Chip in for Charles

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Pardon me for interrupting all this drunk cycling with a public-service announcement, but my friend and colleague Charles Pelkey — formerly The Explainer, Live Update Guy, etc., et al., and so on and so forth for — finds himself in a bit of a tight spot.

Charles, as you may or may not know, was among those recently downsized by Competitor Group Inc., owner of and the re-branded Velo magazine. At nearly the same instant, he learned he had cancer and would require a series of surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation — in short, the usual post-diagnosis party.

CGI extended his health insurance post-sacking, but the sand in that hourglass is rapidly running out, and once Charles finds himself in COBRA country the bills will start piling up like venomous snakes in an Indiana Jones movie.

I understand that some DrunkCyclists have issues with the quantity and quality of coverage provided by Velo and, and that’s certainly a discussion worth having — especially if you have it with the people in charge of laying off pro scribes like Charles and John Wilcockson, who has covered 43 Tours and Christ knows how many other marquee events.

But if any of you have enjoyed Charles’ famous live updates from the Tour de France and other major events, or gleaned some insight about a complex topic through one of his Explainer columns, please consider helping him make a dent in his medical bills through a Chipin account set up by the fine folks at NYVelocity.

Times are tough, and spare change hard to find. But Charles has done a ton of solid journalism over the past 17 years, bringing us news about racing, doping and cyclists victimized by inattentive or impaired motorists. And if you appreciate that work as much as I do, please consider giving him a hand-up in the toughest race of his life.

You’ll find yourself in good company. For example, I have it on good authority that an American winner of the Tour de France has chipped in a little sumpin’-sumpin’.

And no, it wasn’t the rubber-bracelet dude.

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About Patrick O'Grady

Making stuff up for money since 1977. Making stuff up about cycling for money since 1989. See VeloNews and Bicycle Retailer & Industry News, found crumpled near the crapper in stylish homes and pro bike shops worldwide.

16 Replies to “Chip in for Charles”

  1. ok maddog.. since i am a sucker for a cause, and cause i have read thousands of words that issued from pelkey’s pen over the last several years, i am happy to donate to the cause. so i logged on and threw a coupla bucks down…. with the note to “fight that shit, Charles!!”

    giddy up…

  2. I think it’s total shit on a stick that they canned him just days before his cancer surgery. Just tossed a few coins his way and told him to “Give ’em hell”.

  3. Thanks for the info and link Maddog, Threw in a few from a Drunk Cyclist in Seattle.

  4. @ede,

    If you disagree with the post, just stay out of it.

    I’m in because I’ve already lost 2 dear friends to this shit.

    None of us ever thought that this would happen to us.


  5. we were having so much fun until this shit. Thanks for writing something once a year and having it be a downer.

  6. …ede & whogivesashit…you guys fucking deserve each other…

    …your names are a word jumble & somehow they spell out ‘moron x 2’…sad pair…

    …just sayin’…

  7. …this was a twitter exchange between charles pelkey & one lance armstrong when the feisty charles learned he was getting the shaft from life & velo-news…

    …charles pelkey – ‘a bit nervous…on top of everything, cancer surgery on tuesday…all i ask though, just please don’t buy me a fucking yellow rubberband’

    …lance armstrong – ‘wow, stay classy, charles’

    …charles pelkey – ‘i will, i promise…can you make the same commitment ???’

    …nice touch…when you get kicked in the teeth, don’t be afraid to kick back where you see fit…

    …stay strong & get back to health, charles…as i said over at velocity nation…“…you have many miles waiting to roll under your wheels…”

  8. I’m in….d/d monthly from the monthly beer fund, I drink too much anyhow.

    EDE and whogivesashit can go fist each other

  9. I’m good for a hundy.

    Well worth it for that twitter exchange. Gotta keep someone like that walking the earth.

  10. Charles actually took the time to send me a thank-you email. (I’m sure others have gotten one as well).

    He’s a keeper. We need to all get on this; $1, $5, whatever. Get the word out people.