Saturday, November 11, 2006

"I'll trade you a yummy organic pear for a kiss." "Deal"

Let’s start with life-
I have never been busier in my entire life. This is my week: 18 hours on the bike, 15+ hours in the office, 13 hours in the class room,? Hours sitting at my desk doing homework. I guess I do not mind it, builds character and keeps me honest. Plus, you run into more girls when you run around all the time. They get a question mark too when calculating the amount of time spent on them. Damn girls.

The bike-
This year 'cross Is kind of taking a back seat in light of my contract for next year. I hate to admit it but I am a bit freaked out by the level of racing I will be expected to race against next year. Good thing for me and my fitness, when I freak out I tend to train hard and race fast.

'Cross is still a blast and I love it as much as ever. Last weekend we had the GPs come to town in a big way. The spectators were great (special thanks to my personal fan club. I love the sign as much as you apparently love my hair.) And the courses were top notch. HUGE THANKS to Rus Kappius, Chris Grealish, the GP crew, all the volunteers, and everyone else who helped make those races such special and well run events. I am already loosing sleep in anticipation of the next time 'cross hits Colorado hard again (at least I think that is why I am loosing sleep). I personally, was pretty happy with my own performance (9th and 7th in the u23s) and feel that I can improve in the next round.

The environment-
I am behind the ball with my volunteering and information gathering. If it helps I no loner own a car and my bike and the bus are my two best friends. Lame, I know. I will get my eggs in some sort of a basket one of these days.

This last week-
Three mid-terms and a nasty concussion made for one hell of a crappy combination. Praise science for Giro helmets and ice.

Random #1-
My roommate, although very cool and easy to get along with, has a new, quite despicable "sport." I won't go into detail (I will inform you that there are three pages of rules) but basically who ever can poop the fastest wins ice cream.

Random #2-
I just acquired a 36 pack of Mountain Dew. I hate Mountain Dew.

Random #3-
There is a Facebook group (social networking organization for college students) dedicated to organic apples. I am a member. Man I love those little hunks of organic goodness.

Random #4-
Apparently I have a girl friend. Oh boy, another rock on my back. At least this one is sweet.

Peace, love, and pudding,

Squawker Cross

Just got back from the Colorado State Championships hosted by Fort Lewis Cycling. The race went well you never know how it will all come together. Over the last week and half we have had to change to course outline 3 times due to the regional soccer game that was taking place today on campus. Yesterday I helped set up the course for about two hours. We had a group of 20 so it came together pretty fast. This was the 1st real cross race we have had in d-town. We have training race every weekend in the fall but this was the real deal. After setting up the course I got roped into picking up towle @ the airport. Today the race went well I think we had around 150 competitors. In the elite men we had 25 on the start. The most exciting part of the race was the beer tent. I think every cross race should have a beer tent just b/c it get the crowd into it. The crowd makes the race it doesn't matter how excellent the course is without a good crowd the race just isn't the same. I had my 1st hole shot of the year today. I was on the front for the 1st 3 laps just trying to keep the pace high. Coming through the start/finish to begin lap for there where about 4 attacks coming from Todd, Shriver, Joey T, and I. Todd and Shriver ended up getting off and left me chasing with a small gap over Joey. Later on in the race todd broke his chain guard and that left me in 2nd chasing shriver until i proceeded two lay it down twice on the following lap. Joey caught back onto me after my fall and we rode together until Todd came through and I did all i could to hang on. Going into the last lap I took one pull to try to help todd catch shriver but it was to late shriver took the win with todd 10 sec back and I was maybe 5 sec off shriver. After the race I helped with course take down and headed home it is sure nice when u just have to ride down a hill to get home instead of driving 5 hours or having to get on a plane the following morning. Pics coming soon....


Eating organic and bike racing

The last few weeks for me have been all about school, training/racing, and trying to consume all the organic fruit and veggies me and my family have been getting. Last weekend, the USGP races brought out the best competition for all categories including the SM 3 for me. On Saturday it was a packed start with probably the most people I have raced in a 'cross race before. Thanks to Brady, I had a front row start and ended up in a solid position until I had a minor crash on the 2nd lap. It took about a lap to get my rhythm back, but I still ended up with a decent 6th place. That night I drove 1hr south to my school to attend our cross country team's end of the season banquet.

Sunday morning it was back to bike racing up in Boulder. The SM3 field was huge, and again with the help of Brady, I got a fair 3rd row start. In the chaos of the starting sprint, I lost my pedal and almost crashed. I was able to recover, but I lost my spot and had to struggle most of the race to work my way up. I still managed to secure 13th (I think) place though. If you saw the little 9news coverage of the race, you might have seen me for about 1 second. Yah thats right, I made the news!

Also I must add that all the Door to Door Organics supplied fruits and veggies have been great, and I have also been doing a little cooking myself! I made some pretty awesome sweet potatoes with the help of a little brown sugar, marshmallows, and nuts. At the USGP races I handed out their flyers and spread "the good news" about organic food. Hopefully that will have an impact, being that it is Boulder after all!

Thanks for tuning in,

Stu "Zero Waste" Gillespie

Have you ever dreamed about trash? Probably not. That is party of the beauty of our society. Trash is invisible. It commands neither our attention nor our dreams. That is, until you get hooked on the concept of Zero Waste.

As a professional cyclist, I have always been surprised by the amount of trash generated at cycling races. Usually though, I am on the road and fully focused on racing. And so, I don’t normally have the time for trash talk. However, this past weekend, by helping Team TIAA-CREF/Clif Bar turn two big Boulder cycling races into Zero Waste events, I became fully immersed in trash, to the point where I dreamed about it.

As its name implies, Zero Waste strives to minimize the waste produced at an event. Ideally, through composting and recycling, over 95% of the trash generated at an event can be diverted from the landfill. Achieving this level of success requires planning, dumpster diving, and, most importantly, education.

For the two races, I tried to identify all of the trash generators. For example, I contacted the food vendors to make sure they would not be handing out Styrofoam cups or plastic forks. Instead, I asked all of the vendors to bring compostable dishware. For example, vendors can buy corn-based forks that can be composted. They can also bring paper plates rather than Styrofoam plates. And so, just a few phone calls cut down significantly on the trash generated. That was the easy part.

After setting up all of the Zero Waste Stations on event day, I thought my labor would be over for the day. However, I quickly realized that people were having difficulty putting their trash in the right bin (each Zero Waste Station clearly shows which bin to put your trash in). I think this is because people aren’t yet used to composting and recycling. And so, they get confused, which meant that then I needed to start dumpster diving to sort out the trash.

Maybe I am a trash man at heart. For some reason, it felt good to be correctly recycling and composting everyone’s trash. I particularly enjoyed making sure all of the corn stalks made it into the composting bin. To my surprise, my teammates were just as enthusiastic about trash. During the day, team members who weren’t racing checked on all the stations to make sure the respective compost and recycle containers were not being contaminated with incorrect materials. At the end of both events, Ben Turner, Bryan Smith, and myself would sort through the trash like kids at a candy store. People probably thought we were crazy!

But, the need for us to dumpster dive meant that we were doing a poor job of educating the spectators and our fellow racers. This is the hardest part of Zero Waste: education. More than anything, dealing with your trash is an ethic. First, it requires awareness. Once you start thinking about your trash, you will automatically cut down on it. Then, Zero Waste requires the additional effort of recycling/composting. I agree that it is easier to just throw everything into one trashcan. But, then, you don’t have the joy of choosing where your trash goes. With Zero Waste, you can choose where your trash goes and you can cut down on your footprint. By diverting 75% of the trash over the weekend, we helped conserve a considerable amount of resources. In fact, once all the trash had been counted up, we helped save 700 gallons of water, 930 kilowatt hours of energy, 7 pounds of air pollutants, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, and 2 trees. That is the magic of Zero Waste. It makes something out of trash!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Recycle Santa Fe represents

At home this week, between USGP weekends, the Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival is going on. Not only is the entire theme of the festival recycling and reusing the materials in the artwork, but they're also aiming for a Zero Waste event.

"All of the vendors create arts and crafts from at least 75% recycled/reused materials. Collages, picture frames, clocks, furniture, rugs and jewelry are just some of the items that are available"

Nice! Sounds like some of the belts we saw up in CO at the USGP weekend.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Towle off the mic, and on the blog

Well, not our blog, but the CLIF BAR Blog. Check it out!

Dave talks about CLIF BAR and the team's sustainability efforts at the Colorado USGP races.

Tejay's CO USGP Report

I had finally started feeling good again on my cross bike. I was turning out some top tens in local races, as well as a 13th place in a UCI race in Boulder last weekend. I was super-stoked to show my new found fitness in front of a home town crowd at the Boulder Grand Prix of cyclo-cross. Despite my poor starting position in the race, I was confident I could get my engine turning and pick off a number of riders, typical of my racing style. As soon as the gun fired I started picking my way through the field; however my season debut of racing the USGP was short lived. Going into the first corner there was a massive pileup, and I was caught in the mayhem. The crash sent me toppling over the handlebars and left me with a fracture on the tip of my radius.

Luckily it’s not too severe; I should be 100% in about three weeks. My hope is that I will be back in time for nationals in Providence. My doctors were able to hook me up with a bitchin’ pink cast that is molded to the shape of my handlebars, so I will still be able to train on my road bike.

Although I was benched from racing this weekend, I was still glad to have been there. I was able to see my junior teammate, Toast (Daniel Summerhill), clean up in both races. On Sundays race I saw him completely break the style of racing he is usually known for, which is stay tucked in and wait for the sprint. Instead he came out guns blazing, and completely annihilated the field. He put a good minute into Alex Coehlo, and anyone who knows Alex knows that’s not an easy task.

Aside from racing I had a great time meeting the sponsors, hanging out in the pit, and helping contribute to the zero waste effort. I really hope the USGP comes back to Boulder again next year, and I will try to keep the rubber side down.

TEAM CLIF BAR is working to fight climate change