Elden “Fatty” Nelson started his blog, FatCyclist.com, back in 2005 as a way keeping track of his efforts to lose weight (he got up to 196 pounds, which, by American standards, is not that bad). Nelson has a warped and twisted sense of humor which is something appreciate in a cyclist. I started reading his blog about two years ago, so I missed out on the first few years of his efforts. Nelson recently published a collection of his best articles from 2005 through 2007 in a book titled, Comedian Mastermind: The Best Of FatCyclist.com 2005–2007.
Comedian Mastermind is not just a rambling collection of funny stories—Nelson took the time to organize his posts into categories, such as Fake News, Tour de Lance, Practical Guidance, Sinful Recipes, and Epic Rides. One of my favorite parts of the book was the “How To” section, where you can find useful advice such as: How to Spit, How to Crash With Panache, How to Not Get Invited on the Next Group Ride, and How to Pee Whilst Riding Your Bike (very informative material indeed).
If you are new to cycling there will be a few brief sections of the book that will not make a lot of sense to you. There are going to be events and people you might be not be familiar with. For example, Nelson takes several well-deserved shots at Al Trautwig, a man who allegedly was a sports commentator for Versus (formerly OLN). For reasons known only to the Almighty, Trautwig co-anchored coverage of the Tour de France from 2004 to 2007. If you have never heard of Al Trautwig before, well, your life has been blessed. Every morning I feed a dozen or so squirrels in my backyard and have even given names to most of them. There is one overweight squirrel with a bad attitude who just can’t get along with the rest of the group—I call this little guy Trautwig (I am not joking). The difference is that the squirrel has better hair and knows more about professional cycling that his namesake.
Comedian Mastermind is 307 pages and reading it will be time well spent (and enjoyed). The sells for $16 on Amazon.com and a Kindle edition is available for only $6. An autographed copy of the book (along with a note) is being sold on the FatCyclist.com Website for $40 (PayPal accepted).