Sunday, October 31, 2010

Reasons to Grow your MO

It's Movember Eve time to grow a MO for Men's health. That should be reason enough to begin nuturing your lip rug, but we figured you could use a few other reasons. Join our team at

RIP Marco, the best climbing stache in cycling history!

1. Chic's dig a Mustache...Tom Seleck and Burt Reynolds know the power of a MO and they are still using this power with the ladies (maybe older ladies but, still ladies!)
2. If you get pulled over there is a good chance the Cop/Highway Patrolman has the same stache and might just give you a warning.
3. Your teenage son probably can't grow one even if he wanted to (and he does want one, even if he says he doesn't)
4.  Your grandfather probably had one...rock one for him.
5. Great cycling Stache's - Pantani, Cozza, Zabriskie and the Jacques-Maynes bros!
6. While you grow your Mo you will notice parent's moving their teenage daughters away from you as you walk through a mall.  But, you will get mad love from the Fixie guy at the coffee shop.
7. Even if your not that fashionable, you can now feel better about shopping at Urban Outfitters
9. You can use uber 70's pick up line's, i.e. "Mustache rides for $1" which will work 1 time out 9,875 times.
10. Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp had one was cooler than those cats!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Who are you when you ride?

Many of us fell in love with cycling becasue it takes us back to our childhood and the freedom we first felt on 2 wheels.  Cycling is so unique in that we can buy and ride the same bikes on the same roads as the Pro's. You can also buy and wear the same kits as the Pro's... we REALLY hope you don't, but you can. 

If you say you have never day dreamed about Phil Ligget and Paul Sherwin voicing over your effort you're either lying or don't have cable.  One's mind also starts to compare/think of who you ride like on different types of terrain.  This happens to me and here is what I come up with:

On a rolling course, I hit it pretty hard and think about crushing it like Stijn at Flanders. I truly enjoy pushing it hard up and over each rise and hitting it hard on the flats!  This is my type of riding, and perhaps this is why I am borderline obsessed with Belgian racing. (Okay, my wife is shaking her head.  She says not borderline, but COMPLETELY obsessed)

When climbing I would say I think about  Levi hangin in there on major climbs (as I am also a bald, small stature, animal rescuing guy, this seems to work for me).  I am never going to be a "true" climber but I can hang within eye site of them.  I keep my rythm and make it to the top in a respectable time in most cases.  I get dropped by some but drop more than my fair share when the road tilts up.

When descdening do I think of riding like Salvodelli or Nabali?  Um...HELL NO! I think about riding like Jan Rasmussen (A combo of these 2 characters. As stiff as Michael Rasmussen and as sketchy as Jan Ullrich) Not sure why, perhaps it was living and riding in an area that was ALL rollers for the last 10 years.  Perhaps it was the wicked crash I had on my Scwhinn Predator going down the hill in my neighborhood at age 7. Not sure why, but all I know is once it's time to go down hill at 35+ I get a bit FREAKED OUT!  I have to work on that part of my game so I don't get passed on the descent by the chubby guy in the lime green jersey with dental mirrors on his lid.  

Great thing about cyling is that there is always something to work on! What are you working on?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Are you Belgian at heart?

It’s getting to be the time of year, when temps drop and liquid falls the sky.  Do you have an Inner Belgian? When the weather moves in do you smirk as you know there will be very few cyclists out today?  When you call your riding buddies on a bad weather day and they say they “don’t feel good” or will be riding the trainer, do you tell them they are acting like a Spaniard? (All due respect to Juan Antonio Flecha* - more thoughts on him below).  Or do you ask them if they need help booking their trip to Majorca?
Here is a list to let you know if your inner Lion of Flanders is beginning to roar:
1.       You will head out in a driving rain storm or don’t turn back as weather rolls in.
2.       The trainer is for times when you want to ride at night or snow is getting so deep you can’t ride a road bike in it.
3.       You think about other cyclists not riding and feel the only reasonable excuse is a Kidney Stone, a broken C-bone or a Cross Race.
4.       You begin to envision the mid-ride hill as the Koppenberg  and your final climb as the Bosberg
5.       You gain the skill to be able to take the lane as needed from motorists.  For Example:  Your riding in a bike lane/shoulder when you notice a large volume of broken glass or the body of a wookie blocking your path.  As you look over at the person driving the SUV drinking a latte they see your face covered in grime and the water droplets falling from the bill of your cap.  They yield the lane to you, they are in awe you riding in the weather.  They are still a bit chilly in the car with the heat on wearing a hoodie and their fur lined Crocs.  They also respect and realize that if they did not give it to you, you might bridge up and chase them to Arby’s.
6.       You can name more Belgian cyclists than Merckx, Boonen and Develoder.
7.       You notice and respect the “Belgian” in riders not at the front of the race, but are still racing even though their work is done.
8.       You have to think deep on whether you fanaticize about winning the Ronde instead of the Tour during interval sessions.
9.       You order Embrocation for the 1st time
10.   You show up to a group ride and you are the only one there.
If you have not tested yourself in the elements, we recommend giving it a go and seeing if you have a bit Belgian in you.
* Juan Antonio Flecha, aka "The Spanish Flandarian" - is the exception to the normal "soft" Spanish cyclist.  We have heard rumor that Eddie Merckx's 1st cousin Thomas Merckx spent a good amount of time in Spain during 1977 and had a thing for Latin Ladies.  We're not sayin'...we're just sayin'.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sometimes I Ride to Remember…Sometimes I Ride to Forget

 As we approach 10/2 LIVESTRONG day, I felt I needed to share the history behind one of our new tees.

We introduced this tee at Interbike, and we got some good reviews.  It was definitely a conversation starter.  After a particularly reflective ride, I tweeted “Sometimes I ride to remember, Sometimes I ride to forget”, and had the most RTs and comments on this of any tweets to date.  It seems to strike a cord, so I thought I would explain its origin. 
I was very fortunate to be a part of Team LIVESTRONG for RAGBRAI 07-09.  Yes, I met Lance and even got to ride with him. That was an amazing experience for sure and one I won’t forget.  But honestly when I think of RAGBRAI and Team LIVESTRONG I don’t think of Lance Armstrong.  I think of my teammates, many of whom are survivors, all amazing people dedicated to making a difference.   I also pause and remember the ones we have lost - Teammates, loved ones, friends and co-workers. 
The day this phrase came about, I was thinking about the loss of our teammate Bob Sega which took me down the road to remember Bob and others.  As I rode and challenged myself on one of my favorite climbs my mind wandered.  I was not zoned out or looking at power numbers etc.. I was thinking about 2008 and riding in Honor of my best friend’s Mom, Lera.  I know the fight she fought and I know her loss is still felt today.  I thought about the loss of my grandfathers, one I got to meet and the other I never got the chance to know. That day I was on a “Ride to Remember”, not to mourn but to remember the good times and the way people lived and the gifts they gave us.

Other times we all have those rides where we Ride to Forget! Could be a bad day at work, fight with a spouse, or your way to forget the impact something is having on your loved ones. You go hammer, whether that means 15 mph for you or 25, you let it rip and drive those feeling through the pedals.  I went through a really rough patch in 2002-04with knee issues and was unable to ride much of that time.  I missed so much about the bike, but my Surgeon Dr. Jim Holmes nailed it with this.  He said, “You need le bonheur blanc”.  He had a friend in France that taught him this phrase - it simply means THE WHITE BLISS, the place where you are in the moment and your brain is free.  He was exactly right, that is what I needed from the bike!

Tomorrow maybe you can do a little bit of both Riding to Remember and Riding to Forget!  Say FUCANCER  as you are out living life and being healthy, for those that dream of riding again!