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  • Well, it's over...

    The 2012 edition of the Pro Challenge is done and over. Did I learn anything? Well, I am not as young as I used to be, riding bikes at 10,000 feet is really hard, and I really love drinking beer while I watch bike racing.

    There were thousands of road-side fans that needed thirst quenching, and I like to believe we handled them all. And there were thousands more on-line watchers for our brand of Total Sports Coverage, and I like to think they were satisfied as well. 

    During the week we made 7 videos, posted 7 daily updates, sold almost 600 raffle tickets for 1 custom Yipsan bicycle, raised almost 3,000 bucks (per said raffle) for Bikes Belong, raised a whole bunch of other money for a whole bunch  of other Colorado non-profits from selling beer and swag, ran along with 1 stage winner, gave away 5 New Belgium cruisers, drank beers with countless people, and enjoyed every second of it. I think this photo sums up my feelings for the week:

    And, with all that being said, we will be back for 2013. This was our first year for sponsoring this event, so I can only assume next year will be bigger and bolder. Start booking your flights now because this is going to be a very fruitful relationship for all parties involved...

    Also, I understand that a re-cap video of all the videos is forthcoming, but Simpsonic is a busy fellow. So we'll have to wait and see on that one.

    Until next time!

    -Juicebox

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  • I drank beer with Team RadioShack, and other things that happened in Denver.

    After yesterday's stage 6 concluded on the steep and fan-filled slopes of Flagstaff Mountain Levi Leipheimer stretched the leader's yellow jersey across his back. This morning, going into the time trial, I would have bet you $100 that he would keep it for the overall victory today in Denver. Man, I am so glad you didn't take that bet, I don't have the $100 to give you, nor would my weekly beer allotment have covered it. But first, the video:

    The Video!




    The Stage and Photos!

    Today was the time trial. For the uninitiated, a time trial is a stage in which each rider goes out on course individually to race against the clock. There are no other riders to help and the rider is left to fend completely for themselves. They call the time trial "the race of truth." It generally separates the winners from the losers, and today, it did just that. The top three riders shuffled after today's stage with Leipheimer ending the day on the lowest step of the podium, with Tejay van Beer-Garden-en second, and Christian Vande Velde up top. It was a masterful showing by Mr. Vande Velde, he absolutely crushed it... 

    The mood in Denver was pandemonium. The fans were frothing all over downtown, it was an absolute joy to be apart of.

    This shot is right at the start house with RadioShack's Ben King on the stomp. Mr. King and I chatted a little after his TT (see video). He had a great day on the bike, and a great Pro Challenge. That fellow is going places...

    Here is a better view of the start house, earlier in the day, before the fans clogged the whole thing up:

    Speaking of speaking to Ben King... Here is a lady holding a cardboard cut-out of his face:

    That cut-out of Ben's face is pretty funny. It looks like he has a mullet and his lips are pursed into a scowl. When I was talking to him he had no mullet and was a very smiley guy. But I guess the maker of the cut-out wanted to put Ben's toughest face forward...

    All the RadioShack riders had cutouts... Here is Chris Horner driving the team bus:

    What's it going to take to get a giant cut-out of my face? I guess a pro racing contract with Radioshack is the answer to that question, and that is something that I am never going to have. Maybe I could make my own...

    In continuing with the super RadioShack heavy subject in today's post, my beautiful bride (and wonderful child) met Jens Voigt today. A very big moment in all lives involved (especially Jens):

    The love of Jens is a very big thing in our house. Though my child is, in fact, crying in the picture. She hasn't seen enough dramatic breakaways and tough-man riding out of Jens in her short 13 months of life... Jens signed on with RadioShack for 2013, so she'll get there.

    To wander slowly from the RadioShack boys I would like to break the momentum of my post with this picture of New Belgium's own Nick Ampe. He doesn't even have a shirt with him (but he does have NB (New Belgium) in temporary tattoos across his torso)...

    Alright, now that we have fully broken from Team RadioShack I want to reintroduce a character that popped up in our story a few days ago, the Red Lady:

    I have seen the Red lady everywhere from the bar in Durango, to the slopes of Independence Pass, to standing arm-in-arm with a giant piece of broccoli. She is a huge fan of bike racing and I hope I get to know her better in the 2013 edition of the Pro Cycling Challenge.

    And that brings us to my last point. The 2012 US Pro Cycling Challenge is over. It was an experience of a lifetime and I am truly blessed to work for the brewery that sponsors this amazing event. I hope you enjoyed the day to day coverage from the week. Simpsonic, Larry and I worked very hard to bring you our perspective of this race. Look for a "week in recap" post later this week. But until then, know that we will definitely be back for more Total Sports Coverage at the USPC in 2013. 

    On that note, I'm out. But before I go, please let me leave you with this:

    XOXO,

    Juicebox/Simpsonic 

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  • Renold Yip makes a great bicycle, and other photos from Boulder, Colorado...

    Alright, let me be honest with you right now. Stage 6 finished up in Boulder a few hours ago, and when it did I was playing with my daughter in the park. I snuck a can of Ranger in pocket and we headed out on the bike path to a lovely swingset by the river. It's her favorite spot (mine too). Meanwhile, in Boulder, team NBB was documenting and filming and partaking in what we have come to call "Total Sports Coverage" of the US Pro Cycling Challenge. After the finish in Colorado Springs yesterday I needed a day off, and my beautiful bride had to go to work, so I needed (wanted) to hang out with my glowing and wonderful young child... But the show must go on, so here is today's video:

    The Video!



    And then I would be remiss to let the coverage spoil, so here are some shots that Larry sent me, via text, through the course of the day (he's pretty handy with the camera). I am including some commentary that I made up. I wasn't there, but I can only assume that how I interpret the pictures is correct. I am a writer after all:

    The Stage!


    The silk screen says it all, and then it happened. New Belgium spent the week screening shirts, hope you got one, they're awesome.

    Total sports coverage brought to you from the house on Pooh Corner (Boulder)...

    While we were driving around the state trying not to offend anyone these dudes (and others like them) were throwing kegs and trucking cans from city to city, bringing the refreshment (beer) to you. The guy on the right even broke his collarbone doing it. A huge thanks to them, I (we all) would have been very thirsty if not for their hard work...

    The US Pro Cycling Challenge was in America, and Fat Tire is awesome!

    I am running out of captions, here is the rest of the photos...

    See what I mean, handy with the camera. And that's all I got. See you tomorrow from Denver.

    XOXO,

    Juicebox/Simpsonic/Larry

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  • Riding shotgun with Team Optum...

    Another great day of the Pro Challenge on the long and beautiful roads of Colorado. But first:


    The Video"




    Now on to the commentary, and awesome photos:

    Last night:

    Thursday night in Beaver Creek looked hopping, from the balcony of my hotel room, and luckily I was't sleeping on it this time. By the time we got everything together for last night's post it was late and I was hungry and I needed some rest. I'm going to level with you... This race has taken it out of me, I am no longer in show room condition and I needed a decent night's sleep before I collapsed on a road-side somewhere... So, in short, I went to bed kind of early, and it was awesome. 

    The Stage:

    Stage 5, Breckenridge to Colorado Springs. We made it to Breck with plenty of time for breakfast (I had a biscuit and some coffee), and the some shoulder rubbing with the stars:

    That's a shot of me and cycling legend (and wonderful commentator) Bob Roll. From the squint in his eyes you can see how thrilled he was that I was so thrilled with getting my picture taken next to him. I think he really enjoyed this moment.

    Oh, and I got the opportunity to ride in Team Optum's car today, it was awesome. Going back to Stage 3 you will remember the NBB/Team Optum connection? Well, I used that connection to its fullest potential today. I have never been in a team car, it's a pretty great opportunity. They drive really fast and hand riders water bottles (and food) and curse at the race report radio, it's super sweet. I had been looking forward to it all week and it surely did not disappoint. This is the car I was in:

     I met the team at the start and jumped right in the car. I was sitting shotgun next to Eric Wohlberg, team director, Canadian, car driver, former professional cyclist, all around nice guy. I didn't get a good shot of him, so I took this one off the internet:

    Riding in the car was crazy fun, but let me detail it in this photo essay:

    I learned an amazing amount about bike racing today. I want to thank all the Optum folks for the opportunity, and for putting up with my questions.

    Really, that's all I got for you today. See you tomorrow in Boulder!

    Juicebox/Larry

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  • So, I spilled beer on the guy who won the race; and other highlights from Independence Pass.

    Stage 4. One of the greatest days of my life.  I think I might have already said that this week, but this time I mean it. We decided to skip out on the start and finish of the race today and focus our sporting efforts on Independence Pass. So worth it, but a lot more on that later. First:

    The Video!

    It was shot and edited (the whole nine) by a new fellow named Larry. Simpsonic had to depart for home today so we brought in a replacement, and Larry isn't half bad. So let's let 'er rip:

    Last Night.

    Last night was fun, we went to another after party, gave away another cruiser, and drank a few beers. I got zero photos, zilch. The bar was so crowded and so dark that the camera just wasn't working, at all. But trust me, it all happened. Then, after the beers and stuff we headed back over to our hotel in Aspen. Not really our hotel (per say), as we didn't actually have a room, but a friend did, and his room had a really large balcony. We slept on his balcony. Luckily it didn't rain. Here was the scene when we woke up at 6:00 this morning:

    That is J- Party, waking up, looking good. But I don't want to dwell on the balcony. Let's move into the total sports coverage.

    Stage 4!

    Today's start was in Aspen, then the riders headed back over Independence Pass, then on to Beaver Creek. We have been spending a lot of time at starts and finishes this week, so we figured a day from a different angle was in order. Independence pass it was going to be. In looking up the road closure information for the pass we found out that the road was closing on the Aspen side at 8:00am. Another early departure, but we made it to the top by about 8:45am. They weren't going to shoot the starting pistol until 11:20, and the riders weren't estimated to summit Independence until 12:30, so we had some time to kill, but kill it we did. There was a ton of people up there hanging out, having fun, so it wasn't difficult to enjoy ourselves. The atmosphere was festive from the get go and the crowd was totally into waiting for the racers to summit.

      

    As you can read from the sign, Independence is up there in the clouds. The breathing was difficult for us, and we were just sitting around drinking beer. I can't imagine what those racers were going through. And the temperature was super variable as well. The clouds would cover and it would get cold, the clouds would break and it would get hot. Larry, and our pal J-Party, thought of one way to deal with it:

    They would take their pants off in the sun and then put them back on during cloud cover. It was a strange method (to be sure), but it worked out for them (I guess)...

    And then it was time to start really hanging out with the crowds. We started handing out beers and talking, it was a really fun time. It is truly amazing how nice people are when you start out the conversation with "hey, want a beer?" People were cheers-ing everywhere and smiling.

    And these guys rode up the pass to watch the race, they earned those beers.

    Before you knew it the time had passed and we were ready for the race. We started noticing the helicopter hovering so we knew the riders were getting close, and then, at the bottom of the road you could see a lone rider. The top of the pass was only 20 (ish) miles from the start, and then it was a long way to the finish, so no one was predicting a breakaway that early in the day. But wouldn't you know it... Jens Voigt! He was out front, by a ways. When he got up to our spot he had almost 3 minutes on the next closest group, and more than that on the main field. He was absolutely crushing it.

    As you know from last night's post Jens is a favorite of mine. And since I started watching bicycle racing about 10 years ago I have always wanted to run along side a rider on a climb. That is major tradition in road-side-bicycle-race-watching. I wanted to do it so bad, and today, running next to Jens, was going to be my chance to realize the dream:

    I was running with a pretty full Fat Tire in my hand and as we progressed up the hill it was splashing everywhere. I might have gotten some on Jens, or maybe even his bike (maybe). And then, as some of you might know, his breakaway stuck. He won the stage. I like to think the Fat Tire that I may, or may not have (but probably did) spilled on his bike was the lucky charm... So, in a very small way New Belgium helped Jens Voigt to victory today, and we will remember that always. PS. Hat's off to Mr. Justin Party for the wonderful picture.

    Before, during, and after Jens came through the fans on the pass were borderline rabid. It was so fun to be a part of it, and if you ever get the chance to see a mountain stage at any race jump on it. Today will go down as one of my favorite days ever, in my whole life. So fun.

    And then, before I wrap up, more pics that need no explanation:

     

    And with that, we're gone. Make sure to check out tomorrow's post. I'm back with Team Optum, and this time I'm riding in their car... See you then!

    Juicebox/Larry

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  • The Queen stage brought to you by New Belgium Brewing

    Did you know that the road from Gunnison to Aspen is really long? Today the racers strolled through 130 miles of major Colorado mountains, like Cottonwood and Independence passes, both in one day, and both above 12,000 feet (or, about 3,700 meters for the European readers). Today's distance was so big that, in fact, it was the Queen Stage. The "Queen Stage" is bicycle racer talk for the longest stage of the whole race. Today's Queen Stage was brought to you by New Belgium, very cool. We are sponsoring the whole Pro Challenge, but with our sponsorship package comes the chance host a stage, and we got this one. So long, so cool.

    Unlike yesterday, we did catch the start today in Gunnison. And then hustled the alternative route to Aspen, long roads, lots of team vehicles, and some dangerous passes (both in elevation and speed). But before we rip into the stage highlights, let's review our story arc: first comes the intro (you're reading it now), then Simposonic's video, then my (Juicebox's) awesome story and photos starting from last night's party and progressing until just after today's finish. So, without further ado...

    The Video!


    Now, The Story (and photos)!

    After the super awesome finish and stage recap yesterday, Simpsonic and I headed out into Crested Butte to get some pizza, a few great beers and give away another cruiser. The New Belgium Beer Rangers were already posted up (as the previous nights) at the Brick Oven in Crested Butted, drawing the crowd in to buy beers and raffle tickets. The 10 o'clock hour struck and it was time for some good ol' fashioned rock-paper-cruiser... Here is another glamor shot of Ranger Jeff with the big winner:

    She was pretty stoked to take that bike home, her grin was ear to ear on the way out of the bar.

    After the bike give away the owner (Brian) of the Brick Oven came to visit our table and he came bringing gifts (beers). Some aged sours from NBB, the Bruery, Lost Abbey, and a few Belgians that I can't pronounce (much less spell). It was super fun, and super nice of him to give us such red carpet treatment.

    Then, as the previous nights, it was time to head back to our accommodations and sleep. We needed to be ready for the long day coming.

    And then the alarm went off very early, 6:15am. Jeepers. But we had to hit it early today because the fine folks over at Team Optum offered up some meet and greet time. But to get to that meet and greet we had to be in Gunnison (45 minutes from CB) at 8:00am. We made it, under the gun and under caffeinated, but we made it. The Optum guys had just pulled in and they we chamios-ing up when we got to their RV. Mike Creed (with his wonderful hair) and Mike Friedman were gracious to spend some time with us (see the video). That was super nice of them and really fun. We got this opportunity because Optum's full name is Optum, presented by Kelly Benefits, and Kelly benefits just so happens to provide New Belgium's prescription plan benefits. Awesome, huh? A great connection and a wonderful group of people... I would show you some awesome pictures, but the video has all the gems, so go back up to the top of the page and watch that again.

    And then, as I was wandering around the start area I got a nice shot of Jens Voigt. He's my favorite: 

    What you can't see in this photo (because all the people standing in the way) is that Jens is standing there, talking to Barry Bonds. No kidding, Barry Bonds, who knew he was a cycling fan (and who knew Jens was a baseball fan)...

    After our time with the Optum fellas, and strolling around the start, Simpsonic and jumped back into the NBB team car and pushed to Aspen, the long way. The route we took brought us through the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park (and lots of other places too). It was such beautiful scenery, just gorgeous. Though, while driving we kept running into team buses, they don't drive very fast. Here was my view of the Radioshack bus:

      

    All the more I have to say about this driving experience is that I hope the Radioshack riders are faster than their bus (holy smokes)...

    We were pressed for time today (as with everyday) so we had to make the most of our drive. Here is Simpsonic, editing video as I drive like a jerk through very twisty terrain (I'm surprised he didn't vomit):

    When we finally pulled into Aspen the race winner was only 2KM out and we were running, fighting crowds and trying to get a good picture. I failed, I got nothing from the finish line, and I am sorry (Simpsononic did get some video). But my good pal Foos captured this stunning shot of Tom Danielson (today's winner) as he was slapping hands and enjoying his win:

    Danielson put in an absolutely Herculean effort today, off the front, almost caught, but he never gave up. Hats off to him, it was the ride of a season (maybe a lifetime). And I hope to be described like that someday... 

    And then New Belgium's own CEO, Kim Jordan (as per our Queen Stage hosting) got award Mr. Danielson his winning gifts today. It was a great moment:

    And after all the jerseys were distributed, and all hands were shook, another winner emerged, Shift Pale Lager:

    And then the stage and festival drew to a close, it was another awesome day. But before I leave you I would like to present some more photos that need no description:

    And from there, we're out. See you tomorrow from atop Independence Pass (those poor riders have to race that again (bummer for them, awesome for us...)!

    Juicebox/Simpsonic

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  • Stage 2, the Tour de Fat meets the Tour of Colorado...

    Alright, so I understand this race is called the US Pro Cycling Challenge (USPCC), but for the sake of our title today the Tour of Colorado just sounded better... Today we have another video for you and then the awesome photos and words to follow. It was a complete whopper, so buckle your helmets...

    The Video!

    Then, Last Night

    And here we are, post stage 2 and today was a doozie. But before we jump right into the now, let's travel back to last night... Simpsonic and I put yesterday's post together, got it all wrapped up, then headed back down into the town of Telluride. At the bottom of the gondola is a great bar and eatery called The Oak. We had beers to drink and a cruiser bike to give away. After another heated session of rock-paper-cruiser Frank took the bike home. Frank is a course marshall for the UPCC, so it was nice to send that cruiser into the wonderful hands of a hard working volunteer. Here he is (looking as if he's going to cry tears of joy):

    The bar was dark and Frank still had his reflective safety vest on, so the picture is not my best work... But you get the idea (and I think the flash blinded him too, again, look at his expression, it's priceless). Another wonderful moment of cruiser bike giveaway history. 

    And then, we were just sitting there, minding our own business, when the podium girls from the Telluride finish came wandering in. Jeff is a New Belgium Beer Ranger for the mountain areas here in Colorado, and he is quite the lady killer... After a couple minutes of Jeff talking with these two ladies they just smacked a few smoochers right on him:

    That was a big moment in Jeff's life (I think).

    And then the lateness of the night got later and we headed back up the gondola to rest our weary heads and ready ourselves for the big day ahead.


    Stage 2!


    Crested Butte was ready for this, like seriously ready. Simpsonic and I parked the NBB team car in town and mounted bicycles to climb to the finish at Mount Crested Butte. It's a huge 4 (ish) mile climb that just about tore the lungs out of my chest. But the road paint kept me pedaling. Painting the road is a tradition in road racing, it cheers the riders forward and entertains the TV audience that catch the quick glimpses. The whole road was painted with positivity from top to bottom. It was a treat to ride on top of it. 

    When I finally made it to the top I grabbed a beer and jumped right into hob-knobbing. The event at the finish started at 11am, the race was scheduled to cross the line at 3:50, we pulled in about 1pm grabbed those beers and headed right over to the bike pit. The USPCC presented a great opportunity to bring some beer and bicycle love on the road. And what better way to show it than a little piece of the Tour de Fat right inside the bike race. Art, art bikes, carnies, giant board games, funnel cakes (maybe not funnel cakes), and even a big kaleidoscope made an appearance today. The race fans with time to kill were killing it with all the fun to be had...

    The Crested Butte fans were all about the TDF costumed fun today too. Here is Pac Man apparently munching down on a New Belgium tent:

     He must have been hungry.

    And then on to the beer drinking, because there was some. There were several beer stations (as they call them in the business) to grab a cold one. And then there were beer vendors, out pedaling around, bringing the cold ones to the people. 

    That, my friends, is the perfect scenario for the thirsty race fan unwilling to give up their spot on the barrier.

    Oh, and there was some bike racing today too. It was a 99 mile stage from Montrose to Crested Butte. Lots of race action happened in between, but it all came down to Tejay van Garderen (or, as I like to call him, Tejay van Beer-Garden-en) and a last minute break on Christian Vande Velde. In fact, here is that break:

    And then here is Mr. van Beer-Garden-en, right after the win, being escorted to the podium:

    It was a great day of fans and fun and racing. And to close today's post here are some more photos that need no explanation:

    On that note... We'll see you tomorrow at Stage 3 (classy Aspen)! 

    -Juicebox/Simpsonic

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  • Stage One, then Shift Pale Lager...

    Hey readers! Tonight is arriving very quickly, so Simpsonic and I are going to make this quick (well, not that quick). Originally we were shooting for a 4pm posting, but then we realized that the race ends around then, and we want to include that part, so we called an audible and we're pushing it back a bit. So here we are, and here it is, last night, some Stage 1 coverage, a highlight reel and tons of awesome photos...

    Let's start with the video:


    And then on to the details (the words and awesome photos)...

    It all started last night in Durango, after yesterday's sign off. Simpsonic and I loaded the blog up and headed into town. We arrived to an absolute pre-Pro-Challenge malee' and what do I run into first? The starting chute, all branded up:

    That placement is just superb, thank you Pro Challenge.

    And then we headed off to the New Belgium party on the roof-top at the Balcony, super fun, super crowded. We were giving away a cruiser bike to kick the week off right, but before we launched into the raffle the city of Durango launched some fireworks into the air. It was quite a spectacle, there were reds and blues and greens and explsions and everything. I would show you a picture, but really, have you ever seen a good fireworks picture? Probably not, and mine were no different, just awful... 

    After the stunning display wrapped up, we jumped into the raffle. There were two tickets pulled and then we went to a Ro-Sham-bo-show-down! Brad and Mike went head to head in rock-paper-scissors for a best of three... Mike won (no question), here he is just elated:

    See the excitement on that guy's face? He's very happy...

    We are giving away a few more bikes through the week (like 4 more), so if you're following the race (like curb-side) make sure to attend the New Belgium after-parties (you can Tweet at me for city specific details (@nbbprochallenge))...

    After the Balcony we headed over to Lady Falconberg's, a very nice beer bar right in Durango, and that's when things got weird:

    After some pig-mural interaction Simpsonic and I called it a night, the big day of Stage 1 was looming and the dorm room beds of Fort Lewis College were calling.

    Stage 1!

    The early bird gets the worm! We were up and at em' and at the start by 8am. It took us a while to find the tent to pick up our media credentials (that's right, full access) but we found it and headed directly off to the start line. During the call ups George Hincapie was pulled in the first group of 12 riders and got a very rousing round of applause. This is big George's last professional hurrah, retiring after the Pro Challenge, and it was good to see him on the line and pumped:

     

    Oh, and he's parked right next to Tour de France winner and world champion Cadel Evans... Don't those boys look ready for a fight?

    With all the riders called up and chomping the announcers called Governor Hickenlooper to the stage to shoot the starting pistol. He looks confident with a gun:

    And then boom, they were off. It was 126 miles of racing, and they started hot, fast paced from the git-go. Simpsonic and I jump back into the New Belgium team car and headed to Telluride. We had to take an alternative route from the racers, but luckily there was an alternative route–> up through Ouray, Ridgeway, and then into Telluride, just in time for the finish. The racers covered that ground (126 miles), on bicycles, in 4 hours and 42 minutes. We covered it, in a car, with a lunch stop in just under four. That is faster than 25 mph, for almost 5 hours, those boys were flying...

    We got some great shots at the finish, but my favorite was all the photographers lined up for the shot. Here's Simpsonic out in front of the assembling pile...

    Believe it or not, that is only 1/4 of the total number of picture-takers that crammed into that tiny little space, pretty astounding. Then we went to the post race beer shenanigans and drank some Shift Beer to celebrate a day well spent, it tasted very good:

    Then this stuff happened, and it needs no explanation:

    And on that note... We're headed to another Pro Cycling Challenge function... I am tired already, but ready for stage 2. See you tomorrow with more total sports coverage...

    -Juicebox/Simpsonic (for the video and modeling credits)

    Full story

     

  • Great News!

    Starting today me and my compatriot (Simpsonic) are on the road following the US pro Cycling Challenge. For the next 8 days you (the reader) are going to be soaked in the fun of this event. We are also changing up the format of this medium for that time as well. I'm going to be posting, Simpsonic is going to be posting, we'll both be posting at the same time... Things are going to get weird, and awesome. So for today, me and then him. Here it goes:

    Juicebox:

    Well we made it, all the way to Durango. It took us almost 9 hours in the New Belgium team car, but we did it. On the road is Simpsonic and myself (ol' Juicebox) and starting today we launch our total sports coverage from the US Pro Cycling Challenge... Are you ready for the ride (see what I did there? It's a pun...).

    Here is a pic of the team car in Pagosa Springs (with team bikes loaded):

    ]

    And before leaving Pagosa Springs we stumbled across this very welcoming banner (on the side of an apparently abandoned building):

     

    Upon arrival we headed up to Fort Lewis College to get all unloaded, decompress (have a beer) and do a little hop-knobbin' with out pals at Ska Brewing and Something Independent. We did a sweet toast with some beers, it was fun. I would show you a picture, but they took it on their camera, and I forgot to give them my camera to get another. Ah well, check out Something Independent for that shot (it's a great one), and check them out for lots of other stuff too, they're here at the Pro Challenge all week as well. 

    After the hob-knobbing Simpsonic and I headed up to our room. We're staying on campus at Fort Lewis, nice room (just like the college days). Fort Lewis was nice enough to send the welcoming committee (things are different down here in the four corners):

    I offered, but she declined the beer.

    Immediately following this posting we are headed downtown to hang out at the Pro Challenge kick off block party. And then the race starts tomorrow. So be ready for all the total sports coverage that was promised starting then... 

    Until the day after today,

    Juicebox

     

     Simpsonic:

    What a Friday! The last day before we leave town for the US Pro Challenge and the excitement crackled out my ears as we tried to load our reformatted commercials to NBC(aclientaccountmanagerdoeswhatnow…?). After much ado involving production houses on both coasts, NBC, a field team in Durango and yrz truly sweating bullets on deadline…  Success! We're locked to run our classic Tinkerer spots on NBC and Versus during the Pro Challenge!

    Originally shot by Jake Scott, son of Ridley ("let's shoot 'em on 16!") in and around Paonia and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, we've freshened them up with new soundtracks from Tour de Fat crowd pleaser, Sean Hayes, and hometown heroes, Fierce Bad Rabbit.

    It was a lot of shake/rattle/roll to get these up and running again so many thanks to all who helped along the way. Hope you like 'em. Check out these bands and share what they do - so much talent all around! Juicebox and I are gonna go catch a beer.

    chrz,
    Simpsonic

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  • New Belgium and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge

    Hey friends. 

    I wanted to take today and mention that we're sponsoring the USA ProCycling Challenge (!), and then explain a few details as to what that means... 

    Are you ready? Alright, here we go. 

    The Pro Cycling Challenge is a huge bicycle race ripping the roads of Colorado from August 20th through the 26th. It starts in Durango and seven days (and 600 miles) later everybody shows up in Denver. Some of the world's top racing teams will be fielding riders and it's looking to be the paramount bicycle event in the US (beside the Tour de Fat, of course). There is going to be hundreds of thousands of thirsty fans throughout the week (some say over a million people are going to be lining the roads of Colorado for this second year event!), and New Belgium is going to be there making sure that everyone (of legal drinking age) has an ice cold beer in their hand to aid in hydration and cheering. We will have beer tents at starts towns, finish towns, along the route, everywhere. Again, it is going to be the ultimate Colorado happening (in regards to bicycles and beer and fun and stuff (outside the Tour de Fat, of course)). We are very excited to be a part of the Pro Challenge and we are excited to showcase Colorado, and Colorado beer, on an international stage.

    We are doing a lot of beer serving and event shenanigans during the USA Pro (I heard some TDF fun might show up too...), and that is all super awesome, but what I am most excited about is the total sports coverage (to barrow a favorite phrase) that we will be offering to all fans of beer and bicycles. We will be on the ground covering the event: videos, blog posts, dedicated Twitter and Instagram feeds, not to mention charming personalities and rugged good looks. We will be talking about the race, but we're also looking to highlight some beautiful Colorado towns, after-race-type-parties, some of the benefitting non-profits, local personalities, and the beer drinking... It is going to be really fun and I hope you can share it with us. 

    Here's the sizzle clip:



    And here are some very important follow-along-type-details: 

    See most things NBB and Pro Challenge at the Internet homebase: www.NewBelgium.com/ProChallenge

    Follow along on Twitter: @NBBProChallenge

    Or, on Instagram: @NBBProChallenge (I would link IG here but it's phone only and I really have nothing to connect from my desktop, sorry...)

    And, To plug yourself into the conversation try some of these hash tags at the aforementioned social networking sites: #Prochallenge #NBBProchallenge #USAPRO #BikesAndBeer #EnjoyTheRide

    There will also be watch parties all over our distribution areas for folks outside of Colorado to enjoy NBB beers and good ol' fashioned bicycle racing with the Pro Challenge. Keep your eyes on that (above mentioned) website to see the details of these happenings in your neighborhood...

    So, on that note, get ready to follow along and have some fun in the high mountains of Colorado! 

    Huzzah! Bicycle Racing!

    -Juicebox

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