21, December 2009

Greetings -

As the shortest day of the year nears an end,I'm here to write some more about the last few weeks of 2009
as it relates to the Richard Sachs Cyclocross Team atmo. The National Championships have come and gone.

Dan, Pookums, Josh, Will, and myself are all four pounds heavier than a week ago, and all of the team bicycles

made the getaway safely without so much as a fracas or even any verbal humiliation. What a difference a year
makes, huh. For us, the natz were another great weekend of racing and making memories. I remember most of
it too. Actually, my recall seems to end at 9PM on the eve of our departure. That's the approximate time the team
dinner ended and we all skirted over to the post race party atmo. So many drinks, so little time. I'm so glad (fortunate)
that no film was present. Thankfully, film really is dead.

Before I paste in texts from Pookums and Dan, I'm excited to mention two recent articles about the RS 'Cross Team.
For starters, pal Patrick Brady did an interview with me about all things team and 'cross for his great site, Red Kite
Prayer. For a direct link to that chat, click here -------> GO BABY . I'm also very happy to inform that James Huang
did a very nice review of Dan's team issue bicycle while we were in Oregon. It appeared last night on CyclingNews.
The link for this story is here -------> OH YES, OH YES, YES . And while there, don't forget the thumbnails that show
the well used bicycle. You know the drill -------> UH HUH OHMYGAWD . Now, have a cigarette.

After the last race of 2009, I asked the riders to write something - anything - that would reflect upon their experiences
these past 5-6 months. Today, I'll present the replies from Matt and from Dan.

Pookums writes -

The cross season is a funny double edge sword, both enjoyable and taxing while it flies by - memory making and
mentally fatiguing. Something so fun that takes away is kinda paradoxical and intoxicating...intoxical? I know having
this reaction stems from a commitment, level of involvement and desire to show quality. If I left the season feeling
totally fresh I would worry about how I really engaged to the process. This season I raced Elite Masters instead of
the Elites. While a creature of habit, I was pleasantly surprised to find this season to be full of flavor and I continued
to learn how to better practice this craft. I found the Masters tactics really interesting, as well as the joy of being able
to race among experienced riders a positive experience, doubly positive getting to spend more weekends with my clown
college team mates. There were so many new things about this season; it feels fitting to share some:

> 09 was a season of firsts...

> first time not racing the last race of the year (elite natz)
> first time watching the elite men take off in their race each weekend
> first time racing Elite Masters
> first time not giving a shit about a UCI point (ahh)
> first time winning a cx race since 2002 (B's)
> first time pitting for an elite rider
> first time rocking SRAM Force
> first time playing the tactics for podiums each week (too dumb/strong as a B to know better)
> first time since 07 that I have been able to throw punches at the front of a race
> first time using Cole Wheels
> first time being on an all boys RS club
> first time being on a podium more than I can count
> first time being the veteran rider on RScx
> first time not getting top 8 in a Masters natz race since 05
> first time being rather quickly okay with that, sort of
> first time being effected by altitude at natz
> first time having my wife out at natz
> first time being married
> first time saying to myself (since 02), holy shit how fun rather than holy shit how hard
> first time on Northwave shoes
> first time since 05 not racing 24+ cx races a year
> first time TLD has become ABD in the pit
> first time the season has felt short
> first time doing a tweet (it's still dumb atmo)

> 09 was also a season of not so firsts...

> not the first time I've felt part of a RS gypsy racer family
> not the first time I've had my best result of the year at HPCX
> not the first time I've felt extremely dialed into my bike
> not the first time I've timed my fitness to natz
> not the first time I've have been humbled and thankful for our sponsors
> not the first time I've gone all season w/o a mechanical (yes component suppliers)
> not the first time I've laughed my ass off
> not the first time I've used Challenge tires
> not the first time I'll be thankful to leave NJ behind
> not the first time i'm bewildered how a promoter of a UCI race plans one hose in the pit
> not the first time I've enjoyed every weekend all season
> not the first time I'm ready for off-season
> not the first time I'll miss my team mates
> not the first time I'll miss my cross bikes
> not the first time I cant wait for next season
> not the first time the seasons memories bring a smile to my face

peace from pleasantville

And from Dan we have -

Seems like not too long ago I was writing the pre-season letter. What a success. To follow on the Matt Kraus
format let's reflect on the season. We...

> won 6 UCI races
> won what seems like at least as many masters races
> stood on a UCI podium 13 times
> won the VERGE series
> won second in the VERGE series
> represented on two steps of a UCI podium at least 3 times
> top ten at nationals
> top twenty at nationals
> flatted about 15 tires
> flatted 5 in one day
> flatted 4 by one person in one day
> rolled one tire
> glued alot of tires
> had hypothermia at least once
> drove who knows many miles
> covered in mud at least 50% of the time
> destroyed at least 3 hotel showers
> destroyed a few washing machines
> shaved 0 times
> grew 1 sweet beard

What else? That's not all that happened but I'll quit there. Maybe Josh or Will can pick up where I left off. However,
this all is only possible because of the support of many. So I'll take the rest of this space to send a thank you to all
that make it happen.

> Of course the boss man Richard Sachs for organizing it all. If it wasn't for him none of this would be
> The Lovely Deb for all the help out on the road
> RGM Watches especially Joel Ankeny for working the pits at Mercer and the continued words of encouragement
> Rex Chiu
> Radix
> Rajanaka Yoga
> House Industries especially Ben for letting us crash at his place and Rich for hanging with us during the Grenogue race
> The Fat Men who aren't actually fat, or even all men....for cheering us on in NJ
> Oval Concepts
> Cane Creek
> Cole wheels for sweet hoops and putting up with drama
> Wippermann for connecting our pedals to our wheels
> Rudy Project for keeping the mud out of my eyes and for protecting my head when I smashed it into the ground
> Crank Brothers for connecting our shoes to our cranks
> Bailey Works for the sweet ATMO bags
> VERGE for the kits and for sponsoring our New England series
> Joe Bell paint for making our bikes red
> Svelte Cycles
> Clement for tires at some point in the future
> John McKone at Northwave shoes for nice kicks
> SRAM for letting the Force be with us
> Chain-L for making the best chain lube ever
> Amy for the sweet wheel upgrade at natz
> Will Dugan for being a great team mate
> Matt Kraus for being a great team mate
> Josh Dillon for being a great team mate again
> Sam for letting me fill every weekend of our fall
> Tali for letting Matt fill every weekend in your fall
> Deb, again, for letting Richie fill every weekend in your fall

The racing may be over but the season never ends atmo. More news to come in a few days. Many thanks for reading.


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