I’ll start out with Joe and Allan, then go alphabetically
Alan Schmitz is the president of the Hagens Berman Cycling team and will also be working on the road this season as a mechanic/sougnier/general logistics for many of our bigger races. He gets things done. Like making sure our team has money and gear and ensuring our ability to get to races, like that one race that both Joe and Alan know everyone (including Kennett) really want to do and should do, so it should definitely be on the schedule this year instead of that other race. The first thing one might notice about Alan is that he is extremely happy the majority of the time. Even when Alan isn’t happy, he appears to be happy and is almost always smiling. The second thing one might notice about Alan is that he’s much taller than another Alan on the team, who’s been forced to don the name “Tiny Alan,” despite being six feet tall. Even though Alan is not part of the racing squad, he’s a fast man on the bike himself and a racer, like everyone is at HB. That includes the entire office that Alan works at in the Hagens Berman office building. Even the janitors race there. Words of advice from Alan: “Focus, Kennett. Focus.”
THE Joe Holmes, team director. Oh man where do I start. I think I can pretty much sum Joe up with quotes alone. Here we go: “How you doin?” “I got in shape…today.” “When you see the cars up ahead start echeloning, that’s when you know there’s a strong cross wind. Keep an eye out for it.” “You’re not playing with a full deck.” “Really?” “Typical, Fuckin Prius in the fast lane.” “Just sayin’.” ”My coach is Weather.com.” “You’ll here me say it throughout the season…” “Dirt nap.” ”Buckeyes.” “Be proactive, not reactive.” You only have so many bullets.” “My bark’s worse than my bight.” “Just flow into it.” “I’m all about second chances.” ”You’ve gotta, like…” “I wish that I knew then what I know now.” “Really?” “Through and off.” “Smarter, not harder.” ”You’ve gotta learn how to dial it back.” ”Trust me, I’ve been there before. It may not seem like it but I know what I’m talking about.” “You’ll hear me say this again…” “Fuck.” “What the fuck.” “Really?” “Nutella on dark chocolate.” ”Pro.” “Quadshot.” Joe, like Alan, gets things done. He likes to get things done fast, so if he emails you, you have precisely 13 minutes to respond or else he’s pissed. Three quick facts about Joe: he’s the best driver in the caravan and will risk dozens of lives to get you back into the race after a crash or a flat, he lives on an island, and he rides more than most of the guys on the team. He can be a hard man to get to know at first, but once you do know him he’s a good man to know.
Chris Wingfield, AKA Winger, AKA wingerstudios.com, AKA fake Candian #1, also lives on an island. But it’s a better island than Joe lives on because it has a really good pastry bakery, among other things (electricity and pluming). Winger spends approximately 2/3 of his life on a ferry, commuting between Seattle and Bainbridge Island. The other third of his time is spent instagraming photos on Twitter. Winger appears to be a red-blooded American like you and me: he’s arrogant, not very polite, and likes to make fun of others, but if you look closely there are some subtle differences that reveal his true identity: he only drinks espresso, he over-pronounces things so you can understand him clearly (not American-like at all) and he listens to NPR. No, he’s not gay, he’s Canadian. Barely. Just barely. Winger has been on the team for the past four or five years, but made the jump to the elite squad this year and is chomping at the bit to show his strength, which has always been there. He’s tuning it further this winter by training hard every day and not eating popcorn late at night. Right Winger?
Cody Campbell is more Canadian than Winger can ever nightmare to be. First of all, he lives in Canada. Second of all, he lives in a log cabin with no windows, catches beavers with his bare teeth while out snow-shoing/ice skating in blizzards, and his cologne, tooth paste, shampoo, chamois cream, and maple syrup are all made with 100% natural maple syrup, not the high fructose corn stuff like we have here. Cody is known by many as the guy who started out last season with the Black Plague, which unfortunately just made its way to Canada after roughly 700 years since it hit Europe way back in the dark ages. Other things Cody just found out about include: typewriters, the Backstreet Boys, WWII, Mexico, and Apple (not the computer company, the fruit). It may take a while for news to reach up north, but Cody is quick in the mind and the legs and will be co-captain of the team this year. Cody’s race knowledge and experience from his time spent with Trek Livestrong will be invaluable this year as we venture into bigger, harder races than we’ve done before.
Colin Gibson tore the cat 2 Cascade Classic up SO badly last summer that the race promoters tried forcing a mandatory cat 1 upgrade mid-race during his time trial. Colin, unlike Steven and Ian, is a college graduate and is reaping the benefits of his hard-earned degree by teaching spin classes at Cycle U. This is THE college grad/cat 1 cyclist’s dream come true (assuming Starbucks isn’t hiring, which it never is). Colin likes to make jokes, like a few of us do on the team, and is personally my favorite person to tell jokes to because he always laughs at them, possibly out of politeness or possibly because he’s laughing at me for thinking the joke I told was funny. As an all-around extremely thin strong man, Collin performs well in sprints as well as climbing and will therefore have the entire weight of the team resting on his shoulders this season as both a GC rider and crit sprinter. Colin, don’t fuck this up.
Dan Bechtold, also fondly known as “Danland” is quite possibly the most intellegint person on the team. After all, he’s the only person on the team with a PHd, unlike Steve and Ian who haven’t even graduated college yet! (Haha, can you imagine the shame? Because I sure can’t.) Dan enjoys counting salmon sperm (or maybe eggs), teaching college, studying for the MCATS, being married, and being extremely confused and lost 100% of the time. Dan spends the majority of his days inhabiting Danland, a far off place with soft elevator music playing in the background and long, never-ending hallways painted with soothing earth tones. His strolls through the hickory-perfumed halls of Danland can be marathon events, so it’s best to keep a close eye on him if time is of the essence, which it always is. Dan is the fastest time trialist on the team, and I believe he harnesses the power it takes to smash a mind-numbing time trial by already having a numb mind (tired from thinking of the chemistry of salmon sperm). Dan is currently trying to fatten himself up by eating garden burgers. It has not worked yet.
Danny Healy is the fist new guy on the team that I met this year. After yelling out his name in the airport I was startled to see the guy sitting in front of me look up and say, “I’m Danny”– the reason of my startledness being that this guy was sporting not just a pierced ear, but a mohawk! Definitely not the typical northwest cyclist look. Maybe this would distract Joe from the mullet I was planning on growing. Excellent. Another reason I like Danny is that he’s not small. As bike racers, we’re all obviously paranoid with our size, and take all possible opportunities to make fun of each other for being either too big or too small. As a sprinter and another Bigguns on the team, Danny will help make me appear to be smaller, ie. skinnier, ie. faster. One more thing we have in common is that Danny hails from one of the nicest training grounds in the States, Santa Barbara. As you all know, I trained in and around SB last winter and will therefor be living vicariously through Danny this season, imagining riding past girls in bikinis playing volleyball, picking oranges off trees, smashing the SB Worlds ride, and generally having fun in the sun all day long.
David Fleishhauer. Jesus Christ that’s a hard last name to spell. It’s easy to say though, “felsh-hour.” Judging from his jovial, kind, and team-player personality, I imagine David will live up to his name and spend every waking “hour” give ever last drop of “flesh” to the team. But enough praise for one person, David is another crit specialist that better help win us some damn bike races or else he’ll be out on the street with his two pet Chinchillas. Sam Johnson, former HB teammate, was a guinea pig man. David takes it one or maybe even two steps further and has become a Chinchilla man, adopting a married lesbian Chinchilla couple. I say “married” because there’s some obvious sexual tension going on between the two, and since this blog is Hollywood PG-rated, sexual partners must be married in mattress money. Like any good cliché’d pair of lesbian lovers, there’s a butch alpha female (the man) and her hot chick trophy wife (did I just call a Chinchilla hot?) When I was sleeping over last week the butch one tried to bite me and the hot one let me tickle her belly. Hopefully after this paragraph the key words you remember about David are: Chinchilla, Lesbian, Flesh, Tickle.
Ian Crane (craneimal) is the only teammate I have that can compete with me in terms of blog hits. In fact, I think he’s currently outdoing me, though I suspect it’s mainly due to people’s failed search results for “Ian Crane’s teammate superior blog Kennetron5000.” That extra T in my name throws people off. Ian is a fast sprinter and won many bike races last year. But he’s growing thinner and thinner by the day, hoping to become a Chris Parish in the mountains and win the sprint on the final day of the Tour of the Gila. Ian is attending university while bike racing, which is always a difficult task. I find it hard enough responding to emails when I’m training, so Steve and Ian’s (and whoever else on the team is taking classes) commitment to making themselves smarter is a thumbs up in my book. Anyways, enough about Ian since, like his blog, you were probably searching for me instead: my favorite animal is the sea lion, followed by the wolf, followed by the deinonychus (though my power animal is the horse, of course), my favorite fruits include but are not limited to: water mellon, mango, pineapple, CRISP apples, not soggy ones, tangelos, grapefruit with ALL the white stuff removed, coconut (not a fruit), and peaches. Man I love peaches. If I could survive on a single fruit, it would be peaches. I’m really glad their not the size of grapes, because that would really suck. If that were the case and it took forever to eat your fill (like it does with grapes and other types of small berries) I’d always be like, “Man, what if peaches were the size of apples? That would be sooo awesome. Think of how much peach you could eat. I bet there’d even be such an over abundance of them we’d have to can them or something. Can you imagine? Haha. I bet they’d even taste better if they were bigger too. A world where peaches were apple-sized would be a world with no problems.”
Gabe Varella is very voracious ven it comes to vanquishing villians on Valentine’s day. I sort of wish Gabe were German (go back and read that last sentence as a German). I wish Gabe were German not just so I could secretly laugh at everything he said because of his funny accent, but because I like and respect the German People, especially for what they attempted back in the 1930s (the first semi-successful anti-tobacco movement). Gabe, aside from the quizzical German expression he portrays in this portrait, is sadly not from Germany, but is a country boy from a French city in Idaho. Gabe is another fast sprinter (how many damn sprinters do we have on the team this year anyways? It’s almost like we’re trying to win some races or something). Gabe proved his emense strength last September at Univest with his constant attacks and endless surplus of energy, which of course resulted in him not getting a result there (though it did help Ian get 4th in the crit). When harnessed properly, Gabe’s strength will see him on top of the podium quite a few times this upcoming season. But even more importantly: Gabe knows how to change a tire on a car! This will likely result in him being on the squad for every single race the team does (even overlapping races), just in case we get a flat.
Jesse Reams is our third and most Canadian Canadian. He lives somewhere so far north it’s actually south of the Canadian/US border (like other-side-of-the-globe-north). I think I’ve just about reached my quota of Canadian jokes for this blog post, so maybe I’ll write something serious about Jesse. Jesse began cycling at an early age of two and a half, when his family migrated with the caribou for the summer of ’89. He was born with stunted legs, much like the stunted trees hundreds of miles south of his igloo at the tree line. Jesse couldn’t keep up with his tribe on foot (children past the age of two are expected to care for themselves in Canada–except health care and education and other socialist regimes). His parents devised a pair of wooden skis into these sort of roundish objects that could travel over dirt instead of snow. These became the first Canadian wheels. Although the wheel is still being studied and perfected by Canada’s finest scientists (“are there infinite sides or one side,” being the main question), Jesse’s “wheel skis” were a huge success in helping him in the summer migration, as well as building his legs big and strong for a career as a burly strong-man cyclist. Strong enough for him to eventually WIN the Canadian U23 road championships last year. Take a gander, folks. This is one Canadian that will be “migrating” across the finish line with his arms in the air. Get it? See what I did there?
Jon Hornbeck (Bro-Cal) is from So-Cal, bro. He is a former motocross racer, so this whole bike racing thing seems a bit slow, a bit lame, a bit boring, and a bit nerdy. There are no 40-foot gaps to jump, no speeds in excess of 100 mph, and no cool pads and back braces to wear. But what bike racing lacks in rock n’ roll, it makes up for in Euro techno, which I’m guessing is Jon’s secretly favorite music genre, judging by that big Euro hair. Jon is a newcomer to the sport, but from what I’ve been told he’s taken no time in smashing legs and forgetting names. Jon doesn’t know who anyone is in the domestic (or Euro) pelotons, so it’s going to be fun watching him try to chop one of the Jacques-Mayne brothers or lining up behind Zirbel in a technical crit. Not that I have ever done either of those things and regretted it. Jon is in for a year of learning, but his motocross attitude and aggression will likely turn some heads as well.
Logan Owen (AKA White Bread) probably has his own Wikipedia page, so you can just go to that if you really want to know about him. If you’re too lazy to go to Wikipedia, here’s the rundown: he’s won 71 National Cyclocross championships and 39 other national championships, he lives on an island (the same one as Joe), he enjoys frequenting the state of Milwaukee, the country of Brussels, and the Ocean of Lake Michigan, he knows that Indian food comes from Asia somewhere, he’s not at all gullible, he wears a gold cross on a chain when he races (pro), he’s coached by Joe, which means he does 17 hours of through and off by himself every week, he’s only 16 and bike racing really hurts, and he was probably faster than you five years ago. Logan was punched in the face during a race last year (by a Canadian no less) and instead of punching back and causing a crash, or crying about it, Logan road off the front and won solo! No just kidding, but can you imagine if that were true?!!!? He did ride off the front of many Belgian races last season, truly putting a Bremerton stamp on the ass of Belgium. Well done, Logan. Now finish your homework.
Steve Fischer is basically the new Lang on the team (this is a good thing, as Lang was the most respected member of the team in recent years). As team captain, we can go to Steve with any issues we may have with SRMs, bike mechanical issues, height issues, racing issues, training issues, teammate issues, cyclocross issues, etc. Steve has worked his way up from a junior with Hagens Berman, and although he still has two or three more years of U-18 competition left, he’s decided to tackle the older kids’ races with us instead. Although his head isn’t nearly as large as Lang’s, he’s equally smart and tactful when it comes to strategory. I’m not really sure what Steve’s strengths are. I know he can spint (like everyone else on the team except me) and he can climb too. He used both of these skills to win the” fourth group on the road” sprint at the Cascade Lakes stage 2 of the Cascade Classic. I thought he was leading Ian and I out, but we were too tired and neither of us could come around him. That sounds awkward.
My thoughts on our team this year: we’re stronger and better organized than we’ve ever been. It will be a turning point. I’m excited to see these guys at the Agoura training camp and share some laughs after we attempt to crush each others souls up that one climb we always do where Joe says to keep it holstered just so he won’t get dropped but we never do keep it holstered because winning that climb on day #1 of training camp=pro contract.