Color Wars Make Cyclists Look Bad June 05 2013
I was perusing one of the bike forums today when I came across a thread that rears its contentious head almost as often as the "Why do you shave your legs?" topic - what to wear in order to be seen while riding.
My mind immediately flashed back to when Richard and I had our first pop-up-shop in Oriental, North Carolina at Cycle NC in April 2011. A woman approached our tent and suddenly admonished us for making a black jersey. Despite a dearth of facts to back her claims, she emphatically stated that it was not safe to wear black on the road. I listened politely, held my tongue (black is always our best seller in any item we make), and thanked her for her input. She milled around a bit longer while I struck up a conversation with another woman who ultimately bought a black jersey. I guess our customer was not swayed by the anti-black argument and neither was I. I remain unconvinced.
Can we all just agree to disagree on the "What to wear in order to be seen" question? Can we all agree that this discussion takes our eyes off the bigger picture - Share The Road. In my mind, it would be a pyrrhic victory to see rider after rider kitted out in neon yellow on roads without dedicated bike lanes. Saying that we should and must wear neon suggests that cycling is inherently unsafe. Moreover, it imparts the message that bicycles should be unexpected fixtures - and unwelcome ones - on our roads.
It would be devastating to win the color war and not the "3 feet" one. So let's face it - no one is ever going to agree on what color is best. I've seen data to support black is less visible than yellow and vice versa. I've seen pictures that would make one think the opposite of either side of the argument. In the end, I'd rather wear black when I want to and have flashing lights on my bike (which I do) to help keep me visible. I'm not saying yellow wouldn't hurt but I'm not saying it's going to help either.
For now, take your argumentative energy and channel it to sending letters to your governmental representatives about bike lanes. Tell them where you need them and want them. Tell them that the lanes should have dividers from the main roads, curbs, and stoplights of their own.
Have you ever been to the Netherlands or Vancouver? Even in our best municipalities, it's amateur hour here in the States.
Honesty... May 29 2013
I visited our factory yesterday and on the way home I was reminded of the 1970s TV advertisements for Paul Masson wines. In them, a breathy and corpulent Orson Welles delivers the famous tagline of the brand, "We will sell no wine before its time."
The line is a polite way of saying, good things take time and sorry for the wait but it will be worth it. This is the story of my life right now. Many people have been asking us when our new "stuff" is coming out. It's frustrating and flattering at the same time.
Hang with us. We know it's been a while since we've released a new bike jersey but it won't be much longer now and you'll have plenty of time to sport them over the summer. On tap is a re-work of our Hilversum and Aalsmeer jerseys. We've got new colors and new fabric that is sure to keep you cooler than ever on the hottest of hot days.
Also in the Road Holland pipeline are two special editions of our Utrecht jersey. We already shared a glimpse of one of them (above) but both will be big hits for your July 4th rides. These will hit our virtual shelves in June.
Thanks for your patience!
Remembering my Schwinn Stingray - RIP Al Fritz May 09 2013
It's the spring of 1976 and it's time to take off the training wheels. I'm ready. Decked out in my full Redskins Kit to ward off the still crisp air, I take to the front lawn of our ranch house in Richmond, VA.
That's about as much of the story as anyone of us can remember. We have to imagine the rest from the pics. It seems my brother helped while my dad filmed us with his Konica camera. There are no pictures of me actually riding solo but I'm pretty sure I got the hang of it that day.
I dug these out of the archives last night after hearing about the passing of Al Fritz. Even if you don't know the name, you know the bike - the Schwinn Stingray. Fritz borrowed classic elements from California motorcycle culture to create this iconic bike during his long and storied career at the company.
For many of us born in the 1970s, the chopper style handlebars and the banana seat ARE cycling to us. I had this blue gem shown here in the pics. I inherited a larger yellow one from my brother after he moved on to a bigger bike himself.
For more information about Al Fritz, visit the story in Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.
I don't know about you, but I'd gladly trade out my lighter than air saddle and handlebars for some Stingray components on my ride this weekend.
Out of Hibernation and Back on the Bike May 02 2013
Sorry I've been in hibernation, but I'm back and better than ever with lots going on.
I'm back on my bike after my fall. I've got a couple of war wounds but other than that, it's like the accident never happened. By the way, I finally figured out what did actually happen. I slipped on some super slick crosswalk paint. The sun was shining bright that day, so let my accident be a lesson to us all - road markings can be hazardous no matter what the conditions.
Unlike me, Richard was riding all winter long and even tried his hand at the Autodrop Doubleshot. I think his lungs are still recovering from the Hanging Rock ascent. He said it was the longest two mile ride of his life. Adam Steinman, our resident rouleur, plowed through both parts of the course and is looking strong for the organized rides we have planned for the summer.
As for new products, we've got them coming shortly (and if you read that sentence again, you'll see a strong hint about what one of those products might be!). We're sewing like crazy and have new colors on the way as well.
Ok - that's all for now. Stand by for more. Much more.
I (Was) On The Rivet November 18 2012
There's nothing that pleases me more than being able to use customers' products. They support us and we support them - that's what the bike business should be all about.
Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of riding a Rivet CycleWorks Black Diablo Ti Saddle on my custom Peter Mooney road bike. I'd loved my Mooney from the start but the Specialized plastic saddle I put on it was never right. I love the Specialized for its comfort and it's a good saddle for me - on another bike. But not on my Mooney - that bike demands more elegance and I'd just never gotten around to making it happen. I'd tried the Brooks route once and it wasn't comfortable. After Brooks, there's not much else that I'm aware of.
So When Deb Banks called us from Rivet about getting some custom jerseys done, I knew the solution could be close at hand. We did some gorgeous custom Den Haags, Montfoorts, and Breukelens for her but she also sent me a saddle to try out. I took it for a spin last Sunday and it was glorious from mile 1. Yes, the saddle is stiff but it's not so stiff that you'll be in agony while breaking it in. It felt natural and looked good. Bliss.
Unfortunately, the picture of me above is going to be the last shot of me with a bike for a while. About 10 minutes later, I fell and broke my collar bone. I'm still not sure what happened - I remember falling but don't remember why. No cars, no other riders, no detritus in the road. Crazy but it could have been worse.
But it was a good ride while it lasted.
A Look Back At The Philly Bike Expo October 30 2012
We're back from the 2012 Philadelphia Bike Expo and just in time. If we had stayed even a couple of hours longer, we might have gotten trapped by Hurricane Sandy.
Once again, Bilenky Cycle Works played the consummate host. Versus last year, the show had a more consumer friendly vibe with a healthy array of budget conscious frame builders, unique bag makers, and thought-provoking advocacy groups.
Exhibitors of particular note included:
--Rothera Cycling. While the expo was home to no less than three cap manufacturers (including one of our favorites, Alloneword), Gary at Rothera showed up with some unique wares. His caps look classic, but they use more modern colors and fabrics which make them unusual. We also think Gary is a pretty fly guy. Anyone who brings his parents to help work the booth gets kudos from us.(rotheracycling.com)
--Swift Industries. These guys make some seriously stylish panniers and bags. The company's web site is impressive but once you see the bags up close, you really get a sense of the quality and craftsmanship.(builtbyswift.com)
--Balance Insurance. We admit it was pretty hard to get excited about insurance when one booth over, there were droolworthy custom steel frames for sale. But Jay Paul at Balance is providing something every cyclist should buy - bicycle accident insurance. His product provides up to $250,000 in supplemental funds in the event of a cycling related injury. The premiums are not much - it's a no brainer. Make sure to sign up on the web site to see if Jay's product is available where you live.(balanceins.com)
--Erra Creations. Nicole Bloch is taking the now common practice of recycling bike detritus to a whole new level. She blends elements such as chain links and cogs into jewelry that you actually want to wear.(erracreations.com)
Standouts among the numerous frame builders included Cysco Cycles, Silent Cycles, and Dornbox, our show-neighbor.
To all those who stopped by to meet us and to all those who purchased from us, thanks!
A Cycling Love Triangle September 16 2012
I vividly recall the first day I ever used the Internet. It was December 2, 1994 and I was working at an ad agency in Richmond, VA. I had convinced the bosses that I needed a modem connection in my cube to experiment with this new thing called the Net. The installation occurred on a Friday afternoon and by the time it was done, it was time to hit the office's favorite watering hole for some holiday drinks. I paid my dues at the bar but then went back to the office around 9pm and stayed until 2am surfing the web with Mosaic. It was slow going - I must have only visited 10 sites at the max and don't even recall how I found them. But it was remarkable. Mind blowing.
Fast forward 17 years to 2011 and the Internet remains a source of wonder for me and what it can do. Two simple email requests to us - one from two Canadians and one from two North Carolinians - have resulted in a cycling love triangle.
Richard and Guy at Bikes, Books, and Beers in Vancouver emailed us in February 2011 about trying out some of our jerseys. They wanted to look serious and stylish while vlogging and thought we could help. We obliged and soon realized we had similar tastes in many things bikes, books, and beer related. I was fortunate to also be able to meet the duo in Vancouver back in May. Richard had dabbled in sewing cycling caps and recycled inner tube bags for a while but had recently made the venture a full time gig and I was thrilled to see his wares first-hand with Red Dots Cycling.
Erich and Barry, from Winston-Salem NC, emailed us in November 2011 about creating some custom jerseys for their fledgling Autodrop venture. One look at their website and we knew we liked them - a novel approach to riding events with no pretentious and "epic" attitudes. Fortunately, they hit us at exactly the right time and we were able to produce some custom color and embroidered Utrechts. When it came time to make our long sleeve Arnhems this summer, we did a run for them and amped up the design a bit with their custom lion graphic inside the collar.
We had a bit of fabric left over and Erich and Barry wanted to use it for some caps. We don't make caps so the natural next step was to connect them Richard. A few weeks later, a matching Autodrop cap was in our mailboxes.
Sounds like a simple chain of events right, and certainly nothing to blog home about. Maybe, maybe not. But I have to think that without the Internet that it might not have happened at all.
Reintroducing the Arnhem August 25 2012
We've been sold out of our original Arnhem long sleeve jersey for men for a while now. Good things come to those who wait and we're happy to announce it is back in stock and better than ever.
A new design and new colors but the same serious stylishness you've come to expect from Road Holland. In this video, Jonathan Schneider, President of Road Holland, pays a visit to the Miami, Florida factory where the Arnhem is made and uses that opportunity to tell you a bit more about the jersey.
Two Epic Riders and Rides August 16 2012
"Epic" is a term all too loosely-used these days to describe rides. However, two Hollanders shared some pictures and stories with us about their recent rides that go down as epic in every sense of the word.
Shai Shtub - The TransRockies
We first met Shai, a native of Israel but now a resident of Savanah, Georgia, back in the Spring when he hooked us up with TlatOfun, our dealer in the Holy Land. We knew he was a serious rider but didn't know just how serious he was until he sent us an email about trying to win an entry into the 2012 Trans Rockies.
For those not familiar with the Trans Rockies it is a multi-stage mountain bike race in the Canadian Rockies. There are several events with the 7 stage race topping out at more than 38,000 feet of climbing! Shai's tale of how he got into the event shows that everyone's a winner at some point. Here's how he recounts the tale:
I have been following the Trans Rockies for about 9 years now. We used to get a TV channel called Extreme (a European extreme sports channel) in Israel which used to screen re-runs after re-runs of the Trans Rockies' episode updates. I used to watch them all and always knew that I would get there one day and participate in this race.
About 2 months ago I learned that Trans Rockies got a new sponsor for the 2012 edition of the race. This sponsor was Scott bikes, and together with the Trans Rockies race were holding a photo contest in which the winner gets an entry to the race and a new Scott MTB. Having participated in countless contests like this, I wasn't expecting too much.
On Monday the 23rd of July 2012 I received an email from the Trans Rockies saying I won, and that the race starts in Fernie, BC on Saturday the 28th of July 2012. Everything was quick and arrangements were made and I was lucky enough to be able to get a week off from work, but I made it Canada on time.
On time is a relative word. En route to Calgary, bad weather forced Shai to spend the night on the floor of O'Hare airport. And the airline lost his luggage and his bike! He didn't get it all delivered until 4am race morning.
Shai competed in two stages of the TR4. Here's how he summed it up:
What can I say? It has been an awesome experience. Very tough riding, but amazing trails, views and people.
Scott Rosenthal - From Boston To Montreal...
Scott Rosenthal from Boston works in IT by day but has serious cred as a cyclist. He grew up working in the business, commutes more than 200 miles each week (!), and races for Mike Zanconato, a custom steel builder in Massachusetts.
Up until his recent trek, his longest ride was 175 miles in one day when he rode across the US. He was up for another challenge and thought the 315 mile route from Boston to Montreal would be suitable. He also used it as an opportunity to raise money for New England Disabled Sports, an organization which has helped friends of his who have a boy with cerebral palsy. Funds raised would go toward purchasing a new hand cycle for him.
On Thursday afternoon at 4:10pm, June 21, Scott set off in 90+ degree heat with Zachary and Sean, two of his buddies. Zachary is a rocket scientist at MIT (no joke) and Sean is the head wrench at a Boston bike shop. Shane, their unsung hero, drove behind them during the entire dark, night portion, giving them food and bottles, and then joined them to ride the last 100+ miles into a fierce headwind.
After 312 miles (the route didn't match exactly to mapquest) and about 16,000 feet of climbing later, Scott and crew pulled across the "finish line" at their hotel in Montreal at 2:55pm. So how was the trip? Scott tells me it's hard to put that kind of ride into words but his twitter feed does it best - http://twitter.com/boston2montreal.
Bravo Shai and Scott!
Back In The Blue Ridge July 03 2012
As the home of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville is definitely an orange city. However, on June 9th and 10th, there was a bit more orange than usual on the roads.
The Blue Ridge MS Society's Tour de Vine was an ideal opportunity for a group of 20 Hollanders to take part in another Camaraderie Ride. With temps in the mid 80s and azure blue skies, the weather was perfect for kicking back the miles on what we consider to be the most beautiful terrain on the planet. Never been there? Well watch our recap video captured on Super 8 film which really makes those Blue Ridge Mountains look blue.
Happy 4th of July to all of our Stateside fans! And sorry for the rest of the world where tomorrow is just another work day.
Looks Like Team Spirit June 26 2012
If you’re like a lot of cyclists out there, odds are you have a charity ride or Gran Fondo on the calendar this summer. You all want to look similar so you can easily spot everyone on the road right? But the choices are slim.
There’s the custom team jersey route with its huge minimums. Then there’s the off the shelf jersey with its pleasing price tag but not so pleasing looks and performance. And good luck trying to find something the men and the women can agree on.
Luckily, Road Holland comes to the rescue. If you’re looking to buy team jerseys in bulk, we’ll cut you a deal. Buy six or more of our stylish merino wool jerseys for men and women, and we’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse. You don’t even have to buy six of the same jerseys. All of our jerseys feature classic designs and complementary colors that make you look like a team no matter what styles you have on.
And if you want to get really fancy, Road Holland’s clean and simple jerseys offer ample room for your own embroidery and custom team patches.
Want more information? send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take The Pledge! May 20 2012
Are you ready to banish hideous cycling gear to the dust heap? Are you ready to reclaim the roads with clothes that don't make you look like ad emblazoned corporate clowns. Are you ready to be serious and stylish? If so, you're ready to take the pledge.
-I hereby pledge that:
-I will not wear cycling jerseys with cereal box characters, beer, or cartoon characters on them.
-My cycling jersey will always look at least as good as my bike.
-If I'm a guy, I'm burning all of my sleeveless jerseys tonight.
-I will not wear jerseys with flowers plastered over them.
-Unless I'm being paid to ride as part of a team, I will not wear a team kit.
So there you have it. Take the pledge! We know you're ready!
Good People In Cycling - Episode II February 11 2012
For Episode II of our "Good People In Cycling" series, we visit Jack The Bike Man in West Palm Beach, Florida. He's a most unique individual with an inspirational story for us all. What started as a simple mechanical fix morphed into something that has changed his life and those of countless others.
We've had an amazing response to this series. In the first few days after Episode I debuted, over 5,000 people watched it online. We received a number of emails with suggestions for people to profile. We've got a list now and will do our best to get to them all. In the meantime, keep the suggestions coming and spend some time with Jack.
Highlights from the 2011 Philly Bike Expo November 07 2011
The 2011 Philly Bike Expo was simply a blast. If you missed it for reasons of inclement weather or distant geography, never fear, we're bringing you the highlights in six minutes and nine seconds.
Bilenky Cycle Works outdid themselves in assembling a top-shelf assortment of frame builders, artisan clothiers, bag makers, and cycling advocacy groups. Being around such a friendly group of people all weekend long once again reminded us how many great people are involved in cycling.
To all of our customers in the Northeast who braved the cold and snow to come meet us in person, thanks so much! And to all those who took home Road Holland gear, thanks to you as well!
Good People In Cycling - Episode I September 26 2011
While so much of the world may see cyclists as neon spandex clad ants that take up too much of the road, the reality is that there are so many wonderful people involved in our sport.
To highlight them, Road Holland is kicking off a film series entitled "Good People In Cycling." In each episode we'll take a look at people who are doing extraordinary but often unsung work to help others.
Episode I features Craig Dodson of the Richmond Cycling Corp from Richmond, VA. Craig founded RCC as a way to give back all that he got out of cycling to kids who might otherwise never get on two wheels. In the process, he's changing lives.
Our First Camaraderie Ride September 20 2011
Over the weekend Richard and I participated in the Central Virginia Boys and Girls' Club Challenge. We had a tent where we sold shirts at the event and also fielded a team of about 20 riders.
Nothing about this ride was "epic" though. While there were some hills to put some hurt on your legs, the ride was not competitive, routes were of varying lengths, and riders of varying levels were out there. But the scenery was spectacular - the Shenandoah Valley can't be beat - and the people were the ones we like to hang with the most whether on or off the bike. At the end of the ride, we drank some beer, listened to some music, and dined on delicious Southern Que. It was pure camaraderie.
We make Serious and Stylish Cycling Clothes. But we don't take ourselves too seriously. We know we're being compared to some other brand out there. It doesn't bother us. So let them have their Gentlemen's Rides and E'tapes and we'll take our Camaraderie Ride on this side of the pond.
And besides, we like women.
Happy Birthday to Us August 11 2011
August 11th marks the one year anniversary of our first sale (quite fitting in that it was a Royal Orange Utrecht to a Dutch expat named Pim). We like to tell it like it is and we're not sugarcoating things when we say that the year since has been stellar. Some of the highlights include our Winston-Salem based Cyclocross Team, working with Pedal Power, Cycle NC, and our partnership with the Blue Ridge Virginia Chapter of the National MS Society. But the best highlights have been seeing riders in our gear.
The year since has also had its share of challenges. We won't soon forget a box of Milky White Montfoorts that arrived on our doorstep a bit too soggy for sale. And a factory that seemed promising in Pennsylvania which turned out to be an expensive and logistically challenging false start. But, we've since found an incredibly talented team of pattern makers, sample makers, and sewers in Miami. We've not looked back and production is humming along in the good old USA.
Having both come from service-based business where the end product is usually some words on paper or a screen, creating and selling a product has been a study in contrast. It has also been more rewarding than we could have ever imagined.
Year #2 - we're ready. Bring it on. And thank you for all of your support.
Jonathan and Richard
We Have A Winner June 19 2011
Once again, we are reminded that we still have a lot of work to do. We were overwhelmed with all of the entrants in our Summer 2011 Cycling Makeover Contest. The best (or worst depending upon which way you look at it...) photos are posted below.
Phil Yates, our sartorially challenged champion, hailed all the way from Auckland, New Zealand. Here's how Phil describes his entry:
"A lovely silky silver number with yummy fluro and pastel highlights. The label say's 'Made in Italy,' and those Italians know a thing or two about style but maybe not with this disaster."
An honorable mention went to Lynne Nelson of Apple Valley, MN. As if flames on her jersey were not enough, Lynne completed her look with camouflaged arm warmers.
Outfits like these make me think cycling has got a lot bigger problems than doping.
Thanks for playing everyone! We'll do it again soon.
Road Holland. Now Made In The USA April 12 2011
If you have ordered one of our jerseys, you'll see a small tag in the neck that says "Made In China." Those 3 words sure do turn a lot of people off these days. For many, the phrase is short hand for "cheaply made goods using low wage labor." With some products, I'm sure there is an element of truth to that. However, for us, nothing could have been further from it.
As a small company, producing in China was more expensive for us. We're not a Nike or Under Armour and don't get the kind of discounts one does when producing 10,000 units at a clip. We paid up-charges for smaller production runs, extra transportation costs, and additional duties.
So why did we do it? Because the quality was excellent. We make performance gear and our customers hold our products to a very high standard. When climbing a mountain or making a fast descent, our customers really don't care where their jerseys were made. They want them to perform.
We couldn't find the level of quality we needed stateside when producing our first run. Maybe we were not looking in the right places. However, factories that could sew stretch fabric and the kind of pocket and subtle details we have in place were not available on every street corner.
And while we made a decision to work in China, we kept looking for domestic production capacity in the meantime. We're happy to announce that we found it and the quality of our garments will be better than ever. The next round of production – available in May and June – will come directly from our facility in Miami, Florida. We're working with some talented people and it's our pleasure to show you some of them in the video that follows.
We're not saying we will never produce in China again. We'll produce where we think it's best in terms of quality and value for a given item. But for now, we'll revel in the glow of American production. Orange and red, white, and blue. That's a good combination.
A New Take On Watts March 17 2011
Watts are the holy grail for some cyclists...but do we really know what that term "watt" means? After participating in Pedal Power 2011, I have a better idea of how much power I'm pushing out on those long weekend rides.
Pedal Power (www.pedalpwr.com) is a Richmond, Virginia non-profit organization dedicated to advancing energy sustainability as a lifestyle. Its mission is "to promote a more self-sustaining lifestyle by demonstrating simple steps we can all take in reducing our energy use and impact on the environment." Ethan Seltzer, a local cycling friend of mine, started Pedal Power in 2009 as a way to educate our community on self-sustaining activities to reduce our carbon footprint.
Each year Ethan and his crew host an event where teams compete to generate the most watts on trainers. He then harnesses that energy via some cool technology. Yes, there's a competition to generate the most power but that's just half the story. The other half is that Ethan then shows us what that energy can do. This year, he invited PF Chang's to use it to cook a meal after the event. Over 20 teams participated at Endorphin Fitness, one of our favorite local bike shops in the area. I'm pleased to report that team Road Holland took a respectable 3rd place podium finish.
This kind of novel way of riding is just our style and we were glad to be a sponsor along with some other fine organizations from around the Richmond area.
Although we used most of the energy to cook, according to Ethan we generated 4,000 watts. That kind of power translates into the following real-world scenarios:
- Power a central AC system for 1.1 hours.
- Keep an oven, at 350°F, for two hours (toaster oven is a better option for small meals).
- Run an electric clothes dryer for 54 minutes (air dry your clothes!).
- Power a standard desktop computer with 19" screen for 19 hours.
I'm floored by how much energy it takes to do some very basic things. Good thing our RH jerseys don't need to go in the dryer!
This Ain't Grandma's Wool January 28 2011
Just saying "wool" creates phantom itches among many. And rightfully so. If you have a few years on you, wool that actually feels good next to your skin is a relatively new occurrence. After all, we grew up on scratchy wool turtlenecks and have visions of bike racers with long sideburns sweating up the Alps in their ill-fitting kits.
So when we chose a wool-oriented material for our initial product line, many people thought we were crazy. But we knew better.
Many companies make all wool gear but we find a lot of it too heavy for our cycling pursuits. Therefore, we settled upon a wool and polyester blend (39% / 61% respectively to be exact). Adding polyester to the mix gives the material a soft "hand" and performance capabilities that wool alone cannot match.
Although you can't tell from looking at it because the material is so thin, the inside of the jersey is wool and the outside is poly. "Plating" the fabric gives the wearer the best of both worlds – warmth or cooling properties next to the skin with superior wicking ability next to the open air.
The wool we use is also different. For starters, it is Australian Merino with a micron count of 19.5. The smaller the count, the softer and silkier it is. Amazingly, that softness also comes with standout durability. Even after much abuse, the material retains its soft hand, brilliant color, and "new" like look.
Try it. You'll like it. No. You'll love it.
Some Crossmas Inspiration December 23 2010
As we mentioned in a previous post, we never thought we'd sponsor a team...Until we met the guys who now make up Team Road Holland.
This past weekend we had a chance to see them in action in a cyclo cross race in Winston-Salem, NC. Wow - these guys know how to ride. And they're a fun bunch as well.
We made this short film to help you get to know them. Merry Crossmas!
Introducing Team Road Holland December 10 2010
Internally, we've always said Road Holland is "about the ride not the race." Most of us who ride do not race, have never raced, and will not race.
So when a group of middle-aged men (and we mean that with no disrespect because we're middle aged ourselves!) approached us about sponsoring a cyclocross team, we were a bit hesitant. It seemed to go against the very reason we started the company.
But then we thought about it some more, talked to them some more, and realized these guys are exactly the reason why we started our company.
Ed McKee, Austin "Tim" Temple, Chris Verwoerdt, and Kent Nastasi are all husbands and fathers who hail from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. They all have successful careers – 2 financiers, 1 dentist, and a doctor. Between work and family, they have little time to spare. But with that precious time, they are participating in this season's North Carolina Cyclocross Series in the 45+ Masters Division.
Participating in the series is no picnic. There is no team bus to take them to and from the races which are dotted across the state. It's early morning drives and caffeine fueled turns at the wheel back home. There's no media coverage and no spectators except for diehard fans and family.
But it's pure fun. And as Tim likes to say, "a great excuse to have a beer after the race with friends." Or as Chris eloquently puts it, "there's nothing like the weekly humiliation of cyclocross racing to punish one's self for sins committed since the last ride."
We salute you Team Road Holland. And win, lose, or draw, you're now going to look better than any team out there.
A Team Effort October 03 2010
Most non-cyclists do not understand that competitive cycling is a team sport. Road Holland is not about competitive cycling but the process of getting this brand from idea to reality was a team effort as well. From great referral sources (Jen, Howard) to beta testers (Matt, Julie, Nancy) to people who helped spread the word (Richard, Bradley, Phil) I could not have done this alone.
Some of the other key team players helped us with a recent photo shoot. A lot of cycling brands get blasted for using models in their shoots rather than real cyclists. We're not at the stage where we can use models – nor do we want to – but we can't help having rider friends who look like models. Amy, Amanda, and Larry are some of the fittest people we know. They can ride and do any other sport they want to with excellence.
Our resident photographer John Chuter (www.johnchuterphotography.com) managed to corral them long enough to pull off some great shots. John spends a lot time photographing kids so this was a welcome change of pace for him. Or at least he thought it would be. In this video, we can't help but notice a look of exasperation on his face as he tries to get his "models" to listen.