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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How to Fight Like Susan

Be focused
Be creative
Have outrageous endurance
Be kind

Monday, August 24, 2009

Finding hope

I had a great ride today. Twenty-two miles with the fast boys on Monday night. I felt great, rode fast, and plowed home solo into a brutal headwind. I'm enjoying the time on the bike (but need to solve some minor saddle issues yesterday) and looking forward to the next ride. I am happy about that. Riding is a great refuge for me. I can ride and think or I can ride really hard, go deep into the pain cave and think about nothing.

Mom's friend Debbie's funeral was Thursday. Mom had to miss the weekend in Spokane with the family to attend. Mom was pretty shook up when she passed away, even though everyone knew it was coming. Debbie planned her own funeral in the middle of aggressive treatment. She fought cancer so many times...

Losing four people to cancer in such rapid succession has left me feeling a little apprehensive about my aunt's recurrence. It's frustrating to everyone how everything can be clean then three months later, tumors are large and in charge all over the place. I tried to explain from the scientific side how cancer can be so aggressive to my dad on the drive home today while my girls slept in the back of the van. I'm not sure how effective I was but the bottom line is cancer will find a way to feed itself. Left to their own devices cancer cells will divide exponentially, eventually stealing all the nutrients from the surrounding tissue, killing the tissue it has invaded. Looked at microscopically, it's brutal.

The most powerful weapon against cancer is hope. Dad and I talked a bit about that as we talked about my cousin's expected child arriving in a few short months. Everyone fighting must find their own reason to believe they can survive. For my aunt, I pray that new grandchild brings enough hope and resolve to steel her against her second fight for her life.

I spent my evening reading up on the exploits of Team Fatty: Philly. I have to tip my hat to them. I think they very much outdid Seattle. Read more:
Lowest Gear - Preride
Lowest Gear - Ride Report
More Than a Ride - Ride Report
Ride a Bike - Ride Report
RocBike - Preride
RocBike - Ride Report

The team is being reformed for 2010. You don't have to be a hardcore cyclist to join. You don't even need to join to get the gear and feel the love. Just go visit TwinSix.com. Proceeds go to Fatty and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A month later - major losses

I've been a little lax in posting lately, due largely to the fact I have been extraordinarily busy. Between a trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and a conference in San Diego, I have been on the go and (unfortunately) relatively bike free.

While at my conference, I received word that three people passed away due to cancer in the same 24 hour period. I cannot adequately do their memories justice. They will be truly missed. One is Susan Nelson, the inspiration for Team Fatty and the wife of famous cycling blogger, Fatty. Another is the mother and wife of family friends. She and her family accompanied my family on a Christmas trip to Hawaii. The last is the father of a high school classmate.

Rest in peace, all.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I'm sick. In the middle of summer. This means my serious riding is on hold until I can take a deep breath without going into coughing fits for a full minute. So riding has slowed but this has given me something perhaps more precious: Time.

My mom's close friend, Debbie, entered hospice care last week after repeated bouts with breast cancer. Seeing Team Fatty San Jose could use an extra body, I decided to join as a virtual participant. I've raised $130.66 on my San Jose participant page.
Twin Six generously donated to each San Jose participant to bring them above $100, hopefully sealing the Team Messenger award in San Jose. Feel free to donate there in honor of Debbie's fight.

Fatty wrote another gut-wrenching post about Susan's fight against cancer. They show so much grace in trying circumstances and I feel privileged to be a part of the team in support of Susan.

I have another side project going for the team but I'm struggling getting other folks to participate. I've been able to get started the last couple of days and I hope I can get it done soon as it seems Susan has taken a turn for the worst.

Cancer sucks but there are some most excellent people involved in the fight. I hope you'll join in.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Seattle 2009 Challenge Ride Report

The LIVESTRONG Challenge Seattle 2009 weekend is over and it’s time to take stock of the whole experience.

For me, the weekend began by saying goodbye to my family and making the drive from my in-law’s house to Seattle. Once I navigated downtown to my hotel and checked in, at noon, I walked a couple blocks to Seattle Center, home of the LIVESTRONG Village and the start/finish for the Challenge.

Check-in was very fast so I gave myself a little time to make a card for the wall, vote for the Team Fatty jersey and wander the LIVESTRONG Village. The setup for the LIVESTRONG Village was in a circle around the entertainment stage. Vendors and volunteers were friendly and freebies were everywhere.

I stopped at a booth set up by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and talked with the three ladies running the show. I told them I rode with a team in the Challenge a few years ago in honor of a friend of my teammates, Erik Engquist, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. One of the women said she was a survivor of pancreatic cancer and asked about Erik’s outcome. Sadly, Erik did not survive his fight and left behind a young family. Pancreatic cancer has one of the lowest survivability rates of all cancers and also has one of the lowest dollar commitments to research. It is effectively where breast cancer research was in the 1940’s. There’s probably a correlation between research and survivability so if you ever feel like you want to make a difference for a specific cancer, I would say pancreatic cancer would be a good choice. In the conversation, and after I put down my information, the survivor asked about my pink wristband and my team. After telling her about Susan and her fight with metastatic breast cancer, she asked if I would ride with a purple PanCAN wristband for her. Of course I would.

From Seattle Center, I walked to the Team Fatty pre-ride barbeque. We had burgers and conversation. It was mostly get-to-know-you chatter, putting faces with names and making connections with people. We had 112 people on the team from all over the region with many having only a connection through the online world of Fatty’s blog and, by extension, this team. Dan was generous enough to open up his place to host us and Nick and Dom artfully grilled up the food.

After the barbeque, I wandered over to REI then downtown to Niketown. I went to REI because it was there and Niketown in the hopes of getting a LIVESTRONG t-shirt I’ve been eyeing for a while but have been trying to avoid paying shipping to get. The shirt reads: Me, My bike, My cause, Just do it. I love the message; it resonates with me. I found it on the rack on sale and grabbed it before walking back to the hotel.

On Wednesday night, I got an email saying I might be going to the awards dinner and had it confirmed the night before, so I had to hustle back and change into my formal jeans and 10/2 collection pull over. We left home Wednesday morning and I didn’t bring nice clothes. I figured I was on vacation so I didn’t need the formal wear. I felt a little underdressed but the dinner was a blast. I ran into one of my college professors and her husband, who is trying to raise enough to go to Austin for the Ride for the Roses, so we chatted a little before going in for the meal.

Team Fatty had tables right at the front and we were served first. The food was great and remarkably light. The program had a few revisions as Lance was training in Aspen and Doug Ulman was in D.C. for the signing of the bill to allow the FDA to regulate tobacco. One of the LAF staffers, Renee, who has spent the last year kicking breast cancer’s tail took over M.C. duties and did a Q & A with Dr. Craig Nichols, Lance’s oncologist about cancer, survivorship, cancer issues and health care. Jimmy and Molly Fowkes were awarded the Individual Messenger award, with the highest number of individual donors, and Jimmy was inspirational, as always. He has been an award winner since 2006, after he was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Then the night became Fatty’s. Our team won the Team Messenger and Team Champion awards, with the highest number of team members raising at least $100 and the greatest amount of money raised. Our co-captain, Steve, won the Individual Champion award and spoke about Team Fatty, the inspiration he finds through his brother and Susan, and the power of the community Elden has built. Elden spoke via recording from Utah, thanking all the folks involved in this process and speaking from the heart about the battle his wife, Susan, has faced. Steve’s brother, Scott, then spoke of his decision to meet cancer head on and survive in the face of long odds. I walked away in awe and with a deeper commitment and contentment that what we have done is powerful, meaningful and absolutely the right thing to do in the face of this insidious disease.

After a message of encouragement from Lance via recording from Aspen, I wandered back to the hotel, stopping at the grocery store for some safe foods to eat in the morning, and settled in for sleep before the big day.

At 5:40 a.m. Sunday, the alarm went off in my hotel room. I rolled out of bed, grabbed some food and a quick shower to wake me up, and geared up for the short ride to Seattle Center. I stuffed a few extra food items into my jersey pockets so I could finish breakfast at the start line since we had to be there at 6:30 for a team picture. The weather was partly cloudy and I was warm but not toasty in arm and leg warmers.

The ride started with a fabulous roll out behind a pace car. Only it wasn’t a pace car. And it wasn’t on the right street. But it did start in front of us as the air horn from Dan Wilson sent us on our way. Pretty much the whole of Team Fatty took a wrong turn out of the gate. We got it figured out after the car turned up the hill and we looked to see other riders whizzing by us on 5th.

Once we got on the right route, it was smooth sailing across the I-90 express lanes to Mercer Island. On a side note, the tunnels were a little on the creepy side on a bike. Weather was just about perfect: not too warm, not too cold. Hills were rolling, views were gorgeous, and the pace was solid. Various groups of Team Fatty riders formed, broke up and formed anew until we got off the island and into Bellevue.

From there it was a bit of a blur until May Valley for me. By May Valley, distinct groups had formed up and I was riding with Jon and a few folks I never did identify. We got east of Tiger Mountain and all of a sudden it got a bit chilly. The climb was a good one with a pretty good, long descent off the back. Jon and I got stopped about halfway down as one rider was directing traffic around a pretty horrific crash that took out 3 riders and sent one to the hospital with a pretty bloody face. The road was damp but we got no drops until we got to the Issaquah Highlands.

The rain came down pretty steady along East Lake Sammamish, making drafting roughly akin to getting your teeth polished but without the sickly sweet kiddy flavor. The rain let up a few miles before Marymoor. I reconnected with Jon and Steve at the Marymoor stop and we rode together along West Lake Sammamish. We caught up to Kent rolling along on his single speed (42×17 I believe) on the century. We hit a bit of a rise and he dropped us like a crazy girlfriend.

By the time we navigated West Lake Sammamish, the sun was out again. At the base of Montreux, we came together with Jeff and Matt. I suffered mightily, having to hike a bike in a couple of spots due to pretty awful cramps. I blame it on the lack of any kind of climbing on my part prior to the event. I fully expected to catch on with another group going a bit slower once I made it over that beast, but Steve, Matt, Jon and Jeff were all waiting for me at the top. Thank you.

The descent off the hill was not nearly worth the suffering to get up there, but it was a good working downhill to the next rest stop, where we ran into Janet and a few more questions about Team Fatty. Jeff, Jon, Matt and I stopped and Steve kept rolling so we didn’t see him again until the finish.

We cruised along Lake Washington through Renton and met up with more rain. And hail. And thunder and lightning. It was a short storm as far as distance, and we tried to plow through the rain so we got soaked. Wet chamois is not a good thing. We stopped when the peanut-sized hail started pelting us. Good thing for my official FatCyclist.com cycling cap for protection against that hail.

Once it let up a little, we didn’t ride much more than a mile before we hit dry pavement again and turned down to Seward Park. It happened to be a closure day for the road along Seward Park so we dodged families riding and Dads teaching their little ones to ride bikes.

We stopped at the final rest stop at mile 95 before attacking the hill to downtown. Descriptions of its length are subject to some interpretation but regardless of length, it was steep up to Yessler and steep over Yessler. Jeff’s Garmin had us at 18% grade in a couple of spots. A climb that steep that late in a century was not very nice.

The roll up to Seattle Center was slow due to the traffic lights but we made it as a group and have some good photos of the four of us coming in together. The cheering section at the finish was as loud and large as it was at any of the Portland events. Despite the exhaustion, it’s a great feeling of accomplishment to complete the ride, having worked as a part of something so much larger than you in the fight against cancer.

It was a great ride. I met some great people over the course of the weekend. I’ve decided the people who are a part of Team Fatty Seattle are a quality bunch and I’ll ride with any of you, anytime.

For more links, pictures, and information about the event, check out:

Rider X's course preview - a pretty good description of the topography of the course

Kent P.'s photos

Matt K.'s report and photos

Andy W.'s report and photos

Lisa's report

KOMO News coverage

Video of the 100-Mile roll out - without the wrong turn

and of course FatCyclist.com -

First report

From the start line

The aftermath

Co-captain Steve's report

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Challenge to Cancer - 200x5

Hello! My name is Jeremy Everitt and I’m a Fat Cyclist. No, not THE Fat Cyclist of FatCyclist.com fame; I’m just a Team Fatty member. Our goal is to be the largest team and raise the most money in LIVESTRONG Challenge history. We want to leave a legacy for Susan Nelson, Mrs. Fatty, who has metastatic breast cancer. Our time to honor her is rapidly growing short.

Susan is not the only one I work to leave a legacy for, however. My connection with cancer now stands at 94 links. That's 94 people who have been touched by cancer – 94 friends, colleagues, and family members who are connected to my efforts working with the Lance Armstrong Foundation. And these are the folks who have shared their experiences. How many links are in your connection with cancer?

This is my fifth year of involvement with the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s LIVESTRONG Challenge series. I have also taken on a role as a local LIVESTRONG Army Leader in the Salem-Keizer area.

The past few months have brought many new experiences in my now five-year long effort to raise money for the LAF and it’s many programs. I spent many hours preparing graphic materials to share with teammates to help them fundraise and recruit to Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan. I rode 176 miles in 11 hours rolling time, in a loop only 0.15 miles long, raising almost $900 as a part of the second annual FatCyclist.com 100 Miles of Nowhere event. I spent three days at the Keizer Iris Festival sharing information, listening to stories and passing out yellow wristbands.

All in all, this has been a frenetic and fantastic few months in my involvement with the Lance Armstrong Foundation. I have one more big push in the last few weeks before the Seattle Challenge event: I want to try to raise $1000 in two weeks.

Here’s the catch: I want to do it by connecting to as many people as possible.

There is no way I can do this alone. I need your help. Please, ask everyone you know to go to this Challenge donation page and donate $5.00. That’s right, $5.00. Then go join the LIVESTRONG Army. Join the millions of people standing up and saying it is time to make cancer a national priority.

Here’s why:

There are an estimated 12 million cancer survivors in the U.S. today and that number is rising. Current statistics show 1 in 2 males and 1 in 3 females will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetimes. Cancer is the number one killer of Americans under the age of 85. If you don’t know someone who has had cancer, it is almost certain you will. You only need to talk to one about their experience to know a cancer diagnosis changed their lives forever.

The Lance Armstrong Foundation is dedicated to helping patients become survivors and survivors deal with the lasting effects of cancer. Money raised for the LAF goes to fund the programs administered directly through the LAF, like SurvivorCare and LIVESTRONG at School. It also funds grants such as these:

  • The Cancer Institute of New Jersey ($100,000) – New Brunswick, New Jersey – The LAF-funded Buildings and Bridges (B&B) Program aims to improve the primary healthcare workforce’s ability to identify practical and emotional needs of cancer survivors and facilitate access to services that may meet those needs.

  • University of California, Irvine ($147,377) – Irvine, CA – The "Improving Survivorship of Patients with Pediatric, Adolescent, and Young Adult Cancer" project has been designed to aid transition of care from a pediatric-based care facility to an adult-care facility.

  • Emilio Nares Foundation ($149,050) – San Diego, CA – The “Ride with Emilio” program ensures that sick children have access to weekly chemotherapy and other crucial medical appointments when their families lack personal transportation and public transportation is not adequate.

  • Cancer Legal Resource Center ($149,513) – Los Angeles, California – This project, "Cancer-Related Legal Education for Health Care Professionals," will empower health care professionals in the cancer community to positively affect the lives of cancer patients and survivors.

  • The Breakfast Club, Inc. ($50,000) – St. Louis, MO – The EARS Program (Education, Awareness, Resources and Support) will provide culturally competent comprehensive breast health/cancer education and outreach and one-on-one and group support services and navigation assistance to uninsured and under insured breast cancer survivors and their families.

  • M.D Anderson Cancer Center ($150,000) – Houston, TX – The Cardiology and Oncology Partnership (COP) is a group of health care providers who are committed to eliminating cardiovascular (CV) disease as a barrier to effective cancer treatment.

  • Familias en Accion ($140,151) – Portland, OR – The Lance Armstrong Foundation will provide funding to develop a patient navigator program for Latino cancer survivors and their families, assisting them in accessing quality cancer treatment and support services. The program will provide special emphasis in providing cancer support services to adolescents and young adults – two groups who require culturally-specific and age appropriate resources.

  • Aberdeen Area Tribal Group ($150,000) – Rapid City, South Dakota – Funding from the LAF will support two Native American communities in South Dakota (Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and the Rapid City Urban Community) to develop community-based and culturally-appropriate cancer survivor support initiatives.

Additionally, the LAF has just partnered with Penn Medicine to provide the LIVESTRONG Care Plan powered by OncoLink with connections to all the resources the Lance Armstrong Foundation can bring to bear in a battle with cancer. In fact, I referred a student of mine to it yesterday when she told me her grandfather was just diagnosed with colon cancer.

I am proud to be a member of Team Fatty and the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s grassroots efforts to make cancer a national priority. Every little bit each of us do in the fight against cancer.

In the words of Fatty:
"What helps — a little — is to know that I, along with you, am at least doing something in this fight. It’s not enough to help Susan, and I hate myself for not having done more sooner.

But it is something, and you’re all helping me feel like I’m doing something important. And that helps me. Thank you for that."

Your $5.00 makes a difference. Let’s work together to improve cancer care. I need your help. Please, ask everyone you know to go to this Challenge donation page and donate $5.00. Of course, anyone can donate more, but all I’m asking is $5.00 and a promise you’ll spread the word.

If you've already donated, great. Thank you very much. You have already made a huge impact. Please consider making your impact even larger by passing this on to folks you know who would like to join the fight against cancer.

If you’d like to know more about Team Fatty, be sure to check out FatCyclist.com. If you'd like to find out more about my experience riding 176 miles in a circle, check out my Challenge blog.

Thank you so very much,

Jeremy Everitt

LS Army Salem-Keizer local leader
Member – Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan

Monday, May 25, 2009

Short check ride

I pulled out the single speed for a short ride today to check the legs. I felt very good, save for a little soreness in my lower back above my right hip. I can only attribute that to the over 4500 right turns I made on Saturday.

I got word on Facebook today one of my high school classmates' father is back in the hospital with cancer. I also got word yesterday about my mom's friend is having significant complications from chemo in this round with cancer.

I can't help but think we are fighting the good fight against cancer but it's really time to step up our game. It's time to make cancer a national priority in the way that taking a manned trip to the moon was a national priority. Join your local LIVESTRONG Army.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

100 (and 76) Miles of Nowhere

Yesterday was the FatCyclist.com 100 Miles of Nowhere. After collecting donations in the 100 Miles of Nowhere challenge, I raise $880 prior to the start of the event. I pledged to ride 1 mile for every $5 donated to my LIVESTRONG Challenge page so I committed to riding 176 miles, not just the 100. I also allowed the donors a vote on how I did it with every $10 they donated. They had a choice between the trainer in the garage, a spin cycle in the gym, or a .15-mile loop. The loop won so I got to ride approximately 1174 times around that loop over the course of the day.

On Friday, I got bottles filled and food ready. I am allergic to nuts and sesame seeds so having actual, high-energy food is a bit difficult. It was nothing but gels, sport beans and Clif Bars kid's ZBars. Don't get me wrong, the ZBars are tasty, but they run a little more than half the calories of their adult-style brethren. When you run through 9,000+ calories on a ride, half the calories just doesn't cut it. I welcome feeding advice from folks who use allergen-free fueling methods.

Saturday morning, I wanted to be up and rolling prior to 5:30 a.m. in the interests of being finished by my youngest daughter's second birthday. Breakfast took longer than I wanted and I needed to set up my feed zone and information, so at least the neighbors could find out what I was up to.

I got rolling before the neighborhood got moving. My pace was decently high for the first few hours while the sun rose. I tried switching direction after the first hour and decided the off-camber turn in the opposite direction was uncomfortable and would require ditching too much speed in the corner, so it was all rights, all day. I also made the resolution I wouldn't look at mileage until I reached the next hour of riding so I wouldn't drive myself nuts looking at the miles tick by.

The girls came up a couple of times to shoot pictures and shout encouragement.

I greatly appreciated the brief periods of human contact. Riding that loop over and over was a very lonely experience. I started the day dreaming of what I'd do if I won the lottery. Somewhere around miles 60-80, my brain completely shut off save for checking for cars and rocks on the turns. I absorbed the music from my iPod and thought about absolutely nothing except surviving this ride.

I stopped for a extended break at mile 80 when I cramped on the inside of my right leg. A little caffeinated, sugary help, a few minutes stretching, and a resolve to bring the pace down a bit to prevent recurrence later, and I was on my way again.

At mile 85, the girls checked in again. I managed to accidently press both buttons on the brake hoods and reset the trip meter. Fortunately, I had the GPS backup. I gave them the extra battery to recharge on the GPS.

Somewhere along the way, my parents and my brother and his fiance stopped by to check in. They got a sandwich for me, which I ate in multiple sittings, and that helped a little with the calorie deficit.

One of my colleagues and his family stopped by with some energy goodies at about mile 120. They hollered encouragement from the car and, once again, I appreciate having a little human contact and encouragement. The girls were tied up all afternoon getting ready for my youngest daughter's second birthday so I had no visitors at the loop for a while.

My wife brought back the extra GPS battery somewhere around 4:45 p.m. I apparently didn't seat the connection correctly so the GPS ran out of battery shortly thereafter.

I took a little break at about 6:00 p.m. for the party. I was at mile 161. I also discovered the GPS ran out of juice at that point. I had to go off the initial odometer reading to make sure I got through 176.

My dad shot a picture of me after I walked in to the party. I looked much more chipper in the others but I thought this one really captured how I felt.

After presents and cake, I headed back to the top of the hill to ride the final 15 miles. Never have I felt so relieved to be able to get back on the bike. I really wanted to make sure I finished this ride in one day.

In the end, I finished my first race, I rode 62 miles longer in a day than I ever have before, and I raised a bunch of money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. I even surprised myself and averaged 16 mph while riding. I was hoping I'd be close to 16, but I figured I'd drop well below that in the end. It was one of the more lonely things I have ever done but if it means raising $900 for the LAF, I'd do it all over again.

Here's a little video I put together of the ride:

FatCyclist.com 100 Miles of Nowhere, Keizer Edition from Jeremy Everitt on Vimeo.

The GPS track of the ride:


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wow! It's been a while...

It's been busy in my house the last few weeks. We prepared for and successfully ran the booth at the Keizer Iris Festival last weekend. Final stats:
3 days, 24 hours open
$150.36 in donations
100+ wristbands given away
30+ signatures on the LIVESTRONG Petition
94 links on the chain of loved ones
5+ pamphlets
8+ people referred to SurvivorCare
3+ possible team members
1 Survivorship Notebook given to a person biopsied Friday

It was incredible talking to people about their connection to cancer. I was physically and emotionally spent by the end of the weekend.

The 100 Miles of Nowhere has been a resounding success. $880 have been raised for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and I will be riding 176 miles on Saturday, unless someone wants to put a little more in the pot in the next 24 hours. Bring on the pain.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Almost to $1000

I just had a handful of checks come in today putting the overall total of funds raised at $895. That is tantalizingly close to that magic $1000 mark. I hope some of you can donate, find friends to donate, beg family members, or do whatever you can to help reach that $1000 milestone.


Friday, May 1, 2009

A milestone reached

This week has been a rough one around our house. Everybody but Mom ended up not feeling so great at some point during the week. Fortunately, we are starting to recover a bit.

With a check from a colleague, my 100 Miles of Nowhere challenge reached $520 raised for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. This means I will ride 104 miles, if the current vote holds, in a .16-mile loop at the top of the hill by my house.

Now I'm not going to poo-poo $520, but I think we can do better. We've got three more weeks to get those donations in and make me go an absolutely insane 200 miles. Tell all your friends.

The 100 Miles of Nowhere raised over $21,000 in entry fees for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. This means Team Fatty is rapidly approaching $200,000, a huge milestone. Even if your not a fan of the 100 Miles of Nowhere silliness, please help us break through that $200K barrier and keep on trucking.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Team Fat Cyclist featured on LIVESTRONGChallenge.org

Check out the team information on LIVESTRONGChallenge.org. Team Fatty and all the antics to raise money are featured this month. We are making good progress toward our goals but still need help. Please consider donating, joining the team or passing it on to all your friends.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Final Word on the 100 Miles of Nowhere

The final date for the 100 Miles of Nowhere is now hard and fast: May 23, 2009. You can check out all the details at FatCyclist.com.

This means the donation period is extended to May 23. Every $5 you give is another mile I ride (up to 200 miles, because I have desire to raise $1000, not a death wish) and every $10 you give is a vote on how it gets done. I still need some folks to put in their picks: on the trainer in the garage, on the spin bike at the gym, or doing .16-mile laps around the neighborhood. (No, riding the pedal tractor is NOT an option.) You may split your vote if you wish. The vote at this time is 2 for the trainer, 0 for the spin bike, and 4 for the .16-mile loop.

Thanks again for all the support and I hope you'll join us for the fun. Donate online to make your dollars work harder for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Special Challenge Event

Show us your spirit! Join Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan (in Seattle, preferably) between 12:01 a.m. Wed., April 22, and 11:59 p.m. Wed., April 22, and get $15 off registration with the discount code "SPIRIT09". Help us reach our goal of 125 team members in Seattle and each of the other cities.

But I don't want to go to Seattle on June 21, you say. Well, if you register as a runner/walker for the 5K, you can fundraise, be a part of the most excellent Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan and if you don't come, well, I won't tell if you won't and I'll even pick up your goodie bag for you and make sure it gets into your hands. Of course, it would be much more fun if you were there.

The LIVESTRONG Challenge is the Lance Armstrong Foundation's signature fundraising event inspired by the hope, courage and determination that exist in all of us. We take to the streets on bikes and on our feet, uniting individuals to stand together to fight cancer.

For the 2009 LIVESTRONG Challenge, Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan - Seattle is looking to recruit 125 team members and raise $125,000 to support cancer prevention, provide access to screening and care, fund research, and enhance the quality of life for cancer survivors everywhere. We are over $42,000 already. Whether you walk, run, or ride, your participation is one more powerful weapon in the crucial fight against cancer.

Ready to join Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan? Register today by following these easy steps:

1. Visit www.livestrongchallenge.org
2. Click on Seattle
3. Click on Register for Seattle ($50 fee - Special $15 discount 12:01 a.m. PT April 22 - 11:59 p.m. April 22 "SPIRIT09")
4. Agree to the waiver ($250 fundraising minimum required for riders to participate)
5. Choose “Join a Team” and select Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan from the drop down list.

Remember to recruit your friends and family to join you on Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan. We need their help to reach our fundraising goal.

Through the dollars and awareness that we raise, we will inspire and empower individuals, and we will make life better for the more than 12 million Americans living with cancer. We look forward to having you unite with us as a partner in our fight.

Join the Fight. Take the Challenge.

As always, thank you for the continued support and if you can't join, please send this on to someone you think might be interested.

P.S. The 100 Miles of Nowhere challenge is still on. My crazy self is up to 73 miles, but I'll go 200 if it means I raise $1000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunny days are back again

We made the newsletter! With your help, we have raised over $167,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. That's almost as much as the entire group of participants in San Jose!

I would love your help and support. Please tell people you know about Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan. Encourage them to join the team or donate to a Team Fatty member. Every little bit helps in the fight against cancer and meeting our goals of having the largest team ever, raising the most money ever and creating a legacy the Nelson family can be proud of.

In other news, the Team Fatty booth at the Keizer Iris Festival is starting to take shape. The one major thing I have left to do is get internet access at the booth for online donations. I've got information and goodies from the Lance Armstrong Foundation to give away. I've got keychains and bracelets made of recycled bicycle chain to sell. I'm picking up some extra sunscreen to give away. I'm really excited for this fundraising and outreach opportunity. Please join me May 15-17 at Keizer Station. Drop in for an hour or two or just pop in and say, "Hi!"

The 100 Miles of Nowhere looks like it may be postponed from the end of April to sometime in May. If it is, I will extend the time for donations toward mileage. Right now, I am riding 73 miles based on the $365 in donations already in, bringing my overall total to $655 (one check isn't in the online total, yet). With some other pledged money, it looks like I may be riding the full 100 miles and then some. I would love to have to ride more. Encourage everyone you know. Just tell them this crazy guy you know is riding 100 miles (or more) going absolutely nowhere to raise money to fight cancer. If that doesn't work, well, threaten them with those pictures you took in college. :-)

I got up and out early today after getting no ride in yesterday. We planted our side garden so that meant running around town picking up tools and soil. We put in lettuce, broccoli, peas and artichokes. Fingers crossed we get a good crop and some fresh veggies in a few months. The upper garden will be tilled and planted in a couple of weeks for the tomatoes. We are hoping to put in an apple tree with the multiple varieties in one tree at some point.

The ride today was a longer group ride and with my ride from home to the meet up and back, I got in 68 miles. One of the guys who was with me the whole way said we averaged 17.7 during the 55-mile group portion of the ride. I felt good but the guys I was with wound it up to about 28 mph a couple of times on the way home so I felt pretty well cooked by the time it was over. It's time to rest and recover for a trip to the pool with the girls and another group ride tomorrow.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Well, we have raised $205 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. That means I'll ride 41 miles for absolute certain in the 100 Miles of Nowhere. Why do I say "for absolute certain"? Well, my friend, Billy, called me tonight to let me know he has $240 pledged for the 100 Miles of Nowhere. He thinks he can get $300. If he does, I'm riding the full 100 and then some. I'm so excited.

Does that mean it's all over? No, way. Let's get me up to 200 miles. That's truly insane.

I had a great ride today. I rode with the club and made a wrong turn for an extra couple of miles. I felt great and averaged 18.6 mph for the ride. I need to meter my outputs so I don't overtrain early, but the weather was phenomenal and I couldn't help myself.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

27 miles - 73 to go

Thank you! Another round of donations came in today and together, we've raised $135 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. That means I'm riding 27 in the 100 Miles of Nowhere. Tell all your friends and help me get to (or beyond) 100 miles. Remember, you get to help choose my method of insanity.

I had an awesome ride today. The weather cleared up and it was so warm today, relatively speaking. I started in leg and arm warmers and had to peel them off after the engine got warm. I was going hard and fast, up near LT most of the ride. I still feel a little slow but feel pretty good with the effort.

I tried to GPS the route today, but I lost signal at the start and the program never picked it back up. That was a bummer as I really like the route I took.

Ride time: 2:11:03
Distance: 37.47 mi.
Average speed: 17.1 mph

Friday, April 3, 2009

15 down - 75 to go!

So far, $75 in donations have come in and that puts me riding 15 miles. Make me ride more and donate today!

I got in a short ride today. 10.13 miles on Big Blue ending at the club to catch Mom and the girls after swim lessons. It's still a little chilly but is supposed to warm up this weekend and I'm planning on logging some big miles on Saturday and Sunday.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

11 miles in - 89 to go

So far, $55 in donations have come in and that puts me riding 11 miles. Make me ride more and donate today!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

An idea so crazy it just might work

So here's the deal: Team Fatty is doing 100 Miles of Nowhere. That's right. 100 miles going absolutely nowhere and I'm going right along.

So what does that have to do with me, you say. Well, I'm glad you asked. You get to choose what I do and how long I ride.

How? It's simple donate any amount of money on my LIVESTRONG Challenge page. For every $5 raised between today and the event somewhere near the end of April, I will ride a mile. For every $10 you donate, you get a vote on my method of completing the ride: the trainer, the spin bike at the athletic club or riding circles around a .165 mile loop near my house (GPS tracking on this one should be hilarious).

I will ride for as many miles as you all donate, in whatever way you all choose. It's a win for everybody but me. You choose how I suffer and an invitation to come laugh at me while you enjoy some food and drink. The Lance Armstrong Foundation gets donations to improve cancer care around the world. I just get the mind-numbing joy that comes only from riding for hours on end and going absolutely nowhere.

Just one thing: I would love to raise $1000+ on this little endeavor, but I will ride a maximum of 200 miles. (Sorry to disappoint.)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Finally, a good ride outside

I've been working on support documents for Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan when I can. I'm getting set to find a printer for the flyers this afternoon so things are in motion for the Iris Festival booth in May.

I got a new toy before break as my wife needed a smartphone for her consulting work this spring. The iPhone has GPS capabilities and applications to track your rides so I gave one a try today. It's pretty cool, in a nerdy way, to finish a ride with a map documenting where you went and your elevation profile.

It's easy to forget how liberating a nice day and a bicycle can be. The crisp spring air sears the lungs as the engine gets warmed up. The whir of spokes in the crosswind as I pedal into the bottom by the river. The call of the avian multitudes as they comb over the freshly plowed and fallow fields. I love watching the fields change as spring and sumer progress along my routes out of town.

It's been a long time since I got outside on the bike for any significant distance. I took the blue Klein out and did 30 miles in just under 2 hours. Not fast, but enjoyable. Now, I just need to keep it up so I'm ready for the very challenging course in Seattle.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's time to take names and kick..

You missed the pre-order for Team Fatty jerseys, but some will be available in June (act fast). Join Team Fatty today!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Join Team Fatty!

Just thought I'd drop a note in here. This year's LIVESTRONG Challenge series will be in Seattle, San Jose, Philadelphia and Austin. If you are thinking about riding it and are otherwise unaffiliated, I would suggest joining Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan. Our goal is to be the largest team in the history of the series and raise the most money in the history of the series. This is in honor of Susan Nelson, Fatty's wife, who has metastatic brain cancer.

You are still eligible for all the just rewards from the Challenge itself but the team has rewards, too. And we have really snazzy kit, but it's only available via preorder at TwinSix until March 17th. ($30 from every jersey goes to the LAF and you don't have to be a team member to get one.)

Check out FatCyclist.comFatCyclist.com for more info, humorous bike stories, and heart-wrenching tidbits about what it is like to live with someone you love fighting for her life. I hope it moves you as it moves me.

P.S. I will be hosting a booth to distribute LAF cancer survivorship materials and raise money for Team Fatty at the 2009 Keizer Iris Festival, May 15-17. If anyone knows a good place to have 11x17 color print done for that event relatively cheaply, I'd love to hear where. Feel free to drop in and say hi. (And, no, I'm really not too proud to beg at this point. :D )

P.P.S. Please donate.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Join Me at the Keizer Iris Festival

Things are starting to come together for a booth at the Keizer Iris Festival, May 15, 16, ans 17, 2009. Big thank you to my father-in-law for sponsoring the space. I am beginning the search for giveaways and information to stock the booth, along with donation forms and things. My goal is to have some local fitness and wellness companies involved on the giveaways and some local doctor's involved in maybe providing cancer screenings to some visitors.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bob Roll Shaves His Head for Team Fatty!

No more comb-over for Mr. Roll. The challenge went out and over $5000 was raised in 20 hours. Awesome!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Slow going

Money is tight. Everywhere. I was hoping to get a jump start on fund-raising in December but the only one to donate was me. I'm working on putting together a booth for the Keizer Iris Festival to distribute yellow bands and survivorship information.

Training has been light. I've been spinning but am too soft to ride outside.