Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Santa Fe! Santa Fe! Santa Fe!

Yay!!! Team Exergy is in Santa Fe! Part of the squad from Sea Otter has met up with part of the squad from the Old Pueblo Grand Prix, and we're all enjoying some fine times down here in my favorite city. [quick note: nice work down there Old Pueblo squad! Read Ben's tales from the road here] I just love Santa Fe: the altitude is high, the chile is hot, and the hospitality is spectacular. Most of us are staying with my long-time friends and mentors, Tove and Jerry Shere. These are the folks who, waaaay back in 1999 got me on my first road bike. I remember it well -- Tove tricked me into racing a triathlon! She lured me over to her house with the promise of pizza and an unnamed surprise. When I arrived I found an old KHS road bike with aerobars on it, waiting for me on a trainer. Jerry adjusted the saddle and handlebars, and I rode it around the block once or twice. The next day, they carted me down to Albuquerque to race the Jay Benson triathlon -- thus beginning this crazy two-wheeled adventure I've been on ever since. They let me use that bike for years, and when I was done using it (in 2003), they passed on the trusty KHS to another deserving youngster. They are very much the reason why I'm a road bike racer, and have been an inspiration, a source of motivation, and also just good friends of mine for as long as I've known them. They've made us feel very much at home. It also doesn't hurt that Jerry has the best-equipped bike shop I've ever seen. Need the grease gun that can service Speedplay pedals? Check. Need every size of Torx wrench? How about in socket form? Check. Need crank bolt spacers to help fit your massive 58-tooth chainring onto your frame without gouging your chainstays? Check.

The other half of our team is staying with another long-time friend, Tony Ferrar. Tony is the owner of New Mexico Bike'n'Sport (by far the best bike shop in town -- and I am not just saying that because I worked there). I worked for him back in 2005, which was also my first real season of bike racing (meaning I raced more than just a handful of collegiate races). I first met Tony at the Ironhorse Classic -- or rather IN the Ironhorse classic. School had just let out for the summer, and I was road-tripping back from Whitman to Santa Fe, hitting up every cat-3 bike race I could find along the way. While we were racing, I spied someone wearing a NM Bike'n'Sport jersey. I caught up to him, and said "hay I love that shop -- I want to work there this summer," to which he said "well Tony the owner is a few wheels back -- go ask him!" I then had my first and only mid-race job interview. "Hey, can I work at your shop this summer?" I asked. "Uh, ask me that after the race," he replied  It didn't hurt that I went on to win the race. I spent the rest of that summer happy as a clam: I was working at a really cool bike shop (next to a really cool coffee shop), racing for NM Bike'n'Sport's team, watching my first Tour de France on TV, and eating a ton of gelato (Santa Fe's first gelato shop opened that summer). Life was grand.

I'd like to give a huge thanks to Tove and Jerry Shere, and to Tony Ferrar, both for the amazing hospitality they've offered to Team Exergy, but also for the years of support -- without it, I wouldn't be on Team Exergy. 

Ok. Before I go to bed, I thought I'd share the baby monkey song. I wasn't prepared for how funny this is: 

Thanks to my teammate Matt Cooke for sharing. 

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