Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving dinner and BND

Since my wife and I don't eat turkey, for Thanksgiving dinner we had a couple friends over and prepared some broccoli risotto, among other things. We got the recipe from a cookbook we've had for several years, the White Dog Cafe cookbook.

Back when we lived in central NJ, we enjoyed going to the White Dog Cafe in downtown Philadelphia, just across the river from us. I hadn't thought of the White Dog since we moved out to NM, since Santa Fe has one or two decent restaurants of it's own, but I started to recall the White Dog's commitment to social activism, community building, local farmers and products, and sustainable food in general.

Great food, and it reminded me how thankful I am to be a part of a team that combines the sport I love with some of the issues that are important to me.

Happy buy nothing day!


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Tacoma/Portland, NREL, and...Granola?

So as most of you know the team traveled to Tacoma/Portland this last weekend for the final USGP races. The whole experience was quite spontaneous for me because Friday basically involved skipping a little bit of school so I could get in a ride before flying out, doing some Spanish homework on the plane, arriving in Tacoma, eating some organic spaghetti and b-day cake for Brandon Dwight(happy b-day), and sleeping.

In the morning we all ate some nutritious granola, milk, toast, bananas, and of course COFFEE to power us though our races. The course in Tacoma was dry, fast, and flat with the exception of the 80 meter run-up and a screaming downhill decent. I, being a terrible starter, had trouble with entering my pedal and spent my first two laps catching the leader. Once that was done we (Jacob Rathe and I) both threw in attacks out of corners, on the flat road section, and up the run-up to try and crack one another, but we both hung tuff and suffered together. Coming into the finish strait I was leading and attentive as to when Jacob was starting his sprint, but once he did and I started, I realized my shifter was jammed and ended up out geared and finishing in 2nd. After, I had a little podium presentation and a couple minutes to say high to my aunt, uncle, and three baby cousins who came out to watch. In the car with the other juniors driving to Portland, we had an excellent time listening to Reed, our soigneur, tell us of his young adult experiences. At the hotel we showered, hung out, and got some massages in time for a fajita dinner made by Brian Smith. I even got to cook up some carrots and kale.

Just like TP mentioned Jim, who I roomed with, is truly addicted to showers and we were delayed a bit that morning. Luckily, at registration I found out that my race was set back in time so I could have sufficient time to warm up. Taylor led us on his million dollar warm up routine and we were all psyched to race in the cold, muddy conditions after some hot oil cream was applied to our legs. I had a much better start this time sitting in 3rd, but it took about a lap to get my rhythm going in the mud as several riders passed me. Once in my zone, I picked off the riders ahead of me and found myself finishing in 2nd. Mr. Rathe ended up proving his superior mud-riding skills today and won again with a substantial lead. All juniors then took a ride back with Brian in our sweet rental minivan. We showered ate, ate some Chipotle, and watched TV until it was time to leave for the airport and fly back home. In the airport waiting for our plane we even had some fast walking races along the straight terminal. Jim clearly had the advantage by being a champion fast walker at his school. I got the rest of my math homework done on the plane, and my dad and I took Brady back home to our house to save some gas and reduce carbon emissions. Finally at 1:30 AM or so I printed out my term paper rough draft and went to bed.

In addition to bike racing, I visited the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden to learn something about what they do. It was pretty cool and they explained how their building is 41% more energy efficient than other federal buildings. They also showed us their many labs and office space, and areas where they rent out bays with state of the art equipment to companies to develop better solar panel technology.

Also as organic foods go, I whipped up a batch of some great apple cinnamon granola. Here is the recipe:
– 1cup rolled oats
– 1cup rolled wheat
– 1cup wheat germ
– 1/3cup flax seeds
– 1cup dried apple slices
– 1/3cup raisins
– 3tbs ground cinnamon

– 3/4cup honey, molasses, and maple syrup (it was like 3packets of Honey Stingers, 2tbs molasses, and the rest was maple syrup)
– 2tbs vegetable oil
– 1tbs vanilla extract

– mix the above oats and dry stuff; then heat up the honey, oil, and vanilla mix and pour it into the oats mix
– bake it for 15min at 350 degrees and let it cool

Happy Thanksgiving,

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tacoma and Portland in the eyes of a virgin cyclocrosser.

Hey there,

Taylor Phinney has finally found time in his extremely busy schedule to write his share of the blog.

The jaunt to the great northwest was my first cyclocross oriented trip with the team and I have to say that i definitely had a blast. Not only being able to race these extremely well organized races but being with the team (by team i mean riders but most of all staff) was so awesome.

After the long plane ride to seattle we finally were able to look out of the window and see the glistening city below. Seattle is a super cool looking place from above (at least at night). We arrived, got our bags no problem, and jumped in the team vans to head to where we were staying in tacoma.

We safely arrived at the hotel where Bryan Smith (practically my best friend) had made the team a splendiferous dinner. Bryan Smith was a cook for the norwegian alpine army for about ten years before he got transfered to TIAA CREF (hes actually a quite successful bicycle rider)...the team replenished, shared some war stories, and soon went to bed. I, luckily was rooming with Danny Summerhill, who unfortunately for me doesn't sleep. However we got by and all was good. Danny has become a really good friend of mine, I try to be his wing man at least during cross season but we'll see about that during road season...

Anywho, we woke up, ate, and went to the race. Unfortunately i believe i may have left my pants at the one does that i do not know. So we got to the race and checked the course out. In all honesty, it was a B*tch, solely because of this 80 meter run up that was extremely steep, but besides that i liked it. Our warm up wasnt so great but we got to the line on time and we started no worries. Toast (danny) took the lead right off the bat and i lied in third. I was able to stay in third for the whole first lap, BUT being not so experianced at cross I started dying, mainly due to these back problems i've been having.

I finished 8th or so and Toast killed everybody gaining the white leaders jersey. After cool down, awards, and recovery we (all the Juniors) peaced out and along with Bryan Smith and Reed McCalvin headed towards Portland. NORMALLY that drive is supposed to be extremely mind numbing, but due to the fact that we had Reed in the car teaching us new ways to express profanity, in combination with Bryan's excellent driving, it went by pretty fast. There was only one moment of tension when we thought we had gone the wrong way and crossed the Canadian border, but we soon realized that there was a Vancouver in Oregon.

Bryan rallied our minivan into the parking lot and we were there. It took Reed about an hour and a half to get things sorted out with the lovely receptionist, and Toast and i set off in search of new friends. We never found any.

All the juniors recieved rub downs from Reed which were much appreciated. Bryan cooked some fabulous organic fajitas and the night went by pretty fast. The others arrived later and Toast and i watched almost four episodes of "Dexter" (there was a marathon on Showtime).

We awoke to the percussions of Mr John Verheul's knuckles on our door and hurried to breakfast. Outside it was raining and we got dressed and ready but were delayed by Jim who has a particular addiction to taking showers. To bad all those showers dont rid him of his natural stench.

We got to the course, it was wet, muddy and just overall gnarly. This race was to be cross race number eight.

Toast and i rode the course once, washed off our bikes and got in a great warm up. After a slight delay we were off. Toast took off from the gun, never to be seen again, and i hung in second for about a lap. I faded as usual and just had fun with the mud. Again i finished in 8th (i think), good enough to finish tenth in the series. Toast won the race and the series, and Jim got third therefore putting him in third in the series. I finished muddy as all hell and went to wash off. After about 15 minutes the juniors were in the minivan and off to the hotel. It was somewhat hectic getting out of dodge but we made it and even made some friends on the way home.

All things considered it was awesome trip, I can't relay my feelings of thanks more towards all the staff and riders who were all there. THANKS!!!!!!!!!

until next time


Barenaked Ladies

Anna's favorite band is BNL, and they were playing Magness Arena at DU last night.

We had seen them in December at a taping for the radio program Etown, which was cool - although not a full show. Since it wasn't the usual concert format for Etown, the band did a lot of talking with the hosts. It was very cool to learn about what BNL are doing as a band to lesson the environmental impact of their CD production (minimal packaging and sustainable paper) and their tour (off-setting tour's CO2 emissions with wind energy credits; tour bus running B20 BioDiesel; recycling and composting waste backstage).

At the show last night, there was a lot of information available to concert-goers about the band's sustainability mission. Fans could buy a Barenaked Planet tag through Native Energy (just like CLIF BAR's Cool Tag program), find out about biodiesel, and even sample CLIF BARS.

To see what the band is doing in conjunction with an organization called Reverb (founded by
go to the Barenaked Planet part of their website. Here's what Reverb is all about:

"Founded in 2004 by Lauren Sullivan and her husband, Guster guitarist/vocalist Adam Gardner, Reverb is a non-profit organization that seeks to raise awareness and support for the environment through building upon the powerful connection between musicians and their fans.

Our approach is dual-pronged: educating, inspiring and activating music fans while “greening” artists’ tours and the music industry at large."

CLIF BAR has a similar program called GreenNotes that works with bands to help them make their tours greener.

So, what our team is trying to do to reduce our impact on the enviroment, educate people, and make an impact on the cycling industry, is really similar to what is going on in the music industry with some great bands, and organizations/programs like Reverb and CLIF GreenNotes.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

pictures from pioneer organics--cool business--pun intended.

Vancouver, BC...NOT the same as Vancouver, WA. While driving from Tacoma to Portland on saturday, Reed and I had Phinney, Andrew, Toast, and Jim "lenny" Lennon pretty convinced that I had accidentally gone NORTH on I-5, instead of south. Lenny even started to worry about trying to cross the border without a passport!
When I arrived at pioneer organics, I was greeted to this really cool sight. I didn't ask, but put 2 and 2 together and assume that these pallets are headed to be recycled or even composted as all of their boxes for delivery were--very cool.
This is a shot from the inside. Its amazing how these places end up delivering really good, fresh, local, organic produce to households throughout the northwest.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Quick report from the Northwest

Just catching up after our whirlwind tour of the Pacific Northwest for the final round of the Crank Brothers US Gran Prix of Cyclo-Cross Series.

Friday evening we flew into SeaTac airport, and drove down to Tacoma. We raced the Rad Racing Cup in Tacoma on Saturday, and then after the race drove down to Portland for the night. Sunday we raced at the Stumptown GP in Hillsboro, west of Portland - then flew out Sunday night.

Weekend highlights:

--> Two more wins and the Series overall title for Daniel Summerhill (Jr)
--> A 5th and 3rd place, resulting in 3rd overall in the Series, for Jim Lennon (Jr)
--> Two top-10 placings for Taylor Phinney (Jr)
--> Solid 18th and 15th place finishes for Troy Wells in the Elite races
--> Two top-10 placings for Brady Kappius (U23)


Thanks to Pioneer Organics in Seattle for getting together a great supply of local Northwest produce, granola, bread, etc for a lot of our meals. New Seasons Market in Portland was another good source, and we also had some of the best pizza out there from the really cool sustainability-oriented Hot Lips Pizza.

TEAM CLIF BAR is working to fight climate change