cycling utah March 2000

Classic Corner

Off-season events leave mark on CC's year

By Greg Overton

Hey cool! The old Classic Corner computer still works! It hasn't seen much activity since last fall and the end of another cycling utah season.

Welcome back to the faithful readers of this column, hello to all, er both, of you.

Well there is a bit of catching up to do since last fall, so let's see what we can remember of it.

In late October we made our annual pilgrimage to Denver for the Velo Swap hosted by the folks at Velo News magazine. This is an unbelievably huge bike swap, flea market style, where you can find anything you were looking for plus a car load of stuff you weren't looking for.

Every year around mid-October, we start gearing up for it, and formulating excuses for our spouses as to why we'll be going out of town that weekend. This is not a popular event with the spouses. Especially when they discover that a van has been borrowed for the trip.

But this year was different. We decided to take saleable items and add to our economy instead of the Denver economy for a change. And we had success...uh, well then we bought some stuff. But they were great deals!

Let's just say that on the trip both ways, nothing rattled in the van because it was packed so tightly. But they WERE great deals.

The most fun was watching the ROOKIES. We'll call them Dennis and Dick, because that's their names. Here's a couple of long time customers and friends of ours who are very excited about cool bikes and stuff, and kept asking about the Velo Swap.

We'd tell them it's the greatest thing since cheese on a burger, but they doubted us.

"Oh, we don't know, that's a long drive. It can't be as good as you say it is. What if it snows, wah wah wah."

Finally, they decided to call our bluff. We caravaned over and at breakfast the morning of the swap, we tell them to go early to get parking in the metro Denver area and they laugh. We go early because we are vendors, so we say our adioses and see ya there's.

The doors open at nine for buyers and by 10 a.m., the ROOKIES are bug eyed, out of breath, out of space in the car and borrowing cash. We smile and shake our heads knowingly. We were rookies once too.

Editor Bob made the trip again as well. So keeping things consistent between us, we traded some stuff right there. Nothing like driving 500 miles to trade with your buddy who also drove the same 500 miles. We need help.

All in all it was a great Velo Swap as usual. Nothing better than going with a full van and returning with a full van, as long as it's full of different stuff.

After the Velo Swap came WINTER. Dark days in the basement looking at all that stuff we got.

"I can't wait to see this in the sun so I'll know what color it really is."

Those of you who've seen the Classic Corner basement know what we're talking about. We did do the customary and annual winter trade with Ed. Bob though. It was a semi-blockbuster this year, all active players and no future picks. The clincher was an even trade of DeRosa frames. Which, by the way was dumb and we're trading back today. Pretty soon we will have owned every bike that the other has owned, and then we'll just laugh and give 'em all back to each other. We're lucky to ride the same size so we can have all this fun. Yeah right!

Another cool thing that happened this winter was the second annual Pro Night at Wheat Ridge Cyclery. This is the Kiefel family's shop in a Denver suburb that is now operated by former 7-11 and Coors Light racer Ron Kiefel. As you know, Ron is one of the best racers to come from the U.S., and had many, many victories including stage wins in the Giro d' Italia and a hand in most of the victories owned by Davis Phinney.

Well, Ron pulled a few strings last year for a Pro Night. Basically, it's a social gathering after hours at the store where wannabes like you and us can mingle and rub elbows with "been there, won that" noteables like Greg LeMond, Davis Phinney, Kiefel, Roy Knickman, the whole Grewal clan, Bobby Julich, Jonathon Vaughters, Eve Stephenson, Tyler Hamilton, on and on and on.

What a cool evening! Hey Ed Bob, let's do that here in Utah! We can get, uh, well, uh, hmm, uh maybe not. I guess we're not quite as well connected as I thought. Anyway, this event happens every February, and is great for those of us who sort of grew up in cycling during that hey day period when American riders became international riders of distinction. If you find yourself in Denver look up Wheat Ridge Cyclery and stop in for a visit. And plan on being there for next year's Pro Night!

Well that's about all that happened, at least all we can remember from this winter anyway. Besides, we were too busy riding rollers, cyclocross racing, and putting in those Flahute-type miles this winter. PFFFFT, right. Pass the cookies and TV remote, I think the sun might shine today.

Welcome back, hope you have a great season!

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