Monday, February 28, 2011

Critical Team Component - Shop Owners

We wouldn't have a Team Two Wheel without the existence of Two Wheel Transit, which we wouldn't have in its current iteration without the two guys who own the shop - Geoff and Bruce. They are both good guys, both love cycling and both have added a lot to what Two Wheel Transit is today. After all of the team introductions, I thought it was fair to add a bit of personal information about them, so I posed the same questions to them to find out about them personally, their cycling proclivities and favorite local rides.

Up first, Geoff Forshag (pronounced "Jeff") who is a CPA and business consultant, but who is also in the shop most days:
I am an Air Force brat that moved every 2 years growing-up. Once we settled in Spovegas I stayed put. I am married with 3 boys who are currently 22, 18, and 14. I just love to ride for fitness and stress relief. I raced in college with not much success. Most notable ride was completing the 2009 STP in one day with a broken kneecap.

Favorite rides depend on the day or time of year. One would have to be from Hangman Golf Course to 9 mile dam and back. Another is the north loop of the Loreen Miller route up and over Green Bluff.

Next up, Bruce Abbott, who is in the shop part-time and maintains a medical practice on the side, I guess just to have enough money to play the ponies (I'm not absolutely sure about that last part):
Personal Bio: Born in NJ, School Vermont, Edmonton Alberta, Colorado, Utah. Came to Spokane to join Valley Young People's Clinic in 1991. Married, two children; 20 and 16. I have been friends with Geoff and Teresa Forshag for a bunch of years and it is his fault I am in this business.

Cycling Bio. Touring/commuting, not a racer at all. Trained at Trek level 1 and level 2 bike fit seminars and most recently attended the BikeFit Systems training in Seattle.

Favorite local ride: I am a valley guy. Leave my house, up over the hill to Newman Lake, around Newman Lake over and around Hauser Lake, then down the Rathdrum Prairie to the Centennial Trail and home.

Bottom line - Bruce and Geoff approach owning the shop in just the way you would hope that shop owners would. They treat it like a serious business with a fun focus. They have a great and knowledgeable crew, great products (I do love my Madone bike), take care of their customers and they contribute to the cycling community and to the community at-large. If you take seriously the power of your dollars to have a positive impact on our community, you will make the effort to patronize this shop.

Geoff and Bruce - Thanks for supporting the team. We are happy to fly the Two Wheel flag and appreciate the opportunity.
Rider Three

Friday, February 25, 2011

Last Team Mate - ME

I'm not sure how much of an introduction that I need to or should offer. I have been regularly blathering on for the last two years so you probably know as much about me as you need to, or want to, or even more than that, but because one of my team mates will make stuff up about me if I don't offer this up myself, I am going to fess up to a few things in a similar format as the others.

Personal bio - I was a Navy brat as a kid; born in Salt Lake City, Utah, with subsequent short stops in New York City, New York; Waukegan, Illinois (near Chicago); Bremerton, Washington; Boise, Idaho; Moscow, Idaho; Spokane, Washington (where I moved right before my senior year of high school (at G. Prep)); Seattle, Washington (UW for four years); and then back to Spokane (GU law school and beyond). I have been happily married for almost 22 years (to the same, very understanding woman - a teacher at North Central High School) and have two boys, currently 15 and 13, each going on 22 or 7 depending on when you check. I describe myself as a recovering lawyer, having practiced law, but also with excursions into managing construction crews, real estate development, restaurant and brewery ownership, and having finally settled on a pension consulting business where we do the administrative and compliance work for 401k plans and various kinds of retirement plans. I am proud to have also participated in a number of civic groups, including helping to start both Mobius (Fun Fact - Rider One came up with the name "Mobius" for the group, which is how we met) and SpokeFest.

Cycling bio - My only claim to athletic prowess was my participation in UW crew for four years. Starting with some exhibition races post-season as a sophomore, I was the stroke oar for the varsity boat for most of the rest of my tenure. My experience including winning a lot of races and, as is the tradition of the sport, collecting the jerseys of teams we beat, which eventually included every rowing university in the West and a few in the Mid-West and East, along with some Canadian and British schools. I don't think my teams achieved what they could have, which is a story long enough for a book, so it's better to not ask. My defining moment as a rower was my freshman year at the first big rowing test. I finished 3rd overall and was 2nd of the Port oars. Afterwards my coach came up to me and said, "S______, when this year started, I didn't give you a pencil leads worth of pigeon shit of a chance of making this team, but you certainly have." I didn't know whether to be happy or insulted, but I think I was an over-achiever for the rest of my career, which I don't think is a compliment. To me, it meant that I achieved over my lack of ability. Maybe it's a good thing to get out of your DNA given talent what you can, but that's what it was.

What's this got to do with cycling? I started cycling in the summer to be fit for the crew season and started a lifelong love affair. If I lived next to a river or lake, I might row again, but I would ride my bike no matter where I lived.

Bike racing - The best I have achieved is "being the tallest midget in the circus". I mean this as no disrespect to the people I ride with, but I have been an occasional C-pack winner and B-pack contender, but not ever more since I didn't turn to racing until I was aged and overweight. In theory I can do something about one of those, but haven't in order to be an over-achiever in cycling yet. Other than that, my primary claim is to thriving at endurance events - the longer the better. I have done a few 200+ mile/1 day rides (including one 10 hour/206 mile ride with Rider One) and finished the Leadville 100 in under 12 hours (barely).

Which leads to the "favorite ride" question. I am going to cheat on this question because I don't have a ride that is my "favorite" except that I love getting on my bike and going for a ride with friends and my kids and certainly with my team mates. I love the BS'ing, exertion and talking about everything under the sun (or rain). It is just a great sport and a lot of fun, whether I am on the road or dirt and where ever I am going.

I feel privileged to be a part of Team Two Wheel, because I am the lone C-Pack rider in a group of A-Pack folks. Thanks for letting me come out and play.
Rider Three

Thursday, February 24, 2011

More "already" team mates - Mr. Millimeter

As a Spokane Cycling Team, we have an unusual amount of high-level racing experience, including European experience. Bringing a healthy dose of it is the person usually described as the President of our Club, sometimes called Rider One, and intermittently known as Mr. Millimeter. He is also known by his stripper name, Andrei Mylroie.

In yesterday's post, we had a bit of a love letter to Rider Two, so I will try to keep things reasonable today, but the truth is that Rider One is also an exemplary rider and team mate. I have probably spent more time riding with Rider One than anyone else. We have ridden a lot of long rides together, many of them just the two of us, and he flat out is a good guy to spin the pedals with.

One thing that I respect a lot as a rider is that Rider One is very strong, but on some rides, he is not the single strongest rider, but most people would not know that. He is an extremely savvy rider who as the best understanding of riding tactics, pack skills and racing smarts of any rider I know. If you think you have a better understanding of race dynamics, think again. He isn't boastful of his knowledge and frankly will rarely offer advice or critique unless you specifically ask, but trust me on this, if he offers some advice, give it serious thought because it is likely to be well considered and based on thousands and thousands of miles of bike experience as a racer and team manager. Have I gone on enough? Maybe, maybe not, but let's let Rider One weigh in with his own comments.

A brief personal bio:
In addition to a not-so-storied career as a bike racer, and a semi-storied career in bike racing, I've been known to spend my time at Desautel Hege Communications where I'm consistently surrounded by strong women that are much smarter than me. I also have a lovely family, and when I'm home I'm consistently surrounded by women that are much smarter than me. Originally from New York, I spent about 10 years living in Boulder, Colorado, where I also went to college. Somehow I survived a decade in the Gore-Tex Vortex without becoming too disillusioned about the rest of the world.

Cycling bio:
I started racing way before bike racing was cool to anyone but bike racers. As a junior racer I seemed to be able to get almost great results at just about every level. I almost won a bunch of races locally, regionally and occasionally nationally. At the time I was racing against this 13 year old that was already three years past hitting puberty that won everything. His name was George Hincapie, and he ended up making a pretty decent name for himself. Excuses aside (I blame my parents and their mediocre genetics for everything), after college I worked for professional road and mountain bike teams for a number of years. Fun stuff. It gave me a chance to fill a passport with stamps, get a ton of free gear and hire a bunch of athletes you might have heard of.

Favorite rides. Local and otherwise.
Spokane is hands down one of my favorite places in the world to ride a bike. No exaggeration. Pick a direction and I'll tell you about a ride I love. If I have to pick though, there's a big loop that goes past Long Lake, through the Spokane Indian Reservation and back to Spokane via Tum Tum. Amazing. Oh, and if you can work it into your schedule I highly recommend a trip to the Dolomites. The coffee is outstanding.

Rider One didn't give much clarity to his professional team manager days, but a couple of names I can throw out that I know he managed were the Shaklee Cycling Team and the Trek-VW Mountain Bike Team, which included riders like Travis Brown, Paulo Pezzo (World Champion) and Michael Rasmussen (yes, THAT Michael Rasmussen).

Suffice to say he knows his stuff, and that is one of the things that makes it fun to ride with Mr. Millimeter. And frankly, when your knowledge of cycling is that deep, it explains the millimeter by millimeter approach to equipment adjustment. He got over the large-scale adjustments 20 years ago so it's reasonable he is fine-tuning these days.

I'm just glad to get to tag along. Thanks for being another great team mate.
Rider Three

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Old Team Mates. No, not "old", but "already" team mates . . .

Anyone reading along for the last couple of years knows about Rider Two. He is well known to the cycling community and racing community, although he is also known by other monikers, like Quicksilver and sometimes, Paul Main.

I am tempted to say that it is always a pleasure to ride alongside Rider Two, but that isn't wholly accurate. Sometimes it is intensely painful, lung-busting and hard, but whenever he is letting you keep up, then it is always a pleasure. PM has lots of ready stories, some old, some new, some repeated favorites, but I can never, ever recall a time when he didn't have a story to tell. Aggravatingly, he also ALWAYS has the lung capacity to be riding along at a pace that he can tell a story, whether you are blasting into a killer headwind or climbing Four Mounds. He is always willing to start up a story and as long as I can stay near him, he will keep it up. The other "always" about PM is that he is jovial, or gregarious, or friendly or something. I seriously cannot remember PM being owly or unpleasant on a bike, whether the weather is miserable, he doesn't like the route or even at the conclusion of a race that didn't go his way. There must be times when he isn't smiling, but I just haven't seen any of them.

And just to wrap up this lovefest quickly, I will also point out that PM is a leader on the bike by being strong and self-less. He is willing to pull stragglers back to the group, wait for almost anyone and is sympathetic to the idea that not everyone can ride in the big gear up every hill in Spokane (Paul - Top Gear Top Tip - YOU DO HAVE A SMALL CHAIN RING - FEEL FREE TO USE IT OCCASIONALLY).

So, without further ado, here is the biographical information that Quicksilver passed along.

Personal bio- Born from the loins of a fighter pilot and a nurse. I started my early years in the beautiful city of Spokane until my parents ripped me from a place of smooth tarmac to the dusty gravelly roads of Reardan at the age of 6. There I participated in school and sports at the grade school and high school level. Then I attended the all-mighty EWU and expended my knowledge of the world and beer. I ran out of money and soon had to take on full employment where I stumbled in to my current vocation.

Cycling bio- After viewing my physique from the damage I had done by consumption of beer(copious amounts I must say) I decided to take up a childhood dream of racing bikes. I purchased my first road bike in 1985 and have been hooked ever since. I have been a licensed racer for 25 years. I have never been a prolific winner but have enjoyed every second of it. From the bitter cold rides in the winter to the dehydratingly hot days of summer races, I would not trade them in for a chateau in France.

Favorite local ride- 7 Hills course. I have had many days of great suffering on that coarse. I have raced it, and all most got puked on from a guy who came from San Diego in the '87 addition of the Washington Trust Classic, and trained on it in pissing freezing rain and not said a word to my companions for most of the 3 hour ride. When you are on and riding well you feel like a bicycle god but if you are just a little bit off, it will beat you like a baby seal in the hands of a salty Eskimo.

PM was modest about some of his cycling glory, but you will just have to ask him on the road about some of victories and hard man rides. You might also ask him about the now famous Mother's Day Massacre, which is a cautionary tale for all adult cyclists.

Now, lastly, nicknames. My guess is that PM was the kind of kid that attracted nicknames, so I should ask around, but here he is known as Rider Two or Quicksilver. The origins of Quicksilver as a nickname is now shrouded in the murky past, but suffice to say that I heard from a reliable source that his favorite movie of all time was that Kevin Bacon/Jami Gertz homage to bicycle messengers. I would have thought that he would have a greater appreciation for Breaking Away, or Le Course En Tete or even A Sunday in Hell, but I guess it is proof that the heart wants what the heart wants.

One way or another, PM is a great guy and a great team mate. I'm happy to have the chance to ride with him and be his team mate.
Rider Three

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One More New Team Mate - Vortex, no - Capt. Defense, no - Taylor

The last new team mate to get introduced is Taylor Pilant, which is only fair since he was the last to join the team, but that is another story.

I don't know Taylor well, but we have ridden together a few times in the past and, interestingly, he the brother of another team mate, Scott. I saw Taylor about a month before we rode together for the first time as team mates and he had productively spent that month growing a mustache. It is quite large and stylish, the kind that every male who grows a 'stache hopes it will look like. He reminded me of Dave Zabriske and ______________ of the Garmin team who showed up with big 'staches at the beginning of last season. Don't know if it will last or not, but it goes well with his silk pipe-smoking jacket.

As I did with everyone else, I asked for personal and cycling biographical information. Here is what Taylor provided to me:

Name: Taylor Pilant
D.O.B. 10/09/1972
Height: 6'1
Weight: 175
Road Category: 3
Hometown: Spokane, WA.
Years Racing: 1987-1990 2007-present
Favorite Local Race: Downtown Crit. (R.I.P.)
Racing Skills: Hard to take down or crash. Corners as if on rails.

Best Race: 2009 Masters B State Crit Championships, 1st

Worst Race: 1987? Tree Top Classic Circuit Race. Still had one lap to go and they were already taking down the finish line.

Favorite Race:2008 Oregon State Crit Championships. First race with higher categories. Fast pace, fun cornering and a good solo flyer one lap too soon. No result to write home about, but satisfying race.

Worst Crash: 2009 Portland Twilight Crit. Crashed twice and separated my shoulder on the 2nd crash.

Favorite Ride: 5-mile loop. It is one I made up when I was 14 and lived at the bottom of N. 5 Mile hill. It goes up the hill, across the prairie, back down behind 5 mile shopping center, down Country Homes Blvd. and Waikiki to the hill again. It's about a 7 mile loop and I usually like to do 4 laps, when I'm in shape. Plenty of climbing up 5 Mile and plenty of fast flat riding along country homes and Waikiki. Great for workout and nostalgia factor.

Does anyone else think it's funny that Taylor's favorite ride is called 5 Mile loop and it is a 7 mile loop?

Nicknames. I also asked Taylor about nicknames and to his everlasting credit, the first comment he made was to cite the well-known rule that "you can't give yourself a nickname." I knew then that we had another solid team mate on our hands.

Taylor did tell me that he earned the nickname "Captain Defense" from a jujitsu partner once. Any nickname that comes from jujitsu has a cool factor, but in cycling being primarily known for defense is not usually a positive thing, so we may wait to see if another rises to the top before officially accepting it.

Why did I include "Vortex" in the title? This weekend while we were riding together, I was struggling to keep up to the pace being set by stronger riders. I was just not on my game and the headwind and my legs kept me hovering at or off the back of the pack the whole way. At one point Taylor rode up next to me and helpfully pointed out that the best place to ride in the headwind was just off his right side because his aforementioned mustache was creating a large vortex where I could comfortably escape the wind.

Yes, I can see that this is going to work out well. Welcome to the team, Taylor.
Rider Three

Monday, February 21, 2011

New Teammates Continue - Scooter

A year and a half or so ago, the Dean of Spokane Cycle Blogging told me about a guy he knew that he thought I should meet. He told me he was a great guy and used to be a really serious racer with Euro experience. As chance would have it, said Dean shortly thereafter had a keg of beer in his backyard and I was pleased to have the opportunity to not only share some of the liquid goodness, but I also got to meet this guy and his wife. You know how sometimes you meet people and you just immediately get along with them? That was the experience I had with Scott McSpadden and his wife, Ashley. One quick note, if you are following along closely, we now have a McFadden AND a McSpadden on our team. Just wait until we add a Bomberg.

Anywho, I asked Scott to give me his personal and cycling background. I got two different kinds of answers: short and long. Here are his answers.

Personal Bio-
Spokane Native
Lived in Seattle for five years
Lived in SF Bay Area for seven years
Part time Aikido and Iaido instructor
Part time Bike racer
Full time General Contractor, husband and dog owner

I'm glad that Scott was willing to expand on this answer by adding a bit more detail on his cycling life.

I Began racing in 1988 in Spokane, WA, spending the first two seasons with Arrivee Cycling Club in the junior program coached by Eric Calmand, and traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada competing in stage races and single day events. In 1990 I moved to Sandpoint Sports Club based in Coeur d'Alene, and continued traveling and competing in Junior as well as senior events.

In 1991, under the continued guidance of Eric Calmand, I moved to north-eastern France, riding for U.C. Montataire. I had the fortunate experience of competing with Castorama (Ed. Note - Team of Laurent Fignon at one time), ACBB, other pro and amateur teams from Europe, as well as foreigners from all over the world. During my season there I scored one win, three second places, three thirds, but the highlight by far was seeing Jim Morrison's grave in Paris.

After returning home, I joined Newman/Stress tabs for half a season switching to the local based Great Harvest Bread Company team, which changed to Empire Velo for the 1993 season. 1992 during the Cascade Cycling Classic, I was recruited by Craig Undem to ride the Tour of El Salvador for a U.S. composite squad of four riders. In 1994 I joined the legendary Olympic Sports team, which changed names a few times during my 1994-1996 stint, but the old name is still what is remembered as the spring board to professional contracts and future Olympians or General Contractors. My fondest memories during this time were the races I did with the BelChi team based out of Chicago and Belize, Central America. I was first brought to Belize at the request of Roquez Matus to his then sponsor Bruce Vergo. After my first showing in the Cross County Classic, I was made a permanent team member of the BelChi squad. I was required to help Belizeans from the team win, and beat or drop riders from other teams depending on the particular bets that took place during races. I was sent through out Belize, Mexico, and finally the Dominican Republic for the Vuelta de Hispanola. But it was the season finale in Belize City, the Santinos Classic, a circuit race through town that became one of my proudest moments in cycling. I was given the go ahead to win the race since the competition was the greatest to date being an Olympic year with Americans present who had Olympic qualifier points amassed and all of whom had something to prove, including me.

I ended my cycling career on a high note, but have spent the last fifteen or so years trying to find a way back into the life. I think I am almost there.

I think this is a pretty impressive cycling resume. I don't know of anyone who has done a lot more international racing from the Spokane area. I'm looking forward to a few war stories as we ride along this season.

I also asked about Scott's favorite local ride. He has a loop that takes him along Glenrose, 57th, down Hatch, along the Hangman loop to Valley chapel, around to Palouse highway again, back to Glenrose and home. This is a long loop for most, but not for a guy used to the roads of France and Central America.

Lastly, nicknames. I heard Rider Two call him Scooter a couple of times while we were riding. Scott allowed that his nickname was Scooter, but he wasn't really sure why, particularly since it had been an older brother's nickname at one time but had transferred to him. Even though it doesn't have a great story with it, since it is a childhood nickname, we will accept it.

Welcome to the team, Scooter. Glad to have you aboard.
Rider Three

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Quote of the day.

Last week I actually got onto my bike. No, please, your applause isn't necessary. is wont to happen, the ride was filled with the the usual chatter and story telling that earmarks most of Team Two Wheel's training rides. And Rider 2, a.k.a Quicksilver, passed along one of the funnier things I've heard him say in a while.

Rider 2 was recently at dinner with a couple of other riding friends. The topic of a new 10-speed cassette that was recently launched came up. (and they wonder why their wives/girlfriends never want to join...)

Evidently the conversation went something like this.

Friend #1 "So, I heard Shimano is coming out with a new cassette ratio."

Friend #2 "Oh yeah, what's the story?"

Friend #1 "They're going to have an 11-29. So it should be good for us." (Evidently they were poking fun at themselves, and an alleged need for smaller gears.)

MR #2 "Hey Quicksilver, what do you think about that, will you ride a 29 this year?"

Now, at this point in the story you have to understand this made us chuckle. QS is known to push monster gears uphill. It's not pretty, but is pretty impressive. I've never seen him ride with a cog bigger than a 23, and have rarely seen him actually use it.

Anyway, Quicksilver's response:
"I think that if you need a 29, you don't need an 11."

Truth. And funny!

New Team Mates - Meet mechBgon

New Team Mates - Meet mechBgon
The 2nd of our Ambassador team mates, meaning that this rider will fly the flag of another team for road racing, but will mountain bike race (mostly) for Team Two Wheel, is Two Wheel Transit employee Tom McFadden. You can be a customer of Two Wheel Transit for years and not necessarily know for sure that "Tom" exists, because he is referred to in the shop with great regularity, but he is in the basement working away on bikes from morning to nigh, with only a rare daylight appearance to grab a part upstairs to prove that he really exists. But trust me, Tom does exist. I know because I have not only entered the underground lair, but I have been on rides with Tom; most memorably, a daylight tour of the Midnight Century Course duly memorialized here: Midnight-Century-Daylight-Version.

So, as promised, I asked Tom the same questions I asked everyone on the team. Here are his answers.

Personal Biographical Information - I grew up in Alaska, came to Spokane as a kid, attended high school at Gonzaga Prep with an affinity for sciences, then went on to WSU to study Chemical Engineering and worked at Al's Schwinn in the summers. In 2001 I made a 5-year career change to being an all-purpose Information Technology guy, earned three Microsoft MVP awards for my efforts in helping others in the online community at a large computer forum, then went back to being a bike mechanic. So far I've worked at Al's Schwinn (out of biz), Two Wheel Transit (fired on my first trip through), Garland Cycle (out of biz), Columbia Cycle (out of biz, am I the kiss of death or what?), Wheelsport South, and now back to Two Wheel Transit. Oh, and I'm a 41-year-old hermit antisocial type :)

Personal preferences:
Cats --x----------------------------- Dogs
Road --------------------x---------- XC mountain
Dowhhill --------------------------x XC
Beer -------------------------------x Chocolate milk
Mac --------------------------------x Windows
TV ----------------------------------x Internet
Car ---------------------------------x Car-free
Wal-mart -------------------------x Fred Meyer

Cycling bio: I liked to ride as a kid, and commuted to grade school and usually to high school by bike. Since G-Prep was across the city from us, I also got very accustomed to riding in traffic on arterials, and dealing with issues like visibility. When I was at WSU, I sometimes would ride home for the weekend, then ride back Sunday night, and got very comfortable riding on the highway with big trucks. By this point I was already an irreversible fan of helmet mirrors too (Editor's note - Rumor is that he won a State Road Race Championship with a helmet mirror affixed).

In the '90s I began to ride mountain bikes, mostly on the South Hill bluff, and entered my first bike race at 49° North as a Beginner-class racer on a full-rigid bike. I was intimidated by the nicer bikes the other guys had, but easily got the holeshot at the first bottleneck and went on to win by nearly 7 minutes. Encouraged by that, I raced Sport class at a NORBA National at Mt. Spokane, but a confused course marshal mistakenly told me I'd gone off-course (I hadn't), so I ended up 3rd of the riders who'd actually gone the right way, instead of the Beginner-class route. I did a few more XC races but then had a hiatus of many years.

In 2009, I did some of the Twilight Series road races, which were my first road races. I moved to the B pack after the first race, then the A's after a few more. Tactically I had no savvy at all, and never felt that competitive in the A's... this is what I like about XC mountain-bike racing, there's no need for savvy, it's just one big VO2-max test :) Anyway, I was talked into racing in the 2009 Masters state RR championship by my SRV comrades, and we fielded five riders just in my pack, so when Royce and I joined Paul (aka Rider Two) for this epic 3-man 25-mile breakaway, we had three teammates to block for us, and you know how that all went down, but here's my writeup:

Also in 2009, I did four of the Wednesday-night XC races in Riverside, which was super-fun. I was pretty upset when it sounded like they weren't going to do them for 2010, but they did, and I went to all six including two back-to-back days in the mud. I raced the non-Masters age group to make it more challenging, and only took one 1st place on a day when Kevin Bradford-Parish, Mike Gaertner and Eric Anderson all didn't show up, but ended up winning the series just by high places every week.

Oh, and in 2009 I did the Midnight Century and it was a huge adrenaline rush. I trained for it in 2010 and was gunning for low 5-hour range, but as you know, I ended up piloting a group of three and had to hold the pace down a bit in the "middle 50" of the route.

For 2011, I'm looking forward to the Wednesday-night series again, where I plan to fly the Two Wheel Transit colors. I'm also going to do the Midnight Century again, as the unofficial Distributor Of The Smiley-Faces, and will be going solo this time, although anyone's welcome to as much draft as they want :)

Favorite Rides, etc. - In terms of a ride I could do routinely, I like the Hangman Loop (road) and the 24-hour course (off-road). For more "epic-rated" rides I'd say round-trip to the top of Mt. Spokane (road) and the Midnight Century route (mixed).

Other favorites - Doing the 24-hour race with the North Division Bike Shop team, who three-peated in the 10-person corporate division last year.

-I like night mountain riding as much as daytime.

-I tentatively plan to instigate a weekly XC ride oriented towards training

And lastly, on nicknames, here is the word from TM - As for a name/alias, I've used the online nickname mechBgon for nearly everything, so that should suffice for this too. No one calls me that in real life, although we do sometimes critique visibility equipment (lights, reflectors) in terms of whether they're "mechBgon-approved".

We will have to find out another time just what mechBgon means, because it sounds suspiciously like a Transformers name to me, which would explain a few things about Tom. In any case, we are glad to have him aboard the team and look forward to seeing him at the start and finish lines of a few mountain bike races (no, I'm not close enough to see him anywhere else).
Rider Three

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Team Mates - LC - Miss Clairol

As previously previewed, Team Two Wheel is picking up some additional riders. We have a total of 5 guys who will be riding and racing exclusively as Team Two Wheel, and we have 2 more that are un-officially official team mates, but only in a limited capacity. More simply, they will race some disciplines for another team, but will be representing Two Wheel Transit and the team in other race formats or at local cycling events.

One of those people is Lynn Creager. You will notice immediately a few things about the prior sentence. One is that it is a short, declarative sentence. Those are rare around here. (See what I did - I made another short, declarative sentence to note the absence of them. LOL!). The next is that it is a real name and not a silly pseudonym. Third is that it could be a girl's name. All of these are noteworthy in their differences from prior practices. Let's just say it is a new world out there, and not in the One World Government/Black Helicopter way.

In order to provide a brief introduction to everyone, I asked each teammate three brief questions. Please provide some personal bio information. Please provide some cycling bio information. And tell me your favorite local ride. Lastly, I also asked them about nicknames. I was intending to amalgamate or mutilate the responses, but I thought that each said something about the rider, so here are the responses, largely unedited.

On nicknames, however, Lynn had a funny story. Her nickname among at least a few fellow female riders is Wella Clairol, which she was dubbed after a spectacular flameout of a sprint in which she started a bit too soon and faded way too soon. In other words, as only a group familiar with the properties of such things, she faded like a bad hair dye job. Great story, great nickname, so Lynn, were hereby officially grant you your Team Two Wheel nickname - Miss Clairol.

Here are Lynn's responses to my other questions.

Personal bio information - Lynn grew up in a suburb of New York City. After college and 6 years working in Manhattan, she moved to Spokane in 1994 in search of a saner lifestyle. She works as a sales manager at KAYU FOX 28 TV and lives in South Spokane with her husband and 3 Labradors.

Cycling bio information - Lynn discovered cycling through triathlon. A runner and swimmer when she moved to Spokane, she decided to take on road cycling so she could participate in triathlons. After several years of racing tris from sprint up to Ironman distance, she realized she was enjoying the hours on the bike much more than those spent in the pool or pounding the pavement. She has since pedaled thousands of miles around the northwest on her custom titanium Hampsten road bike (Ed. Note - Made famous in The Slice). Last summer, she started road racing as a member of the local Zuster team. This fall, after falling in love with a Pinarello cyclocross bike at Two Wheel Transit, Lynn raced the Inland NW Cyclocross series. In addition to cycling, Lynn cross country skis and practices ashtanga yoga.

Favorite local ride? Hard to pick just one. Any route south that takes you out Valley Chapel Rd. and onto the rural roads that loop around Rockford, Spangle, Rosalia and Cheney.

Well, Lynn, there are worse things than admitting you were a triathlete before becoming a cyclist. I can't think of one right now, but I know there are. In any case, thanks for joining the team for community events and non-race applications. We are looking forward to riding together.
Rider Three

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Team Update

Team Two Wheel blog - Not timely, but always accurate. Local TV news weather - Always timely, but never accurate. Which would you rather have? I thought so. Bill Kelly - hit the bricks!

Team composition - 5 racers + 2 riders. Or 5 full-timers + 2 part-timers. Or 5 people only on 1 team + 2 people on 2 teams. Or something like that.

We have five guys who will be riding and racing this year as Team Two Wheel. You have been introduced to Rider One, Rider 2 and Rider Three, but you haven't met Scooter and you haven't met the other guy who just joined yesterday and doesn't have a nickname yet.

In addition, we will have two more people that are committed to racing on the road for other teams but that will be riding as part of Team Two Wheel for mountain bike racing and as cycling ambassadors at community events, shop rides and so on and so forth. By the way, I don't have nicknames for them yet either. But don't worry. That will come in time.

On to sponsors. This year we have an extraordinary six sponsors. Our main sponsor, Two Wheel Transit, you know and love. It turns out that you will also know and love another one or two of our sponsors, but we aren't ready to unveil them quite yet. Hopefully we will be able to do so with the design of the jersey and a few words about them. So, stay tuned for another blog post that will not be timely, but will be accurate. When we get around to letting you in on our secrets. Soon.
Rider Three