Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hollywood Hangout

Things you can find in the Garage Door on any given day: double top secret prototype bikes, hacksaws, torque wrenches, crazy old forgotten bikes hanging from the rafters, dudes in Lycra, Hollywood elite.

Yeah, we’re kind of a big deal.

OK, maybe not, but some A-list celebs do seek us out once in a while. Today we were paid a visit by film and TV actor Greg Ellis—a super-nice British chap who played Chief Engineer Olsen in the latest “Star Trek” film and who has been in scores of movies from “Titanic” to “Pirates of the Caribbean.” He stopped by to pick up a Felt AR2 road bike.

Greg is getting ready for the upcoming Malibu Triathlon and came to Felt because he thought our bikes looked like “works of art.”

So Greg stepped into the Garage Door to get fit and tell us how excited he is about racing his first triathlon on a bitchin’ new bike. We just wanted to tell him how we were totally into “Trust Me,” a pretty brilliant TV show he recently starred in (as Simon the smarmy Brit) that was inexplicably cancelled after just one season. What’s the deal?

“Yeah, I don’t know,” he said. “It was a great cast and great show, I think it was just a matter of bad timing.”

Greg’s pretty busy; he’s moved on.

OK fine, we'll get over it.

Anyway, Greg and his 5-year-old son were super-stoked on the AR2. “I’m like a kid in the candy store looking at these bikes,” Greg said. “It’s amazing how lightweight and beautiful looking they are.”

It’s safe to say the AR will be the fastest bike Greg has ever ridden but even though he’s new to triathlon he’s a sharp athlete and stays fit these days by playing lots of soccer.

“I feel pretty good about the bike riding and running,” he said. “I think the swimming will probably be the toughest part.”

The Malibu Triathlon is scheduled for September 12, and Greg is competing to raise money for the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. The Malibu course consists of a half-mile swim in the Pacific Ocean, an 18-mile bike ride along the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway and a 4-mile run along the sands of Zuma Beach.

Best of luck to Greg, we’ll keep you posted on how things go at Malibu.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

So Fast You Can Barely See Him

What’s with the fuzzy photo?

Legitimate question. You’re looking at an image of Felt sales rep EJ Inigo tearing it up at the Ladera Ranch Grand Prix in Orange County, California, last weekend—and in case you can’t tell, EJ is rocking a blindingly white kit with hot neon accents. We’re afraid a crisp hi-res photo of EJ in this blingy get-up would be too much for this modest blog to handle. Plus the Garage Door's 2002 camera phone ain't what it used to be.

EJ wasn't the only Felt staffer representing at Ladera Ranch. A handful made it out there. Joining EJ in the Cat V men’s race was engineer Ty Buckenberger. Ty does about two crit races a year, but that didn’t stop him from winning this one. Not too shabby, huh? Watch out for Ty come ’cross season.

As for EJ, well, besides looking stylish, he was right there in the mix with Ty. He finished 11th.

Felt marketing dude Jake Duehring, on a tear this summer after winning a couple district championships on the track, raced the Cat. III event at Ladera Ranch. After an untimely flat, Jake got back in it and won the final sprint pretty convincingly but officials later relegated him for missing a lap. Jake was bummed he didn’t score the points, but with that finishing kick it’s pretty easy to see that he’ll be moving up to race with the big boys soon enough.

And finally, Felt road product manager Super Dave Koesel did about a million laps at Ladera, racing the Masters 30+, Masters 35+ and Pro I-II events. Because that’s how he rolls. Today is Tuesday and last we heard Dave was on his way to racking up about 200k with a pre-work morning ride, quick lunch ride and evening circuit race. Just another Tuesday.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Danielson talks about his return to form

Following his big stage win in the time trial and third-place overall finish at the Vuelta a Burgos in Spain this week, Garmin-Slipstream's Tom Danielson was interviewed by VeloNews European correspondent Andy Hood. Check out the interview to see how Danielson feels about being back on top after injuries and illness.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Best Wishes to The Joker

When the news came across the wires Tuesday night that Michael “The Joker” Guymon, a champion Mixed Martial Arts fighter from Irvine, California, was undergoing psychiatric evaluation after an episode with police that was labeled “attempted suicide” by the local paper, lots of his friends, including us, were surprised.

Guymon had been hanging out at Felt just a few days earlier to pick up his new Z35 road bike. You see, in addition to being the defending King of the Cage Welterweight Champ, Guymon is also an avid road cyclist and a fan of the Garmin-Slipstream squad.

Guymon, who says he gets his name “The Joker” because he’s “a big goofball,” has competed in Martial Arts for 15 years and has been a professional since 2000. He started his career in kickboxing, then switched his focus to Jiu Jitsu, and later to wrestling. He has stand-up game plus the wrestling skills essential to becoming a top-notch cage fighter.

And one of the keys to Guymon’s success is his endurance, which he builds by training on a Felt road bike.

“Cycling plays an intricate role in me getting ready for a fight,” Guymon says. “I walk around at almost 200 pounds but I fight at 170. How do I lose that weight in a healthy way without injuring my body? Cycling. I used to run for my fights but my knees hurt. All my joints hurt—my back, my ankles. Now, when I ride I don’t have any impact on my back, knees or ankles.”

Guymon rides a Felt Z35 Team edition. Made with Felt’s HM carbon fiber, it’s lightweight and stiff enough to perform perfectly in what we imagine is a pretty powerful sprint. Guymon trains by going on two-hour rides in the rolling hills near his home in Irvine. He does intervals and loves going fast through the flats.

“I’m also learning to keep my cadence up on the climbs and I’m starting to like uphills a little more,” he says.

The training on the bike is critical to getting down to fighting weight—Guymon recently dropped close to 10 pounds after just a few days of long rides and dieting—but it also helps build strength.

“It really helps out my cardio and my overall muscle strength in my legs,” he says. “So in the later rounds of my fights, I have a lot of pop.”

Guymon says he’s stoked to ride the Z35 and fly the colors of the Garmin-Slipstream squad. “Yeah, I followed the Tour de France this year and saw the Garmin-Slipstream team riding their Felts. They were kicking some butt. I like learning about the tactics—watching the Tour helped teach me about things like how when the wind is coming from the side, you don’t want to be directly on the wheel, but off to the side a little bit.”

Guymon is scheduled to defend his King of the Cage Welterweight Championship Title against Quinn Mulhern on October 1 at San Manuel Casino. Judging by all the support he has received through online comments accompanying Tuesday’s news story, he has lots of people pulling for him to get through a tough situation.

We’re hoping The Joker is able to bounce back and get back to riding and training soon.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ryder Hesjedal Gets Ready for Vuelta

Garmin-Slipstream's Ryder Hesjedal has had a busy summer. He finished his second Tour de France in July, was an impressive fifth at last week's Clasica San Sebastian classic in Spain, and is now preparing to race another three-week grand tour, the Vuelta a EspaƱa, starting August 29. The Canadian, who called his team time trial ride on his Felt DA his top accomplishment from this year's Tour de France, was featured in an interview with VeloNews European correspondent Andrew Hood.

Check it out: