"every one but the band looks like a rock star"

i love my job.

I love my job, I’ve had It for almost 6 years. I love the folks I work with, I believe in the products we make and I am proud to have been a part of the growth of this company. I am approaching my mid 30’s and Ive started to want more from life, more than my current job can give me. This has provided me with a paranoia and new level of anxiety in the past year.

 I’ve applied and interviewed for a handful of new gigs in the past year, and none of which I seem to be fully qualified for. I realize my lack of requisites for these positions but still tried hard anyhow. I do not intend on taking a parallel move, if it is not a next step I’d just assume stay at the current job that I enjoy. The bike industry is small, and you almost need to know about a position that other applicants don’t know about!

Being shot down for a few key gigs hasn’t got me down, but I have narrowed my search into a more definite path and decided that for the sake of my upward mobility that I should just supplement the current job I like with another job I like.

With that said dear cycling industry and bike race friends, I am looking for a team to work with as a mechanic, or a team, bike industry brand or race promoter in marketing, promotional or in planning.

 If you are reading this than you probably know how to contact me, you probably know my palmares already but please pass this along. And I’ll not bore you with the churched up version of my details that you already are aware of.

Further, down east…

1) create proposal, submit to race promotors. 2) get commitment from race promotors. 3) determine expenses, resources, schedule, create budget with buffer. 4) keep communication up and collect data/info all season long. 5) ask for money from sponsors. 6) present a south eastern regional CX series / championship in the 2014 season ( non-uci but USAC, HEY! dont get all worked up)

some how i am in multiple steps all at one time. somehow after every one warned me that this would be a headache i am still trucking along. i do it for the love, for the need to feel involved, for the south east’s development.

the hard part? a title.

southeast first: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5S7RJWC8MM

Race Promoters, Mechanics, Officials. Racers, be thankful for them.

After cutting my race season short this past year, I did not participate in nationals or worlds as I had the year before for my age group race BUT I was at Nationals and Worlds participating in a different capacity. I went to Nationals in Wisconsin to work in the pits for a local collegiate team and also a woman racing in the elite national title race. I was at the Master’s Worlds races to work the pit for three of the age category races… two of which earned medals. Any one paying attention could tell you that these were two of the worst conditions events of the year! Ice, mud, muddy ice and the master’s events at worlds were with out functioning power washers.

 Cyclocross, especially in the most competitive level is incredibly dependent on mechanics. Not to detract from the efforts of the athletes but elite races have been won by the best-cleaned bikes at times. Those not lucky (or rich) enough to have a pit mechanic in their entourage owe the neutral race mechanics a waffle between races and a beer when they are packing up. We all owe the neutral mechanics some gratitude at bare minimum weather we use their services or not because they are there in the cold and getting dirty for the love.

 Understandably your local grassroots race series may not be able to provide a neutral race service crew but the course no doubt has a pit and perhaps the grounds crew lets you use the park’s water spigot just so you don’t have to put a muddy bike on the roof of your car. Make sure the race promoters are aware of how appreciative you as a racer are that they have provided you with these amenities. A little gratitude goes a long way in to preserving the resources the race crew contributes.

 As racers we often take for granted all that goes into presenting a race to the public. For those racing you show up, get a number pinned on race, go visit the beer garden, heckle whatever race is next and go home happy. It is excellent that the cyclocross race atmosphere is generally happy, family friendly and a party. We have avoided the “US V.S. THEM” atmosphere that many other cycling events have come to know. It is my goal to preserve the enjoyable atmosphere that keeps promoters active within the discipline of cyclocross. Race promoters are barely scraping by, any extra money after an event probably goes to their club or other beneficiary so your enjoyment and feedback is what keeps them interested in keeping these races alive.

I am running for the At-large seat on USA Cycling’s Cyclocross committee this year. I would be honored to serve my fellow cyclists on this committee. The election will be held starting July 15th and voting will close on August 16th. You may vote via your account on http://www.usacycling.org or by mail with a requested ballot.

Change starts from within.

Last December I went to the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to attend USA Cycling’s Bill Woodul Race Mechanic Clinic. This clinic is attended by and hosted by some of the cycling industry’s best as well as people looking to get into a tech job in the bike industry or with a race team. The USA Cycling and USOTC personnel are incredibly hospitable and helpful.

 

Not only did I leave the clinic with my USAC Race Mechanic license and my USAC Race Official license, I left with a much warmer feeling for USAC than I had before based on previous interactions and altercations. Getting to know some of the folks that make things happen and knowing just how things happen at USAC gave me a greater respect for the processes that create policy with in the organization. That being said I am sure we can all agree that some odd decisions get made along the way enforcing some inconsequential rules as well as some resources and benefits getting misallocated as a result.

 

I feel that if I am elected for the At-Large seat on the USA Cycling Cyclocross committee I can help keep policies ecumenical between all license holders, race permit applicants, officials, sponsors and spectators alike with in the cyclocross community.  Sometimes policies get set into place with out a fully explained reason keeping those affected confused and upset. My aim is for transparency, reason, and good faith for all involved weather applying new policies or amending existing ones.

 

 I am running for the At-large seat on USA Cycling’s Cyclocross committee this year. I would be honored to serve my fellow cyclists on this committee. The election will be held starting July 15th and voting will close on August 16th. You may vote via your account on http://www.usacycling.org or by mail with a requested ballot.

a Vote for Drew is a Vote for YOU!

As cycling fans we have a much stronger attachment to our fan fare than typical “ball” sports fans because, well most of us are actually cyclists! I know plenty of people where Golf, Football, Hockey, etcetera are a part of who they are but I do not know of many other sports fans that are truly defined by their interest like cyclists are. I believe this is why we take it harder when doping hits the headlines or when one of our own is involved in an accident.

This bond with our fan fare is deeper than the bond an arm chair quarterback has with his home team. We see heroic moves in the mountain stages, elbows bumping in the bunch sprint, or that missed line in the sand at Koksijde. Even though we’re not those guys we though do know that feeling of pushing our own personal limits and we share that relationship. As fans we also create our own community, our own jokes, our own brands and our own sense of accomplishments. To the outside world none of this is worth anything! No one gets it. No one out of our cycling world even sees this stuff, but it is all culturally relevant in the long run.

Being cycling fans we tend to enjoy a bit of every discipline, but just as Mark Cavendish Sprints, Steve Peat descends, Jerimiah Bishop has endurance or Sven Nys doesn’t slip in the mud… Even though we are all cyclists by identity we still specialize and excel in one arena. My cycling identity is Cyclocross.

With my Identity wrapped up in cyclocross it has a lot of gravity in my life. It has weight on my social life, it has weight in my professional life. It has weight in my life as a consumer and it affects the value I have to my fellow humans.

I am running for the At-large seat on USA Cycling’s Cyclocross committee this year. I would be honored to serve my fellow cyclists on this committee. The election will be held starting July 15th and voting will close on August 16th. You may vote via your account on http://www.usacycling.org  or by mail with a requested ballot.

Thank you,

~Drew

 

Five of Ten good things.

Back on track here with my “Ten good things” posts.

Number Five here is Collegiate racing. I’ve already covered Jr’s but think, Jr’s have to have a place to go as espiors. Here in the south east we’ve got a lot of good collegiate programs. Pro level staff for some of these teams really takes the kids to the next level, and hell some of them ARE already at the next level and racing on UCI trade teams.

So, we lost the USGP and what i think it means.

Interrupting my Ten good things posts to be a little negative, but a lot realistic. 

So the USGP has been taken off of the slate for this year, and our country is at an all time high with Cyclocross participation so i cannot even begin to address HOW the fuck this happens. I have been thinking hard about what this all means though.

My first concern is the trickle down of lost sponsorship. I would have to believe that the dudes regularly in the top ten on the USGP circuit have sponsors that care about the cohesion of this series. Sure these races will still go on and will probably keep their UCI sanctioning however with out being able to tout having racers ranking “X” on the USGP circuit than perhaps they will be less interested in investing into this sport.

My next concern is with the UCI taking US cyclocross seriously. We just hosted WORLDS! and it was awesome, i hope you were there and at the #FOAMPARTY. We’re staring down potentially hosting a World Cup event in the 2014 season… BUT we cant keep the country’s biggest UCI series alive. Yes, luckily we do have other UCI series’ in the states but they are all regional.

That last sentence brings me to another concern. Who is to say that this happening wont scare other regions from coordinating their own series such as this hypothetical one i posted about before: http://itssadbutdrew.tumblr.com/post/40931597518/secx  

I am sure pretzel logic will lead me to other concerns, but i will end this post by saying this: Support the companies that put money into the sport folks. These sponsors risk a lot of money and usually loose it, and i will tell you as a person that works in the bike industry that most companies see sponsorship as a necessary evil. These companies do it for the love, and have their pick of how the evil is distributed because it’s lost once it is spent any way you look at it.

Four of Ten good things.

NAHBS. The North American Handmade Bike Show has been a february staple since 2005. this show comes at the beginning of the year and gets many of us inspired to ride more, to seek creation and just to realize that cycling is BIGGER than just racing. Sure, i’d be willing to bet a lot of frame builders are dopers… but of the sticky green kind.

These shows often polarize cyclists by carving out niche after sub niche however in a way that shares a common thread. Every year you’ll no doubt see a common trend, first it was track bikes, then dutch city bikes, cargo bikes, cyclocrossers and now fat bikes are the “in” custom. There always seems to be some zeit geist to whats going on in these guy’s shops.

cha!

Three of Ten good things.

In the third post in this series i am giving a shout out to good ol’ Merican’ Criterium racing. WOOO. 

in a sport shrouded by European traditions and history we find the bulk of road racing in the US are crits. This is good for many reasons, one being that even though road cycling’s roots are in Europe, it doesnt have to be the same sport really here in the USA. We’ve got our fair share of road races too but from march through september the NCC calendar is where our pros go to make  monies. 

Criteriums turn down town areas in to festivals around these dash for cash races and are very dynamic yet easy for spectators to follow. from now until october there is not a weekend with out a criterium on it on USA Cycling’s schedule and that is very good for the development of cycling as a popular sport in the US.

Two of Ten good things

this post is about the current state of juniors racing. the next crop of american racers are competing at a level never before seen. we have “kids” like Curtis White and Logan owen as podium regulars in Belgium at cyclocross world cups for crying out loud. We have american kids winning Kermesse races.

on the grass roots level you have just really great famillies who support their children racing (i am looking at you Eastern TN)