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Winter is On!
Team CLIF Bar's Winter Stoke Meter is HIGH!
Chris Benchetler getting it good. photo - Peter Morning
Team Clif Bar Blog
Dec 23, 2005
WinTAH WonDAHland

white bikes… that’s how Mark & Jesse say it.

First and foremost, Happy Holidays, folks! It’s that magical time of the season when the CLIF BAR & Co. offices will be closed for the winter holidays which means I’ve got approximately ten days to whip myself into some sort of "race shape" before the ’06 road season kicks off. Wish me luck.

It’s been a busy December, highlighted by the National Cyclocross Championships in Providence, RI.

Where's CLIF?The rumors are indeed true—it was a wee bit chilly out there. Turns out there was actually racing going on around our expo tent the first day, but the white-out conditions made it hard to tell. Nothing like standing outside in blizzard conditions for six hours to get a guy excited about cyclocross—fortunately things changed for the better and Saturday & Sunday were gorgeous.

Thanks to Sean and the Mountain Hardwear crew for hand-delivering a Sub Zero jacket to me the evening before my trip back East—it was great to actually be comfortable in the harsh conditions. And, it was fun to remind my traveling partner, Paul, over and over again, just how toasty my hands were in the jacket’s fleece pockets.

Here’s my quick summary of ‘Cross Nats:

Todd Wells winning

• TEAM CLIF BAR is fortunate to work with a large number of very capable and approachable athletes. From pros to amateurs, I was proud to be associated with the many athletes sporting the CLIF logo.

• Boarding the plane, I was stopped by a guy who told me how much fun he’d had at the CLIF BAR Cyclocross Sumo Suit Challenge—ahhh… very paparazzi.

• Dave Towle can swing his foot way above his head while slipping on ice—and somehow stay upright. I’m sure he was sore on Monday.

• Paul snores and sometimes tries to snuggle in bed.

• Some airlines are better than others—I’ll leave it at this: I couldn’t open my laptop when the dude in front of me reclined his chair. Absurd.

• Richard Fries throws the word "Juggernaut" around haphazardly—I don’t think he knows what it means (and I still don’t either).

• Bar fights in Providence are over quickly—the locals seem fond of using the bottle instead of the fist.

• The folks in Rhode Island do the whole freeway on-ramp/off-ramp bit differently—just because there’s an off-ramp don’t expect there to be an on-ramp in the same county.

• Richard’s kid and his sinister little sidekick buddy do a pretty good job short-sheeting the beds—don’t trust them.

• The tip left at dinner goes up significantly when you light the bread basket on fire with the table candle—but it’s worth it.

• Paul doesn’t stop at stop signs when entering round-abouts—he had some lame excuse but I was too petrified to comprehend it.

• TEAM CLIF BAR riders Todd and Troy Wells obviously benefited from their Cyclocross Sumo Suit Challenge training—I’m sure next season we’ll see more athletes exploring similar cross-training techniques.

Now it’s off to work on my New Year’s resolution: I’m going to try to talk like Captain Kirk more often in 2006.Captain, my Captain

Have a great end to ’05 and I’ll be back in touch come the New Year!

All photos (except Kirk): Paul McKenzie/Clif Bar



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