Last Call for the Grand Slam for Kenya

08.6.2015 | 11:47 am

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A “Hey Come Have Some Free Brats With Me” Note from Fatty: Celebrating the fact that the Grand Slam for Kenya has raised more than $100,000, World Bicycle Relief is going to put on a free bratwurst dinner on Wednesday, 8/12 6pm – 8pm, at 201 W 8th Street in Leadville.

Come have a brat with The Hammer, Reba and me, talk about the race, and celebrate the change we’ve made in hundreds of Kenyan schoolchildren’s lives. 

Click here to RSVP, so I’ll know you’re coming, OK?

Where We Stand

We’re down to the final couple days of the Grand Slam for Kenya. It ends Friday. If you want to win one of the six incredible bikes or two amazing trips, you’re running out of time to donate. (So click here to go donate now.)

Meanwhile, let’s take a quick look back at what we’ve done so far. 

  • 733 different people have made donations
  • There have been 786 donations, which means 53 of you have donated more than once. Thanks!
  • The average donation amount is currently $132. That’s very close to the cost of a Buffalo bike, and a very clear indicator that you are the most generous readers in the world.
  • People in 48 of the 50 United States have donated. Which is amazing…and also maked me wonder what I’ve got to do to get Delaware and North Dakota on board.
  • People in six of the ten Canadian Provinces have donated. Thanks Canadians!
  • People from 19 different countries have donated. That, I think, is the most amazing number of all. This fundraiser has truly been worldwide.

Between this fundraiser and the one I did with the Thompsons a few months ago, this site has (as of this writing) raised $128,415. That is just $18,585 away from the $147,000 goal (the cost of 1000 bikes) I have set.

I think that’s achievable. Especially if you Delawarians and Northerly Dakotans loosen up your wallets.

Big Thanks

The breadth and depth of this contest has been…huge. I want to thank Katie and Claire for logistics support (and for negotiating many of the prizes) in this contest, as well as for doing the actual drawings. 

I want to thank the good folks at ENVE, both for sponsoring Team MTN-Qhubeka, and for providing the incredible team replica bike as a prize. Good heavens that thing is gorgeous (and has been a huge fan favorite, judging from the massive number of donations it has inspired).

I want to thank Chuck Ibis and the entire Ibis tribe. This man and this company have supported my fundraisers for pretty much ever, even as their bikes become so droolworthy that people have to get in line to buy them. 

I want to thank the first and last name in mountain bikes: Gary Fisher. A lot of companies are willing to part with their products in the name of charity; Gary is willing to donate his time. That’s incredibly generous and is a prize I’m just deliriously happy to have inserted myself into.

I want to thank Specialized for donating not just the bike in this contest, but the bike in my contest this last Spring. And, I should mention, it also provides bikes to WBR athlete ambassadors. This is a company that has shown a lot of commitment to the WBR cause.

I want to thank Juliana Bikes for joining in and donating a Nevis frame. Some lucky woman donor is going to be riding a seriously hot bike soon because of this great company.

I want to thank InGamba for donating the most amazing cycling vacation I could ever imagine. Whoever wins this prize is going to have extraordinary bragging rights. Cycling in Italy for twelve days…are you kidding me?

I doubly want to thank Trek, because it provided not just one bike for this contest, but it went the extra mile and provided two. Plus it helped facilitate the prize with Gary Fisher. 

I want to thank SRAM, both for their support of this contest and for their ongoing support of World Bicycle Relief. I love the way this for-profit business puts so much heart and so many resources into this world-changing foundation.

And most of all, I want to thank those of you who have donated — and those of you who are going to donate today. I simply cannot grasp how I’ve managed to have the good fortune to have you as readers and friends, but I am grateful for you every single day.

What Next?

Friday, The Hammer and I start working our way to Leadville, so expect short little posts while we’re vacationing. The week after that, I’ve got a big company offsite thing going on…but I’ve also got a treat for you: a multi-part story that’s all ready to go. You’ll hardly even notice I’m gone.

After that, well, the fun part of the season begins, and I’m looking forward to writing about it as it happens.


Grand Finale Grand Prize in the Grand Slam for Kenya: Any Specialized Bike You Want

08.4.2015 | 1:16 pm

A TL;DR Note from Fatty: Donate here!

To get a sense of my feelings toward Specialized, all you need to do is come break into my garage.

No, wait. Scratch that. Don’t break into my garage. But feel free to swing by (by appointment only, so I can prepare a snack for you), and I’ll show you the eight Specialized bikes The Hammer and I ride and race, from mountain bikes to road bikes to time trial bikes.

And while you’re in our garage — ogling our bikes and eating our food — I’ll take the opportunity to tell you about how Specialized has been an incredible partner in my World Bicycle Relief fundraising, right from the beginning and through each and every one of my Grand Slams.

Specialized provides bikes to WBR ambassadors, they provide bikes to me in my contests. They are, in short, committed to the cause and a great partner in the WBR vision.

So — as you might expect — I’m incredibly grateful that they have donated any S-Works frame of your choice to the Grand Slam for Kenya.

And that will be paired to absolutely top-end parts from SRAM and ZIPP to make you a killer dream bike. 

Want to go the mountain bike route? It’d be hard to beat the S-Works Stumpjumper 29 if you’re a hardtail guy (like me):

Screenshot 2015 08 04 12 13 52

Or maybe you’d rather go with the Epic, for extra go-down speed.

Screenshot 2015 08 04 12 15 54

Personally, the bike I would build for myself (since I have the Specialized mountain bikes, road bikes, and time trial bikes I want already) is a Crux:

Screenshot 2015 08 04 12 17 33

I’d build that up with SRAM CX1 components and — why not? — take up CX racing this year, just to show off my bike.

or if road is more your thing, you could go with the Tarmac (like I did): 

Screenshot 2015 08 04 12 25 20

Or you could go with the Roubaix — for a slightly smoother ride — like The Hammer did:

Screenshot 2015 08 04 12 28 03 

The thing is, I’m just getting started. Specialized has a bike for pretty much every riding style. And they’ve got these bikes dialed

What is this prize worth? Anywhere from $8000 to $12,000, depending on the frame, components, and wheels you go with. Regardless, you’re going to have one heckuva bike.

Now You Know

This is the final grand prize in the Grand Slam for Kenya. Which means, all told, there are six dream bikes and two amazing trips (details on the other five bikes and the two trips are linked to from yesterday’s post).

Eight grand prizes. Eight. And a cause — getting Kenyan schoolchildren bikes, so they’ll stay in school, do better in school, get better jobs and have better lives — that is impossible to top.

The cause is huge. The prizes are commensurately huge. You have from now ’til Friday to donate

I hope you win. And I know schoolchildren in Kenya will. 

An Unusually Awesome Problem

08.3.2015 | 9:41 am

A “Join Us Tonight” Note from Fatty: Rebecca Rusch — aka “The Queen of Pain” and I are doing a three-part webinar series on Leadville 100 racing strategy. Tonight at 6pm PDT / 9pm EDT, we’ll be talking about How to be a Leadville 100 Course Guru.

This webinar will be more than an hour of details, stories, splits, and strategy for the Leadville 100 course. It’s going to be both fun and practical, so be sure to click here to register, and we’ll see you this evening!

If you missed the first webinar in this series — “Be 1/2 Hour Faster at the LT100″ — you can watch it here.

A “Join Us All Next Week, Too” Note from Fatty: If you’re going to be in Leadville next week, you should join The Hammer, Reba and me for Reba & Fatty’s Leadville Experience, Fueled by GU. From Monday to Friday next week, Reba and I will be putting on rides, clinics, and parties, and book signings.

None of it costs anything. 

Come ride, learn, and hang out with us. The schedule is here.

An “Especially Be Sure to Join Us for Free Bratwurst” Note from Fatty: Celebrating the fact that the Grand Slam for Kenya will have (hopefully!) raised more than $100,000 by the time we get to Leadville, World Bicycle Relief is going to put on a free bratwurst dinner on Wednesday, 8/12 6pm – 8pm, at 201 W 8th Street in Leadville.

Come have a brat with The Hammer, Reba and me, talk about the race, and celebrate the change we’ve made in hundreds of Kenyan schoolchildren’s lives. 

As of this moment, the Leadville 100 MTB WBR team has raised close to $120,000. That is so cool.

An Unusually Awesome Problem

I have a problem regarding the Grand Slam for Kenya I need to tell you about. I’m not sure how it happened, and I’m a little bit disconcerted to have to say it. Because it’s…very weird. 

Oh, and also it’s very awesome.

OK, deep breath: here I go.

I…um…I ran out of month before I ran out of prizes.

Yep, I got to the end of July, and I still haven’t announced all of the grand prizes that go with the Grand Slam for Kenya.

But I have a plan, and I think you’re going to like it.

A Surprisingly Excellent Solution

So here’s my solution to the “I’ve got more amazing prizes than I have time to announce them” issue.

More time

Yes, I’m hereby extending the Grand Slam for Kenya to this Friday, which — coincidentally? — is when I pack and head to Leadville.

Which means you still have time to donate, if you haven’t, and you have more time to donate again, if you already have. 

Because the sheer number and quality of prizes I’ve announced is easily worth multiple donations. Seriously, I am not aware of any cycling-oriented contest, anywhere, put on by anyone, that has anywhere near the range and quality of prizes I’ve got here.

Nobody. Anywhere. Ever. I mean it.

And I’m still going to announce one more grand prize, tomorrow.

What We’ve Got So Far

A month is a long time, and the number of prizes I’ve announced is so crazily overwhelming that I have a hard time listing them off the top of my head.

So let’s recap, shall we? In reverse chronological order.

1. The MTN-Qhubeka Team Replica Bike with ENVE Wheels and Components 


This bike. Oh my. It’s just…stunning. Glorious. A lot of you expected me to reveal this bike, and yet were all just a little bit overwhelmed when you actually saw it.

As you should be. Oh mercy. Click here for details on this prize.

2. Any Ibis You Want, Including the New Mojo HD3 or Ripley  LS


Choice can be a very difficult thing, when you’re choosing between some of the best, most innovative mountain bikes on the market today. Which would I pick? I think I’d get the Mojo HD3. But I’d lose some sleep making that decision. So much goodness. Click here for details.

3. Tour, Ride, and Hang Out With MTB Icon Gary Fisher


Nobody has more stories than Gary. Nobody knows the world of cycling better. Nobody is more of a visionary. Hanging out with this guy for a day is a truly priceless prize. Riding with him and seeing the new Trek factory with him as your tour guide…well, that’s all gravy. Click here for details

4. One for the Women: a Juliana Nevis


I’ve seen one of these in action. It’s a gorgeous bike, and fully loaded. I have a feeling that whichever lucky woman wins this is going to suddenly notice that she’s wanting to sign up for a lot of XC races. Click here for details

5. Twelve Days Cycling in Southern Italy with InGamba


This…well, this is going to be the best vacation you ever have. Riding for twelve days, with every single little thing taken care of for you, so all you have to do is…have fun. I don’t  know who is going to win this, but I am already incredibly jealous. Click here for details.

6 AND 7. Any Trek Project One You Want


This prize is so nice, we’re giving it away twice. And it is very nice indeed. We’re talking about any top-end Trek Project One bike, built up with your custom paint job and top-end SRAM wheels and components. I can’t believe that two people are going to win this prize. That’s just nuts. Click here for details.  

How Much, Again?

To sum up, that’s five amazing bikes we’re giving away, and two incredible trips. Seven grand prizes in the Grand Slam for Kenya.

And tomorrow, I’m announcing one final grand prize: another top-end bike, from another amazing bike maker.

All told, when you donate, you are entered to win any of a half dozen dream bikes, and two unbelievable trips.

And you’ll be changing a life for the better, in a meaningful, immediate way.

With all that in mind, could you not donate? No, don’t answer that. I’m not interested in that kind of jibber jabber. 

Instead, just go donate, and then come back tomorrow to find out what the next big prize is.

PS: Prize rules are here, and details of the contest are here. And, once again, the donation page is here.

Win a MTN-Qhubeka Team Replica Bike with ENVE Wheels and Components!

07.30.2015 | 10:49 am

A Note from Fatty: If you can see where I’m headed just by looking at the pictures below, feel free to go to this page to donate without further ado.

Guys, I have something I want to show you. This:


Honestly, I just don’t have many words that can do justice to this bike, so let me instead show you another picture:


This is the Cervelo S5 Aero Road Bike, Team MTN-Qhubeka edition, completely outfitted with ENVE wheels and components

S5 TdF final MTN Qhubeka by Jens Herrndorff photography  3 von 12

And it is beautiful. Like, unbelievably beautiful.

S5 TdF final MTN Qhubeka by Jens Herrndorff photography  5 von 12

And my friends at ENVE Composites — a proud sponsor of Team MTN-Qhubeka, are donating one of these incredible bikes as a grand prize in the Grand Slam for Kenya

Equipped with ENVE wheels, ROTOR rings, cranks and power meters, KMC chains, Shimano Dura-ace Di2 drivetrain and brakes, Ceramic Speed bearings and a Sella Italia saddles, this is, without question, the most exclusive, amazing bike I have ever had in a contest. 

It is just like the bikes the pros in Team MTN-Qhubeka rode, with the exception that ENVE will also provide the cockpit for the bike.

In other words, the bike we’re giving away as part of the Grand Slam for Kenya will be nicer than the ones the pros rode.

How does that make you feel? A little bit like this? 


Friends and Family

It  makes perfect sense to have this bike as a prize in Grand Slam for Kenya. After all, Qhubeka is World Bicycle Relief’s program in South Africa that provides bicycles to people in need.

Check out the Thompsons — WBR Ambassadors and Friends of Fatty — riding with Team Principal Doug Ryder, Polka-Dot Jersey phenom Daniel Teklehaimanot, and team honcho Tyler Farrar:


It’s been an amazing month, both for the Tour de France and for World Bicycle Relief. 


I don’t think there’s ever been a question of whether the cause is good enough to warrant donating in the Grand Slam for Kenya.

But if there’s ever been a question of whether the prizes in the Grand Slam for Kenya warrant making a donation…well, I think that question has now been definitively answered. 

Click here to donate. And good luck!

PS: On a personal note, I want to express huge thanks to ENVE for providing this bike. Honestly, I’m overwhelmed.

Win Any Ibis You Want: Grand Slam for Kenya Grand Prize

07.28.2015 | 1:13 pm

I love watching friends and family win. Especially when it’s a surprise win. Whether it’s doing unexpectedly well in a race, getting a raise (or employee of the month, as my son just did), or finding a great relationship match. 

I know their success has nothing to do with me, but I still feel proud, and honored to even know them.

It’s a little weird to have this feeling about a company, but I do. I’ve thought of Ibis as a friend for…well, pretty much ever since I started mountain biking, and long before I ever started writing about riding.

For the past several years, Ibis has been doing really fantastic work. Making bikes that are beautiful and incredible at what they’re made for.


But lately. Uh, wow. Lately, Ibis has been innovating bikes that have just caught everyone’s attention. To the point that if you want one of their incredible Mojo HD3s you’ll have to get in line.


Same thing’s true of their brand new Ripley LS (Long and Slack):


That’s not hyperbole. Ibis has been designing bikes that are so amazing they simply cannot keep up with demand.

I love hearing that. It’s like hearing that your brother just graduated from college and now a bunch of companies are having a bidding war on who gets to hire him. Sorta.

And I love that in spite of this overwhelming demand, Ibis is still setting aside a place in line for you, if you are lucky enough to win this grand prize in the Grand Slam for Kenya.

Yep, you can pick a Mojo HD3, a new Ripley 29 (or Ripley 29 LS), or any other Ibis bike you like — like the Tranny I rode at Leadville last year. Or the Hakkalugi Disc.

But let’s be honest, you’re probably gonna get the Ripley or the Mojo. Hey, I don’t blame you.


Magic Wheels Included

I am, in general, not someone who really notices tiny little differences in bike hardware. Can I tell the difference between a carbon seatpost and an aluminum one? No.

Can I tell the difference between a flexy handlebar and a really stiff one? Nope.

Can I tell the difference between any kind of cranks? No. No I cannot.

But I can tell the difference between Ibis ultra-wide 41mm rims and regular wheels. They climb better. They descend better. They corner better. 

They do everything better. 

And this bike is gonna include a set of these amazing wheels. 

Between the wheels and your incredible Ibis frame, you are going to instantly be a better rider.


I mean it.

XX1, Guide, Reverb…Holy Cats This Is a Great Bike

This isn’t just a frame with wheels, either. We’re going to set this Ibis up pro, with a SRAM XX1 drivetrain and the incredible new Guide brakes. A Rock Shox Pike fork and Reverb dropper post will complete your setup.

All told, you’d pay around $9000 for this bike. And it would be money well-spent.

It is going to be the most amazing bike you have ever owned.

But of course, you’ll want to donate first

You’re Running Out of Time

The Grand Slam for Kenya ends this Friday. If you’ve been waiting to see whether there’s a bike (or a trip) in this contest you want, now you know. 

Every $147 you donate changes a life. Thanks tons for donating, and — since I’m ineligible to win this bike myself (my first choice) — I hope you win.

Good luck!

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