Oprah and the Boulder Cup

30 10 2010

Oprah gives Alchemist a thumbs up!

I was talking to a friend the other day about how to get noticed.  She writes a blog about book reviews that gets a loyal following. Her advice to me, “Mention Oprah.”


“Yeah, Oprah is like gold.  You talk about Oprah, and you’re in.”

So here goes:  I saw Oprah at the Opera the other day.  Oprah and I are tight.  I told Oprah,”Oprah, you should host a TV show called, ‘Oprah'”.  Oprah told me Oprah already has a show called “Oprah”.  Oprah also has a Magazine called “O“, which stands for Oprah.  No doubt,  Oprah knows “Oprah”.

That should do it.

Boudler Cup at the old Harlow Platte

Boulder Cup is tomorrow.  It’s the biggest cyclocross race in the area.  It usually draw a large crowd of elite racers, spectators and cowbells.  Strangely, they moved locations from the traditional Harlow-Platte location to Flatirons Mall, in Broomfield.   Broomfield Cup doesn’t have the same catchiness, but I’m sure the racing and vibe will still be top notch.  We’ll be setting up shop at the race.  So if you are around, drop by the Alchemist booth for complimentary cookies and candy while you browse our designs and goods.   We’ll have race day specials, including the “Bike Share” shirts which we’ll be selling for $10 in celebration of the upcoming elections.  $10 for a slick 100% organic shirt?  I know, it’s criminal.

Jeff C. is arranging a Super Hall ride for tomorrow.  Most of us will be riding singlespeed.  If you are up for it, come along. I gotta set-up the booth in the am, then I’m going to let Hannah hold down the fort until Claire can get there.  So late morning start.  We hope to be done in time for the UCI pros in the afternoon.  See you there!

Kid Rock and Wool Jersey

27 10 2010

rockin new lyrics

I’m sitting here on another night shift listening to tunes.  It reminds me of the other night when the clerk had cranked up her ipod and we were all subjected to a rancid dose of Kid Rock.  Don’t get me wrong, his original hit  “Bawitdaba-da-bang-da-dang- / diggy-diggy-diggy-said-the boogie-said-up-jump-the-boogie.” was a breakthrough in lyrical genius, and no doubt the product of a gifted muse.  But on this particular night, I was introduced to perhaps an even greater feat of poetic ingenuity.  Not only did he borrow (read, steal) the classic Lynyrd Skynyrd tune “Sweet Home Alabama”, but he brought together a chorus of lyrics that shook me to the core.

“. . .And we were trying different things.
We were smoking funny things.”

Kid Rock had somehow managed to do the unthinkable.  He had rhymed the word “thing” with the word . . .”thing”.  I suppose this kind of rare etymological brilliance is what keeps his devoted fan base coming back for more.

So Veloswap went quite nice for our little booth.  Claire and Hannah were given licenses to deal, and so, in the spirit of Veloswap, struck deals with dozens of rabid hagglers.  A good time was had by all, and we sold a few shirts.

Unfortunately, the next day at the cyclocross race could be summed up in one word, crappy.  Between the frigid temps and the gale force winds, the crowd was either there to race or to survive.  We spent most of our time helping parched racers prime the stubborn hand pump that was used to suck water out of the community jug, which happen to be located right next to our booth.  Not to say it wasn’t a beautiful venue though.  If you look closely, you can see a line of racers trudging up heinous hill.  The photo doesn’t do justice to how long and steep it really is.

Just got the new Alchemist Wool jerseys in.  100% super-soft merino wool.  This was just a test run for team members to try out.  But we do have a few left over, so let me know if you want to grab one.  We’ll let them go for a very reasonable price.  If you can identify the gang sign that this clown is throwing, then you get a free pair of our luscious bamboo socks with it.

Betasso Addition and Veloswap

23 10 2010

grizzly adams

During Thursday’s lunch ride, we ventured onto some new, and very welcome, new singletrack at Betasso.  The trail was quite nicely buffed and well built.  Finely constructed retaining walls, a cool faux-steel bridge, rolling and moderately graded.  Stuart and I cruised along enjoying the fresh tracks when we suddenly ran right smack into Grizzly Adams.  Or a guy who looked like a younger version of Grizzly Adams.  He was sitting in the middle of the trail happily munching on his lunch.  The army green shirt and the collection of digging tools and hardware strewn about clued us in to what he was doing there.  As we pulled up, he grinned.

I wasn’t sure how to handle being caught with our hand in the cookie jar, but Stuart didn’t miss a step.



“So, uh, the new trail is really nice.”

“Yeah, thanks.”

“Are you with the Parks and Rec?”


The conversation went on like this with us asking about the trail, and him answering politely and succinctly.  He didn’t have to come out and say that the trail was closed. We all pretty much knew it.  He didn’t have to come out and say it because his boss from down the way said it for him, “Tell ’em it ain’t open to the public yet!”

He grinned. We said so long and turned our bikes around.  We made our way back to the turn-off feeling a mix of joy that we had found a cherished piece of heaven, and embarrassment for having been caught enjoying it.   An unnamed source has been on it recently and has a GPS map of it.   I will include that map when the trail is officially open.
Claire and I hauled our gear down to Denver to set up for Veloswap today.  We are sharing a huge area with Kickstand magazine.  They have a luxurious lounge area with a big flat screen TV, cushy lounge chairs, a pool, and music.  Sprinkled around this swanky oasis will be an A-list group of cycling phenoms. Green Guru, Nutcase, B Cycle, and then there’s us.  Claire and Hannah will be rockin’ the Alchemist booth with killer deals on shirts and socks.  Gotta blow out the Bike Share shirts before the November 3 election, after which the shirts will be obsolete.  Too bad Dan Maes couldn’t figure out a way to be a stronger candidate.  He’s more of an after thought now.

If you are going to Veloswap, check us out.  We may have tailpipe-banger guy make an appearance.

Tough audience and Al Gore

17 10 2010

Another night in the ER. Another blog post.

Occasionally, I see folks in the ER who don’t seem to be able to smile. I can understand if you or a family member is really sick or injured.  But for a sprained shoulder?  Come on, throw me a bone.  These were nice enough folks, but for whatever reason, the patient and her parents didn’t crack a smile or even show any affect, one way or the other.

I was able to get to her right away as they were being put into the room.  I had heard about the shoulder injury while she was in the waiting room, so I ordered the x-ray ahead of time.  The x-ray tech managed to beat me in there.

“Hey man, what’s up with the efficiency? This ain’t the way we do things around here.”


“You’re supposed to watch the end of the game before you come get the patient for her x-ray.”


“So, looks like we have another casualty of Homecoming.”

Crickets. Not even a chuckle.

“But you shoulda’ seen the other guy, right?”

Chirp. . . . .Chirp.

That’s pretty much how the rest of her visit went.  Me, trying ever harder to get a response.  Them, giving me nothing.

“Hey, is this an audience or an oil painting?”

It got me wondering.  Is it me?  Do I have spinach in my teeth?  A Tarzan hangin’ out of my nose?  Do I smell of like rotten eggs? (well, probably.  I made a mean dish of red beans and rice.)  I know I’m no Seinfeld, but most folks at least throw me a little love, out of pity, if nothing else.

Of course, the icing was when Becky, the nurse, went in to put on her sling, they were all yucking it up like Dave Chappell had paid a visit.   As much as I tried to shut it out, I could still hear the roars of laughter from across the ER.  I guess you can’t win em all.

Jim came over the other day to buy a couple Bike Share shirts and some Alchemist bamboo socks.  He was going to wear the shirt at a party with a bunch of environmental bigwigs, including Al Gore.  He told me he’d try to get Al to buy one.

“Buy one?  Heck, he can have one!”

I ran down to the basement to grab an X-Large shirt.  “Jim, if you can get me a photo of Al Gore wearing this shirt, you can have all that stuff for free.”

“I’ll try.”

“Don’t let me down, Jim.”

So, here’s to hoping Jim can bring home the gold.

ER Arcade and Flagstaff Descent Vid

15 10 2010




A little venting is in order.  Having a 2-fer (two members of the same family sign into the ER at the same time) is head-scratching enough, but when they complain about the wait, it makes my blood start to boil.  Had a lady come in for a UTI, which is a reasonable complaint.  But she figured that she may as well sign in her son too, for his rash that he’d had for 5 months.  It had been treated by his doctor already and was getting better.  In fact, I could barely see it. But hey, what the heck?  Let’s get it checked out.   She must have mistaken the call button for a video game controller.  In fact, it reminded me of that old-school arcade game, Decathlon.  Anyone out there remember that game?  Sometime after Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, but before Gauntlet.  Contemporaneously with Joist, perhaps.  Well, in case you don’t remember, for a quarter, you vied for supremacy in 10 Olympic events, the essence of which was to slam the adjacent buttons as fast as you could, with the culmination being the third button to throw or jump.  So yeah, this lady was playing Decathlon with the nurse’s call button.  But as she fired away on the buttons on her way to a high score, her impatience to be seen right away only served to shift my gear into low and make sure every other patient in the ER was seen first.

I’ll probably get some hate mail for saying this, but there are some hard truths about 2-fers.
1. They are the least sick people in the ER. If you are even considering signing in that second or third person for that runny nose or sore throat, none of your “emergent” complaints constitute a real emergency.  If you have a real emergency, you aren’t worried about little Billy’s hang nail.
2. They don’t have insurance or they have taxpayer-funded “insurance”, a.k.a. Medicaid.   So they don’t have the admittedly exorbitant co-pay to deter them from signing in for even the most trivial problem.   I’m not saying that people should just waste away without medical care, and I’m not saying that Medicaid isn’t worthwhile when used appropriately, but abusing the ER because you can is another story.
3. They are some of the most impatient patients. There is something illogical about getting all the family’s tires kicked in the ER. So I suppose the logic by which the septic-baby-next-door-is-not-as-dire-as-your-plantar-wart might actually be . . . logical.

I actually did see a 2-fer the other night, at 2 a.m. for a plantar wart. But that paled in comparison to the 2-fer I had in residency whose mother signed him in because he was hungry. I got him a packet of Saltines and an apple juice. When I informed him that there was a cafeteria and vending machines down the hall, he replied, “Oh.”, and headed that way.

Here is a video of the descent of Flagstaff. Last time I was on Flagstaff, I took Snoop up in the trailer. He was pretty sick then. Well, I broke down and decided to start him on chemo, even though I’ve always said I’d never do such a ridiculous thing. It was just too hard to see him like that. He got to feeling a fair bit better, and he wouldn’t sit still in the trailer anymore, so the tour of Boulder was put on hold.  He’s about at the point again where he’d be happy lying in the  trailer, so I may take him back up again.  In any case, I mistakenly erased the video I shot of the descent with Snoop. I reshot the descent, but he didn’t come on this one.  I’ll probably take him up tomorrow morning if anyone wants to join a really slow spin up Flagstaff. Yes, the tune is Justin Timberlake. Yes, it is music that appeals to pre-teen girls. It’s my guilty pleasure. Enjoy.

Phish and 24 hours of Moab

12 10 2010

This is day #3 of the never-ending Phish concert.  8000 burned-out hippies have descended on Broomfield for 3 days of hapless, drug-induced stupor.   We staffed the ER with extra folks to handle the hoards of hallucinating casualties that could, at any time, rain down upon us.   Just saw a lady who was brought in by the ambulance for a bad reaction to what she thought was Mary Jane, but was apparently something not so agreeable to her.  She and her friend are wearing the requisite Phish uniform,Tie-Dye.  I’ve never understood why anyone enjoyed listening to a jam session for hours on end.  The only people who think jam sessions are cool are the jammers.  But maybe that’s the reason that Phish Fans have to consume all those drugs, so the music actually sounds tolerable.  As it turns out, Claire is at the concert right now.  After I found out she was going, and then finished making fun of her taste in music, I told her that if I had to see her in the ER for some kind of foolishness, I’d make sure to have the nurse put her in a diaper and get a Polaroid.  That’s what we used to do to the drunk college kids back in Charlottesville.

A superb showing of local fast guys at the 24 hours of MoabDrew and “Justin’s Nuts” took home the stars and stripes in the Master’s Championship category.  19 big laps.  Way to go, Drew!  How can I get one of those jerseys?  Walt and the “New Mexico Allstars” narrowly missed the top podium spot in the Open Pro category.  They were up against some pretty stout competition.  Trek/Honey Stinger had serious firepower, Jay Henry and Ross Schnell to name a couple.  Walt was going head-to-head against Schnell, who had the fastest lap time for the whole event.  Both teams broke the lap record for the race, 22.  Walt successfully accomplished his goal of not getting injured, and not embarrassing himself.   He actually posted one of the fastest lap times over all.   Dan and “Milk and Molasses” also threw down at Moab.  Dan posted a top 20 lap time in the category.

Need to give props to Robert over at Two Knobby Tires. He has a cool online store that sells a lot of eco-friendly gear.  You can check out Green Machine at his store, which sells quite a lot of other cool stuff too.

I volunteered to do a talk about my job for Syd and Jake’s school tomorrow morning.   Not sure why I would do such a thing after a night shift, which usually leaves me cranky and humorless.   But I’ve got some toys to bring, and gory stories to tell.  And I’ll be bringing the biggest syringe and spinal needle I can find. . .

Thumb Dislocation and USCM party

9 10 2010

The fortitude of young people amazes me sometimes.  Especially when I have grown accustomed to the whining and crying that is incessantly coming out of my household.  And occasionally, my kids and Sue complain too.  But during my chronic belly-aching fugue, I can still appreciate the ability of others to be tough.  Saw a teenage girl who dislocated her thumb playing powder-puff football.   With her pink eye paint and hair-ribboned, light blonde hair, she didn’t look like the tough type, but she didn’t seem to be too upset that her thumb was pointing the wrong direction.  Her mother was more upset about it than she was.  I offered to numb it up before we put it back in place, but she opted to just bite the bullet.  She did get a bit of cold feet as I sought out her thumb.  She just needed a little conversation.

“Are you thinking about colleges?”
“What schools?”
“I don’t know. Something good.”
“I’ve heard Harvard is decent. And there’s always ITT Tech.”
“You take the SAT’s this year, right?”
“I hated the SAT.”
“What’s your favorite color?”

I pulled and placed the thumb back into place. She closed her eyes, but didn’t make a noise or even flinch.

“Orange is a good color.”
“Is it back in?”

Claire set up shop at the cyclocross race today. Passed out coupons for FREE socks with a $40 purchase. Seems to have gone over well.

We delivered the shirts for the US Cycling Monument yesterday. They turned out smashing, as Jon would say (he’s English). They are having a fundraising event on the 22nd at the Velodrome. Food and drinks and track racing. The shirts will be available for purchase there. Did I mention that they look smashing?
Here’s the 411:

Host: Wendy Kahn
Boulder Indoor Cycling
3550 Frontier Avenue
Boulder, CO 80301 US
View Map
When: Friday, October 22, 7:00PM
Phone: 303 499-8113

Please come to the Official Launch Party for the UNITED STATES CYCLING MONUMENT!
Check us out at http://www.uscyclingmonument.com
The United States Cycling Monument is a project of PLAY Boulder Foundation.

Elbow dislocation and Alchemist Custom

5 10 2010

Saw a fella the other night who came in for an injury to his elbow after a rather innocuous fall on his skateboard.  It wasn’t hard to diagnose the problem.  The deformity around his elbow would make anyone go, “Uh, that ain’t right.”

As we were turning off his lights for the reduction, I asked him what he does for a living.  Turns out he is starting a company that sells skateboard parts for do-it-yourselfers.  As he started to fade, he squirmed and muttered,”Woah, that’s weird. I’ve never felt like this before.”

A refreshing statement coming from what seemed like a typical skater dude.

Turns out he and his friend also do SEO and business/web development for small businesses.  Despite the mohawk and the strategically placed piercings, they weren’t the usual skater punks who seem to have no particular direction in life.  They were polite, well-spoken and smart.  I sat down and chatted with them for a while at the end of my shift.  I learned about what they did, and how they were motivated to succeed.  I could learn a thing or two from these “skater dudes”.

Looks like the custom t-shirt business is starting to gain traction.  I’m not sure how some of these folks find us, but somehow they do.  We did the Mountain Flyer shirts earlier this year.  U.S. Cycling Monument and the Colorado High School Cycling League orders are in the printer queue currently.  Full Cycle has almost sold out of their custom shirts, again. So they are ready to re-order. They also want to do hoodies.  I’ll release the design after they are in the stores.   Met with Gina from Boulder Mountain Bike Alliance (BMA) last week to talk about shirts for them too.  Gina is a graphic designer and did a really cool design for their shirts.  If you are reading this, and you want to do a custom order, or know someone who wants to do a custom order, check us out.  Alchemist Custom.

Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day

3 10 2010

Today, Team Alchemist, led and organized by Ken, took a flock of future world champions on a ride through the trails of West Magnolia by Nederland.  The IMBA sponsored event was hosted by Alchemist, and a great time was had by all. The weather couldn’t have been better.  Starting at the East parking lot, we bombed through Root Canal and Hobbit 2 and 3.  Ages ranged from 6 to 9, some of whom were riding singletrack for the first time. Even though the trails were tough and technical, and sometimes scary, there was a remarkable paucity of whining and complaining.  These kids were tough and resilient, and they crushed it.  Watermelon and Ryn’s homemade cookies were devoured after the 2 hour no-holds-barred ride.  Thanks to Ken for organizing it, thanks also to Jeff C., Amy, Christian, Ryn, Jenn and Tim  for safely guiding us through the trails.  Thanks to IMBA for the excellent idea.  And of course, thanks to the kids, who made it such a blast.  Check out the video below for the action.

Repost of Betasso Descent

1 10 2010

Seems some folks couldn’t open the link, so here it is embedded:


The color of Melena and Betasso Video

1 10 2010

During an uncharacteristically chill shift, I decided to spice up the names of the colors of the shirts on the website.  Here is what I came up with, along with the complementary ER names in parentheses.  Thanks to the staff in the department for assisting with these.

Black: Johnny Cash Black (Melena)

White: Lone Ranger White (Purulence)

Red: Racy Red (Vag Bleeder)

Smoke: Race Slate (Coffee Ground Emesis)

Chocolate: Dark Henna (C. Diff Diarrhea)

Green: Renegade Green (Bile)

Check out this video of Jenn shredding the decent at Betasso.  Counterclockwise.

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