Every aspiring bike racer who actually has day job having nothing to do with cycling eventually realizes is that inventory management and organizational skills matter. When you cross the line between recreational riding and racing, and later between racing and really racing, management of all the cycling “things” gets to be paramount. You jump in the car and drive 20 miles to remember, “ah, crap, I forgot my shoes,” or you are all dressed only to realize the chest strap for your heart rate monitor is, er…well, “just where heck is it anyway?” In almost all cases, especially as cold weather returns and the summer circuit has been wound down, you go on. Time is too scarce. You train without the powertap. You ride without the balaclava. You put extra socks on your hands if you forgot your gloves. But for the bike, everything is expendable, and with the clock ticking, you have to get out the door and get the training ride in.
That’s just the way it is when you’re not paid to race bikes but wish you were. With one and only one exception. The smart cyclist does not leave his house without some fire embro on the thighs, calves and lower back, and euro chamois cream near the tenders. Except for the bike, Mad Alchemy embrocation is the only non negotiable.
It’s what keeps your mind on training and not the weather when it is 40 degrees and raining and you are shivering and telling yourself that the competition is getting fat sitting inside. It’s what makes the purchase of studded tires pay off because they actually get used that second week of January when the weather might have you give in to training outdoors. Jared at Snotcycle 2011:
We at Gripped Racing enjoy the benefits of superb products brought to us by exceptional sponsors: awesome riding machines from Cannondale and tires from Kenda, and, yes, Dogfish Head IPAs for afterwards. But what brings those great products to life between Halloween and tax day is the Mad Alchemy lineup of saddle saving creams, plus cool and cold weather warming salves. There’s not ever going to be an instance when racers would regret taking an extra moment to make sure they lathered up to face the elements. Our racers have braved February in Alaska and Arizona in July, and Mad Alchemy is always with us.
Buki breaking fresh trail. Photo JB.
PS – their socks are outstanding, showing off what we think is one of the best logos in cycling!