Fat, ordinary, non-super hero cycling hero: Gene Butcher.
What — you don’t know Gene Butcher? Been locked in a wifi-less shack in Alaska for the last year?
You haven’t read his story, followed his every tweet, gloried in his many triumphs, hung on his every word, used his humor and inspiration and down-to-earth determination to drag yourself out of bed and turn into a better human being?
Me neither. Never heard of him. He ain’t Lance Armstrong, Tyler Farrar or Christian Vande Velde and doesn’t ride for a ProTour team. He has never been mentioned in a major cycling publication. Nevertheless, as of five minutes ago, Gene is a new hero of mine and soon to be yours — if you have any sense, style or mojo. Gene Butcher will light a five alarm under your lard.
So who the hell is Gene Butcher? A regular guy, fire-fighter from Michigan who is 35 and has been “married to the same smoking hot woman for just under 15 years and have two kids that are far more awesome than your kids.” That’s the first thing to know about Gene — he’s funny as hell, funnier than Armstrong.
Excited already? Gimme a minute, willya — building a story, here. Gene started a cycling blog because he weighed 310 pounds, had a cholesterol level of 320, a medicine cabinet crammed with heart meds and a doctor telling him he wouldn’t live to 40.
Gene said he had “blood you could see bacon bits in.” Damn, that’s good, descriptive writing. So Gene Butcher (our new hero) went full vegan and started riding his bike with a vengeance. It was a diet and lifestyle change so dramatic, Butcher coined a new term for it: “lifestyle assassination.”
So far he’s lost 90 pounds while writing one of the funniest blogs I’ve read in a long time. The man deserves an audience and several rounds of applause. Gene has another 10 pounds to go for glory. It’s not winning the Tour de France, it’s not bagging Paris-Roubaix — it’s a smaller bathroom scale than that. And yet, it’s powerful, next-door inspiration of all of us slackers, junk food junkies and lard asses who always have an excuse for avoiding the hard stuff.
Twisted Spoke nominates Gene Butcher as our cycling hero for January 2010. It you have a resolution about riding more, losing weight, cutting back on the sauce, being nicer to your kids or doing volunteer work, go for it. January is “lifestyle assassination” month and Gene is your guru.