Thursday, May 15, 2008

long story short(ish)

just a quick rundown of how i ended up where i am today with my riding...i've been riding bike since fall 2002. i was on vacation in colorado and rented a tassajara, rode down the mountain twice and was hooked. within a week of returning i bought my first mountain bike, a specialized hardrock comp for a little over $300. three months later i had outgrown my first "real" bike and bought a giant nrs...cause you HAVE to have full suspension, right??? that bike lasted maybe a year until surly came out with their limited run of pink 1x1's. since that day i haven't owned a derailleur (okay, i have one somewhere in a box in my garage) or a suspension fork (okay, except on my steelhead cause 6 foot drops to flat rigid just isn't for me). i've been riding and racing cross country stuff around the upper midwest ever since. last fall a good friend/co-worker/#1 training partner (scotty) inquired about a company we'd heard a little about and wanted to sell off his karate monkey to get a vassago jabberwocky. i made a call to vassago and hit it off with them right away. every issue we had with 29er single speeds on the market seemed to be answered satisfactorily by these guys. after almost a half hour on the phone we became a dealer and i had convinced myself i knew what i was getting for my first 29er. going with vassago has turned out to be a great decision both for me personally and from a business aspect for the shop as well. around the same time i ordered my jabber i had started hitting the depths of a pre-mid-life crisis. yes, i have gotten plenty of crap for this because i'm so young. i was turning 30 in february and everyone told me i was too young to be struggling with my age. whatever. it was what it was and i wasn't doing well. i realized i needed to do something proactive to handle the situation. so...i bought my first cross bike, a specialized singlecross, flipped the rear wheel and started riding fixed on gravel roads. within weeks i had fallen in love with riding gravels, riding fixed, riding far, and i had developed a plan...i was going to turn 30 in february and take on transiowa at the end of april. with this as a plan i would effectively guarantee myself of being in the best shape of my life by the time i hit my birthday. things leading up to transiowa went very well, as well as i could have hoped, and somewhere along the line i caught a break i couldn't have imagined. late last fall i was talking with kris from vassago about some different things and he started talking with me about a cross bike. we discussed what was on the market, what was missing in the market, what they were kind of was cool to have him actually asking questions and obviously listening to the answers. not that i or the shop told him what to do, but we're the ones riding and selling this stuff and he seemed genuinely interested in our thoughts. after talking with him for a while about this i began to think about my transiowa machine...aluminum frame/carbon fork. that to full steel. hmmm...follow up phone call to kris. basically i just called to ask what were the odds it would be ready for transiowa because i would be the first in line to buy one. after some discussion he offered to consider me a supported rider and hook me up with a near-final prototype frame and i got to pick the paint job. are you f-ing kidding me?!?!?! me?!?!?! it cool...yeah, sure, i guess that'd be okay. we are...3000+ miles of fixed gravel riding since i built my first cross bike, currently considered a supported rider by an awesome company and a few races into a fairly successful season so far. i'm in the best shape of my life and looking toward a mix of cross country and endurance racing this season with an eye toward mostly endurance events in the coming years.

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