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Posts Tagged ‘WVU’

Dirty MTB Route I found last year. Decided to try it on the MTB. It was rought, but refreshing, in this all-road season!

Here is the link to the route: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/52806296

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Went to Philippi, WV today and tried to get some coverage on the Barbour DeTour. End results? I was schooled by Gunnar Shogren on digital camcorders; wearing bike shorts instead of bringing a change of clothes, and the history of the local races in Philippi. Great times. I was also fortunate enough to meet up with a few of the pghracing guys who are a blast to talk to. If you live in West Virginia, I suggest to get to Philippi next time they have a race! In Fact, WVMBA #6 is tomorrow! Hope to see you there!

All in all, there were racers from at least four or five states other than WV, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I’m excited for the kind of liveliness that has been seen in this year’s race series!

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I was lucky enough to take a ton of footage from the Tour of Tucker County Race (May 29 2010).

Hopefully, I caught all of you guys in a shot somewhere~

Keep checking back, since I’m processing and uploading more videos as we speak!

Photos can be viewed here: http://wvcycling.wordpress.com/2010/05/30/tour-of-tucker-county-photos-pt-1/

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Several weeks ago, I received Joe Parkin’s second book, Come & Gone: A True Story of Blue-Collar Bike Racing in America. What interested me the most was particularly coincidental, since it was about West Virginia, and well… y’know… I kinda live in West Virginia

Joe Parkin mentions West Virginia at least five times in this book; roughly spanning the early to mid 90′s, and even now… his comments resonate with me, in terms of culture and locations.

joe parkin come and gone morgantown

Joe Parkin, himself.

With permission from Ted Costantino, VP/Editor at VeloPress, the publisher of this book,  I’m going to quote some of these portions:

Knowing that the guys who had raced the Tour DuPont would all either be flying (in which case they’d be untouchable) or completely wrecked (in which they’d be dangerous to be around), I wasn’t looking at Pittsburg or West Virginia as anything but training. It was a good thing too because in Pittsburgh I rode about as well as a first-year junior.

West Virginia on the other hand, was different. After nearly being arrested by a local cop for “playing on my highway” while we were out on a training ride, we arrived in Morgantown, West Virginia, and survived the prologue.” (Parkin, p16-17)

This made me cackle like a hyena! Even in 2010, I could imagine some Cletus or Billy-Ray policeman stopping a pack of people training on some rural road!

Joe Parkin Come & Gone

Another portion of the book talked about the night before the prologue of the Kmart Tour of West Virginia, Parkin is looking for a place to grab a bite to eat:

I came across a little hippie place called Mountain People, where the menu promised I could get something both healthy and tasty. I parked my bike outside where I could still see it and wandered in. I placed my order and sat down to wait, excited at the prospect of my first interesting meal in a long time. One of the other customers whom I took to be a regular, had been speaking nonstop since I’d first walked into the place, but with only waiting for my food on my mind, I unfortunately started to hear what he was saying.

“So which one of our merry band, do you think, will represent us in this bike thing?” he asked in no particular direction.
After receiving answers in the form of shrugging shoulders and barely audible grunts, he directed his attention at me, the only Lycra-kitted patron anywhere near the Mountain People.

“Hey, You,” he started, “are you here for this bike tour thing?”

Secretly I wanted to pull a pistol out from some secret, all-concealing jersey pocket and shoot this guy in the face. Instead I channeled my dad.”Yes sir, I am. Beautiful country here”

He continued to wonder aloud which locals would be represented. he then shifted his attention toward one of the other customers.

“Hey Benny,” he barked, “you should join this thing. You ride your bike all of the time.”

The guy then turned back to me.

“Hey, where do you sign up for this tour?” he asked.

“Well,” I said carefully, “this is an invitation-only race… one that’s open to professionals and a few amateur national teams only.” I shrugged.

“So how many professional women are there?” he said.

“You know, I don’t really know. There aren’t any here, though.”

“Why not?” he asked, as if looking for a fight. “Are you scared they’re going to beat you? Would that embarrass you?”

“No-”

“That’s awfully sexist, now isn’t it? he interrupted.

“Listen,” I answered, glaring and pointing, “This is not about that. This is bike racing… elite level bike racing. There is not a woman I know of who would be dumb enough to come and get her ass kicked here. It is a muscular, physical, and hormonal thing that has nothing at all to do with any sort of equal rights.”

“Hormones… like testosterone? Are you even tested for steroids?” he asked, confusing the subject. “No wonder you don’t allow women!”

“Yeah, we are. But fuck you,” I replied. “Fuckin’ hippies.” I turned my back on the guy and walked out. I’d been in West Virginia less than 24 hours, and I was already done with it.

Joe Parkin Come & Gone Morgantown

The last portion really sets Parkin over the top, but retrospectively is hilarious. He is still trying to find something to eat, and gets ready to go to a coffee shop with his adjunct director Mark to go with him to this spot. I’m thinking it was the Blue Moose Cafe. he encounters a certain character along the way, and the drama starts…

Joe Parkin Come & Gone Morgantown

As Mark and I made our way up the sidewalk toward the coffeehouse, an old man took offense at what he apparently viewed as my scofflaw attitude and started screaming, “Get. That. Gosh. Damned. Bi-cycle. Off. The. Gosh. Damned. Sidewalk!”

He came at me with all the speed and fury that an old man could muster, smacked me across the back with his cane, and then stuffed it into the spokes of my front wheel. In his eyes I could see nothing but hatred- hatred toward me, this race, and life itself. In the old man’s glare I also imagined that I could see my dad’s eyes and the confusion that lived inside his brain Alzheimer’s set in. Despite that sensation, I became the ugly visitor, spewing obscenities at the top of my lungs. I pushed the old man back with no regard for his age, his dignity, or his physical or mental condition. Had he swung at me, I would have come back with full anger of a frustrated and homesick skinny guy.

Wow. Just wow. This mirrors a situation that happened to me two or so years ago when I attempting to deposit a cheque at my bank. I rode down Main Street, and popped up onto the sidewalk, wanting to get to the entrance of the building. Maybe fifteen feet after I was on the sidewalk, an older, snaggly man shouted out “What in hell do you think you’re doin’ on this walkway with your bike?”

I had no clue how to reply, so I just pointed at my bank, and walked into the building with my bike, just in case he tried to destroy it or take it or some other crazy old man thing…

I’m sure people living anywhere have experienced situations like this with people young and old… I don’t personally believe this is a specific trait or attribute of West Virginians…

Morgantown though… It produces quite a crowd of odd people… If Joe Parkin ever decided to come back to West Virginia for just about anything, it would not surprise me if he attempted to avoid Morgantown~ I don’t blame him, I don’t think the town has changed too much in the past fifteen years~

Come & Gone can be found at Book Stores, Local Bike Shops, and Online.

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It’s funny how one thing can make a completely terrible day turn out to be okay.

Went to Morgantown WV for a WVU visit for prospective students. Got lost, and stopped to ask for directions. I was in the shopping district of High/Chancery street by the legal businesses. Magically I ended up walking directly into Pathfinder (reviews of store). It was impressive to view the selection of bikes and everything else they had in the store. They are truly more of an outdoors store than just a LBS. Met the owner; he seems like a pretty nice guy. I asked if I could take a walk around the store after asking for directions and take a few pictures for my blog; he agreed.


There was a fair selection of complete bikes in stock. I asked the shop employees to get me a price quote for cyclocross framesets in my size that they could have, and the prices, while not competitive (do you expect that for some random guy off the street?) were very fair. This is a plus in my book. (more…)

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With the first month of 2010 almost over, it was about time to start making goals. Directions to take the blog. Things that need light brought upon them, and things I need to learn also. There is a lot about WV that I do not know. There is also a lot about cycling that I do not know. This blog is going to show progress in both of these alleys.

I’d really like to get out and explore more of the state. There are so many great places around here, and I need to become privy to the lesser known areas. This is where I hope my subscribers come in handy. If you ever have any suggestions on locations, let me know.

Another topic is to become acquainted with people in this state that can do good for cycling. Heck, I even hear Joe Manchin enjoys cycling. Nick Hein is the CEO, of Positive Spin in Morgantown. I hope to be able to learn a few things from him while at WVU.

The amount of businesses that dabble in cycling is actually pretty amazing in West Virginia. I’d like to see what they think about many things that go on, and what their goals are.

Me being the roadie that I am, really needs to develop a broader awareness of what is out there. Especially cyclocross. I didn’t know it was as big as it is here in the state. (Actually sending out an email to JR Petsco with questions about wvcx)

We can’t forget our MTB buddies, but there will still be a bigger chunk of time on EURO racing. Fitness will also be a big key for this blog, seeing how West Virginia’s obesity and diabetes ratings are only in competition with Burger King and Mississippi.

Also to the readers, invite me to one of your club rides. I’d really like to see a glimpse into other bike culture groups in this state.

There is still a lot of time left in 2010 and many words to be posted. Keep me updated with your lives, and I will keep you updated on all things wvcycling.

Don’t forget that wvcycling’s freebie contest ends Feb 1st

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With this blog, one of my big goals is to grab and pick little sections of West Virginia’s cycling scenes and locations, and be able to convey them to others who may not live in this state, or may not get to travel to areas that posts are created.

This time, I have interviewed the Cycling Team President of West Virginia University. WVU has around 29,000 students and the main campus is located in Morgantown WV. if you’ve been in WV at all, or follow any sport – you know that WVU is a big deal.

I wasn’t able to make it up to motown this week to interview Ryan, but I was able to speak to him on the phone, and email him some questions. Lets get started!

Ryan started competitively cycling in 2005, starting with MTB. He is a USAC Official, and often promotes races, and still has time to race himself. I remember first meeting Ryan in Phillipi in 2008, during a criterium where he was logging times and data. I volunteered to use my car to block off an entrance/exit point in the crit loop.  He became President of the WVU Cycling Team/Club in 2007, and became President of the WVU Sports Club Federation in 2008. Funny enough, in 2005-6, he logged over 300 miles on a unicycle! Talk about dedication!

20Q With Ryan Post

1.       What was it like racing with the WVU Team in the 2009 season? (more…)

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