here to donate now!



Perfect, Part 1: 2015 Crusher in the Tushar Race Report

07.20.2015 | 6:43 am

A Note from Fatty: I’ll be announcing the next prize in the Grand Slam for Kenya very soon, but here’s what we’ve got so far:

Want details on how the contest works? Just click here. And when you’re ready to donate (and hopefully win), just click here.

The Crusher in the Tushar — Burke Swindlehurst’s Road / Dirt enigmatic seventy mile, climbtastic race in Beaver, Utah — has traditionally been a problematic event for me.

The first year I tried it, I made the colossal mistake of not just riding a bike that was completely new to me, but riding a kind of bike (a CX bike) that was completely new to me.

I couldn’t climb with it, I couldn’t ride dirt on it. I flatted twice with it, and I was miserable on it.

The next year I tried it, I was smarter: I rode a singlespeed, which suited me much, much better. Even so, I struggled with exactly the parts you’d expect a singlespeed to struggle with: the long paved downhill parts.

Oh, and I was suddenly forced — with about seven miles left to go — by my GI tract to scramble down a mountainside in search of a private place to poop.

Last year I was in North Carolina on a family vacation, and hence didn’t try it at all.

This year, however…was different. This year, somehow, every possible thing that could go right, did. Plus, a number of things that I wouldn’t have thought possible to go right also went right.

I had a glorious day on the bike. One of my favorite race experiences, ever.

That’s not hyperbole; that’s not a trick. It’s just true. Which means that I’m pretty much eliminating the possibility of drama from this story, before I even get started. But I’m OK with that, because for this story, I just really want to talk about how much fun I have when racing, and how much I like the people I race with, and how incredible a good day on the bike can feel…both before and after.

This, really, is just about having a great time on a great day in a great place with great people.

The Day Before

Beaver, Utah is not far from Alpine, Utah. Less than three hours. So by the time The Hammer and I got to Packet Pickup, got our race numbers and t-shirts and dropped our tickets in the raffle jars…well, we still had most of the afternoon left to kill.

“Let’s go drive part of the course, make note of how long we’re on pavement before the first big dirt road climb begins,” The Hammer suggested.

Sure, why not?

We learned some valuable stuff on this drive. First, we learned that the first seven or so miles of the course are pretty much flat. Connecting up with a group would be extremely helpful here. 

Then, we learned, the road becomes steeper for a few miles. The bunches of people would turn into single-file ribbons of people.

And then, almost exactly ten miles into the race, we’d be making a right turn. After that, it’d be uphill for…pretty much ever.

I’m not complaining about that never-ending climb, by the way. It’s up a gorgeous mountain, and climbing is what The Hammer and I do best. We commemorated the moment with a selfie:

Thumb IMG 3330 1024

Yeah, we’re both wearing our “Crusher” t-shirts from prior years. We’re like that. 


By the time we finished our survey of the first ten miles of the race and had returned back to the land of cel phone coverage, FOF David Houston had left us a message. He was in town.

“Let’s meet at Crazy Cow Cafe (one of a small number of restaurants in this small town) for dinner,” we suggested. Astonishingly, David did not have a better offer.

Then we texted Cory, who’d also be racing the Crusher. “Dinner?”

“Just arrived in Beaver,” he texted back. “Check out my awesome hotel room.” 


I tell you, some people lead charmed lives. You could sit and read (or play Candy Crush) on that toilet for hours without your arms getting tired.

As you might expect, we were amazed that Cory elected to leave his hotel room and join us for dinner.

Then we called and invited my niece Lindsey and her new hubby Ben, along with Ben’s dad, Cory and his wife Lynne.

(Yes, most of the people we know are named Cory or have a name that can be shortened to “Lyn.” It keeps things so much easier for us.)

Initially they were reluctant to join us for a meal at a place called “Crazy Cow,” but they relented when I texted them a photo of the sweet potato fries I was eating.

Thumb IMG 3332 1024

Well of course they’d join us, in that case.

We ate. Most everyone else ate reasonably; I killed my sweet potato fries and a huge helping of Penne Alfredo Chicken Carbonara, or something like that.

The Hammer looked on in a mixture of concern and horror.

More than eating, though, we talked. After all, everyone at that table would be in Leadville soon, all of us staying at the same house. So we had some nerves about this race, some expectations for this race. And possibly even some things to prove.

Predicting the Future

The Hammer revealed her magic Crusher – Leadville Theorem, which postulates that your Leadville time will be, quite simply, your Crusher time plus three hours. This has been proven right, time and time again. 

We went around the table, talking about what we were hoping to finish the Crusher in. Astonishingly, more or less remember what everyone said, which I am pleased to present to you in this convenient bullet-point format:

  • Cory (Of SBR-WBR Fame): “I’d like to finish half an hour faster than I did last time.
  • Ben: “My brother finished it in 5:39, so I want to finish it at least that fast.
  • The Hammer: “I’d be happy with six hours.” Which, by the way, would be fifteen minutes faster than the last time she raced it.
  • Lindsey: “I want to hang with Lisa for as long as I can.” When pressed, she admitted she wants to do this race in under six hours.
  • Cory (Ben’s Dad): Wanted anything under seven hours.
  • David: “I want to finish before the time cutoff.” That’s a worthy goal, and not one that everyone who attempts the Crusher accomplishes.

As for me, well, I said I wanted to have a “good” Crusher: one with no mechanicals and no sudden and undeniable urges. If these things happened, I thought I’d be good for a 5:30.

“Do you have a stretch goal?” Ben asked. A good question, and a strong indicator that Ben understands how I think. I always have a stretch goal for when I’m racing. You know, for just in case the day’s going well and I am exceeding expectations. Something new to stretch for.

Hey, it could happen.

“5:20,” I replied. “5:20 would be a really good day.”

“I think you’re going to get 5:15,” said The Hammer. Which is just one example of why I married her.

Don’t Read This Part

You all know I’m about to start talking about pooping, right? You know that I can’t help myself, right?

So here’s the thing: that penne carbonara chicken alfredo plus sweet potato fries turned out to be…a little much.

I have lost count how many times I pooped before we left the hotel and made our way to the starting line, but…it was a lot.

And then, I still had to go.

And in fact, I was in the portapotty when the race began.

Luckily for me, the Crusher is a staggered start. When the first wave (pro men) took off, I still had nine minutes before my wave — the final wave, men 45 – 49 — began.

OK, I am done talking about pooping now. 

My Race Begins

I was really excited about the fact that since I am still (barely) in the 45 – 49 age group, I would get to go last. It meant that if I were fast and strong enough, I’d get to say “hi” to all my friends and family as I caught them throughout the race.

I know, I know. It sounds like hubris for me to talk that way. I’m willing to own that hubris. I have no choice.

I found my area, embedded myself in the mid-backish part of it, and wandered forward as the other groups started. Women first — Lindsey and The Hammer:

IMG 6192

Then single speeders, then 50+ men (Cory, Cory, and David), then 18-29 men (Ben).

Then three more groups.

Then, finally — for the last time — my 45 – 49 age group.

We started slow for a few minutes, but ramped up fast. I moved from group to group, expecting there would be someone who’d want to bridge up to the 40-44 men main field.

I was right. A guy in a “Half Fast” (say it to understand it) kit launched forward. I grabbed his wheel, and a guy in a Chamoi Butt’r kit grabbed mine.

Abracadabra, without anyone planning on it, we suddenly had ourselves an express locomotive. Flying from one group to the next, briefly resting, and surging to the next group.

It was exhilerating. 

I took turns on the front at first, but this group was just faster than I was. I had bitten off more than I could chew. Before the ten miles of pavement ended, I got spit out the back and was on my own. 

That’s OK, though: I had had a ball trying to hang with these fast guys. Now I’d recover, eat my first GU of the day, and get ready for the fact that very soon we’d be making a right turn, and then it would be nothing but climbing for the next tennish miles.

Thumb IMG 3327 1024
The contents of my jersey pockets for the Crusher in the Tushar.

And it’s not like I had slowed to a crawl. First I caught my friend DJ (who was suffering from what I think is a broken or badly bruised rib), then David Houston — easy to recognize in his WBR kit — and then SBR-Cory, who was riding a Cannondale F-Si Black Inc., just like I was.

“Excuse me sir,” I said, as I caught Cory. “But could you please refer me to an establishment where I might procure such a bicycle as fine as yours?”

I said this in my “Ernie” voice (Yes, I can do a very good Ernie impersonation; I’m full of surprises) for some reason.

And then we turned right, and a few seconds later we were on dirt. 

The real race — sixty more miles, about ten thousand feet of climbing — was starting now.

Which is where we’ll pick up in the next installment. 

One for the Women: a Grand Slam Grand Prize from Juliana Bicycles

07.16.2015 | 10:47 pm

This Monday, I’ll be starting my writeup of the 2015 Crusher in the Tushar race, which, I’m pleased to note, will include this picture of some sweet potato fries I ate the night before the race:

Thumb IMG 3332 1024

Today, however, I want to give you a little sneak preview from a moment I experienced during the race. Because it’s relevant to the next big grand prize I’m announcing in the Grand Slam for Kenya, that’s why.

It happens as follows:

Just one more mile ’til the top of the climb. I was in my element, racing like I had never raced before. Climbing like a man possessed. Possessed by something that likes to climb, that is.

I saw my next carrot: a woman wearing a “Juliana” jersey. 

I stood up, began rowing my bike. I wanted to see this woman’s bike. I had my reasons.

It was not easy to catch her. Not easy at all. But I managed. Barely.

I did not speak once I had caught her. I needed a minute for the tunnel vision to recede. As I tucked in and tried not to get dropped, I looked at her bike. 

Yes, it was as I suspected: a gorgeous Juliana Nevis hardtail. Outfitted with the incredible RS-1 fork and an XX1 drivetrain. A dream bike. 

This woman was killing me. Killing me on a dream bike…a lot like the one I’d be announcing the next week.

I had to take the opportunity to ask, “So, how do you like that Juliana?”

“It’s amazing,” the woman replied. “Really great in the descents, really fast on the climbs.”

I would have asked her more about this bike. I wanted to ask her more about this bike. I wanted to say, “Hey, I have a very particular interest in that bike!”

But I couldn’t say any of these things. Because she had already dropped me.

Later, after the race, I would discover this woman I was talking with was Kelli Emmett, who podiumed in the Pro division at the Crusher. 

This One’s For the Women

As you no doubt realize by now, the Juliana Nevis is a Grand Prize in the Grand Slam for Zambia. Check it out:


The all-new Nevis heralds the introduction of a race-ready carbon hardtail to the Juliana range, meeting the demands of riders like Juliana-SRAM Pro Team rider Kelli Emmett (check out this video of her and the others in the team) and the NorCal High School Cycling League teams, who want a low-slung lightweight carbon hardtail for racing.

This is a serious — and seriously gorgeous — bike, designed by women, for women. As such, this prize will be given to a woman.

One very, very lucky woman.


Here are a few details:

  • The 69-degree head angle makes for a geometry that’s nimble on the ups, stable on the downs, and pretty darn perfect everywhere else!
  • 27.5 wheels and compact chainstays strikes the balance between efficient rolling dynamics and a wickedly playful ride. 
  • 100mm RS-1 fork with 15mm thru-axle (Note from Fatty: The RS-1 fork is without a doubt the best fork I have ever used)
  • Flexes naturally to boost long-ride comfort on those 100 mile punishers without sacrificing efficiency.
  • Low standover height: At 28” on the smallest size, the aggressive sloping top tube leaves plenty of room to maneuver on the bike and put a foot down.
  • Internal cable routing: Simple internal cable routing gives the Nevis a clean, polished look worthy of its purpose.
  • Matte Carbon: Raw carbon saves a 1?4 lb in paint weight and visually asserts the Nevis’ serious endurance intentions. Weights from 2.1 lbs (size M, frame only).
  • Juliana Dot Grips: Designed by Juli Furtado herself, taking her palms to podiums since 1990. 
  • Juliana Mountain Saddle: Designed by women, for women, to ensure a day in the saddle won’t feel like one.

These features will all be complemented by top-shelf SRAM components, making this exactly the bike I would buy and build for The Hammer, if I were buying and building a racing bike for The Hammer this year.

Trust me, that is a significant endorsement.

Perfect Fit

It makes terrific sense that Juliana Bicycles is supporting World Bicycle Relief and the Grand Slam for Kenya, especially when you consider that both Juliana and this fundraiser really focus on women. Here’s what Anka Martin, Juliana-SRAM Pro Team Rider and WBR Ambassador, has to say:

“The best thing about bikes is that they keep on giving. For most of us, bicycles are fun tools, but in many parts of the world, bikes truly have the ability to change peoples lives and I feel really proud to be a part of a company who supports that and charities like World Bicycle Relief: Women empowering women.” 

Heck yeah. This sounds like something you ought to be a part of, doesn’t it?

Let’s Recap Here, and Drop a Few Hints

We’re approximately halfway through the month of July, and approximately halfway through announcing what all the prizes are in the Grand Slam for Kenya. Here’s what we’ve got so far:

  • Juliana Nevis
  • 12-Day Cycling Trip to Italy with InGamba
  • Trek Project One Bike of Your Choice
  • Yet Another Trek Project One Bike of Your Choice
That, my friends, is more prizes and better prizes than you will find anywhere else. But here are a few hints of what I will be revealing in the near future:
  • A dream bike — Road or Mountain, your choice — from an extremely well-known bike company
  • A dream Mountain bike — your choice from two extremely hard-to-get models — from a high-end bike company with an obsessive cult following
  • A dream road bike that looks a lot like something you’ve likely very recently seen on television
  • An incredible, money-can’t-buy trip to meet a cycling icon, get an amazing behind-the-scenes tour with him, and go on a ride with him. We’re talking Willy Wonka-level prize here, folks. 
    Also, I will be there too, because I simply refuse to miss this. 

Yes, that’s right. Four dream prizes announced, four yet to be announced. And every time you donate, your money is matched, dollar-for-dollar.  And your money changes a life, hugely and permanently.

In closing, I can’t oversell this fundraiser. It’s the hugest I’ve ever done, and is likely the hugest I will ever do. As far as I know, no other person or company has ever done a fundraiser with this level or quantity of grand prizes. 

Click here to donate. And good luck; I hope you win one of these.

Change a Life, Win the Trip of a Lifetime: 12 Days Cycling in Southern Italy with InGamba

07.14.2015 | 4:09 pm

Pssst. C’mere. I’ve got this idea, but I’m going to need your help to make it happen. It’s a little crazy, but I think you’re going to like it.

Oh, and you’ve got to promise not to tell anyone about this. If other people find out, it will completely mess up the plan.

Promise? OK. Good. Here’s how it goes.

First, I’m going to announce that as part of my Grand Slam for Kenya contest this month, I’m going to give away a fully-paid trip to Italy with InGamba.

Sounds good so far, doesn’t it? Yeah, I thought you’d think so.

So, as the second stage in this plan, I want you to donate as much money as you can possibly afford in this contest. I’m going to recommend you donate in multiples of $147, because that’s how much a Buffalo Bike costs. No matter how much you donate, though, that money is going to be matched, so your donation dollars go twice as far. 

I know, I know, this plan is so genius so far. But here’s where it gets really good.

When Katie Bolling at World Bicycle Relief draws a winner and calls you to tell you that you get to go on an expenses paid, incredible cycling vacation in Southern Italy, October 13-25 (yeah, that’s twelve days), with Eros Poli as your guide, you should politely say that you’d like me to go in your place.

Oh wait, sorry? I lost you on that part? 


Let’s Talk About This Prize

Okay, I never really expected that to work, but I had to try, right? I mean, it’s twelve days of biking, and eating, and hanging out and relaxing…in Southern Italy. While InGamba takes care of every single little thing for you.

Someone’s going to win this prize — worth $9150 — and I am so incredibly desperately jealous of you, I had to at least try to get you to give it up.

But honestly, I am not surprised you would want to keep this prize for yourself. Hey, if I won it there’s no way I’d give it to you.

So  let’s talk about what happens if you choose this prize. And — I’m just being honest here — you would be absolutely insane to not choose this prize.

The riding is going to be twelve days of the best of what Italy has to offer. Enough to challenge experienced riders, but no seven-hour death marches. 

On your first day in Tuscany, you’ll do the “Monti” ride — the quintessential glimpse into the Chianti region, rolling through small villages and past olive tree orchards.

2015 05 lecchi grubers 58

The next day, Pienza: into the heart of lesser-known Italy. 77Km of riding with one good climb takes you to the Relai Chiostro Di Pienza: an old Franciscan cloister from the 16th century.

And so it goes. On day three, into Lazio. Then toward rome on the fourth day. Then maybe a rest day, or maybe a lap around Lago di Canterno.

The days go on like this. Twelve days of the most perfect cycling adventure you could ever ask for.

2015 05 lecchi grubers 1

But what are you riding? Oh, good question. You don’t have to bring your own bike across the ocean and build it up. No. Instead, InGamba will have either a Pinarello Dogma F8 or Rokh ready for you to ride during your stay:

Screenshot 2015 07 14 15 43 49 

Fully loaded, too, with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2. And a Garmin 810, pre-loaded with the rides you’ll be doing.

And who’s going to take care of this bike while you’re there? Not you. Nosir. After each day’s ride, you’ll just hand your bike to one of the InGamba mechanics, who’ll wash and love your bike, ensuring it’s perfect for you the following day.


I swear, it is so not fair that I am giving this prize away. 

Screenshot 2015 07 14 15 50 04

Looking good: InGamba will have a kit for you to wear during your trip: jersey, shorts (or bibs), gloves, hat, and socks. And they’ll keep them clean during your ride. You know: so you’ll look PRO.

Eating and Drinking

You’re not going to be eating at tourist restaurants, you’re going to be savoring local cuisine, prepared by the best chefs and restaurants not found in guide books. 

And the meals, beer, and wine are all included as part of your trip. 

Oh, did I mention that this is a luxury cycling trip to Southern Italy? 

The Guide

Eros Poli is a legend, a Mt. Ventoux stage winner in the Tour de France. And he’s a great guy. And an amazing storyteller. 

You are going, in short, to be absolutely positively astonished at the amazingness of your vacation.

Right now I am crying I am so jealous of the winner of this prize.

Perhaps you’d like to have more details. Well, I don’t blame you. Click here to download the PDF, detailing the trip, to get all the detail you need.

So, do you think the possibility of winning this prize is donation-worthy? Because I kind of think it is. So: Click here to donate now.

Let’s Talk About InGamba

Ingamba is — obviously — being incredibly generous by supporting the Grand Slam for Zambia fundraiser. And it’s not the first time they’ve done this.  

The thing is, InGamba isn’t just doing this prize donation for this WBR fundraiser. In fact, the InGamba community has raised over $90,000 for World Bicycle Relief.

MG 9738

Here’s what InGamba founder, Joao Correia, has to say about why they support WBR:

Bikes change people’s lives.  For some of us it was a tool to make a living, for others a way to lose a little extra weight or simply blow off some stress.  But yet for a different group of people it’s a way to get around, that allows you to get to a job or school.  It can be that little push you need to get over the poverty line and make a difference for you family.  At inGamba we believe in bikes.  We also believe in making a difference and making sure it’s part of what we do.  Although our trips are about great food, wine and riding bikes our inspiration as a business is to make people’s lives better.  It can be one of our guests or it can be a young person in Africa whom we’ll never meet but along with our guests we will affect with our contribution that gives them the ability to get from point A to point B easier and therefore transform their lives.  Join the cause and make a difference.

This is a great guy, doing great things for the best reasons. I love seeing this. 

So: donate now to support WBR. You might win an unimaginably wonderful trip. Or you might win one of the two incredible dream bikes we’ve announced

Or you might win another grand prize from the Grand Slam for Kenya. Because there’s more coming. Oh yes. Much more. You’re going to love it.

Donate now.

A Letter from the Wife (With Helpful Annotations)

07.8.2015 | 11:41 am

A “You Aren’t Going to Believe the Next Prize Trek Is Donating” Note from Fatty: Earlier this week, I announced the first two grand prizes in the Grand Slam for Kenya fundraiser

Today, I’m excited to tease you with some hints about another prize Trek is contributing.

  • First hint: it is not a bike. 
  • Second hint: There are a certain number of cyclists who would consider this to be far and away the most amazing of the grand prizes. 
  • Third hint: I am one of two people in the whole world who know what all the prizes in this contest are (Katie Bolling of World Bicycle Relief is the other person). And I can say that if I were to get first pick at any of the prizes in this contest, this is the one I would pick. 
  • Fourth hint: I hope to announce what this prize will be, live, in a video webinar, very soon. Within moments of when the live video begins, before I say anything at all, you’ll have a very good idea of what the prize is.

What is this prize? Feel free to speculate in the comments, but I will neither confirm nor deny any answers. Still, if you’re the first to get it right, that’s got to be worth some bragging rights, right? 

Huge thanks go out to Trek, which is very obviously stepping up its WBR support in a massive way. Here’s what Adam Kostichka, Trek Advocacy Manager, has to say:  

“World Bicycle Relief is a fantastic organization and one that Trek is proud to have supported for years. We’re excited about the work they are doing and the future of the program. We will continue to support them through their great initiatives.” 

If I were you, I’d go donate. Right now

And now, onto today’s story, which takes the form of a letter from Friend of Fatty Allison Houston to her (also Friend of Fatty) husband, Dave, while he’s away in Leadville for a training camp, in order to prepare for his first racing of the Leadville 100.

Helpfully, I have added my editorial notes, in order to lend balance and perspective.

When the Cycling Hubby is Away, a Catty Wife May Play…or Organize His Stuff

Let me just get this out of the way. I don’t mean to be sexist. I realize this entire post may come across as grossly stereotypical, and of course there are always exceptions to the rule, but then again, there is a rule, hoo-boy is there a rule, and the rule is this: boy cyclists are WAY more into “stuff” than women cyclists.

Yes, I am going to say it: boys and their toys. Their damn #%^&$ bike toys left all over the house, yard, basement, garage. You may have noted that I used the term “boys” versus “women“ to make my gender distinction. Yes I did. That was no accident.

Look, I’m not saying women cyclists don’t fully appreciate the finer points of insanely good biking gear, it’s just we don’t need as much of it… as in we do not need one of everything, ever made for a bike.


As my husband David (in Marin) is off on a family-sanctioned cycling trip for 10 days in Colorado and Utah, I am left with ample time to ponder the wreckage left behind from his departure and wonder, as I am sure every female partner of every male cyclist so often does, why, why, WHY?!

[While we men never ever ever wonder the same thing about all the bottles and tubes and stuff in the shower and near the sink and elsewhere in the bathroom. - FC]

Souvenir bottles . Really, you need to keep every single one of them? Because the race plate, jersey and swag bag from all those same events do not on their own prove that you were there?

[Because they have a lot of alternative uses, naturally. And a very necessary application for those bottles is guaranteed to appear the instant we get rid of them. - FC]

Spare parts. That pile, excuse me, those piles of spare bike parts are not doing any good for the world. Are you saving up to start your own bike repair business one day? If not, have you considered getting a blow torch to at least weld them into some cool art form that can better serve humanity?

[Actually, a blow torch is the wrong tool for the job. Not hot enough. It’s going to take a completely different kind of torch to make that stuff into art. Dave, better go buy one of those right now. - FC]

Used tubes. If you told me you were going to make it a mission to patch all the punctured tubes for reuse while watching the Tour de France or something, I could possibly buy in to you keeping them around. But you won’t. Not during the extended viewing in the morning because you don’t want to miss a word Phil or Paul is saying, nor will you patch during the abbreviated recast with Bob Roll in the evenings, even though you already know how the stage is won.

[OK, I’m with you on this one, Allison. - FC]

Orphan cycling socks . ‘Nuff said. They all need to die and by that, I of course mean get thrown away. I appreciate that many of them became orphans because the dog that I wanted to get is a sock eater (and pooper), but whatever the reason, the singles need to go.

[Those orphan socks are incredibly valuable. You put a tube in them, double them up, and then put them in your saddle bag. By doing this, you don’t wind up chafing a hole in the spare tube in your saddle bag. - FC]

Jerseys . While I kind of appreciate your desire to go all Christo one day by wrapping the world in the massive collection of cycling jerseys you are amassing , I also kind of resent that you need twice as much drawer space as I do.

[All I’m going to say is: it could be worse. - FC]

Orphan gloves . [see orphan socks]. Okay I know where the socks go but my dog does not poop gloves, so where are all the missing gloves, Michael Jackson?

[I’d like an answer to this question myself. That said, I’d like to point out that this is in no way a guys-only issue. The Hammer has as many orphan gloves as I do, and finds it just as frustrating. - FC]

CO2 tubes. If I strike one with a hammer in a rage after stepping on it and going flying across the room and landing on my butt, will it explode? And if does explode, am I guaranteed that it will do enough damage to take out the rest of the cycling gear? Might be worth it, but let me check our homeowner’s insurance first.

Energy Gels, Bars, Waffles and Electrolytes. Just so you know, I will be sending all of your cycling nutrition remainders to the next nation that experiences a major famine.

So. Much. Stuff.

All that said, while my own personal motto runs along the lines of “when in doubt, throw it out”, I would never do that to you, dear hubby. Well, not while you’re alive anyway. Now if you keel over on Columbine or Powerline this week, all bets are off, but otherwise, your bike stuff awaits your return.


I will be taking advantage of your absence to oh-so-very-thoroughly organize all your cycling gear so it’s out of sight and neatly put away.

[The Hammer’s done that to me. Here’s what happens. The next time I’m looking for something and can’t find it because everything’s been moved to somewhere other than where I had put it, I turn the house upside down looking for it. The net result is a larger mess than the one that was there in the first place. - FC]

Stop hyperventilating. Can’t possibly be good for you at that altitude.

See you in a week. XXXOOO


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