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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Team Training Camp- We TRI'd

Last week Clif Bar held our annual training camp up in the Bay Area. It was reminiscent of years’ prior, with most of the time spent posing for photos and discussing shoe sizes. But there was one big difference. Several of our new teammates happen to spend an awful lot of time running and swimming.

This year Luna is mixing things up with a triathlete team. And those girls know how to train.

I mean, we mountain bikers get out there every day, rain or shine, and hammer the trails or pound the pavement. We ride for long hours, get muddy, and take the occasional hit by the unruly tree branch. And then we go home and relax with a big bowl of cereal in front of the email machine.

But those triathletes! Wow.

After getting in every night after midnight dinners with our sponsors, they were getting up at dawn for their laps at the local high school pool. Talk about swimming upstream on 6 hours of sleep.

Then they’d oblige with a photo shoot or three, damp hair still shimmering from the chlorine. As cold as they were, smiling in their little tri-suits, they still considered this a warm-up for their lunchtime wind sprint run around town.

marla streb
Luna Chix

And we mountain bikers hadn’t even gone out for our daily ride yet.

But we would show them. We’d make them ride the dirt for their bike workout. But darn, it was still raining. Our mechanics Chris and Zeph forbade us to ride in the mud. We wouldn’t have the chance to school them in off-camber root turns. So that was out.

We were all to ride the road. As one big team. Although some with aero bars and some without. And come to think of it. No one tried to drop anyone else. No one compared cadences or discussed drop-outs.

We all just kept talking about shoe sizes.

*shameless plug #247: To find out who’s on new Luna race team and the ambassadors, check out

Here's a link to another bike blog- it's a keeper!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

How to do a photo shoot with a big belly

First you need a green screen.

That's the big blank background they use in Hollywood to produce the bad sci-fi flicks. They resort to this when there’s no other option. When they know they’re going to need a lot of post-op reconstruction. When there’s nothing in this natural world that can suffice.

Then you need a bike stand or a best boy to hold you up. You could do an extended track stand, but you’d have to be an expert trials rider to last for the duration of the shoot. The photographers always claim it will “only take about an hour”. That really means it will be all day. With no bathroom breaks.

marla streb
Marla's photo shoot.

Now you have your distended belly to deal with. You find the most slimming black wrap available, and you squeeze into last year’s team jersey custom-designed for the team mascott. Last year our mascott was a hippo.

Not really. We’ve never had a team mascott but we should. I should write a blog about team mascots. Maybe next week.

And finally you need to balance on the bike and make the face that you make when you’re riding. You must constantly bug the photographer to dim the lighting, and shoot from the front. Or from the ceiling. Those profile shots are inoperable, you remind him. No version of Photoshop can delete that middle half.

This advice really only applies to either pregnant people or big time pro roadies right after they retire.

Of course, next year those pro roadies will still be retired, but I won’t be pregnant.