UPDATE: All the new t-shirts are on sale now. Here are quick links to the various shirts:
It has been rumored, from time to time, that I am a fan of pie. This, of course, is the least unlikely thing that has ever been said about me.
Of course I like pie. In particular, I like banana cream pie. And key lime pie. And cheesecake, which I hereby declare is – the misleading “cake” part of its name not withstanding — definitely pie, seeing as how it’s pie-shaped and has not one bit of flour in it.
I like pumpkin pie, every kind of berry pie, apple pie, pecan pie, and rhubarb pie.
Oh, and I like quiche, which is really just egg-and-bacon pie.
There is very little chance, when you get right down to it, that I will not like any given pie.
And I believe I am not the only member of Team Fatty who feels this way.
Which — incredibly enough — brings me to the first of a very exciting pair of announcements.
The Most Awesome FatCyclist.Com T-Shirt, Ever, On Sale NOW
Every month, on the sixth of the month, my good friends at Twin Six sell a very limited-edition t-shirt — their t-shirt of the month.
These shirts always sell out fast. And then they’re gone.
Well, for the first time ever, the Twin Six T-shirt of the Month (Women’s sizes too) is this:
Here, have a closer look at the image that goes on that shirt:
I love this. I just love it. I’m going to wear it every day for a week as soon as I get it.
Which brings up the very important and salient question: how and when can you get this shirt? Well, the thing is, it’s a very limited-edition shirt, and once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. So you won’t want to dilly-dally in your ordering.
Here’s the when, how, and how much of procuring one of these fine shirts:
The Original FatCyclist.Com T-Shirt Is Back
The second announcement is that the original FatCyclist.com t-shirt — which hasn’t been available for years and years and years, and of which only a couple hunnerd were ever made — will be available starting tomorrow, in both men’s and women’s sizing. Like the T-Shirt of the Month t-shirt, it costs $24. Check it out — back first:
And here’s the front:
The Original FatCyclist.Com t-shirt is the shirt I wear more often than any other. I am, for all you know, wearing one right now.
If you pick both of these shirts up, and you’re one of the first 100 people to do so, you’ll get a nice little bonus: a free 2012 100 Miles of Nowhere bottle — which is a super-nice Specialized Purist bottle, and a $10 value.
You’ll suddenly have so much FatCyclist.Com stuff you’ll have to be careful to not wear it on consecutive days, so people won’t start thinking you’ve joined a cult.
And In Conclusion…
Head over to Twin Six to pick up your t-shirt of the month (men’s sizing / women’s sizing) and the original FatCyclist.com t-shirt (men’s sizing / women’s sizing).
And you will always be well-dressed and hydrated, for the rest of your life. Plus, you’ll look slimmer too, what with the shirts being black and all.
It was Sunday evening. The day before April Fool’s day. The twins were putting food coloring in the milk and rigging tripwires to spill confetti in every bedroom in the house (yes, really, in both cases).
Meanwhile, I had just one fairly weak idea: I was going to do a “Note from Fatty” prefacing a post saying that in order to monetize my blog, I was going to need to step up the number of ads — and then put dozens and dozens of ads scraped from other sites right in the middle of the post. One after every couple lines. All of them just leading to Bike Snob NYC’s oft-used Just Kidding image.
And then, late in the evening, I got an invoice in the email from SurveyMonkey, which I had subscribed to in order to help the twins collect data for their science experiment a couple of months ago, then neglected to unsubscribe from.
A light went on. “I’ll conduct a marketing survey for my readers,” I thought, “and just ask whatever pops into my head.”
It never even occurred to me that the results of that survey might actually be interesting.
And yet, they are. With just under 1,000 responses (the limit above which I would have had to begin paying $0.15 per additional response), I have a distressingly accurate picture of who you people are now, and the manner in which you are likely to answer very strange questions.
For your edification, I would like to present the highlights of this data.
Who You Are
First of all, almost exactly a quarter of you self-identify as female.
The rest of you are something else, though I have yet to distill all that data into anything meaningful. A sample of responses, however, include:
- 1 single-cell amoeba
- 2 hermaphrodites
- 1 person clarifying “After a vasectomy and too much time in the saddle I’m only 50% male”
- 7 claiming to be various Star Trek species (Klingon, Vulcan, Romulan)
- 1 who reproduces “via binary fission”
Your age, however, was not as complicated a topic as your gender. Here’s how the age breaks down:
Which means, to my delight, that I (age 46.75) am older than the majority of you. Also, I like the fact that 51 of you skipped this question.
To my delight, readers of FatCyclist.com seem to be a very prosperous group:
I’m really pleased at the fact that more than 75% of you make more than $100,000 per year. If I were an advertiser, I would totally pay attention to this metric and start advertising to this very prosperous readership right away, and I also wouldn’t look too closely at the options presented in this question.
Wanting to get a sense of the things my readers would spend a large amount of money on, I asked, “What would you do if you had a million dollars?”
Of course, this is a reference from the Barenaked Ladies song, “If I Had a Million Dollars.” But I was surprised at some of the results, shown here sorted by their popularity. Specifically, more of you would buy a monkey than art. Your least-likely purchase is John Merrick’s remains. To which I must respond: How do you think that makes John Merrick’s remains feel?
Bicycle-Oriented Spending Habits
One question on your mind is surely, “Do FatCyclist.com readers ride their bikes a lot?” Sadly, I never got around to asking that question.
However, I did ask how many bicycles you’re likely to own.
So, if you’re being honest — and on April Fool’s Day, why wouldn’t you be? — more than half of you own between 3 and 9 bikes. Which makes me really happy, because that means I own more bikes than most of you.
What’s startling in that breakdown is what kind of bikes you’re likely to own:
Mongoose edged out Huffy, though Huffy started the day with a lead. I suspect that this is due to the fact that Huffy riders have an earlier bedtime.
Bikes, of course, are only a small portion of the things FatCyclist.com readers spend money on, as the below graph clearly demonstrates.
This indicates a number of very important things:
- A lot of you are very likely to buy tubes, pastries, and post-ride beverages. Especially pastries and beverages.
- Quite a few of us buy jerseys that fit too tight.
- Charts can be super-duper confusing if you want them to be.
Also, this question was a deal-breaker for a lot of readers. Roughly 25% of you said to yourselves, “OK, I get the joke, time to move on,” and bailed out at this question, rather than continue slogging on.Which is too bad, because this is where the survey started getting good.
No, just kidding. It just kept getting more ridiculous.
You may wonder why I included the question, “How many days in a typical week do you wear false eyelashes or extensions.” The answer is simple: I put this in because it was a sample question in the survey software, and I found it intriguing.
And now that I asked, I’m caught between interested and surprised; I find it kind of weird that so many of you — like, more than half of you — are pretty much always wearing false eyelashes.
And I didn’t even know there were such things as eyelash extensions.
From there, naturally, we clearly needed to find out more about your makeup-wearing tendencies. Specifically, I was interested in how cyclists’ likelihood to get tattoos relates to the rapidly-expanding tattoo-obscuring makeup market:
The market for tattoo-covering makeup market is evidently enormous amongst my readers, which raises the question of why you’re all getting tattoos in the first place, and probably infers that you frequently make poor decisions after a night on the town.
Digging deeper, I asked you, “Considering that makeup companies, tattoo artists, tattoo removal companies, and attorneys all advertise heavily on the internet, please describe your favorite place to ride a bike.” Some of your common responses included the following:
- Inner city roads near tattoo parlors
- To my attorney’s office after getting a tattoo
- Places where M-dot tattoos are made. Those guys ride slow and are easily dropped
- Through a makeup factory on the way to getting a tattoo
- On the Internet
I was amazed at how often “outside” appeared, though I probably shouldn’t have been. And I was really amazed at how often “on the internet” appeared, because that makes no sense whatsoever.
Your Ideal Bike
The single largest revelation in the survey results was that there is complete unanimity on how much money should be spent on a bike, and what color it should be. Observe:
Survey participants were also allowed to enter a color of their own choosing, so long as the length of the color was three characters or less. To my surprise and delight, almost all readers selected red. Though quite a few managed to type “blue,” which means the survey-taking tool wasn’t paying very close attention.
Cycling Lifestyle Blog Reading Habits
As a blogger who is aware that other bike blogs exist, I was interested in your perception of other “popular” cycling blogs. The responses were startling:
Wow. If I were these guys, I’d be concerned.
Why, then, is my own blog so popular and successful and award-winning? Your answers were as kind as they were accurate:
- Shameless begging / self-promotion
- None of the rest of them need the reassurance awards bring
- Easy access to fat, balding, shirtless men
Innovative Food Consumption Habits
How do FatCyclist.Com readers eat? Pretty much how you’d expect:
Honestly, I’m a little bit disappointed that there wasn’t more blue in the above chart. But I’m even more disappointed in the reactions I got to the question “Why do you suppose so few people have discovered that peanut butter on a slice of cheddar is DELICIOUS?”
Clearly, prior to taking this survey, a large majority of you had never tried this most delicate of delicacies, while comments on this question were a mix of encouraging and extremely discouraging.
- My life has just changed
- Its weird how much we have in common
- Ugh, because it is gross
- Because it is bizarre
Sad. But not as sad as the way I felt at seeing this:
I’m sorry, but the correct answer is okra. By a lot.
To gauge the wisdom of my readers, I asked a few questions that required deep thinking.
What does it mean that 85% of the respondents choose “True?” I don’t know. But I choose to interpret it as a good thing.
Next, I assessed the endurance of my readership, asking them how many more questions they thought were coming down the pike, versus how many they could tolerate. The results were telling:
And finally, I assessed my readers assessment of the survey itself, within the survey.
As a followup, I asked for suggestions for better joke ideas for next year. Responses included:
- Sagan pinching a koala (and many other variations of Peter Sagan either pinching or getting pinched)
- A survey with actual funny questions
- Anything (This was the second-most-common suggestion, which means that according to many people, I somehow managed to pick the very least funny of all possible jokes to play, which is an accomplishment of its own, I suppose)
- Potty humor
- Something with ferrets (This reminds me of one of the funniest, best-written things I’ve ever read)
- A fork in the eye
- The weight loss video, backwards. (I almost did this, but didn’t want to go to the effort of changing the dates on all the pictures)
Of all replies to the question, “What would be a funnier joke,” however, one was by far and away the most common. And that was: “Your face.”
Which means, I believe, that a lot of my readers are in the fourth grade.
Still, 364 days early, I’m happy to oblige:
It’s no secret that I’ve been having financial difficulties as of late. And while I’ve had varying levels of success with different projects, none of them have come close to getting me back on solid ground, budget-wise.
I therefore feel it’s time I do something I probably should have done some time ago: monetize this blog.
No, don’t worry, I’m not asking you to pay money to read it, although if you’d like to make a donation, you’ll notice the new “PayPal Donate” here. Whatever you can give will be appreciated.
But that’s not what I really wanted to ask you to do today. What I need you to do is take a few minutes and complete this survey. [UPDATE: The surgery is now full and no longer taking entries. So there.] It’ll be easy, private, and it will help me to have a better understanding of who reads this blog, why, and what your interests are.
So please, take a couple of minutes and click here to take the survey now. [UPDATE: Like I said, never mind about doing the survey. It's all full now. Thanks and stuff.]
The main point of today’s post is that I’ve made a video with a time-lapse of my weight loss efforts. Frankly, it’s pretty freaky and disturbing and you may not want to watch it unless you can stand the thought of two-plus minutes of me morphing from a chunky middle-aged balding guy into a somewhat less-chunky middle-aged balding guy.
If you think you can deal with that, read on.
First though, for those of you who haven’t been following along as I’ve tried to lose 25 pounds during the first three months of this year, here’s the quick version.
- Adam Schwarz, A complete stranger — but reader of this blog — happened to be the same height and weight as me, and who also wanted to lose the same amount in the same period of time, had a contest with me. The details are here.
- I’ve kept track of my weight loss journey over at Beeminder, and in the sidebar of my blog.
- Both Adam and I succeeded in hitting our goals early, so we both win the rather nice reward of being much much lighter than before and ready to kick some butt during the upcoming race season. I’ve already set some PRs and netted a couple KOMs I’ve been after forever over at Strava.
But enough jibber jabber. Here’s the video for you to watch…if you dare.
A Note from Fatty: You all know The Noodle, right? Well she’s on the Specialized home page:
There’s also a cool story to go along with this photo. Read it here.
“If I could have one wish in the world,” my daughter said last weekend, “It would be that you would make hamburgers on the grill like you used to.”
The Hammer replied, “And if I had a wish, it would be that we could go to an Italian restaurant.”
Such easy wishes to grant. Except they aren’t. Not when you’re currently obsessing at heretofore unheard-of levels in order to get your weight down from 183 to 158 pounds, in three months.
But my family had it easy, really. After all, while I haven’t taken The Hammer out to a nice restaurant lately, I did fire up the grill and make burgers for the family — I even ate one myself (but without a bun).
Where I’ve really had to be outrageously obsessed is when I’m at work, where I am routinely sequestered in a conference room for eight solid hours at a time, four days in a row.
And since this has happened thrice in the past quarter — all while I’ve been trying to drop this weight — I’ve learned a few lessons.
Which I shall now share with you.
Wherein I Make Many Mistakes and Learn Important Things
Just a couple weeks into my diet, I had my first weeklong meeting of the quarter. And these meetings really do go all day, in one conference room, for four straight days. These meetings are intense. They are packed with work that needs doing — to the extent that lunch is usually brought in.
They require a lot of thinking, and a lot of listening, and a lot of expressing of oneself.
They are quite often somewhat confrontational, which adds a moderator job to the person who leads these weeklong meetings (i.e., me).
But I figured I was up to the job. I’d order light off the menu, and would skip desserts. I would stay away from the snacks I had strategically placed all over the table for people to munch on at will.
I would, in short, be good.
And then, in the space of four days, I gained three pounds.
How did this happen? I rationalized.
Toward the end of the first day, as the conversation grew heated, I thought to myself, “I think I’ll just have one handful of the chocolate-covered raisins.”
Which I did.
Which I then followed with another handful. And then I went to the cashews, until they were gone, after which I went to the M&Ms. And in short, I was the very picture of a train wreck.
I made a resolution to be better the next day. But in fact I was worse. My willpower cracked before we even got to lunchtime, and by early afternoon I was eating with a vengeance.
It is not clear at whom this vengeance was aimed.
As I got on the scale the day after this weeklong meeting, I realized that I needed to do things differently the next time I had a meeting like this. So I came up with the following:
- I cannot be trusted: My overarching insight was that when I am hungry and stressed and there is food around, I cannot be trusted to make a good food-related judgment call. I just can’t. I will break down and start eating with abandon.
- All decisions must be made early: If I can’t be trusted to make good food decisions when I’m hungry and stressed, I have to make all my food choices ahead of time.
- There can be no exceptions: The decisions I make are not subject to revision or adjustment or tweaking or anything else. They are absolute.
Working from these, I came up with a plan. I would purchase a stock of protein bars and protein shakes, and bring them with me to the meetings. I would have a certain allotment of these per day, and they would be all I would eat. No chips, no cookies, no pizza.
And it worked. I dropped from 163.6 to 160.8 during those four days.
However, I was working from home during this meeting. The real challenge would come at the weeklong meeting while I was traveling.
Level of Difficulty: 5
Since I would be out of town for this final meeting, I needed to get my stash of protein bars and drinks to the hotel ahead of time. So I just had them shipped there, to my attention. Easy.
The hard part was explaining to my co-workers, “Hey, I won’t be eating any meals with you guys. At all. It’s not that I’m anti-social, it’s that I am doing my best to get my weight down, and I know that once I’m in a restaurant, I’m not going to order the smart thing.”
“Also,” I continued, “I’m not going to be eating any of the snacks laying around. And if you see me look like I’m about to, I’d appreciate it if you’d smack me upside the head.”
To my surprise, everybody was very cool about it. Thinking back now, there’s no reason anyone wouldn’t be cool about it, but still.
So with my intentions and plan made public, I had turned the tables on this scenario. Instead of it being difficult to stay on my diet for a week while locked in a conference room, I had made it so it would have been difficult to not stay on my diet.
Except the one time everyone else took off for dinner and I stayed in the conference room, working late. During which I ate half a bag of chocolate-covered pecans.
Still, when I got back from my Sunday – Friday trip, I had dropped a full two pounds. Yes, that’s right. I had lost weight while traveling.
« Previous Page — « Previous Entries Next Entries » — Next Page »