18 December 2010

The local scene

Local boys done good, and done weird 
I've had some good chuckles the last couple days over local cyclists in the news. It is always strange when I see someone I know being interviewed in an article or in a video clip on YouTube. I spend a great deal of leisure time reading about European cyclists and those who seem a comfortable distance away. But when the people that I see at local events show up in the media it seems odd and makes me chuckle.
Let's start with the local boy done good. This interview with Carlos Casali today at 303.Cycling.com is a case in point. Carlos is the guy we all cheer for at local races. The guy who volunteers at Masters and Juniors races as much as he races them. The guy who has the quickest smile in town, and the guy who we all really want to see win. Plus Carlos's son Adam is one of my favorite racers and fans to see at races. Reading this article makes me want to read about all my friends in interview format, just to see what they would say. Talk with Carlos Casali of the Gates Singlespeed Race Team

Here is a cool YouTube video of Carlos and the Gates Carbon Drive Team at Cyclocross Vegas in 2010. They race single speed cyclocross bikes with carbon belt drives

Pertaining to the local boy done weird; I have been following this story for awhile. A 50 year old ex-racer who had his glory days long ago, gets an idea that he wants to make a big comeback and ride for a professional cycling team again. You know the kind filled with twenty and thirty year-olds. This isn't Lance Armstrong taking a couple of years off racing and then coming back at age 38, this is a 50 year-old who hasn't been racing even in the local scene for years; but does have a name, and a reputation. 
Motivated by the Quiznos Pro Challenge, the new UCI ProTour race coming to Colorado in 2011, Alexi Grewal, having ridden the Coors Classic "back in the day" (the day was 1986!), has decided to join a professional cycling team and compete in the race. Just like that. He makes it sounds so easy. He is totally serious. Yesterday 303cycling.com again mentioned Grewal's far-fetched (wild, crazy, just plain weird) ideas. In his own blog Grewal mentions talking with his coach (Len Pettyjohn of 30 years ago) to make a plan for his comeback. Oh my.
Grewal was the captain of the 1986 7-Eleven team, but was dropped by the team later that same year after spitting on a CBS camera man who got too close. He raced for the U.S.-based Coors Light pro team from 1989-1993. Velonews interviewed him this past September, Grewal told them, "I’ll be using hiking boots and flat pedals for a few more days, then the real stuff".
This photo of Alexi Grewal was taken by VeloNews in September 2010 (two-thousand-ten!)
“The first objective of what I see as a three-year commitment to racing is to ride Quiznos and be the only person to compete in all three of its incarnations, Red Zinger, Coors Classic and Quiznos Pro Challenge,” Grewal told VeloNews.
I can't help but laugh with this story. Oh the suspense of waiting to see if he will race with toe-clip pedals and downtube shifters, will trade his steel bike in for a new fancy carbon model, will leave the wool shorts and styrofoam helmet behind, and will fuel himself on Gatorade and Chai tea.
Here is my photo of the local gang in Boulder, Colorado, in May 2009 at the Road2Victory event ride. In this photo are some (old) names of cycling. Just a day out pedaling in Boulder, Colorado:
click image to enlarge
Cycling Legends (above left-to-right): Nelson Vails, Len Pettyjohn, Ron Kiefel, Andy Pruitt, Connie Carpenter, Hugh Walton, Dale Stetina, Davis Phinney, Alexi Grewal, Marianne Martin, Clark Sheehan, Thomas Prehan, Leonard Zinn. Photo by PedalDancer.com
Alexi Grewal in 2009: Photo by PedalDancer.com
Alexi Grewal's blog. On his site you can read that Alexi Singh Grewal (born September 8, 1960 in Aspen, Colorado) is an Indian-American Olympic gold medalist and former professional road racing cyclist. At the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Grewal became the first American man to win an Olympic gold medal in road cycling. After winning Olympic gold, Grewal turned professional and signed with the Panasonic team and later with the 7-Eleven Cycling Team. On September 25th, 2010, VeloNews announced that Grewal would be making a comeback at age 50, targeting the Quiznos Pro Challenge in Colorado in 2011. VeloNews article: Inside Cycling with John Wilcockson: Alexi Grewal is deadly serious about comeback. Okay good luck with that.