Good News, Good Reviews

11.18.2014 | 11:33 am

Last week I announced that as part of the pre-order on my upcoming book, The Great Fatsby: The Best of FatCyclist.com, Vol. 2someone is going to win an Ibis bike of their choice

I mentioned the Tranny 29—my own personal bike, which I’ve been riding as a singlespeed and as a fully geared go-everywhere, do-anything bike. 

I’ve mentioned the Ripley 29, which Boston Carlos won last year, and now rides and loves.

What I did not mention at the time, however, was something I knew (and yet managed to keep secret): that Ibis would be announcing and launching a new bike in very short order.

And that bike would be the all-new, incredibly beautiful Ibis Mojo HD3:

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This is a 27.5” all-mountain MTB, and it was just announced yesterday, to extraordinarily positive reviews from BikeRadar, VitalMTB, and everyone else who’s been lucky enough to ride one.

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I, unfortunately, am not one of those lucky few who has ridden one (yet). 

However, I think I am the only one who may get to give one away

Because, yes, I had the foresight when I was talking to Chuck Ibis about including an Ibis in my pre-order giveaway, to ask, “Can the owner choose any Ibis bike, including this new one you’re launching next week?”

Yeah, I had to frame it like that, because Chuck wouldn’t tell me the name of the bike. Sheesh. But I couldn’t stay mad at him because he said, “Of course.”

So yes: when you buy anything from my book pre-order store, you’re automatically entered for chances in the giveaway (the number of chances is included in each item description).

And, lest you forget, 25% of the profit goes to WBR.

And you might win an entry into the Leadville 100.

And you actually get the thing you’re buying.

And I’ll actually get a little something for the ten years of writing I’ve put into this blog. Which I hope you’re OK with.

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People Are Nice To Me

A few days ago, I listed a few folks who have been nice enough to send me short reviews of their thoughts on The Great Fatsby

Well, I sent out some sample chapters to a few more cyclists I really respect, and have gotten some more great feedback. 

Kathryn Bertine is a pro cyclist, the director / producer of the important cycling documentary Half The Road, as well as the author of the must-read As Good As Gold. Here’s what she says:

The Great Fatsby is not unlike The Great Gatsby; one big party with a few necessary morals for good measure. What’s great about Fatty’s writing is his ability to entertain and educate–not just for the cycling audience, but for all readers who enjoy taking a peek behind the curtain of niche cultures. Fatty reminds us of the true joys of cycling, and his self deprecation will keep you laughing cover to cover. We’re lucky to have him–and his witty words– in the sport.

Patrick Brady (aka “Padraig”) is the honcho at Red Kite Prayer, one of the sites I visit every single day. Here’s what he says:

It’s a difficult thing to be funny in print. It’s even harder to revisit existing work and find fresh ways to be funny. Such is Elden’s talent. Perhaps the truest thing I can say of this book is that I envy his gift for finding laughs in the flattest light. 

Levi Leipheimer is a pro cyclist, the namesake of the best Gran Fondo in the world, and a really good guy. He said this about my book:

The Great Fatsby is, of course, very funny and sheds a comedic light on a sport that often takes itself too seriously. The far more pleasant surprise is its raw, poignant, and introspective truth about why we simply love to ride bicycles.

Bike Snob NYC is a better writer than I am, and his blog is funnier. There. I said it. So it was incredibly cool of him to send me this quote: 

Fat Cyclist is the Godfather of Bike Bloggers.  Just when you thought you were out…he pulls you back in.

Does it seem like I’m kind of hammering you on pre-ordering this book (and jersey, and t-shirt)? I know. Here’s why: I’m making some big personal bets on it. (No, not actual gambling-style bets). So, if you’ve already bought a copy, thanks for your patience.

And if you haven’t, well, you’re exactly the person I’m talking to. 

Tomorrow, I promise: less selling, more regular-style blogging.

PS: If you haven’t read my first Best of book, Comedian Mastermind, the Kindle version is now cheap as dirt.

 

Here, Have a Free Slice of My New Book, for Free

11.17.2014 | 10:07 am

Today, I am beginning what may be the busiest week I have ever lived in my life. Here are the things that are happening:

  1. I am finishing my edits of my new book. I may have to do some late nights to make this happen, but I will get it done.
  2. Something I can’t tell you. It’s important and kind of a big deal to me personally, but doesn’t have anything to do with cycling or this blog.
  3. I am completing and submitting an application to a reality TV show, at their request. I will either have more to say on this in the future…or I won’t. I guess it all depends on whether anything happens after this. What surprises me about this, though, is how much work it is to put this application together.

Why am I telling you all this? Because even with all this, I still plan to post as often as possible this week. Why am I doing this? Because I love you, you big crazy bunch of Friends of Fatty.

And also, because I have some kinda really amazing stuff to tell you about. 

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Pre-Order My Book (or Long-Sleeve Jersey, or Both), Get a Chance at  Racing The Leadville Trail 100 

It’s probably no secret that The Leadville 100 mountain bike race is a massive part of my life. That it has, for each of the past 18 years, been the focus of my racing efforts. 

It’s also no secret that this race is pretty darned difficult to get into. I don’t know the numbers, but anecdotally it seems like entering the lottery gives you about a one-in-ten chance of getting in.

So I’m pretty excited to announce today that someone who pre-orders my book (or any of the items in my online store, including the t-shirt, jersey, a WBR donation, or a bundle) is going to draw a free entry into this race.

Yes, really.

And those of you who have already pre-ordered something? Yeah, you’re already entered in the drawing. How about that?

And even if you don’t win, well…you’re still getting the book (or whatever it is you ordered). And 25% of the profit still goes to World Bicycle Relief.

So no matter what, you get something cool (I promise, my book is cool…more on that in just a minute) and help the world become a more awesome place.

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And of course, you also have a chance at winning any Ibis you want, completely tricked out with a top-end SRAM build.

Oh, and also…I’ll be announcing more prizes soon. Including one that is going to require you to have a current passport.

Here, Let Me Give You a Big Chunk of The Great Fatsby For Free Right Now

I am, in addition to being a beloved and award-winning superstar celebrity in the cycling blogosphere, a fairly imaginative person. This is, mostly, a good thing. Thanks to this trait, I generally have a pretty easy time of coming up with things to write about, and the writing process is a lot easier for me than it is for most people.

However, this imagination also makes for some freak-out-edness sometimes. I worry about things I shouldn’t. I lose sleep. I fret about worst-case scenarios, in spite of the fact that this worrying does me no good.

NewImageThis surprises you, doesn’t it?

No? Oh well, let’s continue anyway.

So this morning I was talking to The Hammer, telling her how it worries me that my readers don’t know much about my new book, The Great Fatsby. You haven’t seen it and don’t know whether you’ll like it. So you don’t know whether you’re going to want to buy it.

“Well, why don’t you give them a sample to look at, so they can decide for themselves whether they want it?”

Oh. Well. Duh. Have I mentioned that one of the downsides of being an imaginative person is that I’m not a particularly practical person?

But I can recognize a good idea when I hear it. So here you go: a PDF of the first 28 pages of Chapter 3: “Valuable, Practical How-To Guidance You Can Use Right Now,” from The Great Fatsby

Yeah, a 28-page sample—that’s about half the chapter. That should keep you busy for a little while…and it should give you a pretty good idea of whether you’re going to enjoy the book.

If you do, I hope you’ll pre-order it

And I’ll be interested to hear what you think in the Comments.

How to Properly Share the Trail

11.13.2014 | 1:07 pm

An Early-Reviews-Note from Fatty: I’ve sent rough, pre-press copies of my new book, The Great Fatsby: The Best of FatCyclist.com, to a few people, asking them what they think. 

One of those people is the very famous, handsome, and intelligent Stevil Kinevil, creator of All Hail the Black Market. Here’s what he had to say:

I read the first three chapters of The Great Fatsby while sitting at a computer, putting off other stuff that I was supposed to do.

Ironically, I enjoyed it more than I did Comedian Mastermind, which I read in the woods with a six pack of beer. Clearly in the years since his first effort, his sarchasi-meter has been finely tuned, and for that fact, we should all give thanks.

After reading The Great Fatsby, however, I need to recalibrate my entire existence because with the exception of also having a disdain for selfies, and never shaving my eyebrows, I now know everything I’ve thought and done up to this point in my life is wrong.

Bill Strickland, who is a deep thinker and thoughtful writer, as well as Editor-at-Large at Bicycling Magazine and the author of about 35% of all cycling books ever written, had this to say:

Here’s the big lesson: When something really, really matters to you — as cycling does to Elden and all of us who’ll read this — it’s worth being funny about. The lightness of the writing doesn’t detract from the importance cycling holds in our lives — instead, it helps you appreciate and enjoy your passion all the more.

And this came in from Phil Gaimon, who is so good at both writing and riding that he’s gone pro at both

It might be too late for me, but the worst thing a cyclist can do is forget how ridiculous it is to shave your legs, pull on some tights, and ride a $5,000 bicycle through traffic. Elden’s new collection from his hilarious blog is full of wisdom to save cyclists from embarrassment, and fart jokes to remind the rest of us not to take pedaling too seriously.

So yeah, as you might guess, I’m pretty excited that a few very funny guys are enjoying The Great Fatsby. I’ve put a ton of work into organizing, editing, explaining, and annotating this book, and I think it’s going to stand as some of my best work. And I think you’ll like it too. 

But only if you order a copy

How to Properly Share the Trail

Even as I become increasingly famous and wealthy, I do my very best to stay in touch with common cyclists—people like you. This can, of course, be difficult, since whenever I go riding, my advance team closes down the road or trail network upon which I am riding. I am flanked by a phalanx of security personnel, all specifically . And also my cheese wrangler rides alongside me, whose services I have retained because I am fond of cheese.

As I was thus riding recently, a thought occurred to me:

Wouldn’t it be weird if other people were on this trail at the same time?” I thought to myself. “And if some of those people were going in the same direction as I, while others were going in the opposite direction!”

“And what if,” I continued musing, as my cheese wrangler handed me a cube of Swiss with spicy brown mustard smeared on it (my cheese wrangler despises me), “all of us were going at self-selected speeds, some faster than me, while others were slower!”

At this point, my mind was boggling a little bit at this preposterous hypothetical situation, but I decided to run with it and take it to its logical extreme. “And then, what if there were cyclists and walkers and horses on the trail?”

I started laughing uncontrollably at this crazy bizarro universe I had just dreamed up. My imagination can take me to some pretty wacky places.

Still, I was intrigued. What madness would I encounter if I were to ride my mountain bike on trails open to the public? Would it be chaos? Would it be purely terrifying? Surely, it would be a living hell!

To my astonishment, I was mistaken. Indeed, I am happy to report, riding with other people on the trail is not something to be terrified of. Indeed, with my expert guidance (I become expert at anything I try, usually within a few minutes), you will find that it is possible to share a mountain biking trail with other people.

Understand the Fundamentals

As it turns out, the fundamental principal for everyone getting along on a trail is for everyone to understand the rules of who has the right of way when two people encounter each other on a trail. Here are those rules, conveniently organized for you in a numbered-list format:

  1. Cyclists yield to pedestrians.
  2. Pedestrians yield to horses.
  3. Horses yield to nobody, and get to act like they own the place.
  4. Cyclists coming downhill must yield to cyclists going uphill, unless they’re having an incredible Strava run.
  5. Cyclists going uphill must yield to pedestrians who pass them as they are also going uphill, which is pretty embarrassing.
  6. Cyclists who are in the zone do not have to yield to anyone. Because they’re in the zone, that’s why.
  7. Nobody yields to cyclists, because cyclists are apparently not as important as pedestrians and horses.
  8. Cyclists yield to horses. Because horses are bigger and can freak out over tiny little nothings and can crush you to death when their rider can’t control them, but as a cyclist, that’s your fault, not the horse rider’s.
  9. Cyclists and pedestrians yield to the giant piles of crap that it’s apparently ok for horses to leave on the trail.
  10. When approaching a pedestrian from behind, cyclists should alert the walker that you are coming, so they can move aside. Which means that in this case the walker is yielding to the cyclist, but that’s just the way it’s got to be.
  11. When the pedestrian doesn’t hear the cyclist because the pedestrian has his/her headphones cranked way up, the cyclist must try again, this time louder.
  12. When the pedestrian still doesn’t hear the cyclist, the cyclist must ride behind the pedestrian at a snail’s pace for about twenty minutes until you see a place to go around the pedestrian
  13. When you finally go around the pedestrian, the pedestrian is required by law to jump out of his/her skin and scream in a comical voice
  14. Even though it’s the pedestrian’s fault they’re unaware of their surroundings and you have in fact been behind her/him for pretty much ever, it is the pedestrian’s right to say, “You scared me!” and the cyclist’s responsibility to apologize.
  15. When yielding to horses, cyclists must get well off the trail, observing the 3-foot rule, or be willing to catch a faceful of swishing tail as the horse goes by.
  16. When a cyclist comes around a blind corner and finds himself/herself wheel-to-wheel with another cyclist, it is the responsibility of both cyclists to put a foot down and laugh with relief that you’re both OK, then say, “Have a good ride.”
  17. When a cyclist comes around a blind corner and finds himself/herself face-to-face with a pedestrian, it’s the responsibility of the pedestrian to jump over to the wrong side of the trail, throw their hands up int the air, and shriek. It is the responsibility of the cyclist to suppress laughter.
  18. Cyclists must yield to all mammals, and most invertebrates.
  19. When a cyclist approaches another cyclist from behind, it is the responsibility of the passing cyclist to ask, “How’s it going,” without appearing to breathe hard. It is the responsibility of the cyclist being passed to reply, “Just enjoying a recovery day,” and then to do his level best to grab onto the other rider’s wheel.
  20. When passing another cyclist, it is the responsibility of the passing cyclist to say, “On your left,” even if you actually mean you’re on their right. It is the responsibility of the cyclist being past to move left when you hear, “On your left.”
  21. When a cyclist has pulled over to the side of the trail in order to let a horse or pedestrian pass, the cyclist is required to discover, to your horror, that while you have unclipped with your right foot, your bike is tipping over left and there is no way you are going to get that other foot unclipped in time. 
  22. Once lying in the middle of the trail with everyone in the whole world watching you, with one of your feet trapped under a bike so that you cannot clip out of it and are therefore as thoroughly trapped as rabbit in a snare, it is acceptable for the cyclist to wish he were dead.
  23. Once a cyclist has yielded to a horse, they must expect a reasonable time (5 – 10 minutes) to pass before the horse decides that maybe it’s time to start walking again. 
  24. Oh, and also right here, right now would probably be a good time to drop another enormous pile of crap. The splashier the better.

You may want to print and laminate this simple set of rules, keeping it with you at all times.

Buy Fatty’s Book (and Jersey, and T-Shirt), Win a Dream Bike, Help WBR Save the World

11.11.2014 | 8:00 am

A Note from Fatty: If really all you want from today’s post is a link to the online store, just click here. However, if you don’t read the whole thing, you may not find out that you won a tricked-out Ibis of your choice and also helped save the world.

Being the incredible writer I am, every single sentence I type is a precious gift to the universe. Each word is a beautiful, perfectly-formed gemstone, each essay a verbal gem-tastic mosaic.

At will, I can make you laugh. I can make you cry. I can make you shake your head in awestruck wonder.

I can say, in all humility, that I deserve each and every one of the Bloggies I have won.

And I have won a lot. Like, four of them. 

As you might expect, the greatest challenge I have had in compiling this, the second volume in The Best of FatCyclist.com (which I have whimsically named The Great Fatsby) is selecting what not to include. I have agonized. I have wrung my hands in anguish. I have considered making this into a 4200-page book.

But—showing remarkable strength and fortitude—I have done it. And here is the cover.

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About The Great Fatsby

Puffery aside, The Great Fatsby honestly is some of the very best humor writing I’ve ever done. That may be because it was during this period that Susan was fighting cancer; writing was a defense of sorts. (The serious posts from this same period, along with the rest of the story, will be Volume 3, which I plan to publish in a year.)

I picked out the top 5% of my writing from this period, gave each story a little bit of introductory context, added some new jokes, and footnoted the heck out of the thing. 

Like this:

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The stories are now grouped into topical sections (E.g., “Things You Already Know,” “Introspection and Fart Jokes,” “Strong Opinions On Trivial Matters”), and are, for the first time…edited. A little bit.

And perhaps best of all, Dan Wuori—the hilarious back-page columnist for Velo—wrote the foreword for the book. And the Backword. And the Middleword.

Yes, this book has a Middleword. I think every book should have one.

Win a Dream Bike, Help WBR Make the World a Better Place

The Great Fatsby is available as a pre-order right now, and will be shipped on or about December 10: plenty of time to get to you before Christmas. You can order just the book itselfa signed copy, or a copy with a personal inscription

It will also be available as a Kindle book, starting in mid-December.

But If I were you, I’d consider maybe reading on a bit further before deciding what you’re going to buy. Because I’ve got some awesome stuff and awesome deals that go with The Great Fatsby. 

And someone’s going to be winning the Ibis bike of their choice, completely tricked out with top-of-the-line SRAM components

For example, maybe you’d like to get the full-suspension, go-everywhere, do-anything Ripley 29 (which, built up with SRAM XX1, RockShox suspension front and back, and Rise, Roam, or RAIL wheels, would retail for more than $9000):

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Or maybe you’re more of a hardtail type rider. Maybe you want to try out singlespeeding, or maybe you would like to travel with your bike. In that case, maybe you’d like to get the exact bike that I got for myself, and have been riding and loving this year: The Ibis Tranny 29, similarly built up to the nines with SRAM parts:

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Or how about an Ibis Hakkalugi Disc go-anywhere CX machine, built to perfection with the SRAM Force CX1 groupset? 

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I gotta say, that is a seriously tempting CX machine. If I had that bike, I might actually start racing CX.

Or you could get yourself any of the flavors of one of the most beloved mountain bikes out there: The Ibis Mojo

Why a Contest?

Wbrlogo proud supporter

Why is there a contest component to this pre-order? Because I like to give cool stuff away, for one thing. But more importantly, because 25% of the profits of this pre-order—including the book sales and the pre-order of everything else I’m about to show you—will go to World Bicycle Relief. 

I’ve seen firsthand how a bicycle donated to a student can completely change her life’s potential. I’ve ridden with a health care volunteer as she went from home to home, miles apart, meeting with  people she takes care of. 

In short, I’ve seen the power of the bicycle, and I’m proud to be donating a quarter of the profits from this book to World Bicycle Relief.

But here’s the cool thing: that donation will be anonymously matched. So it will actually be like half the profits from this book will go to World Bicycle Relief. 

Not bad, huh?

The Team Fatty Tecno-Merino Wool Long Sleeve Jersey

I’ve been friends and riding buddies with DNA Cycling—a high-end cycling clothing manufacturer that is HQ’d here in Utah, but manufactures its clothing in Italy—for years.

I recently struck up a conversation with them about, in short order, creating a really beautiful, incredibly comfortable Merino wool jersey that would look and feel great before, during, and after cool weather rides. 

This is what DNA Cycling designed for me. Let’s take a look at the front and back:

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Here are the details of this beautiful, beautiful jersey.

  • Tecno-Merino is a wool-poly blend that is incredibly soft and comfortable. You can wear it right against your skin without ever itching, at all.
  • Full Zipper, and 3 Pockets: In other words, this is a fully-functioning, hard-working jersey. Not a sweater masquerading as a jersey. But it’s so gorgeous you can (and will) wear it wherever.
  • Hidden Zipper Pocket: There’s an extra pocket in the back, to keep money, your credit card, and a key secure when you ride. You don’t need that stuff falling out on accident when you reach behind you to get out a gel.
  • Between Race and Club Cut: I recommend you treat this as if it were a race cut and go up a size. Maybe two, if you put on pounds during the winter like I do. Yeah, that’s right. I’m thinking I’ll get an XL.
  • There are Lots of Sizes Available. It’s bummed me out for a long time that I run a blog called FatCyclist, but don’t ever have jersey sizes past 3XL. Well, this jersey goes from 2XS to 5XL. Unisex sizing. [Note: Sizing info is at the bottom of the product description.]

Above all else, I am offering this jersey at a ridiculously killer price: $124.95. That’s $25 less, at a minimum, than you’ll pay for an equivalent jersey elsewhere. 

And if you buy it as part of a bundle with an autographed, inscribed book, the cost is $139.90: you’ll save $15 over buying them separately. [Fact: This is the best Christmas present in the whole world.] 

Or you can make me love you forever by getting the Super Bundle, containing the signed and inscribed book, the long-sleeved jersey, and the t-shirt shown below, and save $20.

And yes, this jersey enters you into the contest to win the Ibis of your choice. And 25% of the profits go to World Bicycle Relief.

The Great Fatsby T-Shirt

People will see you wearing this t-shirt, and they will wonder how it’s possible that you managed to make such a grievous spelling error .

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That is, of course, their own problem. Whether you choose to set them straight is up to you (but I think you should).

And here’s the back of the t-shirt: 

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This is a 100% ringspun, 4.3oz cotton, with a really nice hand feel. It’s not going to shrink unless you do terrible things to it, and it’s sized from Small to 3XL in both women’s and men’s cuts. 

You can get this t-shirt by itself, or get it with a signed book and save $5.00. Or get the Super Bundle (a signed and inscribed book, a long-sleeved jersey, and this t-shirt), with a savings of $20.

[Note: Sizing info is at the bottom of the product description.]

How the Contest Works

With every book, jersey, t-shirt, or bundle you buy, I’m donating $25% of the profits to World Bicycle Relief. Also, for each item you buy, you’re getting a certain number of chances in the random drawing I will make on December 10, 2014. The number of chances is specified in the item description, but roughly corresponds to the cost of the item. 

The winner of the drawing will get to choose any Ibis frame, in the color and size of her/his choice. You may have to wait if the frame/size/color of your choice is not in stock. 

No purchase is necessary. To enter the contest without making a purchase, write a cogent, well-reasoned on-topic essay of between 400 and 500 words describing why you think The Great Fatsby is either a good or bad choice for a book title. The essay quality will not be a factor in whether you win, but will be used as a guard against bot-generated entries. Use the subject line “The Great Fatsby Contest Entry,” and send the email to fatty@fatcyclist.com. 

Submitted essays become the property of FatCyclist.com, and may well be published, with or without commentary, whether you win or not.

This contest, and pre-order period, ends at midnight, December 3, 2014.

Thank You

So, to recap and in general put the hard-sell on you, when you buy a book, jersey, t-shirt, or bundle during the pre-order, you get that cool thing, you get a chance at winning a cool bike, World Bicycle Relief magically gets a quarter of the profit turned into half the profit. 

I’ve been writing this blog for nearly ten years now. I still love it, and I put a lot of work into it. I hope you’ve enjoyed it too, and find it worth your money to pick up a copy of The Great Fatsby (and associated gear).

Thank you!

PS: If you have any questions, please ask in the comments section; I’ll do my best to answer right away.

The Great Fatsby: Pre-Order Starts Tomorrow

11.10.2014 | 12:51 pm

I’m super-duper excited to announce that I am hard at work on my new book: The Great Fatsby.

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I’ll be opening it up for pre-order tomorrow, and will have it in your hands by Christmastime.

This is, frankly, some of the funniest stuff I ever wrote. You know, from back when I was hungry and funny and hadn’t yet sold out. Or whatever.

You know me well enough by now to know that I can’t help myself: this book will benefit a good cause, and there will be an incredible grand prize I will be giving away to some lucky person.

I’m also excited to say that along with this book, there’ll be a t-shirt you can buy:

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Almost most of all, though, I’m almost insane with delight at this long-sleeved tech-merino wool jersey I’ll be making available, at an absurdly great price when you buy it with The Great FatsbyNewImage

You will never ever want to wear anything else, ever again. Well, at least not until next summer.

Details tomorrow! 

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