Friday, March 16, 2007

Bike Summit Senate Reception: No Floyd

I promised some hot Floyd action. I brought my camera, I got there early, I opened the bar early (not sure of the relevance there but I thought you'd be proud) and staged myself with a clear view of the front door. About an hour into it, I asked Todd when he was showing up and he told me that he was 'held up' in Rep. Henry Waxman's office. I talked to Richard from Speedplay and he mentioned that they were talking about USADA investigation stuff. Good for Floyd.

This year, the Congressional reception was held on the Senate side over in the Russell building. I got there early and met up with Scudamore to catch up before spending the rest of the night catching up with all the random attendees. The security was lax, the room was beautiful and the attire was formal.

I didn't take a lot of pics, but I got some good ones. I got local Harrisonburg Mafia boys Thomas Jenkins (Shenandoah Bicycle Company) and Chris Scott (IMBA VA Rep, MtnTouring and SM100 guy) flashing East Coast mountain biking gang signs. I saw a few minutes of Chris on an IMBA panel regarding alternative wilderness designations. It was early enough in the evening that I'm sure Thomas was making a face, he's not actually trashed... that I know of.

On the left is the new ED at IMBA Mike van Abel and Laird 'Mr Happy' Knight. Mike has a full plate at IMBA. From my limited vantage point, it looks like they are aiming in some new directions and changing some operating procedures. We're all watching. Laird really is Mr Happy. He must be made of pure energy to be able to run multiple 24 hour events all over the US. He's a true mountain biker and has to be one of the coolest, nicest guys I have ever met. I don't know how he's managed to start and continue to lead the world of 24hr racing. Just amazing.

Next up is the dream-team of (L to R) IMBA DC rep Scott 'the Stud' Scudamore, young lady I don't know, Phil Koopman (City Bikes owner), my dumb ass and Laird Knight (GrannyGear productions, Mountain Bike Hall of Fame member, inventor of 24hr racing). Eric Gilliland (WABA ED) gets props for taking the picture. He was too busy running around for me to get a shot of him. It's like trying to take a picture of a bullet in flight...

On the left is Johnny-boy Burke (President of Trek) and my other girlfriend Amanda 'Hugginkiss' Eichstaedt (League Board President, general funnygirl). It was Johns birthday yesterday (45! I don't believe it) and as a good Wisconsin boy he managed to choke down a few beverages. I would be worried if he didn't. John's another great person in the industry and he has made it a point to make every Bike Summit that the League has put on. He's a visionary, to be sure, and he said he talked to Lance last week and everything is good with him... I was worried... Amanda is another pure rider. She operates a super-bike-friendly B&B in NorCal out near Point Reyes. The Bear Valley Inn is the place to go if you want to ride and experience wine and water in NorCal. Check it, bring your bike. Her humble hubby is working on qualifying for Paris-Brest-Paris on a FIXIE! He's a great guy. Nuts, for sure, but great nonetheless.

Here's Darren in mid-blink and Phil eating. He never gets to eat. Poor guy. Darren's gonna hate this picture. Don't worry, honey, I have more! We were lucky that we had BOTH kinds of beer at the reception: Bud AND Bud Light. I'm not scared and I managed to pull through. No light beers crossed my lips. I had to define some way to declare victory...

Here's one of our attractive and supportive hosts, League staff member Todd 'Old' McDonald. Todd is 6'7" of cycling wonder. Last year he wrenched for the Tour d'Afrique. He has great stories of rebuilding a suspension fork in the bush of Africa. His favorite tool on the trip was a rock. Now THAT'S what I call a mechanic. Tall, well-traveled, snappy dresser... no wonder he's a staff favorite. Did I mention that he's tall? I don't know how he does it...

This is me and Johnny Burke. I wished him a Happy Birthday and he wanted somebody to take a picture. At least he wore a tie and shaved. He's really bringing up the average in this shot. It was raining and I still managed to instinctively grab my shades on the way out of the house AND keep them on my head the whole night. I'm a classy guy, make no mistake. Next year I'll wear a tie again. Seriously.

Here's another great local dream-team shot. Jeff Dalik from Bike Doctor - Linthicum, Scott 'Still the Stud' Scudamore and Chris Scott. Everybody relax - Scud is drinking water. He's got to win the XTerra races AGAIN! What an inspiration. I know for a fact that this guy is made of pure energy. He's like 138 years old now and still getting around without a walker or adult training wheels. Wow. These three guys do quite a bit for mountain bikers in the MD-DC-VA area. If you ever see them, just thank them. They get nothing out of it but personal satisfaction and less time to ride. It always amazes me that so many of us are willing to ride LESS so that others can ride MORE. Hey, maybe we should use that as the new MORE tag line. Good-looking guys too, eh?

Our last pic is of big Maurice Tierney from Dirt Rag and Adrian Montgomery from ScottUSA. I don't really know 'em but it's always fun to take pictures of Maurice. He just got done flipping me the bird when I got this shot. Dirt Rag just lost their Editor Michael Browne to Trek USA. Maurice mentioned how surprised he was that people took them serious enough to hire someone from the Dirt Rag ranks. Ever the self-depricator, he enjoys underestimating his magazine and its influence on the fat-tired community. I also have to remind him that we have met about a dozen times over the years even though he looks at me like I've got two heads every time I talk to him. Hell, Laird had to introduce me to him in the halls of the ITC at the beginning of the Summit. So it goes. I look forward to meeting him again for the first time at the Granny Gear races...

Thanks for coming out to the event. If you've never been, it's a great event. It's reinvigorating and inspiring, at least. There is plenty of actual policy work going on as well, but I enjoy the conversations. I'll go again in 08.

2 Comments:

At 8:21 AM, Blogger Teen said...

Mike- thanks for the report! It is actually nice to see so many familiar faces. Hard to believe that it has been 2 years now since I last ran a Summit. The times may change but the faces definitely don't! Too funny- I ran into a couple of attendees ("HEY! BIRD-KILLER!) Thursday night in Adams Morgan and was asked why I wasn't at the Hill reception. Some things definitely do not change!

 
At 9:41 AM, Blogger CityBikesMike said...

Yeah, we missed you. You should have showed up although Bricker forgot to wear a sweatervest...

 

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