Friday, March 14, 2014

The New Crew

Some events in life are so remarkable that they are forever engraved in your brain. People know where they were when JFK was shot. Who  they were with when the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded. What they were doing when the Twin Towers were struck.  Or where they were when they got invited to join their first cycling team.  OK, maybe the last option doesn’t carry quite the same historical value as the other 3, but on the other hand, it is usually remember for the wonderful feeling it brought to you as opposed to the horrible, gut wrenching memories that go with the others.
Standing at the 9-11 memorial in New York City. Like many, this is "One of those days" that I will never forget.

I started racing on a regular basis in the fall of 2010. My friend Chris Clark kept talking it up and eventually convinced me to give it a go.  I won’t recount that story, but you can read my blog from January 7th, 2012 if you REALLY want to read about all that. Prior to my first race that fall, I replied to a Facebook post from somebody who was looking for help getting a canopy from Wexford to Waynesburg for the Kickoff Cross Race.  Since I lived in Waynesburg at the time, I knew it would be no problem shuttling it to the race so I volunteered to help them out.  It was the first time I had met Niall McAra.  A few months later, he sent out an email to ask if I was interested in joining his racing team for the upcoming 2011 season.  Naturally, I was gung ho for it. While there were lots of promises about help from the more experienced riders, what it really turned out to be was Mike Janeiro, Rick Plowman, and myself figuring out things on our own.  The “team” never really developed, but it sure did help me develop my love of the cycling team.
Going 1-2-3 in the 2010 ABRA Crit Series with my old team.  

During the fall of 2011, at the Monster Cross race in Morgantown, JR asked me what I was doing for the following season.  To say that I was excited would be an understatement.  Here was the opportunity to be a part of the sport with people who were making things happen.  It was my first REAL experience with being on a team. No offense to Rick or Mike because we had some really great results riding together, but a team is more than just the people riding their bikes when the official blows the whistle.  And for the first 2 years, the Dynamic Physical Therapy Cycling Team powered by Pathfinder has had some great people on it. Some of my best friends I’ve met through the team and I will eternally be thankful for having met them.  But every year the team is different.  People move away, people move to different teams, and some even quit racing altogether.  These departures from the team mean that there is the potential for some lucky folks to get their invitation to join the Dynamic team. 
Arts and Crafts for the 2011 Dynamic Physical Therapy Cycling Team powered by Pathfinder.
Counting JR (taking the photo) 5 of 10 of these guys are still with the DPT Team.   :-)

A lot of thought goes into the selection of riders, because they not only have to be strong riders, its important that they fit well with the personality of the team.  We just finished up the team Training Camp this past weekend, and I am very excited to say that once again, I think we have one of the funnest groups of riders in the area. I am really looking forward to spending a lot of time with them over the summer. Be sure to stop by the team area and say hello. Sit down, hang out, and maybe you’ll have one of those moments you’ll never forget too.