The End

01.3.2022 | 1:37 pm

On May 9, 2005, I logged into Microsoft Spaces and wrote a test post. The following day, I wrote an explanation of what this blog would be.

Then, for the next dozen or so years, I wrote something more weekdays than not.

I wrote about weight loss, I wrote about weight gain, I wrote about riding, I wrote about training, I wrote about racing. I wrote about cancer and loss, I wrote about falling back in love and putting myself back together.

I made thousands of friends and I raised millions of dollars for charity. I also revealed a lot of personal flaws (sometimes on purpose, sometimes not) and the fact that I’m work-in-progress, at best.

But in the late twenty-teens, I started writing less, and wrote more sporadically. And now it’s been years since I’ve posted. It’s nagged at me for a while, and I feel like I ought to wrap this blog up with an actual conclusion.

And I promise, this won’t be a cliffhanger.

The Beginning of the End

I’ve asked myself a few times why I stopped posting. These are the answers I’ve given myself.

First, age. When I started this blog, I was in my thirties. My biggest challenge for writing the blog back then was choosing which idea I was going to focus on that day. I kept a list — a list that grew much faster than I could scratch items off — of stories to tell, jokes to center a post around. And then more often than not, I’d wind up writing about something entirely different.

I was incredibly prolific, and a fair number of my posts hold up pretty well. I’m really proud of that.

I started tapering off when I was in my early fifties (I’m 55 as I write this). It wasn’t that I no longer could write. It was more that I no longer felt like I was missing out if I didn’t write. The need just isn’t there anymore. Now, I finish my job for the day and I’m content that I have done enough; I don’t feel an urgency to do something more.

Second, podcasting. If you look at when my blog started winding down, the overlap with my start in podcasting is pretty obvious. This, I think, reflects a transition in what I like doing with my free time. I used to like telling stories, more than just about anything in the world.

In the past few years, I’ve changed. What I care most about now is hearing others’ stories. I love asking a few questions and listening to people talk about their experience and expertise. And, I’ll add, I love hearing other voices than my own.

Podcasting is a medium I love and have a lot to room to grow in. It’s what I want to do right now. You’ll find my current shows at and I love doing both of them.

Third, humor. It’s tough for me to say this, but it’s true: being funny was core to my blog, and I don’t feel like I’m all that funny anymore. Is this because I’ve told all the fart jokes I have to tell? Is it because I’m more self-aware? Is it because I’m just old and fall asleep at the keyboard most often?

I think it’s all of these, but mostly the last one.

Fourth, blogs are dead. OK, this is not actually one of the reasons I quit blogging. It is, however, basically true.

The Family Part of The End

There are a few things I imagine readers of my blog wondering about — my family, my career, and whether I still ride bikes.

All four of my bio kids live together about 10 minutes away from home. This includes Nigel, who got married a few years ago. They’re all employed with health care plans and 401K plans of their own, and they are all supernerds. Nigel wound up in tech (like me), Katie, Carrie, and Brice wound up in health care (like Lisa). None of my kids care about bikes.

All three of my not-bio kids live in houses or apartments of their own, are employed (Blake and Zac are in tech, Melisa is in health care), and have health care and 401K plans, and are all supernerds, except Melisa who is now a professional bike nerd.

All seven of these kids and their partners are kind, healthy, and fun to be around. The Hammer and I are truly lucky.

What We Accomplished in the End

There are a couple things this blog will be remembered for, and neither of them are jokes.

The story people will remember is Susan. She and I did a pretty brave thing in opening up and telling her story in real time, as she fought cancer. The readers of this blog supported us in a way I will always be grateful for. Then, after she died, readers stuck with me as I figured out how to go on. Thank you for that.

The other thing people will remember is that we raised a lot of money for a lot of charities. More than two million dollars for Livestrong (I have eight signed LiveStrong yellow jerseys hanging in the hallway leading to my office). More than a million dollars for World Bicycle Relief.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude for my readers’ generosity. And I’m also going to take credit for the fact that I orchestrated dozens of innovative, entertaining fundraisers. I arranged giving away dozens of high-end bikes. And trips to exotic locations.

I got Levi Leipheimer, Rebecca Rusch and Patrick Dempsey to race tricycles and cram donuts.

I got Gary Fisher to take someone on a bike tour of San Francisco.

I sent people to France with Andy Hampsten.

And I assure you, those contests and that fundraising approach weren’t just handed to me.

The Job Part of the End

I didn’t talk about job stuff much in this blog. That’s because I made some big career mistakes that I wasn’t all that keen on talking about. Specifically — and this is while I was cheerfully posting on a daily basis — I took a big career gamble on a small company.

The gamble didn’t pay off, everyone took multiple paycuts to keep the company afloat and I found myself struggling financially.

So I found another job — a good one this time, but I stayed only a short time because I was lured to what I thought was a dream job working for a good friend. But it wasn’t a dream job, and the friend wasn’t that good of a friend. In fact, that job messed my sense of self-worth up pretty disastrously. To the point where I am not certain I have yet recovered. I know for sure that it changed me permanently.

During this tough part of my career, I had this great idea: reach out to the nonprofits I had raised millions of dollars for. No doubt they’d jump at the chance to hire someone who’s raised more for them than any single other person, right?


It was a bit of a gut-punch to find that nonprofits I had put an incredible amount of creativity and work into…didn’t think I was worth hiring.

In the end, however, things worked out: one of my friends pointed me out to Adobe. I’ve now been there for four years as a Comms Guy; it’s the best place I’ve ever worked. By a lot.

The End of the End

I sometimes cringe that I named this blog “Fat Cyclist.” I was trying to be self-deprecating and fun, but I was missing a pretty important opportunity: people came to this blog wondering how as a big person they could still have fun on a bike, and instead they found a lot of hand-wringing from a guy who has trouble keeping off thirty pounds.

To the people who were looking for something more than what I gave, I’m sorry. I wish I could change that.

That said, a lot of us did a lot of good together, and a lot of you were incredibly kind and supportive as I wrote stupid stuff and serious stuff and fake news and stupid reviews and shaggy dog-style race reports.

Thank you for reading.

PS: Lisa gave me a quilt for my birthday last year. It may be my single favorite possession. A quilt of all the Fat Cyclist jerseys and t-shirts