Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Getting All Un-Pro

So I have some very real equipment sponsors for 2010. Even though they are already listed over to the right, it seems a bit weird to make a big deal out of working with Bike29 when I am still riding [dented up and slightly out of true] 26 inch wheels and [loser] tires, or talk about working with Lynskey when I am still on an [old and heavy] aluminum frame and a [nearly kaput] Fox fork. I both love and hate my current bike, a Specialized Epic Expert, and am sort of wigging out about the new one that's coming. I'm also sad as the Epic seems to be disintegrating piece by piece right now. The Epic's been ridden hard and has served me well since Jan 2007 and the story of how I came to own it deserves a post of its own sometime.

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?


  1. "will neon-green grips look too crazy with bubblegum-pink brakes?"

    what would dicky say?

  2. Congrats on your sponsors, and you are totally deserve them!!!

  3. Nice work girl! Now if we can work on that self-defeating attitude in 2010! I think the neon-green grips and bubblegum pink brakes will look awesome! Especially with the zebra skirt or something of the like!

  4. Some SWEET sponsors for you. Congrats. What will be your steed for 2010?

  5. Carey-- a Lynskey Pro29... it's still being built. The waiting is driving me crazy!