19, August 2009
We closed on the house in Episcoville today and will close up in Franklin County next Tuesday. These are interesting
times indeed. I have lived and worked in NoMaChe (that tiny part of Chester a.k.a. North Main Street) since about 1973.
If I recall correctly, I turned 19 here, or maybe it was 20. The streak ends in less than a week atmo. No baggage. No
regrets. No emotional ties. No rear view mirror. I am (we are...) at that fork in the road that likely should have been taken
before, perhaps years ago. It's a liberating feeling to know that it's here now. A generation ago I could never have imagined
a change like this. With these last few months firmly in the bank, I can't imagine a brighter path than the one that has
opened up for us. No last waltz at-fukcing-all atmo. Massachusetts: The New White Meat. Thanks for listening.
This email/missive is officially back on track. I am writing this evening for one (other) reason and that is to let you read
about the folks who will make up the Richard Sachs Cyclocross Team's Elite squad for this 2009 season. Pal Matt
Pookums Kraus with one S will join me in the age-graded races, and in the Elite category we have what I suspect may
be the strongest and most cohesive group ever assembled in Red (which has actually been Black for what - 4 years now).
As I do each season about this time, I've solicited the comments and bio-ish texts from the riders so those who sponsor,
support, and follow our 5 month long travails (data point: I love using that word travails) can read about each racer written
by the actual person who'll be pushing hard and pedaling fast starting in less than 3 weeks. We have drama for you from
Josh Dillon, Amy Dombroski (no W), Will Dugan, and Dan Timmerman. These are all racers who will be at the front of every
field at any venue. These folks are motivated, 'cross zealots, and I am fortunate to have them assembled representing the
team and all who follow it. Their words follow.
From Josh Dillon -
'Whoa, whoa, whoa wait a second. What is the deal with 'cross? One hour, flat out, on a glorified road bike, through mud,
sand, snow, rocks, roots, dust, and dirt?! OK, where can i sign up?'
That was 3 years ago. Fortunately, I had the coattails of a successful road team (sponsored by some Organic Jam company)
that also ran a small 'cross squad to help me with a frame and some race entry fees to get started. Fast forward to present day
and now I'm on the program baby. Richard Sachs 2009 atmo!! Couldn't be happier to get the invite on a team so steeped in
cyclocross tradition and success.
A little background on my athletic career: I had the great fortune of parents that drove me to thousands of soccer, skiing,
swimming, baseball, golf, and basketball practices, matches, meets, tournaments, and races for my entire childhood. But
mostly soccer and skiing events, which led to decent collegiate careers including NCAA Academic All-American in skiing
and Academic All-Conference in soccer (good thing my grades were OK). But wrapping up college left me without a competitive
outlet...I floundered a little bit and even helped out with my old college teams as an assistant coach, but I wanted to be in the
action. (enter bike racing stage left) A good friend of mine from the ski team told me to meet him at a mtn bike race at
Sugarbush and give it a shot. That was it, I was hooked. The next season we started doing road races too, which went pretty
well and pulled me away from the dirt for a good portion of the summer. I still hit up some local mtb races while meeting my
road commitments but needed more off-road excitement. The move to the aforementioned Jam Team was the perfect solution,
with ample road opportunities in the summer and the all of the 'cross competition in the fall. So this summer is going well with
some great road races, which I've learned on Richard Sachs, is the "pre-season". And I am looking forward to my best 'cross
season yet in a couple of months. Can't wait!!
From Amy Dombroski -
My name is Amy Dombroski. Without a W. When my ancestors came over from Poland, they didn't have enough room in
their suitcases for the W. I enjoy long rides in the mountains, copious quantities of coffee, and chocolate chip cookies.
Sometimes I read stuff, and my favorite book is "The Lorax". I was born and raised in Northern Vermont on a pair of alpine
skis. My high school years were spent at Burke Mountain Academy, a ski school for alpine and nordic racers wishing to
devote themselves to their sport, while also receiving a solid education. Eventually ski racing led me to Colorado where a
second knee injury forced me off of skis and onto my brother's cyclocross bike as rehab. The competition bug was eating
at me while watching my bro and other spandex-clad skinnies riding rapidly on two shiny wheels. After entering my first bike
race in May of 2006, I was hooked. The rest is history.
Well, not quite. In 2007 I hopped on a local team, Excel Sports. That opened the door into the cycling world for me, and with
my final race of the season being Green Mtn Stage Race, I didn't want to stop. I had no choice but to buy a cyclocross bike.
How asinine a sport?! Jumping on and off a moving bike? Running? Going into the purple zone in the first 30-seconds of a
race? Again, I watched in awe as my brother performed these fairy-like mounts and dismounts...this time with tears of frustration
streaming down my face. For whatever reason I kept picking up my little bike again and again after throwing it down again and
again, my wails of frustration becoming less with every huck of the bike. By the end of the week I freakin' loved the sport!
With a successful 2007 under my belt, I was able to get a contract with the women's professional road team, Webcor Builders,
whom I have raced with for the passed two years. While they couldn't support me on the 'cross bike, they have been amazingly
encouraging in my pursuing two cycling disciplines. Velo Bella was my 'cross crew for the passed two seasons, helping me
throughout the US and across the pond for the World Champs in 2008. Last 'cross season was a breakthrough for me and now
that I am too old for the little girlz U23 race, I am going to need to step it up again. I have a tremendous amount of confidence
in the Richard Sachs machine and the mastermind behind it, and am truly honored to be backed by Sachs. The team is legendary
and this year we're creating legends.
From Will Dugan -
There’s more to cycling than pedaling your bike around- it’s about networking, building relationships and smiling the whole
way. Richard has helped me more than I could have possibly imagined and I have wronged him, supporters and sponsors
for being AWOL for too long. It’s August now. I saw a red leaf on the ground just the day before yesterday. Is fall coming
so soon? Indeed.
Even my teammates haven’t heard much (though I see Josh at most races and I got to say hello and a quick congratulations
to Amy out at Cascade); I’m excited to get the season underway. Being busy is no excuse, but at least I can clue people in
to what the season’s been like since the end of college. My college lifestyle continues but the classes are over. I hope that’s
familiar to someone out there. I’ve bounced from Burlington and landed in Lenox, MA- jumped from Lenox to Westerly, RI- and
again from there to Tim and Lyne’s in Beverly, MA all the while traveling to races.
I’ve done all of that skipping and jumping, (it might better be described as dragging and hauling based on the amount of $h!t
a racer brings with them everywhere) since January 31st, the day of Cyclocross World Championships. I came home, took a
week off, and then got sick with Pyomyositis, a rare muscle infection localized to my quads and calves, for 4 weeks. It was
10 days I didn’t walk, 4 days I spent in the hospital, and 6 weeks of really, really slow riding until the weekend of Battenkill.
The pre-season to ‘cross has been great since Jessica the nurse was changing my I.V.’s in February. I’ve had a number of
podium finishes at the regional races including Hills of Somerset, Balloon Festival and second to my teammate and ‘cross
competitor James Driscoll at Collegiate Road Nationals. Early July I had the legs to challenge Fitchburg for the Green Jersey
in the NRC Pro field. I then had some correspondence with Team Type 1 while I went to Cascade in Bend, OR and crashed
out with Taylor Phinney because Floyd ran over my head. I can show you the scar if you don’t see it on every photo taken of
me for the rest of my life. It’s on my forehead. The following week I had mediocre finishes at U23 Nationals (though with a
nickname like dragon, you know I didn’t go down without a good fight!).
The preseason isn’t over for me quite yet. I’ll be a stagiere for Team Type 1 for the Tour of Utah in less than 2 weeks, which I
must say is going to be an extraordinary experience in itself and I’m planning on racing Green Mountain Stage Race in traditional
fashion at the beginning of September. Univest GP will hopefully wrap up the 2009 road season marking the commencement of
my second ‘cross season with Richard this 2009.
From Dan Timmerman -
I'm from New York. No, the other New York. The beautiful and rural state. It's not the cycling mecca of the world, but that's
OK. The riding is top notch. The roads and trails of the finger lakes region still regarded as my favorite anywhere. It has a
decent scene for racing here and there, every now and then. One such time was mountain biking in the '90s, which is where
I got my start on a bike. The '93 Highland Forest Classic. I got lost and did an extra lap, but hey, I was 13 and I had fun.
Mountain biking was my thing from there. I followed my older brother around for years. This inevitably lead to racing the local
cyclocross series. I raced on my MTB, dismounted on the wrong side, and didn't know you could shoulder a bike. I loved it,
but the road races I had started doing were frustrating at the time and lead to a break from competitive cycling for a while.
It didn't last. I accidentally got in shape after I rode from Oregon to Toronto and cyclocross was how I chose to take advantage
of it and get back to racing. Of course, I was still slumped over the handle bars, on the wrong side, pushing my mountain bike
up the "run ups". Later, surprising success on the road earned me a spot on an elite amateur team sponsored by some Organic
Jam company. That was my new thing. After a couple years of persuasion, I convinced them to let me race cross with them. I
dug it. A lot. They got me a real cross bike and I learned how to dismount on the left, even though I'm still, to this day, more
comfortable on the right-hand side. I then found out I could throw the bike up on my shoulder now too. Wow! However, at the
same time, years of progress on the road paid off with a nice poverty level income on some professional road team sponsored
by beer and cameras that folded at the end of the year, which lead to making a bunch of loonies the following year with a Canadian
professional road team sponsored by rich people in Toronto. Fast forward. I race cross now. That's my thing. It's been a long road
to Richard Sachs cross team for me. Three years actually. But it's well worth the wait. This is a prestigious program that I am
honored to be a part of. The process it took only makes it more satisfying to finally be here. I'm looking forward to the best fall ever.
'Cross fuickng rules, and it rules in large part due to folks like Josh, Amy, Will, Dan, and Matt atmo.
Thanks for reading.
Richard Sachs Cycles
No.9, North Main Street
Chester, CT 06412 USA
19, August 2009