Friday, March 28

NorEast Team Kick-off 2007

The Ride to Timberland

So, I went for a bike ride Thursday. I took a spin by Gus' Bike on the way; I wanted to drop by and hang out, and I bought a couple of water bottles as an excuse while I was there. I shot the breeze with the owner and some of the mechanics for a bit--they seemed pretty nice, and passionate about bikes, too. I didn't have much time to stick around though. I took my bottles and headed off to the much-anticipated 2008 NorEast Team Season Kickoff Dinner.

It was at the Timberland corporate headquarters in Stratham, which is about 20 miles away from where I live--no big deal. I was wearing my heart rate monitor for the ride; I wasn't recording stats, but the few times I checked it while I was riding I was in Zone 4 (around 170-180 bpm) so I guess I was a bit excited to get there. When I pulled up to entrance to the Timberland HQ, I was surprised that my bike was the only one on the bike rack outside--I win at bike-love!

The Pinnarello and the Elite Squad

Well, as I go in to the function room, they roll in two beautiful Pinnarello FP2's:
Aluminum Pinarello FP2 for the NorEast Team elite squad I remember the first time I saw the Pinnarello Prince, it was paralyzed. I just stared at it lasciviously for about 5 minutes. It is a sexy bike. But if the Pinarello website is bike porn, this was a live show. I took a seat front-and-center and ogled the bikes.

It turns out that these bikes were for the two newest members of the elite squad which I'm imagining must be just like Palpatine's royal guard, only on bikes. Awesome. Basically, NorEast is a racing club, and anyone can join, and it's for cyclists at all levels--some members don't even race, they just like biking. However, having high-level racers that can win big races is good for the sponsors, so the team pays for the elite squad's bikes and equipment, and the elite squad has a required race schedule.

Awesome. I officially have a dream.

Freeness: The Best Sauce

It was potluck-style pasta provided by La Festa, so I made myself a plate and took a seat. On all the seats were a bag of the best kind of goodies: free ones. Let's take a look inside:
Free Goodies from NorEast Team's season kick-off at Timberland HQ
Two water bottles. Man.. I wish I had known that an hour ago when I was buying waterbottles . . . that's okay, backups are good to have. A T-shirt--too big for me; I'll probably sew it in to a musette bag for fun, we'll see. Hammer Gel--It's like a liquefied energy bar. I don't buy them, but whatever, I'll use it on a ride some time. NorEast team decals. Sweet. I'll stick those on my bike after I clean it. And the best part: a spare tube. I am psyched. I blow through tubes like candy, and all I have left in stock are puncture-loving ultra-lights.

The rest of the evening consisted of a raffle (I didn't win) for a bunch of sponsor-supplied goodies, and some awards were given out to team members and sponsors. I'm not going to plug the sponsors here--If you want to know who the team sponsors are, check out the NorEast Cycling website. Also they talked about Bike-to-Work Day and other upcoming events--charity rides, that sort of thing.

Track Racing and the New England Velodrome

I guess there's a sort-of velodrome--you know, one of those banked track things--in Londonderry New Hampshire. One of our team guys works with the New England Velodrome, he gave us a status update and some brochures and stuff. You don't even need a bike or anything, you can just go up there, they rent you the bike, it's pretty cheap, and you can race with a day license. Pretty cool.

The track they have up there is outside. They have an actual, indoor track, a real velodrome, planned to start construction in 2009, if they can secure funding. This would be the only velodrome in the northeast at all, so that's going to be pretty sweet. I know that will draw the attention of my track-bike riding friends.

So, there you have it. I guess the next thing to do is to start racing. I just need to get my bike cleaned up, de-winterized, and then I'm "PROGRAM GO!"

Check back Monday for spring cleaning tips for your bike!

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