10 August 2013

Welcome to The Rocky Mountains Phil and Paul

How to speak so Coloradans can understand you

Just once I would like to hear Phil Liggett or Paul Sherwen say, "That was a totally awesome stage." That's the way we would call a race here in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado - United States of America.

When you meet us - you will know us. We'll walk right up and say, "Hey, how's it going?" That is our greeting.

We are the ones who gather up our gear, put the bikes on our roof racks, round up the buddies and pile into our 4x4s with our coolers full and hit the trails. We might stop for a latte or cup of joe as we munch on our breakfast burritos. Our goal is to get off the grid and back to nature. Even when relaxing - we gotta have goals.

No matter the sport, we give it our best weekend warrior effort, as if we could have been pro if we had wanted it bad enough. We've got our GoPros and camera phones always handy and charged. We map our lives on Strava and brag about how far and how fast. We are really into energy drinks and bars, and percent body fat, but throw a plate of BBQ or mexican food in front of us and we go hog wild.

We say things like, "Dude did you see that?" and "That was awesome." We don't say things like "They are riding along at quite a nippy pace," We would instead rattle off, "He was flying down the descent until he over cooked the turn and bit it big time into the woods. Then he got up and rode off again. That was rad, those dudes are like insane. Respect."

Cyclists here are known to crank it, push the limit, red-line, max out, and then run out of gas, crater or bonk when trashing themselves. We don't usually say we ran out of "sugars", the USFDA has told us sugar is bad for us. Fans get revved up, stoked, jazzed or excited when the likes of Jensie appears next to them in a crowd. They would die for his autograph, quickly posting their mug with their new bro and update their profile pic on fb in a flash. 

Now the deeper Phil and Paul go into the mountains and ranch country of Colorado they might try using words to describe the peloton like - posse, herd, bunch, pack. When the breakaway stays away that is cool, awesome, great, or just plain wow. When the breakaway is caught that is a bummer, you can say "Shoot, they got caught," or "Dang-it, I thought he would make it solo to the line," and you won't be censored. But if we hear you say "dag nab it," we are going to smile and laugh at you. A little too country for these parts.

When a sprint for the line happens, the lead out man barrels toward the line and launches his teammate for the sprint win. It's a thrill a minute to watch a sprint finish and fans can't get enough of that *hit. Boo-yah! So add some awesomeness in your commentary before we go have a cold-one and put the feet up and watch the footage of our own adventures on our GoPros.

You can add biffed it, nailed it or score to your arsenal of hammer down, hurt locker and something about a cat and pigeons. If Phil and Paul have any doubt about which key words to use while commentating the race in Colorado this month, just keep saying "awesome," that's the one word that pretty much sums up everything good in bike racing to a Coloradan.

We are just talking slight cultural differences, mostly in lingo. We got the bike love just like you, so welcome back to Colorado!

And that would be "Who-szers Pass" and "Ess-tess Park."

Suz (my sister-in-law), Phil, Karen (me) and Paul in Solvang at the Bulldog Coffee Shop during the Tour of California
And for the Orica-GreenEDGE team and all those Aussies who put us through hell trying to figure out what they are talking about in interviews - yes, this is English too!

How to Watch the USA Pro Challenge in 2013