Announcing my “Fight Like Susan” Book and Gear Pre-Order

03.23.2016 | 8:08 am

A Note from Fatty: If you’d like to skip the details and go right to the pre-order page, my feelings won’t be hurt. Just click here.

I’ve been building up to this for a little while, but it still feels like a big — and to be completely honest, scary — moment.

I’m ready to start writing Fight Like Susan. And I’m asking you to support me — in all the important senses of the word — as I write it.

What Is Fight Like Susan?

The book Fight Like Susan will be my telling of the life my first wife Susan and I had together, right from the beginning, but with a focus on our fight against breast cancer. 

I’ll be telling a lot of the story for the first time, although I will be including edited versions of my best relevant blog posts from then, along with some of the most meaningful comments to those posts.

So, at one level, it’s simply a story. But I think the way Susan inspired me and my thousands of friends on FatCyclist.com to fight — with courage, creativity, and kindness — makes it an incredible story.

I’m asking you to help me turn this next few months into something that matters to me: an opportunity to write the book I really need to write. 

How You Can Help

I’m anxious about writing this book, but to be honest, I’m a lot more anxious about asking for your help. Because while I’m very comfortable in asking my readers to be generous with their money, I’m not very comfortable in asking for money for me.

But I’m going to do it anyways.

I’m going to ask you to pre-order copies of this book, along with the associated bike clothes, t-shirts, and hoodies. Your pre-orders of the book and gear (all of which should be sent to you by August of this year) will help me cover expenses while I write this book and work toward regular employment.

You can click here to go to my pre-order page. And most of the rest of this post will be describing each of the items in that page. 

However, if you’d rather just donate (I was surprised when I conducted a survey how many people asked for such an option), you can do so right here, using the (sort of) clever gimmick of paying me by the word:

Pay Fatty to Write a…

Covermockup

Pre-Order Fight Like Susan

Combining the best posts from FatCyclist.com about Susan’s fight with a newly-written narrative of Susan and her family before and during her fight, Fight Like Susan will be an honest and thoughtful telling of Susan’s and Elden’s life together.

This fight defined, inspired, and changed me and what matters to me, and it might do the same for you. 

You can order any of several different versions of this book

  • Paperback: $19.95
  • Autographed Paperback: $22.95
  • Kindle Version: $12.95
  • Autographed Paperback + Kindle Version: $24.95

Fight Like Susan Relaxed-Fit Short-Sleeve Jersey

This is a comfortable, Italian-made, relaxed-fit jersey (see the Men’s and Women’s jersey sizing charts for sizing info). And it looks amazing:

Jersey frontback

It’s incredibly well-made by DNA Cycling; you’re going to want to wear this full-zip jersey Spring through Autumn.   

  • Fabric: Hydro Fit
  • Respire Moisture Management
  • Ergo Stretch Performance
  • Front Comfort Banding
  • Relaxed Fit
  • Full Hidden Zip
  • 3 Full Back Pockets
  • Silicon Grippers for Men’s Jersey (ladies jersey does not include silicon gripper)
  • Men’s and Ladies Cuts Available
  • Audio Port

I’m pricing these at $74.95, which means they’re not just a good jersey, they’re also a really good deal. Click here to pre-order.

Fight Like Susan Bib Shorts

These bibs are made in Italy, they fit beautifully, and they feel like they cost about three times as much as they do. And let’s cap this whole thing off with this: both men’s and women’s sizing. 

Screenshot 2016 03 22 12 23 53

  • Fabric: Performance Lycra / Shield
  • 4 cm Elastic Compression Technology
  • Smart Panel Design
  • Suspension Braces
  • Radio Pocket

These will cost $99.95, which is a crazy-good deal for excellent bib shorts. Click here to pre-order.

Fight Like Susan Cycling Socks

Show the world how you fight and what team you’re on. These socks have a double welt top for comfort and fit, a smooth toe seam, and flat-knit construction for an ultra-lightweight fit. 

Socks

They’re just $12.95; click here to pre-order.

Fight Like Susan T-Shirt 

I have a rule regarding selling t-shirts, which is to say: I won’t sell them if I don’t want to wear them. This is a good shirt, comfortable and just the right weight. 100% cotton. And it’s a good price at $19.95. 

Screenshot 2016 03 22 11 59 05

It comes in men’s and women’s sizing. Click here to order.

Fight Like Susan Hoodie

This is a 100% cotton, outrageously comfortable hoodie. Just the right weight, just the right fit. Show the world how you fight and what team you’re on. 

HOODIE FRONT 

This comes in Unisex sizing and is a bargain at $44.95. Click here to order.

Fight Like Susan Purist Hydroflo Bottle

I keep looking for a bottle I like better than this one. I do. But I’ve never found one. Not even close.

Fight Like Susan kit v4 03 

This is just the best water bottle there is, and this is a really awesome design for it. At a good price, too: just $12.95. That’s cheaper than you’ll get it for most places. Click here to order.

Questions?

If you have questions about anything here, please ask in the comments; I’ll try to answer inline. For questions that crop up frequently, I’ll add them to this list.

  • When will you get your gear? I’m going to send everything all at once, which means after I write and publish this book. Now, since this will in fact be the fourth book I’ve self-published, I’m pretty confident in my ability to hit my projected dates. So, unless things change drastically for me, you’ll have the book and gear in August.
  • What if Fatty suddenly finds himself super busy? It’s possible I’ll get a new job before finishing this book, in which case I’ll ask you to be patient as I shift more toward writing during the weekends. I’m committed to finishing it no matter what, however.
  • What are the shipping costs? Shipping to the US and Canada is free. Shipping elsewhere costs $25, no matter what. (This is a ridiculous amount to spend if you’re just going to get a book, but not at all bad if you order a jersey and shorts as well).
  • Why no bundles? I considered doing bundles — buy one of everything, get it all for less — but then realized: it defeated the purpose of what I’m doing here: trying to make some money while I write. I’ve put the prices on each of these items so I have a little bit of profit. If I do bundles, my volume might go up…but the amount of money I make would go down. 
  • How long will this pre-order go on? The pre-order will go to the last day of April. 
  • Why aren’t you using a crowdfunding site like Kickstarter or FundRazr? I looked into these and was startled at how much money they keep for themselves — I’d be losing around 10% of each sale to the hosting site. That’s a reasonable cost of finding people to support you…but I already have an audience. You people know me. So I’m keeping this right here.
  • How much money do I need? Well, that depends on how long it is ’til I have full-time work again. I can say that thanks to folks buying my 2015 gear, I was able to get rid of that debt, so I am OK through April. I’m hoping this will pre-order will set me up with enough money to cover my expenses (and cost of publishing and manufacturing) through June. 
If you have any questions or ideas or comments, please let me know. This is a weird, intense, difficult, and in some ways exciting time for me, and I appreciate your support. One last time: click here to order.

 

What the Bike Gives Me

03.21.2016 | 9:47 am

I’ve started work on writing Fight Like Susan, and have been making a lot of decisions: what will go in the book, and what won’t. How far back in time will I reach, and where is its finish line. 

I’m happy to say that so far, the answers to these questions have been pretty clear to me. My vision for this book is very clear, maybe because I have been thinking about it for close to a decade. 

It will be Susan’s and my story, and it will incorporate much of my best writing from this blog during her fight. This means that about half of the writing exists, and I’ll be writing the other half. 

A story, interspersed with essays.

An Outlet

As I go back and read what I wrote during Susan’s fight, I’m struck by how my time for riding was so clearly a pressure release valve. I remember how my friends noted that when I rode with them, I would attack. Riding angry.

When I rode alone,  I’d attack anyway. Or sometimes break down

Then I’d come home and could be the stable presence again. For my kids. For my wife.

This time was the defining test of my life. I know, that sounds hyperbolic, but I think it’s true: it fixed the “me at my best” in my mind, and it is who I continue to try to be.

But without the balance the bike provided me — a time and a way to empty out all the frustration and rage and sense of unfairness I felt — I don’t know if I could have been the person I’m so glad I managed to be.

A Respite

Now I’m dealing with some new stuff. This stuff is maybe more ordinary, less life-and-death; it’s just looking for work. But as I’m pouring myself into this task and into the work of writing a very emotional book, I find myself…mentally and emotionally cooked. Exhausted. 

And once again, the bike is there to give me balance. But this time in a different way. I find that I look forward to my time on the bike not as an outlet for excess energy and emotion, but as a time to recharge, to relax.

I’m not riding with the intensity I’ve felt in recent years, not even when I race. After I finished the True Grit Epic a couple weekends ago, I was incredibly happy for how fast The Hammer and Swimmer had gone…and felt like I had raced a good race too, in spite of the fact that I had gone slower than the previous year.

Why? Because I had enjoyed myself, and had ridden and talked with other guys who were also enjoying themselves. I had gotten a much-needed break from the things that were weighing me down. 

I’ve been riding, as often as I can, for at least twenty years now. And once in a while, this simple act can still surprise me with how much it affects me and means to me.

Somehow, no matter what I’m going through, the bike gives me balance.

100 Miles of Nowhere Race Report: Winner of the 33.3 Miles of Nowhere Division

03.18.2016 | 9:12 am

A “Something to Listen To During the Weekend” Note from Fatty: The new episode of the Paceline is out! Find and subscribe on iTunes, or listen to it here:

We talk about How to Ride the Correct Speed, about a cyclist who got bullied by a cop, stayed cool, and won in the end, fought the law and oh-so-much more. It’s a fun episode. More details at Red Kite Prayer.

A Note About Today’s Guest 100 Miles of Nowhere Post: This fantastic story of someone who took the idea of 100 Miles of Nowhere and made it into a fantastic, fun, fundraising group ride comes to you courtesy of Lorie of the Care Free blog, where this was originally published. It’s awesome. Enjoy!

NewImage

When I signed up this year,  I never intended to ride.  I’ve only been riding for 3 years. I can’t ride a century or even half a century. I just thought Camp Kesem was a fun cause to support. 

But I started thinking that I could ride part of it,  or maybe I could get a couple of friends to ride 33.3 miles so our combined miles would total the 100 mile.  But if I could do that, maybe I could be brave enough to ask the bike club I ride with to join me.  So 33 miles of nowhere event was born…

NewImage

To my amazement when I posted the event, people actually signed up.  Even more surprising,  people showed up. and then rode.  Up and down, then up and down a path for a great cause.  It seems cyclist are by nature really attracted to free stuff and great causes. 

NewImage

We chose a really intense route.  Okay, maybe more casual – ride north then south, then north again  then little a south to the end.

NewImage

The city of Peoria has been kind enough to build a great canal bike path.  Almost 20 miles of cement trail without a single car.  The only problem is that it does not actually go anywhere.  The northern end just drops into the desert and southern end turns into gravel – maybe not the most impressive route but perfect for what we needed.  

NewImage

The riders did amazing, working their way through the route’s challenges.  long bridges, sharp hairpin turns…

NewImage

…and those steep climbs were no match for our cyclists.

NewImage

Our expert cyclist took advantage of the long stretches to show off their mad drafting skills

NewImage

While others just needed a few moment to figure out life.   How many cyclist does it take to … sort of thing

NewImage
North End of Nowhere

NewImage

These fierce ladies did amazing reaching their personal goals for the day. Neither had ridden 33 miles before the event.  I hear one celebrated her birthday by exceeding the required 33 miles and actually rode 50!  Woot Woot!

NewImage
To add a little fun to the day . We created a very high tech 100 MON raffle – come back with pictures of local celebrities to receive  a chance at winning cool  100 MON  stuff…. Not very fancy but it worked.

Our celebrity sightings included Swiss royalty, she came in her finest attire to cheer on the riders!

NewImage

Lots of riders enjoyed getting a pic with the less famous but notorious Flat Al and our great sponsors!

NewImage

NewImage

NewImage

NewImage

NewImage

At the south end of the route the riders were treated to a day at Al’s Flat tire and bike shop. Where anyone could  learn to change a tire,  ask questions about their bike, or get a chance to ride a fat bike….   Good times good times,    Although I think there may have been a few donations made to the homeless guy…..

NewImage

 The words of wisdom and encouragement left along the way…

NewImage

… was just what we needed to finish the day!!

West Valley Casual Bike Group is just a Meetup group. But it has provided lots of  people with a shame free way to start cycling,  heaps of  rides that challenge and increase skills. And has produced a community for people who just like to ride bikes.

NewImage

I am so proud of our event results:   500+ miles were ridden, 2 very large boxes of pastries were consumed, 15 item including 100MON items were raffled off, and many cyclist donated directly to Camp Kesem!!!   Great job!!!

NewImage
33.3 miles to Nowhere 2015!!!!

Help Me Do What I’m Good At

03.16.2016 | 2:03 pm

A Fair Warning From Fatty: This post is going to be really dry for most of you, though hopefully pretty interesting for a few of you. It’s going to seriously blur my blog life and my career life. There will be links to my résumé (and to my LinkedIn page), and there will be pie charts illustrating my analysis of the Fight Like Susan crowdfunding survey I conducted a few days ago.

What’s Going On And How You Can Maybe Help

I’ve been working at a startup company for the past two-plus years. Unfortunately, they’ve had to cut me back to very part-time hours and pay. Without getting too deep into it, I’ll now be making 15% of what my salary was.

We can’t live on that. Not even close.

I need to find a job, and if you have connections to a company that could use a very experienced Storyteller (sometimes called a “content marketer”), or very experienced Product Manager / Product Marketing Manager, or just a remarkably disciplined and creative — yet almost ridiculously technically-gifted — content guy in general, please: introduce us. 

If you have something you think I’d be interested in, don’t be shy. You can use email (I’m fatty@fatcyclist.com, as you probably know), text messaging (my phone number is in the PDF of my résumé), or LinkedIn messaging.

How I’m Using My Time Right Now

Meanwhile, I have time, and I intend to use it fully. Starting next week, I’m going to launch a friends-of-fatty crowdfund / pre-order of the book I’ve intended to write for several years: Fight Like Susan

I will give you more details about the content of the book next week, but for now, here’s what I’ve learned from you about how this pre-order ought to work.

First, it looks like a large enough percentage of you want to buy a copy that this is not a completely insane idea. 
Between last Friday and Monday (a four-day period), 420 of you answered my survey. The first question was the most critical: how likely are you to buy a copy?

Your response was overwhelmingly encouraging:

Screenshot 2016 03 16 13 07 26

74% of the survey respondents said they definitely plan to, with another 14% at least willing to consider it. Now, I understand that this group is self-selecting, but I choose to still see it as a really hopeful sign. 

Second, you told me how I ought to price the book.

To be honest, I didn’t expect to get such clear direction on what the price ought to be for the book, but you were very helpful:

Screenshot 2016 03 16 13 11 29

$19.95 is the most popular option, but $14.95 and $12.95 were up there, too. As of this moment, I plan to make $14.95 the default price. If you want a signed version, that will cost $19.95 (58% of you indicated you’d be willing to pay $5 – $10 extra for the signed version, so this works out nicely for you).

And if you are in a tough financial spot (which I completely understand) but want to read or gift it to someone, then you can pay $12.95…and if the math works out, I may also include a $9.95 version. 

Third, I need to have a Kindle plan.

I guess I shouldn’t be at all surprised by this next chart, since I do about 90% of my own reading on the Kindle app for iOS devices. Still, I admit it, this does surprise me: 

Screenshot 2016 03 16 13 20 43

Yep, more of you want this book in Kindle format than you do in paperback.  We live in the future, folks. 

How much will I charge for the Kindle version? $9.95, I believe. 

Fourth, I need to rethink my “Podcast and Letter” incentive. 

One idea I had as an upsell incentive was to provide an exclusive ongoing podcast and newsletter for people who pay a certain amount. Here’s what you all thought of that idea, in terms of how much you’d pay:

 

Screenshot 2016 03 16 13 28 09

Just about a quarter of you were interested in paying for this, which isn’t bad. If 2000 of you buy a book and a quarter of you paid $10 for a weekly podcast / letter from me saying how the is going, that’s $5000, which is a good amount of money.

But one person left a comment saying: 

I don’t think i’d pay more for the podcast, etc on the book process. But I think it’s a good idea to do that anyway…blog the entire thing, basically give it away for free. This will bring in more people who are willing to buy it when it’s done.

When I read that, I realized it made so much sense. So that’s what I’m going to do: have Fight Like Susan Progress episodes on the FattyCast, and talk about (and excerpt parts of it) as I write. 

Fifth, you have several good ideas for me.

I was really glad I left a place in the survey for comments; many of you left some really thoughtful, useful insights I’m considering making part of this project:

  • Kindle + Paperback Option: Several people noted they’d like to have both Kindle and paperback versions of the book. I think that makes perfect sense and plan to have a bundle with both at a good price.
  • T-Shirt, Jersey, Socks, Bottles: This was the single most frequently-made comment: where are the incentive levels for these items? I’m working on design now and will have them as part of this project.
  • Audio Option: I was surprised how many of you want an audiobook option for this book. It’s a daunting idea, but I’m intrigued by it. I think I might make it a “stretch goal” target. I’ll have to figure out how that might work (and I’m open to suggestions). 
  • A “Just Donate” Option: A number of very generous folks said they’d like to just be able to kick in some money, either as thanks for a lot of years of bloggage, or because they’re just really nice.
  • An Outrageous Option: I’m not sure what this should be, but I’m certainly open to suggestions.

I’ll be launching this pre-order next week, and I’ll begin writing the book itself next week. Be on the lookout for that. 

this is a weird, scary, intense, very educational time for me right now. Whether you help by pre-ordering a book or by pointing my résumé out to someone who might have work for me, I appreciate it.

New FattyCast: Talking with Pelotonia CEO Doug Ulman

03.15.2016 | 11:05 am

A Note from Fatty: If you took the time to fill out the survey I was talking about in my recent posts, thank you. Your feedback has been incredibly helpful, and now I’m working on incorporating it into my plan. I’ll let you know what I’ve learned and plan to do soon.

Doug Ulman is the president and CEO of Pelotonia, an Ohio-based charity that can make the unusual claim that 100% of its rider-raised funds go toward high-risk, high-reward cancer research.

NewImage

But Doug’s history with cancer goes way back, including having his own foundation, being the president of Livestrong during the good and bad times.

Doug was one of the many great people who inspired me to fundraise for important causes, and he’s the one who introduced me to Camp Kesem.

NewImage

Doug doesn’t talk from an abstract place when he talks about cancer. He was diagnosed with cancer about twenty years ago. Or make that diagnoses — Doug was diagnosed with cancer three times in a one-year period. 

It’s been a while since he and I have talked, and I was looking forward to catching up.

In this FattyCast, Doug and I talk about the differences in fundraising for cancer awareness, treatment, and research.

We talk about why fundraisers so frequently center around cycling events.

We talk about things we hate people saying about cancer.

And we talk about regrets and lessons learned at Livestrong after Lance Armstrong was found to be a cheater. 

This is a thoughtful, enlightening episode of the FattyCast. I think you’re going to enjoy it.

on iTunesStitcherFattyCast.com, or on my fattycast.com/rss feed.

Or just listen / download it here:

« Previous Page« Previous Entries     Next Entries »Next Page »