Saturday, October 22, 2011

Team Fatty Rocks the Austin LiveStrong Challenge - Friday

Note from Steve: This is part 1 of the LiveStong Weekend series, posts for Saturday (the Run/Walk) and Sunday (the Ride) are available. The entire inventory of pictures is here.

Visit for all things Fatty. Paul's super writeup about the LiveStrong weekend is here. Also, read Pam & Tracy's experiences in the Run/Walk and Ride, and then looking back.

Heavyweight Horsepower

Captain Steve
Sasha, AK Chick
Let me introduce the team members.

Tracy & Pam


Paul, the guest megablogger

A small contingent of dedicated Team Fatty members participated in the Austin LiveStrong Challenge.  While a small team, we did the greater Team Fatty good, placing 8th in the team total fundraising!

Getting my Packet

I headed downtown Friday to get my packet at Mellow Johnny's. For those unfamiliar with Austin, it sits astride the Colorado River (not The other Colorado River). Texas is in the middle of a year long drought, however down by the river, it's not so apparent. Out in the Hill Country during the ride, it's more obvious, with many trees dying. The extremely long, hot summer has broken, no appreciable rain yet, but noticeably cooler - for those of us not from Alaska...

After arriving at MJs, I picked up my ride packet, and saw that Levi Leipheimer was signing autographs. I was apprehensive given the penchant Levi has about headlocks and punches to the throat. I introduced myself as the Team Fatty Captain for Austin, expecting that to prompt an immediate attack. After all, look what he does to Fatty!
Safe from a punch, or so I thought

I was able to tell Levi in the nick of time that I was NOT Elden (since I'm much better looking, have hair, etc), and just as quickly Levi no longer had the urge to go for the throat (or so I thought). What I didn't know was, that later in the evening, one of Levi's henchman (and a fairly famous one at that) would do his dirty work (more on this later).

Friday Night Dinner

Heading to the undisclosed location
Sasha qualified for the "Ride for the Roses" incentives since she raised more than $10,000. One of the benefits was a smaller Friday night dinner at a mysterious  "undisclosed location". She could invite a guest and graciously invited me (Thanks Sasha!). The LiveStrong staff kept it a secret until we were on our way. We loaded onto buses and during the trip they announced we'd be going to a private residence in west Austin. I thought "Cool, we're going to Sandra Bullock's house". However, I was wrong, instead, we were delivered to Lance Armstrong's house. Yea, that Lance Armstrong. Later in the evening Lance explained he wanted to show his appreciation and this was a nice and, for me, an unexpected way, to show that. But now that I know where he lives, I wonder how often I can get him on the bike -- being retied and all? Or better yet, make him a new Team Fatty member, it could happen...

The reception was in the lower back yard, with dinner tables set up in the upper back yard. As you may have guessed, it's a big back yard. They were serving a curious concoction of grapefruit juice and whiskey, along with beer and wine. I had to sample several glasses worth of the whiskey drink to make sure of quality and consistency, and I honestly couldn't decide whether I really liked it or not. So the extra samples were needed for proper research. You're believing this? Well ok then...

Sasha & Chris
While waiting for dinner to start, we saw several of the Team RadioShack members, including Chris Horner. Since Chris is Sasha's favorite rider, we went over and introduced ourselves and proceeded to have a long, 40 minute or so, conversation. He was very gracious. He relayed the TDF experience with the awful crash, concussion, fractured nose, and the resultant loss of memory. He still has about a day and a half gap in his memory, remembering nothing of the day he crashed.

David Blaine
At this point we noticed alot of people had disappeared, they were eating, and had been for a while.  We headed up to the buffet line, the main dish being pork enchiladas. I don't know exactly how they cooked it, but the cornbread was excellent, I think I could have eaten nothing but that (mmm cornbread). We sat on the far side of the yard from the buffet, all the close seats had been taken. That location worked out well as it was pretty close to the 'stage' where awards where given post dinner. The Gypsy Queens were the music entertainment for the evening and wandered through the dining area playing music, very cool. David Blaine was also present, mostly doing card tricks that no one could figure out.

The emcee for the evening was Ethan Suplee, most notably starring in 'My Name is Earl'. He's become an avid cyclist and as many of us have discovered, is the path to fitness. Thus far, he's lost 100 pounds or so. He introduced Lance, who gave a short talk, and then between them, they presented awards to a variety of folks.

Ethan delivering a punch to the throat
Remember I mentioned Levi's henchman? Little did I realize it would be the emcee! Here's proof, that punch to the throat is just about to land! Ouch! He especially wanted to knock that silly smile off my face.

Who knew?!?

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