Team Alchemist at Interbike

24 09 2011



A week has passed since Vegas, and I’m still decompressing from spending 3 days in that filthy hole in the Earth.   But through the stale cigarette smoke, skanky ladies, and the silver hairs pumping away their life savings and social security checks into the slot machines, Alchemist was able to survive and carve out a little progress.

Syd VeloWool Trainer

The biggest hit was the introduction of the Syd VeloWool® Trainer.  Team Alchemist members, especially Stuart, have been doing the field testing.  We are refining every aspect, but the protoypes we had at Interbike were eye catching and very popular.  Claire took the company jet to Italy this summer for this photoshoot on the island of Corsica.

Check out the 303cycling article on local companies flaunting their wares at Interbike.   You might recognize a couple faces.

  • Met a ton of cool folks in Vegas.  For example, Bruce, with UNO.  UNO is a high-end, funky bike shop in Tucson.  He’s been thinking about a team kit for some time, but even with his shop and team guys hounding him, couldn’t pull the trigger.  He finally decided to go for it at Interbike.  He has a logo and a skull, but he wasn’t sure what the jersey was actually going to look like.  After a little chat, we got this:
  • VanHalen crazy plaid guitar, maybe on a sleeve.
  • UNO logo prominent.
  • Pancho (hand-drawn skull) logo somewhere on the jersey.
  • QR code on the rear pocket

Eddie VanHalen inspired UNO jersey

Big props to Claire on this one. She created the sleeve pattern based on a pic of Eddie VanHalen’s guitar.  UNO guys loved it.  We can’t wait to unleash this baby on the rest of the world.

Against my better judgement, I signed up for the 24 hours of Colorado Springs next week.  Registered at the 11th hour for solo single speed.  I shut it down after the Breck Epic, and I’ve never ridden more than 10 hours in one sitting before.  This one could hurt.

Interbike and New Web address

12 09 2011

Alchemist Sweat Shop

Heading to Interbike this week.  Here’s a pic of the child labor that we here at Alchemist utilize to keep the costs down.  Booth 37079 on the first floor near the Demo area if you are planning on being in Vegas.

Alchemist has a spankin new and improved website. It can be found at the new web address:   You can still find us by using the old alchemistthreadworks address too.

Congrats to Drew and Team Justin’s for the podium sweep last week at the Dakota 50.  Thanks to Drew’s son, Garrett, for the Alchemist pics of Jon.  He’s sporting the new Blackboxx kit with fancy fabric, Italian chamois and Powerband arm and leg gripper.  In his words, the kit was,”Hmm, yeah, it was alright, yeah.”

Damn Brits are always so understated, so I’ll have to translate Jon’s english.  What he meant to say was “Your new Blackboxx kit was the most orgasmically fantastical thing I’ve ever experienced.”

Thanks for the props, Jon.

Justin's Podium sweep, Dakota 50

Jon in the Blackboxx kit at the Dakota 50

Jon in the Blackboxx kit at the Dakota 50

Breck Epic Stage #6, Gold Dust Loop

4 09 2011

OMG! I can't see you!

A quick blurb before the long overdue race report on the last stage of the Breck Epic.

I started my shift the other day with a patient in room 9.  Room 9 is the room generally reserved for psych patients.  It has locked cabinets, empty drawers, and the bed is situated so that the patients looks straight out of a window into the staff workstation, which means that the security guard can keep close tabs on the patient, and the patient can keep close tabs on the staff.  For me, that means I have an audience while I try to wolf down a sandwich, enter orders, and dictate, all at the same time.   This lady  in 9 was brought in by the police.  I walked in to find an older than middle aged woman, sobbing, hair done up big, face caked in make-up, sitting on the side of the bed with her hands cuffed behind her, wearing a skimpy camouflage bathing suit.  The police got her out of a tree.  And that’s how I started my shift.  But I digress.

Breck Epis Stage 6, Elevation profile

Day #6.  Gold Dust Loop.  The final stage of Breck Epic 2011.  The stage started at the ice rink and headed up Boreas Pass Rd.  The course turns off of Boreas about a mile up.  Dan led us up the fast start.  I tried to take a pull, but I couldn’t get by him.  I think we were all on the verge of blowing up when the course finally diverted onto singletrack, at which point we could catch our breaths a little.  Team Alchemist decided ahead of time to try to ride together.  We rode together all the way through the singletrack to Baker’s Tank, in the opposite direction as the Firecracker.  Once we were back on Boreas, Chris took the lead and stepped it up.  The Alchemist train started to fall apart at that point.  Chris had a hard day on Wheeler yesterday, but he had a different agenda today.  The rest of us just tried to hang on.  Aid #1 was at the top of Boreas Pass at 11,500′.  After a quick bottle exchange, we dropped into the singletrack on the backside.  It’s fast and furious.  But then all of a sudden it turns into a spongy bobsled run.  Banked high on both sides and twisty, the trail must have been an old waterway of some sort.  The flat grade and high berms allowed for a consistent cadence around the fast turns with only an occasional feather on the brakes.  The trail eventually roughens before spitting you out onto a dirt road.  From there, it’s a railroad grade dirt road for seven miles back to the top of Boreas.

Last year, Ken had pulled me from the bottom of this road to the top, then down the frontside all the way home.  The way back down is of a grade that you can big ring it hard, but I was on single speed last year, so I just had to tuck in behind the giant hole in the air that Ken made in front of me.  Between shouts of “PEDAL! PEDAL!” and “SLOW! SLOW!”, Ken was able to stay just in front of me as I was sucked along by his draft.  I was hoping to return the favor this year, but Ken had packed it in, and he decided to just enjoy the rest of he ride.  I stayed with him for a while, then I figured I could at least help Chris reel some guys in, so I went ahead to be his domestique.  It took a while, but I was finally able to catch up and give him a pull over Boreas.  He rocketed ahead on the descent and I waited for Ken and Dan so we could all finish together.

Breck Epic, as it has the previous two years, did not disappoint.  The vibe is different than the typical single day cross-country or endurance races. You just can’t maintain that kind of stress and intensity for 6 days straight.  Pros mingle with schmos, and it all is very friendly. Every year, we meet new, cool folks.  The Canadians, for example.  Tim, Ali, Kevin, and the rest of the crew in the condo across the walkway.  Canadians always seem so nice.  These guys were no exception.  We indoctrinated a couple of them into the Alchemist Team.  In return, they taught us new vocabulary like “cuzifit”.  Apparently, this is their word for “taint”.  We say, “Taint this, and taint that.”  They say, “Cuzifit weren’t there, your guts would fall out.”  Great group of folks and bike racers.

Before signing off, I have to report a monstrous victory over the Cannondale Team of Tim and Johs.  We mercilessly crushed them on stage 7.   Those guys are great riders and competitors, and super nice guys. But I’ll always cherish their look of defeat as we strolled past them, victory (BBQ chicken and corn casserole) in hand.  I don’t have a prayer of  beating them on a bike, but I sure as hell can whoop em to the buffet line.

Big thanks to Ryn, Hera, Katherine, Jake, and especially Delena and Drewbie.  Del took our drop bags to the start every morning while we were still sawing logs in bed.  That was huge. She also made us chicken fried chicken. Seriously, chicken fried chicken.  Amazing.  Drewbie, thanks for being our number 1 fan!

Best support crew

Some more pics. Ali will hopefully send some race shots too.

Team Alchemist

Rolling into the finish

Team Alchemist at the finish

Team Alchemist unwinding after 6 days of hard racing

30-39 men's solo podium

Breck Epic Men's Clydesdale podium

Breck Epic Men's duo open podium

Team Alchemist Breck Epic number plates

%d bloggers like this: