Anyway, one 2010 sponsor I feel like I can really talk about right now because I've been using Ergon since 2008. I'd had plenty of issues with wrist and forearm pain in the 1990s, when I had been riding a rigid fork. I rode a rigid fork-- on a pre-Trek-buyout Gary Fisher-- not because I was cool, but because that's what everyone did Back In The Day. My friends and I rode rigid 30+ pound cro-moly bikes in Moab and shuttled Taos and raced crappy NORBA races and got lost all over the Appalachians. We didn't know any better. And I used Oury grips and they hurt and drove little square indentations into the palms of my hands. When I started rock climbing a lot, the forearm and elbow issues got even worse.
Wrist and arm issues have gotten better since I stopped climbing so much and started riding with a suspension fork but I don't want the old problems to come back. I saw Ergon grips on someone's bike and it immediately seemed like the way to go. Eddie lent me some of his demos and then I went out and got a pair of the lower-profile GX1s.
the Ergon GX1s in action, one of my favorite race photos of 2009. 6h of Yargo.
Last year Ergon was a team sponsor for FM:Race, and through that sponsorship I got my hands on one of the BD1 packs as well. Very German and complicated and fairly awesome. I wore it heavily loaded with food and headlamp batteries and whatnot for the Pisgah 99. Except for being a bit too small for my needs I think it worked better than anything else would have. I never thought I was a backpack-wearing kind of racer but I've been using it a lot lately and really starting to like it.
So this year I am "individually sponsored" by Ergon. When I first got the email from Jeff, I was straight-up psyched about this. Then I saw the rest of the list of individually sponsored athletes and am feeling a bit intimidated. I am very very un-pro and shouldn't be on the same list with some of these people. And I'm not just talking about Hans Rey(™). Um, seriously, my name is right there above Harlan?? Who was, what, the USAC national champion something-or-other in 2009? Not to mention Carey, who I raced with about 6 times in 2009 but literally never even saw-- even for a second-- between a start line and a finish line. I mean, I'm gonna ride fast all year, but I'm still probably gonna get spanked out there most of the time.
My own insecurities aside, I really am psyched to be continuing my relationship with Ergon. They make beautiful products that work really well, and that I really believe in. I can't wait to get my hands on one of the larger-volume BD2 packs, and looking forward to throwing some new Ergon grips on my new bike, whenever it gets here. The only question: will neon-green grips look too crazy with bubblegum-pink brakes?