Alchemist Updates and Photos

29 08 2013

Some Team happenings going on.  Here’s the skinny:

Paul wins Pikes Peak Marathon

Paul defended his Pikes Peak Marathon crown. Winning the 50+ cat. Coming from third place to crush the competition on the descent. Those aging knees just couldn’t take it. Awesome, Paul!

Laurie on Glen Haven Gallivant 200k

Laurie on Glen Haven Gallivant 200k. This was a short one for her, having done 400 and 600k this summer. What!?!?  What’s the female word for animal? . . . . Animal?
Photo from http://coloradobrevets.blogspot.com/

John W. in Wyoming

John W. rode 3800 miles across 23 states. Here he is in Wyoming. Being hunted by jackals.

Is that the Grand Canyon?  John crossed it on a tightrope on live TV.  I think I got that right.

Is that the Grand Canyon? John crossed it on a tightrope on live TV. I think I got that right.

Coast to Coast, Baby!

Coast to Coast, Baby!  John W., du bist ein fickende superfreak! Strong work.

Austin contigent, Tommy F. and the fam relaxing in Philly after racing a Vermont Stage Race.  Tommy, I think that's the Delaware. But if it's the Schuylkill, do NOT fall in.  I used to row in that muck, and headless dogs were commonplace floatsam.

Austin Team contigent, Tommy F. and the fam relaxing in Philly after racing a Vermont Stage Race. Tommy, I think that’s the Delaware, but if it’s the Schuylkill, do NOT fall in. I used to row in that muck, and headless dogs were commonplace floatsam.

Luke won the Boulder Short Track Series for 10 and under. He’s only 9.  Booyah!

Sean B. took second at the Vail Amateur Time Trial, which is a part of the US Pro Challenge, of which Sean is the lead Doctor.  Saving lives AND Podiums.  Need a pic Sean.

Drew went out and rode 24 Hours of Poorman’s/Chapman.  Over 200 miles. 25,000ft of vert.  Self supported.  Why, you ask?  Because he can.

What’s new in Alchemist apparel ?  Baggies and compression socks.  Yeah, you heard it right.  We like it loose, but we also keep it tight around here.  More on that to come.





NAKED WOMEN Mix It Up with Alchemist Team Rider

10 06 2013

Sean B. gets busy at the Ride the Rockies with the Naked Women Race Team. Kris in an Alchemist made 303Cycling Kit joins in the fun.

Alchemist Team rider, Sean B. gets busy at the Ride the Rockies with the Naked Women Race Team. Kris in an Alchemist made 303Cycling kit joins in the fun.  Todd, where were you?

 

303cycling video of day #1





Drew wins 18 hours of Fruita!

7 05 2013

Drew carving a turn, and a win, at the 18 Hours of Fruita.  Photo by Eddie Clark and hijacked from Mountain Flyer.

Drew carving a turn, and a win, at the 18 Hours of Fruita. Photo by Eddie Clark and hijacked from Mountain Flyer. 

http://www.mountainflyermagazine.com/view.php/18-hours-of-fruita-3.html

While the rest of the Team raced the relatively benign Battle the Bear this past weekend (60 miles, ho-hum), Alchemist/Kappius rider, Drew G., toed the line with a stout open solo field this past weekend at the 18 hours of Fruita.  After the dust settled, Drew, at 53 years young, came away the victor.  He dominated the field of solo riders as well as many teams.  In the end, he logged 27 laps and 197 miles!  Change that number plate to a “1″, mister!

Mad props and big ups, Drew.   His Boss, Toni G., took second in the open solo female cat.  Congrats to both Geers!

18 hours of Fruita results

18 hours of Fruita results





Team Alchemist Kicks off the Racing Season

23 04 2013

Sean leading the Weld County Road Race

Sean leading the Weld County Road Race

With the Ridgeline Rampage mtb race snowed out, it was up to Sean to represent Team Alchemist this past weekend on the road.  He threw down at the Weld County Road Race.  Leading the pack for much of the race in his custom Alchemist Team attire.  The Pais-Mo kit got a lot of attention.  Nice work out there, Sean.

As bad as the weather has been for riding in Boulder, it’s still not as bad as the weather in Minnesota.  Steve has been holed up through a long Minnesota winter, but his little girl, Amelia, still finds a way to sport the Alchemist colors.  Good thing she gets her looks from her mother.

Amelia getting in some saddle time

Amelia getting in some saddle time, and looking mahvelous.





Kili Climb on Eddie Bauer Home Page

16 04 2013

Kili biking crew

Kili biking crew

Eddie Bauer provided some sweet jackets and other gear for the Kili trip.  The story made it to the front page on their site. Some photos and Doug’s account of the Kili trip.

http://blog.eddiebauer.com/2013/04/15/biking-kilimanjaro/





Paul’s Leadman Video

6 04 2013

“Make Friends with Pain, and you will never be alone.” –Ken Chlouber

Paul playing in his front yard

Check out Alchemist Athlete, Paul Hooge.  He rocked the Leadman last year, finishing in the top 10 in a stacked field.  Leadman, for those of you who don’t know, consists of a series of trail races in Leadville, Colorado.   Marathon, 50 mile run or bike, 100 mile bike, 10k run (the day after the 100 mile bike), and finishing with a 100 mile run (the week after the 100 mile bike).  It’s kind of a big deal.

Strong work out there, Paul!





Alchemist in Tanzania, day #2. Ngorongoro and the Serengeti

25 02 2013

Steve and I woke up early to knock out what Matty O refers to as a “prison style work out”.  The reference is to calisthenics that can be done in a small space. This is not to be confused with prison style showers.

Kili Day 2

Stu and I on the Ngorongora Rim

Stu and I on the Ngorongora Rim

Heading down into the Crater

Heading down into the Crater

Ngorongoro is, along with the Serengeti and Mount Kilimanjaro, three of the 8 wonders of Africa. These three being located within ,or partly within, Tanzania.  It got it’s name from the sound made by cowbells, which, according to our trusted driver, Isaac, was the first thing heard by the folks who named it.  Apparently, the local who lived here before that made cowbells.  That’s what I’m told.

Wildebeest Herd

Wildebeest Herd

Millions of years ago, Ngorongoro was a sizable mountain, even taller than Kilimanjaro.  A violent eruption blew off the top, and left the massive crater we see today.  Measuring 12 x 11 miles, it’s kind of a big deal.  The view from the top of the rim was breathtaking.  Not a bad way to wake up in the morning.  Isaac took us down the inner slope of the crater for the morning safari, and it didn’t take long before we were right up next to wildebeests and zebras.  Isaac says they often travel together since the Wildebeests see well, and the zebras smell well.

Zebras in the Crater

Zebras in the Crater

So they combine these superpowers to keep track of lions and leopards. The zebras also graze off the tops of the grasses, with the wildebeests coming in behind them to munch on the shorter vegetation.  It’s possible I got that I mixed up, but you get the point.

Warthogs, gazelle, impala, jackals, hyenas, ground birds, flamingos, and more were all around. Cool as those things were, we were hungry to find some of the “Big Five”,  Lions, Rhinos, Elephants, Cape Buffalo, and Leopards.  We hit pay dirt with an up close view of a male and female lion mating.

Oh look! Those lions are hugging. How adorable.

Oh look! Those lions are hugging. How adorable.

Natalie captured this priceless photo of the amorous couple, prompting a multitude of compliments from fellow travelers.

Hippo family in paradise

Hippo family in paradise

We stopped for breakfast in the crater by Hippo paradise.  Though we were strictly forbidden to exit the vehicle on the safari, for some reason, we were cut loose to frolic in the grass and picnic along the water’s edge, while a quarter mile away, lions were doing it.  But whatever, I was eager to stretch my legs and . . . frolic.

Hippo family in paradise

Hippo family in paradise

The hippos didn’t seem to mind us ogling 20 yard away from the shore.  Though, it is my understanding that they are the most dangerous animal in Africa, killing more people than all other animals, including the big cats, crocodiles, and poisonous snakes.  I edged as close to the water as I could without falling in.  It wasn’t every day that I could be this close to a hippo in the wild.  Anyway, I sized up my fellow gawkers, and figured I could outrun at least a few of them, so I wasn’t too worried.

After breakfast we made our way out of the crater for lunch at the hotel, and then on to the Serengeti for more Safari.  The incredible size of the Serengeti plains and the 2.5 million wildebeest occupying it was awe-inspiring.  We had already seen 4 of the 5 “Big Five”, but the elusive leopard was still nowhere to be seen.  We got up close and personal with a giraffe when word on the CB was that a Leopard couple was spotted in a tree, getting affectionate.  We made a desperate dash for the spot, but alas, no leopards were found.

We arrived at our hotel in the Serengeti wind blown and sun-soaked.  We were handed moist, white towels to wipe down.  When I handed mine back, it was brown.  The hotel is amazing.  The rooms are individual huts spread around the property.  They are built to look like the Masaai clay huts, but they are spacious and beautiful inside and out.  We gathered in the reception area for an orientation by the hotel manager.  The primary purpose of the meeting was to discuss the most important rule, do NOT walk around by yourself between sunset and sunrise.  If you want to leave your room, dial 2 on the phone, and a nice man with an AK-47 will come escort you to your destination.  While this made for endless jokes about calling for an “escort” to keep you company at night, the danger is no joke.  Leopards are all around looking for a snack, and Cape buffalo are just angry and mean.

4:45am departure this morning.  We need to be at the hot air balloons early, before the winds pick up.  Even with the rough roads, all the driving keeps putting me to sleep during the day, and I can’t seem to acclimate to the time difference, which is 10 hours ahead of Boulder.  It’s like being on a string of night shifts, which generally makes me psychotic, homicidal, or both by the third night.  I got about two hours of sleep tonight.  I feel fine, but I’m a little worried that it will catch up to me on the mountain.  I brought 7 different antibiotics, and a whole pharmacy of other meds, but I forgot to pack the melatonin.  I need to find a way to get some real sleep tonight.  We start climbing tomorrow.

More to come.

The Africa Jackal looks like a smaller version of our coyotes back home.

The Africa Jackal looks like a smaller version of our coyotes back home.

Wilidebeest and her baby

Wilidebeest and her baby

Safari trucks pop the top for 360 views

Safari trucks pop the top for 360 views

Jenn enjoying the Safari

Jenn enjoying the Safari

As sea of Flamingos

As sea of Flamingos

Male Ostrich

Male Ostrich

Kori mating ritual

Kori mating ritual

Kori mating ritual. No one around.

Kori mating ritual. No one around.

Pair of mating lions

Pair of mating lions

Ground Fowl joined us for breakfast

Ground Fowl joined us for breakfast

Capre Buffalo.  One of the Big Five. They can be agressive.

Capre Buffalo. One of the Big Five. They can be agressive.

Mud time for the Warthogs

Mud time for the Warthogs

After the mud bath.  All clean.

After the mud bath. All clean.

The animals walk by like we aren't even there.

The animals walk by like we aren’t even there.

What are you lookin at?

What are you lookin at?

Hey! Does my butt look big?

Hey! Does my butt look big?

I got your big butt right here, Buddy.

I got your big butt right here, Buddy.

I got your big butt right here, Buddy.

Camels

We saw loads of giraffes on the way out of Ngo Rongora

We saw loads of giraffes on the way out of Ngo Rongoro

Some of them came right up close

Some of them came right up close

Elephant Herd

Elephant Herd

One of my favorite trees in the world. Then Acacia tree.

One of my favorite trees in the world. Then Acacia tree.





In Tanzania

22 02 2013

Mountains of gear heading to Kilimanjaro.  Bikes and Medical supplies.  Plus, hotwheels and crayons for the local kids.

Mountains of gear heading to Kilimanjaro. Bikes and Medical supplies. Plus, hotwheels and crayons for the local kids.

Got into Tanzania late last night.  It was a long day of travel, but glad to be here.  Miraculously, all our gear arrived, including the bikes.

Today, we are visiting the local Masaai village, in which Doug Pitt is considered an “elder”.  In Tanzania, and especially in a Masaai village, Doug is a way bigger deal than his older brother.  Given his VIP status, I’m told that we don’t have to ask permission to take pictures.  I hope to get some.

The word is that Jambo, which is “Hello” in Swahili, is what foreigners would say.  The locals say, Habari, which is like saying “How are you?”  HABARI to all the Countryside Montessori kids following the blog!  Kim, I’ll try to keep the posts G-rated.

Thanks to all the well-wishers, my kids, Syd and Jake, and, of course, the Boss, my lovely wife, Sue.

You can follow fellow travelers’ posts and updates here on the Kli Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KiliClimbforCleanWater

More to come.

Disembarking at Kilimanjaro Airport.

Disembarking at Kilimanjaro Airport.





Mike and his Yuba, and Pole Dancing

26 01 2013

This bike was made for haulin'

This bike was made for haulin’

Last night, Mike and Ken came over to divide up the Team loot.  We got a big gear order in, and rather than make me sift through it myself, those guys volunteered to help me get it all sorted out.  They were paid in beer and bike bells.   Turns out both guys biked over.  They also both ordered, among other things, huge bike racks for themselves.  Mike lives about 4 miles away, so it wasn’t a trivial distance to haul a 60 pound bike rack and an assortment of other swag.  He was even picking up Al’s stuff to boot.   He brought the Yuba, which is normally reserved for haulin’ his twin girls around. Why?  Why would he ride a bicycle knowing that he would have to somehow make it back home with an awkwardly massive load of crap, in the middle of the night, and the temperature hovering around freezing?

Because he can.

The Yuba is loaded up.  Mike's middle initial is "S", which, he tells me, stands for "Straps".  As in, Mike "I got me a sh*t ton of Straps with me for haulin' sh*t on my bike" Walsh.

The Yuba is loaded up. Mike’s middle initial is “S”, which, he tells me, stands for “Straps”. As in, Mike “I got a sh*t ton of Straps with me for haulin’ a sh*t ton of sh*t on my bike” Walsh.

As a side note, congrats to friend of Alchemist, Vivienne, of VerticalViv.com, who will be featured in a Daily Camera article for her prolific, and hilarious,  blog about Pole Dancing and clutter reduction.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Check it out: http://verticalviv.com/

Vivienne doing the Superman.  This is only slightly more interesting than her more recent photo of her cluttered junk drawer.

Vivienne doing the Superman. This is only slightly more interesting than her more recent photo of her cluttered junk drawer.





Amputated thumb hitchhikes and Alchemist Snow Rides

6 01 2013

thumbFella severed his thumb on a circular saw the other day. He neglected to bring the amputated part in, which, btw, if you ever amputate your thumb or other significant part of your body, you should do.  His wife went back home to retrieve it from the garage floor. That’s a tough broad. When she got home, she found the missing digit . . . in the jaws of an opportunistic rat.    As the story goes, the vermin scurried away with the thumb, no doubt chuckling as it fled.  The fella got his thumb back, somehow.  What transpired in between, you don’t want to know.  But what his lady had to do to rescue his thumb is the stuff  of legends.

It’s been cold and snowy here in Boulder, but the Alchemist crew managed to get out for a couple rides last weekend, putting the cold weather gear to the test.  Drew joined Steve, Mark, Ken, and I on Saturday for a ride on the snowy packed trails.  On Sunday, Mike, Rob, Jim, Ken, and I hit the dirt roads North of Boulder.  Some pics for your viewing pleasure.

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Looney Rocks Cyclepassion 2013 Calendar

4 12 2012

Sonya Looney in CyclePassion

Look at the size of that tire!

Thanks to Drew for keeping us all up to speed on the latest important cycling news.  He sent over the recent Cycling News article featuring Boulder resident and friend of Alchemist, Sonya Looney, and her fellow badasses from cycling’s sisterhood.  Sonya graces the month of February.  She joins an international team of riders/models including Julia Innerhofer (Italy), Barbara Benko (Hungary), Anneke Berten (The Netherlands), and Nadine Rieder (Germany), to name a few.  Yes, all the photos have a consistently spicy flavor.  Yes, they all ride bicycles, really fast.  Yes, they can all kick your ass.  Yes, I have first hand experience–Sonya pretty much leaves me in the dust every time I’m within shouting distance of her in any given race.

Except for having to pay in Euros, Cyclepassion appears to be a contender for Holiday gift of choice.  Bundle it with a stylish Alchemist T-shirt, hoodie or jersey, and I think you have a hands-down winner.

Sonya Looney in Cyclepassion

“I’m going to take this absurdly huge saddle, and I’m going to beat you with it.” xoxo, Sonya.





Stranger Danger and Truths about Cycling

28 11 2012

Aggressive friendliness. Sometimes, it’s the only way.

Jon sent this blog.  It’s right on.

Loads of excellent stuff in the blog, but my favorite excerpt is pasted at the bottom.  Growing up in Texas, it was unimaginable to pass someone on the street and not say hello, or at least acknowledge their existence.   When I went to college in Philadelphia, my surprise at the understood mutual obliviousness was only surpassed my the passerby’s surprise when I chirped out a “Hello” or a “‘Mornin’!”.  In Boulder, I attribute this stranger anxiety to all the transplants that have come here from other parts of the country.   I still wave, nod, smile, and/or greet any stranger going the other way like always. But for the chronic abusers, I’ve resorted to what our friend Matt refers to as “aggressive friendliness”–direct eye contact, obscenely cheery smile, and an inappropriately loud “HELLO!”.  I’ve taken this approach to the lady who walks her dog on exactly the same route every day.  She passes us every morning,  at exactly the same time I take my daughter to school every day.  HELLO! GOOD MORNING! HOW ARE YA?!  Once, I got her to glance and eek out a twitch in the corners of her mouth.  Most days, she pretends we aren’t there.   It’s a work in progress.

 

 

UNIVERSAL TRUTH OF CYCLING #14: 

THERE ARE 2 KINDS OF CYCLISTS.

ONES WHO SAY “HELLO” AND ONES WHO DON’T.

Guess it’s pretty obvious which side of this issue we fall on, yeah?

Mountain bikers, you may be excused. Overall you seem to have the kindness thing figured out. Roadies…pull up a chair. This one’s for you.

Here’s the scenario: You’re out on a ride and see a cyclist or few coming toward you. Being a steward of the sport, you greet them as they pass. Sometimes it’s a full on “Hello!”  Sometimes it’s a wave. Sometimes it’s just eye-contact and the little lifting of the hand off the bars thing.

Sometimes you get a nice greeting or a wave back. Nice. That small but bonding gesture. Then there are the ones who ice you.

“Hello.” 

(silence)

Really? And I’m not talking about the times where they may not have heard you. I’m talking about eye-contact, multiple greetings and…nothing. Sometimes even a scowly-face.

Working on the middle-east crisis, handling the nuclear power plant crisis in Japan, fighting a raging forest fire, fixing a problem at the international space station – these are the kinds of situations where dead-seriousness and scowly faces are completely cool. Understandable. But riding a bicycle on a Sunday afternoon in perfect, Southern Californian weather? Nope.

Why should this bother us? Are we that needy? No. And honestly, most times we just let it roll off our backs. But overall, it’s about manners. When you think about it, technically, people don’t have to say please or thank you. They don’t have to smile at one another. They don’t have to respect one another’s personal space and well-being. But it’s what makes life tolerable. It’s called civility and it’s really, really simple.

Roadies who actively race have the worst track record when it comes to this kind of thing. There’s a certain club on the west side of Los Angeles that has cultivated a culture of acting superior to all others on the road.

Lighten up, fellas.

I love and respect our sport too. Between us, we’ve been doing it at a pretty high level for over 40 years. But we do it because it’s fun. Period. And yes, we race, too. Racing and kindness are not mutually exclusive.

And let’s break it down – we’re both out there putting our next-to-nothing bodies into the mix against multi-ton steel cars on tight roads. Oh, and we’re in form-fitting lycra.

In the great food chain out there on the roads we’re pretty down there. Seems like we need some solidarity.

So as you pass this little online article, let me be the first to wave and say “Hello.”

Hope you wave back. 

Read more about Truths of Cycling. http://18milesperhour.tumblr.com/universaltruthsofcycling

It’s worth the read.








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