Argyle Rockhopping and Other Randomness

I remember when the Discovery Channel team folded the year after Lance Armstrong retired the first time.  Riders were starting to go every which way, including Tom Danielson.  He, along with a number of other fairly good riders, was heading to Slipstream – Chipotle.  Some no-name team based out of nowhere with a fast-food sponsor.  Turns out Chipotle isn’t fast food (and is now my favorite place to eat out — thank goodness the nearest one is 4 hours away), and that the whole Slipstream Sports mentality is not only attractive, it’s effective.  I went from being fairly antagonistic towards the team to being one of their biggest fans.  To this end, I have:

  • 5 t-shirts
  • 1 polo shirt
  • 2 baseball hats
  • 1 bag
  • 2 posters
  • 4 pairs of cycling socks
  • 1 cycling hat
  • 1 team-edition Garmin cycling computer
  • a set of rider cards
  • more argyle Camelbak Podium bottles than I can count

That’s not to speak of the other things I’ve bought because of the team, like fi’zi:k bar tape and lots of POM Wonderful.  So what?

Well, my boys in argyle are merging with one of my least favorite teams, the Cervelo Test Team.  This is not news.  But the newer news is that Castelli is going to replace Pearl Izumi as the clothing sponsor.  Cervelo is the bike sponsor instead of Felt.  I’m concerned that my hometown team is losing its homey-ness.  Let me try to explain.

Felt is an American company.  They have a wide range of bikes, from the fun cruisers to marathon mountain bikes to the high-end racing bikes that the team rode.  Pearl is also an American company (aside from the fact that Shimano owns them) and has a wide variety of apparel.  They have a sense of humor about everything, whether or not I particularly appreciate that sense of humor.

On the other hand, Cervelo makes road bikes and nothing but road bikes.  Castelli makes some good, but terribly dull clothing.  It’s all very professional, but seems to lose that accessible feeling.  And Cyclingnews.com is reporting that “the team’s iconic argyle would remain, but would be less prominent in 2011.”  Sigh.  Maybe I’m being too pessimistic.

I participated in a contest sponsored by Specialized to win a Rockhopper and potentially win $2011.  I did win a Rockhopper (which I gave to my wife), but didn’t win the cash.  As opposed to when I didn’t make the Stumpjumper Trail Crew, I’m doing okay with this.  It took me a month to get over the Trail Crew rejection.  I think there’s two main contributing factors.  First, I did get something out of this.  There is a physical reminder that I did something good, and it’s blue and black and down in my basement.  Secondly, I feel like the person who won actually earned it.  His video was really good.  With the Trail Crew, I felt like Specialized made some really bad decisions on who to involve.  Maybe I’m a little more mature too.

After a weekend of not counting calories, I’m still seeing some progress.  Down to 173 pounds today.  It’s a lot harder without being able to ride my bike to work.  That’s 200 calories I have to cut out or burn off some other way.  I need to get my trainer back or figure out how to run more than every other day.

It was seriously fun to watch the USGP cyclocross race on Sunday.  Colt and the CyclingDirt people have come a LONG way since they started the site up last year.  And now Versus is running a poll to see if we would watch ‘cross on their station.  Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

Busy night tonight, at least to start.  Should settle down after church though.  Wonder when the snow is going to come for good?

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