Monday, January 29, 2018

Orica Pistons

Along the Central Coast of California rests a blossoming and bountiful town in San Luis Obispo. While it may be known for its outstanding location that places Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Francisco within reach, its promising growth and technological innovation, or its university campus, San Luis Obispo should also be known for its cycling prominence.

In California, through various online postings, cycling communities are growing in appeal. Known as tribes and villages, it is always a pleasure to have friends that pedal, push, and play. In San Luis Obispo, the community is strong, strong in spirit and physical nature, which was apparent at the Santa Barbara County Road Race on Saturday, January 27.

Yes, tribes and villages are dialed; however, among college-influenced groups, which float along Highway 1, dance through the grapevines of wine country, and rally up dirt climbs on 25 millimeter tires, we prefer Orica Pistons, Tenderness Boys, or other nicknames inspired by oxygen deprivation and legs lighter than feathers.

During the winter months, it was common to ride Highway 1, all while speaking in Australian accents and spewing fun facts, prior to cutting inland and staring at rear hubs as we hunkered down. (Colin Patterson always managed to deliver the hurt.) Yes, we were training; however, we were also collecting sunshine, motivating one another, expressing ourselves, and taking pedal strokes off to enjoy our laughter, before gathering ourselves and getting back to the task at hand.

It's all part of a balancing act. We want to be like Orica-GreenEDGE (now Michelton-SCOTT GreenEDGE Cycling) and laugh until our jaws ache; however, we also want to resemble the Detroit Pistons from the 1980s, the "Bad Boys." We're going to have fun while jamming, but we're not going to take it from anyone. While nicknames and phrases began to pop, it was merely talk. Sure, it was a solid winter, but the San Luis Obispo cycling community, as well as countless other cyclists, entered Santa Barbara County Road Race with unsure feelings.

As a few friends and I lined up for the Category 3 road race, I leaned over to my close buddy, Brad Wiggs, and mentioned that this is when we begin to release sunshine. Looking back on it, I have no clue what I was saying, although it served as a reminder of the work that we had put in during the winter. We were ready.

With the race unfolding slowly, we tried to remain patient, until that wasn't going to work anymore. Nearly three laps in, this four-lap race was going to finish rapidly. On a soft roller, I launched into a brisk headwind in pursuit of two leaders. Instantly, I began to think, until I couldn't think anymore. It was time to commit. After turning out of the wind, I peered back and noticed a lone figure emerging from the pack, one Brad Wiggs, a fellow Orica Piston. This was going to be hype, and it was going to hurt.

With Brad and I in pursuit of two leaders, we crossed the start/finish area to complete an additional 14-mile loop. As we headed out for our final lap, I noticed a figure smiling, shaking his head, and smiling. It was Blake Anton, a professional cyclist that resides on the outskirts of San Luis Obispo. Blake mentors Cal Poly Cycling, while being a generous giver of advice, effort, and time. During racing moments, it means the world, fuels the fire, and amplifies the confidence meter, while thinking back to dishing out gut punches on local hills, over and over and over again. That smile served as inspiration. He knew that Brad and I had launched a gutsy move. This was going to take plenty of perseverance.

There we were, two dudes (Brad and Sean) headed out for a fourth and final lap. Photo: Adam O'Camb.

Now that lap four was underway, Brad and I had established ourselves between the leaders and a chasing peloton. With time splits coming from an official, we hopped in our foxholes and hunkered down (sound advice from Yuri Hauswald), setting our sights on the race lead. At times, I questioned what we were doing. However, Brad assured me that we needed to commit. So, we remained confident and jammed. This was going to be our race.

Halfway through the final lap, Brad and I finally bridged to the leaders. A hefty chase burned plenty of matches and left a serious dent. Unfortunately, we were not going to receive any pity. Instantly, we were being asked to pull through. While a few expletives may have been taken by the Santa Maria winds, our four-man break began to cooperate and tap away at a solid rhythm. This was going to be our race.

After trudging through that same headwind section, turning out of the wind, and peering toward a rapidly approaching finishing stretch, the legs began to soften, my mind went blank, and emotions began to sizzle. "GOOOOO" was all I could muster, as our break began to quiet. I could not believe our current situation. Since being off the front, I looked back for the first time. While a peloton could be seen in the distance, I remained calm and focused on my breathing. Brad and I briefly exchanged words, something about focusing and riding our race. Quite extravagant thoughts, eh?

As our fluid rotation began to collapse, I couldn't sit on the front any longer. I swung out and became stubborn. With just hundreds of meters to go, it was time to fight. I was fighting for my wingman's wheel, thinking of the "Bad Boys," and not taking it from anyone. Instead of settling on fourth wheel, I gained third wheel, behind Brad. As the two of us sat on the race leader, the finishing stretch began to straighten and open. My legs lost feeling, and I began to think about how this finishing stretch could have used a bit more morning reconnaissance, but it was time to remain patient, have faith, and commit.

Soon, my mind went blank and instincts took over. Constantly, I scanned the open road, before tunnel vision set in on the finishing tent. It was time to turn and burn. From second position, Brad opened up a fierce kick, which I followed, prior to popping toward the centerline. With a few kicks, I was out in the open air. We were turning and burning alright, which left me satisfied to finally cross the finishing stripe. "Sean Bird!" yelled Brad.

Boom, boom. Photo: Colin Patterson.

Two dudes, two dudes from San Luis Obispo, who make jokes about Orica Pistons, speak in Australian accents, and dance to DJ Cotty to warm up, just bagged positions one and two in a hot and heavy race. That's a yip, yap, yew moment.

Within seconds, we were slapping hands, hugging, and speaking with other members of the San Luis Obispo cycling community that had descended on the road race. Whether you want to call it a tribe, a village, the Tenderness Boys, or the Orica Pistons, I do know that we're a family. When one wins, we all win. Day in and day out, we commit to each other in training and spirit. Our success is because of each other, and I'm stoked to be a minuscule sliver of the San Luis Obispo cycling community.

Although the Santa Barbara County Road Race is in the rearview mirror, the season is just beginning, and we have a long way to go. With that, this is raw stroytelling, and I plan to leave it as such, with minimal editing. Thank you for reading, thank you for being a piece of this family, thank you for supporting Everjourney. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Product Sale: More Sending, Less Pretending Water Bottle

Generation one of the More Sending, Less Pretending water bottle has arrived! After initial inspiration in the Angeles National Forest of Southern California, More Sending, Less Pretending is a ridiculous phrase to highlight apparel and accessories within the Everjourney brand.

This particular bottle design draws inspiration from Cal Poly Cycling, Hawaii Friday, and lifestyle riding. A black, smoke, and green color scheme makes this bottle sleek. Carrying style, elegance, and grace, this bottle will have your compatriots staring at your downtube come Saturday's group ride.

With only a limited number available, make your purchase by following details in the SHOP tab. Cost for one water bottle is $15, while two water bottles is $25. Shipping, if needed, is $15. There is not a purchase limit. This product is sold out.

 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Salutations

What up, what up, what up?! Salutations.

Welcome to Everjourney, a project motivated by the adventure and freedom of cycling. Storytelling... wherever, whenever, and how we want to. Wherever you are, be all there.

Keep spending time here, yes, here. Highly recommended. To explore a piece of this ridge, read on.

For full effect, please, consider connecting with Everjourney through various social-media platforms, which are linked below. Additionally, while visiting Everjourney online, you may be greeted with a pop-up window that allows for email subscription. Again, please, consider subscribing to Everjourney newsletters for unique content, through this email subscription service.


With that, thank you for your support of Everjourney. Take a browse, shuffle around, and go pedal a bicycle. Yip, yap, yew. It's about to get rowdy.

#Everjourney
#MoreSendingLessPretending

San Luis Obispo, a class act sunset town.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

What's Important Now?

During our daily lives, resource allocation and prioritizing time are often points of contention. So, when an article about successful practices began to circulate around Twitter via a handful of endurance athletes, coaches, and researchers, it seemed fitting to share.

Within the article, 13 points are highlighted as items that distract from success. The article, "13 Things You Should Give Up If You Want To Be Successful" was shared on Medium by Zdravko Cvijetic.

A personal favorite includes a focus on evolution, while relinquishing a fixed mindset. “The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” -Robert Greene

As Everjourney continues to grow, providing unique, interesting, and enjoyable content is a focus. Thank you for your support, and here's to plenty of mutual success.  

Monday, January 8, 2018

2018: Alright, alright, alright

That's right, alright, alright, alright. I might be a little late, but, I have to say it... Happy New Year! As we enter week two of 2018, Everjourney is beginning to amplify.

During the fall, Everjourney started with a concept and a call, a call to my trusty brother, Lance. After more than five years of Sean Bird's Cycling Blog, it was time to move forward. Everjourney was formed as a project motivated by the adventure and freedom of cycling. More details can be found on the About + Origins tab.

With an original name, a fresh purpose evolved: Storytelling... wherever, whenever, and how we want to. Wherever you are, be all there.

Along with updates to a unique title and purpose, Everjourney received some custom flair. To Lance Bird, thank you very much for your logo and design assistance. (Coming soon, stay tuned for background bits, regarding the logo. That design and those colors carry meaning.) To Luke Bender, thank you for supporting Everjourney with your photography. If you like what you see, give these two a shout.

This is Everjourney.
From a recent Adventure Aide photoshoot, Luke Bender was kind enough to support Everjourney with his photography.

All in all, with a new name, purpose, and logo, Everjourney is a platform that aims to inspire. As you enter Everjourney's online platform, please, gather a feel for Everjourney by examining the navigation bar tabs. Also, subscribe to Everjourney through the online sign-up form.

More than anything, thank you very much for your support of Everjourney. With a hot start to 2018, January and February will see the drop of many new concepts. Stay tuned.

#Everjourney
#MoreSendingLessPretending

Saturday, January 6, 2018

2017 Recap: Back It Up

With a fresh year upon us, 2018 is off and moving. It's difficult to believe that one week is nearly in the books. Before the pace of this calendar year runs rampant, a brief 2017 recap is in store. Below, I have included my top-three, most-viewed posts from 2017.

To all readers of Everjourney, thank you very much for your support. During 2018, as always, the hope is to continue producing plenty of original content. Already, a few fresh concepts are rolling. With plenty of ideas gaining momentum, 2018 should be one for the books. Again, thank you for your support, and, below, enjoy the most popular moments from the 2017.

Ride the Ridge, Everjourney's most-viewed piece in 2017, discussed finding mental clarity in the hills that surround San Luis Obispo.

San Luis Obispo, a cycling paradise. Photo: Adam Evard (@aeevard).

Hawaii Friday: A Cal Poly Cycling Tradition was a joy to scribe, while putting a smile on my face throughout the whole of the writing process. At Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Hawaii Friday has become a popular mountain-bike event.

The visionary of Hawaii Friday, Tyler Mastromattei. He's a chiller. Photo: Adam Evard (@aeevard).

Discovering Motivation, Cherishing Community, a piece for Peloton Magazine, discussed the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) road race, during the 2017 collegiate road racing season.

After competing, three Cal Poly cyclists chat.