Two of the nation’s best endurance mountain bikers, who happen to be married and happen to be good friends of ours were profiled on Cycling News yesterday. Eddie and Namrita O’Dea will both be racing for Vassago Cycles next year. This should make for some interesting laundry, as probably 90% of their stuff on any given week will be similarly logo’ed jerseys and shorts, which will require diligent sorting (and you do want to separate them Eddie, because you don’t want to show up to a race having packed one of Nam’s jerseys).
In the last few years, they’ve made some serious life commitments to their training and also left their desk jobs to found a performance bike fit and coaching company, 55nineperformance. Not to mention promoting and running mountain bike races such as the Fool’s Gold and the BURN, which Jen and I attended back in May. Jen and I also had the privilege of putting together a racing clinic with those two, and the notes can be found here (I’ve been slowly working on a repository of helpful cycling documents and hope to add many more in the coming year.)
Huge congrats to Eddie and Namrita for their successes in 2007, their deal with Vassago and good luck to them for the 2008 racing season.
Today, NPR covered the Iranian paddlers we met when we attended the US Whitewater Slalom National Championships recently held at the Adventure Sports Center International in McHenry, Maryland. If you listen to the NPR audio, you can hear our friend Matt on the PA announcing “one of our guests from Iran.”
Last weekend we visited two of my oldest friends from Atlanta who moved to western Maryland last summer. Kieran is working remotely for IBM and Matt is managing the new artificial whitewater course at Adventure Sports Center International in McHenry, MD. They also manage four beautiful kids who keep them extremely occupied. After a long night of catching up, the kids woke us up early on Saturday for several hours of errands and field trips. I merely had to keep all four alive (harder than you think, and I can elaborate) long enough to give mom a quick break and then we were off to the race. Though officially opened a month to the day of the race, ASCI was hosting the 2007 US National Championships.
I was lucky to have Matt and Kieran indoctrinate me as a spectator long enough ago to have watched Matt qualify for both the Sydney and Athens Olympics. Whitewater slalom is the most exciting live sport I’ve ever watched and defies description. At first it really seems like controlled chaos. Paddlers either have a strong understanding of fluid dynamics (the science), a vocalized spirituality about how the water wants to flow (the art) , or both. Either way, they understand they can only go where the water permits, and maneuvering is about choosing the right line and hoping for the best.
Eddie O pulled a repeat of last year and finished 4th at Nationals! Last year’s race was punctuated by some of the worst conditions the sport had ever seen, with torrential downpours and tornadoes popping up across the Midwest. The trailer of 24 Solo actually uses that storm as its opening scene.
The top 4 places at Nationals have been the same for two years in a row:
The first three guys all have full pro sponsorships with Trek, Gary Fisher, and Santa Cruz, respectively. After 2 years at #4, I have to think the big sponsors are looking really hard at Eddie.
For the record, I do not currently have cable nor satellite TV. I have a 1992 20″ TV with rabbit ear antennas and we receive maybe seven TV stations semi-clearly, one of which is public TV and another is in Spanish. I might subscribe to pay TV if it wasn’t such a headache.
This afternoon, we were at a friend’s house watching the last stage of the Tour de France that she’d recorded that morning on her DirecTV DVR, or set-top recorder. (I still don’t know anything about the stage, so don’t tell me.) About 20 minutes into the program, a heavy rainstorm knocked out her satellite signal, and with it the DVR’s ability to play a pre-recorded show. Satellites need an unobstructed view of the Southern sky. Makes sense, got it. But I don’t understand why the box can’t play a locally recorded show without a satellite uplink. I’m guessing it has something to do with keeping you tethered to a DirecTV monthly subscription and avoiding the sharing of recorded content.
When we finally got the thing back up and running, we tried to resume the Tour stage, only to find out that the DirecTV box had mysteriously decided to record 9 minutes of Extreme Cage Fighting (as opposed to the non-extreme cage fighting shows) over the Tour Stage. The DVR menu still said “Tour Stage 20, 7:30 AM”, but now the notes stated it was recorded at 1:57 PM. A few calls to customer service and tech support confirmed that the program was probably gone permanently. In fact, when we mentioned that we thought the storm had done something to the DVR box, the tech rep replied “Yep, that will happen with storms.”
Accelerade, a sports drink that has been sold for years in specialty running and cycling shops, is having its coming out party. As part of the promotion, Accelerade has ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes attempting to break record for most miles run on a hamster wheel in 24 hours. You can view the event live today Accelerade’s website.
Personally, I think riding a 24 hour mountain bike race gets monotonous enough, riding the same lap over and over. I can’t even imagine how grueling (and incredibly boring) it must be to run indoors on a treadmil.