Sub 5 Hour Centurypalooza

25 05 2014

Looking tired but satisfied.

Alchemist Sub-5 Train


Here’s why I love our Team.  Guys like Mike W. getting an impromptu train of riders together to throw down a sub-5 hour Century.  Using Strava to map a 100 mile course through the northern territories of Boulder (and obeying all traffic laws as Team members are expected to do),  the Alchemist train cranked out the sub-5 Century with 20 minutes to spare.

Strong work, fellas.

Mike’s account:

“A few years ago, I tried to get a group of friends together to ride a local charity road century.  No interest.  I asked again about 2 weeks before the event, again with no luck.  Finally, I sent the invite out a third time, and asked if anyone else thought it might be fun to try and finish in less than 5 hours. Suddenly, the compete lack of interest grew into a force 10-strong looking to work as a team to complete the challenge.
We stayed together (mostly—this was a 2500+ person ride, after all), and all managed to complete the task with an average speed of 20mph.  We had a great time and agreed that it was really fun, not only to work together to fight the wind, but also to care where the rest of the crew was.
The glow of the experience wore off quickly when I saw my GPS data afterwards and realized that, while we rode for 4:50-something, when you factored in the time we spent filling bottles and going to the bathroom, it was an additional 20+ minutes.  Challenge met?  I think NOT!
Fast forward to an early endurance ride with longtime Alchemist hard man, Ken Kreidl.  As we chatted over the long day, I shared the story above.  By the end of that ride, we were committed to an Alchemist team effort to accomplish the goal — this time focusing on elapsed time INCLUDING stops.
Today was the day.  Here are a few pics of the post-ride celebratory beer:
(make sure you include the one with Gene, I don’t think he accomplished the sub 5 goal, but he rode hard and was quick to crack a joke when it was sorely needed!)
Sure, it wasn’t all grins and giggles.  A few of us battled early season fitness (or lack thereof). We even lost 2 to flat tires.  Since many of us ride more MTB miles than pavement these days, we struggled a bit with some basic road strategies around how to share working and drafting.  We figured it out eventually, but by mile 85 or so, all bets were off.  One dedicated Alchemist MTB’er, Rob Sharp (who dislikes skinny tires so much he sold his road bike), pulled us pretty much the whole way home.  Thankfully, his dad loaned him a bike (and even joined us for part of the ride). Rob had little trouble awakening his skinny tire skills.
All in all, this was a great day on a bike.  Like the 18/24hr MTB races, there’s something really fun about working together as a team.  Charlie Cooper (works with Jenn Dice @ People for Bikes) kept saying how cool it was to ride hard just for fun, with a collective goal, not for an event placing or race win.  Tim Preston (head bean counter at Excel Sports and age 67!) rides a ton. While he’s a man of few words, he said multiple times how thrilled he was to be invited, and how cool he thought this was.  Mike Swanson is a cool guy, super chill, super strong.  Glad to have gotten to know him better.  Ariel would have been a valuable asset, but he was victim #1 of the flat tire-riddled first lap.  Ken and Rob, meh.  I ride with those dorks all the time.  I’m a huge fan and will ride with them whenever/wherever.”
Good stuff, Mike.  I’m hoping to be able to join one of these adventures before the summer is over.

Sean B. on TV, Marital Bliss at the Firebird, and Flag in a Pink cast

18 05 2014

Sean B. is not only a Team Alchemist rider and ER doc, but he is a TV star.  Check it:

John B. and Michele B. went over to Eagle County to race Mike Mac’s Firebird (for which Alchemist did the T-shirts). What normally would have been a fun, flowy track was turned into a fun, bumpy track by cows that were allowed to graze after the recent snow storm. But no worries, Marital Bliss pulled off another podium finish. Michele finished 2nd in the women’s open SS, and John finished 8th in the amatuer open.

Michele on the Podium

Michele on the Podium


Got the pink cast off on Friday.   Went up Flag to the amphitheater on Wednesday.  Today, went to the top with Lindsey, Ariel, Russ, and Jerry.  Lindsey wouldn’t let me stand on the pedals, so I just crept up in granny.   But it still felt good.

Pink Cast on Flag

Pink Cast on Flag

18 Hours of Fruita

9 05 2014

Mike dusty and tired after 18 hours of Fruita

Mike W. dusty and tired after 18 hours of Fruita

Mike W., Rich, Rick, Greg and Laurie were in Fruita last weekend choking down dust and tearing up the 18 Hours of Fruita course.  Here’s Mike’s account:

“Well, at least we had a ton of fun!  The race was a comedy of errors — viruses that led to barfing, bike lights that failed, double flatting, you name it — it all happened.  We ended up 16th but if those fails hadn’t piled on, we would have been in range of the top 5 again.

Jeff, I never managed to get the crew together for a team photo in the kits, my apologies.  The combination of heat & dust meant that the minute folks finished their efforts, they were off to wash up.  The shot I missed and would have loved to have was the one where just as Rich was leaving for his 8a-ish lap he asked me to grab him a burrito that he could eat once he got back.  Apparently he was thinking about that burrito the whole time he was out — as soon as he got back, he inhaled the thing in like 3 bites.  While still wearing his dusty riding gloves, glasses, helmet, and riding shoes.  He slipped on that lap and was completely covered in dust from head to toe.

Here’s what he looked like a moment or two later:

Rich after a hot lap, burrito, and a breath of air.

Rich after a hot lap, burrito, and a breath of air.

Laurie did her best but spent too much time stopping to let any/ everyone pass.  We got to hang out with her a bit, but she was bound & determined to stay self reliant despite my many offers to help…  Here she is at the finish:

Laurie after completing 18 Hours of Fruita

Laurie after completing 18 Hours of Fruita. Solo. This was on the heals of a 200k and 400k in Cali.  She’s a bit nuts

I am simultaneously in awe of Drew’s incredible result from last year (he managed an additional lap solo vs our team total) and searching for reasons how that could have happened?  Sure they added some length to the course & not just additional trail, but twisty/ turny sandy slow sections to boot.  I’ve already emailed Drew my additional respects and tried to avoid the long list of excuses.”

Here are a few more shots:

Rick after a long night of barfing.  But hey, sun's out, guns out!

Rick after a long night of barfing. But hey, sun’s out, guns out!

Dirty, dirty.

Dirty, dirty.

The Evolution of Activewear ends with Alchemist

1 05 2014

Go get your culture on and ride up the Hill to the Boulder History Museum, where the 2013 Camo Team Kit is on exhibit with the likes of the Sochi Olympic snowboard suit! The “Evolution of Activewear” exhibit starts with plaid Woolrich hiking apparel from the mid-1800’s and traces the activewear textile industry to the most recent developments in Lycra (yeah, recycled Blackboxx!) and chamois technology (yeah, EIT!). The plaid snowboard suit courtesy of bronze medalist Boulderite Alex Diebold is pretty cool to see, too. The History Museum is super kiddo friendly, with an exploration room full of crafting materials. It’s definitely worth the trip!


Sochi Team Snowboard Jacket and Pants


The kid loved it.


SO evolved!

Alchemist Featured at the Boulder History Museum!

1 05 2014

Alchemist Featured at the Boulder History Museum!

The 2013 Alchemist kit, not so camouflaged in the Boulder History Museum’s latest exhibit, “The Evolution of Activewear.”

Blissful Whiskey 50 and Fruita Trail Video

1 05 2014

Cold, rain, mud, flat tires, and muddy snot couldn't stop the Bliss train from delivering.  Here is John getting a hand up from one of the intrepid volunteers.

Cold, rain, mud, flat tires, and muddy snot couldn’t stop the Bliss train from delivering. Here is John getting a bacon hand-up from one of the intrepid volunteers.  Photo “borrowed” from Mountain Flyer Magazine.

Marital Bliss went down to the Whiskey 50 in AZ last weekend.  It was not typical Arizona weather.   John B.’s narrative:

“In one sentence, it was a 50 mile cyclocross race — rain, sleet, hail and snow for all but 4 miles of the 50 mile race — oh, and 40 mph gusts on the one sunny climb section. Racers were abandoning everywhere; at each aid station there were people shivering uncontrollably and wrapped in blankets. 100’s DNF’d. But Team Bliss, nothing if not stubborn, persevered and finished. 

Michele B. rocking the SS podium.  Her time would have won the open masters division.  Boom!

Michele B. rocking the SS podium. Her time would have won the open masters division. Boom!

Michele took 3rd in the Womens SS with a 5:46 and would have won Womens Masters with her time as well. She also put the hurt on quite a number of male single speeders. I raced in the 45+ and finished 22nd out of 86 with a 5:01, one flat (that I almost cried trying to fix) and fingers that as I write this are still numb.

Here are a few pics, videos and stories of the most epic day they have ever witnessed at the Whiskey 50…

Holding hardware and the incomparable, Larry Grossman, in her arms

Holding hardware and the incomparable, Larry Grossman, in her arms

Chris Castillian wore a Go Pro so I could get a little taste of the Fruita trails this past weekend. Check it.
Disco Stu and the Bachelor Posse.

Disco Stu and the Bachelor Posse.


Disco Stu and the Bachelor Boys in Fruita from jeff wu on Vimeo.

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