An Open Letter to Elden Nelson

Dear Fatty,

Because you are the team manager of the bike team I ride for I feel I must bring something to your attention.

Last summer you ran a “contest” giving away a chance to race at the 8 Hours of Boggs. Now seeing as how I have been named the TEAM LEADER of your team, I fully expected to win said “contest”. I even donated to the cause (even though THAT cost me more than you are paying me to be the TEAM LEADER) and then waited patiently for the “you win” email.

Now imaging my surprise when I got an email from a good friend of mine name “Jeff” saying he was going to Boggs because he won the contest. I ask you to imagine that.

I don’t mean to go all “Lemond” on your “Hinault”, but seriously? I have to wonder what this means about my status on the team. Boggs is after all a 3 man team and I am after all the TEAM LEADER. I remind you of the contract you signed.



I looked at your team for Boggs.

1. “Jeff”: I really cannot say anything bad about “Jeff”. He’s a stand-up guy and a strong rider. But did you know he races CX? (Shudder. Do want a road bike or a mtb? Pick one!) 

2. Levi: I know what you were doing here. Trying to placing a ringer on the team. Someone who could pick up the slack of the weakest rider on the team and ensure victory. However, I want to remind you that Boggs is a MTB race and well the last time I saw Levi on a MTB, well it wasn’t pretty.


I appreciate the simplicity of a fully rigid single speed, but please let Levi know if he needs to borrow a more suitable MTB, I am sure we can get one for him with bigger tires. (He does know they first moved to 26″ tires like a century ago and more recently to 29″ tires and even more recently to 27.5″ tires right?)

3. You: I’ll give you the fact that you are pretty fast,  but still I question the choice of putting you on your team since you are not even the fastest person in your house.

And lets talk about this “team” you have put together. How are those “team” dynamics working out for you? I mean remember this?


Lets step back from that picture for a second and take a wider view.


Yeah, Levi gleefully putting you in a headlock and pounding on you. Looks like you all get along. I feel sorry for “Jeff”.

So I did the only thing that I could given this situation. I looked at the rest of Team Fatty and formed my own coalition within the team to assert my dominance. So here is my Team for Boggs.

1. Me: I AM the fastest biker in my house. Hands down. That makes me a good choice for the team. I also want to point out that I live up north. WAY up north (almost Canada WAY up north). We grow hardy people up here.


People who love nothing more than to come home after a long ride with an ice encrusted bike.


2. Dave Thompson: You know Dave right? He is a World Bicycle Relief Ambassador this year. He bleeds this sport and KNOWS the “Power of Bicycles”.


3. Our special mystery rider: We are keeping our mystery rider’s name a secret. But he has been training, hard, for Boggs.


Eye of the Tiger.

I like our Team. We are handsome, modest and strong. But one might question why I am so confident about our team. You might be asking how do I KNOW we are faster than your team. You might want data. Well I have it for you and it is summed up in one word: Leadville.

Let’s compare our records at Leadville. Neither “Jeff” nor our mystery rider have ridden at Leadville and so they remain an uncertainty at this point. But I am absolutely sure they would not factor into this determination of which team is faster, so lets move on.

Dave completed Leadville in 9:20 last summer. I did it in 10:30 the summer before. That makes our total time at Leadville 19:30.

Levi was a record holder at the race (though I am still not sure how he even completed it on that bike) and his time was 6:16. That’s “good”, I will grant you. Really you are the problem for your team. Your Leadville time is something on the order of 161:30. I’m not really sure because the number was so big my calculator melted when I tried to figure it out. (BTW, have they taken your buckle back yet? You are well past the “12 hour” mark.)

Now lets see……

My Team: 19:30

Your team: 166:46

Yeah, THAT’S why I am confident.

So here you go. Team World Bicycle Relief will be at Boggs on May 2. Perhaps you want to make this race more interesting?


Doug (Designated GC Rider Team Fatty)



6 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Elden Nelson

  1. “Doug,” I think I see the detail that you missed. I’m not particularly surprised that you missed it, seeing as how you are a professor of engineering, a discipline not normally known for its attention to detail. And seeing as how you race luge, a sport not normally known for detail in areas such as blade configuration and finish times measured in millionths of seconds. And seeing as how you are well along in a major cabin construction upgrade, a project not normally known for detail in material choice, measurement, and fabrication.

    No, you are fully excused from missing said detail.

    Said detail, of course, is that like all UCI WorldTeams, Team Fatty doesn’t field just one team. Without fielding multiple teams, UCI WorldTeams simply couldn’t compete in the concurrent Tour of California and Giro d’Italia starting on two continents a mere week after the Boggs Enduro main event. Team Fatty is no different.

    As G.C. leader, you, of course, are tasked with leading Team Fatty 1. As an important but ultimately podium-unworthy domestique, I, “Jeff,” will be shuttling water bottles, leading riders back to the group after mechanicals, and carrying gear for Team Fatty 2.

    Most sincerely,

    • Jeff, I did not miss that detail. When news of the Boggs debacle came out I checked those races. Actually I checked every race being put on anywhere on the planet. And well Team Fatty is not signed up for any near to that time. Humm.

      I do want to point out a detail that may have slipped your attention though. You do realize that in a event such a Boggs each rider on the team must complete at least 1 lap. Good luck. I hope Fatty is able to do that.

      • Doug, think inside the box. Namely, the Boggs Enduro box. It should not surprise your GCness that a team as dominant as Team Fatty would be granted not one but two entry slots. Team A will contend for the podium, while Team B will be ready with the frame pumps should other teams get ornery.

        Order. Restored.

        As for completing 1 lap, meh. You see, in addition to the Leadville credentials of my teammates, I too own a mountain bike. Why, there it is, right there over behind my spare folding bike, under a nice protective layer of dust, tires properly deflated so as not to stress the tubes off-season, which, let’s face it, is pretty much 12 months a year.

  2. Pingback: An Open Letter to Elden Nelson Part 2 | A Year of Living...humm...dangerous?

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