TIME: 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM (choose from three 2.5 hr demo sessions)
LOCATION: Park City, UT (Deer Valley Resort)
Contender Bicycles would like to extend you an invitation to participate in Cannondale’s Lefty Tour. Whether you choose to participate in one of two skills clinics from local mountain biking master Bart Gillespie or want to head out on a ride with pros Mark Weir and Ben Cruz, simply come join us!
Graham Greenlee is one of the fine mechanics here at Contender. If you’ve had your bike serviced with us, chances are you’ve seen his smiling mug wrenching and probably mixing up a fresh cup of Tang®.We thought we’d sit down and chat with Graham to gain a little insight into what makes the man such a phenom when it comes to keeping your bike in top shape.
Are you from Salt Lake?
Yep. Born and raised. I went to Highland High School and then I was at Westminster for a while.
How long have you worked at Contender?
I’ve been here since March of 2005. Which means it’s almost been ten years.
What did you go to Westminster for?
A bunch of classes. I had a hard time committing to the school part of school. I think at one point I was going for a B.S. – I also took three semesters of Japanese.
Just decided I should probably take some classes. Japanese seemed like the right way to go.
Got it. Are you married?
I am. My wife Dannie and I have a 17-week-old boy named Jack.
How’d you and Dannie meet?
We went to high school together. Then she moved to Hawaii and I didn’t see her for a while. One day, I was in the parking garage at Westminster. We hadn’t seen each other since our high school graduation four years earlier. She saw me and yelled a hello and we’ve been together ever since.
I hear Westminster parking garages are a hotbed for hookups like that.
Did you wrench before you started at Contender?
Nope. All my training has been on the job. I did work on the sales floor for a year. But then they decided to teach me how to be a mechanic. I liked that better.
So what do you do when you’re not at the shop?
I play a lot of video games and watch a lot of movies.
What are some of your favorite movies?
Mostly anything. I like The Big Lebowski or the Indiana Jones and Star Wars movies. Definitely the original Star Wars more than the new ones.
Did you like any of the new ones?
Yeah. I liked the first one. You know, despite what everyone else says, I didn’t mind Jar Jar Binks.
That’s a dangerous admission, my friend. You sure that’s not off the record?
No. Leave it in. I’ll stand by that.
So how many bikes do you have?
Like, rideable ones? I’ve got four frames laying around and then four bikes that are built up that I ride.
My GT Grade that I use for cyclocross:
Graham cyclecrossin’ it up with his signature wolf hat and his GT Grade.
…My Surly Moonlander snow bike, a SCOTT Ransom mountain bike and an old SCOTT CR1 that I’ve turned into a single speed.
…Plus I made a stool out of an old TIME RXR.
You’re crafty. I like it. What’s your favorite bike you have?
I love my snow bike, the Moonlander. It’s fun to ride. It’s slow and dumb.
I don’t do a lot of introspection. I don’t question why I like It. I just know that I like it.
Exactly like Jar-Jar
It’s probably best no one think too much about Jar-Jar. So what keeps you at Contender?
I have no other marketable skills. Actually I have an advanced EMT certificate. So if you ever need an I.V. started, I can help.
I’ll let you know. So your mom is known for her wicked delicious treats she brings into the shop for all the staff. How does she make such wicked delicious treats? And how are you not 300 pounds from growing up with all those wicked delicious eats around?
She cooks and bakes a lot. I guess practice makes perfect. I have really good genes I guess. Plus I have a rigorous exercise routine.
What’s your favorite treat?
Her chocolate cake she makes for birthdays is the best.
Speaking of exercise, do you race at all?
I’ve done the cyclocross series for six years now. I’ve been in the C’s the whole time.
Apparently your rigorous exercise routine isn’t that rigorous.
So what’s your favorite thing we carry at the shop?
Graham’s range of visible emotions is fairly limited. Thus the fact that he’s smiling while holding this sweet TIME ZXRS frame proves just how much he likes it.
Any plans for the future we should know about?
I plan on having ten kids and living on a farm. I’ll be completely off the grid except for a telemarketing business that I run out of my house. My children will do all the grunt work. I’ll have a little circle of mobile homes.
So it’ll be like a compound?
Yeah. Of mobile homes.
Anything you wished we carried?
Yeah. Tang. It’s good. I don’t know why – that whole introspection thing again. Water feels funny inside of me. It sits too heavy.
As opposed to TANG?!
I can’t explain it. Plus they sell Tang in bulk at Costco.
Has Jack had Tang yet?
Nope. He tried an Otter-Pop once. He wasn’t sure about it. Plus Tang’s not for home. Tang’s for work.
Did you know that in 2013 Buzz Aldren stated that ” Tang sucks.”
He had it in the 60’s. They’ve improved it since then.
Have you ever tried Sunny Delight?
I would call Sunny Delight poor man’s Tang except I don’t know if it’s actually cheaper.
Thursdays, beginning September 18, 5:30-7:30 pm, thru October 16 (5 weeks total).
Location: Sugarhouse Park, Salt Lake City. 2100 S. 1500 E. Schedule: Meet at the NW Corner of the Park. See map on Page 2. Barrier Practice for 30-60 minutes, followed by anti-clockwise laps around the park perimeter.
Fees partially cover the cost of the permits (USA Cycling and Sugarhouse Park), insurance for all riders ($1/rider/day), and the $10/day/rider one-day license fee for non-licensed riders. Do the math. No extra charges, no refunds, no profit. Licensed Riders must sign in each week, one-day license required each time for non-licensed riders.
Goals: Learn something about cyclocross technique; how to go over barriers, run up hills, and ride a skinny-tired bike off the pavement. Local ‘cross gurus will lead the clinics and distribute nuggets of wisdom. Cyclocross or Mountain Bikes are welcome.
Rules: Bikes are absolutely prohibited off-pavement anytime except during the clinic! Violation will result in us losing use of the Park. This is a promise. Do not ride on the grass except for Thursdays, during the clinic. Clinic participants are expected to police themselves.
Minimizing conflict with other park users. The time of the clinic is one of the heaviest used times by runners, and runners use the same perimeter trail as for the cyclocross clinic. We must minimize conflicts with runners . First, the cyclists have to be aware of the requirement to be good citizens, second, the cyclists will give the right away to runners on the trail.
What does this mean to you, the bike rider? Don’t annoy the runners! If there is some encounter, apologize. Give them a wide berth and politely announce your presence. Don’t ride your bike around Sugarhouse Park outside the clinic times. If you see someone else doing this, explain to them the ramifications of their actions. Conflicts between cyclists and runners could cause us to permanently lose the Park.
Cycling fans, let’s get real. Utah’s roots in bikes and bike racing run deep. So it’s no wonder the Tour of Utah is a big deal a really big deal to all of us crazy cyclists that call Utah home.
I’m here to rally the troops. I’m here to insight a movement of pure cycling super-fan madness. Let’s paint our faces. Let’s lose our voices. Let’s wear weird costumes. Let’s have questionable amounts of our bodies visible in said costumes. Why? because we all know the second best thing to actually riding in a tour is standing on the side of the road with no shirt and a red clown wig ringing a cow bell like the cow has a gun to your head.
I think we’re off to a good start with this: Our good friend Martin Cole decided to show his TOU fever by painting his frickin’ toes!
This is what I’m talking about! Pretty sure where these toes go, the party follows. Well played, Martin.
But I want to see some of this too:
El Diablo would be a solid addition to our TOU
And definitely a bit of all this:
Obviously this needs to happen.
Questioning this man’s taste? Don’t. He’s spot on. PHOTO: FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
These young men are a prime example of perfect TOU attire. Well done, little sirs.
We applaud these gentlemen for their commitment. A prime example that you don’t necessarily need to show skin to prove your cycling fandom. But isn’t there a part of you that’s thinking this would’ve been funnier if the dude’s were shirtless? Yep. Us too.
Now, we definitely don’t want to see any of this:
But hey, if the great Jens Voigt says he loves us, then we know we’re doing something right:
“I’ll never forget my first day in Utah. I was still jetlagged—yes, I am pretty good at that— and on Stage 1 I have to go to the front with Joost Posthuma and a couple of Garmin riders. I still hadn’t adapted to the altitude and finally on the last climb I just blow. I mean it was a spectacular detonation! So there I am dead last going up this climb. I couldn’t even hold the wheels of the sprinters. I just wanted to find a ditch to crash into until an ambulance came and picked me up. But the fans kept yelling, “shut up legs,” and they just cheered me up. So I kept the faith. That is real fan support.” -Jens Voigt in Bicycling Magazine on his experiences in the TOU.
We’ll see the racers up here in Salt Lake this Saturday, August 9th for stage 6, the ‘Queen Stage’ -where the racers will be suffering climbing up Emigration, Big Mountain, Guardsman and then finishing in Snowbird. It’s a little over 12,500 ft of elevation in 107 miles. Which also means it’s a little over ridiculous.
You can get a spectator guide or download the official Tour of Utah mobile app HERE.
And I better not be the only one out there in a speedo.
Vincenzo Nibali, stepped down from the podium in front of the Champs-Elysees on Sunday a champion.
He had lead the 2014 Tour for every single stage less two, he’d won four of it’s 21 stages, and his lead of 7-minutes and 37-seconds was the biggest margin of victory held in the Tour since Armstrong’s win (now officially not a win) in 1999. Nibali is also now one of only a handful of riders that has won the Giro, the Vuelta and the Tour –all three of the Grand Tours.
Regardless of all this, some look at Nibali’s win as simply a result of better rider’s bad luck with crashes and injuries early in the Tour.
Bradley Wiggins, who won the Tour in 2012 was passed over by Team Sky because they wanted to focus on Chris Froome, the 2013 Tour winner. When Froome crashed out along with Alberto Contador, it was suggested that Nibali was just the best of what was left in the peloton.
However, even before their unfortunate crashes, Nibali had a two-second lead on Contador and Froome after he won Stage 2. When Froome crashed out in Stage 5, Nibali put more than 2 minutes between himself and Contador. When Contador’s unfortunate crash occurred on a downhill in Stage 10, Nibali went on to win the stage as it climbed to a ridiculously steep mountain finish atop La Planche des Belles Filles. Nibali then went on to win two more mountain stages across the Alps and Pyrenees.
It’s pretty obvious that Nibali didn’t simply ‘slip’ into a spot made empty by the unlucky crashes of some talented riders. The Italian is a true talent himself. Maybe now he’ll get some respect.
AP Photo/Christophe Ena
Point is, we’re excited to see him next year. Complementi Vincenzo Nibali!
The Tour’s official website popped out this little video highlight reel of the 2014 Tour. Take a look:
Think you’ve survived something as nasty as Paris-Roubaix? Read our blog about the classic race, and tell us your story. There will be Contender goodies involved for the best tales! Keep reading for details….
When two textile manufacturers wanted to organize a cycling race from Paris to the new velodrome they had just built in the small, rural town of Roubaix, they had a journalist ride the route to see what the course and conditions for the race would actually be. The hope was that the journalist would enjoy his ride and recommend his paper help promote the fledgling race. As the story goes, when he finished his ride, the freezing temperatures, the howling wind and the apocalyptic rain had done him in -he was convinced that not only was the route a nightmare of mud, bad roads, and barbarous conditions, but that sending a group of racers on these same roads would be ridiculously dangerous.
Now, I’m not a huge steward of history but I’ll say this: if some guy (who, by the way went on to be a deputy organizer for The Tour) decided in 18-friggin’-96, the same era that had Jack the Ripper, Polio, coal-covered child laborers, and doctors that still used leeches for bloodletting (!), that a bike ride was too dangerous then you know it was pretty gnarly.
Half the riders that signed up for that first Paris-Roubaix decided not to show up.
But they ran the race anyway. It was a huge success.
And That’s Kinda How It’s Stayed
The only time the race was shut down was during the two World Wars. In 1919, organizers decided to survey the route to see if any of it had survived the shelling of the First World War. What they found, they said, were road conditions that could only be described as “hell”.
But, again, they ran the race anyway. And It garnered it’s famous name: The Hell of The North.
Fast-Forward About Another 100 Years
Paris-Roubaix is a spring classic; a test of the stupidity endurance and fearlessness of riders stupid brave enough to face it’s mud, grit, weather and cobblestones.
And we love it! We revel in the ridiculous idea of having to race on some of the worst roads in Europe. It makes you giggle. It seems so hard -so dumb- to subject you and your butt to conditions so purposely bad- but there’s a strange attraction to it. There’s a bizarre affinity attached to events where everyone involved agrees that what they’re doing is probably a bad idea, but they’re going to do it anyway. Why? Because, dammit, other people will think you’re crazy and it’ll probably make a good story. Call it evidence of the unyielding human spirit. Call it our need to push and test the boundaries of what we can suffer. Call it something dumb you and your friends decided to get together and do.
Call it something nasty under your breath.
The Point is, We’ve All Done Something Similar
We’ve all decided, for whatever reason, that we are going to undertake some misadventure with full understanding that it could possibly be the worst thing we ever decided to do. But hell, you’re friends are doing it, and you don’t want to be the only one left out. So you’re in. All the bloody way in.
In recognition of Paris-Roubaix this week, we thought we’d ask all of you to give us your most courageous, near-death (or near near-death) stories.
We want stories that revel in the wreckless abandonment that has engulfed us all at one point or another in our sporting careers. We want the stories that your significant other hopes you don’t tell at get-togethers because it just proves that they married down. We want the stories that are marinated so unabashedly in poor decision making that letting your cat prep your taxes is a comparatively good idea. Yeah. That’s what we want.
Here’s One To Get You Started
Mine has to do with a (seemingly) sunny Saturday in February about ten years ago and my friend’s idiotic attempt to get some winter ya-ya’s out and a whole bunch of early season miles in. Truth be told, I was just as eager to ride after 3 months of winter as he was. We decided to ride out to Provo Canyon (where we would end up hiking our bikes through more than 6 miles of snow drifts), into Heber where the sun quickly disappeared, then Park City; where it actually began to snow. By this point, we were out of daylight because of the time we had lost hiking up most of Provo Canyon with our bikes on our shoulders. We had no choice (because hypothermia was setting in and we just wanted to get the #%$! home) but to hop on I-80 and be done as fast as possible. I remember calling my mom from a 7-Eleven in Jeremy Ranch, letting her know where I was, what I was about to do, and that if I didn’t come home this might be the reason why.
I guess we could’ve stopped, stayed at the 7-Eleven and had someone pick us up. But we didn’t.
We saw the snow, we saw the semis shooting up huge rooster tails, we knew we’d be dodging black ice and we decided to do it anyway. We hopped onto I-80 and cruised down the canyon. It was one of the scariest, dumbest things I’ve ever done.
So what’s your story? Leave it in the comments and if we love it, we’ll post it! When you post it, look for an email about some Contender goodies heading your way!
Hope you watched the 111th edition of Paris-Roubaix this morning!
Fall is a great time of year. The heat of Summer has subsided, the cruel and bitter bite of winter is still a ways away, and people are generally in good spirits during this transition period. Rewind a few months ago when we all were burnt from the sun and were forced to evening and morning rides. Now fast forward to a month and a half when that first sharp snowfall hits and we’re cold, wind blasted, and have on-set depression from impending holidays. I for one have a family who’s adapted the trend of giving massive amounts of Lowe’s gift cards as presents. But hey I’m not complaining I’ve fixed my toilet four times over with that store credit. Enjoy the fall because it won’t be here forever.
We made it to the promised land. Was it easy? No. Did we lose some people along the way? Possibly. Did a lot of people lose a lot of respect for me? Pretty much everyone, but we did it baby! Here’s what went down.
Ready for lift off
Check out Mike from Lazer helmets feeling the love at 8600 feet above sea level.
In case you're wondering... Grif has been here before
No Guardsman ride is complete without bicycle fixing. While Tim ponders much deeper issues