Welcome to G-Ville

So the first week of full time employment is finally complete. Don’t be too alarmed though, my first week tasks consisted of mostly setting up my email account and mapping network drives. I’m already off to a good start as I tied the record for fastest setup of an email account (3 days!). The norm is something on the order of one or two weeks to finally get access to your own email. I suppose it might have something to do with proprietary export controlled data. That was my second “action item”, to read a bunch of documents about what an “export” actually is. By the way if you’re not in the corporate world, difficult terms like “action items” seem like a foreign language at first (it means an item you take action on…to do). Anyway you wouldn’t believe the kind of stifling restrictions that are placed on the content of my work. Not only cant I discuss gas turbine engines with foreign countries like Iran, but if I travel abroad I’m expected to keep my work laptop within my control at all times. They’ve obviously made a terrible mistake in hiring me, I’m not James Bond here, and I don’t know if I can handle this kind of Top Secret operation here.

Anyways I got moved into my apartment for the most part, I don’t have a TV, a couch, any chairs, or table. But I have a bed and a washer and dryer, so I’m pretty set now. I even got internet yesterday, so the apt is pretty deluxe.

The complex has a pool and hot tub.
Just sayin’

When I first got here and started riding I was pretty let down. It seemed like all the roads I was riding were really heavily trafficked and hard to follow (name and direction changes are very frequent on local roads).

Turns out my entire riding philosophy has to be adjusted to Upstate Carolina. Back in Wild West of Tucson, there were a total of about 4 roads you could ride on, all of which were shit. Before that in Lafayette you literally couldn’t get lost on the infinite grid of farm roads.

Since all the roads twist and turn all over the place, and frequently T into other cross roads, you need to take on a totally new method of riding in Greenville. Fortunately the result is awesome. The method is going wherever the hell you feel like going and you will 99.9% end up on a road that is awesome. As long as you know which direction you’re going and which direction you need to go (thank you Garmin GPS), you can take any road you see that doesn’t have a dead end sign and it’ll twist, turn, swoop around until it ends, then you take another awesome road. Every road is literally smooth as butter and absolutely beautiful, especially out towards the mountains.

This past Sunday I even skipped a race to just go riding, I drove up towards Table Top Rock and road the local big climb in the area Caesars Head. I started off towards the climb on a pretty main road just north of Pumpkinville (look it up it real), then decided it was slightly too busy, and took off on some totally random side road. The random side road was perfect blacktop with a canopy of trees that twisted through the forest following a river.

It’s cheesy but I’m pretty sure I was a little caught up in the whole “training” thing in Tucson and forgot how much fun riding bikes could be. Trust me I can go on, the entire ride I was thinking about one-liners I could throw up on the blog or twitter to show my enthusiasm for the riding here. The only people I know here so far, my co-workers, don’t really appreciate my tangents about the riding here and I’m pretty sure have learned to stop asking me how I like it here.

This Saturday I rode my bike out to the US Pro TT course to check out some of the action. I gotta say I was pretty disappointed about the lame-ness of the course, which went on some business roads behind a bunch of hotels. They had to do like 4 laps or something like that, which included about 5 trips through round abouts per lap. It is a TT and people like their TT’s boring I guess. None the less, it was cool to go and check out the atmosphere and hear David Towel get super excited about a race I wasn’t in. There were actually a ton of spectators around the start finishing area, and probably enough digital SLR cameras to out value the bikes present at the race. I snapped a few pictures with my own fancy camera…which I can submerge in water, take that digital SLR’s.


It’s official I’m officially really joining the Real Ass World

Yup, you have heard me right. Yes way, Hell has frozen over, Pigs are in orbit, It has happened in a Million years, I now officially have a job.

Alright so this has been in the works for some time now, and I’ve pretty much told everybody by now except for maybe my blog which was feeling a little left out (I’ve been seeing other blogs). I was in Greenville, SC for an on site interview last January, but a little over a week ago I got all the papers signed and payroll stuff taken care of. I will be moving to Greenville, SC and starting the job May 16th.
These coming weeks will be the criss cross tour of America for me. This Tuesday we leave Tucson for good and head to Silver City, NM for the SRAM Tour of the Gila. After 5 days of the toughest stage racing in America, it’s clear across the country for another week long race series SpeedWeek (which I hear is like Superweek, but faster and with more crashes, if that’s at all possible). SpeedWeek is pretty central to the Greenville area, and since most of the crits are twilight or night time crits, I’ll be able to do some apartment hunting during the days. Little do they know it yet but I’ll also be recruiting the people I’m staying with there to help me move in, haha. After SpeedWeek is over on Sunday, it’s back to Indiana to drop off Joey, then back up to Michigan for a week. I’ll get all my crap packed up there, hit up the Tour of Washtenaw (followed by a shower and some traditional send off Coney Island), then head back down to Greenville for good. All in all this trip will constitute 3,500 miles of driving and cross 13 states at least once.
Don’t be fooled, this is an actual job, not the kind of job I’m used to. A full time job where you get there at 9 am and leave at 5 pm (that’s 8 whole hours!)
Let me point out some other important differences between this job and job’s I’ve had in the past.
Past Jobs New Job
Attire Greased clothing Polos
Tasks Fixing bikes Building Jet Engines
Schedule Whenever you 9 – 5
wana come in man
Vacation Just let us know a 2 weeks, give a week of notice
day ahead of time
Benefits Discounted Bike Parts Dental
Salary Bike Parts Wheelbarrows of scrillas
(compared to my current income of $0 a month)
A lot of people worry how a full time job will affect their cycling performance. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to keep things balanced.

So I’ll be trading in my Canyon for something a little more my new speed. If anyone wants a sweet bike and set of zipps just let me know, I’ll take a trade for some pocket protectors or ties (only with sweet graphics like pianos or cartoon characters).
Ok, so that’s a slight exaggeration (not about the pocket protectors and ties though). I’m still going to race. A whole new region of racing awaits my domination. Not to mention that Greenville, SC is the home of American superstar cyclist George Hincapie, so I’m sure we’ll be training together all the time.

Even better is that I’ll be down there just in time for Pro US Nationals (in Greenville). I’ll be able to do some serious spectating (beer drinking) and cheering (screaming jiberish while running next to the pack up hill with my shirt, and possibly pants, off).
However if any Pro teams out there need a guest rider I know a guy who’s willing to give up all that weekend of drinking and yelling at you to race with you! I’m even a cheap date since I’ll be living in Greenville, and you can even stay at my apartment for free (unless you’re Bissell, then you have to vacuum my floors).
To be serious for a moment. I have been working at the whole cycling thing for a while, and it seems like while things aren’t quite stalled yet, it’s pretty hard to make it as a amateur level cyclist. Trust me when I say I spent some time hemming and hawing about whether or not to take the job. I love spending my summers couch surfing and waking up every day with a McDonalds Big Breakfast before getting kitted up to bump shoulders at the day’s crit. This isn’t going to end by any stretch, I just won’t be able to spend weeks on end doing Superweek crits in Milwaulkee. The fact of the matter is once September hits what would I do? (Not Cyclocross) I could have headed back to graduate school at either USC or Huntsville Alabama, but this job is pretty much as ideal in every way as I can imagine. It’s in a great location, it’s doing something that not only I studied in school but want to focus on, and it’s a small company which is something I’m pretty keen on (even though I’ve only had one real engineering job). The benefits kinda sorta greatly outweigh the negatives of not being able to race my bike all summer long.
My one major regret is that I won’t be able to race as much with my team as I’d like to. With the bulk of the Panther team in Indiana and Michigan, it’ll be tough to make it to the big team races, but I’ll put in the effort. Fortunately though, Greenville is really well located for a bunch of big races. Speedweek obviously, but Elite Nationals are only an hour and a half away now. Plus a few of the late season NRC Crits are in pretty easy striking distance as well.
Eh we’ll see how it goes, and I’ll try to keep the blog updated through out the whole next month of madness.