CLOSING OUT 2011 WTH SOME ODDS & ENDS
Our friend Kenny Parry is a hardcore rider who has endured 14 knee operations which resulted in limited extension in his right leg...of course that didn't stop him from devising his own solution for his unequal pedal extension.
Why is Sean holding our Cervelo S5 test bike upside down? As we were pulling the seatpost out to fit the bike in his car, the tricky internal seat binder fell into the frame. If you own one of these Tour de France stage winning bikes, be sure to mind the binder!
When riding in the "California cold" there's no real reason to run these winter shoes, but if you insist on riding in the cold, weather specific shoes can make a big difference in how long you stay out.
Looking for a new aluminum 'cross bike that's made in America? Maybe you should consider a Stoemper Ronny
. Available in six sizes, the made in Oregon frame features triple-butted tubes, beautiful dropouts, a carbon fork, BB30 bottom bracket and a 1 1/8"-1 1/2" tapered head tube to control front end chatter.
This is Belgian 'crosser Ben Berden who dropped by the palatial RBA towers to show-off his bike and go out on a lunch ride. Maybe not your typical looking Belgian 'crosser, but he's the real deal and following his three month stint racing in America he heads home to take up his native sport in front of the home crowd.
WHAT'S ALLEN BEEN UP TO?
Allen Lim is a quirky guy. Probably one of the more brilliant guys in the sport, he's worked with some of America's top riders, yet, despite his international acclaim, the dude is like a wallflower...never reaching for a spotlight or microphone. Last time I saw him was when I literally bumped into him in the sidewalk traffic on the Strip in Las Vegas during the bike show as we were both headed to our rooms after our respective (and long) industry dinners. Super friendly to a fault, you can just tell that there is a ton of useful info floating around in his mind waiting to get out. Well, here are two of them...
The Feed Zone Cookbook provides 150 flavorful recipes that even the
busiest athletes can prepare in less time than it takes to warm up for a
workout. With simple recipes requiring just a handful of ingredients,
Biju and Lim show how easy it is for athletes to prepare their own food,
whether at home or on the go.
The Feed Zone Cookbook
perfect balance between science and practice so that athletes will
change the way they think about food, replacing highly processed food
substitutes with real, nourishing foods that will satisfy every
The Feed Zone Cookbook includes
- 150 delicious recipes illustrated with full-color photographs
- Allen Lim's take on the science and practice of food
- Portable whole foods, including Lim's famous rice cakes and more
- Dozens of quick-prep meals for before and after workouts
- Shortcuts, substitutions, and techniques to save time in the kitchen
- Gluten-free and vegetarian alternatives to favorite dishes
What does Levi say about the book? "Not only did Biju and Allen help salvage a disastrous start to my 2011
season and turn it into one of my best, they actually got me into the
kitchen, cooking these recipes."
The Feed Zone Cookbook
now available in bookstores and online for $25.
What else is Allen up to these days? Well, besides the cookbook he's also now marketing his Secret Drink Mix
. Made with natural ingredients in four flavors and in his own typical understated style, there are two types to choose; Exercise and Anytime. $20 for a 1lb sack of either.
AS FOR TWO OF MY MOST DEFINING MOMENTS THIS YEAR...
To say that this last year was a tumultuous one for me would be a huge understatement. Regular readers of
RBA might recall that a few months ago in my mag column I related the sad news of my wife Ronette's passing. "Rono" had been diagnosed with cancer just two years prior and although we knew it was serious, we never thought the end would come so quick, but it did. Such is life.
However, from some of the deepest lows I've experienced in my life, on November 3 of this year I was brought to both unexpected & overwhelming heights. That was the day that a local cyclist/philanthropist/one man army (aka Jack Nosco) put on his third annual Mike Nosco Memorial Ride which acts as a benefit for cancer survivors. This year Ronette was the chosen recipient and she was so excited at the thought of it...alas, she did not live long enough to witness the ride in person (although like so many others, I too felt she was looking down on us and spreading the sunshine of the day).
In her stead, over 450 cyclists did show up to "enjoy" a grueling 80 mile ride with 8000 feet of climbing. So many friends, so many strangers - there simply aren't words to describe what felt like an "out of body" experience for both myself and our daughter - it was a day we will NEVER forget.
Two days after the ride I was on a plane to Sicily to partake in the roll-out of Campagnolo's new EPS electronic drivetrain. The trip to Sicily was a big deal both professionally and personally. This was a historic event and I was stoked to be one of among 35 lucky journos to get the invite. It was also proof positive to me that life does indeed go on. It all sounds so cliche' I know, but the Hallmark card sentiment that "Today is the first day of the rest of your life" rang as true as ever on those two days. And now, I carry on taking notes, meeting deadlines, getting sacked on the lunch rides and hoping that every time my phone rings it's my fabu kid Xakota on the other end!
2011 has been a crazy year - just ask Mark Cavendish - and as I close it out here, I just wanted to be sure to say THANKS TO ALL & FOR ALL.
THE ELECTRIC VALENTINO
I first met Valentino Campagnolo
back in the late '80's when the Italian component maker was making their disastrous foray into mountain biking. Valentino is a true gentlemen and for better or worse, I admire his determination to keep all of his parts production based in Europe.
After landing in the town of Catania, we headed up to Taormina where we enjoyed a night at the beachfront La Plage Resort.
Hey, I've never been shy in admitting that life a cycling journo is a great gig...this is where we enjoyed our post tech briefing cocktails and finger foods. Sicilian swankiness, cold Proseco and plenty of bike talk - nice.
Here I am sharing a quiet moment with my Pinarello Dogma test bike.
Moments later the whole lot of us were screaming through the town town of Lingualossa before heading to a former Giro d'Italia climbing route up and around Mt.Etna.
I don't know what it is, but authentic race bikes are just so cool.
WHEN FRIENDS & FAMILY COUNT MOST
The Mike Nosco Memorial ride was led out by the sweet Campy VW Jetta station wagon with a string of riders trailing behind towards Pacific Coast Highway.
A handful of my old mountain biker homies came out to enjoy the ride including Daryl Price (aboard a sweet custom painted Colnago C-59) and multi-time National and World Champion (and former 7-Eleven rider) John Tomac.
Oakley's Steve Blick played the "I'm so out of shape" pre-ride hype...then smoked all of us who truly were out of shape up the Deer Creek climb. Steve knows about the hardship of cancer as his son Tyler is also battling the disease and to help others, Steve created I Ride For The Kids
Former AMA Supercross & NORBA champ Johnny "O'Show" O'Mara is a devout mountain biker, but he made the trip out to ride with both his throttle twisting and pedaling friends like Steve Tilford.
Speaking of throttle twisters, one of my local heroes growing up was factory Yamaha rider and Supercross Champ Mike "too Tall" Bell. Long ago he once wow'd me by flying past me on the downhill at Carlsbad Raceway and he did again on this ride by riding alongside me and sharing the pain as we climbed Latigo Canyon. Without a doubt one of the most sensational parts of the ride was the "circle of life" element that was so pervasive - this industry, this sport, is family and "we" go way back. Thanks Mike.
Our own Neil Shirley drags Ned "El Capitan" Overend up the last big climb so that the former National and World mountain bike Champ could retain some dignity and finish with the fast guys (just kidding Ned!). Ned was literally one of the three reasons I first fell in love with mountain bikes back in the late '80's (the others were his teammate Lisa Muhich and the whole idea of riding bikes in the great outdoors).
Former AMA Superbike champ & World Superbike runner Ben Bostrom gets friendly with our ace shooter John Ker as he rides along with Garmin Cervelo's David Zabriske and Ben's brother Eric (also a former throttle twisting National Champ and factory Kawasaki rider).
After a scenic & leisurely roll down Pacific Coast Highway, the
route turned left for the ridiculously steep Deer Creek climb. This is
where the 450 rider pack broke up!
Later in the day everyone was met with the third and final climb up Latigo Canyon - which never seemed to end. The Santa Monica Mountains remain one of the best riding areas in all of California. Epic views, epic climbs and epic Mexican food!
Besides the famous road, mountain and throttle twisting champs, the
BMX'ers also turned out for the ride - this is BMX great Stu Thomsen.
Funny thing, I actually once raced against Stu in a BMX race at
Saddleback Park back in the mid-'70's...and here we were still out on
two wheels some 35 years later. Bicycles rule!
While Steve Tilford was making the climbs, he made sure to
check on how his stocks were doing on Wall Street.
After about six hours in the saddle, Mike Bell and I were slowly and agonizingly nearing the finish when we first ran into Andy Hampsten (pink jersey) who was out looking for more miles to ride and then Mike Kloser (R) who came looking for me. Mike snapped the shot..and as the empty road behind shows, he and I were hardly in the thick of things by days end.
Here's something I never got to see during the ride - the front of the pack. This is the "fast guy" pace line running down Hidden Valley to the finish.
This is the one many army that made the ride possible. Jack Nosco lost
his brother Mike in a car accident on November 3 and in his memory - and
for the good of others - he has created an annual charity ride in his
brother's memory. There are no words to express our appreciation for all you - and the volunteers - did that day Jack. See you next year for the 4th annual ride!
WHY WE RIDE SCHWAG CONTEST
The random winner of this contest will be the person that not only answers the following questions correctly, but who also sends in the best "Why I Ride" story/testimony. That person that we pick will get a Campagnolo schwag kit that includes everything I didn't use when we took our Sicilian test ride: Campy socks, plus a Campy riding vest & gloves plus a random shirt from our pile of industry T's.
1. What title did Steve Tilford
claim back in 1983?
2. Name three brands of motorcycle that Ben Bostrom won races on.
3. What city in Italy is Campagnolo located?
4. What city does Ned Overend call home?
5. Why do you ride?
Send your answers to Why I Ride Contest