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Report from TCH Tour of Montana

By | 2018, Sponsor

Last year Anne Marie Stonich won our Season Pass Holder Raffle for a Tour of Montana Trip by The Cycling House. She took Tracy Erbeck with her to celebrate a milestone birthday for Tracy this year. Here is Tracy’s report back from Tour of Montana.

The sound of the pavement under my tires.  I love that sound.  Living in the city, I hadn’t thought about that sound much, or often…we hardly ever get to hear it.  But there we were, in Montana, hearing the sound of the pavement under our tires.  The road…expanse and open.   The sky, big. Rarely a vehicle passing.  Every road seemingly in the middle of nowhere, but every road leading to a fabulous meadow, or field, or wooded campsite that would be our home for the evening.  Our tents were ready, we only had to shower and relax…..if we wanted to.   We could go for an afternoon hike, or swim, or river soak, or hit the hot springs….every day provided another opportunity to see more, do more, ride more.

The Cycling House Tour of Montana is not just about the cycling though….I mean, that’s what you go for, but you surprisingly get so much more-

  • FOOD– Really, honestly, completely amazing, gorgeous food.  Most of it locally sourced, every meal different, every meal better than the other, and you wonder how Hannah and Chloe pull this off…all while being some of the best humans you have ever met in your life.  Cheerful and attentive, these two remember food preferences, allergies and concerns and you’ll never go without.  Both of these girls can also pull the peloton faster than your average cyclist.  What a luxury it was to arrive in camp daily to snacks and cold drinks…followed by cocktail hour of gorgeous appetizers (caprese anyone?) and then the main event…things like wild caught grilled salmon, flank steak, lamb burgers….we did not go hungry.
  • GUIDES- Guides sprinted and drifted back and forth between the splintered groups, providing assistance, acting as tour guides, giving a wheel for pulls back to the group. We figured out early on to be last to roll out of camp in the morning in order to get the what amounted to be personal guide service- all of the guides different and interesting (math teachers, law students, master woodworkers), all with a true passion for the bike (be it road, dirt or gravel) and the great outdoors.  These were some of the finest humans we have ever met and when I die and go to heaven, I want them on my team.
  • ROAD SUPPORT– We flatted.  We broke derailleurs.  We lost headset bearings.  But we didn’t worry about any of this.  The team of mechanics are masters of their craft and we weren’t held back by failing equipment.
  • CAMPING– We never tired of tent camping (I’ve also never said this in my life). Every night was picturesque and every morning equally so. They don’t call Montana “Big Sky” for nothing….and you can’t even comprehend the moniker until you experience it yourself.  Surprising was how the Cycling House manages to find these spots…complete with shower, laundry, maybe cell service, sometimes karaoke…tucked away in towns with names like “Wisdom”.
  • OWEN GUE– Owner extraordinaire and former pro racer, Owen is the personality that creates the culture of the Cycling House. Owen has the unique ability to pull together the group of guests with extremely different backgrounds to operate as a community.  Aside from the bike, he manages to find and engage the commonalities within the diverse group…the oil tycoon from Texas, the ironman triathlete from Germany, the concrete contractor from Florida…the list goes on.  By day two we’re all having the time of our lives together- committed and focused on having the BEST VACATION. EVER.

Sponsor Spotlight: Nuun

By | 2016, Cyclocross, Sponsor

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MFG Sponsor: Nuun

Website: www.nuun.com

Twitter: @nuunhydration

Facebook: nuun

What Nuun does:

  • Nuun is a local Seattle company that pioneered the concept of an electrolyte tablet without all the sugars or plastic bottle waste. The company focuses on delivering optimal hydration for whatever activity you choose, leaving you to find energy from bars, or waffles!
  • Nuun is comprised of triathletes, runners, climbers, and cylcocross racers, so they are often out there racing with you.
  • The Nuun hydration tent is present at all MFG venues, with Nuun on tap to fill bottles and maintain proper hydration.

Why we like Nuun:

Nuun has been a MFG series sponsor from the start.   Perhaps more than any other vendor, Nuun has made a dedicated effort to staff a professional booth at nearly all MFG events, raced the days races, and help tear down at the end.   The crew at Nuun includes Tyler S. and Peter B. and has a very strong and positive presence at all MFG events.

Beyond the involvement of Tyler and Peter and MFG events, Nuun as a company is extremely involved in many outdoor events.  If you look at kits from racing teams around the Northwest, you’ll see the Nuun mark on the backside of many racers.   Call it branding, call it lifestyle:  one thing is for certain, Nuun is OUT in the field, doing great work.

Five things you should know about Nuun:

  1. The newly formulated Nuun Performance uses dextrose and cane sugar to aid in fluid recovery.
  2. Nuun Electrolytes are effervescent so that they dissolve quickly, and do not clump on the bottom of your bottle.
  3. Nuun Performance pouches come in Orange/Mango and Blueberry/Strawberry
  4. Four of Nuun Electrolyte flavors come caffeinated.
  5. Nuun sponsors elite running star Kara Goucher

 

Sponsor Spotlight: Hammer + Awl

By | 2017, Sponsor

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MFG Sponsor:   Hammer + Awl

Website: www.hammerandawl.com

Like them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

The modern man needs modern equipment whether this is apparel, accessories, or home goods.  Our friends at Hammer + Awl have taken a stance to curate a selection of men’s products that focus on quality, style, and made in the US when possible.

Whether you’re looking for apparel from Still By Hand or fragrance from Blackbird, Hammer + Awl is your source for thoughtful men’s products. 

Why we like Hammer + Awl

Hammer + Awl is the brainchild of Erin Krohn and her husband (and long time MFG friend and racer) Anthony Dickson.   Hammer + Awl supports cycling as they continue to sponsor the Hammer + Awl cycling team.

Five things you should know about Hammer + Awl:

  1. You can shop and support Hammer + Awl directly from your living room via their web store.
  2. The Taylor Stitch Bomber Jacket is one fine looking piece.
  3. Hammer + Awl offers select products from Seattle-based Filson such as the Travel Kit.
  4. Why (k)not bow tie?
  5. Hammer + Awl models look like this!

 

Sponsor Spotlight: Coal Headwear

By | 2016, Cyclocross, Sponsor

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MFG Sponsor:   Coal Headwear

Website: www.coalheadwear.com

Like them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

In 2002 Coal started as a labor of love in an apartment in Portland, Oregon. In Coal’s first year, they launched the brand with a vision for a quality headwear line inspired by friends and family—one that would be an outlet for our whole new take on the woolen, knit beanie. Coal was founded on the belief that headwear is more than an accessory.  It’s part of you, your identity, and your lifestyle.

Why we like Coal Headwear

Coal’s Fall 2017 collection of hats is extensive.   They offer hats, caps, and a variety of other styles.   We particularly like the Donner in the Deep Purple livery, as well as the Downhill knit hat in Canada colors.

Five things you should know about Coal Headwear:

  1. Their hats are available at Evo.
  2. They offer collections for Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter.
  3. They also offer scarfs and gloves.
  4. The hats have cool names.
  5. Randy Salomon likes The Preston.

Sponsor Spotlight: MIIR

By | 2016, Cyclocross, Sponsor

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Photo: Sara Billups

MFG SPONSOR:  MIIR

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Website

The concept and spirit of MIIR was founded by Bryan Pape, after breaking his femur in a ski accident.  Bryan’s vision at that sobering moment was to live a more generous life while thinking of others.   Today, that altruistic epicenter has led MIIR to bring distinct products to market including innovative bikes, bags, and hydration products.

Why we like MIIR

  • The form and function of all MIIR products are elegant and intuitive
  • MIIR gives 5% of revenue to trackable giving projects
  • MIIR offers a geared, disc-brake commuter for under $800
  • The draft list at the MIIR cafe is insane!

5 Things You Should Know About MIIR

  • MIIR is the official sponsor of MFG #1 at Lake Sammamish State Park
  • MIIR’s flagship store and cafe is located in Fremont, right off of Stone Way
  • Currently there are over 20 beers on draft at the MIIR cafe
  • You can host a party and reserve an event room at the MIIR Flagship
  • You’ll find MIIR employees Joshua Stinger and Ian Crane at the front of all MFG singlespeed races

Sponsor Spotlight: Brouwer’s Cafe

By | 2016, Cyclocross, Sponsor

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Location: 400 North 35th Street in Fremont at Phinney Ave

Brouwer’s Cafe has been a MFG sponsor since the beginning, and has graciously given away Gift Certificates throughout the season.  This season Brouwer’s Cafe is the title sponsor of the Brouwer’s Cafe Hot Lap Competition.

Brouwer’s Cafe is rich in Belgian decor, food offerings, and of course, beer.   With 300 bottles on hand, nearly 75 beers on draft, and a leather-bound scotch novel, there is a drink worth having for just about anyone at Brouwers.

What’s more, Brouwer’s is managed by none-other-than Nat P., a regular Hodala! singlespeed tough guy who regularly finds himself creepin’ in the top 10 at all CX SS races.

Why we like Brouwer’s:

Really good food, insane beer draft and bottle list, and servers who are willing to make recommendations.   Oh, and clean lines changed on every keg on draft make for QUALITY.

Five things you should know about Brouwer’s Cafe:

  1. Service staff are intelligent and will make recommendations for drinks.
  2. Belgian passion with Manneken Pis in the front entry!
  3. Multiple frite sauces options including aioli, curry ketchup, and tartar.
  4. Over 60 Scotches available.
  5. The 10-person library room on the top floor.

Sponsor Spotlight: Subaru

By | 2016, Cyclocross, Sponsor

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MFG SPONSOR:  Subaru

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Website

Founded in 1968, Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) is the U.S. Sales and Marketing subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) of Japan and is responsible for the distribution, marketing, sales and service of Subaru vehicles in the United States.

Over the last 20 years, Subaru has sponsored cycling teams and events on the road and in the dirt.  Within the Northwest, Subaru has sponsored the UCI Subaru Cyclo Cup, Subaru StarCrossed, and most recently, the entire MFG Cyclocross 2016 season.

Why we like Subaru

  • Subaru is likely the most iconic vehicle in the Northwest.
  • Subaru prioritizes traction and balance into their all wheel drive system, much like some bicycle companies strive to do with rider weight distribution
  • The 2017 Subaru line-up features 24 vehicles under $30,000
  • The all new 2017 Impreza starts at $18,395!

5 Things You Should Know About Subaru

  • All vehicles except BRZ come standard with Subaru’s Symmetrical All Wheel Drive.
  • Subaru’s Boxer Engine design prioritizes efficiency, a low center of gravity, and a low profile.
  • The WRX STI Limited produces 305 hp at 6000 rpm and 290 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm.
  • Show your love for your Subaru with a custom Badge of Ownership
  • You can find your local Subaru retailer here

Sponsor Spotlight: Snoqualmie Ice Cream

By | 2016, Cyclocross, Sponsor

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MFG SPONSOR:  Snoqualmie Ice Cream

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Website

Snoqualmie Ice Cream is a locally-owned ice cream company in Snohomish, WA producing a vast array of handmade ice cream.  Snoqualmie was founded in 1997 and is owned by Barry and Shahnaz Bettinger.

Why we like Snoqualmie Ice Cream

  • This local company sponsors a local cycling team, and also is a new sponsor for MFG.
  • Snoqualmie provided ice cream coupons throughout the cross season for free pints!
  • Snoqualmie is committed to sustainability as they manufacturer with solar panels, compressor waste heat recovery, LED sensor lighting and energy efficient equipment

5 Things You Should Know About Snoqualmie Ice Cream

Sponsor Spotlight: Kona Bicycles

By | 2016, Cyclocross, Sponsor

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MFG SPONSOR:  Kona Bicycles

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Website

Kona Bicycles is a locally-owned bicycle company in Bellingham, WA producing a comprehensive line-up of mountain, road, cyclocross, city, and kids bicycles.  Kona was founded in 1988 and to this day is still owned by the same founders.

Why we like Kona Bicycles

  • The Jake the Snake cross bike paved the way for the modern cyclocross bicycle and has been ridden by many local professional racers
  • We are proud to be associated with a locally-owned major bicycle company
  • The diversity and relevance of Kona’s line-up is nicely showcased in bikes like the Ute and the Coco
  • Kona has been extremely supportive of women’s cyclocross racing with the sponsorship of Helen Wyman

5 Things You Should Know About Kona

  • Jake the Snake turned 20 this model year!
  • The Hei Hei Race Supreme is World Cup tested by Kona’s factory rider Spencer Paxson.
  • Kona provides a no charge demo fleet of bicycles at 2017 MFG races
  • Spencer Paxson is leading a course preview at Woodland Park GP at 8am
  • Kona dedicates a section of their Kona World Cog website to a Retailer of the Week

 

Sponsor Spotlight: Full Speed Ahead & FS Neutral Support

By | 2016, Cyclocross, Sponsor

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MFG Sponsor: Full Speed Ahead

Website: www.fullspeedahead.com

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Full Speed ahead is a manufacturer of bicycle components made from aluminum and carbon for road, mountain, BMX, time trial, cyclocross, and triathlon use.   FSA is very well known for their K-Force road line of components as well as their wheel line-up.

Why we like Full Speed Ahead

We have all been there before:   You get to the race, you unload the car, and you’ve forgotten your shoes, your front wheel, your pedals, etc.   We are so fortunate this year to have  Neutral Support provided by Brys and his team from Full Speed Ahead at every MFG race.

In addition to full maintenance and service support, Full Speed Ahead has been very active in the pits this year assisting riders with wheel changes.  We have personally witnessed many wheel changes provided by FSA NS this year.   So, in theory, Full Speed Ahead will trouble shoot that “creak” you’ve been chasing all week, adjust your brakes for the mud that ensues, and assist you in the pit so you don’t have an excuse to drop out of the race!   Who else does this for you?  There is a lot to love about Full Speed Ahead….

Five things you should know about Full Speed Ahead:

  1. Full Speed Ahead was an early adopter, if not the innovator, of many component standards:  The compact gearing ratio, ISIS bottom bracket standard, BB30, the compact bar 75/125 standard.
  2. Full Speed Ahead offers a full line of cyclocross components in the SLK group:  brakes, crank, post, bar, stem, chain, and saddle.
  3. Full Speed Ahead has supported MFG Cyclocross from the beginning in 2009
  4. They are locally based in Mukilteo, WA.
  5. Brys and his crew are some of the nicest and most proficient and professional vendors in the industry.