The Twins and I Are Going To Michigan to Race the 100 Miles of Nowhere and Give Speeches at the Camp Kesem Leadership Summit

09.28.2015 | 9:58 am

A Note from Fatty: If you want to jump straight to the 100MoN registration page, just click here.

It’s been a rollercoaster of a week. 

Last Monday morning, I was almost giddy to reveal what I was certain would be the fastest-selling, most swag-laden 100 Miles of Nowhere ever

By Monday afternoon, I was perplexed. Confused even. Not sure what I had done wrong. Registrations were down. Way down. Like, not even close to sold out.

By Tuesday morning, registrations were still not sold out. Nor by Tuesday, for that matter.

I don’t want to be too dramatic, but I also don’t want to be dishonest, so believe me when I say that “despair” is what I was feeling by Wednesday morning when we still weren’t close to selling out.

Have I done a bad job explaining this fundraiser? Have I worn out my welcome? What have I done wrong?

Then I tried to get over myself, stop taking it so personally, and I started thinking. Which resulted in my theories and questions I posted on Thursday

Your responses have been incredible: instructive, uplifting, and constructive. I’ve bookmarked the page and will come back to it not just for next year’s 100 Miles of Nowhere, but for every fundraising effort I ever do.

Thank you for that.

Knowing what I’ve learned in the past few days, I realize now I probably should have led with what I’m going to be talking about today: something I had thought about as being a cool surprise to spring on 100MoN racers after registration was over.

Which is this.

Riding 100 Miles of Nowhere…in Michigan, With Camp Kesem Leaders

The good folks at Camp Kesem have invited the twins and me over to their leadership summit, which just happens to be November 7, the same day as the 100 Miles of Nowhere. 

Almost as if we had planned it that way.

Now, normally, when you hear the term “Leadership Summit,” you think long speeches and conference rooms. 

But this is Camp Kesem. And so the Leadership Summit is going to be happening at Camp Copneconic, and it’s going to be chock full of college kids — the same amazing kids who spend their summers being Camp Kesem counsellors.

We’re going for three reasons. First (but not foremost), I’ll be presenting to Camp Kesem leadership and counsellors on what Team Fatty is and how the way we raise money for great causes is a reflection of who we are. The fact is, Camp Kesem and the 100 Miles of Nowhere is a match made in heaven: great cause, silly execution.

Originally, I planned to mostly be presenting on how to have fun when fundraising. This last week, however, has been eye-opening and I’ll be adding a lot of key learnings from it, too.

Second, I plan to do my 100 Miles of Nowhere on rollers or a trainer or a bike or whatever I can figure out (under a covered porch if the weather’s bad, on dirt roads if the weather’s good) the day before the big summit, as the counsellors arrive. It’ll gie me a great chance to talk with people individually about what the 100 Miles of Nowhere is, who Team Fatty is, and why I’m proud to raise money for Camp Kesem.

And if they would like to put in a few miles themselves, that’s even more awesome.

Will I be taking video? You bet I will.

Third and most important: The twins will be on a Q&A panel answering questions about what kids love about Camp Kesem and what it means to them. This is in fact the thing I care most about.

Final Big Ask

Tuesday September 29 is the final day of the 100 Miles of Nowhere registration. I have to close it then in order to get all the shirt, socks, and jersey orders nailed down.

I’m excited to tell these people about your generosity and the ridiculous things you do for good causes.

I’d love to be able to say, while I’m there, that for the fourth year in a row since I’ve done this race as a fundraiser for Camp Kesem, that it’s sold out.

If you haven’t registered and you can, please do.

PS: If you live in Michigan and can help me get set up with a bike or two or three (and some rollers or a trainer) — and better yet, if you can join me November 6 and do your 100 Miles of Nowhere right in front of the Camp Kesem leaders — please email me: Make sure your subject says, “100 Miles of Nowhere in Michigan” so I don’t miss it. 


  1. Comment by Lauri | 09.28.2015 | 10:45 am

    November 7th or 11th? I’m so confused…

    Ugh, how did I get that 11 in there? It’s the 7th. Fixed now. Thanks for the catch! – FC

  2. Comment by David Frost | 09.28.2015 | 11:07 am

    I’d join you for the ride but there is a little race called Iceman the next day in Traverse City. But if you want to get together for pie on the 5th, that I can do!

  3. Comment by pfonke | 09.28.2015 | 11:28 am

    I’m unable to get to the login page. I’m getting told that can’t be found. I seem to remember having a similar problem last year, but I can’t remember the solution.

    Hope I’m not too late. Didn’t check in to the blog until just now.

    Try again – I don’t seem to be having any trouble getting in. The complete URL is: – FC

  4. Comment by Tom in Albany | 09.28.2015 | 12:00 pm

    What an amazing opportunity for you, the girls, and the folks that run Camp Kesem! I live in NY. It is my anniversary weekend. So, I won’t be traveling to Michigan. That said, I hope to heck that a. you sell out, and b. you get a huge bump in readership after your visit to the great white north!

  5. Comment by pfonke | 09.28.2015 | 12:00 pm

    Registered! I was using the full url, but getting nowhere. Jeff Shirley emailed me the link to the FC store ( ), and there it was.

    Thanks. See you at the imaginary starting line.

  6. Comment by Ferde | 09.28.2015 | 12:25 pm

    In Michigan but unfortunately it’s the same day as the biggest mountain bike race in the Michigan – Iceman Cometh.

  7. Comment by DonQuix | 09.28.2015 | 1:32 pm

    I love this event. My wife and I are signed up and even got my parents enlisted as well! This is a ridiculous event for a wonderful cause.

  8. Comment by Rolf | 09.28.2015 | 2:02 pm

    Fatty, how would you say the DNA jerseys fit size wise compared to the old T6 FC jerseys?

    It depends on what you mean by “old T6 jerseys.” I’m not trying to be confusing here; the T6 jersey sizes kept changing. For 2013-14 T6, these particular DNA (century fit) jerseys fit a little looser; I wear a medium in DNA, a Large in T6. For older T6 jerseys (2012 and earlier) the DNA century fit is a close match. I wear a medium in each. – FC

  9. Comment by Rolf | 09.28.2015 | 2:30 pm

    OK, thanks, that helped. Registration done. Jersey ordered. Now to pick out a route to nowhere! Hope you make 500!

  10. Comment by leroy | 09.28.2015 | 3:10 pm

    My dog has reconnoitered a course for this year’s 100 MoN in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

    It looks like the 3.3 mile loop I rode in 2009.

    My dog invites Friends of Fatty in the area to drop by on the 7th to help ride some or all of the laps.

    He says he would help out, but he has theater tickets that evening and doesn’t want to miss the 8 o’clock curtain by waiting for me.

    His loss.

  11. Comment by Dylan | 09.28.2015 | 3:28 pm

    Hey Fatty,

    I’m a fairly new reader and first time commenter. The last couple of posts and financial juggling have convinced me to sign up for 100MoN (despite it tripling my previous long rides). I’m all in for the jersey too but want to clarify sizing as someone who hasn’t purchased previous T6 gear. If there is a fit issue will DNA do exchanges?

    Hope you sell out again this year!

    Yep, I’m ordering a few extras of each size so we can do swaps when necessary. Thanks so much for registering! – FC

  12. Comment by Marathon Man | 09.28.2015 | 5:56 pm

    In my mind you need to at least announce the winners of the prior fundraiser (Grand Slam) before pushing for more contributions and causes. Yes, I know you said write-ups would come later after racing season, but at least knowing who won what would be appreciated now. The bio’s and thank you’s can come later.

    Not everyone uses Facebook and Twitter.

    I appreciate you sharing your perspective. – FC

  13. Comment by Bill H-D | 09.28.2015 | 6:42 pm

    Email on the way! I think we can do this. :)

  14. Comment by JustJohn | 09.28.2015 | 7:02 pm

    Going to register for 100 MoN, but have to say I really agree with Marathon Man. I think you underestimate how much people would like to see the contest results. It’s like doing a big race and not getting the results for months.

  15. Comment by AKChick | 09.29.2015 | 9:26 am

    Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t there a video posted that showed the drawing and who all the Grand Slam winners were? Seems like I remember seeing it.

  16. Comment by Paul Gutman | 09.29.2015 | 11:02 am

    I’ve actually been curious about the results of the Grand Slam, too. I’m not as adamant about the timing, but I keep hoping that I just missed my email.

  17. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 09.29.2015 | 11:16 am

    I had posted a video, I’ll try and find it.

    My perspective:

    I believe we’ve become ’spoiled’ reading Fatty for all these years. I don’t mean we’re unappreciative, or selfish in any way. I just believe we sometimes forget how much effort goes into creating this FoF world.

    Over the years that I’ve been following I’ve seen Fatty continue to try and ‘up the game’. Bigger goals, Bigger Prizes, More Winners. That ‘upping the game’ has also upped our expectations. We want more information, more stories, more results. I’ve seen our ‘addiction’ grow to these stories. 3 days without a post, we grow concerned, we chide, and we threaten to send out search parties.

    Maybe it’s time to make this blog a bi-weekly newsletter instead (you may have to look that up)

    I had the privilege to watch Fatty in action for a week in Leadville. Working with Lisa and Rebecca on the Video Chats, banging out some reports, hosting the seminar rides, and making everyone feel welcome, and himself available. No doubt he probably squeezed some ‘work’ in there too. I think he also slept.

    Every contest has had ‘winners’, most have been announced, fewer have posted their stories, myself included. (I want too, but I feel my tome would tax even the editorial exemplaries of Mr Nelson, but I will)

    It’s a sad fact that, as Fatty has tried to do more contests, with more and better swag and more winners, the fundraising has decreased, the pool smaller. Are we ‘gived’ out, or maybe we’ll just wait for the next one.

    Our family is in it because he asks, the cause worthy, and we believe. But like many others our financial commitments change too. School for the kids, the car, braces, “we need a new stove?!?!?!” “but what about the contest”? We have had to make choices. (take out)

    In some ways we’ve become a smaller crowd since the early days of this blog. We supported the Nelson family as unknown friends during the darkest days of this journey, we celebrated as that family joined and regrew with Lisa and her kids, and we continue to enjoy the trials and tribulations of someone many of us have never met. It’s a testament to Elden’s ability to entertain, encourage, motivate, and reward so many of us in so many ways.

    All of this while raising his own family, suffering his own loss, finding his own rewards, working, and being there for his kids.

    Thank you Elden, take your time

  18. Comment by leroy | 09.29.2015 | 12:24 pm

    I could not have put it better than davidh and won’t even try.

    So I’ll just join him and say thank you, Elden. Thank you.

  19. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 09.29.2015 | 1:02 pm

    I’ll second Leroy’s comment. David, you nailed it.

    Maybe it’s time that Fatty went Fattipedia and recruited some guest editors. That might significantly cut down on the lesser value but more time consuming elements of the blog.

  20. Comment by Mark in Bremerton | 09.29.2015 | 7:08 pm

    My wife and I did 100MoN a couple years ago on a tandem (rented). It was actually fun. Last month we finally bought a new tandem – ridden it over 500 miles already!

    Therefore, funds are a little low right now, but I did support Grand Slam for Kenya. So, I/we may humbly try an event with guilt as the motivation this year.

    I also endorse Davidh’s thoughts above. Your fundraisers and supported charities are the best and all the work you do; mind-blowing. I chip in whenever I can. Thanks!

  21. Comment by davidh-Marin,ca | 09.29.2015 | 8:33 pm

    @Mark in Bremerton
    Do go slow with that bike, wife#1 warns it’s the ‘last’ bike a married couple will ever buy…..together.

  22. Comment by Jenny TX | 09.29.2015 | 9:38 pm

    Oh, dear…look what you’ve started. When my husband let me know that the 100MoN wasn’t sold out, I cried. Because this was the first year when I felt like I could even attempt it. And then I proceeded to stew on it. All week. (Sorry.) I am now registered and will do this ride proudly. Over a few days. Some on the trainer and some on the road. I admit that I can’t wait. See you on the road!

  23. Comment by ZippyQuickStep | 09.29.2015 | 10:31 pm


    I’m a recent joiner to the blog — we have a common interest in raising funds for WBR. I read about 100 MoN and was intrigued but not motivated (I have been focused on WBR), until I read your blog today. I saw that you were in need, and I just returned from the hospital where we found out that my wife has cancer. With three boys at home, this is hitting close to the heart. Thank you for all you do for these great causes. This will be a great way for me to process the challenges we have ahead.

  24. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 09.29.2015 | 11:58 pm


    Strength from the Fatty Family to you and yours. Start at the beginning where we started with Elden. Livestrong is still there to help with what you need to know…and ask.


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