November 29, 2009

Noobee but not new

Whaz happening Team 53x11 people?! I'm also new member of the group, joining yesterday (Tucson, AZ.). Being a diehard addicted morning drinker, coffee I mean, I'm not new to 53x11. I pushed the buttons to join on with the Team, hoping to kick start my biking attitude back into gear. I am looking forward to being associated with the group, and to hearing back from all of you.

November 28, 2009


I'm a new member of the team having joined just this morning. I mentioned to Evan that I had seen the 53x11 kit at races and thought it looked pretty sharp, putting it in the back of my mind as a future purchase. I was surfing the web aimlessly when I ran across a link to 53x11 coffee. Checked it out, contacted Evan and was signed up in short order. Great to be associated with such a good group of like-minded people who value corporate and individual responsibility, qualities seemingly in short supply these days. Even better to be associated with fit men and women who like to tear ass around the countryside on bikes. That's a concept I can get behind.

A little bit about me, I am starting my 21st year as a triathlete having switched my emphasis to longer stuff over the last couple of years. I just finished my 5th and 6th Ironman distance races this year. I have already registered for 3 for 2010; Idaho, Wisconsin and a non-sanctioned fantastic race, the Great Floridian (hilly if you can imagine). My training partner Katie and I, she being 46, me entering my 55th year this January, emphasize swimming and biking over running since both sports are considerably less stressful on the body. This year to date, we have over 4k miles biking, 800 running and somewhere over 300k yards swimming.

I love cycling above all else. I am a bit of a Ludite when it comes to new technology – I will embrace the newest and coolest bike gear – give me carbon fiber any day, but trend away from GPS and power monitors. I know I would be a much better athlete if I went that route, but part of my love of human powered sport is getting away from the plugged-in world. This is especially important to me because I am an IT geek and have my fill of technology every day at work and evenings and weekends.....give me fresh air and an open road to make me happy. I live in Northern Illinois, 25 miles south of the Wisconsin border and was able to see hundreds of sandhill cranes flying south for the winter yesterday. I might have missed them had my nose been buried in power meter readouts as I rode along. Normative power or sandhill cranes – the answer is simple for me. But hey, this is a big tent and lots of room to fly your freak flag whatever it may be.

Glad to be here.

-Pete M

November 26, 2009

It's about the bike.

The older I get, the more I can appreciate what cycling has done for me. The friendships, great times, good times and a fair balance of adversaries. Cycling teaches us sometimes life isn't always fair or easy. But at the end of the day I feel there isn't better time spent than being in the saddle. Alot of us are still riding as much as we did when we were twice as young, and now enjoy riding twice as much. I'm stronger now than I was at twenty. Isn't it awesome we can have this kind of health for so long. Cycling has brought me to this place, I have clear thoughts, clear objectives, the love and admiration of my wife and the greatest fitness. It is about the bike, if you are reading this you know the secret but sometimes I just want to tell more people. The chubby neighbor, the secretary that's always a little crabby.....get a bike, breathe the air, feel your heart asking to go faster.
Happy Thanksgiving.

November 23, 2009

Michael Morris Illustration

I just love the new illustration on the team's home page. I hope it will be available for purchase.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Ty (aka Saddledancer)

November 14, 2009

Celebrating 30 Years

This Christmas celebrates my 30th year of riding. I was a senior in High School in California, and my sister bought me a used Nishiki from the lost and found from the beach club in Malibu where she worked.
I was a band geek and rather non-athletic, though I had played little league baseball for 6 years.
The bike was blue, had two sets of brake levers, shifters on the handlebar stem (or gooseneck) and platform pedals.
I lived in a canyon that had lots of hills. The general region was yet undeveloped and rural, with lots of cow and horse ranches. We even had coyotes and mountain lions.
I did short rides and talked two buddies into a day long ride which went bad when one of them crashed hard after touching wheels. Good thing it happened in front of a fire station. My two friends were turned off from riding but I kept at it, going on excursion rides as often as I could.
By the time I headed off to college in Illinois in the fall of 1980 I felt like a rider. I now had only one set of brake levers, toe clips with straps, and had moved the shifters to the down tube.
I soon became friends with 3 other riders, one of which was my age and was from Escondido, just a few hours south of my home. I remember my first pace line and long ride, a 60 miler through the Illinois countryside. I died in my pulls and finally collapsed on the side of the road, having to be talked in on the ride back to school. There was a dance later that night but I was dead to the world in my dorm room. I had also turned my head only one way to look for traffic and my neck was so STIFF.
I spent two years in Illinois, and my rides included that epic, plus a ride through a controlled burn, a flat that resulted in me walking miles back to school to be finally picked up by a teacher out looking for his wife who was running, being hit by some kids in a car, and my first crash the day before spring break, on a sharp right hand turn on a wet road, that left me with a rasberry on my right hip that bothered me all during a week of skiing in Tahoe. My first and only attempt at skiing. I also did my first race in St. Louis in February, 1981, a crit that was for the public. It was soooooo cold but I finished. Not last but definitely not first as it took me a long time to strap in. My friend won the race. We had lots of inspiration from watching Breaking Away the night before.
I transferred to UCLA in 1982 and kept up my riding, even entering a few crits as a cat 4. I did not like the elbow to elbow action so left my riding to day long adventures. The Nishiki was stolen from my parents garage (my mom thought she had closed the garage door) in the summer of 1982 and I ended up getting a 1972 Condor with Campy Record 5 speed. My first "real" bike and the start of my love affair with Campagnolo.
I took up running in 1983 and soon began triathlons. I competed in triathlons from 1983 thru 1986, but did do a 1/2 Ironman in Maryland in 2002. I lost my desire to bike race (due to the bad experience with crits), thought I kept putting in lots of saddle time, and began focusing on running marathons. I completed 52 marathons (PR of 3:01:22 in Sacrament in 1991) and two ultras (50k and 37.5 miler) between 1986 and 2004.
I moved to Washington state in 2003 and rediscovered bike racing in 2004. My running form disappeared about that time and I have been nothing but a roadie since.
However, I have started running some again and have hopes of doing the Marine Corps Marathon in 2010 which falls on my 48th b-day.
Anyway, to recap. In the last 30 years I lave ridden thousands of miles, have had a few incidents of road rage, have been very fortunate with my accidents (nothing broken despite being knocked unconscious in one race in 2007), have had over 35 bikes (now down to 5), have ridden broken hearted and light hearted, have composed sonnets, songs, poems and love letters, have ridden with friends and by myself, have had truly epic rides, have ridden in California, Oregon, Washington, Canada, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., have ridden in sub zero temps, near hurricane conditions, snow hail, pouring rain and 113 degree heat. I have ridden in the lowest point in the U.S. (Badwater in Death Valley) and up the highest paved road in the Continental U.S. (Mt Evans in Colorado). I wouldn't have missed a single moment for the world. I hope to have at least another 30 years in me.
The bicycle is the greatest invention on this planet.
Long live the bike!!!!!
Ty (aka Saddledancer)

November 13, 2009

The Off-Season

What is the off-season? Is there really even an off-season anymore? I really don’t believe we as athletes have this so called off-season these days. I look at this time of year as a restorative, and rebuilding time. We run, bike, swim, and play hard all summer long, almost to the point of exhaustion. During this high activity time, we really don’t take the time to rebuild and repair and we start to breakdown a little here and there. Most of us are working hard, running errand, kids, basically burning the candles at both ends. Now is the time to slow down and fix whatever got broken or out of whack from this past season.

For me personally, I need to back off on the sports I was concentrating on so much and stretch, more specifically, yoga. I believe yoga can restore any of those nagging tight muscle, tendons or improper biomechanics that tend to pile up when not taking care of ourselves like we should. Think about the sports you do. If it’s cycling, think about the muscle movement, the repetitive muscle movement that happens every day. The tightness that occurs in your hip flexors and soaz, your piriformis (glute area) and rotated shoulders. These things really add up to bad posture and limited performance after awhile. When these areas are overly tight, they aren’t mobile like they once were, or like they should be.

The next three to four months are a perfect time to focus on restoring. My suggestion is to find a local yoga class to take part in. Do a drop in class and find out if you think it could be beneficial. There are different types of yoga. I personally like the Vinyasa style yoga. The instructors aren’t forceful. The classes I’ve taken part in, are balanced in the way they address stretching with core strengthening. I really feel like I’m more of a well- rounded athlete when I’m doing yoga. I like evening classes as they also help me unwind from a long days work. This is my advice to my fellow team53x11Coffee riders.

November 12, 2009

Why 53x11 coffee Bob T.

Awhile back I said I was going to share my thoughts on why I joined 53x11 coffee team, well its getting to be the chilly time of year in my neck of the woods and things are finally slowing down for me a bit. Honestly I did get off track a little this past year, I wasn't aware but when you buy a new house it comes with a black hole that sucks in all things, including time. And I found myself spending more time with wifey instead of my bikey. And sometimes she would say "you should go for a ride" so either she loves me very much or I'm bugging her...I can never tell, can anyone?
I just moved (this was the house previous to this one) two hours away from my old team, The Dutch Wheelman from Bloomsburg Pa. Really had some awesome fun times but I started to feel a little distant and not a part of things. So off I went on my own kinda, I found that the people you beat in a race (and they feel you shouldn't have) will probably not want to be too friendly, and the people I beat, well human nature is what it honestly unless you have spent some time in an area, just going and racing (for me anyway) just didn't do it as far as what I would call the feeling of comradery. And I could warmly be known as the competition , so you could probably guess I may get a bum tire from a local bike shop. That's not a metaphor, this actually happens. But still respected and I willing to share the respect and admiration of others, its no biggee.
I'm a big boy and can stand on my own two feet, so off I went looking for what is known as 53x11 team, Evan was in the early years of 53x11 blog and I too, being older but still young in that I wanted something new. I sent Evan an E-mail and He got back to me almost that day, we sent a few more back and forth. I found Evan to be easy going, accepted every one from cat 5's to Pro's, I think I fit in there somewhere. My wife likes the coffee; me, sometimes I get a sort of bike shop after taste that's really freaky, takes me back. Anyone else? But since then in the years that folowed I have made more friends and now would probably join a local team but now everyone associates me with 53x11 coffee, I'm not a pro with contracts hanging over my head, just a boy and a bike, a great find in coffee and the 53x11 team. I will be at the coffee house Jan 4th, looking forward to a good time.

November 10, 2009

El Tour de Tucson

Hey, Teammates!

I'm headed out west for El Tour de Tucson. I also plan on hitting a few climbs while there. Anyone else gonna be there and interested in a ride or 2?

John Q.

November 5, 2009

Sweet new caps, socks, head gear!

Team riders, we've been waiting for this moment for awhile now. This summer we worked out some cool designs with the folks at Pacesportswear and Defeet. The first items to mention are these cool cotton caps. The underneath of the brim has the same grey scale bean images as our Alter Ego jersey and the logo. So sweet!

Next in line are the helmet liners and skull caps. You'll look like a rebel with these. There are hemet liners and headbands on the site.

Last but not least are the new 5" high wooleators by Defeet. A thinner more comfy version of their woolieboolies. Ride ready and rock steady!