Thursday, March 22, 2018

JGST Video

Short, awesome video put together by Ryan Little with the JGST highlights.
I'm not sure if I'm more inspired by the people who come together to make an event like this happen, or just simply by Ryan's abilities as a filmmaker.  The whole "we knew that kid when..." concept seems insufficient.

Regardless, it feels pretty great to live and operate in a community like this.
Will keep you, the public, apprised of the semi-ginormous check that we all played a part in creating, to be sent out to Colorado soon.

Until next time, rubber down, heads up up up.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

James Gist - MTB Race Pioneer

This past fall at the final race of the VAHS series at Woodberry Forest up in Madison, something like 300 kids showed up to race mountain bikes.  It was a jaw-dropping volume of shredding, bigger than almost every other MTB race in Virginia in 2017, all except for the SM100.  

Even 10 years ago, the idea that 300 high schoolers (and middle schoolers, actually) would show up to a mountain bike race would have been pretty far-fetched...unless you were James Gist.  

A little of the history of youth mountain bike racing here in Virginia can be found below, and the big man on the Northern Fringe, Nolan himself, sent me an explanation of how James' work back in 2007 has evolved into the thriving race scene we have today.

From Nolan:
James was pretty instrumental in helping Tony and I get the blue ridge triple threat off the ground.  As far as I know (and I am sure someone will correct me) it was the first high school race series in virginia.   Started in 2008 ran for two or three years.  In my humble opinion it paved the way for the current junior MTB scene.  If memory serves me correctly James was the CAMBC president at the time, and he and Fenton showed Tony and me how to do stuff.  The series was BRS, O-Hill and Walnut.  

2007, Blue Ridge School

Social Progress.  The aging of the human body.  The passage of time.  Every lesson in history like this tends to give me pause. 

This one gives me hope too. For every school shooting out there, which there seems to be an awful lot of right now, there's a guy like Nolan, or James, or Fenton working to bring bikes into kids' lives in a way that might help them learn to peacefully navigate this bizarre, dangerous new world.      

Which is the only world we have to offer them.  

Shred on, kids.  
Rubber down.  Heads up, up, up.  

Monday, March 12, 2018

The JGST IS Saturday. Sign up, up, up!

Update from our man of the week, James Gist, out in Colorado.  It's worth a watch and, more than likely, a healthy dose of perspective.

Two things that I'll point out here from his video:
1)  There's an amazing amount of technology and assistance out there for someone battling ALS.  I am deeply and profoundly grateful for that, as well as James' courage to share his story as he navigates it all.
2)  It all costs money.

And that's where we come in.  If you know James, you probably have already chipped in via the PayPal fund that was set up to do just that.  If not, it's time to step up.

Even if you don't know James, you can still donate that way.

Or.  Orrrrr...if you don't know James, but you just plain like racin' bikes, which there is no shame in, you can sign up for the JGST, which is a 1 hour short track happening on Saturday.  It's going to be amazing, under 62 degree bluebird skies, with CAMBC grilled burgers and Green Beer to cap it all off.  And your racing cash will go straight to Gist Family that way too.

Sign up for the JGST here.

I'm going to do my best not to sob and grovel at you this week, but there are no guarantees in life, which is kind of the original point of all of this anyway.

To try to keep it upbeat, I'll now give you the following:
1)  Here's the lap.  This thing will be taped, raked, and ready for you to stomp all over your big ring around by Thursday.  You can tell I'm old because I use phrases like "Big Ring."  But you know what I mean.   I think the lap has the right balance of singletrack and flow but still enough room for Richard Serton to pass you and blow your doors off when he needs to.   Which will be often.  So I hope you'll like it.
2)  I promise you, if we can get him out here this week in some sunshine, I'll put together some helmet cam video of the fastest, raddest leprechaun you have ever seen hucking his green vessel around this course like Nino McSchurter.  So you'll have a sense of how rad it is, even before you show up on Saturday.  I'll post the video up here soon.

That right there, along with the effort to support James as a whole - is the very power of the internet.

Use it the right way.

Step it up, up, up.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Let's Rally, O'Malley.

Sign up!  

The JGST is in less than 2 weeks - that's Saturday March 17th.

At one point, I lobbied the powers that be to name this event the STJG (Short Track James Gist) because I thought it would make it sound Euro.
The Grand Prix Miguel Indurain
The Criterion Du Dauphine
Etc.  Where the race category precedes the namesake.

But then I was reminded that this race also coincides with St Patricks Day, and for $20 you can both race and fill your belly with green beer, and that any notion of European Class should be quashed right from the very start.

And We Like It That Way.

So then, let's rally, O'Malley.

After all, it's a fundraiser.  And our cause, The Gist Family, once famously won the costume contest at the Paranormal when they came dressed as Obama vs. Hillary Clinton.  Johanna also famously killed it a different year with a deadpan impersonation of Richard Pence, hair and all.  Point being that real class also sometimes dresses it up a little, and that is what we intend to do in this case.

Course preview?  Coming soon.  Will it be helmet-cam footage of McCardell, dressed as a leprechaun, throwing huge tail whips through fresh cut loam?  
Sign up - as I may have said before, and then tune back in to find out.  
And up and up and up.  

Thursday, March 1, 2018



You heard it here first.
How, exactly, they save lives varies immensely.  But they do.

The marginally kept semi-secret Trek Checkpoints are now in stock, both up here in the Northside where gravel actually exists and Downtown where...Shaine works.  

You can check out the full review over on CyclingTips.  First person to ride that 34 X 34 gearing up Brokenback without putting a foot down wins a prize, that prize being temporary penile numbness.

Just in case the horses in the stable were getting lonely; N plus 1.  That's French for "Federal tax return."

Giddyup, up, up.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Thursday, February 22, 2018

James Gist Short Track - 3.17.18 - SIGN UP

It's hard to sum up James Gist.  Renaissance man is way, way overused in modern times, but I think that's the proper way to describe him.

You probably know James as the one time president of CRC.  2008 or so, I guess.  That's pre-Scanlon presidency, which is, of course, before McCardell got his filthy paws on the presidency, which immediately precedes the long hike to the top that now makes Will Leet our leader.  (I offer the word "hike" without further comment.)

Outside of bikes, I put together an incomplete list of other rad stuff that James Gist is into:
Remote control things
Anything fast
I'm forgetting a ton of things here.  James is, without compare, the most well-rounded person I know.  He is literally good at everything.

James, in case you haven't heard, finds himself in a fight with ALS right now.  You can follow his story here, pause for a moment and sob to yourself, HOLY SHIT, and spend the rest of the day pondering all the things in life that you cannot control.

Once you've done that, and pretty much all the problems in your own life are put into perspective as mere peanuts, you'll probably wonder...what can I do?  Here we go:

1)  Give.  You can do so via the link.

2)  Sign up for the inaugural James Gist Short Track.  There was, in the mid 00's here in Charlottesville, no fiercer short track racer than James.  (He could also fuck up a plate of brownies faster than a Saint Bernard.)  It will be, I hope, a proper way to do him proud, come together as a community, and support his family financially and otherwise.

More to come about James, the cause, and the race in the coming weeks, but I'll trail off here for now and let the links above do the talking.

Make a difference, and keep looking up up up.