Friday, October 28, 2011

The Legend of Chu Cho

Normally when you hear "The Legend of . . ." it means that it is a fable, or nearly so, but in this story, it could also be called "The Mysterious Case of . . ." or "What?  Seriously?", but in anyway, here is a story from Scott McSpadden, a general contractor and minor cycling celebrity in Spokane:

The “Cross Country Classic” in Belize, Central America is held once a year on what the Belizeans call Holy Saturday.  There are three things you can count on for the race:  
1) It will occur on the day before Easter; 
2) It will be approximately 144 miles depending on how the road was altered during the past year; and 
3) A journey worthy of legend will have been made by a tiny, frail looking man from a place near Chetumal, Mexico.

This man's name is Bonam Pek Chak Peck, but is known by most as Chu Cho.  His transportation to the race is a bicycle that rivals his own body weight.  For nourishment on his annual quest he carries a small pack containing coca cola and cans of refried beans.  He will yell up to be let in well after dark and, in fact, just hours before the 5AM start.  He will come in and quickly go to sleep.  

For this race, Chu Cho will be seen four times: on arrival in the middle of the night before the race; at the start line of the race; somewhere along the race course but only because the course is out and back; and then lastly, he will be seen late in the evening after the finish of the race, but only because he needs to retrieve his back pack before making his return trip home on the same bike that brought him.  

He explained once, that in order to finish the race, which had not only already been completed by the winner about ten hours earlier, he had to get past the stadium gates which were locked after everyone had gone home.  He said though, "not to worry," he was skinny enough to squeeze past the bars, pull his bike through, and ride across the line in style, the way every finisher should.

And then, as legends require, he would be gone as quickly as he came, not to be seen until the following year in time for the race on Holy Saturday.  I always wondered where he would return to, what he did, how he lived, and why he came, but then I suppose that is the stuff that legends are made of.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And now, the News . . .

Okay, a proper tease only works when you follow it up with the actual news.  A billboard on the edge of town that reads, "NOW OPENING SOON . . . WATCH FOR DETAILS!" and then stays static for six months has failed to do its job to entice and titillate the senses.  As such, I admit that a week between "Big News!" and now turns into "Big News?"

Well then, I apologize.  I got busy, not with anything life threatening like a blood clot, not with anything important like jury duty, no, instead I got sidetracked by work and riding my bike.  But then I am an unpaid bike blogger so maybe that is all the excuse I need.  Anyway, on to the news . . .

First, Steve's On Cannon Street has been a shop for a bit over a year now.  During that time Steve has been getting settled into the space and figuring out who his customers would be in his new neighborhood and after leaving behind his alter ego store of several decades.  As such, this last year plus was a time of experimenting and transition, but now he is hitting his stride and will be starting the 2012 cycling season with a better mix of bikes and gear to suit his customer base.  One of the things lacking in his shop was the presence of a strong branded, high quality race bike.  That is about to change as this will serve as the official announcement that Steve's On Cannon Street is about to become the region's first and only BMC bike dealer.  Or maybe that should read "BMC BIKE DEALER!"

You are probably familiar with BMC bikes if you watch the Tour de France.  They were featured prominently under Cadel Evans and George Hincapie, two stalwarts of the professional cycling world.  In addition to the excellent race bikes, BMC also makes sublime time trial and triathlon bikes, some well-respected mountain bikes and a whole range of very cool commuter/urban bikes.  It's the full meal deal of bikes and I personally was really pleased to hear that it has all come together (In fact, just between you and me, I am ordering a BMC race bike in the first shipment into the shop.  I'm so excited!).  Conversations started with the BMC reps well ahead of the Tour de France this year, but obviously Cadel Evan's win made them quite sought after so it has taken some time to get the deal put together and for Steve to be ready to pull in some bikes.  They aren't on the showroom floor yet, but look for them between now and spring.

And, that isn't all of the news.  No, wait, there's more!  In addition to the new line-up of bikes, Steve is also pleased to announce that he will be co-sponsoring a bike team in 2012.  The team will consist of a group of high level racers who will be making appearances in local and regional races, but also a few who will be contesting the Master's National races in Bend, Oregon next year.  In addition, however, the team will be open to any rider interested in racing and group rides and is likely to feature some mountain bike racers and riders.  Details are still being worked out, but the co-sponsor will be an excellent partner in this project and it should be a great group.  If you are interested in participating in the team in some fashion, as a rider or sponsor, please drop Steve a line at steve [at] and someone will get back to you in the next couple of weeks with more details.

So, you had to wait a bit, but KA-BLOOWIE - there is the news and it was worth waiting for.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Big News!

There is some cool news just around the corner coming from Steve's on Cannon Street.  Stay tuned in the next few days.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

GM says, "Reality Sucks." Reality says, "GM Sucks."

GM started this ad campaign directed at college campuses, with the tag line "Stop pedaling . . . Start Driving."  The underlying idea is that cute girls ride in GM cars while the boys they won't date are stuck on their bikes.  If you are cool and want the hot bettys checking you out, get yourself a GM pick-up.

I've never been convinced that drinking mass-produced American beer would make bikini-clad girls on the beach think I was inordinately irresistible, so I don't think I need to buy into this particular piece of advertising drivel either.  Turns out, though, that lots and lots of people, apparently including Lance Armstrong, Global Cycling Spokesperson, got very mad about this stupid campaign and have inundated GM with complaints and demanded an "unlike" button the GM Facebook page.

As a result, GM has utilized the most famous defense for being a bigot ("one of my friends is black/gay/handicapped/etc.) and has taken to twitter to say, literally, we are cyclists too so we didn't think you would be offended.  They have pulled the campaign and will look for some other way to induce students to buy cars than by insulting all of them that have bikes. 

My favorite part, it was all brought to you by social media.  The awareness of the ad, the ease of ganging up on GM, and the Twitter apology.  Start to finish in less than 24 hours.  It's a funny world we live in.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hey, what's that!

I don't know what is more amazing - that he saw it coming and couldn't avoid it - or that he got up afterwards.

Friday, October 7, 2011