Monday, December 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
photo credit: paul guerra
Friday, October 8, 2010
Who wants in? All sizes are available. Both of these versions will be going away for 2011, so email if you want in on the special Hup pricing for Lazer Genesis Belgian Blue and/or Lazer Helium Belgian Warrior, which includes case and rain shell.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Ian was quick off the front, showing great starting form-
I did what I do in the corners-
And Mark battled it out to the bitter end-
Plunkett pushed the pedals and danced over the barriers-
All in all, we put on a great show, fought for every placing, and had a solid time in the B and B Masters categories for the day. HUP Mid-Atlantic is looking like we will be having a solid year and we kicked off the season in style!
Thanks to Anthony from Cyclingcaptured.com for making us look good.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Also have a great supply of Dugast Rhino, Typhoon, and Pipistrello in 32mm in stock.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Damian's Steelman, Record 11, Ksyrium SL's, Vittoria Open Pave
Greg's Spectrum, SRAM Rival, Challenge Parigi Roubiax
Fred's Look 585, Record 9, Ritchey WCS, Challenge Parigi Roubaix
Chris's IF, Record 10, Shamal Ultra, Vittoria Open Pave
Chip's Bontrager, Shimano 9, Ksyrium SL, Vittoria Open Pave
Zac's Seven, SRAM Rival/Force/Red, Mavic Aksium/Fulcrum 7, Conti 4-season
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Paralleling the Rapha brand, the 1st Gentleman's Race was slightly exclusive, a bit of an odd-ball format, and had just enough perversion to make it interesting and elusive: 20-30 by-invitation only teams riding 6-up, staggered in a start order based on composite team ability; the splits and gaps created by a very complex and proprietary equation, only known by Sir Olson.
Hup United was invited to RGR #1 and had a good start, but a poor finish. I will be the first to admit that I did not take enough personal interest in knowing the route inside out, nor could I have completed the ride on my own knowledge. And, in 2008, Hup United DNF'd, and soon our performance was the joke that started every Portland Party: Hup United, the Gentle Lovers, and Team Beer are in a boat....
In 2009, we were essentially not asked back to the RGR. Fair enough.
This year, I politely petitioned for a spot back in RGR. Slate was kind enough to consider this plea. I had a team in mind, and knew the importing of Nor Cal Hup United would do the trick, and put us back on the board.
And so the odyssey begins....
I guess everyone who rides bikes needs something to dork out about...whether it's a piece of clothing, an obscure European tire, or an exclusive race. The RGR is a special race: It's Pro Tour length, it climbs like an Alpine stage, and finishing is not a sure bet.
This year, the course was drawn out to be 123 miles in length, approximately 6800 feet of climbing, (yeah right) and Slate was guessing teams would be finish in 6 hours. (good one)
Nor Cal Hup arrived in style, in an unmarked, un-sanctioned 14-passenger van. It was, however, heavily supported with PS3, which apparently when climbing up and over Shasta, wasn't always in sync with the driving games being played inside.
Our team was comprised of Damian H., Chris S., Greg K, Fred H., and Chip L. Like most Hup gatherings, I had met only 3/5 Hup guys, though I of course knew Chip and Greg by name and by email.
It was only after the event that I realized our team on paper was the ideal team: mountain bike background for all riders, strong cross skills, road-like fitness, scrappy as hell, and mellow. This proved to be key.
Our start time was Slate(d) for shortly after 10:00 am. It was 95-degrees when we started. We received a transport in said 14-passenger van from my lovely fiance, all of 5'2 and One hundred and Nothing pounds. How this White Whale didn't swallow Beverly alive, yet showed up in the Chris King parking lot is a mystery to all of us, and a huge key to making our day go fantastically.
The course started out with a wicked-sketchy (wah!) gravel downhill with about 3 hairpin turns. Nothing like biting the dust with 122.9 miles to go. We avoided crashing off the bat, and this was a good sign.
The first major gravel section began around mile 35 at Pittsburgh Road. About this time, we started seeing lots of teams, and were trading positions back and forth.
After a short but quite steep climb of 5 miles, we began the descent that would become the turning point for most teams. The carnage on the side of Pittsburgh Road on the downhill was uncanny. Nearly every team was stopped on the side of the road with flats. We first passed Left for Dead. (Selman's first flat) We then passed Chris King. We then saw Studio Velo. At this point in the race, we were picking off teams left and right. And then......we flatted.
It was a quick and easy change, and we were back on the bike again in no time. This would turn out to be our only flat of the day. After passing so many teams, nobody was saying it aloud, but we were near the front, if not in the lead at this point. We were having some incredible luck with tires and wheels.....
From here, things get a bit blurry for me. At one point we stopped by an innocent church with lots of folks hanging outside drinking sodas and we saw cyclists hanging out under tents. We stopped, we were (really!) offered drinks, and then suddenly we were promptly asked by neck-tatoo guy to leave immediately and find our own fucking rest stop; we had crashed a family reunion. Fine, be that way! About a mile down the street was bodega #1, where Slaven purchased CRC's first 12'er of PBR. Uh...pass.
Nor Cal Hup had done recon the day before in full tights and mutts, and knew the feature of the day would be the climb up Otto Miller. This came at mile 70, and would be an honest 10 mile climb to check point #1. Before that, we'd ride the flats through Scappoose and be treated to a balmy 105 degrees. WTF?
I was convinced that one of the keys to the day would be to keep core body temperature down throughout the day. IN 2005, Watts were all the rage. In 2010, it seems like research and dorking out was all based on core temperature. I followed the recommendation of A.Lim to fill a stocking (black, knee high) with ice, insert at back of jersey near neck, and repeat. Possibly the best advice ever to found from the annals of the Bicycling Magazine.
About half way up Otto, things started taking a slight turn for the worse. We were still only sitting at 1 flat, we were staying ahead of many if not all teams, but our man Fred H. was starting to get "quietly dizzy". At a certain point, we stopped, and I vividly recall Fred throwing his bike down, and barely being able to chat.
This was not good.
It's surprising to me that more of us were not having heat sickness issues. It was literally over 100, and we were riding probably one of the longest rides of our lives. After getting Fred to a point of talking, (this was a step) no wife, girlfriend, medical professional, nor race director in pink shorts would probably have given us the green light to continue. But, Fred would later tell us that there was NO WAY Hup would not finish in 2010. And he did us proud!
The mantra of the day, and the key to our success was a simple word: "less". Less as in, "less tempo at the front, please". We were not shy nor ashamed to ask for, or use this term often. By commanding less, we stuck together. Continually through the day, we commented on how many teams were so overtly split up; we'd see 1's and 2's of a team here, and then 10 km down the road, 2 more would show up. We opted against this tactic.
Our pace throughout the day was always sustainable. Damian was adamant about this from the first email soliciting participation. It's bad enough to be in a hard spot, on one of the toughest days to date on your bike, but it's even worse when your own team starts pulling away from you, or just motors off and says "catch up".
And so with "less" always on the brain, we hung tough. We were always 6-up. Sometime slow, sometimes fast, but we were 6-up.
After doing the 20 mile loop from checkpoint 1, back to checkpoint 2, the sun was setting, and we could taste Chris King's Blue Anodization from the top of Dixie. The carnage at check #2 was quite sobering, and really summarized how the day went for so many teams: Motofish, out. Team O, vomiting. A. Reed, heat stroke. For us, we were still together, lucky as hell with only 1 flat. We were hearing horror stories of 10 flats here, and 12 flats there. Do the math, and when you're strung out and trying to change a fucking Campy rim and a Conti tire, the split is at least 5-19 minutes. Multiple that by 10 flats, and well, you're done for the day.
The race finishing stretch was along Skyline, down the hairpins of Germantown, onto Hwy 30, and right, not straight through on 30 uh hmmmmm, onto St. Helens. The finishing circuit to CK reminded me of the Judson Ride in Chicago through the "crit zone", or whatever they call it. By the time we rolled into the parking lot, only to be greeted by said van and said fiance, we had spent 10 hours on the road, climbed 8500 corrected feet, over a span of 40 miles of gravel and 105.8 degree max temp.
The showers at CK were so nice, so needed. Damian nearly lost his wedding ring in the showers, but I digress.....Chris D., marketing honch at King, actually stopped into my studio yesterday (to do business in the BIG, SCARY city) and mentioned that he was the last one at CK that night, and the entire facility was respected, tidy, and not trashed. That was really good news to hear.
Even after Cobra Dogs and Spicy Burritos (Jay Sycip?) we were needing more food, beer, and compression uniforms. After a long day on the bike, the best day on the bike for most if not all of Hup United, we rolled back to our hotel, killed 3 pizzas, and kicked it in the comfort of our North Portland Residence Inn.
An email string went around on Monday AM, and I asked Damian how the drive went. "You would have loved it, we relived the race at least 15 more times".
It's still not entirely clear how we placed. We heard one stat that among 28 starting teams, or was it 30, there were only 5-6-7 teams that finished the entire course, with all members. I'm entirely convinced that number is even smaller, but regardless, we were in select company.
I love the fact that a women's team won the Gentleman's Race. I also love the fact that multiple fast teams choked so hard on their egos. I was extremely proud of our team, of all the Nor Cal guys and for Beverly's help, and in light of Hup United Portland being officially declared dead at 4:26 pm on Monday by Slate, I left the small village thinking that Hup United still lives.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Team Beer asked for volunteers from several local teams. The idea was that each contestant would choose the extent of their sleekness (nothing above the neck) and let the professionals do what they do best. He who was deemed to have undergone the biggest transformation from caveman to smooth dolphinesque perfection wins. Pretty simple contest. The treatment was free for each contestant, but everything would be done in front of everyone attending.
I was the lucky nominee for Hup United. I tried to get another volunteer, but it was determined that I was the only logical choice. Lots of body hair, a minor celebrity in the Portland bike scene, and no one else wanted to do it.
So there I was, about to be waxed. I went in the second wave of waxees. Two of the first three contestants went all the way, getting everything from the neck down removed. So the only way for Hup United to conquer all was for me to take a big one for the team and become the most aerodynamic DS in history. And that is exactly what I did.
The crowd was stacked 3-4 deep around my waxing table. It took 2 professional waxers 1.5 hours to complete the process. At one point, two other waxers joined in to help out. Lots of pictures were taken, copious amounts of whiskey was consumed (both by yours truly and the rowdy crowd), scissors were needed to trim bits of hair before wax could be applied, women (and men) saw more intimate parts of my body than most people would be comfortable with, and fun was had by all (well, by most).
Yes, it hurt. No, I wouldn't do it again. But it was worth it. I now have a trophy naming me the Team Beer WaxOff Champion. And Hup United has been elevated once again to one of the best teams in Portland.
Enjoy the pictures. If you are on Facebook, there are more. But remember, once you've seen them, you can't unsee them.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Here are the rides in case you are interested.
Wednesday: Northern Hill Route--around 55 miles/6100ft total elevation--starts from Asheville, NC. This ride contains some dirt roads and for a short distance is very challenging.
Thursday: Asheville-Hot Springs-Asheville-- (75 miles) One climb, mostly flat and very scenic.
Friday: The Queen Stage--Rapha's Continental Road Ride-- which is around (105 miles ). Incredible 10 mile climb up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and and an optional ascent of Mt. Mitchell on the way back to Asheville. Very, very scenic. Great write up on Rapha's website.
Saturday: French Broad River-Graveyard Fields--around 60 miles but half downhill. A nice way to end the trip.
Each ride will be around 17-18mph pace and include a lunch stop. Lodging will be in Asheville. Let me know if you are around that area or want to come down even if it for just one day, it should be great. Lots of good food and beer in Asheville. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Bart VanderHammer - 2nd B's
MC - 6th B's (after an early crash that left him DFL goin' into the first turn)
CD - 7th B's
Mossimo - 8th B's
At this point there are no more races on the horizon 'til Fall. (Sigh). Looking forward to the Barry-Roubaix Dirt Road Race next month - there'll be some HUP noise to be made there!
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Hup Service Course moved four Seattle blocks last month, and seems like enough kit has gathered to do a post. Please email me for availability and pricing if you are interested. email@example.com I'll honor emails in the order they roll in. Some gems in there.....Blue sublimated leg warmers (perhaps the most PRO Hup piece to date), a few Blanco rarities like SS Skinsuit and KAOS vest, and some LS Skinsuits in NOIR.
*Musette Bag (3)
*Blanco Cap (2)
*SS Jersey: Small (2)
*Bib: Medium (1)
*Sublimated leg warmers: Small, Large
*Sublimated Wind-tex Bootie: Small
*Roubaix arm warmers, black w/white logo: XS (4), Small (1), Medium (2)
*Roubaix leg warmers, black w/white logo: XS (2), Small (2)
*Bib: Small, Medium (2)
*SS Jersey: Small (2), XL
*LS Skinsuit: Small, Medium (2)
*SS Jersey: Small, Medium, Large
*KAOS Vest: thinest, lightest, windproof vest offered. No pockets: Medium
*Arm warmers with black logo: Small
*SS Skinsuit: Medium
Monday, January 18, 2010
The Versluis Snowcross takes place @ an apple orchard and is known for the traditionally muddy conditions and the big party on the garage afterwards. Both proved irresitable to myself, Mossimo, Mike Koetsier, Doez and Kaat and a-snowcrossing we did go. The course was pretty much 50/50 sticky mud and glare ice so tire pressures and other little details were less of a focus than scoping out the myriad pots of chili, soups and other post-race treats.
Nonetheless - in the B race Mike K slayed all to finish atop the field w/ Moss in 9th and your reporter in 11th. Doez decided to start drinking early and Kaat rolled over the line in 7th place in the C race.
The next one is in 4 weeks - stayed tuned.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
In just a couple weeks I'll be at the world champs in Tábor. One of the things I wonder about most often (right after “am I going to freeze to death?”), is what it will be like at the race. Not the race itself, but the scene, the atmosphere, the vibe.
When you arrive at a world championships, you can hear the euro-disco booming out of the beer tents, smell the frites and other goodies frying up. Then there are the fans, supporting their favorite rider, team or country, some just there for the beer, a mishmash of many different languages. An extremely festive atmosphere.
I've been to two previous world championships, one in Belgium (Hooglede-Gits 2007) the other in the Netherlands (Hoogerheide 2009). At those two races, the vibe was pretty similar, but then again, even though the races were in different countries, they weren't all that far apart, only an hour or so from Ghent or Brussels.
Tábor on the other hand is nearly 1000 km away, so I'm thinking, it may be different….
[Really, this is all just an excuse to post some photos I took at the races last year, which I meant to post, but never got around to. So here they are now, and if all goes well, another batch from Tábor in a couple weeks for a compare and contrast. If you click on the photos you'll be taken to the high res versions.]
This is a good photo to start with, lots going on here. The two guys closest to the camera are rooting for Swiss rider Dieter Runkel. He won the world title in 1995 and retired in 1998? or so. I suspect these guys know that, but you never know. Perhaps making an old school fashion statement. Beer tent on the left. Between the two Runkel fans in the black and red jacket is a member of the SUPPORTERSCLUB BART & GEERT WELLENS. Typical burger/hot dog stand straight ahead. A couple Czech flags flying. On the right a Belgian fan draped in a flag. A couple Flanders flags. Flyover in the distance.
Next, some French fans.
Not sure who the musicians are rooting for. Nice glasses dude.
Some of Bart Wellen's fans had a religious theme going.
Here's Bart Wellen's dad being interviewed by Sporza while crazy hair dude looks on.
American fans in the beer tent reading up on the 2010 race in Tábor.
The topmen. "We are the topmen. Okay."
I'll wrap up the fan section with a few shots of the bears. I'm not sure who they were rooting for, or why they thought it was a good idea to show up to a cross race dressed as a sleuth of bears. Here they are arriving at the race, about 10am, each starting in on their own six pack of Jupiler.
Getting ready to watch the first race of the day.
After the first race, all the six packs they brought were gone, so into the beer tent for more. It isn't obvious from the photo (need video), but the bear closest to me has his hand on the back of his head while he swivels his hips and does pelvic thrusts to the beat of the euro disco. Queue up Devo's "Disco Dancer" to set the mood. The big bear appears to have spotted me taking pictures of them, so I go outside and get some frites. Don't need any drunk bears after me.
This is a good lead into drinking period. I believe there are people who come to the world championships not to watch a bike race, but to drink and party. Here's a shot of some tables in the beer tent between races (1pm maybe). As you can see, there is a lot of beer (check out that stack of empty cups, and that cowbell!) I'm still stunned that fights don't break out every 5 minutes or so. The first thing that I thought would get a fight going was that once people got really juiced up, they'd take those cardboard beer carriers and chuck them in the air like you would an LP. If you've ever seen an LP fly through the air, these cardboard carriers travel in a similar manner, somewhat erratically, before zipping back down and whacking someone in the head. Like someone's girlfriend, or a drunk, angry bear. But no fights. Well at least I think no fights. When those cardboard carriers started flying, I went outside for more food. The other time I was sure sure sure there was going to be a brawl was right after the men's race. The Dutch were bumming because they really thought Boom was going to win at home, but he didn't have a good race at all. The Belgians were on top of the world, they won and thoroughly dominated the race. Legions of drunk Belgians were singing at the top of their lungs. I don't speak Flemish, but it was clear that the gist of the song was, Belgians rule, we kicked your ass, Boom sucks and so do you. Still no fights. Those Europeans are a peaceful lot. Nevertheless, I still did my best to look neither Belgian nor Dutch during the singing.
At some point during the weekend, someone in our group wandered up with mass quantities of Smeets jenever. Everyone got one and did pretty much the same thing, inspect, chug. Interesting.
While mass quantities of alcohol didn't seem to cause any fights, it did cloud the judgement of some folks. I staked out my spot for the men's race at the set of stairs, just after the women's race ended. I wanted a front row spot and was willing to stand there for a couple hours to get it. As it got closer to race time, people arrived, decided they didn't want to stand 3 rows back and started climbing up in the trees to get a better view. The climbers were big, the branches they were standing on were small. Bad combo. It was somewhat entertaining for the rest of us. The first guys start climbing.
Be sure to get a beer hand up.
Next set of guys climb up. Note the guy in the paper suit way up high.
Here's another time a video would be better. Note the crowd of people all looking up at the tree. That is because the one guy is falling, snapping little branches off as he goes down. He stopped before he hit the ground, but I can't imagine all those snapping little twigs between his hands and legs felt all that great.
Some other guys decided to stand on the not so sturdy fence. A few fell off.
Once the race got going, it was a pretty good place to spectate. Here's a shot of Belgian dominance. Mid-way through the race, Albert and Stybar were off the front, this was the 3rd-6th group (with a gap to 7th).
The downside of that spot on the course was that you couldn't see a JumboTron from there. They usually have a few JumboTrons at the races, ideally you can pick an interesting spot on the course to watch and then after the leaders go by watch the rest of the lap on the big screen. No such good spots in Hoogerheide, Hooglede-Gits was better.
One thing that they did have in NL (that I didn't see in Belgium) was a Haribo stand where you could get drunk on candy.
Lars Boom is apparently a fan of the Cross Crusade. He put their stickers on his mobile home.
That's enough. Every cross fan should go see a world championships. More fun than you can imagine.