Thursday, August 30, 2007

Behind the Scenes

This is the kind of stuff that I find entertaining.
As big as the Summer Olympics are, it's really not any different than a local crit in that the guy who medals still has to tell the people back home the good news. Back in 1996, a payphone was the only way to do it. Today, we'd send a quick text and be done with it.

This is some flash in the pan named Stuart O'Grady. I wonder whatever became of him.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"He was as normal as pumpkin pie. Now look at him."

The line above is the opening line from the classic-est of classics: "Breaking Away".

Personally, I don't ever remember being 'as normal as pumpkin pie'. Of my pre-bike racing life, I vaguely remember it being boring and colorless. I remember playing softball, mowing lawn, and going to family picnics. Thankfully, I caught the same bug that Dave Stoller (see Breaking Away - rent it tonight) caught, and my life will forever be exciting and colorful. As long as I have nine bikes hanging on hooks in my garage, I will continue to be normal.

It's THAT normal life that I hope to present to you in this blog.

I'm not going to talk about the usual cycling things that you've come to expect of the Internet. No nutrition, no product reviews, no race reports, and no training methods. My experiences run at funny angles to the sport. Yes, I race locally. Yes, I'm a die hard cycling fan. Yes, I've ridden up l'Alpe d'Huez. Yes, I can build a bike from scratch. Yes, I have a bathroom scale that measures body fat. Yes, I have driven 6 hours one-way to participate in a 30-minute race. (Yes, I got dropped in the first 5 laps, so technically, I drove 6 hours to WATCH a 25-minute race.)

But I've done other things, too. So instead, I hope to provide you with a different perspective of cycling. I have a wide array of experiences within the sport that could take you places that you haven't been. I've met a lot of interesting people. I've observed some interesting things. I hope all this gives you a broader look at the sport we all love.

Who am I? And why should you care?
I've worked as a bike race announcer (Tour de Trump, Tour DuPont, US Nationals, Collegiate Nationals, Amgen Tour of California, Tour de Georgia, 1996 Summer Olympics, and a bunch of others in 38 states)
I've worked as an ESPN TV commentator for the illustrious (dripping with sarcasm) NCL Racing League.
I've been a race promoter, course marshal, motorcycle marshal, photographer, videographer, team manager, caravan driver, and even a mascot for Big Boy Restaurants.

I think that somewhere in all of that there should be some stories that you might enjoy.

As for the book, I'll talk about that next time!
Go ride! Talk later.

Welcome to Riders Ready!

Riders Ready is the official blog of bike race announcer, Jamie Smith. Both Jamie and Riders Ready are devoted to the loving lampoon of road cycling and its devotees, known as "roadies".

Next spring, VeloPress will publish Jamie's new book Roadie: The Misunderstood World of a Bike Racer.