It is known far and wide that I make the best mashed potatoes in the entire world, as well as the best banana cream pie. My chili is perhaps the best in the world, too, especially when matched with the fry bread I make. When I choose to, I am fully capable of demonstrating an unmatched ability to grill and dress a burger.

And now it’s winter, when I traditionally let my guard down and make all this food. It’s when I demonstrate that I could quite probably run a comfort-food restaurant. People love me this time of year.

And I have grown fat again. I am amazed how little time it took. No, just kidding. This happens each year. I’m just pretending to be amazed.

It stops now, though. It has to.


The Fat Cyclist 2006 Event Itinerary

2006 is going to be my biggest, best cycling season ever. I need to be in shape for it. No, “in shape” doesn’t cover it. I need to be in the best shape of my life. Here’s why.

  • Kokopelli Trail Ride (May 13): My first big event of the year is also the biggest thing I’ve ever planned. An unsupported, 142-mile ride means I need to be light and strong, much earlier in the season than I’ve ever been. My target weight for this ride is 158. I will do almost all my training for this ride on the road, since it is not an especially technical ride. My primary goal is to finish this race at all. My stretch goal is to finish it before midnight (21 hours).
  • Cascade Creampuff (June 26): Three laps, each about 33 miles long. Each lap, you climb for around 6000 feet. Then, just as your legs are about to give out from the climb, you get to go down 15 miles of twisty, technical singletrack. I’ve done this race once before; after one lap, I was completely cooked. It’s the only race I’ve ever given serious consideration to quitting. In fact, I did quit this race, several times. I just never said it at a place where it would be official. My target weight for this ride is 155. I will train for this ride both on the road and on trail. You can lose lots of time on this one by being a poor technician. My primary goal is to finish this in under 13 hours. My stretch goal is to finish it in under 12.
  • Leadville Trail 100 (August 12): This is the big one. This will be the tenth time I’ve done this race. I will be 40 years old. I would really, really, really like to finish in less than nine hours and get that big ol’ coveted belt buckle. My target weight for this ride is 150. I will train mostly on the road for this ride, focusing on sustained climbs.
  • Track (Weekly races throughout the season): My goal here is just to compete and get to a point where I don’t embarrass myself. Since I’ve never done this before, I have no idea what else I should shoot for.

How I Will Get There

Getting down to the weight — and getting the strength — I need to be competitive isn’t at all mysterious. I know how to do it. It’s just a matter of commitment.

  • Diet: I know what works for me. I go with a high-carb diet, but keep most of the carbs in the form of fruits and vegetables as possible. Apples, bananas, carrots, brown rice. And don’t eat after dinner.
  • Exercise: For now, I will just do base miles — keep up the bike commute, but go the long way (18 miles each way) instead of the short way (11 miles each way). Once there’s more light, I’ll be swapping in early-morning long efforts and hilly rides.

The Contest Will Be Back

I stopped doing the daily weigh-in and the weekly weight goal contest a few months ago. I believe I started putting weight on at exactly that moment. So that will be coming back, beginning February 1. I am giving myself until then to lose as much weight as possible in private, without the humiliation of the public daily weigh-in.

It is my fondest hope that I will be able to lose enough weight between now and then that nobody will be able to guess how much I actually have gained in the past few months.


The Banjo Brothers Bike Bag Giveaway Question

OK, so now you know what my biking goals are for 2006. An extremely cool Banjo Brothers biking duffel bag — it’s got special pockets for your helmet, your shoes, everything — goes to the commenter with the most intriguing / entertaining / honest / otherwise compelling 2006 goals and plan.

This contest will, by the way, go through Monday, January 1 — so you’ve got plenty of time to think about it.


PS: Happy new year!

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