What Should I Ride at Leadville This Year? How About I Let YOU Decide?

07.25.2016 | 1:25 pm

A Tuesday Update from Fatty: So far, the numbers have been a little…shall we say “lopsided”…as to how I should focus my efforts at Leadville:

Chart 1: How Should Fatty Ride?

This incredibly skewed result is, I should point out, thanks to a very major donation. That said, even without that major donation, the results would still be strongly favoring me being The Hammer’s domestique this year. The contest is still young, however, and this vote could still be overturned with either a major donation or many small donations.

I think it’s amazing that not a single person has voted that I should race singlespeed, for myself.

Regardless, I will abide by the result of this vote, and plan to bring both my geared and singlespeed hardtails to Leadville. And unless things change drastically, it looks like I need to choose a 34×20 gearing for my singlespeed, with an eye toward pulling The Hammer.

The Hammer Vs. Monster question is much closer:

Hammer vs Monster

Based on how readers are voting with their dollars, people believe that this mother-daughter battle is going to be close.

I’ll update again tomorrow…when I post a new episode of the Rockwell Relay Race Report. Because, yes, we’ve crossed the $2500 story-hostage threshold. Thank you!

A Note from Fatty About the Rockwell Relay Story: The Rockwell Relay Story is being held hostage. It will be released as soon as I have raised the $2500 I have promised to NICA. Read on to find out how you can help read part 13 soon. 

A Note From Fatty: I’m planning to do three fundraisers this year. Right now begins the first — for The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). I’m really excited about this one because I love what NICA stands for, and because of the very cool prizes I will be offering, and because I’ll be doing some very fun and weird things for this contest.

These fun and weird things are:

  1. I will give you the opportunity to win something based on a future event.
  2. I will give you the opportunity to make the two most critical decisions regarding how I approach the Leadville 100 for me, and I will abide by those decisions whether I want to or not.
  3. I want this fundraiser to succeed, but The Monster needs it to succeed. She’s racing the Leadville 100 in a few weeks in a charity slot for NICA. So when you donate, you’re making me happy, you’re NICA very happy, and you’re making The Monster extra double-happy.
I’ll explain all of this a little later in this post. But first, you need to read why The Monster is fundraising for NICA as she races the Leadville 100 this year. 

All or Nothing
by Melisa “The Monster” Rollins 

I am—and have always been—an “all or nothing” kind of girl. If you have been following my past year of riding and racing, you wouldn’t find this too hard to believe.

To fill those of you in who haven’t been following, I didn’t particularly start off my endurance biking career easily. In March of this year, I finished my first-ever mountain bike race, the True Grit Epic: fifty brutal miles of the most technical trails in Southern Utah.

A little later, I raced the Six Hours of Frog Hollow. Then, just over a week ago I finished my third monstrous mountain bike race, the Crusher in the Tushar [Story on that coming soonish. - FC], and am looking forward to next month where I’ll be racing the Leadville 100.

OK. I lied.

True Grit Epic was actually my second ever mountain bike race. My first was just under three years ago, when I decided to try joining and racing with my high school’s NICA mountain biking team.

The NICA race happened to be held just a few miles away from my house, and because I can’t even count on two hands the number of bikes in my garage, I figured I might be able to wrangle up a bike for an hour or so.

Though it was fun, my day ended in a massive wreck:

Three years ago

That, to be honest, is probably not a surprise for those of you who have followed my story. Things haven’t changed much:

Three months ago

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Three days ago

At the time, I decided that this sport would be placed in my designated “nothing” category.

For the time being, my “all” would go elsewhere.

My All

During high school, almost the entirety of my identity revolved around playing soccer. If there wasn’t a ball glued to my feet, it could have only meant one of two things: the administrators at school had taken it away for disrupting the hallways, or both of my legs were broken [Her legs were never actually broken; she’s just being dramatic. - FC].

While friends were out enjoying their teenage years on Friday nights, I was down at the park practicing until my feet blistered.

Timpanogos High School is known for two things: its 95% pass rate on the country-wide AP Calculus test, and its high number of soccer girls whose hands are decorated wit state rings.

Desiring to be a part of this crowd, I ramped up my practicing, and made it my number one goal to be a part of this team. This meant two-a-day practicing for the entirety of the summer, and the best fitness I had ever had. Because of this, it wasn’t much of a surprise that I ended up making the team, but the number of minutes I spent on the field during games might shock you.

This number was zero.

No, I did not bust an ankle or a knee or a collarbone. I just simply “wasn’t good enough” to be put in the game.

And back then I just took this message from my coach without a second thought. I didn’t obsess over the fact that I was putting in twice the amount of time as any other girl on the team; in fact, it made me work harder.

Only now—after placing my dedication into a different sport—do I realize how wrong this was.

Only now am I really appreciating that there has been an organization all along that encourages people to participate no matter what their level. One that includes everyone in the competitions, and where everyone can feel like they contribute to the team’s success.

This organization is NICA, and this sport is mountain biking.

No One Gets Left Behind

I only participated in one NICA race, and every one of the coaches knew my name and cheered me on at the end of the event. Not once did they tell me— or anyone— that they weren’t good enough to participate in the race; they did not punish hard work with time outs.

And this matters. I love NICA’s “no one gets left behind” philosophy and it makes me really happy to see them succeed.

NICA people are good people—and their numbers are growing quickly—but because they are a non-profit, they are having a hard time keeping up.

That’s why this year when I go to Leadville, I’m going to be racing on behalf of NICA. I am also going to be fundraising for them.

And that’s where I need your help.

[And it’s also where I — Fatty — step back into the picture.]

The Contest

Since this contest is happening right before my annual biggest race of the year — The Leadville 100 — and is what The Monster is fundraising for in order to gain entry into the race, I wanted to center the fundraising / contest question around two questions that are the absolute dead center of most of the conversations we are having at my house.

In just a moment, I’ll talk about those questions and how you can help settle them — predictively in one case, and definitively in the other — for us while doing a lot of good for an organization that is making a tremendous difference to a lot of kids in the US.

But first, let’s talk about the prizes you can win by participating.

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Grand Prize 1:Ultimate Cycling Wardrobe from DNA Cycling

I don’t even know how to describe what a huge fan of DNA Cycling I’ve become. The quality of pretty much everything they make just blows me away.

And for the first grand prize I’m giving away, the CEO of DNA, Joe Sepulveda, is going to give you a call, talk with you about what kind of riding you like to do, where you ride, how you like your gear to fit, get your measurements, and then personally set you up with all the cycling clothes you could possibly need for the kind of riding you do.

Jerseys, socks, shorts, jackets, vests, bibs, knickers, gloves, everything you need for a complete, beautiful cycling wardrobe. 

You’ll note that I’m not getting super specific about exactly what this gear entails. That’s because the ultimate cycling wardrobe would be different for a mountain biker than for a roadie. It would be different for a man than a woman. It would be different for someone who lives in Florida than for someone who lives in Alaska.

But I will tell you this: Joe’s going to open up his candy shop, and you are going to get all the gear you need for the kind of riding you do in the place where you live.

Imagine: a prize that is literally crafted for you. How awesome would that be?

Well, someone will find out.

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Grand Prize 2: A Year’s Supply of GU Energy Gel / Roctane

One of the important reasons The Monster is doing so well in this, her first year of racing, is that she’s a serious student. When The Hammer and I give her guidance on endurance racing, she listens and takes us seriously. As a result, she’s managed to leap over a lot of rookie endurance racing mistakes.

In particular, she’s wholeheartedly adopted our race nutrition strategy: A GU energy gel  or GU Roctane energy gel, every half hour. 

Here in the Fatty Family, we’re all very sold on how GU works. And some lucky winner is going to find out for themselves, by getting a committed cyclist’s year’s supply (12 boxes, with 24 gels per box)  of GU / GU Roctane energy gel.


And I will be happy to even provide suggestions on which twelve flavors to get, because I recently ordered twelve boxes of GU / GU Roctane for my own family (of course, for three actively racing cyclists, this won’t last close to a year):

  • Cherry Lime Roctane: This, would be an amazing sherbet flavor and is my second-favorite GU flavor of all time. I love the little punch of tartness the lime gives it.
  • Salted Watermelon: This is The Hammer’s favorite flavor of all time, and my fourth-favorite flavor. Salty is good, and these taste a lot like Jolly Rancher Watermelon candies.
  • Chocolate Coconut Roctane: This is incredible: it tastes just like a Mounds bar. Just like it. It’s the most candy-like flavor of all the GUs. It’s my third-favorite flavor of all time.
  • Cucumber Mint: I was amazed to find that I really love this. It’s mild, it’s different, it’s refreshing. It’s not on my top-five list, but it’s definitely going in a jersey pocket anytime I’m on a four-plus hour ride and at some point am going to need a gel that tastes clean and minty and refreshing.
  • Strawberry-Kiwi Roctane: A classic. 
  • Pineapple Roctane and Lemonade Roctane: I’m always so happy when I pull a yellow GU out of my pocket during a ride, because I know it’s going to be either Pineapple Roctane or Lemonade Roctane. And both are tied for being my fifth-favorite GU flavor. 
  • Sea-Salt Chocolate Roctane and Caramel Macchiato: I am not sure why, but these are my absolute favorite GU flavors when the weather’s cool (below 70 degrees), but I don’t really go for them when the weather’s hot (85+ degrees). I’ve asked other people about this, though, and I’m pretty certain this is a “it’s just me” kind of thing.
  • Big Apple: It’s tart and delicious and perfect. 
  • Vanilla Orange: This is The Hammer’s favorite flavor of all time and is probably my sixth-favorite flavor. Either way, it’s a creamsicle, and there’s nothing bad in the world about it.

Strangely, my favorite GU flavor in the world — Root Beer — is being discontinued, and so is not on this list. But since I still have Cherry Lime, Salted Watermelon, Chocolate Coconut and Cucumber Mint, I’m not too broken up.

The value of this prize? $720.00. That’s a lot of gel, and is guaranteed to be the most useful prize you ever win.


4 First Prizes: GU Stroopwafels

GU has just started shipping GU Energy Stroopwafels, and they are so good (as an important member of the press, I got some before they were released to the public). They come in four fantastic flavors: Caramel Coffee, Salty’s Caramel, Wild Berries, and Salted Chocolate.

These are just amazing — the best thing to eat when you’ve just killed yourself on a big climb, need some calories, and want to reward yourself for the effort with something truly delicious. 

Plus they stay nice and flat in your jersey pocket, helping your figure stay all nice and bulgeless.

Four lucky winners will win a box (16 Stroopwafels per box) of Stroopwafels, in the flavor of your choice.

So if I have done my math correctly — and I have — that’s six extremely awesome prizes you can win in this contest.

And you don’t even know how the contest works yet. So let’s correct this problem right now. And then you can get out your Paypal password (or wallet or whatever) and hopefully win one of those fabulous prizes.

Contest Question 1: What Should Fatty’s Goal At Leadville Be This Year? 

At the end of my race last year — my fastest ever, with a finish time of 8:12 — I vowed to try to finish in 2016 in under eight hours

As I get close to race day, I know that’s unlikely to happen. I’ve needed to emphasize other things: job hunting, interviewing, getting settled in my new employment, and a new constant companion — a chronically painful hernia.

So for me, this year I’m just grateful to TrainerRoad that I’m in any shape at all. That in spite of all this, I am in good enough shape that I can still race.

But the sub-eight-hour dream is out the window for this year. 

Which leaves me in an interesting quandary: what should be my objective in the Leadville 100 this year? I can think of three good possibilities, all of which sound interesting, and could give me a great sense of satisfaction at the end of the race. 

  • Race it as originally planned. I have a beautiful geared hardtail — a Felt Nine FRD frame built up with Enve M 50-Fifty wheels, a Rock Shox RS-1, and a SRAM XX1 drivetrain. It is, I believe, the best no-compromise XC racing hardtail a person could own for the Leadville 100. And I could race it with all my legs, lungs and heart to see if, even in my not-so-great shape, I can still finish in under nine hours. I think maybe I could.
  • Race singlespeed. I love riding and racing singlespeed. And now my lightest, fastest singlespeed — my Stumpjumper singlespeed — has been upgraded with an RS-1 fork (can you tell I’m sold on the RS-1?), making me faster on the downhills than I’ve ever been. Could I win this category again? That of course depends on who else shows up. But I could at least make an attempt at the podium.
  • Be The Hammer’s Domestique. The Hammer is the Leadville 100 women’s singlespeed record holder with a time of 9:50. This year, she hopes to set a new PR, which (unless there’s someone else faster than she is) would also be a new women’s SS record. And if I committed to riding with her, encouraging her and giving her a draft when I could, I think make a difference in her finish time. With my help, I think she could do it in under 9:30, to be honest. And also, we’d be adorable racing our matching singlespeeds.

Which will I do? Well, that will be up to you. How? By voting, of course. Specifically, by voting with your dollars

How? Simple. Below, just specify which you think I should do: race with gears, race singlespeed, or race for The Hammer. Then choose how much you’re willing to donate. The more you donate, the more votes you get (and as you’ll notice, the more you donate, the cheaper each vote is).

And here’s the thing: I hereby commit that, provided we fundraise at least $2500 for NICA here, I will abide by the results and will do as is specified here. As in, I will treat this vote as binding.

OK, let’s do it: 

What Should Fatty Focus on at Leadville?
How Many Votes Do You Want to Place?

Question 2: How Close Will The Hammer’s and Monster’s Finishing Times Be?

There’s a friendly ongoing discussion at our house: how fast is The Monster? She’s  been riding in earnest for less than a year, but has done ridiculously well at each of these races.

  • In her first race (True Grit Epic), The Monster finished just a few minutes behind The Hammer.
  • In her second race (6 Hours of Frog Hollow), The Monster finished ahead of The Hammer.
  • In her third race (Crusher in the Tushar), The Monster finished about an hour behind The Hammer.

Of course, The Hammer is The Hammer, and has not just years of base fitness, but also race savvy and endurance. So I personally think that The Hammer will finish right at an hour faster than The Monster (9:30 vs 10:30).

The Hammer thinks she’ll finish a little further ahead. The Monster thinks they’ll be closer than that.

I’d like you to settle this dispute, by voting below (as with the other contest, the more you donate, the more your vote is worth): do you think The Hammer will be at least an hour faster than The Monster, or will The Monster be less than an hour slower than The Hammer? 

Honestly, I can imagine it going either way. Let’s see how the voting goes…and then we’ll test that whole “wisdom of crowds” thing after the race.

Is Hammer MORE or LESS than 1hr Faster than Monster?
How Many Votes Do You Want to Place?

How Prizes Are Drawn

For every vote you buy, you’ll also get a chance on my magically random spreadsheet. It’s that simple. Then, once this fundraiser is complete, we’ll do random drawings for the total number of chances/votes. No matter which contests you vote in or how you vote, you’ll be eligible to win in all of the prizes.

So: while the voting part is fun, it’s all to help NICA, and no matter what you’ll still have a chance to win. And I will email you when the contest ends, which will be August 8, the first day I’m in Leadville this year.

Updates Soon, and Frequently

I suspect that people will be interested in how the vote is going, long before the results are final. And that’s cool. I will do updates on where the results stand at least once a day, and more often than that when results change dramatically. 

Oh, and finally: yes, I was serious about holding my Rockwell Race Report hostage ’til we hit the $2500 mark. 

Hey, I’ve got to use the leverage I’ve got, right?

Thanks for your donation!


2016 Rockwell Relay Race Report, Part 12: Lessons to Learn

07.21.2016 | 3:23 pm

I haven’t talked about the Tour de France much this year. OK, I haven’t talked about it at all (and don’t worry, I’m not about to spoil anything for those of you who — like me — watch it later in the evening, not live).

But I am watching. And as I watch, I’m struck by how effective it is for teams like Sky to work together in a group, going much faster together than they would alone. 

And as I watch, I find myself thinking, “That’s the way to race. Working together in a paceline is the way to win.” 

The problem with this perspective, however, is that it’s wrong.

The Hammer’s Predictions

“Now, hold on for just a second,” I hear you thinking. “You’ve said yourself how much faster it is to draft than to ride solo. Why are you now saying it’s not?”

“Well,” I respond, clearly enjoying this strawman argument I’ve just set you up as making, “I’m not saying that drafting doesn’t work. Obviously it does work, and many episodes of this race report have shown that it works really well.”

“What doesn’t work,” I smugly continue, “is throwing four groups of three people together and expecting them to be able to work together in any meaningful manner.”

That,” I conclude, “is why Team Z5R lost to us this year.”

What I don’t say is that we were pretty confident that Z5R wouldn’t beat us before the race even started


Because The Hammer had done her homework, that’s why — just like Teams Z5R and BatB had each done their homework on us.

The Hammer predicted three strategic Achilles’ heels for the Z5R trio of teams.

  1. They were logistically ungainly. They had essentially committed three teams to riding together, which would be faster when everyone was doing well. However, unlike in a pro race where some racers in the team always get shed as they have mechanicals or get tired from doing domestique work, the three Z5R teams would have to stay together no matter what, due to the fact that they had a limited number of support vehicles. Essentially, they were constrained to going the speed (including going nowhere) of their slowest rider of the bunch at any given moment, for 500+ miles.
  2. Their superstar women would cancel each other out. Marci is crazy-fast in the climbs. Mary is crazy-fast on the flats. Obviously, Marci should have been racing as Racer 1 (the legs with the most climbing), and Mary should have been Racer 3 (the Time Trialist’s leg). But they were both racing leg 1, which meant that Marci would have to hold up for Mary in the climbs, and Mary would have to hold up for Marci on the flat sections. Alone, Marci could have crushed me this year. The Hammer assured me, however, that I would be able to beat the Marci/Mary (and Billy as it turned out) combo every single leg. She was right.
  3. Pacelines need practice. The Hammer and I ride together about six times per week. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. When we ride together, we don’t even need to talk about how our turns pulling should work. But the Z5R teams were a combination of Utah and Texas riders, many with no experience working together at all. 
  4. Altitude matters. Since many of the Z5R racers were visiting from Texas, they wouldn’t be ready for some of the high-altitude hijinx that awaited them. There was no way they were going to just be able to fly up Boulder Mountain with no Oxygen-deprivation penalty, for example.
The Fatty Family Strategy

Why am I choosing this moment — eleven installments into the story — to lay out the Opposition Research we did on Z5R? Well, you’ll see in a minute. 

But as long as I’m on the topic of race tactics, here’s what ours was, in all its glory:

Look for opportunities to establish temporary race alliances.

Yep, that’s all there was to it. But the simplicity belies some understanding that comes from having done this race a few times. Specifically, since we were one of very few coed teams, we weren’t really racing against most of the fast teams surrounding us we were no threat to the competitive mens’ teams in the field.

So it cost them nothing to have us work with them.

And just as importantly, since our alliances were informal, there was nothing to hold them to us (or vice versa): when a paceline was no longer mutually beneficial, we could (and did) split off. No hard feelings (except once, and I promise you there is more to that story, which we will get to).

If Z5R had re-ordered their teams and adopted an agile strategy like ours, I truly believe at least one of those teams would have won the coed division of this race. 

So yes, let the record show that I am boasting: The Fatty Family beat Z5R this year on strategy as much as (or more than) we did with legs and lungs.

And now, with the promise that this ties into the part of the actual race story I have to tell today, let’s get on with Lindsey’s Boulder Mountain leg of the race.

Can’t Hardly Wait

Night had fallen during my leg of the race, so Lindsey took off into the dark. “I want you to wait here ‘til the other teams (meaning Z5R and BatB) come in,” she said. “I want splits on how much time I have.”

Dutifully, we waited, and — astonishingly — the Z5R racers and the BatB racer arrived within two minutes of each other. They were now each other’s competition.

We, on the other hand, were pulling away, with a 25 – 27 minute lead, five legs into the race.


Lindsey was well into her riding groove by the time we caught up to her and told her about the lead she was starting with.

At the moment, she was riding alone. And she would continue to ride alone for the duration of this twenty-five-mile, 2800-feet-of-climbing section of her leg of the race.

Why was she riding alone? Simple: nobody could hang with her. Lindsey QOM’d this section of the leg of the race, beating out Marci’s QOM time from last year. And — as I’ve mentioned — Marci is no slouch of a climber. And also, last year Marci had Billy working for her to get her that time.

Lindsey did it solo. (By way of comparison, I consider myself a fair climber, and Lindsey beat my best time to the summit by about three minutes.)

By the time she got to the top, Jack Nosco — Tom’s teammate from the Mike Nosco Memorial Team — had managed to catch up to her, and the two of them bombed down together, and Lindsey QOM’d the down side of this leg, too.

So just to be clear here: the women on The Fatty Family had ridden three legs of this race so far…and had QOM’d all three of those legs.

This had a few practical effects.

  1. Lindsey increased our lead over the Z5R teams to thirty-three minutes.
  2. Lindsey increased our lead over BatB to fifty-six minutes.
  3. Lindsey got down the mountain so fast that — even though we left her to her own devices right from the top of the mountain and got to the transition as fast as we could — Ben still wasn’t ready to go when Lindsey pulled in, resulting in her shouting his name into the darkness for two or three minutes.

So, so far: the Fatty Family had two slow exchanges, both of which were due to the men not being ready to go when their wives  arrived.

Which kind of pokes holes into a number of gender stereotypes, if you ask me.

How Not to Congratulate Your Competition

You know that feeling you get when you just know you knocked something out of the park? When you put everything into an effort and it just really paid off?

It’s intoxicating, isn’t it? It leaves you feeling amazing.

That’s how Lindsey felt and looked as we packed her bike up and got ready to go.

During which time, one of the racers from team Z5R came up to us and began explaining to us why they were losing to us. One of their racers had a couple flat tires. A racer had just been diagnosed with mono. A racer had food poisoning. A racer had an asthma attack. A racer had a back problem. 

That’s a lot of reasons, none of which were “you guys are really racing well.”

Were the Z5R teams were just collectively having a horrible, terrible, no-good, very bad day? Or is that just the law of probabilities at work? Which is to say, the more people you have in a group of riders, the greater the likelihood that you’re going to have physical and mechanical problems.

Consider this : I could have replied with things The Fatty Family was currently coping with. One of us had a hernia. One of us had hemorrhoids. One of us was dealing with a super-fun part of a menstrual cycle. One of us hadn’t trained as much as we’d like this year, thanks to job hunting and financial stress. One of us was pretty stressed out about the idea of telling his friend that he had nearly killed that friend’s van.

Worst of all, one of us had turned fifty three minutes ago, and nobody had sung “Happy Birthday” to him yet.

My point is, everyone has stuff going on in their lives. And in a big race, you’re likely to have that stuff compound with other stuff. But don’t tell your competition that’s why they’re beating you. That trivializes their effort, as if they don’t also have stuff going on in their lives but are managing to clean your clock anyway.

They’re beating you, in short, because they made some good race strategy decisions, and they’re faster.

And most importantly: I think we can definitively say that we win the “awkward to talk about in polite company” contest.

The Practical Result

Here’s an interesting fact I’ve observed as being the husband to one very competitive woman cyclist, the father of another, and the uncle of a third:

They tend to be fierce.

Which is to say, as we drove, The Hammer and Lindsey had a fairly engaged conversation over the relative merits of of Z5R’s troubles versus ours, and their race placement relative to ours. It was so engaged, in fact, that I momentarily forgot that my hernia was killing me and sometime soon I was going to need to tell Cory about what I had almost done to his van.

By the time we caught up to Ben, I was pretty sure Z5R would never see us on the course again. Not if racer intensity had anything to do with it.

And that’s where we’ll pick up in the next episode. 

The New FatCyclist Gear: Order Now

07.19.2016 | 11:48 am

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A Note from Fatty: My Rockwell Relay report will resume on Thursday. 

I’m incredibly excited to show off, start selling, and — this is especially awesome — start shipping immediately — the new Fat Cyclist gear. I’m doing things a lot differently than I ever have this time. Here’s how and why:

  • Smaller quantities: I really don’t want to beg my readers to buy stuff from me. I’d much rather make too few of things than have to do a big ol’ fire sale later. 
  • Different look for men and women’s gear: You’ll notice the men’s and women’s designs are completely and utterly different this time. This has allowed me to not have design compromises for either, and has resulted in the two best-looking designs I’ve ever had.
  • Available now: This stuff is in (mostly) in-stock. If you order today, we’ll ship tomorrow. However, the women’s gear has turned out to be a lot more popular than I expected, and I’ve re-ordered more. So depending on the size you order and when you order, you may need to wait to get your gear ’til August, in which case your order will say so.

A Few Notes About Questions, Shipping Costs and Availability

  • If You Have Questions About Sizing or Shipping or Whatever: Please email ryan@dnacycling.cc
  • Shipping is a flat fee of $5.95 within the US; $25.00 outside the US. 
  • For Men’s Gear: we will ship immediately. 
  • For Women’s Gear, we will ship immediately for in-stock items, but will ship in August for items noted as (August). If any items in an order are noted for August delivery, all your items will ship in August.

Fat Cyclist Black Gray Jersey

Men’s Century Jersey

This is, without question, the second-best-looking Fat Cyclist jersey ever made (many women have let me know that the women’s jersey is better-looking), and it’s also the absolutely best-made, best-fitting one. It’s a light, comfortable material, which breathes nicely but is not a pure race-cut mesh, which means you can wear it from Spring clear into Autumn.

This is DNA’s “Century” cut, which means it’s a little looser-fitting than the race cut. For those of you who are comparing to recent Twin Six sizing, this means DNA Century cut fits a little looser than the equivalent Twin Six pattern. More to the point, I fit fine in a Medium DNA Century jersey, but need to wear Large in Twin Six.

This is going to be your very favorite jersey, and it’s the one I’ll be wearing at the Leadville 100, as well as on most every training ride.

Fat Cyclist Black Gray Jersey back


  • Fabric: Hydro Fit
  • Respire Moisture Management
  • Ergo Stretch Performance
  • Front Comfort Banding
  • Full Hidden Zip
  • 3 Full Back Pockets
  • Audio Port
  • Relaxed Fit
  • Made in Italy

Want to Complete the Kit?

Fat Cyclist Black Gray Race Bibs

Men’s Race Bib Shorts

Until I tried out DNA bib shorts, I was a Rapha bibs guy. Sure they’re expensive, but the fit and high-quality chamois were worth the spend. Here’s the thing, though: I haven’t bought any Rapha bibs lately, because I no longer need to.

These Race Bib Shorts are that good.

They’re incredibly comfortable, they’re absurdly light, and the chamois is simply outrageous. Honestly, at less than half the price of an equivalent pair of Rapha bibs, these are every bit as good. And of course, they go with the new Fat Cyclist jersey a whole lot better.

A Note About Sizing: These fit approximately the same as your old Twin Six shorts (but are about twice as good, to be totally honest, and the chamois isn’t even comparable).


  • Fabric: Performance Lycra With Miti Shield Endurance
  • 4 Cm Compression Banding
  • Smart Panel Design
  • Ergo Body Positioning
  • Suspension Braces
  • DNA HD Ergo, 3 + Hr Chamois
  • Made in italy


Men’s Asolo Bib Shorts

OK, I want to be completely honest: these are plain black bib shorts. No big Fat Cyclist logo, no bright colors. Just — quite simply — the best deal in top-of-the-line bib shorts you’re ever going to get.

For one thing, these bibs go with every jersey you own, not just with the new Fat Cyclist jersey (although these bibs definitely go with the Fat Cyclist jersey).

More importantly, these bibs are just off-the-charts good. Incredible chamois, beautiful, comfortable material and fit. And of course, made in Italy.

Even if you get a pair of the Fat Cyclist bibs, you should probably get yourself a pair of the Asolo bibs for the days you don’t wear the Fat Cyclist jersey.


  • Fabric: Compression Power Base Lycra
  • Anatomic Cut and Pattern
  • 5 cm Compression Banding
  • Integrated Suspension Braces
  • Cytech Multi D Comp Carbonia 5 + HR Chamois


Striped Performance Socks

These are bold socks, and not everyone is going to have the confidence to wear them. If you just can’t make yourself do it, that’s OK. You could wear the Blue Summer Sock or the Yellow Summer sock (or one of each, which is my preference) and still look great.

But if you’re remotely daring, I will tell you this: the striped socks look awesome with the Fat Cyclist Men’s shorts and jersey.


  • Double Welt Top for Comfort and Fit
  • Arch Support Reduces Foot Fatigue and Increases Circulation
  • Smooth Toe-Seam Adds Comfort
  • Mesh Instep Aids in Breathability
  • 88% Poly / 8% Nylon / 2% Elastic / 2% Lycra 


Blue Summer Sock and Yellow Summer Sock

These Socks go amazingly well with the Men’s Fat Cyclist kit, but they go even better if you wear one blue one and one yellow one at the same time. Sure, that means you’ll have to buy two pairs of socks, but you know you’re going to lose one sock before too long anyway. By buying a pair of Blue socks and a pair of Yellow socks, you’ll get to watch with interest to find out whether in the end you lose both of one color first, or one of each. Exciting!



  • Double Welt Top for Comfort and Fit
  • Arch Support Reduces Foot Fatigue and Increases Circulation
  • Smooth Toe-Seam Adds Comfort
  • Mesh Instep Aids in Breathability
  • 88% Poly / 8% Nylon / 2% Elastic / 2% Lycra

Fat Cyclist Blue Wns Jersey

Women’s Century Jersey

Every cycling woman (my wife, my daughters, my sister, my niece, friends) I know tells me this is the best-looking Fat Cyclist jersey ever made, and it’s also the absolutely best-made, best-fitting one. It’s a light, comfortable material, which breathes nicely but is not a pure race-cut mesh, which means you can wear it from Spring clear into Autumn.

This is DNA’s “Century” cut, which means it’s a little looser-fitting than the race cut. For those of you who are comparing to recent Twin Six sizing, this means DNA Century cut fits a little looser than the equivalent Twin Six pattern. More to the point, I fit fine in a Medium DNA Century jersey, but need to wear Large in Twin Six.

Fat Cyclist Blue Wns Jersey back

This is going to be your very favorite jersey, and it’s the one The Hammer and, the Monster are wearing at the Leadville 100, as well as on most every training ride.


  • Fabric: Hydro Fit
  • Respire Moisture Management
  • Ergo Stretch Performance
  • Front Comfort Banding
  • Full Hidden Zip
  • 3 Full Back Pockets
  • Audio Port
  • Relaxed Fit

Want to Complete the Kit?

Fat Cyclist Blue Wns Race Shorts front

Women’s Race Shorts

These shorts look great — I mean, just look at them — but they’re more than just great-looking. The Hammer tells me that these shorts don’t bind at the waist, the chamois is super-comfortable, and of course it’s a lot easier to take care of peeing than it is with a pair of bibs.

Also, The Hammer would like me to let you know that she wear a Small (while she normally would wear a Medium), because she has no butt. This is worth pointing out, I guess, because The Monster wears a Medium…because evidently she still has a butt. You have no idea how uncomfortable I am talking about my wife and daughter’s butts.


  • Fabric: Performance Lycra with Miti Shield Endurance
  • 4 Cm Compression Banding
  • Yoga Waist Banding
  • Smart Panel Design
  • Ergo Body Positioning
  • DNA Ladies HD Ergo, 3 + HR Chamois

Want to Complete the Kit?


Polka Dot Sock

The Women’s Fat Cyclist kit is bold, blue and beautiful…and these socks bring that look to a whole new level. I know, you didn’t even know there is another level. There is another level, though, and you’ll almost certainly reach it by getting these socks.


  • Double Welt Top for Comfort and Fit
  • Arch Support Reduces Foot Fatigue and Increases Circulation
  • Smooth Toe-Seam Adds Comfort
  • Mesh Instep Aids in Breathability
  • 88% Poly / 8% Nylon / 2% Elastic / 2% Lycra

And now, just some photos of my family, friends, and me wearing the new gear:

IMG 0001
The Hammer and me on Mt. Nebo, wearing the (not for sale) race-cut version of the men’s jersey and Asolo shorts

IMG 0024
Annnd…the view from the rear.

IMG 0045
Ben, on the attack.

IMG 0524
Lindsey and The Hammer, post-Crusher.

IMG 0537
The Hammer runs alongside The Monster at the Crusher finish line. Note: Froome totally copied The Hammer, who started the whole “running to the finish line in biking shoes” trend.

IMG 0542
Almost there!

2016 Rockwell Relay Race Report, Part 11: Everything Comes Together

07.18.2016 | 9:38 am

A Note from Fatty: The new very-limited edition FatCyclist gear goes on sale tomorrow. I’m just nailing down the catalog language and making sure ordering works. 

It was the beginning of my second leg of the Rockwell Relay (our fifth of twelve legs, in case you’ve lost track). And there three things I needed to know that I simply didn’t know.

How far ahead of the Beauties and the Beasts (BatB) team were we? Would it be enough for me to remain ahead of them, or would Nate catch me?

How far ahead of the Z5R teams were we? So far, they had been a no-show on the course — after the first three minutes of the race, we had literally never seen one of their riders on a bike —but it would be foolish to count them out. After all, while The Hammer had put in an extraordinary effort in her leg of the race, she had done so alone, while there were three Z5R riders — all men — working on this mostly-flat leg together. It was entirely possible that they had closed a lot of the gap we had built in this race so far. 

How angry was The Hammer? I knew she was mad about being left on her own for a big chunk of her leg, and I suspected she was made about the botched exchange we had just been through.

How was I going to tell Cory about the incredible near-miss with his van? Every time I thought about this, I felt a little ill.

In reality, all of these problems existed purely in my own head.

Unbeknownst to me, The Hammer had turned our three-minute lead on BatB team into a twenty-two minute lead. And the three men working together on the Z5R teams for forty-five miles had managed to bring back a mere five minutes against The Hammer, who had TT’d the whole thing. Our lead on them as I left Hanksville was a solid eighteen minutes.

Thanks to my incredible teammates, we were winning, and by a very respectable — although by no means unassailable — lead.

As to how angry The Hammer was, well, that question was resolved within twenty minutes of my having started this leg of the race, as the van rolled by. The Hammer, smiling big, leaned out the  ringing her cowbell for me and yelling, “Go Elden! I love you!” 

And with that, I felt about 80% better. The other 20% — telling Cory about the van mishap — would have to wait ’til I had reception again, most likely after the race.

And meanwhile, other things were going my way, too.

Meeting Tom, Resolving Problems

At the end of the most recent installment of this story, I had started the leg just a moment in front of a rider from the Mike Nosco Memorial team: the 50+ group we had been tied to since, essentially, the third leg of the race.

For once, I thought, I think I’ll try to race using my head instead of just my legs and lungs

So I sat up for the fifteen seconds it took for him to catch me, then introduced myself. “Hi, I’m Elden; how about we work together on this leg?”

He said his name was Tom and was happy to work with me. 

“One minute pulls?” I asked.

He nodded. Tom was an easy guy to work with, super lean and fit, with a very smooth, efficient, practiced riding style.

I let two rotations go, riding hard and in silence on the slight incline. Mulling.

I pulled up alongside him.

“So, your teammate confronted me and my teammate after leg three,” I said. “He seemed really mad, like we had betrayed an alliance or something.”

“Don’t worry about it. He’s just intense when he’s racing,” Tom said.

“I get that, I’m kind of the same way,” I replied. “But I want you to know that we had to do that attack in order to ensure the other team in that group didn’t have our wheel for the next leg. We figured our team could put time on their team, but not if they could sit in and draft.”

“Well, your rider certainly did that,” Tom said. “I watched our racer try to catch her for forty-five miles and he just couldn’t do it. She is strong.”

“Yeah, my wife is pretty amazing,” I said.

“She’s your wife?” Tom asked. I’m not sure if there was incredulity in his voice or not. I kind of think there was. I get that pretty often. 

“Yeah, we’re a family team: my wife, my niece, her husband, me. Anyway, let him know we didn’t mean anything against your team by that attack, we just didn’t know how strong the other coed team is and couldn’t take chances. Even so, their number-one racer is rocket-fast and is likely to catch and pass us before the end of this leg.”

“We should probably talk less and ride more, then,” Tom said.

Tom had a point. We dug in.

Meeting Jim

I’ve been obsessed enough with the interaction of my team and other coed teams in this story that it might seem like we were the only teams on the road. But in fact, during the past couple hours we had begun passing other teams regularly: the noncompetitive division teams — the teams that were doing this race strictly for fun and were hence not bound by race rules or concerns about timing. These teams had started a couple hours earlier than competitive teams, and now, as the sun sunk low, we were just beginning to roll past them, giving them encouragement as we went by.

Usually, Tom and I would just nod and zoom past. 

But one guy latched on. 

“That’s fine,” I thought. “He’ll hang on for a rotation and then drop out.”

But he didn’t drop out. He took his turn pulling — and pulling strong — for rotation after rotation, cutting the amount of time Tom and I had to spend in the wind down by a third.

“What’s your name?” I called out. 

“Jim,” he shouted back.

“Welcome to our train!” I said, and meant it.

Hey, this “alliances of opportunity” strategy thing was working out just fine.

The Train Grows

Tom and I were riding pretty hot, and Jim was beginning to struggle to hold on. “Just take shorter pulls,” I said. “Ten seconds, then drop back. Stay with us; we’re faster with you than without you.”

Jim stepped it up, digging deep to help our group stay fast. I was impressed.

We pushed along, a fast rotating paceline now…and passed five guys, stopped. Four of them standing around while one of them changed a flat.

The Hyperthread teams. We were right with the Hyperthread teams

“You guys OK? Need anything?” 

“We’re good,” Spencer — the head honcho of Hyperthreads — called back.

Tom, Jim, and I rolled on.

And then, maybe three minutes later, the Hyperthread racers — all five of them — caught us, just swept us up into their fast-rolling train.

Suddenly, we weren’t just a choo-choo train. We were an express.

The Train Derails

The light faded and I turned on my helmet light…only to discover that this helmet — not the helmet I usually use with a light mounted — doesn’t work really well with the light mount strap setup I have. It slid forward, pointing straight down, brilliantly lighting up the tip of my nose.

I adjusted the light. It slid back down.

I adjusted it again. It slid again.

Finally, I lost patience and tilted my helmet back very far on my head. This worked, but at the expense of making my helmet a completely ineffective safety device.

Oh well, I thought. A helmet tilted like this may not do me any good in a crash, but having no light is much more dangerous.

Meanwhile, the Hyperthreads guys were slowing down. Spencer was suffering with a bad Achilles tendon, I think. “Guys, I gotta keep moving,” I said. “Are you OK with me going on ahead without you?” I was aware, even as I asked this, how strange it felt to be asking a question like this of a team that had no claim on me. But I was trying to be Mister Public Relations, so thought it couldn’t hurt.

“Sure,” one of the racers said. “We’ll see you later.”

The ride had turned uphill; I pushed on alone (Jim had dropped off a little while after the Hyperthreads guys joined our group; I’m not sure why Tom didn’t keep going with me).

One Last Pull

I was down to the last few miles of the ride, and so far Nate from BatB hadn’t caught me (I’d find out later he had flatted during this leg of the race), and the Z5R trio of teams hadn’t either. It was beginning to look like the situation I expected and dreaded — that during my leg we’d move into second or even fourth place — wasn’t going to happen.

And then somehow, out of nowhere, another rider appeared on the road, just ahead of me. 

I jumped, managed to catch him and grab his wheel. Held on. Barely. I had a new riding partner, though I didn’t grasp where he could have come from.

“Where did your team come from?” I asked. 

“Oh, I’m in a non-competitive team,” he said. “We’re just sort of doing some of the legs, jumping forward, riding what’s interesting. I haven’t ridden that much today, to be honest.”

“Well if it’s okay with you,” I replied, “I’d like to just hang on to your wheel to the end of this leg of the race. I’m smoked and am in a team trying to stay ahead of a few teams that should be beating us, but aren’t.”

“Just hang on,” he said.

And I did. I hung on while this kid told me about how he’s going to college and how running is really his main thing, and what it’s like to race the Boston Marathon. I was happy to let him talk, because it meant he was using some of his air to talk, which meant he wasn’t dropping me, which otherwise he most certainly would have.

I pulled in, and Lindsey pulled out. No botched exchanges this time.

I gave The Hammer a hug and said, “That was a fun leg.”

“How come you went so slow?” she replied.

My head spun around. “Slow?” I asked.

“Yeah, you looked like you were just having a good old time with all the people you were riding with.”

Then I understood. For the first time ever in the Rockwell Relay, The Hammer had seen me actually working with other riders. In fact, I had done the entire leg with one rider or another.

“Oh,” I said, “You’re just not used to seeing me ride smart.”

And riding smart had worked. Although I wouldn’t know it until later, I not only limited the damage I expected the Z5R and BatB teams to do to us; I had increased our lead. Not by a lot — we were now ahead of the Z5R teams by twenty-eight minutes (a ten-minute increase) and the BatB team by twenty-five (a three minute increase). But still: where I had expected to put our team in danger, I had instead built on our lead.

And Lindsey was on a mission to grow that lead as much as she could.

Which is where we’ll pick up in the next installment.

2016 Rockwell Relay Race Report, Part 10: Three Strange Minutes

07.14.2016 | 2:36 pm

A Podcasty Note From Fatty: I’m pretty sure I just posted the best episode of the FattyCast I’ve ever done: a conversation with Yuri Hauswald, the 2015 winner of the Dirty Kanza.

Even though the 2016 Kanza is now about a month behind us, I still wanted to have him tell his story for this year, because Yuri’s one of my favorite people…and he’s an amazing storyteller. It’s an awesome tale about triple-flatting, taco bell, and turning a bad race…into a great day. 

Even if you don’t usually listen to podcasts, you should listen to this episode. You can find it on iTunes, Stitcher, download it, or use the http://fattycast.com/rss feed to subscribe on whatever your favorite podcast app is. Or, of course, you can listen to it right here:

Let me know what you think (and please, rate and review it on iTunes, so I can be less obscure)

2016 Rockwell Relay Race Report, Part 10: Three Strange Minutes

OK, I should start off by saying a couple of things. First, I don’t really know whether this whole series of events actually all happens in three minutes, although I am confident in its strangeness. 

Second, it’s probably a good idea to listen to “Yakety Sax” (aka the theme to the “Benny Hill Show”) during the entirety of what happens here.

Or, I dunno, maybe this only seems goofy because it’s very out of character for how Fatty Teams (usually) operate during the Rockwell Relay. I take a lot of pride in having teams that pay a lot of attention to the basics (having your equipment in good condition, staying fueled, being ready to roll at the exchanges). By taking care of these seemingly simple things, we’ve put a lot of time into teams that have strong riders but sloppy logistics.

As you’ll see here, though (not to mention the whole “van leaving without us” episode), that’s not always the case.

Before The Hammer Arrived

As I described in the previous installment of this story, Ben, Lindsey, and I arrived at the exchange — at a gas station built into a cliff wall — with several clear objectives.

Ben’s job was to fill the tank with diesel and then go buy a strawberry milkshake for The Hammer, as she had requested before her leg of the race began. Considering we had left The Hammer to her own devices in hundred-plus-degree heat for forty-five minutes, we were now giving this request extra significance.

Lindsey’s job was to buy a lot of ice to refill our ice chests, along with as much cold Coke as she could find. We were going through Coke at an alarming rate…much faster than we had anticipated.

My job was to get myself ready to race.

To Ben and Lindsey’s credit, they both did an admirable job of fulfilling their duties. However, by fulfilling their duties, they became completely absent. I was left to my own devices, and my own very warped sense of time. 

(It should also be noted that the ice cream shop was moving at a fully cryogenic pace. Ben was out of sight and out of commission for a full half hour as he waited for a milkshake.)

I found myself just talking with a racer from another team, telling him about our harrowing experience. Cleverly, I entirely failed to check the time as I did this, instead going entirely on how long it “felt” like it ought to be until The Hammer would be arriving.

No big deal, I had plenty of time, I was suited up and my bike was ready to go.

I walked back to the van, put on my helmet, and then took it off again, figuring I still had fifteen minutes.

And that’s when the world went insane.

The Hammer Arrives

I pride myself on being ready to go, and I fully intended to be ready to go when The Hammer arrived. 

Which is why I went into a full-bore panic when I heard her call my name in her distinctive “This is not a drill, this is urgent, and I need a response now” voice: “El-DEN!

What? She’s here? She’s crossed the line? No.

But there she was, yelling my name. She hadn’t seen me yet, though, so we began a game of spousal Marco-Polo. “Lisa!” I replied, as I scrambled to put my helmet on.

“Elden!” she shot back, looking around. 

Lisa!” I replied, stuffing the helmet light battery into my rear-center jersey pocket, without threading the power cable under my left armpit.

Now she saw me. “Elden! You’re wasting time!

It was true. The huge lead — it had looked like twenty minutes or so between us and the Beauties and the Beasts team when we had left Lisa behind us, and that gap had probably grown in the interim — Lisa had built was eroding, the BatB team closing the gap with every second I was not in motion.

That’s OK, I was ready.

I picked up my bike and ran across the parking lot to where The Hammer was. Within a few steps, however, I realized that I was still wearing my tennis shoes, which I had been wearing because I didn’t want my Speedplay cleats to get jammed with gravel as I got my bike ready.

I turned around and ran back toward the van.

“Where’s Ben? Where’s Lindsey? Why aren’t you ready?!” The Hammer yelled. 

Too many questions. I answered none of them. It was more important to find my bike shoes. 

Unfortunately, those bike shoes weren’t easy to find. The van was still a bit of a jumble, having been nearly tipped over on its side about an hour ago. 

The Hammer looked into the van at the mess, uncomprehendingly.

I found the shoes, sat down, and started putting them on.

Wait, That’s Not All

Shoes on — a little haphazardly, me unable to perform my normal ritual of smoothing out all possible sock wrinkles as I put on bike shoes — I picked up my bike and ran back toward the road again.

“Stop!” The Hammer yelled. 

I stopped.

“You don’t have any bottles and it’s a hundred degrees outside!”

She was right, on both counts. I grabbed one of her bottles from her bike and stuffed it into my cage. That was about half a bottle. Enough ’til they caught up with me. Hopefully.

I began running toward the road again.

Still Not All

I had almost made it to the road when The Hammer yelled at me again. “Stop!” 

“Now what,” I said, as if it were someone besides me who had made such a mess of this transition.

“The timing chip!” Of course. The timing chip. It was still on The Hammer’s ankle. I stopped, standing there as The Hammer ran to me and swapped it over to my leg.

“Where is everyone?” she asked.

I began explaining, but The Hammer replied, “Just go. I’ll find them.”

I began — for the third (fourth? tenth?) time — running toward the road.

More Not All

As I got to the road, a man ran toward me. And he was yelling. “Stop!” he yelled. “Come back!” 

I was skeptical, and felt like I had spent plenty of time here, in this hellish racer exchange that would — for whatever reason — just not let me go.

Still, he seemed like he had urgent business. Not-fake business.

“You need to go over the timing mat!” he yelled.

Huh? “Why?” I yelled back.

“Your racer didn’t go over the timing mat as she came in!” he yelled.

“Yes I did!” The Hammer yelled.

“She didn’t!” The man yelled.


I needed to make a decision. Run toward the mat, or straight onto the road and go.

Astonishingly, I made a logical choice: it would be a lot easier for race officials to delete a redundant chip entry (if The Hammer was right) than to guesstimate what time we crossed the mat if there were no entry (if the man was right).

I ran back to and over the mat. “That good?” I asked the man.

“That’ll do it,” he replied.

One Last Exchange

Finally — finally! — I got on my bike and started riding.

“El-DEN!” The Hammer. Of course.

“Yeah?” I replied. Exasperated.

“I brought you someone to ride with,” she said.

And sure enough, the rider with the Mike Nosco Memorial team — the 50+ “Salty Dogs” rider, who Ben and I had been assured would be dropping The Hammer like a rock — was rolling across the timing mat. 

Someone to work with. Awesome. Except of course The Hammer didn’t know that we now had history with this team. That this team had chosen us as their sworn enemy

Oh well, I thought. Maybe he and I can patch things up. And one thing was certain: working with another rider was guaranteed to improve our chances against the BatB team (as well as the Z5R teams, whereever they had gotten to).

I sat up, no idea that I was about to embark upon a leg of racing that would be just as awesome as the last leg had been awful.

And that’s where we’ll pick up on Monday.

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