Tuesday, March 1, 2011


To conclude the trip through the team, we are going to finish up with the sponsors. These sponsors mostly have an affiliation with the team and we are glad to have their support for the season and beyond.

Through the judicious use of our sponsors services, you could build a house, roof it, fill the garage with bikes, go out for food and drink, market your company and set up a retirement account for yourself and your employees. Since one of the owners of Two Wheel Transit is also a pediatrician, if we just added a crematorium to the list next year, we could take pretty good care of you from birth to death, because shelter, pizza, ice cream and bikes cover most of our needs, doesn't it?

Two Wheel Transit - From Geoff Forshag, "First of all, thanks to all of the other sponsors for helping field this world class team." Geoff also had this to say about the reasons he and Bruce decided to sponsor the team, "We chose to sponsor the team for a second year because it presents a face to the community and is comprised of diverse riders. In terms of what possible good will come of it? Well it takes a village to tease the owners of the shop and it keeps them out of jail." (Editor's Note - "them" would appear to be an ambiguous pronoun reference in this sentence. Is it the team or the bike shop owners we are keeping out of jail. Only time will tell.)

Official Blurb -
Two Wheel Transit is a long-standing, locally-owned, independent bike shop. We repair and service all types and brands of bikes. We pride ourselves on technical excellence, customer service and a friendly atmosphere. All level of cyclists are welcome from kids to racers and everything in between. We believe in cycling to help make the world a better place and the importance of community involvement.

Team Comment -
Damn Straight. And Thanks.

The Scoop Patrick, one of the owner's of The Scoop, agreeably provided me with answers to a couple of questions.

Q - Would you please send me a few sentences or paragraphs describing your company and including information that you would like the blog readers to know about your company?

A - The Scoop does business up on the South Hill on the corner of 25th and Monroe. We are a small neighborhood shop selling great coffee, yummy sandwiches and the best ice cream in Spokane.

Q - Why did you decide to sponsor Team Two Wheel, or, in other words, what possible good could come from encouraging these people?

A - I'm just hoping to get a free t-shirt or something out of this deal. I might even settle for a pair of socks. (Editor's Note - I hate to disappoint him, but I'm not sure we are doing t-shirts or socks this year. We were hoping that giving away free ice cream was his fondest wish . . .)

Q - What is your favorite local bike ride or route?
A - Any ride with my friends. Any ride that includes a stop at Cheddar Chad's. My favorite route is from my house to REI. Least favorite is from my house to work.

More of a request than a Q - And lastly, please give me your website address and contact information you don’t mind having shared on the internet.
A - We are: The Scoop, 1001 W. 25th, Spokane, WA. 509-535-7171. We might have a Facebook page. (Editor's Note - I checked Facebook and 1) if you search for "The Scoop" you get a Hollywood gossip site - check out the latest on the Biebster!; and 2) if you carefully search for Scoop, Spokane, you will find that someone set up a community page, but they are not officially Facebooking yet. I didn't know businesses could survive without Facebook these days?!)

To round out this look at the Scoop, I also asked the Dean of Spokane Cycle Blogging, John Speare, to give me his personal opinion of The Scoop (Editor's Note - This blog's very FIRST celebrity endorsement):

The Scoop is an obvious ice cream destination. They serve amazingly
high-sugar, high-fat, highly-great Brain Freeze ice cream, made in the Perry district. So there's the ice cream. But what many people don't know is that the Scoop has one of the best drip coffees in town. With free refills. They serve Bumpercrop coffee and they brew it in small batches. Another relatively unknown great thing about the Scoop is that they have fresh made, interesting hot wraps: a vegetarian breakfast wrap, a mushroom wrap, some bacon thing. They're about $5. So the net here is that the Scoop has a lot more in the food realm to offer than just ice cream. It's worthy of a post-ride gorge.

The best part of the Scoop though are Patrick and Elissa. They own it. They have built it up slowly and the place is unmistakeably marked by each of their personalities. Patrick, the latent artist, has hand-painted all of the interior signage. If you catch Elissa in the right mood on the right morning with the right song going, she'll show off her mad Karaoke skills -- seriously, it's freakish how well she can sing any Brittney Spears mega-hit.

In the summer, when the Tour is on, Patrick will open early (6 AM or so), brew a pot, and stream the Tour de France onto his laptop, which is plugged into a big monitor. Coffee and wrap service is a bit sluggish on these mornings, especially during the mountain stages, but it's the best time of the year to hang at the Scoop as bikey types huddle around the monitor, sipping coffee, and talking smack as the sun pours into the east-facing windows.

Team Comment - Damn Straight. And thanks. And can we talk about that free ice cream? No? Okay.

David's Pizza - What do you say about David's Pizza? Well, I went to the website and found this:

Hey, we don't plan on being the biggest Pizza Company around. Admittedly, we won't make the kind of profits the "Big Guy's" do. But we feel it's more important to build a better Pizza than to cut corners for the sake of higher profits. Taste the difference, check the prices, we think you'll see the value!

Why David's Full Service Pizza? Once, there was a time when Full Service meant something. In the Heyday of the Service Station, Oil Companies wooed motorists with the promise of Pampered, Prompt, and Complete Service. Smiling, well pressed attendants scurried about cleaning glass, checking oil, filling tires and in general, kissing your butt! Today, David's Pizza brings that same spunky spirit to you. In addition to filling your tank with Pizza and Beer.

What Makes David's Pizza So Good? It's not Rocket Science. It's really very simple: We begin with a hand tossed crust. This is far better than a pre-formed or mechanically rolled crust which makes for a "Dead Pizza". By hand tossing your Pizza, the dough remains light and lively, providing you with the delightfully chewy crust you have come to know and love from David's.

Team Comment - Damn Straight. And Thanks. Also, thanks for bringing the catering truck to feed all the riders at a couple of Shop Rides last year. Geoff promises to not drop any pizzas this year if you agree to come back, right Geoff?

Desautel Hege Communications - Rider One is a partner at Desautel Hege Communications. As such, I asked for information about his company. You would think that a marketing firm would jump on this like (insert your own metaphor here), but instead, I got this very restrained commentary:

Desautel Hege Communications is an integrated public relations and marketing firm in Spokane, Washington. Its talented team of professionals to help clients use communication tools to get business results. From PR planning to research, and marketing strategy to social media, DHC has earned a strong reputation working with clients from throughout the Northwest and around the country. Learn more at www.desautelhege.com.

(Editor's Note - I have personally worked with Desautel Hege Communications on a number of projects, involving non-profit/community endeavors and for businesses with a variety of projects. I honestly and completely recommend talking to these folks if you want to figure out what your company should be saying to the world and how.)

Team Comment - Umm, damn straight? Doesn't really work here, does it? I should check with Rider One and find out what to say.

Mica Peak Construction -

McSpadden General Contracting - A team member and general contractor. What more do you want from a guy? Here is Scott's resume from his website/blog.

McSpadden General Contracting
509.944.0612 (Cell)

Construction Superintendent/Finish Carpentry
Specializing in residential remodeling and finish carpentry.

Over 15 years of practical commercial and residential construction experience, including 10+ years working on high-end custom and speculative home projects in the Seattle, WA and San Francisco Peninsula areas. Skilled finish carpenter with working trade knowledge of finish carpentry, framing and retrofitting. Washington and California State Contractor License.

2005 – Present McSpadden General Contracting (WA, CA) – Owner
Current work in Spokane and Seattle, WA includes residential remodeling and additions, mid-rise residential punch work and carpentry, fencing, decking, millwork and trim installation, and tilework. Projects in the San Francisco Bay Area, including 2nd story and adjacent additions; residential and commercial remodeling; finish carpentry, decks and fences.

2000 – 2007 Pacific Peninsula Group (Atherton, CA) - Project Superintendent
High-end custom and speculative homes. On-site management of multiple subcontractors and daily supervision of jobsite averaging 50-80 skilled tradesman and laborers. Conducted inspections with building department officials, structural engineers, architects, and owners. Reviewed and awarded subcontractor bids.

1999 – 2000 Daly Homes (Seattle, WA) – Assistant Superintendent
110 unit apartments and commercial space over post tension deck, $11,000,000. 57 unit apartments and commercial space over 2 post tension deck parking garage, $9,000,000.

1995 – 1999 The Highwood Company (Kirkland, WA) – Carpenter, Working Foreman, Asst. Supt. High-end custom and spec homes, new construction and remodels, with project values from $650,000 exceeding $1,000,000.

Team Comment - Need a contractor? Here's your man. Damn Straight. And thanks.

And last, but not least - NAS Pension Consulting, Inc.

Another company associated with the team. Here is something I cut and pasted from the website that appears to explain things:

There are many types of retirement plans - 401k plans, 403b plans, cross-tested plans, integrated plans, etc. All of these plans have advantages and disadvantages and all of these plans are governed by complex and ever-changing federal law and regulations. Our goal at NAS Pension Consulting, Inc. is to make it easy for the owners and employees of companies to take full advantage of these plans by understanding your company issues and designing a plan specifically for you.

We don't believe in cookie-cutter solutions or one-size-fits-all. We believe each client deserves a full and complete appraisal of the many options available and a plan designed to meet the specific needs each has. Go to our "How" page for more information on Plan Design, Annual Testing, Annual Filings and our on-going compliance programs, but rest assured, NAS Pension Consulting, Inc. will work with you to offer a plan that is right for you and make it easy to do so.

Sounds straight-forward, eh? Maybe I will just get in touch if I have or need a retirement plan.

Team Comment - Yeah, like he said. And thanks for helping to sponsor the team.

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.

Anyway...as 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

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Team Announcement

Team Two Wheel is pleased to announce that Two Wheel Transit has agreed to be our main sponsor again in 2011. We have expanded our team from three to five with full credentials and two more with specially negotiated contracts.

We will be doing short profiles of the riders in the upcoming days or week. This is going to be a little tricky since three of us have only been known as Rider One aka Mr. Millimeter, Rider Two aka Quicksilver and Rider Three aka Mr. Loquacious aka Mr. Breaksequipment aka Mr. Why-does-a-guy-that-large-get-a-spot-on-a-team-with-a-group-of-A-Pack-Riders, but we will figure that out.

We have also expanded our list of sponsors and look forward to welcoming them to the Team Two Wheel experience. When the ink dries on the contracts, we will bring out the names.

So to recap, we have a team, but won't tell you who is on it; we have sponsors, but won't tell you who they are. Yep, sounds right.

To be sure to catch the rest of the story, go to the Two Wheel Transit Blog.
Rider Three

Sunday, January 16, 2011

First Ride of the New Year

This is a teaser post. You will find the first part here and the rest here: http://twowheeltransit.blogspot.com/2011/01/rider-three-first-ride-of-year.html

I wish I had seen the post below about trainers a bit earlier. It would have reminded my of my own trainer, a Kurt Kinetic trainer that I purchased at Two Wheel Transit a few years ago. If I had remembered it AND ACTUALLY RIDDEN IT, then the last two days of amazingly balmy weather and decent roads would have felt good. Instead, they felt like two big helpings of misery, under a dollop of pain and smothered with a rich creamy sauce of overweight.

On VeloNews, the cartoonist makes fun of a team called, "Old Guys Who Get Fat in the Winter." I am the poster child for that team this year. I had a ride with multiple falls on September 11, a day that will stand out in my memory now, and then another injury a few weeks later, followed by a car crash a couple of weeks after that, followed by months of sloth and inactivity caused by an unusually heavy work load, horrible winter weather and a major issue between the ears.

For the rest, check it out at our new spot: http://twowheeltransit.blogspot.com/2011/01/rider-three-first-ride-of-year.html

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Year - New Era

It is official, Team Two Wheel lives another year! While notes are still being gathered and the official transcript is still being compiled, the hard-fought and lengthy diplomatic negotiations at the Two Wheel Transit/Team Two Wheel Summit Meetings and Symposium appears to have resulted in the continuance of Team Two Wheel.

While not generating the same media coverage as the other team announced today (something about Luxembourg, but I wasn't really paying attention), there were at least two or three people paying close attention to the outcome of these multi-day, multi-party discussions.

So, for those interested parties, the news is good and further details will be emerging. There will be announcements about a handful of new riders and maybe another sponsor or two, but those things will have to wait for another day.

In the meantime, bask in the liquid sunshine pouring from our sky today and think of those days ahead when we will be back to riding a bike wearing clothing that weighs less than the vehicle. Also, keep in mind that this post, and future posts, will appear at TwoWheelTransit.blogspot.com as we transition from here to there. Also look for a significant expansion of political commentary from Rider Three at our expanded venue. Or not.

Friday, December 31, 2010

End of the Year - End of an Era

Faithful readers, fellow cyclists and people looking for porn but accidentally ending up here:

The promise of a new year and that baby wearing a 2011 banner also means that somewhere lurking there is a grumpy old guy with a 2010 top hat. In this case, we are that old guy (and yes, you can stay off my damn lawn). We are putting this blog on hiatus and will be starting up fresh and new in other spots.

First and foremost, please take a look at the baby-fresh blog at TwoWheelTransit.blogspot.com. The guys at the shop have started their own blog and will be telling stories about riding, talking about the cool things they do to support cyclists, the cycling community and our region as a whole. They will probably throw a few specials our way, announce some bike rides, and generally continue the cycling conversation. Look for the unique voices of most or all of the folks in the shop to make a contribution.

As for Team Two Wheel . . . High level negotiations are taking place, but I strongly suspect that Team Two Wheel will be expanding its membership, maybe taking on a couple of sponsors, and generally be making merry on two wheels again in 2011. Look for us at the shop blog (gratuitous link opportunity: Two Wheel Transit Shop Blog) and go to bed tonight dreaming of roads with a bit less snow, a bit more sun and without the impending threat of hypothermia. I know that I will.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bike-related Videos for a Snowy Day

Just when I was looking forward to some bike riding, the snow started falling again. Here are a couple of videos to while away the time until it you can get outside.

From JH:

From MS:

Well, I didn't say I recommended either of these, did I?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rare December Post

First, thanks to Geoff and Bruce for being the kind of bike shop owners who contribute not only to the biking community, but also to the larger community. Also, congratulations to getting an aging vituperative crank like Doug Clark to say or do anything positive. His column used to be filled with stories about the little guy taking on the world, but he has gotten increasingly angry and lazy as the years have gone by. He is just a couple of birthdays away from starting every column with "Hey, you kids, get offa my LAWN!" But I digress. He is doing a good thing by supporting the efforts of Two Wheel Transit donating to the Christmas Fund. Kuddos to all involved.

Here is the story: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2010/dec/05/good-tidings-on-all-fronts-and-rears/

Next, speaking of doing good, but in this case, doing good for the world at large. Dr. Sam Joseph, a man to be feared any time you combine a bike and an incline, is literally healing hearts in Rwanda with a group of medical folks. It is an enormous and expensive undertaking that impacts lives in a way that most of us never have a chance to do. Here is their not-often-updated blog: http://healingheartsnorthwest.blogspot.com/. Tonight at 6 pm at the Steam Plant Grill, Dr. Joseph will be showing a few slides, making comments about how slow I go uphill on a bike and raising some money for this worthy effort. Oh, also, some free beer. Come on down and help make a real and significant difference in some worthy lives.

Lastly, biking.

Well, thinking about biking at least. There are adverse conditions and then there are impossible conditions. At least for mortals. Maybe after this week's warm up we can go to wet, yucky, dirty slush instead of hard pack killer ice. In the meantime, the skiing was killer this weekend.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My favorite (biking) memory of 2010 (so far)

A couple of days ago I was out drinking beer (what!?, you say) when I ran into someone I hadn't seen since May 29th. It might seem funny to know that the instant you see someone, but it stuck out for a lot of reasons. Seeing him triggered a thought about one of my favorite biking memories of the year.

Actually, I have had a lot of good biking memories in 2010, like crossing the finish line at the Leadville 100 while there was still an "11" at the front of the clock; some rides with my kids that stand out; a long training ride this summer when my legs seemed to have reached back into an earlier age of strength and endurance; a training ride on which Rider One came along on a day when he probably had better things to do and a nicer ride to join but he came to be supportive of the training slog I was enduring; winning a race - you get the idea. But the memory of May 29 stands tall even among these.

For those of you with a keen memory or a calendar, you will note that May 29th was part of Memorial Day weekend, and it happened to be the Saturday of the 24 Hour Race. I was riding in the Solo - Clydesdale - Daylight Only division. I happened to have placed first in that category (also last, but that is the problem with 1-person divisions), but the gist of it was that I rode for about 7 hours starting at noon. At the end of that time, I had covered about 84 miles and I was tired, but really good tired. That fulfilling, exhausted, spent but smiling kind of tired where it feels good to have ridden long and hard and then be done.

I had the particular good fortune of not only being done, but then pulling on some clean clothes and sitting down to eat a couple of slices of David's Pizza and drink a couple of beers. I was sitting down with a couple of friends who had ridden all day also and with some other folks, including MS (owner of David's and a great guy) and the guy who I saw this week, TA (owner of Bicycle Butler). TA had been helping on the 24 Hour course, crashed his motocross motorcycle and had a brace on his knee that night, but thankfully it wasn't stopping him from enjoying a beer and shooting the shit.

As the pizza oven at my back gave a bit of warmth as the evening cooled, the beer and pizza were wonderfully filling my stomach, and a group of friends were around BS'ing after a day of riding or hanging out in Riverside State Park, I had a feeling of real joy and satisfaction that I can recall with perfect clarity six months later.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thoughts on a rainy commute

I am really glad to be back on my bike. After injury, injury and illness, I had two months with one trainer session and one treadmill torture. Exercising an average of once per month just isn't a good idea for a lot of reasons.

I have had reasonably good reasons for not riding, but it is better to be riding. I have had weeks at a time that I could not ride my bike to work, because of hauling around kids, appointments in nearby cities, etc., etc., etc. My older son had to be at school by 6.45 am for the first seven weeks of school, which responsibility fell to me mostly (and I was glad to do it, honey!), but it was hard to watch seven weeks of unseasonably mild weather go by without an opportunity to commute on my bike.

On the other hand, after a long hiatus, getting back to biking by commuting is a great way to get going again. There isn't anyone pushing the pace, the distance is reasonable, and even when the hills make it obvious how much fitness one has lost, the duration of misery is short and the smugness of leaving the car behind is always a boost.

In order to extend my ride season, I needed to add some lights to those I had; some more blinky lights on the rear and a helmet mounted light on the front. It was nice to go into Two Wheel Transit to buy the lights because a) they have the lights together in a nice display, b) everyone in the shop commutes in the dark so they all have ideas, suggestions and practical information and c) you get to tap directly into Mechbgon's extensive lighting knowledge (http://www.mechbgon.com/visibility/index.html).

As I rode home last night, I was pondering my lights. The addition of the helmet light was GREAT and I was amazed at how lit up I was from behind with a seatpost light, a blinky light on each pannier and a blinky light on my reflective striped messenger bag. As I was standing in the shop yesterday considering the prices, I did decide that I would really be unhappy to be lying in a hospital bed because I didn't put a crowbar in the wallet and get enough lights, so I think I erred on the right side.

It did occur to me, however, that I have to ride my bike a lot this winter to pay for the lights simply through gas savings from not driving my car. I have a 10.5 - 11 mile roundtrip commute, but I also have a fuel efficient diesel. The lights will last for years, but it still made me wish that the lights cost less, the trip was longer, my mileage worse or that gas cost more. Any of those would assuage the guilt a bit faster. Until then, look for me riding a lot at night to justify my purchases. In the meantime, I'm just really happy to be riding again.
Rider Three

Friday, November 5, 2010

Race Across the Sky 2010

Here is my quick review of last night's premiere of "Race Across the Sky - 2010 Leadville 100" - I SAW MYSELF! I SAW MYSELF! I SAW MYSELF!

Sure, there was a bit more to the movie, but importantly, I SAW MYSELF! Oh, and also, I SAW MY WIFE AND CHILDREN AND MY BUDDY PW AND MY BUDDY PK AND I SAW MYSELF!

Of course, it's easy for the real message of the movie to get lost in the excitement. The message of the movie can be summarized as follows "Every person who rides the Leadville 100, from Levi Leipheimer in 6 1/2 hours to Rider Three is mere clicks of clock short of 12 hours, is a superior human to everyone else on the planet because of how tough and how cool they are. Also, the Leadville 100 is the toughest race, ever." Keep in mind, I'm not saying that myself, and I'm not even disputing how true it is, I'm just reporting the facts as I see them and I think that was the message of the movie.

Oh, there was also a bit about the human condition and overcoming struggles, but I kind of tuned out that stuff while I focused on watching crowd shots for a glimpse of my hulking mass puffing along somewhere. And my attention finally paid off.

Now, you may want to know where to look for images of Rider Three when you buy your own copy of the DVD. Well, this part is a mixed blessing. On one hand, if it weren't for this happy coincidence, then there wouldn't be any evidence in the film of my participation (I guess Levi's bulk hid me on a couple of early leader shots . . .). On the other hand, I have to confess that the reason I appeared in the film is that I reached the Twin Lakes aid station at the same time a grizzled 84 year old woman was being interviewed about her own ride and the difficulty of her husband battling Lou Gehrig disease. I would like to add this important caveat. While I rode the first 40 miles at the same pace as an 84 year old woman, I did manage to get ahead of her while she was focused on her film time and stayed ahead of her for the rest of the day, finishing well more than an hour ahead of her. Take THAT grandma!

And despite all of this, the movie wasn't perfect. For instance, they left out local two-time finisher DD and they gave my buddy PW too much screen time in a lingering shot on Columbine, but other than that, it was a great flick. I will be autographing copies and giving them to all of my family, relatives and friends for the upcoming holiday season.

And lastly, while the extras on the DVD won't include this feature automatically, if you just give me a call, I can come over and watch it with you and narrate my own running comments through showings over and over and over. It will be a little like Mystery Science Theater 3000, but if you ask Steev (not his real name, but cleverly changed to disguise his true identity) and my son, I got practice in last night leaning over one armrest then turning to the other offering my helpful comments and in-theater additions. Insightful things like, "Oh yeah, that was a hard part", "Wow, that part was really hard", "Oh my gosh, that part was so hard", or even, "Damn, I remember how hard that part was!" Should be good times. Get the popcorn going and let me know what time to be there.
Rider Three

PS - Make the DVD commentary honorarium checks out to: "Rider Three Foundation" Motto - Providing bikes for deserving and underserved populations of Rider Threes since getting the first check.